Midnight Breeds: Kiss of Crimson

Kiss of Crimson

Kiss of Crimson

Bonded by blood and dark secrets, they enter a place of danger and infinite pleasure…

He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger, riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charge moment Tess is plunged into his world-a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.

Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need-but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm… and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself…

Kiss of Crimson is book two in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian, and our hero is the lovely Dante. I may have mentioned this before, but I feel the need to tell you again: Dante pushes my buttons. He reminded me a little bit of Rhage from BDB, in that while he may act like a devil-may-care playboy, he’s actually a sensitive soul. And what girl can resist that combo? I’ll tell you: none.

Dante has had visions of death since he was a kid, and he knows how he’s going to die. So, he’s been doing all he can to outrun his future by living hard and fast. He fights, he fucks and he doesn’t look back. One night, while he’s engaged in his second favourite activity, Dante is injured by a pack of Rogues, and it looks like Dante’s fate has come to meet him early. And it does, only not in the form of the Grim Reaper. He stumbles into the first available building he comes across, not realising that his life is about to be thrown topsy-turvy. Turns out, the building he’s just broken into is a veterinary clinic run by Tess Culver. Tess has a way with wounded animals, and her life revolves around her clinic. She’s got a Dark Past, so she avoids commitment like the plague. No romance for Tess; her first and only love is her clinic. Thus, like any self-respecting workaholic, Tess often works late. So you can imagine her surprise when she finds a humongous, bleeding, leather clad guy in her storeroom. Like, what the hell?

I liked that Tess was sensible about the whole situation. She wasn’t all, “Ooooh, you’re sexy, so therefore you can’t possibly hurt me!” She knows that sexy doesn’t mean jack-squat in the grand scheme of things, and she wants to call the police. But, like I said, Tess has a bit of a soft spot for wounded animals and Dante manages to convince her to keep mum about the whole incident. Sadly, though, that is where things start going downhill. Dante isn’t only in need of stitches at this point; he also needs blood. Badly. In his desperation, Dante bites the only human available. This wouldn’t be a problem under normal circumstances but, as luck would have it, Tess is a Breedmate and Dante has inadvertently claimed her as his mate. Given that the war between the Order and the Rogues is heating up, this is so not what Dante needs right now. I mean, he’s got Rogues to kill and he’s expecting death to crash into him any day now. A long-term relationship with a woman like Tess is the last thing on his mind.

While there was quite a bit of angst and romancing going on between Tess and Dante, the Order at large had their hands full with this creepy new drug called Crimson. It’s being sold to young vampires in clubs and, while it’s effect on humans are totally benign, it causes vampires who consume the drug to experience episodes of Bloodlust. This is a huge problem for the Order because it’s virtually impossible to determine which vampires are actually Rogue, and which ones have simply been exposed to Crimson.

What I also liked about Kiss of Crimson is that we meet some very interesting new characters. The first is Special Agent Sterling Chase. He appears to be as straight-laced as they come, but he’s determined to help the Order get Crimson off the streets. The Order guys aren’t too keen on him, but he eventually proves himself by turning out to be a surprisingly vicious fighter. Elise is Chase’s sister-in-law, and he’s got a gigantic torch burning for her. Not that Elise notices. She spends most of her time worrying about her son, Camden, and missing her lost husband (whose name escapes me). It honestly doesn’t occur to her to look at poor Chase as anything more than a brother.

Overall, I enjoyed Kiss of Crimson. Tess wasn’t annoying, Dante was hot, and the story was interesting. But I have two main issues. The first is superficial and relates to me being a wee bit of a fangirl: where the hell were Rio and Nikolai? While I loved Dante, a surplus of him does not mean that a deficit of those two hotties is acceptable. On a serious note, I felt that the ending was a little rushed. It was something that I’d noticed in Kiss of Midnight too, but I assumed it was a once-off. There were unresolved issues by the end both books that had nothing to do with the overall story line, but I still thought that they should have been addressed. Beyond those two complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to those of you looking for a new paranormal series.

 

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Midnight Breeds: Kiss of Midnight

Kiss of Midnight

Kiss of Midnight

Insatiable desire. Endless seduction. One touch is just the beginning.

He watches her across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night-or this man-is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant shis thrust into a realm she never knew existed-a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind-and the unwitting humans existing alongside them-from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.

Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront the extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all…

Kiss of Crimson is the first book in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian. It is also the first time I’ve read anything of Ms Adrian’s. Having heard a lot of good things about this series, I was quite keen on getting started. And I was not disappointed because it was pretty damn good. It reminded me a little of J.R Ward’s BDB, and anything even vaguely resembling those boys is a-okay with me.

Let me give you a quick break down of the series. The Breed are vampires, and they’ve been living among humans in secret for centuries. Despite having to lay low, the Breed are pretty reliant on humanity. Not only do they need to feed off humans, but humans also play a pretty important role in terms of procreation. See, there’s this genetic anomaly within the Breed where only male offspring are produced. For obvious reasons, this is a gigantic problem. Thankfully, there are certain women-Breedmates-who are capable of mating with members of the Breed. These women are pretty rare and are hugely important to the survival of the species. Unlike vampires of myth, the Breed tend to coexist peaceably with humanity. But, as with anything, there are sometimes exceptions to the rule. The Rogues are vampires who have succumbed to Bloodlust. Unlike the rest of the Breed, these vampires do not play well with others and they kill indiscriminately. Their very existence threatens the Breed, and it’s up to the Order to stop these buttheads before they expose the entire race.

Kiss of Midnight is set in Boston (a welcome break from New York; everything always happens in New York), where the Order lives in their secret compound.The order is made up of a couple of people. First we have Rio. He is this super sexy Spaniard who lives with his mate, Eva, in the compound. He is uber-sophisticated and sounds like he just came in from a GQ photo shoot. Next, we have Dante. He’s a passionate Italian with a love for both fighting and fu… fornicating. Dante’s not too into fancy-schmancy suits. He likes his leather. Third is the divine Russian, Nikolai. He likes anything that goes BOOM. He adores weaponry of all kinds, be it guns, knives or bombs. The second happily mated member of the Order is Gideon. He’s the resident techno-geek, and he’s in charge of all the Order’s gadgetry. His mate’s name is Savannah, and they are nauseatingly happy together. The last two members of the Order are the Gen Ones. They are the oldest members of the Breed, and they are incredibly powerful. Tegan is not a people person. He’s cold, aloof and mysterious. We don’t learn too much about him in this book, but I will admit to being somewhat intrigued… Last, but not least, we have Lucan. He’s the leader of this motley bunch of warriors, and he is the living, breathing definition of the stoic leader.

Lucan is very, very serious. And who can blame the guy? He’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders. He doesn’t have time for things like fun or, God forbid, romance. But that is exactly what lands in his lap when he meets Gabrielle. He’s spent some time checking her out, but he doesn’t think that anything will actually happen. Boy, is he wrong. Gabrielle is a photographer and, like Lucan, isn’t exactly Susie Sunshine. She’s always felt very apart from others, and she isn’t looking for any kind of commitment. Having been abandoned by her crazy mother when she was a baby, Gabrielle’s biggest fear is that she’ll one day go down that same road, and end up in a padded white cell herself. And when she witnesses a murder that no one else saw, or can even find any evidence of, Gabrielle is convinced that she’s losing the plot. When Lucan learns that Gabrielle witnessed a murder committed by Rogues, and took photos of the scene, he knows that the time for simply admiring Gabrielle from a distance has passed. He needs to get rid of those pictures ASAP.

I really enjoyed this book. While I liked Lucan and Gabrielle well enough, I don’t think they’ll stand out for me in the long run. Lucan was just a teeny bit too serious for me. It was like, “Smile! I’ll pay for the stitches!” Gabrielle was okay. She wasn’t completely helpless, which was nice, and she didn’t hesitate to tell Lucan that she thought he was being full of shit. I have to admit, I was far more interested in the rest of the Order, so Lucan and Gabrielle’s romance was a secondary concern for me. All that being said, I think this whole series has enormous promise and I can’t wait to read the rest of the guys’ stories. They’re going to be epic.

Psy-Changeling: Visions of Heat

Visions of Heat

Visions of Heat

Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future-a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind.

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need… exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. 

Changeling Vaughn D’Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar’s instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith’s sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silent-and away from Vaughn…

Visions of Heat is book two in the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh and, man, it was good! In all honesty, I wasn’t too jazzed with Slave to Sensation. I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t something I’d write home about. I know the first book in a series is rarely spectacular, but I was puzzling over what all the fuss was about. And then I read Visions of Heat… Well, lets just say that I am now a believer.

Faith NightStar is an F-Psy. This means that she has the gift of foresight. She’s incredibly powerful and can see into the future with almost one hundred percent accuracy. This makes her an extremely hot commodity in the cut-throat world of Psy business, and she is one of the most sought after F-Psy on the Net. However, F-Psy used to have a purpose that extended beyond the bottom line. Back in the day, the F-Psy used to predict future disasters and acts of violence in order to stop them. But, since the implementation of the Silence protocol, that part of the F-Psy has been cut off. No longer plagued by visions of death and destruction, these Psy are now simply tools used in the Psy’s favourite pastime: making money. Faith was no exception to this apathy… until one day she begins receiving horrifying images of hands around her throat and the sensation of the life being choked out of her. Faith is shaken by what she sees but tries to carry on as normal. A few days later she learns that her sister has been killed in the exact same manner as the visions she’s been having. This is the final straw for Faith. She needs to know what’s going on and she needs to know now. But Faith is well aware that discussing this matter with anyone else in the PsyNet will only result in her being lied to or, worse, placed into a rehabilitation programme. Thus, logic tells Faith to seek out Sascha Duncan, the only Psy ever to have dropped out of the PsyNet.

Vaughn D’Angelo is a jaguar who lives with the leopards of the DarkRiver Pack. He’s had it pretty rough and, even among his fellow Pack members, he’s a bit of a loner. But he takes one look at Faith and his jaguar is convinced that she’s his. This is a tad unsettling for Vaughn. Firstly, she’s a friggin’ Psy. As a rule, he trusts them about as far as he can throw them. Second, Vaughn doesn’t need anyone. He’s perfectly self-sufficient, thank you very much. And finally, even if he is able to look past all that, how the hell is he supposed to touch her? Faith’s mind, what with her being the well-conditioned Psy that she is, cannot handle touch. In spite of all the arguments as to why he shouldn’t, Vaughn wants her bad and he’s willing to pull out all the stops to get her to accept him.

I just want a moment here to talk about how sexy Vaughn is. I mean, like really fine. He was pushy and demanding and bossy… and I didn’t mind. In fact, it crossed my mind that if he was being all “grrr…”, Alpha-y on me, I’d damn well hop to. Luckily, Faith didn’t do that. Despite being utterly overwhelmed by Vaughn and the feelings he inspires, she doesn’t just placidly do what he tells her. She gives him a fair amount of stick. I liked that they both had their issues to work through. It wasn’t all sunshine and daisies with them. Vaughn is a little possessive and aggressive, and he had to work at tempering those instincts with Faith so that he didn’t freak her out. And Faith had to get past her extensive conditioning so that she could be in a normal relationship. I also enjoyed seeing more of the Pack. I love how loyal they are to each other. It may take them a little while to warm up to strangers but once they’ve decided that someone belongs to them, God help anyone looking to fuck with them.

I’m really starting to get into this series and I cannot wait to start on Caressed by Ice. The world that’s been created here is absolutely fascinating, and I find myself so disappointed every time I finish an installment. It’s like, “Dammit, not yet!” Nalini Singh has become a definite auto-buy for me. So if you haven’t given the fabulous Ms Singh a try, you need to get your butt into gear.

Holy Wow Wednesday: Suits Me Just Fine

Hi everybody. It’s that time of the week again, and you know what that means… time for some perving. I was watching White Collar the other day and I found myself thinking that there is almost nothing better than a man in a well-fitting suit. I mean, I found myself a thousand times more starstruck over Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey than I was when he was that random stripper guy in Magic Mike. I don’t know what it is, but some guys just seem to give off this aura of confidence that makes me a little weak in the knees. Here are a couple fine gentlemen who completely illustrate my point…

Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles

Matt Bomer

Matt Bomer

Ed Westwick

Ed Westwick

Kanye West

Kanye West

Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth

Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth

Aren’t they beautiful? Even Kanye, the man who allowed his girlfriend to name his baby North (???), is breathtaking. Also, how smoking hot are Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in that last picture? Shiver me timbers…
*shakes self*
I hope that everyone is having a good week!

 

Fallen Angels: Rapture

Rapture

Rapture

Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they’re in over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too…

As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover’s memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially if you’re trapped in a no holds barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line and and Mels’s heart at risk, what in Heaven-or in Hell-will it take to save them both?

I have such a raging crush on J.R Ward, it’s not even funny. Her books just make me so ridiculously happy. And Rapture, book 4 in the Fallen Angel series, was no exception. In case you haven’t heard of this series (seriously, where have you been?), let me give you a quick rundown. It’s basic premise is that of the whole good vs evil, heaven vs hell thing. The idea is that there are seven souls who are teetering between being good or being evil. It is up to Jim Heron, our leading man, to influence these people. If they make the right decision, and fall on the side of good, the world will be saved. If they make the wrong decision, hell will quite literally break loose. So. Big stakes. Luckily, Jim doesn’t have to deal with this mess all on his own. He has the help of two angels, Eddie and Adrian. Or at least, he did. Eddie is no longer with us :-(. Hindering Jim is the demon, Devina. This woman is chock full of crazy and has it bad for Jim, much to his disgust.

This installment of the series sees the score being 2:1 to the good guys. Plus Divina is being punished because she is physically incapable of playing by the rules. So things aren’t looking awful for Team Angel at this point, but then Jim is confronted by a familiar face. The soul in need of saving is the one and only Matthias, leader of XOps and Jim’s former boss. The main reason this is such a shock is because the last time we saw Matthias, he was in hell. So, what the…hell… is he doing here? Turns out, Matthias being given a second chance. He knows the score, he understands all too clearly what will happen to him should he not make the right choice. See, through a series of misunderstandings, Jim went after the wrong soul in Crave. Circumstances being what they were, Team Angel lost and Matthias went to hell.

I don’t know if the WARDen had planned Matthias’s redemption, if she just had a soft spot for him, or if he was a fan favourite. All I can say is that I am so very glad that Matthias got his second chance. I thought that Isaac Rothe was it in terms of sheer awww…-ness, but Matthias came damn close to bumping him off that top spot. Matthias has some horrifying physical and mental scars that he has to deal with, and he has a serious bout of self-loathing going on. Case in point: the guy stepped on a bloody landmine. On purpose. Suicidal tendencies abound. Unfortunately for Matthias, he didn’t die and his lower body is riddled with scars and he has to walk with a cane. Despite being a huge blow to Matthias’s pride, he’s dealing. Cane or not, this man is still absolutely lethal.

Then Matthias’s already jumbled world is shaken up even further when he’s hit by a car being driven by one Mels Carmichael. Less than stellar circumstances in which to meet somebody but, oddly enough, Matthias doesn’t seem to mind too much. Mels is a reporter and her life has stalled out on her. She’s frustrated with her job, and she’s uncomfortable living with a mother she doesn’t fully understand or have much in common with. Needless to say, she needs a change. But I’m pretty sure almost turning some poor guy into a speed bump wasn’t what she had in mind. Things between Matthias and Mels develop pretty quickly, and soon they’re thinking terms of I-love-yous. But Shakespeare had it right and, in next to no time at all, Devina shows up looking to make somebody miserable.

I loved all the characters in this book. I just wanted to give Matthias a hug. He was this mixture of both supremely cuddly and utterly badass. Given all that he’d been through, Mels was honestly perfect for him. She wasn’t judgy, even when she would have had every reason to be. She was solid, but she didn’t put up with any of his crap either. While things were looking up for Matthias and Mels, things seemed to be spiraling for the remaining members of Team Angel. Adrian is not handling Eddie’s death well, and he isn’t providing Jim with the back up he needs. Eddie once provided Team Angel with a much needed referee. Adrian and Jim don’t always see eye-to-eye, and their idea of resolving the issue often leads to scenes that wouldn’t seem out of place at a WWE Smackdown. Jim really had his hands full in this book. He’s haunted by the death of the young woman, Cecelia Barton, and Devina is not above shoving that in his face at every opportunity. Now he’s responsible for keeping Adrian from going off the rails, as well as saving the world. It’s a good thing Jim’s already dead, or he would be bordering on a heart attack at this point. I’ve mentioned Devina a couple of times here. She is everything you’d expect from a demon; she’s an evil, manipulative, sadistic bitch. But I have a confession where Devina is concerned: I have a slight case of sympathy for the devil. The thing is, you can relate to her. Unlike some villains you read about, where all you get is the emphasis on what makes them so awful, she’s not just evil. She has layers and problems just like anyone else. She sees a therapist, she gets her hair done, she frets about what to wear and how to impress the guy she likes. If she wasn’t such a psychotic bitch, I’d feel sorry for her.

I know this is a fairly long post, but I can’t let you go without sharing some of my favourite quotes from this book.

In this scene, Mels’s boss is hitting on her. The aptly named Dick is, by the sounds of it, as far away from sexy as it’s possible to get:
What she was clear on was that with a jawline more ham sandwich than Jon Hamm, the man had no objective reason to believe the answer to any woman’s problems was in his pants.

This bit is from Jim’s perspective and conveys his utter disbelief at finding his old boss asking him for help:
And yet no matter how much his brain cramped, it looked like pigs could fly, there was a snowball in Hell, and somewhere across town, a twelve-year old dog was learning to drive a goddamn car.

Last little bit before I go comes after Jim and Adrian have rip-roaring fight. Adrian is being an irresponsible pain in Jim’s butt, and now Jim’s had enough. While they’re fighting, Jim kicks Adrian in the penalty area:
Motherfucker was going to sing the high notes like Justin-cocksucking-Timberlake for a while.  

I think you might be able to pick up on the fact that I loved this book. And I’m pretty sure that if you read it, you will, too.

Nightwalkers: Gideon

Gideon

Gideon

They’re called Nightwalkers-proud, ancient beings who live in the shadows, existing just beyond the human world. But there are also dangerous humans who hunt them. And for a Demon named Gideon, the battle against these evil forces will become all too personal...

For a thousand years, Gideon’s wisdom has always been respected without question, but he knows that even he is vulnerable to the powerful, primitive desires that befall his kind during the Hallowed moons-as nine years ago he found himself claiming Magdelegna, the Demon King’s sister, in a wild embrace.

Horrified by his lack of control, he left her wanting and furious-and then exiled himself. Now with the necromancers threatening his people-and Magdelegna-Gideon must face another truth. He and Magdelegna are destined to be together. But first he needs to regain her trust, which might be the biggest challenge of all.

In reading Jacquelyn Frank’s Nightwalker series, I have learned two valuable lessons: the first is to always take notes while I’m reading, just to remind me of what’s what. The next is to never ever buy more than one book at a time of a series that I’ve never read. It’s just safer to buy one and then go crazy if I like it. This isn’t normally something I need to be reminded of. It just makes sense and has been a rule of mine for donkey’s years. But someone decided to ignore their own advice and has ended up with a book-load of disappointment.

Moving on from that educational experience. Gideon is book two in the Nightwalker series and takes place a few weeks after Jacob. Given how much I disliked the first book, logic would suggest that reading the next book immediately after may not have been the best idea. But like I said, I’d already bought the damn thing. I was thinking that if it turned out to be crappy, then I just wanted to get it over and done with. And a tiny part of me was thinking that maybe it would be better. Hope springs eternal, after all. And I was half right. It was better, and it was worse. Better because there was a lot less Bella (still too much for my liking, but anyway). Worse because… I don’t remember much about the actual story 😦

Let me tell you about what I do remember. Firstly, Gideon reminded me of Gregori from Christine Feehan’s Dark series and, as such, there were a few times where my hand itched to smack him. But, in all fairness, he wasn’t all bad as a hero. Magdelegna was better than Bella as a heroine because at no point did I want to reach into the book to throttle her. She was really nice and sweet and… forgettable. Finally, I noticed that Ms Frank writes… funny. I don’t know how else to describe it. She uses these really big words and, half the time, I thought that she was making them up. And her descriptions had a tendency to strike me as unintentionally hilarious. One of her descriptions of Gideon had me in gales of laughter. I can’t even remember what the context was, but I think that Ms Frank was trying to illustrate the point that Gidoen was old school. All it ended up doing was sounding ridiculous.

 

So Gideon and Magdelegna had met before and there had been some sparks flying between the two. But Gideon is a non-sparky kind of guy and he was completely freaked out by his reaction to her. Ashamed of his out-of-control behaviour, Gideon retreated into a self-imposed exile. But the events in Jacob forced him to re-enter demon society and help deal with the copious amount of crap hitting the fan. Magdelegna is the Demon King’s baby sister, and has lived a pretty sheltered life until Bella came along. The night of Samhain was not a good one for her and she’s been dealing with the fallout ever since.

The one good thing about the previous book was that I’ll probably remember it a month from now. Hell, I finished this book last week and I’ve already forgotten the basic story line. I could just chalk it up to exam induced amnesia that had me basically erasing this story from my memory, or I can admit that this series has left me completely underwhelmed. Judging by the ratings on goodreads, I’m in the minority on this one. As a result, I’ve decided to follow the whole if-you-don’t-like-it-don’t-read-it philosophy. I’m done with this series. I’d much rather tell you guys about the books I love, instead of bitching about the books that annoy me.

Nightwalkers: Jacob

Jacob

Jacob

Since time began, there have been Nightwalkers-the species of the night who live in the shadows of the moonlight. Love with humans is absolutely forbidden, and one man makes certain to uphold this ancient law: Jacob, the Enforcer…

Jacob has heard every excuse his people give when the madness overtakes them and they fall prey to their lust for humans, and he still brings every trespasser to justice. Immune to forbidden desires, uncontrollable hungers or the curse of the moon, his control is total… until he sees Isabella on a shadowy New York City street. 

Saving her life wasn’t in his plans. But the moment he holds her in his arms and feels the soft explosion of her body against his, everything changes. Their attraction is undeniable, volatile-and completely against the law. And suddenly everything Jacob has ever believed is inflamed by the heat of desire. 

Jacob is the first book in Jacquelyn Frank’s Nightwalker series. I think I must have been in a little bit of a haze or something when I bought this book. Because if I had been altogether there, I would have taken one look at the blurb and gone, “Nuh-uh”. I mean, “soft explosion of her body against his“? Seriously? What the hell does that mean?

This book did nothing for me. To be fair, the story wasn’t completely awful, but I had a major hate going for some of the characters and that completely squelched any enjoyment I may have had while reading it. The heroine grated my cheese to the point where I was hoping something would just spring up and eat her. Needless to say, that isn’t something you should be hoping for when it comes to your lead characters.

This story is about Jacob the Enforcer and Bella the Helpless Ninny. Jacob is a demon and he is tasked with upholding demon law. In this series, demons aren’t like the things you’d find on Buffy. These demons are… kinda lame, if I’m honest. But anyway, the main thing Jacob has to do is ensure that no demon gets frisky with a human. Given how enormously strong demons are, there wouldn’t be enough left of the human after a night of hanky-panky to put in a shoe box. Jacob’s nights are normally pretty busy, but things get worse during the Samhain and Beltane moons. This is a time when demons are all about their hormones and baser urges, and keeping the unsuspecting humans safe from this threat is a full time job. But Jacob can handle it. He’s been doing it for many, many years and he’ll keep doing it for many, many more years to come. At least, that’s what he thinks until he runs into a walking disaster named Bella, and his world is turned upside down.

Bella is a bookworm. She’s also a librarian, so “naturally” she has zero excitement in her life. But then she meets Jacob and suddenly she has more excitement than she can handle. I know this might sound terribly harsh, but this chick was a flaming idiot. Seriously, I think she may have been the most TSTL heroine I have ever read. Let me use an example or two to illustrate my point. Firstly, there’s how she and Jacob meet. Bella is leaning out her window, stargazing. Jacob walks past her window and then, for some or other reason, they start talking. So, while they’re having their little tete-a-tete, Bella falls out the window. I shit you not. She wasn’t pushed. She wasn’t backing away from a bad guy. She didn’t even trip. She was just leaning too far out and then she fell. I actually laughed because I just couldn’t believe it. Is that level of stupidity supposed to be endearing? Even worse, when Jacob rushes to save her dumb butt (he should have just let her get squished on the pavement; it would have saved him a lot of trouble), he’s forced to sort of float himself up to a height where his catching her won’t hurt her. And after he catches her, she doesn’t notice that they are floating 10 feet in the air. Here in SA, we don’t deal in feet, so I have no clue how high that is. The closest I can get to estimating how high that is is by thinking of it as about one and a half Alexander Skarsgards. And you know what? That’s effing high! How can you not notice? It felt like Bella was the personification of every bookworm stereotype taken to the extreme.

As if this asinine behaviour isn’t bad enough, she lets Jacob use her as a demon divining rod. She and Jacob find the Scooby Doo-styled demon, whereupon she promptly faints. Jacob, once again proving that he’s a big a twit as his lady love, decides to take Bella home with him. He strips her, leaving her only with one of his shirts, and puts her in his bed. When smarty-pants wakes up, is she disturbed by her state of undress? Is she concerned that she’s in a stranger’s house? Does it cause her even a flicker of worry that no one knows where she is? Does she feel the slightest bit indignant that a strange man undressed her? The answer to all those question? A big, honking NO. A final complaint about our heroine ( I swear, I’ll stop after this), is that she cries. About everything. I wanted to get inside the book so that I could give her something to cry about.

She did get slightly less useless towards the end, but by that point I didn’t care. I wish we could have seen her before she met Jacob, maybe seen her acting smart or, at the very least, not like a complete dumbass. I think, in spite of my bitching, that having Bella as the heroine was a good thing. Yes, you read that right. Because I can’t actually really remember much else about this book beyond the fact that I wanted to attack the heroine. Not a good start for any series, I think.

Holy Wow Wednesday: Pleasure Unbound

Erm, I suppose it’s more like Holy Wow… Thursday. Sorry about that everybody. I wrote my last exam yesterday and afterwards I didn’t want to do anything more strenuous than turn the pages of the book I was reading. I also realised, looking back on the Holy Wow’s I’ve posted, that I’ve been a lazy bum. While everyone appreciates a hot guy, I find that the written word can be a lot sexier than a simple picture.

Today’s Holy Wow is a snippet from Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione. I know that I read this book ages ago but none of the books I’ve read lately have had any sexy time that really stood out. Pleasure Unbound is book 1 in the Demonica series and, in case you missed it, you can check out my review here.

Lightning fast, she escaped his grip and landed a blow to his cheek, but her strike lacked the strength and conviction he knew she was capable of. Adrenaline surged in his veins, hot, potent, the line between battle lust and sexual lust blurred. A cry escaped her as he flipped her onto her belly and straddled her thighs. He held her down with one hand pressed between her shoulder blades and took the knife from between his teeth with the other. 

“What’s the matter, Tayla?” He slashed through the length of the top. “Are you going to tell me you don’t want this?”

“I hate you,” she snarled into her pillow.

He moved his hips in a slow, circular grind against her buttocks. “We’ve established that.”

She bucked angrily, and he pressed her even more firmly into the mattress. “Be still, slayer, or you’ll have a knife through your kidney.” He could fix it, of course, but a punctured organ would ruin the mood. 

“Fuck. You.”

“Yeah, that’s the plan.”

He shifted his weight and pushed the flat of the blade between her spine and the waist of her scrub pants. Cold steel rasped against hot flesh, and she arched up with a groan that shot straight to his cock. Greedily, he sliced through the trousers, and this time, she didn’t move a muscle as he ran the blade down the pant legs util she lay before him, gloriously naked.

Dropping the knife, he spread her legs and knelt between them, let his palms drift from the backs of her knees up along her muscular thighs, 

“I can’t do this with you,” she whispered.

We’ve done it before.”

“But I can’t-“

“I’ll make sure you do.” He bent over her, pressed a lingering kiss at the base of her neck. “You’ll come, Tayla. I’m dying to make you scream for me.”

Her response was muffled by the pillow, and she started to wriggle, but he slid his hand between her legs, cupped her, and she settled down.

“You’re wet. Gods, you’re wet.” He pushed a finger between her swollen lips and started an easy rhythm.

There was nothing easy about how his lungs worked hard to draw in air as he stroked her. Adding another finger, he squeezed her knot of nerves between them, gently rolling it with alternating light and firm pressure. Slow passes of his thumb over the sensitive flesh behind her sex made her squirm and push against him, and when he eased his thumb inside her slick heat while working her with his fingers, she cried out.

“This won’t work,” she whimpered, but her hips were pumping as if she couldn’t stop.

A powerful mix of lust and the need to possess Tayla made him shudder as he scraped his teeth down her spine and murmured against her skin. “But it feels good, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah.” She fisted the pillow with white-knuckled force. “Oh, yeah.”

“I can smell your need.” Her scent made his nostrils flare, and suddenly he had to taste her, to take all of her into his body. His body was screaming for release, aching for this woman he should hate but desired in the most primal way. 

Unable to wait any longer, he rolled her onto her back. Surprise flickered in the drowsy depths of her eyes, and for a moment he thought she’d resist as he lowered his mouth to her breast. Tremors shook her body, and she held her hands in fists at her sides, but as he drew one dusky nipple between his lips, a soft sigh loosened her to a boneless puddle.

He caressed her breasts, held them so he could divide his attention between them, licking, sucking until she was writhing and her hands had come up to tangle in his hair. 

This was what he’d missed out on at the hospital when he’d been in a rush to take her. The slow windup of tension. The building heat. The sweet, citrusy taste of  her skin as he licked a trail from her breasts down her abdomen.

He paused to rim her navel with his tongue, felt her sleek, honed muscles flex beneath his palms. Her fingers caressed his scalp, sending tingles to the base of his spine and sparking firey bolts of pleasure into his balls.

Inching lower, he felt her soft feminine curls tickle his cheek as he spread her wide, opening her to him. He shifted, admired the sight before him, her swollen flesh served up for him and him alone.

“This… I don’t…” Her gaze met his and his breath caught at the site of fear tangled with desire in the depths of her beguiling green eyes, “I-“

“Shh. Easy, slayer.” He buried his tongue in her folds, swiped up her valley in one long, slow, motion. She tasted sweet and salty. Honey and hellfire. Forbidden fruit.

Her sultry moan drifted down to him, fueling his hunger. He kissed her deeply, sucked her bud between his lips and flicked his tongue over the protruding tip. Her hips came off the bed, and she whispered something incoherent as he lapped at her and then plunged his tongue deep inside.

“This is wrong,” she panted, but she arched her hips against his lips and dug her nails into his scalp, holding him there in the place he’d like to stay for a long time. But what had been a slow burn under his skin became an inferno, and if he didn’t dip into her hot center quickly, he’d turn to ash.

“Please…”

Chapter 7, page 97-99

Ahem. I think I may have gotten a little carried away here. Couldn’t help it, though. Straight-laced Eidolon getting his alpha male on just makes me a little cross-eyed. Phew… cold shower time, I think.

Shaede Assassin: Shaedes of Gray

Shaedes of Gray

Shaedes of Gray

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…

I was less than impressed with Ms Bonilla by the time I finished this book. Not because I didn’t love it, because I totally did. It broke the awesome scale. But it had me biting my nails again, a habit I thought I’d kicked in primary school. But then along came Shaedes of Gray, and I suddenly I was rendered a nervous, nail-biting wreck. Eight years of restraint and “maturity” down the tubes in the space of time that it took me to read this book. 

Ruined fingernails aside, this book was amazing. Honestly, it was epic. I loved the characters, or loved to hate them in some circumstances. Shaedes of Gray had everything: we had a smart, kickass heroine, a sweetie pie hero, and there was action, suspense, humour, and some romance on the side. See what I mean? It has everything. What’s not to love?

I have a confession as far as Darian goes: I think she’s my fictional girl-crush. I just loved her so much! She’s a Shaede and she’s an assassin. Yes, thank you, Captain Obvious. I know you could have gotten all that from the title and the blurb, but it does bear mentioning. Shaedes are humanish in most respects except that they have the power to sort of… poof into smoke? Sorry, I’m not entirely sure how else to describe it. I picture it as being similar to what the Dementors did in the Harry Potter movies. This whole poof-ing thing really comes in handy for Darian, especially given her profession. In addition to being the type of person you would not want coming after you, Darian is a little on the prickly side. And who can blame her? All of the people she ever trusted, the people who were supposed to look out for her, screwed her over in spectacular fashion. Her parents couldn’t wait to marry her off to any random wealthy stranger, her random wealthy stranger abuses her, and the guy who promised to take her away from all this supposedly dies on her. In short, people suck and Darian knows that the only person she can rely on is herself. So Darian is the poster child for trust issues, except for when it comes to Tyler.

Can I just have a minute here?

……..

Sorry about that. It’s just… I loved him so much! He was alpha when the need arose, but most of the time he was so sweet and supportive that I just wanted to cuddle with him. For the record: Tyler is definitely one of my book boyfriends. Even when Darian was being all prickly and sullen, he was there for her every step of the way. No matter what, he always had her back. And he’s not Mr Average Joe either. He’s a… Nah, I can’t tell you. Let’s just say that I haven’t ever had one of those in any of the books I’ve read, and leave it at that. I don’t want to spoil the surprise 😉 The next male character we deal with is Xander Peck. I liked this guy quite a bit, but I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. Xander has hired Darian to carry out a hit for him, but he doesn’t think her skills are quite where he needs them to be. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Well then, why doesn’t he get someone who can do it?” You’ll have to read it to find out. This is where my favourite peripheral character came in: Raif, the King’s brother. I vow, if I hadn’t been pulling for Tyler from the get-go, Raif would have been my man. Xander has decided that it’ll be Raif’s job to train Darian and make her the fierce assassin he knows she’s capable of becoming. Raif hands Darian her ass a couple of times but, almost in spite of themselves, mutual respect eventually leads to a grudging friendship. He is definitely my favourite of the two  royal brothers. 

I highly recommend this book. It was nothing short of brilliant. There were so many unexpected developments that I spent a lot of the time reading this with my mouth hanging open. Very few of the characters were what they appeared to be, and there were double-crossings galore! Shaedes of Gray was really the best kind of book: it had crash-boom-bang action, laugh-out-loud moments, and romance that was sweet but never over the top. In summary? Go read it. Now. 

Leaping Hearts

Leaping Hearts

Leaping Hearts

Everyone thinks A.J. Sutherland is crazy to buy a rogue stallion that no rider or trainer has been able to tame. But if anybody has the hustle to make something out of that hell-raiser, it’s A.J. She can’t do it alone, however, so she goes after the great Devlin McCloud, an equestrian legend with a bad leg-and worse attitude.

Devlin recognizes a fighter when he sees one-and that horse isn’t a wallflower, either. Before he knows it, he’s got a wild stallion in his empty stable and a hotheaded, heavenly-bodied rider sleeping on his couch. But can he get all three of them through the championship in one piece? The passion he’s found with his rider is compromising training-and at this level of competition, any distraction is not just unprofessional but downright deadly.

I really liked this book. It was just so… nice. I know, the word “nice” doesn’t usually inspire much enthusiasm, but after the ups and downs of the Fever series and the aggravation caused by Atlantis Rising, Leaping Hearts acted as a bit of a palate cleanser. It wasn’t too heavy, it didn’t have a complex story line, and it had a couple who knew they were into one another right off the bat. So yes, this book was nice. This book was written by the one and only spectacular, amazing J.R Ward. I trust that all of you know who she is, but for those of you who don’t (for shame!) I’ll fill you in: She is the author of one of my favourite series in the whole history of the world: the Black Dagger Brotherhood. If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favour and do so. Right now. But, bear in mind, that Leaping Hearts was nothing like any of the WARDen’s later books. This one had virtually no swearing, there is no crash-boom-bang action and the sex is of the fade-to-black variety. So it’s not typically my kind of thing but… I really enjoyed it. It was wholesome, you know? Simple and  uncomplicated.

Leaping Hearts is the story of A.J. Sutherland and Devlin McCloud. A.J. is a talented young equestrian who has just bought herself a horse named Sabbath, a beautiful stallion who looks like he was born to win championships. There’s just one little problem: this horse makes Charlie Sheen look well-behaved. Sabbath throws his riders, won’t let a blacksmith anywhere near him, and absolutely hates water. So, obviously, you do not want to take this horse to a competition. But A.J. sees potential in Sabbath. She’s convinced that with some TLC and the proper training, she can take Sabbath to the Qualifier in two months time and win. But then A.J. hits a bit of a speed bump. Not only does she have to deal with a stubborn horse, but now she has to deal with her impossible step-brother. A.J. lives at home and trains in the family-run stables. She runs the side of the business that deals with the actual horses, and her step-brother deals with the financial side of things. The pain in the butt step-brother sees exactly what everyone else sees when he looks at Sabbath: a wild, uncontrollable animal that’s more trouble than it’s worth. He throws his weight around and it’s decided that A.J. can’t keep the horse at the stables. A.J. knows that her family was hoping to get her to give up on her crazy plans, but she isn’t having any of it. Sabbath isn’t an impulse buy for A.J.; he’s her chance to prove herself. She decides that if her horse isn’t welcome, then she won’t stay there either. Except… now she’s gone from one big problem to three. She’s got a rebellious horse to train and nowhere to sleep or carry out said training.

Enter Devlin McCloud. Devlin is a hugely reclusive former equestrian champion. After an equestrian accident that saw his leg terribly injured and his horse having to be put down, he’s decided that he’s through with all things horse-related. He and A.J. had met at the auction where she’d bought Sabbath, so he knows she’s on embarking on her own version of Mission Impossible. But he never expected her to come to him for help. Devlin is so not keen. Bad enough that he would have to deal with a temperamental horse, but to have to train a woman who he is totally jonesing for? Nuh-uh. Way more than one man should have to deal with. And yet somehow, despite his protests, A.J. ends up living in his house and training in his stables.

The book carries on from there in a fairly predictable manner, with all the traditional ups and downs, but it was just… nice. I know I bitched about that word yesterday, but here it was a good thing. So if you’re looking for something light and fluffy to read, something sweet but not toothache-inducing, I would recommend Leaping Hearts.

Warriors of Poseidon: Atlantis Rising

Atlantis Rising

Atlantis Rising

Eleven thousand years ago, before the seas swallowed the Atlanteans, Poseidon assigned a few chosen warriors to act as sentinels for humans in the new world. There was only one rule-desiring them was forbidden. But rules were made to be broken…

Riley Dawson is more than a dedicated Virginia Beach social worker. She’s blessed with a mind link that only Atlanteans have been able to access for thousands of years.

Conlan, the high prince of Atlantis, has surfaced on a mission to retrieve Poseidon’s stolen Trident. Yet something else has possessed Conlan: the intimate emotions and desires of a human.

In the battle to reclaim Poseidon’s power, how long can a forbidden love last between two different souls from two different worlds?

You may have already noticed that I love paranormal romance. Of all the sort of “sub-genres” in romance, I love paranormal the best. Witches, werewolves, vampires, you name it, I’m there. Whether an author wants to stick to the “traditional” world that’s already been created, tweak things a little to suit their story or even just come up with something entirely new, I normally love it all. So when I saw a series going down the whole Atlantis route, I was quite keen. And then… I wasn’t.

See, if you’re a frequent reader of paranormal romance, you’ll know that sometimes authors like to… cheat. They do that thing where their lead characters can just frolic around in each other’s minds for five minutes, and then suddenly they know each other. And then the author gives them a little bit of time, approximately half an hour, and then they are in love and just know that they’ve found The One. And that is exactly what happened in Atlantis Rising. It took Riley and Conlan two days-count them, two– to decide that they were meant for each other. It had me sputtering and grumbling to myself the whole time I was reading this. Now, not to be disrespectful, but that whole “insta-love” thing has always struck me as being a cop out. I mean, why spend time developing the actual romance when you can just be all, I’ve-seen-into-your-soul-and-now-know-you-better-than-the-people-you’ve-known-your-whole-life? It’s lazy and they are just skipping the best part of the romance. The getting-to-know-you bit is usually the best part of the story, and I feel cheated when authors just brush it aside.

I wish I could say that my rant is over now. But this book left me so underwhelmed, it was ridiculous. Riley and Conlan were one of those generic couples who, in a year’s time, I probably won’t remember. In fact, if I hadn’t been so annoyed by the romantic element, I probably would have forgotten about them already. Conlan was just… meh. He wasn’t an awful hero but he just didn’t do it for me. We meet Conlan the night he returns to Atlantis after years of torture, and discovers that Poseidon’s Trident is MIA. He and his personal guard have to go get the thing back so that he can ascend to the throne of Atlantis. Instead of waiting for his guard, he takes off on his own and is suddenly hit by a wave of incapacitating emotion. Once he recovers, he traces the emotion back to its source. He then discovers Riley, our heroine, on a beach being cornered by these scummy guys who seem to be intent on mugging her or worse. He saves her using some pretty impressive waterworks, and afterward he can feel this really intense attraction to her. Now, while Conlan was just “meh”, Riley irritated the living daylights out of me. She was just so nice. For some reason, nice sometimes equals dumb. I can appreciate feeling attraction to a stranger. But maybe this attraction isn’t strictly appropriate when you’ve just narrowly avoided being raped! There is a time and a place for everything, but that was not it. I found myself wondering who the hell would want this girl to be their social worker when she clearly has no sense of self-preservation.

Another example of asinine behaviour from our leading lady is when Conlan just randomly arrives at her house later that night accompanied by five extremely large men. She’s home alone. It’s the middle of the night. She doesn’t know any of these men. Does she maybe phone the police? Call her sister to say that, “Hey, there are some strange men outside my house, just a heads up in case I go missing and you one day find my body in a ditch”? Hell, does she just stay in the house and hope they’ll go away? Nah. She goes outside to meet them. After all, she’s seen inside Conlan’s soul. Gah, it was just so annoying! Why can’t a nice heroine have a healthy dose of self-preservation and common sense? I would honestly rather have a bitchy heroine with a bad attitude and a heap of emotional baggage who is smart, than have a nice one who is stupid.

I probably should have just put it down. But I hate not finishing books, and I kept hoping that it would get better. But it didn’t and all that happened was that I got frustrated. By the time I finished it, I could have done the dance of joy I was so relieved to put the damn thing down. I didn’t really care how it ended by that point, just so long as it did.

Sorry about the ranting and raving. I know it wasn’t much of a review, just me spewing but I really need to get it off my chest. Just out of curiosity, has anyone read the rest of the series? Does it get better or should I give it up as a bad job?

Holy Wow Wednesday: Sexy Back

It’s that time of the week again: my appreciation of everything jaw-dropping, swoon inducing and drool worthy. And today is all about the sexy back. I’m more of a torso girl myself, but I’m definitely reconsidering my allegiance because there is something mouth watering about a pair of wide muscly shoulders. Am I right? And if you are still on the fence, I have some visual evidence to back up my argument.

Good God. This man cannot be real...

Good God. This man cannot be real…

The yummy Jared Padalecki who inspired today's post.

The yummy Jared Padalecki who inspired today’s post.

Annoyingly, this is all I’ve been able to find. For such a wonderful part of the male anatomy, pictures/gifs of sexy backs are surprisingly difficult to get a hold of. So I hope that you like what I’ve found and that it brightens your day. Have a good one, everybody!

Fever: Shadowfever

Shadowfever

Shadowfever

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. 

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals that have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief, while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinar Dubh-a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King that contains the power to create and destroy worlds. 

Good… grief. I’m finally done with the Fever series. For now, anyway. I’m both totally depressed and utterly relieved to be moving on. While there is no denying that this series was beyond epic, it was also beyond exhausting. So many twists and turns, and turns and twists. I’m not going to give a full recap of the book because it would take more time than I have. I’m just going to mention the things I loved and the things that fell a little short for me. Now, I’m not knocking the series; I just think that there parts that were the eensiest bit… anticlimatic. It’s just that expectations got built so high that when things did get resolved, it was like… “Oh. Okay.” I think it might be the only downside to KMM’s writing. I don’t think anyone could have possibly topped what she did in Dreamfever.

Lets talk about the cliffhanger: dealing with it took too long. Seriously, I was practically rabid by the time that KMM finally put me out my misery eight or nine chapters in. Darroc, aka the Lord Master, is dead. I was a little disappointed with the way he got taken out. I would have thought, given how much trouble this SOB caused, his end would have been spectacularly bloody. Another person I think KMM went too easy on? Rowena. I wanted that bitch painfully dead. Every time I thought I couldn’t possibly dislike that woman more, I was proven wrong. She was evil incarnate.

On the plus side, we got to meet more of Barrons’ playmates. I’m torn between being really excited about getting to know them better because they’re smoking hot, and being really nervous about getting to know them better because a little birdie told me that Ryodan makes Barrons look like a mild-mannered accountant. So we shall have to see about this bunch of crazy kids. Another mystery that has been plaguing this series was who killed Mac’s sister Alina (I think I may have referred to her as “Alana” in an older post? My bad if I did). I must admit, given how much else was going on, I kinda forgot that Mac’s sister had been killed. But even if it had been at the forefront of my mind, I would never have expected her killer to be who it was. Big problems and another big ol’ cliffhanger.

This book was all about tying up loose ends. One of these was Fiona. Hell, this woman was more than a “loose end”. I’m going to quote the esteemed Dr Sheldon Cooper here and tell you that, “Bitches be crazy.” I actually felt sorry for Fiona, the poor misguided twit that she was. She was a shining example of loving someone too much. Loose end number two was Christian McKeltar. I don’t think I’ve mentioned him before. He’s this uber-cute Scotsman who knows more about the Fae than your typical Average Joe, and in Shadowfever this boy is up to his neck in crap. Things are still up in the air by the end of the book, but I understand that he’s going to play an important role in Iced. On the topic of V’lane, I have only one thing to say: I knew it! I’m not saying that I had even the faintest idea that KMM was going to pull that out of her hat, but I knew there was something fishy about him. Bloody agent. We also dealt with Barrons related loose ends. There’s the big reveal as to why Barrons wants the creepy Sinsar Dubh in the first place and, dammit, it made my heart hurt. It was just so sad. I wanted to give him a hug and, considering the fact that for three of the five books I wanted to slap his face, I think that says something.

Why do I get the feeling I’m leaving something out? Hmmm… What could it be?

Oh, that’s right! Mac and Barrons finally finally finally got together! Properly this time! I was so glad they finally stopped dancing around each other. Any longer and it would have become annoying. But I think KMM knew just how far to push things and then finally just let them progress as they should. I was a teeny bit disappointed but, in all fairness, given how much hype there was around Mac and Barrons finally getting their act together, that there was no way anything could have lived up to it. So it was a… good disappointment, if you know what I mean.

I loved this series from beginning to end. I know it sounds like I’ve dedicated this post to bitching, but it’s honestly easier to mention the few things I felt slightly let down by than to mention the dozens of things that totally blew my mind. Even if there are parts of the book that disappointed me, this series is probably better than ninety percent of the books I’ve read in the past.

Now on to my favourite bits. Shadowfever continued the series’ tradition of being all dark and broody, but there were some bits that had me smiling.

This quote had me laughing although I think it may have been a little inappropriate. This scene takes place shortly after the Lord Master gets his head ripped off. I think it gives us a clear picture of how far Mac has progressed from being the sweet, sheltered Southern gal who lost her sister to the tough chick whose primary goal in life is to survive.
He stumbles and collapses to the ground. Somewhere nearby, I hear garbled sounds. Oh, God, his head is still talking.
Good! Can he form sentences? I’m in a strong bargaining position.
 Tell me what I want, and I’ll put your head back on.

This is a scene between Barrons and Mac and features an unexpectedly sweet and protective and (totally expectedly) sexy Barrons.
“Jericho, I feel like my whole life has been pushing me toward this moment.”
“That’s it. Fate’s a fickle whore. We’re not going. Take you clothes off and get back in my bed.”

I think me finding that comment oddly romantic is just a testament to KMM’s writing. In the space of five books, she’s managed to make me do a complete 180 on a character who made me shout at my books.  

Holy Wow Wednesday: Misha Collins

Friends, I’ve fallen in love. Again.You know, every time I think of stubborn I was about not watching Supernatural, I could kick myself. I have been missing out on a boat load of hotness. This time I’m sailing aboard the S.S Collins. I can’t explain why he does it for me, because I don’t think he falls under the traditional definition of “hot”. I just love his character, Castiel. There’s this earnestness and innocence about him that just makes me all “awww…”. And then he’s got those sad puppy dog eyes. You just want to make him smile, don’t you? So, I present the lovely Misha Collins here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Isn't he cute with his frowny face?

Isn’t he cute with his frowny face?

Pretty eyes...

Pretty eyes…

Personal space isn't something Castiel is familiar with.

Personal space isn’t something Castiel is familiar with.

Supernatural - Free to Be You and Me 5x03ALL THE FACES OF TERROR

His absolute terror when confronted with a nearly naked woman. He’s adorable.

Sigh… I just love him. He’s so pretty.

Hope everyone’s having a happy Wednesday!

Fever: Dreamfever

Dreamfever

Dreamfever

They may have stolen my past but I will never let them take my future.

When the walls between Man and Fae come crashing down, freeing the immortal Unseelie from their icy prison, Mac is caught in a deadly trap. Tortured and trapped by the Fae Lord Master, Mac has no memory of who or what she is: the only sidhe-seer alive that can track the Sinsar Dubh, a book of black magic that holds the key to controlling both worlds. 

Clawing her way back from oblivion is only the first step Mac must take down a perilous path, from the battle filled streets of Dublin to the treacherous politics of an ancient, secret sect, through the tangled lies of men who claim to be her allies into the illusory world of the Fae themselves where nothing is as it seems-and Mac is forced to face a soul-shattering truth.

Who do you trust when you can’t even trust yourself?

Dreamfever was super intense. Not that I expected anything else with this series, but just when you think that there is no possible way KMM can push things further, she does. Seriously, I just want to take a moment to say that KMM is clearly not human. Because no mere mortal can write like she does. It’s insane. Also as a sort of public service to those of you reading this series, or are thinking about it: have Shadowfever on hand before you read Dreamfever. Honestly, if you thought that the cliffhanger from Faefever was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Fair warning!

On to what actually happened. At the end of the last book, we saw Mac being kidnapped and turned Pri-ya by the pretentious Lord Master and his evil henchmen, the Unseelie princes. Being Pri-ya is basically like being turned into a raging nympho. Sex with the Fae makes humans that way and anytime they’re not having sex, they’re in mind-melting agony. Nothing matters beyond getting it on with a Fae. Not food, not sleep, not family. They exist for one reason: sex. So, naturally, this is the last thing Mac needs. While Mac is doing the sex fiend thing, we get the story told from Dani’s perspective. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: Dani rocks. Not only is being in her head pretty funny, but she’s not one of those little girly-girls who waits for a big strong man to swoop in and save the day. Barrons and V’lane are nowhere to be found and Mac needs saving. So, feck it. Dani saves her. No sweat.

Once Mac is out of the immediate danger of being subject to the Unseelie princes’ attentions, one glaring problem remains: she’s still Pri-ya, she’s in pain and she has no clue who she is. It takes Barrons to… snap her out of it. All I could think while reading about Barrons’ methods was, “You lucky, lucky girl.” Because not only is Barrons hotter than the sun, but he’s-dare I say it-sweet. It was weird, like he’d been body snatched or something. But it was also endearing and the last remnants of my anti-Barrons stance crumbled. Yes, he’s a butt head, but he was willing to listen to “Tub Thumping” with her. It takes a real hero to listen to that spectacularly aggravating song.

When Mac snaps out of being Pri-ya, she is properly pissedAny vestiges of “Pink Mac” are gone, and “Black Mac” has taken her place. No more pretty pink nail polish and accessories. Mac is now all about guns and leather. Mac’s shit list is a mile long and Barrons and Rowena, the aging sidhe-seer, are right up there. Mac has a huge confrontation with Rowena and the other sidhe-seers. She and Barrons go from being unable to keep their hands off each other to alternating between hostility and formality. Speaking of hostility, we see a lot of posturing between Barrons and V’lane and learn why V’lane is so twitchy around Barrons. Which once again brings us to the burning question: what the hell is Barrons?!?! We get some insight into Barrons’ past, but nothing to really explain why he is the way he is, and why the heck he wants the Sinsar Dubh. 

We are also introduced to Barrons’ merry band of sociopaths. I am very keen to learn more about these guys. The only person in this group of nutters we actually met was Ryodan, who is the leading man in Iced and, as I’ve been told, makes Barrons look humble. Colour me intrigued. And a little nervous.

Despite the fairly grim tone of this book, there were moments where I sat there pretty much laughing like a loon. I just want to share a few of those scenes with you:

Mac has just snapped out of being Pri-ya and is remembering some of what she and Barrons have been getting up to in the past few weeks.
If I know Jericho Barrons, he was walking around feeling like his dick was the most huge, magnificent, perfect, important creation under the sun.
Which-I winced-I vaguely recalled telling him a time or two.
Well… maybe several times.

Mac and Barrons have had a rip-roaring argument and Mac is now sitting on the floor. V’lane comes in, checks out the situation, and a pissing contest ensues.
“Did he strike you, MacKayla? Say the word and I’ll kill him.”
“As if you could,” said Barrons.
“Perhaps not. But I do enjoy thinking about it.”
“Bring it on, Tinker Bell.”

Lastly, a snippet from yet another argument between Mac and Barrons. This is one of the rare cases where Mac actually gets the upper hand in an argument,
“I’m trying to arm myself so I can fight like I fuck,” I snapped. “But you refuse to help.”
“I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to say that word again, Ms Lane. Time was, you had no reservations. ‘Fuck me, Jericho Barrons,’ you’d say. Morning, noon and night.”
“I didn’t know getting you to talk was so easy, or I’d have said it five minutes ago. Fuck you, Jericho Barrons.”

Well said, Mac. I may not hate Barrons any more, but he was being a pig in that scene. I have finished Shadowfever and, I have to admit, I’m feeling both sad and relieved that I’m done for the time being. It’ll be quite a while before I read Iced. It’s been quite a ride, but it’s also been kinda heavy. I think I’ll need some time to breathe before I carry on with the series.