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Monday, 31 October 2011

Review: Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #1)

Publisher - Berkley UK
Publication Date - 13th October 2011
Paperback - 384 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it.

Book Info - "Using magic, meant it used you back. Forget the fairytale hocus pocus, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gave as good as it got"

Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user, maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying and they Offload the cost onto innocents. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster - and Allie Beckstrom is the best there is.

Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune - and the strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magic Offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown into the high stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic...

My Thoughts - I must admit to finding Magic to the Bone a bit difficult to get into at first. I had difficulty really grasping the way magic works in Allie Beckstrom's world and this left me feeling slightly confused at times. And there are some areas where the author's style of writing confused me slightly too. For example, the book is written in first person style from the point of view of Allie (apart from a few short chapters written from another character's point of view) and her thoughts would often move directly from a very relaxed conversational style to almost poetic descriptions of her surroundings. These two styles placed so closely together just didn't work for me.

However, after the first couple of chapters the magical ways of Allie's world had finally managed to sink in and I was better able to concentrate on (and enjoy!) the storyline. The plot is fast moving and, for the most part, kept me on the edge of my seat. Plus there were some good twists in the story that I didn't see coming.

I really enjoyed finding out about all of the characters in this book. Allie is a strong and independent woman who has obviously lived a life of loneliness. Apart from her best friend Nola she doesn't have anybody else to depend on, and this loneliness jumps off the page at you and really makes you feel for Allie. This loneliness is reflected on in her relationships with men. According to Nola, Allie often jumps into bed with men she hardly knows, then regrets it soon after and starts making excuses for why the relationship won't work. And we see a perfect example of this behaviour in Magic to the Bone in her relationship with Zayvion. Allie longs for companionship but she is scared of the pain and rejection that may come with this intimacy. This vulnerability made her a much more realistic character in my eyes.

 Zayvion is certainly a very intriguing character and I would really like to get to know more about him in future books in this series. I didn't like him much at first, although not for any reason I could put my finger on, but he did grow on me and by the half-way point of the book I had a pretty big crush on him! He is very much a mystery man (which I love!) and he really looks out for Allie and does all he can to keep her safe. The plot twist at the end involving Allie and Zayvion really knocked me for six and I can't wait to read book two to find out what the future has in store for these two.

Summary - Despite having some difficulties with the first few chapters of this book, I found Magic to the Bone to be an action-packed, romance-filled read that kept me turning the pages until late in the night. I am very glad that I persevered with this book and I am looking forward to reading book two of the series.

Other books in the series:
1. Magic to the Bone
2. Magic in the Blood
3. Magic in the Shadows
4. Magic on the Storm
5. Magic at the Gate
6. Magic on the Hunt

Other reviews of this book:
Book Addicts / Book Chick City / Dear Author / SFF World
(If you would like your review of Magic to the Bone included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (31st October 2011)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Books Completed:
Wild Heat by Bella Andre (Hot Shots #1)
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #1)

Books Reviewed:
The Hunt by Amy Meredith (Dark Touch #2)
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (Nightshde #2)
Wild Heat by Bella Andre (Hot Shots #1)
Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #5)

Books I'm Currently Reading:
Avenger's Angel by Heather Killough-Walden (The Lost Angels #1)

Books Up Next:
Hot as Sin by Bella Andre
Rune Marks by Joanne Harris
Touch by Jus Accardo

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Series of the week: Brenda Series by Paul Magrs

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Brenda series by Paul Magrs.

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought!

Never the Bride
Brenda has had a long and eventful life and she has come to Whitby to run a B&B in search of some peace and quiet. She and her best friend Effie like nothing better than going out for tea at the Walrus and the Carpenter or dinner at Cod Almighty and keeping their eyes open for any of the mysterious goings on in town. And what with satanic beauty salons, more than illegal aliens, roving psychic investigators and the frankly terrifying owner of the Christmas Hotel there are no shortage of nefarious shenanigans to keep them interested. But the oddest thing in Whitby may well be Brenda herself. With her terrible scars, her strange lack of a surname or the fact that she takes two different shoe sizes, Brenda should have known that people as, well, unique as she is, just aren't destined for a quiet life.

Something Borrowed
Brenda must face her demons, but first she needs toget to the bottom of the sinister goings-on that threaten to overcome an all-too-quiet seaside town.When poison pen letters start flying around the quiet lanes of Whitby, trouble is in store for Brenda and Effie. And with Jessie the Zombie Womanzee, trips down memory lane and amorous ghoul hunting, literary minded and strangely youthful professors of Icelandic history, as well as a terrifying encounter with bamboo wickerwork gods from the dawn of time, even Brenda's ample cup is running over. But her most challenging battle is the one she must fight with herself - or, at least, parts of herself!

Conjugal Rites
No matter what she tries to do, trouble has a way of finding Brenda. It's hardly surprising with secrets like hers. When her old adversary Mr Danby starts filling the airwaves with his late night phone in show it can only mean one thing - and sure enough best friend Effie soon finds herself up to her neck in it. But that is only the beginning; fate has an even bigger surprise in store. Romance is in the air for Brenda and, do what she will, she cannot deny that she and her man were made for each other - literally. But as usual, Brenda and Effie will face up to whatever dangers come their way with fortitude and grace: even if that means journeying to places beyond their wildest dreams.

Hell's Belles
Penny is running away from a life of domestic strife and into mysterious Whitby - where she hopes to find herself. But in her quest for self-discovery, Penny may have stumbled on something far more sinister: the gateway to hell. For Whitby is no ordinary seaside resort, and all that keeps the evil at bay are Brenda and Effie - two very unusual old ladies. When a film crew comes to town to remake the sixties schlock horror movie Get Thee Inside Me, Satan, Brenda and Effie suspect something strange is afoot. Female lead Karla Sorenson is reprising her role and she doesn't look like she's aged a day. Surely that's not possible? Then there are the disturbing rumours surrounding the original movie - a cult classic that is, quite literally, spell-binding. As events spool out of control, Penny's new boss Robert draws her deeper into the movie's peculiar mystery. But can it be stopped before all hell breaks loose?

The Bride that Time Forgot
Necks are being bitten all over Whitby. In an ordinary town, this would be worrying. Here, it's disastrous, and only Brenda knows why. She's trying to prepare for Christmas at her B&B, but her best friend Effie just hasn't been the same since her suave gentleman friend Alucard reappeared. Meanwhile, at Whitby's new mystery bookstore, new Goth-girl in town Penny is drawn into the strange works and worlds of Edwardian lady novelist Beatrice Mapp. The surprising discoveries she makes will impact on all the ladies of Whitby, especially Effie. And when unexpected help from the shadows of the past illuminates the dangers awaiting them, Brenda realises that she must save her friend - or the consequences will be eternal.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Review: Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #5)

Publisher - Bantam
Publication Date - 18th March 2010
Paperback - 320 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it.

Book Info - Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals - all child's play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding is a different story. Georgina isn't sure which is worse - that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina's roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there's Simone, the new succubus in town, who's intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that's visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she'll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she'll discover who she can trust, who she can't... and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity.

My Thoughts - I think you have probably guessed by now that I am a big fan of Richelle Mead's work - and this book is no exception. Although at times I can find Georgina to be a bit frustrating, I really enjoyed reading Succubus Shadows.

Once again, there is Georgina's group of supernatural friends who are all a lot of fun and who all look out for Georgina. My favourite has got to be Carter - there is just something so intriguing about a hard-drinking, chain-smoking angel. He seems to have a special interest in Georgina and her situation and I really hope we find out the reason for this in Succubus Revealed.

Although I have had some trouble believing in the love between Seth and Georgina in the past, their feelings for each other really shone through in this book. There are many touching moments between the two of them that totally made me believe in their love. I hope that they will get their Happy Ever After before their series comes to a close.

What I didn't like was Georgina's attitude throughout the book. She spends a lot of time being depressed and feeling sorry for herself. Although I can understand how hard her life is (she can't be with the man she loves, the mortals she cares for are all going to die just like all the other mortals before them etc etc) but at the same time this can make the book drag and you do feel as though you are hearing her complain about the same thing time and time again. Luckily her attitude does change later on in the book and she becomes a lot more positive about her future and actually starts taking steps towards achieving happiness. I am looking forward to seeing where this new attitude will take her in the final book in the series.

Summary - Another great installment to this fun series. I can't wait to read Succubus Revealed even though I am feeling a bit sad that the series is coming to an end!

Other books in the series:
1. Succubus Blues
2. Succubus Nights
3. Succubus Dreams
4. Succubus Heat
5. Succubus Shadows
6. Succubus Revealed

Other reviews of this book:
BelleBooks / Feeling Fictional
(If you would like your review of Succubus Shadows included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Review: Wild Heat by Bella Andre (Hot Shots #1)

Publisher - Rouge Romance (website)
Publication Date - 29th September 2011
Genre - Romantic Suspense

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it


Book Info - Maya Jackson doesn't sleep with strangers. Until the night grief sent her to the nearest bar and into the arms of the most explosive lover she's ever had.  Six months later, the dedicated arson investigator is coming face to face with him again. Gorgeous, sexy Logan Cain. Her biggest mistake. Now her number-one suspect in a string of deadly wildfires.

As leader of an elite fire-fighting crew in Tahoe, Logan won't back down from a blaze - or a woman. Maya Jackson may have seduced him with her tears and her passion, but it'll be a cold day in hell before Logan lets down his guard again. Until Maya's life is threatened and with his natural-born hero instincts kicking in, Logan vows to protect the woman sworn to bring him down. And as desire reignites, nothing - not the killer fire or the killer hot on their trail - can douse the flames...

Review - I have been very interested in trying a romantic suspense for a while now so I was very eager to make a start on this once I received my copy. I am glad to say that I was not at all disappointed by this new-to-me genre. It is full of intrigue, romance and very sexy firemen!

One of my favourite things about Wild Heat is the characters and the way the author is so easily able to portray their emotions. When we first meet Maya at the start of the novel, it is only a few days after the death of her brother and her grief is so well-written that it made me feel slightly uncomfortable to read it - almost as if I was witnessing her grief, and the crazy things it is making her do, first hand. Six months after the death of her brother, Maya is obviously still grieving for him but she is beginning to move on with her life and she is determined to find the person who started the fire that killed him. She is strong, couragious and more than a little bit stubborn - just the kind of heroine I love!

And as for Logan *sigh*. What's not to love about a sexy fireman who is strong, fearless and the type of man who can't help but protect everybody around him. Maya and Logan are very similar in a lot of ways but they compliment each other well as a couple. And there is a LOT of chemistry between the two of them! So much so I thought the screen of my ereader was going to start steaming up!

The story does start off quite slow as the author sets the scene for the reader, but once the killer starts to set their sights on Maya and Logan things really pick up speed and I couldn't put it down. There is a very good twist at the end when the killer is finally revealed but I have to say I was slightly disappointed in the final showdown. The killer just seemed a little bit too over-the-top crazy for my liking and this ended up making their revelations all seem a bit too forced and unnatural.

Summary - A very enjoyable read that had me on the edge of my seat for the entire second half of the novel. I was pleased with my first journey into the world of romantic suspense and I am planning to revisit again very soon, with my copy of book two of the Hot Shots series - Hot as Sin.

Other books in this series:
1. Wild Heat
2. Hot as Sin

Other reviews of this book:
Book Binge / Romance Reviews Today / Smitten with Reading
(If you would like your review of Wild Heat included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade #2)

Publisher - Atom
Publication Date - 26th July 2011
Paperback - 400 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

Source - Purchased

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing

Book Info - Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered.

But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

My Thoughts - I was very eager to read Wolfsbane after the jaw-dropping cliff-hanger at the end of Nightshade, and I'm glad to say that I was not the slightest bit disappointed. Wolfsbane is full of action, romance and intrigue, with amazing characters and great story-telling.

The author has perfected the balance between action and quiet moments. I found myself completely drawn into the many fights that Calla finds herself in, as well as being fascinated by all the history that is provided about the Keepers, Guardians, Searchers and the Scion during the quieter parts. My one and only complaint about Wolfsbane is that, at times, too much background information is given in a short space of time and I did feel a bit of an information overload. There were a few points where I would have to re-read a few pages to make sure I hadn't missed anything important.

It is impossible not to really feel for Calla and the situation that she finds herself in. Her whole world as she knows it has been turned upside down and she has to find a way to deal with that whilst trying to rescue the members of her pack that got left behind. And although Calla is a great main character, there is also an amazing supporting cast. The Searchers really come into the spotlight in this novel and the characters were well-written and likeable. My favourites were Adne and Connor. I loved reading the banter between these two and I look forward to reading more about them in the future.

Now onto the Team Ren/Team Shay debate. At the end of Nightshade I was definitely Team Ren, but after finishing Wolfsbane I don't think I belong to either team anymore. I don't really want to say why I'm not Team Ren anymore as it would give away too many spoilers, but I'm seriously hoping Ren sorts himself out in the next book. And as for Shay, he is just too aggressive in his pursuit of Calla for my liking. She has just made some life changing discoveries and she is in the process of making some tough decisions about the future of her pack, and he won't give her any room to breathe. To be fair though, this behaviour is explained later in the novel but it still made me feel uncomfortable.

Summary - A great addition to the series and I am really excited about the release of book three.

Other books in this series:
1. Nightshade
2. Wolfsbane
3. Bloodrose

Other reviews of this book:
Annette's Book Spot / Beckoned by Books / Girls in the Stacks / The Crooked Shelf
(If you would like your review of Wolfsbane included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadow Heir

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld...

The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't - or won't - reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon - and risk the ultimate sacrifice...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review: The Hunt by Amy Meredith (Dark Touch #2)

Publisher - Red Fox
Publication Date - 5th August 2010
Paperback - 272 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - Something is hunting. Something that will kill to get what it wants. And it isn’t human.

Eve knows that her supernatural powers are called for, but she’d rather focus on dating than demons and gorgeous Luke is, frankly, pretty distracting. He’s already a friend – but could he be something more? Do Luke and Eve really have a future? And with demons on the hunt, will either of them live long enough to find out?

Review - I must admit that I din't like the first book in the series much, but I was promised that book two was better so I decided to give it a go. I'm glad that I did read The Hunt as it did manage to iron out some of the problems that I had with book one, but it still didn't manage to amaze me.

One of the best parts about The Hunt for me is the potential romance between Eve and Luke. It is very much a will they/won't they situation that will leave the reader guessing as to whether anything will happen between them. What I like most about this relationship is that it is very different to most romances in YA fiction. First of all there is no love triangle! And secondly they are not falling all over each other in a 'Oh my God, I've fallen in love at first sight and we must be together forever and ever' kind of way, which I think is pretty unrealistic of most 15 year olds. They are friends who are developing feelings for each other and it is all very sweet and tender.

I also found the characters of Eve and Jess more likeable. Although they do still come off as being pretty shallow due to the fact that they constantly talk about clothes and make-up, I could also see that there is a very close bond between them too. They are willing to put themselves into any kind of situation in order to help each other out.

Once again, the storyline is written in such a way that it is a quick and easy read, but I was able to solve the mystery very early on in the book and this did ruin the ending for me. This is about the only complaint I can make about The Hunt, but I still felt it was a pretty average read. For me the romance was average, the friendships were average and the storyline was average. There just wasn't a single part of the book that made me feel any kind of strong emotion towards it.

Summary - The Hunt is a fairly enjoyable book, but don't expect it to blow you away.

Other books in the series:
1. Shadows
2. The Hunt
3. Fever
4. Betrayal

Other reviews of this book:
Booktastic Reviews / I Was a Teenage Book Geek / Teenage Fiction for all Ages

Monday, 24 October 2011

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (24th October 2001)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Books Completed:
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead
Hot Six by Janet Evanovich

Books Reviewed:
Shadows by Amy Meredith
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead

Books I'm Currently Reading:
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk
Wild Heat by Bella Andre

Books Up Next:
Hot as Sin by Bella Andre
Rune Marks by Joanne Harris

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Series of the Week: Sabina Kane Series by Jaye Wells

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Sabina Kane series by Jaye Wells. I've heard so many good things about this series that I really must try and read it soon!

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought!

Red-headed Stepchild

In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her - until now.

The Mage in Black

Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she's some kind of 'Chosen' who'll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn't care who chose her, she's not into destiny. But the mages aren't Sabina's only problem. In New York's Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she'd take a bite out of the Big Apple - but it looks like it wants to bite back.

Green-Eyed Demon

Things to do:

1. Rescue sister.
2. Murder grandmother.
3. Don't upset the voodoo priestess.

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks - a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon - head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and - perhaps most frightening of all - humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won't be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

Silver-Tongued Devil (Out January 2012)

Now that the threat of war has passed, Sabina Kane is ready to focus on the future. Her relationship with Adam Lazarus is getting stronger and she's helping her sister, Maisie, overcome the trauma of her captivity in New Orleans. Even Giguhl is managing to stay out of trouble thanks to the arrival of Pussy Willow and his new roller derby team. But as much as Sabina wants to feel hopeful about the future, part of her doesn't believe that peace is possible.

Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threatens to stall treaty negotiations between the mages and the vampires. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but her investigation soon leads her down dark paths that have her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Review: Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #4)

Publisher - Bantam Books
Publication Date - 4th June 2009
Paperback - 512 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Library

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Georgina Kincaid has been a bad, bad succubus… which should be a good thing. But lately, thanks to her foul mood over breaking up with bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, she’s been so wicked that Seattle’s uber-demon Jerome, decides to “outsource” Georgina to a rival – and have her spy for him in the process.

Being exiled to the frozen north – okay, Vancouver – and leaving Seth in the cozy clutches of his new girlfriend is unpleasant enough. Then Jerome is kidnapped, and all immortals under his control mysteriously lose their powers. One bright spot: with her life-sucking ability gone, there’s nothing to keep Georgina from getting down and dirty with Seth – nothing apart from his girlfriend that is. Now, as the supernatural population starts turning on itself, a newly mortal Georgina must rescue her boss and figure out who’s been playing them – or all hell will break loose…

My Thoughts - You really can’t help but feel for Georgina when reading Succubus Heat. She is devastated by her break-up with Seth so she tries to cover it up by being angry with everybody and embarking on a fling with dark and dangerous Dante. I wasn’t keen on the angry Georgina at the beginning of this book but luckily she becomes more and more like the Georgina I know and love as the story progresses.

Seth comes across as pretty unlikeable I’m afraid. He is currently dating Georgina’s friend, Maddie, which in itself is a horrible thing to do, but he then goes backwards and forwards between the two women when Georgina loses her powers. This makes the reader sympathise with Maggie as she is a nice girl who trusts both Georgina and Seth, who probably never would have got together with Seth had she known about their past relationship.

The mystery element of the book was once again brilliant. Richelle Mead always throws lots of red herrings at the reader so that we are kept guessing right up until the end who the perpetrator is. I am also very intrigued by the visions that Georgina had in Succubus Dreams. They are mentioned several times in Succubus Heat and I can’t wait to find out if it will come true and, if it does, who the man in the vision is.

Summary - All in all I absolutely loved this book. The Georgina Kincaid series is easily one of my favourites and I really can’t recommend them enough to anybody who has not yet read any of these books.

Other books in the series:
1. Succubus Blues
2. Succubus Nights
3. Succubus Dreams
4. Succubus Heat
5. Succubus Shadows
6. Succubus Revealed

Other reviews of this book:
BelleBooks / Feeling Fictional
(If you would like your review of Succubus Heat included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Follow Friday #6

Hi all and welcome to Follow Friday!

This is a great feature hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and I am very excited to be taking part today.

Every week participants have to answer a question so that we can all get to know each other a little better. This week's question is:

What Superhero is your alter-ego?

Oooh, interesting question. I think it would be pretty cool to be like Storm from the X-men. Not only would I get to control the weather, but I'd get to look like Halle Berry! That's a win/win surely?


Don't be shy. Let me know if you've found me through Follow Friday today and I'll come and return the favour :)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade #1)

Publisher - Atom Books
Publication Date - 28th December 2010
Paperback - 480 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

Source - Recieved from publisher for review

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My Thoughts - I absolutely loved the mythology behind this book - it is a unique take on the werewolf genre that I have never come across before. The Guardians (werewolves to you and I) have been created by the Keepers; a group of witches who need the Guardians to protect sacred sites. These sites are under threat from the Seekers - another group of witches who wish to find these sites and destroy them. The Keepers are in control of the Guardians, but in exchange for their loyal service they provide the Guardians with anything they could wish for, such as homes/cars/education etc.

Calla, a young Guardian, knows that she must marry Ren and then together they will lead a new pack. This has always been her destiny and she never questions it until she meets Shay - a human boy she seems to feel incredibly attracted to.  Calla is an amazing main character and I loved reading about her jouney from a young and loyal Guardian to somebody who has the courage to find out the truth about her life, and the lives of her fellow Guardians, even though it could prove very hazardous to her health!

Of course there is the usual love triangle that seems to be the staple of most YA novels these days. Calla definitely feels a spark of attraction for Ren in the lead up to their Union but she also finds herself being drawn to Shay as they spend more time together. Although I really liked Shay, I would have liked to find out more about Ren - there's nothing I like more than an alpha male!

There is a huge cliffhanger at the end making me desperate to get my hands on the next book in the series. But I did manage to predict a few elements of the ending quite early on and felt frustrated that Calla couldn't see what was going to happen. But this didn't affect my enjoyment of what was a brilliant debut novel.

Summary - A brilliantly unique take on a genre that has been done many times before, with loveable characters, intriguing plotline, breath-taking action and even some romance thrown in for good measure. If you haven't read this book yet then you need to go out and buy it now!

Other books in this series:
1. Nightshade
2. Wolfsbane
3. Bloodrose

Other reviews of this book:
Dear Author / Girls in the Stacks / Heaven, Hell and Purgatory / Read. Breathe. Relax.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Touch of the Angel

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Touch of the Angel by Rosalie Lario
After months of no work, interdimensional bounty hunter Ronin Meyers jumps at the chance to locate an incubus who’s using succubi as murder weapons. Faced with the possibility of being forced to return to hellish Infernum if he fails, Ronin and his brothers will stop at nothing to take out the incubus and anyone else involved—even the beautiful succubus who stole his heart, then nearly his life, during the most mind-blowing hour of his existence.

Night after night, Amara and her fellow succubi are forced to extract special abilities from the strongest Otherworlders for their psychotic master’s growing collection. When the gorgeous angel-demon hybrid she believed to be dead captures her, Amara is both stunned and elated. But the happily ever after she’s dreamed of will have to wait. Together, they must bring down the madman hellbent on destroying them…and become each other’s salvation in the process.


I have read the first two books in this series and I absolutely loved them. In fact I recently got to interview one of the characters from book #2, Mark of the Sylph. You can read my interview with bad boy Taeg here. I am so excited for the release of Touch of the Angel!!!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Review: Shadows by Amy Meredith (Dark Touch #1)

Publisher - Red Fox
Publication Date - 1st April 2010
Paperback - 240 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

Source - Library

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Book Info - Fifteen-year-old Eve Evergold is cute, sassy and enjoying a busy social life. What she doesn’t know yet is that someone close to her is an evil demon that only she has the supernatural power to defeat. She needs to work out who it is – and fast! Because although there’s something very attractive about the dark side… dating a demon? Pure hell!

My Thoughts - Eve and her best friend Jess are written in a believable way, and whilst reading Shadows it is easy to believe that you are reading a story told from the perspective of a fifteen year-old girl. However, I didn’t feel as though their characters were fleshed out well enough. We, as readers, do not really get much of an insight into Jess and Eve, and what we do find out about them gives them the appearance of being spoiled and shallow. This made the two main characters slightly unlikeable and left me unable to really connect with them, which did make the book slightly disappointing for me.

Mal and Luke are both new boys in town and are the topic of much speculation between Eve and Jess. Deepdene is only a small town where everybody knows everybody else, so two new boys arriving at the same time brings a welcome distraction from all the problems around them. Luke is, in the words of Eve and Jess, a ‘player’. Although he has only been in town for a couple of weeks he has already dated a lot of the girls. But when he hears about what Eve is going through, he quickly drops everything to help them find out what is happening in Deepdene. Mal, on the other hand, is dark and mysterious and keeps himself to himself. He is also old-fashioned and rescues Eve on a few occasions, which leads Eve to fall for him pretty quickly. I enjoyed the air of mystery that these two characters brought to the story.

Summary - The premise of the story is interesting and well-written, although pretty predictable at times. It moves along at a fast pace and is written in a style that makes it very easy to read, allowing me to almost finish it in just one sitting. I only wish that Eve and Jess had been easier to connect with and were less two-dimensional. If this had been the case, then Shadows could have been a really enjoyable book.

Other books in the series:
1. Shadows
2. The Hunt
3. Fever
4. Betrayal

Other reviews of this book:
Book Chick City / Feeling Fictional / I Was a Teenage Book Geek / So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, 17 October 2011

Character Interview: Taeg from Mark of the Sylph


Hi everybody, as some of you may have seen, I recently reviewed Mark of the Sylph by Rosalie Lario which I absolutely loved (you can see my 5 out of 5 review here).

I have been lucky enough to get together with one of the main characters, Taeg, for a little interview. For those of you who don't know, Taeg is one of the sexiest half-demons you are likely to come across who is well known for his love of T-shirts with comical slogans on them!

So this is what happened when I got to meet Taeg...



Chrissie: Hi Taeg! How are you doing today? Hmm, I can’t quite see that slogan on your T-shirt. What does it say?

Taeg: *Glances down at T-shirt, which reads Drunk and Horny, and grins sheepishly.* Yeah, my girl Maya really wants me to get rid of this shirt, but I’ve got it worn in just right, ya know?


Chrissie: Oh yeah, I can see that! So you’re a demon, huh? You don’t look much like a demon to me *smiles and bats eyelashes*
Taeg: Only half. *cheeky grin* See, us demons aren’t “demons” in the sense humans think of. We’re actually a species from a dimension called Infernum. Most humans don’t know that there are a bunch of different dimensions, and travel’s possible by way of an interdimensional portal.
My mom was an air sylph from a dimension called Faelan. Uh... now that’s a long story. Suffice it to say my dad was a sorry ass-munch who got off on abusing women of all different species. I’m tinkled pink he’s rotting in an interdimensional prison right now.

Chrissie:  Sounds as though he's in the right place. And what about your three brothers? Are they all half-demons too?
Taeg: Yeah, but their other halves are all different. Like I said, sicko dad. Keegan’s the oldest, and he’s half dragon-shifter. Ronin’s half angel. *Coughs and it sounds suspiciously like Pussy.* Dagan’s half siren. He can breathe underwater. That comes in handy more than you might think.

Chrissie: Hmm, I'm sure it does *looks confused* So what was it like growing up with the super-evil Mammon as your father?
Taeg: The guy was an ass-hole. Capital “A”. Shit, he even killed Keegan’s mom when my bro was just an infant. Good riddance to the tool, I say.

Chrissie: I agree! So you come from a place called Infernum. How would you describe your homeland to us mere humans?
Taeg: Let’s just say it’s not on the top of anyone’s destination wishlist. It’s dark, hot as hell, and there aren’t any decent bars. Trust me, you got it good here on Earth.

Chrissie: Ok, so I don't think I'll be planning a vacation there any time soon! And what exactly is it that you do for a living back in Infernum?
Taeg: Me and my brothers are bounty hunters for the council that governs travel between the dimensions. We capture fugitives and turn them into the council. We used to do it back on Infernum, but several months ago we all got leave to move to NYC. We keep pretty busy. There are more Otherworlders here than you’d think.

Chrissie: Right, I'll bear that in mind! Now I’ve heard a little rumour that you’ve got yourself a girlfriend who likes to try and kill you sometimes! *leaning much closer* Are you sure it’s not time to find yourself a new girlfriend?
Taeg: *Gives a good-natured laugh.* Truth be told, I’ve met my match with Maya. The woman ain’t afraid to kick some ass when she needs to, even if it’s mine. She couldn’t be more perfect for me. And also *glances around furtively* if she sees you leaning in like that, she’ll kick both our asses. Fair warning.

Chrissie: Warning noted *sits up straight again* Before we go is there anything else that you would like us mortals to know about you?
Taeg: If you want to read about how me and Maya met, pick up Mark of the Sylph. It’s a good story, if I may say so myself. And Maya? *shakes head admiringly* Damn, that chick can fight.

I absolutely agree with Taeg - go out and buy Mark of the Sylph now! It is one of the best books I've read this year! And in case you need any more pursuading, here is the blurb...
Half-demon Taeg is desperate to free his pregnant sister-in-law, who is spellbound to an indestructible book that will create an army of the undead. He is convinced that an ancient sword can destroy the book and the spell forever, but this relic has been hidden for a millennia by a powerful glamour. The clock begins to run out on his search when an old rival goes after the book and Taeg’s family in his quest for revenge.
Librarian Maya Flores has a secret: she’s immune to magic and is well aware of the supernatural beings prowling the streets of New York City. Haunted by a brutal demon attack that took her family, she is on a one-woman mission to destroy the evil demons who did it—and any others who get in her way.
Maya is Taeg’s best hope for uncovering the sword. Unfortunately, she wants nothing more than to kill him. As he fights for her trust and to save his family, she is forced to face the truth that not all demons are evil. And the worst part? She might be falling in love with one, too.

You can stalk the author, Rosalie Lario at her website.
And you can find out more about her Demons of Infernum books at the Entangled Publishing website.

Must Read Monday #1

Fans of Fiction

Today marks the start of a brand new meme over at Fans of Fiction. To take part all you have to do is pick a book that you loved from the chosen genre (today that is dystopian) and write an acrostic about it instead of using a blurb. This is a new and fun way to recommend books to other bloggers!

OK, so dystopian is a fairly new genre to me so I don't really have many to pick from. And as I've never done anything like an acrostic before, I'm going to choose the one with the shortest title - Matched by Ally Condie (sorry Jenna, I know you picked this one too!).

Become Matched at 17
     Must Answer to the officials
            Two boys in her life
            Cannot make your own choices
  Cassia Has found a love of her own
            End of the world as Cassia knows it
            Dangerous times ahead

Right, so I'm thinking I may have to work on my acrostic writing skills :)

If you think you can do any better (and I'm sure you can do much better!) head on over to Fans of Fiction and join in the fun!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (17th October 2011)



This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

I didn't get a chance to take part in this meme last week due to Internet troubles so this actually covers my progress over the last two weeks. Also as my hubby was rushed into the operating theatre for yet another round of emergency surgery last week (his second in the last four weeks!) I have been at the hospital with him quite a lot and haven't been able to get a whole lot of reading done.

Anyway, here is what's been happening with me, reading-wise, over the last two weeks:

Books completed:
Bad Moon by Todd Ritter
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Books reviewed:
Death Notice by Todd Ritter
Bad Moon by Todd Ritter
Passion by Lauren Kate
Succubus Nights by Richelle Mead
Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead

Books I am currently reading:
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead

Books up next:
Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh

I am also looking for bloggers to write a guest post about their favourite series for my new feature that will be starting in November. If you think you might be interested, please check out my post here.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Series of the Week: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow. I've heard so many good things about this series that I really must try and read it soon!

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought!
Strange Angels

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called 'the touch.' (Comes in handy when you're traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead - but still walking - and Dru knows she's next. Even worse, she's got two guys hungry for her affections, and they're not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever - or whoever - is hunting her?

Betrayals

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there's a big problem - she's the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn't be so bad, but Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide...

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust - and maybe even her heart?

Jealousy

It's a good thing Dru Anderson is fast. Because the sucker chasing her isn't slowing down - and he won't rest until he has tasted her blood and silenced her heart...

Dru's best friend, Graves, and her strange and handsome savior, Christophe, are ready to help her take on the ultimate evil. But will their battle for Dru's heart get in the way of her survival?

Defiance

Now that sixteen-year-old Dru's worst fears have come true and Sergej has kidnapped her best friend Graves, she'll have to go on a suicidal rescue mission to bring him back in one piece.

That is, if she can put all of Christophe's training to good use, defeat her mother's traitor, Anna, once and for all, and manage to survive another day...

The Reckoning

Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She's battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha-rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires-the worst is yet to come.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Any bloggers/authors want to take part in my new feature???

Hi everybody!

I have decided to start off a new weekly feature on my blog called 'A Perfect Ten' from the beginning of November and I am looking for any authors/bloggers who would like to take part.

All you would need to do is make a list of your top ten favourite series of all time and write a sentence or two about why you love each series so much!

I think this will be a great way to get to know about each others favourite reads, as well as hopefully finding out about some new series that we can add to our ever-growing TBR piles.

If you are an author or blogger who would like to take part then please e-mail me at onceuponaseries@live.co.uk

UPDATE: Yesterday I received an email from a blogger who thought that she would have difficulty coming up with 10 series, so she asked if she could do a guest post/review about one favourite series instead. I am more than happy for people to do this if that is what they would prefer, so please don't be put off if you too think that 10 is too many. Please just send me a quick email and we can work out something else :)

Review: Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #3)

Publisher - Bantam Books
Publication Date - 4th December 2008
Paperback - 448 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Library

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Some days, a girl just can’t catch a break… especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men.

First there’s her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It’s not just that they can’t have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth’s obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina’s under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block.

Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused – especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge – rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again…

My Thoughts - There are lots of different things going on in the third installment of the Georgina Kincaid series. First of all there are the many complications that keep popping up between Seth and Georgina. It is obviously becoming harder for them to stay together as a couple, and although the no-sex rule between them is taking its toll, other more serious issues are coming to the forefront, such as the inability to communicate with or trust each other. Things become increasingly difficult for them when Seth has a near death experience and his outlook on life changes dramatically.

Also, there is a new succubus in town. Tawny is surprisingly inept at seducing men, and as her mentor it is Georgina’s job to try to help her. But things are made worse for Georgina as Niphon, the imp who bought Georgina’s soul, will be staying around until Tawny takes her first victim. Niphon seems to hate Georgina and he does anything he can to make her miserable.

And, last but not least, there are the dreams that she has been having every time that she gets an energy fix from a victim. Georgina experiences a very vivid dream and then wakes up the next morning to find that most of her energy has gone. With her boss, Jerome, away on business Georgina turns to her mortal friend Erik (who made an appearance in Succubus Blues) and an acquaintance of his called Dante to try to work out what is happening to her.

There is a melancholy overtone throughout Succubus Dreams that hasn’t been present in the other books in this series. What with the problems between her and Seth, her memories of past hurts and her longing for a child, we see a very different side to Georgina in this book. It makes the reader really feel for Georgina, as although everybody experiences pain at some point in their lives nobody else has to live with that pain and guilt for all of eternity the way she does. But I love Georgina and I really do hope that she finds some happiness in future books.

Summary - I really enjoyed reading Succubus Dreams and Richelle Mead is fast becoming my favourite author. She has raised many issues that will stay with me, whilst managing to write a brilliant mystery that kept me enthralled in the storyline. I have only just finished this book but I am starting Succubus Heat straight away as I can’t wait to find out what else is in store for Georgina.

Other books in the series:
1. Succubus Blues
2. Succubus Nights
3. Succubus Dreams
4. Succubus Heat
5. Succubus Shadows
6. Succubus Revealed

Other reviews of this book:
Belle Books / Feeling Fictional
(If you would like your review of Succubus Dreams included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)



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