maandag 31 augustus 2015

Ilona Andrews – Sweep in Peace

The second book in the Clean Sweep series, selfpublished as a serial on their blog, and still available there.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: Okay I guess, I don't know if it is the official cover, as it is not on their website.

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I could also not find a blurb.

This book is awesome. It takes place about 5 months after the first book. Dina is still living in Gertrude Hunt Inn, her magical bed and breakfast place, but she is sorely in need of guests, as her only permanently residing guest points out: Her Grace, Caldenia ka ret Magren.
So when an Arbiter needs a place for three warring factions to stay, while he tries to negotiate a peace treaty, between the warring factions on the planet Nexus, she is not in the position to say no, even though she is his very last choice (every other Inn has turned him down). The Inn needs guests, and not only for the money it will bring. To cater to so many important people in the galaxy would be a sure feather in her cap, but keeping the peace between them won’t be easy. She will also need a cook to cater for them …

It is such a good story, and I don’t want to spoil anything, but Arlan is one of the guests.

The Arbiter is determined that a peace treaty is made, and he is willing to manipulate Dina and everyone else to get it done. And when Dina realizes that, she is not too happy, and shows him more of what she can do. But she has started this, and she will have to see it through, until her guests go over the line too much …

Danger, intrigue, treason, action, magic and humor, it has it all. Even a little hint of romance. I love the little glimpses of the other universes, like when Dina is shopping for a cook, and how she deals with him. Yes, she does miss her almost love-interest and alpha werewolf Sean Evans but he stepped into the galaxy 5 months ago and has not been back nor sent word to her.

And the ending, as usual, it is a big surprise and so well done. I sure hope they will write another one soon. This is a series worthy of re-reading.

10 stars.

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 29 augustus 2015

Lori Wilde – The first love cookie club

The third book in the Twilight, Texas series, published October 26, 2010.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: Christmassy

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"On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny."
The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier - not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children's book author "Sadie Cool" now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she'll never fall foolishly in love again!
But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she's shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl's father - unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.

My first Lori Wilde book, and although I enjoyed it, I sure have some issues with it as well. I liked Sarah/Sadie, she was shy and hated being out in the public. But her best friend and manager has arranged for her to visit her home town at Christmas time, as the request of a very sick little girl. And as she has been trying unsuccessfully to write the sequel to her best selling children’s book for years now, perhaps Twilight will give her the inspiration she needs.
She used to spend her summers with her grandmother in Twilight, as her parents are two very busy heart surgeons, and too busy to spend much time with their only child. But after making a fool over herself over next door bad boy Travis, she never went back. And when her grandmother died, her parents sold the house without asking her opinion.
What she doesn’t know, is that Travis got married as he got a girl pregnant. His daughter has had medical problems since birth, and his wife Crystal could not handle it anymore. So he is now a single dad and the local sheriff, and living in her grandmother’s house.

The ladies of the First Love Cookie Club are the ones who organize all the evens and charity in town, and when they found at that the famous Sadie Cool is their own Sarah Collier (her grandmother was one of their group) they are determined to get her together with Travis at every opportunity. Sarah is reluctant, but his little girl quickly steals her heart. The attraction is still there between them, but dare she risk her heart again?

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but often during emotional or tender scenes, Saran would say something that totally threw me out of the mood, and not once, but often. I really disliked that. I loved Travis. He is a very diligent father, and where his wife left, he gives his daughter his all, even when the cost of her medicine will cost him his house and everything else he owns as the insurance won’t pay for it.
And when his wife wants a second chance, he certainly is not interested. He has fallen for Sarah, and not even for his daughter will he give his wife a second chance. She will only run away again when things get hard.

I liked the legend, the setting of the village at Christmas time and all of the events, and the main characters. But the conversations let something to desire. So I am not in a hurry to read another book in this series, although there are certainly some happenings and characters I would not mind reading more about.

6 stars.

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 27 augustus 2015

Jim C. Hines – Goblin Quest

The first book in the Jig the Goblin series, published November 2, 2004.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: fun

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When Jig's patrol is ambushed by a group of adventurers, he does what goblins do best: throws down his weapon and surrenders. Thus begins Jig's quest, as the adventurers force him to serve as their guide through the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the mountain. Led by Prince Barius Wendelson, their goal is an ancient magical artifact, hidden here ages past.

As the group moves deeper into the tunnels, Jig finds himself face to face with creatures of goblin legend: ogres, trolls, not to mention the long-dead servants of the dreaded Necromancer, all leading to one final, deadly battle.
To survive, Jig will have to find a way to combine heroism with his own goblin ideals. The result is an unpredictable adventure that will leave readers cheering this unlikeliest of heroes and questioning some of the most basic traditions of fantasy quests.

I loved this book! It is completely different from any other book I have ever read, with its unlikely hero. An ugly little goblin who gets caught by humans looking for a hidden treasure in his mountain. Yes, the humans are the bad guys, and Jig is just a harmless bystander dragged into things. The little “monster” is afraid of the other monsters out there, but he also wants to survive. Jig totally saves the day, so he can go back to his normal life.

It was so much fun to read, a quest, riddles to overcome, danger and monsters to defeat.

If you want something different, go for this one. I especially loved the ending. This is my first Jim. C. Hines book, but certainly not my last!

8 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 23 augustus 2015

Jackie Collins – Drop Dead Beautiful

The sixth book in the Lucky Santangelo series, published June 26, 2007.
Genre: contemporary romance / glamour romance
Cover: my book has the smaller cover, and it is fun.

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Like mother, like daughter. No truer words for Lucky Santangelo’s sixteen-year-old Max, who goes looking for trouble when she hooks up with some guy she meets on the internet. Soon the beautiful, wilful Max finds herself in deeper waters than she can imagine as she becomes a pawn in a greater scheme that leads back to Lucky and Billy Melina, the studly moviestar boyfriend of Lucky’s best friend, superstar Venus.
If Max’s troubles weren’t enough, Lucky has her multi-billion-dollar Las Vegas hotel complex to contend with… along with Anthony Bonar, the illegitimate grandson of her one-time godfather Enzio Bonnatti. So begins a non-stop thrill ride as Lucky builds her dream resort –and gambles with all she holds dear. Max, too, is following her dreams, and as her high-flying triumphs prove, she’s more than just a little Lucky.

I used to love Jackie Collins books in my late teens, and I am quite happy to have rediscovered that love. I had no trouble at all to get caught back up in Lucky Santangelo’s life. She is one of my favourite heroines of all times, right after Skye O’Malley.
She is still madly in love with her famous screen play writer husband Lenny Golden, and they have 2 children, Bobby the son of her late husband Dimitri Stanislopoulos, and Max, who is their daughter. And Max sure is a handful. As independent as Lucky used to be in her own youth, and determined to make and get her own way in life. She is really headstrong and stubborn and reckless. Her two best friends are into drugs but she doesn’t like it much. But to get back at her boyfriend who dumped her for some other girl, she decides to just hook up with a guy and have sex with him, to make the ex-boyfriend jealous.

What she doesn’t know is that the gorgeous and sweet boy she thinks she is going to spend the weekend with, is an older man with a grudge against her mother. And she will be his perfect revenge. Lucky will be furious with her for missing her grandfather Dino’s birthday party, but he is so old and he smells funny. She wants to have fun!

Then there are Lucky’s best friend Venus and her young boyfriend and actor Billy Medina. Billy’s best friend doesn’t like Venus much, and that is mutual. So to tempt Billy, his friend keeps taking floozies back to their house, and asking Billy to go out with him instead of spending time with Venus. And Billy is not really all that good at resisting temptation … or the needling remarks of his friend.
With Billy standing her up at the last moment, Venus is feeling more and more needy, and she wants to know for sure that he is not cheating at her, as her previous famous husband did. Has she really fallen in love with him?

Enzio Bonnatti’s widow is still looking for revenge on Lucky for killing her husband, and her grandson will have to help her with that …

An action filled book, and I loved every page of it. It was fun hanging out with these characters again, catching up with Lucky and her busy life. She is a great heroine, always busy with one project or another, this time building the most luxurious hotel / casino in Las Vegas, being a wife and mother and friend. She loves her father Gino dearly and that shows, and is mutual. Gino sure hasn’t changed much from his own wild childhood and business years, even though he is kind of retired now with his wife Paige.

Action, drama, love, sex, danger and a good ending make this book and this series a joy to read. I love the glamour, reading about the lives of the rich and famous, the movie stars, the mobsters and other movers and shakers in Hollywood and Las Vegas and Los Angeles. A world you can dream about without really wanting to be a part of it.
Bring on the next one!

9 stars.

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 21 augustus 2015

Lisa Marie Rice – Dangerous Passion

The third book in the Dangerous series, published August 4, 2009.
Genre: romantic suspense
Cover: hot

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Feelings kill faster than bullets.
That is Drake's creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor "Drake" Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire - and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until...
Grace Larsen takes Drake's breath away the first time he sees her - and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.
But entering Drake's world means becoming a target - for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

Drake is not your typical hero, he is an arms dealer, a ruthless man who takes no prisoners. He has killed and murdered since he was a young boy on the streets of Odessa, and he has made himself into the powerful man he is. A powerful man with lots of enemies and rivals who want to take him down and take over his business.
And then there is Grace Larsen, a gentle sweet woman and a great artist. Once he sees her work, he becomes fascinated by it, and then by the artist herself. He knows he cannot have her, but he admires her from a distance. Until his enemies find out and he can barely save both their lives. He can’t leave her then, she would be killed in a heartbeat, so he takes her home with him. But whom can he trust? Someone must have told his enemies about this habit of his…

I loved this book. I have been meeting Lisa Marie Rice in Berlin for 3 years now out of 4, and this is the first full length novel I have read. I am very sorry I haven’t tried her books before, but I thought they would be too hot for me. They are not. Sure, there are lot of hot sex scenes, but it is the romance itself that is so very captivating, those two lonely souls finding each other and bringing out the best in the other. For her, he will remake his life and start over again, for her, he will risk everything he is and has. For him, she will give up her freedom just to be with him.

I read a short sequel to this book a few months ago, and loved it, and after reading this book, it is even better.

This is one of the best romantic suspense books I have ever read, the perfect mix of romance and suspense and danger. With an alpha male hero, and the woman who changes him. Most books are more unbalanced, with focusing more on suspense or more on romance, or with lots of sex but not really romance.

I loved it to pieces, and will read some more of Lisa Marie Rice’s books soon.

10 stars.

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 19 augustus 2015

Ashlyn Chase – The werewolf upstairs

The second book in the Strange Neighbors series, published February 1, 2011.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: fun and pretty

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Petty crime never looked so good...
Alpha werewolf Konrad Wolfensen sees it as his duty to protect the citizens of Boston, even if it means breaking into their businesses just to prove their security systems don't work. But when his unsolicited services land him in trouble with the law, he'll have to turn to his sexy new neighbor for help.
She should know better...
Attorney Roz Wells is bored. She used to have such a knack for attracting the weird and unexpected, but ever since she took a job as a Boston public defender, the quirky quotient in her life has taken a serious hit. Until her sexy werewolf neighbor starts coming around...

I know, I have gone against my own rules of always reading a series in order, and I don’t have the first book. But I have had this series on my wishlist for a while now and when I got the second book, I just had to read it. And I was not lost at all, this is perfectly readable as a stand alone novel.

Okay, way too many weeks and books have gone by between me reading this book, and trying to write the review. I just could not do it. I do remember I liked the book, as I looked for the others online, but I also disliked parts as the main characters are kind of naïve in trying to find a new job in something they will enjoy more than their current jobs.
I did like the many different paranormal creatures living in this house and I do want to read the first book someday.

7 stars.

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 17 augustus 2015

Kresley Cole – Dark Skye

Book 14 in the Immortals After Dark series, published August 5, 2014.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: I am glad my book has the smaller cover.

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Kresley Cole spins a sultry tale of a mighty warrior scarred inside and out and the beguiling sorceress with the power to heal him – or vanquish him forever.
Eternal Obsessions.
As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when tragedy struck in the midst of their families’ war, Thronos was left with a seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred him, body and soul.
Endless Yearning
Lathe, a once formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, has never forgotten the magnificent, silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta, hunting her relentlessly.
Can the heat of desire burn brighter than vengeance?
With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond of the past spark a passion strong enough to withstand even their darkest doubts?

As these books are now published first as hardcover, it takes me longer to finally get to read the paperback. It has been 15 months since I read MacRieve and this time it took me a while to get my head around the species these two main characters are.
The sorcery worship gold, and they all have different powers. They are hedonistic, they enjoy life and all its pleasures. While the Vrekener’s think the Sorceri are evil, and hunt them wherever they can. They are a people with no fun in their lives, not even warm water to shower with.

Lanthe and Thronos were just children when they met, and Thronos instantly knew this little Sorceri girl was his destined mate. But when his father killed her parents, and his brother tried to kill her beloved older sister Sabine after she killed his father, Lanthe discovered her gift for persuasion. And ordered Thronos, whom she believed had betrayed her, to fall to his death. But he didn’t die, he survived, barely. But as he was young, and his immortality had not yet set in, he never fully recovered, living a life in pain.

All their lives, Sabine and Lanthe have been chased by the Vrekeners, with Lanthe healing Sabine time and again. They have come so close to dying so often, they are always afraid to hear a Vrekeners wing. As Thronos has ordered his people never to touch Sabine or Lanthe, he doesn’t believe her stories. Who would dare go against his orders? He is their prince!

To escape the mayhem on the island where the Order has kept them to vivisect them and experiment on them, they will have to stay together. Thronos needs Lanthe to make them a portal to his home, as he knows she can. But he doesn’t know that she can’t control where her portals go, and so they find themselves on one of the demon worlds, where they are eternally fighting each other.

But facing danger together, and surviving it, brings them closer, and of course there is the attraction between them. As a male, Thronos can only have sex with his true mate, but a female can have sex with whomever she wants. So Lanthe has had centuries to enjoy herself, and she has certainly not saved herself for him. And now Thronos finally has Lanthe all to himself, and he can’t wait to finally claim her. But he won’t force her; she will have to ask for it! He will only mate with her, marry her, in his own Bed of Troth in the Skye realm. In the way of the Vrekeners. And no matter how much he wants to punish Lanthe for everything she put him through in the past hundreds of years, he can’t, as she is his mate and he is wired to take care of her.

Another great addition to this series I have been reading since the first book came out in 2006. I absolutely love this multiverse, its many paranormal species and all of them fighting to stay alive every 500 years. With the mad but awesome Valkyrie Nïx plotting and planning behind the scenes for whatever goal only she and the gods know.

It is a fast paced story, filled with action and surprises and some hot love scenes. Of course their families interfere, but in the end, the solution Lanthe comes up with is great.

I really loved this book, I liked Lanthe, how greedy she is for gold, and how she has fought toe keep herself and her sister alive. Of course, she has bad taste in men, but she does love Thronos still, and will fight for him. And Thronos, a fierce warrior, but putty in her hands. He will do everything for her. They are a great couple and I loved reading about their adventures.

I do hope that the next one will finally have Fury, Queen of the Valkyries as its heroine. She certainly has been tortured long enough.

10 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 16 augustus 2015

Some changes on the blog

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Lately I have had trouble focusing myself on writing reviews. I just did not have the energy for it. My new job is way more demanding than my previous one, and I am working too many hours. So at home, I did not really want to spend time behind the computer.
I have been neglecting the blogs I follow, and my own reading and blogging, and social media. I miss it, but at the moment it takes too much of my energy.

And I am also still addicted to watching Storage Wars and playing HayDay on the tablet.

I have sincerely considered stopping with my blog, and writing reviews, as that would save me lots of time I could spend reading and visiting blogs. But I don’t really want to do that, as I love interacting with other bloggers, readers and authors. I am happy with every comment I get on my blogposts.

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So for now, I will try to write shorter reviews. In the next few weeks, there are still some to come I wrote before today, and lots of shorter ones. I do hope you all keep reading them and like them, as I basically skip the telling you about the story, and focus more on my thoughts about the book.

I still read lots of books by favourite authors, so I know they are guaranteed good reads, but I have been trying some new authors from the new books I got in Berlin. With mixed results as you will find out.

I hope to catch up on reading the blogs I follow in the coming days, and stay caught up as well, but I won’t be online every evening.

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 15 augustus 2015

Recommendations from Peggy for August 2015.

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 Peggy from Belgium.


I have read 9 novels in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. Attraction – Penny Reid

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2. Taming of the billionaire – Jessica Clare

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3. Kill devil hills – Sarah Darlington

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Penny Reid has written a lot of books but this is the first time that she wrote a New Adult series. The ‘Chemistry of Elements’ series consist of three books about the same couple, namely Kaitlyn Parker and Martin Sandeke.

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One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What's the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can't escape the notice of Martin Sandeke - bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe's hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor - who also happens to be Kaitlyn's chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn't interested in exploiting his stunning rower's build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

I have read the first two books and I will soon read the third book of this series. I loved the first book ‘Attraction’ very much. I totally loved the way Kaitlyn and Martin were together. Just like in Penny Reid’s other books ‘humor’ is a great part of the story.

‘Attraction’ is the first book of the ‘Chemistry of Elements’ series. The story starts with Kaitlyn Parker overhearing a conversation that she wasn’t supposed to hear. (But if you’re hiding in a cabinet then those are things that can happen to you. And Kaitlyn loves hiding in closets, cabinets and anywhere else where it’s dark and cozy. ) So when Kaitlyn hears two people talking about drugging her chemistry lab partner Martin Sandeke, Kaitlyn knows that she has to tell him about it. Kaitlyn isn’t happy about that because after all her efforts to avoid him she now has to talk to him. No, she isn’t happy about that!

But her conversation with Martin doesn’t go the way she plans. No, Martin Sandeke has other plans with her. And he uses his bad boys charm to convince Kaitlin to spend their spring break with him at his summer house. Luckily for Kaitlin, she can convince her best friend to go with her. And she will need her because it will be a holiday like, she never experience before!

Will Martin succeed in seducing Kaitlyn during their spring break or can Kaitlyn keep her body and her heart safe from Martin Sandeke, the bad boy from campus?

Like I said in the beginning. I have read the first two books in this series but not the last one. Penny Reid, the writer, decided to publish the three books over a period of three months. She wanted her readers to take some time between reading the story of Kaitlin and Martin. I must confess that I didn’t do that with the first two books (I really wanted to know what happened next, the first book ended with a cliffhanger!) but I decided after reading book two that I would wait a little bit longer before reading book three (to add some suspense). But very soon I will be reading book three of this series (too much suspense isn’t good for my heart!).

Before I go, I just want to say a little thing about ‘Kill devil hills’ from Sarah Darlington. This book was provided to me from the writer. I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the blurb but I can tell you that I was very surprised. It wasn’t a ‘dark’ story like I thought it would be. Although there are some heavy subjects, the writer keeps it ‘light’. This is a story about ‘finding’ a person and loving them just the way they are. I really enjoyed this one.

Till next month.

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Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Peggy! You sure made me curious to that third book, and a new to me author. Dear reader, has any of you read these books?

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 13 augustus 2015

Shelly Laurenston – The unleashing

The first book in the Call of Crows series, published March 31, 2015.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: I hate hoodies

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Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn't for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even have seen her die. In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig "Vig" Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life - but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the marines. But Vig can't give up on someone as special as Kera.
With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for LA, survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera's discipline, Vig's loyalty...and the Crows' sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.

I have read some disappointed reviews about this book from big fans of Shelly Laurenston’s work, and I have to agree with them. Of course you can’t compare one series to another, but something was really lacking here. And I think, it was that I just did not like the heroine. Shelly didn’t give me any reason to like her, except perhaps her age. Was I supposed to like her just because she is a veteran? A former soldier?
Well, I did not. Kera dies while trying to save a young girl, and she is turned into some kind of Immortal warrior of one of the Norse goddesses, to fight on her behalf. They are called Crows. So now Kera has to deal with a new un-life, living in a house filled with other women who seem to do nothing but pursue idle things and leisure time, and who go out killing people when their Goddess wants it.
There is a lot of senseless violence in my opinion, and not in the humorous way of her Shifter series.

And then there is Vig, a true Viking warrior, was has fallen for Kera when she was alive and working in the coffee shop. And Kera just thought he was a homeless Vet, suffering from PTSD and felt sorry for him. But now she just falls in his arms and spends a lot of time with him. And Vig tells her more about her new life, than her supposed mentor does.
Also, without knowing anything yet, Kera just tries to take over the running of the house and the Crows, by making schedules and training sessions. I did not blame the other women from getting irritated with her.
Kera took her dog with her to her new un-life, but the dog was mostly taken over by her fellow Crows, instead of spending time with Kera. Yes, the dog did have some good scenes, but not enough to rescue the book for me.

I did like the Vig part, and I liked his sister who is a Valkyrie, Vig is a weapons master and a smith, and he makes all the magical weapons for all the different clans of Warriors.

O there was a plot in there as well, where an evil Goddess comes back to Earth, manipulating a lot of people into doing her evil work for her. That was very well done, but again, me not liking the heroine at all, it was not enough for me to enjoy the book as much as I wanted to.

6 stars.

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 11 augustus 2015

Susan Wittig Albert – Death come quickly

Book 22 in the China Bayles series, published April 1, 2014.
Genre: cozy mystery with recipes
Cover: fits the series

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“One of the most endearing and personable amateur sleuths" (Midwest Book Review), herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is back. In Death Come Quickly, a friend's murder may be the key to solving a fifteen-year-old cold case…
When China's and Ruby's friend Karen Prior is mugged in a mall parking lot and dies a few days later, China begins to suspect that her friend's death was not a random assault. Karen was a filmmaker supervising a student documentary about the fifteen-year-old murder of a woman named Christine Morris and the acquittal of the man accused of the crime. Is it possible that the same person who killed Christine Morris targeted Karen?
Delving into the cold case, China learns the motive for the first murder may be related to a valuable collection of Mexican art. Enlisting the help of her San Antonio lawyer friend Justine Wyzinski—aka the Whiz—China is determined to track down the murderer. But is she painting herself into a corner from which there's no escape?

I can’t believe this is book 22 already. I remember finding those books in my late teens in a Dutch bookshop. The first 6 were translated into Dutch, and I read those over and over. A lawyer changing her life completely, and starting a herb shop, with a friend with a new age kind of shop next door. And then the possible love interest in the form of a local cop, it was just so good. I was thrilled when I found out there were more in English, and even now the author is still writing these books, one per year. I do look forward to each new one eagerly.

But this one, was not as good as I like them. The plot was revealed on the very first page, while the murder victim is thinking about what she is doing there. In the dark and deserted employee parking lot of a big shopping mall. So I kept thinking: China, figure it out already! The why behind it all.
Still you read a cozy mystery series not only for the murder mystery part, but also for the developments in the main characters lives. What are they up to, what good and bad things are happening to them and their friends and all those secondary characters you have come to know so well over the years.
And that is why I kept reading, and why this series is so entertaining. Yes, this series will stay on my autobuy reading list for many more years to come.

Susan writes very vividly, you can feel the hot Texas sun shining on your back while reading about it, and I do wish I could taste some of those food stuffs they are eating. Of course they fry everything, but they also invent some tasty healthy dishes.
I like China’s little adopted daughter, and how much she loves her chickens, and wants to expand her little enterprise. She sells the eggs to the household and to the neighbours, as she is saving money for something important. She also helps China at the Sunday morning Farmer’s market, selling their vegetables and herbs. They still suffer from the loss of heir beloved bassett hound, Howard Costell, and all that is being described beautifully and true.

It is a good series, and if you are a fan of Texas based books, this is a series for you.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2015 Reviews by Aurian