Tag: Book Binge Turns 10

Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

Posted October 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.Reviewer: Rowena
A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #2
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: April 1st 2006
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 356
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on June 4, 2007.

So I took a break from the Crazy series because I left the next book at home and I had this one with me so I started reading it and man, I’ve got to publicly thank Lori for pimping this book to me a couple of weeks ago, because man did I devour this book on Saturday. This is the first book in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.

The book is about the Lykae King who was captured and held captive by these mean bad ass vampires and tortured like you can’t even imagine and his never-ending quest to find his true mate. He’s searched high and low for this woman for the last roughly like 1100 years, to no avail until one day, he’s in chains and he scents her, above him and the guy goes a little crazy. He breaks his chains and rushes to find her, only to find out that his mate, his beloved mate is one of the things he detests most in this world…a vampire.

So you can only imagine how pissed off he was. I mean, he’s caught and held captive and then tortured within an inch of his life and then the one thing that gets him out of this mess, his mate turns out to be one of …them.

It’s been hundreds of years that he’s searched for her and he’s not going to let one little thing like her being a vampire stand in the way of him and his mate. Although he’s pissed to high heaven about this turn of events, he still kidnaps Emma and forces her to his will. He’s consumed with hatred for vampires and everything they’ve done to him and his family. He vows to never let her go back to her family and even though he hates everything she turned out to be, timid, shy and well, vampire …he still catches himself before actually hurting her because, there’s something about her…

He askes her to drive him to his family home, where he can finally get back to his own people and on the way, he softens toward her like it was no thang, by the time they’re home, she becomes so much more than just his mate. So now, he’s got to convince her to stay with him because she loves him and not because she’s too scared to leave. He’s got to convince her to stay before her Aunts come calling on them for a war, since he refuses to give her up.

Tempers flair and people change, but will it be enough for this Lykae King to finally be at peace with the mate he’s searched his whole life for?

You bet your bottom dollar it is, this is romance of course. =)

Man, this book was really good. I liked the passion with which Lachlain did everything. He never did anything by half measure, if he hated your guts, he hated you with everything that he was and made no move to hide his displeasure or hatred. If he loved you, he did all he could to keep you around and went to any lengths to make you see things his way. He was very demanding at the same time he was very patient. He was a man of his word and he was not to be taken lightly…ever. Lachlain was passionate and just so hot damn hot even with his regenerating leg, he was yum yum yum…even when he was being an ass. He did a lot of stupid things that I hated in the beginning but as he got to know Emma and care for her, I started to forgive him for all his wrongdoings in the beginning of the book.

Emma learned that Lachlain was a man who wasn’t above lying, cheating and using whatever was at his disposal to get what he wants and though she softened toward him at the end, he still had a lot to prove to her and I was so happy that she grew a pair to finally tell him where to shove his crap. I loved that each time she drank from him, she got so strong and she would smack the shit out of him and be all like, “Thats for pissing me off” and whatever else she would say, I loved it!

I loved how she stood up for herself and did the one thing that would unite her with the people she knows and loves. I loved that she took it upon herself to do that thing and it endeared her to me greatly.

The world that Kresley Cole created with all these demons and vampires, Lykae and Valkyrie intrigued me right from the very beginning, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world with each word that I read in the beginning, I felt Lachlain’s hatred and I felt his haunted past trying to ruin everything he had with Emma and I love love loved how he fought to keep Emma by his side, regardless of who and what she was.

It was a true romance in every sense of the word and I just ate it all up. There were things in the beginning that I didn’t really care for but other than the way Lachlain and Emma meet and the way he treated her in the beginning, I really enjoyed this story. It was smooth reading and Kresley Cole’s voice in this story makes me look forward to more from her, this was a definite delight!

Read it!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Posted October 4, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Also in this series: Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen
Published by NAL
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Pages: 528
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.
Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: I can’t believe this book was released in 2010 and the series is still going. Crazycakes.

This review was originally published June 4, 2010

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
This is the first book that I’ve really liked since Lover Eternal. As I’ve said numerous times, I loved Dark Lover, really liked Lover Eternal and was so-so with Lover Awakened. I read the rest of the books in the series b/c I’m a glutton for punishment I suppose. I just couldn’t quit (though I went the library route). John Matthew is probably the only character besides Tohr that still interests me. I wonder at the fact that this book was so much better than her previous books. I believe that JRW saw the negative feedback and reversed direction a little. Or maybe we were just long overdue for a good one in the series after the wrecks that were Lover Enshrined and Lover R. ::shrug::

The previous book ended with Xhex being taken by Lash. Lash is the Omega’s son, blahblahblah. He’s still as boring as he was from the first book. He’s not scary, he’s not villainous, he’s just pathetic. First Lash took Xhex to get back at John Matthew, then he “fell in love” with her, which basically means that he wants to own her and thinks that she’s his mate.

For Xhex, her time with Lash is eerily reminiscent of the time she got taken by the sympaths. Her situation really makes you think about how many bad things can really happen to one person.  I know she’s not a person exactly, but Xhex has gone through more than any person (or vampire) should go through.  I never thought that I would think Xhex was anything but bad ass.  Lover Mine showed a whole different side to her and that was before she even got rescued.  One thing that remains clear about Xhex is that she’s a survivor.

John Matthew turned into a total man-whore in the last book.  It was ridiculous.  The guy was fucked up enough as it was.  He’s mute, he was raped, he lost the only mother he ever knew, then he lost the father as well.  Let’s add in man-whore on top of that.  John Matthew’s road was never going to be easy.  That was always clear.  So having him change so drastically over the course of one book was just stoopid.

Everyone should know by now that John Matthew is Darius reincarnated.  It was a little boring when reading Darius’ journals, but there was a point to everything.  Everything comes full circle.  Darius and Tohr were very close and it becomes clear exactly how close.  Darius was a father figure to Tohr in the same way Tohr was to John Matthew.  Tohr gets his head out of his ass in this book too.  Look, I obviously felt horrible when Wellsie died.  The fact that Tohr wasn’t there when John Matthew went through his transition was unforgivable to me.  Tohr finally realizes that staying away really hurt John Matthew.

John Matthew and Xhex were perfect for each other.  I never doubted it.  A lot of readers wanted to see John Matthew and Layla together, which would have been booooo-rrrrrring.  Xhex and JM complimented each other.  I loved how Xhex let John see her softer side.  I also loved how aware John was about that.  He never took anything Xhex said or did for granted.  He was grateful for her for every single second.

Of everything in the book, what Xhex said to John on page 300 was my favorite.  In a few short sentences, she nailed it.

“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you.  You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.”

I was pretty impressed that JRW managed to keep it down to less than twenty pov’s. The whole Blay and Qhuinn story didn’t get resolved like I thought it would. I distinctly remembered in one of the chats that she said that something would be resolved. It wasn’t their relationship, that’s for sure. Everything was just as up in the air at the end of the book as it was at the beginning.

I was extremely happy with this book.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from NAL. You can buy it here.

The series:

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)Lover Revealed: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)Lover Avenged: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Mine: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood


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Retro-Guest Review: When A Stranger Loves me by Julianne MacLean

Posted September 27, 2017 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Retro-Guest Review: When A Stranger Loves me by Julianne MacLeanReviewer: Brie
When a Stranger Loves Me (Pembroke Palace, #3) by Julianne MacLean
Series: Pembroke Palace #3
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 27th 2009
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-half-stars

I saved his life . . . and I had much to demand in return.

When he washed up on shore, I knew my prayers had been answered, and that I, Lady Chelsea Campion, need no longer fear poverty and heartbreak. To secure my family's estate, all I needed was a child. Handsome, clearly noble-born, and with no memory of his previous life, the mysterious man was perfect. All I had to do was visit his bedchamber and seduce him. I had expected him to be a skillful, scandalously wonderful lover, but once in his arms I was overcome by something more than mere passion. I had fallen hopelessly, desperately in love.

My plan has gone shockingly awry. But I will not give up a man who makes me feel such wicked ecstasy. No matter his true identity, no matter the secrets he struggles to remember, I will do anything in this world to make this stranger love me.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: We’ve been blessed to have some pretty amazing guest reviewers over the years. From readers to other bloggers to authors and industry professionals, we’ve seen some lovely talent here.

This review was originally published on May 7, 2009

Scandalized years prior, Lady Chelsea Campion lives a life of exile on the Jersey Isles with her family. Since her brother and sister in law have been unable to create an heir to save the Earldom, Chelsea’s overbearing mother is eager to have her married off to a distant and cousin whom Chelsea does not want, but is the only man who will have a “ruined” woman. One day while walking along the beach, Chelsea comes across an injured man lying lifeless in a cave. She goes for help and the man is brought back to the family’s estate where the stranger is nursed back to health. When the stranger comes to, he has no memory of who he is, therefore, Chelsea has no way to return him back to his family.

The stranger’s extended stay does open up an opportunity for Chelsea. Not only does he incite her passion, but he seems to be the answer to her families biggest problem. Chelsea devises a plan with her brother and his wife to become pregnant by the stranger, whom she calls Jack, and then let them pass the baby off as their own. That way, Chelsea is saved from marriage to a man she doesn’t want and the Earldom remains in the family. Jack and Chelsea embark on a passionate affair until she realizes that she’s falling for him and no longer wants to keep up the charade. But before Chelsea can reveal the truth to Jack, he finds out on his own about Chelsea’s plans and in enraged. Then his brother arrives, sharing the news that “Jack” is really Blake and he is from a family of nobility and must go back to England at once.

By this point, Blake has become attached to Chelsea and even though he is beyond angry with her devious plans, he knows that she might be carrying his child so he demands that she come along. Chelsea goes, because she is in love with Blake even though he has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with her further than the child that she might be carrying. Still, all of Blake’s posturing can’t keep him from longing for Chelsea and what they shared on the Isles. But they soon find out that neither of their feelings for the other really matter because their is something from Blake’s past that promises to keep them apart, no matter how bad they want to be together.

I can’t say that I enjoyed When a Stranger Loves Me. The plot is more than a little outlandish and because of that I had a hard time getting into the story. Chelsea’s plan that she comes up with her brother and sister in law, was just plain silly. I had to wonder what kind of brother that claims to care for his sister would agree to letting her sleep with a man just so that he can pass the baby off as his. The relationship that Chelsea had with her mother was another low point. It was clear that her mother cared more about herself than anyone else, and even the so called “resolution” that they came to in the end rang false. The first half of the book was very unengaging, and the only saving grace was the second half, after Blake’s family finds him, and that was only because Chelsea took a back seat and Blake was able to shine. For my first Julianne MacLean book, this was a disappointment, but there is always next time.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here.

three-half-stars


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Retro-Review: Murder Game by Christine Feehan

Posted September 20, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro-Review: Murder Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #7
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 446
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Return to the world of the GhostWalkers with “the queen of paranormal romance” (USA Today) as she raises the stakes in the ultimate game of love and death…

Games should be fun, but for two expert teams across the country, they’re murder – because the winning team is the one that gets the most kills. The participants in this violent challenge rumored to be GhostWalkers. And Kadan Montague isn’t happy about it.

Kadan is a GhostWalker and he’s determined to clear the GhostWalker name of the rumors. To do it, he’s going to need the help of psychic Tansy Meadows. But as soon as he sees her, he knows his mission will be more complicated than he imagined – and the “murder game” may not be at all what it seems.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Casee forced me to read introduced me to Christine Feehan forever and a day ago. She actually sent me the first 12 or so Dark novels and told me I had to read them. I remember thinking she was crazy after the first book, but by the 3rd I was hooked. I never really got into this series, but I know she still reads them.

This review was originally published on February 11, 2009

I’m a major Christine Feehan fangirl. The first paranormal I ever read was Dark Prince. I think I mention that every time I review a Christine Feehan book. I just can’t help it. I lurrrve her. Still I’m not sure how I feel about the couples in this series. They’re bona fide Lifemates, but without the blood and the chant/speech thing. There’s also no color-less world stuff. In actuality, the GhostWalkers are mortal. Still, each GhostWalker has been genetically linked to his/her “mate” by Dr. Peter Whitney. He reminds me of Walter Bishop from Fringe, but without the goodness. He only has the crazy.

Kadan goes to retrieve Tansy without any knowledge that she’s his genetic mate. I really don’t know what to call it other than that b/c it’s never really been specified. Anyhow, Kadan needs Tansy’s help in tracking down a group of GhostWalker killers. She’ll do anything to extract her, even if it means taking her by force. Of course that’s before he actually meets her and realizes who she is. After he realizes who she is, he’s determined not to use her, especially when he sees how using her gift affects her. Tansy won’t let Kadan shut her out, especially when he gives her a glimpse into the case.

Kadan has been around since the first GhostWalker book. I went back and re-read it. He was a bad mother-f-er back then and even more so now. Seeing his friends and colleagues die has made him harder (metaphorically of course) than ever. Suddenly he has this woman that for all intents and purposes, been made for him. Protecting her now comes before everything else, including finding out who is murdering GhostWalkers.

I liked Tansy. I really don’t like many CF heroines, but I liked her. When she ran head-first into danger, it was with the knowledge that what she was doing could kill her. And she wasn’t doing it b/c she was TSTL. She was doing it b/c she could save lives. The romance between Kadan and Tansy was hot, as CF’s romances usually are. I did get a little weary of reading 20 page sex scenes every 100 pages. Other than that, I have very few complaints.

This series is really good. I hope that she doesn’t continue it until it burns out.

4 out of 5.

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

Other books in the series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

four-stars


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Retro-Post: Book Confessions: I’m a Prude

Posted September 15, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 19 Comments

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: I can’t even remember what book I was talking about in this post, but the sentiment remains. I hate the selfishness of historical heroines who refuse to consider the consequences of their actions.

This post was originally posted on April 16, 2010.


Here’s a little known secret about yours truly: When it comes to historical romance novels, I’m a complete prude. I can read the dirtiest of the dirty erotica, in public, and be fine. The sexual escapades and antics of modern-day heroines from contemporary romances don’t phase me a bit. But I have a higher standard for historical heroines.

I’m all about a woman acting outside of propriety, but not at the risk of complete ruin for either herself or the other characters involved. For example:

I’m current reading a historical romance novel set during the regency period. The heroine is in love with her brother’s best friend, and has been for years. She’s been out in society for 3 seasons now, but has refused all offers because she’s holding out for her one true love. The hero is resistant to marriage in general and marriage to the heroine in particular. Plus, her older brother, the hero’s best friend, has warned him off her. Which is all perfectly fine and well, but she’s decided this season that she needs to up the stakes and make him realize he really wants to be married. To her.

So she starts touching him at inappropriate times, cornering him as often as possible for kisses and even showing up in his bedchamber in the middle of the night wearing nothing but her night rail, then trying to seduce him.

I have several issues with this.

1) The heroine thinks to herself, many times, that she’s hurting her younger sisters by not accepting a marriage proposal from someone else. Neither of them are allowed to come out until she’s wed, so as not to take attention away from her. There is even an example given of a younger sister garnering more attention than the older one, so we as the reader can understand what a travesty this would be.

(As an aside, I found this fascinating. Generally in regency set historicals more than one sister is out at a time. I love that this author has taken a different approach here.)

Now, I understand the heroine wants to marry for love. I truly do. And I want her to. But her next youngest sister’s debut has already been delayed one season because of her actions. Since the hero has heretofore shown zero interest in her, I wonder at what point will she have to give it up and move on? Or will she continue to pine for him indefinitely, leaving her younger sisters to wither away as well?

2) If the heroine is compromised, she’ll be ruining her sisters’ chances as well. Any scandal that touches her touches her family, so there’s a double whammy where her sisters are concerned.

3) If there heroine is caught in a compromising position with the hero, he’ll be forced to marry her. Although it’s early in the book yet for me, I’m going to assume she doesn’t want to force him – she wants him to realize he loves her, too, and propose on his own.

Yet she doesn’t consider the consequences of her being in his bedchamber – in her house, by the way – in the middle of the night. She doesn’t think about her reputation or what the hero’s feelings will be if he’s forced into marrying her. Wouldn’t it upset all her plans to make him fall in love with her if he’s forced against his will?

Although I’m talking about a particular book above, this is something that bothers me 99% of the time in historical romances. Heroines who seduce – or are seduced by – the hero because they “love him” make me want to bash my head against the wall. I realize these novels are fiction, but what would happen to a young woman during the regency era if she were compromised? The total ruin of her reputation wouldn’t only reflect badly on her, but on her family as well. Younger siblings wouldn’t have a chance of gaining a decent marriage and the scandal could follow them for the rest of their lives. While it may sound romantic to be willing to risk all for love, the practicalities of the scenario make me want to scream.

Am I alone here?


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