quotes Jennifer likes


"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."— Jane Austen

Friday, October 24, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "Haunted In Death" by JD Robb

Haunted in Death (In Death, #22.5)
Haunted in Death by JD Robb; Narrated by Susan Ericksen
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Romantic Suspense

Berkeley -- Published in 2006
Audiobook, 3 hours
Read in October 2014
Purchased from Audible

THEMES
Alpha Hero, Kick Ass Heroine, Secondary Romance, Murder Mystery

SUMMARY
Number Twelve is an urban legend in 2060 New York City. The hot club in the 1960s, it is now reported to be haunted…and cursed. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called there to investigate the apparent murder of Radcliff Hopkins, its new owner and the grandson of the man who made Number Twelve a cultural icon. Several bullets from a banned gun end his dream of returning the building to its former glory.

With everyone around her talking about the supernatural, pragmatic Eve won't let rumors of ghosts distract her from hard evidence. The case becomes even more bizarre when it appears to be linked to the suspicious disappearance of a rock star eighty-five years ago. As Eve searches for the connection, logic clashes with the unexplainable. She may be forced to face the threat of something more dangerous than a flesh-and-blood killer.



FIRST LINE
"Winter could be murderous."

MY THOUGHTS
Haunted in Death forces Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her team to face something that people often fear more than murder: ghosts.  Rad Hopkins is shot multiple times at the abandoned club that his grandfather made a pop culture phenomenon almost one hundred years ago.  Mr. Hopkins was determined to restore Number Twelve back to its former glory, but he was stopped by a mysterious killer with possible supernatural help.

I liked the uniqueness of this crime in the series.  Because of the gun ban, most of the murders that Eve deals with don't involve shootings.  I thought this was an interesting tidbit that didn't take over the story, but really helped in the formation of this futuristic world.  I was able to figure out the murderer pretty quickly which was different for me.  I did wish that the killer had been more developed or at least not so obvious.

The ghost story element was both fun and creepy.  It was interesting to see pragmatic Eve deal with the superstitions of her partner, friends, and even her husband, Roarke.  I also enjoyed the way that Robb handled the paranormal element.  Susan Ericksen continues her amazing narration in this series which always makes me eager to keep listening.


3.5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Glow -- Implied or subtle descriptions of lovemaking.


FAVORITE QUOTE
"...Fucking shark lawyers.  Excuse my language."
"That's okay.  Cops hear the word 'lawyer' all the time."


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
There are too many to show here, but I'm providing a link to the Goodreads listing and the listing from JD Robb's website.

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
Samantha Jellicoe series by Suzanne Enoch
Fatal series by Marie Force

Thursday, October 23, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY-HISTORICAL ROMANCE EDITION (49)

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is a new feature hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.  Since Tin and Mary C. are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, they've decided to focus on this beloved genre.

Here are the rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 2008.

THIS WEEK I AM FEATURING...

Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3)
Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
Originally Published in 2003

Nick Gentry is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all England. Known for solving delicate situations, he is hired to seek out Miss Charlotte Howard. He believes his mission will be easily accomplished - but that was before he met the lady in question.

For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who could destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition - one he has never offered before.

He asks her to be his bride. And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know - that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London's most notorious lover might claim Charlotte's body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.


**************
This is the conclusion of the Bow Street Runners series and can be read as a stand-alone though I recommend at least reading Lady Sophia's Lover to get a handle on this world.  Nick is another successful Kleypas hero with his quick mind and ability to overcome a dark past.  Lottie is sweet and tough at the same time which I also enjoyed.  They were a great match and it was fun to see them maneuver through the trials of marriage together.  This is a different style than most of Kleypas's historicals, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

All About Romance (B+)
Addicted To Romance (4.5 Blossoms)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

REVIEW: "Chained By Night" by Larissa Ione

Chained by Night (Moonbound Clan Vampires, #2)
Chained By Night by Larissa Ione
(Moonbound Clan Vampires #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Paranormal Romance -- Vampires

Pocket Books -- Published on September 30, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 407 pages
Read in October 2014
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Alpha Hero, Tormented Heroine

SUMMARY
THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction - or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader's daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress's identical twin sister?


FIRST LINE
"In a secret club blaring rock music and laughter, raised shot glasses brimming with whiskey clinked together like death knells."

MY THOUGHTS
I enjoyed the first book in the Moonbound Clan Vampires series last year though I did think it suffered from the large amount of world building that needed to happen.  Thankfully, the sequel, Chained By Night, did not have those issues and readers were left with an action-packed romance between two kick-ass characters.  Definitely going on my keeper shelf for 2014!

This series imagines a futuristic world where the existence of vampires was revealed to humans and resulted in the vampires being persecuted, hunted, and enslaved.  Free vampires formed clans to protect themselves and their race.  The Moonbound Clan is lead by enigmatic chief, Hunter, who, due to events from the previous book, is planning to mate with the daughter of another clan's leader, Rasha.  Things get complicated when Rasha discovers that she and Hunter are expected to undergo a demon's test to insure the safety of their children.  Rasha has no desire to complete such a task and sends her crippled twin sister, Aylin, in her place.

Hunter and Aylin were just amazing as individual characters and as a couple.  They both had difficult childhoods with Hunter growing up under a dictator-like father and Aylin being constantly persecuted for being the second twin and having a lame leg.  I really admired Aylin's determination and kind nature which was never beaten out of her.  She is willing to do these seemingly impossible tasks in order to save her sister's future children all while knowing that she is to marry another ruthless clan leader as soon as Rasha and Hunter are mated.  For his part, Hunter is a typical Ione hero with a tendency to be arrogant, but just a big softie underneath it all.  He is determined to be a good leader for his clan though he often feels like he can never do enough. 

It was obvious from their first meeting, these two had a certain spark that they were forced to battle for much of the story.  I am a huge fan of forbidden romances especially in paranormal fiction so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them figure out how to be together without causing a huge vampire war.  Larissa Ione does not pull any punches with this book.  It is dark, sensual, and very violent.  The tasks that Aylin and Hunter endure were not for the faint of heart and the descriptions sometimes made my stomach turn.  There were also plenty of vampire/human and vampire/vampire fights that were not lacking in detail.  Despite the dark tone, Ione also shows off her patented sense of humor and deeply romantic soul. 

Chained By Night also continues to grow the world of the MoonBound Clan through its large secondary cast.  There is Rasha, Aylin's sister, who appears cruel and selfish, but might have a heart under there somewhere.  Readers of the first book get to see Riker, Nicole, and Bastien make fun re-appearances that did more than just show off how happy they were.  And then there's Myne, the vampire warrior who was enslaved by humans and had his fangs removed by scientists.  I was intrigued by Myne in Bound By Night, but I really fell for him in this book.  He broke my heart on many occasions especially when his connection to Hunter's past was revealed.  I'm definitely hoping that Ione focuses on him next.

In conclusion, I was completely enthralled by this book from beginning to end.  Larissa Ione is one of my favorite paranormal writers and Chained By Night only reaffirmed that designation.  She knows how to make her readers connect to her characters and constantly rethink their motivations.  Plus she knows how to write some steamy romance!  Highly recommended!


5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions. 

FAVORITE QUOTE
“I thought your name was Roger.”
“Why the hell would you think that?”
“I heard Riker call you Roger.”
“Not Roger. Roger. As in affirmative. He was giving me a positive response to my order.”
 

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Bound By Night
2. Chained By Night

OTHER REVIEWS
Fiction Vixen (B+)
Parajunkee (5 Stars)
Vampire Book Club (4.5 Stars)

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian
Demonica series by Larissa Ione
Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward
Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole
Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: New Series I Want to Start

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

~Top New Series I Want To Start~

Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, #1)
1. Roaring Twenties series by Jenn Bennett (Historical/Paranormal Romance) 
1920s San Francisco with ghosts?  I'm sold!

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
2. My Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers (YA Historical Fantasy) 
I have been meaning to try this series for ages.  I love medieval history and the fantasy element just makes that much more intriguing.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
3. Throne of Glass trilogy by Sarah J. Maas (YA Fantasy) 
I have the first book and was waiting for the whole series to be completed.

Secrets of a Wedding Night (Secret Brides, #1)
4. Secret Brides series by Valerie Bowman (Historical Romance) 
I have liked Bowman's Playful Brides series and am anxious for more of her writing.

The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)
5. Project Paper Doll series by Stacey Kade (YA Science Fiction)
I liked The Ghost and the Goth and want to read more.

How to Tame Your Duke (A Princess In Hiding, #1)
6. A Princess in Hiding series by Juliana Gray (Historical Romance)
I love royalty in historicals so I'm going to give this one a try.

Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)
7. White Rabbit Chronicles series by Gena Showalter (Paranormal Romance)
Love Gena's adult paranormals and will try this even though zombies creep me out.

Splintered (Splintered, #1)
8. Splintered series by A.G. Howard (YA Fantasy)
I'm always interested in Wonderland-inspired books.

Saving the Rifleman (War Girls, #1)
9. War Girls series by Julie Rowe (Historical Romance)
I really want to try this series with World War II nurses.

The Dark Lady (Mad Passions, #1)
10. Mad Passions series by Maire Claremont (Historical Romance)
I got the whole trilogy through Goodreads First Reads program and am excited to get started.

Monday, October 20, 2014

REVIEW: "The Year We Hid Away" by Sarina Bowen

 The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2) 
The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
(The Ivy Years #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 17+ (Language, Sensuality)
New Adult -- Contemporary

Rennie Road Books -- Published in May 2014
Ebook, 233 pages
Read in October 2014
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Sports, Dual Points of View

SUMMARY
She's hiding something big. He's hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley's life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.

It's a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet's fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID -- with a newly minted name on it -- she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she's falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won't work anymore. And if they can't learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they've struggled to keep.



FIRST LINE
"The moment I heard the hum of the garage door opener, I was in motion."

MY THOUGHTS
I thoroughly enjoyed the first Ivy Years book, The Year We Fell Down, and I was intrigued by Bridger's character so I had to jump into The Year We Hid Away immediately.  I continue to be impressed by Sarina Bowen's writing style and ability to make her characters realistic without making them boring.  This book is considerably darker in tone than the first book due to the themes explored, but I found it just as entertaining.

Bridger was introduced to readers in The Year We Fell Down as Hartley's best friend whose home life was getting darker and darker.  Well, this book shows Bridger dealing with the issues associated with having a parent addicted to drugs especially when there is a younger sister involved.  I really admired the way he handled his difficult situation and how determined he was to protect his sister from his mother's lifestyle.  There aren't many college students who would be willing and capable of dealing with the ins and outs of raising an eight year old and I thought Bridger showed real maturity with it.

Scarlet's issues were the hardest part to read about in this book.  Her father was a famous hockey player who has been accused of unspeakable crimes towards children and she is forced to deal with the fallout.  She changed her name and is determined to start a new life at Harkness.  Unfortunately, as her father's trial moves closer, Scarlet is dragged back into her old world and face the possibility that things are even darker than she imagined.

Scarlet and Bridger's relationship started off as one of great friendship.  They each seemed to sense the other had issues, but they never pried or poked at them.  Their comfort level grew until they started to become more than friends.  It was different to have a romance between two people where they had to hide some of the most important aspects of their lives, but I thought Sarina Bowen did a good job with that part.  Obviously, secrets are finally revealed and both Bridger and Scarlet reacted with maturity.

All in all, while there were difficult parts to read in The Year We Hid Away, I came away with a smile on my face.  Both Scarlet and Bridger are likable characters and I was happy to see them find each other amidst external drama.  I am definitely looking forward to continue this series in the future. 



4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Glow -- Implied or subtle descriptions of lovemaking.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Year We Fell Down
2. The Year We Hid Away
2.5. The Blonde Date
3. The Understatement of the Year

OTHER REVIEWS
Dear Author (B+)
Red Hot Books (B+)
Ellie Reads Fiction (4 Stars)

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
Easy by Tammarra Webber

The Hook-Up by Kristen Callihan