4.5 star review

Review – Warrior Wench by Marie Andreas

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Vaslisha Tor Dain is a mercenary starship captain with a few simple rules: A good ship is better than a great man, in case of confusion always err on the side of blowing someone’s head off, and never fall for a telepath or a member of her crew.

All of those are about to bite her in the ass.

Vas’s life takes a turn for the worse when she comes back to her crew after what should have been a two week pleasure trip to find out she’s actually been gone a month and has no memory of missing time. Her beloved ship, The Victorious Dead, has been sold for scrap and its pieces scattered throughout the galaxy. In addition, there are unmarked ships blowing apart entire planets and the Commonwealth government can’t, or won’t, stop them.

And that’s just her first day back.

Vas has to fight her crew, the Commonwealth, and a mysterious cadre of warrior monks to get her ship back and save a universe that may not want to be saved.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

Yeah, I don’t pick books that I think I WON’T like, but still, I found this book to be unexpectedly fantastic!

What we have here is a space epic adventure story with the humor and sense of ridiculous of Robert Aspiren’s Phule’s series with some of the epic galactic scope of Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series. And while there is a hint of a romance, it is NOT a romance. And our heroine is a smart mouthed merc with a mysterious back story and unknown capabilities. In many ways Vas remind’s me a bit of Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels. It is nothing like a copy cat, don’t get me wrong, and Vas has way more ties than Kate ever did, but there are just some parallels that caught my attention.

There are a couple of different mysteries swirling around, not all of which get resolved since it is a series, a cast of endearing and likable (if unlikely) heroes, and it is all wrapped up in writing that kept me hooked throughout.

It is fun, it is a romp, and I seriously think this series will be going somewhere in the future and will be avidly looking forward to the next book in the series. This is one book where I wish I could do better justice in my review because I really want to see this author find a market so the series will continue. And in that I am serious, serious enough to have bought it even though I got a free review copy, and anyone who knows me in real life knows what a miserly person I am.

Warrior Wench (The Asarlaí Wars, #1)

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4 star review

Review + Blog Tour – One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis

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It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.

Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.

They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

I have been digging on this series for a bit now, and it was a surprise since contemporary doesn’t always do it for me and YA/NA (which this has a flavor of) is even chancier, but this group of friends I just can’t wait to keep hanging out with. And yeah lucky readers, there’s a giveaway that will give you a chance to get hooked up with the first two in the series!

Link to Follow Tour

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

Look for Jill’s latest, SWEET LITTLE LIES on shelves and e-readers now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold.

Visit Jill’s website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Edelweiss, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

I think it is possible to read these as stand alones, I just don’t know why you would want to. Part of the joy to me in this series is the group dynamics. We met Rory in the first book in the series, and she got a little more present in the second and we got a peek at touch of her background as one of Willa’s adoptees, connections made of those who did not grow up with a stable home life.

But now it is Christmas, and Rory figures it is time to finally take grown up stance in her life and mend some familial breeches. Which puts her into contact with Max, the one guy that she just cant settle her feelings with, and apparantly the one guy she has some sort  of mysterious history with.

This is a sort of snowed in trope, though they are driving, and it is a Big Mis. SO there aren’t a lot of interactions with others and they have some solid time to work out their issues. And since this is novella length, it works out for the best that they have both history and the extended alone time, and that every disaster (and there are several) gives them each the time to size each other up in a new light. And they are almost painfully cut with each other, and there is plenty of saucy banter. It is good stuff.

But, on the neg side, it is almost too short, and the age and theme skew even younger than the other books in the series. It is also a happily for now with glowing possibilities for the future, which actually does fit better my idea for two such young (to me kids) and the short format, so for me it isn’t a negative, but I know it could be for others. So take that into account.

Overall though, it is a good, quick, happy  read, perfect for the upcoming holidays and I do recommend it, along with the whole series.

And whoohoo for me, I have the 3rd full book in this series in the queue, so drop on by in January and see what the gang is up to next.

One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5)

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5 star review

Review -Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

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One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

I am going to admit, I was a bit leery with this one, it sounded ominous and I have not been in a particularly good place of late. But Singh has had me captivated, so I had to read it anyway, and I was so glad I did. I absolutely devoured it.

This is book 9 in a series that really should be read in order. Spoilers for the previous books in the series are likely to occur. So the series teaser (as interpreted by me to see if you are interested): an urban fantasy world filled with non-judeo/christian angel’s, Archangels, vampires with a hell of a twist, and the human vampire hunters who work the fringes of this mad world have hellacious adventures, live, and love and all that jazz. So seriously, read all the books. But stop reading this review if you haven’t already read in the series.

Things have gotten super weird in the world. It has been two years since the events of the last book, and the staggering power of the cascade has been on pause and the big bad no where in sight. So needless to say that emotions are running high. This isn’t always a good thing, but based on how we have slowly been exploring Aodhan and his relationship with Illium it seems it might just be the perfect thing to break open the cracks in the remnants of our dear Sparkle’s solitude. I completely ‘ship SparkleBell. And things aren’t just in turmoil on the personal fronts, the power vacuum of a territory not under command of an Archangel is an issue that must be dealt with.

Enter stage left: the Luminia, an eons old sect but a complete mystery to us and to the relatively new minted angel Elena. And this group has the power and authority to call a meeting of the Cadre of Archangells…duh, duh, DUHHH. Things get dark pretty damned quick.  Power corrupts and rots in secret.

I think it is fair to say that I was completely surprised by where this book went. In a good way, but still, very surprised. And I think it is excellent that Singh has the power to surprise me, because I was starting to wonder.

I will admit, that I initially started this series under duress and desperation (I had nothing to read and had completely demolished-as in reread until the pages fell out waiting for the next Psy-Changeling book came out), and was prepared to dislike it for a variety of reasons…and the first book didn’t exactly endear itself to me. But now that I am into it, I think what I enjoy about it is how the power differentials are dealt with. Here a mortal heart in the face of such age and immorality is powerful and can change the course of the future, here there is power in being a scholar, here women can be and are expected to be powers in the own rights. It all just tickles my fancy. Plus, I really enjoy the twist with the vampires and the world building that goes along with this mythology.

I also really enjoy the balance. While I do enjoy following an established couple through a series, they can get stale and one-dimensional since we almost never seem them grow through the growth of integral friends. And while I also enjoy series that use each new couple’s book to advanced the overall story arc, sometimes it is exhausting meeting new people, plus the time giving more people back stories can make the overall arc disjointed. I find the method in this book about perfect. We do have out main characters who keep things moving along, but then other people close to the main characters have their own books too, which livens the series up. The first three books focus on Raphael and Elena, then we get Dmitri and Honor’s book, then Jason and Honor’s book, then back to Raphael and Elena, then back to their friends Janvier and Ashwini and then Nassir and Andi, and now we are back with Raphael and Elena, so I think we can expect more from Raphael’s Seven now. With Galen having found his heart long ago, that just leaves us with Venom, Sparkle, and BlueBell. And since I ‘ship the Sparklebell, you’ve got a good guess of whose story I want to see next. 😀

I am hoping for Sparklebell, then Venom…maybe with Sorrow…not at all sure about that. And then the big showdown with the big bad.

Meantime, our new guests to New York are I am sure going to shake things up, and I can’t WAIT for two of them to meet Elena’s father and her two half sisters. I am going to bet it is going to be love at first sight with those little girls, much to Jeffrey’s great discomfort.

And as it goes along I am going to wallow in how this mortal heart changes such ancient beings, breaking them out of their hidebound ways. It is purely delightful. Fair warning though, there is some darkness. But overall a happy book, that made my afternoon a little brighter. Singh always makes me glad I have read.

I am not certain any of this rambling makes a bit of sense, but I was trying not to squee and cooo, and Bieber it all over the place. Happy reading!

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)

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