Review: Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

Reviewed by Jen

I have long been a fan of the Cassie Palmer series, but reading this latest installment left me feeling exhausted. Usually when I describe a book as “action-packed,” I mean it in a good way. Here, not so much. There are some good things going on: plot advancement, relationship developments, answers to long-held questions. But they’re buried beneath a avalanche of non-stop action. There is no room for the story to breathe.

The book picks up right on the heels of where the last one left off. Cassie has been trying to rescue Pritkin for the past three years (or is it longer?) though in book time, it’s only been days or weeks. This storyline has dragged on for so long. I’ve stuck with it, because I love Pritkin and Karen Chance has been giving us little Cassie-Pritkin bread-crumbs for so long, I’ve been holding out for the payoff. The problem is, the longer she’s teased me with it, the less I care about the other stuff. [Read more…]

Review: Reap the Wind by Karen Chance

reap the windReviewed by Jen

I understand the concept of dangling a carrot in front of your audience and then using it to reel them in. In this series, since about book two, the carrot for me has been a pairing of Cassie and Pritkin. Every time I crack open another installment, I think to myself, this is going to be the one where the story really advances. Some have been more impressive than others. I loved Hunt the Moon. Others, like this one, don’t really take us very far from where we started. To which I say, just give me the damn carrot. I’m tired of chasing it. I am tired of feeling jerked around with it. It’s time to give readers a payoff and come up with something new to keep us excited. [Read more…]

Review: Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance

furys kissReviewed by Jen

Karen Chance continues to wow me with her ability to craft characters that I genuinely care about. She puts them through hell. And I cannot look away. Dory is such a fantastic heroine. She is not only the title character of this series, she is its heart and soul.  Hands down, she is one of my favorite UF heroines out there. [Read more…]

Review: Death’s Mistress by Karen Chance

deaths mistressReviewed by Jen

Love. I Love this series with a capital L.

If you haven’t read Midnight’s Daughter, the first installment, you need to start there. This book picks up where that one leaves off. There is a brand new story arc, but the relationships are under development.  Let’s face it. I’m a sucker for the relationships. But there is so much more this book has to offer. [Read more…]

Review: Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance

midnight's daughterReviewed by Jen

Why, oh why, did I wait so long to pick up this book? I am a big fan of Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer books and this is a spinoff from that series.  It exists in the same world, featuring Mircea’s daughter Dory as the main protagonist.  Simply put, it has all the awesome of the Cassie books without the headache from all that time travel.

Dory is a dhampir, a part human, part vampire hybrid.  Her kind is rare and reviled by humans and vamps alike.  She is nearly immortal and has super-senses… plus she had a tendency to go into a berserker rage when pushed too far. Anyway, Dory hates her dad. She thinks he abandoned her as a child and never really cared about her. As an adult, she finds him heavy handed and wants nothing to do with him.  Unfortunately, as this story begins, he comes to her with an offer she can’t refuse. [Read more…]

Review: Masks by Karen Chance

masksReviewed by Jen

For fans of the Cassie Palmer series, Masks is a chance to learn more about one of the series’ more enigmatic characters, Mircea Basaraab. As a reader who is 100% Team Pritkin, I had hoped this book would make me a bit more sympathetic toward him. (After all, in the Cassie books, he is smooth, polished and manipulative.) And yes, on some level, it did help me understand him better. But overall, this book didn’t have the magic that Cassie series holds for me. In fact, I struggled to make it through to the end. [Read more…]

Review: Tempt the Stars

tempt the starsReviewed by Jen

Cassie Palmer fans have been waiting an age for a resolution to the cliffhanger from Hunt the Moon.  If the years have dulled your memory, Pritkin saved Cassie’s life by using his forbidden demonic powers and was promptly whisked back to hell by his dear old dad for breaking the rules.  Well, I’ll tell you this, we get the rescue mission we’ve been waiting for, but don’t expect to be satisfied.  This book ends with a cliffhanger just as gnarly as the last one.  The story kept me glued to the pages, then made me want to poke my eyes out at the very end.  Karen Chance is killing me. [Read more…]

5 for Friday – September 14

Another week has come and gone and I am just not getting enough quality reading time in lately.  As I write this, I am about 75% through with The Burning Bush by Kenya Wright. It’s reminding me of how much I enjoyed Fire Baptized! But I think it is only the second or third book I have read all week.  Life just keeps getting in the way!  Here’s hoping things slow down a bit next week… I’ve got a ton of great stuff in the queue.

5. Just a few more weeks until the release of Fury’s Kiss, book three in the Dorina Basarab series by Karen Chance. I really enjoy her Cassie Palmer books and I keep telling myself that I am going to get started on these spinoff books one of these days.  Anyway, the book trailer is out. Take a look.

Fury’s Kiss is out October 2nd.

4. Historical romance author Sara MacLean has revealed the cover for her next book, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover.

The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean. Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she’s never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa’s done her research and Cross’s reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion – the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it’s more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts – and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

I liked the first book in this series, A Rogue by Any Other Name, so I am looking forward to this one.  One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is set to release on January 29th.

3. Another cover reveal… this one on Larissa Ione’s Rogue Rider.

How hot is Reseph, y’all? This book is really good! And I’m already excited for Reaver’s book in 2013!! Rogue Rider, book four in the Lords of Deliverance series, releases November 20th.

2. Sons of Anarchy returned this week, to kick off its fifth season.  This is such an amazing show!! Jax was not naked this week. He didn’t even take off his shirt. But I was surprised to discover just how much I enjoyed watching Jimmy Smits get busy.  He has either a really nice ass or a really good body double.  Who knew?

Of course, the real scene stealers this week were Tig and Harold Perrineau’s new character.  I sat on my sofa with my mouth hanging open when he threw that cigar! Holy shit! This show shies away from nothing.  It amazes and astounds me. It kicks me in the gut. And sometimes Jax is in the shower.  If you are not watching, you must hit up NetFlix right now!!

1. And finally… God, I love YouTube.  Seriously.  Jon Hamm.  Commando.  Wow.

There are no more words.

XOXO,
Jen

5 for Friday – July 20

Happy Friday!  Today’s the day I go down in history as either the Best Mother in the World or the Worst.  For an early 7th birthday present, I bought my son tickets to go see WWE Raw.  I only bought two, so he can go with the hubs but they allegedly have some autograph signings or something for the kids first, so I am tagging along for that.  Some of these dudes are built like shit-brick-houses, so I’ll let you know if I see anything worth reporting.

5. I am getting more and more excited about this upcoming Styxx book from Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Photo Source: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Facebook Page

2013 is so far away!!

4. Which brings me to that other book I am waiting for with baited breath… Lover At Last.  JR Ward posted the following on her Facebook page:

What does this MEAN?? Is he losing his heart? His sock? His cherry as a bottom?? (I could be down with that, by the way.)  Ward is trying to keeel me!

3. Speaking of hot m/m action, Jennifer at The Book Nympho tipped me off to this fabulous article on straight girls and gay porn.

I know it doesn’t wet everyone’s whistle, but it’s nice to see I’m in such good company!

2. We’ve all got our guilty pleasure reads, and mine are Christine Feehan’s Carpathian books.  I can do no other than to keep reading them. (Only other Feehan readers will get that joke.)  Christine has posted the first chapter of Dark Storm on her website.  Here are the deets:

Return to the seductive world of Christine Feehan’s New York Times bestselling Carpathian novels as roiling passions collide in a perfect storm of dangerous desire that only a precious few can hope to outrun . . .Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries. But there are some things that never change.

His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Second in command to the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man – and beast. Even his friends and family weren’t safe from Mitro’s bloodlust. Neither was Mitro’s lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts. But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun – one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.

Who the hell are these people?  I want Skylar and Dmitri. (*whine font*) Feehan jumped ahead 50 years between the first two books. She can jump another 5 years for this one!!  Patience is not my greatest strength.

1. And finally, Penguin is giving away a copy of Fury’s Kiss before you can buy it!

   Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing… 
   Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with astrange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.
   It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.
   To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…

Fury’s Kiss is out October 2nd. The contest runs through August 3rd.

XOXO,
Jen

Review: Hunt the Moon

Reviewed by Jen

Let me start out by telling you the absolute worst thing about this book: the fact that it’s over.  I’m finished with the damn thing and I don’t know how I am going to be able to wait to find out what will happen next.

The story begins with Cassie awaiting her coronation as Pythia. Mircea has her under constant guard; Pritkin is inundating her with self-defense training. Obviously, they’re taking the threat of an attack very seriously. And they’re right. A mysterious force targets Cassie in an assault and no one can understand how it was done.  So Pritkin goes on a journey to Faerie to see what information he can dig up.

The only time the book dragged for me was in his absence.  And perhaps Mircea fans will disagree, because for 100 pages or so, it’s a Mircea-thon.  He accompanies Cassie back in time to see her mother.  But the plans get turned asunder as Mommy is kidnapped and attacked by dark mages.  The rest of the action in the book centers on keeping Cassie’s mother alive and figuring out what’s behind the malevolent force targeting Cassie, herself.

But to me, all of that is window dressing for the fantastic interpersonal stuff that happens in this book.  Cassie still isn’t sure where she stands with Mircea and that confusion is compounded by his insistence on inflicting his will upon her.  We get little more insight into his feelings for her as the book progresses.  But where the story really shines is when the focus is on Cassie and Pritkin.  He comes through for her time and time again; he is reliable; he is constant; he is selfless; and the sexual tension between them is Oh-My-God out of this world.  Every book, I find myself wondering if this will be the one where Cassie realizes what she means to him –and what he means to her… Will this be the one where they finally, er, do the damn deed?  I won’t spoil you with the answers, but the journey is amazing and riveting.

A couple of the action sequences were just a bit too long for my taste, and the mythological motivations explaining the main story arc were a bit complicated.  But the climax was fantastic.  And the ending left me gutted.  We’ve got a big cliffhanger here; a powerful one. And I don’t want to wait!  Karen Chance, you are a cruel woman.  I don’t even know when the next book comes out.  5 stars.

*ARC Provided by Signet Select/Penguin Group USA

Hunt the Moon
by Karen Chance
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Signet Select