Tag: Christina Dodd

Guest Review: Chains of Ice by Christina Dodd

Posted September 7, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Judith’s review of Chains of Ice (Book 3 in The Chosen Ones series) Christina Dodd.

For one magic summer, Genny Valente escapes to spend time as a wildlife observer in the untamed mountains. Little does she know that a beast more fearsome than any leopard lurks in the forest . . . a man, one of the Chosen Ones, betrayed by his gift and tormented by his memories. John Powell has fled his fate and his duty, yet in Genny he sees his one chance for redemption. He will stalk her, kidnap her, love her as only a savage can. But when a new betrayal threatens, John must call on the powers he swore he’d never use again. Then only Genny can save him–if she dares.

Christina Dodd’s new release continues the saga of The Chosen Ones who are in the battle against The Others, both groups composed of people who were once Abandoned Ones and, according to the ancient legend, were the targets of the forces of good and evil and given “gifts” to assist in that timeless war. All of the characters in the novels are tied to these two groups in one way or the other.

Genny Valente is the daughter of a former executive who conned and robbed his way right out of the Gypsy Travel Agency, the organization which provided “cover” and financing for The Chosen. Kevin Valente is a man who has no conscience about his former criminal acts and certainly not about using his daughter to gain his own ends. She, on the other hand, longs for the love of a parent and the value that such a relationship would have given her. Now, having completed her undergraduate and master’s programs in business, an academic major she never wanted and insisted upon by her dad, she has been “given” a graduation present (not really a present) when her dad presents her with a summer trip, being a part of an exploratory team but a situation which is clearly a set-up. This journey would allow her to be “free” of his pressuring and the business world she has come to abhor. Now she can spend the entire summer in a remote part of Russia observing and photographing the illusive and almost extinct lynx. (She had always wanted to be a veterinarian.) Her only task required of her by her father is to talk John Powell, one of The Chosen Ones who has gone into self-imposed exile, to return to New York City and finish out his commitment of seven years.

What really grabbed me about this novel was what I would call a deeper-than-normal look at the human factor in all these fantasy world doings. In Dodd’s signature way, each of the characters, no matter how seemingly minor their role in the story may appear, had a critical reason for being a part of the context. The Russian lady whose expedition into the Urals took Genny into the deep and ancient forests, the team members whose presence seems innocuous initially but who become more important as the story infolds, various persons in the tiny Russian community who waft in and out of the pages–all are a complex weaving of presence and influence that is far too involved to outline here. Suffice it to say that each one was there for an important reason which gradually becomes clear as the story progresses. John is there, too, having returned to the locale where his earliest, albeit unhappy memories, were rooted. Here he lives the life of a hermit, barely surviving, but determined to hide from the world, the Gypsy Travel Agency, and himself. Genny “blows the doors off” his inner self–accepting him as a friend, pushing him beyond his comfort zone, forcing him to see himself through her eyes. His reputation as a lover–coupling with women is only by necessity for him–has preceeded him, but even though she is attracted to him, she is more concerned about him as a person. And, 0f course, he is seduced by her in a way that sort of comes at him when he least expects it and to a degree for which he is not prepared emotionally.

This is a novel about courge: courage to take up your life even when it appears that there is no hope for the future, courage to move beyond the boundaries set by other people, courage to leave behind hopes for relationship that can and will never be, courage to be who you are in the truest sense of that concept. John and Genny must take a journey of discovery about themselves and their place in the world, and while that journey brings them together for a while, it also forces them apart so that they have no option but to become whole before they can truly compliment one another.

Dodd is one of those authors that brings an amazing level of writing expertise to each project she undertakes. Her imagination is awesome and her plot situations and story line development are consistent and creative. The characters are rooted in legend and fantasy, yet they sparkle with the authentic humanity with which a reader can relate. Even the gifted have tempers and jeolousies, they scrap and bicker like kids, they jostle for position and prominence perhaps more than ordinary beings, but they are individuals so very much like people we know in real life. Dodd has built in story line surprises galore so as in all her novels, the reader dare not get too comfortable that the happy ending is in sight. Just as in real life, we have to work for that.

So I recommend this novel as a great read, a worthy addition to one’s romance library, and one that has whetted my appetite for other novels in this series. I don’t think a lover of fantasy and romance will want to miss this one. I give this novel a 4.75 out of 5 rating.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted May 24, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 10 Comments

It’s Monday again. Why does this keep happening every stinking week? lol
Well, I’d love to say that my life is so exciting and I’d love to regale you with many a fun and funny anecdote but the truth is, nothing happened this past week of any import. Just a normal week in Tracyland. Maybe this week will be so exciting I’ll be bursting at the seams next Monday to share things with you. Let’s hope. lol
I read a lot of books for The Book Binge this week in a desperate attempt to catch up. I’m almost all the way through the books from May so I’m making headway! lol Only a few more to go and I’m all caught up – yay! 🙂
So what I read this week:
I started off the week with a new to me author, Marie Sexton, by reading Promises. This was an m/m story about Jared who had lived his whole life in a small town in Colorado except for his years in college. He is gay but pretty much resigned to living on his own for the rest of his days. Then Matt comes to work at the Coda police department and Jared and Matt become instant friends. Jared falls for Matt, but Matt’s not gay…or is he? This was such a damn good story. I liked it so much. I enjoyed the writing and could really feel the things that were happening between Matt and Jared. Good stuff and highly recommended. 4.5 out of 5
Next up was Impulsive by Cathryn Fox. The story of a woman whose lover is killed and she’s turned into a werewolf. 100 years later and she’s scented her dead lover – who’s been reincarnated into Kane…a werewolf hunter. Wow, what a couple. This was read for The Book Binge. 3 out of 5

Next up was Tracy’s TBR Challenge read as well as an FTSP read – Destined For An Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost. I bought this one the day it released and yet it’s sat on shelf til now. I think I was a little leery to start it as I wasn’t a huge fan of book 3. This one was a good read though with Cat running from a man who claimed to be her husband. It was a very emotional book between Cat and Bones and was hard to read at times but it was a good one. 4 out of 5

Next was Out of Bounds by TA Chase. This was the story of a professional basketball star who is gay – but he’s not out (except to his family) because he doesn’t wanted to take the chance that he might be removed from the team. Despite his qualms he begins a relationship with a nightclub owner. Kasey has real feelings for Gram but is hesitant to reveal his personal life to the press. The is a novella and I almost wish it had been a longer book. I felt kind of let down that what Kasey worried about the whole book was almost minimized because the book ended so soon after things happened. Beside that it was good. There was more sex than story imho but the sex was definitely steamy. 3 out of 5
Next up was Line of Fire by Jo Davis. This is book 4 in the Firefighters of Station 5 series – Tommy’s story. He’s pretty much in love with nurse, Shea Ford. She is afraid to get close to him because she’s afraid he is similar to a man in her past. She finally breaks through her misgivings and they fall in love. I really liked Tommy and Shea and they were so cute together – but almost too cute at times but it worked. The suspense part of the story was a little much but a pretty good story. Another Book Binge read. 3.5 out of 5

My next read was a short by Julie Kenner called Wrapped and Ready. I’m not sure what prompted me to pull out a Christmas short in May but I did. The story of Annie who’s had a thing for Brent most of her life – but they come from different lifestyles and she doesn’t think that Brent knows she exists. Oh, Brent knows and when Annie proposes that she get Brent as a Christmas present he’s definitely game. Cute. 3 out of 5

Bonded Souls by Nina Pierce was next. This is a prequel in her Shifting Bonds series. This tells the story of Jayda and how she met Cole (a wolf shifter) and became his mate. She is part of a prophecy and until she went on vacation to get some peace and quiet didn’t even know she was a shifter. Not only a shifter, by a polymorphic shifter – part wolf, part cougar, part human. A Book Binge read. 3.75 out of 5

Next I picked up Sucker for Love by Kimberly Raye for part of my FTSP. This is book 5 in the series and I got about 1/2 way through the book and realized I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about Lil, her family, Lil’s missing friend. Sorry to say the series has run it’s course for me. DNF
Another book I started and just couldn’t get into was Once a Bride by Shari Anton. I don’t have a clue where I got the book but it’s been on my shelf for a while. The story was about a man who accused of treason so goes into hiding and leaves his daughter (age 17) to face his accusers at their home. The man the king has sent to oversee the property while the matter is dealt with knows that he should have nothing to do with the daughter – and she’s pissed off at him for taking over the property – but that doesn’t stop their attraction. Again, I got about halfway through the book and nothing was clicking with me. DNF
Last but not least was another Tracy’s TBR Challenge read. This was The Runaway Princess by Christina Dodd. Though I read all of Dodd’s Darkness Chosen series I wasn’t thrilled with it. I definitely liked this historical book better. It was pretty simple – an easy read with some silly parts but very cute. The story of a prince who finds his runaway princess – only she’s not the princess – just someone who looks like her. No matter her protestations that she’s an orphan from England and her guardian was the one who taught her about their respective countries, he thinks she’s fabricating it all to get out of marrying him and won’t believe her. So was she the princess or not? As I said – pretty cute. 3.75 out of 5
Some of my Book Binge reviews that have posted:
Happy Reading!

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Some Author Chats On the Horizon.

Posted August 12, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

TODAY, August 12th at 9pm EST, Christina Dodd will be doing a real time live chat over at Writerspace. She’ll be chatting about her new release, Storm of Visions, and answering any questions you may have so you don’t want to miss that! Make a note to stop on by and get all of your questions answered by the one and only, Christina Dodd.

And then TOMORROW, August 13th at 10am EST, Dixie Cash will be on Blog Talk Radio chatting about her new book, Curing the Blues with a New Pair of Shoes. You won’t want to miss out on that!

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What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Posted August 4, 2008 by Tracy in Features | 15 Comments

What a fantastic week!!! Started it off really well by going to San Francisco (adventures & pictures posted below) continued it by going to a dear friends’ daughters wedding which was a blast! Ended it with spending the day with my wonderful children. We headed to Borders and B & N where we went a little crazy…so glad I can pass the book addiction on to my kids!

I bought
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
Kiss of Fury by Deborah Cooke
Just One Bite by Kimberly Raye
First Blood Anthology
Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice
(between my 2 girls…5 other books – yikes)

I actually forgot to buy Cry Wolf that I’ve been looking forward to reading – tragic! Oh darn, now I’ll have to go back.

We then had lunch at Johnny Rockets where were served by a very cute man whom my kids insisted looked like Elvis. When my oldest told him that he said, “I actually get that a lot!” Too funny!

Then we went to Ben and Jerry’s, got ice cream and saw an afternoon show of Mamma Mia which was great. I saw the stage show a long time ago and have the soundtrack which my kids listen to all the time so it was fun for them to see the movie.

So I didn’t think I had read that much since there was so much going on…but I was wrong. I mean, I did have Wednesday off work while trying to recover from SF, with no kids, so I read!

First I read Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen. I had some mixed feelings (I felt that about a lot of books this week!) about this book. It was good, but I never had a problem putting it down. The “love” was one of those that was pre-destined so there wasn’t really a romance at all. I am glad that the author actually put that in the book herself so it wasn’t like she was trying to pass it off as something it wasn’t, which I appreciated. I am curious to see what happens next so I’ll be reading the next one when it comes out.

Next I read Into the Flame by Christina Dodd. This was the fourth and final book in the Darkness Chosen series. It was ok but let’s just say that I’m glad the series is over. I like her contemporaries much better than her paranormals.

Truth or Dare by Lori Foster was an impulse buy last week. This was 3 related shorts about a dare between 3 female friends relating to a porn shop. Interesting concept…don’t think it really worked out. I liked the men a lot and I have to say that when they got involved with the women they were already mostly in love with them…but the women fell really fast and that just was soooo no believable to me. Cute, but, eh.

Secrets of Surrender by Madeline Hunter has been on my shelf for a while so I finally decided to read it. I liked this book, but there were soooo many secrets it was ridiculous. I know that’s the title of the book but I expected a couple…maybe a trio…there were many more and it was a little much. Good though.

Colleen Gleason will be a guest author on the DIK blog this week and I’ve never read her work before so I wanted to read at least one book before she got there. So I got The Rest Falls Away and read it. I have extremely mixed feelings about this book. I liked it, yet, I didn’t. I liked the whole idea of it but I found Max incredibly annoying (but a DIK girl actually picked him for one of her heroes so I’m thinking he gets better in the series?), the trio of Victoria’s mom and her friends…annoying, Sebastian…I wanted to punch. Phillip, oh Phillip. I loved Phillip and Victoria both. They were great. The end? That had me throwing the book after I finished it and growling for about an hour afterward! Lol My oldest daughter finally said, “Mom? Stop. Go start another book and it will get that one out of your head!” Kids, very smart. I can’t decide if I’ll read the rest of the series! Mixed. Feelings.

I only read Meljean Brook’s novella out of the First Blood Anthology, Thicker Than Blood. Meljean? I love you! lol I truly love every story this woman puts out! She got so much said and done in 107 pages it was amazing. Loved the story. Great! Loved it.

Happy Reading!

So what have you been reading this week?

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What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Posted July 28, 2008 by Tracy in Features | 4 Comments

This has been a great week..well, if I don’t count today! (lol – nope, not talkin about it!) I read some really good books, which is always nice, and life was just, well, normal. I like normal. I’m kind of a homebody during the week so it was nice to hang with the fam and not have drama.

I had a great time over at DIK this week, too. Sarai will be posting hot menz Mon-Wed. of this week so if you need to drool, head on over. 🙂

Tomorrow I’m off to San Francisco to meet some great blogging friends who will be there for RWA. I can hardly wait. I won’t be attending the conference but I could hardly pass up the opportunity to fly up since I’m so close, even if it’s just for a day or so.

My dad came and got the kids for a few days and my husband left for the incredibly crazy Sturgis bike rally in South Dakota. He’ll be gone for a couple of weeks so it will be quiet around here.

Alright – first up was a novella called Gone with the Wolf by Loribelle Hunt. Interesting story with shapeshifters, witches, zombies and a Vegas casino. It was ok…let’s just say I’m glad it was short.

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione was up next and I loved this book. I have to say I let it sit on the shelf for a while and when I first picked it up I wasn’t so sure about it, but it sucked me in. There were a few issues that I had with it but overall a really entertaining read. Can’t wait for Shade’s story.

I always try to mix up my contemporaries, historicals and paranormals so I don’t get into a rut so next up I chose Never Trust A Scoundrel by Gayle Callen. This was an impulse buy at Borders when they were having one of their 4 for 5 romance book sales. It looked good but it did sit on the shelf for a while before I dug it out. It was really good. I was so pleasantly surprised at the story. It started out with the typical “let me make a bargain with you” type thing that always ends in sex but it was done in a great way and I thought it was charming. Towards the end it got a little too predictable but it ended well and I was very pleased with it. I hadn’t read any of her work before but I will definitely be reading more of it in the future.
Into the Shadow by Christina Dodd was my next choice. I read the first two in the Darkness Chosen series but they were just ok reads for me. I really had no plans to read the last 2 books in the series but for some reason I caved when the 3rd book was published. I really enjoyed it. Yes, it had some completely unbelievable parts in it but overall I thought it was pretty entertaining.

Ready or Not by Anara Bella – a novella was cute. Boy thinks girl is a flake but likes her anyway. Girl has had crush on boy forever. It wrapped up pretty quickly for me but it was cute.

Last one for the week was Into the Storm by Suzanne Brockmann. You thought I was gonna go an entire week without reading a Troubleshooters novel? Yeah, right. I mean there are only a few left! What the hell am I gonna do then? Oh, yeah, move on to her other series! 🙂 This was an interesting story. I thought the romance started off really well, but then it didn’t develop as well as I think her others romances have. Still a great book.

Happy Reading!

What have you been reading this week?

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