30 October 2011

Dragonflight (The Dragnriders of Pern, Book 1)


It took me a bit to get into the story, but once I did I was pretty engrossed. I can tell I have been reading way too many romance novels lately, however, as I kept expecting more development of feelings and eventual declarations of love between the two main characters! As with much SF, I don't care for some of the names of the characters and palces. Names like N'ton and R'gul, where the pronunciation doesn't just flow off the tongue. Regardless, it was an enjoyable nostalgic read for me as I loved this series when I was in my twenties or so, and I look forward to continuing with it.

(Received through BookCrossing.)

28 October 2011

Small-Town Brides


This is the second Love Inspired collaboration I've read from these two authors, the first being "Small-Town Moms", and I enjoyed it much more than the first one. The book contains A Dry Creek Wedding, by Tronstad, and A Mule Hollow Match, by Clopton. Typical Love Inspired fare, but during both novellas I actually laughed out loud at times. In Tronstad's story, Rene and a young pregnant girl start making a list of what qualities a husband should have, while tow truck driver Clay listens bemusedly, tossing his two cents in at one point. The whole scene just cracked me up. Then in Clopton's story, Paisley has an amusing exchange with a store cashier who thinks she and Trace are having a lover's spat, and while musing aloud about what a good-looking man Paisley has, then commenting about how most of the lookers are jerks.

I think I'm really starting to get hooked on Love Inspired, which is bad because there are a million of them and I already have too many books to read as it is.  Oh well....

(Purchased at a library book sale.)

23 October 2011

Double Take


I didn't realize Love Inspired had a Suspense line until I picked up this book. I'd never heard of the author. And now I'm disappointed to learn that she only has one other book out, and it's not another romantic suspense. Cuz I really enjoyed this book. A very cleverly plotted mystery that keeps you on edge.

Cole Leighton, on vacation visiting his cousin in Atlanta, boards a bus one day, and opens the mystery novel he is reading. Minutes later, he watches as the events of the book seem to be unfolding before his very eyes.

Kenzie Jacobs' car wouldn't start, so she catches a bus one day, and finds herself taken hostage by armed robbers.

Cole can't bring himself to believe it's just a coincidence, and even though the local police not only don't take his theory seriously - that the kidnappers are acting out the novel - but now consider him a suspect, he is determined to find the missing woman and rescue her.

There are lots of twists and turns along the way. In a lot of suspense stories, the women who are in danger seem to cope very well. Better than I sometimes think I would cope in their place. Kenzie is terrified, drawn to Cole but not sure if she can trust him, and she often gives in to moments of panic. To me she seemed like a very realistic and human, er, person. If that makes sense. She and Cole both have issues in their past that still haunt them, and he is a reluctant hero, who often thinks he should just let the police do their job and go back home to Texas. But he just can't bring himself to abandon Kenzie, even when she makes it clear she doesn't want him around.

All in all, a very gripping and tense story.

(I purchased this book at a library book sale.)

20 October 2011

Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunters, Book 1)


OK, this is officially my new favorite series. Even though I've only read the first book so far. But first I read Fantasy Lover, which according to Fantastic Fiction was the inspiration for the series. It looks like there are around 20 books in the series, so I am really looking forward to being in this world!

Night Pleasures is the story of Kyrian of Thrace, a Dark-Hunter, who wakes up one day to find himself handcuffed to a human, Amanda Devereaux. While she comes from a large family who are all involved in the supernatural, she hates that side of her and has repressed her psychic abilities, insisting that she has no powers. She, of course, is horrified to wake up in an unknown place with this strange man next to her. Turns out one of Kyrian's enemies, Desiderious, has mistaken her for her sister Tabitha, who hunts vampires, and he put them together, expecting that Tabitha would kill Kyrian, a vampire.

Kyrian is not an evil vampire – in fact, he's not anything like what we've heard about vampires, as in this world the mythology has been gotten all wrong by us humans. As a Dark-Hunter, he's sworn to protect humans from Daimons, demons who live less than thirty years unless they take humans' souls.

So now the two must find a way to get rid of the mystical handcuffs, protect Amanda's sister, and kill Desiderious, all while fighting their attraction to each other.

It's a very involved and complicated world Ms. Kenyon has created, and I was sucked in very quickly. The characters are very well drawn and fleshed out. Ms. Kenyon obviously has a great sense of humor and her characters often banter back and forth in a delightful manner. But we are also privy to their anguish and soul searching, and become very vested (at least I do!) in their lives.

I've seen this author's name around a lot, and her books around a lot, and I'm now kicking myself for having not read anything by her before now. Her entire back list is now on my wish list!

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)

15 October 2011

Lady & The Vamp (Immortality Bites, Book 3)


I did not realize until I sat down to read this book that it was not about Sarah and Thierry, from the first two books! In those books, Quinn was a secondary character, a vampire hunter who tried to kill Sarah. He was later bitten by a vampire, but left to die an agonizing death - vampire venom slowly kills the victim unless the victim is given vampire blood to drink, thus turning him or her into a vampire also. Sarah, who was still a "fledgling" herself, dragged him to Thierry, who reluctantly fed him and saved his life. After that, Quinn was in love with Sarah.

Now, to nurse his broken heart and get away, Quinn has offered to drive werewolf Barkley from Toronto to Arizona to join his former pack. He has an ulterior motive, he's found a letter from an old family friend with instructions on obtaining an artifact called the Eye. The holder of the Eye is granted one wish, and Quinn, hating being a vampire and convinced he is now a monster, intends to wish to be human again.
In the meantime, Janie, another secondary character from the previous book, a merc who works for a mysterious man known only as the Boss, has been given instructions to travel to Arizona, with her partner Lenny, and bring the Eye back to the Boss. She doesn't know what the Eye does, and doesn't care, she is just doing her job. Plus the Boss has informed her he knows where her long lost sister is, and will torture said sister if Janie fails in her mission.

I was kept guessing right up until the end as to whether or not Quinn and Janie would be together, or whether their story would continue on to the next book. I mean, literally until the last three or four pages I was on edge wondering.

I do think I liked the two previous books a tad more than this one, but that was only due to the fact that I loved the characters of Sarah and Thierry, and was disappointed at first to have left them behind. However, I'm really enjoying this series, and Michelle Rowen's writing. It's breezy and funny and amusing and yet serious and touching at the same time. The characters are well written and we get good looks into their psyche and what makes them do the things they do and feel the way they feel.

One minor issue I did have with the book - Quinn is described as having dark blond hair. That guy pictured on the cover definitely does not have blond hair, dark or otherwise. I mentioned this in a tweet, and the author told me if I wanted to see him the way he looked in her head while writing the book, to picture Jensen Ackles. Sweet! (And a reason I love Twitter!)

(I purchased this book from Amazon.)

09 October 2011

Late Bloomer


A couple of weekends ago I went to a book sale at my local library with my mom and sister. We went on bag day, where you pay $5 for a paper sack and cram in as many books as you can. My mom bought three bags, and stuffed a few books into my bags as they wouldn't all quite fit in her bags. Later, while going through my bags, I discovered this book that must have been one of hers. I'm seeing her in a couple of days and will give it back to her then, but this morning I decided to read it first.

I am so incredibly glad I made that decision, because I absolutely loved this emotional roller coaster ride of a book. Here's the synopsis from the back cover:

Twenty years after a childhood accident left a permanent shadow over her life, Cady Jordan has returned to her Pennsylvania hometown. Her beloved grandmother Lola, a retired movie star, needs Cady's care -- but soon after arriving at Lola's lavish estate, it's clear that the colorful actress will be Cady's mentor to living life to the fullest. Cady wants nothing more than to come out of her shell, but to do so means resurrecting her lost memories of the day when a foolish stunt ended with a young bully's death and Cady's serious injury -- a tragedy for which her friends held Cady responsible. They're adults now -- a lawyer, a businessman, a stay-at-home mom. And a police chief: Boomer Ward, whose flaring attraction works on Cady's guarded heart. Now, Cady must determine who can be trusted as she draws closer to Boomer and confronts those who wish she'd never returned. Old wounds may be healed, but can Cady close a door on her heartache and embrace a bright new life?

Cady is a lost soul. Her grandmother and the two companions who live with her are characters. You know those old screwball comedies, where funny incident after funny incident happens one after another? There are many scenes in this book that remind of those. As Cady settles into her grandmother's home and begins making contact with her old friends, bits and pieces of her memory come back, and secrets are revealed. The accident is played out for us in the prologue, but throughout the book we are taken into the minds of  Cady, Boomer, and the other three children who were there, and how it affected each of them as they grew up.

I read this book in one day. I literally did not want to put it down. I don't know how I've not read this author before, but she has a long backlist, so there's about 90 more books to add to my already extensive wish list.

Fanged & Fabulous (Immortality Bites, Book 2)


First lines: Jogging is great exercise. Running for your life - even better.

Michelle Rowen is my new favorite author. In this second entry in the Immortality Bites series, Sarah discovers that thanks to the incident at the club at the end of the first book, she now is known as the Slayer of Slayers, with an undeserved reputation that causes her to be feared by some of her would be enemies. Throughout the book she frets about the hunters and Thierry who has not had sex with her since their vacation in Mexico two weeks ago, and her best friend being married to Barry who she can't stand, and Quinn coming back...and it's all quite enjoyable and humorous. And I wasn't sure how things would be left off with Thierry at the end of the book. And I'm quite eager to get to the third book.

(I purchased this book used from Amazon.com.)

03 October 2011

Dead and Dateless (Dead End Dating, Book 2)


First line: "I need a man."

After reading the first book in this series, I was a little on the fence about it. Lil, the heroine, was a little too fashion obsessed and self-obsessed, constantly reminding us that born vamps, herself included, are all ultra sexy and desirable...and there was a plot line in the middle of the book that just did not sit well with me and made no sense to me. But I was very enamored of Ty the bounty hunter.

In this second book, Lil is happily working away at her dating service when the cops suddenly bust in and arrest her for murder, claiming she chopped a man up. Using her vamp strength she is able to escape and goes on the lam. After a good (or actually bad) 24 hours of trying to hide out on her own, she finally calls Ty the bounty hunter, who she is very attracted to but doesn't want to be attracted to because he's a made vamp, not a born vamp. Made vamps can't procreate, so made and born do not get together. Anyway, Ty takes her in and assures her he believes she's innocent and they'll figure it out.

Lil is still too fashion obsessed and self-obsessed, and knowing the police are looking for her and there is a bounty on her head you'd think she'd be more careful, but she insists on running around doing what she wants to do, which puts both her and Ty in even more danger. So I was a little frustrated with her throughout the book. But I'm still quite enamored of Ty, and I did enjoy this book more than the first one.

(I purchased this book at a USB.)