Monday, September 29, 2008

Immortals: The Redeeming by Jennifer Ashley

This is the 5th in the Immortals series. One of the unusual things about the series is that 3 different writers are working on it. Jennifer Ashley wrote the 1st, 4th and 5th. The next book, Immortals: the Crossing, is by Joy Nash and is out on September 30. I didn't notice a big difference between the authors, they all did a good job. It's important to read the books in order or you'll miss a lot.

Immortals: The Redeeming was a little bit disappointing. It's not that the book was bad, it wasn't. I think it's that I was expecting something different. Redeeming's hero is Tain, who was tortured for 700 years, and I thought it would be more about his recovery and his love story with the half-demon Samantha. While that was included, it seemed secondary to the mystery of who was killing the demons in town and the power struggles among one demon clan. There were some good secondary characters, especially Logan the werewolf (I wonder if he'll get his own book) and Merrick the demon. There was a lot of action and the story moved at a good pace, but I think it could have packed more of an emotional wallop.

I'd rate it a 7.0 out of 10.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase

I recently discovered Loretta Chase when I read Lord of Scoundrels and loved it. I've been trying to find all her backlist books since then.

Lord Perfect doesn't quite reach the heights of Lord of Scoundrels, but it is great fun. It's original, it's fast moving and it's very funny. The best part of the book is the characters--the hero and heroine, of course, but also the secondary characters, who are all outstanding.

There are a few things this book has going for it that predisposes me to like it. I like strong heroines, and Bathsheba is certainly that. I like strong, serious heroes such as Benedict who have to learn how to have fun and live a little. I love books that are witty and clever.

I usually do NOT like children in books, often finding them stereotypes or just plain annoying. But the two children in this book, Peregrine and Olivia, were amazing. They were a joy to read about and they really helped keep the book moving at a rapid pace.

I'd give this book an 8 out of 10 and look forward to reading more of Loretta Chase's historicals.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Posting the widget about Julie Anne Long's next book made me realize it's been a while since I've read a historical. The last one was the Elizabeth Hoyt book I reviewed. I like switching back and forth from paranormals to historicals but I've been on a paranormal binge lately.

Julie Anne Long is one of my favorite historical authors. A few others I really like, besides Hoyt, are Sally MacKenzie, Kathryn Caskie, Loretta Chase, Sophia Nash and Julia Quinn. I mainly read British historicals.

One problem I have with historicals is the titles. So many of the titles sound the same I have a hard time remembering which ones I've read. Hopefully this blog will help me keep track. Now I'm off to search my TBR pile to pick out a good historical....

With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland

With Every Breath is the latest in Kurland's series about the MacLeod and de Piaget families in Scotland. Many of them involve time travel and/or ghosts. My favorite in the series is Stardust of Yesterday, one of my favorite romance books. They can be read out of order, but if you read them in order you get to revisit old characters which adds to the fun.

Although I really love Kurland's writing, I have to reluctantly say With Every Breath is not her best. I still enjoyed it, but it has some fairly major flaws. The first is that it is too long and could have benefited from some editing to condense the narrative. There are too many pages in which not very much happens. Another problem is that the heroine is always crying. I mean, ALWAYS. It got very irritating. I understand she was upset, but to spend three-quarters of the book weeping is too much. I also found it totally unbelieveable that she was still a virgin at 33 and that they didn't do anything more than kissing in the book.

There was a secondary plot line that wasn't well developed until the very end, when it came together and made sense. I also would have liked to have had more time travel. The heroine, Sunshine, goes back in time to 1375, but she's only there for about 84 pages of a 386 page book.

Every author can have an "off" book and I will certainly buy her next book. If you haven't read anything by Lynn Kurland, I'd recommend starting with one of her earlier books, like Stardust of Yesterday, If I Had You or Another Chance to Dream.

I'd rate this book 6 out of 10.

The Morgue the Merrier (Anthology)

The Morgue the Merrier is a contemporary anthology with stories by Rosemary Laurey, Karen Kelley (2 stories) and Dianne Castell. They all take place in a town called Christmastown during the Christmas season. They do all have helpful ghosts in them but don't really feel like paranormal stories.

A note about rating: The ratings I give the books are only a note to tell me how much I enjoyed the book. They don't reflect how well written I think the books are (though that is a part of it) or how much I think others will enjoy it. I like certain things in a book, such as kick-ass heroines, time travel, companion animals, humor, tortured heroes, and so on, that others may not. A 5 rating reflects a book I think of as average. I usually rate higher because I pick books to read that I think I will enjoy a lot and I'm usually right.

The Morgue the Merrier's stories were all like meringue--sweet but insubstantial. They are a quick read but you're unlikely to remember much about them the next day. They are not bad, they are not great, they are just your average contemporary romance stories with a bit more humor than usual. The one by Rosemary Laurey was marginally better than the others, but they are all quite similar.

I'd rate this book a 5 out of 10. It might be fun if you want to get in the Christmas mood or if you want a light, uncomplicated read.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens

Owens is one of my very favorite authors. She writes beautiful romantic fantasy. Most of her books are set on the world of Celta and her world building is fascinating down to the smallest detail. Most of the people on Celta have magical power (called Flair) and many have animal companions (called Fams.)

I've read all of the books in this series and they are all great reads. My favorite of them all is Heart Thief, which brought me to tears several times. The books all have a happy ending, where two Heart Mates find each other.

What I like about this book:
Although Heart Fate is the 7th book in the series, it does not feel stale. It deals with the usual Heart Mates and how they find each other and find happiness, but it also deals with more serious issues of divorce and abuse. There was also more information about the sentient residences, which was very interesting. I did tear up a couple times because the emotion was so intense. Although there was not a great deal of action, there was a huge amount of growth of both the hero and the heroine which was very satisfying to watch. I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next book in the series!

I'd rate this book a 9 out of 10.

Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Bloodfever is the second book in Moning's Fever series, following Darkfever. The third in the series, Faefever, just came out.

This series is different than Moning's other books because each book does not end with a Happily Ever After. It is dark and gritty urban fantasy with an ongoing story line. There is some romance, but it is quite minor compared to everything else that is going on.

What I liked about this book:
Everything. This was an excellent book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I admire the way the author lets us know a little bit of information at a time. The fact that the book is written in first person helps with this. I'm not a huge fan of first person, but in this case it works perfectly and contributes to the scary, somewhat eerie feel of the book. Mac is the heroine and I found her slightly annoying at times in the first book, but she really comes into her own in this volume. The plot moves quickly, the world building is fascinating and each character is complex and unpredictable. There is action, emotion, suspense, heart touching moments--all in all, a wonderful read.

I'd rate this book a 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I'm Reading

I'm currently reading (among other books) Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens. This book is soooo good. I just love the world she has created and the way she write characters who are so complex and so real. It's a nice change of pace to read a lighter fantasy romance, too, since I seem to be reading a lot of dark books lately.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vampires Are Forever by Lynsay Sands

Vampires Are Forever by Lynsay Sands is #8 in the Argeneau Vampires series. I think I've read all the books in the series, though I may have missed one or two. My favorite is The Accidental Vampire, which is #7 in the series. It is probably best to read the books in order but I didn't and don't think I missed too much.

This book features Thomas Argeneau and Inez Urso. It's a fairly typical vampires meets girl, vampire realizes girl is lifemate, girl comes to terms with it all book. This series is kind of like following a soap opera, it's fun to check in and see how the family is doing, but it's not on the Masterpiece Theatre level.

What I like about this book:
It moves along quickly with no slow spots. There is some suspense and mystery, but not a great deal. The characters are interesting and easy to like. I liked the secondary characters, many of which were featured in previous books. It's a light, fun read.

I'd rate this book 6.5 out of 10. I'd rate each of the books in this series from 5.5 to 7.5, most of them around 6.5.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Books Bought

Ordered more books from Amazon today. On their way soon will be: Kiss of Fury by Deborah Cooke, The Redeeming by Jennifer Ashley, Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens, Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh and Dark Rider by Kathrynn Dennis.