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April Reading Circle
Angels Blood by Nalini Singh 1 (20%)
Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, Book 1) by Karen Marie Moning 2 (40%)
A Hunger Like No Other (The Immortals After Dark Series, Book 1) by Kresley Cole 2 (40%)
High Stakes (Vegas Vampires, Book 1) by Erin McCarthy 0 (0%)
How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 1) by Kerrelyn Sparks 0 (0%)
Total Votes: 5
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1 user online in the past 15 minutes (0 Members · 1 Guest · 0 Anonymous)

Branded by Fire

Posted by MelissaB (Members) at Jul 9 2009, 11:09 PM. 5 comments

Branded by Fire starts out with some fireworks as Mercy, a top sentinel in the Dark River leopard pack, has a hot forbidden interlude with Riley, the second to the alpha of the Snow Dancer wolf pack. She is a dominant alpha female in her pack which makes her fear that she will never find a mate because she would need someone more dominant than her and she doesn’t think she would be able to submit to a mate the way she would need to. Riley is a stubborn, protective, by-the-rules man who is helplessly drawn to Mercy’s fiery personality. He grew up taking care of his younger siblings and is now the highest ranking lieutenant in the Snow Dancer pack, so he can’t imagine having a mate like Mercy who insists on taking care of herself.

Mercy and Riley are thrown together often as their respective pack’s representative in the alliance between the cats and wolves – especially now as attacks on humans, changelings and Psy are beginning to escalate. The sexual attraction between Mercy and Riley leads them to start a forbidden affair because they just can’t keep their hands off each other. Mercy knows Riley is a dominant wolf who will try to take over her life, which she thinks will kill a part of herself. Riley feels like he needs to protect those he loves, especially after what he sees as a failure to protect his little sister Brenna from being attacked. Mercy and Riley start to care a lot about each other but both are afraid of the consequences of staying together. They both dedicate their lives to protecting their packs – plus cats and wolves just barely get along. Can they both survive a mating – and do they have any choice but to try since their feelings are so intense?

I loved this story! Mercy and Riley were such a great pair, they really complemented each other in every way. The love scenes were scorching hot! Riley certainly knows how to please a woman. Both Riley and Mercy had to come to terms with each other – Riley had to accept that he could be dominant with Mercy while they were making love but he needed to see her as a partner at all other times and not try to shield her, while Mercy had to accept and trust Riley enough to allow him completely into her heart as a mate.

The storyline of the series progresses as we learn more about the battle for and against Silence in the Psy web and more clues about the Ghost’s identity. Sienna and Hawke have small parts in the story, I can’t wait until we see what happens between them. Lucas and Sascha receive wonderful news that I have been waiting for! I also found out the answer to the two questions I have been wondering about since I heard of the pairing between Riley and Mercy: What type of children will a wolf and cat have together and how can two dominant sentinels from different packs actually make a mating work – but you will have to read Branded by Fire to find out for yourself!

Ashes of Midnight

Posted by EssieLou (Mom) at Jun 3 2009, 09:27 PM. 21 comments

Events in my life seem to happen during minor set backs.

I met my husband in the hospital cafeteria after having a fight with my boss. I saw my perfect house that I later built, after having to take a long rambling detour to get around a stalled train.

And yesterday, I actually bought, sat down and read an entire book for the first time this year--- while waiting…. rdng
Waiting the first four hours for an estimate on my car brakes followed by 30 minutes of phone calls.
Then waiting another 4 hours for a friend to get off work and take me home.
(This in itself is a long sad story—they only squeaked for 2 weeks, only to get scarily
bad and irregular on my way home Monday afternoon. Now I’m paying the equivalent
of my mortgage to get them fixed. Oy….ouch! Damn.) crycry

Luckily for me, and the author, Wal-mart shared a parking lot with the tire and brake center, so like Tom Hanks in Terminal, I spent the day ‘living’ in their garden center. chclt

The book I read was Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian and I actually thought (during my second four hours) “I should read this with the attitude of writing a review.” So I did.

First off, the book is engaging. Engaging enough to keep my mind off of sitting outside in 80+ weather. snny Engaging enough that I never felt the desire to skim. Engaging enough that I didn’t notice or care that I was part of the patio garden display next to the electronic bird baths and kiddie pools when the occasional shopper browsed by. swmmr

Good thing I wore my cute shoes and skirt. Just wish I’d shaved my legs.

Oh! Now about the book.
It is the story of Andreas Reichen and Claire Roth. I instantly set them as
a young Rutger Hauer and Halle Berry. Worked for me. singto

Claire is mated to Wilhelm Roth, which I hate to say, his character vacillated between Harvey Korman, Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. Ok with a touch of Darth Vader menace. vampbat

Back story is once upon a time, Claire and Andre (her pet name for him) were lovers. But one day, he left without saying goodbye and within a year, she’s mated to a member of the Enforcement Agency (EA for now) for the Darkhavens of Germany. Breed males big on show and tuxedos, not so big on ethics and honor. RRbutt

The book starts with Andreas out for revenge, killing the next to the last of his targeted EA members. Because a short while earlier that year, his entire Darkhaven was massacred and burnt to the ground.

Toast. Briquettes. Kibbles and bits. pissycat

He has discovered who is behind it and is working his way up the ladder one by one, the last on his list is Claire’s mate, Wilhelm Roth (OK, there goes Mel Brooks again). We
discover in the first few chapters a great deal about Andreas, the biggest being is he’s
A vampire with super powers. superemo
Like Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. rfIRE
Or one of the X-Men. RRflame
Maybe even a transformer. evilevil

Claire’s gift is the ability to enter someone’s dreams. Which comes in handy more than once--- for romance and stealth. Kissykiss

Now here is where I give Lara Adrian applause. Her writing style in mayhem is clean and quick with minimal detail. Enough to give the mental image, but not going into 10 to 100 pages describing every….move…each…character…makes. RRBang

(Instant skim). Action sequences are best left to the minds of the readers. Trying to give us a play by play, boom by boom, splat by gory splat is tedious. And skim worthy. Same with torture-- imply. Hitchcock did it right….

Instead, she tells a story--- yourock

Which means the book flows smoothly and quickly from Andreas trying to hunt down
Wilhelm Roth! (Ok, that time it was Harvey Korman) and in the process, hooking up with Claire. Their emotions for one another re-kindle in a believable manner and we, the readers learn that yes, one Breed CAN bite another Breed’s mate, but hooo boy….

His butt is going to be kicked by all and sundry. RRRant

My only sniggling concern was how were the police going explain 5 melted Mercedes in the middle of craters in what used to be auto-bann. Plus a forest fire and a burned down mansion. Later a big azz burnt out crater in the middle of the woods. Meteors?? dynam

Another thing that Adrian does that I really appreciate is the clean switching of POV. It goes from Andreas to Claire to someone else, ie Lucan-or his group, Wilhelm Roth! (Gene Wilder that time) or Dragos. The bulk of the story is about Andreas and Clare. gfy

Just enough of the someone else’s POV to give info and add drama, but not so many that you (I) skim through it because dilutes the story and I really do NOT care what the busboy is thinking or how many forks the villain has stolen from the Hyatt salad bar or detailed BJ and buttsex stories about side characters which many have their book in 5 years. givehoot

The next big plus is her consistent inclusion of and building on characters from previous stories interacting as part of the main story, which fleshes out the book and make it more of an installment in a saga than a stand alone book (it could be, but its better if you read the others). We even see Dankia and her baby again.
Another big plus is the relative ‘realness’ of the characters. As real as you can get for a secret society of alien spawned vampires with romance and hot sex and evil villains using women in a Ocotomom’ish Vampire Assassin breeding program. Hpyno

The ‘real’ is especially evident in the social interactions of the females. knitknit

Unlike other Vamp books where the story shifts from two individuals to a matched set, the women keep their individuality. They do what women would do in this type of communal setting. They eat, talk, watch TV, play with the dog, read stories to the kid, go swimming. Which adds to the tension of the book, oddly enough.

Instead of it being about a lonely band of Breed Warriors ™, or even a bunch of salt and pepper shakers, you have the story of an extended family. It’s no longer about being ‘honor bound to save your species’ but about protecting those you love from harm. Now and in the future. Grouphug

There a are few to no stupid moments in her books and only one “I want to slap Claire” moment, but it passed quickly…..

Why is it that women, when dealing with guys who want revenge on a blood thirsty monster pull the “PLEASE promise me you’ll stop this Eeee VILE quest for vengeance.”

Which in Romancelandia translates into---
Stupid reasons for them to fight and be apart if he doesn’t agree.
He agrees and nearly gets slaughtered until Miss Prissy Pants comes to her senses.
I’m waiting for the day a female goes “ Heck yeah he needs a killin’. I’ll go sharpen your knives, load your guns and even whip up a homemade batch of C-4 while you get dressed.” p0wnd

In this case, Claire’s stupid doesn’t last long, her reasons are valid with Wilhelm Roth! (shit—that time it was Tim Curry) being her mate and her attempt to ‘fix’ things, goes from a bungle to a home team advantage. PomPom2

Lastly, Lara Adrian does the fricken obvious which has been pretty much ignored in many of these books. RRthud

You have a group of warriors who are battling an evil that like them, functions in darkness. The baddies usually have minions (or some such) which can be up to no good during the daylight.

However, the good guys usually sit around waiting for dark (GREAT movie with Audrey Hepburn). At a tactical disadvantage, yet, often these vamp guys are mated to….

Human females who can go out during the day!!!!! (cue Captain Obvious) superemo They almost always have some extra psychic or such gift.

And for once, they do the obvious…they go on a mission with their special gifts and with Lucan’s blessing. He and the guys aren’t thrilled, but they ain’t stupid either.

Finally, a common sense vampire. headbang

The women act in a very normal, non-super hero fashion during their quest. Kinda like “Sex in the City Kicks the Blair Witch's Butt” No tears about broken nails or freak outs about “We’re all gonna DIE!”, yet normal female reactions with one another when being chased by crazed minions. hyphr

If there is such a thing.

OK, so the book was quick easy, pleasant read, no skimming required.
Streamlined yet detailed in the right places. Lara Adrian’s endings aren’t too dramatic, they usually coast to a stop with a pleasant epilogue. I’m not going to go much more into the plot. It’s another good installment in a series with just enough consistency to be comfortable with just enough twists and turns to keep your interest.

The next book is Shades of Midnight, and I’m guessing it will be Kade’s story….alluded to by discussions of his Alaskan home and the reader’s realization if you’re going to ship something really big, nasty and evil to the Great White North, a railway boxcar is NOT the way to go. Seems a whole lotta caribou are gonna get Conan’d.

Meese Meese Meese Meese Meese as a good read.

Angels' Blood

Posted by MelissaB (Members) at May 15 2009, 06:18 PM. 5 comments

I wrote this review a few months ago but never posted it here.

Elena is a hunter whose job is to track rogue vampires for angels. She was born a hunter, with greater strength and scenting abilities than the average human. In this world, vampires are Made by angels then owe the angels 100 years of service for their immortality. Elena is paid by the angels to track and capture the vampires that decide to renige on their side of the deal.

Elena is summoned to the office of Raphael, the archangel of New York. Raphael is part of the Cadre of Ten, the ruling body of all the angels, so not answering his summons is not an option. Raphael is a very imposing, hard and beautiful angel who wants Elera to track down a rogue archangel for the Cadre. She has no choice because you just don't say no to Raphael and live long. He will work along with her because once she uses her tracking ablilites to find the rogue archangel, only Raphael can kill him.

Elena and Raphael clash from the very beginning. Raphael is a very powerful being who has held complete sway over everyone in his power for centuries, so when Elena defies him he is intrigued but also very arrogant. They have a battle of wills throughout the book because Elena refuses to let him control her and he really doesn't know how to do anything else. Raphael is very attracted to her, he is immortal and doesn't often find someone who will defy him plus he loves the warrior woman in her. Elera is completely fascinated by Raphael, he is very strong, extremely powerful and unearthly beautiful. She knows he is deadly and could kill her easily if she makes him too mad but she can't help herself from being very attracted to him inspite of the danger.

The author creates a very interesting world full of powerful angels, seductively dangerous vampires and the humans who live with them. Elena is a very strong heroine who refuses to bow down to even an archangel, though she may fall in love with him. Raphael starts out a very cold, unfeeling archangel who regains a bit of his compassion and humanity through his connection to Elena. They have very explosive chemistry together and can't seem to stay away from each other despite the danger they pose to one another. Raphael was a very sexy, powerful but also cold and dangerous man - sometimes he went too far but like Elena, I found myself still enamered by him.

Overall, Angel's Blood was a very good start to what promises to be a very interesting series. The world is unlike anything I have ever read before and I can't wait to see what will happen next. Elena and Raphael are just starting out as a couple and I look forward to seeing them forge a deeper bond as they work out their feelings and connection to each other.

Burning Wild

Posted by CeeJay (Members) at May 10 2009, 01:28 PM. 0 comments

Just wondering if anyone is reading or planning to read this one ???

Its the much anticipated next installment in CF's leopard series - the last book was years ago ! , and was certainly well worth the wait in IMO ...I started it yesterday teatime and finished it at 2 am this morning - I couldn't put it down !...for me the story was heartbreaking and shocking in equal parts,and its the first time I've read a book that starts with the hero "speaking " from inside his mothers womb!! :o ..great read and you don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy this one !

Lover Avenged

Posted by CeeJay (Members) at Apr 15 2009, 12:10 AM. 104 comments

I've given in to temptation and ordered my copy ...in Hardback and for an extortionate amount of money - I'm expecting it by the end of the week and to be honest , I can't wait !...So was just wondering if any one else has caved in and ordered it ?...will be reading it soon ?

Jeanine Frost: At Grave's End

Posted by schnuppi (Big Sisters) at Jan 19 2009, 04:55 PM. 3 comments

The plot is summed up pretty quick: In this book Bones and Cat find themselves right in the middle of some vampire civil-war with a lot of alliances and backstabbing involved. That said, I read books with a lot more challenging plot before kitbat . The plot wasn’t bad and at least it didn’t have any plot holes in it but it also didn’t manage to keep me on the edge of my seat – that is until the last 100 pages. I couldn’t put the book down for the last third of the book rSCRD and that was the part that saved the book from only being mediocre.

As for Bones and Cats relationship: It was nice to see them being tight after all that drama of the first two books RRblue . There aren’t many bourn-the-sheets-up love scenes but you get the feeling that those two are solid in their relationship and not much could come between them. However, I didn’t really get the feeling that their relationship was growing during the book but I guess considering how they started it’s hard to top that RRSex catfight .

Besides that the book is a little same old – same old shrg . A lot of violence and action, smarta$$ comments, and side characters we know from previous books. The people who loved the first two books in this series will like this one as well RRthumb .

Kiss of a Demon King

Posted by MelissaB (Members) at Jan 14 2009, 07:55 PM. 24 comments

This review is for Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole and is part of the Immortals After Dark series. The series so far:

Book 1: Myst and Nikolai in Warlord Wants Forver in the Playing Easy to Get anthlogy
Book 2: Lachlain and Emma in A Hunger Like No Other
Book 3: Sebastian and Kaderin in No Rest for the Wicked
Book 4: Bowen and Mariketa in Wicked Deed's on a Winter's Night
Book 5: Conrad and Neomi in Dark Needs at Night's Edge
Book 6: Caedon and Holly in Dark Desire's After Dusk
Book 7: Sabine and Rydstrom in Kiss of a Demon King

Sabine, Queen of Illusions, has one main goal in life - to survive. After dying over a dozen times before being brought back to life by her sister Lanthe, who can blame a girl? Sabine and Lanthe are Sorceri who have mystickal powers but share the unfortunate distinction of being half-sisters to Omort the Deathless, the evil king of Rothkalina. Centuries ago, an oracle foretold to Omort that Sabine was the mate of Rydstrom, the demon king Omort stole Rothkalina from, and the child they would bear would unlock the untold power of the mysterious Well in Omort's court. Sabine and Lanthe are trapped in Omort's service because he gave them a poison that causes a painful death unless they continue to take it regularly and since he is the only one who possesses it, they must keep in his good graces to live.

Omort sends Sabine to capture and seduce Rydstrom when he finds out that the demon king is trying to obtain a sword that is said to be able to kill him. Sabine has her own plans for the future - she will use this demon king to get pregnant then take over the throne from Omort when her son can use the power of the Well. She is confident that Rydstrom will be seduced quickly, after all who could resist her beauty and illusions?

Rydstrom, the deposed demon king, is finally within reach of the goal he has worked toward for centuries - killing Omort and recapturing his throne. On the way to meet an accomplice in his quest, he is fooled by Sabine's illusions into stepping through a portal to a cell in the dungeon of his old castle in Rothkalina. Once there, Sabine begins her seduction of Rydstrom by getting him very excited then refusing to finish things until he promises to make her his queen. Rydstrom is very confused because this sorceress feels like his mate but there is no way fate would stick him with an evil, selfish woman - right?

Sabine continues her seduction of Rydstrom by showing him his secret fantasies with her illusions but he refuses to break because he will not have her use his child for evil. She is impressed by his strength in spite of herself but refuses to give up her plan because there is no beating Omort any other way. She eventually gets her way but Rydstrom manages to trick her into thinking he made her queen when he really vowed revenge in the demon language.

Turn about is fair play, so when Rydstrom is given a chance to escape unexpectedly from an old enemy, he kidnaps Sabine and has a chance to enact the revenge he contemplated while under her mercy in the dungeon. She is helpless without her hands, so he ties her up and shows her exactly how it feels to be brought to the brink of satisfaction again and again without relief. The longer they stay together, the more certain Rydstrom is that Sabine is his real mate. He no longer knows whether he wants revenge or to seduce Sabine to stay by his side forever. Sabine is impressed by Rydstrom's fighting skills as he wards off attacks as they make their way to a portal out of Rothkalina to New Orleans. She has never had anyone fight for her besides her sister Lanthe and finds herself impressed with his honor and strength. He proves himself to her and slowly makes his way into the heart she didn't know she had anymore after too many years spent trying to survive in Omort's cut-throat court. Rydstrom finds that Sabine is just what he needs - a woman who is unafraid to challenge him in bed and out and someone strong enough to lead his people.

Sabine and Rydstrom are a great pair. Sabine is a bit wicked evilevil but is not evil. goodevil She does what she needs to survive but does not purposely hurt people - well, not unless they come between her and gold chairbeat , a Sorceri obsession. Rydstrom finds that he needs Sabine's wickedness, especially in bed. RRSex The story kept me on the edge of my seat wondering who was going to seduce who Sexyguy - and how do you kill an evil man who can't die? guilli The seduction scenes were hot! Rydstrom had some wicked fantasies in his head howdy that Sabine was more than willing to fulfill ILVSX . The action was non-stop, both in the bed and out getaroom , with it all coming down to Rydstrom facing down Omort for the throne of Rothkalina, where he found out what was really important to him. There was plenty of humor in the book with some great one-liners from Nucking Futs Nix. Kiss of a Demon King was a great read with two very interesting and complex characters who find love where they least expect it.

Kissykiss Kissykiss Kissykiss Kissykiss Kissykiss out of five!!!

Zen and the Art of Vampires

Posted by Krista (Beta Readers & Writers) at Dec 11 2008, 03:41 AM. 5 comments

Book 6 in the Dark Ones series if you are a BFL (big-f’ing-liar) RRLiar


White picket fences can be dangerous to vampires.
Sometimes a woman's gotta choose...
Pia Thomason doesn't have a typical life, but she wants one. The husband, the kids, the house in the suburbs...With her fortieth birthday looming, she decides to do something drastic, and takes off on a singles' tour through romantic Europe. But the few guys on the trip leave much to be desired - unlike the two men Pia sees in a small Icelandic town. Handsome, mysterious, and very dangerous…Just the sight of them puts her in a dither. When their paths cross again, Pia knows one thing for certain: Where vampires are concerned, love isn't the only thing at stake.

I read this book last week and I made myself wait to write the review on it to save my head from exploding. Seriously if I had sat down and actually put the time into thinking about how god-awful this book was after just reading it, well I would have given up on reading. jsthngn 4EVER!

Let me start by saying I have read and enjoyed the other five (full-length because I can rarely make myself read an anthology) Dark Ones books. They are first person which isn’t normally my cuppa but for these it works. MacAlister’s Heroines are usually ultra-normal, older (35+), neurotic, and funny. The Dark Ones series was almost like a funny parody of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series. A lot of the earlier novels mirror some of the stuff in Feehan’s books but present them in a more comical way (instead of the super-seriousness of the Carpathian variety.)

So now that you know that I will commence with the review of a book I hated with a fiery passion and has caused me to vow never to buy another book by MacAlister ever (ever, ever, ever) again! rspbrry (And I will try to keep this in a review like format but be warned there is a 99.9% chance this will turn into one long rant RRRant )

The Characters:

Pia – First off I did not like her name, I kept seeing Pita and getting hungry. pokpok She’s a moron, completely and utterly stupid. teenyviolin She’s on a singles trip and currently in Iceland, she’s “big-boned” and moans about that through like the entire book. I have my own weight-angst to listen to on a daily basis in my own head; I SO did not need to be hit over the head with hers on a page-by-page basis. RRBang She’s looking for Mr. Right and has yet to find him. Enter a mysterious “book mark” that allows her to see dead people. RRHide I kid you not. So while collecting ghosts that have yet to move on and trying to explain to them that she is not The One (who can help them move on), she stumbles upon a crazy cult group that wants her to marry some random dude so he can die in her arms and be reborn or something close to that. She runs off (the only smart move she makes in the entire book RRSigh ) after unsuccessfully trying to convince the crazy cult group that she is not The One. She then runs into a hot guy who she lip-locks frnchkss with in order to hide from the crazy cult group trying to find her. He realizes she is The One (not his "the One" but the cults "the One" - if that makes sense... elctrc ) and immediately starts man-handling her and being a world class jack-ass. Beatupr She sleeps with the jack-asses friend who is good natured and completely shallow. crp Then after finding a dead woman in her bathroom who she had met the night before (who had been looking for the book that stupid Pia had bought that held the “book mark”) Pia is now The One because she promises the dying woman she will take her place, even though Pia has no idea what it means to be The One or what exactly she will have to do as The One and also not knowing who killed the “real” The One and why. Yep fantastic idea. rrlzr Then comes more of her and the jack-ass together, them sleeping together, etc etc. givehoot

Kristoff – aka “the jackass” and the “Hero” of the story. A Dark One (really just a not so fancy name for a Vamp) The man has some major anger issues. catfight He hates anyone and everyone even remotely connected with the crazy cult people. Even hating those that accidentally (because they are a moron) fall in with that crowd and are desperately trying to figure out how to handle it all. hairpull He is a punk, such a mean, angry punk. His “mate” and I’m using that term begrudgingly here because she wasn’t his Beloved (which is a Dark One’s soul mate) nope she’s just his girlfriend, anyway she was killed by someone who has powers like Pia will get once she completes The One crap she has to go through. rbhead So Pia is like his mortal enemy who he can’t keep his hands off. shthpp

Their relationship:

If you really want to call it that is basically her running around being TSTL and him being an a-hole. Even at the end of the book he doesn’t trust Pia to do the right thing. OMG I wanted to kill them both. plzdy

The other characters:

The ghosts: I have no idea why MacAlister has to have a cast of quirky and usually pretty annoying characters that follow the Heroine around. But in this case they were the best part of the book so I guess she deserves a thank you for that (although she really shouldn’t hold her breath at this point.)

Alec – This is the Dark One our lovely Pia sleeps with in the beginning of the book. RRNOO Right there I know that will be a wall-banger for many a romance reader. He is SO shallow, is randomly “in love” with Pia although for the life of me I have no idea when or how he fell in love with her in the span of a few hours (not to mention WHY!?) shrg

The badguys – Okay here’s the thing they aren’t REALLY bad more like misguided. They don’t understand the Dark Ones so they think they have to kill them all instead of trying to get to know a few. Yeah you’ve read it before and I’m sure this won’t be the last book with this same “theme”. jsthngn

The Conflict:

Oh God I don’t even know if I want to go into it. So the Dark Ones want to kill all the cult people and the cult people want to kill all the Dark Ones and neither side will look in the mirror and see that they are turning into what they think they are “protecting” the world from. And you have stupid Pia in the middle who seems to be the only one able to see that you can’t just wipe out an entire group of people without at least trying to get to know them and figure out their true motives. And you know, if Pia is the intelligent one in that bunch then the rest of the characters have to be dumber than dirt. RRDuh

My rant:

This book ends with Kristoff refusing to be with his Beloved (Pia). That’s right. NO HEA!
Holy crapola I literally threw this book at the wall!!

Now personally I can’t really blame Kristoff for not wanting to be with Pia and IMO Pia is better off without Kristoff. yeahthat Those two really just don’t suit. At all.

But now I have to read AN ENTIRELY different book about two characters that THIS book made severely unlikable just to get my HEA. Um not just no. But HELL NO! gtcha

Now I try not to make it personal when I do a review on a book but in this case I think it’s understandable that I am majorly annoyed with Ms. MacAlister. This book was marketed (on her website) as the 6th Dark One book and I did not see anything on there warning her readers that it was the start of a new series? Or a two book thingie? Hell I still don’t know because she hasn’t stated anything on there. AND I get her stinkin’ newsletter and don’t remember her saying anything about that (and I’m 99.9% sure I would have remember something like that) When KMM started her Fever series she was VERY upfront about how different it was from the Highlander books even though you could consider it a spin-off of the Highlander books. And by knowing that I was able to give the Fever series a chance (and fell in love with it excluding the last few pages of the last book… yeah I’m still annoyed about THAT too.)

If MacAlister had done the same thing (hello warn your readers!) I would have no doubt still picked this book up because I do like the Dark Ones series. And I would have been able to read it knowing the HEA was not at the end of this book but a future book. But since I got a surprise attack (that will teach me not to check the last page of EVERY book from now on – even if it’s in a series that has ALWAYS had a HEA at EVERY single end.) I am now taking it personally and will therefore ban her books from To Buy list.
*deep breath*

Just imagine how mad I was when I had finished this book… RRthud

So yeah no HEA. Unlikable characters. Lots and lots of angst about stupid stuff. The Heroine sleeps with someone other than the Hero. The annoying side characters are the best part of the book.

Hmm wonder what my grade for this book would be!??! fairydust

Yeah it gets a 1 chairbeat out of 5 for false advertisement and damage to my emotional psyche.

And seriously if this had ended with a HEA, the personal conflict between the H/H had been resolved, and it had ended in a freaking HEA. I would have given a 3. Just sayin’. curst

About a Dragon

Posted by Krista (Beta Readers & Writers) at Dec 10 2008, 10:07 PM. 2 comments

Book 2 in the uh Dragon Series… and this is actually a re-release but I think the first book was only in eBook format… I may have made that up. Anyway the old title was The Distressing Damsel which makes a lot of sense after I read the book (ha! beercheer )

Oh and I would call it slightly erotica but with a really great story-line. Eh more like really hot romance. heartheart

The Synopsis:
For Nolwenn witch Talaith, a bad day begins with being dragged from bed by an angry mob intent on her crispy end and culminates in rescue by-wait for it-a silver-maned dragon. Existence as a hated outcast is nothing new for a woman with such powerful secrets. The dragon, though? A tad unusual. This one has a human form to die for, and knows it. According to dragon law, Talaith is now his property, for pleasure...or otherwise. But if Lord Arrogance thinks she's the kind of damsel to acquiesce without a word, he's in for a surprise...
Is the woman never silent? Briec the Mighty knew the moment he laid eyes on Talaith that she would be his, but he'd counted on tongue-lashings of an altogether different sort. It's embarrassing, really, that it isn't this outspoken female's magicks that have the realm's greatest dragon in her thrall. No, Briec has been spellbound by something altogether different-and if he doesn't tread carefully, what he doesn't know about human women could well be the undoing of his entire race.

I heart dragon books and it looks like I’ve found a really good Dragon series! Yay! gfy

The characters:

Talaith – So she’s pretty mysterious, her secrets are revealed slowly to the reader, usually when an explanation of her motives is needed. We know she’s a witch, but not why her powers seem to be so weak. We know she has the hots for Briec… not really anything mysterious about THAT one! whisl And the woman does not – shut – up. TMI!! But it was funny, not annoying. Which was good. And she has a great sense of humor. RRthumb She was tossed out on her rear by her dear-old mum when she fell in love with her boyfriend (a big no-no for a Nolween witch – love not allowed, random sexxoring with strangers for the purpose of spells and having children completely cool though RRLame ), after that pregnant and alone she then has her baby stolen from her rbhead by a Goddess with permanent PMS BTCH and forced to live away from her people while waiting for her orders from the Goddess.

Briec – He’s a Dragonly-Dragon (you know like a Manly-Man but a dragon. curst ) He’s not too impressed with humanity, they are SO weak and pretty stupid so what’s to be impressed about? shrg He’s arrogant, oh boy is he arrogant! But like Talaith’s never shutting up it was funny, no scratch that, it was HILARIOUS. The man put his foot in his mouth A LOT and his complete inability to see WTH was wrong with what he said was side-splittingly hilarious. RRlaugh Anyway his brother Fearghus (from Book 1) seems to be super happy with his new “human” mate so Briec figures he’ll give it a shot and “saves” (really more like kidnaps crp ) Talaith.

Their relationship:

OMG these two! Seriously! Remember in like 1st grade when that weird boy RRlech had a crush on you so he ran over and shoved you off the swing? crycry And you ran home crying to your mom rbhead who told you it was ‘cause he liked you, so the next day you threw a rock at him to tell him you liked him too? gtcha Well that’s how Talaith and Briec were, they argued about everything and where that could have gotten annoying it was actually pretty hot. They were so witty most of the time with their insults, and they were both slowly realizing WHY they were fighting (‘cause they liked each other and it got them hot) and that was really amusing/sweet to follow. tass

The Conflict:

So Talaith is up to something because of that mean Bitch of a Goddess she has stalking her. Once you find out WHY Talaith is doing what she’s doing, it makes a lot more sense and I quickly forgave her for ditching Briec.

The Goddess has Talaith’s daughter and will hand her over to the yucky lecherous King of such-and-such place if Talaith (who -surprise!- was trained as an assassin pissycat ) doesn’t kill the Queen of such-and-such island. That Queen turns out to be Briec’s brother, Fearghus’s, wife from the first book. Enter Talaith’s daughter who’s “protector” is like the God of Dragons who wants Fearghus and his crazy ass wife to have babies so they can breed like a super crazy ass team of Dragon/Human hybrids.

Yeah it’s one big Cluster-F of a Conflict. jsthngn

What I liked:

The humor. OMG I laughed out loud SO many times. Hissylaugh

The relationship between Talaith and Briec, there were so many “aww” moments, and then there were the “wow that’s hot” moments. They complemented each other’s characters so well, I could really see why they were drawn to each other, Talaith who was the best representation of humanity (caring for her daughter, smart, funny, independent and yet still needing to be close to others) and for someone (err somedragon) like Briec who had no idea WHAT humanity really was, she was perfect for him. And Briec, strong, the real battle minded one of his family, arrogant, and yet underneath it all very caring, Talaith needed that, she needed someone willing to step in and protect her, and at the same time someone who could step back and have faith that she’ll manage with her own powers.

The badguys. Well okay in this case the bad-woman. She was one evil B-I-T-C-H. Wow I hated her, so yay for a bad-woman who isn’t anything to sneeze at. She was a little (read – very) scary. RRHide

Getting to know more of the dragon family. They are really growing on me!

No Big M’s and trust me there were some places those could have cropped up but luckily the secondary characters made sure they never actually occurred. TankU

What I didn’t like:

I really thought it lagged a bit there in the middle when Talaith and Briec were separated. I found myself skimming until they were back together. pokpok

The conflict was almost TOO much. Jeez seriously I was freaked out through a lot of it that something randomly was going to happen and I wasn’t going to get my HEA. Okay so maybe that’s a good thing, eh I dunno. jsthngn

Talaith’s kid. Wow okay so I don’t know what it was with that kid but I really did not like her one bit. Beatupr Only good thing about her was the Big M she stopped from happening. I hope she gets less annoying because I sense a book with her as the Heroine in the not to near future. helpme

Too much sequel bait. I’ve had some issues lately with sequel bait being too detailed to the point where a relationship is basically already set up by they time that couple actually gets their book. And then that book is always less than impressive (I’m SO looking at you Christine Feehan i.e. the last Drake Sisters book RRdisgust ) I really hope that’s not what’s happening here but I kind of think it is…

Overall this book was really good, yay for dragons and witty dialogue! Only thing that really bothered me enough to effect the overall rating of the book was the lag there in the middle, really the momentum was SO good up until that point but then hit that snag and really took too long to pick back up again, although the end WAS back to the great momentum from the first part.

That said this one gets a RRlaugh RRlaugh RRlaugh RRlaugh out five.

And I am really looking forward to the next one, Sept can’t get here fast enough!!!

Dragon Actually

Posted by Krista (Beta Readers & Writers) at Dec 10 2008, 09:51 PM. 4 comments

So this is the first and second book in some sort of Dragon Series. :blink:

Yeah that's right, the book is 336 pages BUT it's two stories in one. The first story is Dragon Actually and is 217 pages long. It's kind of like a short story with a small novella in the back 'Chains & Flames' that is a little over 100 pages long. So it's like two for the price of one! tass

I haven't read Chains & Flames yet.

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear-a lot-or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe-a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger.

So I'm usually not one for shorter books, I always feel like there isn't enough time to tackle the inner and outer conflicts in a way where I don't feel cheated or annoyed. That said THIS book should be the way shorter books are written. I was really blown away by the character development, how the time element was dealt with, and really just the whole bloody thing. It was SO good. PomPom2

Enough gushing! fairydust On to the review:

The Characters:

Annwyl - THIS is how a strong woman should be written. RRthumb She's known as Annwyl the Bloody! How cool is that? She's a bit crazy, a lot blood thirsty, and has a temper that leads to heads literally rolling. guilli She was the bastard child of a King and from the age of like 10 lived with her father and her half-brother Lorcan, the brother tried his damndest to kill her and Annwyl decided to give as good as she was getting when he arranged a marriage for her. gtcha In chains she's rescued by rebels and instead of running off to safety she promptly picks up a sword and starts swinging, thus earning her nickname executioner which she hates BTW. rbhead I cannot tell you how much I LOVED this character! RRILOVEYOU She constantly did things that had people either running for the hills or asking her if she were crazy. gfy Obviously she has some trust issues when it comes to men, to be with Annwyl a man would need to earn her trust. And that is no small thing... elctrc

Fearghus - Also the holder of a cool title. RRbutt Fearghus the Destroyer is a black dragon and a recluse. Part of a loud, boisterous, and awesomely crazy family - he decided to live his life in his peaceful cave away from the craziness... RRsnooze Bored out of his mind he hears the battle being waged outside his cave and comes upon Annwyl as she is bleeding to death and yet still taking heads with the last of her strength. :D Intrigued by her lack of fear of him while in his dragon form ('cause dragons can shift into human form too! Duh! RRDuh Otherwise how would the sexxoring happen?!), he calls on his sister - a white dragon and healer - to help him save her life. Learning she is the sister of the evil King Lorcan, he decides to help her conquer the fear of her brother that she hides behind her temper. pekabo

Their relationship:
This was the really interesting part. Annwyl has no idea that dragons can shift into human form, 'cause those pesky dragons are so secretive. whisl So by day she trains with a knight who makes her think naughty thoughts Sex???? and by night she talks with her dragon who she starts to fall more and more in love with. cl9 Fearghus, afraid she would run if she knew the knight and the dragon were really one, keeps his secret and enjoys his time with Annwyl knowing the whole time that the two could never be together. shthpp If Annwyl succeeds in killing her crazy-ass brother, she would be Queen and could never be with a dragon without bringing the wrath of all the neighboring kingdoms down on her head. But these two crazy kids (using that term lightly here since Fearghus is like over 200 years old...) are SO sweet together! snny Annwyl slowly looses the very outside layers of her inner rage and Fearghus is dumfounded by the human woman who doesn't fear him like she should. It was seriously so sweet to read. Oh and hot too! Annwyl and Fearghus in human form set the pages on fire!! RRSex

The secondary characters were awesome to, we are slowly introduced to Fearghus's siblings and there are A LOT of them! RRthud But we are given enough time to absorb who they are before being introduced to the next so it didn't get confusing. bowdown

The Conflict:

So an evil dragon dude is playing puppet master and pulling Annwyl's evil brother's strings. Annwyl and Fearghus must join together to save both their worlds since the evil dragon plans to conquer the Queen of dragons after he deals with Annwyl. Fearghus forbidden by his father to interfere in the human's silly squabbles must make his choice and Annwyl must decide after the battle what she's going to do with her dragon and her kingdom. Two things that don't really go together.


What I liked:

The whole thing! I was really blown away by how GREAT this book was! gfy For one so short I wasn't expecting much but seriously OMG if the other books come close to this one's greatness we are in for one awesome ride!

Fearghus in dragon form! OMG usually the dragon form is rarely shown or is only the secondary form. But for Fearghus he has shunned his human form and lives mainly in his dragon form. It was seriously cool whh

The time line. Really very well done. Fearghus and Annwyl have weeks together to get to know one another and fall slowly in love. These two don't trust easily so the time line was crucial IMO. And at no point did I feel like I was missing out on a particular scene and I never felt sort changed. RRthumb

Fearghus's family. So quirky and fun! I can't wait to see them all meet their respective mates!

Annwyl's inner conflict was awesome! Annwyl has some crazy insane anger built up inside her and over the course of the book she becomes softer and yet still remains the strong female she was at the beginning. More than anything she loses her death wish that I don't even think she knew she had, now she has her dragon to live for and she will fight with everything she has to remain with him. :wub:

What I didn't like:

Okay now this may shock ya'll but I loved it all. Only thing I would change would be Fearghus's stupd fear that Annwyl will not accept him as both the knight and the dragon. RRLame His lack of trust in her was annoying and we of course have the point where Annwyl discovers he's been lying to her which leads her to nearly kill Fearhus's father and ends up running off to her army to take care of her brother once and for all... RRlaugh have I said how much I love Annwyl?! She was so cool! beercheer But their make up scene totally made up for the slight annoyance Fearghus caused and really his asking for forgiveness scene was one of the best in the book! Hissylaugh

This gets PomPom2 PomPom2 PomPom2 PomPom2 PomPom2 out of 5!

Oh and incase you were wondering Chains & Flames is about Fearghus's mother and father and how they met. Fun!

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