Talen by Rebecca Zanetti

Book Review

 


Talen: A Dark Protectors NovellaBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Dark Protectors #7.8

Released: 6/6/17 from Lyrical Press

Pages: 95 Price: $2.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

She’ll love him forever . . . but he can’t make her obey . . .

The war is over. Danger has passed. Cara Kayrs is healed after decades of illness and ready for a break.

Too bad her brooding, alpha vampire husband can’t seem to change gears. In their twenty-five years together Talen Kayrs has learned to sense every shiver of her body, to ignite her desire with a word or a look. She would think he could learn she’s not some fragile damsel in distress.

But Talen is on edge, watching their backs, treating her like she’s made of glass. Like there’s something following them, a deadly threat that somehow none of their intelligence has uncovered. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, and Talen has plenty of those tendencies already.

But what’s even more maddening is that he seems to be right . . .

My Review:

This was a fun visit to a finished series I enjoyed.  In this book we revisit the couple from the book that started it all and get a chance to see how their H.E.A has been after the war has ended.  As in real life just because peace has been declared sometimes it takes a while for everyone to get used to the idea.

As with the other books in the series if you have a problem with dominant alpha-males that push the envelope between a healthy and abusive relationship this might not be the series for you.  If you can overlook all that then this is one sexy read for an afternoon of relaxing.  There was plenty of action to go along with the sex as well as a pretty great plot that worked out in a clever way.  I had to smile and shake my head at how things turned out for this novella. If the men in this world would only turn things over to the females then there might not have been a war to begin with…

Anyway,  I am going to keep an eye out for future novellas in this world because I enjoyed this brief visit to this world. If you’ve read the series than this is a must add to your to-read list as it will be sure to make you nostalgic for the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Blog Tour: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Week One

Monday, April 17 – There’s This Book
Tuesday, April 18 – Vicarious Bookworm
Wednesday, April 19 – Bad Bird Reads | Francesca’s World
Thursday, April 20 – Read What I Like
Friday, April 21 – Snoopy Doo’s Book Reviews | The Book Nympho

Week Two

Monday, April 24 – The Consummate Reader | Rantings of a Reading Addict
Tuesday, April 25 (Release Day) – Vampire Book Club | Literary Escapism | Saucy Wenches
Wednesday, April 26 – Cocktails & Books | Goldilocks & The Three Weres
Thursday, April 27 – Rabid Reads
Friday, April 28 – Tru Bookie’s Review


I am so excited to be a tour stop for the release of Blade Bound!  To help launch the last release in this epic series, Chicagoland Vampires!  I’m not one to sign up for many blog tours but when I saw Ms. Neill’s call for blogs to sign up I knew I had to take a shot.  I entered, crossed my fingers and here we are!  An official stop right there besides some truly amazing blogs, I am not missing a single stop on this tour and I hope you don’t either.

As to my turn to host the celebration of the release of Blade Bound I have altered my typical review post to include lots of fun stuff.  We have links to all the official tour stops above.  Next is my Spoiler Free review and links to where you can get your hands on a copy of Blade Bound.  After my review, there is a totally cool mini-interview with Merit where I got the opportunity to ask her four questions. Last but not least at the very end you will find not one but two different giveaways!  So be sure to check everything out.


Book Review

 

Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires, #13)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires # 13

Released: 4/25/17 by Berkley Publishing Group

Pages: 384  Price: $15.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy The Book Links: 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Books-A-Million | Indiebound

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House… 

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House.  She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House in infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined.  As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension.  It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

My Review:

I am sitting here wondering what to say… How to start this review… I mean just where does one begin?  Do I start by saying unabashedly how much I loved this book, this series?  Do I tease you with insight into the final chapter to this action-packed series?  Do I plead with the author and publishers to please, please don’t let it end? Or do I sigh, shed a tear, and smile at all the joy this world has brought into my life and wish these two characters all the best as they finally move into their H.E.A.?  I think that is where I will begin…

I did not start off loving Merit and Ethan, it took me about four books to actually warm up to these two.  It was a rocky start after all with Merit not liking who she became and Ethan having an ego the size of the State of Illinois.  I pushed on and eventually, the magic caught me.  Ironically it took losing Ethan to make me see just how special this series was.  There was so much to love; action, steam, quick-wit, drama, a fun supporting cast, and an amazing city for all their adventures to unfold in.  This has become one of my favorite worlds to explore and now it is over.  Merit and Ethan have earned their H.E.A and I wish them an eternity of joy together.  I will think of them every time I visit Chicago.

I have to say as far as series finales go this is one of the best ones I’ve ever read.  It had everything that made this series great and didn’t shove a forced farewell to all the characters that were no longer relevant to the current plot down our throats.  Most of the plot threads were wrapped up nicely, only one that I can think of that felt unresolved but such is life.  This book started off with a celebration which was an amazing way to honor this power couple that is leaving our lives.  Of course, being Merit and Ethan chaos quickly broke things up and the vampires were tasked with saving the city once again.

I loved how this series brought everything full circle and ended with a set of characters now a fully functional team working to defend their home.  We also get another tour of iconic locations in Chicago as the city is literally a central character to this story.  I  couldn’t think of a more fitting way to send off the Chicagoland Vampires series than this book.  It was perfect.

I have heard that we will revisit this city again in a spin-off series and I for one am thrilled.  Of course, it won’t be the same but knowing this author it should be one helluva ride!  I can’t wait.

My Rating:5 Stars


Mini-Interview with Merit

When I found out I would get the opportunity to ask one of the characters of the series four questions I about had a fit.  I rushed into my husband’s office to gush about this unique opportunity to interact with someone from a series I adore.  It is almost like I get to truly become a part of their world for a brief moment.  I was so excited.  My husband, less so, but he humored my enthusiasm and listened to me babble for about 10 minutes before returning to YouTube.   I left him in peace to work on my questions I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

Amy:  Greetings Merit, I’m so excited to get this chance to ask you a few questions. I live in Iowa and visit Chicago about once a year, I always think of you, Ethan and the rest of Cadogan House during my visits.  My first question is this.  What are your favorite hidden corners of Chicago that the typical tourist might miss?

Merit: Interesting question! I think a visit to Washington library is a must for any reader. The Winter Garden is spectacular! I love the cake shakes at Portillo’s, the shopping in Wicker Park, and Hash House A-Go-Go on the Gold Coast.

Amy:  Continuing with the tourist theme and knowing your love of Chicago’s cuisine what is one food or dish that every visitor to Chicago must try during their visit?

Merit: Most people would say Chicago-style pizza, but I’d recommend an Italian Hot Beef sandwich. Go to Al’s, and learn how to
lean in!

Amy: Changing topics, Excluding anything connected to Ethan what is your favorite moment or aspect of your life after becoming a vampire?

Merit: Considering my answer above, probably the fact that I can eat whatever I want! On a more serious note, probably the fact that I can now handle a katana with some skill. I like being able to take care of myself and those I love.

Amy: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today.  Lastly, as a librarian, I have always admired your love of books so my final question is what are you currently reading or what was your last great read?

Merit: You’re very welcome! Right now, I’m loving Deanna Raybourn’s novels!


But wait, don’t leave yet!  There’s more…

How about a giveaway!!!  Ms. Neill sent me some awesome swag to share with my awesome followers. Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to all who entered. Winners will be posted on my giveaway page once I receive confirmation from them.

The fun doesn’t stop here. 

Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Blade Bound Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs April 17 through April 28 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

  • Engraved Cadogan House medal pendant
  • Signed 11×16 Merit poster
  • $50 Amazon gift card
  • $50 Garrett Popcorn Gift Card (Chicago’s hometown favorite!)
  • Tote bag containing Chicagoland Vampires and Devil’s Isle Swag

Thank you so much for joining me here at Read What I Like an official stop on the Blade Bound Blog Tour.  It was my pleasure to have you all here and to review this book and the series (you can find my other reviews on the Review Index page).  This is a spectacular series and if you have not tried it yet I envy you for I would love the chance to read it again for the first time!  For those entering the giveaway, good luck!

ARC Phantom Kiss by Chloe Neill

Book Review

 


Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, #12.5)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires #12.5

Released: 1/17/17 by Berkley

Pages: 83 Price: $1.99 Ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that their being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…

My Review:

I like many fans of Chloe Neill are both sad and excited about the upcoming release that will close this long run series.  Soon it will be time to say goodbye to Merit and Ethan and let them move on to their H.E.A. They deserve the peace and quiet but I sure will miss reading about their adventures.

I didn’t realize Ms. Neill was working on a novella between the last release and the last release so this was a pleasant surprise and a fun read.  We start out with some wedding drama and I loved that first scene where Merit kicked ass, kinda…  You will see what I mean when you read it and for the awesome price of $1.99 (according to the book info page over at Net Galley) I hope you do go out and pick this one up.

I’m actually surprised that this book is coming out in January as the plot seems more fitting to Halloween.  A good old fashion ghost story seems like a better fit for that time of year.

We have the return of many of the series familiar faces as well as a fairly recent addition in the last book.  Bottom line this was a great read, a quick read and those of you who have stayed current with the series will not want to miss this novella.  It will deliver everything you love about the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

ARC Lucifer by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Lucifer (Vampires in America, #11)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Vampires in America #11

Released: 11/18/16 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 298  Price: $7.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source:I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

Book Synopsis:

Montreal, Quebec . . . A charming city on the St. Lawrence River, historic, sophisticated, but beneath it all lies an extensive underground where treacherous vampires are plotting to seize the country.

Lucifer Scuderi is a vampire—handsome and charismatic, a powerful hunter of unusual skill—who arrives in Montreal to take on the most important hunt of his life. Someone has kidnapped the mate of Canada’s ruling vampire lord, and it’s up to Lucifer to find him before his death sets off a crisis that could engulf the entire continent.

Eleanor Morel lost everything—including the love of her life—when she became a vampire. But now, twenty years later, she’s a trusted bodyguard to the Canadian lord, Sophia, and the only person Sophia can count on to lead the search for her endangered mate. But what Eleanor doesn’t know is that the special hunter she’ll be working with is none other than her long-lost love. And he’s demanding answers.

Lucifer’s love for Eleanor burns as hot as his anger towards her for leaving him. But they’ll have to find a way to set history aside and work together if they’re going to unravel the twisted betrayal that threatens not only Sophia and her mate, but the whole continent. Because the European vampires are on the move. And if Canada falls, the rest of North America could follow . . .

My Review:

Book number eleven in this series I adore brings us back to Canada to deal with Lord Sophia’s missing mate.  He has been kidnapped by the European vampires who are becoming ever more bold in their attempt to claim this continent for their own.  While I love this author and series I have to say this book wasn’t my favorite in the series.  I would have to say it fits in with other books I didn’t care for in the series, books 3-5.  Still committed to this world just didn’t care for Sophia’s drama I guess…

So what went wrong for me. The book had a different feel to it as we gear up to travel to Europe and take the war to those vamps on their home turf.  I did like Lucifer and Eleanor but struggled to build a connection with them.  I also didn’t care for the flashbacks.  I know they were necessary to build the history between these two, but I’m usually not a fan of them when they are used in any book/series I’m reading.  I just don’t care for the jumping back and forth in time.  A few are okay but this story had quite a few flashbacks in the first 50 pages and it didn’t agree with me.  As we move into the current action they decrease and I was finally able to get into the story.

Most of this book I wanted to follow two threads; how were they going to rescue the mate and how were they going to work it out for these two lost loves to stay together.  I’m not going to spoil anything but it did work out nicely and I appropriated how things played out.  Having just read Aden’s story I did enjoy revisiting this character, even if he didn’t get a lot of page time.

If you are a fan of the series I would NOT miss this book.  Don’t skip it.  If you’ve not tried this world yet start back at book one and enjoy the ride.  I’m glad I read this one, even if it wasn’t my favorite.  Looking forward to the next.  I’m curious to see how the series shifts as we journey to Europe and kick some ass over there.  Its time to take this war to them instead of waiting for the attack at home.  Should be good!

My Rating:3 Stars

ARC The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire by Sara Humphreys

The Good, The Bad and the Vampire

Book #4 in the Dead in the City series

Releases 1/5/16: 320 pages

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Author’s Site

Book Synopsis:

He wants eternity?
Dakota Shelton is a vampire cowboy with a penchant for cinnamon lollipops and Johnny Cash. Though highly skilled and deadly dangerous to his enemies, he’s still a Texas good ol’ boy at heart. And he has that heart set on wooing Trixie LaRoux-the most badass punk rock chick in town-the old-fashioned way.

Over her undead body…
Trixie is tough as nails and sharp as a silver stake-the last thing she wants is a man to sit on a porch and not grow old with. So it’ll take going to hell and back fighting a new threat to vampires before she admits Dakota’s courtship makes her blood hum. Turns out chivalry’s not dead after all.

My Review:

Finally I made it to the book that prompted me to work through this entire series recently.  I was approved for this book review late in 2015 and since there were not that many previous book I decided to start at the beginning.   An excellent choice by the way and I highly recommend it if you are new to this spin-off series.  So was it worth all the effort?  Yes,  I have discovered a delightful new world to play in and I want to go and check out the series that this one is spun off of.  This book however, just didn’t click with me as much as its predecessors, let me tell you why.

Mainly I think it has to do with the cowboy.  Oh sure Dakota is a great guy, very sweet and I’m happy that he and Trixie have found their H.E.A, but I’m just not into cowboys.  I also like a little bit more edge to my alpha males, Dakota is a bit too goody-two-shoes for me.  I know it will have all the feminists pulling their hair out, but he was just too polite and didn’t catch my personal interest at all.   Oh well.  Trixie also got on my nerves a bit.  I’m not able to put my finger on it exactly, but there was something there that kept me from identifying with her too.  I caught myself think ‘oh common’ a few times when it came to her issues to overcome and brash attitude.

I’m happy I read the book and the points mentioned above really didn’t ruin it for me, but they are the reason for the rating it received.  I liked visiting with the gang again and learning about the new supernatural species that the plot revolves around.   I also enjoyed how the author dealt with the issue of first impressions and prejudiced in this story.  Something that gets the reader thinking is always a plus.  I am wondering where this series will take us next as I think many of the original characters are paired up.  There were a few new ones added to the family though so perhaps one of them will be next.

Nice addition to the series.  Not my favorite, but that has more to do with personal taste than anything with the book really.  Looking forward to seeing where we go next and I really need to go and check out more of this author’s work!

My Rating: 3 Stars

 

ARC Making Magic by Donna June Cooper – 5 Stars

Making Magic

Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #3 in Books of the Kindling Series: Release Date January 20, 2015.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

During his law enforcement career, Sheriff Jake Moser has been called to Woodruff Mountain a few times to deal with some rather weird situations. Now, recovering from a bullet wound that should have killed him and fending off his mother’s ravings about the evil that lurks on the mountain, he’s making alternate career plans.

Just as those plans begin to take shape, someone starts kidnapping newborn babies, then returning them unharmed. To make things even more interesting, an irritating adversary from his past has returned to bedevil him in a whole new, delightful way.

After her erratic psychic gift forced her to abandon her home and a promising musical career, Thea Woodruff has spent years trying, unsuccessfully, to atone for the death of Becca Moser, Jake’s sister. Once she has mourned those she’s lost and apologized to those she’s failed, she intends to flee her mountain once again.

Jake would rather she stay to compose a new tune—with him. But their complicated harmony reveals a guilty secret that threatens not only their future, but their lives…

My Review:

This series continues to develop in richness and complexity and the author is really coming into her own with her writing.  This is probably my favorite of the series so far and I expect even better things in future books of this series.  I had thought when I started this series that it was going to be a trilogy, but after finishing this book (and checking the authors website) I see that there are going to be at least three more to go, and I can wait.  I like the direction Ms. Cooper is taking with world and I think there is potential for many fun stories to come from these characters.

Now I must confess this is a bit tamer story-line then I normally read, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.  I just need to be in the right mood for this type of read.  This series is perfect for those wishing to stick their toe in something a little more supernatural,  but still have a sweet clean-cut romance.  The language is very clean and along with the romance.  Still a little spice, but more on the milder side.  This author focuses more on the building of relationships, characters and connections then just having them jump in the sack.  Probably more realistic when it comes to most people’s love lives.  Personally I like it, means more pages dedicated to the actually story rather than just forcing situations where they can pair up.

This story started a little like the last one, I didn’t know what the heck was going on for a few pages, but I stuck with it and soon was able to piece together what was going on and recognized some familiar faces.  The setting was again at Woodruff Mountain and centers around the third sibling of the family, the lost sheep.  We soon learn what drove Thea away and what her ‘power’ or gift is.  There was a lot of development in the power aspect to this world and, as to not spoil anything, I’m just going to say that I am excited with the direction the author took!

Jake was the love interest for Thea and they were a fun match.  I loved how they were pitted against each other in the beginning of the book.  You could see the chemistry there but neither wanted to fess up to an attraction and had to give each other a hard time.  I really enjoyed watching these two work things out.  This story also had a bit of a love triangle going on, something that wasn’t used in other stories, and it just added some angst to the budding relationship.

While the mountain was the setting for this story it took a bit of the back burner compared to the other two books.  More time was spent in the town itself and we got to know the community around the mountain better in this story.  Like the other two books Ms. Cooper manages to teach us about a new aspect to being good stewards to humanity and the environment.  This is an aspect of her story telling that I completely support.  I also appreciate how she goes about giving us these examples without being peachy or weighing the story down.  She strikes a nice balance between advocacy and storytelling, resulting in a story with depth that will hopefully do some good and make people think about the role they play in this world.

Like I said in the beginning this world continues to get better and I’m delighted to see it will be continuing on.  I like how Ms. Cooper is getting bolder with her writing and we see more magical elements working their way into her world.  She is growing as a writer but continues to stay true to the type of story she wants to tell.  I expect only good things to come in future books.


 

Just wanted to remind you that we are hosting a giveaway of the first two e-books in this series, More Than Magic and Mostly Magic.  Click on the link below to enter or visit the giveaway page or my facebook page to enter!

More than Magic    &   Mostly Magic

(Books linked to my reviews)

 

Click To Enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARC Guardian’s Patience by Jacqueline Rhoades – 5 Stars

 

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win an e-copy of this book, click here or on the Giveaway tab in the menu to the right.
Guardian's PatienceCover art thanks to author, click on it to visit her website.

Book #5 in the Guardians of the Race series: Release day Nov 15,2014

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Short and round, she dresses like a gypsy in vibrant and sometimes clashing colors. She’s been known to dye her hair to match her mood. She does a Good Deed every day and smiles at everyone she meets. But underneath her happy-go-lucky exterior, Patience Delecourt is lonely and afraid. She’s the mouse in a demon’s Cat-and-Mouse game that’s been going on for fifteen years. Her ideal hero would come straight out of the old movies she watches night after night alone in her tiny apartment. 

Stuffy and socially awkward, Broadbent ad Sebastian, Guardian of the Race, has his vision of the ideal woman, too; tall, elegant, cultured, and well-read. But every time he meets someone who might fill the bill, his advances are met with laughter and derision. As hard as he tries to emulate his fellow Guardians; their prowess with women, their clothes, their interests; he just can’t get it right. 

He doesn’t see himself as handsome or a hero. She doesn’t see herself as beautiful or brave. Yet what they find together opens new worlds of wonder for them both. It also opens the doors to old enemies and sets off a series of events that threaten the House of Guardians and the people within it. With the credits ready to roll on their mismatched love story, Patience and Broadbent will have to find the bravery and heroism they see in each other, and decide how much they will sacrifice for love.

My Review:

This is probably my favorite series by this author, followed by her Wolvers and then her contemporary last.  I have to say becoming friends with this author has been a definite bonus to my hobby of reviewing books, we meet through my reviewing the first book in this series, and while all our interaction has been online I am delighted to call Ms. Rhoades a friend.  That also makes it a little awkward and intriguing when it comes to reading and reviewing her books.   Won’t let her off the hook as far as reviews go, still going to be honest, but I see more pieces of Jackie’s personality in the stories then I did in the beginning.

Now for the real review…  I’m torn on how to review this book.  I think it earned the five stars and I enjoyed it, but the story really wasn’t what I was expecting.  The last book went off in a totally different direction leaving Cannon’s home and venturing into another house of Guardians with Faith and Lucien.  This book brings us back home to a familiar setting and house full of characters we have grown to love.  All of that I was expecting, but Broadbent was who threw me for a loop.  Like many of the characters in the book, perhaps even Broadbent himself, I guess I had assumptions about his personality and character that were shattered when I read his story.  What is it they say when you assume…  I ended up really liking the Broadbent I grew to know and think it a fitting H.E.A for him and Patience.

Patience was the heroine of the story and I really, really liked her.  She was such fun and a refreshing change in female lead for a paranormal romance story.  She was perhaps more normal, in appearance anyway then many of the other heroines out there.  Ms. Rhoades has done this before and I love how she pick characters of all sizes, looks and personality types to weave her stories.  All too often we get stories where everyone is drop dead gorgeous and flawless in personality as well.   How can normal people relate I swear it is as bad as the photoshoping done in magazines.  Rhoades shows us that anyone can be a hero, and everyone is beautiful in their own way.  Patience, or Pinkie, has spunk and is subjected to the same insecurities that we all are.

What elements of this story made me give it five stars.  I loved the messages that Ms. Rhoades conveys in the story.  That often things are not what they seem and that sometimes what we think we want is not what we need or what will make up happy.  I love the feeling of family by choice not necessarily created, these characters all come together through circumstance as someone with little blood relatives of my own this really resonates with me. I also like the message in the book about good and evil, that things are not necessarily good or bad, but how our own actions create the evil in the world.  I like the closure that happen in this story in regards to the demons in this book, a familiar bad guy from earlier books is back in this one.  I also enjoyed the humor and getting to catch up with past characters.

Anything that didn’t work?  There was one thing, but how do I share it without spoilers….  The overly graphic scene with Grace and Broabent was a bit much for me.  When I read it is like a movie playing in my head and that is something I never want to ‘see’ again.  Ever.  In fact when I go to read this book again I will skip that chapter.  Too much information.

What do I hope for next in this series?  I would love for Col and Dov to someday get their own story, but I would also like to travel and read about other Guardian’s houses like we did in Faith’s Story.  I would also like to know more about the workings of the Paenitentia society.  I also think their issues with the Daughters of Man need to be ironed out.  Even thought most of the main characters in the world all have their H.E.A I think there are lots of potential for future stories in this world and I look forward to seeing where Ms. Rhoades takes us next.

ARC Horizon by Keith Stevenson – 3 Stars

Horizon

Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Release date: Nov 1, 2014

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for a honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Thirty-four light years from Earth, the explorer ship Magellan is nearing its objective – the Iota Persei system. But when ship commander Cait Dyson wakes from deepsleep, she finds her co-pilot dead and the ship’s AI unresponsive. Cait works with the rest of her multinational crew to regain control of the ship, until they learn that Earth is facing total environmental collapse and their mission must change if humanity is to survive.

As tensions rise and personal and political agendas play out in the ship’s cramped confines, the crew finally reach the planet Horizon, where everything they know will be challenged.

My Review:

While I didn’t find myself getting totally engrossed and swept away by this story, I did enjoy it.  There was just something about it that kept me removed from what was going on.  The pacing, the descriptions, or maybe the main character.  It was an interesting story that I am glad I read, but  I didn’t love it.

So lets start with what I did enjoy about the story.  I liked the questions the story brought up more than anything.  I liked that this story set in the future humanity was still grappling with the same petty problems, only now they had global consequences that could no longer be ignored.  It was a pretty grim prediction of human nature, but I fear probably an accurate one.  This book is going to make people think about the real effects of our current course if we do not try to get along and work together or take care of our home. The technological advances were interesting too, especially how humans were able to interact with technology.  This is a thought-provoking story and I hope people read it for that alone.

What didn’t work for me.  I think the story could have been expanded.  I wished there was more information about life on Earth and how history got to this point.  There is a chart at the end, but I think a companion book or prequel would be nice to help set the story better.  I was confused a bit to how the countries and governments were now broken up.  We do get a good idea of what happen to the Earth, but the context was lost a little bit.  I would have also loved to spend more time on Horizon herself.  They went so far and so little time was actually spent discovering this new world.  Granted I think this was more a study of human nature and character then a space exploration, but still a little more time looking around would have been nice.

I was satisfied with the end, like I said I would have liked to read more about this story set before Horizon.  It is a good story, interesting, but wish it had something more.

ARC I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper – 3 Stars

I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #2.7 in the Half Moon Hollow Series: Release date 11/17/14

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Experience the vampire world for the holidays through the eyes of Gigi Scanlon in this e-novella prequel to The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire from beloved paranormal romance author Molly Harper!

College co-ed Gigi is headed home to Half-Moon Hollow for her first Christmas since her sister, Iris, was turned into a vampire by her beloved undead husband, Cal. Iris is working overtime to make this holiday as normal and special as possible. After all, it’s taken her months of working with Jane Jameson and the Hollow’s vampires to convince herself that she won’t bite her baby sister on sight.

Gigi has her own worries. She’s falling out of love with her high school sweetheart, Ben, and has no idea how to tell him. She’s got a secret job interview with terrifying teen Council official, Ophelia Lambert. And there’s a handsome but cagey vampire following her around town and then disappearing before Gigi can confirm that he’s not, in fact, a figment of her fertile imagination. Holidays with family are complicated. Christmas with an undead family can be downright dangerous.

My Review:

This was a fun little novella addition to a world I thoroughly enjoy by an author who never fails to make me laugh out loud in inappropriate settings.  Would have given it a higher rating, but it just didn’t feel like a complete story to me, so I held back a star.  Still glad I read it, but the story felt more like a refresher for long-standing fans of the series then something that could be read as a stand alone.  If you are not familiar with this world, don’t start here, go back and start with Nice Girls Don’t Have fangs.

As a long-standing fan I needed this book, and you might too.  It feels like forever since I read a title set in Half Moon Hollow and I struggled at times to place the couples and remember how everyone ended up together.  This book delivered the same crazy group of wise-cracking friends that I have grown to love in this series.  We saw many of the couples from former books and got a little taste as to where the series is going in the next book.  I wish there had been more of a story line then besides how to handle boyfriend Ben and the job offer, but by the sounds of it this was needed to set up the next book.

The story was fun and the crazy Christmas high jinks that I’m sure anyone that has lived through any sort of family holiday traditions can appreciate.  There was less laugh out loud humor and more subtle gags that made me smile in this story and I am also wondering who this mysterious tall dark and golden eyed stranger is going to be.

Good read for established fans, newbies start at the beginning this one will only make you wonder what is going on.

ARC Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress – 4 Stars

Yesterday's KinCover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there

This is a stand-alone short story or novella, release date 9/9/14

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Aliens have landed in New York.

A deadly cloud of spores has already infected and killed the inhabitants of two worlds. Now that plague is heading for Earth, and threatens humans and aliens alike. Can either species be trusted to find the cure?

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is immersed in the desperate race to save humanity, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Siblings Elizabeth and Ryan are strident isolationists who agree only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Marianne’s youngest, Noah, is a loner addicted to a drug that constantly changes his identity. But between the four Jenners, the course of human history will be forever altered.

Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent human extinction—and not everyone is willing to wait.

My Review:

This is an interesting thought provoking sci-fi short story that I really enjoyed, once I got around to reading it…  The synopsis drew me in, but the cover almost chased me away.  I know-don’t judge a book by its cove-I know, but this one while beautiful, once you look at it long enough and read the story, is not exciting.  It is overcrowded and too busy, I just don’t think it does this story justice.  This is the main complaint I have about the story.  I put off reading it cause quite frankly didn’t think it was going to hold my attention,  I wondered why I had requested it in the first place.

Had I decided to skip this story, which I read in a matter of hours, I would have missed out on a very creative piece by an award winning author.  This is a smart science fiction story, and all the science sounds plausible and most of the time wasn’t too much over my head.  Near the end there was a few parts where my eyes glazed over and I had no clue what what being mentioned, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.  Science was never my strong point in school, despite the fact that I do enjoy science fiction stories tremendously.

I also enjoyed the story as a study of human nature and the author’s perception to how we would react to an ‘alien invasion’.  Unfortunately I don’t think she was very far off.  I also liked the twist she threw in for the aliens, and I can’t say anymore and remain spoiler free…  The story is told from two different perspective; Marianne and Noah, mother and son who play interesting roles in how this drama unfolds.  I liked the dynamics of their relationship and was sorry for how it ended up, one of the characters needed more closure.

The story reminded me of several movies; The Day the Earth Stood Still, Avatar, Contact, and Red Planet.  If you enjoyed these movies and sci-fi/alien related genre books I highly suggest you add this short story to your to-read list.  It will an enjoyable read for some rainy afternoon or even a short flight.