donderdag 30 augustus 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

But what did I receive since my shopping spree on Marktplaats?

From Bookdepository:
- Katharine Kerr – Love on the Run

Secondhand books:
(for my stepdaughter):
Amanda Hocking - Ascend
Amanda Hocking - Switched
Amanda Hocking - Torn
Amanda Hocking - Wake
L.J. Smith – The night of the solstice
L.J. Smith – Heart of Valor
L.J. Smith – The Forbidden Game, omnibus with: The Hunter; The Chase; The Kill
L.J. Smith – Dark Visions, omnibus with The Strange Power; The possessed; The passion.

(for me):
Karen Chance – Midnight’s Daughter
Jeri Smith-Ready – Wicked Game
Caitlin Kittredge – Night Life
Caitlin Kittredge - Pure Blood
Caitlin Kittredge - Second Skin
Jenna Black – The Devil you know
Jenna Black - The devil inside
Jenna Black - The devil’s due
C.E. Murphy – Hands of flame
C.E. Murphy – House of Cards
C.E. Murphy – Heart of Stone
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Invincible
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Infamous
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Infinity
Amanda Ashley – Bound by blood
Amanda Ashley – Everlasting desire
Mary Balogh - The devil's web
Jenna Black - Watchers In The Night
Elizabeth Boyle – Lord Langley is back in Town
Elizabeth Boyle – Mad about the duke
Caroline Burnes – Thrice Familiar
Caroline Burnes – Familiar escape
Caroline Burnes – Familiar lullaby
Caroline Burnes – Familiar Christmas
Caroline Burnes – Familiar Texas
Caroline Burnes – Familiar vows
Liz Carlyle – Wicked all day
Pamela Clare – Carnal Gift
Nicole Cornick – The scandals of an innocent
Lydia Dare – It happened one bite
Meredith Duran - Wicked becomes you
Gaelen Foley - Her only desire
Cindy Gerard –With no remorse
Laura Lee Guhrke – Trouble at the wedding
Laura Lee Guhrke – Scandal of the year
Rita Herron - Dark Hunger
Tamara Hogan – Taste me
Madeline Hunter – Dangerous in diamonds
Jessica Inclan - Believe In Me
Alexandra Ivy – Darkness unleashed
Sherrilyn Kenyon & Diana Love – Silent Truth
Sherrilyn Kenyon & Diana Love – Phantom in the night
Sherrilyn Kenyon ea – Deadly Promises
Lynn Kurland – One magic moment
Rosemary Laurey - Kiss Me Forever…Love Me Forever
Katie MacAlister – Cupid cats
Julianne MacLean – Captured by the highlander
Julia London - One Season Of Sunshine
Laurie London - Bonded by blood
Erin McCarthy – the chase
Erin McCarthy – Hot finish
Pati Nagle - The Betrayal
Sophia Nash - Secrets of a scandalous bride
Linda Needham - A scandal to remember
Pamela Palmer – Rapture untamed
Julia Quinn – A night like this
Paula Quinn – Seduced by a highlander
Kimberly Raye - Dead End Dating
Nora Roberts – Chasing fire
Patricia Simpson - The Dark Lord
Kathryn Smith - When Seducing a Duke
Kathryn Smith - Night Of The Huntress
Sheridon Smythe – Mr Complete
Dawn Thompson - The falcon’s bride
Shiloh Walker – If you hear her
Shiloh Walker – If you know her
Shiloh Walker – If you see her

And the package I was most looking forward to:
Nancy Holzner – Bloodstone
Nancy Holzner – Deadtown
Nancy Holzner – Hellforged
Dakota Banks - Dark Time
Dakota Banks - Sacrifice
Faith Hunter - Bloodring
Faith Hunter - Host
Faith Hunter - Seraphs
Kelly Gay - The darkest edge of Dawn
Kelly Gay - The hour of Dust and Ashes
D.D. Barant - Better off Undead
D.D. Barant - Death blows
D.D. Barant - Dying bites
D.D. Barant - Killing Rocks
Christina Henry - Black Wings
Nicole Peeler - Edge of the Tempest
Nicole Peeler - Tempest Rising
Nicole Peeler - Tracking the Tempest
Nicole Peeler - Tempest’s Legacy
Gabriella Poole - Blood Ties
Gabriella Poole - Divided Souls
Gabriella Poole - Secret Lives
Rachel Vincent - Alpha
Rachel Vincent - Prey
Rachel Vincent - Pride
Rachel Vincent - Rogue
Rachel Vincent - Shift
Rachel Vincent - Stray
Heather Hillough-Walden - Avenger’s Angel

Books I have won:
- Laura Kaye – West of Want.

A gift from Sullivan McPig:
Marie Lu - Legend

I do have one problem now though; I really need to re-arrange my shelves again. Lucky for me, my best friend is very willing to come help me do that. As I am afraid of heights, and standing on a ladder, she will do the climbing. Yes, I know, I cannot reach the two topmost shelves by my self… so the books I am least likely to read will end up there.
How much shelf space do I have for my TBR you ask? Well, imagine floor to ceiling shelves, the ceiling is almost three meters high, I have 7 shelves of two meters long, and 40 cm wide. Which means, I can stack my books in four rows. I once measured it, in the beginning when they were empty, it can hold 500 books a shelf… Paperback books, that is.
The books I have read, are going to my spare bedroom upstairs, where there are 5 bookcases, a bit overflowing also. The cozy mysteries are kept in my bedroom bookcases, and my Dutch books are in the attic.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 29 augustus 2012

Alyana Williams – Dark Oracle

The first book in the Dark Oracle series, published May 25, 2010.
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense

Dark Oracle

Tara Sheridan has a gift … and it almost killed her.
As a criminal profiler, Tara used science and her intuitive skill at Tarot card divination to track down the dangerous and depraved, including the serial killer who left her scarred from head to toe. Since that savage attack, Tara has been a recluse. But now an ancient secret society known as Delphi's Daughters has asked for her help in locating missing scientist Lowell Magnusson. And Tara, armed with her Tarot deck, her .38, and a stack of misgivings, agrees to try.
Tara immediately senses there is far more at stake than one man's life. At his government lab in the New Mexico desert, Magnusson had developed groundbreaking technology with terrifying potential. Working alongside the brusque but charismatic agent Harry Li, Tara discovers that Magnusson's daughter, Cassie, has knowledge that makes her a target too. The more Tara sees into the future, the more there is to fear. She knows she has to protect Cassie. But there may be no way to protect herself - from the enemies circling around her, or from the long-buried powers stirring to life within. . . .

Well, I guess the blurb tells most of the story this time, as it is fairly accurate. I read a review about this book on one of the blogs I follow, and new I had to read it. I have always had some interest in tarot cards, so to have them used in a book piqued my curiosity.
Unfortunately, I have had a hard time getting past the half way mark in this book. I just could not get connected to the main characters, and why Harry and Tara fell in love, I still have no idea. Tara is scarred, inside and out, after being almost buried alive and sliced to ribbons by a serial killer she was profiling. She is not a people’s person anymore and there is little to no info on Harry’s background at all, except old Martin who raised him after his mother died.

A missing scientist, a destroyed laboratory, dangerous research done for the militairy. Too much things I did not understand about Dark matter, black holes and such, though it was kind of explained. But if I do not understand such things, I really cannot enjoy it. The tarot cards did play an important role in the book, and I enjoyed the explanations given to each card that Tara drew. But in the end, it is all interpretation of the person who reads them, there are no clear answers or signs.

The secondary characters did little to endear me to them either. And the bad guys, well, they are really bad.

I do have the second book in this series, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it any time soon. To be honest, I am disappointed in this book. Too little to like, too strange a story.

6 stars

A blogger made me buy it

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 28 augustus 2012

Lisa Kleypas – Dream Lake

The third book in the Friday Harbor series, published August 7, 2012.
Genre: paranormal contemporary romance. My book has a very different cover, which is nicer. A girl walking a pier in the lake towards the sunset.

Dream lake

Zoë Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come, and when she meets the startlingly handsome Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. But something about him intrigues Zoë, so she encourages Alex to open his mind to the possibility that love isn’t for the foolish.
Alex Nolan is about as bitter and cynical as they come, battling his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle, until he is visited by a mysterious ghost. Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity?
The ghost doesn’t know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolans’ Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoë hold the key to unlocking the mystery that keeps him trapped there.

After her divorce, Zoë was very glad with her cousin Justine’s offer to start a bed and breakfast together in Friday Harbor. Zoë would do all the cooking, and Justine would take care of the business part of things. Zoë loves cooking and baking, and is very good at it. She has the kind of body a man dreams off, but it always attracts the wrong kind of guy, and she is very insecure about herself. Especially since her husband, who was her best friend in college, left her for another man. Being left is something she is used to, as her father left her with his mother when he moved to another town when her mother ran off. She loves her grandmother dearly, and now that she is getting old, and getting Alzheimer, she is determined to take care of her grandmother. Her father will be no help whatsoever, she knows that.
Justine helps her as much as she can, buying her grandmothers little cottage on the island, and renting it back for free to Zoë, for as long as she needs it. But first, it will have to be renovated to be able to live in it. It has been abandoned for many years, as her grandmother lived on the mainland.

Enter Alex Nolan, the youngest of the Nolan brothers and a successful builder, until his recent divorce and almost bankruptcy when one of his projects fell through. His parents were both alcoholics, and he grew up without love and not expecting anything from anyone, trying to stay apart from other people. Which is why he married Darcy, there was no love lost between them, they were using each other for their own purposes. He is almost an alcoholic himself now, though he does not recognize it yet.
He and his brothers don’t have a strong bond, though it has improved since their young niece Holly came to live with Mark and Sam. Alex has been helping out, renovating Sam’s old Victorian house, and making it liveable for a young girl.

When asked to renovate Zoë’s place, Alex doesn’t want to do it at first. He felt something when he first met Zoë, and he does not want to feel anything. But his brothers are right, he has the time, and he needs the money.

But what makes this book so special, is the ghost it starts with. A ghost with no idea who he was, what he was, and what he is doing stuck in an old house. He cannot leave it without fading away, he has no powers, he just is. Until the day Alex enters the house the first time. There is this connection, and he can follow Alex. At first the ghost is happy, a change of scenery. But he cannot leave Alex, and Alex, well, there is no joy in him. But still, the ghosts learns bits of pieces of Alex’s past, and is getting stronger, getting some of his own memories back. But still no clue who he was, or why he is stuck. And the only power he gets, is that Alex can see and hear him, and that he can annoy Alex.

Then one day, when looking in the mirror, Alex sees his father, and is scared out of his wits. Or perhaps into his wits. He decides to quit drinking, which is not an easy thing to do. Luckily, there is Zoë and the breakfast she feeds him every day before work, which keeps him going. Zoë is attracted to Alex, but she is warned away by Justine, and by Alex himself, who hints that he is not nice, and needs absolute control in bed, he is completely wrong for her. But Zoë doesn’t want to give up that easily. She is going to take her chance, and she is not going to regret it. Her grandmother is getting worse faster than foreseen, and it takes a lot of work, emotionally, to take care of her.

I really liked this book, and especially the original incorporation of the ghost story, the lost love story, and the lesson involved for Alex in all of this. It is hard, growing up with two alcoholics for parents, who fight all the time, and neglect their children. Sam and Mark were older, and did not get the brunt of it all, as they had moved out at the time, leaving Alex behind. Alex has buried his hart deep, he has no expectations of people, expects no kindness, and rarely receives it, until he meets Zoë. Zoë, sunny and optimistic Zoë, even though life was not kind to her as well. I liked Zoë, and the food stuff she made in the book really made me hungry. Those descriptions are very vivid.
Zoë and Alex took time with their relationship; both were careful and took their time getting to know the other one, opening up little by little, but the attraction between them is there. Alex is still handling the past parts of his divorce of Darcy, he needs to find a new home as Darcy is selling their old one. And he is still having occasional sex with Darcy, hard and impersonal and convenient, something Zoë can never understand. But when he was falling for Zoë, and he did not even know it yet, he could not do in anymore. He even saw how bad a husband he has been for Darcy, and he apologized.
I was very impressed with the progress Alex made in this book, turning from a hard almost alcoholic into a real man, who can take care of someone else, and can be nice to an old lady. And Zoë dared to venture out of her own comfort zone, taking a chance on Alex, even though she is warned not to. They were great together.

I am looking forward to the next book, which I suspect will feature Justine, Zoë’s cousin and best friend, as all the Nolan brothers are taken now. She is a very interesting character, very into sports and health, and she has been dating Dwayne from the biker church for almost a year before she broke up with him. She does not want any permanent relationship, she wants to be free. And there is a hint of Wiccan in her past I am very curious about.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 27 augustus 2012

Sierra Dean – Keeping Secret

The fourth novel in the Secret McQueen series, published July 10, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy

Keeping Secret

Something old, something blue, something deadly…what else is new?
It’s a nice day for a white wedding. At least that’s what Secret McQueen is hoping for, with her poofy-princess-dress marriage to a werewolf king looming closer and closer by the day. But as ever, nothing can be that easy for a vampire/werewolf hybrid for whom someone still harbors a death wish.
Summoned to the south by her werewolf uncle, who makes no bones about the fact her mate bond with Lucas doesn’t pass muster, Secret learns her furry heritage looks more like a tangled vine than a family tree. Getting her royal uncle’s blessing hinges on finding one of the missing twigs. Even with vampire sentry Holden Chancery at her side, she manages to land up to her neck in a swamp of trouble.
As an assassin’s scope zeroes in, family dramas boil up and a fast-collapsing love square threatens to bury her alive, making it to the church on time could be the least of Secret’s problems.

Warning: Contains a grumpy bride who shouldn’t be wearing wedding white, a motley crew of bridesmaids, a dangerous scenic drive in the woods and a smoking-hot trio of suitors who might be too scorching to touch.

After reading Blodeuedd’s reviews of this series earlier this week, I was reminded I had this eagerly anticipated book waiting for me. A gift from the author on Twitter.
I want to write nothing more as a review, and just say: Wow. Amazing. Go buy it!

Do not read those books out of order, please. You will enjoy them so much more if you read them in order, including the short stories.

Short recap: Secret McQueen is half living vampire, half werewolf, something very rare. She is a vampire Tribunal, and the fiancée of the local werewolf King, Lucas. She is Soulmate of Lucas, but also of Desmond, his best friend and second in command. She loves Desmond more, but for the good of the pack, she will marry Lucas, as Lucas has tricked her into accepting his very public proposal. I hate Lucas, as he never tells Secret the truth, never explains anything to her, just acts like she is his property without any free will at all, who should be pleased at being his Soulmate and bride.
I like Desmond, but Secret needs someone stronger in my opinion, and Desmond is just not alpha enough. Then there is Holden, a vampire warden, and her former liaison with the vampire council. Until Secret killed a member of the Tribunal, and became a member in her stead. Now she is his superior. And a fourth possible love interest, the one I prefer myself, is Sig, the oldest member of the vampire Tribunal, and a very intriguing person.

Secret is busy with vampire politics, trying to get her ward instated as a warden. She is also very busy with her upcoming wedding, with a very perky wedding planner Lucas has picked for her. But Lucas suddenly needs her to come with him to Savannah, to her uncle and his pack. Ancient werewolf custom demands that he asks Secret’s uncle for her hand. It is totally not important that Secret is afraid of her life at the hands of her uncle, and her mother, it is necessary, and so she must come. As someone is trying to have her killed, leaving New York for a while might be for the best.

In the deep South, Secret learns more about her heritage and her family than she could have dreamed, but she is also in danger. But not from her uncle or his pack. (And now I so want to tell a big important spoiler!) Job done, blessing is given, and they head back to New York, for the wedding … Secret’s bridesmaids are waiting for her, her best friend Mercedes, her sister-in-law to be Kellen, and her new …

I loved this book. Go buy it. Do you need more?
I hate Lucas, I like Desmond, I like Holden more, I like Sig better. I was surprised, and surprised again, and left in awe at the ending of the book. Never once could I predict what would happen, never could I guess the next bend in the plot. I love this book. For someone who reads a lot, there is nothing better than being surprised by a book or an author time and again, in a good way.
There is no cliffhanger, no unresolved mystery, but believe me, when you finish this book, when you read that last line, you will want the next one, immediately. Unfortunately, that will not happen till the spring.

I did miss Secret’s friend, the seer Calliope in this book, but Sierra Dean promised she will be in the next book. I really like her.

I highly anticipate the next book in the series, and I cannot wait to find out what will happen with Secret next, which road she will take.

10 stars

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 26 augustus 2012

Ilona Andrews – Gunmetal Magic

A book in the Kate Daniels series, published July 31, 2012.
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Gunmetal Magic

The New York Times bestselling Kate Daniels novels have been hailed as "top-notch urban fantasy." Now, Ilona Andrews delves deeper into Kate's world, and reveals its untold stories...
Some people have everything figured out -- Andrea Nash is not one of those people. After being kicked out of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea's whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels.
When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano -- the male alpha of Clan Bouda and Andrea's former lover -- die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate ... and must work with Raphael. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a backseat to saving the world ...
(Includes Magic Gifts, a Kate Daniels novella).

Unlike the previous books in the series, this one focuses more on Andrea Nash, a hyena shapeshifter, then on Kate Daniels. But fear not, there is enough Kate in the book. It takes place at the same time as Magic Slays.

Raphael’s company is a reclamation company, which focuses on salvaging metal and other precious items from the collapsed buildings. It is often dangerous work, but the metal is worth a lot of money, and Raphael uses it to support his clan. He recently bought a building with a large basement, and in that basement was a hidden vault. Some of his team members were guarding the site, and found murdered the next day. The vault is opened, and it is still filled with very valuable antiques, but something is bound to be missing. This was not a random robbery!
Jim, the head of security of The Pack, hires Andrea to find who did it. Andrea leaps at the chance, even though she will have to work together with Raphael, her ex-boyfriend. But when Raphael shows up the next day, with his new girlfriend in tow, Andrea decides she has had enough. No more mrs nice, she will release her inner bouda, and embrace life. The Knights kicked her out, and now she will have to officially join the Pack, but she will do so only on her own terms.

Andrea’s search leads her to some other Reclamation Companies, one is abandoned, and the other seems to be only a front for something else. And why does the CEO not want to talk to her? There is only thing to do, go to the man’s birthday party on Raphael’s arm as his armcandy, dressed to kill, and search his house. But they might find more than what they are looking for!

I am so impressed by this book, the story kept twisting and turning, adding ancient gods and their creatures, snake people and monsters living in glass ruins. Andrea kicks some serious butt in here, and I love her. When Raphael thinks an apology is all it takes to get her to be his mate again, he sure is wrong, and when he just moves in with her, the revenge she executes is awesome! I loved it!

Then there is Roman, the Russian mage/priest of an evil god, who also likes Andrea, a lot. And Roman sure can’t handle that. We learn a lot about Andrea’s background, her childhood abuse by bouda’s and why she doesn’t really want to join Aunt B’s clan and acknowledge her as alpha. Andrea is right; Raphael is just a spoiled big boy, whose mother dotes on his every word and wish. His good looks make it way too easy to get every woman he looks at. I liked that Andrea made him work for her, even though she misses him and knows he is her mate. The bouda’s are matriarchal, and she will not just fall at his feet.
And then there is Ascanio, a young werehyena Kate and Andrea have taken on as their intern, trying to keep him out of trouble, as he likes the ladies too much. He has a big secondary role, and he certainly learns a lot in this book.

I am already looking forward to the next book in this awesome series.

10 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 25 augustus 2012

Heather Blake – A witch befory dying

The second book in the Wishcraft Mystery series, published August 7, 2012.
Genre: paranormal cozy mystery.

A witch before dying

Darcy Merriweather is Salem, Massachusetts' newest resident Wishcrafter - a witch who can grant wishes for others. While Darcy isn't able to grant wishes for herself, she does possess a certain knack for solving problems - including the occasional murder...
When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her missing mother's disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her Aunt Ve's personal concierge service As You Wish is "No Job Impossible." But beneath the piles of old newspapers and knickknacks Darcy discovers something much more disturbing - Patrice Keaton's body.
Darcy's determined to give Elodie peace of mind by investigating her mother's disappearance and death. Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion? Or were Patrice's troubles caused by the Anicula, a wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy has to not only find a killer, she has to find the Anicula - before the power of ultimate wish fulfilment falls into the wrong hands...

Something is wrong with Aunt Ve, she has a horrible case of the flu, and next Sunday is her marriage to Sylar, the town’s mayor. Even Cerise’s spellcrafting doesn’t work. And Cerise is one of the best HealingCrafters in town. So it falls upon Darcy to help with the last details of the wedding, like tasting the food, checking on the wedding cake and the wedding dress.
And taking care of their business, As You Wish, helping people with those chores they cannot or won’t do themselves. Darcy is hired by Elody Keaton, to clean out her mother’s house. Her mother has been missing for 18 months now, and Elody can not longer afford to pay for both of their bills. So she will sell her mother’s house, but first, it has to be emptied and cleaned. And as her mother was a hoarder, that will not be an easy job.
Darcy is fairly optimistic, until she enters the house, and sees the narrow pathways through boxes and boxes full of stuff. Most is garbage, but there are treasures to be found as well, and those will need to be saved. But when Elody wishes for her mother to be found, Darcy is bound to grant that wish, never suspecting Patrice is hidden in a suitcase beneath a stack of boxes in her own livingroom. The house is suddenly a crime scene, and the new chief of police is none other than the man Darcy has a crush on (and vice versa): Nick Sawyer. Darcy didn’t know that Nick had accepted the job after all, and is curious how his little daughter Mimi is taking it.

Darcy’s sister Harper and her friend Starla are busy painting Harper’s new apartment, and Missie is helping as well. They are all very curious about the murder, and Darcy has to tell all. Harper is especially interested in CSI things and she urges Darcy on to investigate, like they did last time. When Elodie also asks her to help find her mother’s killer, Darcy can no longer refuse. It is not that she has no faith in Nick, but as a Crafter, she can ask different questions, and follow different leads, especially as it all seem to evolve around a famous wishing charm, the Anicula. Something even mortals can use!

Suspects abound, and Darcy will have to tread carefully. Aunt Ve stays too ill to go out, and Darcy is also busy training Missie, who is also a WishCrafter. More like they are learning the ropes together.

The familiars I came to love in the first book are of course present again, Archie, the neighbours macaw, and Pepe, the taylor-mouse, who is helping with the wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses.

But someone is determined to sabotage the wedding, and Darcy is determined to put a stop to that as well, even though this could be a big surprise indeed. Warning or no warning. Her aunt deserves the best wedding there is, even though it will be her fifth.

I adored this new book by Heather Blake. I really want to visit this part of Salem, and walk the Enchanted path around the villagegreen. Visit all the shops, eat the delicious baked goodies from Ethan and have my picture taken by Starla.
What can I say? I love the characters, the mystery was great, the murderer kept a secret till the very end, and there were surprises galore. Humor, and there is romance in the air, more than once. I am looking forward to the next book already.

9 stars

Autobuy author

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© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 24 augustus 2012

Jean Johnson – An officer’s duty

The second book in the Theirs Not to Reason Why series, published July 31, 2012.
Genre: paranormal science fiction.

An Officer's Duty

Jean Johnson--the national bestselling author of the Sons of Destiny novels--returns to the world she introduced in A Soldier's Duty. After having a terrible vision of the future Ia must somehow ensure the salvation of her home galaxy long after she’s gone…

Promoted in the field for courage and leadership under fire, Ia is now poised to become an officer in the Space Force Navy--once she undertakes her Academy training. First, however, she travels back home to Sanctuary, a heavyworld colony being torn apart by religious conflict. Ia must prepare her family and followers for the hardships they will endure in order to secure the galaxy's survival.
Her assignment is to command a Blockade Patrol Ship. Her goal, to safe as many lives as she can. But at the Academy, she discovers an unexpected challenge: the one man who could disrupt those plans, the man whose future she cannot foresee. And time is running out for Ia, for the galaxy is on the brink of the Second Salik War…

This second book in the series continues with Ia story. In the first book, she is a soldier in the Space Force Marines, and now she will train to be an officer in the Space Force Army. Learning to pilot all kinds of space crafts, to give orders, to be everything a good officer needs to be. She has been prepared for this ever since her visions when she was 15.
But first, she gets a three week visit to her home planet, her family and friends. Where she prepares her brothers and mothers for the things to come, and what really needs to be done. She also crafts the tools needed in the future, using the crystal like rocks that grow only on her homeworld. Hard decisions have to be made, and her brothers may not like to do it all, but they will listen and do their best to succeed. As she has foreseen of course. But still, the future is all about free will, and Ia cannot force them.

What Ia did not count on, was a classmate who did not exist in her visions. She likes him, he is cute and fun and very good in his chosen profession. But as she cannot see what happens in the time streams, she tries to stay away from him. Unfortunately, her friend and superior officer, psychiatrist and chaplain Benny forces the two of them to face their problems and attractions. Ia has no time for romance, she knows she will never have a private life or children, so why tempt her with this man? If she really falls in love, he will only distract her from everything that needs to be done to safe the galaxy, or even make her give up her goals altogether.
As fraternizing between cadets is against the rules, they promise to wait until after graduation, and then spend a few days together before going of on their next postings. Ia knows they will not serve together, and a relationship that spans galaxy’s is never going to work. Nor can she afford the distraction. While making love, Meyun Harper triggers her powers, and gets sucked into the timestreams with her. He is resentful of her never giving them a chance, they could have a great life together, he has seen too much. Ia won’t go for that future, as it would mean the end of the whole universe in 300 years. In the end, he does stand behind her in her decisions.

Next, Ia is a Lieutenant second class on a small Blockade Patrol ship, fighting almost daily, and making quick decisions. Her knowledge of all kinds of aliens and their customs is very well used now, and she gains respect among them. For her next goal, she needs her nickname to be well known and feared among the enemy. Foggy spots in the timestreams worry her, she does not know what they mean, but it cannot be good.

I devoured this fairly thick book, 439 pages, in two long sittings. If I did not need to sleep, I would never have stopped reading it.
I love Ia, her determination to safe as many lives as she can, and be a good soldier and officer. Her chosen path is not easy, and she has to ask a lot of herself and her family and friends, but those who share her trust and her vision, stand behind her. Of course there are some fun things as well, like when her little brother wins the biggest jackpot in the galaxy ever, the money that will be needed to fund the rebuilding of her homeworld after the civil war that is coming. The boldness Ia has when addressing some of her superior officers, when she tells them the truth, when they finally find out about her powers and her heritage.

I am in awe of Jean Johnson’s writing voice, as she captivates me and keeps me glued to the pages, needing to find out what happens next, and not wanting the book to end at the same time. I don’t know when the next book will be published, but I saw on Twitter that she is working on the fourth now. I can hardly wait.
These books will stay on my keeper shelf, and will be re-read.

10 stars

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 23 augustus 2012

Gini Koch – The night beat

The first book in the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, published June 14, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy / paranormal romance.

The Night Beat

The majority of Prosaic City's residents don't know that their town exists on top of another place -- Necropolis, City of the Undead. For the most part, the two planes of existence manage to remain separate. And when they don't, Necropolis Enforcement has beings in place to ensure the general human population remains blithely clueless. Victoria Wolfe is more than just a policewoman. She's an undercover werewolf assigned by Necropolis Enforcement to work Prosaic City Police's Night Beat. Victoria's comfortable working the shift where all the weird comes out to play, especially since her partner is also her perfect man. Or would be, if Victoria could ever work up the nerve to tell him she isn't like other girls.
It's hard enough being a werewolf in disguise, but when a creature from the Depths of Hell shows up in an alley preferred by junkies, bums, and hookers, it's going to take more than just Victoria's special gun and werewolf skills to subdue the ancient Sumerian demon. Especially when the demon is merely the start of what appears to be a major takeover attempt by the Prince of Darkness. Soon all of Necropolis Enforcement's Undead Brigade is involved in the fight to stop the Prince's Major Minions from taking over Prosaic City and the rest of the human plane. But it's Victoria who has to face the Adversary and figure out what intricate plan Lucifer has up his wings before everyone she cares about is destroyed. In other words, it's just another day on the Night Beat.

Victoria Wolfe is working as a cop for Prosaic City. She is also a werewolf, one of the many types of undead that populate Necropolis City, and works for Necropolis Enforcement. Necroplis is a city beneath Prosaic City, in a kind of alternate reality. Necropolis was there first, and the humans have build Prosaic City on top of it, and if you can see both realities, that is a really weird thing.
She and her human partner are called to a situation in an alley in one of the lesser parts of the city. Where something horrible awaits them. Something has eaten four cops, two cop cars, and a bunch of bums and hookers that usually inhabit that alley. And now it wants to eat them as well. Vic quickly asks for backup from Necropolis Enforcement, hoping to keep her human partner safe. It takes a lot of backup before they can contain the slimy monster/old Sumerian god thing, and her human partner, Jack, witnesses the whole thing. Somehow, the vampire who was influencing him, lost his concentration, and Jack broke free of his mindcontrol. Strangely enough, he is not fazed in the least with the confrontation with all those sort of beings and monsters. He even safes Vic when she thrown into a container. Jack admits that he knew that Vic was a werewolf for a long time now, and that he really really likes her. He does not think her a monster. Vic finds it hard to believe, but she is happy as she has had a crush on Jack since day one.
With the demolishing of the demon/god, all his victims fall free. Some are dead, some still alive, and some of the dead ones get a chance to become undead, and start over. One of the bums becomes a zombie, and one of the hookers a succubus. They get to choose what they want to become.

Afterwards, the team takes Jack and the new undead with them to Necropolis Enforcement headquarters, to debrief. The team is made up of Vic, werewolf, Maurice, Ken and Amanda, vampires, Monty a mummy and Rover his white worm. (Ken is also an ex-boyfriend of Vic). Monty is the head of Dirt Corps, all kinds of underground undead creatures, and it are their efforts that kill the slime monster/god.

Jack really takes everything in calmly, but with a lot of questions. Exhausted after a long night, Jack accompanies Vic to her apartment for the first time, and even though it was just for resting, they made love for the first time. The next morning, Jack has made a breakfast worthy of a hungry werewolf. After that, it is back to the crime scene, and figuring out what has happened. A major minion of the Prince (= evil) cannot just appear out of nowhere, he must have been summoned.

It is impossible for me to recap this book, beyond the first two or three chapters. So much happens in this fast paced book, so many beings appear on stage, and you really need to discover all this awesomeness for yourself. Basically, it is the fight of good against evil, the choice of fighting for your favourite god (or monster), or for the Prince (evil). And do not worry, not too much theology in here, you are not being converted into religion.
I really liked Vic, she is a fun character, with the most evil and bad parents you can imagine, but I bet you couldn’t. She has been an undead werewolf for over 2 centuries now, she still has some feelings for her ex boyfriend Jude, who is an angel. She broke up with Ken because he was just too perfect to live with. What I like most though, she is a werewolf. She has three forms, human, wolf and werewolf, which is not unusual. But in her human form, she still has wolf traits! Like the fact that she wants to hump Jack’s leg, that instead of tailwaving, her backside sways. Her senses stay sharp in human form as well.
And Jack, well, he is the perfect man for her (or maybe not … ) he is a very good cop, and a very hot manly man.
You will find all kinds of famous historical people in this book, al all kinds of undead, even beings I have never heard about before. And I loved it. Loved it.

This story is chockfull of awesome characters, the most kinds of paranormal beings I have ever found in one book, lots of action and fightscenes, a great story, lots of nice often sarcastic humor and wit, some lovescenes, and everything I need in a good book. I have no complaints at all. Vic does remind me a little of Kat from her Alien series, in that she can see the very outlandish plot and what to do to stop it. I really had no idea what would happen next, the story and the characters kept surprising me.

Gini told me on Twitter, that she is planning a nice long series for Vic and her pack, which makes me very happy :-).

This book is not for sale at the Bookdepository, but it is on Amazon in paper and ebook. So go forth, and buy it! You won’t regret it!

10 stars

Love this bookAutobuy author

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 22 augustus 2012

Michelle Styles – Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife

A novel, published April 3, 2009.
Genre: historical romance.

Impoverished Miss

His unexpected bride.
Wealthy landowner Simon Clare shuns Northumbrian society. With his son gravely ill, the last thing Simon needs is an interfering woman assuming command of his household and nursing young Robert - no matter how sensuous her figure, or how tempting her luscious lips. Phoebe Benedict knows what it is to struggle, and finds herself drawn to the badly scarred recluse. Despite his tough exterior, she knows that Simon is a father who yearns for his son to recover - and a man who misses the tender embrace of a woman.

When his 10 year old son Robert gets sich with Scarlett Fever, Simon Clare sends desperately for his sister Diana to come home. But Diana is recently married, and pregnant, and can’t risk her unborn child, travelling in winter. So she sends her husbands cousin Miss Phoebe Benedict.
When Phoebe’s father committed suicide because of his many debts, her brother became the next Viscount. But money was tight, and he married fast, and fathered a child, only to die himself. And the new widow is not that fond of Phoebe, nor are she and Phoebe’s stepmother inclined to economize, no matter what Phoebe tries to teach them. Her two other stepbrothers need her help, and so she has decided to visit her cousin and ask him to buy her oldest stepbrother a post in the army. But as she does not want to take charity, she is more than happy to go nurse a sick child, after all, she has lots of experience with that.

Simon Clare is none too happy to find Phoebe on his doorstep in the snowstorm, and is not inclined to let her enter. His son has been calling for his aunt, and now he should take in this stranger? But Phoebe is not a shy miss, and she manages to convince Simon to give her a change. Upon entering the sickroom, they discover the windows wide open, and the child standing on his bed, calling for his aunt. The incompetent nurse has gone against Simon’s orders on keeping the windows closed and is dismissed at once. When Robert refuses to take his medicine, laudanum, Simon is ready to call in some footmen with ropes to tie the child to his bed, something Phoebe finds horrible!
She takes Simon apart, and asks him to give her a chance, she will convince the boy to behave and take his medicine, the ropes really are not necessary!

Phoebe succeeds, and Simon reluctantly agrees to let her stay. He is not fond of strangers as he is scarred badly since the accident with his new travelling engine a few months ago. Some nosy neighbour even called him a fiend! And so he has not gone out of the house very much, even neglecting his colliery. His servants are afraid of him and his temper, and the house has not been cleaned very well for a while. It clearly needs a new mistress, but after the disaster of his first marriage, Simon has vowed never to marry again. So his interest in and attraction to Phoebe, is not welcome. He will not be so ungentlemanly as make her his mistress, and he will not seduce her when she is a guest in his home.

Phoebe is a spinster and firmly on the shelf. She even went to school with his late wife, so she knew her, but they were no friends. Jayne did not like competition from other women, and Phoebe was also very pretty when they debuted. Simon doesn’t want her to tell his son about his mother, he wants him to forget everything about her. Apparently, she was not a very good mother. She even insinuated that Simon is not his father, but Phoebe sees the resemblance between them and won’t believe that.

Simon tries to run away from his attraction to her, but one day, he does kiss her, and decides they know have to be married. Phoebe has fallen in love with him, and hopes one day he will love her back, even though he tells her plainly that he does not believe in love, and that this will be a marriage of convenience only. He is rich enough to keep her in style, so she does not have to be worried about that. He needs a housekeeper, and Robert needs a mother. And so Phoebe accepts, hurt when her family is totally not interested in coming down to be witness. But where else is she to go when Robert is better again?
They are pretty compatible inside the marriage bed, but outside of it, Simon tries to avoid her. And what will his beloved sister think of their hasty marriage? Will she accept Phoebe?

I really like Michelle Styles’ writing style. I thought I would know what would happen next, what they would do or say, and I was so wrong. This is not a cliché of a story, or textbook characters. Simon is still suffering from his wounds, his leg and his eye and they give him headaches. Climbing the stairs to the nursery to visit with his son, is difficult. And the pain would make him snap at the boy, something he also does not want to do. Phoebe first thinks he does not care about Robert, but that is certainly not true. He cares very much, and he wants his boy back to how he was before the illness. Recovering will take Robert many weeks. Simon was hurt badly by his wife’s infidelity, and everything else she did, and he won’t fall for Phoebe! Well of course he does, but he does fight very hard.

If you like tortured heroes, with scars and bad tempers, you might like this book. If you like strong heroines, who stand up to a man and manage him, you will like this book even more. There are some lovescenes, but not too hot or detailed, they do fit the story nicely. According to fantasticfiction, this is a stand alone novel, but I don’t believe that. I think Diana’s story was the previous one. But this is still perfectly readable as a stand alone novel.

I was given this book by the author at the Autoren Love Letter Convention in Berlin in July 2012. It is signed and dedicated. Michelle Styles is such a nice English lady, with great shoes!

8 stars.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 21 augustus 2012

Guest post by Holly Bush, author of Train Station Bride.

A few weeks ago I was asked by Colette from ABG Reads Book Tours if I wanted to participate in the blogtour for Train Station Bride. As I have read and loved (and reviewed) the book recently, I was happy too.

Holly Bush was kind enough to write a guestpost for my blog.
Holly Bush

Moving On
Not too long ago, I was talking to my oldest daughter about the romance books I’ve written. I don’t remember the exact conversation or what I had said but her response was, “Most of your books start with someone traveling somewhere.” I stopped dead in my mental tracks and did an inventory. She was right. Somewhere in the first few chapters of many of my books the hero or heroine travel or arrive somewhere they are unfamiliar with.

I begin books when I see a character in my head doing something and I wonder why they are doing what they are doing or how they got to the situation in the first place. In Train Station Bride, I saw Julia Crawford reading a letter she’d received from a man she’d corresponded with and agreed to marry. Not many chapters into TSB, Julia boards a train to her new life. Julia’s arrival in a South Dakota town in the midst of the Founder’s Day Festivities plays havoc with her long planned intentions.

When I wrote some of these romances like TSB, I was in the midst of a personal life upheaval that included moving away from the only house I’d ever lived in to a town I knew little about on the other side of the state. Looking back it is obvious that whatever emotions I was feeling at the time came out in the books I was writing. I got my HEA, though, and so do my fictional heroines!

Author Bio:
I grew up in a home where I was surrounded by books. There was not a room that did not hold a bookcase, stack or shelves of books. My father didn't care what we read, although he did, as long as we read something, even a comic book. His stack of books beside his reading chair that sat next to a sunny window was a strange mix of westerns, political intrigue, current affairs, science fiction and the odd biography. Books made me curious, comforted me, excited me, scared me and gave me glimpses into lives and worlds beyond my reach. What a gift - the written word - what a gift!

Where to find Holly: Website | Blog | Twitter

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | All Romance E Books | I tunes | Kobo | Reader Store

Train Station Bride

1887 Debutante, Julia Crawford endures a lifetime of subtle ridicule as the plump, silly daughter of a premiere Boston family. Julia strikes out on her own to gain independence, traveling to the Midwest to marry an aging shopkeeper and care for his mother. Julia finds her new home rough and uncivilized after the sophistication of a big city, while closely held secrets threaten to ruin Julia’s one chance at love.

Jake Shelling was sixteen and grew up quick when his parents died from influenza on the North Dakota prairie. Left with a half-cleared farm and two young sisters, he spent little time on his own needs . . till now. At thirty-five, he figured it was high time to have some sons and a mail order bride would suit him just fine. No expectations of love, just a helpmate from sturdy stock, ready for farm life.

Will fate and chance play a trick on Julia and Jake?

You can read my review here:

Holly Bush is so kind as to give away one ebook copy of the Train Station Bride to one lucky winner. What do you have to do? Answer this question: What was the longest trainride you ever made? And leave me your broken up email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

Blog Tour Stops:

August 13 Lace & Lavender Hints Review
August 14 Lace & Lavender Hints Author Interview
August 15 Reflections of A Book Addict Review
August 16 Reflections of A Book Addict Guest Post
August 17 WV Stitcher Review
August 18 Hanging With Bells Guest Post
August 20 Historical Tapestry Guest Post
August 21 boeklogboek -Guest Post
August 22 Nothing Better Then Books Review
August 23 My Devotional Thoughts Excerpt
August 24 My Devotional Thoughts Guest Post
August 25 Nette's Book Reviews Review
August 26 My Devotional Thoughts- Review
August 27 Nette's Book Reviews Author Interview

Edited: For some reason, I cannot get the links to work. If anyone knows how to edit this, or change a setting, please email me at auriansbooks at gmail dot com.

maandag 20 augustus 2012

Kate Hewitt – Zoe and the Tormented Tycoon

The fifth book in the Balfour Brides series, published November 16, 2010.
Genre: contemporary romance.

Zoe and the Tormented Tycoon

Everyone's talking about Zoe Balfour - the illegitimate heiress! She flies to New York to discover more about her biological family and goes a little wild, shocking even herself by spending one night with a gorgeous stranger...

The gradual loss of his sight has caused Manhattan mogul Max Monroe to close himself off from the world - a wife and child are most certainly not on his agenda! How will Zoe, once just a spoiled socialite and now unexpectedly pregnant, unlock the dark heart of a man who may never see his own child?

I don’t usally read Harlequin’s anymore (devoured them by the hundreds as a teen), but I have won this book at Novel Thoughts blog, signed and with a lovely bookmark and it was high time I picked it up. And I have to admit to being surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Apparently, in a previous book, Zoë Balfour found out that her mother cheated on her father, and she is not his daughter, not a Balfour. It has rocked her foundation, she doesn’t know who she is anymore, even though her father tells her it makes no difference, he has always known it, and he loves her the same as her sisters. The gossip in England is vicious, and is really hurting her, making it hard to keep her head up, and so she decides to go to New York, America. Her father even gives her the name of her biological father, so she can find him if she wants to. She can’t ask her mother anything, as she died when Zoë was born.

Zoë is bored, she wants a new life for herself, to start over, but she has no idea what to do. She is not all that bright, and she is just a party girl. At a party in an art gallery, Zoë meets Max Monroe, and there is some kind of instant connection between them. She goes home with him that night, something she never does. And they have great sex, but the next morning, Max is very cold, and almost throws her out of his penthouse. He wants nothing more to do with her. Zoë can’t take any more rejection, not after her biological father tried to buy her silence. He has a family of his own, a wife and children, and does not want her in his life, messing it up. What Zoë doesn’t know, is that Max is fighting with himself. He is slowly but surely going blind, because of a rare eye disease. There is nothing to be done about it. He is also fighting some bad memories that happened in the past, when he was in the military. He doesn’t want to bring Zoë in his life, she deserves a whole man.

But when Zoë has gotten pregnant from their one night together, even though they did use condoms, things change. Zoë tells him, as she wants her child to know her father, as she never got the chance. At first Max hurtfully rejects her and their baby, but later he has second thoughts. He invites Zoë to his weekend house in the Hamptons, to talk things through. But when Max is cold and hot towards Zoë and does his best to send her away, she finally has enough and goes back home, to England. Her family is there for her. Will Max come to his senses in time?

At first I could not connect with Zoë, a shallow partygirl. But she tried to change, and even did some volunteer work before she got too sick with morningsickness. She wants to do what is right for her child, and be a good mother. I have really no idea why she fell in love with Max, who keeps her at a distance, and is snarly. Okay, there is a connection, and she does see his vulnerable side, but still. Love came way too soon in my opinion.
And Max is a businessman, and soon he will not be able to read his newspaper, follow the news, the stockmarkets as he used to be. He will have to change the way he works, his whole life. And Zoë and a baby are not something he was looking for. But being blind does not make him a bad father, he can still mean something in their lives. That he is willing to just throw it all away, made me dislike him, even though he is suffering. And he has daddy-issues. He is not as strong as he looks.

Still, I enjoyed it, and became involved in Zoë’s life. She tried to change, to make something of herself, and I do admire her for that. And yes, I totally felt her emotions, even though I could not understand her. Cudos to Kate Hewitt for drawing me into the story in such a way that I cared for what would happen. I like Kate’s writing style, and her vivid descriptions of places and people.

7 stars.

I won this book on a blog

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian