Tag: Futurisitc

Retro-Review: Heart Change by Robin D. Owens

Posted November 15, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 7 Comments

Retro-Review: Heart Change by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Change by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #8
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret, Heart Legacy, Heart Sight (Celta's Heartmates)
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2009
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

First time in print?the fantastic new Celta novel from the award-winning author of Heart Fate.
Signet D'Marigold's lonely life is shaken when a prophet reveals she is a catalyst for change. But to accept her new life-and the charge of the noble child Avellana-means embracing a danger that may be fatal for them both. Especially when Signet's attraction to her new bodyguard signals a secret enemy sworn to destroy them.

*****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: This series is still going strong. I love the world of Celta and look forward to falling into it with each new release.

This review was originally posted on November 2, 2009.

As I recently mentioned, I started this series with book 7, Heart Fate. Over the last month or so I finally caught up on the rest of the series (with the exception of one book I still need to read). I’ve really enjoyed the series up to this point. Owens truly excels at writing strong characters and excellent world-building. Each time I open one of these I can’t wait to fall into her world. I enjoyed some in the series better than others and I’d say Heart Change falls somewhere in the middle.

Signet D’Marigold has pretty much given up on life. She’s the last of her line and she’s practically drowning in loneliness. All of her friends seem to leave her, and because she doesn’t know what her flair is, she doesn’t really have a purpose in life. All that changes when Muin “Vinnie” T’Vine, the teen prophet, shows up and says he knows what her flair is and he needs her help. She’s a catalyst. Just being near her changes the course of other people’s lives for the better.

Vinnie’s heartmate, Avellana, is getting ready to experience her first passage – the time when flair (magical ability) is released for the first time. Because she suffered an accident in the past Vinnie and Avellana’s parents aren’t convinced that she’ll make it through passage safely. Vinnie requests that Avellana move in with Signet because he “saw” that she’d be able to help Avellana.

Avellana’s parents aren’t taking any chances with her safety and hire Cratag Maytree to guard her while she’s with Signet. Cratag has little flair, and ever since landing in Celta he’s been feeling displaced. He’s the captain of the guard for T’Hawthorn, but he knows he isn’t truly one of the family. That’s confirmed when T’Hawthorn assigns him to guard Avellana and Signet. Although he resents being shuffled around, he can’t help but look forward to spending time with Signet, as he’s been attracted to her for some time.

When this book first opens I wasn’t sure I’d like Signet. She was in the middle of a pity party and she didn’t seem like someone I could relate to. As the story progressed she really came alive for me. We come to understand the depth of her loneliness and despair and she really grows, accepting who and what she is. She really opened up throughout the story, not just to Cratag, but also to Avellana, Vinnie and some of the other secondary characters. I really liked watching her come into her own.

As much as I liked Cratag in the previous novels, I wasn’t as impressed with him here. In some regards he was exactly what Signet needed. He was strong and comforting, and I liked that he really let her lean on him when she needed to, but also pushed her when needed to stand up for herself. He really encouraged her to become her own person, which was wonderful. As much as I liked him with Signet, however, I really didn’t care for him on his own.

He doesn’t feel like he’s good enough for Signet. Or really at all. Although he’s the captain of the guard for T’Hawthorn, because he has little flair he doesn’t really feel like he’s been accepted in Celta. So he holds himself back. While I understood this initially, I felt he took it too far. His inner dialogue was focused almost solely on his shortcomings – from his attire to his lack of flair – and it was frustrating. If Signet grew and found herself, Cratag almost seemed to move backward. He seemed more confident and sure of himself in the beginning of the novel than he did at the end.

Having said that, I did enjoy the progression of the relationship. I liked them together and really wanted to see things work between them. Had Cratag been a little faster to realize his own worth I think this could have ended up as one of my favorites.

I really loved the secondary characters. We met all of them earlier in the series, but they played a larger part here. I’ll be curious to see how things develop with Vinnie and Avellana in the future, especially since some of the things that were revealed here still need to be dealt with. I can’t wait to see what happens with Laev, either. He’s Cratag’s young cousin and there was a good amount of the book spent on his story. I hope Owens picks up that thread again soon.

I also really liked both Signet and Cratag’s Fams. I couldn’t help but laugh when Cratag got a rolly-polly kitten as his, but they seemed to fit well together.

I enjoyed the suspense, though it wasn’t hard to figure out who the villain was. I think watching how the characters dealt with it made up for the lack of mystery. I really liked learning more about first passage and experiencing it with Avellana.

Overall I enjoyed the romance, though it had flaws. Despite my issues I feel it’s a good entry to the series and I’ll probably read it again.

3.75 out of 5

The Series

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

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

three-half-stars


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Review: Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb

Posted March 30, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Brotherhood in Death by J.D. RobbReviewer: Casee
Brotherhood in Death by J. D. Robb
Series: In Death #42
Also in this series: Creation in Death, Strangers in Death, Suite 606, Salvation in Death, Kindred In Death, Naked in Death, Glory in Death, The Lost, Rapture in Death, Immortal in Death, Fantasy in Death, New York to Dallas, Celebrity in Death

Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

JUSTICE IS SERVED.

Edward Mira is a powerful man, with a lot of enemies. But when the former senator is violently abducted, Lieutenant Eve Dallas suspects his kidnap is more personal than political. Someone is seeking justice; the bloodier the better.

Edward's cousin Dennis was injured during the abduction - and that makes things very personal for Eve and her husband Roarke. Dennis is a beloved friend, married to NYPSD's top profiler Charlotte Mira.

But as Eve delves deeper into the case, dark secrets emerge that could tear the family apart. Edward Mira has friends in high places - and they all seem to be hiding something. As her investigation takes a shocking turn, Eve finds that not all victims are innocent, and that some bonds are forged not in friendship, but in blood.

Brotherhood in Death wasn’t what I was expecting, yet it made complete sense by the middle of the book.

Dennis Mira and his cousin, Edward Mira, are in a dispute over their grandparents house. Dennis made a promise that the house would never be sold. Edward on the other hand is doing everything he can to sell the house. When Dennis heard that Edward was meeting a Realtor, he headed to the house immediately. When he got there, he heard arguing. When he called out, the arguing stopped. After entering the house, Dennis goes into the study and sees Edward badly beaten. When he goes to help, Dennis is knocked in the back on the head, sending him into unconsciousness.

When he awakens, Edward is gone and he has a hole in the back of his head. He immediately calls his wife who is none other than Dr. Mira (if you read this series and don’t know Dr. Mira, you must live under a rock). Dr. Mira immediately calls Eve even though it’s a missing person case instead of a murder.

Eve is sure that Edward Mira will turn up dead within 24 hours and it turns out she’s not wrong.Tortured beyond belief. It doesn’t take Eve long to put the pieces together, including the fact that at least two women are responsible for his brutal torture. The only question is why? When another, then another ends up as dead Senator Mira, Eve is finally slapped in the face when what the women are doing and why. You’ll have to read the book yourself 😉

I love the In Death series. Eve and Roarke are one of my favorite romance couples. I especially like when they fight, which is sick, I know. But how do you go through a marriage with no bumps along the way? I like reading about the bumps Eve and Roarke go through because they always fall back on logic. As an illogical person, it’s something that’s fascinating to read. Even after years of being married to Roarke, Eve still doesn’t understand the rules of marriage. The give and take. It’s not because she doesn’t try, she just doesn’t know.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb (spoilers abound)

Posted May 18, 2015 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

obsession in death
Casee‘s review of Obsession in Death (In Death Series #40) by J.D. Robb.

Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She—and her billionaire husband—are getting accustomed to being objects of attention, of gossip, of speculation.

But now Eve has become the object of one person’s obsession. Someone who finds her extraordinary, and thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her—again and again…

With a murderer reading meanings into her every move, handling this case will be a delicate—and dangerous—psychological dance. And Eve knows that underneath the worship and admiration, a terrible threat lies in wait. Because the beautiful lieutenant is not at all grateful for these bloody offerings from her “true and loyal friend.” And in time, idols always fall…

Don’t get me wrong, I love the In Death series. However, it was nice to see a book that affected Eve in a personal way. This wasn’t a tidy case that she could wrap up with her team. This was someone that was killing in her name, someone that somehow thought they were righting the wrongs for Eve. As usual, Eve tried to take her normal approach. She was looking for a killer. Her friends wouldn’t have that.

First, there was Roarke who wouldn’t let her push it away. There was a killer out that that had focused on Eve in a bizarre way, but that could turn on her at any moment. Peabody and Dr. Mira agree. Eve is not used to worrying about the safety of Roarke and her friends. I loved that there was more emotion than just a mystery that Eve solving a case with her civilian consultant, Roarke. Eve and Roarke have to work closer. Even her team in Homicide may be targets. Eve is on high alert and protecting everyone she loves is almost all she can think about.

Eve has not given her stalker the accolades they need from Eve and they are devastated. It wasn’t until the person attempts to attack their third victim that they get their first break. The stalker thought the person was home alone, but didn’t know that he was in a relationship that they were both trying to keep quiet for the moment. Though she stunned the man, the woman came after the person with a wine bottle. Hurt and panicked, the person retreated. After the stunned victim (a photographer) was stable, he told Eve that he’s not looking for a man, but a woman.

Eve and her team is still stumped because Eve knows that no one has been following her. The people that were killed insulted or came after her up to three years prior. Eve is at a loss. And she is never at a loss. There are just too many suspects. The only thing her and Peabody are starting to come around to is that the person they are looking for is possibly in law enforcement or previous law enforcement. Which still doesn’t whittle down the list much. Eve still isn’t afraid for herself. She’s afraid of the people she cares about. It makes her realize how many relationships she’s cultivated ever since she met and married Roarke. She was once alone, except for Mavis. Now she has all these other people that she has to protect. She’s baffled by how that happened. Reading how it goes through her head is pretty amusing.

It takes more work than usual, but they finally nail it down to one person. By this time, she has decided that she and Eve can be together forever. The climax of this book is fantastic. You could all but feel the tension and terror from the people outside of Homicide (I probably gave it away already). Eve, as usual saves the day, but this was the best save ever!

4.5 out of 5

Reading Order (Holy freaking cow!):

This book was published by G.P. Putnam and Sons. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: From Here to Eternity by Paige Cuccaro

Posted March 17, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Tracy’s review of From Here to Eternity by Paige Cuccaro.

Love never dies…but apparently Rachel has.

Waking up to her obituary in the news and no recollection of the past few weeks, Rachel turns to her husband, Nate. He is the inventor of CYANAs–vessels that look exactly like humans and can store a person’s memories…and maybe even the soul. But the answers Nate has are not the answers Rachel wants to hear.

When he arrives home, Rachel doesn’t recognize the man who claims to be her husband. But there’s something about him that tugs at her heartstrings, even as her distrust grows. Can Nate convince Rachel to fall in love with him all over again? Especially once she realizes what he’s done…and what it means for their future?

In a futuristic world with advanced technology Rachel Burns’ husband has created a way to almost completely recreate a human being. When Rachel wakes up one day she knows something’s not right. She can’t quite put her finger on it but she knows that something’s wrong. Using her Connect Wear glasses (which are used to read a web paper and to make phone calls) she finds her own obituary. That freaks her out to be sure. Rachel knows she just needs to talk to her husband and best friend, Nate, as he will have the answers. When she calls her husband though he doesn’t sound like her husband.

When Nate rushes home Rachel is wary of the man. He says he’s her husband Nate but he doesn’t look like the man she remembers, even though she’s not sure she can remember exactly what Nate looks like. When Nate starts to explain things to her Rachel’s not sure she wants to hear what he has to say but she’s doesn’t know what else to do.

Nate, who is this brilliant scientist, has made a robot-like beings called CYANA’s (CYbernetic ANthropoid Automatons) that can look exactly like humans and even have their memories – they have everything of theirs, right down to their DNA. Rachel actually did die and Nate downloaded her memories into a CYANA. Rachel, however, has a real issue with a robot taking over her life. Yes, she feels like herself but she can do things she never had before and that freaks her out. Even before her death she had an issue with the moral ramifications of what he was doing (even though there were no actual working models of the CYANA’s) and now she was a machine. Nate is so happy to have her back but Rachel’s holding back.

Then there’s Nate’s work. He works at a university and technically the equipment he uses belongs to them – which would include Rachel. Not only that but if word got out about her she would be questioned, examined, poked and prodded like a “thing” rather than a human and Nate won’t allow that. He plans to protect her at all costs.

This was a really interesting story. I’ll admit that science isn’t really my thing but thinking about the possibilities and yes, the moral ramifications of the CYANA’s really got my brain moving. I think I might have felt like Rachel did at first – which was to be freaked out that she was dead but yet…alive, kind of. Rachel had to really examine what makes up a human – is it just blood and bones or is it what’s in your mind? Since she had all of her memories what did that make her? IDK – I’m not sure I’d made up my mind by the end of the story.

Besides Nate having to get Rachel to believe that all would be well and that he was who he said he was there were other issues as well. Nate has a huge secret that comes out but I won’t tell you what it is.  There was an issue with the CIA and the CYANA’s but that’s kind of an addition to the story that could have been left out, imho. IDK, maybe the author was thinking of future books and it ties in but it just seemed superfluous to me. There was also a nosey reporter that I wanted to kick as he was a bit too nosey.

The story was very short (at just 86 pages) for such an intricate subject but it was good. I liked the characters and setting, the subject and the action. I did feel a bit disappointed in the end as I would have liked to have learned more but it was still pretty satisfying.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Entangled Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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Review: The Naked Truth by Lilly Cain

Posted July 14, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Holly‘s review of The Naked Truth by Lilly Cain.

Captain Susan Branscombe was the victim of brutal torture at the hands of terrorists. Though rescued, she’s now facing an equally brutal accusation: treason.

The only way she can prove her innocence is to allow Asler Kiis, a Confederacy Examiner, to delve into the depths of her mind. Asler is Inarri, the alien race that made contact with Earth just months before. His duty is to find the truth, but when he explores Susan’s mind he can’t resist drawing her into a more intimate experience.

Susan takes comfort in Asler’s heated sensuality. Their erotic sensory exploration chases away the darkness and her body aches for more. But as their desire reaches new limits Susan finds it difficult to suppress the memories she is desperate to forget.
Is the passion they share enough to let Susan push aside her fear and trust Asler, not only with her mind and body but with her ever-opening heart?

I kind of like these futuristic sci-fi novels. I might have to look up more of them. This is the second book of the series. I didn’t read the first one and I think I missed some key information regarding the alien invasion and some other major plot points. I wasn’t totally lost, but I would recommend reading Alien Revealed first.

Susan was a strong woman. She was held hostage and tortured for information, but that didn’t break her. Once she was rescued she did what she could to aid their investigation. She had a hard time with the idea of reliving the memories of her torture and rescue, which was to be expected. Under the circumstances I think she held up very well.


Asler is an Examiner, which means he can go in and see her memories. The problem is that unless he shares what he saw she may not be cleared..but if he does share what he sees, it’s considered a breech for an Examiner and he loses his position. Though he was conflicted, I liked that his main priority was Susan. He wasn’t willing to compromise her for the cause, though he did want to do everything in his power to save her.

I liked the way the romance developed. It happened over a short period of time, but it was believable. The characters were well developed considering the timeline and the story was interesting.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here in e-format.


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