Tag: Holly’s Reviews

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Posted March 20, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson, #10
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched
Published by Ace Books
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 371
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four-half-stars

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

Mercy runs to the local convenience store for some last minute baking items when she’s run off the road and kidnapped. She wakes alone, in Europe, with no way to contact the pack. Mercy is no stranger to saving herself, but she’s never been completely alone and cutoff from everyone she knows and loves.

When Adam discovers Mercy’s wrecked vehicle and can’t contact her through their mating bond or by more mundane means, he nearly loses it. Thankfully cooler heads prevail and the pack starts hunting for Mercy. Once they realize she’s been whisked away to Europe as some kind of power-play between the vampires, Adam is able to settle enough to make plans to retrieve her. Unfortunately, Mercy escapes before he’s able to get to her. But Adam trusts Mercy to take care of himself, so he continues on his diplomatic trip to see the Master of Milan.

In the meantime Mercy finds herself in Prague, dealing with a Golem and a not-quite-enemy werewolf alpha who grants her sanctuary, but seems to have a vampire problem himself.

More from Adam’s POV!!

We have to hunt, Adam whispered to the wild spirit who shared his body, the wild spirit he both despised and gloried in. We have to hunt, find Mercy, and destroy the one who took her from us. And teach them that Mercy is ours.
And inside him, the wolf paused, considering Adam’s argument. After a moment, the beast agreed.

One of the things I love best about this series is the progression of the relationship between Mercy and Adam. They’re a solid couple who rely on each other, but also trust one another enough that they don’t need to live in each other’s pockets. Now that things have settled down with Mercy and the pack, the strength of their relationship really shines through.

Briggs took us into Adam and another’s points-of-view, which was a nice change from the previous books. I feel like we got a better sense of Mercy for having seen her from an outside perspective (the books are generally told first person from Mercy’s point-of-view). This from Marsilia, Mistress of the local vampire seethe, especially stood out for me.

“It doesn’t do to underestimate Mercedes, Jacob, something that I had to learn, too. Did she give you the spiel she likes to bring out now and again, about how she’s mostly no more powerful than the average human? It is a most effective speech because I think she actually believes it.”

We learned quite a bit about Bran and Mercy in this book. It was good to get another perspective when it comes to some of the relationships Mercy has formed. We see more how Marsilia, Bran, and others view Mercy.

“Bran could not love Mercy more if she were his own daughter. He’s funny about family. The last person who hurt one of his children was his own mother … you do know the story of Beowulf?”

Although the tone of the series tends to be kind of dark, there’s some levity. I actually laughed out loud a few times.

“So,” he said softly, “where is your pet werewolf whose job it was … to keep Mercy here, I think you said?”
There was a pause, then the beautiful male vampire to his left said, a hint of amusement in his voice, “She was hit by a bus and is currently recovering.”
And just that easily, Adam’s equanimity was restored.
Adam nodded. “People who stand in the way of my mate’s ability to get herself out of trouble often feel like they were hit by buses. I think this might be the first time it is literally true, though.”

The story jumps around quite a bit and Briggs does a lot more head-hopping than usual, but it really worked. The story was gripping. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Joint Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Posted March 16, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Also in this series: Angels' Blood, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)
Published by Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: February 2nd 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 323
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of angelic rulers, vampiric servants, and the woman thrust into their darkly seductive world...

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel, Raphael, is used to being in control—especially when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority.

They've barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel, Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena.

Archangel’s Kiss is the second book in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh and it’s also the second book that Holly and I picked to review together in the month of February.

At the end of Angels’ Blood, Elena is turned into an angel and Archangel’s Kiss starts after she wakes up and is trying to get comfortable in her new reality. She’s weak as hell and not used to sucking so much at something. Being an angel is hard work and her wings hurt like a bitch. She’s got to toughen up soon because Lijuan, the most ancient living archangel, is throwing a ball and she has to attend and be able to fight dirty like all of the other archangels.

While Elena is trying to learn how to fight like an angel without passing out, someone is out torturing people. Killing, kidnapping and burning people up. Raphael has Elena hunting down leads and using her Guild Hunting skills to help find who is responsible for all the madness going on. Needless to say, Elena is busy and with the ball looming and Lijuan playing head games with Elena, using her dead family to get to her, Elena needs to work fast.

Rowena: It took me a long ass time to read this book but boy am I glad that I stuck with it. The beginning was rather slow but the last 2/3 of the book more than made up for that. I enjoyed this one. What did you think?

Holly: It took me awhile to get into this one, too. The first 1/3 moves really slow. Like you, I’m glad I stuck with it. I love Elena and Raphael.

Rowena: I do, too. I really like that Raphael is trying to be better for her. He’s trying to understand her and make things easier for her. Their relationship is my favorite thing about this book. I love how confident he is in her ability to stand up to the likes of Michaela and Lijuan even though they’re much more powerful than she is but he’s also got her back. There isn’t anything that he doesn’t love about her and man, I just really dig that.

Holly: Elena is seriously kickass. The fact that she can hold her own with Archangels? I have a serious girl crush on her. I like that she recognizes she isn’t Raphael’s equal (how could she be, when he’s 1000’s of years old and she’s barely immortal?), yet she doesn’t give in to him or let him walk all over her.

That Raphael allows her to be herself while stifling his protective instincts is no small thing. I love that he slowly comes to realize that forcing her to submit to him – or worse, taking her choices away completely – will eventually rob him of what he loves most about her.

Rowena: Yes. You should dress up like her for Halloween. That would be awesome.

Holly: I just might.

Rowena: It took me a while to get up to speed with who everyone is again since it’s been a while since I read Angels Blood. I remember Jason though. I’m mighty curious about him. I love Bluebell and Sara and Deacon and Zoe. I’m also interested in Dmitri’s story, too. Who else gets their story told? Anyone?

Holly: All of Raphael’s Seven eventually get their own books. Dmitri, Jason, Galen, Sara, Ashwini (one of the Hunters) and Naasir’s are already out. Bluebell and Aodhan will eventually get theirs (according to Nalini, though she refuses to tell us WHEN we’ll get them).

Rowena: Oh man, Bluebell and Aodhan don’t have books yet? I’m dying to know why Aodhan doesn’t like being touched.

Holly: What did you think of the business with Lijuan and Michaela?

Rowena: I was expecting to hate both of them and that turned out to be true. I still hated them both, in the last book, I hated Michaela more but they were pretty tied in this book.

I can’t wait for Elena to get strong enough to really give Michaela a beating. She’s a survivor but just like she knows that Raphael is stronger than her, she knows that Michaela is too so when they have their final showdown (cause they do have that, right?), I can’t wait for Elena to mop Michaela up.

Holly: What I find interesting is that each archangel is so nuanced. I hated Michaela and Lijuan, too, but there was more to them than just their evil side. Ex: Michaela’s very real pain when Sam, the baby angel, was hurt. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to see Elena beat her ass bad, but still.

Rowena: That’s true because my reaction to how hurt she was over Sam was more, “You’re still a bitch but I’m glad there’s some redeeming qualities” than “Aww, she’s just misunderstood” but I gotta know…does she get her own book later on?

Holly: I don’t think any of the other archangels are getting books. Not that I’ve heard, anyway.

Rowena: As for Lijuan? She was creepy in the last book but she was more so this time around because her creepiness was front and center. When she turns her attention to Elena, I was grossed out. The way that she lives her life, the things that she finds interesting and amusing are so far beyond normal, it’s just gross.

I was interested in finding out who was killing everyone and trying to pit each of the archangels against each other. I had my suspicions but I was wrong. LOL. Also? I thought I wanted to taste chocolate covered oranges but not anymore.

Holly: Are you going to continue the series?

Rowena: This series is good when I read it but I find that I’m not as invested in this series as I am with the Psy/Changelings. I guess because that series is more romance than this one? I’m not sure but yes, I will continue this series but that will happen over time. I won’t be glomming this series or anything like that. I’m probably in the minority with that huh? I know a lot of people love this series and me? I just like it.

Holly: The next book is also Raphael and Elena. After that it breaks off to the Seven. I think you’ll like those books more. They’re more romance-centric. We’ll have to discuss again once you’ve read the next two books.

Rowena: I’ll let you know when I pick up the next couple of books.

Overall, this book was interesting and the suspense had me at the edge of my seat when things finally started happening but I found it very slow in the beginning. Still, it ended up on a high note so it wasn’t a bad read at all just not my favorite.

Holly: The beginning was slow for me, too. It took awhile to get into it, but once I did I was really sucked in. Singh has a way with the world-building. I would say this may be the weakest of the series for me. I enjoyed it, but the others are better.

Rowena: I’d give this book a 3.5. You?

Holly: 3.5

Final Grades:

Rowena: 3.5 out of 5
Holly: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Review: Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 14, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Silver Shark by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Silver Shark (Kinsmen, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kinsmen #2
Published by NYLA
Publication Date: September 16th 2011
Pages: 96
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three-stars

Claire Shannon is a killer. She uses no weapons, only her mind.
Born on a planet locked in a long war, Claire is a psycher, a woman with the ability to attack minds and infiltrate a biological computer network where psychers battle to the death. But when the war abruptly ends, Claire must hide her psycher's ability to survive. She is deported to a new planet, a vivid beautiful place, where she meets Venturo Escana, a powerful psycher, whose presence overwhelms both her mind and her body.
She thought she had left war and death behind, but now she must fight for her new life and this battle might just cost her everything...

Claire Shannon was born on the war planet Uley. For eons two companies fought over the right to use the planet’s resources, which meant nothing existed there but war and death. It was a gray planet with very little to do but fight, prepare and sleep. Claire is a trained Psycher, someone who can enter the bionet (think psychic plane, like the internet, Matrix style) and navigate through to access data and/or kill enemies. She’s a soldier. All comforts have been given up for the sake of the war. When the war suddenly ends, Claire hides her true self so she isn’t killed on sight (psychers are considered much too dangerous to be allowed to live) and ends up getting deported. Her new planet is filled with light and color, sounds, textures and strange flavors. For someone who lived with nothing but gray, it’s a lot to take in. But she’s determined to fit in and do her best.

She’s given housing, clothes and a job at the outset. She becomes the personal assistant to Venturo Escena, a  self-made businessman and psycher himself. She needs to fly under the radar so she isn’t killed for being a psycher herself, but she’s a true leader, she can’t help but push for more – for herself and others. It isn’t long before she’s indispensable to Venturo…or before she’s half in love with him. When one of her countrymen comes to her for help, she knows she can’t turn them away, even though it means possible exposure of who and what she really is.

The romance is secondary to the rest here, but it really worked. Andrews’ excels at building complex, multi-layered worlds. Both planets were easily imagined, as was Claire’s determination to live and succeed in her new life. I do wish this had been longer, or that there were more books in the series. At 96 pages, this ended much too soon. The conflicts were resolved, but I wasn’t ready for it to end.

3.5 out of 5

three-stars

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Review: Bound Together by Christine Feehan

Posted March 13, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Bound Together by Christine FeehanBound Together (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #6) by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #6, Sea Haven #13
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit 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 Jove
Publication Date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
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four-stars

The Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life. Don’t miss the final Sea Haven novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance” (J. R. Ward).
For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind...
Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist...becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart...

This is the final book in Feehan’s Drake Sisters/Sea Haven spin-off, Sisters of the Heart.

Five years ago Blythe Daniels married Viktor Prakenskii after knowing him a week. Then he busted her step-father as a pedophile and left her to deal with the aftermath without a word. Although she’s never been able to get over him, she doesn’t consider them married and wants nothing to do with him. So when he unexpectedly shows up in town and lays claim to her in public, she’s pretty furious. And confused. Especially since he claims he left her a letter explaining everything – and his excuse for disappearing is pretty damn good. Still, opening herself up to him after the trauma she suffered because of him isn’t high on her priority list.

Viktor always intended to return for Blythe, but he had to finish his undercover op first. He didn’t expect it to last as long as it did, but he knew she’d be waiting for him. He had no idea the trauma she suffered while he was gone. While dealing with their final target, he also needs to win Blythe back and convince her they’re meant to be.

This wrapped up some loose threads from the previous books in the series, and we got to see all the previous couples again, which is nice. I really liked the action and the MC element. I’ll be curious to read more about them in the future. Viktor and his MC had become a family. I really enjoyed their interactions with each other, and watching them warily begin to accept his blood-brothers.

As for Blythe and Viktor, I liked them as a couple, but something about their romance didn’t work for me. I think it was the rushed feeling as they came back together. I would have liked to see more of them alone, discussing their past issues and getting to know each other again.

There was a good amount of humor. I cracked up several times. Especially when it came to Blythe and the MC. I’ve always enjoyed the relationship between the sisters, and now the brothers as well. Feehan writes great family relationships.

I’m sad to see the series come to a close, but I’m happy to see Feehan is continuing on with Viktor’s Torpedo Ink MC brothers.

Feehan finishes the series on a high note. I was definitely left wanting more.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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DNF Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

Posted March 9, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

DNF Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn ChaseReviewer: Holly
Flirting Under a Full Moon (Flirting with Fangs Trilogy, #1) by Ashlyn Chase
Series: Flirting with Fangs Trilogy #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013
Pages: 342
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dnf

If Brandee Hanson ever wants to go from waitress to photographer, she'll have to take some once-in-a-lifetime shots. But when she catches the gorgeous private investigator, Nick Wolfensen, on camera— transforming into a werewolf—she is thrown into a world of vampires, shapeshifters, and other paranormal misfits.
In order to keep his secret and stay clear of the supernatural council, Nick will have to convince Brandee not to release the photo. Fortunately, he was looking for an excuse to spend more time with the beautiful waitress anyway.

I saw a recommendation for this series on Instagram. It looked cute and kind of fun. Instead I found it to be over-the-top campy and pretty ridiculous.

Brandee is a waitress at a dive bar that caters, unbeknownst to her, to paranormals – werewolves, vampires and the like. One of the regulars constantly flirts with her, but she isn’t looking for a one-night-stand and Nick is known to run from any type of relationship. When they end up working together to find her missing cousin, she realizes there’s more to Nick than she initially thought. But strange things keep happening and she isn’t sure she can trust him.

For Nick’s part, he’s been playing the field while he waits for his Mate. Which, it seems, Brandee is. But he’s forbidden from telling her he’s a shifter, and Mother Nature is watching him closely.

I really wanted to like this, but it was just too silly for me. Brandee made ridiculous decisions that put herself and others in danger, with no thought whatsoever to the consequences. She didn’t ask questions when she should have and trusted much too easily. The hero was kind of overbearing, but honestly with the way she acted I don’t know how he could stand to be around her.

She also has the annoying habit of replacing “Oh, my god” with silly phrases. It was meant to be cute and kind of endearing, I think, but instead it was distracting and annoying.

“But we have to call the police,” Brandee said. “Oh, my obstruction of justice.”

“Oh, my first date jitters…”

“Oh, my Little Red Riding Hood.”

There were also gems like this:

“Are they feeding you, sweetheart?”

“Yeah. Cheese and crackers.”

Crap. With my lactose intolerance, I’ll be less than the perfect hostage. Although with all the burping and farting, they might just let me go.

Chase, Ashlyn (2013-04-02). Flirting Under a Full Moon (Flirting with Fangs Book 1) (p. 41). Sourcebooks. Kindle Edition.

I tried to stick with it, but once Mother Nature came on scene as a trash talking bitch, I just couldn’t. I had to quit at the 25% mark. There is definitely an audience for this type of book, but I’m not it.

DNF

dnf

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