Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6) by Laurell K. Hamilton


Publisher: Jove (September 24, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0515134511
ISBN-13: 978-0515134513
Classification: Adult Fiction

The killing dance:
"The lukoi call sex the killing dance."
"So?"
"We use the same phrase for battles of succession."
"I still don't understand the problem."
He stared at me. "You will. God help us both. You will."


A hit has been put out on Anita and nobody know who put the contract out on her. Edward let Anita know she had a price on her head and warned her. Someone wants her dead within 24 hours and is willing to pay an enormous amount to make that happen.

"The great Jean-Claude driven to celibacy by a human. People are laughing behind your back."
"Celibacy?" I asked.
Jean-Clause glanced at me, then sighed. "Until you give up your nunnish ways, ma petite, I am playing the Monk."
Page 123 of hardback

Anita, Anita! Remember the song "Torn between two lovers, feelin' like a fool
Lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules......"(Yes, that's the song that was playing in my head as I read this book. Well FINALLY Anita realized the truth in Mary MaCGREGOR's lyrics and choose one of her men. Whether or not it's the right one? Well, only time will tell. Oh, and I'm not telling which she chose, you'll just have to read the book to find out. ;)

Another fun fact:
"Vampires are given powers in folklore and popular myth that we do not possess: controlling weather, shapeshifting into animals. Necromancers are supposedly able to control all types of undead." page 125 Hardback

I loved this one and it get 5 out of 5 stars from me.

Did anyone but me notice the Vegetarian Vampire reference?????

------------ Notable Side Note -------------------------

I had the Hardback copy of this book. In it Hamilton goes into a long explanation of why she decided to let Anita give up her moral view on waiting to have sex before marriage. Hamilton was going through a difficult time in her marriage and although she waited to have sex until after marriage her views changed afterward. She made a statement that what happens if the couples sexual appetites are not the same? Also, she stated Anita's opinion of vampires in the beginning of the series were a lot like that of her husband's. Kind of interesting. If you can find a copy you should read the afterword.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5) by Laurell K. Hamilton


Anita and Larry, her apprentice, are called to raise some Zombies that are a couple hundred years old. The hope is that some light will be shed on who was buried on the top of a hill. The results will determine who will have the rights to the land. Also, a vampire has been busy in the surrounding neighborhood killing young boys. Anita will have her hands full dealing with greedy land owners, rogue vampires, and Jean-Claude who just never seems to give up on her. Go figure. Also added to the mix is a unseelie fae who owns the restaurant Bloody Bones (Gosh doesn't that name just make you want to go out and eat there? lol). I keep having to remind myself this series came before a lot of my other favorite parnormal/urban fantasy books. I, Lisarenee, am an offical fan of Laurell K. Hamilton. :)

I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers #2) by Sarah MacLean


Lady Isabel Townsend has had enough of men. After the example her father set, no one could blame her. Her father, had just lost her for the seventh time in a wager. It’s no wonder she’s created a “safe house” for women in need/trouble. After sending the 7th man to “win” her away she is informed her father has passed away. Now she must figure a way to keep those who depend on her clothed and fed. When Nicholas St. John shows up in town, she thinks her luck may have taken a turn for the better. She decides to sell her collection of marbles (statues) and ask St. John, an expert in the field, to help her. Her friends, however, wish she had other plans as he was just listed in Pearls and Pelisses as one of London’s Lord’s to Land. While Pearls and Pelisses lists 10 lessons they believe will help one Land a Lord, Lady Isabel will, without trying, do everything opposite of what the advice says. I always knew you can’t believe everything you read. A very fun read.

I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers #1) by Sarah MacLean


I have to admit I read this one because of the title. About a Calpurnia Hartwell. She's 28 and decidedly on the shelf. When her sister, 10 years her junior, becomes engaged she decides to break the rules society has placed on her and finally begin living her life. She creates a list of 10 things she wants to do and then proceeds to do them. First on her list is to kiss someone passionately and she knows just the person she wants to help her mark that one off her list. Very cute and fun read.

I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Angel Star (Angel Star #1) by Jennifer Murgia


Teagan McNeel is a typical high school student. Going through the same things every other teenager does. When Garreth Adams enters her life she finds she finds "typical" does not describe him and her life just got reassigned to the description "complicated". Garreth is an angel and long kept family secrets about a man she never knew, her father, and herself will come to light. Garreth, you see, is her guardian angel and is here to protect her. The question is will he be enough???

I felt this one got off to a slow start, but got interesting toward the end. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor #1) by Lisa Kleypas


Another beautiful story by Lisa Kleypas. About love, loss, and finding your way past the grief to live your life once again.

Kleypas has once again tackled a difficult subject in one of her contemporaries and done so in an eloquent way.

"I understand, Maggie wanted to tell her. I've lost someone too. And there were no rules for how to deal with the death of someone you loved. You had to accept that the loss would always stay with you, like a reminder note pinned to the inside of your jacket. But there were still opportunities for happiness. Even joy. Maggie couldn't let herself doubt that."

Both Maggie and Holly have an instant bond that not everyone can understand. The bond of understanding the loss of a loved one. The pain, the grief, and sometimes, in Maggie's case, the guilt of trying to live your life while knowing the one you loved won't be there with you.

Mark, Holly's uncle and guardian, is all but engaged to Shelby. When Maggie manages to get Holly to talk for the first time in six months (since her mother's death) he takes notice. As Elizabeth states, "It's not over 'til the "I do's" have been said." Fun to watch as love, like a slow rising tide, engulfs them in it's undeniable grip.

I believe Kleypas has captured the magic of her historical romances in this contemporary novel. Using her signature style of description I call "poetic gesture", for lack of a better term, where she takes something as ordinary as baking and weaves terms associated with it throughout a portion of the story as she spins a delightful tale. Nothing rhymes, but by the repetition of associated terms it almost appears to.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White

  • ParanormalcyTitle: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

  • Classification: Young Adult

  • Genre: Paranormal

  • Format: Hardcover, 352 pages

  • Publisher: HarperTeen (August 31, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0061985848

  • ASIN: B004WB1A4I


    • This is about Evie, a teenager like no other. She works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency where she tracks and contains paranormal beings. Armed with her trusted Tasey (her name for her pink sparkly taser) she goes on missions. Found at the age of 8 by the agency they put her to work when they realized she had a special talent - she can see through paranormal glamour.

      Now paranormal beings everywhere are being killed and the main focus of everyone is figuring out what or who is killing them. As the story progresses Evie will be faced with the harsh reality that things are not what they seem at the agency and she will need to reevaluate where her loyalties lie. Plus, she’ll have to come to grips with what she truly is, and that truth is not what she ever imagined it to be.

      Throw in a mermaid as a best friend, a faerie trying to steal her soul, and a boy who could steal her heart and you’ve got the makings of a fun, lighthearted read.

      I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

      Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


      I totally loved this book. About Bronwyn (aka Bryn), a 15 year old who was taken in at age 4 by a pack a werewolves after her family was viciously killed by a Rogue werewolf. Being raised by a pack when one isn't a werewolf has both advantages and disadvantages. Little does she know that when a secret the pack has been keeping from her is revealed her life will totally change.

      Loved how the author describes the bonds between pack mates. Reminded me a little of how Patricia Briggs did in either her Mercedes Thompson series or Alpha & Omega. Love it when an author explains that bond. I'm giving this book a 5 star rating. Can't wait for the sequel.

      Saturday, February 19, 2011

      Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie


      'The goal of matching is twofold: to provide the healthiest possible future citizens for our Society and to provide the best chances for interested citizens to experience successful Family Life. It is of the utmost importance to the Society that the Matches be as optimal as possible.'

      This one had a Giver (by Lois Lowry) type feel to it. Somewhere in the future society now decides who can marry who and what job you can hold. When Cassia is matched with her best friend, Xander, she thinks she's the luckiest girl in the world. Her happiness, however, is later cluttered with confusion when the microcard which contains information about her match changes from Xander's photo to Ky's. Even though she's told there was an error with her card and Xander is her match it sets off a whole lot of questions about how perfect the matching program is. When Ky and Cassia are paired together in extra curricular activity she finds herself wondering if maybe Ky really is her perfect match. She has been told he will never be paired with anyone because he's a Abberation - a person who has committed (or a relative has committed) some infraction of the law and has been deemed unmatchable.

      I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. Would have liked to have learned more about the society and it's workings.

      The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa


      I truly wanted to love this one, but for some reason I just didn't :( I felt like someone tried to merge A Midsummer Night's Dream (yes, she used the actually characters from the story) with Alice in Wonderland (mainly due to the Cheshire cat like creature) and added a touch of modern technology. I can't seem to put my finger on what I didn't like so maybe I just wasn't in the mood for the book? I just don't know.

      10 years ago at the age of 6 Meghan's father disappeared. He didn't die, didn't leave, he just vanished into thin are. Poof and he was gone. The only thing left were the shoes he'd been wearing and that was it. Meghan was with him that day and in the time it took her to rush to the ice-cream truck, get her ice-cream, and turn around he was gone. Shortly thereafter Meghan's mom moved them far away and the two built a new life together. To Meghan it felt like they were running away and 10 years later she'll finally find out why.

      I'm giving this one 3 out of 5 stars.

      Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2) by Alyson Noel


      Liked this one more than the first and is keeping my interest, but ended up with a whole lot of unanswered questions.

      In this book a new character, Roman, enters the scene. There is just something about him that Ever just can't stand. He and Damen seem to be getting along famously and Ever has to figure out if that is what's bothering her or something totally different. When Damen looses his memory of her and starts acting like a jerk, however, she realizes Roman is involved. Now she must find out who Roman is and what he's done to Damen. Not only did his feelings change toward Ever, but his powers and health appear to be taking a turn for the worse. If she can't figure out what exactly is going on he may lose more than just his feelings for her, he may lose his life.

      I gave this one 3 1/2 stars.

      Evermore (The Immortals, #1) by Alyson Noel



      This book reminded me a little of Twilight, but there were no vampires involved. Just Immortals, hence where the series gets it's name.

      Ever's parents and sister died in a car crash. She was the only survivor. Now living with her aunt in another town she's gone from cheerleader to outcast and doesn't mind keeping herself off the radar. Since the accident Ever's been able to hear what people are thinking. With just a touch from another person she can know things she truly doesn't wish to about them. Talk about having a TMI overload. When Damen enrolls in her school she finally finds someone she can't read and she doesn't know why. All she knows is this mysterious boy has no aura around him. He is the first person since the accident she's met who doesn't have one. Now she must decide if she can trust the attraction she has to him or if there is something not quiet right and untrustworthy about him.

      I gave this one a 3 out of 5 stars. There were a lot of questions and the story didn't grab me as much as others have.

      Firelight (Firelight, #1) by Sophie Jordan


      Okay, I'll start this off by saying I really enjoyed and liked the book, but it kind of reminded me a little too much of the cartoon The American Dragon where hunter (Rose) and prey (Jake Long) fall in love. That said, if I had to pick between watching the American Dragon or reading Firelight, Firelight totally wins. I stayed up late reading it. This is one of those love at first sight romances (at least that is the way it seems in the first book) and the two fight the attraction they have for each other.

      Draki, Jacinda’s species, are the descendants of dragons. Their true form is that of a dragon. The job of the King of each pack is to ensure the continuation of their species. Jacinda is the only fire breather to be born in hundreds of years and they were thought to be extinct. The pact would like to try to breed more fire breathers. Pairing Cassian, the prince, and Jacinda together seems the best match for this to happen. When it becomes clear that the pack would like the wedding to take place sooner rather than later Jacinda and her family run away in the middle of the night. Her mother feels Jacinda is too young to wed doesn’t wish to live in the pack anymore. Jacinda is not happy about the move, but her sister is ecstatic. She will no longer need to live in her sister’s shadow.

      Jacinda's sister, strangely enough is not a draki, she can’t change into a dragon as her identical twin sister can. I found that a little odd, but let it go. Perhaps her powers will manifest later in the series? Also, it appears her sister has a thing for Cassian, but the tribal would never allow the two to be together because she is not draki or has no draki (a little confused about the whole draki part). There is a love triangle (Maybe a love square? if you count Jacinda’s sister.) with 2 guys vying for her affections, one being a dragon hunter who could have captured her but let her go, the other, of course, being Cassian. Also, the book ends with a cliffhanger that makes you want to read the next book to see what happens.

      I debated whether to give this book a rating of a 3 or a 4 because I'm unsure of so many things. I actually posted a message to the author and she assured me a lot of my questions will be answered in the next book so I've decided on a rating of 4 stars out of 5.


      Side note: The movie rights to this book have already been sold to Mandalay Pictures.

      Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh


      Varen and Isobel are paired together for a class project. On the surface the two are about as opposite as two people can be. She’s a cheerleader and he’s a goth. He’s studious and she’s not. Varen, therefore, chooses the topic for their report - Poe.

      As the project progresses Isobel finds herself drawn to Varen. She, however, is not the only one with eyes for Varen, and then there is her boyfriend whom she’s realizing isn’t the guy she thought he was.

      At first I thought this book had to do with the Fae, but after looking up definitions I realize it doesn’t. I liked that I had no real clue about what was going on because I felt a little like Isobel wondering what was going on and trying to figure it out as the story progressed. I must say at the beginning of the book I thought, "Oh, no, another ill fated pairing for a school assignment. How many times has this been done?", but that was about the closest I could see it coming to another story.

      I liked the uniqueness of the book. It’s like nothing I’ve read before. I always liked discussing Poe and loved this book brought his works into the story. The beginning I felt was a little weak. Would have liked to see a little more character development of Isobel’s friends and the ending was a bit confusing leaving you with many questions, but overall I liked it.

      I gave it a 4 out of 5 ravens, er, stars.

      Notable quote, "I have many names," the specter answered. I am Lila. I am Ita and Li-li. I am Ligeia. I am Lilith."

      So I looked into a couple of things. Varen's poltergist says she is called many names. Where have I heard that statement before? *head smack* When dealing with demons. So I googled Lilith and apparently it is the name of a demon in Hebrew lore? There are a variety of stories out there on Lilith, but one called her the Queen of Demons.

      Another thing worth mentioning is that Ligeia is an early short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. In it Ligeia dies and comes back to life in another women. Hmmmmm????? Makes me wonder.

      Lila means night. I could find nothing on Li-li or Ita, but Shay, from my Nothing but Reading Challenges group on Goodreads told me:

      "Lilith was the first wife of Adam. No, it's not in the Christian Old Testament. It's part of Jewish mystical writings. Sorry, can't name the exact one. Lilith is mentioned many times in Jewish mysticism. Often as a generic kind of "she demon". Li-li could be a "corruption" of Li'lu which was an Assyrian she demon who is also referred to as Lilith or a shortening of li-lit. Ita- one of the names of Lilith: The names of Lilith: Abeko, Abito, Amizo, Batna, Eilo, Ita, Izorpo, Kali, Kea, Kokos, Lilith, Odam, Partasah, Patrota, Podo, Satrina, Talto. Lilith is also named "Astaribo" in medieval magic, "Avitue" in Rabbinic lore, "Bat Zuge" is a term for the evil Lilith when she is regarded as the 10th of the 10 unholy sefiroth or divine emanations issuing from the left side of God. (From the Jewish mystical text Zohar.)"

      Notable quote, "He is not like the others, is He?.....He is special, even in regard to those who have come before him,...Like them, he holds the ability to receive and interpret the shades and shadows of the dreamworld, to bring life and body to new ones, such as the Nocs. What is more, though, is that energy within him that drives him to destroy as much as he creates. The only thing he lacks is control. That in itself is what make him so perfect. Tonight he is to finish my story. Tonight, when you are gone for good, he will set me free."

      Sounds like the makings of a good sequel.;)

      Nightshade (Nightshade, #1) by Andrea Cremer


      The Prophecy:
      “Those who waited for the harvest child
      must choose his fate
      To begin again, search for the cross
      To guard the power, make your gift (sacrifice)

      Two worlds battle, the Scion lives between
      When the veil thins, the gift (sacrifice) must be made
      Lest one world fade while the other remains”
      Pages 394-395

      Calla is an alpha currently in the Nightshade pack. She and Ren (an alpha currently in the Bane pack) will marry on Samhain and reign as co-leaders over a new pack called the Haldis pack. She and her pack are Guardians, protectors of the Keepers and guardians of the sacred sites. She’s never questioned how things work or why they are the way they are. She’s known how things would be her whole life and had accepted her fate.

      “The only reason that Ren and I, or any of the young wolves, were born was to form the new pack. It’s what the Keepers brought us into the world for. They made matches for our parents, just like they’ve paired us as they see fit. Our union is the legacy of the alliance between Keepers and Guardians.” page 125

      When Shay Doran comes into her life, however, he makes her question the way things are and puts doubts into her mind. When she decided to go against the Keeper’s laws to save Shay’s life she never expected to see him again or he would change the course of her life.

      There is more than meets the eye in this book, so if you do a little digging you'll absolutely appreciate the little pieces Andrea has woven in to the fibers of the story. I can't wait for the sequel.

      I gave it a 5 out of 5 roses. If you like Twilight and Kelley Armstrong's werewolves then you may like this book.


      There is a free prequel to Nightshade called Shadow Days, on Amazon. Go to Amazon and enter the book's information (for Nightshade that is). There will be a box below the purchase information, but above the book video that says:

      More to Explore:
      Read an exclusive bonus prequel from Andrea Cremer's exciting new novel, Nightshade [PDF].

      That's where you click on the words bonus prequel and you'll get the story in PDF form. It's 85 pages long.

      Link to amazon for book:
      http://www.amazon.com/Nightshade-Andrea-Cremer/dp/039925482X


      Notes to keep you in the Know:

      Haldis - I looked up the name Haldis and this is what I found:
      It is a girl’s name meaning weapon of the goddess pronounced HAHLdis and has norse origins
      "Compound name, from the elements 'hal', 'stone' or 'weapon' [it could mean 'tool' in this context as well] and 'dis', which refers to a woman or a female divine being."
      (above information gotten off of Nickelodeon Parent’s connect) link:
      http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/meaning_of_Haldis.html

      Also found the following for Haldis on baby names.com:
      "The meaning of the name Haldis is Stone Spirit
      The origin of the name Haldis is Scandinavian"
      Link: http://www.babynames.com/name/HALDIS


      The War of all against all referred to on pages 187& 367. According to the book it also refers to the Witches’ War and The story of the Old Ones.

      When I looked up Hobbes I found the following:

      Thomas Hobbes author of Leviathan - According to Wikipedia, “In the book, which was written during the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war — situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("the war of all against all") — could only be averted by strong central government.”
      Link to more from wikipedia on the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_%28book%29

      Harrowing means Pillaging and plundering

      Harbinger -a person who goes ahead and makes known the approach of another; herald
      From dictionary.com


      Hegemony Antonio Gramsci - “A system of rules whereby the oppresses are convinced to support the system of oppression, to invest in it, believe in it“. Page 368

      From wikipedia “Cultural hegemony is the philosophic and sociological concept, originated by the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, that a culturally-diverse society can be ruled or dominated by one of its social classes. It is the dominance of one social group over another, e.g. the ruling class over all other classes. The theory claims that the ideas of the ruling class come to be seen as the norm; they are seen as universal ideologies, perceived to benefit everyone whilst only really benefiting the ruling class.”
      Link to more about Cultural hegemony on wikipedia:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_hegemony

      “Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for Wiccans and Pagans it's considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us. It's a good time to contact the spirit world with a seance, because it's the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.” Information gotten from about.com :
      http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/p/Samhain_History.htm

      Scion means heir

      Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3) by Nalini Singh


      Elena has proved that even though she's weak from her transformation from human to angel she's still a force to be reckoned with, but some angel's just don't ever learn. One of the ancient's is awakening and it may very well be Raphael's mom. Yes, just when Elena's thought she'd gotten away without having to deal with any in-laws wouldn't you know it? Raphael's mom just might have to check out his new consort. Elena just can't catch a break. lol The problem in this book is that while Raphael's mom may have gone crazy before she disappeared and decided to go basically into hibernation there are no guarantees she may not still be crazy when she wakes up. Vamps are going crazy and giving in to blood lust and Raphael's mother may have something to do with it. The big question - Is it worth waiting to find out if the self induced coma Raphael's mother put herself in has healed her or should they try to find and kill her before she completely awakens before the task becomes almost impossible?

      Another 5 out of 5 angel wings, er, stars for Nalini Singh. Thank you Ms. Singh for another highly entertaining and delightful book. Highly recommend this series. :)

      Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2) by Nalini Singh


      Well, I'm enjoying the series so far. Elena awakes from a year long coma to discover she is no longer human. She is now an immortal, but as she's discovered the previous year even those considered immortal aren't. Trying to figure out the new relationship between herself and Raphael she asks, "What do I call you? Hisband? Mate? Boyfriend?"
      His response, "You can call me 'Master'."

      Well, I guess we'll see how long that will last. Meanwhile, other angels are not so pleased about Elena's transformation and would love to kill her. Building a dramatic type of anticipation the one seeking to kill Elena is slowly killing or maiming those under Raphael. Now Raphael and Elena need to figure out who the angel is who's after her before her immortality is cut short.

      I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars.

      Friday, February 18, 2011

      The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2) by Jean M. Auel



      This books starts off with Ayla trying to survive on her own while dealing with the grief of loosing her son and the only family she's ever known. While her previous punishment may have been deserved, her current one most definitely was not. Brun's jealousy and hatred of her was the reason she was cast out and nothing that she, herself had done. So Ayla starts the quest Ina requested she take - a quest to find the "Others".

      We also are introduced to Jondalar and his brother. Two men on a journey of exploration. The addition of the two men to the story makes you know one of them will end up somehow entangled with Ayla, but you will have to wait for a good portion of the book for the two to meet, but don't worry. Auel adds a lot of other fun twists and turns to the story to make the book interesting although I was starting to get a little upset that the two didn't meet sooner.

      I gave this one a 4 out 5 stars.

      The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #4) by Laurell K. Hamilton


      Richard and Anita's relationship is growing. Jean-Claude is not happy and is ready to make trouble for the happy couple. In exchange for JC not hurting Richard Anita agrees to dating both Richard and JC for a set time period. I must say I do look forward to seeing JC and Anita on a date.

      In a more dramatic event weres are disappearing. What starts out as a case that Bert sends Anita's way of a missing wife seems to have expanded to many more which were never reported to authorities. Anita will need to find out if all the disappearances are connected or it's all just a big coincidence. Plus, Richard's pack leader thinks somehow now that Anita is dating Richard he can boss her around. After all she is just a mere mortal. Gosh, kind of makes you wonder just how kick-@ss Anita would be if she became a were.

      Fun series and am excited because everyone I know who's read the series says the best books are yet to come. Woo Hoo! ;)

      I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

      Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3) by Laurell K. Hamilton


      "Circus of the Damned is a combination of traveling carnival, circus, and one of the lower rungs of hell. Out front, fanged clowns dance above the lights that spell the name. Posters stretch from the sides of the bulding proclaiming, "Watch zombies rise from the grave. See the Lamia-half-snake, half-woman." There is no trickery at the Circus, everything advertised is absolutely real. It is one of the few vampire tourist attractions that welcome children. If I'd had a kid, I wouldn't have brought the little tyke near the place. Even I didn't feel safe." (from The Killing Dance of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series #6 by Laurell K. Hamilton)

      Jean-Claude needs to defend his territory in this book and those who wish to take over want not just the city, but control of Anita as well. Anita will finally be made into a vampire servant, but you'll have to read the story to find out whose she becomes. We are also introduced to Richard. I mean what series would be complete without a love triangle? Jammed pack with action, flame throwers, fight scenes, vampire children and snake like creatures. WOW! What fun.

      I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

      Saturday, February 12, 2011

      The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #2) by Laurell K. Hamilton


      "The Laughing Corpse was one of the newest clubs in the District. Vampires are sexy. I'll admit that. But funny? I don't think so. Apparently, I was in the minority. A line stretched away from the club, curling round the block."

      So I am addicted to this series now. How did I miss this one before? I'm loving the fact this series began over 15 years ago. I see things that may have influenced the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series and some other popular paranormal/urban fantasy series. It reminds me of when I decide to take a walk down memory lane with one of my favorite authors by reading some of their earlier works and being surprised to find out they were just as good then as the ones being written now. That is not always the case.

      "I think, Anita Blake, that you need to remember why people fear the dark. I will see that very soon you have a visitor to you window. Some dark night when you are fast asleep in you warm, safe bed. Something evil will creep into your room. I will earn your respect, if that is the way you want it." (Said by Senora Dominga Salvador)

      In this book Anita is up against a powerful witch, Senora Dominga Salvador, a killer zombie, and of course the powers of seduction emitted by JC (Jean-Claude). Very fun read with lots of action set in a fun world.

      I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

      Thursday, February 10, 2011

      Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl



      In this book Lena is feeling guilty for using the "book" to save Ethan which ultimately cost Macon his life. For the book cannot be used with out consequences ant those consequences were extracted by substituting Macon's life for Ethan's. Lena's dealing with an inner conflict between the good and bad sides of her nature. She feels she dooms all those around her. Ethan is trying to be supportive, but he still can't remember what occurred the day Macon died and is having a hard time dealing with the changes he sees in Lena.

      Now Ethan must find things out about himself, his mom, and the Castor world that will influence his decisions. The addition of a mysterious Castor that seems to be making moves on Lean will put Lena and Ethan's relationship to the test. Plus, another girl, Liv, will enter Ethan's life and he will need to determine if holding on to Lena and putting up with her erratic behavior is worth it or if he should give Liv a shot.

      I gave this book 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars. The pace was a little slow for my tastes and at one point I had to put it down and read something else because it couldn't hold my attention. After that initial set back I read on and decided to only read 100 to 200 pages a day. I was less confused than with the first book, but truly wish they'd write a glossary of what each part of the Light and Dark Castors are and can do.

      Tuesday, February 8, 2011

      The Accidental Countess by Michelle Willingham


      "You're very lucky, you know."

      Lucky? He felt as thought someone had cracked his skull in two. He hadn't even the strength to open his eyes to see who was tending him.

      "How am I lucky?" he managed to whisper. Lucky to be alive, she'd probably say.

      "You're lucky I haven't got any arsenic for this tea," she remarked."Or another poison, for that matter. Otherwise you'd be dead by now." A warm poultice dropped across his forehead, scented with herbs.

      Several months ago Emily married Stephen for love and his promise to save her brother. Shortly thereafter her brother was dead and her husband missing and reportedly staying with his mistress. After he was dropped off at the front door close to death's door it's no wonder Emily is a little mad at the man. After all Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned or lied to. Her husband has no idea what happened during the months after he left her and no recollection of their marriage. Secrets will be revealed and lost memories will be found. Very fun read. I gave it 4 stars out of 5.

      Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan


      If I had to describe this book in one word it would be Cute. About two teenagers who find each other when one asks the other if she'd pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. His Ex is at the club with her new boy toy and he would prefer to have it look like he's moved on. The two spend the rest of the night getting to know each other and well, you can guess. Very fun read. Not quite my taste and seemed to drag a little at the end. I give it a 3 out or 5 stars.

      Note: Extreme use of the word F word toward the end.

      Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber




      You know how some books you just can't wait to get to the end and find out what happens and the hate the fact it's over? That's how I felt with this book. So naturally I had to find out if this was the first book of a series and was relieved to find out that it was.

      Celeste is dating the school's handsome quarterback, Nash. The relationship is comfortable, but if you asked if she was in love she'd say no. When she meets the new kid at school, Brandon, she's attracted, but doesn't take it any farther. That is until he saves her from a pack of wolves that looked to make her their next meal. Now she needs to make a choice between Nash and Brandon. Add in the fact Brandon was bitten while trying to save her, a local werewolf legend, a psychic prediction, and you've got the makings of a fun read.

      I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

      Was left wondering what do kisses under a full moon have to do with the "Change", who Dr. Meadows really is, and what Nash will do now that he knows?

      Sunday, February 6, 2011

      Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton


      Anita Blake is an animator. She brings people back from the dead as zombies. She's also known as the Executioner because of her abilities to kill vampires. She kills vampires for a living. She's just managed to tick off the Master of all Vamps in the area refusing to work for her in solving a series of vampire murders. Nothing personal, but Anita has made it a policy never to work for vampires. It's not that she hates them she just doesn't trust them and with good reason. Caught in a Catch-22 situation where she's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't she's forced to help when her best friend, Catherine, is brought under the control of another vampire working under the Master's order.

      The book gets it's name from the club where the vampire, Aubrey, puts Catherine under his control. The club obviously is called Guilty Pleasures. Very fun read I give it 3 1/2 Stars out of 5.

      Only thing I disliked were the Wererats. For some reason the song from the Nutcracker Suite kept popping into my head. Very distracting.

      The Dark Divine (Dark Divine Series #1) by Bree Despain


      Three years ago something horrific happened to Grace's brother Jude. Daniel Kalbi had been Jude's best friend and was being raised in the Divine family like a foster brother. That night three years ago Daniel disappeared and so did his name from the Divine household. Now Daniel's back and Grace still doesn't know what happened. Torn between loyalty to her brother and feelings she's always held for Daniel she'll be put to the test. Slowly the mystery will unravel. Being a Pastor's daughter she is used to being told to forgive people of past deeds, but if even her brother can't forgive and accept Daniel can she? Very fun read. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars.
      Oh, and there is a paranormal element to this one. I look forward to reading the sequel.

      Friday, February 4, 2011

      The Bronze Horseman (Tatiana and Alexander, #1) by Paullina Simons


      Set in soviet Russia at the start of WWII, Tatiana is 16 going on 17, and the world as she knows it is about to come to an end. War has finally reached Russia. Love will be found, lives will be lost, and nothing will ever be the same.
      It has just been broadcast that the Germans have declared war on Russia. While Tatiana is out attempting to buy supplies for her family before the stores run out she meets Alexander, a handsome soldier in the Russian Army. When she brings him home she finds he and her sister are acquainted and realizes their relationship can never be, but sometimes things are just meant to be no matter how much they seem not to be. A book that will touch your heart.

      What a heart wrenching beautiful love story. Simmons captured the feel of war in this book. The hope, fear, despair, and how even the simplest things in life, such as a typical summer day, can be made extraordinary when accomplished during war. As I was reading some of the more tragic parts I thanked God I do not have to worry where my family's next meal will come from or if I will have enough heat to keep us warm in the winter. Makes a person realize how lucky they are not to have lived during such a tragic time in history.
      I keep going back and forth between rating this 4 or 5 roses. The part that made me rate it a 4 instead of a 5, and the only thing I disliked in the book, is the love triangle. Wish Simmons could have avoided it.

      Ruthless(The House of Rohan, #1) by Anne Stuart


      Is it me or are romances started to take on a darker edge? This one certainly does. Viscount Rohan is in charge of a group call the Heavenly Hosts. There is nothing Heavenly about it. In fact the opposite is quite true. The theme for the group? Do anything you want and, I must say, they definitely do. Anything goes sexually that is. If you saw the movie Eyes Wide Shut you know what I'm talking about.

      When Elinor goes searching for her mother the trail leads her to a party being held by the Heavenly Hosts. Elinor's mother is ill and went off to gamble away what little money the family had left. To get into the party to retrieve her mother she must first get past Viscount Rohan. Once the bored rake gets a gander at Elinor he finds his boredom replaced by curiosity. Not the kind of attention a virtuous, but impoverished woman needs. Very fun read, but for some reason the beginning gave me a sense of Déjà vu. I think I read a book that had a very similar club as the Heavenly Hosts in it. It will haunt me until I remember which book I read that the beginning of this one reminded me of. Gah! I hate when I can't remember.

      Rhapsody: Child of Blood(Symphony of Ages Series #1) by Elizabeth Haydon


      Picture yourself back in time, the year 1139. When women mostly married and raised their children. The town is having the annual Foreharvest dance. Emily is attempting to avoid the marriage lottery. Told this year she must enter she is upset that she must give up all the dreams she has.

      Gwydion has been transported back in time and to the other side of the world. He is invited to the Foreharvest dance by the farmer who has agreed to hire him. Still trying to get his barrings he leaves the Foreharvest dance to contemplate his plight. While sitting outside he sees Emily and strikes up a conversation. An instant connection is made and after a night of shared passion and a marriage proposal the two decide to run away together. Only problem is that Gwydion isn't from this time and the next day is ripped back through time. Hence, the real story begins 7 years later. When love, magic, and dragons are involved you know it's gonna be good.

      I gave this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

      The thing that may throw people off about this book:

      - The beginning of the books starts with 2 characters that, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with the rest of the book that is until later.
      - You learn bits and pieces about the magic world as the story progresses. It's not just laid out for you in the beginning. This may irritate some individuals.

      Heist Society by Ally Carter


      Very fun read. Katarina (Kat) is trying to get out of the family business. When people ask what that business is she usually attempts to say Art. The distribution side, but her family is really into the business of stealing Art. While attempting to "steal" a prime education her friends think they're doing her a favor by "springing" her from the school much to Kat's dismay.

      Kat's father is being threatened by a man whose paintings have been stolen. The prime and only suspect? Kat's dad. Now Kat is approached by said man who threatens her family if he doesn't get his paintings back. So Kat must now try to figure out who took the paintings, where they are, and steal them back in the allotted time or else.

      Little bit of a love triangle going on with Kat/Hale/Nick. Loved the names associated with the various cons such as Avon Lady, Smokey the Bear, etc. Had me laughing and grinning. Definitely a light hearted read and won 6th place in the Goodreads Choice Awards for Young Adult Fiction. I can't wait to read the sequel.

      This book is not everyone's cup of tea, so if your not a big fan of YA books you may not like it as much as I did.

      The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel


      Who knew this one could be so good? I wasn't sure what to expect from this book and was pleasantly surprised. Set in the time when Neanderthals were about to die out Ayla, a five year old, is taken in by a clan of Neanderthals. The difference in the two races is very apparent and acceptance is not automatic. While Iza and Creb love her almost immediately and act as substitute parents, Broud, the chief's son is jealous and hates her. As she grows from child to women her spirit, strength, and courage are put to the test. Very sad ending, but I loved it just the same. Will definitely be reading the series.

      My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent


      Kaylee has a secret that she's kept. She can tell when someone is going to die. She sees a darkness around the person and get an incredible urge to scream. The last time such an event occurred no one believed her and she was confined for a week to a mental health ward. Now she knows she's not crazy because the girl she just singled out as about to die the night before actually did. But what good is knowing someone's about to die if you can't change it? She literally looses all function but the urge to scream when she encounters someone on the verge of death. Her best friend and one of the cutest guys in school both witnessed what happened and thought she was having a panic attack. Somehow they managed to calm her before she screamed. Now she'll search for some answers about what is happening to her and try to figure out why 3 totally healthy teenage girls have mysteriously dropped dead for no apparent reason.

       

      Awakened by a Kiss by Lila DiPasqua


      This book is anthology of 3 stories written by the same author. If she didn't tell you what the connections was to Fairy Tales you probably would have no clue they were variations of the well known tales. All are historical romances that take place in France.

      Sleeping Beau
      Sort of a twist on Sleeping Beauty. Catherine did something five years ago that she's not proud of, but she was desperate. She seduced a man from Vienna by lacing his drink with an aphrodisiac. She gave up her virginity that night expecting to never see the man again, but sometimes your past comes back to haunt you.

      Turns out the man whom she seduced all those years ago was the King's son. He's just spotted her and he wants answers. She's haunted his dreams almost every night since their one night of passion.

      Little Red Writing

      Anne, Henriette, and Camille are sisters and authors. One of them writes articles under the name Gilbert Leduc. The articles reveal secrets about the male nobility that can ruin or make a mockery out of them. They are also considered illegal.

      Nicholas de Savignac is a Musketeer and part of the King's private Guard. They have been sent to arrest whichever of the women is Gilbert Leduc. Nicholas senses a mutual attraction between himself and Anne and decides the best way to get information is to seduce her and get her to feel at ease around him so she'll spill who is the mysterious Gilbert Leduc really is.

      Very fun.

      Bewitching in Boots

      Clair is the favorite daughter of the King. She's a widow and knows that her father has plans for her to wed again. Before the King makes up his mind Clair comes up with a plan which she hopes will allow her to choose her own husband. The problem is he sees her as a manipulative spoiled tease and doesn't wish to play her silly games. When he decides to call her bluff he realizes first impressions aren't always correct.

      Note to those of you who dislike the use of words like f@ck and such this one does contain such language.



      The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

        Title: The Iron Duke
        Classification: Adult Fiction
        Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk
        Format: Paperback, 384 pages
        Publisher: Berkley Trade (October 5, 2010)
        ISBN-10: 0425236676
        ASIN: B004X8W3W8
        Author Website:  http://meljeanbrook.com/




        I am starting to get addicted to these steampunk paranormal books. 
        Looking for a fast paced, fun, and slightly naughty read? Well, this might just hit the spot.
        Set in England in the 1800s in an alternate world that reminds me a little of something that would happen on an episode of the Sci-Fi TV series Sliders (not that this is like one, but would have fit into the series nicely). Mina is the inspector and is looking into the murder of an unknown individual found on the Iron Duke's property. The Iron Duke, Rhys Trahaearn, is a celebrated war hero who saved England from the rule of the Horde. 
        The Horde (in this story), ruled by one of Ghengis Khan's eldest sons, invaded and took control of England and parts of Europe through a biological Nanotechnology. With this technology the Horde could control people using the nanoagents that infected every person living in London by using different frequencies. The Iron Duke destroyed the tower used to send out the commands.
        Mina has given up on the idea of marriage. She is the offspring of an unknown member of the Horde who took advantage of her mother during a Frenzy. England still holds a grudge against anyone who resembles the Horde. It is for this reason she must always be accompanied by a body guard. One of the funny things about Mina's family is that Mina's mother is the leader of the Ladies Reformation League which encourages women to stay home with their children. 
        Together Rhys and Mina work to find the person who murdered the individual and uncover a plot that could ultimately kill everyone in England. Throw in some Kracken, zombies, and the fact Rhys is determined to have Mina and you've got the makings of a very fun book. Loved it.
        Order of the series:

        1) The Iron Duke 2) Heart of Steel

      Shadowfever (Fever, #5) by Karen Marie Moning

      Moning is warped and I mean that in a totally complimentary way. lol This book had so many twists and turns that if you weren't paying attention you'd miss something. Could this be her way of trying to keep all us dreaded skippers(people who try to take a peek ahead to see what happens) totally in line and totally clueless as to how she achieved her ending if one hadn't read everything prior?
      It's finally revealed who Mac killed. Determined to not let her grief get her down she teams with her enemy because you should always keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. Trying to curb her feelings she comes up with a plan to put things back in order. Having nothing left to lose the bad guys better watch out because Mac is playing for keeps and she's gonna kick some @ss. ;)


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