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review 2017-07-13 09:27
Vampire im Sumpf des organisierten Verbrechens
Höllenbisse - Chloe Neill

Die Reihe „Chicagoland Vampires“ von Chloe Neill endet mit Band 13. Traurige Fans kann ich jedoch trösten – es wird eine Spin-Off-Reihe geben. Es ist zwar noch nicht bekannt, ob diese den deutschen Markt erreichen wird, doch zumindest erscheint der erste Band der „Heirs of Chicagoland“ voraussichtlich unter dem Titel „Wild Hunger“ im Juli 2018 in den USA. Nein, ich weiß nicht, um wen es gehen wird. Ich wäre schön dumm, würde ich nachsehen. Ich könnte mich heftig spoilern. Das möchte ich vermeiden, weil ich entschlossen bin, die letzten Bände der „Chicagoland Vampires“ wirklich zu genießen. „Höllenbisse“ ist Band 11, damit fehlen mir nur noch zwei, um die Reihe endlich abzuschließen.

 

Chicagos Vampire finden keine Ruhe. Nachdem Balthasar Ethan postalisch eröffnete, dass er noch immer am Leben ist, hält sich Ethans grausamer Erschaffer nun in Chicago auf, um einen teuflischen Plan zu verwirklichen. Überzeugt, dass Ethan ihn einst enttäuschte und verriet, beabsichtigt Balthasar, ihm alles zu nehmen, was ihm etwas bedeutet: seine Stadt, Haus Cadogan – und Merit, die gegen die Verzauberung des Meisters machtlos ist. Angreifbar und verletzlich wie nie zuvor muss sich Merit außerdem mit einer Bedrohung auseinandersetzen, die ihre Kompetenzen als Hüterin weit übersteigt. Es scheint, als habe sich eines der Vampirhäuser mit einer mafiösen Organisation eingelassen, die sich der Zirkel nennt und für ihre skrupellosen Machenschaften berüchtigt ist. Welches Interesse könnte das organisierte Verbrechen an Vampiren haben? Merit wird den Eindruck nicht los, dass die Aktivitäten des Zirkels und Balthasars Auftauchen zusammenhängen. Doch wie soll sie die Wahrheit aufdecken, ohne sich selbst, Ethan und ganz Chicago in Gefahr zu bringen?

 

Chloe Neill wird erfinderisch. Wer hätte das gedacht? Die Vorstellung des Zirkels in „Höllenbisse“ ist meines Erachtens nach eindeutig ein Versuch, die übergeordnete Handlung für die letzten Bände der „Chicagoland Vampires“ in eine bedeutungsvollere, größere Richtung zu lenken. Hinaus aus dem begrenzten Dunstkreis vampirischer Belange und hinein in die funkelnde Welt politischer und wirtschaftlicher Kriminalität. Die Reihe brauchte einen neuen Feind und es gefiel mir sehr gut, aus welcher Ecke die Autorin diesen hervorzauberte. Ich halte den Zirkel für den letzten großen Gegner, dem sich Merit, Ethan und ihre Verbündeten entgegenstellen müssen. Damit hebt Chloe Neill das Niveau definitiv an, denn diese an die Mafia erinnernde Organisation ist ein ganz anderes Kaliber als es beispielsweise der paramilitärische McKetrick war. Hier geht es nicht um Hass, Rache oder eine emotionale Fehde. Es geht um Geld. Schnöder Mammon. Diese überraschende Richtungsänderung hätte „Höllenbisse“ sehr guttun können; sie hätte aus einem einfach UF-Roman beinahe einen politischen Thriller machen können. Eben nur mit Vampiren. Wenn, ja, wenn Chloe Neill das Talent und die Disziplin dafür besäße. Leider setzte sie die politische Ebene des elften Bandes ungenügend um; sie streift das Thema nur, sodass die Handlung oberflächlich, teilweise verwirrend und – ich gebe es ungern zu – langweilig geriet. Die Geschichte fühlte sich künstlich gestreckt an. Von Balthasars Auftreten hatte ich mir ebenfalls viel erhofft, da ich dachte, ich bekäme einen Vampir alten Schlages zu sehen: grausam, blutrünstig, unzivilisiert. Diesbezüglich enttäuschte mich Ethans Erschaffer. Er wirkte regelrecht zahm, obwohl er zweifellos sehr mächtig und gefährlich ist. Seine Wirkung auf Merit war faszinierend, wenngleich ich mir gewünscht hätte, dass die Fähigkeit der Verzauberung noch einmal erklärt wird. Insgesamt ist Balthasar jedoch nicht das, was ich erwartet hatte. Chloe Neill trickste mich aus. Im Nachhinein vermute ich, sie integrierte die Wendung, die mich kalt erwischte, um den weiteren Handlungsverlauf der Reihe nicht zu verkomplizieren. Das kann ich akzeptieren. Bescheidenheit ist blindem Ehrgeiz vorzuziehen und falls Neill glaubte, dieses spezielle Element nicht überzeugend einarbeiten zu können, war es richtig, es nicht zu versuchen. Stattdessen konzentriert sie sich weiterhin auf Merits persönliche Entwicklung, die ich durchaus als erfreulich einschätze. Unsere Lieblingsvampirin ist viel selbstsicherer als zu Beginn der Reihe. Sie bietet sogar der Roten Garde die Stirn, als sie ihr Urteilsvermögen in Frage stellen. Ich kann ihre Sorgen nachvollziehen, weil auch ich finde, dass die Liebe Merit verblendet, aber ihre Entschlossenheit beeindruckte mich trotz dessen. Früher hätte sie anders gehandelt. Würde sie ihr Selbstvertrauen aus sich selbst schöpfen und nicht aus ihrer Beziehung zu Ethan, wäre ich rundum glücklich. Ich fand es übrigens ein wenig seltsam und unrealistisch, dass „Methan“ und generell Haus Cadogan die einzigen Vampire zu sein scheinen, für die sich die Chicagoer Gesellschaft interessiert. Die anderen Häuser ergattern nie ein Titelblatt. Wobei… Wer kann Scott Grey mit seinen Trikots schon ernstnehmen?

 

Führe ich mir vor Augen, wie wenig von „Höllenbisse“ zwischen der Lektüre und dieser Rezension bei mir hängen geblieben ist, bleibt mir nichts anderes übrig, als das Buch durchschnittlich zu bewerten. Es ist trotz einiger actionreicher Szenen ein holpriger, langatmiger Band, der die Leser_innen meiner Meinung nach langsam auf das große Finale vorbereiten soll. Ich bin nicht sicher, ob ich Chloe Neills Ansinnen, sich für das Ende der „Chicagoland Vampires“ mit politischer und wirtschaftlicher Kriminalität im großen Stil auseinanderzusetzen, tatsächlich gutheiße. Die Idee verdient Respekt, doch ob sie der Umsetzung gewachsen ist, steht für mich noch in den Sternen. Nichtsdestotrotz – ich sagte, ich werde die „Chicagoland Vampires“ – Reihe zu Ende verfolgen und daran werde ich mich halten. Eine Empfehlung erübrigt sich. Wer es so weit geschafft hat, muss selbst wissen, ob er/sie es mir gleichtut oder nicht.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/chloe-neill-hoellenbisse
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review 2017-07-11 16:42
Stay
A Day Makes - Mary Calmes

Ceaton leaves one family for another as he transitions from military to mafia.  He becomes his boss man's right hand guy.  Is there more to life than this?

 

Brinley AKA Brin is so excited to finally meet his hero.  He has been saved twice by the hottest man he has ever seen.  Can he convince Ceaton that the future looks bright?

 

For a lot of story, and a little romance, this book moves at a fast pace.  The characters are all so loyal, and heroic, in their own way.  I was pleased to see he lead character finding love at last.  It made for a great HEA ending.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2017-06-09 08:05
Release Blitz w/Review - Forbidden Promises

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

Title: FORBIDDEN PROMISES

Author: Katee Robert

Series: The O’Malleys, #4

On Sale: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert delivers the next book in her sizzling O'Malleys family series, hailed as "The Godfather meets Romeo & Juliet."

 

A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down.” –Publishers Weekly

 

A great read from the talented Robert!” –RT Book Reviews

 

This is an extraordinary series by any standards, and FORBIDDEN PROMISES slays the competition.” –Fresh Fiction

 

Some lines should never be crossed . . . not even for love.

 

Sloan O'Malley just left her entire world behind—her family, her wealth, and even her real name. For the first time in her life, she's free. She can live the "normal" life she's always wanted. A life without fear. But there's nothing safe about her intensely sexy next-door neighbor.

 

Jude MacNamara has no room for innocence in his life. Only revenge. Still, he's never been able to walk away from the forbidden, and Sloan—who is every inch of pure, mouthwatering temptation—has forbidden written all over her. Only after it's way too late does he discover the real danger: claiming Sloan as his puts a target on her back. To protect her, Jude is willing risk everything . . . and to hell with the consequences.

 

BUY THE BOOK HERE:

 

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ Google Play ~ iBooks ~ IndieBound ~ Kobo

 

 

 

 

Coming here was a mistake.” Sloan started to get up, but Jude hooked the band of her yoga pants and pulled her down. She ended up straddling him with a hiss of fury. “I dislike you intensely.”

 

No, you don’t.” He palmed her ass, sliding her forward so she rode the ridge of his cock. “You dislike feeling out of control. Guess what, sunshine? You don’t get control when it comes to fucking me.”

 

Her nipples pebbled, showing through her thin tank top. They teased him even as she put her hands on his chest, her fingers kneading him and making him think of a kitten who had just discovered her claws. “And if I want control?”

 

You don’t.” He wrapped one arm around her waist and used his free hand to palm her over the top of her pants. “I’ve barely touched you and you’re so fucking wet, you’re practically panting for me.”

 

You are insufferable.” But she rolled her hips, rubbing herself against his hand. “I’m leaving.”

 

No, you’re not. You’re going to stay here and let me lick that pretty pussy of yours until you come.” He lightly pinched her clit through the fabric, watching her face. She liked the slightest bit of pain if the way her eyes went heavy lidded was anything to go by. “And then I’m going to bend you over this couch and take what’s mine.” Until you forget why you were frightened in the first place tonight.

 

He wanted to hear her say yes. For all his pushing her, if she actually wanted to leave, he wasn’t about to stop her. She wanted him to push her, to corner her, to let her pretend she wasn’t making this decision every step of the way. Fuck that. He gripped her hips, lifting her and standing her on her feet. She blinked, obviously confused. “I thought…”

 

Jude unbuttoned his jeans, drawing the zipper down, his gaze never leaving hers. “You thought I’d take what we both know you want to give me? Newsflash, I might get off on the lady protesting too much, but that only goes so far. You want to leave, leave. I’m not going to chase you down and club you over the head, no matter how much I want you.”

 

She swayed a little. “That’s not fair.”

 

What’s not fair is how goddamn hard I am for you. I watched your little yoga show this afternoon—don’t even pretend you didn’t know because I saw you shooting looks this way. Seeing that pert little ass of yours in the air, like you were offering yourself to me, and not being able to take what I wanted?” He grabbed her hand and pressed it against his cock. “How long do you think you could hold downward dog with my mouth on your pussy?”

 

Her whole body shivered, her hand clenching around his cock. Sloan’s brows slanted down. “You’re doing it again. That thing where I should slap you across your face for talking to me the way you do.”

 

Do it.” Jude took her free hand and set it against his cheek. “But whatever you’re going to do if you’re not leaving, then get those fucking pants off. I’m starving for you.”

 

***

 

Sloan almost gave in. But she hadn’t left her entire life behind to hand over what little freedom she had to another man.

 

She took one step back, and then another. “You’re wrong. I don’t want to give up control.”

 

Lay the terms out. You don’t want this to end, but he can’t run the whole show. You can’t let it happen like that.

 

Sloan lifted her chin, faking a confidence she didn’t feel in the least. “Even if this is temporary, I want it on my terms.”

 

Jude went still. “I’m listening.”

 

The only way you can get what you want is to say it. She bit her lip and then charged on. “If you’re sleeping with me, then you’re sleeping with me. I don’t care if you aren’t a fan of cuddling. It’s something I require to continue this thing.”

 

He raised a single eyebrow. “You want me to whisper sweet nothings in your ear while you’re at it?”

 

I think we can both agree that’s not how you operate.” She didn’t want the lie of sweet nothings, but she’d take the lie of his big body in bed next to hers.

 

Maybe it would make her feel a little less alone.

 

He buttoned his pants with careless efficiency. “I don’t sleep.”

 

Her earlier anger flared. “Then lie there and count sheep for all I care.” She couldn’t believe she was pushing this. It would be so much smarter to retreat back to the safety of her home. Lonely, yes? But at least no one could hurt her there. She was opening herself up for rejection and potentially worse when Jude shot her down.

 

But he didn’t say anything, just continued watching her with a strange look on his face. “This will only end in tears for you, sunshine. You want things I’m not capable of giving.”

 

Her heart gave a pang, but she ignored it the same way she’d been ignoring it for her entire life. “You seem to think I haven’t shed more than my fair share of tears, Jude. What are a few more?” She took a careful breath. “Those are my terms. Take them or leave them.”

 

And then he was towering over her, his hand sifting through her hair to tug her head back so she looked him directly in the eye. “I’m taking them, sunshine. More importantly, I’m taking you.”

 

 

His thumb traced her jaw, unspeakably tender, but then his eyes went hard, making the bottom of her stomach drop in a way that wasn’t altogether pleasant. I have the tiger by the tail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forbidden Promises (The O'Malleys, #4)Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is the 4th in The O'Malleys series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this series in order.

Jude has sinister plans for someone near Sloan. His past is full of secrets and lies. What could he ever hope to offer someone as innocent as she?

Sloan has her own past full of secrets. She has her own lies she needs to tell. Jude is just eye candy until her curiosity cannot resist.

This series just leaves me breathless! Just when I think nothing can surprise me.... well, I am not a spoiler so you will have to read it to find out. Know that this author never leaves you wanting. The characters are very rich and compelling in all sorts of ways.


***This ARC copy was given in exchange by Netgalley and its publisher for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

FORBIDDEN PROMISES Playlist:

 

https://play.spotify.com/user/foreverromance/playlist/6qWv679PMUqtnC3GRnc2L2

 

Relax My Beloved – Alex Clare

Alive – Sia

Parachute – Chris Stapleton

River Lea – Adele

Perfect – Ed Sheeran

Laura – Flogging Molly

Ride – Chase Rice (feat Macy Maloy)

Forever Yours – Trey Songz

Hold Me Down – Halsey

Brave Enough – Lindsey Stirling (feat Christina Perri)

Devil’s Backbone – Civil Wars

Heavy in Your Arms – Florence + the Machine

Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande

Cold Day in Heaven – Delta Rae

Not Afraid Anymore - Halsey

I See Fire – Ed Sheeran

Touch – July Talk

John Wayne – Lady Gaga

One Woman Man – John Legend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE O’MALLEYS SERIES:

 

THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, #1

THE WEDDING PACT, #2

INDECENT PROPOSAL, #3

FORBIDDEN PROMISES, #4

UNDERCOVER ATTRACTION, #5

 

Series Page on Goodreads

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who learned to tell stories at her grandpa's knee. Her novel The Marriage Contract was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it "a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension." When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram * YouTube * Goodreads

 

 

 

FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE:

 

Website -- Facebook -- Twitter -- Instagram -- Pinterest

 

 

 

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

OR—

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2471/?

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-06-09 07:03
Lonely hearts
Forbidden Promises - Katee Robert

This book is the 4th in The O'Malleys series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Jude has sinister plans for someone near Sloan.  His past is full of secrets and lies.  What could he ever hope to offer someone as innocent as she?

 

Sloan has her own past full of secrets.  She has her own lies she needs to tell.  Jude is just eye candy until her curiosity cannot resist.  

 

This series just leaves me breathless!  Just when I think nothing can surprise me.... well, I am not a spoiler so you will have to read it to find out.  Know that this author never leaves you wanting.  The characters are very rich and compelling in all sorts of ways.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange by Netgalley and its publisher for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-18 08:33
Baccano!, Vol. 1: The Rolling Bootlegs (book) by Ryohgo Narita, illustrated by Katsumi Enami, translated by Taylor Engel
Baccano!, Vol. 1: The Rolling Bootlegs - Ryohgo Narita

In the year 2002, a Japanese man has won a trip to New York, and he’s having a terrible time. A bunch of teens mugged him and took his most prized possession, his camera. If he wants to get it back, he’ll have to talk to a member of the Camorra (an Italian crime syndicate). Luckily, the man he speaks to is in a good and talkative mood, and boy does he have a story to tell. It starts in 1711, when an alchemist and his comrades summoned a demon who gifted the alchemist with the knowledge of how to make the elixir of immortality, and continues to New York in 1930.

In 1930, a young man named Firo has just been promoted to executive in the Martillo Family, a Camorra group. At that very same time, two cheerful and energetic thieves named Isaac and Miria have just arrived in the city, determined to right their past wrongs by doing only good deeds. Of course, they have a rather odd notion of what constitutes a “good deed.” And at the same time as all of that, an immortal old man named Szilard is being driven to a meeting by Ennis, his artificially created human servant. Szilard has spent the centuries since he became immortal trying to determine the recipe for the elixir of immortality, and it looks like he might have finally achieved his goal. Unfortunately, a fire makes things more complicated, and the two surviving bottles of the perfected elixir go missing.

Ennis has to track the bottles down or risk getting killed by Szilard. Of course, they just happen to look like regular wine, it’s the Prohibition era, and there are two different Camorra groups, a couple idiot thieves, some thugs, and several FBI agents in the area, so her job isn’t going to be easy.


My first exposure to this series was via the anime, which was confusing, violent, high-energy, and lots of fun. One of the reasons it was so confusing was because it didn’t entirely follow a linear timeline. Viewers would be shown events from 1930, 1931, 1932, and 1711, all mixed together. I have since learned that this is because the anime adapted events from the first three novels. Although this first volume in the series jumped around between the various prominent characters and their storylines, it at least stayed rooted in 1930 (with a few brief glimpses of 2002 and 1711).

Although the more linear storytelling was nice, I’d still advise most English-language Baccano! newbies to start with the anime. The only reason I might tell someone to start with the books instead is if 1) they absolutely needed more linear storytelling and/or 2) they couldn’t stand Baccano’s on-screen gore and violence. While this novel was a lot of fun and contained several bits of information that fans of the anime will love, the writing/translation was...not very good.

The book was very heavy on dialogue, which was probably a good thing, since the issues with the writing/translation were most noticeable in the narrative parts. The phrasing often seemed stilted, and there were times when I wondered how accurate the translation was, because certain statements contradicted each other. For example:

“They couldn’t die from injuries or illness. As long as they didn’t age, they could rely on regenerating even if they fell into boiling lava.

However… The exception was that they could be killed with ease.” (50)

I think that this is referring to the way the immortals could “eat” each other - the only way an immortal (the true immortals, anyway) could die was by being absorbed by another immortal. However, the phrasing is strange. Another contradiction:

“Why? Why did this have to happen now? Why a conflagration now of all times?!

There was nothing here that was flammable!

The liquor… I must haul out the liquor…” (57)

Umm… Liquor is actually quite flammable. And then there was just plain awkward writing, like this:

“In the instant he stood, frozen, the muzzle of a gun appeared from behind the falling Seina’s.” (163)

Seina’s what? I’m pretty sure it’s referring to Seina’s falling body, but the sentence structure made it seem like it was referring to something like “the falling Seina’s gun.”

In addition to awkward writing, the book committed the crime of being a historical novel with, at best, vague and handwavy descriptions. One of the things I had been hoping the Baccano! novels would include was interesting period details. There were a few, here and there, but not nearly as many as I had expected. Instead, more of the focus was on the action and dialogue. On the plus side, that probably contributed to this being a very quick read.

As awkward as the writing/translation was, it somehow never leached the fun out of the overall story. I still enjoyed this combination of Prohibition era setting, goofballs and deadly criminals, and immortality-granting wine. I could remember the end result of the two missing bottles of wine, but I couldn’t remember how they got to where they needed to be, so it was fun trying to keep track of them. Also, it was surprisingly nice to see these characters again. I haven’t seen Baccano! in a few years, and this book made me think that a rewatch might be a good idea.

If I had to pick favorite characters from the anime, I’d probably go with Isaac, Miria, and Claire/Vino. I still found Isaac and Miria to be delightful in this book, but one thing that surprised me was how much I liked and felt sympathy for Ennis. I couldn’t recall her making much of an impression on me when I saw the anime. I think the book might have included details about her history that weren’t included in the anime, but it’s been so long I can’t be sure.

Eh, I should probably wrap this up. Overall, I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected I would, although I’d hesitate to recommend it to Baccano! newbies - try the anime first. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the anime, it’s definitely worth giving this book a shot, if only for the extra character information.

Extras:

There's a 3-page afterword written by the author. Also, these aren't exactly extras, but the book includes several black-and-white illustrations and 8 pages of color illustrations (or 6, depending on how you're counting). Unfortunately, the color illustrations have text on them that needs to be read, and it's a bit hard on the eyes.

The illustrations were nice enough - often a better way to get an idea of what a particular character was supposed to look like than any of the descriptions in the text, if there were any. However, I did note one possible historical inaccuracy. One of the illustrations showed a 1930 New York cop. I googled their uniforms, and I think Enami might have gone with a more modern uniform design than was appropriate.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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