vrijdag 28 februari 2014

Julie Hyzy – Grace under Pressure

The first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series, published June 1, 2010.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: pretty

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Meet Grace Wheaton, lover of history and mystery – both of which can be found in her hometown’s palatial Marshfield Manor…
Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations. The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes…
Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge of assuming Abe’s job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions – or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace’s home, she and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers must protect their dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they’ll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets – and sour grapes out for revenge …

Wow, I am glad I did not read this blurb before reading the book, as it really does no justice to the book. After devouring her White House Chef series, I needed more Julie Hyzy, so I am now diving into her “Grace” series. And this first book was a really nice start.

When her mother got ill, Grace moved back home to Emberstowne to take care of her. Now her mother has died, and left her with the giant house and a wash list of necessary repairs. When her fiancée found out that was all she got as an inheritance, he left. But did he leave with her wastrel of a younger sister? Grace decides she does not really want to know. Grace had no choice but to rent out some of the rooms, and she really lucked out there, with a nice gay couple who operate a local upscale wine shop.
She also found a job as assistant curator at the Marshfield Manor, a huge manor estate filled with art and other treasures collected by the owner and his ancestors. Bennett Marshfield still lives in the house, but part of it is opened as a museum. It also employs a lot of people.
Grace is one of the people trying to modernize the Manor, and how it is run, but Abe and Bennett are really old fashioned and rusted in their ways. But they did hire Grace, and they did hire a new security expert to upgrade the Manor. They sure have their work cut out for them.

While some big stranger is causing trouble in the tearoom, the Birdcage, Grace hurries downstairs to mediate. But while they are dealing with Kevin, someone else shoots Abe, who is waiting in Bennett’s office to talk to him. The local police is not used to dealing with murder, and they think this is just a robbery gone wrong. But nothing seems to be taken, and why kill Abe when the whole mansion is filled with valuables?
And who is sending Bennett those threatening letters? Is it someone who has suffered a big loss from the Ponzi scheme her exposed to the police lately? Grace is determined to help the police find out what has happened, and to earn her new place as the head curator now that her boss is dead. She still has to learn a great deal as she had just started working here.

I really enjoy Julie Hyzy’s writing style, so I was happy to dive into this second series. I was certainly not disappointed; I liked Grace from the start. She works hard, she loves her work, and the Manor has always been important to her family. As she will find out, more important than she could have thought. And now she has to deal with the police, who don’t seem to be all that competent, a lot of old timers who don’t want anything to change around the Manor, and to step into Abe’s shoes. Add to that a wannabe private investigator who keeps popping up, wanting to be hired by the Manor and being a total nuisance, life is not easy for Grace. Making a lot of decisions and getting to know all the members of the staff. Luckily, the chief of security is behind her, and Bennett is slowly starting to trust her. Until her gossip of a secretary spills the beans about what Grace just discovered in a very nasty way.

The murderer was a big surprise for me, I did not see that coming, and now I am very curious for the next book. I wonder about the relationship between Grace and Bennett Marshfield, if it will change drastically.

I also liked Grace at home, how she is dealing with the house and her new roomies. They are fun together. And perhaps there will be a love interest on the horizon, who knows. And the little bit I have learned so far, is that her ex fiancée and her sister deserve each other. I sure hope they won’t bother Grace too much in the future.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 27 februari 2014

Sierra Dean - Winter

The second book in the Dog Days series, published February 15, 2014.
Genre: paranormal Young Adult
Cover: nice
Warning: contains spoilers for book 1, Autumn

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Eloise “Lou” Whittaker can’t shake the feeling she’s forgetting something.
After surviving the explosion of the Poisonfoot Library, she struggles to find her footing again, and she’s grateful Archer Wyatt is there to make sure she’s all right. But Archer seems to be around an awful lot and Lou has trouble controlling herself when she’s with him. She should be thrilled the most popular guy in school wants to be with her, but still, there’s that nagging feeling…
Cooper Reynolds knows he ought to let Lou go. He was putting her at risk by letting her in the first time, and now that she’s a blank slate he should just let her go on blissfully unaware of his curse. But she’s given him a taste of something dangerous… hope.
Can Cooper and an unlikely ally help Lou break free from the spell she’s under?
And can they do it before a new force threatens to destroy the whole town?

Autumn ended with an evil cliffhanger, and Winter took up right where Autumn ended, so you really you have to read them in order. It also has a cliffhanger, though not as nasty as the first book.

Autumn ended with a big explosion of the library, and Lou losing her memory of Cooper completely. Nothing else, just Cooper. At first Cooper thinks it is for the best, now she wont grieve for him when his curse hits him, but he misses her more than he thought possible. Finally having a friend, someone who talks to him, who likes him, and who has given him hope they will find a way out of this. All the adults seem to be happy that Lou has forgotten him, even his own mother.
But Lou can’t shake the feeling she is forgetting something important, and when her father’s ghost haunts her in the mirror again, she still doesn’t know what she is supposed to be doing. But when she finally is allowed to go to school again, she meets Cooper again, and is surprised that she has forgotten such a cute boy. And he seems to know more about her than she has ever shared before. Something is just not right.

Cooper is investigating the past on his own now trying to find out what happened to start the curse. But he needs to get Lou her memory back, and gets help from his sister Mia’s boyfriend Max. And it works! But Archer feels that his magic is not strong enough to keep Lou under his spell and accepting him as her new boyfriend. And so he calls for help, to his big brother. After all, he dealt with Cooper’s brother very well before …

I loved this story! It is amazing, and original, and I loved how Lou fell for Cooper again, even though Archer was trying to influence her so much. It was hard to miss that much of her memory, but how it all came back was a great scene. I would like to know why Cooper’s mother does not want them together though, especially as her son has so little time left to enjoy his life. And I do wish Cooper would quit the football team where no one appreciates him. And I think it is time for Lou’s grandmother to tell what she knows about the curse. Archer’s family is way more involved than they let on to, and I just know they are the evil ones. Still, Sierra Dean has a knack of twisting a plot and a theory into something completely different and unforeseen. Which I love of course.

I like the interaction between Lou and her best friend Marnie, who really wants to see Lou in Archer’s arms. She is kind of brainless, but also really a sweetheart.
It was also fun to see Cooper reacting to working magic with his new friend, so sceptic, like the curse he is under is not magic too. And I loved how Max’s mother treated Cooper, so unlike his own mother, who is the local sheriff and working all the time.

I can’t wait to read the next book. If you do like paranormal Young Adult, without the angst and not really a love triangle (Lou knows who she wants!), go for this series, you won’t be sorry. Promise. I know this is a self published series, but it is good, and well edited. No irritating typo’s and mistakes and such.

9,5 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

Buy from Amazon: here

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 26 februari 2014

Sierra Dean - Autumn

The first book in the Dog Days series, published June 12, 2013.
Genre: paranormal Young Adult
Cover: she looks shivering cold

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Cooper Reynolds's life is going to the dogs... literally.
As if being a high school senior in a small Texas town wasn't hard enough, Cooper has bigger things to worry about than who he'll take to prom and whether or not the Poisonfoot Padres will win homecoming. He has less than a year before his eighteenth birthday, when a curse placed on his family will doom him to live in coyote form forever.
The last thing he needs to complicate his already messed-up life is a girl, but fate has other plans in mind for him when it brings Eloise "Lou" Whittaker to Poisonfoot. She's grouchy, sarcastic and has no love for her new Texas home, but she might be exactly the right person to help Cooper break the curse.
The clock is ticking, and Cooper will have to decide if he's willing to let Lou in on his dirty little secret before it's too late.

I was a lucky girl this weekend, for the few minutes I was on Twitter I just spotted Sierra Dean asking for reviewers for her new book Winter. As I love her books, I jumped at the chance, and Sierra sent me a copy. But then I discovered I had not yet read Autumn, and as she told me, you have to read this in order. So my best friend kindly gifted me Autumn (I can’t buy from Amazon myself), thank you again Maia! And after a brutal work Monday I opened the book, and was hooked right from the start. And as it does end on an evil cliffhanger, I am very happy that I Winter. It will be read tomorrow!

After Lou’s father dies of cancer, her mother can’t afford to keep the house they have been living in. The medical bills have almost bankrupted them. And so they are leaving Fresno, California, for a little town in Texas cold Poisonfoot. Lou is not happy about leaving all her friends and her school and her own car behind to go live with her grandmother. But she understands it is necessary and not something her mother really wants to do.
On the long drive there, something scary happens in the filthy bathroom from a roadside gasstation, she suddenly sees her father behind her in the mirror. Of course he is not there at all, she was in the hospital with him when he died. It leaves her shaken and glad to be driving along with her mother.

Poisonfoot is a really small town, there is not much to do. She hates being the new girl, and she is sure if they discover she is a diabetic, she will be even less popular. So when one of the girls is really friendly to her right away, she is relieved. And her new lab partner is also kind and a really cute guy. So when everyone warns her to stay away from Cooper, she does not really want to, especially if no one wants to tell her why he is bad news.

Cooper is not a popular guy in town. He is ignored most of the time, except when he is playing football. The team really needs him. So when the new girl actually talks to him, that is such a nice change for him, he can’t bring himself to warn her off, even if it will hurt her popularity if she is seen talking to him. His family is under a curse. If a boy turns 18, he will also turn into a coyote. Not as a shifter, but for good. His mother did not believe his grandmother’s story, she thought it all an urban legend, until his older brother changed into one. And now his own clock is ticking.

When he finally tells Lou, she is not surprised at all. She has been dreaming about this, and it has happened about 200 years ago. So perhaps they are destined to break the curse?

Cooper is not the only boy who is interested in Lou though. The towns golden boy, Archer, is also interested, but Lou doesn’t really trust him, something is off about him. Is he only pretending to be interested in her because of Cooper? Or is there more to it?

I really enjoyed this Young Adult story, and you all know it is not my favourite genre at all. But if one of the authors I already love branches out into YA, I follow without hesitation.
I really liked Lou/Eloise. She is not overtly grieving about her father, or lamenting her faith that she is stuck in this small town. She is adjusting to her new life, and seeing the good things in it. She likes her new big attic room in her grandmothers giant house. She has been a diabetic since she was 10 years old, so that is perhaps why she seems more mature than other YA heroines I have read about.
I was also nice to read the story from Cooper’s perspective for a big part of the book. How lonely he has been, when no one wants to be friend with him. He only has his mother and his younger sister now, and when he will be gone, they will have even less. Their bond is not as good as his with them. I admire him for staying on the football team, if no one appreciates him off the field, and they all badmouth him and harass him.

I liked how Lou and Cooper are drawn to each other, even though no one wants them to see each other outside of the classroom. Lou’s grandmother forbids her to see Cooper, and so does his mother forbid him to see Lou. Of course, that is just asking for trouble as no one wants to explain it to either of them and they set out to investigate things on their own.

And Archer and his mother, talk about creepy people.

A compelling story, with great characters and a really strange town as background. Sierra Dean has a writing style that fits me perfectly. I enjoy visiting her worlds, remember, she is the one author who makes me love reading a sports romance! I am glad I have the second book on my computer already.

I do recommend it to everyone who enjoys Paranormal YA.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

Buy from Amazon: here

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 25 februari 2014

Recommendations from Karin for February 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Karin from Austria.


I have bought a whopping 5 books this month and I found exactly one I’d like to recommend:

Pamela Palmer: A Kiss of Blood
It’s the second in a series, but I didn’t really like the first one. I think this second one is better. So this is how far the recommendations for the new books go.

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Only one woman can save vamp city . . .
One of the few humans who managed to escape the deadly twilight world of Vamp City, Quinn Lennox vows never to return. But the vampires want her back, for only she has the power to renew the magic of their crumbling world and free the vampires trapped within.
When the dangerous and all-too-seductive Arturo Mazza comes for her, Quinn knows she can never trust him after the betrayal she suffered at his hands. But with her beloved brother's fate hanging in the balance, and her own power beginning to emerge, she chooses to risk all on yet another perilous journey back to Vamp City. And though she tries to deny it, her heart begins to hold hope that even a ruthless vampire can learn the meaning of true love . . .
As far as the rest of my recommendations go I’d like to mention two of my all time favourite books.

Loretta Chase: The Last Hellion

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Amused by a pert, sultry journalist's attack-dog tactics, Vere Mallory, seventh Duke of Ainswood, vows to teach Lydia Grenville some humility but winds up learning a lesson in passion.

This book is a joy to read; Vere and Lydia are both bigger than life characters and their verbal sparring is so witty I found myself laughing time and again.
The heroine certainly is no damsel in distress, she holds her own in a unique way. She lives her life as she sees fit and when Vere stumbles into her life and refuses to leave, she challenges him whenever she finds a chance to do so.
The hero on the other hand is just enough of a rake so as not to be annoying. He is just enough tortured that the reader feels sorry for him. Vere is attracted to Lydia so that he even considers to propose although he would deny it to his last breath in the beginning.
They both together bring out the best in each other.
When you begin reading, you’ll be immediately sucked into this book. I literally did not put it down until I had finished it and I’ve re-read it 4 times!

Another author I’d like to recommend:

Rachel Gibson: See Jane Score

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This is Jane
A little subdued. A little stubborn. A little tired of going out on blind dates with men who drive vans with sofas in the back, Jane Alcott is living the Single Girl existence in the big city. She is also leading a double life. By day, she's a reporter covering the raucous Seattle Chinooks hockey team -- especially their notorious goalie Luc Martineau. By night, she's a writer, secretly creating the scandalous adventures of "Honey Pie" ... the magazine series that has all the men talking.
See Jane Spar
Luc has made his feelings about parasite reporters -- and Jane -- perfectly clear. But if he thinks he's going to make her life miserable, he'd better think again.
See Jane Attract
For as long as he can remember, Luc has been single-minded about his career. The last thing he needs is a smart-mouthed, pain-in-the-backside reporter digging into his past and getting in his way. But once the little reporter sheds her black and gray clothes in favor of a sexy red dress, Luc sees that there is more to Jane than originally meets the eye.
Maybe it's time to take a risk. Maybe it's time to live out fantasies. Maybe it's time to ... see Jane score.

I think this is one of Gibson’s best books. It has just the right amount of humour which doesn’t feel forced at any time, the attraction between Jane and Luc grows throughout the book, the growth of the relationship is believable (although I do not really like the “Plain Jane turns into a ravishing beauty – theme”). In the end there is one big misunderstanding because Jane does something really dumb. But she takes responsibility for her action, she explains things, grovels a little and voila`- there is the HEA I’ve been waiting for.
I am not a big ice hockey fan and I know next to nothing about the NHL, so I could certainly use “Hockey for Dummies”, but in this book you aren’t bothered too much with the rules of the game – one gets by easily just as I did.

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendations Peggy! I have not read any of those books, I do have Pamela Palmer shifter’s series on my shelves though. I am glad the second book in the new series is better. It was fun meeting with her last year in Berlin.
How about you, reader, have you read any of those books? Do you want to?

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 24 februari 2014

Gail Carriger – Curtsies & Conspiracies

The second book in the Finishing School series, published November 5, 2013.
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Cover: fun, and a scene in the book.

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Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at school has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.
Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card!

I had so much fun reading this book, and getting re-acquainted with Sophronia and her classmates, teachers and other friends aboard the dirigible that contains Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
I love the strange words invented for all the mechanical appliances and inventions and whatever thingies. The names of all the people in this book keep tripping my tong up, but add to the atmosphere of the story as well.

The school is leaving the Dartmoor moors, where it is drifting, to go to London for a historical event. And 10 boys and a teacher from Bunsen’s school for Evil Geniuses will go with them. Boys aboard a girls school! Sophronia is not really interested in them, but unlucky for her, one of them is certainly interested in her, and he keeps pursuing her. As he is the highest ranking boy, son of a Duke, and a Viscount himself, she really has to behave as much as possible, and use her flirting lessons on him.
But she has not much time for him. The girls just had their six month of classes test, and Sophronia aced it. The highest score anyone ever achieved in the history of the school. Instead of being happy for her, her friends and classmates completely ignore her, giving her the cold shoulder. And that hurts more than she thought it would.
She still has the sooties to visit though, and young Vieve to help her in her investigations. Cause surely there is more to this visit to London than meets the eye, and Sophronia is determined to find out what.
And who is trying to kidnap her best friend Dimity? And why?

I really love this series. It is such a fun mix; it is certainly not a normal finishing school. Of course the girls learn etiquette and everything, but also how to become a secret agent, a killer with unusual weapons and poison, and whatever else is needed. How to faint, how to flirt, how to be sneaky. It is the perfect school for a curious girl who loves gadgets as Sophronia, but she does learn that her actions might have some results that she can not live with after all.
The vampires and werewolves in this world are not friends, and they are also part of the government of Queen Victoria. But not everyone likes them, like the picklemen.

It is a fastpaced book with lots of little surprises, actions and friendships. Sophronia is feeling a little confused about her own feelings though, she wants to be just friends with Soap, but she sure likes being with him. I love following Sophronia in her adventures, and hope there will be many more books.

10 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 23 februari 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My fourth new additions post for 2014. I will never ever be able to keep to a book budget. There are just so many books out there that I want, but will I ever find the time to read them all?

From Bookdepository:
Gail Carriger – Curtsies & Conspiracies

Bought at the Boekenfestijn:
Grace Burrowes – The Virtuoso
Aprilynne Pike – Wings
Trisha Ashley – Wedding Tiers
Erin Hunter – Warriors – Starlight
Deborah Cooke – Kiss of Fury
Michael Jecks – King’s Gold
Mary Daheim – Loco Motive
Lisa Lutz – The Spellmans strike again
Death dines in – cozy mystery short stories collection
Prom nights from hell – bought for the Kim Harrison story.

Secondhand books:
Alexandra Ivy – Bound by Darkness
Alexandra Ivy – Devoured by Darkness
Alexandra Ivy – Fear the Darkness
Anthologies with Alexandra Ivy stories:
The real werewives of vampire county
Yours for eternity.

Maia and I went on a bookbuying spree in SweetLakeCity last night:
Jim Butcher – Academ’s Fury
Jim Butcher – Captain’s Fury
Jim Butcher – Cursor’s Fury
Jim Butcher – Furies of Calderon
Jim Butcher – Princep’s Fury
Jim Butcher – Summer Knight
Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Hot Shot
Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Honey Moon
Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Nobody’s baby but mine
Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Ain’t she sweet?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Kiss an Angel
Suzanne Brockmann – Hot Target
Suzanne Brockmann – Breaking Point
Suzanne Brockmann – The unsung hero
Suzanne Brockmann – Over the Edge
Suzanne Brockmann – Into the storm
Suzanne Brockmann – Into the night
Judith McNaught – Every breath you take
Jennifer Crusie – Fast women
Karen Robards – Obsession
Karen Robards – Shattered
Julie Garwood – Slow Burn
Heather Graham – Deadly night
Linda Lael Miller – Never look back
JoAnn Ross – Freefall
JoAnn Ross – Crossfire
Angela Knight- Jane’s warlord
Elizabeth Lowell – Death Echo
Katherine Kerr – Snare

Bookmarks and other swag:
I’ve received some lovely signed and dedicated bookmarks and bookplates from Lisa Shearin. You all know how hard I have fallen for her Raine Benares series, so I am very happy with these.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 22 februari 2014

Sherrilyn Kenyon – Unleash the Night

The eighth book in the Dark-Hunter series, published December 27, 2005.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: I don’t like the new covers; my book has a male on the cover that really is Wren.
Re-read for the third time.

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It's a predator eat predator world for the Were-Hunters. Danger haunts any given day. There is no one to trust. No one to love. Not if they want to live...

An orphan with no clan that will claim him, Wren Tigarian grew to adulthood under the close scrutiny and mistrust of those around him. A forbidden blend of two animals - snow leopard and white tiger - Wren has never listened to anyone when there was something he wanted. Now he wants Marguerite.
Marguerite D'Aubert Goudeau is the daughter of a prominent U.S. Senator who hates the socialite life she's forced to live. Like her mother before her, she has strong Cajun roots that her father doesn't understand. Still, she has no choice but to try and conform to a world where she feels like an outsider. But the world of rich and powerful humans is never to meet the world of the Were-Hunters who exist side by side with them, unseen, unknown, undetected. To break this law is to call down a wrath of the highest order.
In order to have Marguerite, Wren must fight not just the humans who will never accept his animal nature, but the Were-Hunters who want him dead for endangering their world. It's a race against time and magic without boundary that could cost Marguerite and Wren not just their lives, but their very souls...

Marguerite (Maggie) Goudeau is still missing her friend Nick Gautier, who disappeared a few months ago, on the night his mother was murdered. So when one of the guys in her study group proposes to go to the bar Nick’s mother worked and he loved to hang out at, she agrees. Except for Blaine, who is his usual nasty self, and who doesn’t want to go slumming. But still, he goes with them to Sanctuary, and acts like the spoiled rich kid he is.
Maggie recognizes a lot of the people Nick talked about, and when some strange man fixes his attention upon her, she knows he must be Wren. When Blaine starts a fight with Wren for looking at her, four big bouncers quickly get him out of the room. When her so called friends leave, Maggie stays behind though, she needs to make sure Wren is not in trouble. To everyone’s surprise, Wren actually talks to her. And when she goes back home, he just senses she is in trouble and follows her. Just in time to rescue her from four muggers who want to have some “fun” with her. Wren has no difficulty whatsoever to fight of the humans, even when one of them shoots at him. Not letting Maggie know he did get shot after all, he escorts her home in a cab.
Maggie likes the quiet young man who saved her from being mugged and worse, and wants to thank him again. In person. When she finds out he was shot after all, she is horrified. And why doesn’t he go to the hospital?

Wren Tigarian never knew love, never had anyone caring for him. His parents hated the sight of him, as he is a hybrid. A Tigard, half tiger, half snow leopard. Something that should have been killed right after birth. When they were killed, he was shipped of to Sanctuary, where the Peltier’s grudgingly took him in. But they never really cared about him, nor trusted him, except for Aimee, their daughter.
So when Wren suddenly has feelings for this human female, he is confused. Katagaria don’t mate with humans, ever. And if they do, they are sterile. His life is in danger, so how can he draw Maggie into it? But still, he can’t stay away from her. But he is not the penniless busboy she takes him for, Wren is the heir to a multi million dollar company, and his family is out to kill him in order to inherit it all.
But Maggie is a threat to their existence, as she is the high profile daughter of a US Senator, if she finds out about the Were’s, they are doomed. So Nicolette Peltier jumps at the opportunity to have Wren tossed out of Sanctuary, her house, under the pretence that he will become a crazed killer and she wants to protect her family. His uncle and cousin accuse Wren of having killed his parents 20 years ago, and now they suddenly want justice. Tog et rid of that death sentence, Wren will have to unearth the truth about what happened back then … with Maggie at his side.

This is my second favourite book in the series, and I enjoyed the re-read a lot. Sherrilyn Kenyon is a master at creating tortured heroes we just have to fall in love with. Even though they had such a bad history, they are not evil or too damaged to accept their mates, and take care of them. The love scenes are very hot, and there are enough of them. There is a fierce attraction first, and then slowly the knowledge they have fallen in love. Maggie is amazing, she finally stands up for herself, and she accepts Wren and everything he is. She refuses to believe he would ever be a danger to herself, but he will defend her when necessary.

I wonder if this is the first book where Savitar makes an appearance, I do like this mysterious man. I can’t remember if he is a God or not. Hmm, this means more re-reading for sure.

9 stars.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 21 februari 2014

Sherrilyn Kenyon – Night Play

The fifth book in the Dark-Hunter series, published August 1, 2004.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: I don’t like the new covers, my book has the small one.
Re-read for the third time.

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Bride McTierney has had it with men. They're cheap, self-centered, and never love her for who she is. But though she prides herself on being independent, deep down she still yearns for a knight in shining armor.
She just never expected her knight in shining armor to have a shiny coat of fur...
Deadly and tortured, Vane Kattalakis isn't what he seems. Most women lament that their boyfriends are dogs. In Bride's case, hers is a wolf. A Were-Hunter wolf. Wanted dead by his enemies, Vane isn't looking for a mate. But the Fates have marked Bride as his. Now he has three weeks to either convince Bride that the supernatural is real or he will spend the rest of his life neutered--something no self-respecting wolf can accept...
But how does a wolf convince a human to trust him with her life when his enemies are out to end his? In the world of the Were-Hunters, it really is dog-eat-dog. And only one alpha male can win.

It has been over two years since I read a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. She used to be autobuy, but I fell out of love with her books with the Dream Hunters, and what she wrote after Acheron. But I still do love her earlier books in the series, especially the Were-Hunters, so when Paranormal Haven blog hosted a contest and asked for my favourite SK books, I knew which ones were my favourites at ones, and then I had to re-read them immediately. I am happy to report back that those books have not lost their magic for me; I really enjoyed re-reading them again.

Bride McTierney has just been dumped by her boyfriend of five years by Fed-Ex, and she is hurt. Yes, she did see it coming, but it still hurts. He only used her to get the tv job he always wanted, and now that he feels secure, he has dumped her. He never accepted her for who she was, always trying to change her, putting her on diets, signing her up for exercise classes. Yes, he was handsome and she was flattered by his interest in her. But now she is pissed, she is through being the nice obedient girl she has been all her life.

And then suddenly there is this incredibly hot guy in her store, and he seems to be interested in her. Attracted to her. He senses her sadness and hurt and anger, and tries to make her feel better. He buys a very expensive necklace from her, and gifts it to her. And then just walks away again. But Bride runs after him, she can’t accept such a thing from a stranger. But when he is confused that she won’t accept his kindness just for what it is, she breaks down in his arms and starts to cry, and he carries her back to her shop, effortlessly. And they end up making love in her dressing room, like she has never been loved before. Did she just made the biggest mistake of her life by having sex with a total stranger, or by letting him walk away from her?

Her two best friends try to console her over dinner, both willing to badly hurt her ex-boyfriend and wanting to help Bride to get over him. And then suddenly a strange mark appears on her hand, and she doesn’t have a clue what it means.

Vane Kattalakis is a Were-Hunter, and a wolf shifter. His life has been brutal, both his parents have tried to kill him, he has recently lost his sister, and now his younger brother is in a trauma induced coma. He will do anything to protect Fang, but he is drawn to this lovely human woman as he has never wanted any female before. To him, she is beautiful, inside and out, but he can’t drag her into his world of violence and death. If his former pack members smell him on her, they will use her to hurt him and kill her. But when the mating mark appears on his hand, he doesn’t know what to do. Yes, he will protect her with his life, but he can’t claim her as his, can he? So getting dating advice from some Dark Hunters and their mates, he sets out to court Bride. And if his human form can’t be with her, his wolf form will be fine as well. And to Vane’s own surprise, he asks Fury, another wolf shifter, to help him out if necessary and protect his mate.

As said before, I really enjoyed re-reading this book. Thanks to her sister and her ex-boyfriend, Bride is very insecure about her looks. She is a normal size 12, and not a skinny person. She can’t seem to believe that Vane’s interest in her is genuine, as he is the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on. Surely there are beautiful women in his life. Vane does his best to act human, something he has never learned to do, growing up as a wolf, fighting for his life and surviving. I really enjoyed that, and the honest way he felt about her. Keeping her safe from his enemies was not easy, but he has more friends than he realizes.
His life has been horrible, only his brother and sister cared about him, and now he is virtually alone. But Vane is very powerful, and with the help of Acheron, he finally puts a stop to his parents trying to kill him and his brothers. I loved that part of the ending. A very suitable punishment.
The love scenes are very hot, and there are many, but it were the feelings of being brothers, of grief, and of finding a place to belong that make the story for me. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes great characters, and amazing stories that are still original.

I enjoyed meeting some of the other Dark-Hunters and their mates, and of course Acheron and Simi. And now I want to re-read some more book sin this series …

9 stars.

Love this book

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 20 februari 2014

Susannah Sandlin - Chenoire

A stand alone novella, published December 18, 2013.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: different

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When Faith Garrity's twin sister died, she lost a part of herself. Unable to move past the pain, the once-driven ornithologist is at risk of losing her career as well. To save her job, she heads to the oil-ravaged wetlands of Louisiana. There, in the bayou community of Chenoire, she encounters the handsome but guarded Zackary Préjean, still suffering from a great loss of his own.
She's drawn to Zack, but soon finds that the Préjean family isn't what it seems... They have dangerous secrets - and deadly enemies. Caught up in a feud that threatens the area's uneasy truce, Faith and Zack must learn to trust each other. Survival will require enormous sacrifice, but it just might also give them both a way to move on.

A short story from an author whose work I admire, is of course autobuy for me. I liked this one a lot and would certainly not mind to read more about this wonderful bayou world Susannah Sandlin has created.

This is a really sweet story, where a woman goes out into the swamp to study birds affected by the oil spill, and a man who is more than human. A man who distrusts city woman for they can only be trouble, and a woman who is trying to safe her career after grieving too much over her lost twin. There is danger, there is discovery, but it really is about two lost and grieving people finding each other. No it is not insta lust or insta love in just one day, but they will see what will happen next. And I am really happy with that solution.

If you are looking for a fast and original paranormal story, you can’t go wrong with Chenoire. I recommend it. Susannah Sandlin has a way with words, and she paints the Louisiana bayou very vividly, I can see it in front of me. And being Dutch, there is no such a thing in my country that I can compare it to.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 19 februari 2014

Rachel Caine – Lord of Misrule

The fifth book in the Morganville Vampires series, published January 6, 2009.
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Cover: nice

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Morganville Texas. Just South of normal.
In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans have coexisted in relatively) bloodless harmony … until the arrival of Bishop, a master vampire who threatens to put the evil back in evil undead and smash the fragile peace. But Bishop isn’t the only threat ….
Violent black clouds promise a storm of devastating proportions. As student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against the elements – both natural and unnatural – the unexpected happens: Morganville’s vampires begin to vanish one by one. Discovering why leads Claire to one last choice: Swear allegiance to Bishop … or die.

As Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup stated earlier this week, Rachel Caine is the Queen of evil Cliffhangers. Each book makes me eager to read the next one, as she ends it with such a plot twist, I never see it coming. And this book is not different in that. Lucky for me, I do have the rest of the series, so I can pick up the next one whenever I want to.

Things are bad in Morganville. Bishop has challenged Amelie for the rule of the town and its inhabitants, and he is winning. People are taking their lives in their own hands, thinking they can be free of vampire rule for ever if they just kill them all. But some stay loyal to Amelie, like Claire and her friends. Amelie has some dangerous jobs for them, but they are willing to do what ever they can to keep themselves and their friends alive, and to beat Bishop. He has captured Myrnin, and Amelie really needs him at her side, sane and well.
It is dangerous to be out and about on the streets right now, Bishops vampires are openly hunting, not honouring the Protection bracelets, and people are taking revenge on other people they consider traitors, and worse. Shane’s father is back in town, ready to take advantage of the ongoing war, but he is only being used. Claire seems to be the most important piece in the chess match though, thanks to her ties to Amelie. And the ending, o that evil ending…

Another great instalment in the Morganville Vampires series. Yes, it is YA and that is not my favourite genre, but Rachel Caine has written such a compelling world and story and characters, I can’t help by devour the books and be very happy I don’t live there.
I like Claire, she is really getting stronger and going after what she wants (which is Shane!). She stands up against her parents who want her to come live with them instead of in the Glass House. Shane is torn though, between his hatred of the vampires, and his friendship with Michael. They are not all bad, so how can he still condone what his father wants? He admits he is in love with Claire, and that was a sweet scene. Especially as he stays strong and keeps his promise. I like the friendship between Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire a lot. Sure they fight at times and bicker, but they look out for each other and will do anything to keep their friends safe.

The plot keeps progressing, there is a lot of action, and to my regret, Monica still lives. No matter how many times she is saved by Claire, she doesn’t improve at all.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 18 februari 2014

Sabrina Jeffries – ‘t Was the Night After Christmas

The sixth book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series, published October 30, 2012.
Genre: historical romance
Cover: nice. My book has a half naked couple on it.

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Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has never forgiven his parents for inexplicably abandoning him to distant relatives as a child. Nevertheless, when he receives word that the stranger he calls “Mother” is gravely ill, the unabashed rogue makes a rare return to Montcliff, his country estate. There he finds that the woman is perfectly healthy – and that he has fallen for a cunning ruse crafted by her lady’s companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart. The lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce, is determined to reconcile the Earl and Lady Devonmont. None of them can predict the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers, each haunted by their pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember – and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.

Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has never found out why his parents abandoned him to the care of relatives when he was eight years old, not even accepting him back home when he reached his majority. He was a sickly child back then and missed his mother dreadfully but she never once wrote to him. So when his father died, and his mother started writing him letters, it was too little, too late. For 23 years she has ignored him, so why should he want to see her now? She probably just needs his money. But when the companion he hired for her, writes to him, telling his mother is gravely ill and he needs to come home, he finds out that he still cares about her. And so he sets out for home, to the manor (now dower house) they lived in as a family before his father had the monstrous new manor house build. He will pay his last respects to her, and be on his way to the Waverly family for Christmas, as he has done for so many years now.

His mother is stunned but so very happy to see him, and not ill at all. So it was all a ruse to get him here? Well, he won’t play their game. He will just go to his room, have dinner there and be of the next morning. But faith in the form of Camilla Stuart intervenes. She is his mother’s companion, and she wants to mend the rift between mother and son. She has no idea what has happened in the past, but she cares deeply for his mother and wants her happy. And spending time with her son, will surely make her happy. She misses him dreadfully and there goes not a day buy she doesn’t talk about him. Sure, they do read about his exploits in the paper, but that is not the real Pierce.
To her surprise, Pierce agrees to come down to dinner, on the condition that afterwards Camilla comes to his rooms to entertain him. Refusing to share his bed with him, she agrees to entertain him otherwise, and so Pierce has no choice but to join the ladies downstairs.

His mother flat out refuses to tell him why he was cut out of her life, she just wants to bury the past and start anew, but Pierce cannot possibly do that. He needs to know the truth, or else he can never move forward with his own life. But the dowager fears he will despise and hate her even more if he knows the truth, if he will cut her out of his life again, so be it. And not even Camilla can convince her otherwise. But hearing Pierce’s recountings of the past, she does feel for him, and she believes that he is not the wrong doing party here. But still, she is loyal to his mother, and will never become his mistress… She has her son to think of too …

I really enjoyed the previous books in the Hellions of Hellstead Hall series, and I was hoping this one would pull me out of my historical romance reading slump, but alas. I did like the story, but it was nowhere near as good for me as the rest of the series. It is just lacking that certain something that makes a story a great book. And I have no idea what.

Pierce was too nice, too open, and too easy to read for Camilla. She was a stranger and saw straight into him. She did not fear him, nor his wrath at being deceived. Sure, she is a widow and not a gentle bred miss either. She grew up in the orphanage and then married a vicar who thought her a convenient hardworking wife.

I just did not fall for Camilla and Pierce as a couple either, perhaps because they kept meeting in the evenings in his bedroom, and not a lot of their time together is shared. Too much tell too little show perhaps? My emotions never really got engaged and as I am usually easily ensnared by a book, that is a bad thing.

5 stars out of 10.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 17 februari 2014

Heather Webber – Digging up Trouble

The third book in the Nina Quinn series, published March 28, 2006.
Genre: cozy mystery, with gardening tips for a hummingbird garden.
Cover: beautiful, the real cover is brighter than this picture.

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Digging Her Own Grave

Landscaper Nina Quinn makes her living from surprise garden makeovers. It's not her fault that someone duped her into digging up the wrong yard. And she certainly can't be blamed when her handiwork turns the unsuspecting real owner apoplectic and he drops dead from a heart attack . . . can she? Nina's got enough trouble already, with her divorce from faithless hubby Kevin nearing completion and her unruly stepson up to his teenage neck in possibly illegal mischief. Now she's in danger of losing her business! But there's something screwy about this rather convenient "accidental" death of a man whom apparently no one could stand -- not even the "grieving" widow who's threatening to sue Nina's overalls off. To save her livelihood -- and her skin -- Nina's going to have to dig deeper into the dirt than she ever has before . . . and see what sort of slimy secret things crawl out.

Another great instalment in the Nina Quinn series.
Nina Quinn is a very curious woman and when her almost ex-husband’s former sister-in-law Lindsey Lockhart wants to hire her to create one of her surprise gardens, she accepts. Nina does sense that something is not quite right here, but she wants to use the connection to get some answers about Kevin’s first wife, who died in a boating accident. But Lindsey refuses to tell her anything, and as the garden make over has been paid for already, Nina has no choice but to get on with it.

And so, early one morning they begin the gargantuan task of transforming a garden that has been neglected for decades into a beautiful piece of paradise. But when a strange man accuses them of trespassing in his garden, and falls dead at Nina’s feet because of a heart attack, she doesn’t know what to do. Lindsey doesn’t answer her phone, and the suddenly arriving widow accuses Nina of murder.
If Lindsey has tricked her, she really could be sued for murder as she has no permission from the home owner’s to be in their garden at all.

Her almost ex-husband Kevin is a homicide inspector and is assigned the case. He can’t believe his former inlaws are behind this, but there is no other solution. Apparently everyone hated the dead man, Russ Grabinsky. Lindsey’s husband Bill and Russ were partners in Growl, a very successful vegetarian fast food restaurant, and the same place Riley is now working part time.

When Nina goes back to the house the next day, to try to persuade the widow to let her finish the job on the garden, and to have her drop the possible law suit, she gets rebuffed. Greta does not want to talk to her, and she appears to be really grieving for her louse of a husband. But why did Lindsey and Bill pay such an enormous amount of money to have someone else’s garden made over?

Something more is going on here, and Nina is determined to find out what. Why is Bill sneaking around the house while she is doing the same? Who has been arguing with Greta about being blackmailed? What is it with the lawsuit the home owners association? Why does Bill need the accounting books back so badly?

I really enjoyed this third book in the series. I like how Nina and Riley’s relationship has changed from the teenager who could barely stand her, to what it is now. Nina’s personal life is a bit of a mess though. Her husband cheated on her with his female partner, and Nina kicked him out. But she still has feelings for him, and now he is making sounds of regret and wanting her back. So why is he still living with Ginger? But Nina is also seeing someone else, the attractive vice principal of Riley’s school, who is really good to her. What is she to do?

As her cousin Ana is a parole officer, almost all of her employees are former convicts. And now one of them is giving her trouble by not showing up at work, or being very late. She hates to have to let him go as he is very good at finding the special objects for her gardens. But her other employees have to work harder to catch up for him, and she can’t have that. So Nina and Ana try to figure out what he is doing, if he is violating his parole or if he is in trouble. And of course that means donning wigs and trying to find him in the seedier part of town. Where they happen to find someone completely unsuspected instead …

Nina’s star secretary and good friend Tam is going into labour, and she really needs a replacement. At first she is so not happy with whom Tam send to her, but when the lady has to leave again, she sorely misses her competency.

Nina’s mother and sister are a real pain though, and at first Nina is happy with what they have surprised her with, but well, things get worse and worse. Still, it does help her finally end up in the arms of the man I want her to choose, so all is well after all.

The plot of this mystery was not all that hard to guess, but it was fun to see Nina unravel it nonetheless. I liked the ending, the good deed that Nina did with the blackmail pictures. I was surprised by the killer though. I was suspecting someone else completely.

I really enjoy Heather Webber’s writing style, her quirky characters and her sense of humor. An older neighbour Lothario, who has a name of being a jinx and getting his female companions killed. Nina’s former English teacher whom she still fears but is again a part of her life. Her employees with their colourful backgrounds. But I do admire her for giving these people a second chance. A huge dog called BeBe with a crush on Nina …

9 stars.

Autobuy author

It is not available as paperback at the moment, but you can buy the ebook at Amazon: here

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian