Sunday, 19 January 2014

BDB: Zsadist and Butch (Reviews)

dear readers,

I am now full out addicted to J.R. Ward's BDB series. I love the characters and the world she has created - vampire and lessers...

LOVER AWAKENED
(BDB: Book Three)
genre: paranormal romance

4 STARS
  
Bella has been taken by the Lessers and the Brotherhood are up in arms searching for the aristocrat, especially twin brothers, Zsadist and Phury.  Both vampires are sexually attracted to Bella but neither feels they are good enough for her.  Phury has been celibate for a long time and until Bella he has not felt sexual stirring.  Zsadist has had a past that has made him who he is.  He cannot shake the feeling he is unworthy and has dirty blood - this causes him to push Bella away.  

After Bella is rescued from the Lesser her captor is still out there looking for her.  She cannot go home so stays with the BDB for her safety.  She is attracted to the scarred angry Z and has suffered humiliation of his rejection.  Yet she cannot stay away from him.  As Z pushes her to a safer bet in his brother Bella only pushes harder with Z.  

I am enjoying this series more than I thought I would  I love the characters and the flaws they carry and try to still do good in the world.   I like the world that Ward has created with the Brotherhood, civilians and Lessers.  This is a perfect series for those who loved paranormal romances as teens.  The next novel is Butch's story and I am looking forward to this one. 



LOVER REVEALED 
(BDB: Book Four)
genre: paranormal romance

4.5 STARS 

Butch, an ex-homicide detective, has found a home within the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  While Butch is a human among Vampires it is the first time he has felt like he has belonged.  He is love with Marissa, also a vampire, but his past makes him feel like he does not deserve her.  Nor does he feel like he is helping the BDB as much as he could be.

Marissa has been rejected by Wrath, the Blind King and cannot force herself to love Rehvenge, another nobility.  She can only think of the human man that seems to be attracted to her as well.  Can she stand another rejection if Butch does not love her?

My favourite novel in the series so far.  Butch's story does not disappoint and his past is explained with compassion and truth by Ward.  Marissa and Butch's romance is a lot like Romeo and Juliet's in a way.  Butch is not a vampire and cannot fully live in their world. There are misunderstandings among the lovers and sacrifices.

The real "love" story is between Vishous and Butch.  The friendship between the two is phenomenal especially since Vampires do not make friends with humans, and BDB do not let them into their world.  V helps him navigate in their world and they look out for one another.  I really loved the two together.

John also comes into his own and has to deal with other boys's transition.  A great novel if you don't mind reading all night or not getting anything done during the day. :)

It has been great reading these novels but have needed some breaks to get through some other books.  Both books above have already been published and are available.  

love, 
kris

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

BDB Series: Book Two: REVIEW

dear readers,

I have already gone off track on my January reading plan and have added, Lover Eternal (Book 2) of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood to the list.  Book two follows Rhage's story and I totally gobbled this story up within a day...



(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


LOVER ETERNAL
(BDB: BOOK Two)
written by J.R. Ward
genre: paranormal romance

4 STARS 

Rhage has looks that gets him all the women he needs to control his beast. He has been envious of those Vampires that have mates but it is not something he expects to find because of his curse.  That is until he meets Mary, a human. 

Mary works at a law firm and volunteers the rest of her time at a helpline.  She was in remission for her cancer but she thinks it has returned. Mary has isolated herself but is friendly with neighbour, Bella.  

One day a young man shows up at her door.  He is mute but Mary knows sign language.  She introduces him to Bella who thinks she knows what he is.  She contacts the Brotherhood who step in to help. When Rhage meets Mary something inside him changes.  As he tries to woo Mary as his own she in turn fears she does not have much time left.

I enjoyed the second book and loved Rhage and his beast.  I was not entirely sure I liked Mary all that much.  I found her to be a bit annoying but she does seem to get better as the book continues.  I also liked the introduction of new character, John Matthew.  He seems to have an intriguing story there and he is so loveable.  I must warn you dear readers that if you read this book you will need book 3 handy.  There is a cliffhanger ending...


This book was published in 2006.

love, 
kris

Sunday, 12 January 2014

When Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl: Reviews


dear readers,

Two nights ago to this afternoon I have been immersed in Leila Rasheed's world of Somerton (Britain countryside) and London in the pre-WWI era.  I could not sleep and decided to try a few chapters of Rasheed's novel, Cinders & Sapphires.  As I turned the pages to see what would happen next it was 2am and I could no longer keep my eyes open.  I finished the book last night and started into the second book, Diamonds & Deceit, because I had to know what would happen next.  This afternoon I spent the day inside out from the wind and rain.  I read the second book till it finished...only to frown because there has to a book three...right?


(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


SERIES: SOMERTON 
Written by Leila Rasheed
genre: young adult, new adult, historical romance

CINDERS & SAPPHIRES
(Book 1)

4 STARS 

It is pre-WWI and things at Somerton are brewing.  Lord Westlake's heir and nephew isbleeding the funds dry and Westlake's return from India is tainted with malicious rumours.  He is forced to remarry for money and reputation.  His new wife brings with her a daughter, Charlotte, and two sons, Sebastian and Michael.  His own daughters Lady Ada and Georgina try to welcome the Templetons but are met with resistant from their stepmother and Charlotte. 

It is Charlotte's third and last season.  Her mother demands she must marry and Charlotte continues to scheme with her lady maid.  Lady Ada has also been told she must marry by her father.  It is up to Ada to save Somerton as she must marry for money.  Rose, the housekeepers daughter, also a maid becomes a lady maid to Ada and is thrusted in another world. 

This book has been described as "Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl" and that seems like a fair assessment. For me it was like a historical romance novel in the New Adult genre.  This novel is PG-13 - sex is talked about but there are no steamy sex scenes.  I like the soapy aspect of the novel and it was a quick absorbing read. 



Cinders & Sapphires was published last January in 2013.  

DIAMONDS & DECEIT
(Book 2)

4 STARS

The Westlakes and Templetons are back to finish out the season.  Lady Ada has said goodbye to Ravi and has consented to marry Fintan...some day.  Rose, the former maid is now Lady Rose.  Westlake has finally accepted and adopted Rose as his daughter.  Going from a maid to a Lady is not easy for Rose especially when society talks behind her back.  Rose has attracted the attention of a Duke - who also has a history with Charlotte.  Charlotte afraid she is losing another prospect to the Westlakes kicks up her scheming.  

Sebastian continues to clear Oliver who is holding back a secret.  Michael and Priya are keeping their love quiet but there is a threat coming their way.  Georgina is left alone to care for the estate and those living there.  As she tries to hold it all down she watches the boy she loves love another.

As the season comes to an end the Westlakes and Templetons have to make decisions as their lives changes.

The second novel takes up from where the first book ended and we are again on an absorbing ride.  We see how the characters either change or don't and the consequences from their decisions.  I like the drama, romance and secrets in this novel.  it is a soapy book and I like it!


Diamonds & Deceit was published on January 7, 2014.  


For more information please visit http://leilarasheeddotcom.wordpress.com/

Goodnight dear readers!

love, 
kris 







Saturday, 11 January 2014

One Novel, Two Reviews

dear readers,

I hope you all had a great week and are having a fabulous start to the weekend.  In Vancouver, BC it is WINDY outside but has finally stopped raining...for now.  Horrible weather for going out today but great weather for reading :)  



I am a re-reader of books. If I love a book I have no problem reading the novel over and over again (some examples: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Little Women, Outlander, Into the Wilderness).  It is like visiting old friends and recapturing old memories.  I will also reread if I want to continue a series.  Sometimes I will start with Book 1 and then time will go by before I can get to book 2.  By that time I have forgotten keys scenes and characters.  I will then do a skim re-read or full re-read.  Usually I feel the same way about a book and sometimes a little more or less than the first reading...


DARK LOVER
(Black Dagger Brotherhood: Book One)
written by J.R. Ward
genre: paranormal romance, suspense


Darius asks the King of Vampires, Wrath to help his half-breed (half-human/half-vampire)daughter through the transition.  Wrath declines at first but after Darius is murdered by the Lessers he goes straight out to protect her. Even though Wrath has a mate, Marissa he has never felt love for a woman.  Wrath soon finds himself having feelings for the half-human, Beth.  

Beth, a reporter, is drawn to Warth like a moth to a flame but when she discovers who is his and why he first came to her her world is blown away. Can she accept she will be going through a transition and let Wrath help her.

REVIEW 1 (December 17, 2011) 
3 STARS


I liked this novel.  I did not really find Warth attractive and found him to be the Vampire version of Beast (from Beauty and the Beast).  I wish there was more of Butch, the tortured homicide detective.  I was more attracted to him and his romance with Marissa...and plus he a Red Sox fan ;)



REVIEW 2 (January 9, 2014) 
4 STARS

When I first read this novel I liked it but was not wowed.  Two years later, I decided to do a re-read so I could continue the beloved series and whoa I had a totally different reading experience.  I savoured each word and scene and loved the romance of Beth and Wrath.  While I still did not "fall in love" with Wrath I respected him a lot more this reading.

 Butch is still hands down my favourite and I cannot wait to see where the story goes with him...and Marissa.  I also like Tohr and Wellsie and hope we get more on their romance in the future.  Each brother has intrigue and I cannot wait to dig into the rest of the series.



Dark Lover was published 2005 and is avail now.  Eleven books have been published to date in this series with book number 12 coming out this spring (The King).



Most likely you will see more reviews on this series!  

love, 
kris 




Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Do Not Attend Lydia's Party: Review

dear readers,

I was in my early twenties when I read Elizabeth Berg's Pull of the Moon which is about a middle age woman rediscovering her life and herself.  I read books based on writing style rather than the age of the characters.  Nora Ephron's humour is relatable and when she talks about growing old you are interested and invested in reading her stories. I read the synopsis of Lydia's Party and was interested in Margaret Hawkins' novel...


(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


LYDIA'S PARTY
Written by Margaret Hawkins
genre: literary fiction


2 STARS 

It is late January and Lydia is throwing her annual winter party with the usual suspects - at one time or another were also her colleagues.  As she preps for the evening she thinks about her friends, family, lovers and career over two decades.  In between Lydia's thoughts we get each friend's story.  

I found this story on the dull side.  It was not the "middle age women thinking back on their lives" that bothered me.  I have been reading books with this plot since I was in my mid-teens.  Elizabeth Berg is one author that does well with this subject matter.  I think it was the "tell" not "show" approach to the story and that it fell flat after a few pages.  I really wanted to like this novel as it sounded promising.   Personally I prefer Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler and Sue Miller.


Novel will be released...JANUARY 23, 2014.
http://margarethawkins.com/book_lydia.html


love, 
kris 








Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A January Bride - Review

dear readers,

After having a great time reading A December Bride I thought I would give A January Bride a chance... 


(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


A JANUARY BRIDE
(Year of Weddings: Two)
Written by Deborah Raney
genre: contemporary romance

3.5 STARS 
Author Madeline Houser has come help her sister and with their mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's. When the electricity conks out Madeline's elderly neighbour suggests her friend's vacant inn as a place to write. Arthur Tyler, an English professor, lost the love of his life and cannot really move on, nor can he sell the inn. The two mistake each other for an elderly person and communicate openly through notes. Can two lonely people help each other find love?

A cute engaging contemporary love story. There is some mention of religion in this novel but it is not overly done. Perfect for a quick fun read.

Novella was released December 24, 2013.
http://zondervan.com/9780310337706


love, 
kris  

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Carr Destination...Thunder Point

dear readers,

As you know from my previous blog posts, I HEART Virgin River - a contemporary romance series written by Robyn Carr.  As the VR series looks to be ended there is a new series, Thunder Point...


(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).


THE WANDERER
(Thunder Point: Book One)
Written by Robyn Carr

4 STARS 

"Nestled on the Oregon Coast is a small town of rocky b
eaches and rugged charm. Locals love the land's unspoiled beauty. Developers see it as a potential gold mine. When newcomer Hank Cooper learns he's been left an old friend's entire beachfront property, he finds himself with a community's destiny in his hands.  Cooper has never been a man to settle in one place, and Thunder Point was supposed to be just another quick stop. But Cooper finds himself getting involved with the town. And with Sarah Dupre, a woman as complicated as she is beautiful.  With the whole town watching for his next move, Cooper has to choose between his old life and a place full of new possibilities. A place that just might be home." (From Amazon)

I have read several of Robyn Carr's novels (stand alone and Virgin River series) and this book definitely held up to my expectations.  Like Virgin River it sucks you into the life of a small town.  This novel has characters from all ages, background and personalities.  If you are finish Virgin River this is the next book to read.  Or if you are fan of Jill Shalvis, Luanne Rice, Susan Wiggs or Kristan Higgins.



THE NEWCOMER
(Thunder Point: Book Two)
Written by Robyn Carr

4 STARS 

The Newcomer picks up from where The Wanderer ends...Mac and Gina have finally admitted their feeling to one another and have become a couple.  Their teenage daughters are best friends and are both going through growing pains.  Mac's ex has returned to town making Gina insecure, his aunt Lou angry and scared and his daughter, Eve hurt. Gina's daughter, Ashley is dumped by her college freshman boyfriend and his new girlfriend sent a fake naked pic to all those in his cell phone. This causes Ashley to get very depressed and Gina does not know how to deal with it all.

I liked that this novel continues right after The Wanderer and like her other series, Virgin River the same characters are in this book.  The main romance in this book is Gina and Mac but as they are single parents their children are prominent in this novel.  The novel deals with cyber bullying and depression which we do not see a lot in adult books.  I think it was a great storyline that hopefully raises awareness.  Carr handled the situation quite well.  This novel might not be everyone's cup of tea as it has more of the teens and their problem in this book.  I enjoyed it and solidly recommend this novel and series.






love, 
kris

Holiday Reads


dear readers,

I was given two novels from an independent publisher, Publerati....

DANCING IN THE KITCHEN
written by Susan Sterling
genre: literature, fiction

4 STARS 

After Rob and Annie's father died their mother is trying to cope with being alone.  Rob stays with his mother for a bit and then returns to England where he is researching his book.  His live-in girlfriend, Jess is trying to find a job as a dancer but is not making great headway.  Rob meets a stranger and starts to wonder if his life as it is is what he wants in the end. 


Annie thinks her mother is not grieving as much as she should be, and then finds out her father may not have loved her mother as much as he should have.  She discovers secrets from the past that are haunting her future. Her husband is rarely home so she looks to their mutual friend for comfort.  Soon she is whirling in secrets, passion and love.

This is not a novel about a family but secrets of a family.  These three characters have a completely different lives apart from one another and do not look to each other for any answers. This novel had be start to finish even when I was shaking my head at their decisions. Set in the Eastern part of the States the novel reminds me of Shreve, Irving and Russo.

Dancing in the Kitchen was published May 2012.


THANKSGIVING
written by Ellen Cooney
genre: literature, fiction


3 STARS 

In Thanksgiving we see the Morely family celebrating the holiday from the Colonial times to present day.

This novel has a great premise of seeing a family evolve through vignettes of Thanksgiving.  Yet, there seems to be something lacking in the cohesion of the stories.  These are not stories you could read on their own as even on a whole you are left wondering more than you should.  Not a bad novel just feels like you are only getting part of the picture.

Thanksgiving was published September 2013.




For more information on Publerati please visit  http://www.publerati.com/

Publerati is a novel concept, quite literally. We only publish excellent new fiction. When you read any of our ebooks, available from leading e-sellers at the links below each book, we donate no less than 15% of our net proceeds to help the Worldreader Organization spread literacy using technology.  It's a good thing. Please help us change lives simply by reading one of our books.

love, 
kris  








*I was given an advance copy of Thanksgiving (from NetGalley)and Dancing in the Kitchen (Publerati) in exchange for an honest review.

Fear Nothing...or Everything!

dear readers,

Two nights ago I stayed up till 1 am to finish FEAR NOTHING as I could not go to sleep until I knew the identity of the murderer.  Then when I did finished I was a bit creeped out...



(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).



FEAR NOTHING
(D.D. Warren: Book Seven)
Written by Lisa Gardner
genre: mystery, suspense, thriller, serial killers 

4 STARS 

D.D. Warren has been injured quite badly on the job and lives in pain every moment of the day.  As she goes forth with personal therapy she also tries to remember what happened that night she fell down the stairs.  Her superior suggests she should try Dr. Adeline Glen to manage her pain.

Adeline Glen has a rare condition where she is unable to feel pain.  She must constantly
monitor her actions in order to be aware of danger as her body cannot let her know.  Adeline's life has been rare - her father was a serial killer who killed himself once the police were on to him, her mother died in an institution, she was adopted by a doctor who wanted to keep her alive and an older sister that is in prison for killing a boy when she was fourteen.  Decades later she, Shana is still in prison for murdering guards in prison.  Shana's only monthly visitor is Adeline.  

30 years after Shana's first murder women are being murdered and skin flayed like their father had done and Shana herself.  One is dead and the other in prison so who is killer?  

D.D. gets involved in solving the crime despite her injury and starts looking at Day family and their secrets.  Can she discover the killer before she or another woman is murdered?

I was intrigued with this novel for so many reasons.  Adeline's condition was so interesting and how she had to live her day to day life.  Adeline was a hard character to completely like as she had some odd activities she liked to engage in.  Yet, I found myself feeling sorry for her too, as she is alone and her past seems to always be so present.  Shana is a perfect character to dissect and dislike at the same time.  She is hostile and a killer but her upbringing makes you wonder if she could have been any other way.  Poor D.D. is injured and is almost sidelined but yay she pushes her way into the case.  

The suspense in this novel was crazy...I was constantly trying to figure it all out but then gave up when the twists kept turning me around to the point I was getting dizzy.  A great suspense mystery thriller that will have you up all night trying to finish the novel to reveal the killer!

Fear Nothing is published January 7, 2014.  

love, 
kris 

Novella of a Good Time: Reviews

dear readers,

I am still not feeling to great but am getting better.  Tomorrow I might even get out of p.j.s - baby steps. I am a bit quarantined right now so I don't spread this to my loved ones.  I am missing my love but have had more time to read. As I was napping here and there I decided to read some novellas I have lined up on my TBR.  For me novellas are hit or miss - but with the explosion of novellas coming out for series as a sample of what is to come - I have been liking them a bit more.  I still would prefer the full-length novel but novellas are starting to tied me over.  Fortunately, this round of novellas were great...

Looking for a stand alone contemporary romance novella...

THE BRIDESMAID 
written by Julia London
genre: novella, short fiction, contemporary romance, romantic comedy

4 STARS



 Kate Preston loves her job as an assistant editor in New York even if it does not pay well.  What she does not like is the hideous maid of honour dress her cousin and best friend has picked out for her to wear.  As she wrestles the dress on the plane to Seattle nothing from then on seems to go right.  First her seat meat hogs the seat rest, then there is turbulance is on the plane causing them to land followed by the air-controllers going on strike. When the last of the cars are taken, Kate is forced to carpool with Joe her plane seat mate.  As they race across the country to make it to Seattle love seems to be in the air.



Julia London's new novella is a fun romantic comedy.  It is short but has all the ingredients for a great contemporary romance.  I loved the romance between Joe and Kate and the banter they have on the trip. I strongly recommend this short fiction to all romance readers.





*BRIDESMAID was released October 1, 2013


Looking for a contemporary romance part of a series novella...

A December Bride
(A Year of Weddings: One)*
Written by Denise Hunter
genre: novella, short fiction, contemporary romance

4 STARS
Five hours till Layla's cousin's wedding her date comes down with strep throat.  Normally she would not mind attending a wedding on her own but not when her cousin is marrying her ex-finace.  Out of options Layla asks Murphy their mutual friend, and the person she blames for her cousin and fiance getting together.  Murphy in a moment of anger tells Layla's spoiled cousin, Jessica that he has asked Layla to marry him on Christmas eve.   Layla angry wants Murphy to retract but then she is given an opportunity for a job offer because of her relationship with him.  While they try to pretend to be love Murphy hopes that it can become a reality.



A cute romantic story.  I hate when a friend or family member thinks is okay to steal a boyfriend.  It makes me a bit anxious for the heroine as they usually have to still be apart of that cheater's life.  I do get a nice glowing feeling knowing that Layla's ex will have to live with Jessica all his life.  Murphy is the kind of guy romance readers long for and does not disappoint.



*A Year of Weddings are novellas for each month and are written by different authors.  Right now I am reading, A January Bride.
**This novella is part of Denise Hunter's Chapel Springs series - Layla's brother, Beckett's story.
*** A December Bride was released November 26, 2013


Looking for a suspense mystery part of a series novella...

The 7th Month
(D.D. Warren: Book 5.5)
Written by Lisa Gardner
genre: novella, short fiction, contemporary, suspense, mystery

4 STARS



At seven months pregnant D.D. Warren has been taken out of the field to man the office.  When a movie producer asks for her help on consulting on a movie she says yes just to get out of the station.  But the moment she hits the set she finds out the former police consultant has been found murdered.  Now she has to go to the set and figure out why he's dead and who did it.

This short fiction is rather good with suspense and mystery.  D.D. is her ornery observant self.  Pregnancy does not slow her down.  On the romance front D.D. has to decide whether she will move in with Alex.

* The 7th Month was published in January 2012.
** I will be reviewing Lisa Gardner's Fear Nothing (Book 7) in the D.D. Warren series tomorrow 




Looking for a stand alone paranormal romance/holiday novella...



A VAMPIRE'S CHRISTMAS CAROL

written by Cynthia Eden



genre: novella, short fiction, contemporary, paranormal romance

4 STARS 

 
Ben Prescott, a vampire, hates Christmas and the joyous season that comes with it.  SInce losing his love he stalks in the shadow offer his own sense of vengeance.  His latest kill brings about three spirits that ask Ben to look at his life and change before his soul is gone forever.



A great retelling of Dickens' Christmas Carol with a lovelorn vampire as scrooge.  Eden takes a story known by all and gives it a twist to engage her Paranormal Romance readers.  It is a short tale certain to please. 

A Vampire's Christmas Carol was published November 5, 2013.


*I was given an advance copy of Bridesmaid, A December Bride and A Vampire's Christmas Carol (from NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.


love, 
kris 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Sick Day



dear readers,

I have the ever so fun stomach flu and feel like I am slowly dying :( I am hoping to get some rest today and will post some reviews tomorrow.  I read a few fun novellas and cannot wait to share my thoughts.

love,
kris 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

More Great Canadian Fiction!

dear readers,

It has been a rainy day in Vancouver, BC and I have been feeling a bit under the weather so it has been a great day to read :) I continued to enjoy Alice Munro: My Best Stories (also called Alice Munro's Best: Selected Stories) - some stories were new to me and some were like revisiting old friends...



Alice Munro: My Best Stories
written by Alice Munro
genre: short stories, fiction, canadian literature


5 STARS 

This collection of short fiction includes her works from the 1970s to present day. All of the stories have been published before in other volumes. This collection also has an introduction written by another Canadian author, Margaret Atwood.

As the title states these are Alice Munro's best short fiction.  The Canadian author recently won the Pulitizer for her writing and hopefully this will increase her readership and gain more fans.  I have been reading Munro since I was in my early teens and have been in love with her work for years.  She has the ability to take a story and that most authors would need a novel to tell and condense it to size of a novella.  She is able to pack so much into them without it being overwhelming.  A great collection to introduce or revisit Munro.

Alice Munro: My Best was published October 2009.

Off to choose my next read :)

love,
kris