vrijdag 30 november 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

So, are you curious what I have added to my shelves lately?

From Bookdepository:
Ellery Adams – Written in Stone
Laura Childs – Stake & Eggs
Thea Harrison – Lord’s Fall

Secondhand books:
Kim Harrison - Once Dead, Twice Shy
Kim Harrison - Early to Death, Early to Rise
Kelley Armstrong - Made to be Broken
Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely
Melissa Marr – Ink Exchange
Melissa Marr – Fragile Eternity
Melissa Marr – Radiant Shadows
Melissa Marr – Darkest Mercy
Rachel Caine – Carpe Corpus
Rachel Caine – Fade Out
Rachel Caine – Midnight Valley
Rachel Caine – Feast of Fools
Rachel Caine – Lord of Misrule
Rachel Caine – Glass Houses
Rachel Caine – Kiss of Death
Rachel Caine – Ghost Town
Rachel Caine – The Dead Girls Dance
Bella Andre – Game for Seduction
Bella Andre – Tempt me, Taste me, Touch me
Bella Andre – Red Hot Reunion
Bella Andre – Take me
Bella Andre – Game for Anything
Jeanne Adams---Dark and Dangerous
Elaine Barbieri---Dangerous Virtues Honesty
Kylie Brant---Waking the Dead The Manhunters
Pamela Clare---Hard Evidence
Pamela Clare---Naked Edge
Catherine Coulter---The Nightingale Legacy
Catherine Coulter---The Wyndham Legacy
Heather Graham---A Pirate's Pleasure
Laura Kinsale---The Hidden Heart
Doreen Owens Malek---Fair Game
Linda Lael Miller---The Legacy
Patricia Rice---Cheyenne's Lady
Patricia Rice---Lord Rogue
Patricia Rice---Love Betrayed
Patricia Rice---Love Forever After
Patricia Rice---Moon Dreams
Patricia Rice---Rebel Dreams
Patricia Rice---Touched by Magic
Bertrice Small---Lost Love Found
Jill Sorenson---Crash into Me

I’ve received some lovely bookmarks for Jennifer L. Armentrout YA books, which I won over at Awesomesaucebookclub. I’ve recently discovered this blog, and really enjoy their posts. Again, thank you Amber!

I’ve also received some lovely bookmarks and magnets from Christina Ashcroft/Christina Phillips, all the way from Australia . There are a few signed cards as well, something between the size of a bookplate and a trading card. I love it.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 29 november 2012

D.D. Barant – Dying Bites

The first book in the Bloodhound Files series, June 30, 2009.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: suspenseful

Dying Bites

Her job description is the 'tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.' What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek's brave new world - one in which only one percent of the population is human - is that a woman's work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day.

Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she's the best there is in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David's world - one that also includes lycanthropes and golems - is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again...

Jace Valchek is a profiler for the FBI, a loner, someone whose humor is never quite understood, or appropriate. Then one night, after a few too many drinks, her life is turned upside down, when she is snatched from her bedroom into another dimension. Her job skills are needed in this alternative reality. Earth’s history changed significantly in the 12th century, and now the world is populated by vampires (37%), werewolves (43%) and golems (19%). The werewolves are a bit diluted by dogs though. Yes, humans are down to less than 1% of the population, less than one million humans left on the planet.
Mental illness is a human disease, something virtually unknown on this earth. And as a human psychopath is killing vampires (pires) and lycanthropes (tropes) in some really gruesome and inventive ways, Jace’s help is needed in catching him. She will be working for the NSA, and her boss is a vampire. Of course she doesn’t believe all this at first sight, but when she shoots him a few times, and nothing really happens to him, but some shredded clothes, she will have to. She also faints, and when she wakes up, she is in some kind of hospital. As she is not from this world, she needs to drink a special potion to adjust herself to this new reality. The added benefit, or curse, is that she will become more empathic.

Jace is told more about this world by her doctor, who is a werewolf. And if she feels his emotions clearly, very attracted to her. He also introduces her to her new partner/bodyguard Charlie, who is a golem (lem). Or, politically correct, mineral-american. They are creatures of plastic in the form of a human being, filled with sand and/or small rocks, and enlivened by a spell. Originally this was Jewish magic, but now it is common all over the world, and they are used as drones, soldiers and law officers. Vampires drink animal blood, but in the end, they will need humans to survive as a species, to make new vampires out of.

Jace is not stupid, and she wants to know why she, a human, would help the supernatural community to catch one of her own. If not, she will never be able to return home. That takes powerful magic. What her bosses don’t tell her, the vampires and lycanthropes are not capable of doing magic like that, only the humans can do that.

And so Jace reluctantly agrees. She visits the murder scenes, except the first one, which is in the secret McMurdo Station in Antarctica. But the killer did post a video of the murder, and she can study that one. A vampire is killed by sled dogs, who have their teeth painted with silver, so he can’t heal, and are given something to make them vicious. The second murder is a lycanthrope in Australia, and the third murder is a female vampire in Asia. Jace has to find out the significance of the locations, and the methods of the murders. Which is not going to be easy, when her bosses and the local law enforcement people don’t want to tell her everything.

The stakes are getting higher when the murderer wants her to change sides, and work with him and his group, trying to free earth from the supernaturals and make it a home for the humans now. As it is, they are an endangered species, hunted by vampires for their blood.

The story is completely told by Jace, something that is not my favourite writingstyle to read. It is a bit dry, although she has an unique sense of humor, and she grew on me. I liked how she did not back down from anything or anyone, but I also could not relate to her. She asked so little questions, she accepted the strangest things and she did not really freak out or anything. She does a one night stand with one of her new acquaintances, who happens to be a werewolf. But that is only told after the fact, and without any details. She was drunk, too empathic, and did not remember much.
Jace did not really connect or bond with anybody, though almost all the werewolves she encounters are interested in her. She does take charge of the investigation, and she knows some martial arts, which comes in very handy fighting does many times stronger than she is.

I also did not connect with or fall for one of the male characters in the book, I never saw them as potential love interests. I did like the geeky scientist type with his dead rat skull who could use some kind of magic to talk to things.

Okay, now I am going to sound very chauvinistic: when I found out that D.D. Barant is a man, by the name of Don DeBrandt (thanks Twitter!) I figured out that is why I could not really connect to the story or the characters. Even though it was a bit suspenseful at times, I could not feel it. A man just has a different point of view, a look at life, than a woman, which is why I prefer female authors.
Still, the story is certainly intriguing and original, and I will read the rest of the series, though I am not in a hurry to finish all the books.

O if you are wondering, why this series is called the Bloodhound Files, that is because that is Jace’s nickname from the other NSA agents, as she is like a bloodhound and does not give up when she is on a case. She is not changed into one.

7 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 28 november 2012

Thea Harrison – Lord’s Fall

The fifth book in the Elder Races series, published November 6, 2012.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: very nice, and with a stepcover.

Lord's Fall

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two mates find themselves on different paths, torn between their duty to the Wyr and the passion that binds them...

Before she met Dragos, half-human/half-Wyr Pia Giovanni was alone and on the run. Now she's mated, pregnant and heading south to repair the Wyrs' frayed relationship with the Elves. Being separated from Dragos is painful, but for the good of the Wyr demesne they need to figure out how to be partners - in more places than just the bedroom.

In New York to preside over the Sentinel Games, Dragos is worried about his mate, but knows that finding two replacement sentinels is essential to show the rest of the Elder Races just how strong and brutal the Wyr demesne can be. But as the Games heat up, Pia's negotiations with the Elves take a turn for the dangerous, straining her bond with Dragos and threatening everything they hold dear...

In the last half year, Dragos Cuelebre has lost two of his Sentinels, and he has decided to replace them, by holding Games. The 7 strongest warriors will become his new Sentinels. The 5 Sentinels left over get the choice: retire honourably after so many thousand years of service, or join the games. All of the Wyr in the world can join, but only those deemed good enough, both in strength and in loyalty to the Wyr will be invited to fight. 446 warriors will fight one week long, if you lose, you are out of the games.
In the meanwhile, Pia will travel to the Elven demesne, to try to make peace with them on behalve of Dragos, and have the trade embargo lifted. Among this rotten economy, it is really hurting a lot of New York businesses. The Elves may hate Dragos, but they love Pia, and knew her mother, and the truth about her. The Wyr think it very strange that Pia has not revealed what kind of Wyr she is, and they have become suspicious of her. Like the security detail that is to take care of her. Pia will have to get them on her side, and fast, or the whole trip will be wasted. She needs to be in command of the situation in front of the Elves.

Dragos is not happy leaving Pia out of his sight, she is his mate, she belongs with him, but the truce is needed, and his attention is divided enough as it is already. When he sees Rune and Carling at the games, he doesn’t know how to react. Rune has been with him for many millennia, his right hand man, until he met Carling, and mated with her. Dragos knows he reacted badly back then, and he has no clue how to make his piece with Rune. He does know things cannot go back as to how they were, even if Rune would come back to work for him, he cannot be the First Sentinel again. So, in his stead, Dragos decides to choose Gray for the job. Pia likes him too, and trusts him, and that is enough for now.

The Harpy Aryal is the next one who disturbs him. She has found out that Pia’s friend and former boss Quentin Caeravorn is entering the Games, that he is part Wyr. She hates his guts, is convinced he is a criminal even though she hasn’t find any evidence to that in the past two years she has spend investigating him. But the law is the law, and Quentin has every right to participate in the Games. Another interesting contender is a Pegasus. A normally peaceful Wyr, this one knows how to fight, and it would be very interesting if he became a Sentinel.

But Pia is not safe in the Elven demesne, when they travel into the sentient Woods to meet the Elven Lord. And when Dragos cannot contact her any more, he ignores the rules and enters Elven Land again, to find her and bring her back home with him. An ancient enemy has surfaced again, and for the very first time, Dragos and the Elves will have to fight together to have a chance of survival. As the Oracle predicted last year …

I really loved this book, and still believe that Thea Harrison’s work gets better and better with each book. And I know I am in the minority with those believes. I did not really fall for Pia in the first book, but in this one, she holds her own. She knows what is necessary, and she goes for it, and against Dragos when necessary. I admired her for that. She doesn’t like being distrusted by the Wyr, but she is pregnant with “Peanut” and that has to be more important.
The intrigue was very well written, and I could not guess where it all would end. But I enjoyed every page of this book, and heartily recommend this story to all lovers of paranormal romance / romantic fantasy. Thea Harrison has created a unique world, mixed into our own, and her characters are diverse and totally alive. You cannot help but to fall for them.

9,5 stars

Autobuy author

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 27 november 2012

Laura Childs – Stake & Eggs

The fourth book in the Cackleberry Club Mystery series, published November 6, 2012.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: cozy

Stake & Eggs

New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs presents the best way to start your day - with a hearty breakfast and a side of hard-boiled murder.

Suzanne, Toni, and Petra found a second life after losing their husbands - opening their own successful business, the Cackleberry Club café. But the three women never expected sleuthing to be the special of the day...

A killer has the town walking on egg shells.

When a snowmobile crashes into the woods behind the Cackleberry Club café, Suzanne finds her town's most-hated banker beheaded by a wire staked in the snow. Now some of her best customers are prime suspects with a bushel of motives, and the murder investigation is snowballing. An elusive young runaway may be the Cackleberry Club's only way to crack the case...provided Suzanne can keep her head long enough to track down the cold-blooded killer.

After losing her husband 10 months ago, Suzanne had to decide what to do with her future. Her husband was a country doctor, and they had a good life together, but now she is alone, no children, and not even 50. So, together with her two best friends Petra and Toni, who can’t be more different from each other, they converted an old tank station into the Cackleberry Club, where people can have breakfast, lunch and tea. Eggs are their speciality dishes. Petra is the chef, Toni is the waitress, and Suzanne does everything else. They have also added a BookNook to the place, where people can buy books, and a Knitting Nest, for Petra and her knitting friends, and where they sell all kinds of knitting items.
Fresh produce made by locals is also for sale, and used in the kitchen. They are doing well, so close to Highway 65.
Suzanne is a widow, Petra’s husband is suffering badly from Alzheimer and is in a nursery home, and Toni, who looks like the eternal teenager, is married to a deadbeat man. He can’t keep a job, and is always looking for the next scheme to make some easy money.

The ladies are getting ready for the Fire and Ice Festival, that will start the next day, and they will be hosting the Winter’s Blaze this Sunday. Toni is excited about the treasure hunt, which has a grand prize of $ 3.000,00 and she sure can use that money. But is she really ready to divorce her deadbeat husband Junior this time?

They are waiting for the banker, Ben Busacker, the new president of the Kindred State Bank, to come over and discuss the plans with. Ben is not very popular around Kindred, as he has a zero tolerance policy. If you are behind on your payments, you will be foreclosed on, nor is he very forthcoming with loans for small businesses. But Suzanne doesn’t have much difficulty with the man. Then they hear a loud noise, one of those infernal snowmobiles is coming their way, or perhaps two. And then it sounds like it is crashing somewhere, and Suzanne sets out into the snowstorm to find out what happened. But she is not prepared for what she sees. The snowmobile is crashed into her shed, and the driver did not survive it in one piece. He is most certainly dead, thanks to some wire spanned over the trail.

Sheriff Doogie arrives fast, and has his work cut out for him. Too many suspects, as almost no one liked the victim. Among them, one of Suzanne’s neighbours, a man who would not hurt a fly. How can Doogie think he did it? Another farmer is openly glad that Ben is dead, but did he kill him? And who will be the new bankmanager? Ben’s boss from headquarters’ sure is a nasty piece of work. Will he really appoint the fired prison manager? If that happens, then the ladies of the Cackleberry Club will for sure go banking elsewhere.

And so, amongst the many events of the Fire and Ice Festival, a killer is still at the loose. And is he really trying to stop Suzanne from sleuthing by killing her? Luckily, Suzanne has her new boyfriend Sam to be comforted by, and her two little dogs.

I always look forward to the next Laura Childs book, and this is the third of the cozy mystery series she writes. I have to admit, no matter how good this is, I still love her Teashop and her Scrapbooking mysteries better. Although I really can relate to the ladies of the Cackleberry Club, as I am approaching their age, and their difficulties in life they have to overcome.

The mystery was not one I could solve before it was revealed in the book, I honestly did not have a clue who the killer was. I just went along for the road, and enjoyed it a lot. I would certainly like to visit this Fire and Ice Festival, even though it sounds like a very cold town in winter, it is somewhere in the Midwest. Minnesota perhaps?
I enjoy Laura Childs writing style a lot, it is very fluent, easy to read, and I am totally captivated by her stories. They are just plain fun to read, and also resemble reality, with today’s economic crises and all the difficulties the ordinary people are facing.

9 stars

Autobuy author

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 26 november 2012

Ellery Adams – Written in Stone

The fourth book in the Books by the Bay Mystery series, published November 6, 2012.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: Love it

Written in Stone

When Munin Cooper, known as the Witch of Oyster Bay, warns Olivia Limoges that death is coming, neither of them realize that it is the older woman herself who will soon be found dead. And Olivia's instincts tell her that something - or someone - more sinister than a mystical force is at play...

Olivia has a lot on her plate preparing for the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. When she hears the news of Munin's untimely death, however, finding the murderer takes priority. The witch left behind a memory jug full of keepsakes that Olivia knows must point to the killer - but she's got to figure out what they mean.
With handsome Police Chief Rawlings by her side, Olivia starts to identify some of the jug's mysterious contents - and finds its secrets are much darker than she suspected. Now Olivia must enlist the help of the Bayside Book Writers to solve the puzzle behind the piece of pottery and put an end to a vengeful killer before any more damage can be done...

I was very much looking forward to reading the new book in this series, as it is an exceptional good cozy mystery series. And it starts with a lot of action.

Olivia Limoges is having a nice breakfast at Oyster Bay’s local diner, as she does almost every day, with her big black poodle Captain Haviland. The diner is decorated in Andrew Lloyd Weber paraphernalia, there are boots with a Cats theme, a Phantom of the Opera theme, and many more. Dixie, the proprietor on rollerblades, tells Olivia, that the local witch has asked for her. At first Olivia is sceptic, there is not such thing as witches, but the locals sure have believed in this Munin for many decades now. Munin claims to have something for Olivia, something that used to belong to her mother.

Leaving the diner, Olivia witnesses two obnoxious tourists. The man doesn’t even hold the door for his companion, who has to be his mistress, as Dixie saw the picture of his wife and kids in his wallet. With a vanity plate saying NipTuck, the man has to be a doctor. He drives a bright orange Corvette, and Olivia gets more and more irritated with the couple. And what she does, when it gets too much, go Olivia!
I absolutely loved that scene in the book! I was cheering for Olivia!

Olivia decides to visit the witch after all. But to find a local fisherman who will ferry her over is not easy. But one of them is willing to bring her, he is the witch’ messenger, and he does her shopping for her, whatever she cannot grow herself, and especially to bring her newspapers. The visit is not without danger, that part of the swamp is crowded will all kinds of poisonous snakes, so Olivia is thankful that her guide is careful enough to test the high grass with his walking stick first. He is a retired park ranger, and Munin saved his life some years ago, when he was bitten by a snake.

Olivia leaves Munin with more questions than she had before, and a memory jug the witch has made for her, embedded within the clay is her mother’s starfish pendant. And some other treasures Olivia will have to find out about. She will need the help of her “boyfriend”, Chief Rawlings and the other Bayside Book Writers for that. But Olivia could not know the old secrets they would unearth. Nor that Munin would be killed the next day.

Back at her restaurant, The Boot Top, her chef Michel is elated when he tells her the restaurant has been chosen for a segment on the Food Network! He longs for the fame it will bring him, as his long time nemesis has been taken out of the race. Due to his pendant of falling in love with married ladies, he never got famous and working in the biggest restaurants. But he likes where he is now, and he has free reign in the kitchen.
Olivia is not really happy with it, having a tv crew disturb her restaurant and kitchen, but for Michel’s sake she agrees to it. But when the director is quite taken with one of his sous-chefs, a native Lumbee Indian, Michel is jealous. He even threatens the boy, and the camera team catches it on film. Still, they are all really impressed with Michels artwork.
Olivia and Michel have also been invited to be two of the judges at a food contest next weekend. during the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. Cooks in the wild, where the chefs have to cook in primitive conditions, and can only use the ingredients provided for them to come up with something delicious. Michel is very excited he is going to meet one of his first loves again, who happens to be a lovely pastry and desert chef, and the third judge.

And after that, her sous chef Willis, dressed in historical Lumbee clothes, cooks some traditional foods on a campfire. And again. Michel is filled with jealousy for the boy. Willis’ sister Talley is a talented storyteller, and Olivia really enjoys her tale. But then Willis gets very ill, and he dies before the ambulance can get him to the hospital. What could have happened? He was just a boy!

Okay, I may have told much too much already, but so much happens in this book. It is fast paced, but still has time for some nice developments between Olivia and her Chief. They are growing closer together, but there is no rush, just love and affection between them, and of course Haviland.
Millay and Harris are also still involved, and Harris is really growing up now. Millay’s book is finished, and it is time to start the dreaded next step, getting attention from an agent.
Laurel is working for the local newspaper, and she is interviewing the old Lumbee, trying to find out what they remember of the battle against the KKK. Will they find out the truth in time to safe Talley? Millais is especially upset and taking care of Talley, having been a victim of prejudice in her childhood as well. Can it be possible the Klan is behind this all?

I really love the way Ellery Adams tells a story. I was convinced that Michel would be arrested for poisoning Willis, but that was not the case. Instead, he is over his crush on Laurel, and happy with his old flame, who might even be settling down in Oyster Bay. The part about the memory jug is very interesting, as is the lore about the Lumbee Indians and the KKK. I enjoyed reading about this.

And then there is another surprising plotline. Involving Olivia, her brother, and her father. Was Munin right on that as well?

If you like cozy mysteries, I really do recommend this series. But do start with the first one, not for the mystery part, but for the development of the friendships and personalities in the series.

9 stars

Autobuy author

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 25 november 2012

Misty Evans – Dancing with the Devil

The fifth story (step) in the Witches Anonymous series, published October 28, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy / paranormal romance
Cover: festive

Dancing with the Devil

One step forward…
Ex-witch Amy Atwood has never wanted anyone the way she wants Lucifer. As she tackles Step 5 of Witches Anonymous—atoning for the sins she committed as his right-hand witch—she may actually land him and the magic-free life she desires.
Two steps back…
But when an ancient curse is revealed, a heavenly force determined to remove Lucifer from her life traps Amy between giving into her love for him and saving the souls of her family and friends.
Will this be the end for Amy and Lucifer?
As the war between good and evil reaches a tipping point, Amy must rely on the devil she knows—and can’t resist—to break the curse and help her redeem the souls she’s damned to spend eternity in Hell. Souls Lucifer has no intention of giving up.

Amy Atwood is still trying to become a good witch, after being very bad for a while. She is the Devil’s lover, and she just can’t seem to get over him. And of course, he has no intention of letting her go without a fight, he truly loves her. God and his Archangels also want nothing more than to break them up. Gabriel even gave her the Mark of Cain on her forehead, meant to repel evil. Meaning, that when the Devil gets close, the Mark repels him. And it really is the death for her lovelife!
And this time, Luc gets repelled so hard, he makes a whole right through the floor of her house, through her shop beneath it, and into Purgatory. Freeing some of those send there for punishment, angels, vampires and demons alike. And without Luc there to seal it back up, Amy needs help to fight them, to keep them from roaming free into the world. To her surprise, one unknown angel is already battling them, and her guardian angel (who really dislikes her) is on his way. The three of them will have to seal the hole, but for that, Amy needs to use her magic. Which is not something she wants to do, not even in an emergency like this.

Amy is still trying to go through life without using magic, which is why she joined Witches Anonymous in the first place, and to atone for her sins. She is really worried about all the souls she reaped for the Devil when she was his consort.

This story really gives Amy some answers, and it surprised me enormously. Misty Evans sure has a lot of imagination. Amy learns more about her past, who her parents are, and what has happened to her, at the beginning of time.

I very much enjoyed this short story, and even though it is the fifth in the series, and I have only read the first one so far I did not feel lost. I enjoy Misty Evans’ writing style, her characters, and how she makes the strange so real.
It has the Devil, a very hot man named Luc, and lots of Angels, Archangels and witches. But don’t worry, it is not really religious, although some history out of the bible is used to reference the Archangels, and other biblical figures are living in this world, like Adam and Eve, Samson and Delilah.
I really like Amy, who is trying so hard to stay good, and make up for what she did while her soul belonged to the Devil. And I am very curious what will happen in the next book, now Amy knows her past.
And Luc keeps coming to her rescue, I loved him, even when he changed in his other form. He can be scary, but Amy can tame him.

I do know, I am going to search for the other stories in this series, and read them.

8 stars

You can read an excerpt on the authors website here: excerpt
And buy the book here, for only € 2,99:
buy at Smashwords

I won this book on a blog

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 24 november 2012

Yasmine Galenorn – Shadow Rising

Book 12 in the Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon series, published October 30, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: lovely, this is Menolly and her Nerissa.

Shadow Rising

We're the D'Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch with three sexy husbands. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and Death Maiden. And me? I'm Menolly, a jian-tu turned vampire in love with a wildly hot werepuma. Unfortunately, life is about to get very, very nasty...

Nerissa and I can't decide on what we want to do for our promise ceremony and we're bickering like an old married couple. My sisters and I head to Otherworld for a meeting with Queen Asteria. Once there, we discover that Shadow Wing has dispatched Telazhar - a malevolent necromancer - to reignite the Scorching Wars. And as soon as we return back home, we find Gulakah, the Lord of Ghosts, waging a battle to control the magical beings over Earthside. Caught between two terrible enemies in a battle spanning two worlds, we can only hope we're in time to stop all-out annihilation.

What can I say about this series that I haven’t said before? This is the twelfth book, and it is still going strong and fresh. There is no real progress though; things are getting direr by the day in Seattle, and in Otherworld. War is threatening, and allies have to be found soon.
Two good things happened though, the girls make up with their father, who shows real remorse about the way he treated Camille and Menolly, and it is time for the wedding between Menolly and Nerissa! Which was a lovely ceremony, only I would have preferred Camille as the performing priestess.
Gulakah, the Lord of Ghosts, is in Seattle, and ghostly activities are cropping up everywhere, and not with mundane ghosts. Evil sprits, demon ghosts, soul suckers abound. There has to be a Demon Gate to the Nether Realms, letting them in. And only the most powerful of Lords can control them. The magical community is hit hard.

Chase is discovering more and more about his powers though, and that is not without danger. But we also learn a bit more about Shade, Delilah’s love, and Roman, the Vampire Ruler, of whom Menolly is the official Consort, even though she loves Nerissa. We finally get to meet Blood Wyne, Romans’ mother, and the ultimate Vampire Queen, and wow, did I love that part of the story! Yasmine Galenorn is a master at describing rituals and scenes, and it is just amazing.

Next to all the fighting, and the hurrying from one scene to the other, there is bit of time for home, for friends, to enjoy life, but their home is invaded again and again by evil, and Camille has to ask Ivana, the Maiden of Karask, for help again. Still, I think she will be needed in this battle again and again, and I hope Menolly can stay out of her debt by making the right bargains. It sure is intriguing to read about the Elder Fae. They really are scary.

But as usual, I am looking forward to the next book, which will be starring Camille again, and I hope to learn a bit more about the Courts of the Fae Queens, and the rituals of the Moon Mother. Camille is to lead the Wild Hunt.

Yasmine Galenorn is a really great author, she writes parts that are on the cusp of very scary (for me, that is), but she also can tug on my heart strings with the various relationships and their problems and hopes and dreams. Her characters are very lifelike and I love the sister that is telling the story in each book the most, though I usually do admire Camille the most. They started out together, three sisters, and have all found friends and lovers and other helpers, their family has extended, and the world keeps getting build more and more in each book.

If you want to start reading this series, please start with the first book, or you cannot possibly enjoy the dynamics in the interactions of the various characters.

9 stars

Autobuy author

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 23 november 2012

Darynda Jones – Third Grave Dead Ahead

The third book in the Charley Davidson series, published January 31, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: love it.

Third Grave

Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she's drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the sexy Son of Satan who’s part human, part supermodel and all fired up. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil's son just won't give up on his plan of seduction … and revenge?

I know, everyone is reading the fourth book, but I just read the third book. That is because I buy the paperback ones, and those are released a lot later. But I don’t really mind, I have lots of goodness to look forward to.
The blurb tells you a lot, so I am not really going to summarize the book.

Okay, I did enjoy this one a lot more than the previous two books. Perhaps because the obsessive humor is toned down a bit, but perhaps I just got used to the writing style. Charley is growing in character, and in her powers as the grim reaper. I still love her interactions with Cookie, which are so very much fun, they know each other so very well. They are protective of the other, and just good friends, colleagues, and neighbours. Garrett is an irritant in this book, tailing her again on her uncle’s orders, and making fun of her being the grim reaper.

But of course the most important secondary character is Reyes. Son of Satan, and wrongfully imprisoned for killing his abusive foster father. The man is still alive, and Reyes wants to find him. He is also extremely angry with Charlie for binding him to his corporeal body, and he wants her to free him again. Only she doesn’t know how! So he keeps haunting her every sleeping moment, forcing her to stay awake for days. Yes, she is of course still attracted to him, but she can’t forgive his deceiving her.

What I liked most though, were the interactions with the biker gang. I really wish I could have seen that.

Of course, Charlie is also trying to solve a PI case, a rich doctor’s wife is missing, and Charlie can feel the guilt poor off of the man. So instead of working for him, she starts working for the missing wife’s brother and sister, after she convinces them of her point of view. Which was fun. And digging deeper in the evil doctor’s past, she finds a lot of corpses. But how to prove he killed them all? And most importantly, if his wife is still alive, where is she? Can Charlie find her in time?

I really enjoyed this third book, and it made me put Darynda Jones firmly on my autobuy list. The last few chapters were really great, and it even made me cry. I am very much looking forward to the fourth book, and the things that will have to change for Charlie.

9 stars

Autobuy author

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 22 november 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my followers and readers who celebrate Thanksgiving: I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
I am especially thankful for being a part of the blogging community, having made some great online friendships across the world. I am grateful for all those awesome hardworking authors who keep me in books, and give me something to blog about. Thank you!

Of course I am grateful for many more things, especially my great boyfriend whom I love very much, but this is a bookblog ;).

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 21 november 2012

Katharine Kerr – Water to Burn

The second book in the Nola O'Grady series, published August 2, 2011.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nice and spooky, just like in the book.

Water to Burn

Just when Nola O’Grady thinks she has it all…
Nola’s the new head of the San Francisco branch of the Agency, the psychic organization so secret that even the CIA doesn’t know it exists. What’s more, for some mysterious reason, Interpol has assigned her lover, Israeli secret agent Ari Nathan, to her new bureau as her permanent “bodyguard”. But everywhere she looks she sees a Chaos manifestation spying on her. Inexplicable “rogue waves” are sweeping innocents to a watery death before she can save them. She has two increasingly dangerous searches on hand, for Reb Ezekiel, the supposedly dead prophet from Ari’s past, and for the mysterious “Brother Belial”, head of the Chaos cult they had managed to take down.
To top it off, her brother Michael is dragging Nola and Ari into his attempt to rescue his girlfriend from a radioactive alternate dimension. How is Nola supposed to serve the forces of Harmony and maintain the balance between Chaos and Order when she can’t even keep her own family under control?

It took me two tries to get into this book. I started rereading it after I had read the first 100 pages or so a few weeks earlier, and could not understand a thing. But when I started again, it made more sense to me. Or as much sense as such a very strange story can make.
A San Francisco as we know it, a battle between Chaos and Order, where Balance is the most important thing. Order would mean stagnation of growth, of live. And Chaos would just mean more chaos. Alternate realities or dimensions, apparitions, divine interventions, and psychic powers, mix that up with secret government agencies, politics and murder, and you have it all. Just like Ari, Nola’s boyfriend and bodyguard, I have a hard time understanding and believing it all. Still, the story just comes together, and is filled with Nola’s quirky family.

I’ve come to like Nola for the straightforwarded but also very strange person she is. She does have an eating disorder, even though she doesn’t really believe it, she really needs to eat more. She is afraid of relationships, and how Ari has gotten to her in such a short time. She hates weapons, while Ari is a sharpshooter, and loves his guns. But then, she doesn’t need weapons to defend herself, she has a license to Ensorscell.
Nola’s brother Michael is growing up, and he wants his girlfriend to come to this world, I really liked how all the difficulties are portrayed realistically, as well as the results of her “job”. I am actually looking forward to reading the next book, but it won’t be soon. You need to be able to concentrate to be able to understand it all, or at least the biggest part of it.

If you like really different urban fantasy stories, with a strong romance thread, but with very little real smexy times, you will like this. I really cannot compare it to anything I have read before. I do recommend you read this in order, or you are totally irrevocably lost in the story.

I do apologize for this short review, but my head is not ready for more. Also, it is totally impossible to tell even a small part of all that is happening in this book.

8 stars

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 19 november 2012

Cover Reveal of Pie Girls by Lauren Clark

Pie Girls banner

I am very happy to be participating in the cover reveal of a book with such a yummy cover. I sure want to take a bite!

Of course, there is more to a book than a cover alone, here is the blurb:

Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she'd never return to her hometown in Alabama. After eloping with her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big city life Carrie Bradshaw-style. But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem: Her husband's had a mid-life crisis. He's quit his job, cancelled her platinum American Express, and run off with the "new" love of his life. Searcy finds herself back in Alabama with no job, no money, no husband, and no plan. After a frigid welcome home, she finds out that life in the small town Deep South is much harder at 36 than it ever was at sixteen. When she's forced to take over her mother's fledgling business, Searcy deals with sullen employees, strange ingredients, and the business owner next door who's made it his mission to make her life miserable. Will 'Pie Girls' be an epic failure, or will Searcy find the courage to persevere?

I like this, I sure would like to read this book, as it makes me curious. And of course, what is not to like about a pie shop!

Pie Girls cover

Author Bio:
Lauren Clark has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. She lives near the Florida Gulf Coast. Visit her website at LaurenClarkBooks.com.

Where to find Lauren:

Lauren Clark Books Website

GoodReads Lauren Clark

Twitter Lauren Clark


Facebook Lauren Clark

zaterdag 17 november 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

As you might have noticed, I am a bit in a reading funk at the moment, due to circumstances at the office. My head just can't concentrate on reading. I have been watching all the episodes of "Escape to the country lately", and I soooo want to move to England now! That gorgeous countryside, those awesome houses with all that land and extra's. Holland really does not have that. And well, I do like those two men presenting the programm...

But of course, there are still new books coming in. So, are you curious what I have added to my shelves lately?

From Bookdepository:
Kate Collins – Nightshade on Elm Street
Donna Fletcher – Wed to a highland warrior
Yasmine Galenorm – Shadow Rising
Laurell K. Hamilton – Kiss the Dead

Secondhand books:
Faith Hunter – Skinwalker
Chloe Neill – Firespell

I’ve won:
Amanda Bonilla – Blood before sunrise, at Between Dreams and Reality blog. Of course, now I have to buy the first book!

A gift from a collegue:
Ally Condie – Matched
Michael Grant - Gone

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 15 november 2012

Autoren Love Letter Convention 2013

As many of my loyal followers will know, my best friend Maia (from boekenlijstjes) and I went to the Love Letter Convention in Berlin last summer, to meet some of our favourite authors, and of course lots of other bloggers and booklovers. And we had the best of times. So of course we will be attending again this year, the tickets have been purchased already. The hotel will be booked early next year as well.

To be prepared for the coming convention, which will be taking place on May 25 and 26th in Berlin, Germany, again, we are going to be interviewing some of the authors who will be attending.

This is the schedule we have come up with so far:

1. Cherry Adair: November
2. Pamela Palmer: December
3. Lisa Marie Rice: January
4. Michelle Styles: February
5. Courtney Milan: March
6. Karen Rose: April
7. Erin McCarthy: May

Cherry Adair writes romantic suspense, and is one of my favourite authors. Maia still has to start reading her books. I have already asked her if she wants to participate, and she has agreed. So now Maia quickly has to read at least one book, so we can ask some great questions.

Pamela Palmer is a new author to us both, so we both will have to read something by her first. I do have some of her books on my shelves already.

Lisa Marie Rice writes erotic suspense, which is not for me, so Maia will have to do that one by herself. We met Lisa Marie last year, and she is a very nice person, and we enjoyed her lectures very much.

We met Michelle Styles last year as well, Michelle writes for Harlequin, and I do enjoy her books. She gave us two each, and you can find two reviews on my blog. Michelly Styles is a very nice English lady, and she wore gorgeous red shoes.

Courtney Milan writes historical romances, I have read her first book so far, and will have to catch up on the rest, which are also on my shelves.

Karen Rose writes suspense/thrillers, which are also not meant for me. But Maia is willing to give it a go, and has already bought some of her books.

And last, Erin McCarthy writes fun contemporary books, and I still have to read some of her work. I think I have at least 4 of her books on my shelves.

So, it is going to be busy, but we have 7 months to catch up on the books of those authors, and some of the others who will be attending. And perhaps there will be more new authors announced in time, and we will squeeze them in as well. The goal for now is one interview a month.

So, tell me please, do you know the books by those authors? Did you like them? Do you recommend them? And do you have questions for them you want to ask. Let me know in the comments.

If you want to know more about the convention, here is the link: http://loveletterconvention.com/
The site is in German, but perhaps Google translate can help you out. And if you really cannot understand it, perhaps you can just send them an email, ask and I will give it to you. It is a really fun convention, we had such fun. It is not expensive, a weekend pass, and the hotel is nice and only 5 minutes on foot. Again, just ask me for more information and I will be happy to persuade you to join us.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 14 november 2012

Annette Blair – Bedeviled Angel

The second book in the Works like Magick series, published August 3, 2010.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: nice

Bedeviled Angel

I’ve read this book for the first time in October 2010, and absolutely loved it. It is one of the best books I have ever read. So, when I was feeling out of sorts last night, and nothing was good enough, I picked this book up again, and started re-reading it. And I am very happy, I still loved it, and I still think it is one of the best books I have ever read. And I really do read lots of good and great books a year. So, I’ve decided to repost my review, something I never do with re-reads, but this book deserves the extra attention.

At the Works like Magick employment agency in Salem, Massachusetts, matching clients in need with magical temps is a piece of cake, especially when the temp happens to be heaven sent …
When Queisha Saint-Denis agreed to be a surrogate mother for a jet-setting – but childless – couple, she never dreamed she’d see a return on her gift. Literally. But now she’s looking at two adorable orphans, who come with a lot of baggage: there’s a battle brewing over who “inherits” them and their huge fortune, plus an unwanted (and alarmingly attractive) guardian, whom she’s sure has been hired by the duelling family members to keep an eye on her more than the children.
Chance Godricson is keeping an eye on Queisha. In fact, he’s her guardian angel. Ever since he gave his life to save hers, Chance has felt an undeniable connection to Queisha. And now that he’s back on Earth, in her house, surrounded by two scene-stealing moppets and a woman he finds irresistible, Chance is about to discover that helping Queisha and still staying angelic is not going to be easy.

Queisha has had a difficult life. She was adopted at age one, by a couple. The woman loved her very much, but she died when Queisha was eleven. Her adopted father only tolerated her in his house, and kicked her out when she got pregnant at sixteen. The baby died at birth, and Queisha was taken up in the wheels of Child Services. She developed her agoraphobia then, the fear of leaving the house. When her Social worker tried to help her deal with it, by taking her shopping, an earthquake or something happened. A man died while saving her life, and he told her to life for two. Some time later, a relative from her birthmother died and left Queisha her entire fortune and her enormous home in Salem. So Queisha moved there, bringing the world to her, but never stepping outside, she only ventured on the yellow brick patio near the house. But not a foot on the grass or in her very lovely garden.
Through the advice of Vivica, the owner of Works Like Magick, she agreed to become a surrogate mother. Being pregnant with some one else’s child, giving birth to it, and then giving it up. She never thought it would be so hard to give her twins away.
But now their mountain climbing parents are lost somewhere, and as she is appointed their guardian, the girls are fetched from their boarding school in Switzerland, and brought to Queisha. Two little six year old girls in uniforms, not knowing how to play, who have never been cuddled or tickled or anything. So why did those people want children and not take care of them? But Queisha is determined to make them enjoy life as much as she can, even though she herself is too afraid to leave the house.
So here is Chance. Her new cook to take care of the cooking, as Queisha doesn’t know how. The girls will need nutritious meals after all. He can also escort them outside when necessary.

Ever since he gave his life to save that of the young woman he was trapped with in that mall, Chance watched her from above. He became her guardian angel, and took really good care of her, sometimes to the neglect of his other charges. He loves her. This change in her life is going to be so hard on her, she is going to need him! And then his friend Angus pushes him from heaven to earth, and instead of going right back, he is going to Queisha, to be her co-guardian, to help her. But being on earth, gives him back all his mortal desires. And man, does he desire Queisha! His losing his silver feathers (for chastity) is prove enough of that. Queisha is wondering why they keep finding those beautiful feathers, and as Chance cannot lie to her, him being an angel and all, he has to tell her the truth. But of course she doesn’t believe him.
Until they make love and his wings appear! Now he has to tell her everything, and he is determined to help her overcome her phobia, so that she can take the very best of care of Skye and Lace herself, for when he has to go back to heaven. He knows he cannot stay, even though they are soulmates, and so very much in love.
So they fight to keep the girls, they even marry to provide them with a whole family. But they both know he cannot stay with her for long…

I adored this book. Of course, I cannot imagine what agoraphobia does to a real person, but I loved Queisha and Chance and the little girls. This book is written with so much passion, such real characters, such humor and love. You just have to keep reading.
The descriptions of the house, the many rooms there are, the angelic world. If only it could be real.

10 stars

Love this book

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

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian