dinsdag 31 mei 2011

Alexis Morgan – Bound by Darkness

The seventh book in the Paladins of Darkness series, published April 2011.

Bound by Darkness

Caught between two worlds, a powerful warrior must choose between impossible destinies when he meets a woman whose love will either make or break him. . . .

As the daughter of a Regent, Sasha has long known about the secret underworld of the Paladins and their work protecting her kind from the dark forces on the other side of the energy barrier. So when she is sent on her first solo investigation, on the path to becoming the first female Regent, she is determined to get the Seattle Paladins in line. Offering sanctuary to their Kalith enemies is simply unacceptable! But when she meets Larem, she is inexorably drawn to a dark and valiant warrior who is not at all what he appears to be. As the power struggle between Regents and Paladins rages on, someone starts making attacks on her life. Sasha must choose between loyalty to her own kind and the warrior she loves . . . with the very fate of humanity hanging in the balance.

A lot has happened with the Seattle Paladins in the past books. They have been guarding the secret barrier between Earth and Kalithia for ages now, and only recently learned that not everyone living there is mad and hungry for the light of Earth. There are worthy warriors living there too, defending their side of the barrier against those who have become ill and want to cross over. Which is a bad thing for Earth, as they kind of pollute their environment. But lately a few warriors, and even two little children have crossed the barrier, and are now the mates of humans and Paladins. Understanding between the two species has been building for those who fight, but the Regents, who govern the Paladins and fund them, are not happy with this development. The Others, or Kalith, are the enemy, and should be killed at sight, and not living among humans!
So when the Paladins get the news a new person is coming over to put the mess the corrupt Colonel Kincaid left behind, to rights, they are not happy. Promises have been made over the past decades, and never kept. So why would this new administrator be any different? And the Kalith are also worried, will they be send back? They have build a new life here, and are happy with their new families. So when they find out it is a woman administrator, Larem, the only single Kalith, is asked to befriend her, and show her there is not much difference between humans and Kalith. Larem reluctantly agrees.
Sasha knows she is not really welcome in the Seattle Paladin headquarters, but she is determined to make it work. She really wants to improve the quality of life for the Paladins, and make sure she uses her small budget to its best. So she has to convince Devlin Bane of that fact. She also has to convince her father and his collegue Regents that she is the best person for the job, and she wants to become the new Regent for this area. She approves of the new tests Laurel is running, trying to make the Paladins last longer, and fight back their decline after each time they die.
Her first day on the job, Sasha makes a speech to all the Paladins, and promises to do her best. They are a bunch of really big and handsome man, but one of them stands apart for Sasha. He is just different from the rest. And when he offers to show her around a bit, she is glad. The attraction between them is strong, and although Larem knows he shouldn’t, he gives in to it. He has already lost out on a chance for a mate of his own, and now he wants Sasha. Even though he knows he will ruin her chances to ever become a Regent, if she has a Kalith for a lover. And when Sasha finally finds out the truth, she is not happy with it.
Larem is still trying to find a new purpose. He doesn’t want to fight his own people, but he doesn’t mind training with his new Paladin friends, and teach them what he knows. He is also studying and trying out his new healing powers, and helping out in the local animal shelter. He is especially drawn to a big white dog, who was severely abused by his former master and distrusts all humans. With a lot of patience, Larem gains his trust, and he heals the dog’s leg bit by bit. One day when walking Chance, they meet Sasha, and Chance instantly likes her.

But there are other people who don’t like the presence of the Kalith in Seattle, and when they find out about Sasha and Larem, Sasha’s life is in danger. How dares she, a human woman, a Regent’s daughter, consort with an alien! Sasha is not one to back down when things get though, so will Larem be able to keep her safe? And especially when D.J. and Cullen make some progress in cracking Kincaid’s computer, and finding the evidence that he was not the only dirty Regent …

Another great book in this unique series, written by Alexis Morgan. I do love series with warriors, a kind of brotherhood, and the strong mates they find. I liked Sasha, she doesn’t give in to intimidation, she goes for what she wants, what she thinks is right. She has been in love with a Paladin before, only to lose him for good just after he proposed. Since then, she has had no real relationships. Until she meets Larem, and he just is the one. He is kind, and caring, and very handsome of course. And among all the other handsome warriors, he is the one she wants.
Larem is not happy with living on Earth yet, though he would have been executed for treason if he had stayed behind on Kalithia. He doesn’t know what to do with his life yet, and feel she is just hanging on. He is happiest working with animals. But he is grateful for his real friendships with a few of the Paladins who stand up for him when needed (and when not). And now there is Sasha. And for the first time in a long time, he has feelings for a woman again. And even when she doesn’t like it, he is a warrior foremost, and he will defend “his woman” and even kill if needs be.
They just were great together, and especially the scenes with the dog, Chance.
A little bit of suspense in the end of the book, and I must admit, I had seen that coming. But still, a good story, and I am certainly looking forward to the next one, which was released this week.

9 stars.

Kevin Hearne – Hounded



Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbours and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he's twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he's hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power - plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish - to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

I read the review of this book on one of the blogs I follow, and knew I had to read it. So I got the book, read it, loved it, and halfway through I bought it on paper, and pre-ordered the next two books in the series. And now I have to write a review, when I want nothing more than to throw myself into Kiss of Snow! But I did love the book, so I will try my best.

Atticus O’Sullivan is the last of the druids, and ancient, although he looks no older than 21. He lives in a nice house, with a big herb garden, and his Irish Wolfshound called Oberon. He can mindspeak with the dog, and their conversations are often very funny. Can you imagine, a huge dog like this one, who has a thing for French Poodles?
The book is told by Atticus himself (which is not his real name, but that one is totally unpronounceable to me, so I won’t bother you with it). Atticus owns a mystical book- and herbshop in a little shop near Phoenix, where he sells a lot of stuff to people dabbling in the occult. His real business is being done by the Internet nowadays.
Which is also his downfall, as one the connections of Aenghus Óg, his greatest enemy and a Celtic God, has found him using the internet. First the Morrigan herself comes to warn him about it. It was with her blessing when he took the sword Fragarach from the battlefield in Ireland over 2000 years ago. And she defended him against Aenghus Óg, who wants it for himself. She is intrigued by the necklace he has made during the last 700 years, made of cold iron and attached to his aura, to protect him from a lot of magic. And she demands he teach her how to make one herself. She likes learning something new, as she is truly immortal, the Goddess of Death, a new thing is a great thing.
She does advise Atticus to flee, as Bres will come after him, as well as some Firebolg. But Atticus is tired of running, he likes where he is living in Arizona, with few easy access places for the Fae to arrive unexpected, so he decides to wait it out this time. He has grown more powerful over the centuries, and with the help of his friends, he is sure he can handle everyone the God will throw at him.

Then another Goddess is waiting at his house when he arrives home that night: Flidais, who kind of works for the Goddess Brigid, who is also the Queen of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She also warns him of his discovery by Aenghus Óg. But then they spend the next few hours more pleasantly together, before they go hunting wild sheep, something this Goddess of the Hunt has never hunted before. To accompany Oberon, Atticus turns himself into a hound, so they can hunt together, driving the game towards Flidais. But something is wrong, Atticus is not feeling quite like himself anymore, Flidais is controlling his actions and most of his thoughts. And when they are caught in the act by a Park Ranger, Oberon kills him at the order of Flidais. But something was off, how could that man sneak up on them? And how come he is wearing an earring with magical proportions? Then the sirens are wailing nearby already, and Atticus knows this is Aenghus’ doing. They try to hide to body, and flee away invisibly in Flidais’ chariot. She has never heard of DNA before, and doesn’t understand that Oberon’s life is now in danger. And she cannot help with that problem. So now Atticus has to hid Oberon from the law, by making him invisible. He is sure his meddlesome neighbour will sicc the police on them as soon as he can.

While he is helping his elder neighbour, the Irish widow MacDonagh, who likes her whiskey a lot, his first enemy finds him. Luckily, he is carrying his concealed sword with him … so when the Fae tries to blind him with his glamour and attack him sneakily, Atticus beats him to it.

What follows is a lot of action and some fun, and really just too much to mention. Lots of paranormal beings make their appearance her, some good, lots of big baddies.

I loved the book, it is told in a sober, but humoristic tone. Atticus is an ancient Druid yes, but he does not take himself too serious. He still loves what his magic can do. He has lots of powers, including healing. He sells his potions as teas under creative names and he is still Irish in his heart, although he has travelled the world extensively. I particularly enjoyed the part where he met Brigid, the Queen, as she is his secret crush all his life.
Unknowingly, a bunch of Gods and Goddesses are pulling his strings, to make sure Atticus does what they want him to do. There is betrayal, but also good friends. Like the old Widow, and his daytime werewolf lawyer and his Pack, and his nighttime Vampire lawyer. Although it is frowned upon to be friends with a Vampire, Atticus really likes him.
I am curious what will happen in the next book, if the girl is coming back to be his apprentice after all, and what will happen with the new Witches Coven.
Really a lot of characters in this book, but it is never confusing. Not really romance here either, although there is nudity and some kisses, and a short scene with Flidais. Action, magic, humor and battle scenes, and of course some history thrown in to explain the background. A great debut novel. I can’t find the blog where I read about this book, but I am glad I did, I enjoyed it a lot.

9 stars.

Problem with my followers

I have a problem with blogger lately, I can see on my dashboard I have 15 followers at the moment. Thank you all for being a follower! Only, I cannot see whom they are! And it is driving me nuts, I want to know the last persons who have become followers recently! Anyone who knows if I can do anything about that? Please email me. Auriansbooks at gmail dot com.

New additions to my addiction

The first 9 books of my mega-order have arrived from the Bookdepository, I am curious how long before everything not pre-ordered has reached my loving home. I really took advantage of that ten percent discount they have/had and ordered a lot of my back-wishlist, a few new authors entire list, and a lot of pre-orders. Do you want to know the total?

Today I received:
Carolyn Jewel - My wicked enemy
J.D. Robb - Indulgence in Death
Robin Paige - Death on the Lizard
Robin Paige - Death at Dartmoor
Robin Paige - Death at Blenheim Palace
Jayn Ann Krentz - Fired Up
Alyssa Day - Atlantis Redeemed
Kim Harrison - A fistful of charms
Kim Harrison - White witch, black curse.

And I only have four books to read from those nine, the rest will be put lovingly on their shelves, to remain nice and shiny till I get to re-reading again.

vrijdag 27 mei 2011

Ilona Andrews – Magic Bleeds

The fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, published May 2010.

Magic Bleeds

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community. When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father. This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

Yesterday I read the review of book 5 in the series at Smexy Books, which is coming soon! And I realized I was way behind, I still had book 4 to read. Well, that review really got me in the mood for this series, and I immediately picked it up. And I kept reading till it was finished, well past my bedtime.

Welcome to a world where magic and technology change places all the time. One moment your magic works, the next moment you have to rely on technology. Which makes driving a car useless, back to horses and such. This is the fourth book in the series, and a really great series it is. But you really have to read them in order, to understand what is happening, and why, and who everyone is. So, if you haven’t tried it yet, and you do like some Urban Fantasy, this sure is a series you should not miss!

The book starts with some major relationships problems for Kate Daniels, as her want-to-be mate stands her up. Luckily, there is not much time to think and mourn, as an unknown person is spreading magical diseases around. A man in a cloak just entered a busy bar, where apprentice People and Were animals used to hang. He picked on the most powerful shapeshifter, offered him godhood, and killed him. The other patrons just ran away, or started fighting among themselves, for no apparent reason. When Kate is called to the scene, the bar is in shambles, and the patrons, the bartender and the bouncers are waiting outside, in the cold, for her. The victim is speared to a telephone pole, and is decomposing swiftly, growing some kind of pink fur. Kate sees at once it is a magical disease, and very contagious. If she lets those people leave, an epidemic will ruin the city! She explains this to the owner, who gets all his clients and personal back inside. He needs to call Biohazard for help, but in the meantime Kate goes to work to confine the disease. Salt and fire don’t seem to stop it, so she is writing runes all around the parking lot. Just when she is finished, the Biohazard team shop up, and start checking everyone magically, to see if they are contaminated with this typhoid thing. Luckily, no one is infected. But the strange part is, why did the shapeshifters run off, instead of sticking around defending their place? Only the waitress seems unaffected by everything that happened, and she can give Kate the most information. It seems their guest not only spread disease, but also fear and violence in its wake. Things only a God can do, and those things only happen during a flare, once every seven years or so.

When arriving home, Kate dives into her books, to find out what exactly there are fighting. And that is not good! The next attacks are the People’s casino, and the mercenary guild, where Kate used to work. The leader is murdered right in front of his staff, who did nothing to help him. Of course, they were not paid to risk their lives for his.
And Kate comes eye to eye with Curran again. They both accuse the other for standing up/running away, and the truth will be somewhere in the middle. But do they still love each other enough to go for a second chance? Will Kate risk her heart again, when she has been thought to stay alone, unattached, as her family will kill everyone she knows and loves when they find out about her existence?

Unfortunately, Erra, the plaguebringer, and Kate’s aunt, finds out who Kate is by tasting her blood, and then she comes after her. Kate barely manages to survive those fights, but she is determined to bring her down. Erra will not destroy the Pack and all her friends in it!

An action filled story again, very fast paced, and I really could not stop reading. But also the personal issues between Kate and Curran are heartfelt. I really felt sorry for Kate in the beginning and could not really believe what happened. But in the end it all worked out, although not easy. Kate has to fight for her new position when Curran is unavailable to defend her, and she keeps getting shaped up again by dr. Doolittle. I am very sorry for the rift with her best friend Andrea, as Kate makes that final decision, and Andrea just can’t. Kate also learns a lot about the rules in the shapeshifter world, and makes some new friends and enemies.

All in all, a very very good story, compelling and making me really want to read the next book fast! I have to now what happens next. How will her father react when he finds out? What happens next with the Knights, and with the Mercenaries, or with the People? So many things happened in this book, magically and tragically. And yes, a lovescene with Kate and Curran ;)

9,5 stars

donderdag 26 mei 2011

Leann Sweeney – A wedding to die for

The second book in the Yellow Rose Mysteries series, published January 2005.

A wedding to die for

With big dreams, a big heart and a really big bank account, spunky Texas heiress Abby Rose thinks she’s finally found her true calling as an adoption PI in Houston. But when marriage meets murder at the altar, her next case proves to be anything but a dream come true …

A wedding to die for
As a private investigator, Abby is so green she could hide in a cabbage patch – but she’s got enough gumption to take a job from a bride-to-be who wants to find her birthmother before walking down the aisle. Unfortunately, Abby’s search comes up short, leaving the bride brokenhearted and Abby wondering if she’s in the right line of work. Then the wedding reception ends early when the bride’s adoptive father dies after getting knocked on the noggin by a crystal vase. Eager to make things right for the bride and her oddball clan - and prove herself a proper PI – Abby decides to hunt for the mystery mother while trying to catch a matrimonial murderer.

Since the previous book, Abby has moved out of the mansion her father left them, and into a small house. She has also started her own PI firm, under the eyes of a more experienced PI, kind of an apprentice thing. Jeff is her boyfriend, and even has his own key to the house. Kate is living together with her fiancée, Terry, and has started her own psychologist firm.
Abby is still mad at her aunt for lying all those years, and blackmailing her father. But Aunt Caroline is really trying to make amends. So on the personal plane, everything is going fine with Abby.
If only on the professional part everything went so well. All the leads she has been following to locate Megan’s mother are a death end. And the bad part is, she cannot ask questions from Megan’s adoptive parents, as she wants to keep it a secret to them, out of fear of hurting their feelings.
Megan even asks Abby to participate in her wedding, as the person who would do the guestbook cannot make it, as she had her baby a month early. That means she also has to be at the wedding reception. And what a joy that was. Megan has one wacky family. The first man brought a little tv with him, so he could watch the game during dinner. Her uncle and father really dislike each other. Her two cousins are really strange, Courtney is on drugs, and Roxanne is mad because she just discovered her father and uncle have conspired to send her boyfriend, a violinist, to Boston, to end her relationship.
And then, the next day, the wedding. Abby sees some woman slip into church late, without having signed the guestbook. So she needs to corral that woman and make her. But she doesn’t get the chance to do that. When she and Kate arrive at the house for the wedding reception, Sylvia, the adoptive mother of the bride, sets them to work filling little nets with birdseeds. Luckily, the caterers keep them supplied with food and drink, and the job progresses nicely. At last, Abby is free to mingle a little, and then she and Kate will go home.
Unfortunately, a crash and a scream interrupt those plans. And when Abby arrives on scene, she finds Megan cuddling the lifeless body of her father in her arms. Someone has just murdered him! Holt, the best man, and Travis, the groom, take charge in herding all the guests out of the room, after they called 911. Sylvia just fainted on the doorstep, and is of no help. Abby calls her boyfriend Jeff, who is after all a Homicide Detective, but Galveston is not his jurisdiction. But he will come down anyway the be with her.
Unlucky for Abby, as the policewoman in charge is an old ex girlfriend of Jeff, and takes an instant dislike to her, even going so far as treating her as a suspect. And when Jeff refuses to tell Abby anything he learned from Quinn, she is really unhappy with him.
Even with her father murdered, Megan still wants Abby to find her real mother. Her boss, Angel, gives her some valuable advice. The copy of Megan’s birth certificate is very bad, so they set out for a new one. Which takes a lot of time, as the data Megan had, was false. She was not born in Kingston, just across the bay, but in Kingston, Jamaica! So Abby decides on a little business trip, as she doesn’t get any progress made on the phone. The Jamaicans are all very friendly and willing to help her, but don’t know how. So with the help of a friendly cab driver, Abby discovers lots of information.
Coming back to the States, lots of people want to talk to Abby, including the alcoholic uncle. But before Abby can talk to him, he is murdered as well! And Abby is severely injured when she almost interrupts the murder. Unlucky, she didn’t see the person, only a black trouserpipe.

The murder suspects are lining up, but can Abby find out who did it, before she is next?

Another great story by Leann Sweeney. I love this series even more than the Cat in Trouble mysteries she writes. Which is unfortunate for me, as this lovely series is on hold for the moment. So even though I want to rush with the next three books in the series, I want to be economic with them, and save them for when I really need a book like this one.

I really like the characters Leann Sweeney creates. You can relate to them, and like them. Abby especially of course. She really cares about Megan, and what she finds out, and how it will affect her, especially when she is going through that much already. It is not pretty what has happened all those years ago, and again the adoption angle is great. But Abby does much more than what a PI is supposed to do, even more than you should be asking your best friend. But she just can’t say no. (Only to her Aunt can she say no). Again, the book is filled with action, with humor and with quaint Texan sayings. I love them!

Now for the mystery part: I did guess some things, which were pretty obvious. But the plot itself, and the real murderer, I never ever did see that one coming! Well done Leann. I love to be surprised by an author. If you like love scenes in a book, this one only has the one sentence ones ;).

9 stars.

dinsdag 24 mei 2011

Leann Sweeney – Pick your poison

The first book in the Yellow Rose Mysteries series, published May 2004.

Pick your Poison

Out of school, out of work, and out of motivation, Abby Rose is contemplating her life and wondering what to do next. It's the kind of situation that would get some girls down, but luckily Abby's got a heart the size of Texas-and a bank account to match.
When Abby discovers her gardener, Ben, dead in the greenhouse one afternoon, the emptiness of her own life hits her like a glass of ice-cold Texas tea. Ever since her father died, she’s been mooning around the pool, making herself as useful as a June bug on a daisy. When the sexy detective from the Houston P.D. tells her it was poison that killed Ben, Abby realizes what she needs to do with herself: solve a murder. Little does she suspect that the answers to her questions about Ben’s death will unlock secrets about her own past – and might change her entire future…

When Abby Rose discovers the dead body of her gardener in the greenhouse, she is shocked. She just spoke to him that same afternoon, and he needed to talk to her and her twin sister Kate about something very important. And now she will never know what that was about!
When she realizes she doesn’t even know Ben’s last name, she is ashamed off herself. And determined to find out why he came to work for them, under a false name.
The Houston P.D. isn’t making much headway, even suspecting Abby herself as the murderer! And they won’t tell her anything about the case. Her sisters’ boyfriend is working as a consultant for the police, so it is very easy for Abby to hack his computer, and into the Homicide Files to find out what the police knows and has done so far. She is determined to find out as much as she can about Ben. And she absolutely refuses to believe Ben has murdered his own wife with cyanide all those years ago. Especially when she speaks to his widow who tells her the two of them were so much in love, she refused to marry Ben at first as he still loved Cloris so much.
Bit by bit Abby unravels the past, finding out about Ben and Clovis, and how she was an unwed mother who had to give up her baby. She comes to the conclusion that Ben came to Houston not to find his wife’s murderer, but her child. And as she and Kate were adopted too, she can understand that. But also bit by bit she is coming to dread the outcome of the investigation, as it comes so very close to her own past.
Inspector Jeff Kline is not the only one to warn Abby off of the investigation, her greedy aunt Caroline, her lawyer Willis and even her ex-husband Steven think she should let things rest. But they all seem to know more than she does, and she hates being told what to do. And so Abby stumbles on, getting her self into (and out) of dangerous or compromising situations. With an ex-husband who wants her back, and the handsome Inspector who keeps appearing in her way, Abby has enough to think about.

A really great first book in a series of five. I liked Abby. I was afraid at first that she was a spoiled rich girl and nothing else, but she has character. She has also a degree in computer science, and is a little bit involved in the company her father has left them. But yes, it is different when money is no object, and there is no day job to interfere with the investigation. She is very smart, but also impulsive, and doesn’t think much about her own safety when pursuing a lead.
Abby loves her sister dearly, even though they are as different as could be. Kate is a macro-biotic nut, everything has to be healthy, and not tasty, and she is afraid of what Abby is getting herself into. With a good reason, that is, as Abby is a bit accident prone.
Then there is the aunt, who is very greedy, and always talking Abby down. In her sixties, and still going out with handsome young men, but she is rich enough in her own way.
And Willis, the lawyer, who keeps putting his nose in Abby’s progress, and whom I suspected along with the aunt.
Steven, her ex-husband, is trying to stay away from alcohol, as that was one of the mayor things that ruined her marriage. And his infidelity, and his … and …. So now they are working together on an old Victorian mansion in Galveston, to renovate it so Abby and Kate can sell it. Which means a lot of contact between them, discussing what needs to be done and such. But Abby really doesn’t love him anymore, and wants nothing to do with him romantically. Steven does not give up however.

I liked Leann Sweeney’s writing style, a lot. It is fast reading, and takes places in just a few days time, but I got to know Abby really well in that time. There is a lot of humor, and especially what I guess are typical Texan sayings and expressions. I loved that. Okay, I was sometimes ahead of Abby with the plot, but in the end Leann Sweeney still surprised me, and that is always a good thing in a mystery.
I am curious what will happen next with Abby, as she has chosen what she wants to do with her life at the end of the book, so I will go straight on with A Wedding To Die For, the second book in the series. And if there comes anything of a relationship with the handsome detective Jeff.

8,5 stars.

zondag 22 mei 2011

Alyssa Day – Atlantis Redeemed

The fifth book in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published March 2010.

Atlantis Redeemed

Poseidon’s warriors have learned that the battle to protect humanity produces unexpected enemies--and alliances. But none more unexpected than the bond between a cursed Atlantean warrior and a woman whose sight surpasses any lie…
A warrior with no emotion …
Doomed by Poseidon millennia ago to live life bereft of feelings, Atlantean warrior Brennan’s curse is shattered when he meets Tiernan--a human with the ancient Gift of Truth Telling. Attraction turns deadly when the woman he could never forget becomes the woman he can never remember. With the fate of Atlantis on the line, will a warrior’s uncontrollable desire destroy the world?
A woman with an eye for the truth…
Tiernan’s job as an investigative reporter is perfectly suited to her unique ability to see through any falsehood. But when she discovers human scientists conducting hideous experiments on humans and shape-shifters alike, only a wildly sexy Atlantean can help protect her from the those determined to see her fail—and die. When the future of the world is at stake, can she overcome death itself so together they can protect mankind?

When truth and passion collide…Atlantis is redeemed.

After a few disappointing books, I could no longer stay away from this series. I love it so much, and I had to know what happens with Brennan.
Brennan is one of the oldest Warriors of Poseidon. Cursed by his God over two thousand years ago to live without emotions. Only when he finds his true mate, will his emotions return, and then, when she leaves his sight, he will forget all about her. Until the day she dies, and he will remember everything again. A really harsh curse, and not totally deserved. Yes, he did like wine and woman to much, and gave no honour to the name of the Warriors of Poseidon. But he was only 19 at the time, and it was not his fault the woman took her own life! He did offer to marry her, but she thought him far beneath her.
So for all this time, he has been a faithful Warrior, feeling nothing at all, no joy, no sorrow, no grief, no happiness. At most a slight bit of curiosity.
Until he met the journalist Tiernan Butler two months ago in Boston. According to his fellow warriors, he went berserk, killed a vampire they needed to question, and threatened them. And all over a human woman. He doesn’t remember anything of it, but he does think it has something to do with his curse. And now his prince needs him to work with Tiernan on finding the mad human scientists who are working with the vampires on a permanent mind control device, that enslaves both humans and shifters. As in investigative reporter, she has been following the leads of this story for months, and she is close to finding out who is behind it all.
Lucas and his shifters in Yellowstone Park are in danger, some of his packmates have been kidnapped and experimented on. Alexios and Grace have agreed to help them, especially now that Alexios is some kind of godfather to Lucas and Honey’s children. And there is no one else to work with Tiernan but Brennan, as the other warriors are on other assignments around the world. The Atlanteans still need to find all the other jewels from Poseidon’s Trident to be able to let Atlantis rise again, and they are searching for them, while making treaties with other people, endangered by the vampires, intent on taking over the world.

Brennan doesn’t know if he can work with Tiernan, if she really is his destined mate. But he is willing to find out, as he grows weary of his meaningless existence. But as soon as they arrive at Yellowstone Park, Brennan feels she is in danger, being bitten by a Vampire, and he goes Berserk, and takes of to safe her. By the time he arrives at her hotel, she is already safely inside, the vampire in question meant her no real harm. But Tiernan is totally surprised by the mist invading her room, and then that mist transforming into the man she has been dreaming of for the last few months. Hot, erotic, dreams.
The minute Brennan lays eyes on Tiernan, a torrent of emotions flood him. The good and the bad one he didn’t feel for all those two thousand years. And he is reaching insanity, when he is saved by Tiernan calling his name. She doesn’t know what is happening to him, but she feels he is in tremendous pain. And when he tells her, he needs to hold her, she feels he is speaking the truth. But as soon as Brennan touches Tiernan, his need explodes. Desire, lust, and he almost rips the clothes of her body. But he still has honour, so he stops when she tells him to. No matter how difficult it is, he will never willingly hurt her.
After being almost molested in her own hotel room, Tiernan has a hard time trusting Brennan, but when he pleads with her to tell her his story, she agrees. After all, she can hear if he lies or not. And what he tells her is the truth as he knows it. And when he vows he will never hurt her, she believes him. She really is his true mate. But she is not ready to accept him in her life that easily. She has been alone almost all of her life, the curse, or her gift, keeping her on the edge of sanity. Every little white lie, every big black one, is clear to her. It didn’t make for having friends, because friends also lie to each other in a big or a small way. Tiernan is on the break of her important mission, and she will not give it up for an Atlantean Warrior she doesn’t really know. It is a problem for her to go to the bathroom, because as soon as she is out of Brennan’s sight, he starts forgetting her. And as Tiernan is drawn to Brennan as well, she doesn’t want that, or at least not yet.

They are both under disguise at the hotel, for a big conference of neurosurgeons and scientists and some of the most high ranking vampires in the area. Tiernan is a dim witted reporter for a science magazine, and Brennan is a billionaire willing to fund the research, in exchange for being made immortal. But something goes wrong, and they are captured by their enemies, and the mad scientist is starting his experiments on them. As soon as they take Brennan away from Tiernan, he starts forgetting her. But it is not easy to control an Atlantean, and it takes days for Brennan to break. That is, until a few human guards want to “play” with Tiernan. Then his memories come partly back, and he rescues her, and himself. Only not for long, as there is no easy way out of the facility. They run right back in the hands of their captors. But this time, things are different. Tiernan dies, and Brennan goes Berserker. His rage amps up his powers, and their rescuers arrive too late.

What a great fifth book in a great series! Yes, I cried for them, and I smiled for them. The story is fast paced, as usual, and filled with a lot of familiar characters from the previous books. I could not help but fall for Brennan, who was really punished extremely hard by Poseidon. So now he has found his one true mate, only to be doomed to loose her again. As they were in the middle of an important investigation, they could not take the little time they had to learn to know each other, and enjoy being together. Brennan wants Tiernan to stay safely in Atlantis, even if it will make him forget her, but it is her mission as well, and he has no say over her! So together they faced the danger, and went willingly into the torture to safe the other one. I felt for Tiernan, having to see Brennan forgotten who she is for days. In the short time they had together, she fell in love with him, having seen his soul through the soul meld. And when she hears, he is death, she gives up the will to live, to survive. Why she believed that lie, I have no idea.

I do believe Alaric and Quinn will have a chance at love together, someday. After all this is over. Alaric finally found out it was not Poseidon who ordered his priests to be celibate, so he is free to marry. If only his people didn’t need him this much at the moment, he would be by her side all the time.

Alexios and Grace are happy together, and with their unborn daughter. The young prince Aidan is fine as are his royal parents. I am wondering who will be the next warrior to fall for love and the soul meld.

Alyssa Day writes a wonderful paranormal romance series, with strong and handsome and attractive Atlantean Warriors, and even strong woman to complete them. O they all turn caveman in the beginning: my woman, and permitting and stuff, but the women quickly gets rid of those notions, and tames her warrior. It is a book you cannot stop reading, it has a lot of action and fighting scenes, suspense, but the romance part is breath taking.

9,5 stars.

zaterdag 21 mei 2011

Larissa Ione – Pleasure Unbound

The first book in the Demonica series, published June 2008.

Pleasure Unbound

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .
She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.
Two lovers will dare to risk all.
Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .

I let myself be persuaded by a lot of good reviews on this series, and finally started reading. The blurb did not really appeal to me to start with, or I would have read it years earlier. And I have to admit, I didn’t much like the story. But I persevered, and in the end, the story became better, and grabbed me a bit. The bonding scene was good for instance. And I keep thinking: why didn’t the book start with the fighting scene, so I got to know Tayla first? Perhaps that would have put me more in the mood. Instead the book starts with Eidolon, and the hospital. And I am not fond of hospitals. You won’t catch me watching ER or Grey’s Anatomy.

I got that Kayla is a very good fighter and normally that is my kind of heroine. But I just couldn’t bond with her. And Eidolon. Well. He is a demon, and a doctor, and just not alpha enough I guess. I just didn’t care for him much. The scene’s after they find the nurse, and have to fight some demons together, that was good. But after that, I lost my concentration again.

So, my verdict: I didn’t like it enough to want to read the other books, or even more by this author. I was told: no it is not erotica, it is paranormal romance. Well, for my tastes, there is more sex than action in this book, and it totally got in the way of any exciting kind of plot. The idea of the story is not bad, but the relationship totally did not work for me. Think Buffy hooking up with Spike in the second episode.
I have been wanting to read the Sydney Croft books, as I totally fell for that storyline, but the excess amount of sex has put me of. Who knows, I might not care for it in those books, as the story itself can be good enough to get past that. I have recently won a Stephanie Tyler book (Larissa Ione + Stephanie Tyler = Sydney Croft), so I’ll wait till I have read that one.

5 stars.

vrijdag 20 mei 2011

Cherry Adair – Night Fall

The first book in the T-FLAC: Bodyguard Trilogy series, published September 2008.

Night Fall

T-FLAC/psi operative Simon Blackthorne goes to Africa to continue the global war against paranormal terror-never expecting to clash swords with strong-willed Kess Goodall.
Kess struggles in her own desperate battle to unravel a deadly plague that has killed millions in the tiny country of Mallaruza. But Simon proves to be the ultimate distraction: his very presence takes Kess’s body to the edge of a pleasure-filled abyss, his touch superbly rapturous. Now, against a backdrop of staggering beauty and horrific violence, with danger at every turn and libidos in overdrive, a spirited woman and an indomitable wizard face a malevolent force more frightening than both can imagine.
With foes strong and numerous, Kess and Simon must forge a bond strong enough to eliminate a sadistic enemy before Mallaruza is lost to terrorist control and the world is forever changed.

I must admit, I am a bit disappointed in this book. The previous T-FLAC books I read were fast paced romantic suspense. And this one was very different. It took place in Africa, where Kess has a job as media liaison for the president of Mallaruza, who wants to be re-elected. She thinks the world of him, he is doing so much good for his people. Even though they are suffering from an unknown disease, which kills whole villages, he is helping as much as he can. Or is he?
The president has asked his old friend Simon Blackthorne to visit, as he has a problem with a wizard. The both of them are also wizards, Simon a lot stronger than the president. Simon is building his dream house, and he expects to find his dreamwife, tall, elegant, brunette, in three years time. But he is unexpectedly attracted to Tess, who is everything he never desired. An almost orange redhead, unruly, talkative and small. And together they go out of town into the country, to bring more supplies to the doctors working there. Tess is documenting everything, so she can keep the worlds biggest newspapers briefed on the situation, trying to get more help worldwide to beat this disease. But in all the months that samples have been taken, not one of the three world renowned research facilities has managed to find out what the disease is, let alone a cure. Which is strange.
Upon arrival in the camp, they find a massacre. Every single person is killed, hacked to pieces, and the vultures and other scavengers having a great time. Then they are attacked as well, and Simon manages to magic Kess to safety. Which is not easy, as his magic is on the fritz lately. Sometimes it works, most often not, or not for a long enough time.

Okay, not spoiling anymore of the real story.
What bugs me, is why would the president invite Simon over, knowing he is T-FLAC, when he himself is behind everything that happens? Kess very easily accepts that Simon is a wizard, and that he can do most everything with magic. Like driving a Jeep while making hot love in the backseat, which is big enough for a double bed. Conjuring clothes, and food, a helicopter or a car, transforming a dingy hotel room into paradise. Ok, those things are fun, but when ever there is a problem, he also uses magic to handle it. And to me, that is a bit like cheating. It really did take the suspense out of the story. Perhaps only that last battle scene in the warehouse, but I still had the feeling I was missing a part.
So this story was more about the attraction between Kess and Simon, than any real danger and suspense. Okay, the background was horrible, but not close enough for me to care about it. Not like the previous terrorist novels. I can totally believe in an organisation like T-FLAC, and gorgeous tough guys working for it, but the magic part is just too much. Doesn’t fit in the genre for me I guess.
Even though I enjoyed Cherry Adair’s writing style again, the really fun and love-for-life character Kess was, the rest didn’t meet my expectations.

6 stars.

New additions to my addiction

Miracles still happen here. I finally received the last book that was send on April 21. The book Freya won in my anniversary contest: Lisa Kleypas - Love in the Afternoon.

And some other books shipped a bit later as well:
Cherry Adair - Hush
Alexis Morgan - Bound by Darkness
Thea Harrison - Dragon Bound.

I have bought an enormous amount of new books at the Bookdepository in the past evenings, mainly because of the big discount they are giving. So for the next months, I have pre-ordered almost anything I could think off. And some whole series as well. So, lots of great reading time ahead of me, and then the labor of writing my reviews.

woensdag 18 mei 2011

Alyssa Day – Atlantis Unmasked

The fourth book in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published July 2009.

Atlantis Unmasked

Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath eleven thousand years ago to protect humanity from those who stalked the night. Yet when a woman with an ancient Gift dares to claim the heart of one of Poseidon’s fiercest warriors, the world teeters on the knife’s edge between desire and darkness…

A warrior scarred…
Alexios survived two years of unspeakable torture at the hands of a vampire goddess. Now he’s been ordered to team up with a beautiful warrior and take on the most dangerous mission of his life: retrieving the Vampire’s Bane. Without it, Atlantis can’t ascend to the surface and take its rightful place in the world. But when evil threatens, will Alexios be led by duty – or his heart?
A descendant of Diana…
Grace is part of the rebellion against the vampires and shape-shifters trying to take over her world. She is deadly with her bow, because when she takes aim, she never misses her target. But suddenly she’s focused on a damaged Atlantean warrior who sees her as a weapon, not as a woman. When thousands of lives are on the line, will passion rule or will her aim still be true?
When two worlds collide … Atlantis is unmasked.

Alexios is not pleased when he is ordered to join Grace Havilland at St. Louis and assist her in training new rebels. He is extremely attracted to her, and he is not sure he can resist that attraction. After been tortured for two years by the Apostates, he is not sure he can still enjoy making love, which is why he took a vow of celibacy. But there is no other choice, so he has to obey orders.
Grace was fifteen and training for the Olympic swimming team, when the vamps came out of the closet, and murdered her beloved older brother. She gave up on sports, and became a warrior instead. As she is a descendant of Diana, she is especially good with bow and arrow. Her great-grandmother gave her a special bow, made from wood out of the lands of the Fae. She also thought her about her legacy and to be wary of the Fae. And now she is training rebels, as a commander. The loyal Sam, an ex-special forces guy, is her second in command.
As usual on her brothers birth day (and day of his death), Grace goes for a swim in the ocean. She still loves swimming, but sorrow nearly drowns her, and she really contemplates giving up. For good. But not on this day, that would make a mockery of her brothers death.
When she arrives on the beach again, Rhys na Gharanwyn, High Prince of the High House of the Seelie Court is waiting for her. He wants her to give a message to the Atlanteans, an offer of treaty, and he wants her to deliver the message to Alexios. The Fae have always been neutral, finding humans beneath their notice. So why now?
Until Alexios arrives.
Grace and Alexios fight their attraction, both are not ready for commitment or a relationship, and Grace also doesn’t do casual. She is not a virgin, but not very impressed with having sex either. When she tells Alexios sparring or playing tennis is just as good to relieve some tension, he vows to show her differently. But then the fort is attacked by leopard shape shifters and Grace gets hurt badly. Alexios goes crazy at the sight, and almost kills the man. But they need answers more. How are the vampires controlling the shape shifters, when they never before could enthral them? When he calls out for Alaric to come and heal Grace, there is no answer. Two of the trainees are death, and a lot of the rest heavily wounded.
The next day Bastien shows up, with Kat and Ethan with him, and Ethan works his alpha powers on the prisoner, Eddy. Only Grace is extremely affected by those powers as well, and jumps on Alexios, almost begging him to have sex with her. She acts like she is drunk, and then sick. But Alexios is HE RO IC and withstands her tempting offers.
Alaric has told him, he did not make his vows to Poseidon, the sea-god would never ask that of him. He made the vows to himself, and only he can rescind the vows when he is ready for it. So that night, Alexios soul searches himself. Just kissing Grace has caused the soul meld between them, so it is time they took their relationship to the next level.

When Alaric and Alexios meet with Rhys at the appointed time, Rhys has information about the Vampire’s Bane diamond, they have been looking for. He can get the both of them into Vonos’ mansion undetected, so they can steal it back, and something the Fae want back as well. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned, and in the end, Diana is fighting Anubisa …

Another great, action filled novel in the Warriors of Poseidon series. I really like those warriors (except for Christophe, but he did not really appear in this book).
At the start of the book, where Riley went into labor, I was really crying, it was sooooo sad. And then Denal …. No, I won’t tell you ;).
I loved Alexios, especially when he stopped hiding his scars behind his gorgeous long blond hair. He is confident in his powers as a warrior, but not sure of himself if he really escaped the torture whole. Can he make love to Grace, or will his darker passions take over? He really has the cave man attitude down though. Grace is his, and no other man is to come near her. He will protect her from harm, forever. That she is a competent warrior in her own right, does not matter to him. So I loved when she beat him at target practice.

There was a new secondary character in Michelle, a lovely London rebel. I loved how her humor lightened up some of the scenes, and of course the advise she gives to Grace. I hope to read more about her soon (although not together with one of the other Warriors of Poseidon).
The drama between Alaric and Quinn is still going strong, and Alaric is really hurting from it. I don’t understand why he just doesn’t ask Poseidon for permission. Is he or is he not the most mighty high priest ever?

The appearing of the Fae, and the words of Diana really give a new twist to the series as well. So I am anxious to read on.

As always, the passion between Alexion and Grace sparkles of the pages, and the love scenes are hot. I loved the practicality of Grace, and how she always manages to surprise Alexion. Another great scene is after breakfast. Once with Alaric and once with Alexion. Alyssa Day writes a fast paced novel, with great humor, actionscenes and everything.

8,5 stars.

dinsdag 17 mei 2011

New additions to my addiction

I didn't think I would receive those books anymore, as they were shipped on April 21st. But today I found them waiting on my doormat when I came home.

Leann Sweeney - A wedding to die for
Leann Sweeney - Dead giveaway
Leann Sweeney - Pick your poison
Leann Sweeney - Shoot from the lip

And as the Bookdepository has such as lovely discount going this month, I am ordering and pre-ordering lots of new goodies ;)

maandag 16 mei 2011

Alyssa Day – Atlantis Unleashed

The third book in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published June 2009.

Atlantis Unleashed

Eleven thousand years ago, Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath to protect humanity from those who stalked the night. Now those powerful forces are uniting. So are two souls who are all that stand between justice and eternal darkness…
A warrior prince…
Lord Justice made the ultimate sacrifice for his brother and paid for it with unimaginable torture. Now he’s back, rescued from death, his sanity shaken, and his mission inescapable to search for the lost Star of Artemis. But the beautiful human female whom he has sworn to protect is shadowed by an evil that could destroy them both.
A woman of science…
The archaeological artefacts of Atlantis speak to Dr. Keely McDermott, sharing visions of life long ago. The ancient revelations have cast her into a world between past en present, between reality and illusion – and, when she meets the fierce Atlantean warrior assigned to guard her, between terror and temptation. As their two worlds collide, so too will danger and desire…

Another book with a blurb that is complete nonsense. So, don’t read it when you read the book, just enjoy the story, which is so much better than this blurb thinks it is.

Dr. Keely McDermott is an archaeologist with the Ohio State University, and she is very good at her job. Which is partly due to her unusual gift of psychometrics. When she touches an object, she sees a vision of the past. And sometimes, she is sucked into the vision, and sees everything through the eyes of one of the participants in the events. Which is not easy, and really tires her out. So Keely goes through life, wearing gloves, never touching people, and without friends, labelled: different, or even a freak.
Her parents never accepted her gift, or her curse. Taking her as a little girl to one shrink after another, who all labelled her difficult, and not one believed her stories. Keely loves her parents, but has not much true contact with them.
Her one comfort throughout the years has been the little wooden fish she found at a dig years ago. She has visions of a beautiful blue-haired warrior carving it, about two hundred years ago. And of course, no man can compare to him, and her visions of him. Least of all the man who betrayed her so harshly a couple of years back, after she trusted him with her secrets.
When she gets home from an important dig in Rome, until the local Were’s threw her out and took over the site, she is dead tired. She cannot risk falling asleep aboard an airplane and touching the seat, or the passenger next to her. Her office is more her home than her house, which is only a place to eat and sleep. Everything is exactly how she left things, with a nice layer of dust on top of it.

After checking her phone messages (none), she gets a visitor. A man who claims he is from Atlantis, and she is invited for a visit. Of course she doesn’t believe him, until he unsuspectedly rips off her gloves, and presses a jewel in her hand. She is thrown into the vision immediately, seeing an event that took place 7000 years ago, involving the High Priest of Poseidon and his beloved wife. Having not have the opportunity to prepare for the visions and the shock, the vision is brutal. Liam is extremely sorry, but he had to make sure she is a true object reader. And now Keely has to choice to go to Atlantis with him, or have her memory wiped, and her biggest competitor and arch-enemy go in her stead. Which is not a choice at all, really.

Meanwhile, in Atlantis, the search for Lord Justice continues. It has been four months since he went with Anubisa, the Vampire Goddess, and so far, not a trace of him has been found. Brennan, Christophe and Alexios are searching for gatherings from the Apostates cult, hoping to get some information from the vampires leading the cult in honour of Anubisa. Worshipping pain and depravation. They have just located a gathering and have made a grand entrance, when Brennan, the quiet, emotionless one, gets insane. He murders he vampleader, and threatens to kill all of the humans, until a nearly naked woman comes out of hiding behind a sofa. Brennan claims her as his own, which is so not him. Alaric arrives just in time to put Brennan in a kind of stasis, and they take the both of them back to Atlantis, were Brennan is place in the hospital. The woman happens to be an investigative reporter, who has some knowledge about Justice, and what the vampires are up to. And while Conlan, Ven and Alaric are talking with Tiernan Butler about the Voic she claims Justice is in, a strange portal opens. It is a dark place, but two figures can be seen, walking toward them. Finally they recognize Justice, he seems to have found a way out for himself, at last.

And now all things are happening at once. Liam and Keely arrive, Conlan, Ven, Alaric and Tiernan are there, and the portal where Justice is looming. His vision locks onto Keely, and he seems to go insane! Erin arrives, and she tries to sing the portal open. But the only thing happening is, that the sounds are coming through now, and no one is really happy with that. But it is al to no avail, Anubisa created the Void, and the only way in or out, is through a death sacrifice. Both Conlan and Ven offer up their lives, but Justice will not have it. Then his companion, a Greek soldier who was with Alexander the Great, and trapped in the Void for over two thousand years, sacrifices himself. Justice doesn’t think he is worthy of such a sacrifice, but has to come out now. But the torture he endured has shredded his self control, and his Atlantean half is fighting with his Nereid half. They both recognize Keely as their Soulmate, and Justice just takes her, and disappears with her.

Keely is afraid of this strange man who abducts her, but she does recognize the warrior of her visions. He is beautiful, even under all those layers of filth and blood. He scares her, but she knows he will not hurt her. But when he claims her as his own, she rebels. She is an independent woman, and will have nothing to do with those cave man attitudes. They are trapped in a cave beneath the Nereid Temple, where Justice used to come as a child. But he has no idea how to get out of it again, as his Nereid half took care of their arrival. And his Nereid half is battling him for control. It wants to ravage Keely, with or without her consent, and urges Justice to just take her as his own, to claim her, and never let her go. With Keely’s help Justice stays in control, and together they search for a way out of the caves. But when Keely touches Justice’s sword when he gives it her to feel safe from him, she is drowned in the visions it carries. She sees the whole of Justice’s past, from his unborn status through his childhood, his warrior training, his torture, till now. Justice is horrified with what he has unknowingly done, and vows to protect her. But he is very glad with what she can tell him about his past, and most importantly his parents. Apparently, his mother did love him, even though his father never could.

Finally out of the cave they head for the palace to tell Conlan and Ven what Keely has learned, and as a result, the both of them set out to the jungle to find the lost Star of Artemis, one of the lost stones for Poseidon’s Trident, and rumoured to heal a broken mind.

Another fast paced novel, where a lot has happened, and the first seeds are sown for the next books in the series. I loved Keely from the start, even though she had a rotten childhood and life, she is still a compassionate woman. She can feel for Justice, even when he abducts her. And the descriptions of the soul meld are so lovely, and different for each couple, just like each romance is different. More and more lost abilities seem to surface in those dangerous times, needed to fight the vampires dominion over humanity.
And what can I say about Justice? He knew his father the King despised him from his birth, but he never knew the real reason. Poseidon cursed him to never tell the truth to anybody, or he would have to kill that person. So even though he knew Conlan and Ven are his brothers, they did not. Can they really welcome him into the family? His fighting with his other half, talking to himself, he is one great warrior!
Yes, he is overprotective of Keely, but she also keeps him sane, and makes him appear more human.

It is clear to me, that Brennan has found his mate in the reporter, even though Alexios is interested in her as well. As for Christophe, I find I like him less and less in each book. I do wonder about his story. Riley’s pregnancy is going well, but she insists that she and Conlan be married before the birth. She knows the postponement was necessary, but now her patience is at an end. Her baby will be born legitimate! Even if an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas has to do the ceremony! And of course, Conlan bows to her wishes.
My heart still bleeds for Quinn and Alaric. But perhaps Keely’s vision changes things for them as well. If Quinn accepts him that is.

Yes, another good book about the Warriors of Poseidon. I want to start in the next book right away!

8,5 stars.

zondag 15 mei 2011

Alyssa Day – Shifter’s Lady

Book 2,5 in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published in the anthology Shifter in March 2008.


I could find no blurb for this novella.

Finally, Marie, First Maiden of the Nereid Temple in Atlantis, is ready to leave for the first time in her life. To visit her brother Bastien and his lady, Kat. Alaric, the High Priest of Poseidon, opens the portal for her, and accompanies her to Florida, the Big Cypress National Reserve, where they live.
Not only Kat and Bastian are ready to welcome Mary, also Ethan, the Pride Alpha, is present to welcome her to his lands. And when Ethan lays eyes on her, he is lost. Her voice, her laugh, just her. His panther goes crazy, it wants to play with her. But almost as soon as they arrive, Alaric gets the message from Prince Conlan that they have found a trail of Justice, who went missing in the last book. And Alaric and Bastien are needed. Both Atlanteans want Marie to return home, and come visit some other time, but Ethan is insulted with that idea. He can protect Marie when she is on his lands just as well as Bastien can. He will protect of her and Kat both. Marie of course doesn’t want to leave, now is the time to get to know Kat better, her brand new sister. And although Marie is used to warriors around her, Ethan sure is something else. He is hot! But when he tells her by way of greeting her, that he wants to strip her naked and lick her all over, see her long hair spread out over his pillow, she doesn’t know how to react. She is no a shy virgin at almost 400 years old, she has had some lovers over time.
When Kat gets called away, Ethan will take Marie out to dinner, and she decides to tease him, by wearing a very seductive dress and her hair loose. Let him drool! And that he does, he had steeled himself, warned himself that she is not for the likes of him. But seeing her dissolves all his good intentions. He can only think of taking her in his arms and have his way with her.
While driving to the restaurant, Marie sees some animal, and as Ethan’s cats are being killed lately, he takes off to investigate, leaving Marie alone in the car. Which is a huge mistake, as she is attacked immediately. Ethan was married before to a woman who betrayed him to the vampires, and now her pride-brothers want revenge. Travis challenges Ethan to an alpha duel, and Ethan has no choice but to comply. Het has 48 hours to get his affairs in order, and to get Marie to agree to go home, to be safe. But Alaric doesn’t response to her calls, so she has no way to get back home to Atlantis. Ethan and Marie share a few hot nights, making love to each other. And in the end, Marie is witness to the fight, with Jack, the were-tiger acting as independent referee. No leopard will ever challenge a tiger, and win.
Of course Travis tries to cheat, but Ethan wins anyway. His pride is safe, as is Marie. But how can their relationship ever work out, with Ethan in Florida and Marie with her duties in the Temple in Atlantis?

A lovely novella, which I finished quickly. I didn’t mind rereading it, as I really like Marie. She is a quiet woman, but with her own powers, and her Goddess behind her. She was attacked once and paralyzed with fear, not used to violence. But no second time! She can and will defend herself. And it is a good thing panthers are not afraid of water, because when they make love, Marie cannot control her powers all that well, and Ethan’s room gets flooded. And when they finally reach the soul-meld that is so special to Atlanteans, they know they are meant for each other. So somehow, they will make it work. Poseidon will not allow a shapeshifter into Atlantis, but perhaps, someday, he will make an exception for Ethan.

The novella is fast paced, filled with action but also Ethan and Marie getting to know each other and making love. Not really much interaction with other characters, but still a sense of a lot of goings on. Justice is still missing though, at the end.
I like this series, about the warriors of Poseidon, a lot. And I will continue re-reading with the third full book.

8 stars.

Alyssa Day – Atlantis Awakening

The second book in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published November 2007.

Atlantis Awakening

To rescue the world from an overwhelming evil, Poseidon’s warriors have risen from Atlantis. Chief among them is Ven, serving as the King’s Vengeance by birthright and by battle challenge. None can conquer him – except perhaps for one human female …
The warrior…
Ven’s mind is filled with duty. He must serve as Atlantean liaison to the humans in a war against the vampires. A sword is his weapon – not diplomacy. But on a mission to recover the Nereid’s Heart – a ruby of immense power – it will take every ounce of strength he possesses to resist the sexual allure of the beautiful witch chosen to work with him.
And the witch…
Erin’s heart is filled with vengeance. She lives only for the chance to punish those who murdered her family. Now she must partner with a legendary Atlantean warrior whose dark desire threatens to crash through the barriers she built around her emotions – and her heart. Caught in a trap of shifting alliances, how long can Ven and Erin resist their awakening passion?
Dark forces beware: Atlantis is awakening.

Ven doesn’t like witches much, and now he has to meet with one of them, to discus an alliance. There is a lot of vampire activity on the West Coast, near Mount Rainier, and it sure is no coincidence that Caligula is living there. Creating an army of vampires, working together with were-animals to subjugate “normal” humans. But the moment he sets eyes on Erin Connor, he is lost. He wants her in his bed, and he needs to protect her, keep her safe.
Erin was warned about those gorgeous Atlantean warriors, but seeing Ven in person shocks her, and arouses her. He is hot! The amber in her ring is singing to her for they very first time. More shocking is the fact that Ven can hear it too.
After being attacked twice by vampires who are after Erin, Ven takes her with him to Atlantis, there she will be safe. And there she learns she is a Gem Singer, and with her song and the jewels in the Tempel of Nereid, Erin manages to heal Riley and her unborn child. But it is only temporarily. Riley’s body is rejecting her pregnancy, and to keep them both safe, they have to find something called the Nereid’s hart, a large ruby hidden away ages ago.
The Goddess of the Nereids recognizes Erin as one of her own, and welcomes her to her temple, and into her service. Mary, the High Priestess tries to teach Erin some of her magic, but there is not really much time for that. They are needed dirtside again.
And is it a coincidence that Caligula has made his lair on top of the Ruby and one of Poseidon’s Trident jewels? Sooner or later, they will have to find his lair and destroy all the vampires. But when Erin learns her sister Deirdre is still alive, and not murdered with her mother and the rest of her sisters ten years ago, she has only one goal: to find her sister. She wants to find the ruby and heal Riley, but she also wants to find her sister. But Deirdre has been turned into a vampire, and been tortured by Caligula all those years. And now he is after Erin as well.
As a nasty surprise, the warriors of Poseidon find out that Anubisa is still alive as well, and this time she is after Ven. After torturing Conlan for over seven years, she wants his brother. And it comes as an enormous surprise, when Justice offers himself in Ven’s stead, willingly. To give Ven and Erin time together.

Another great story, where much is happening. The story between Ven and Erin is great, although Ven is overly protective of Erin, which she does not appreciate, at all. She is a very powerful witch and can take care of herself, and of him.
Erin is confused with her fast falling for Ven, but when their soulbond is made, it is glorious. It does not take away their free will, she can leave him if she wants but why whould she want that? Together they are a great couple.
I was pleased to finally meet an Atlantean woman. Mary is Bastien’s sister, and she is finally going dirtside for the first time in her very long life to meet the woman who captured his heart. We will read her story in the next novella in this lovely series.
The tragic non-relationship between Alaric and Quinn continues. As he took an oath of celibacy, he knows he can never have her, even though she is his own Soulmate. And then there is Jack, the were-tiger and Quinn’s second in command. He also has feelings for Quinn. Something she is not ready for. And Daniel/Dragos, the vampire general on the inside again, helping them. To keep Quinn alive, he has to do something horrible.
And what about Justice, and his secret past. The blue haired warrior always was an enigma, and now it has been revealed, and acknowledged.

A great, action filled novel. Lots of battle and magic, but also lovescenes and strong characters. Both the main and the secondary. I keep hoping for Alaric’s story, but I am guessing his will be the last. After all, as Poseidon’s high priest he will be needed to bring Atlantis back to the surface of the world.

8 stars.

vrijdag 13 mei 2011

Alyssa Day – Wild hearts in Atlantis

The second story, or book 1,5 in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published in the anthology Wild Thing in May 2007.

Wild Thing

When a troubled shape-shifter captures Bastien's attention, will Poseidon allow her to capture Bastien's heart?

To battle the new alliance between vampires and evil shape-shifters, it is decided that the Warriors of Poseidon need alliances of their own. Based on intel provided by Quinn and the resistance, Conlan, the High Prince of Atlantis, appoints Bastien as the liaison to a powerful group of shapeshifters in Miami. Bastien doesn’t think he is capable of being a diplomat, he is one huge man, and a fearsome warrior. Until he learns that his contact will be Kat Fiero, a beautiful half human – half shapeshifter parkranger he happened to safe from a pack of vampires two years ago. Their meeting was short, but burned in his heart forever. And now he gets to meet her again.

Kat Fiero is not a happy woman. She is trapped between two worlds, she is neither human, nor a real shapeshifter. She is cursed with a gift, to spread calmth and peace around, but that also prevents her from shifting into her own black panther. You need strong emotions to shift, but every time she gets to that point, her gifts awakes, and she calms again. She cannot even feel strong sorrow for more than a minute before she is calm again, and she hates that.
Her Alpha’s male Fallon hates her, and ridicules her every chance she gets. For being half human, not able to shift, for her height and her looks. So Kat is very insecure about herself.

She remembers meeting Bastien two years before, and was very sorry to see him walk away from her then. And now he will share her house with her, sleeping in her spare bedroom. She is attracted to him, but will he ever feel the same for her? Bastian sure does, but Poseidon has long ago forbidden relationships between his own Warriors and shape shifters.

It is Bastien’s job, with the help of Justice and Denal to find the proof that the vampires are behind the death of the shapeshifters recently, and not the humans, she they can prevent the alliance between Ethan and Organos, the local head vampire.

But when Bastien and Kat give into their feelings (after a very hot scene where Bastien takes a shower outside!) Bastien learns that Kat is his Soulmate, and he will fight Poseidon himself for the right to call her his own.

A very short story, but still a good one. Bastien is all warrior, it is his whole life, duty and service to Poseidon, no matter how hard the job, even if it burdens his soul. And now he meets Kat again, and he dares to feel again. If his prince was permitted to marry a human woman, will he be permitted to marry his own choice as well?
And Kat, she is strong and independent, and even though she never felt to belong, she is loyal to her pack and its leader. Until Bastien came along, and for the first time she felt safe, cared for, and in love. They fit together. Only Bastien has to loose his protective attitude, she is a parkranger, she can take care of her self, and of him if needs be.
Together, they are a great couple.

7,5 stars.

Alyssa Day – Atlantis Rising

The first book in the Warriors of Poseidon series, published March 2007.

Atlantis Rising

Eleven thousand years ago, before the seas swallowed the Atlanteans, Poseidon assigned a few chosen warriors to act as sentinels for humans in the new world. There was only one rule-desiring them was forbidden. But rules were made to be broken...

When she calls... Riley Dawson is more than a dedicated Virginia Beach social worker. She's blessed with a mind link that only Atlanteans have been able to access for thousands of years. Being an "empath" may explain her wistful connection to the roiling waves of the ocean, the sanctuary it provides, and the sexual urges that seem to emanate from fathoms below...
He will come. Conlan, the High Prince of Atlantis, has surfaced on a mission to retrieve Poseidon's stolen trident. Yet something else has possessed Conlan: the intimate emotions-and desires-of a human. Irresistibly drawn to the uncanny beauty, Conlan soon shares more than his mind. But in the midst of a battle to reclaim Poseidon's power, how long can a forbidden love last between two different souls from two different worlds?

I’ve wanted to catch up with reading this series, with the sixth full length novel, but ended up re-reading them all. And I am not sorry I did that, as I enjoyed this story again.

For seven years Conlan, the High Prince of Atlantis, has been tortured by Anubisa, the vampire Queen/Goddess. But she could not break him. When she senses something important has happened, something bad for Poseidon, she sets him free, to enjoy his further torment.
One of his nobleman did not believe in his return anymore, or the rule of the Council, always cautioning. He believes it is time to take action! They are to defend mankind, are they not? And is not now the time? Ten years ago, the vampires and shapeshifters have come out of the closet. Vampires have infiltrated the government, even having their own House in the Senate. And the new laws are not kind for normal humans anymore, favouring vampires. Humans have a curfew, they have to be of the streets by dusk, or they are willing food for both species. The shapeshifters have taken over the media, so none of the horrors they provoke are common knowledge anymore.
Reisen has stolen the Poseidon’s Trident out of the Temple, under the nose of Alaric, the High Priest, and taken it to land. His quest is to find the seven jewels that fit in the Trident, and where given into safe keeping eleven thousand years ago, so he can restore the ancient power to Atlantis, and make it rise again.

Just when Alaric and the Seven, Conlan’s bodyguard and the best seven warriors of Poseidon there are, are getting ready to follow Reisen and his warriors, and take the Trident back, Conlan arrives home. Barely alive. Alaric heals him with the power he gets through Poseidon, and senses he is still whole, unbroken, and stronger than ever. Their High Prince is back, just in time to claim his thrown, if only they have the Trident back.

Anxious to start the search for the Trident, Conlan doesn’t want to wait for all his warriors to arrive at the Gate, and heads topside alone. Reaching the surface of the ocean, he is assaulted by emotions. The emotions of Riley, who had a really bad day at work. She is a social worker, and since the vampires make the laws, they suck for humans in need. She almost got killed today, and her client may still lose her baby. So as usual, Riley comes to the beach to get some quiet and peace. But this time, trouble finds her as well. Three human tugs want to rape her. And then she feels another presence nearing, something much more fearful than the three men chasing her. Should she run or fight? Luckily, Conlan takes care of her problem for her, although she has already defeated on of them on her own. She cannot believe her eyes, Conlan is gorgeous! And they can hear each others thoughts and emotions, like she can only do with her sister. She sees into his very soul, as he sees into hers. Conlan doesn’t know what to think, never has he reacted to a woman like this. He wants her, no, he needs her. He needs to touch her, make sure she is safe and unharmed. He wants to make love to her. Has he really found an empath, a trait not found for thousands of years?

His search for Reisen and the Trident are forgotten, all he can think of is Riley. And while she is driving home, in his head he follows her. When his warriors and Alaric finally arrive, he tells them what happened, and they are afraid for him. Could she be used as a weapon against their Prince? Alaric can not sense the Trident, nor Reisen, so they have no clue where to search for him. They set out for Riley, Alaric wants to inspect her and her empathic powers. But just when they get there, and Conlan calls Riley to him, a bunch of vampires attack. Are they after Riley, or after the Atlanteans? When Conlan is skewered by a vampire, Riley doesn’t hesitate, she throws herself on the vampire to defend Conlan, even though she is not a fighter and horrified by the violence she is witnessing. She tries to save him, even at her own peril, and that earns her the respect of Conlan’s warriors. Especially that of the youngest one, Denal, who swears himself to her protection.

After the battle, Alaric heals everybody, and they set out for one of Ven’s safehouses. They have to make a battle plan. Alaric is weak and needs to rest before he can scry again. But Riley, who was at first overwhelmed with the emotion overload she received from all the Atlantean warriors, can sense Reisen and his bunch. It took her a while to filter it all out, but now she knows where they are, and what they are up to: attacking a bunch of shifters at the park. So the warriors gear up, and drive to the park, taking Riley with them to guide them. But once at the scene of the slaughter, because that is what they find, they also find Riley’s sister, Quinn! And she is dying from a gunshot wound to her shoulder. Riley pleads with Alaric to heal her, but somehow he cannot touch her. Riley forces the matter and together they heal Quinn. But something happens, a connection between Quinn and Alaric, just like what happened with Conlan and Riley. But when Alaric became a priest, he also swore an oath of celibacy. To break that oath, is to lose his powers. And Atlantis needs him, he is the strongest priest in thousands of years. To give in to his feelings for Quinn is impossible.

After Quinn finds out about Conlan and the Atlanteans, she reveals her own secrets: she was working with the shapeshifters as a leader of the Rebellion, trying to overthrow the vampire government. And with the help of the Warriors of Poseidon, they might have a chance to do just that. But first, they have to get the Trident back.

It is extremely hard to write a review about a book where so many things happen. To give enough back ground, and not spoil to much. I do ramble a bit, I am sorry. The connection between Riley and Conlan is instant, from soul to soul. And that happens even before their first kiss. After all those years of torture, Conlan doubts his own sanity, is he damaged goods? But Alaric, through his healing, has no doubts at all. He doesn’t heal from the outside, his powers come from within, and he can see all of his prince’s soul, all what he had to suffer at Anubisa’s hands.
But Alaric is also mad at himself, he could not find his prince, though he tried every day of those seven years. Anubisa somehow could hide him from his power and from his God.
Riley doesn’t trust easy, she sees to much horrors in her life as a social worker. Too many children she cannot safe, to much damage done by men. But when she meets Conlan, and can see his soul, feel the truth of his words in his emotions, she trusts him instantly. He loves her, and he needs her. So in her turn, she opens up to him, and when he doubts her, even for one moment, she is heartbroken. But still, she cannot give him up, and neither can he. He even defies Poseidon for her, willing to give up his thrown and Atlantis to be with her.
But Poseidon is pleased with her, even grants her his powers when needed.
There is not much background on Riley and Conlan, but still I really liked them. Riley is not a though, kick ass chick. But she deals with what is happening around her, and when someone else is threatened, she throws herself in the fight. She defies Poseidon, and fights Anubisa, and she is a worthy Queen for Conlan.

Alyssa Day has written a great first novel in a great series. If you like gorgeous warriors, with lots of action, fighting evil with swords and daggers, but also with magic and the elements, this series is for you. Ofcourse, they can also drive a car, and use modern guns, but technology and the elements don’t mix too well.
Alyssa Day has a fluent writing style, which I like. There is also humor and some very hot love scenes, and intense emotions. You just have to like those warriors. And each book centers around one of them and his woman. So, on with the next novella in this series.

7,5 stars.

donderdag 12 mei 2011

Robin Paige – Death at Gallows Green

The second book in the Victorian Mystery series, published in 1995.

Death at Gallow's Green

Kathryn Ardleigh is everything the Victorian English gentlewoman is not – outspoken, free-thinking, American … and a writer of the frowned upon “penny-dreadfuls”. She shocked her ancestral home at Bishop’s Keep – and capture the interest of detective Sir Charles Sheridan as they solved their first case together.
Now the brutal demise of a local constable and the mysterious disappearance of a child have the sleuthing couple on the trail of deadly greed and criminal mischief once again. And with the help of a shy young woman who calls herself Beatrix Potter, Kate intents to uncover the sinister secrets of Gallows Green…

When Laurence, a footman of the Marsdens, and Amelia, Kate’s maid, are trying to find a quiet spot away from the party for some frolicking, they stumble upon a dead body. The local constable, Arthur Oliver, has been murdered!
In the meanwhile, Kate is bored to death at a houseparty where she has been invited to at the request of her friend Eleanor Marsden, now married to mr. Ernest Fairley. Until she meets a young woman her own age, named Bea, who has some very unfashionable pets. A mouse, a hedgehog, and a rabbit.
Miss Beatrix Potter is very glad to have escaped her parents’ home, as they are very strict. She would love to write and illustrate children’s book, but her father is dead-set against it, and her mother always agrees with him. All she wants is to make enough money for her self to buy a little cottage, and have time to write and paint and study what ever interests her. So when she learns Kate is a published author, she is very impressed. When Kate finally is able to leave for home, Bishop’s Keep, she invites Beatrix the accompany her. Beatrix longs for the country, and some adventure, as does Kate, and they do get along famously. For the first time in her life, Beatrix can do as she pleases, go visiting and riding with Kate (who even rides a bicycle, dressed in Bloomers!), and what she likes most: hang out in the kitchen and sketch the happenings there. At home she is never allowed in the kitchen.
The murder is just the thing Kate needs to start writing her next book. Of course she is very sorry for Agnes Oliver, the dead man’s widow and a good friend of hers. And she will do everything she can to find out the truth about the murder, especially when the pension Agnes is allotted as her husband was killed in the line of duty, is in danger.

Edward and Charles are also investigating. Arthur was a good friend of Edward, they both are constables, and good ones at that. So when Edward is officially removed from the case, and an inexperienced young constable gets it, they just keep at it unofficially. Edward has been in love with Agnes for years, and his friend just beat him to the bush when it came to marriage. But now she needs his help, and he will help her anyway he can.

Some very unsavoury characters are involved in this mystery, but with the help of little Elisabeth Oliver, they find out the truth about the why of the murder. Kate and Beatrix are the ones who keep finding the clues, and when Charles and Edward are not reacting fast enough, they decide to take matters in their own hands. And a good thing they did, too. Kate has some very good ideas, and Sir Charles is very impressed with her. Concerned about her safety, yes, but he wouldn’t want her to change anyway. But then he thinks his friends both are courting Kate, and he steps down for him. But isn’t that choice up to Kate?

This book really has a lovely cover, this picture is a bad one. It depicts a lovely little cottage in the background, surrounded by meadows and flowers, and a hedgehog and rabbit (wearing glasses) in the front. Of course you all have heard of the famous children’s book author Beatrix Potter and her famous stories about Peter Rabbit and other lovely creatures. It was so much fun to meet her in this book, have Kate and her become good friends.

The mystery part was good. Detecting and forensic methods are still in baby stage, so the fact that Sir Charles is taking pictures of the body and the murder scene, is not much appreciated yet. But the goings on in the court of the Coroner are very well told, a really realistic picture of that time.
I just plain loved this book, and read it as fast as possible. Now I have to wait for my next salary, and then I will purchase the rest of the series. Can’t wait to read more of those great little cozy’s. I just love Kate, her indepence, and her starting feelings for Sir Charles. The lives of the common people and of the gentry in the county.
The mysteries themselves are very well written and thought out, and the characters are very lifelike and likable. But the biggest plus is the time of the setting. I just plain love it.

9 stars.

dinsdag 10 mei 2011

Leann Sweeney – The Cat, the Lady and the Liar

The third book in the Cats in Trouble Mystery series, published April 2011.

The Cat, the Lady and the Liar

When cat quilter Jillian Hart tracks down the owner of a gorgeous stray cat, the trail leads her to none other than fabulously wealthy, undeniably quirky Ritaestelle Longworth. The gossips in town are questioning Ritaestelle’s sanity, and the high-society grande dame isn’t helping matters with her wild accusations that someone is drugging her to keep her away from her beloved cat.
Before Jillian can get to the bottom of Ritaestelle’s charges, a body turns up in the lake behind her house – and her cat Chablis discovers Ritaestelle standing nearby. Can Jillian’s three wise cats aid her in solving a mystery with roots that are decades old? Jillian knows from experience that to find the purr-petrator, she’ll have to prick up her ears and follow the paw prints straight to a killer…

Okay, once again a blurb written by some one who just skimmed the book. I really hate that. I really wish the publishers would let the author write the blurb herself.

Animal rescue shelter owner Shawn has recently rescued a black cat, walking near the highway. As he has no luck getting contact with the cat’s owner (his calls are just not returned), he asks Jillian to visit the owner and find out if she wants the cat back, and if that is in the cat’s best interest. After all, how did the cat end up there?
Also, Isis is a very spoiled rich cat, and is setting his whole shelter on its ears, she hisses and bites and claws as much as she can. Can Jillian please take her? So reluctantly, Jillian agrees to both requests.
As Shawn had no luck calling the house, Jillian is going to investigate in the guise of a reporter. With a little help from her step-daughter Kara, she is primed. But also uncomfortable with the disguise, as she doesn’t like to lie to people. Ritaestelle Longworth is one of the richest women in the county and well known for her generosity and kindness. So why would she not react to the news that someone has found her beloved cat?
Having gained entrance to the house, and to the secretary/assistant Evie Preston, Jillian is told Ritaestelle is indisposed, and what is she doing here? The internet told Evie all about Jillian, and she knows she is not a reporter, but connected to an animal rescue shelter and known for helping cats in trouble. Then there is a commotion upstairs, and when Evie runs up the stairs, Jillian follows her. There she sees an elderly lady lying on the floor, clearly fallen down. Ritaestelle wants to talk to Jillian, but the people around her don’t want her to. So Jillian is run out of the house, and on her way home, even told by the chief of police Shelton to stay away from mrs. Longworth. She has been in trouble lately, being caught shop-lifting and forgetful.

Jillian is a little upset about the visit, something just wasn’t right in that house. And so she tells her good friend and police officer Candace when she comes visiting that evening, who tells her to just let it go. But then, just when Jillian is about to retire for the night, there is another visitor: Ritaestelle Longworth, in her bathrobe and on slippers. She claims she has escaped her own house, where she is held and drugged. She recognized Jillian from the news about her latest encounter where she rescued all those cats, and she thinks Jillian has found her beloved Isis. Jillian doesn’t know if she should believe Ritaestelle’s claims, but she goes off looking for Isis. Isis likes spaces she is too big for, and again she has gotten into something she can’t get out of on herself. But while Jillian is busy freeing Isis from her hide-out, Ritaestelle hears some noises outside and goes on inspection, letting two of Jillian’s cats escape. When Jillian goes looking for her, she founds Ritaestelle down by the lake, calling for help. There is the body of a woman in the lake, and Jillian plunges in, trying to save her. But it is already too late. Evie is dead, and Ritaestelle is covered in blood. Did she kill her secretary? And why was Evie there?

What follows is a fast paced mystery. Someone is trying to blacken Ritaestelle’s name, but why? Ritaestelle is living with a lot of family members, who are living comfortably of her money. Two cousins, her sister-in-law and her nephew, a butler and a cook. Evie didn’t live at the house, but she took care of all the financial matters, the charity work as well as the family’s allowances. So why was she murdered in the backyard of Jillian’s house? Was Ritaestelle framed?
The policeforce of both Mercy and Ritaestelle’s hometown is working together to find out the truth. But for now, Ritaestelle is the main suspect. At her request, Jillian and Tom work together to find out the truth, as they will look for different things than the police, and most importantly, believe Ritaestelle innocent. But for now, Ritaestelle doesn’t feel safe in her own house, and will stay with Jillian. Is Jillian harboring a murderer in her home after all? Or will they find out the truth?

I loved this book. I must say, this series is getting better and better. Of course, I already know al the main characters and like them, so it is nice to read about them again. As for the mystery, that was very well done. Each and every one of those family members could have done it, after all, money is the greatest motivator. Jealousy and greed were in abundance in that house. I had my suspicions all along, but this ending, this outcome, this murderer, no, that sure took me by surprise. And it is a good book that can do that. I am certainly looking forward to the next book in this series and the next cat in trouble that needs rescuing.
If you like some cats with your mystery, you should really try this series.

On the personal end, Jillian and Tom are still going slow. A date and a kiss, no more (yet). Jillian is still grieving for her husband, and some things really bring that grieve close to the surface. But Tom is very nice and understanding.
The obnoxious deputy coroner Lydia Monk also made an appearance, and she was her usual delusional and hateful self. How Leann Sweeney can create a character like that woman, I have no idea, but is a good and surprising find. I just hope she doesn’t know someone like that from close by.
Candace got the lead in this investigation, and she was doing great. Fanatical about collecting evidence of course, and sure to find out the truth. Until she was almost killed …
Kara is still planning to buy the local Mercy newspaper, and in the mean time writing articles about the killing and the investigation, putting Jillian in a difficult spot sometimes as she doesn’t want to betray Ritaestelle’s trust in her.

9 stars.