zondag 20 april 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! And if you don't celebrate that, happy Spring! It is gorgeous weather out here in Holland, and my boyfriend and I have been very busy in the kitchen so we can stuff our guests this afternoon!

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Lately I have been too restless to read or write reviews, or do anything basically. So I think I will follow Felicia's example and write ultra short reviews for what I have read lately, as I don't want to let my blog go empty for too long.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 18 april 2014

Lynn Viehl – Disenchanted & Co

The first book in the Disenchanted & Co series, published January 28, 2014.
Genre: steampunk
Cover: Intriguing

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In the Provincial Union of Victoriana, a steampunk America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian "Kit"Kittredge makes her living investigating crimes of magic. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Unlike most folks, Kit doesn't believe in magic, but she can't refuse to help Lady Diana Walsh, who claims a curse is viciously wounding her while she sleeps. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks are part of a more ominous plot - one that may involve the lady's obnoxious husband.
Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of a nefarious deathmage and the unwelcome scrutiny of the police chief inspector. Unwilling to surrender to either man's passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. For the truth promises to ruin her life - and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

I loved this book, and I am glad to discover that steampunk is a genre I can really enjoy. Lynn Viehl sure gave her own spin to things, and it was fun to read.

Charmian “Kit” Kittredge is one of those rare females in America, an independent woman with her own business. Imagine an America that is still beholden to England and its rules and Queen. Imagine an America about a century ago, things are still old fashioned but modern technology is making fast progress. Yes, this means steampunk gadgets and some strange words and occupations.
Kit has two very good friends, one who married a rich man and now owns her own dress shop, and the other one who is the madam of the city’s most popular brothel. She doesn’t have any living family left, so she is on her own, without a male protector. A hundred years ago, that would have given any man who wanted her, the excuse to just snatch her off the streets and keep her. And deathmage Lucian Dredmore certainly acts like that is still the case when he takes her home with him to keep her safe from Lord Walsh and his assassins.

Kit does not believe in magic, but magic is very real in this world. She just doesn’t know that she makes it stop working. Kit is a private investigator, and she thinks everything has a logical explanation, and people just believe too much in magic, giving it power. Kit does not like to work on the Hill, where all the rich people live, but when Lady Diana Walsh comes into her office and begs for her help, she cannot refuse the poor woman. Someone is trying to drive her crazy. But going to the Walsh’s house sure is the start of a lot of trouble for Kit. Drawing all kinds of unwanted attention to her door.

I loved the plot, I loved the world building, the main characters, the secondary characters, the writing style, and all the surprises in this story. There are some very creepy characters in here, like Lord Walsh’ son, but the story is filled with action and adventure and an evil plot that needs to be thwarted. I really do not want to spoil anything of the fun and great things I discovered in this book by telling more about it.
Kit does discover she still has a grandfather, kind of. And that was awesome till the very last page of the book, where his original name is revealed. I so want to know more about his long life!
Kit has two suitors, but there really is not a love triangle in sight, don’t worry. The police inspector is someone she knew as a child, and although he really wants her to be his stay at home wife, she is not interested. But the dark death mage, Lucien, well, she is interested in him! I am not sure she can trust him though; he wants to lock her up for her own safety instead of just helping her when she needs him.

I can’t wait to read the second one, which I ordered immediately after reading this one. For some reason my bookbible, fantasticfiction.co.uk, failed me in mentioning this upcoming release, or it would have been pre-ordered months ago.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 17 april 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My sixth new additions post for 2014. Some books have been read and reviewed already, and others are destined to gather dust for a while.

From Bookdepository:
Robin D. Owens – Ghost Seer
Jennifer Ashley – Wild Wolf

Secondhand books:
Caitlin Kittredge – Bone Gods
Caitlin Kittredge – Demon Bound
Caitlin Kittredge – Street magic
Karen Mahoney – The Iron Witch
Jaclyn Moriarty – The Spell Book of Listen Taylor
Sam Hawksmoor – The Repossession
Sam Hawksmoor – The Hunting
Lee Carroll – Black Swan Rising

A gift from Melliane:
Anthology Kicking It. Thanks sweety, I am very happy with this book.

Books I’ve won:
Philippa Ballantine – Weather Child

For review:
Gini Koch – Alien Collective

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 16 april 2014

Jennifer Ashley – Feral Heat

Book 5.5 in the Shifters Unbound series, published March 18, 2014
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: nice

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From the author of Lone Wolf comes a paranormal romance about two lovers torn between ecstasy and savagery...
Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.
In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own - she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.
Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone's true mate?

I really enjoyed cowboy wolf shifter Ellison in one of the previous books, and now his sister Deni finds a second chance at love. Her husband died years ago, and she is raising her two almost adult (in shifter years) sons, with the help of her brother Ellison. Deni was a vibrant woman, who loved nothing better than to drive her motor cycle and go all out. Until the day an evil Shifter hunter purposely ran her over. Deni was severely hurt, but she survived, only to have lost most of her control over her Wolf. At times she takes over, making Deni very aggressive and even attacking her own family.

When the book starts, Deni is tired of sitting at home when everyone is out to the Fight Club, and she decides to go as well. She knows it is a bad decision but she is tired of living like this. The pheromones and aggression at the fight club really trigger her wolf, and when she sees someone she intensely dislikes beat up an unknown shifter, she has to jump in and help.
Jace, a snow leopard, and son of the Las Vegas Shifter Town leader, is here on the request of Dylan and does not really need her help, but he sure appreciates it, and the beautiful woman she shifts into as well.

While the fight between Dylan and Ronan is going strong inside, Deni and Jace really hit it off outside, until the cops show up in force, and they will have to hide the evidence of the fighting quickly. Deni comes up with a smart excuse for them gathering in force outside their Shifter town, but now Jace really needs her to cover for him. He is illegally in their Shifter town, the cops cannot find out or he will be arrested and the others will get in trouble as well. He needs Deni to take him home, and as he acted drunk, she will have to drive his motorcycle. If only until they have enough distance between them and the cops. Being with Jace, who is a real alpha, soothes her inner wolf, and Deni manages to stay in control although she is terrified of driving a motorcycle again.

When Ellison finally gets home, he is not happy when a strange male shifter is sleeping on his couch, but it was the only solution for the moment. And that Jace is smelling of his sister certainly does not please him either. But Deni is capable of making her own decisions, and her brother has no say in that, even though he is the alpha wolf of their pack.

Dylan and his sons have been working on a way of getting rid of their hated collars, without the shifter in question going feral. And of course without the humans noticing that they no longer wear their collars. As Jace is still unmated he is willing to take the risk of experimenting with removing the collar, but it hurts like hell. Deni seems to be the only one to care for him, and wants them to stop. And Jace starts to believe that Deni is his mate. When the police keep raiding their town, Jace has to stay hidden in the Rowe’s secret underground lair, where Deni keeps him company when she is able to.

Has their romance a chance when Jace has to go back home before he is missed? And when it is very hard for a shifter to obtain permission to change Shifter towns?

As most of you know, I am a huge Jennifer Ashley fan, and so far I have loved everything she has written. I especially love this Shifter series, and think it is one of the most original and best series I have ever read. Feral Heat was a nice addition to the series, I enjoyed both Deni and Jace as our main characters.

Ever since her accident, Deni has trouble staying in control of her wolf, almost going feral at times. She is a strong alpha wolf herself, and not many male shifters outrank her, and are thus able to help stay in control. But Jace is stronger, and him touching her really does help her. And of course does other things to her …
I liked how after their initial encounter they don’t jump into bed together, but get some time to know each other, and have her children and brother get used to him as well. Still, the attraction between them is powerful and Jace is completely taken by surprise when his leopard threatens Dylan for touching Deni. She is his! Deni is compassionate, she loves her children, and after loosing one mate, she is not afraid of falling in love again and finding a new mate. She knows life can be short in their violent world.

Fionn the Fae, father of Andrea Morrissey, wife of Sean, also makes an appearance in this novella, helping in the removal of the collars, and in keeping Jace safe in Faery when there is no time to go back to the hidden saferooms. I really liked that, and how he truly loves his daughter.

One of the main things I like about this series, is that it is a very close community of shifters, and you see previous couples again and again, and stay up to date with what is happening with them. Like Olaf, the little orphaned bear cub, he is happy now. And Tiger has an important position as well.

I do recommend this series, and look forward to reading Wild Wolf soon.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 15 april 2014

Recommendations from Peggy for April 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Peggy from Belgium.


I have read 9 books in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. Easy – Tammara Webber

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2. Down London Road – Samantha Young

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3. The gamble – Kristen Ashley

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The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is:

Samantha Young – Down London Road

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Down London Road is the unmissable sensual sequel to On Dublin Street by bestselling author Samantha Young.

Johanna Walker knows what she wants. And that's a strong, steady, financially secure man who will treat her well and look after her and her little brother, Cole - something her parents have never done.
But when she meets the gorgeous Cameron MacCabe, a new bartender at work,

Jo can't deny the instant and undeniable attraction she feels. Cam doesn't fit into her strict specifications of her perfect partner at all - but for once she is tempted to let her heart rule her head.
And as their intense connection grows, Jo has to stop hiding the truth about herself and her family. Is Cam prepared to accept Jo for who she really is? And is Jo willing to let someone into her life for keeps?
Down London Road follows the lives of characters introduced in Samantha Young's bestselling romance prequel, On Dublin Street.

I really loved ‘Easy’ from Tammara Webber and I can’t wait to read ‘his’ side of the story. But in this review I want to talk about ‘Down London Road’ from Samantha Young. She is one of the writers who is coming to the Love Letter Convention in Berlin. This book is part of the ‘On Dublin street’ series.

Jo (as her friends call her) lives together with her younger brother and her alcoholic mother. Because of her mother ‘condition’ she’s the only one working and taking care of her younger brother. The only good thing her mother ever did was move away from her violent father.
The one person that is important to Jo and for whom she would do anything is her brother Cole. It’s for him that she works hard. She wants him to have a great life and for her, that means having a lot of money. So she dates rich (older) men in the hope that one day she has a rich husband who will take care of her and her brother. And that’s how in the first book of the series we get to know her, as a young woman desperate looking for a rich man.

In this book we get to know a different Jo, someone who is warm and caring but with low self-esteem. When Cam and Jo first meet, they’re both in a relationship with someone else. There is an attraction between them but for different reasons Jo and Cam are fighting it.
Cam isn’t her type of man. He’s young, has several tattoos and isn’t rich but there is something there. But nothing can happen because she’s in a relationship with a good and rich man and everything is going well. Her dream of finding a rich husband is closer than ever. So she ignores her feelings for Cam. What isn’t hard to do because Cam is convinced that she’s a gold digger and behave really badly. Then things get more complicated when first he is the new bartender at work and second when he moves in the apartment under her. Slowly they get to know each other more and more. Cam is the only man who gets to know her family and the real Jo. Because before him none of the men in her life ever met her family, or got through her walls and heart. So now she has to decide what path to follow, will she choose her heart or her plan?

We meet Jo in the first book of the series. But in that book she didn’t do anything to me, so when I started to read this book my expectations weren’t high but luckily I was wrong. In this book we really get to know her and I must confess that I liked her. Although they both had a partner at the beginning of the story, it didn’t bother me at all. Usually I don’t like it but here it was part of the story.
I really enjoyed this story. I like Jo, Cam and her younger brother Cole and all their friends (old and new). I find it the best of the series so far. So I can’t wait to read the next one of this series.

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Peggy! At this moment I am not sure I will read her books in time for Berlin, but I know Maia has bought some.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 14 april 2014

Heather Graham – The Seance

The fourth book in the Harrison Investigation series, published October 1, 2007
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense
Cover: creepy

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Haunted and Ghost Walk comes a new spine-tingling story from beyond the grave
A chill falls over Christina Hardy's housewarming party when talk turns to a recent murder that has all the hallmarks of the so-called "Interstate-Killer" murders from fifteen years before. To lighten the mood, the guests drag out an old Ouija board for a little spooky fun . . . and that's when things become truly terrifying.
Summoned by the Ouija board, the restless spirit of Beau Kidd, the lead detective -- and chief suspect -- on the original case, seeks Christina's help: the latest killings aren't copycat crimes, and he wants his name cleared. Back in the real world, cop-turned-writer Jett Braden is skeptical of Christina's ghostly encounters, but his police sources confirm all the intimate details of the case -- her otherworldly source is reliable, and the body count is growing.
The spirits are right. The Interstate Killer is still out there, and Christina's life is hanging in the balance between this world and the next.

As a little girl Christy saw her grandfather’s ghost after he died, but her mother convinced her it was not true, and when her grandmother told her seeing the dead was dangerous, she managed to close that window in her head, and started to believe it was only a dream …
But now her parents and her grandmother are dead as well, and she has inherited her grandparents house. As Christina works from home, she is a composer of catchy advertising jingles, she has decided not to sell the beloved house of her childhood, but to move into it. Even though it is worth a fortune in the current market.

Her best friend Ana lives close by, and she is ecstatic that Christy has come back home. She even talked her into having a housewarming party even though the house is still filled with boxes. But there will only be a few people at the party, Christy’s two cousins, who are her only living relatives left, Dan and Mike, her new neighbours and Ana and perhaps Ana’s cousin Jed. And the guy Christy had a huge crush on back then. Of course he never noticed her other than as Ana’s little friend.

The bad news of the day, is that a woman has been found murdered near the interstate. Is the Interstate killer back, or is this a copycat at work? The case was closed 12 years ago, when the main suspect, one of the investigating cops himself, was shot over the corpse of the last victim. As Beau Kidd was dead, there was no court case at all; he was condemned by public opinion alone and circumstantial evidence. And his family with him.

When Ana spots Christy’s old Ouija board in one of the boxes in the living room, she is determined to have a séance, ask the ghosts something. But when they really do get an answer, they are totally spooked when it tells them he is Beau Kidd … And that is when Jed arrives …

Jed quit the police force many years ago, he is now a private investigator slash author, he even wrote a fiction book about the Interstate Killer, never mentioning names, but he was convinced that Beau was the killer. But now, witnessing the autopsy with his former partner, he is not so sure anymore they “got” the killer back then. So he is not in the best of moods when he finally gets to Christy’s house. And when he hears a scream inside, and finds out they were playing with the Ouija Board, he is not smiling. He really does not believe in anything to do with ghosts or the supernatural. There is always a logical explanation.

When they all finally leave, after warning Christy again to be careful, as she matches the killer’s ideal victim perfectly, she suddenly feels no longer safe in her own home. And when a stranger appears at the foot of her bed in the middle of the night, she completely freaks out and flees the night. It can’t be happening, Beau Kidd cannot be really haunting her!

But apparently they made a connection 12 years ago, when a little girl shared a flower from her beloved grandfather’s coffin with the other small grieving family nearby, at which happened to be Beau Kidd’s funeral. And now, Beau needs help in clearing his name, and keeping his little sister safe. She also fits the murderer’s victim profile …

It takes a while for Christy to stop fainting when she sees Beau, she even adopts a cute little dog named Killer for her own protection. And when she sees Killer happily interacting with the ghost, she knows she is not going crazy after all. Her best friend Guinevieve had a scary adventure a few weeks ago as well, and she hooks Christy up with Adam Harrison, to help her communicate with Beau and find out more.

Jed is very protective of Christy, and they become lovers, and he is not happy with the presence of Adam and the others in Christy’s house. He quickly finds out that Adam is the real deal, but he still does not believe in ghosts and refuses to believe Christy when she tells him things Beau has revealed to her.

But who will find the killer first, the police, the FBI, or Christy? The killer does not take it easy either, more victims are being found.

Another great book in an amazing series. I loved it, but now I am reading them close together, the heroes are a bit all the same. Denying there are ghosts, refusing to believe the heroine and still wanting to protect her and of course sleep with her. Distrusting Adam and his motives even when told by the “powers that be” that he is genuine. I am getting a bit fed up with this type of hero, the unbeliever who knows better.
Still, I enjoyed the story very much, and of course Christy. Christy is a strong woman, she has lost so many loved ones already, but she does not give up on living. She is good at her job, and finds joy in her music. At first she really does not believe in ghosts either, but the memories slowly resurface, and she just knows when someone has been in her house, messing with her things. But who has ever heard of a ghost making her coffee?

I liked the cast of secondary characters a lot as well. Jed and Ana, Mike and Daniel, Jed’s old partner who keeps him fully up to date in the police investigation. And Beau’s younger sister who hires Jed to find out who the real killer is and clear her brother’s name.
They live in Orlando, in a city with lots of theme parks, which means many people work in the entertainment industry, and so do Christy’s two cousins. One is a screenwriter, the other an actor. It makes for a nice background for the story, as “the gang” visits the various entertainments.

Again Heather Graham manages to make me very suspicious of one of the people close to Christy, but the truth was much more creepy and evil. I really never suspected that.

So, a great story, a ghost to love, a sweet little doggy named Killer, great characters, a mystery and a love story. What more do I need in my books? I highly recommend this author if you like your romantic suspense with a serving of ghosts.

9 stars.

Autobuy author
Love this book

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 13 april 2014

Guestpost by author Duffy Brown

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I really love the Consignment Shop cozy mysteries by Duffy Brown, so when she offered to do a guestpost for me, I jumped at the chance. I love everything Southern, and her books are so much fun to read. So, take the test Duffy has made for us, and tell me what you are. Sadly, I am neither …

Southern Belle or Northern Deb? Which are you?

Granola or Grits…Big hair or Flat…Pearls or Beads

I live in Cincinnati, right on the border of granola and grits. The Ohio River is not very wide I mean people swim across the thing...usually after a few beers but that’s another blog.

On the south side of the Ohio River sushi is and always will be bait and granola is squirrel food. On the north side if you order sweet tea they toss you a packet of sweet-and-low. I don’t have big hair but I use hairspray, I love sweet tea and pork is the food of the gods but it has to be free-range pork where they treat the piggies nice.

So, am I North or South? The reason this is important, is my Consignment Shop mysteries are set in the South, so what part of my life goes into to the story and what gets ditched? I made a checklist to find out want part of me was Belle and what part was Deb.

So my question is... Who are you? Are you a Deb or a Belle?

-Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter or do you go by the weather?

-Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them with pride or are you into beads?

-Do you drink sweet tea and love it when they have it on the menu or do you order Coke Zero?

-A part of you truly believes in damn Yankees or are the Yankees the baseball team in NYC?

-Civil War? What Civil War? That there was the unfortunate Northern Aggression!

-Do you have Lee as part of your name or your children’s name or is it Kaitlin?

-Are GWTW and Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, Something to Talk About your favorite movies and do you recognize all the places or are you a Sex and the City girl and watch The Wire?

-Do you have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer? Do you know how to twirl a baton, or do you have a hockey stick in the closet beside your down coat?

-Do you have a dad or a daddy?

-Do you have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol or a North Face rain jacket?

-Does the term red-eye go with gravy or taking a picture?

-Biscuits from the bakery or from you grandma’s cookbook?

-Prime real estate is NYC or the mall, country club and the beauty salon?

-White gloves or black leather?

-Southern Living or Martha Stewart?

-Shorts or sundresses?

-Pineapple doorknocker or lion’s head?

-Mind your business or mind your manners?

-Follow NFL or NASCAR?

-Drive a hard bargain or drive an SUV?

So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Part of you Northern Deb? All of one or the other? Do you know someone who is?

I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t mind their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and I do know how to twirl a baton for real. I even took lessons and still have the baton!
On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. Well, maybe an 8. Guess that’s why I wanted to write a book and set it in Savannah. What is your Southern Belle Score? Your Deb score?

Ya’ll have a good day now, ya’ hear.

Hugs, Duffy Brown

Thanks Duffy! I really enjoyed reading this. You can find my reviews of Duffy’s books here:

Iced Chiffon: book 1

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Killer in Crinolines: book 2

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Pearls and Poison: book 3

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And that is not all folks, Duffy is so kind as to give away two Pearls and Poison totes to two lucky commenters on this blog. Be sure to leave your email address if I don’t know you already. And Duffy will also send Pearls and Poison swag to anyone who wants it, if they email her at: DuffyBrown at DuffyBrown dot com
I have a tote bag for Killer in Crinolines, and I love it, and use it almost daily.

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Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While other girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, and conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime.

Iced Chiffon, out October, 2012, is the first book in the Consignment: Murder series. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell, is a USA Today bestselling author, won Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, HOLT-Medallion Award, has been on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine and the Waldenbooks Bestseller list.

Ya’ll can find Duffy here:
Website: DuffyBrown
Facebook: here
Twitter: Twitter

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian