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review 2018-09-24 16:39
Stolen / Kelley Armstrong
Stolen - Kelley Armstrong

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf.

In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the "other races" and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals - witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves - are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.

 

 

I read this book to fill the Shifters square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I just don’t know quite know why this series doesn’t grab me. It had been a year since I’d read the first book and I was actually looking forward to this second installment. The assumptions in Urban Fantasy are always ridiculous to those who don’t like the genre, but this one seemed a bit more ridiculous than most.

Take an ultra-insensitive billionaire, add his secret prison for supernatural creatures, and shake it up with the plot line of Richard Connell’s short story The Most Dangerous Game, and you get Stolen. The first book limited itself completely to werewolves and was all about Elena coming to terms with her life as a member of that community. Hey presto, this book suddenly produces a whole range of other supernatural folk not hinted at in book one—vampires, witches, demons, shamans and sorcerers. Might as well go whole hog, I guess.

I’m not sure why some authors can do this successfully (for me) and yet I find this version annoying. I find Elena to be a disappointing main character, not nearly as mentally strong as I would like her to be. What good is supernatural strength if you haven’t got the brains to back it up? Her relationship with Clay is also an irritant—they are incredibly irresponsible, often stopping in the middle of something crucial for a quickie. The sex seems gratuitous to me, not really moving the plot along, just thrown as “characterization” I’m guessing.

However, I haven’t given up. I will persevere with book three to see where Armstrong takes the concept from here. Just not until I’ve wrapped up all my various reading challenges for this year.

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review 2018-09-21 11:00
Review! Ravenous (The Dark Forgotten #1) Sharon Ashwood!

 

 

One kiss is all it takes to lose your soul…Holly Carver is a small-time witch who busts ghosts for tuition money, but ends up wrangling a demon when a haunted house job goes bad. Her Undead business associate, Alessandro Caravelli, suspects the demon is somebody’s not-so-secret weapon. The supernatural community is at war, and Holly’s unpredictable magic holds the key to hell’s doorway. Soon Holly is on everyone’s “must have” list, and not in a good way.


Alessandro wants her for more than magic. A lover with six centuries of experience, the vampire is walking seduction, but he’s also a predator. Every moment he spends guarding Holly, every second he spends falling under her witch’s spell, he becomes more and more of a threat himself. As Holly’s sharp-tongued grandma warns her: vampires are like a box of rich chocolate—they seem so tempting, but over-indulgence is a killer…


Second edition. Previously published in 2009 by Signet Eclipse

 

 


One kiss is all it takes to lose your soul… in this thrilling paranormal world. Holly who is a small town witch and Alessandro, her vampire partner, are two solid and captivating characters that grab readers’ attention from the beginning and refuse to let go. Their relationship is full of turmoil both emotional and physical with sizzling chemistry as they fight their attraction while Alessandro tries to keep Holly safe from everyone that wants a piece of her. The romance between Holly and Alessandro is intense and one that dreams are made of as they discover that maybe their differences aren’t so far apart as they thought and just maybe a witch and a vampire can have a happily ever after.

 

The fast paced and smooth flowing plot keeps readers glued to the pages with lots of thrilling events full of danger and suspense as the supernatural community faces a war brought on by quite a few characters all with different plans in mind and surprising twists keeps readers holding their breath in anticipation of what will happen next. The author brought her well-developed and fascinating world to vivid life with well written words that makes it easy for the readers to picture each and every scene while using some unique and fascinating elements to make the story a bit different from others and I am certainly looking forward to reading more of this mesmerizing series.

 

 

Author's Book Page - http://www.rowanartistry.com/book/ravenous-the-dark-forgotten/

 

 

 

Add Ravenous to your bookshelves at -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36658460-ravenous

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/ravenous-the-dark-forgotten-1-by-sharon-ashwood

 

 

Ravenous is the 1st book in The Dark Forgotten series -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/46164-the-dark-forgotten

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FF5QSJL?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

which includes -

 

1 Ravenous
2 Scorched
3 Unchained
4 Frostbound

 

AVAILABLE in ebook at -

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Ravenous-Dark-Forgotten-Sharon-Ashwood-ebook/dp/B077M4NL2Z

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ravenous-sharon-ashwood/1102512907

 

iBooks - https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/ravenous/id1315490032?mt=11

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/ravenous-29

 

 

Rowan & Ash Artistry is home to my artistic pursuits. The name comes from Celtic and Norse folklore. Rowan has protective powers and grants true vision. Ash is the mighty tree that links the worlds. Together they invoke strength, discernment, and love of harmony and balance.

 

I live in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. I have an honor’s degree in English literature but work as a resource manager (aka fun with spreadsheets). I am owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness, who is happy to express his critical opinion with judiciously applied hairballs.

 

As Sharon Ashwood, I’ve written several urban fantasy romance and paranormal romance series. I won the 2011 RITA® award for paranormal romance (Unchained) and was nominated again for Possessed by a Wolf in 2016 and Enchanted Warrior in 2017. In addition, I won Wisconsin’s 2011 Write Touch Readers’ Award Contest (Unchained) and the 2010 Desert Rose Golden Quill Contest (Ravenous).

 

Emma Jane Holloway pursues fantasy, history, and steampunk adventures. The Baskerville Affair is just the beginning.

 

Rowan & Ash Artistry is home to my artistic pursuits. The name comes from Celtic and Norse folklore. Rowan has protective powers and grants true vision. Ash is the mighty tree that links the worlds. Together they invoke strength, discernment, and love of harmony and balance.

 

I live in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. I have an honor’s degree in English literature but work as a resource manager (aka fun with spreadsheets). I am owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness, who is happy to express his critical opinion with judiciously applied hairballs.

 

As Sharon Ashwood, I’ve written several urban fantasy romance and paranormal romance series. I won the 2011 RITA® award for paranormal romance (Unchained) and was nominated again for Possessed by a Wolf in 2016 and Enchanted Warrior in 2017. In addition, I won Wisconsin’s 2011 Write Touch Readers’ Award Contest (Unchained) and the 2010 Desert Rose Golden Quill Contest (Ravenous).

 

Emma Jane Holloway pursues fantasy, history, and steampunk adventures. The Baskerville Affair is just the beginning.

 

 

Website - http://www.rowanartistry.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1880316.Sharon_Ashwood

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sharon-ashwood

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/RowanAshArt

 

Tumbler - http://rowanashart.tumblr.com/

 

Facebook (Sharon Ashwood) - https://www.facebook.com/authorsharonashwood/

 

Facebook (Emma Jane Holloway) - https://www.facebook.com/EmmaJaneHollowayAuthor/

 

Pintrest - https://www.pinterest.com/rowanashart/

 

InstaGram - https://www.instagram.com/rowanashart/

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-21 02:05
Vampires Like it Hot - Lynsay Sands Vampires Like it Hot - Lynsay Sands

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, this series was actually funny. Now it seems to rely on making a character out and out stewpid for laughs. I skimmed over it when I first got it, and have spent the last day or so (while reading it) mentally ranting.

 

So let's see...our heroine (spineless professional student who can't seem to tell people NO up until near the end) is in Punta Cana for a "destination wedding" (code speak for bridezilla not being too terribly concerned at how bloody inconvenient it is for a bunch of college students to just pull $$$$ out of their arses for airfare, lodging, and of course passports just to sit there and "ahhh" for a 15 minute ceremony that probably will end in divorce). She's suckered by the bride to be to keep up with said bride's sister who, judging from everything said, apparently spent her childhood alone while her dad threw money at her to shut her up. Said sister catches the eye of (cough) vampirates. Heroine, taking her responsibility a bit too seriously (really, the girl is an adult. Let her go) runs after her and catches the eye of the captain.

 

Captain caveman seems to live in a timewarp where it's apparently acceptable to override a potential lifemate's objections by kissing her senseless. He and heroine keep getting interrupted by the babysittee who flogs the heroine instead of the jackass. He gives up briefly and drags her off. Heroine takes advantage and bails through the porthole.

 

Enter the "dashing" Raffaele who complains about as much as the babysittee (so maybe he should have been paired with her instead.). Honestly, I knew about as much about him at the end of the book as the beginning. he's 2 millennia old, has been a teacher, and a pianist, and is now an architect. That's pretty much all we ever know about him. Why? Because the entire book was focussed on the heroine's drama (at least some of which she brought on herself).

 

So he rescues her. She's so exhausted she faints, has noodle legs, etc. Yet somehow she marches to the main building lobby to report her cousin being missing, takes off again for her room intending to wait on said cousin, still manages to go eat. Where does she get the energy? Oh, gets better because...she gets another room key, goes back to her room where she finds all *her* stuff is missing, and only manages to stop darting off in 40 directions like a hyperactive toddler after the H's cousin puts the notion to sleep into her head. Frankly she exhausted ME.

 

So the next morning, she wakes up after one of those lifemate dreams and... sneaks out of their suite (which I call BS here - how is it all their super senses don't pick up a blundering twit waltzing her way around in their suite). She then proceeds to go upstairs to her room - the one Captain Caveman has already moved her out of - and starts to take a shower. Of course he finds her. This is all a set-up for the "laugh" scene where she's dangling 4 stories up in nothing but a pair of well-worn bikini bottoms. The H finally wakes up where he's been napping in the chair beside the sofa-bed she'd previously occupied (really, he was right beside her and slept through her getting up, grabbing her room key, and leaving) and manages to rescue her from herself. Should have let her fall.

 

More stewpidity - they don't know any better than she does on how to get out of the country with no passport. After all, it isn't an issue with them. So rather than calling the front desk, reporting the theft, and finding out where to get aid, they just locate the main embassy. They have yet to tell her that they're "vampires" too (really, the harping on the distinction is getting old). She finds out inadvertently because once again, supersenses don't hear things like a knock at the door, someone wheeling in a fridge, and carrying on a conversation that shouldn't happen 4 feet away from a snoring vampire. She bolts. Of course she does. She just...takes off straight to the embassy where...they tell her she needs an appointment. And since she's once again on her own even though Captain Caveman is trying to get her in his clutches and she should know better than to take off like that (idiot), she ends up in a taxi with two of his friends who take her to his boat.

 

H and co are hot on their tail of course. So when she finally manages to learn the word "no" (gosh. I'm so proud of her), and Captain Caveman finally figures out he has competition, which he takes off to fetch, it's not too long before we get to read the most drawn out info dump in the history of this series.

 

Epilogue - She's invited captain caveman to the wedding to introduce him to Marguerite so she can find him his very own lifemate. Well... I guess that's a really good thing seeing as how often a spare lifemate leads to tragedy.

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review 2018-09-17 03:08
First comes marriage
Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews

That was an entertaining "love you/hate you" romp. To be honest, I was not sure about attempting this, because trying to redeem magnificent bastards tends to make them decay, but had to after his show up on Magic Triumphs. I had fun, even if the format resembles a medieval romance with arranged marriage type of thing more than standard Urban fantasy fare (though to be fair, Andrews does usually veer more into the romantic as volumes pass).

 

Most interesting part for me was him analyzing why he failed in Magic Rises.

 

You can not tell me the amount of dogs left is not a 300 allegory.

 

Badass crown for that "Hi, honey" at the end.

 

There was a lot set up here and questions raised as befits a pilot to a new series, but they don't intrude that much if you want to read it as a stand alone.

 

 

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review 2018-09-16 02:31
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

  Clever chicks who kick ass and go back to save people and are kind to smaller children...I love Tana. There's plenty of creepy atmosphere, and vampire slaying, and gore for days, but there's no swearing or sex (if that's something you look for) and in its own way it's rather wholesome. Tana and Buffy would get along well together.

 

Library copy

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