Series: Sisters of the Heart

Joint Review: Fire Bound by Christine Feehan

Posted April 27, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Fire Bound by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly and Casee
Fire Bound by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #5, Sea Haven
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Earth Bound, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General, Contemporary Women, Fantasy
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sea Haven novels returns to the circle of the six sisters of the heart, bound by the elements—and to one who possesses the power to inflame the most dangerous passions of all.  Flame-haired Lissa Piner is a skilled glass blower whose delicate gift conceals a burning inner strength that can destroy as exquisitely as it can create. Commissioned to design chandeliers for a string of luxury hotels, her remarkable skills have taken her to Italy. But Lissa’s real mission there is a secret. For her entire life has been a lie, leading to a chance to avenge a terrible wrong.   Enlisted as her bodyguard is Casmir Prakenskii, a trained assassin living off the grid. In Lissa, he sees a kindred spirit—something unexpected and wicked, mysterious and sensual. But more than desire is about to bring them together: because both of their pasts cry out for revenge. And for two people with this many secrets, this much passion, and this many enemies, someone is bound to get burned.

Casee: I love the Sea Haven series.  I’ve read all the books she’s written but the Drake Sisters and Sisters of the Heart are my favorite.  Fire Bound was like no other Feehan book.  Mostly it’s the men that are killers and, as readers, we simply accept it.  They are trying to protect their woman, right? Lissa was unlike any heroine  that she’s written.  Lissa is a straight up killer.  It doesn’t matter that she’s doing it for revenge for the death of her family, it’s still murder.  Yet, I wasn’t horrified.  It was refreshing change from her normal heroines.

Holly:  The Sea Haven books are my favorites as well. Lissa was a great heroine. I liked that she was just as deadly as Casimir and she wasn’t portrayed as someone who needed rescuing. I was actually surprised at the number of risks she took and that he didn’t try to stop her.

Casee: I did love how Casimir was partner, not a dictator.  He didn’t “allow” Lissa to do what she needed to do.  He helped her, understood her, and was generally there for her.

Holly: No, he didn’t “allow” her to do anything. She made her choices and he reluctantly followed along.

I do feel like Feehan keeps writing the same love story again and again. Lissa was a different sort of heroine and Casimir and different hero in that he wasn’t as overbearing and chauvinistic as the others, but the romance itself felt like the same thing we’ve read in all the other books.

Casee: I do agree with you about the love story being the same.  How can she write different love stories when she’s written so many?  While their romance didn’t fall flat, it was the same as the other Prakenskii romances.

Holly: It felt the same as all the other Prakenskii romances because it was the same. Almost exactly.

Casee: You’re right all the Prakenskii romances are all the same.  Touch palms and you’re my mate, hear me roar.  Have lots of sex, the heroine objects, then realizes she’s in love with him.  Lissa accepted Casimir almost from the start.  She didn’t fight it.

Holly: I really liked that Lissa accepted Casimir right away. Neither of them really fought it. The conflicts were mostly external.

Casee: The sex was the same as always, which I skipped through.  I want the story, not the sex these days.  Most of her books are over 10 pages per sex scene and there are always more than one.

Holly: I didn’t read the sex scenes beyond the first, either. I see other readers complaining about the lack of sex in books, but I feel just the opposite. I’m tired of pages and pages of sex scenes when, more often than not, the story suffers for them.

This book cleans up some story-arcs that started early in the series. It was nice to get some closure and see some things come to an end.

Casee: It’s been such a long time since the first book.  What story-arcs did it clean up?

Holly: Lissa and Casimir going after the Russian’s who have been after the Prakenskii’s for so long. View Spoiler » Which makes sense since there’s only one book left in the series.

Casee:  I didn’t even think about that arc being over.  I’m really smart like that.  View Spoiler »

I was very surprised by the oldest brother and how things played out there.  I’m really looking forward to the last book, even though I will be the last.  I will be sad to see it to, but I feel like begging her not to try to drag it on.  It’s perfect the way it is.  I’ll always re-read this series.

Holly: I’m curious about the oldest brother and how that will play out. Lissa chewing him out made me laugh. I guess we’ll see what happens when he meets Blythe again.

Casee: What I’m curious to know is if Blythe even knows she’s been “mated” to a Prakenskii.

Holly: I have a feeling she knows she mated, but I doubt she knows they’re married.

Heather on Goodreads said Feehan plans to continue the Sea Haven books (I haven’t bothered to look it up and confirm). I’ll be curious to see who and what that entails.

Casee: There are 29 Dark books.  I read them diligently because Dark Prince was the first paranormal/vampire book I ever read.  I don’t want the Sea Haven books to drag on like that.

Holly: I don’t want 27 books, but I’m not ready for the series to end.

Overall, I really liked Lissa and Casimir together, but it felt like a copy of all the other books. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, just that I felt like it was a story I’d already read.

Casee: I think it was a copy of all the other books too, with the exception on Ilya’s. Eventually you run out of material when you’re writing the same thing over and over.

Holly: I heart Ilya. He’s my favorite.

Casee: I do think this was my favorite of the series just because Lissa was so unique.

Holly: Water Bound is still my favorite of the series. Ricky is the best heroine Feehan has ever written, IMO. Lissa was unique and I liked her, but she doesn’t top Ricky.

I’m going to give this 3.75 out of 5.

Casee: I’m giving it a 3.5 our of 5.

Final Grades:

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Casee: 3.5 out of 5

The Series

Water Bound
Spirit Bound
Air Bound
Earth Bound
Fire Bound

three-half-stars

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Review: Earth Bound by Christine Feehan

Posted July 22, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Earth Bound by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Earth Bound by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #4, Sea Haven
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Fire Bound, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 7th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Air Bound returns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past…
After escaping from a cult, Lexi found refuge with her sisters on the farm that more than sustained her body—it nurtured her soul as well.  But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.
Lexi was discovered and threatened—only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he’s awestruck by the woman he’s rescued. She is destined for him. He can feel it in his soul. But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?
NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED
From the Paperback edition.

This is my favorite series of Feehan’s. I gave up on the Dark series long ago, and while I’ve read some of the Leopard and Game books, this is the one I get most excited for. I dove in as soon as I received the book for review. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it as much as some of the others in the series.

I think the part I struggled with the most was Lexi’s sexual abuse and how it was glossed over. Gavrill thinks about it quite a bit, but it isn’t addressed out in the open very well and there were no major issues because of it. I felt like that was missed opportunity to explore something that was clearly a deep, dark problem for Lexi.

I still love the relationship between the sisters and now the added bonus of the brother’s forming their own relationship. My favorite part of this book was Gavrill’s initial visit to Ilya. His need to protect his little brother coupled with his natural wariness over not knowing him at all came across very well. I also liked Gavrill’s natural protectiveness toward Lexi.

Aside from the lack of depth in dealing with Lexi’s past, I enjoyed Gavrill and Lexi’s relationship. He’s very protective of her, which could have been overbearing, but actually worked since I felt she needed someone to care for her and put her needs first. He got her to open up a bit and he really came to rely on her as well. Lexi didn’t just roll over and let Gavrill take charge of her life. She demanded he give as much as he took. This is a “fated mates” type series, wherein each Prakenskii male forms a bond with one woman. Feehan is one of the few authors who makes that work for me. Despite being “fated” to be together, they both worked to form a relationship and keep it going.

Though I struggled with how easy Lexi seemed to deal with her past issues, I enjoyed their relationship and the connection between the siblings. Feehan excels at writing believable and engaging friendships.

3.75 out of 5

The Series:

Water Bound
Spirit Bound
Air Bound
Earth Bound

four-stars

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Review: Air Bound by Christine Feehan

Posted May 13, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Air Bound by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Air Bound by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #3, Sea Haven
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Earth Bound, Fire Bound, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The sisters of Sea Haven, bound by the heart and the magical power of the elements, return in this soul-stirring new novel from Christine Feehan,  #1 New York Times bestselling author of Spirit Bound...
Air Bound
For as far back as she can remember, Airiana Ridell has always been aware of her extraordinary gift. She can intuit revealing and illuminating “patterns” in the air around her—whether in a spray of mist, in billowing clouds, or in the dense swirls of an impenetrable fog. Her abilities led to her placement in a secret government training facility when she was a child, but everything changed after her mother was murdered.
Airiana fled the program, but she couldn’t outrun the desperate members of a shadowy cabal who want her, who need her, who will kill to get her. Kidnapped and held aboard a ship bound for dangerous seas, her only chance for rescue is Maxim Prakenskii. He has his reasons for helping her, but he isn’t about to reveal them to Airiana. Not yet. Not as the two are drawn together as moth to flame. Not when there are so many secrets yet untold that could shatter the quaint community of Sea Haven and all who reside there…

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book since the last, Spirit Bound, was released in 2011. I have no idea why Feehan goes so long between releases in this series. She’s quick to put out Dark books. I wish she’d focus more here since I feel this is the stronger of the two series.

Airi was a genius child who was also able to manipulate air and see patters in the air around her.  She was recruited to work in a secret government program from the time she was very young through high school. When her mother was murdered she fled the program, and found refuge with her sisters of the heart – four beautiful women who all shared gifts similar to hers. When men show up on their farm intent on capturing her, she tries her best to get away, until she realizes she’s putting her sisters in danger. Still, the last thing she expected was to meet someone else who can manipulate air the way she can – especially when that man is beautiful and deadly. She recognizes him as the brother of one sister’s husband, but his shadowy past and dark aura don’t do him any favors. Especially since he’s the one kidnapping her…

Maxim Prakenskii is just doing a job – he’s taking Airiana to meet her father, someone who claims he needs her help. It isn’t long before he realizes he made a huge mistake, however. Airi is nothing like he expected. He knows if he delivers her into the hands of her father – or any of the others looking to exploit her mind – it will be the end of her. So instead he decides to protect her. But protection comes in all forms and he knows staying with him could be the most dangerous thing for her – which is too bad since he can’t seem to let her go.

I absolutely adored the first book, Water Bound, and I had similar happy feelings while reading this one. Airiana and Maxim were a solid couple and the story was fast-paced and exciting. Non-stop action from page one. Though the plot was tense there was a surprising amount of humor. I actually laughed out loud a couple times.

This was a good reminder why I read Feehan. When she hits, she hits big and Air Bound landed out of the park.

4.25 out of 5

The Series:

Water Bound
Spirit Bound
Air Bound
Earth Bound

This book is available from Jove. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars

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Lightning Review: Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan

Posted December 5, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Lightning Review: Spirit Bound by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #2, Sea Haven
Also in this series: Water Bound, Air Bound, Earth Bound, Fire Bound, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: December 27th 2011
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 416
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan comes her stirring new novel in a magical “series of six sisters not of flesh and blood but of the heart…”*

Lethal undercover agent Stefan Prakenskii knew a thousand ways to kills a man—and twice as many ways to pleasure a woman. That’s what made him look forward to his new mission: arrive in the coastal town of Sea Haven and insinuate himself in the life of an elusive beauty who had mysterious ties to his past, and a link to a dangerously seductive, and equally elusive master criminal who wanted only one thing: to possess her.

Judith Henderson was an artist on the rise—an ethereal, and haunted woman whose own picture-perfect beauty stirred the souls of two men who have made her their obsession. For years she has been waiting for someone to come and unlock the passion and fire within her—waiting for the right man to surrender it to. But only one man can survive her secrets, and the shadow she has cast over both their lives.

Feehan’s Drake Sisters series has long been a favorite. I try to re-read them at least once a year. When she announced she was writing a spin-off series I was elated. This is the second book in the new series. It had been awhile since I read the first book, Water Bound, and I’d forgotten some of the details. This one stands alone well.

Judith made a mistake as a young woman and fell in love with the wrong man. As a result her brother was tortured and killed. She’s carried around a lot of grief and guilt ever since. Stefan Prakenskii is a covert government agent who has been trying to get Judith’s ex-boyfriend. He believes she is the key to getting to him, so he goes to Sea Haven undercover hoping she’ll lead him closer to his target. Almost immediately Stefan realizes he wants Judith for himself, not because of some undercover operation. She’s slow to trust, but he’s determined to win her over.

I enjoy the way Feehan writes her heroes. They’re always alpha and often a bit over-bearing, but they love their women wholeheartedly. It’s hard not to love a man who wants nothing more than the happiness of his woman. Aside from the romance, which was done well, I really enjoyed the relationship Judith had with her sisters. Though they weren’t related by blood, they were true sisters of the heart. That came across well.

A very gripping novel. Not quite as good as the first, but still a stellar story. I really wish the 3rd book was out already.

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Jove. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars

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Review: Water Bound by Christine Feehan

Posted August 5, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Water Bound by Christine FeehanWater Bound by Christine Feehan
Series: Sea Haven #8, Sisters of the Heart #1
Also in this series: Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Fire Bound, Earth Bound
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 27th 2010
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 480
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

For Sid, the last thing he remembered was being enlisted to protect a vulnerable young woman in the coastal town of Sea Haven. Then, as if in some nightmare, the mysteriously sexy bodyguard was lost in the swirling currents of the ocean, and sucked deeper into the nothingness of a freezing black eddy. Just as quickly, just as miraculously, he was saved—pulled ashore by a beautiful stranger.

Her name is Rikki, a sea-urchin diver in Sea Haven. She always felt an affinity for the ocean, and the seductive pull of the tides. And now, for the enigmatic man she rescued. But soon they will be bound by something even stronger—each other’s tantalizing secrets which will engulf them both in a whirlpool of dizzying passion and inescapable danger.

When I read last year that Feehan was planning a spin-off of the Drake Sisters series, I was both excited and apprehensive. I adored all 7 books and was sad to leave the world behind, but I wasn’t sure starting another series set in the same town was going to work.

I’m happy to report that it worked very well. It was lovely returning to Sea Haven and I very much enjoyed the new characters introduced here, as well as the glimpses we had of the previous characters. This book picks up right where Hidden Currents left off. I think this can be read as a standalone, but the characters – especially Lev – have more depth if you read Hidden Currents first.

I loved Lev. He decided he wanted a new life, one that included Rikki, and that was that. There was no waffling about his feelings for her or attempts to hold himself away from her. He did everything possible to care for her. Because she’s autistic (very high-functioning) she needed things other people wouldn’t. Lev wasn’t discouraged by that. Nor did he treat her as if she were inferior to him in some way, or less intelligent than she was. To him, Rikki was a woman, his woman, and that’s how he treated her.

I really loved that he wanted a fresh start. He was practical about his past, though he did feel guilt over many of the things he’d seen and done. He wanted to settle down with Rikki and let her be his family. It was lovely seeing the way he cared for her and tried to make both their dreams become reality.

Rikki’s autism was very well written. She was able to do almost everything someone without her disorder could, but she had trouble with change, and lights and sounds bothered her. As a result she was a solitary creature. One with a need for a very controlled environment. She didn’t allow other people into her home and she had strict routines she had to follow. But she wasn’t someone I felt sorry for, or thought of as challenged in anyway. If anything, I just thought of her as extremely OCD and somewhat of a control freak, which worked well within the story.

At times the novel was a bit dry. Feehan went a little overboard in explaining the technical aspects of diving, but that’s mostly in the beginning and went a long way toward helping the reader understand Rikki’s character, so I let it go.

It will be interesting to see how things go with the Drakes and Lev (The Drake sisters, with the exception of Hannah, were all on their honeymoons) in later books, especially since he was there and saw the torture Elle suffered in Hidden Currents.

4.75 out of 5

The Series:

Water Bound
Spirit Bound
Air Bound
Earth Bound
Fire Bound

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

five-stars

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