Review: Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Jen

I have to say, at the end of Ill Wind, I wasn’t really sure how Rachel Caine would continue with the Weather Warden series. After all, the main character wasn’t even a Weather Warden anymore. Maybe it should’ve been called the Weather Warden Turned Djinn series… Or maybe something a little snappier. But I am happy to say that be author did not disappoint. And while there is definitely a different feel here, I tore through this book in no time at all. I blinked and it was already over. Not because it was short, but because I was so engrossed in what was happening, I did not realize how much I had read. [Read more…]

Review: Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Jen

Confession time. This is my first Rachel Caine book. I know, I know, she has written a ton of a very successful books, but for some reason, I always thought of her as only a YA author. But I’m happy to say, this book was definitely for adults, and I am so glad a friend nudged me into giving it a try.

The heroine, Joanne, is a Weather Warden, which is where the series gets its name. She has the ability to manipulate the weather, primarily with the elements of water and air. She and others of her kind protect the world from the worst of Mother Nature‘s fury, though others have different affinities with different elements to create specialties. Anyway, as the story begins, Joanne is on the run. Her own people are out to get her, and it seems to be because she is wearing the mark of a demon. [Read more…]

Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Reviewed by Jen

I have been a fan of Kelly Meding since her Dreg City days. So when I saw she had a new urban fantasy series starting, I was super excited. And I am happy to report that Stray Magic didn’t disappoint.

The heroine, Shiloh, is a US marshal who works with a special paranormal unit. She is half human, half djinn, and as the story begins, she is just looking forward to a little R&R with her boyfriend, Vincent. Unfortunately, before they can get too cozy, she is called away on a case. A group of vampires has taken a trailer park hostage. The thing is, though, it is just an entry point into a larger mystery. Someone has been snatching vampires and werewolves… and master vampire Tennyson orchestrated the hostage situation it to get the help of Shiloh’s team in finding out who is behind the kidnappings and stopping them. This, as Shiloh’s own boss goes missing. She must work with Tennyson and the remainder of her team in a race to find the bad guy as it seems he is closing in on her at the same time. [Read more…]

Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

This last novella in the Dragos & Pia POV reminded me quickly of why I fell in love with the Elder Races in the first place. It’s been an age since the last time we had a full length book featuring these two, but Thea Harrison has given us a half dozen novellas over the years to keep us in the loop with their relationship and growing family. With this story, they are visiting Las Vegas to see Rune and Carling get married. Pia is very pregnant with baby number two –and everything goes to hell when someone with an axe to grind with Dragos kidnaps her to hurt him.

The book isn’t very long and I don’t want to spoil the particulars, but I will say that I really enjoyed returning to this world and these characters. Dragos is so fascinating to me. He’s the alpha among alphas, so much of a dragon, even when he’s wearing his human skin. Yet his love for Pia shapes him. He worships her; he would burn the world for her, and more to the point, he could. It’s awesome. I love Pia, too. She has her own brand of strength. Though her husband has been around for thousands of years, and she is less than 30, she has a lot to teach him about other ways to see life and the world. And the best part is that he listens. [Read more…]

Review: Moonshadow by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

Every so often I am reminded how much I truly enjoy Thea Harrison. I have not loved every single one of the Elder Races books equally, but I absolutely adored this one. This is actually something of a spin off, set in the world of Elder Races but outside of the ongoing story line. So if you’ve never tried those books, this is a fantastic place to jump in.

The heroine is an American police consultant recovering from a shooting. Her entire future opens up when she learns she may be heir to a mysterious castle. All she has to do is figure out a way in. So Sophie travels across the pond, hoping to unlock the mystery and change her life. [Read more…]

Review: Shadow’s End by Thea Harrison

shadows endReviewed by Jen

I feel like I have been waiting for Graydon’s book since the beginning of the series. He’s such a good guy, always there for Dragos and Pia, not only as a Sentinel, but as a friend. We’ve caught a glimpse of Gray with his heroine, Beluviel, during a big battle in Lord’s Fall, but there was no way to know how deep their feelings went. After all, she was the Lady of the Elven demesne, married to the High Lord for centuries. But here, Thea Harrison takes us back to their beginnings to see how they fell in love all those years ago and what drove them apart. [Read more…]

Review: Shadows at Midnight by Amanda Bonilla

shadows at midnightReviewed by Jen

I feel so many things right now. Angry. Sad. Frustrated.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved this book. I fell back into the series like I never left. It moved so quickly and effortlessly, I blew through the pages. I fell in love with the characters all over again. And it all blew up at the 97% mark. Blew. Up. Hence …the feelings.

The beginning of the book drew me in right away. Darian is in the clutches of the evil Padma. She is being brutally tortured, both mentally and physically. Amanda Bonilla does a great job juxtaposing the horrors with Darian’s fond memories of Tyler. The flashbacks helped bring back how much I have longed for these two to have a happy ending. And it makes their reunion all the more sweet when it finally happens. [Read more…]

Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

jinn and juiceReviewed by Jen

As a fan of the Jane True series, I went into this book with certain expectations. I know Nicole Peeler can suck me in to her stories, make me laugh, and light me up with sexual tension. And from the beginning of this book, all the way until the end, I kept waiting for those things to happen. Only to be disappointed. This isn’t a bad book. It’s creative with a diverse cast of characters and a different focus and feel than most urban fantasies on the market today. It just didn’t ever flip the switch to make me connect –to care– about what was happening. [Read more…]

Review: Against the Dawn by Amanda Bonilla

against the dawnReviewed by Jen

I am such a fan of this series.  And I am so glad Amanda Bonilla decided to continue with Darian’s story. Crave the Darkness left us in a dark place.  Darian had been manipulated by an incubus and nearly raped.  She and Ty were apart.  Xander wanted her for his own, and he was ready to drop the ax on Tyler for attacking him at a party.  The battle was won, but the characters we cared about were shredded.  We needed an opportunity to rebuild and Against the Dawn gives us that chance. [Read more…]

Review: Crave the Darkness

Reviewed by Jen

Shadow. That’s how I started out; all I was again. A casting of mottled dark.  The real me, the me that knew happiness and light left with him.

This was a tough book to read.  I mean, what can you expect with an opening like that?  The ending of Blood Before Sunrise was a real kick in the gut. And as we begin a new installment in the Shaede Assassin series, Darian is still feeling the burn.  Her beloved Tyler has left her and she has sunk into a debilitating depression.  But her friends refuse to let her wallow any longer.

Raif and Xander pull her back into the Shaede world, pushing her to lead a protection detail for Anya.  The two women have never gotten along, but Anya is pregnant and someone has been threatening her life.  Darian has to pull herself together to keep the woman alive, while working to identify and eliminate the threat to her life.

Meanwhile, Tyler returns.  But he’s not alone.  Is the beautiful woman with him Darian’s replacement?  Of course, that is Darian’s immediate assumption.  She doesn’t deal with her fears in any healthy kind of way, unfortunately.  I hated watching her suffer –and make unwise choices.  But though Darian is growing, she is still emotionally stunted and her reactions are in keeping with the experiences that have made her into who she is.

I know this all sounds like a giant downer and you may be asking why you should subject yourself to such torture.  Well, because it’s delicious torture, that’s why.  Well, mostly.  Darian has been through so much.  I am desperate for her to find some happiness.  And while I have never taken Xander seriously as possible contender for a love triangle, I actually found myself… softening toward him.  My love for Tyler has been seriously tested.  Whether intentional or not, he is the root of Darian’s pain and he could take it away at any time.  So why doesn’t he?  It fills me with so much angst.  Angst I could only feel about characters I have become utterly invested in.  I think if I were not able to read more of their story, my head would pop off.  Or implode.

Amanda Bonilla delivers a fairly big shocker in the story.  And despite all of the emotional turmoil, she keeps the story moving fast with plenty of action.  The ending… wasn’t what I wanted and there is much left… dangling.  But Bonilla promises this won’t be the end of the Shaede Assassin world, so I will try to remain calm.

If you haven’t read this series, this is not the book to start with.  Go back to the beginning and pick up Shaedes of Gray.  It’s good stuff.  If you’re already a fan of the books, you won’t want to miss this one, even if it’s hard on your heart.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Signet Eclipse

Click to purchase: Amazon
Crave the Darkness
by Amanda Bonilla
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Signet Eclipse