Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Review: Demon Angel by Meljean Brook.

Posted January 16, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Demon Angel by Meljean Brook.Reviewer: Rowena
Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
Series: Guardians #1
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: January 2nd 2007
Genres: Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 432
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For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father's armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation. That is, until she faces her greatest temptation—Heaven's own Sir Hugh Castleford...

Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons—and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil—and against a desire that has been too long denied...

Who will be the first to succumb?

Man, I fell into a bit of a reading funk when I was in the middle of this book and I thought it was because I didn’t like this book but that wasn’t the case, the reason it took me so long to read this book is because I kept losing it. It kept pissing me off to because I wanted to hurry up and find out what was going to happen, what was Lilith going to get into and all that other crazy stuff.

This was a really good book. The storyline flowed well, it was a bit off on the pacing but aside from that, it was quite an enjoyable read for me. For some reason, I thought this was a historical but it’s not and I’m glad because I’m kinda over historicals for the moment.

What I liked about the story was the way the story came together. The fight between good and evil was great and I loved how Lilith and Hugh had that ginormous connection. It was more than just they wanted to jump each other’s bones, it was a wonderful emotional connection. I loved how they would always run into each other no matter how many years, decades passed. I loved the people in their lives too….like Sir Pup, wow…that was one ugly beast of a dog but Lilith loved him anyway and Colin cracked me up with him too.

I liked Colin well enough but I hear nothing but good things about him so I look forward to reading his book. Holly tells me that Colin is all that and a bag of chips and she aint never steered me wrong so I can’t wait to dig in, I just have to go out and buy it.

Savi and Auntie were cool additions to the story even though at first, I didn’t really care for Savi, I don’t even know why I didn’t like her but I ended up really liking her so I guess I was just smoking crack before, whatev.

Overall, this book was a great book, it took me a while to get into the book but as soon as I got past the first third of the book, it was smooth going after that and I enjoyed the book a great deal. It’s a great read and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to read about two wonderful characters and their journey to that happy ending we all hope to have one day. My only gripe with it is, I hope in the other books some of my questions are answered…I’ll be patient though.

Read this book, it’s good stuff!


Moon Awakening by Lucy Monroe

Posted January 16, 2008 by Ames in Reviews | 9 Comments

Book Description:

When Emily Hamilton’s family is ordered to send a woman to the Scottish highlands for marriage to the laird of the Sinclair, Emily volunteers in order to save her younger sister from such a fate. But at her new home, the only friend she finds is the laird’s sister-especially after Emily’s stubborn streak causes the laird to cancel the marriage. And though her plans have gone awry, she refuses to return home…

Lachlan Balmoral is laird of his clan-and leader of his pack. One of the most feared werewolves prowling the Highlands, he is on the march against the hated Sinclair, who have abducted a Balmoral woman. He kidnaps the sister of the Sinclair laird, planning to marry her off in revenge-but the woman he takes along with her proves to be the greater prize…

For Emily feeds a desire he has never known existed. And though Lachlan would not think of touching his enemy’s betrothed, he must know how a mere woman could tame his heart so easily…

My thoughts: I read this book because of Zeek’s review. And now I’m torn in my thoughts. I hate when that happens!

Emily, precocious young woman that she is, happens to hear her father and step-mother discussing an order from the King: One of his daughters is to marry a Scottish laird. This is punishment for the English lord because he was stingy with some warriors. When Emily hears her stepmother offer her deaf stepsister up on a sacrificial platter, Emily bravely steps in. Many of Emily’s later decisions stem from this need to protect her stepsister because deafness was a sign of being cursed way back when. So even when Emily travels to the Highlands and realizes she’s not going to marry the Sinclair laird, she strives to protect her stepsister. A very admiral trait. Another trait Emily has in spades is stubborness. And curiosity. Oh my goodness does Emily question everything. She comes across as somewhat of a prude (at the beginning) and such a stickler for decorum, which there is none in the Highlands. Where there is, but it’s not English decorum. LOL Some of this is trying to find a loophole in the Highland logic so she can get herself and her future sister-in-law unkidnapped from the Balmoral clan. But I still found it annoying. And I kind of found Emily annoying. But once she realizes she’s well and truly kidnapped, she eases up a bit and becomes downright lusty. Which is a good thing to be. So first half of the book Emily is annoying, but then gets better. Make sense?

Someone who I had no beef with was Lachlan Balmoral, the Laird who kidnaps Emily and Cait from the Sinclair laird. Why did they kidnap them? Because one of the Sinclair men mated with Susannah, a femwolf from the Balmoral clan. She also happens to be Lachlan’s second in command’s sister. And because Talorc, the laird of the Sinclairs, didn’t ask Lachlan for Susannah formally, Lachlan has decided this is an offense and decides he must act against the Sinclairs in retribution. I kind of found this annoying too – all the talk revolving around revenge and retribution and pride and enough already! It kind of felt like this was pounded into the ground, because I don’t know how many times it was explained. This however did not detract from the hotness that was Lachlan. He reminded me of one of Julie Garwood’s lairds. And that’s some high praise. Because I love those early Garwood historicals.

And this is kind of funny, but I felt the whole Crechte stuff was miscellaneous. I mean, other than a device to further the plot, Lachlan and the others being werewolves didn’t make a huge deal to the story. I know this sounds strange – but maybe it has to do with the revelation of Lachlan’s wolf to Emily coming so late in the story. Because the Crechte have to live in general society, they have to hide who they are so much…maybe this theme will be explored further into the series?

Despite these issues, I really enjoyed the book. LOL (What can I say, I’m a walking talking conflict!) I read it quickly -at work, so shhh! – and I really wanted Emily and Lachlan to get their HEA, because it seemed impossible for a little while there. 4/5.

Cutting Loose by Tara Janzen

Posted January 14, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Book description:

CIA operative Zachary Prade made his name taking out world threats. But now he’s tracking a very different kind of danger and her name is Lily Robbins. Lily holds the key to a valuable encoded file that’s about to fall into the wrong hands. All Zach has to do is retrieve the key and forget the rain-soaked beauty who came to his Central American plantation seeking shelter from more than the weather.

Lily knows him as Alejandro Campos, the seductive drug lord who saved her life. They met when she traveled to El Salvador to film a documentary…and got caught in the middle of a nasty drug-and-guerrilla war. Now, back in the U.S., hunted by spooks and assassins, Lily has to trust Campos again. Except his name isn’t Campos, and he’s arousing a passion so hot it’s criminal. That is, if they can survive long enough to enjoy it…

Damn. This book starts off with a bang and just doesn’t quit. I loved it.

After finding out that the enigmatic Alejandro Campos was going to be the hero of this book, it couldn’t come quickly enough to suit me. He’s the ideal bad boy b/c he’s really not bad. He’s just hot. He’s sexy, too.

Lily Robbins knows all about Alejandro Campos. What she doesn’t know is that Alejandro is also known as Zach Prade, CIA Agent extraordinaire. After coming home from South America where she planned on filming a documentary, Lily vows to forget all about the man who saved her life. That’s easier said than done, of course and Lily is horrified that she can’t stop thinking about the biggest drug lord in South America. When strange things start happening after she returns home to New Mexico, Lily doesn’t question her paranoia, she starts making plans to go home to Montana.

Before she can get on a plane, Zach shows up at her house. Chaos ensues.

Zach was pulled out of deep cover to find out if Lily has a macabre bracelet that was missing from a dead pilot that she had contact with in South America. Knowing full well that she must have it, Zach has to find out if Lily is the innocent he thought she was, or if she has plans to sell the bracelet to the highest bidder. Arriving at her house none too soon, Zach catches two men sneaking into her house. Taking Lily and fleeing, all Zach has to do is get from New Mexico to Denver where he can take refuge at the Steele Street loft.

Nothing ever goes according to plan. See, there’s other people that want the bracelet. People that will do just about anything to get it. It doesn’t help that the car that Zach has is an extremely rare Shelby Mustang. Red w/ white racing stripes. It was pretty amusing to think about these two remaining incognito in this car.

Even though this book took place over the course of 24 hours, the romance was completely believable. I’m not sure it would have been if Lily and Zach hadn’t previously met. There was also some good scenes between Skeeter and Dylan. I hope Janzen continues to show readers how that relationship changes and grows. Zach was officially the last Steele Street boy to come home, so it’ll be interesting to see where the series goes from here.

4 out of 5.

The Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair

Posted January 10, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Book description:

Bahia Vista homicide detective Theo Petrakos thought he’d seen it all. Then a mummified corpse and a room full of futuristic hardware sends Guardian Force commander Jorie Mikkalah into his life. Before the night’s through, he’s become her unofficial partner—and official prisoner—in a race to save the earth. And that’s only the start of his troubles.

Jorie’s mission is to stop a deadly infestation of biomechanical organisms from using Earth as its breeding ground. If she succeeds, she could save a world and win a captaincy. But she’ll need Theo’s help, even if their unlikely partnership does threaten to set off an intergalactic incident.

Because if she fails, she’ll lose not just a planet and a promotion, but a man who’s become far more important to her than she cares to admit.

I’m usually not a huge fan of sci-fi romance. I do love Linnea Sinclair, though. After reading this post on Nalini Singh’s blog, I couldn’t resist giving it a try. I am so glad I did. I think Games of Command was one of my Top 5 books of 2007.

Please also note that my geography is so bad that I thought Bahia Vista was a made up futuristic city. Pathetic, isn’t it?

Onto the review…

Commandor Jorie Milkkalah has never had confidence in nils. Nils is what Jorie and her people refer to humans as. See, this book takes place in the present. No one (well, maybe 1 or 2 people) have any idea that there are “visitors” among Earthlings. Theo Petrakos sure didn’t. Not until Jorie shows up in his backyard, a weird green portal opens up and Jorie throws him a laser gun and tells him to shoot at a zombie. Even after that, he’s still incredulous. That all changes when Jorie and Theo are beamed up to her ship and Theo is told that he’s never going home again. He’s going to be sent to a place called Paroo where apparently humans are sent if they somehow find out about their visitors. Crazy, huh?

Theo won’t take that lying down. Who would want to leave their job, their family, their life? Come on. So Theo convinces Jorie in a round about way that he can help her search for these zombies. See, zombies were created to be these insentient beings that would do what they were created for and that would be that. The best laid plans and all that. The zombies soon started thinking for themselves. Now Jorie and her people have been trying to hunt down all the zombies for over 200 years. The zombies have brought her to Earth where it is imperative that she remains undetected by either zombie or human alike. So she falls for Theo’s subtle prompting and gets her Captain to agree to let Theo return home and take Jorie and her team with her. They now have the perfect cover, living with a nil.

There’s a lot of good stuff that happens in between the hunt for the zombies. Jorie thinks that someone is programming the zombies to kill. She doesn’t buy the fact that they’re doing everything on their own. She thinks the evil faction called the Tresh are behind the zombies uprising. She can’t get anyone to believe her though, because of her own hellish past with the Tresh. It’s not long before the only person Jorie has left is the nil, Theo. The last thing Jorie ever expected was to end up fighting zombies with a human.

I really did enjoy this book, though not as much as Games of Command. Honest to God, I could feel Theo’s frustration when Jorie told him that he would never be going home. Linnea Sinclair did a perfect job of getting his desperation, despair, and anger across. It was really wrenching. I think she also did a good job of getting Jorie’s feelings across. This is someone that is in command of people and now she’s like a fish out of water. Not only is the place unfamiliar, but she has to accept help from a race that she has always considered inferior.

Though I do recommend this book, please read Games of Command first.

4 out of 5.

Review: Hot by Julia Harper

Posted January 4, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Hot by Julia HarperReviewer: Holly
Hot by Elizabeth Hoyt, Julia Harper
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For four years, play-by-the-rules bank teller Turner Hastings has brooded over her uncle's wrongful imprisonment. But when two bumbling crooks stumble into her branch (barely disguised in Yoda and Sponge Bob masks) and hold up the place, she sees a chance to do something she's never thought possible: get revenge. She takes advantage of the melee to pull a heist of her own, seizing info from a security box that will exonerate her uncle.
Sent to investigate a bank robbery in small town Wisconsin, Special Agent John MacKinnon discovers the robbers were two not-quite-so-bright thugs and one woman. Now, Turner is on the run. With SA MacKinnon on her trail, she's breaking into the bank president Calvin's house, kidnapping his Great Dane, and for the first time in her life, setting out to break a few rules. But when Calvin hires a hit-man, MacKinnon will have to decide between his career--and saving Turner.

Several months ago, I read The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. I absolutely adored it. I know several other bloggers who felt the same way. I’ve been meaning to pick up more of her novels, but haven’t done so yet. No particular reason, I just haven’t.

Anyway, I read this book, Hot, over the weekend thought it was wonderful. A light, sexy romp that proved to be better than I originally expected. Then, much to my surprise, I realized this is Elizabeth Hoyt’s first contemporary novel, written under the pen name Julia Harper. I have to say, now that I know and look back, I can see some similarities in the writing style. I also have to say, no matter what name she’s writing under, or in what genre, EH/JH is a truly talented author.

Turner Hastings has been biding her time for four years, waiting for the right opportunity to prove her boss, and the president of the local bank, set her uncle up on false embezzling charges. When two guys dressed as Yoda and Spongebob Squarepants rob the bank on a Saturday, Turner seizes the moment to steel the contents of the president’s safe deposit box. She’s pretty cheeky about it, too, making sure to smile big for the camera as she does it.

John MacKinnon is the Special Agent assigned to look into the bank robbery, and right from the beginning he’s attracted to Turner. There’s just something about her buttoned up look that makes him want to see what’s underneath. But as the case progresses, Mac starts to wonder what major pieces of the puzzle he’s missing, because though it seems like Turner is behind the robbery, the evidence is leading away from her. When a hitman starts taking potshots at Turner, Mac knows he has to get to the bottom of things quick. But as time goes on, he starts wondering who’s in more trouble: Turner for stealing or him..for losing his heart.

This was a wonderful comedy, full of fresh characters and laugh out loud moments. John was a great hero who really complimented Turner. Though he knows it crosses a line, he can’t help but call Turner every day and get sucked into conversations with her. I think the unconventional way they got to know each other (with Turner on the lam and John chasing her whilst talking on the phone) made for an interesting twist.

Turner was a good heroine, too, though she had some emotional issues. I’m not really clear on how she came to be so emotionally stunted. It was hinted at that she’d been abandoned by all the men in her life, but we didn’t really see examples of that, so I was left a bit confused on exactly why she was so wary about having emotions.

Still, she was witty and sarcastic, and I love that in a heroine.

The secondary characters were interesting for the most part, but I felt the story of why the bank president was embezzling wasn’t well fleshed out. His reasons for doing what he did still aren’t clear to me. I understand he needed money, but I have no idea why.

Although, the two bank robbers, Nald and Fish (Spongebob and Yoda, respectively), were hilarious to read about. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.

One bad spot for me: The local cops were basically characterized as your stereotypical idiot small town cops. For those of you who read my personal blog, you know I’m slightly (ehem) biased when it comes to the way cops are portrayed, and this one really got on my nerves.

Oh, and I did have to suspend disbelief to buy that John was so lax in his duties as an agent. He didn’t really pursue Turner as much as he just chased her. Though I understand that had to be the case for the story to work, I did snort over it a time or two.

Regardless of those issues, however, I’d still recommend it. A light, fun read that gave me a couple hours of escapism.

4.0 out of 5

You can buy it here or here. I’m not finding it in eBook format…sorry!