maandag 31 oktober 2011

Victoria Laurie – Better Read than Dead

The second book in the Psychic Eye Mystery series, published June 2005.

Better Read than Dead

Word of Abby's talents reading tarot cards has reached a mob boss who wants her help in some business matters and he doesn't take no for an answer. When the police seek out her psychic intuition to shed light on a masked man who's been attacking women, Abby finds herself working both sides of the law on her own, leading her to wonder, why didn't I see this coming?

Unknowingly Abby has agreed to read clients at a wedding party, given by the biggest Greek mob boss in town. She gets scared when she does a reading for the family hitman and realises what she has gotten herself into. Unfortunately, her reading is so good, the mob boss wants her help with his business. And he won’t take no for an answer.
At the same time, a client who came for advice (and did NOT take it) is raped brutally, and Milo is asking for her help, solving the case. When they arrest the victim’s neighbour, they are convinced they have the serial rapist they have been looking for. Abby knows differently, but the cops are not listing to her, and another woman gets raped, and does not survive it. Abby does not even have the comfort of her boyfriends arms, as Dutch has been accepted into the FBI, and is working undercover with his female partner. A female who made no secret to Abby of the fact she wants to steal him away.
So now Abby is juggling the demands the police place on her, and the intimidation tactics the mob is putting on her, to get her insights. Can she juggle them all, especially when her sister Cat is in trouble as well?

I read this second book in record time, as it was very fast paced with a great plot. Really suspenseful, I had to know what would happen on the next page. So, I got my boyfriend to cook so I could keep on reading.
I still like Abby and the secondary characters. Abby knows herself, and she is just a normal person, but with a psychic gift. She wants to help people, and the police to solve their cases, knowing the gruesome details will give her nightmares. I was less impressed with Dutch in this book, he was a real jerk sometimes. A fun scene: the strippoker contest at the police station, where Abby really gets them all down to their underpants …

Whenever someone lies to Abby, or if she lies herself, she hears the little rhyme: liar liar, pants of fire. And I do fear that is stuck in my head for now. But well, it is a good book. So Amber and Vickie, thank you for the recent recommendations, I will go right on with book three. I really like Victoria Laurie’s writing style, her sense of humor, and everything.

9 stars

zondag 30 oktober 2011

Victoria Laurie - Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye

The first book in the Psychic Eye Mystery series, published December 2004.

Abby Cooper, psychic eye

Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients-or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

I’ve been meaning to read this series for quite a while now, and I am glad I finally started reading. I like it, a lot.
Abby is a powerful psychic, and she is making a good living at what she does. She did not always give in to her gift, her parents really discouraged her, as did other people she talked with about her gift, what she saw. Only her older sister Cat accepted it, and Abby.
Abby was working a boring job at a bank, when four years ago a medium walked in, with a message from her grandparents, to embrace her gift, and do something with it. So after months of thinking, the two started working together. But now Theresa has gotten an offer from an important t.v. station for a show, and she and her husband are moving to Los Angeles, leaving Abby on her own. Which she is not looking forward to. Her love life is non-existent, and she feels lonely sometimes. So, Abby decides to try one of those online dating services.

Abby is a great character, and she really doesn’t let Dutch walk over her. She stands up for herself, and accepts that it is difficult for a police officer to just believe her, when she can’t explain how she knows things.

Dutch is attracted to Abby, but he has to do his work by the book, has to follow the rules and the evidence, or the culprit will walk. He is a former military man, and now a homicide inspector. When Abby tells her, at their first blind date, about herself, and what she saw about the abduction of a little boy at the mall today on t.v., he does not tell her he is a police officer. She is weary of the police, as another psychic has gone to jail when she could not convince the police she was not the murderer. Abby sure wants nothing to do with that, knowing she will be laughed at, and be investigated. But of course, life doesn’t always do what we want, and she is drawn into a murder investigation when one of her former clients is found brutally murdered.

Abby wants to help, knows she can help, but Dutch wants her out of the investigation, he wants her safe and not in the killer’s sights. But Abby can’t let go, she feels guilty for not helping Allison when she called. And in the end, it is Abby’s insight that cracks the case (or cases) before she herself …

Yes, great first book in a series, and I really want to read more, and find out where the relationship between Abby and Dutch is going. For secondary characters, there is the handyman fixing up Abby’s place, and Abby’s mega rich sister. Cat wants nothing more than to help Abby financially, but Abby wants to do it herself, step by step. I like the readings Abby does for strangers, giving them advice, but of course she cannot force anyone to follow it, or believe her.

8 stars.

zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

Bertrice Small – Private Pleasures

The first book in the Channel series, published July 2005.

Private Pleasures

Nora Buckley's worst nightmare has just come true. After years of being a devoted, dutiful housewife, she's found out her husband is leaving her for a younger woman. Her only comfort comes from her friends-the women of Ansley Court, who meet every Monday morning for coffee and gossip.
Seeing Nora's desperation, her friends decide it's time to let her in on their delicious and dirty little secret. It's called The Channel... and it lets every woman unleash passions beyond her wildest dreams. Suddenly Nora is living out her most intimate and sensuous fantasies- and before long, she realizes she can have everything she ever wanted. But she’ll soon remember the old saying: Be careful what you wish for...

After 26 years of marriage, right out of college, Nora Buckley knows her husband is having an affair. He is home less and less, and she just feels he is wanting a divorce. The kids are leaving home for college this fall, so it would be the best time to takes his leave of his family and start anew. But what is she to do? Everything they own is in his name, the house, the cars she doesn’t even have a bankaccount. She has never worked a day in her life, she has a useless degree in English lit, and a minor in home ec. All those years she has been busy helping his career along, giving parties and raising the children.
And now Jeff is wanting to cut her off without a penny, or a roof over her head. He has stolen the kids college funds so he can buy his new ladylove a condo, without having to go for a mortgage, he has stopped their insurances, their health care polices, the car leases, everything. Nora’s lawyer is just in time to stop him from using their one joint account, which Jeff monthly puts money on which Nora is to use for the household expenses. She is frugal, as Jeff wants to know where every penny goes.
Her friends and her mother are astonished to learn that Nora did not look out for her self better, that she not has a bankaccount or credit cars in her own name. They never knew Jeff kept her on such a short lease, and that she just put up with it. And now, now she has to fight for herself and her children. Jeff doesn’t want to pay for their college tuition any more, they will have to apply for loans and work their way through it, and he wants to sell the house. And that is the one thing Nora wants: the house. She spend her life there, decorating and furnishing it to her desires, and to Jeff’s career advantage, and she loves her garden. She will not give that up to move to some small two bed room apartment!
But Jeff has hired the best divorce lawyer there is, and she has the help of her neighbour, the husband of her best friend, who is only a small town lawyer. But still, they will fight for every penny. No matter how hopeless it is.

Nora realises she doesn’t love Jeff anymore, and hasn’t for some years. They haven’t had sex for over 5 years now, not that that was ever worth mentioning. All he wanted was for her to lay on her back in the dark and be quiet. Moaning is not ladylike!
So, when her friends introduce her to The Channel, her sexlife is about to turn around! An exclusive t.v. channel for women, interactive, where they can life out their secret fantasies. It is only available at night though, so it doesn’t interfere with their daily lives to much, as the Channel is very addictive! Nora doesn’t know what to think of all this, how can this exist? But she tries it, what does she have to loose? And in the Channel she meets this gorgeous dream guy, who introduces her to all the pleasures of sex, together, and with a third addition. It is Nora’s fantasy, and she is in control, and it affects her real life as well. She is getting more determined, she knows what she wants.

And when Jeff is about to get everything he wants, she pulls one last stunt on him. He and his bimbo will not get her house!

After my great reading experience yesterday, I really could not settle with a new book. After starting a few, I just picked an old and beloved book of the shelf, and contentedly read that. Again. For the 5th time. And still it does not bore me. But then, there is a reason that among the many many favourite authors I love and follow, Bertrice Small is still my number one favourite.

Nora is a great character. Totally devoted to her husband and kids, and with really not much for herself. She has taken care of them as best as she can, and just how her husband wants her. And that is why he picked her out at 17 for himself, to be a little obedient wife, who would sacrifice herself for him and his career and the children. And she did. That is, after all, what a woman did in those days. But she learns to come up for herself, and do things just for her. And I admire her for that.
Jeff is ofcourse a total jerk, thinking to dispose of his wife and children fast and without a fuss, without it costing him a penny. Even his own lawyer despises him. So what his new girlfriend sees in him, no idea. He is bad in bed, a cheapskate and way too controlling. And if she thinks he will help her with her career, she is wrong.

The secondary characters are the children, and Nora’s friends and neighbours, who are totally there for her. They only tolerate Jeff in their lives because of Nora. Who is nothing but kind and caring and giving.

Of course, the book is also full of advice for woman: take care of yourself. Don’t believe marriage vows are really forever. You have to have a fallback plan. If not necessary, no harm done. But without skills or money of your own, you will fall back into poverty.

Now, ofcourse this book is not about the lecture, it is about great sex, and temptation, and revenge. This series is really awesome. And I know I don’t like reading erotica, but I love this series, for its strong heroines, and great plots. And ofcourse you know who is behind the Channel, don’t you? Temptation? Invitation to sin?

9,5 stars

Anthology – Angels of Darkness

An omnibus of novels by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook and Sharon Shinn. Published October 4th, 2011.

Angels of Darkness

Nalini Singh –Angel’s Wolf

Noel is recovered from his torture in the previous book, and is send by Raphael to Nimra, a 600 year old Angel, who holds New Orleans for Raphael. She is feared by far more powerful Angels, so Noel has no idea what he is supposed to do. He thinks he is being denoted, by being damaged. But Nimra really does need him, to figure out who is trying to kill her. She doesn’t want to suspect her loyal court, but clearly someone does hate her.
Against her reputation, Noel keeps seeing little acts of kindness, her love for an old human man, her cat, a young servant. Somehow, Nimra has kept her humanity. Which is a rare thing for powerful Angels. And he starts to fall for her.
But keeping her safe is more important.
After being betrayed by her “husband” Nimra is not looking for another lover, no matter how many Angels would love to fill that place. Christian, one of her own court, or Augustus, an old friend.

Okay, time for my quick review:
Hero: Great. Tortured hero, who starts to come alive again when meeting his heroine. Still, no man to play with.
Heroine: Strong, resilient, but also caring and feeling.
Secondary characters: The rest of the court, some good, some bland, some nice.
Romance: Good.
Plot: Very good
Heat-level: Nalini Singh worthy. I would love to be able to touch an Angel.
Writingstyle: Her usual awesomnes.
Summary: A really good novella. I would not have minded reading for some more hours about Noel and Nimra.

9 stars.

Ilona Andrews – Alpha – Origins

I did not finish this one, even though I like Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. It is just too weird and upsetting me. Stopped at chapter 5. If you like scary and disturbing, this will be a perfect Halloween read for you!

The other two stories, Sharon Shinn – Nocturne and Meljean Brook – Ascension are not interesting me enough to start reading them. I don’t like Sharon Shinn’s writing style, and have not yet started Meljean Brook’s books.

vrijdag 28 oktober 2011

Suzanne Enoch – A beginner’s guide to Rakes

The first novel in the Scandalous Brides series, published October 4th, 2011.

A beginner's guide to rake's

All of London is abuzz with the return of the utterly alluring, recently widowed Diane Benchley. Will she remarry? What will she do with her late husband's fortune? Society is shocked by her announcement - at the Grand Ball, of all places! - that she plans to open an exclusive gentleman's gaming club in the family mansion. But no one is more stunned than the Marquis of Haybury, Oliver Warren.
Years ago, Oliver and Diane shared a private indiscretion. Now Diane threatens to reveal Oliver's most ungentlemanly secrets, unless he agrees to help her. A notorious gambler - and rake - Oliver is overqualified to educate Diane in the ways and means of running her establishment. But striking a deal with Diane might just be the biggest risk Oliver has ever taken. This time, the only thing he has to lose is his heart.

Two years ago, Lady Diane Benchley, Countess of Cameron, was left a widow and penniless when her husband died, after gambling away everything he had owned, and more. She was only 22, but totally disillusioned in men, and love in general. Then an affair with the young and equally poor Oliver Warren gave her some hope, was he her reward in love after suffering for four years in a loveless marriage, scraping day after day? But after two weeks, he left her, running back to London, with his tail between his legs.
But now Diane and her best friend Jenny are in London, determined to open up a gentleman’s gaming club, and taking advantage of the gambling addiction all the gentleman seem to have. Gain something from it, instead of loosing. Unfortunately, the gentleman who would have backed up the club financially, has died, leaving them only with option number two: Oliver Warren, the new and very rich Marquess of Haymore. Diane has something she can blackmail him with. She only wants his money, and certainly not his opinion or ideas, as they have been planning every detail for the last two years.
Oliver is not too pleased that Diane is back in his life, and he hates being backed in a corner. But for now, he will play along, but in the end, he will win the game, and he will certainly not leave the table until the game is finished. He never did forget her, and he will seize this second chance. But he could not have guessed how devastated and heartbroken he left Diane two years ago, and it will take a great deal for her to trust him again.

And so, they work together to open up the latest and best gaming club in London, with Diane only asking for his advice when she needs it, and dismissing him when she has no use for him. It is a scandal of course, a lady opening a gambling club, and employing only young females as croupiers and waiters and other staff! But Diane certainly has not the intention to start a brothel, what her ladies do on their own time is their call, but they are to be left alone while working for her. And the gentleman who cannot obey her rules, will swiftly find himself outside the club.

Slowly, Oliver gains some ground with Diane. First by bribing her when she needs more money for the club than the first agreed upon sum (which is a loan she will repay!), and spending some time together outdoors. And then by wagering a bit with her, for her time. But how far will he go this time? Until she is out of his system? Or will he wager his heart?

But not everything goes well of course. There is the current Lord Cameron, Diane’s former brother-in-law, who doesn’t want to stop bothering her. Adam House should have been his, no matter that Diane would have no place to live in otherwise. He does not believe his brother left her the house. And now he wants it, and the gaming club as well. So how is she to handle this nuisance?

O wow, what a book! You can see me raving about it on Twitter! I was blown away from the very first chapter, till the end. I was dreading that it could not stay this good, but I was wrong. This book is awesome, and perhaps the best historical romance novel I have ever read. So, buy it, read it, tell me what you think of it!

I absolutely loved everything about it. Diane is such a great and strong character. She knows exactly what she wants, and she goes for it. Of course she has her friend to help her and back her up, and I do believe Jenny (Genevieve) is some scary lady. Diane is determined to make her club work, and to earn a good living for her and her employees because of it. She knows she cannot trust Oliver, but she does make use of him when needed. Even though she hates asking for his help or advice, she knows he is the best option. Diane doesn’t hesitate to do what has to be done, no matter how hard.
And then there is Oliver, ofcourse he is handsome and rich, and at first he is so not happy by being blackmailed. He is still scared by his feelings for Diane, but he is getting used to it, and then there is that hot attraction between them. And slowly, he makes up his mind. He wants to help her, to protect her, but she doesn’t want him to. Until her obnoxious brother in law gives him the chance.

I love the humor in this book, and as always, Suzanne Enoch’s writing style. It is fluent, always easy to read, and I did not want to put it down. I even told my boyfriend I was not going to cook dinner, as my book was so great. And he was fine with that, and stayed in town to eat something on the road (he is a cabdriver).
The story is original in my opinion, and the execution of it is just great. Two strong characters, their relationship is building slowly, the trust is coming back in Diane’s heart, and the few lovescenes are very good as well.

I loved it when she shot him because ...
So many good things in this book, and I want to rave some more, but I also don’t want to spoil anything for you. But I do want to encourage you all to read the book. I have already ordered my best friend to come over Sunday evening to borrow it and read it asap, which she has agreed to.

Okay, my opinion on the title: totally sucks. You would expect some young tonnish misses going after a rake to marry. Not the case here. The cover: totally wrong also. Diane almost only wears black. Sexy black. And certainly never white.

So, my grade. I am not going to give it a 10, I am giving it:

11 stars.

Yes, it is that good.

New addition to my addiction

Another book arrived today. After the previous one disappoined a bit, I hope this one is better: Karen Hawkins - A most dangerous Profession. With beautiful stepcover. I love books that have one.

Anne Mallory – Masquerading the Marquess

The first book in the Spies and Secrets series, published September 2004.

Masquerading the Marquess

Calliope Minton is never far from scandal. And her greatest pleasure is capturing the nobility at their worst. Donning a daring disguise, she poses as a society courtesan to get closer to London's leading bachelor. However, her ruse might have brought Calliope too close to her favourite target: James Trenton, Marquess of Angelford, a man who appears less foolish and more dashing with every meeting ...
James is certain the enchantress is hiding something -- and she is driving him mad ... with desire and curiosity. Already occupied with trying to expose the "artist" who has been humiliating him in the papers, James does not need another mystery! But all the lady's secrets will be revealed when they are forced to join together to find a vanished mutual acquaintance -- and perilous circumstance tosses the Marques’s bewitching, irresistible adversary into his arms.

This book has been my purse-book, so it took me quite a while to finish. Only reading about half an hour a day during my lunchbreak. But still, the story did grab my interest. It was a really original plot, where the heroine is a social nobody, and dons disguises to be able to infiltrate the ton. Her last one was a ladies companion, dressed very dowdy, but she got sacked in a very public scene, so that road was closed. Her latest personality is that of Esmeralda, a courtesan. Her mentor and friend, another caricaturist, has set her up with a distant cousin of his, Stephen, who knows all about the masquerade, and is happy to play along. Especially when he sees the attraction/enmity/sparks between Calliope and his best friend James. James can surely use some love in his life.
Stephen sure finds it funny when James get furious about the new hot caricaturist, who seems to have him in the spotlights, and not in a flattering kind of way!

Both Stephen and James are spies for the government, but someone in their group seems to be dirty, as some accidents have happened lately, and some confidential information has gotten in the wrong hands. Stephen has a lead on who the traitor is, but when he gets too close, he is attacked by villains and disappears. Calliope doesn’t know what to do, especially as someone threatens her adopted family. She doesn’t have an object, they would be after. And here comes Angelford to the rescue, taking her out into the ton, trying to find out what happened to Stephen, and who the traitor is. James is also determined to find out Esmeralda’s secret, as he instantly recognises her as the dowdy ladies companion who ruffled his feathers so often. If she wanted a protector, why should it not be him? And with Stephen missing, perhaps he gets his chance at seducing her …

What made this plot difficult to follow, where the many similar names of the suspects. I just could not keep them apart. Holt and Roth for instance. The many secondary characters, and not only the traitor who wants to get rid of them, also a woman who wants to get rid of Esmeralda as she wants James for herself … Even though James makes is very clear he is not interested.

I did like the story, but I could not always understand Calliope, and all the things she does. And you really cannot learn how to ride a horse in an hour and participate in a scavenger hunt, galloping and gallivanting about the estate. Especially not sidesadlle. I refuse to buy that. I liked Calliope’s “sister”, and how protective they are of each other. I hope Deirdre will come back in this series.

So, a nice historical romance, some mystery and suspense, and just a nice read if you don’t think too much about it all. Then you will lose your love of the story itself.

I will read more by this author, as I like her writing style and her humor. And as this was her first book, I am certain the rest will be better. I liked the originality of a low born lady (her mother was a mistress and opera singer) who makes her living as a caricaturist, and chorus girl in the theater, where her adopted family works. The men in this story are more “normal”.

With this book, I have certainly met my self imposed reading challenge, of reading at least one book a month that has been gathering dust on my shelves for over a year.

6,5 stars.

donderdag 27 oktober 2011

Moira Rogers – Crossroads

The second book in the Southern Arcana series, published February 2010.


Derek Gabriel was born human in family of psychics, aware of the supernatural world but never a part of it...until a rogue shapeshifter took humanity from him in a vicious attack. He's spent two years struggling to adjust, not just to a change that's driven many insane, but also to the prejudices of a culture where transformed wolves are considered inferior. A serious struggle, indeed, when the woman who attracts the man and the wolf inside him is the daughter of the most powerful wolf in the country.
For Nicole Peyton, nothing is more important than escaping the stifling confines of elite shapeshifter society, an old-fashioned world where women are valued only for their bloodlines and bank accounts. In New Orleans, she has a bar she loves, friends she cares for, and a smoldering, unspoken tension with an unsuitable but incredibly attractive man.
Neither could predict how quickly forbidden longing would erupt into burning need, but Nick and Derek have more than themselves to think about when Nick's sister arrives in the city with a shapeshifter strike team hard on her heels. The only way Nick can save her sister may be to play by the Conclave's rules--but it will mean giving up the man she's falling in love with, unless he's willing to risk everything in a challenge that will shake the foundations of their world.

Derek has had feelings for Nick, the sexy bar-owner, for a long time now, but getting attacked by a werewolf really spoiled his plans. He has been busy getting control over his wolf, adapting to his new life. How can he risk her safety if he doesn’t have control? He is still struggling with the loss of his humanity.
Nicole Payton is the daughter of the Alpha of the United States, the most powerful werewolf in the country, and one of the richest. Her father has been grooming her to take over his place as the alpha, but she really doesn’t want the position. The Conclave, some kind of government I guess you can call it, also doesn’t want her as the new alpha. They have an extremely old-fashioned view of women, they are only good to breed.
But now, after celebrating Kat’s birthday, both Derek and Nicole are ready to move on this attraction thing between them, never expecting it to be so explosive, so mindblowing.

It is expected of Nicole to marry on of their sons, especially since her twin sister is a Seer, extremely powerful in Magic, and to be feared and kept locked up. Her husband will get control over everything. Nick is so not interested in one of those sons, the only palatable one is Luciano Maglieri, who is the son of the only female Conclave Member. But Luke/Luciano has feelings for her sister, Michelle, and he knows she will never love him back. Michelle is in love with her bodyguard, Aaron, which is forbidden. If a Seer has sex, she will lose her powers. But of course, that is only an old wives tail. It gets worse. Michelle gets pregnant, and her powers are on the fritz. Everything happens to protect her, and her unborn baby. But the fact that she is pregnant, is a death verdict for Aaron, and for her baby. So with a little help, they flee to New Orleans, to Nick, for help and a safe place to stay.

Of course Nick helps them, as do her friends. But things are getting dangerous, and her friends will pay the price. Derek’s beloved cousin Kat, who is an empath, has to defend the man she loves, Andrew, and kills some of the assassins on their trail. She is devastated that she used her powers that way, didn’t even know she could do that. So now they not only have to keep Michelle and Aaron safe, also Kat and Andrew, and they have to deal with everything. Luckily, MacKenzie and Jackson and Alex are a big help, but in the end, Nick will have to go home to New York, and settle this mess. And there is only one possible solution that will keep everyone alive …
Can she do that? And will Derek let her do it?

I really liked this book. I still knew everyone from the previous book, Crux, so I was not confused and familiar with the world. Crossroads is very fast paced, a lot happens, which requires an awful lot of travelling, driving somewhere and back in a hurry, plotting and planning, and watching everything fall apart.

I really felt for Aaron and Michelle, and the trouble they are in. And o, Moira Rogers really made me cry for them. I wonder how important this part is for the ongoing plot line. Was it really inevitable?
And then Nicole and Derek. Both very loving and caring people. Derek has taken care of his niece Cat since all four their parents died in a car crash, that might not have been an accident. Yes, he is extremely protective of her, and being a werewolf only made that worse. And then there is his love for Nicole. He doesn’t really understand her/their world yet, but he will do what ever is necessary, and stand by her side as much as he can, or is allowed. They both do grow in this story.
Nicole loves her sister dearly, but she doesn’t want the position her father wants her to fill. She hates the politics, and all the plotting and backstabbing. She has build herself a life in New Orleans, and real friends. So now, having to go through all this b.s. again, not knowing what will happen with her sister and Aaron and their baby’s life on the line, is horror. But her father does seem more likeable, he seems to understand both his daughters a bit better, and does his best to help them, even if he is forbidden to interfere as the Alpha. (So, what good is being Alpha if you can’t lay down the law?) Nick will do everything to save Michelle and Aaron, even sacrifice her self in a marriage she doesn’t want, giving up Derek, her mate.

There is humor in this book, which is something very important to my reading pleasure. I for instance love the part, where all the woman are romance readers, and smutty ones at that! Of course there are love scenes in this book, but not too detailed, which I find to my liking. The book had me laughing and crying, and when a book does that to me, it is a good one.

So, a good book, and I will certainly read the rest of the books in this series. I hope Kat and Andrew will be the next couple, as I want to find out more about Andrew. This is certainly an interesting plot line.

I’ve won this book in a contest over at Smexy Books, thank you again ladies!

8,5 stars.

woensdag 26 oktober 2011

New addition to my addiction

Yesterday I received the anthology A Vampire for Christmas, really looking forward to the Alexis Morgan story. According to the reviews I have read abuot it, it is not in her Paladins series.

And yesterday evening, instead of writing two reviews, I took my boyfriend out to a delicious dinner in a nice restaurant. So perhaps this evening, when I am recovered from being tortured by the dentist, I'll write them :).

zondag 23 oktober 2011

Elisabeth Naughton – Marked

The first book in the Eternal Guardians series, published May 2010.


Theron - dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life – silky, shoulder length hair, chest imposingly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I’ve had this book on my shelves for some time now, and I have won the second book in the series recently, so it was time to start reading. But I am a bit disappointed. It started ok, so I was getting in the mood for a good read, and then it detoriated. The book became confusing, with too little explanation for my liking.

I’ve been struggling with writing this review for a couple of hours now, and it just is not going to come. So, here are my loose thoughts:

There is a lot of mythology interwoven in this world, as Theron is a descendant of Heracles (Hercules), like all the other Argonauts, Guardians of their world. They guard the gateway between their world, and the human world. They are fascinated with earth, and earth culture and fashion, but travel between the worlds is not encouraged. Still, there are a lot of half-bloods living on earth, being hunted and killed by daemons.
Our heroine, Casey / Acacia, is one of them. Only her father is the King of Argolea, and the Princess Isadora is her half sister. Both Casey and Isadora are slowly dying. Isadora from loosing the part that makes her Argolean, and Casey is slowly loosing the part that makes her human. If the two woman meet each other, the strongest of them will survive and be fully Argolean, and the other one will die. Isadora will have to survive, as the King is very ill, and she will be the future queen, with Theron as her husband. She really doesn’t want to marry Theron, but both will do their duty to their people.
That is, until Theron meets Acacia, and finds out she is his Soulmate. Hera, wife of Zeus, has cursed the Argonauts with only one Soulmate in their long lives, and at that a soul mate who will be the complete opposite to what they want or need in their lives. Theron will have to sacrifice Acacia, to safe Isadora. So now he has to choose between saving his people, or his soul mate.

And then there is Casey. She never felt belonging to some place or someone, feeling different. She has inherited her grandmother’s bookshop, and is also working part time as a waitress in a strip club, to pay for her grandmother’s medical bills. She has found a friend in Dana, who is very different, but they fit together. And then there is the scary biker Nick, who saved Casey from getting raped a few months ago. Since then, he has been keeping a close eye on her. Even though he is stalkerish, she does trust him.
And then, a huge handsome stranger walks into the club, and Casey is lost in dreams. The college guys she should be serving get mad at her, and Theron saves her from a nasty fall. But then he leaves the club with a pretty blonde in his arms. But later, when Casey is driving home, she sees a pack of animals attacking something or someone, and she tries to choo them away. A stupid move, as they are so much bigger than her, daemons attacking Theron. Who had just enough time and power to send Isadora, the blond he left with, safely home, and cannot fight off so many beasts. But they disappear when they seem to recognize Casey, and Theron influences Casey to take her home with her, and not to the hospital. He is covered in bitewounds and scratches, and he orders her to use lavender, for its healing properties. She even has to sow a nasty wound in his thigh shut. Theron heals fast, and they are extremely attracted to her. But just as they are about to have sex, Theron sees the birthmark on her backside, and has to leave at once. Leaving her confused, and with her mind wiped of their encounter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep and she remembers more and more over the next days.
Casey is not my kind of heroine at all. At some parts, she is strong, which I like, but she also lets Theron dictate and manhandle her way too much. At other parts she is sick and weak, she certainly is not consistent. And she is very good/pure, especially in the end with her sister and Hades and all, but well, a little too much.

So when Theron comes back for her, she is not really willing to go with him, but as a bunch of daemons attack, she doesn’t have much of a choice. Luckily, Nick is there also, and he takes the both of them to a supposed safe place, where Casey meets her people, the Misos. Halfblood children of humans and Argoleans, with a long life span, but almost none of the powers the Argoleans have. And she feels at home for the first time in her life. Still, everything Theron tells her, is so unreal, so hard to believe. Her father is a king and he wants to see her? For the first time in her 27 years? Yeah, right. What does he want from her now?

And then there is an evil woman also, Atalanta, the leader of the daemons, who wants to kill all the Argoleans for scorning her. She made a pact with Hades, of which Casey and Isadora are the solution. Hades and his beloved Persephone also make appearances in this novel, and they are also not so nice and kind.

I really found this book confusing. The story is a good one, but the telling itself is not so good. A tidbit here, a bite there. It just jumps from one person and one scene to the next, Theron tells only tiny little bits to Casey, and although he says he cannot lie, he does lie by omission quite a lot. By not telling her the truth about herself and why he was sent for her. Secondly, I really did not buy into their lovestory. O sure, there is attraction, but no real bases for the love. Especially not from Arcadia/Casey’s point of view. Being betrayed like that, by a man who is engaged to her halfsister! The real lovescene doesn’t happen till the book is almost finished, a few others are interrupted for one reason or another. It just didn’t feel good to me. The story didn’t flow. O there is a lot of action, and fighting daemons. Even the ending was kind of strange.

I will read the next book one day, as I have won that one. But not right now. I think this story has to sink in for a bit. I do like Elisabeth Naughton’s writing style, I just am confused with this book.
I did not really like Casey nor Theron, nor any of the other main and secondary characters. Even though I am intrigued by Nick his story, I don’t really like him. Why did he never tell Casey something, when he knew she is one of them?
So why did I finish the book? I just wanted to know how it ended, and kept hoping it would get better.

6 stars

zaterdag 22 oktober 2011

Nora Roberts – Tears of the Moon

The second book in the Gallaghers of Ardmore series, published June 2000.

Tears of the Moon

Dear Reader,
Those who dream by day bring beauty to the world. The art and the music, the stories and the heart. Ireland holds its dreamers dear. Still, along with its poets and artists, the irish can be a practical lot. In one hand they hold their magic, and in the other the sweat of their labor.
In Tears of the Moon, I’ve clasped those hands together with the dreamer Shawn Gallagher and the clearminded Brenna O’Toole. Carrick, Prince of Faeries, has his work cut out for him with these two if he is to bring them together and take the next step toward breaking the spell that separates him from his own love, and his own destiny.
He has a gift for them, but they must accept it and each other with selfless hearts. Pride and ambition must be outweighed by love and generosity. Two people who have known one another all their lives will have to look at each other with different eyes. High above the tidy village of Ardmore, on a windy cliff near the well of an ancient saint, there is magic and music in the air. Have a seat on the bench here, and listen for it.
Nora Roberts.

Brenna O’Toole has finally made up her mind. She has the hots for her childhood friend Shawn Gallagher, and as it doesn’t fade, she will take action. Even though he is the brother of her best friend Darcy, and things could get awkward. Shawn doesn’t know what hits him, when Brenna propositions him. He has no clue as how to react, and when he turns her down, her goodbye kiss certainly blows him away. And so he gets to thinking himself.
His brother Aidan has recently married his Jude, and Shawn is now living in the cottage Jude owns. He is working as a cook in the Gallagher pub, along his siblings, and he is content with his life. He has his music, and perhaps someday he will do something with it. He never thought about getting married for some time. But this is Brenna, and this is different. So after some thinking, he accepts her offer, but if she thinks a quick half hour in the bed will do it, she is sadly mistaken. Shawn sets out to seduce her. Some kissing here, some stroking the next day, she will have to wait until he is well and ready for it.
Brenna is working alongside her father, fixing and building things. She loves her job, taking things apart and fixing them. Be they cars or washing machines, building a house or a nursery. She is good at it too. She doesn’t wear frippery, doesn’t understand the need for makeup like her friends Darcy and Jude use. She wants this thing with Shawn taken care of, without losing their friendship. And now he is driving her mad, with his lack of haste, this teasing of her senses.
But when they finally do end up in bed, with Shawn having planned a romantic evening, they really set the bed aflame. They sure never experienced something this good. So they will take what comes their way for as long as it lasts. But then Shawn realizes he wants more, and he is smart enough to let Brenna think it is her own idea, or else she will do the total opposite.

And then there is the ghost of the cottage, the Lady Gwen, giving Brenna advice, while he is the one living there, and has not yet seen her. But Prince Carrick, who has been waiting for her for 300 years now, he is impatient with both Shawn and Brenna. But he knows he cannot rush them, those foolish mortals and their pride. So he shows himself to them, trying to teach them the importance of the right words instead of gifts.

Even the second time reading this series, I love this book. The practical, impatient Brenna, and the dreamy Shawn. Total opposites, but so right for each other. Shawn needs someone who can give him a push in the right direction now and then, and Brenna can use some quiet in her life. I love the bantering between them. Darcy soon figures it out, and is worried about both of them. She doesn’t want them with a broken heart!
The plans to build a theatre next to Gallaghers pub are continuing nicely, and Brenna has sketched a great plan. She doesn’t have any education in being an architect, but experience on the job sure counts for a lot too. Now hoping the Magee will like it.

If you are looking for a sweet series to read, something that makes you sigh and feel good in the end, and make you laugh and cry a little during the journey to that ending, do pick up this series. It is timeless, and just good.

8,5 stars.

vrijdag 21 oktober 2011

My Ode to Urban Fantasy

Thank you Jaye Wells, to declaring October as International Urban Fantasy Month. She is giving away the awesome price pack of 25 signed Urban Fantasy novels (including her own books of course) divided of 5 lucky winners. All you have to do, is tell why you love Urban Fantasy. So go over to her site,, and enter the contest as well.
Other others are participating as well, like Siera Dean (, whose novella I have just reviewed (scroll down).

So here is my ode to Urban Fantasy.

I love to read Urban Fantasy novels and especially series for a lot of reasons. I am in awe of the world those authors create, especially if you can believe it is real, and those paranormal creatures could be living right next door to you. The diversity some authors create is incredible, and I love them all. Although I have a weakness for witches and wizards, I love reading about vampires, were-wolves and other shapeshifters, the different kind of fae, but also elves, faeries, nymphs, ghosts, demons, gods and goddesses and demi-gods, angels, gargoyles, and other scary creatures of the night.
What great imagination those authors have, and how grateful I am to them, for taking the time to write it all down, so other people can enjoy their stories.

I love kick ass heroines, those who really take over the pages, and don’t really need a man by their side, but if they do have, they are equals and not depending on them to save their asses. No genre is better for that than urban fantasy. And paranormal romance of course, the line between the two genres is often very thin.
I love to dream about, what if it could be real, what if I could be a part of this world? Have a shifter, a real alpha male, for myself? Of course, I am way to independent to ever tolerate such a mach alpha male in my life for real, but still. They care so much, are so protective of their mate/heartmate/Soulmate. Dreaming is nice.

And I especially love series, so you can follow your favourite heroine and hero on their next adventure, and learn more about their personal lives, and the trials in it. The secondary characters are much needed to give extra life and laughter to the story, and their roles are often very important for the storyline.

Some of my favourite Urban Fantasy authors, in no specific order:
Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Anne Bishop, Jenna MacLain, Karen Chance, Moira Rogers, and of course Yasmine Galenorn.
They all have wonderful worldbuilding and strong heroines.

Thank you all ladies, for giving me so many hours of reading pleasure, letting me travel to your worlds and enjoy myself.

Sierra Dean – The Secret guide to dating monsters

A Secret McQueen prequel, published July 19, 2011. I have won this novella at Stella – Ex Libris blog. Thank you again, Stella!

The Secret guide to date monsters

Are blind dates supposed to be this bloody?

A Secret McQueen Story
They say it's impossible to find a man in New York City. Secret McQueen needs to find two in one night. Of course, it’ll mean pulling off the impossible—find and kill a displaced rogue vampire without disrupting the first promising date she’s had in ages. As a werewolf hybrid used to walking a fine line of survival in the vampire world, though, Secret eats impossible for breakfast.
Somewhere between hello and the first round of drinks, Secret makes her move. Her target, Hollywood’s biggest star, shouldn’t be hard to spot. Just look for swarms of fans. Except every time her vampire liaison, Holden, helps keep her mission on track, her date runs further off the rails.
Either Holden has a hidden agenda, or he knows more than he’s letting on about her quarry. One way or another, Secret is determined to get her man, and meet Mr. Right. Or die trying.

Warning: This book contains a sword-wielding assassin whose barbs are sharper than her blade, a vampire with serious brooding issues but a skilled tongue, and an A-lister with a bad habit of eating his fans. This novella takes place approximately one year prior to the events of Something Secret This Way Comes.

Secret McQueen is half vampire, half werewolf, and works for the Vampire Council as an assassin, but she fits in neither world. Her best friend Mercedes has set her up with another blind date, as her vampire liaison pops up to give her a new assignment. He wants her to keep her date with Detective Tyler Nowakowski, but it also seems Holden does what he can to ruin her date. Which is a shame, as she really likes Tyler. But he is human, and a relationship between them would never work. She needs to sleep all day, and she cannot reveal what she is to a human. The council would have her killed, and his memory scrubbed.

Secret really likes her job, to hunt down rogue vampires and kill them, it suits both her natures, the werewolf and the vampire. And she is good at it, or she never would have survived this long. The council pays her per kill, and she should be able to live nicely on that, if only she didn’t have a shoe weakness…

Telling more of the story would only spoil it, so lets go to my Quick Review:

Hero: not sure yet if it will be Holden, or Tyler. But at this moment, I like them both. No background on them yet, the story was just too short for that.
Heroine: Secret McQueen. I liked her. She is small and blond and pretty, but she is also very strong and a fast healer, a real kick ass chick. Witty, smart and certainly not a whiner or insecure. Doesn’t care about getting blood all over her.
Secondary characters: her best friend and the vampire council I guess, not much info on them yet.
Romance: none
Plot: Secret has to hunt down the famous actor / vampire and kill him. His bodyguards are not so happy with that plan.
Heat-level: not really. One sexy moment when Holden kisses her as a disguise.
Writingstyle: I love it. Fast, captivating, humorous.
Summary: I am happy to have won this prequel and will certainly read the other two books in the series.

7 stars.

Bertrice Small – Bond of Passion

The sixth book in the Border Chronicles series, published October 4, 2011.

Bond of Passion

Bertrice Small's breathless Border Chronicles continues as a mysterious nobleman and his bartered new bride untangle a plot of illicit seduction, daring betrayal, and deadly royal intrigue...

Called the handsomest man in the Borders, Angus Ferguson, earl of Duin, lives a quiet life avoiding the constant political intrigues of his neighbors in order to keep his small clan safe. Now in exchange for a piece of land he has long coveted he has taken a wife. Annabella Baird, the plain-faced daughter of the laird of Rath.

Reluctant at first to bed the unassuming Annabella, Angus finally accepts his duty as a husband only to discover that beneath his bride's modest demeanour is a wildcat with a spark waiting to be ignited. When, however, they accept an invitation to the court of Scotland's Queen Mary they find themselves caught up in royal intrigue.

Mary's unfortunate marriage to her cousin, Lord Darnley, has proven a disaster. Worse it has driven her into the arms of another man, James Hepburn, the dashing, powerful earl of Bothwell. When Darnley is murdered in spectacular fashion, and his body barely cold Mary and Bothwell wed, the queen's adversaries retaliate with a war that divides Scotland, and tries the long friendship between the earl of Duin and James Hepburn even as it tests the bond of passion between Angus and Annabella in ways they never expected.

Annabella Rath is the oldest daughter of a small borderlord. Unlike her beautiful mother and three younger sister, Annabella is a very plain girl. She is twenty, and still unwed, and has no prospects for marriage either. She has little dowry, and no beauty, so the men prefer her beautiful but mostly empty headed sisters. They just see their faces, and not Annabella’s good character and kindness and intelligence.
But then the Earl of Duin, Angus Ferguson, wants to buy some land belonging to her father, which her father won’t sell to him. The distant family he inherited it from, has been feuding with the Ferguson’s for ages, so that just doesn’t feel right. But then Angus’ best friend, James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, suggests he asks for it as a dowry to wed Lord Rath’s oldest daughter, even though she is plain faced. Angus is interested in that, he is over 30, and has been deceived by a beautiful lass before. So that Annabella is no beauty doesn’t interest him. If she is sweet of nature and obedient, he will agree. And so the bargain is struck. Annabella is to marry the very rich Earl of Dune, and her sisters are a bit envious about that. Why couldn’t he have chosen one of them? But now the way is open for them to marry whom they wish of their suitors, so everyone is happy.
Annabella’s father was not a poor man, but not rich either. The whole family and some servants lived together in a tower house, a room each floor, and the four sisters shared a bedroom and a big bed. And now for the first time in her life, she is to travel, as the Earl has sent his brother (a priest) and his halfbrother Matthew (who is also his steward) to wed her by proxy. It will take a week to reach Duin, but Annabella enjoys every minute of it. And when she finally sees Duin, she is very impressed. And with her handsome husband!

They take the time to get to know each other, before their marriage is consummated, and to their own surprises, fall in lust and eventually love with each other. Life is quiet at Dune, but busy and simple. The care of the estate and the various enterprises her husband has keeps them occupied, and the villagers and servants soon come to love their new gentle countess. The steward is not so enamoured with her though. Her only job is to give his brother some bairns, what use is it to teach the village children how to read and write? But the earl completely agrees with her plans, as he does see the good for the future.

But all good things come to an end, when their comes an invitation from the Queen (Mary of Scotland) to come to court. As Bothwell’s best friend, Angus and Annabella cannot refuse, though they would much rather stay under the radar and not get involved in court politics. And tragedy soon happens to them.

I loved this book, as I love almost all of Bertrice Small’s books. The love story of the main couple is set against the political background of the time. The life of Queen Mary, and how her Earls dethroned her after her hasty second marriage. Her young son was crowned James the Sixth, a boy the Earls can mold after their own wishes. The turmoil when the Catholic faith was made illegal, and everyone had to convert.
Things that have happened in the past are explained in a personal way, and it is really not as boring as a history lesson, it all comes to life. Bit by bit. The story takes place over a couple of years, and not just days or weeks as most (historical) romances.
I liked Annabella. She knows she is not pretty, and doesn’t care. And her husband soon doesn’t either. He sees the beauty inside of her. Matthew, the steward does not. He cannot get used to her, he wanted his brother to have a beautiful wife, a rich heiress. He doesn’t like her, or her acting like the equal of his brother. He keeps insulting her. Which is something Angus is really mad about when he finally finds out.
Annabella is a good woman. She loves her husband and Duin, and nothing is more important to her. She is very intelligent, and grasps the political consequences of the situation immediately. She was good to Queen Mary, but not sentimental enough to keep supporting her against all odds. The loyalty of the Fergusons of Duin has always been to Scotland, and King James is now the King, and not his poor mother.
And Angus, well, he is great. He gives them both time to know each other, but he soon falls in love with his wife because of her character, and of course her passion in the bedchamber (and beyond). He was hurt badly as a young man by the woman he wanted to marry, so he was careful not to give away his feelings. But after the birth of their children, he admitted it (very sweet scene). He is the most beautiful man in the Highlands so people keep staring at this uneven pair.
And for those who like smexy scenes: there are more than enough hot love scenes between Annabella and Angus, and not only in the bedroom.

The adventure in the second half of the book (which I won’t tell you about!) was great. Lots of intrigue and travelling, and some tears as well.
I did dislike the constant reminding of how plain Annabella is though. That was a bit too much. I did like that for once, Annabella did not have to face a lot of disasters, or multiple husbands and such like in most books by Bertrice Small. Not that I mind that, cause she writes really strong and realistic heroines. But it was a nice change.
The secondary characters really played their part well. There is Jean, Angus half-sister, and Annabella’s personal servant/maid. Matthew of course, the steward, whom I just didn’t like. Agnes, Annabella’s youngest sister, who came over for a visit, and stayed for ever. And Bothwell and Queen Mary, and everything that happens to them.

The ending of the epilogue was especially sweet and unusual, but I liked it.

If you like historical romances, try this series. If you just like history novels, you could read it for that. I am not an historian, so no idea how much truth there is in Bertrice Small’s books, but I do believe she does a lot of research.

9 stars.

donderdag 20 oktober 2011

New addition to my addiction

Yesterday I received an autographed copy of Alyssa Day - Vampire in Atlantis. A great series, I can heartily recommend to everyone.

maandag 17 oktober 2011

Thea Harrison – Serpent’s Kiss

The third book in the Elder Races series, published October 2011.

Serpent's Kiss

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a Queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion …

In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissessthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling – without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.
Recently, Carling’s Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpent’s kiss – the Vampyric disease that is killing her.
With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss…

In the previous book, the Vampyre Councillor Carling saved Tiago’s life in exchange for a favor owed her by Rune, one of the four living Gryphon, and Dragos’s First Sentinel. Rune has no idea what she will demand from him, and Dragos is certainly not happy that after losing Tiago to Niniane, he is now losing Rune as well, and who knows for how long? But of course there was no time to negotiate, and Rune will honor his word.
And so, after getting his affairs in order, and delegating his workload to the other Sentinels, he heads out to San Francisco, the demesne of the Nightkind. The current King is one of Carling’s progeny, her oldest son. But Carling has removed herself out to a mystical island, sometimes visible from San Francisco, sometimes not. A small spot of Other land, where she lives alone, with her most trusted servant.

Carling is the oldest Vampyre alive, over 4000 years, and born in ancient Egypt. Rune is even older, created when the earth itself was created, a creature of the between places.
Over the years, Rune had heard of her existence, but never really interacted with her, until she became Councillor for the Nightkind in the Elder Council, and delegated her thrown to her son Duncan. But ever since that trip to the Dark Fae with Niniane and Tiago, she has intrigued him. So Rune is not unwilling to go the her, and find out what she wants with him. But when the only thing she wants, is for Rune to kneel for her, and not only in body, but also in spirit, he is relieved, but also insulted. Why would she throw away such a favor? And when her servant tells him, Carling is dying, Rune is shocked. He sensed no illness around her, so what is happening? After some persuading, Carling accepts his help to find out what is happening to her, and to find a cure, if at all possible.
But her servant Rhoswen is not so happy that Rune is staying, she already hates the attention Carling bestows upon her little dog. And as there are no other servants, human or Vampyre, on the island, she is the one taking care of the dog. When Rhoswen is dismissed, as it is high time she got a life for her self, she is furious. Carling needs her! So she turns into a hateful woman, deliberately interrupting a special interlude between Carling and Rune.
Rune is reading about the research Carling has done for the last 200 years, ever since she grew from being a Vampyre and drinking blood, to becoming allergic to blood, and feeding on feelings and emotions from others, like a succubus. Her Power kept growing, and is now out of control, causing her to have “episodes” where she is lost in her own mind, her memories. And Rune, being a Gryphon, is able to follow her. A travel through time, where he can change history if he is not very careful. But how can he resist, from saving her from the horrors of her past?

And just when they have found a clue for a cure, and have to travel to the mainland again, to find the ancient Oracle of Delphi, their enemies strike. Duncan has had Carling removed from her position as Councillor, something he never could have done if he had come to face her about it. And now, he wants her executed, as her Powers have become to dangerous for the living. Rune will defend her to the death, but the army Duncan has brought with him, along with the other Councillors, is overwhelming in numbers. For once, brute force is not enough…

A very intriguing third novel in this very good series of the Elder Races. Again, totally different from the previous two books in storyline. I liked it a lot. Especially the back ground of Carling, the little peeks into ancient Egypt. And Rune, sigh, he is so totally alpha male, he did not take no for an answer, but he also did not force Carling to do things she did not want to do. Their relationship is not an easy one. Carling knows she is dying, so starting a relationship with Rune, something she has always dreamed of, is just the wrong time, the wrong place. But Rune is persistent, if Carling is his mate, he will enjoy every day with her. And he stays optimistic, they will find a cure. At first, his powerful emotions give her new strength and energy, but the episodes take too much from her. They have to find a way to keep them from happening.

This book is more quiet, not really fighting scenes like the first books, and focuses more on Rune and Carling together. A lot of humor, like the scenes with the little doggy, or the fact that Carling hates Runes favourite t-shirt, and Rune hates Carlings clothes. He wants to dress her in more modern clothes, and when she finally lets him, she likes it. Of course there are some love scenes between them, but not too much. Rune is more optimistic then Carling, but of course she has had centuries to get used to the idea of dying, and she has made her peace with that, while Rune just discovered it and cannot fathom such a thing, being immortal himself. So he wants her to fight again, to believe that they will find a cure in time.

Okay, I loved the book, and this series is now seriously autobuy for me.

9 stars.

zondag 16 oktober 2011

New additions to my addiction

Last Friday the mail came again! Shock, three times in one week! So two more books I have been impatiently waiting for have finally arrived. Now to find the reading time ...

Bertrice Small - Bond of Passion
Suzanne Enoch - A Beginner's Guide to Rakes

zaterdag 15 oktober 2011

Misty Evans – Witches Anonymous – My first Requested Review!

The first novella in the Witches Anonymous series, published in 2009.

Witches Anonymous

Can a bad witch go good in thirteen steps? Not if Lucifer has his way with her!

Amy Atwood is a witch. Not the harm-none kind…the Satan-worshipping, devil-made-me-do-it kind. But after catching Lucifer in a particularly wicked hex act with her goodie-two-shoes Wiccan sister, Amy does what every self-respecting witch would do. She pops a Dove chocolate in her mouth, ends her affair with the devil, and swears an oath never to use magic again.
She wants to be normal. Human. Even if it means no more fun—and she’s looking for a nice, normal guy to complement her new lifestyle. And ice-cream-loving firefighter Adam Foster looks like perfect hero material.
Lucifer, however, isn’t about to be nice about letting her go. Stalked by Satan, manipulated by the angel Gabriel—and surprised by Adam’s true identity—Amy finds herself up to her black hat in trouble of Biblical proportions…

Amy Atwood has just entered Witches Anonymous to get some help and support in stopping to use magic. But she really feels standing out, when everyone in that room is Wiccan, and she definitely is not. She has had Lucifer himself as a boyfriend for a while now, entertaining him with spells and mayhem, and having lots and lots of hot sex with him. And she liked it. Until she caught him with her sister. That certainly was a cold shower.
Amy and Emilia never did get along, with Emilia always stealing her boyfriends (and her shoes, even though they don’t fit her). But she did not expect this from Luc (as he likes to be called). So, Amy swore to never use magic again, and become human.

But the Devil is not the person to let a woman walk away from him, and he does his best to seduce her into his arms again. And when Amy finds a human man, Adam, he sure does act jealous! But Amy is not only accosted by Luc time and again, with him interfering in her budding relationship with Adam by starting fires, making Adam having to run off, Emilia also keeps popping in. And she sure is no goody-two-shoes Wiccan anymore! She wants Amy to stop seducing Luc away from her, and doesn’t believe her when she tells her Emilia can have him!

And then, a third party enters the story, and a big surprise that is: Amy walks into Lucifer fighting some one else, some one with wings: the Archangel Gabriel! And he makes her an offer that sure confuses her. What is a witch to do? Believe an angel or the devil himself? Can the devil do good after all? And an angel be bad?

I liked this novella from the start, the story drew me right in, and wish it would have been much longer. But then, I have a thing for witches. I liked everything about this story actually, especially the snarky humor and Amy’s love for Dove chocolate. Which Luc knows about, and tries to seduce her with.

And as this is a novella, here is my new style quick review:
Hero: both Adam and Luc are the heroes I guess, and while Adam could have been a bit more fleshed out, they are both fun. Adam the firefighter rescuer, and Luc the evil one, with the soft spot for Amy
Heroine: Amy is just great, trying to figure out the right thing to do, falling for Adam, and trying to get rid of Luc
Secondary characters: not really fleshed out, but adding a nice touch to the story, some of the other witches, and Emilia, and Amy’s assistant in the ice-cream parlor she owns.
Romance: nice
Plot: good, original and surprising.
Heat-level: normal. Even though Amy thinks back and fantasises about sex, there are no explicit sex scenes in this novella. A nice surprise for me, but I guess not for you if you love the sex scenes the most in a book
Writingstyle: good, fast paced and captivating. Nice descriptions.
Summary: I really liked this novella, took me only an hour to read it. I enjoyed it, had to laugh a few times, and loved the surprises it gave me.

According to Misty Evans herself:
“It's a short novella because it was part of Samhain's Tickle My Fantasy Anthology, so there was a word limit. I liked writing Amy and Luc's characters so much, I decided to turn it into a series after the anthology was out. There are three other (longer) novellas that follow this one.”

Well, I can promise you all, I will be reading the other novella’s and books in this series.

8,5 stars

woensdag 12 oktober 2011

New additions to my addiction

Today three books found my bookloving home!

Christine Feehan - Dark Peril which is one of the best in the series in my opinion. Think I am going to reread it.
Stephanie Laurens - In pursuit of Eliza Cynster. Why o why must it be a big paperback again?
and last but not least: a signed copy of Entwined by Elizabeth Naughton, which I won recently on Amberkatze's bookblog. And it came with two lovely bookmarks. And if you did not know yet, I have a weakness for bookmarks ;)

dinsdag 11 oktober 2011

Joanne Pence – Courting Disaster

Book 12 in the Angie Amalfi series, published November 2004.

Courting Disaster

Normally dilettante chef and freelance food writer Angie Amalfi would rather be deep-fried than let her control-freak mother plan the party celebrating Angie's engagement to San Francisco homicide detective Paavo Smith. But there's already too much on the bride-to-be's plate ... and much of it is murderous.
What with her unhealthy interest in friendly neighbour Stan's dangerous infatuation with a mysterious, very pregnant kitchen helper at a nearby Greek eatery -- and in the related sudden death by very unnatural causes of a celebrated do-gooder -- incurable snoop Angie may be biting off a lot more souvlaki than she can safely swallow. Stir in a vengeful stalker, some strange happenings on a fishing boat, and a second heaping helping of homicide, and it looks like poor Paavo may end up celebrating solo, due to the untimely d.o.a. of his hapless fiancée!

Angie is going crazy, trying to find out where her mother is planning her secret engagement party. No one is telling her a thing, or feeling sorry for her. Least of all her friend and neighbour Stan Bonnette. Stan is feeling lonely, now Angie will soon be married, and her kitchen and especially her gourmet cooking no longer available to him. Why couldn’t she have picked him instead of that murder cop?
Not seeing to where he is wandering, he ends up at a shady piece of the boulevard. A little Greek restaurant catches his attention, and as Stan likes to eat, he heads inside. The waiter is very rude to him, and leaving after his dinner, which was surprisingly good, he sees a woman outside, arguing with his waiter. She looks lovely, and he is certainly attracted to her. But well, she is obviously taken. But the next day, Stan goes back, just to catch a glimpse of the woman. Perhaps she also works at the restaurant? And she does, as a waitress, but only now does he see she is very pregnant! Disappointed, but still intrigued by her, he takes Angie with him the next day. And even Angie is taken with the food. Stan doesn’t listen to her complaints, he just wants to see the woman, talk with her this time.
And yes, after Angie leaves, he does meet with the woman, and talks to her. She needs a friend and to his own surprise, he offers her his help. And Angie’s phone number, for when his own cell phone doesn’t work.
To his surprise, Hannah does call him when she is in labor. She doesn’t have medical care, and she needs him, Stan, to help her. Stan keeps surprising himself, when he calls a cab and takes her to the hospital, and even pays for her stay. Or rather, his rich father will.
The next day, the baby’s father shows up in the hospital, demanding Hannah hands over the baby to him. But she refuses, telling him their son is in a couveuse and needs medical care for a few more days. How did he find her?
So she calls Angie, asking her to help her escape the hospital with her baby girl, in a disguise. That she is afraid of the father, and he can’t find her! She won’t tell why though. And so Hannah and baby end up in Stan’s apartment, and Stan learns everything there is to know about being a father. His apartment gets flooded with baby stuff, and learns to clean her and feed her, as Hannah is too weak to do much. Hannah really sees a hero in Stan, but he is not in love with her, and it is just too much.

But then Hannah’s ex boyfriend ends up murdered, just like the famous homeless people advocate, and Hannah is the number one suspect. Of course she did not do it, but who did, and why? What is going on in the Athena restaurant?

And there is another plotline with Angie’s father Sal, who is being stalked by one of his employees, and wants Paavo to help him. Although he can’t stand Paavo, and thinks he is not good enough for his baby girl, they do get a bit closer through the experience. Paavo doesn’t want to get involved, and wants Sal to back off, the woman has a record for being dangerous. But when the woman threatens his Angie, he will do whatever has to be done.

And still, Angie doesn’t know a single thing about her own engagement party, and it is driving her nuts. Where will it be, what will be the color scheme, won’t it clash with her gorgeous yellow Dior dress?

A nice edition to this nice cozy mystery series. I liked the involvement of Stan in this book, really hadn’t thought he had it in him to help someone else, for nothing in return. But he did good, and so I hope he will find out what or who he wants.
As for Angie and Paavo, she just wants to help him with his case, like her mother has helped her father build his shoe emporium and get rich. But of course, that is not as dangerous as confronting possible murderers! So Paavo keeps warning her to stay out of it, but as Stan is involved, Angie can’t stay behind. Someone is after Hannah and her baby, and they need to find out why, and who.

Normally, Angie is job hunting in this series, or coming up with an original job, something to do with cooking or eating, but not in this one. We did visit the Italian restaurant, and some of the previous characters, which is always fun. Angie is just a fun character, and often totally clueless about what happens around her. But she also draws her best friend Connie into every scrape, like breaking into her parents house.
Paavo is homicide inspector, and a good one. Somehow, his cases always seem to involve Angie, or someone she knows, or met or just stumbled into. She loves him dearly, and is always trying to do nice things for him, even if it embarrasses him in front of the other cops.

I did hate that in the end, I still did not know anything about the engagement party, and I am so sure it would have been gorgeous!

7,5 stars

New addition to my addiction

Yeahhh finally! It has arrived!!!

Thea Harrison - Serpents Kiss.

I won't survive the weekend unread, I can promise myself that ;)

maandag 10 oktober 2011

Keri Ford – On the Fence

The second novella in the Uninhibited in Apple Trail, Arkansas, series, published February 2011. I’ve won this novella on Pearls World of Romance blog a while ago.

On the Fence

If Shellie Chambers has to hear one more condescending comment from her mother about life or men, she might scream. She packs up and takes a trip to see her long-missed high school friend, Riley. He’ll know exactly what she needs to loosen up. But instead of the girl-chasing jock she remembers from their youth, Riley’s gone country, keeping up a farm of his own.
Riley Hamilton has settled down on a farm his uncle left to him. Not the life he ever envisioned, but after getting a girl pregnant in college and then watching helplessly as the baby was aborted, he learned the hard way it was time to settle down. Shellie’s reentry into his life reminds of his wild past and it’s a fight to ignore the tempting woman Shellie has become.

This is only a sort and hot read, which I enjoyed. If I would try to write a review about it, I would just tell the whole story, and that is not something I want to spoil for you. So, I won this book at Pearl’s blog, and I am going to use my own version of her Quick Score Card reviews, as I like them.

Hero: hot rancher, trying to behave himself with his old school friend
Heroine: sexy little rich girl, trying to please mommy, but really sick of that, and wanting to start living her own life on her own terms. And suddenly seeing her old school friend with adult eyes.
Secondary characters: the previous couple, and some guests at a party. No real involvement in the story.
Romance: Believable, friends to lovers, but I think they always were in love.
Plot: Not really there, but I liked the story.
Heat-level: Hot. Lots of out-door sex scenes for such a short story.
Writingstyle: Like it a lot, could use some more editing for the typo’s. Fluent, and filled with humor.
Summary: A nice little novella, perfect to relax with for an hour. Two characters you can like and perhaps relate to. I am certainly going to read more by Keri Ford, and hope she will write a full length novel soon.

7 stars

zondag 9 oktober 2011

Laura Childs – Fiber and Brimstone

The eighth book in the Scrapbooking Mysteries series, published October 2010.

Fiber and Brimstone

With its history of spooky folklore, New Orleans offers the perfect atmosphere for Halloween. But when real corpses start turning up, scrappy sleuth Carmela Bertrand dresses up as a detective in time for the holiday…

With the help of her best friend, Ava Gruiex, Carmela is building a giant monster puppet for the French Quarter’s gala Halloween Monsters & Mayhem parade. Things get terrifying earlier than expected when they overhear an argument between Jekyl Hardy and Brett Fowler- and just minutes later they find Fowler's body, his heart pierced by the horns of a Minotaur head.
Carmela can't believe Jekyl is guilty, despite the fact that Fowler owed him money. Fowler owed a lot of people money after his involvement in a Ponzi scheme, making every investor a suspect. But when another victim is discovered-who also had an unfriendly relationship with Jekyl-Carmela is convinced someone is framing her friend and now must find a way to unmask the real killer.

Well, this book certainly was published at the right time! Filled with Halloween fun and atmosphere. How I wish I could see it with my own eyes someday!
Carmela and Ava are busy working on a mechanic puppet for the Halloween Monsters and Mayhem parade, a design gig for the Art Institute in the same hall where other members of the Pluvius Crew are working on floats or Monsters. Ava’s assistant Miguel is helping them, as he will be the one doing the parade inside the Monster. The obnoxious Captain of the Pluvius Crew, Brett Fowler, wants them to clear the space as it is time to lock up, but first he wants a word with their designer friend Jekyl Hardy. As Jekyl still is owed money from the last Mardi Grass floats he designed, and Brett is constantly threatening to bring in an other designer, and Jekyls biggest competitor, he is not happy with that.
Carmela and Ava are wrapping up their monster, when they hear some inhuman screams outside. Running there, they find a dead Brett Fowler, and the head of the Minotaur that was to be used in the parade as well. Someone gutted Brett with its horns! Carmela’s sweetie, homicide inspector Edgar Babcock rushes to the scene. To Carmela’s dismay, he is naming Jekyl as the number one suspect, as he was arguing with Brett just minutes before the murder. In her shock, she cannot name any of the other members in the hall that evening, although there were about twenty people around.

The following morning when she is entering her scrapbooking shop Memory Mine, she is accosted by her assistant Gaby, who has read about the whole thing in the paper. To her dismay, Carmela is mentioned as a witness to the murder, though she only discovered the body. But there is more: the feds were already after Brett and his company for a Ponzi scheme! So there are sure to be lots of investors angry enough with Brett to kill him. People who will have lost their live savings or large amounts of money. And then there is the almost ex-wife, and the new young girlfriend. The wife is not really grieving, as she has found someone to console her as well.

Then another man is murdered during the after party of the opera Ava and Carmela have attended, and Ava and Carmela are ofcourse the ones to stumble onto him when they are lost in the dark catacombs of the theater. Not a pretty sight. Luckily, Ava’s new boyfriend is there to console her, and Edgar Babcock shows up soon as well. But not to console Carmela, only to warn her away from the investigations. The police will handle it, and she should not put herself in danger! As the dead man happens to be Jekyls biggest rival, Jekyl is again murder suspect numero uno. And Carmela just won’t have that. She starts asking some discreet questioning, but soon Ava and Carmela finds themselves in danger during a nice boat trip in the swamps.
Carmela’s previous boyfriend, the rich and gorgeous entrepreneur and restaurateur has asked Carmela to design the bottle labels and logo for the vineyard he recently purchased. Carmela and Ava have been treated to a lovely dinner, and wine tasting at his restaurant, and have now had a tour of the vinery, just outside New Orleans. The wines taste really good, and although Carmela was reluctant as she has so little time at the moment, she has agreed. Which is not to the liking of Babcock, who is a bit jealous.

Okay, not spoiling anymore of the story. I loved this book, and read it pretty fast. I loved all the Halloween themed parties and events Ava and Carmela attended, Carmela a little bit more careful then Ava, who just goes all out at these events.
The mystery was a good one. I had a little hunch about the killer, but not a single clue to the why. The end was very exciting as always, and luckily Carmela and Edgar make up at the end.
Of course Carmela’s obnoxious ex-husband Shames makes a few appearances, and really, some men never do grow up. And so does his crazy sister Glory, who really hates Carmela. She never thought Carmela good enough for her baby brother, and hates that Carmela got the house in the divorce. Not that Carmela plans to go living there again, she loves her little apartment which she is slowly filling with some nice antiques and the knickknacks she adores.

I really love this series. The atmosphere of New Orleans and especially the French Quarter are awesome, and the descriptions by Laura Childs make everything come to life. Ava and Carmela are two characters I like a lot, and the usual cast of secondary characters really fill the story up. It is fun catching up with everyone once a year.

A lazy Sunday for me, filled with cozy mystery reading. Perfect for a dreary day.
And of course, there are scrapbooking tips in the back, and some original New Orleans recipes.
Question: would extra’s like that sway you to buy a book or not? I just want to read the story as this is one of my favourite authors of cozies, and am totally not interested in scrapping or cooking myself.

9 stars.

Joanne Fluke – Gingerbread Cookie Murder

Book 14,5 in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series, published October 2011.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder

When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbour Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah's Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that's as long as her holiday shopping list.

This one is just a short novella, and I am not going to read the other two stories in this anthology, as I don’t like those cozy mystery series. I just bought it for the Joanne Fluke story, which is a series I love. If you scroll back a lot, you will find more reviews.

I have to admit, I am not really impressed with this story. Perhaps because it is a short one, and the mystery is solved very easily. Hannah has a new obnoxious neighbour, Ernie Kusak. He just won 8 million in a lottery, and is letting it role. Spoiling his two kids to the bone, and giving he recent ex-wife a lot of grief. And now, almost Christmas, he is going all out. Laser shows on the roof of the apartment building, but the worst thing is, the extremely loudly played Christmas songs. Hannah can’t even hear her oven timer, and has to wear earplugs inside her apartment. They worked fine out on the shooting range, but they can’t muffle the Christmas music!
She tries to go out to Ernie to get him to stop the circus, but he doesn’t answer the door. Likely he just can’t hear her. Hannah gets rescued by her good friend Norman, who takes her cat Moshe to his house, and Hannah out to dinner. Coming back, they run into Mike, another good friend of Hannah, and the local sheriff. He has had so many complaints, he is there to shut down the power to Ernie’s apartment. To the relief of them all. Then Ernie’s ex-wife comes out to meet them, and hands Mike the key to Ernie’s apartment. Which she copied when her daughter left her key at home one day. So she doesn’t want anyone to know she does have a key. When Mike and Hannah head over the Ernie’s apartment, Norman takes Lorna back to her apartment, as she is not properly dressed for the Minnesota freezing cold evening. Hannah has been curious about Ernie’s pleasure dome for some time now, and want to take a peek inside. Discovering Ernie’s dead body in the kitchen, with her own Gingerbread Cookies lying broken all over the floor, was not what she wanted to find. Someone bashed his head in with the water pitcher!

Suspects galore, as all the neighbours were complaining about Ernie, but Hannah is soon convinced Mike and her brother-in-law Bill have arrested the wrong person. So it is up to Hannah and Norman, with a little help from Andrea and their mother, to find the real killer again, as the police are satisfied with what they have done.

A nice little mystery, but as I said, not really suspenseful. Also no real surprises in the private life department. If you hate love-triangles, this is not a series for you. Hannah has been torn between Norman and Mike for years now, unable to choose between them. She just hopes to find someone with both their good trades mixed up. I just hope she chooses Norman, as he really does love her and wants to do everything for her, and appreciates her. Sure, a dentist can be boring, and Mike is incredibly handsome, but he has a roving eye, and does not really appreciate Hannah for who she is.

As Hannah owns a bakery, the book is filled with Hannah baking cookies, and serving them to her customers, her friends and family trying out new ones. And of course, lots and lots of recipes after each chapter, which makes the book read even faster as I skip those. But be warned, you sure will get hungry reading this novella.

6,5 stars

New addition to my addiction

Only one book arrived yesterday, but it will be devoured very fast:

Laura Childs - Fibre and Brimstone.

zaterdag 8 oktober 2011

Anne McCaffrey – Dragonsinger

The second book in the Harper Hall series, published January 1977. My cover is much more pretty than this old one though, but then my books are the pretty white backed editions, with really gorgeous covers.
The Harper Hall series is part of the Dragonriders of Pern chronicles, a series I love extremely much and have to reread at least once a year.


When Menolly, daughter of Yanus Sea Holder, arrived at the Harper Craft Hall, she came in style, aboard a bronze dragon followed by her nine fire lizards. The Masterharper of Pern, aware of her unique skills, had chosen her as his only girl apprentice. But the holdless girl had first to overcome many heartaches in this strange new life. Two things sustained her – her devoted fire lizards, a subject on which she was fitted to instruct her Masters – and the music … music of compelling beauty, music making where at last she was accepted. In the Great Hall, Menolly could fulfil her destiny.

This book goes on right where Dragonsong ended, so I do recommend you read this lovely little trilogy in order. You will enjoy it much more.

After being rescued by a Bronze Dragon of Benden Weyr, trying to outrun Thread, Menolly is safe. She is finding a place there for herself and her 9 firelizards, helping in the kitchens. But not for long. The Masterharper of Pern has been looking for her, not knowing whom he is looking for. Old Petiron, the Harper of Half Circle Seahold, had sent him some songs made by his apprentice, and they are just the things he needs. A fresh voice, some catchy tunes who stick in your head. So all his Harpers have been looking for the lad, using one particular song to draw him out. But finally, at a Hatching at Benden Weyr, Menolly is discovered as the one they are all looking for. Not to bring her back to her parents, who don’t want her to tune or sing or play music, no to the Harper Hall, where she will be the only female apprentice.

It really is a culture shock for Menolly. No longer being punished for writing songs, but the Masterharper wants her to! Her songs are appreciated, and thought to the other apprentices. The fact that she has Impressed nine firelizards, when they are so much sought after on Pern lately, does cause a lot of jealousy. But she finds a few true friends, and of course there is the music. She is learning how to sing proper by Master Shonagar, and to play the music written by Master componist Domick. His music is truly beautiful to listen to, but not meant for the ordinary people of Pern, who much prefer her twiddlings. They are catchy, people remember the lyrics and the tunes and the subjects are relevant to every day life.

Her feet are healing nicely, thanks to the care of Master Healer Oldive, and even the scar in her left hand is getting better. After being cut while gutting a packtail (a slimy fish) and the slime infected her hand, her mother let it heal wrong, thinking that way she could never use her hands to play music again. But the scar is still fresh enough to be stretched, so Menolly can play her own songs, and the beautiful multi instruments music created by Master Domick.

Menolly gets a great friend in young Piemur, one of the youngest apprentices with a great treble voice, who helps her feed her firelizards, and helps her learn the ropes around the Harper Hall. He really is a rascal, and a fun secondary character. He will get his own book in the third, Dragondrums.

Thanks to Menolly, another clutch of firelizard eggs was found, and they are only recently re-discovered, not being a myth at all, and she is one of the few “experts” Menolly had the care of them back in Benden Weyr. They were handed out to Master Craftsmen and Lord Holders, with instructions how to take care of them. But she reserved two eggs for Master Robinton, and she thought the Queen egg was one of them. Even though there is no sure way of telling that with a firelizard egg, unlike a Dragon egg. So one of Menolly’s jobs is to take care of the eggs, keep them warm, and warn in time for the hatching. And so, the Master Harper (Robinton) and his journeyman Sebel have gotten firelizards of their own. And Menolly has to teach them how to take care of the lovely little creatures.

Well, this whole book takes place in seven days. Menolly has to learn a lot, and adjust even more. From being under appreciated and an embarrassment to her family, to being highly valued and finally allowed to enjoy music and everything that means. She makes some enemies due to jealous people, but also good friends. She is a really great character.

This whole series is just so good. It started out as SF, when colonists from Earth landed on Pern, but when technology broke down, and people evoluted back to agrarians and farmers and fishermen, it became more fantasy in my opinion. The Red Star that travels around Pern, comes close enough every twohundred year, to loose a deadly organism in the air, called Thread. It eats everything organic. That is why the scientists back then created the Dragons out of the tiny firelizards. They eat firestone, and flame Thread right out of the sky. With great risks for the Dragons and their riders. It is every boy and girls dream to be picked by the blue dragons to become a dragonrider. A life filled with privilege, but also with great risk, and a great bond between Dragon and rider. And now, with the re-discovered firelizards, normal people have a chance to experience that bond, in a lesser way.

Anne McCaffrey has created one of the best worlds I have ever had the pleasure of reading about, I just love everything about it. She is now 85 years old, and she still writes books! The Pern series together with her son Todd McCaffrey, but to my opinion, they lost that lovely something. Perhaps the humor and the feelings, I don’t know. But I just can’t enjoy the new ones as much as the old ones. They are more grim somehow.
Yes, there is some romance in the books, not in this trilogy though, but romance is certainly not the focus of the books. And they totally do not feel dated either, even though they are over 30 years old. If you have not discovered this great fantasy and sci-fi author, and you like these genres, be sure to give them a try.

A great world building, great characters, both main and secondary, and they will just steal your heart. What is not to love about being a Dragonrider? It is the Dragon who chooses the rider though, and even the most selfish person will still love and care for his/her Dragon.

Okay, I can keep writing about this world for hours longer, but I won’t. Just read them for yourself.

10 stars.