Tag: Ellen Connor

Guest Review: Daybreak by Ellen Connor

Posted December 13, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Berkley, PenguinGenres: Paranormal Romance

Tracy’s review of Daybreak (Dark Age Dawning #3) by Ellen Connor

It’s been twelve years since the Change, and Penelope Sheehan is one of the few still practicing magic for the good of humanity in this dark, dangerous world. But she needs the help of a shapeshifter named Tru, whom she knew when he was a troubled boy. But Tru is a creature of instinct and impulse, living only to satisfy his senses- ignoring the scarred heart nobody has ever reached. Fighting alongside the last holdouts of humanity, they will unleash a passion that tempts them to risk everything for love. But if they succeed, Tru and Pen hold the power to brighten the Dark Age for all time.

Penelope Sheehan has been helping those in need for so long she’s not quite sure if she can stop. Until she meets up with Tru, the boy she met after the Change, she’s not even thinking of stopping. She is a healer and has some powerful magic that frankly scares her to use – or even think about. When she meets Tru again she’s been (purposefully) captured by O’Malley who is a man who has made himself uber powerful in his own right – but in an evil way. He traffics human as well as many other unsavory things and Pen wants to stop him. Tru isn’t interested in helping Pen but gets drawn into her life despite his misgivings. Along with a boy that was saved from O’Malley’s men they travel to find Arturi – a man it is said that is the one person who has a chance of finally bringing down O’Malley.

Tru, Pen and Adrian manage to find Arturi and he turns out to be someone Pen had met before – but only in her mind. Arturi is open to welcoming True and Pen, but he’s not quite sure about taking down O’Malley until something horrible happens and war becomes inevitable.

Tru, at one, point tries to make a break from Pen but only manages to go so far until he realizes that he’s letting something incredibly special slip through his hands. Both Tru and Pen become better people for being together but they each have to come to terms with who they are, what they want and a past that neither of them want to relive.

This is the third and final book in the Dark Age Dawning series and it was a good one. It was great seeing Tru and Pen again now that they’ve grown. My heart ached for everything that they had lived through – especially Tru because his past had made him an incredible hard-ass, which I knew was all a façade. The trust between the two really had to grow and of course they each had their times of doubt but in the end they were stronger together than they were as separate individuals.

On top of the romance there was a great conclusion to the overall story arc. It left the reader with hope for the people of that world and I loved reading it. If you haven’t started this series I recommend that you do – it’s really great.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted December 5, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 8 Comments

I can’t believe it’s December already! Do I say that every month? (Not that it’s December but that it’s a new month?) Where has 2011 gone? I swear I keep trying to write August on my checks because I’m still back in summer! lol.
This week was pretty quiet on the home front. Not much going on – just status quo – which personally I like. 🙂
For a good laugh watch this video with Katherine Heigl about how she hates balls – too funny!
I did get quite a bit of reading done this week and here’s what I read:
I started off the week with Again by Mary Calmes. This is the story of Noah who is devastated by his husband breaking off their relationship of 4 years and telling him he’s in love with a woman and has been for years. Noah can hardly believe it as they had talked about having a child together and Noah had proof that it was about to happen in just a few months. Six years later and Noah is in Vegas with his daughter Grace when he runs into Dante’s brother – and then his parents – and then Dante. The break up ends up being a Big Mis and Dante and Noah still love each other. Dante will try anything to get Noah and his daughter back. I really liked the story despite not really liking Dante. I mean I liked his determination but he was like a bulldozer in getting what he wanted. I wondered where that determination was when the relationship was up in the air all those years ago. Despite that I thought the story was very good. 4 out of 5
Next was Muscling Through by JL Merrow. I have to say this was not what I expected when I picked up this book but I liked it so much. The story surrounds Al who’s a big lovable lug but not all that smart…at all, and his relationship with a Cambrigdge art professor, Larry. The story is told from Al’s pov and I just thought it was charming. The differences between the two men’s intelligence was great but they made it work and I loved reading about it. There was a misunderstanding in the story that felt just wouldn’t have happened but other than that I loved it. 4.5 out of 5
Next was Desired by Nicola Cornick. This story was about a scandalous woman who wants to be rid of her reputation to get unsavory characters off her back. She proposes marriage to a man she believes to be impotent because of a war wound – little does she know that he’s just fine and more than ready to get her into the bedroom. You can read my full review here. 3.5 out of 5
Next was On The List by LA Witt. This is the 3rd book in the Changing Plans series and it was really good. We see Elliott and Derek getting ready for their wedding with all the excitement that goes along with it. But Derek gets some astounding news from his family when he goes to see them and has to sit down and think seriously if marrying Elliott is really what he wants to do. I really liked this episode in Derek and Elliott’s lives. I think it was very down to earth and showed us a bit more into Derek than we’ve had in the past – especially since it was from his point of view. If you’ve read the first two in this series you definitely need to read this one. 4 out of 5
Daybreak by Ellen Connor was my next read. This is book 3 in the Dark Age Dawning series (comes out tomorrow) and it was a great conclusion. This book puts us back in contact with Penelope and Tru who we met in book one when they were just kids. This is 12 years after that book and Tru and Pen have grown up considerably – and also come into their own as far as magic goes. Pen is on a mission to take down the evil O’Malley and his minions to make a better life for everyone. Tru wants no part of it at first but then realizes that he doesn’t want to separate from Pen. They both have to learn and grow emotionally, physically & magically and not hurt themselves in the process. As I said, a great conclusion to the series. 4.25 out of 5
Galen and the Forest Lord by Eden Winters was just a fun book. Galen is outcast from his village when they find him with another man. He is sent off into the forest along with a baby to seek the Forest Lord. He knows he’s going to be eaten rather than taken in but discovers there’s a whole community living in the forest. Erik the Forest Lord is attracted to Galen and his wolf is telling him that Galen’s his mate. He’s fighting it and eventually Galen is too. This was a fun and funny book. Neither Galen nor Erik are the brightest bulbs in the box but their not stupid either. Eden does humor so well and really brought us a great story. 4 out of 5
Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare is the second story in the Spindle Cove series and it was so damned good. It was a short novella but so worth the read. The story was about Violet who is in Spindle Cove trying to forget about the man she loves who she refers to as The Disappointment. When a man shows up in the Cove who kind of looks like The Disappointment Violet’s not quite sure what to do. You can read my mini review of this awesome novella here. 5 out of 5
Brazen is the second book in a duo by Margo Maguire. This has Captain Gavin Briggs looking for the second of the lost granddaughters of a Duke but he finds more than he bargains for. He coerced into helping the woman, Christina, with a blackmail problem before she’ll agree to head to her grandfather’s house. On the way to London the pair find they like each other more than they thought. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
A Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Highland Vampire by Hannah Howell, Deborah Raleigh and Adrienne Basso. This was an anthology of 3 medieval stories each featuring a vampire. While they were all good reads none of them stood out to me. I have to say I don’t read many medieval romances that involve the paranormal so that was a nice change. 3 out of 5
Another Tracy’s TBR Challenge read was After Dark by Luisa Prieto. The story revolves around Andrew who is supposed to be mourning the death of his brother Tyler but he’s not because he’s the one who killed the evil bastard. Tyler killed Andrew’s first love and he fears for Tyler’s family and Andrews current love, Devon. When he gets a call from his nephew that tells him that his father, the late Tyler, is in his house he heads over. Tyler doesn’t succeed in getting to Andrew completely but enough that Andrew can now see that Devon is a werewolf. When Andrew looks at Devon without his glasses on he has fur and a tail! He doesn’t know why Devon doesn’t tell him and he comes to terms with what Devon is. I liked Andrew and understood his need to try and keep Devon safe but when you’re on the phone with your dead brother don’t you think you should say something? When you’re on your way to said dead brother’s house and you’re pretty sure that bad shit is coming down the pipe – don’t you say something? I couldn’t understand why Andrew was so intent on keeping it a secret until after he was attacked by Tyler and then he couldn’t stop telling people – it was bizarre. Then the story ended, imho, in the middle of scene with no real conclusion to anything. I have to say I’m glad that my kids were asleep because I came out with a pretty loud what the fuck! lol It was a good but incomplete book. If you plan on reading book 1 be sure to have book 2 there to delve into right away and book 1 leaves you hanging.  I would like to read book 2 – which I can find to purchase…nowhere. If anyone has a clue where I can buy book 2 please let me know. 3 out of 5
My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Midnight by Ellen Connor.

Posted September 9, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Berkley, PenguinGenres: Paranormal Romance

Tracy’s review of Midnight (Dark Age #2) by Ellen Connor.

Their desire destroys her defenses.
Their love gives him a reason to live.

Three years of wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland has stripped Dr. Chris Welsh of humanity and hope. He’s a dangerous man now, full of dark energy and yen for violence. A harrowing loss drove him from his home, and he hasn’t stopped moving since. Grim and sardonic, he never found anything worth sticking around for – until now.

Rosa Cortez runs Valle de Bravo, a haven of civilization amid the chaos of the Change. Soldiers take their orders directly from her–the iron hand within a velvet glove. The last thing she needs is a feral loner upsetting the town’s tentative balance. However, for the good of her people, she lets the sexy doctor stay. He evokes a delicious new longing, but she won’t submit to any man.

Tension rises as bloodthirsty raiders strike again and again, bent on possessing Valle and its resources. Together Chris and Rosa battle hellhounds and dust pirates while also fighting desperate attraction. To save them, love must overcome the pain of the past–and build a future in this brutal Dark Age…

Chris Welsh – a Ph.D. – who accidentally stumbles on a town/settlement by the name of Valle de Bravo. This town was started by and is now run by Rosa Cortez. She runs things with an iron fist but she does it well. When Chris shows up Rosa is highly suspicious of him, even after he passes their Skinwalker (shapeshifter) test.

Chris becomes enmeshed in the town and its inhabitants but strange and it seems prophetic dreams are coming to him that are proving to be both bad and good. He is also highly attracted to Rosa and feels for sure that he should be with her – but he just doesn’t think it’s for the long haul.

This book was pretty different from the first book in that even though it was a fight for the characters lives it was in a more established and organized place. This novel was still quite graphic in the descriptions but I didn’t find it to be quite as bloody as book 1 (which I really didn’t mind that in book 1 at all).

Rosa and Chris seemed to be perfect together but honestly I had a really hard time getting involved with the two of them. Chris was more open to the relationship as Rosa was trying to keep her hold over the town and thinking that she couldn’t be seen as someone who would be weak enough to have a relationship. Rosa had her many reasons for being stand offish and walled up but it stopped me from sympathizing with her plight. Yes, I wanted her to be able to live a “normal” life – as normal as she could have, but it was difficult for me to get to the point of caring.

In the end Ellen Connor’s wonderful writing captured me and kept me reading til the end. There’s a twist near the end that I didn’t see coming at all and I loved that I had no clue! lol I will definitely be reading the third book in this series as I can’t wait to see what happens with Tru and Penny from book 1.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Series:

Nightfall (A Dark Age Dawning Novel)Midnight (A Dark Age Dawning Novel)

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted August 22, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 13 Comments

It’s Back to School time! Can you believe it’s already time for my kids to go back to school? I can’t. Where the heck did the summer go? I have no idea! The kids, however, were rip roaring and ready to go. They don’t like the homework but they wanted to see all their friends and my youngest LOVES going to school – she’s so academic. I love that but wonder where she got that…definitely not from me. lol Here’s my youngest on the first day of school starting 4th grade – ZOMG 4th grade!

She’s so cute!
My oldest started the day after and since we had an ant problem when we woke up that day (no, there was nothing they could get at but there were a damn lot of them nonetheless!) so we had to rush to get her to school and I didn’t take a picture. I know, I suck. I will get one this week though – she’s grown so much and she’s adorable so I have to share. 🙂
I’m loving my Kindle. Thanks to all who helped with the info from last week, it was extremely helpful. My print books are suffering though. The Kindle’s so fast that I haven’t been reading that many print books and they’re staring forlornly at me whenever I walk into the office at home and I hear them sniffle and whisper *read us, read us, don’t you love us anymore?*. It’s very sad.
Speaking of Kindle’s…a bunch of us in my family all chipped in for my mom’s b-day and bought her a Kindle! I think she likes it – not sure she’s had all that much time to play with it but hopefully she’s loving hers as much as I’m loving mine. 🙂
This weekend we had what we called a Back to School Bash here at the church and we had a HUGE double slip and slide. The kids absolutely loved it and had such a fun time. Here’s a picture of the slide and then one of my two girls racing each other. Looks like fun! (No I didn’t get in)

On to what I read this past week:

I started off with Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry. I really, really liked this story about a woman coming back to her home town for her mother’s funeral and then staying on to help her father at the family bakery. She left town 10 years earlier without saying a word to anyone and there are many hard feelings between her and her old beau as well as the argument that her and her mother never resolved. This was a great contemporary (with a little bit of ghost thrown in) and I definitely recommend it. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox. This m/m novel is the story of Ricky Talbot who is a 18 almost 19 year old boy who is taking care of his neighbor’s lawn for the summer. His neighbor, Jack Corson, and Ricky have a sexual experience one day and they think that’s all it will be until Ricky contacts Jack to help him out when he gets beat up at a bar one night. The two start what ends up being a two year relationship that is sometimes long distance as Ricky returns to college. I was a little perplexed at the age difference in this story at first since Jack is 48 and Ricky is 18 (and since Jack is described as much older it was odd – I swear I thought they were going to say he was 60! lol) Anyway, as the story moves on I had no issue with the age difference. Ricky is extremely intelligent and mature and it helps the relationship work. It’s tender and loving and I really enjoyed the book. 4.25 out of 5

My next read was a short erotic m/m called What’s A Boy to Do by Diane Adams. This is a very cute story about Tyler who has a boyfriend, Jake, but yet is in love with his roommate, Z. Z can’t decide whether he’s gay or not or actually wants to be with Tyler but it doesn’t stop him from sleeping with Tyler whenever he’s between girlfriends. I tried not to let that part bother me as the story was so short. One day Z starts coming on to Tyler when Jake is there and soon all both Z and Jake are having their way with Tyler. It was a short but great sex scene. I would love to read more about all three of these men in a longer format. 4 out of 5

Next up was Scandal of the Year by Olivia Drake. James has been told that the people who he thinks are his cousins are imposters. If they are then he would stand to inherit. He decides to pose as a footman to gain info on the family but instead ends up acting like a prince from a foreign country for the daughter of his cousins so that she can marry a duke. The pair end up falling in love but what happens when James reveals who he is and the reasons he’s there? This was cute but I had some issues with it. Mainly that James playing part upon part was a bit much. I never did see James and Blythe as all that in love and I didn’t care for the end all that much. 3 out of 5 

(read for The Book Binge)

My next read was A Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane. I’ll be posting my review this week so keep your eyes open for that.

Short story, Stormchild by Vivian Arend, was also cute. A travelling doctor and the woman he meets and has a passionate night with find that they’re more than compatible. I liked the story but it didn’t really have an end. I can only assume that the story continues in the next book. 3 out of 5

Last on the list was Midnight by Ellen Connor. This is book 2 in the Dark Age series and it was good. I didn’t care for it as much as I did book 1 but it was still very good. This has Chris Welsh from book 1 travelling (approx. 4 years after book 1 ended) when he runs into a settlement called Valle de Bravo which is run by Rosa Cortez. He doesn’t plan on staying but he ends up being the resident doctor. Chris and Rosa tap dance around each other but eventually succumb to their attraction. The problem comes when outsiders come to take over the town and Chris turns out to be someone he never would have dreamed of. And is it just me or does the guy on the cover of this book look like Ryan Seacrest? lol 3.75 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Review posted at The Book Binge…Nightfall by Ellen Connor

Posted July 28, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 1 Comment

Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought in her wildest nightmares that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her-one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.

The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna’s father. Skilled and steadfast, he’s ready for the prophesied Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and mutant dogs attack-vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.

When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion-a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.

Jenna Barclay is kidnapped and taken to a cabin where she is told by Mason – a man who she thinks is crazier than a loon – that the world is gonna end.      Read more——->

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