Archives for November 2010

Review: Oceans of Fire

Reviewed by Jen

Oceans of Fire is the 3rd book in Christine Feehan’s Drake Sisters series. It focuses on Abigail Drake and her romance with Russian spy Alexandr. All the Drake women have cool powers, and Abigail is no exception: she can force people to speak the truth and know when they’re lying. In fact, she used that skill to help Alexandr in the past. But it ended in disaster and split them apart, until their paths crossed again in Sea Haven.

Not only can Abigail work her truth-mojo, she can communicate with animals –and she loves working with dolphins. She was out on her boat, when she accidentally witnessed the murder of an Interpol agent… Alexandr’s partner. She sees her old lover for the first time in years and all the memories come back. Alexandr had never stopped loving her. Never stopped searching for her, although Abigail thought he had abandoned her after their disaster in Russia.

The story branches out beyond just the whodunnit, into the intrigue of a smuggling ring and the Russian mob. Here we meet the mysterious Ilya Prakenskii who will later get his own book with sister Joley Drake.

The relationship between Joley and Alexandr is the best part of the book. The love between them is tangible. His past is pitiful. And the sexual tension is masterful.

But I have to admit, it’s hard to keep all those sisters straight when you’re first getting to know them all. I had some trouble with that.  Also, I wasn’t a big fan of all the dolphin stuff, but the high-points in the book made up for it.

Overall: steamy and sexy. I never knew how much I could want to meet a hot Russian. 4 stars.

Oceans of Fire
by Christine Feehan
Release Date: May 31, 2005
Publisher: Jove

Review: The Twilight Before Christmas

Reviewed by Jen

This is the story of the 2nd Drake sister, Kate. As with all the Drake sisters, she has a supernatural power, although hers seems the least noticeable. She can bring peace to those around her.

Kate has had a crush on Matt Granite since she was a child. He’s always been crazy about her. But they never were honest about their feelings. Matt is back from his service as an Army Ranger and he finally makes a move on Kate, just as an evil entity makes its way into Sea Haven.

The spirit seems bent on destroying Christmas and those who would celebrate it. Kate must use her gift and band together with her sisters to defeat the evil. And still find time to get it on with Matt.

She manages to do both. (Go Kate!) 4 stars.

The Twilight Before Christmas
by Christine Feehan
Release Date: November 2003
Publisher: Pocket Star

Review: Magic in the Wind

Reviewed by Jen

“Magic in the Wind” is on the short story that kicks off Christine Feehan’s Drake Sisters series.  The premise of the series is that there are 7 sisters, each with a different magical gift. A prophecy says that one day, the gate to their home will open for the man meant to fall in love with the oldest sister, Sarah. Then, from the oldest, ending with the youngest, each sister would find her true love. Finally, the youngest sister will again begin the prophecy by taking over the family home and having 7 daughters of her own.

Damon Wilder moved to Sea Haven to escape some bad guys trying to kill him… just as the mysterious Sarah moves back home. He hears so much town gossip about her that he goes to investigate and (shockingly) the gate opens for him, beginning the prophecy.

I like Sarah. She is strong and tough and not the 21 year-old ingenue we see in so many romance novels. She helps Damon fight for survival and finds the love of her life in the process.

I would have liked to have the set-up of the series more fleshed out, but it’s a short story and an OK one, so I’ll give it 3 1/2 stars.

Magic in the Wind
by Christine Feehan
First Published in Lover Beware Anthology
Release Date: July 1, 2003
Publisher: Berkley

Series Reading Order: Drake Sisters

20This is the reading order for the Drake Sisters series by Christine Feehan:

Sea Haven:
  • Water Bound
  • Spirit Bound
  • Air Bound
  • Earth Bound
  • Fire Bound
  • Bound Together (2017)

*Denotes short story/novella

Review: Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole’s Demon from the Dark is the 8th book in her totally amazing Immortals After Dark series.  The heroine in this book is the witch, Carrow, who we were briefly introduced to as Mariketa’s best friend in Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night. I have to say, I was not excited about reading her story. Her character never stood out to me, and the hero, Malkom, is an entirely new character.

Why did I ever doubt Kresley Cole? She rocks my socks off.

Carrow was one of the supernaturals kidnapped at the end of Pleasure of a Dark Prince. We find out that a group of humans is collecting samples from all the otherworldly species.  But they don’t have a dempire (demon/vampire hybrid.) They kidnap Carrow’s little witch niece, after killing the child’s mother, and blackmail Carrow into helping them catch Malkom.  Carrow is sent to Malkom’s demon realm and quickly discovers she is his destined mate.  Problems abound. He has lived a solitary and harsh life for centuries. He doesn’t speak English. And sadly, he has known nothing but cruelty and betrayal. They manage to fall for each other despite the language barrier, but Carrow can’t make him understand what she is doing and why she has to lead him into a trap.

WHAT IS SO GOOD ABOUT THIS BOOK: In a word: Malkom. I cared so much about his fragile heart, I wanted to beat down everyone who had ever hurt him. I ached for his sadness.  I hated what Carrow had to do.  It was masterful writing. Kresley Cole at her very best. And of course, you know that means there was some great sex in here too.

I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could.

Hell, it’s my blog. I give it 10 stars. Out of 5.  My favorite in the series.

Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole’s Pleasure of a Dark Prince is the long-awaited story of Lucia and Garreth in the Immortals After Dark series.  And when I say long-awaited… I mean ever since A Hunger Like No Other, when we first saw their connection and Lucia’s unexplained reluctance to accept their destiny together.

One of the things that amazes me about Kresley Cole is how she lays the foundation for future stories inside her books.  We get to look back now and revisit all the clues she has dropped along the way and see what’s been happening with our couple.

Garreth the Lykae met Lucia the Valkyrie before the events of AHLNO. In fact, the book starts before Lachlain MacRieve has pulled himself from the bowels of hell.  Garreth knew right away, of course, that Lucia was his mate. What he didn’t know, was that centuries ago she made a vow to stay chaste… a vow tied to her abilities as a master archer.  If she gives in to her feelings, she will lose her aim. This is especially bad since she is required to use her skills during every Ascension to put down Cromm Crauch (a really big bad guy) who she had the bad judgment to marry as a teenager.

So Lucia goes on the run and Garreth follows. She is on the hunt to find a weapon that can finally kill CC. The search leads her and Garreth deep into the Amazon. They face one obstacle after, not the least of which is their undeniable attraction to each other.

I love that so many questions were answered here. And by the end of the story, Cole has already set up the next major story arc.

I never really warmed up to Lucia. I never really felt like she deserved Garreth, which took away from the story a little bit. Perhaps my anticipation of this book prevented it from totally reaching my expectation.  Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent book. But I surprised myself by liking the next book, Demon from the Dark, even better. 5 stars.

Review: Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole’s Kiss of a Demon King is book 6 in her Immortals After Dark series. Here we finally learn what happened to King Rydstrom when he disappeared in Dark Desires After Dusk. We had a glimpse then of how Sabine tricked him into her prison cell.

Now we see from Rydstrom’s perspective how important his crown is to him. How guilty he feels that he couldn’t be there for his people. And how much he wants to find his fated female. Of course, he had no idea that both of those goals would be tied up with Sabine. She is the Queen of Illusions, a sorceress with loyalty only to her sister Lanthe. She is tied to her evil half-brother Omort, and wants to have a child with Rydstrom only to free herself from Omort and rule in his place.  She tortures Rydstrom with seduction, wanting to become his wife. Omort is behind the seduction because he wants to take Rydstrom’s heir and sacrifice him.

Rydstrom manages to escape and takes Sabine with him… working through the demon realm, trying to get back to his brother, to get to the sword foretold to defeat Omort.

Of all the IAD books, this one was my least favorite.  I like Rydstrom, but Sabine is awful. I’m sure she’s supposed to be, but perhaps it’s too much so. I also didn’t like that we are cut off from all that’s familiar for most of the book. The previous installments were all so intertwined and while there is a link to the last book… it’s just not the same.

I’d never suggest skipping this one if you are reading the IAD series, but for me, it wasn’t nearly as good as A Hunger Like No Other.  Cole set the bar too high early in the series. I look forward to getting back to our Valkyries.

4 stars.

Review: Deep Kiss of Winter

Reviewed by Jen

Deep Kiss of Winter contains two stories, “Untouchable” from Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and “Tempt Me Eternally” from Gena Showalter’s Alien Huntress Series.

The AH story focuses on Aleaha Love, a shapeshifter posing as Alien Investigation and Removal agent Macy.  She doesn’t know if she is alien or human. She grew up on the streets and is trying to make a life for herself. She took over Macy’s identity after discovering her dead body. Anyway, she is working with AIR, when a group of super-hot warrior Aliens show up. A fight ensues but she instantly has a connection with the leader, Breean. The Rakans are good aliens… they’re just trying to make a life for themselves on Earth. Their planet has been taken over by the Schon sex-cannibal folks we met in Savor Me Slowly. But they hope to use Aleaha/Macy and a handful of other AIR agents to secure their safe passage on our planet. As Breean and his men hold them captive, his relationship with Aleaha blossoms.

It’s not a long story, but it’s a good one. And Aleaha’s stories about her childhood and old friend Bride help set up Seduce the Darkness. A nice love story, with some wonderfully steamy scenes.

“Untouchable” finally shows us who Murdoch Wroth’s mysterious bride is: Daniela the Ice Maiden.  We learned way back that Murdoch had been blooded but he said his bride did not want to be revealed.  The story takes us back to the events of “The Warlord Wants Forever,” where Nickolai was searching for his beloved Myst. It seems that back on that fated night in the French Quarter, when he finally caught up to her, Murdoch met up with Daniela and his heart began beating again.

The big obstacle between the two is the fact that Daniela is an Ice Maiden and can not touch another person without it burning her skin.  I’ll tell you, they find some very creative ways to deal with this problem.

It felt like there was a lot of rehash in this story, but I wouldn’t have missed it. I love the Wroth brothers. I just wish Murdoch would have had a fleshed out version of a story that was all his own.

4 stars.

Review: Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole’s Dark Desires After Dusk, is the 5th book in her steamy Immortals After Dark series. Our hero is Cadeon Woede, a demon prince. We met him back in Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, when he and his brother Rydstrom were trapped in the cave with Mariketa. He has found Holly, his fated female, but it seems she is a human. That makes her off-limits to Cade, because mating with a demon would kill a human woman.

Good thing she isn’t really human. It turns out Holly is really half-Valkyrie  and doesn’t know it. Not only that, but she is the “vessel.” Every Ascension, a woman is chosen as the vessel to carry a child that will be the ultimate good or evil. So all the different factions of the Lore are on the hunt for Holly, either to knock her up or to kill her. As she comes into her immortality, it would seem like the perfect time for Cade to claim her. Only he can’t.

You may remember, Cade is the reason his brother lost his throne. Now, he learns the only way Rydstrom can get his kingdom back is with a special sword. A sword the brothers can only get, by trading the vessel for it.

Cade agrees to bring Holly to the swordmaker, unbeknownst to her. And of course, he falls in love with her over the course of his journey. This despite, her very serious quirks. Holly has OCD, and I must say I didn’t find it at all endearing. In fact, she seemed to border on serious mental illness. Fortunately, Cade was ok with that and started helping her learn what it means to be a Valkyrie and an immortal.

When it’s time to turn over his woman, can Cade do it? Can he atone for his part in his brother losing the crown? Can Holly ever forgive him? What was Nix doing with those explosives? (I digress.)

I liked Cade a lot. And Cole can write the heck out of a love scene, so I’d give this one 4 1/2 stars. But I’m ready to go back to those Lykae. Aye!

Review: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge is book 4 in Kresley Cole’s fun and sexy Immortals After Dark series.  In it, we finally find out what happened to the missing Wroth brother: Conrad.  As we know from earlier books, Conrad’s brothers Murdoch and Nickolai forced him to become a vampire more than 100 years ago.  What we didn’t know was that this was especially abhorrent to Conrad because he was part of a secret vampire hunting organization at the time. He went crazy and became an assassin.

His three brothers corner him in a bar and drag him to an old home to help him recover from his bloodlust. What they don’t know is that the old home is haunted by the ghost of a beautiful ballerina, Neomi.  Nix, our favorite all-knowing Valkyrie, provided a special sedative that not only calms Conrad, but allows him to see Neomi. They, of course, fall for each other.

Conrad is eventually able to orchestrate his freedom from the house. And Neomi manages to reach out to Mariketa the witch to gain a temporary corporeal form. Once Conrad meets Neomi in the flesh, his heart starts beating and he confirms Neomi is his bride.

I didn’t think I could like a book where the love interest is a ghost, but I did. I love crazy Conrad and his lack of experience makes him endearing. Neomi isn’t as compelling to me as our Valkeryie heroines but she was ok.  Conrad was really compelling enough for both of them.  Kresley Cole is so creative and finds new and unique stories to tell in each of these books. Plus, the sex scenes are awesome.

5 stars.

P.S. Best book cover. Ever.