Friday, May 17, 2013

ARC Review: The Eternity Cure

The Eternity Cure
Julie Kagawa
Young Adult/Paranormal/Dystopian
Blood of Eden/Book 2
Harlequin Teen/ April 30, 2013

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren.  The call of blood leads her back to the beginning - New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally. 

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she's never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

The second book in Julie Kagawa's dark vampire dystopian series takes up not long after where the first book ended.  Allie is searching for her sire, Kanin, and she's afraid of what she might find.   The reader is given background on the characters and the plot but I didn't feel it was enough to skip the first book.  Instead, I'd suggest reading The Immortal Rules, book one, to give you a better understanding of the characters and the world.  Plus, it's a really good book!

Allie has this deep sense of loyalty that I swear is going to get her killed someday!  You can't help but admire her but I also wonder if her recently lost humanity is at the root of her loyalty.  She doesn't view human as mere food sources and still tries to defend them when necessary.  She's certainly different than most of the vampires in this series.

The plot leads Allie into dangerous situations which is par for the course in the world she inhabits.  She may well be at the top of the food chain but she's still a newbie when it comes to the vampire hierarchy.  There is action but Allie also becomes involved in vampire politics which while somewhat interesting, tended to slow the plot down.

The book ends on a cliffhanger that left me wanting the next book now!  It looks like things will be getting more intense and more desperate for Allie as this series progresses.

Rating: B

Blood of Eden Series ~

Dawn of Eden (novella prequel)
The Immortal Rules
The Eternity Cure
The Forever Song (spring 2014, tentative)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Wallbanger

Alice Clayton
Contemporary Romance
Omnific Publishing/November 27, 2012

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight.

Oh, I had such a good time with this book!  It was sexy, highly amusing and left me feeling a little guilty for enjoying it so much!  Sounds like a great date night with my husband!  lol  Instead, I got to know Caroline and Simon as they got to know each other.  Their romance got off to a rocky start with the wallbanging.  Then a truce with a tentative friendship as the result.  I tend to think the best romances start with friendship.

Caroline is slowing being driven crazy by her wallbanging, long lasting next door neighbor.  She's turning into a peep-hole peeping tom, trying to catch a glimpse of the one she dubs "the manwhore".   Caroline is intelligent, funny and a little obsessive but I found her obsessions endearing.  Especially the one focused on Simon!

Simon doesn't know what to make of his crazy neighbor.  Her first impression leaves him thinking she's kind of cute in a "lunatic-escaped-from-the-asylum" way and being neighbors, he can't help but run into her.  As it turns out, they have more in common than they could have guessed.

Sometimes a romance has the hero and heroine jumping into bed rather quickly, and it works.  Sometimes they take their time and that's what happened with Caroline and Simon and it made the ending so much more believable and honest.

If you're looking for a smart, humorous and entertaining romance, give Wallbanger a go.

Rating: A

Friday, May 10, 2013

Buddy Review: Slashback by Rob Thurman

Recently, I had the pleasure of carrying on a long standing tradition of Buddy Reviewing the latest Cal Leandros book with two wonderful ladies, Nath of Books, Books and More Books and Hilcia of Impressions of a Reader.  You can read our Buddy Review of Slashback at Breezing Through.

I stopped and let them circle me, first because it was intriguing and, second, because, honestly, what could they do? Only knives, but all armed, and that made them even more interesting. Interesting. Fun.


Taking on bloodthirsty supernatural monsters is how Caliban and Niko Leandros make a living. But years ago—before they became a force to be reckoned with—the brothers were almost victims of a very human serial killer.


Unfortunately for them, that particular depraved killer was working as apprentice to a creature far more malevolent—the legendary Spring-heeled Jack. He’s just hit town. He hasn't forgotten what the Leandros brothers did to his murderous protégé. He hasn't forgotten what they owe him.

And now they are going to pay… and pay… and pay.…

Thursday, May 2, 2013

ARC Review: Half Moon Hill

Half Moon Hill
Destiny/Book 6
Avon/April 30, 2013

Trying to escape her troubled past, Anna Romo has come home to Destiny determined to carve out a place for herself. When she buys the old Victorian house on the hill with the intent of furnishing it into a Bed and Breakfast, she’s thrilled by the possibilities. 

Ex-biker-gang member Duke Dawson is as much a fish out of water in Destiny as Anna, but he’s handling it fine until an accident scars not only his body but his mind. When Anna stumbles across him in an old cabin in the woods near her newly acquired house, at first she’s terrified. But they work out a deal - she’s willing to keep his solitary living arrangement a secret if he’s willing to help her with some of the heavy lifting at the house.

Working together on the rennovations, romance brews between Duke and Anna. That is, until war hero Jeremy Sheridan returns home in a blaze of glory and sets his sights on Anna. Suddenly torn between the outgoing and charming Jeremy and the intriguing Duke, Anna’s heart is torn between two paths and left with only one solution. 

Toni Blake has worked her magic again! I do think Anna and Duke might just be my favorite couple of the series followed closely by Tessa and Lucky.  The pairing of Anna and Duke is a bit of an odd couple but Blake makes their romance work so very well!

Anna Romo has come home to a place she barely remembers.  After having been gone from Destiny for many years, Anna is home to stay.  We see how Anna is working to fit in but still holding back, not quite sure of her place in the Romo family.  I liked how Anna was aware of her insecurities and her torn loyalties.  There is also her need to not completely submerge herself in the small town but test the waters and ease herself into life in Destiny.  It shows Anna's intelligence and maturity.   I love reading about an intelligent heroine!  

Duke is a hero with a bad-boy exterior and a heart of gold.  At first glance, he's not someone you'd want to meet in a dark alley but once Anna, and the readers, get to know him, it's obvious he's a gentle and loving man with a little edginess that making his softer side that much more special.  Duke is a realistic hero in that he doesn't try to be someone he's not but learns to like who he really is.  He's certainly a favorite of mine!

With Anna and Duke living a fairly secluded life away from town, they are allowed to get to know each other with little interference from family and friends.  Which is good since Mike Romo, Anna very overprotective brother, can be a real hardass.  Anna and Duke don't completely forget about the people they care about but they have those uninterrupted moments, giving them time to get to know each other beyond what everyone else sees.

Blake's humor is certainly present not only in the romance but also in the friendships featured in the story.  I loved catching up with previous couples.  We see that life isn't always a perfect storybook romance instead it can be messy, frustrating and ultimately filled with ups and downs.  But it's how you handle both the ups and downs that show the real person.

Anna and Duke's romance tests not only what they know of each other but what they know of themselves.  This last book of the series certainly ended on a high note!  I look forward to heading south to Coral Cove, Florida for Ms. Blake's next series slated for a spring 2014 publication.

Rating: A

Destiny Series ~

One Reckless Summer
Sugar Creek
Whisper Falls
Holly Lane
Willow Springs
Half Moon Hill