Sunday, April 25, 2010

Book - The Elf of Luxembourg

-As a Muica, living in South America and preparing for one of the most important ceremonies of his people, Cuchaquicha was horrified to find that the Spanish Conquistadors had invaded their lands and kidnapped both his wife and his son during the ceremony. Only having them in mind, Cucha set off on a trip that would take him to Luxembourg all because the vampires wanted the secret to finding El Dorado (the city of gold) and the vampire named Meadow thought that Cucha could draw out the elf that was the Guardian. - 400 years later - As Alex and Jackie set off on vacation to see their Aunt and Uncle in the town of Luxembourg the plan was to do some shopping and enjoy their time there. The sisters did take the time to learn a little of the languages, one chose a few phrases of French while the other a few words of German, but that didn’t help with the too expensive shops that they had intended on visiting. Exploring the rich cultural, religious and mythical history of the area was how they ended up spending their days. Touring the area, the museums and the churches proved to be more interesting after meeting a man named Sergio who seemed to know a lot about the history of Luxembourg.

When I got this book, I didn’t know that Alex and Jackie had other adventures - so this was all new to me. Parts of the book read like a history lesson, parts of the book read like a geography book, parts of the book read like a tour guide. I really enjoyed the fictional story, the vampires, the elf, the mermaid but I didn’t think there was enough of the fiction in the book to make it as fun as it could have been. I didn’t read the first adventure (which I later found out was called ‘First Night‘), so I can’t say that it is the writers style or just this one book. I felt that for a fiction, there should have been less concentration on the accuracy of the history and geography (while accuracy is important, it just didn’t need to be so thorough for a fiction novel) and more on the characters (unless you want to count Luxembourg as a characters - which I don’t). I had trouble getting into the story because of the use of the foreign (to me) languages and use of a lot of names of both past and present people that weren‘t actually important to the story. This is a good adventure if you have the ability to sludge through the facts to get to the fiction, but my mind doesn’t work well at that especially when I wanted a fictional adventure story, so I struggled with this one a bit. ( )

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book - Fantasy Lover

Her birthday of all nights, Grace found her friend insisting that she participate in yet another of her crazy chants under a full moon. Cleaning up after Grace found herself no longer alone in her house. Many centuries spent cursed to the book, Julian knew what to expect. As a sex slave it was always the same thing - the bedroom for his month of freedom, if you could call it that before returning to the darkness of the book. Startled by the naked man in the room she may have been, but it wasn’t that hard to figure out where he had come from. Now what to do with him. As a sex therapist she knew that just falling into bed with this stranger was wrong, no matter what he thought he was there for. While he was surprised by her reaction, he knew it would only be a matter of time before he would succeed in pleasing her. He just didn’t ever expect anything different to happen….. boy was he wrong.

Book 1, of the Dark Hunter series ? ! ? ! ? I am a little confused by that, not sure if I would consider this one dark or hunter type. Anyways, I don’t know much about this series (obviously) but after reading this book, I am highly interested in reading more. I suppose this could be a great introduction to all of the characters of the series. Most of which seem to be Greek, Roman or Macedonian warriors and gods. I guess that would be one thing that did kind of confuse me about this book, I don’t know much about ancient history and all of these names, places and events got my head a spinning a couple of times. I found myself wondering if that was a real historical figure or if that was part of the fiction of it. But still, this one did pull on the emotions and peaked my curiosity enough that I will be getting the next one - Night Pleasures.
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Book - Kiss of Midnight

As a baby she had been abandoned by her mentally ill mother, as an adult she still hadn’t found exactly were she belonged. One night Gabrielle Maxwell witnessed the most brutal murder she could have ever believed possible. Amazed that a woman was witnessing the rogues of his breed commit acts against human and vampire laws, and then she took a picture of it. Lucan Thorne knew that he needed to wipe her memory of the evening and then get those photos off her cell phone. Tracking her and finding out she had reported the event to the police made it a little more difficult to deal with, but not impossible. What was surprising was finding a breedmate mark on her neck and finding himself in need of protecting her.

Book 1 ….. A very different take on the whole vampire craze. I was surprised because I didn't know what to expect. This is a set up for the series, so it did have a lot of descriptives about other people, not just our main characters. This series should be an interesting one, I can see why it has been compared to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but it does have a bit of a difference in the tone. I enjoyed it very much and hope to get to the next one (Kiss of Crimson) very soon.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book - Lover Avenged

Keeping his secret from his sister Bella for all those years had been hard enough. Now Rehvenge finds himself so attracted to Ehlena and once again in the position to have to lie to someone he cared for. The other nurses in the clinic never liked helping Rehv, there was something about him that they all felt, all except Ehlena. All she wanted was to help him and she found herself completely taken by him. Finding out his secret would ruin everything he had finally found for himself, but to protect her he may have to hurt her even more.

Book 7 ….. At first I didn’t like Rehv, but after finding out more about him, I really enjoyed this one. I would have liked it being more intense about him and Ehlena, but the stories about Wrath, John, and even some of the others was good. It is always fun to revisit old friends. This one had a few twists that I had not expected (which doesn’t happen very often) and I really enjoyed that. I also found that there was enough of an emotional story to it that made it so I didn’t want to put the book down. I am really looking forward to John and Xhex’s story (Lover Mine) which is expected to be released soon - yeah! ( )

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

e-Book - Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story

Now that the baby was born and was healthy, Bella was sure that Z would come around. As time went by he was actually getting farther away from her and Nalla. So far away from them that Bella considered leaving him, if he couldn’t be a father to their precious Nalla, she didn’t think she could stay and watch him be so distant from them.

Book 6.5 ….. Short story stuck in the middle of this great series. I am not complaining. I loved revisiting Zsadist and Bella’s love, so many unanswered questions about Z and his history and this provided a good look into his healing process.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book - Behold the Eye: Viridia

One friend (Vickie) had already disappeared after being in a coma, another (Tricia) was in a coma, while their friends Cathy and Karen had an idea of why and how they got there, they really wanted to know if they could get them back. Being struck in the dream world had not been part of the plan when Tricia had first attempted following Vickie, trying to saver had been. Vickie had made new friends with Micah and Shanti after they had played a part in rescuing her from the dream land and bringing her to this other world. Now they were trying to help her get home again. The lands that they had traveled through offered information at every turn. The brown-eyed people of Baraumaru offered premonitions, but nothing that foretold how to dream travel. The blue-eyed people of Cerulea with their Universities and their vast psychic abilities didn’t know of the solution either. So, off to Viridia, the land of the green-eyed people, with their connection to every living thing, they were the last hope of finding a safe and sure way for Vickie to dream travel back to her own home.

Book 3 ….. A conclusion of sorts. The first book of this story is an introduction to the people, places and concept of the story. The second book is the action, suspense and the reasoning for the story. The third book, this book is the conclusion of the story. Not much else to it either. This was more difficult to read because of the repetitiveness of the whole thing. It also felt a little disjointed in places almost like there were pages out of order or missing. It was a mostly predictable ending and then there was the addition of chapter 24 - completely not necessary. The addition of the ‘newspaper articles’ through out the book was confusing at first, but after finally realizing why they were there, the last chapter was redundant. I did like the story of dream travel to other worlds and the possibilities of being caught there without knowing how to go home again. ( )

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book - Lover Enshrined

After spending several months living in the brotherhoods mansion, Cormia had come to understand the Primale better. Now that the issue was not being forced on her, she discovered that she was not only willing to be with Phury because she was a chosen, she desired it because she was a woman. No matter what the Scribe Virgin said, Phury was not interested in a mate that didn’t want to be with him, so even if it was not what he wanted, he was willing to give Cormia her freedom and try to chose another first mate. The conflicts with the lessoning society was getting worse, another fight in the training center involving John and Lash and with all the chaos around him, Wrath is forced to make some difficult decisions involving some of the members of his race.

Book 6 ….. So much happened in this book. I think there was maybe 6 story lines going at one time and the lessers got a new leader again. Tough for me to do my review, there is some great things that happen and some not so great things, but I don’t want to be a spoiler to any of that (it did answer one of my burning questions though). I have liked Phury for a while, this book showed so much more about him - his history and why he does some of the things that he does. I also enjoyed watching Cormia’s transition into the brotherhoods lives. What was really interesting is the continuing story of John, he started (several books ago) as a young pre-transition and now he is showing signs of being the strong brother-type of a man (very fun to watch - so to speak) and his story should be great (Lover Mine - April 2010). The surprise of the story was all of the info about Rehvenge, I had not really liked Bella’s brother, but with this whole new light on him and his life, I am actually looking forward to his story (Lover Avenged). So much happened - some questions were answered, some new ones arose. Lots of old characters were present, including the lesseres (give or take a few of them). Keep in mind this book would - if you haven’t read any of the previous 5 book - is not the place to start this series, but definitely an incentive to continue - in my opinion =) ( )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book - Sweet Promise

Finding love and wanting to get married left Erica Wakefield in a situation that she had to find a way out of. She was already married, even if it was only suppose to last an hour it had somehow lasted nearly two years even though no one knew of it. Running into her husband at a dinner that she was attending with her father and the man she was hoping to marry she discovered his name, Rafael de la Torres and that he was nothing like what she thought he was. After they finally had a talk, she was shocked to learn that he had no intention of letting her out of the marriage, annulment was not and option and he refused to give her a divorce without a fight that would put her impulsive act of defiance front and center for her father to see.

This is an older book (a re-release of a 1976 book) so that or the fact that this is an early book for Janet Dailey, either may have something to do with the awkwardness that I felt with this one. The use of a thesaurus was obvious, and at times annoying (I don’t like the use of a $5 word if a smaller one works just as good and in some cases, better). This story is written from just the Erica’s point of view, which I guess is ok, that left some of Rafael’s thoughts and feelings as - well not a surprise, it was all pretty predictable - but surprising in his intensity. I did like Rafael, but not getting his side of the story was disappointing to me. ( )

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book - Anywhere, Anytime, Any Body Yoga

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is titled as A Practical Guide to using Yoga in everyday life. After reading through it, I would have to agree. The author is said (on the back cover) to be a Certified hatha yoga instructor and a laughter yoga leader (what ever those are) but in this book, she takes most of the mystery out of yoga. Not only is there straight forward, easy to read and follow instructions on each position / pose, there are some great pictures of real people that help to encourage the use of variations of each pose depending on your sense of balance, strength, flexibility or even whether you can stand or not. Each and every position / pose in yoga is geared to a goal, that is another mystery of yoga that this book addresses. With the help of Emily Slonina, it is easy to determine which of the poses will be most beneficial, whether it be for aches and pains or tension relief. In this book, the guess work has been taken out of it, each and every pose has a benefit and most have a brief comprehensible description of how and why it helps. Some of the variations shown are sometimes a classical yoga pose for the more advanced or agile body. Some show a more typical office worker and how they might incorporate yoga as a way of managing at the office. There are poses that include house work, leisure play and even some of the variations include the addition of another person. There are tips in on when and where some of these poses might benefit a person the most. All of these are written in a way that is easy to follow and easy to accomplish Anywhere, Anytime, Any Body - it really does live up to it’s name. ( )

Book - Bride of Spring

The loss of their father left Raine and her brother William Blanchett without protection, Will was too young and in need of a guardian to help hold the lands and the keep till he came of age. Raine’s only solution was to find herself a husband that could act as that guardian. Finding a man that could meet her criteria was proving especially difficult, even their own cousin only pursued her with his eye on Williams wealth. Surely at court she could find someone. Several seemed interested in the job, but after researching them a bit they discovered that they too were only after the wealth. A landed, wealthy, stable, loyal and conscientious man was all the attributes that Benedict Ainsworth was said to possess and after hearing the reason for his request for a private audience with the king, Raine knew that this was her last and possibly only hope for a good man. He may never forgive the deception that she planned to use on him, but he seemed the type to do the right thing.

Book 2 ….. Not as much of the other brothers, we get a small peak at Kendran but for the most part this is all about Benedict and Raine in a fight with their own pride. I like the strong silent type, the reliable, the loyal, but this guy is that to the extreme. Raine has the same characteristics - talk about adding fuel to the fire. Oh how the mighty shall fall, and when these two admit to falling, it was nice. Totally predictable as it was, this story still was difficult to put down. I got so into the misunderstandings, the assumed preferences, the perceived wrongs, the unintentional slights that (as much as I hate to say it) I fell for this couple and rooted for them in the end. Next up is Summer’s Bride (I will wait for summer - I am reading by the season), it is suppose to be Marcel and Genevieve’s story. ( )

Book - Garden Spells

I just had to re-read this one, it is still one of my favorites, and I still highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a easy, fun, quirky and sweet romance. Re-reading it has given me more of an appreciation of some of the other characters and I caught more of the subtle influence of belief and faith that makes this town/book such a joy to read. Claire's world revolves around her house, her business and her heart, even if she never lets on to it.

Garden Spells (Bantam Discovery) by Sarah Addison Allen
The house of Waverley had always held something magical for the women who lived in it and the town that lived around it. Claire had made good use of the flowers that bloomed under that magical apple tree, she had made a good career catering to the whims of the town, now that her sister had come home, and a new man had moved in next door, her world had been turned upside down.

This is the debut novel for Sarah Addison Allen, WOW, this book is so good I can’t write out a synopsis because I am so afraid of giving away too much. The character dynamics are fantastic, I fell in love with Claire, Tyler, Evenelle and all the rest. I really enjoyed the magical elements to the apple tree, the gift giving, the sense of placement and belonging. They were so subtle at times that it made you believe in the possibility of it all. I felt chills, laughed out loud, cried, cringed and even yelled at the book, I was so enveloped in this book I was talking to the apple tree myself. Absolutely wonderful and magical book of romance, family love, and acceptance.
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Book - Heart of Darkness

Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter
Part of the elite seven (Angels that destroy all those who break heavenly laws), Lysander was watching the Lords of the Underworld when he saw her. As Harpies went, Bianka Skyhawk was fascinating, feeling the need to keep her safe, keep her from doing anything that might make him have to destroy her, he whisked her to his home in heaven. Being trapped in a cloud was a new on Bianka, never been to heaven, but she had to get back to her sisters and being trapped was not ideal because of the curse that Harpies had to live with, or in this case may die because if she couldn’t eat. Angel or not, Lysander was fighting himself on what to do with her and about her, but he never meant to harm her.
***** Love the Lords and this is one good short story to add to it. Gena Showalter has added the humor with the Harpies that some of the books have not had. Lysander is the perfect show of balance between good and evil, he is strong and knows what he is and how he should act, until he is confronted with who he really is and how he wants to continue.

Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne
A group of boys (Mark, David, Brad and Kevin) bored set out to do the town a ‘favor’ by getting rid of an eye sore. Burning down the Muller place ended with the death of Sierra Terrence, the girl David had always liked. Twenty-two years later, the boys had paid the price for their crimes but after Mark suffers a terrible accident all the boys get together only to learn that Mark believes Sierra is back to get them all. Terrible dreams of being burned alive sent Sara Jensen to the small town in Maine after she finds out that the house she has been burning in really did burn with a young girl in it. Not knowing who to talk to or what to say, Sara wonders the town, not meaning to hurt anyone.
***** Great story, this is the type that I wish was longer. There was too many characters for a short novella but they were all so good. Really wish this one was longer. ( )

Book - Midnight Angel

Knowing she was going to be put to death for a murder she didn’t know if she had committed, Anastasia "Tasia" Kaptereva found a way of escape from the Russian prison she was in. Coming to England was her only hope, her cousin, Lady Ashbourne, could help her find a way to avoid being found by Prince Nikolas Angelovsky, the brother of the prince she supposedly murdered, but could she really pull of living as a governess. A temporary governess was all Karen Billings was suppose to be, but she was in trouble. The kind of trouble that she needed security from. Lord Lucas Stokehurst was willing to try to help her for his friends the Ashbournes, he wanted answers, wanted to keep her out of his mind, he just never realized how dangerous getting what he wanted to could be for her and for himself.

What a great twist on the classical ‘damsel in distress’ story. The Russian accents jumped off the page at me as I read this one. These characters are a bit distant at times, the story is a little hesitant and choppy, but in the end it was a very likeable cast that ended with a fun tease for the next of the Stokehurst family (Prince of Dreams) stories, which I may have to check out - eventually. ( )