Monday, November 21, 2011

REVIEW: Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

Lord of the Abyss (Royal House of Shadows #4) by Nalini Singh
4 Floozies

This book is the fourth and final book in the Royal House of Shadows series.  Each book follows the surviving children of the murdered king and queen of Elden as they make their way back home to defeat their parents murder and Elden's current ruler, the Blood Sorcerer.  Micah, the lord of the abyss, or hell as I compared it too, is the final sibling to make his way across the dimensions.  He is helped by princess Liliana, who just happens to be the Blood Sorcerer's daughter.  Yeah, that made for an interesting revelation.

Although I liked this book, some of the concepts did not come together as I expected.  For one, I thought there would be some hugs and kisses from the siblings before the epic battle, but it was just "Lili's dying, help me Nic, oh BTW, nice to see you after 20 years".  Also, the epic battle was not as epic as anticipated.  For as powerful as the Blood sorcerer was portrayed his killing was pretty ordinary.  And one thing that really got me was that Lili turned pretty!  Why do all heroines NEED to be pretty?  Couldn't she have keep her schnoz? Or her gimp?  I get she was spelled to keep her feeling defeated but couldn't she have kept something?

For all that, the rest of the book was spectacular!  I loved the interaction between Micah and Lili.  His blind love for her was very inspiring and her dedication to him and to freeing Elden was good too!  I loved Jissa and her infatuation with Bard, how sweet, a mini romance!  The fantasy-like creatures were well created by Ms. Singh.  And the overall plot and story line was easy to follow and fun!!  The back stories Lili revealed about how her dad treated her broke my heat, that poor sweet little girl.  So happy to see she got a HEA!

This series is fun, fantastical, and the slight similarities to fairytales were an added bonus!  I'm giving this book 4 floozies and the entire series a must-read recommendation to my fellow pararomance lovers!

This book was provided by

REVIEW: Pride & Passion by Charlotte Featherston

Pride & Passion (The Brethren Guardians #2) by Charlotte Featherstone
4 Floozies

Charolette Featherstone's writing is breathtaking! The emotion conveyed is unparalleled, her characters have depth beyond the pages, and the journey I was taken on was unforgettable. Pride & Passion is the second book in the Brethren Guardian series and the third book I've read by Ms. Featherstone and she has never failed me. I end up loving every word and damn the time between books!

I am slightly conflicted when it comes to Lucy. I know she is young and heartbroken over her lover's death, however she seems immature and will not open her arms to Adrian. Maybe it's because I know her HEA is with Adrian so I want her to put her big girl panties on and deal! At first I was not a fan, but with what she's had to deal with in her childhood, and now her relationship to her dad, I can understand and even empathize. Her maid (Sybil?) is a fishy character, something's up with her. Maybe she is Orpheus's girlfriend, the one that was in his room?

Oh, Adrain! I just adore him. He's kind, caring, loyal, and mysterious. He loves Lucy, but she won't throw him a bone for half the book. However, he's unrelenting, and the bomb that he drops at her feet is just so yummy! I love when things come full circle. Adrian was provided with an opportunity that he was reluctant to take but ended up using as a means to provide for those less fortunate. Gosh, don't you just love him?

Adrian ends up taking what he wants, and he for sure wants Lucy. The mysterious and dangerous Orpheus is still at large and now Elizabeth is missing! Go get her, Iain!! Great characters, great suspense, great romance, GREAT BOOK! Temptation & Twilight is next and I will be first in line!

This book was provided by

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

REVIEW: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook
5 Floozies

What a magical read!! I loved it from start to finish. 5+ Floozies for this one!!

For some reason I missed the whole steampunk aspect of this book, so it took me a minute to get the idea that Iron Duke did not take place in historical England. Once I got that, I realized the world Meljean Brook had created was so amazing and fantastic. The different classes and the prejudice associated was just one level of this skyscraper of a book.

Rhys (how many names did he have anyway, jeez, I had to reread a few parts to make sure it was him), oh boy, talk about take no prisoner hot boy. He takes what he wants and dosen't even bother with a thank you. His aura and presence were so enthralling. When he was on the page I paid extra attention because his character did not say or do anything that was not of great importance.

Mina's physical appearance is the embodiment of the "horde" to the public and a major catalyst to how she lives her life. I compared the Horde to the Nazis. Controlling, oppressive, unremorseful . . . you get the idea. Mina's mother was raped by one of the Horde and upon seeing her daughter she gouges her eyes out, not because Mina was grotesque, but for the injustice forced upon Mina's mother. Love, support, and understanding take the place of grief and Mina is raised in a house that any child would be proud to call home. However, when she steps on the street she is bombarded with ridicule, name calling, and even physical harassment because people see her outside appearance not taking the time to see what kind of person she is on the inside. That layer of the story really got to me because I can not stand by to racism, prejudice, and injustice. I like to think I fight, in my own way, for those who are effected and try hard not to judge before getting to know someone.

Anywho . . .

Mina is resigned to her lot in life and takes it on the chin like a champ. Rhys vows to purge the nasty thoughts of the "jade whore" from the minds of the public, when in reality Mina is the one that ends up setting the public straight just by being herself, a remarkable public servant, and a women in love.

Mina outwardly wants a quick tryst with Rhys, not wanting to reach too far above her station. However, Rhys will not stop until Mina is in his bed permentatly. Hello, feminist . . . Yeah, I cringed a little but thankful Rhys realized the value of Mina as a person, as a partner, and as a potential mother to his children.

Saw blades for teeth, glass orbs for eyes that detect truths and lies, metal sharks, and cracken!! Action, adventure, love, personal development, and sequels!! I was transported into this world and loved every minute I spent with Mina and Rhys. Even the supporting characters were exciting to get to know. I am a happy book lover right about now. Just so much to chew on without being overwhelming. The core of the story is crystal clear and so entertaining I could not put it down.

The development of Mina and Rhys' love for each was so sweet and just . . . perfect . . . for this book! I can not wait to read Heart of Steel and, really, any other steampunk romance I can get my hands on!!

REVIEW: Envy by J.R. Ward

Envy (Fallen Angels #2) by J.R. Ward
3 Floozies

Ugh . . . I need a witness! It can be quietly, in your own mind as to not upset your J.R. Ward group 'friends", or to keep the obvious from your lips but can someone please back me up!!

Ward's faux ghetto diatribes have become the most annoying thing since parachute pants. Hammer was not badass for strutting around in 25 yards of fabric and J.R. Ward's characters are not fiercer for trying to sound like they're "Straight Outta Compton", leave that to NWA, m'kay!

Here are some examples:

CPDers - really, just "cops" from Caldwell Police Department

Diving into his databanks - thinking, or maybe thinking really hard

"When the screaming pain faded a little, Veck took another run at remembering . . . only to slam temple-first into the land of Excedrin and blackout drapes again" - see what I mean?

" 'I can't remember anything after he showed up, and that's the God's honest.' " - How much harder would it be to add "truth" in there?

"Next door, on the far side of a connector, two deep male voices were doing the back-and-forth, in the key of frustrated-to-shit." - typical overuse of the hyphen

"This goin'-back-to-Caldie-Caldie-Caldie wasn't so much the issue." - As someone who comes from California and grew up listening to Biggie I'm slightly offended.

But really, when an author is capable of such poignant content as,
"Not all mirrors were made of glass, and you didn't always need your reflection to take a good, hard look at yourself. The truth was something you wore sure as the suit of flesh that bound and gaged your soul until you were set free, and you couldn't ignore it forever."
it's frustrating when a majority of the text is gibberish such as,
"Not a lot of Food Network going down in here: all he had were a couple of empty pizza boxes on the counter and some Starbucks dead solders clustered around the sink."
Starbucks dead soldiers? Come on Ward! Might as well complete the  nonsense and call the pizza boxes pie coffins.  Crazy thing is I only went 8% into the book, I honestly did not feel like rereading this crap.

I've heard many times and strongly believe just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Just because I can write every other word in italics doesn't mean I should. Just because J.R. Ward can do the whole hypen-overload-of-the-brain-to-make-something-hard-to-expain-easier-to-understand thing doesn't mean she should. Just because Nike, Van Hausan, Starbucks, Ralph Lauren (and who every else was plugged) wants you to promote their product in your book doesn't mean you should! Just because "Black and Yellow" contains those specific colors doesn't mean only Steerler's fans can like it. Ok, that went a little too far, but I want a red and gold song, damn it! As Ward would say, The Niners are doin' big thangs up in herr, off-the-chain-link kinda thangs, yo!

Ok, I'm back . . .

Don't believe me? Do you want more examples? No problem. Anyone with a copy can do so for themselves, here's how: Flip through your book and you will easily located groups of words separated by hyphens, meant to convey the attitude of a hip hooligan but ultimately makes them look like:

Seth Green from Can't Hardly Wait Remember him? Chester Cheetah, roar!

Or any of those Jersey Shore douchbags!

Thankfully J.R. Ward graciously allows us wait a year between books. That gives me time to unwind, and prepare myself for all of the obnoxiousness.

Ok, but to get more on point. I loved the story. I can not wait to see what happens with Sissy and Jim, as well as how Adrian will cope going forward. I love a series that builds and expands with every book until you are compelled to read all you can get your greedy hands on hoping for a taste. I can't wait for the next installment, I am invested in this series and eagerly await more! For as wrong as J.R. Ward can be, she is so right when building a relationship. The characters HEA develops so beautifully, J.R. Ward should have 'wonderful romance guaranteed' tattooed on her arse, because it's the truth! Not to mention the fighting and gore scenes, so captivating! This could have easily been a 5+ Floozy book . . .

That being said, I will not be the first in line for any future Fallen Angels books until J.R. Ward limits the "ghetto"ness. I relish books I don't have to dumb myself down to read, therefore, put them above books such as this.

And as Veck would say: Wow. Yup that's all I have on that one.

REVIEW: Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen

Lord of the Wolfyn (Royal House of Shadows #3) by Jessica Andersen
3 Floozies

Finished this a couple weeks ago and can't find my notes so please bear with me . . .

Yup, I was right! Red Riding Hood infused, fun but my least favorite of the Royal House of Shadows Series. I never GOT the characters. They had the chemistry required of all romance H/h (and why is heroine the little 'h'? Like Ds, are heroine's subservient?) . . . I digress . . .they had the chemistry needed but it did not go too far beyond that. This is the first book I've read by Jessica Andersen and I like her writing immensely. She has a "current" style that is easy and enjoyable to read. I just wasn't diggin' the characters. I never got why Dayn mind manipulating Reda was so bad, ya definitely worth a what for, but not all that went down. I like to put myself in the time and place of the stories I read and try to see the situation at hand and I had a hard time imagining the means and the ends of this installment. Well, needless to say, HEA was accomplished and Dayn and Reda set forth to conquer the Blood Sorcerer. A medium sized pothole on the road to reclaiming Elden, worth traversing just mind your under carriage :D

As this series is accumulative, I can only imagine this book is a must read for background when reading Lord of the Abyss, and although not terrible and certainly entertaining, it lacks the mysterious element required for me to LOVE a book, just keep that in mind.

REVIEW: Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe

Lord of Rage (Royal House of Shadows #2) by Jill Monroe
5 Floozies

Bears and
Bears and
Bears . . . . Oh My!

This is a MUST READ in ORDER series as the conclusion will not be achieved until Lord of the Abyss

Ok, goldielocks and the three bears have never been hotter. The correlation to the fairytale was fun to see evolve. And let me tell you the Fairytale Floozy loves a good fairytale romance, obviously!

Breena (btw: very similar to my sister's name. It's even spoken the same on my kindle's text-to-speech, kinda weird when they got busy) is the only sister of the surviving children of the massacred queen and king of Elden. The kids are squandered away to other realms by their mother's magic and then given the desire for revenge of the Blood Sorcerer, said queen and king murderer, by their father's magic.

Blondie Breena is dumped, lost in a forest of Ursa Berserker (that's bear for you newbs), luckily they are extinct, or are they? Anywho, she ends up in a cabin in the middle of the forest, hungry, thirsty, and tired. On the stove is . . . oatmeal. Luckily there is something to drink too . . . lemonade. Being so tired, she finds the bedroom with . . . three beds. She does not try them all but falls to her exhausted slumber on the biggest.

Sensing a theme? Yup, me too! (hint: relevant items in bold)

And who's bed is that? Osborn, the lone surviving bear or course. Well, he has two brothers, a total of three if you're not sensing the theme, but the brothers have not completed the berserker ritual so they are not furry yet. As far as I can tell the relations end there, but it was super fun while it lasted. Makes me wonder if this was an anomaly or was Lord of the Vampires supposed to loosely represent a fairy tale as well? Realm traveling vampires? Can't think of anything off the top . .

Well, I digress . . . Breena is gungho to have Osborn help avenge her parents and reclaim her island, but not so fast, sister. Osborn is not a big fan of the Eldenites, and sense she selectively forgets to tell him exactly where she came from, he's none to happy with her as well. His participation is limited to helping her hone her warrior skills.

I get all gooey inside when someone chanlleges the long held archaic beliefs of others, so the interactions between Breena and the brothers is so exciting. Brother Bear has not told them the best when it comes to women so they are very 1950's-human-realm in there beliefs. Oh, it's not because he does not like women, it because he likes them too much and does not want his brother to fall victim to the charms of a woman. Well, what do you know, he's the hero in a romance novel so I'm sure you can guess.

The progress from tough and unrelenting crazy bear to a soft and sweet teddy is fantastic. As well as, can't-even-cook-oatmeal princess to warrior ready to slay five head dragon thingies and murdering foes.

Girl Power!

HEAs abound and I could not be more excited to read Lord of the Wolfyn. If the fairytale theme continues I can only image I'll be seeing a red cape and mentioning a grandmother.

REVIEW: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1) by Gena Showalter
4 Floozies

This book was so much fun!  I value a Book 1 that sets up the rest of the series, and this did for sure.  The struggles between trust and survival are evident with love prevailing.  Lots of questions still unanswered, which makes me anxious to read the rest of the books. On to Lord of Rage, book 2.  Great series to start over halloween!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can't wait for Rainshadow Road (Feb. 2012)

I am so excited for Lisa Kleypas's new book, Rainshadow Road, book #2 in the Friday Harbour series, coming in February.

Isn't the cover gorgeous? Read an excerpt here:

I am one of "Lisa's Divas" - a group of select fans who share info & content related to Lisa's novels and get sneak peeks & swag in return.
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