Thursday, November 10, 2011

King of the Isles - Debbie Mazzuca Review

  Did this review a little differently.  Instead of waiting until I finished the book, I stopped at intervals or important places to jot down the thoughts and opinions fluttering through my head. 

Evangeline may be powerfully persuasive in her way, but convincing the notoriously wild Highland king Lachlan MacLeod to strengthen his alliances with a strategic marriage seems to be asking the impossible. Stubborn and proud, Lachlan seems determined to go against her will, even if it means endangering the people he's sworn to protect and the enchanted isle that has already seen so much discord. Yet the battle-scarred Highlander cannot ignore his sultry advisor for long. When his mentor is kidnapped, forcing him to ride into combat alongside the beautiful Evangeline, he must choose between her safety and his own independence. It's a choice he makes in an instant ...but once wed to the woman he could not resist, he'll soon find that his heart is in even greater danger than his kingdom

My Take: - Won this Advanced Reading Copy off a contest Kensington Publishing Corp had on Twitter.  If I could compare this author to another author out there... Donna Grant comes to mind with that highlander magic mixed with the Fae.

- New to me author

So far I am 48 pages in and Mazzuca's written voice is spellbinding. This is definitely a book I would recommend for those who love magic, Celtic myth (Fae) and hints of Scottish element. All things that tickle my fancy and interest.

Now I have not read the two previous books before King of Isles. I get hints that Syrene and Aidan have a book, but so far I really do not feel handicapped reading this first. It does spark my curiousness. I will reserve my judgement about getting the two previous books once I finish the book.

So, I am on page 208. The book is still engrossing. Evangeline and Lachlan both are considered tortured. Lachlan being in the physical and emotional sense. Evangeline more haunted and emotionally abused.

The two of them have such common ground that I can really see the two coming together. Evangeline has some baggage still. Lachlan too that they need to overcome.

So I wrapped up the remainder of the story and it's nearly 2 am in the morning. Yes, there were moments when Evangeline and Lachland aggrivated the hell out of me but glad the issue was resolved quickly.

Now the ultimate question is.... Will I read the first two stories in this series, oh yes. I found I enjoyed the side characters. I like to learn more about them.

Will I read more from this author? That is a given since she did weave such magic in her words.

The children in this book made me smile, cackle even.

Now there were a couple of times I wanted to knock Lachlan and Evangeline's head together but grief and anger does play havoc on our senses.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Lost - Caridad Pineiro Review

Adam Bruno is no ordinary millionaire. The heir to an ancient race possessing a dark, powerful magic, he can shapeshift and create energy. His gifts make him a living weapon and have forced him to live in seclusion. But now an inhuman force hunts down Adam-just when he finds someone who makes him feel more human than he ever imagined possible . . .

Home from combat in Iraq, Bobbie Carerra wants only peace, yet soon joins Adam in a terrifying battle against paranormal enemies who hide in plain sight. She's drawn to his strength of mind and body; he's attracted to her courage and intoxicating energy. Their scorching passion can either transport them to the heights of ecstasy or-if Adam's powers rage out of control-destroy them. But when an invisible brotherhood tightens its nets and someone Adam trusts betrays him, only a heartrending decision can save them.

     My Take: The ending clearly makes you anticipate and desperately want The Claimed; however I was delighted when my hunch/guess proved true at the end.

It was great to meet more of the Carerras. We met Bobbie briefly in Stronger Than Sin, not enough to get a feel for her character. The only other Carerra we see in here is Tony (sorry everyone for wanting Mick and Lily, along with the Carerrar matriach)

Gotta love the Carerras though: their sense of family, their inner strength, and determination to stand by those they love.

Bobbie shows these traits and more. She's a warrior, a fighter. She's been through hell but fighting not to let it keep her down, foraging onward the best of her ability. A character that a reader can admire and look up to.

Adam... the mysterious geeky hero! Shy to boot! Hehe. Enough that I can say about that.

This was completely different from Stronger Than Sin and Sins of the Flesh, opening the doors to a new series. The paranormal element in this is different, unique, fresh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tempted by Elisabeth Naughton Review

  Book Blurb:
DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pounded through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius had done all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she was gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned. As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought. And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

        MY TAKE: Third book in the “Eternal Guardian” series.

First I wanted to say how addicting these books are. Elisabeth’s writing, depth of story, surreal characters claimed me by the first page of Marked, that never waned one iota with Marked, Entwined, and Tempted. I was instantly swept away. She, Laura Wright, and Nalini Singh have totally won, more like run me over with their first books, wowed me where I became an instant fan.

Now I was a little leery going in Tempted only because a friend was not happy with Demetrius’s attitude. She did not think he redeemed himself enough, did not grovel enough. Yes, to put this as frank as possible, Demetrius was an ass of the first order in the previous two books.

Everything, from his reasoning’s became apparent in Tempted. “I” seen where he was coming from in the why he felt the need to behave so shoddy and crappy towards her. Not everyone is going to understand that, which is fine, their loss or maybe I do have a shred of empathy as friends accuse me of.

Now I did not see the loop about Nick in there, though I really hope he finds a lady despite all that is learned in there.

As for Isadora… In Marked she was too timid, too meek, and really just aggravated the heck out of me. She had no backbone; however, by the ending of Marked, and through Entwined Isadora really showed growth in her character. That growth appeared in Tempted.

She was a heroine that I could like, do like in fact. I really like it when a heroine comes into her own, and Isadora clearly does that in Tempted.

Along with Nick finding a special someone, I clearly want to see more of Orpheus. Okay, he’s totally won me… and needless to say that I want the Council to choke on gravel. Cannot wait for more installments of this series!

Five Shillelagh and a bear claw

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review on the ARC of Shadow Highlander - Donna Grant

    First I would like to thank Donna Grant for emailing me while I was on vacation to let me know I won this ARC. Had she not and I learned I missed out, I would have been so upset.

Sent on a dangerous mission into the shadowy world of the Druids, Galen must find a powerful ancient relic to defeat the enemies of Castle MacLeod. But what he discovers is far more powerful - and far more dangerous. A Druid lass whose beauty is as spellbinding as any magic.

Reaghan is the most enchanting woman Galen has even met - and the most enigmatic. She alone is immune to his mind-reading gifts. He alone makes her feel safe and secure. But Reaghan holds a secret power deep inside her that could destroy them both. And if Galen hopes to hold this captivating woman in his arms every night, he must defeat the darkness that draws closer around her every day.

         My take: Another brilliant book by Donna! Words can not convey just how much I enjoyed this book! Never once did I get bored, anticipating what would happened next and keeping me on my toes. From page one I was entranced...

In the previous books we've met Galen, one of the warriors, but it was nice to get feedback about him, how his past was still harsh yet different from the others.

And then there is Reaghan. She may not be a warrior like Larena but in all that she did showed a strength. New players have been introduced that makes my mouth just water and get ancy to learn more.

Simply can not gush enough about this book or behave like a fangirl!

Five Shillelagh and a bear claw

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Warrior Betrayed - Addison Fox Review

Forty years ago, Eirene, the Goddess of Peace, spurned her position to run away with a mortal. Furious with her daughter, Themis set a curse upon Eirene's unborn child; to one day replace her mother on Mount Olympus.

Montant Grant lost contact with her mother many years ago. Now as she struggles to lead her late father's shipping company, she's also dealing with the sudden reappearance of her mother. The frail woman is spouting nonsense about Mount Olympus, immortal warriors and long-standing curses. But after suspicious activity puts the company's future -- and possibly Montana's life -- at risk, she decides to take her mother's last bit of advice...

When Montana asks Quinn Tanner for help, she confronts the sexy, security executive about his secret identity: he's a Taurus Warrior. Quinn denies it, but he can't deny his powerful attraction to the high-power heiress. With worldwide peace in the balance, it's up to Quinn to help Montana rise to her destiny -- even as they're falling in love...

MY TAKE:Eirene, Goddess of Peace, Daughter of Themis and Zeus knew the price for giving up godhood for love.

Warrior Betrayed takes place about six months after Warrior Avenged. I like how evenly space “time” is between books, not too much time separates them, just enough to let the characters settle before another problem arises or their nemesis strikes again.

Few issues Quinn had in the previous book crops back up here mostly guilt on his part. It added to the flavor of the story, gave his character more depth, showed flaws and it really hammered that even though he’s immortal, in no way is he “perfect”. He was pinged for Taurus!

Montana in the beginning I was not quite sure how I liked her character. In no way was she weak and clingy but neither was she snarky, kick-ass take names type of character I generally like. She was sort of in-between which was sort of refreshing.

This book had more humor than the previous two. Book Two had humor; I found that I giggled with Ava and Ilsa’s interaction. Now combine those two with Montana. I giggled and grinned which got odd looks from my children because I was enjoying the interaction and the story unfolding. I found that, after reading this, that I have a fondness for the word “asshat” and want to use it even more (which ironically I do use it especially when my hubby is being a jerk)

Ah and we cannot forget Montana’s personal assistant Jackson whom I adored his character.

Really books need to come with a warning: Be prepared for some sleepless nights. The book was so engaging for two nights I did not get to bed until three am. Every time I tried to sneak a read during the day I got way-laid.

We also get to meet some new members to the Zodiacs. I profess I am curious about the relationship between Drake and Emerson, the witch. The suspense about the nymph Callie has me curious and needing more information.

Definitely give this book a definite druid approval. Thank you Addison Fox for letting me win this ARC, and for a rousing and engaging story.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Angel's Blood & Archangel's Kiss - Nalini Singh Review

ANGEL'S KISS by Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other - and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.

      My thoughts and views :   Relatively new to Nalini Singh (this year) the author has wowed me with the clear cleverness of her world-building, the depths and strength of her characters, and how expertly she weaves the plot line.
    As people probably noticed I am now familiar with Singh's Psy-Changeling series. I had planned to read this series next; however I had a change of plans when I was chosen to champion this series.  I did have to bump Play of Passion for this book and the next.
  Elena Deveraux is the epitome of the heroines I like.  She is hunter-born - which means that she was born with the unique skills to hunt vampires.  The word that comes to mind whenever I think of Elena is "Ballsy", her snark and mouth, especially the way she interacts with some minor characters along with the Archangel Raphael pleases me.
  She grabbed me from the beginning. Here is a woman, with a unique beauty, but with a painful secret.  The tortured aspect of her character makes her interesting, to bond. She is "beyond" perfect

 Now Raphael was a harder sell for me. To put it lightly, he was a straight up, cold, asshole. His interactions with Elena left me floundering. Then, the more Elena worked on him, the more I started to like him.
ARCHANGEL's KISS    By Nalini Singh

Like with most books I started to like a side-character more. Illium's character was just so loveable.  I do have to mention this... I really like the twist Singh did to her vampires in this series, the difference of it refreshing. Vampires are not really what I am interested in, but this turn, struck me as clear brilliance.

Overall I am eternally thankful to the Goddess that I decided to read this author. It pains me that I did not read this author sooner.  Do I plan to read and continue with this series? You bet.


Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan's power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena...

    My Take: Archangel’s Kiss starts off a year after Angel’s Blood. The epic fight against the sociopathic bloodborn Uram has left its mark on both Raphael and Elena. The Archangel and Hunter may be bruised but they are very much alive. They are also adapting to the recent changes in their lives:

Elena sprouting beautiful, midnight-dark wings. Warrior wings as Raphael fondly describes them.

This rare metamorphosis from human to immortal had not really changed Elena’s kick-ass, snarky attitude. She may be Angel-made however Elena still thought like a human, like the Hunter she was born to be.

Elena is still the tough-as-nails, strong-willed woman from the first book; she just needs to adjust to the new changes in her body and come to terms with the memories of the past resurfacing. Luckily for her she is not alone, but had the help and protection of her beautiful, blue-eyed Archangel and his trusted Seven at her disposal.

She is not the only one that has changed, has grown since the fight with Uram. Elena’s influence has continued to “humanize” Raphael. Some in the angel and vampire circle see this as a weakness to exploit, but Raphael sees this more as a strength. Elena grounds him, keeping him from ever becoming the monster they witnessed with the other Archangel.

Singh is a true “Bard”, a skilled story-teller with no real parallel. She does not “feed” or “tell” the facts of her unique and beautiful world. It literally blossoms inside your head from the characters on the page that you understand it a bit more, letting it digest way easier than the telling.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Psy Changeling - Nalini Singh Binge still going strong

Psy-Changeling Slave to Sensation


Visions of Heat


Caressed by Ice


Mine to Possess


Hostage to Pleasure


Branded by Fire


Blaze of Memory


Bonds of Justice About to start

Play of Passion

For those who have not read this author you really ought considering to do so. You are missing out on a wonderful world. Now I do not climb on author's bandwagons easily unless they fascinated and caught me in their world.

Nalini did just that. She has became an auto buy for me. Now I have not read her other series. That's next in line.

I've even convinced a friend to check them out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nalini Singh Psy-Changeling Series Binge

For those curious (like the felines) I read my first Nalini Singh in January of this year. She has been on my "To try out" list for some time; especially since my friend Lillie sent Caressed by Ice in one of the several boxes of discarded books to me.

2011 I decided would be the year I tried many "New-to-me" authors. I've been keeping amazingly well with this. When hubby told me to order $50 dollars worth of books from, Slave to Sensation was top most on the list.

Needless to say that by the middle of "Slave to Sensation" I was "HOOKED". Book friend from one of the yahoo book groups I am in, she graciously gave me her extra copy of "Visions of Heat". Also, with a Gift Card I won to Amazon and hubby giving me license to order books from I bought the next three after Caressed by Ice.

February and March I took a little break from Singh. I've been neglecting and ignoring the other books in my "To be Read" List. However, at the end of March, I decided that I was going back to the Psy-Changeling. The books are that addicting.

Then I learned in May the book I so been anticipating (yes I even looked to see what the next ones were about) comes out. From Slave to Sensation and throughout the books I have been hoping and praying not ot be disappointed in who Hawk's mate would be. There has been two instances with authors who disappointed me because of a pairing. Honestly I don't think I would accept it if Hawk did not get paired with Sienna.

However, one blaring thing was evident... before Hawk and Sienna's book comes out, I needed to be caught up with the books. With that incentive, I decided "What the heck, a Singh Psy-Changeling Binge" Since I already read the first three that left the rest. I started this weekish:

Mine to Possess - Read

Hostage of Pleasure - Read

Branded by Fire - Currently Reading (158 pages left to go)

Blaze of Memory

Bonds of Justice

Play of Passion

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cynthia Eden Deadly Fear Review

FBI Special Agents Monica Davenport and Luke Dante are sent to the quiet town of Jasper, Mississippi. Although the modi operandi are different, it soon becomes clear that the two murders there are linked - by the notes from the killer and by the victims' fear. When the next woman goes missing, Lavery receives a call and a man's voice whispers, 'What scares you?; Luke has never had a chance to watch Monica work on a profile before and he's amazed at the way she gets into the killer's head, retracing steps at the crime scenes, understanding the fierce need to stir terror in the victims. The killer is now totally focused on Monica. Finally, he's found someone who understands. Someone who knows the thrill of the hunt. The sheriff thinks that the killer will flee but Monica knows that running isn't an option for him. She doesn't think he fears getting caught - that's not what scares him. She thinks the bastard is playing a game - has been from the beginning and he's not going to stop until the game ends.

My Take on Deadly Fear by Cynthia Edens: This is my second Cynthia Eden book (but my first non-paranormal by her). This series had been massively pimped on a book site I’m in, and when I was uncertain what book to choose to read next, people voted for this one (Easier to make such choices with help!)

The heroine and hero are both “tortured”. And yes, I DO love a good tortured hero/heroine book. Why I read so much of Eve Silver’s gothic historical. It was nice to see yet another author allow not only the hero to be tortured but the heroine.

Mainly we focus on the heroine’s past, the way it shaped and molded her into the woman she became. Plus, her past really went neck and neck with the plot of the story. Now Cynthia did not leave out the mystery of what drove the hero neither but unlike most books it was not the main focus. Though their tragic backgrounds forged them into two different weapons, Luke and Monica were the perfect match. They meshed in the perfect balance due to their personalities.

Monica, despite what happened came out to be a strong person not about to become a victim again. Luke I loved his determination and perseverance where Monica was concerned. The overall effect gave us a thrilling, on the edge of your seat, adventure with hot, steamy romance.

I will definitely be reading Deadly Heat and Deadly Lies (because well I do have a penchant for connecting with the underdogs and minor characters in books, and well, I somehow liked Samantha. She stuck out on me) in the future.

This visionary druid gives this books two thumbs up.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eternal Rider Review

Synopsis: They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him. Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.

My Thoughts: To put into simpler terms how much I enjoyed Larissa Ione’s “Eternal Rider”: Holy Shit, that was freaking AWESOME!

Yup! Those six words sums it up nicely. I do have to admit that it had been a month or two since I got that worked up over a book, got that absorbed that time seemed to not exist. The last time that happened to me was in January when I read Singh’s Psy/Changeling books.

In the beginning I will admit that I was uncertain on how to react to Cara. The types of heroines I usually like and connect to are like Sin, Limos. The tough as nails, hold their own amidst males, and snarky. I LOVE snarky (even in my heros!)

Cara may have started off weak which normally annoys me. Somehow Cara didn’t. I really sympathized with the woman, all that she went through. Then, as the further we got into the book, and Cara’s inner strength is revealed, I really started liking her.

Ione has a gift on making her heroines likeable (okay maybe that’s me.) Okay, more than her heroines, her heros too.

Cara was the perfect “fit” for Ares. Really I could gush on and on, go all fan-girly but I won’t; especially since I do not write reveals too often (but this book deserved it). I will say it again, each Ione book, even this spin off, gets better and better!

For those who really liked the past characters will be in for a treat. Yeah we see Kynan a lot in there, Reaver too, but we get to see Shade’s brother in law Arik more in this book. So yeah, it was a treat to see all those characters we loved in the Demonica series here. And Wraith never changed! Shhh! Can I say that I have a thing for Than? The entire celtic thing really snagged me. Okay so anything celtic is hot to me. Okay I’ll shut up and say “I CANNOT wait for the next installment!” This Visionary druid gives Eternal Rider two thumbs up...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dreams of a Dark Warrior Review

Book Synopsis:

He vowed he'd come for her. . . Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives—only an endless yearning.

She awaits his return. . .When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals, unaware that he belongs to their world.

To sate a desire more powerful than death. . .Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan's torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

My Take: I've anticipated this book since "Pleasure of a Dark Prince". Regin's behavior, especially her texts to Lucia, cracked me up to the point I could not wait for her story. Now Regin is nothing compaired to Nix but she is a close second in the favorite department due to her "way".

Dreams of a Dark Warrior takes place relatively at the same time as Demon From the Dark. I was curious on how Cole was going to redeem Declan since all in all he was an ass in Demon From the Dark.

I was quite content with how the story unfolded. Lothaire is a big mystery still, and I was happy to get my Nix fix. That Valkyrie gets me. In a way I really do want Nix and Lothaire to be a couple. The two balances each other nicely.

Plus, Dreams of a Dark Warrior has to be the longest book I've read in some time (and has to be the longest of the Immortal books by my estimation) but do NOT let that daunt you. I would highly recommend this book!

Two Druid Thumbs (and two bear claws) up!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews Review

Once and awhile a book compels me to write up a review. Now mind you I feel self-conscious writing them, afraid of giving too much away or dropping spoilers to ruin it for others.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews more than compelled me. I have had many people, friends actually highly recommend Ilona’s Kate Daniels’ books; especially my good friend Joyce - who I remember around the summer time text me how excellent the series was.

Not exactly a New Years Resolution but I told myself in 2011 that I wanted to read “new-to-me-authors”, to finally get around to a lot of authors/series friends recommended. Magic Bites was one of them that I purchased to try and I am so glad that I did. My only complaint is why I waited so long.

The first thing that drew me to the series was the main character Kate Daniels. Sure, we know that she is a mercenary for hire, independent, snarky (gotta live wise-ass remarks), and kicks ass. Everything that I like in a lead feminine character yet Andrews still wraps an air of mystery around Kate. There is more to be unveiled I predict at a later date.

Side characters. Derek the werewolf eventually grew on me… but Curran, drew my interest too. There is a lot about the Lord of the Beasts that needs to be brought to light.

From page one I was hooked in the tale. Every spare time I got I used to read further in the book, and actually stayed up to three am to finish the book. Will I pick up further Kate Daniel’s books? That is a resounding “Damn straight!”

Magic Bites earned this Visionary Druid's full approval...