Tag: Holly’s Reviews

Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Posted June 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Silver Silence by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #16, Psy/Changeling Trinity #1
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Tangle of Need, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: June 15th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
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four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Silence has fallen, and the Humans, Psy and Changelings have created the Trinity Accord, with the hope of fostering peace between the races in this new climate. Silver Mercant, personal assistant to Kalek Krycheck, the most powerful Tk on the planet, is also the head of EmNet, an emergency network set up to coordinate all available resources in the event of a large-scale disaster. Taking her out would hurt Kaleb, the Trinity Accord and temporarily disable EmNet. So it isn’t really a surprise when there’s an attempt on her life. The surprise is the bear shifter who ends up saving her life.

Valentin has been courting Silver for months – she just doesn’t realize it. When Grandmother Mercant – the head of Silver’s family – asks him to keep Silver safe until they determine who was behind her attempted murder, it’s just the excuse he’s been looking for. Silver isn’t nearly as Silent as she’d like to make out, and there’s no one better than Valentin to prove it to her.

For Silver, Silence is a necessity. She needs to keep control of her emotions at all times, to keep control of one of her secondary psychic abilities. But Valentin makes her feel things, and he’s persistent enough that her Silence just might not hold. If only that didn’t mean certain death for her…

Silver was about what I expected from previous books. Naturally there’s more to her than meets the eye. I was interested to learn more about the Mercant family. I wasn’t disappointed. Both Silver and her family were fascinating. Still, Valentin was everything for me in this book. Playful, arrogant, adorable..I just wanted to eat him up. He’s playful, fun and loving, but also more than capable of kicking ass and taking names.

Silver had a sarcastic kind of humor that really played well against Valentin’s more playful sense of humor. They had great banter and wit.

“My people chose Silence for a reason,” she’d said to him three visits earlier. “While parts of that reasoning have proven false enough to topple Silence for many, other parts still apply. I am and always will be Silent. That means I will never be ready to ‘run off’ and experience ‘shenanigans’ with you.”

Valentin is great at drawing Silver out of herself. He knew just the right tone to take with her.

“Can I—”

“No.” Silver put down the bottle on the bedside table Valentin had built with his own hands.

“You don’t know what I was going to ask,” he protested.

“You’ve been staring at my hair when you haven’t been staring at my face. You want to touch my hair.”

Valentin tried to think like a cat again. Sneaky. After all, Lucas Hunter had a Psy mate. If a leopard could do it, a bear could do it better. “I’ll shift and let you pet my fur in return.”

Though he often teased, Valentin respected Silver right down to her toes. He knew she was capable and didn’t try to stop her from doing what she needed to do. Too often alpha-males (be they human or other) are given a pass in being overbearing, but that wasn’t the case with Valentin. He wanted to protect Silver, but he didn’t even attempt it. Because he respected her and trusted her judgement.

His Starlight should’ve been in bed, resting. Instead, she was here, fighting to clean up a mess of violence, fighting to save lives. Because she was Silver Fucking Mercant, and she was as tough as any bear in StoneWater.

Including its alpha.

Despite the issues facing them in regards to Silver’s Silence, they were a great team. They showed a united front to his clan, worked together to deal with outside threats, and came to rely on one another through thick and thin.

I do feel like Silver’s medical issues was a bit too easily dealt with. The conflict lacked the emotional punch I’ve come to expect. It was just all neatly tied up in a bow. I didn’t doubt for a second that all would work out as it should.

We saw glimpes from the Consortium – the largest threat to Trinity – as well as from The Human Alliance. I’m anxious to see both explored further.

Silver Silence was an excellent start to this new chapter of the series. I can’t wait to see what Singh has in store for us next.

“Silver Fucking Mercant.” The words were the opposite of an insult, his tone drenched in primal admiration. “You’re an alpha under your pretty, soft skin …”

4.5 out of 5

four-stars

Review: Tanner by Sarah Mayberry

Posted May 30, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tanner by Sarah MayberryReviewer: Holly
Tanner (American Extreme Bull Riders Tour Book 1) by Sarah Mayberry
Series: American Extreme Bull Riders Tour #1
Published by Tule Publishing
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 217
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four-half-stars

He’s used to risking it all in the ring, but nothing prepared him for love…

After flying half-way around the world to surprise her boyfriend, Evie Forrester finds herself heartbroken and stranded in a strange city. What could be a total disaster becomes something else when a tall, dark bull rider turns out to be a white knight in disguise. Evie isn’t sure she needs saving, but Tanner Harding is a difficult man to deny.

He’s even harder to resist…

Tanner Harding can tame a monster bull with ease, but he never expected to be floored by someone like Evie. Sparks fly between them until injury threatens to end Tanner’s career –and suddenly he’s the one in need of a rescue.

Evie can’t turn her back on her wounded hero and, as Tanner struggles with his recovery, she’s not sure she can guard her heart against him either. Tanner knows Evie has slipped under his skin, but she lives in Australia and his future is under a cloud. Can two people with too many reasons to walk away make the bold decision to stay?

Mayberry always delivers sweet, lovely contemporary romances. Tanner was no exception.

Evie Forrester grew up with Troy, a foster kid her family took in when he was a teenager. She’s been in love with him most of her life, but he doesn’t know she exists…until he comes home for a wedding and they hook up. For months they’ve been video chatting and emailing. She decides to fly to the states to surprise him with a two week stay. She wants to cement their relationship and move on to the next step now that they’re together.

Only it turns out Evie was the only one feeling that way. When she arrives it’s to discover that Troy doesn’t share her vision of a future together. Stranded in the States with little available cash and a non-refundable plane ticket, she has two weeks to kill. Tanner Harding, another bullrider and friend of Troy’s, comes to Evie’s rescue. He lets her stay with him and helps her get back on her feet.

When Tanner is injured, Evie decides to repay the favor by helping him out until he’s back on his feet. They have chemistry in spades, but can they make something more lasting out of two weeks together?

Tanner was such a sweetheart. I really liked how sweet he was to Evie, and what an all-around stand-up guy he was. He did what needed to be done and didn’t complain about it. It was great how he rescued her, but then needed to be rescued in return. It made for a well balanced romance.

Evie was great, too. She was practical and down-to-earth. I really liked that she took responsibility for her part in the Troy fiasco, but she didn’t completely let him off the hook, either.

Though they didn’t have a lot of time together, their romance was believable. I enjoyed watching them take care of each other and fall in love. My only complaint is the story ended too soon.

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars

Joint Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 29, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Blood Bound by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called
Published by Ace
Publication Date: January 30th 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 292
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four-half-stars

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...
Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

Rowena: This month’s buddy review book is Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. Blood Bound is the second book in the Mercy Thompson series and it delves into the vampire side of Mercy’s supernatural world.

When Mercy’s vampire friend drags her into the middle of a vampire problem, Mercy learns a whole lot about the supernatural predators and the danger that surrounds them.

What did you think about this one?

Holly: I thought this was a good follow up to the first book. Briggs introduces us further into her world and we get to know the characters better. We especially get to know Mercy, Adam and Samuel better in this book. I really enjoy being in Mercy’s head. Sometimes first person can get tiresome, but I’m never tired of Mercy.

Rowena: I’ve had that happen to me when the protagonist gets on my nerves and I’m not sure about finishing the book or not. Mercy is a great protagonist though. She’s interesting and she’s got a certain kind of charm that I like. I can see why everyone likes her and are drawn to her. She’s supernatural but she’s also normal. I’m digging her and will definitely keep reading this series because of her.

Adam and Samuel were a lot of fun in this one. I’m loving all of the tension they’ve got going because they both love them some Mercy. I also really like how protective of Mercy they are…whether she wants their protection or not, she’s got it.

So are you team vampire or team werewolf?

Holly: Definitely team werewolf. The only good vampire is Stefan, and even he has his questionable moments. I love Adam, Samuel and The Marrok. The way his relationship with Mercy develops over the series is great. Are you team Adam or team Samuel?

Rowena: Adam. As much as I love Samuel, I love Adam for Mercy. I also love Jessie for Mercy. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Samuel will find his true love and live happily ever after.

Holly: I’m team Adam, too. As much as I believe Samuel cares for Mercy, he wants her for his own reasons too. Adam wants her for her, not for what she can do for him.

What did you think of the vampire politics? This world is so well-drawn. I was easily able to imagine the scenes.

Rowena: I didn’t think I’d be that interested in the vampire side of this world but Briggs did a great job of drawing me in. I’m still Team Werewolf but I did enjoy reading about the way things are done on the vampire side of things. You can see that there could be potential for good within the vampire community but so far, only Stefan seems to want to be good. I thought that was interesting.

So what do I have to look forward to?

Holly: The next book, Iron Kissed, is my favorite. It’s the hardest to read, I think, because of things that happen to Mercy. We see more of Adam and Jesse, plus Adam’s pack. I’m anxious for you to read it so we can discuss.

Rowena: Oh yay then I’ll definitely make sure to get it read soon. I’m looking forward to it.

This book was good. It had fun moments sprinkled among the intense moments with chasing down the bad guy down and Mercy being on her own for a lot of the tracking stuff. I thought that this book showcased just how strong Mercy is, despite not being an alpha or even a wolf. She’s smart and she’s strong and she really made this book for me. I can’t say anything else other than this was a great addition to the Mercy Thompson world and I was happy with the writing, the story and the characters. All around win for me.

You?

Holly: I love the humor sprinkled throughout. This was a great installment in the series and really opens things up for future books. I definitely call this a win.

I’m giving it a 4.25.

Rowena: Me, too. 4.25.

Final Grade

Holly: 4.25 out of 5 
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars

Retro Review: Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard

Posted May 24, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: Raintree: Inferno by Linda HowardReviewer: Holly
Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard
Series: Raintree #1
Also in this series: Raintree: Sanctuary
Published by Silhouette
Publication Date: May 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy
Pages: 288
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three-half-stars

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated and abandoned them on a small Caribbean Island, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. Despite their extraordinary powers and supernatural origin, the Raintree have largely blended into the modern world. They are bankers, cops, husbands, wives and lovers in the society of humankind.

But now, from Nevada to North Carolina, the rejoined battle will measure the endurance of their people. It will test their loyalties and relationships. And it will force upon them all new lives they could barely have imagined before.

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

I think about this series every now and again. I may have to go back and re-read it at some point. Just to see if my opinion of it still stands. 

This review was originally published May 14, 2007

I’ve been hearing a lot about this book the last few weeks, most of it not so good. Jane at Dear Author and Rosie both reviewed it and neither had very good things to say about it. I’ve been a LH fangirl for years now, but her last few releases, with the exception of her Blair Mallory books have left a lot to be desired, so I wasn’t too keen on reading this before I read the bad reviews. After? Yeah, so wasn’t going to touch it.

But then last week I read Tara Marie’s review and changed my mind. You see, there are some things I find I can’t stomach in a novel, and brain rape is one of them. From what Rosie and Jane said, I was under the impression there was quite a bit of that in this novel. But Tara Marie shed a bit more light on the subject and I decided to see for myself how bad it truly was.

Side Note: Spoilers below. I don’t think I can say what I truly felt about this book without them. :End Side Note

Lorna Clay has been spending a good amount of time in Dante Raintree’s casino. Normally that wouldn’t be cause for concern – quite the opposite in fact – but she never loses. Never. She’s not winning massive amounts of money at one time, but she’s walking away with enough to make Dante and his main casino dude a bit skeptical. They can’t seem to spot how she’s cheating via video, but they’re sure she is. So they drag her upstairs to “question” her and both she and Dante seem to have a rather…electric connection to one another.

Now, Dante is a Raintree, which is a psychic type of people that have been around for hundreds of years. They have a feud going on with the Ansara clan that’s lasted for centuries, and as soon as Dante figures out that Lorna has psychic abilities, he starts to wonder if she’s Ansara.

To quote Lorna about the Raintree/Ansara situation:

“You’re the weirdo equivalent of the Hatfields and the McCoys?”

She’s not. Lorna doesn’t even realize she has powers. She just thinks she’s really lucky. While in Dante’s office, a fire breaks loose in the main part of the casino, 19 floors below them. As one of Dante’s powers is the ability to control fire, he immediately heads down to help fight it, dragging Lorna along with him.

Now, this is where Jane and Rosie seemed to start having major issues with the book. I’m just going to tell you what happened. This is still relatively early in the book (the 2nd or 3rd chapter, I think) so you probably won’t be hurting yourselves if you read this part, but beware, major spoilers below:

Dante goes down to the main part of the casino to fight the fire and he can’t. He isn’t sure why – if it’s because his powers have been depleted trying to help the guests get out, or if it’s the fire itself – but he can’t get it under control. At this point, he and Lorna are pretty much surrounded by the fire. There’s no way for them to get out alive. He’s placed a protective “bubble” around them, but it’s starting to crack and he knows they don’t have much time left. Plus, the hotel that’s attached to the casino is at full capacity and he’s afraid of how many lives will be lost if the fire spreads that far.

He knows if he had another Raintree there to connect minds with he’d be able to pool their power and contain the inferno, but there’s no one but him and Lorna. That’s when he realizes – duh – she has powers and he could use them to boost his own. That’s when he “brain rapes” her by pushing himself into her mind and combining her powers with his.

I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. When weighing a situation like that, your death along with possibly hundreds of others, or forcing yourself into the mind of another for the greater good, well…I just can’t say I blame the guy. No, it wasn’t pleasant for Lorna and yes it was a gross invasion of her privacy, but he didn’t do it to find out if she was Ansara, or to purposely cause her pain. He did it to save her life. And his. And possibly hundreds of others. No big deal.

What comes next is a bit harder to swallow. He uses a mind “compulsion” to keep her from running once the fire is under control and they’re out of the building. Basically, if he tells her “Don’t move” she’s literally stuck in one spot. Because he’s not convinced of her innocence – in either the gambling or the fire – he binds her to him and forces her to remain against her will. At one point he even orders her to silence.

I had a hard time with this. Perhaps it’s because I’m a fairly independent woman and I would hate to have all control of myself taken away. Or perhaps that has nothing to do with being independent or a woman, but simply a human being. In any case, the next chapter or so was hard for me to get through. The way Dante pretty much forced her home with him and then checked her out to see if she was Ansara left a bad taste in my mouth.

But I persisted and you know…I ended up really liking the book. Really liking it. I can’t say it’s LH’s best work, but it more closely resembled the classic LH I fell in love with than anything else she’s produced in recent years.

Lorna was a fabulous heroine. She suffered numerous shocks in a short period of time, but rather than bowing under them, she kept her chin up and her sense of humor. She was sassy and sarcastic, and though I thought she forgave Dante a little too soon for his mind control of her, her reasons for doing so made a lot of sense.

As for Dante, he was a typical Howard Alpha and I thought he was great for what he was. For those of you who enjoyed some of her earlier category type books and works like Dream Man, you should enjoy him.

The ending was a major cliffhanger, but the relationship aspect of the story was all wrapped up. Since this is the first of a trilogy, I wasn’t too upset with the ending. I am annoyed that I have to wait for the next 2 installments, but otherwise? I highly enjoyed it. Well, once I got over being pissed at Dante, that is.

I’m giving this a 3.5 out of 5.

I’m not sure how I feel about the whole 3 author trilogy, though. Having never read the other 2 authors, I can’t say for sure how excited I am to read them. On the other hand, I am anxious to see what happens next, so I’m sure I’ll purchase them.

The series is as follows:

Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard
Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (to be released June 1, 2007)
Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton (to be released July 1, 2007)

This book is available from Silhouette Nocturne. You can purchase it here.

three-half-stars

Joint Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 8, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Moon Called by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
Published by Ace Books
Publication Date: January 31st 2006
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...

Rowena: Thank goodness for you because without you, I wouldn’t read nearly as many of these books as I do. I’m SO glad that I finally got around to reading this book because it was hella good. Not just good, but hella good. I need more Mercy and Adam in my life…and it was good to see Samuel, Bran and Charles (from the Alpha & Omega series) and to see why Samuel was the way that he was in those books.

How was your re-read of the books?

Holly: I didn’t think I’d like this series at first. It took me ages to finally read it. I’m sorry I waited so long. Mercy, Adam and his pack, Jesse…They’re all amazing. I love how the world combines Magic with the Fae, Werewolves, etc.

My re-read this time was just as good. I love how normal Mercy is. She isn’t a super badass, despite the fact that she can turn into a coyote. She’s practical and down to earth, which makes her easy to relate to.

Rowena: I agree. As much as I adored both Adam and Samuel (you know I’m all about the heroes), Mercy was my favorite character in this series. Ames told me that she had such a huge girl crush on Mercy and I can totally see why. She’s really easy to relate to and she knows herself as well as her strengths and weaknesses. She’s not too stupid to live but she is brave and I just loved the hell out of her. I can’t wait to read more of these books.

I now see what you meant when you said that both this series and the Alpha & Omega series are kind of weaved together. Some of the things happening in here reminded me of stuff going on in the other series with Charles. I like that. It kind of reminds me of the Chicago Fire, PD, Med and Justice shows on NBC. I love how there’s this one world of characters that cross over to each different show. If done right, having so many different aspects of a world in different books and series is great and I think that Briggs does a wonderful job of that here.

What was your favorite part of this book?

Holly: It’s hard to say what my favorite part is, because now that I’ve read the entire series (and the A&O series) things have different meaning for me. I think it might be Adam demanding Mercy help him find Jesse. She’s weak by comparison to him and the other wolves, but he still wanted her to find his daughter because he knew she wouldn’t give up. I also love her interactions with with Bran. They have such a complicated relationship.

What about you?

Rowena: You’re right. Since everything is so fresh for me and I don’t know what’s to come, I see things differently. One of my favorite parts were Adam demanding Mercy help him find Jesse but more so because he knew that Jesse meant something to Mercy and he knew that she cared far more than Samuel did and wouldn’t give up. He knows her strengths and her weaknesses and …he claimed her to his pack. sigh I’m really looking forward to seeing their relationship grow.

It was nice to see Samuel learning of Adam and Mercy’s complicated relationship and really, the characters were well written and well rounded. No two dimensional characters in this series. I love how Mercy cared so much about a wide variety of people. People who didn’t get along with other people and yet, Mercy did. I could go on and on about how much I like Mercy but I think you get it.

I was invested in this story from the jump. This world is colorful and vivid and I’m so here for it all. I’m late to the party but what’s new? This was good stuff.

Holly: You’re right, he did know Mercy cared about Jesse and wouldn’t stop until she was found. That’s one of the things I like about Adam, period. He’s willing to set aside his own personal feelings in any given situation. It’s kind of a nice change for an alpha-male.

I really love how Mercy is sort of the glue that brings all these different elements together. We see this more as the series goes on, of course, but she’s like a neutral third party. I love it.

The world is my favorite thing about this book. It’s very well-drawn and immediately pulls you in.

I’m giving this a 4 out of 5.

Rowena: Same. This one gets a 4 out of 5 from me. Thanks for making me read this book!

four-stars