Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

Misguided Angel
(Van Alen Legacy Book #6)
by Melissa de la Cruz

Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal Romance

After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the five remaining gates that guard the earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silver Bloods.

Back in New York, Mimi has been elected Regent of a crumbling coven. Struggling with her heartache over the loss of Kingsley and with her overwhelming desire to destroy Jack, she must focus all of her energy on a perilous new threat. Vampires are being abducted and their captors are planning to burn them alive online…for all the world to see. Help arrives in the form of Deming Chen, a Venator from Shanghai, who must untangle the web of deceptions before the killers strike again.

As the young vampires struggle for the survival of the coven, they uncover a deadly secret, a truth first discovered by Schuyler’s mother during the Renaissance but kept buried for centuries. And as the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler to a terrible choice that will ultimately map the destiny of her heart.

I had another long ride home last week for Thanksgiving and listened to the audio-book version of Misguided Angel during the drive. I was excited to catch up with Schuyler & Jack, but I was surprised to enjoy the interactions between Oliver and Mimi even more. Mimi came out of her glamour shell to step up into her new role of elected Regent quite well (even though her vamp society is crumbling around her; it was nice to see the inter-workings of her group) and it was bitter-sweet to see her and Oliver lean on each other while in their heart-broken state. Almost foreshadowing to something "more" in the future of the series . . . IF she doesn't find a way to bring Kingsley back.

I was a little lost about 1/3 into the story since the reader is closely following Jack & Schuyler's mission in pursuing her Grandfather Lawrence's study of the guards & gates of Hell . . . and then the story cuts to Mimi, back in New York, with new characters joining in to discover the truth behind the missing vampires. It was like two major stories going on at the same time, which did eventually intertwine in the end, but threw me out of the loop for a bit. Overall, I highly enjoyed getting back into the Upper East-Side richy high school scene again after the last couple of books had us traveling the world and dealing with family deaths & disappearances.

Likes: I cracked up listening to the audio book voice actor doing a human conduit's voice (Jemma) . . . since it sounds IDENTICAL to a friend of mine! Too Fun!

Dislikes: I just wish we would have gotten more of one story instead of having it split into two.

Words of Wisdom: "The way to female friendship is through flattery" - by Deming Chen


Monday, November 29, 2010

KMM Shadowfever Book Launch

: La Pavillon Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Book hosting from Octavia Books
Sunday - January 16th
Scavenger Hunt in the French Quarter

Monday - January 17th
Book Signing at 4pm
****Yes, this means the book is released a day before everywhere else!

Tuesday - January 18th
KMM will give several talks starting at 11:00am discussing the Fever Series from conception to end for the first time ever and answer questions.

Cannot wait,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Everlasting by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Genre: Historical Romance

Once Abrielle was a proud, exceptional lady coveted for her bearing, her breeding, her wit, and her beauty. But when her stepfather is denied his rightful title and the wealth that accompanies it, Abrielle finds herself suddenly disgraced. Only one would still have her, the oafish and grotesque Desmond de Marlé. Yet no one else can rescue her once-proud family's honor, so she is left with no choice but to accept the cruel and hateful de Marlé's offer of marriage . . . even as she yearns for another lover.

Dashing, handsome, tall, and kind, Raven Seabern is quite unlike any man Abrielle has ever encountered. From the very first moment their eyes meet, he intrigues and mesmerizes her—and dancing in his arms at a royal banquet leaves her weak with the desire to surrender. But their love can never be, for Abrielle is betrothed to a monster. And the well-being of everyone she cares for demands that she honor her promise.

Still, the fire lit that night will not be doused. Raven knows he has found the true one and must never let her go—though secrets, deceptions, dishonor, and unimaginable peril will surely be their fate if they follow the dictates of their hearts.

I was so hoping for another great Woodiwiss read similar to The Wolf & The Dove, but sadly I was let (way!) down. I couldn't warm up to any of the characters, they just came off as too distant to me. Much of the story didn't really need to be there as well and it seemed like a lot of fluff was added in to make a higher page count. The two protagonists also really didn't click for me and them finally being together didn't really add any excitement to the story. Abrielle, to me, wasn't a very likable character since she came off a too stubborn/fickle/prudish throughout much of the story and upon owning up to actually loving her husband; it was page 294 in a 326 page story.

Mostly, the whole book dragged horrendously for me and I kept forcing myself to continue reading when all I really wanted to do was finish the story permanently. The writing style bothered me as well since each paragraph was devoted to a different character POV instead of chapters - thus I was lost with whom was speaking/thinking when. This random paragraph phrasing also happened with time lapses throughout the tale, which was very annoying since I found myself skipping some paragraphs due to a boring tale! I wouldn't have said I was happy to have finished overall, but I had "hope" that it would get better . . . silly me, since in the end I wasn't satisfied! Fellow readers: Don't Bother!

Likes: Nothing much stood out to me and I found myself skipping whole paragraphs & pages at a time; because of that no character/chapter/event became very memorable or likable in the end.

Dislikes: The whole romantic attraction/nuptials between young Cordelia & Cedric (an "elder more than twice" her age) really grossed me out!

Words of Wisdom: "Twould now be a goodly jaunt to reach your home, but what is that distance between close friends?" (pg. 150)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The More I See You by Lynn Kurland

The More I See You
(De Piaget Book #8)
by Lynn Kurland

Genre: Historical Romance | Time Travel

A wish upon a star transports the luckless-in-love Jessica Blakely back in time to the thirteenth century, but her desire for a fair and gallant knight yields the fearsome Richard de Galtres. Though wary of Jessica’s mysterious ways, Richard protectively harbors her in his castle by the sea. Though her stubborn will nearly drives him mad, the very sight of her puts a smile on a face that has known too few. And when Jessica’s tender desire pierces the armor around his heart, Richard fears he may never be able to recover – or resist…

Jessica eagerly accepts a month long trip to England (on a university faculty sabbatical) with her blind date, Mr. Stafford III, in hopes of having a "vacation from her life" and "a chance to get some perspective on the Big Picture" (pg 10) Except shortly into her trip, she makes a wish for "a man who would love her as much as he loved himself" (pg 19) and instead of finding herself among manicured bushes in an English garden, she emerges from a fog in the year 1260 at Burwyck-on-the-Sea. Adjusting to a Medieval lifestyle is harder then she expected; especially when she has to deal with Richard de Galtres's stubbornness, preconceptions of women duties (i.e. sewing & cooking...something Jessica knows nothing of), and the lack of music. If this is to become Jessica's new world/life, how will she survive (especially with out chocolate)?

I'm a sucker for time-travel tales, especially when they involve a little historical romance as well. So, after reading Lynn Kurland's One Enchanted Evening, I opted for more and, I have to say, I highly enjoyed
The More I See You quite a bit. It wasn't as kooky and ridiculous as some time-travel stories can easily become and I enjoyed that Jessica didn't really make it a secret of her time slip. Richards harshness was easy to find displeasing, but you could also easily see him falling for Jessica throughout the book - which was adorable. Happily, the ending wasn't abrupt . . . since you could feel the story winding up quickly, you'll be glad to read more chapters after the fact to tie everything together nicely. Something I love!

The reader gets a lot of one on one time with Jessica & Richard for the first half of the book, with a few of Richard's comical guards thrown in here or there. Yet, my favorite interactions were when Jessica was forced to mingle with other Medieval women in the second part of the story and finds a kindred spirit. Sadly, I felt the good-byes at the end were bit rushed though and would have been much harder to accept personally, but the characters do do a great emotional roller-coaster and I even found some other characters (ex. Kendrick & Abby) that I want to continue reading up on in the future. Can't wait!

Likes: At least there was more "parallel action" in this book compared to the last one I read,
One Enchanted Evening. Nothing too graphic, but enough to satisfy my romantic side.

Dislikes: They made such a big deal of Richard's past treatment as a child in the first half, but it kind of fizzled away in the second half. I would have liked the fact to have been pursued a little more to get a deeper understanding of his character.


Book Blogger Hop #5

Welcome to the BOOK PARTY!


"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

I'm probably the odd ball in the mix, but my answer is Never. It would be nice if I did it that way, but I don't think I've ever read a series in full order. (JR Ward, nope. Kresley Cole, nope. Janet Chapman, nope. KMM, nope.) Once I pick up a book, no matter where its at in a series . . . if its something I adore, I'll usually devour the rest in no time. So, I'm never disappointed in starting in the middle or even the end. Stories are always stand alone reads to me. Plus, its always fun to pick-up new favorite series character's books later on and get caught up in their world all over again. Now this doesn't mean I go out to purposely read where ever I want in a series and sometimes I get lucky and begin at #1, but if I don't . . . o'well, no loss done.

Thanks for hopping by,


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pulse by Kailin Gow

(Pulse Series Book #1)
by Kailin Gow

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Young Adult

Received book from Traveling ARC Tours

17 year-old Kalina didn't know her boyfriend was a vampire until the night he died of a freak accident. She didn't know he came from a long line of vampires until the night she was visited by his half-brothers Jaegar and Stuart Greystone. There were a lot of secrets her boyfriend didn't tell her. Now she must discover them in order to keep alive. But having two half-brothers vampires around had just gotten interesting.

Kalina loses her ex-boyfriend, Aaron, in a tragic accident three months before two handsome strangers, Jaegar & Stuart, show up in town to take over the Greystone family business. She eventually finds out that they are Aaron's older brothers and have also arrived to find out the true reason behind his sudden disappearance. When a dark family secret is revealed, Kalina must not only battle the scary truth of the people around her, but also what she has now become.

Firstly, I had to chuckle at the name Jaegar. This was my first time seeing it in print as a character's name and all that kept flashing through my head was my early drinking days with Jägermeist
er, eww. Besides name association, the brother characters were complete opposites of each other. I understand Jaegar's mysteriously dark & coldly flirtatious older brother attitude, but Stuart's sweet awkwardness stumped me a little. Certain parts of the story described him as "a bit awkward, a bit stiff -- a thousand years of practice hadn't cured him of his romantic ideals of women" (pg. 99) and at other times that "all the humans that [he] had spent any significant amount of time with fell neatly into one of two categories. Food - ... or sex. Stuart had been a rake in his day -- more romantic that Jaegar, perhaps, but in the end no less promiscuous." (pg. 72-73) Oddly to me, "awkwardness" describes an amateur attitude, someone who is uncoordinated and tactless, so Stuart's past rakish mannerism in the ways of women was very conflicting and I couldn't quite understand him as a male lead because of that.

The overall plot of Pulse was very intriguing, but it took me a while to get caught up in the story itself. From the beginning, I felt, it would have flowed better if the readers could have had a prelude of Aaron's accident or at least Kalina's discovery of the accident before cutting three months into where the story started. Except, what the readers got was a prologue to where both brothers deceived Kalina with "compulsion" right off the back, so it took me a while to figure out who and what exactly was going on the first few chapters and to warm up to the protagonists.

I did enjoy the twist at the end of Pulse and believed that could add some juicy intrigue to the future of the series, but I'm hesitant of reading further into the story since it may turn into another viscous love triangle similar to Zoey & her multiple guys in the House of Night Series . . . something I couldn't quite overlook. Yet, Kalina's character was wonderfully strong and I liked that she wasn't intimidated with any of the situations she was placed in. She portrays a normal teenager with jealousy tendencies, but she's calm, caring, a
nd remains chaste when the times calls for it. ;)

If you're big into series and ready for a little young adult vampire love twist, try out Pulse, but don't expect fireworks or a monumental in-depth story. Just check it out for an enjoyable lazy Sunday afternoon read.

Likes: The relationship between Kalina & her older brother/"acting father figure" was enjoyable.

Dislikes: This story had too many similarities to The Vampire Diary brother figures.


Monday, November 1, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter
(The Iron Fey Book #2)
by Julie Kagawa

Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal Romance | Young Adult

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believed her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Remaining faithful to her earlier contract with Ash (a Winter fey prince), Meghan now must follow her end of the bargain and become a prisoner of her own free will within the Winter court. Feeling alone, deserted and under the watchful eye of the crazy Unseelie Queen, Mab; Meghan soon finds herself right in the middle of a deadly plot to steal Fairy's Scepter of the Seasons. When no one believes The Iron Fey still exist and are the true fey behind the plot, war soon breaks out between the Summer and Winter courts and Meghan must set things straight before this new world of hers is destroyed altogether.

The same kooky characters we readers came to enjoy in the first book are back in #2: Ash is just as dark and distant as always, Puck is just as egotistical and lovable at the same time, and Grimalkin is still a mystery. The story jumps between the modern world and Faery as well; with even a visit to Meghan's old high school. The romantic tension between the trio of characters remains strong, even though Meghan begins to lean more toward one over the other. It's obvious she's young in love since she's confused on exactly
what types of love are out there (ie. her relationship with Puck vs. Ash) It's pretty obvious to the readers (or at least me!) which one she's drawn too romantically and which one she enjoys as a close friend /"brother" figure . . . she just doesn't always see it at times.

The creepy factor was back, which I enjoyed highly throughout the previous book, The Iron King, as well. You'll travel within the tangled darkness of The Briars which are "always moving, slithering, reaching for you out of the corner of your eye" (pg. 154) or witness the various creatures that lurk in the darkness of Tir Na Nog or the odd rooms of Leanansidhe's (the Dark Muse, self-claimed Queen of the Exiles) domain, where "schools of fish [swim] through the air" (pg. 175) and more. Unfortunately, the wow effect wears off a bit from Book #1 upon first being introduced into the whimsical world of Faery, but Ms. Kagawa does a nice job of keeping the plot/new characters/setting interesting enough to satisfy her fans.

Likes: New powers for Meghan was something I was looking forward too, yayy!

Dislikes: Meghan came off a little too "love sick" for my tastes. It seemed all she thought about every other page was Ash
this or Puck that and honestly it became a little annoying. She came off as a whimpering, needy girl and not Arcadia's new powerful princess, a side which she should truly be embracing.