Friday, October 31, 2008

The Missing by Shiloh Walker & Give-away

I recently had the pleasure of reading Shiloh Walker’s newest book The Missing and my first impression was Wow! I enjoyed the book to the extent that I am eager to share it with you all. Since I cannot give away my own copy I’m going to purchase a copy to share, so make sure you read on to get details.

Now to the Review:

Taige Branch has had to live her life in isolation because she is 'gifted' with psychic abilities. She has the ability to 'see' things. As an orphaned teenager living in Gulf Shore, Ala with her religious zealot of an uncle, her prospects are low, as is her patience for the summer boys that come to vacation at the beach front town. Until one of those boys proves to be more than just a pretty face with deep pockets.

Cullen Morgan is not from old money and he lives in a loving family so he knows how a girl should be treated. Regardless of her social standing, they deserve respect, so when he encounters two boys trying to rape a local girl he is compelled to step in and help. That the girl is the one that recently saved the life of a drowning boy bowls him over. He discovers that there is more to the girl than the mysterious air around her and over the summer, he falls in love. He returns to her every summer and every summer their love deepens. 4 years after they first meet, tragedy strikes at the heart of Cullen's family and with his heart torn he lashes out at Taige, destroying her faith in him.

At this point the book jumps forward 12 years, where Cullen has become a successful writer. He is a single parent of a 9 year daughter who appears to have some 'gifts' of her own. Taige also has achieved success but in a whole different area. She went on to college and after graduation became a consultant for the FBI on a special task force that helps the missing. She uses her abilities to find the lost but at a great emotional price. She has learned to master her gift but every time she uses it to save a child or to find one that is already lost, the toll weighs heavy on her.

Over the years she never has forgotten her only love and although she believes she loved more than she was loved, she dreams about him often. Vivid dreams that haunt her. They are more disturbing to her than the monsters she saves kids from. Unbeknownst to her, Cullen has been dreaming about her too. Dreams that wake him in the middle of the night, that make him yearn for the girl he chased away, that make him relive the loss.

When Jillian, Cullen's daughter gets abducted, he remembers those dreams and knows that Taige is the only person that can help him. When he shows up at her door she knows what he is looking for but seeing him again doesn't make it easier to accept. She would never say no to a missing child but knowing that the child is Cullen's makes the case more compelling. But there is more to the kidnapping than we are first lead to believe, there have been others that have gone missing, and the children share a commonality, something that has made them a target and if Taige cannot stop the madman, there will be even more lost.

The story is not just about lost love that is found again. This is a thriller that has you on the edge of your seat. The desperation that Cullen feels when he loses Jillian is palpable; the distress that Taige goes through every time she taps into her gift has you tensing. The villain is well hidden and you don’t suspect who it is (or I didn’t) until a little before it’s actually revealed in the story. But when his deeds are unveiled you feel him. The feeling was like when I saw Silence of the Lambs and Clarese was talking about the lambs being slaughtered. The same hushed disturbing visual, the same screams giving me the chills.

The relationship between Taige and Cullen is VERY believable. They have never really been apart, although they never realized it, because they have been linked through their dreams. So when he demands a place in Taige's life it doesn't come off as arrogant or presumptive. Cullen knows he messed up but he also knows that the love they had is still there. Taige's reluctance in accepting Cullen's feelings could have been annoying but Ms. Walker did not dwell upon that and made the reader know that Taige knew in her heart the truth but her mind rebelled against it. The internal conflict she felt for Cullen just made the story more grittier.

The book was reminiscent to works by authors like Sandra Brown. It was all about the romantic suspense. The darkness in Taige's visions, the evil the villain committed and the pursuit to find that person had you keeping your eyes glued to the page and refusing to put the book down.

I can't imagine the effort it took to write this, because I was exhausted by the end of the book. Like when you tense yourself for so long your body is tired when you finally relax. One of the best Romantic Suspense books I’ve read this year.

Grade: A+
Format: eBook

Now to the Giveaway, I really felt the need to share this one with you all so I will pick at random one name amongst those that leave a comment (make sure you also post your email address so I can contact you) and send them a brand new copy of the book when it’s released on Tuesday. Since postage can be pricey I need to limit this to those in the US.

Shiloh Walker is also having a giveaway at her site for those that pre-order their copy of The Missing or buy the book on release week (READ ALL ABOUT IT) where you can win, not just an ARC of her next release Fragile but also a $40 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice and other goodies.

So, to give you a chance to get in on her giveaway, I’ll be picking my winner by Midnight EST on Sunday November, 2nd. That way if you didn’t win my copy, you can still pre-order your own copy and get in on Shiloh’s Giveaway.

I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did, so post away!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Go. Vote!!

So I was reading my subscriptions in my Google Reader and Karen Knows Best had posted about voting. It really hit home and I went out and voted. No it’s not Nov 4th but in 31 states there is early voting and Texas is one of them. You can vote early and miss the long lines on Tuesday but you have until Oct 31st to get ahead of the crowds if not you NEED to get out and Vote on Tuesday (Yes, it's almost here - This coming Tuesday!!).

This is one of the most important elections in my lifetime. The Economy, The War, HealthCare, Gay Rights, Gun Control… Too much is on the line for you to leave that decision in others hand.

Did you know that 537 people decided the 2000 elections? Did you stay home that year and let others decide your countries fate? Do you realize that there are more than 537 people at the supermarket at any given time on a Sunday. That's how close it was.

Check out the Video and… Go. Vote!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Anthology - Hot Spell

The great thing about going paperless is that you can take a book and break it into small books. Like an Anthology. Essentially an Anthology is just a book that is divided into several smaller tales. For some reason I can attack four short stories better than one big one.
Yes, it’s the same thing but just like a 200 question test is overwhelming when you break up that test into 4 - 50 question tests it becomes do-able. This has been my plan of attack for those Anthologies I challenged myself to read in the Triple 8 Challenge.

Since we are in the month of October and I am all about paranormals this month I thought it appropriate to tackle a title that has been sitting in my TBR pile forever. Now that I got it in ebook I chopped and split it up into 4 really great stories. There really was no loser in this one, but that should not have surprised me since all but one were well loved authors.

Let’s start with the one author that was new to me:

Falling for Anthony by Meljean Brook: (A) This is the first in Brook’s Guardian series. Anthony Ramsdell would prefer to do anything than to serve as the personal physician to a Major General in the peninsula but the Earl of Norbridge had paid for his studies and he now owed him his livelihood. This was a small price to pay for the future the Earl had put in his hands. Two days before departing Anthony has a strange encounter with Emily, the Earl’s daughter, who he has secretly loved for many years. She is furious with her father and in a rebellious act, seduces Anthony in the library. He promise to return from the war and put thing right, if she will have him. But that was not meant to be.
On the battlefield in Spain he and a friend are attacked by a vampire and he sacrifices himself to save his friend. His sacrifice is not in vain since a Guardian give him the option to either die or serve in protecting humanity. Either way he is not to return to the life he knew. When Michael (head Guardian) pulls Anthony from his training months later, it is because a Nosferatu (a rouge vamp) has attacked the Ames-Beaumont searching for a sword. His friend Colin is about to turn and his sister, Emily is in danger. Michael goes against Guardian law and asks Anthony to return to earth to resolve the matter. This one was the best of all the tales. It was a strong story that did not feel like a short. It was so well written it makes me want to pick up the rest of this series immediately.

The Breed Next Door by Lora Leigh: (B+) Another story that did not feel like a short. There were villains, love, character conflicts, even some in-laws and yet I didn’t feel rushed at all! I am a big breeds fan and this title was a treat. Tarek Jordan is a breed in hiding and acclimating to normal life has been a difficult transition.
His current assignment is to search for a trainer from the Breeds lab that had murdered many of his brethren. His current problem is his neighbor, Lyra Mason. She has gotten under his skin and he would do anything to get some of her coffee and fresh baked bread in his belly and if he can get a piece of her as well, more the merrier. Lyra has a few big brothers that are trained Seal soldiers that might not appreciate his intent but if the lady ain’t complaining? In just a few pages I was feeling Tarek’s isolation, his need for more than just a romp. Lyra was feisty and having grown up with overprotective brother, strong willed. She could handle anything thrown at her and more and when she made up her mind to have Tarek, breed and all, she never backed down. Loved her!

The Blood Kiss by Shiloh Walker: (B+) Roman Montgomery is the An Ri Mac Tire, Wolf king of Wolf Clan Montgomery and his brother has been abducted, well not really but almost the same. Seems his little brother Steve ventured into Vamp territory and the House of Capiet has taken him as a prisoner for trespassing. In reality they are testing the new king and Roman rises to the challenge.
When Roman arrives (in secret) to rescue his brother he finds out that there is a celebration that is taking place as Lord Eduard presents his blood child to society, what surprises him most is that the daughter in question is the same young woman he has seen earlier in the plaza painting tourists in a street stand. She had attracted him at that time and now she is revealed to be the daughter of his mortal enemy. Well, he won’t let such a little thing as a long standing feud stand in his way.
This one had so much story in so few pages you could have blinked and you might have missed something but Roman and Julianna (a play on Romeo and Juliet) held their own. Loved the character of Mikhail, a truly old soul that needs a story of his own. Maybe he already has one and I just have not read it. I need to search for it since this book was published several years ago.

The Countess Pleasure by Emma Holly: (B) And last but never least, Emma Holly’s contribution. This one was the most difficult to read just because it takes place in an alternate universe where there are demons and alternate life forces.
Georgiana DuBarry, The Countess of Ware is a widow with the exceptional quality that she is still a virgin (although honestly, if you read enough romance you will ultimately agree that this is not such an exceptional quality). She goes to Bhamjran (the equivalent to Vegas) with the hopes she will discover passion and not regret having put that off for the sake of her husband. She has heard great things about the striptease preformed by Lyan and wanted to see for herself.
Lyan was trapped into the degrading profession after his mother was framed for a crime she didn’t commit. He is force into indentured service until the crime is paid in full. When he finally believes that his debt is about to be paid, further charges are pressed and he looks to a future with no freedom. He has never prostituted himself but when the woman that stirred his blood during his performance approaches him with a proposal he cannot deny himself.
Even though the whole – I slept with you and you turned my world around enough to make me love you- is a line I hate to accept, this story had other things going for it. Yes, Ms. Holly is queen of eroticism, but not just was the sensuality of the story red hot, the world building was very interesting since it paralleled our own world back when the Irish were seen as less, the black were unworthy. The prejudice against the demon race was a great twist to your typical short.

This anthology was definitely worth picking up. If you haven’t had your serving of the paranormal variety this month reach out for this one. Every tale was a success!

Grade: B+
Format: eBook

Saturday, October 25, 2008


So Marg tagged me to post Seven Random Things About Myself and since I learn from others I will not procrastinate in posting because, based on what Marg says these things have the potential to grow!

Random thing about myself…

1) I've lost 40 pounds this year!! Yeah Me! Last year I had said I wanted to be a size 12 by Xmas and my sister thought that joining a Gym would accomplish this. Instead of being a smaller size at the end of the year I had gained! I was almost a size 18 (I was squeezing into my size 16s, and buying stretch jeans so I wouldn't have to go another size up. I told my sister that she could do whatever she wanted but this year I was joining Weight Watchers. She reluctantly agreed to join me that first week and the rest is history. She has lost 60 pounds and I am wearing a size 10 (with 9 weeks left until Xmas).

2) I feel a bit inept in my new job. I started a new role at work in September and after 8 weeks I still feel like I have no clue what I’m doing. I get the work done, I sound competent when I'm talking but the insecurity is just under the surface. The position was a promotion and I guess I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, like "What were they thinking in giving me this responsibility"

3) I'm going paperless. Yeah, I've put most of my paperbacks up for trade in Paperback swap and I'm working to replace them in eBooks. This definitely reduces the space issue I have had trying to store over 300 paperbacks in a closet with my clothing. I will say that I'm loving it. I put more books than I can read in a month on my Sony 505 eReader and I don't have to worry about ever running out of books to read when I'm about to finish a title. If you haven't thought about getting an eReader, think about.

4) I back date my blog posts. If you haven’t noticed the dates on my posts, pay attention next time. I have a problem having the same date on several posts (yeah, I’m anal) so I spread out the posts across several dates. Sometimes it takes forever to post my reviews but then I’ll go crazy (like this weekend) and do some major catch up so I back post them to better coincide with the date I read the books.

5) I like watching Korean soap operas. I started watching Anime with my daughter when she was in high school. I realized there was more to Anime than Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon. There was Anime targeted for adult audiences (not in the porn variety but in the mature variety – although if your into it you can find X rated anime). I got my hands on a Japanese soap opera (usually an 11 episode series) and realized that I liked it. They were like watching a season of some TV show but instead of the season lasting 22 episodes and returning after summer – these lasted 11 and there was not return. After watching a few Japanese shows I discovered that Koreans had a larger variety of shows and better quality of actors. So I watch them often and love them.

6) I do all my computer work in bed. I don’t have a desk in my room and that is where I have the most privacy, so I have a small lap desk where my laptop lives. As soon as I get home from work I jump into bed and start catching up. In the morning, I open my eyes and my computer is right there next to me. I have a desktop on a small table in my room (yeah I have 2 computers in my room) but I don’t use it much because it’s old and I don’t have a proper chair to sit in front of the machine. I use it just for printing. So, I do everything from my bed (and this is why I had gained so much weight).

7) I have another blog that I use for my crafty adventures. These are mostly related to my quilting (which I haven’t done in a VERY long time) but I thought I’d feel more motivated if I could talk about my hobby, so I set up a new blog ( I’m currently working on two quilts, one is a hush hush project and the other is a quilt for my cousin. Feel free to drop by.

So there! I shared 7 things bout myself, some of you might already have known this but others might have just discovered a new side of me.

Who will I tag? I’m tagging three ladies that share my passion for reading at different levels:

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Hollows Book 2 & 3 by Kim Harrison

I’ve been reading Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series and unfortunately it’s not something I can review without some MAJOR spoilers. So here is a short breakdown of the books without revealing too much:

In The Good, The Bad and The Undead, three months have past since the events of the first book, Dead Witch Walking. No more hunting Rachel and she is finally making a name for herself but there has been a string of murders taking place in the city and they have been focusing on ley line witches. The FIB contracts Rachel to go undercover as a college student and snoop out their major suspect and since Sara Jane's boyfriend is among those missing she feels obligated to accept the job (Sara is Trent's secretary who in book 1 helped Rachel when she was captured as a Mink).

Glenn, the chief of police’s son is assigned to partner with Rachel, since she is not 'officially' working on the case. Immediately Rachel sees connections between Trent and each murdered witch, making him #1 suspect in her book.

A lot of bad mojo goes down in this book. It’s the beginning of the end for Rachel’s relationship with Nick. She mistakenly makes him her familiar so he feels everything as she funnels power from the ley lines through him and in the final battle Rachel forges an alliance with Kisten, Ivy's old boyfriend and Piscary's scion. The bad mojo that I mentioned earlier leaves Ivy very damaged and Rachel indebted to the Daemon Al (the demon that tried to kill her in book 1). She has committed herself to become his familiar in exchange for his help in escaping the ‘bad guy’

We really have no clue who this bad guy is until the end and I must say Rachel is one daring witch to have been able to walk out of that confrontation alive.

Grade: A

In Every Which Way but Dead our third helping of the Hollows there is a turf war taking place after the evil one from TGTBATU is put away. Quinn, Trent’s bodyguard cannot protect Trent during a meeting with a rival gang because he was bitten by a vamp in the previous book and he is vulnerable to their lure, so he hires Rachel to take his place (like she is not vulnerable).
Rachel has to pay her debt to the daemon Al and becomes his familiar, to do so she negotiates the release of his current familiar, an elf called Ceri. In the process she tricks the daemon and Al does not like that. Rachel has a unique genetic build that allows her to do daemon magic even though she is just a witch and this is why she is so valued as a familiar to Al.

We get to know a lot about Trent in this one as well as discover a lot about Rachel’s past (like the tidbit about her genetic markers). Every book makes Trent a little less evil and more a guy with his own fears and his own vulnerabilities. Rachel also develops a relationship with Kisten after Nick walks out on her. She has a huge argument with Jenks at the end of the book leaving the relationship with him fractured.

I found this to be the weakest installment so far. It seemed that there was plenty of action with Rachel battling her daemon in hopes to keep her soul intact and the turf war that brings a few new characters to the fold but neither of these story lines could sustain the book. Still you cannot skip any of the books since this series is so tightly woven you would miss a lot of info you will reference in the future.

Grade: B-

Both of these books were read in Audiobook Format

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Body Language by Suzanne Brockmann

Not all series romance can be winners, not even with Suzanne Brockmann's talent to back you up.

Clint McCade is heading home or better said to the only home he has really known. He has discovered that after many years of traveling around the world as a videographer / photographer his heart belongs where ever Sandy Kirk is and he is not wasting another moment. He heads out to tell his childhood friend that she is the one for him but gets a little surprise when he arrives.

Cassandra Kirk grew up on the wrong side of the tracks always yearning for more. She wanted everything the country club set had to offer and then some. But one thing she wanted above all else was the heart of her best friend McCade. He flew around the world from job to job and from skirt to skirt but he never saw her other than his best friend. Well now Sandy is leaving that love behind and pursuing something more real.

When McCade shows up at her door she confesses that she is finally in love but the guy has no clue she exists. McCade hides his disappointment in arriving too late to claim his own love and suggests to Sandy that he help her attract this man's attention. He says that her problem is all in the body language. She sends blaring signals to this guy that she is not interested. He suggests that she practice with him, pretending they are a couple and using her body language to reflect her interest in him.

Yeah, you can follow the premise from here. She realizes that she still has feelings for Clint, Clint thinks he is unworthy, yada, yada, yada. Writing was good, this is a Brockmann, but the plot was so used and old I could have stop reading half way through and I would have know how it ended.

Grade: C-
Format: eBook

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Awakening Beauty by Amy Fetzer

Another AOM selection, this one for the month of September. This was a short series romance that really impressed me.

Lane Douglas appears to be a dowdy bookkeeper but there are secrets she works hard to hide. She has done a great job until Tyler McKay crashes into her parked car and he sees more than he should.

Tyler has been burnt before; he was just about to marry a woman who wanted him only for his money. Luckily he discovered the truth before it was too late but he has developed trust issues (obviously) and has been swinging from girl to girl until he discovers Lane. Lane actually wants nothing to do with him. She avoids him like the plague and this just makes her someone he wants to know more about.

With the help of his family and friends he coerces Lane into taking part of the small town’s celebrations. He gets enough time with Lane to prove to her that he is the good guy he appears to be. Still he knows she hides something.

Lane knows about getting burnt. She gave her heart to the wrong man, a journalist who was not really looking for money but fame. Her man destroyed the career she loved and exposed her family to an investigation into possible mafia ties. The press had a field day until she disappeared. Now she fears being discovered but her attraction to Tyler is enough to have her risk stepping out from the shadows.

What I really liked about the book was Fetzer’s writing. The story is old and recycled many times over but Fetzer makes it seem fresh. Laney is smart but also afraid of getting hurt. Tyler is charming and a bit of an idiot at the end but his character jumps off the pages.
I always pick up these short stories with hesitation just because you can always go bad with so few pages to work with but I will say Fetzer did a great job showing us how these two learn to trust again and how that lead to love.

I have several more of her titles in my TBR pile. I won’t hesitate in pulling them out when I want a quick read.

Grade: B
Format: eBook

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

Pick this one up as my AOM selection in July. I read it back then but had not gotten around to posting about this title. I had heard many great things about this series and when Abe was selected as AOM I had my excuse to pick up the title.

There is a thief running around London. A thief rumored to have the ability to disappear into thin air. London police are beside themselves with no clue to go on.
Christoff, the Marquess of Langford has more than a clue. Leader of the Dra'kons he recognizes the thief as a 'runner' who has fled Darkfirth. Dra'kon laws forbid dragons to step out of Darkfirth and as their leader it’s his duty to bring the thief back and he has the best bait out there, the Langford Diamond. A diamond so full of mystical lore that the Dra'kon in the thief would not be able to resist steal.

Clarissa Rue escaped Darkfirth once and has no intentions of returning. A society more antiquated than London itself, Rue can only see her future decided for her if her secret is discovered. With the Dra'kon heritage dying with every new generation born, females with the purest blood are considered Alphas and are destined to marry the pure blood males. Although Rue's blood is very much mixed, she is the first female in generations to have the ability to withstand the Turn. There are no female dragons flying the skies and if discovered she would be forced to take her place as Alpha female among her kind and marry Christoff. She would never be free again.

When the diamond arrives Rue knows it’s a trap but feels confident that as a woman she would never be discovered. She doesn’t want to steal the diamond but she does want to see Kit, who she has always loved but was found unworthy as a mixed blood to even lick his boots.

She is discovered by Kit himself, who yearns the freedom runners search for but is forced by his responsibilities to his position and his people to stay behind. When he realizes that Rue is his true Alpha he knows he must have her. When he discovers that she is Clarissa, the young girl he watched as a child, his determination doubles. She brings life to his existence and her fierce spirit sings to him. Now he needs to prove to her that he loves her for her self and not for the fact that she can Turn.

These two learn to trust each other and love each other as they pursue another runner who has in fact stolen the Langford Diamond in a bid to negotiate for his freedom.

It had been a while since I read a book that mixed Fantasy and romance so well. The world Abe built balances the romance very well. I did find Rue a bit on the annoying side at times and Kit was very arrogant as well but the romance was great and the scenes where they took dragon form were wonderful. I think the book could use less prose to tell the story but all in all I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.

Grade: B-

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kill and Tell by Linda Howard

I had this title in my TBR pile forever. I picked it up when I found out it was the first installment in the series involving John Medina the hero in the first Linda Howard book I had ever read, All the Queen's Men. This book introduces us to his character when he is drawn into the murder investigation of his father, Rick Medina.

Karen Whitlaw has recently buried her mother when she receives a package from her absent father, Dexter. He had walked out on them shortly after returning from war but her mother always held a torch for him and lived for his memory and the hope he would return. Karen cannot forgive him and wants nothing to do with him, so she packs up the contents of the package and promptly forgets it's existence until she receives a call from Det. Marc Chastain from the New Orleans police informing her that her father has just been murdered.

Seems Dexter Whitlaw had a blackmail going that blew up in his face when Senator Stephen Lake contracts Rick Medina to take out his problem. Rick has been led to believe that this hit is a matter of security and that Dexter is harming others. What he is not told is that Dexter has been so difficult to find they need an expert like Medina to uncover him but Medina will suffer the same fate as Whitlaw does. This does not go over well with his son, John.

Det. Chastain is a bit rough with Karen when she arrives to identify her father because he believes that Dexter was just an old vet abandoned by his well to do family. He realizes his error in short order but Karen still feels the bad vibes thrown her way, which is why it was tough for me to swallow the 'I've fallen for you' . After the funeral there is a passionate encounter between these two (call it a slip on Karen's behalf) and the morning after has Karen running away, back to her home town where there is a killer looking for the blackmail material her Dad sent her. She realizes something is not right and runs back to where she feels safe, New Orleans.

Even though you knew who the villain was straight off the bat, you really didn't know what the black mail was about, what was the big secret the Senator was going to great extremes to cover up. It was a believable blackmail which is what tipped this book over for me. The heat between the couple was great but the love blooming between them was not. It was difficult to believe the couples feelings where real and I would have liked the book much more if Howard had not pushed a HEA but more of the beginning of something really good between these two.

The book was still worth the read and I definitely would recommend it to those John Medina fans. He did not have a main role but we meet him and saw the softer side of him at the end.

Grade: C+
Format: Audiobook

Monday, October 06, 2008

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Following up on my second take of Sookie and her gang of misfits. There are two mysteries in this story.

The first pops up when Lafayette, Merlotte's cook, is found murdered in the back seat of detective Andy Bellefleur's car. The car had sat in the parking lot the night before because Andy had been too drunk to drive it but when Sookie showed up for work she found the body (just the girl's luck!).

Before Sookie can look into this mystery she is pulled into the Vampire drama that takes her to Dallas where a vampire is missing and all fingers point to a minister that leads a racist congregation. Sookie is pulled into this when Eric requests her service on behalf of Stan Davis, the Dallas area's leader. Bill who became some sort of sheriff with the hopes it would give him enough political clout against Eric to protect Sookie, is forced to accept her involvement. Things start going wrong from the moment Sookie arrives there seems to be a traitor among Stan Davis' employees and they need Sookie to question everyone that was present at the time the kidnapped bouncer disappeared. Sookie has to deal with a suicidal vampires, ignorant cult followers and the disillusion from discovering that Bill is very much a vampire and struggles day to day to stay mainstream. When Sookie finally returns from Dallas, she returns alone.

Her breakup with Bill does not damper her need to find out what happened to Lafayette and she discovers that Lafayette was involved in some orgy stuff that was being kept hush hush in town. She makes herself a target for an invitation and recruits Eric to help her infiltrate the orgy party. It’s hilarious to read of how Eric dressed in some extreme costume (Lycra pants) to pass himself off as gay. Worlds collide when the minister whose plans she fouled in Dallas comes to Bon Temps to exact revenge on Sookie and attacks the house where the party was taking place.

Sookie is always a pleasure to read with the mix of innocence and determination she brings to the table. This installment did not disappoint, it had me on quite a roller coaster ride, even tearing up a bit for the suicidal vamp that was evil but needed redemption in a desperate way.

Club Dead is the next in the series and I’m happy to say it recently was release in Audiobook so I will be able to read it soon!! Yeah me!

Grade: A
Format: Audiobook

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Dead and Loving it by Mary Janice Davidson

This one is more of a compendium of short stories published previously in other anthologies but all from the Wyndham Wolf series. This series is very good but because they are all printed in different Anthologies it has been a pain in the butt to follow so I was jumping all over this Anthology when it first came out.

Now to be honest, I had not read any of the Wyndham Werewolf books but my daughter raved about Derik's Bane and since I knew Derik's Bane was the third book in the series I put off picking it up until I had collected all the books and could read them in order.

My suggestion is to NOT do this. The short stories are not strong plots and if you read too many of them, you kind of get sick of the tales. I read the first 4 on vacation back in August and then read the rest in September. Now all I need to read is Derik's Bane.

The Prequels to the Anthologies are:

Love's Prisoner : (C-) SPOILER ALERT!!!
I cannot fathom why I didn't give this story a worse grade. What I keep remembering is that Michael rapes Jeannie… more than once! I think that when I read it I forced myself to step out of my contemporary shoes and go into this alternate universe where werewolves exist and pack law determines how one deals with every day situation. He tries to explain this to his mate (who is human) and I REALLY had to work on getting past the whole rape issue. The story was good enough to bring up the grade even after the incidents but it is not for everyone.

Jared's Wolf : (C) Jared's sister was killed by a rouge Were and he has been searching for the culprit for years. Now he believes he has finally found him and is stalking the mansion waiting for his chance for revenge. He believes that only men can be Weres and kidnaps Moira from the grounds thinking she is in danger. Moira realizes the security risk Jared is and decides to stay close to him to 'protect' her pack. Yeah right!

Derik's Bane should be at this point.

From the Anthology though we have:

Santa Claws (C+): Cute little Xmas story but it was mostly a no plot story (thus why it didn't go over a C+). Just saw you, screwed you, committed to you. Didn't give it anything lower because the heroine, Giselle was a short plump girl that dressed in a Santa's costume. She was just too cute! The Hero, Alec was a Scot that came to pay homage to Michael and Jenny's daughter.

Monster Love (C+): In this one Janet Lupo, who must be a dominatrix in another life since she is such an overbearing b*tch, finds her mate in a vampire that kidnaps her (what is with these Weres getting kidnapped?), hot monkey sex ensues and she makes him heel to her – okay so she does give a little too.

There is no Such Thing as Werewolves (B-): This one was different. The hero was a blind Were who was not feeling welcomed in his pack. He has made a life for himself as a doctor among the humans and runs into some homeless kids that try to mug him. Cresent Muhn is among them but decides that mugging a blind guy is a bit much for her and offers him protection. Drake realizes that there is something different about Crescent and not in the wacko way (even though she is determined to fly). He had some issue due to an age difference but there is more different about them than age. This one was pretty good.

A Fiend in Need – (B): A crossover with Queen Betsy series. This story was a big seller for me on this Anthology. I want to say it was what made me buy the book but not really.. I wanted to read the story of George, The Fiend from the Betsy books and how he finds love with Antonia, the Were that doesn't change but has premonitions. These premonitions are what guides Antonia to Betsy's door and ultimately leads her to George.

Overall, I like this type of anthology where it’s one author and many of their shorts.

Grade: B-
Format: eBook

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