Tag: Eileen Rendahl

Guest Review: Dead on Delivery by Elieen Rendahl

Posted July 20, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Berkley, PenguinGenres: Paranormal Romance

Mary’s review of DEAD ON DELIVERY (A Messenger Novel) by Eileen Rendahl

When a delivery leads to a dead man, Melina’s cop boyfriend, Ted Goodnight, starts grilling her about her latest job. But Melina doesn’t know who sent the package or what was in it. That’s not the way she works. What she does know—and Ted doesn’t—is that this isn’t the first time this has happened…

There are two men who have bitten the dust after a delivery from Melina. As she tries to put together the pieces of this puzzle, she discovers that the two victims share common friends, common unexplained absences and a common crime. Now, dark forces from the local community have been unleashed, drawing Melina into the web of a powerful woman, her voodoo and her vengeance…

Let me just put it out there that voodoo freaks me out. I’m not sure what it is except that it seems more real for some reason. Which is why I completely love it in my books—it adds to the creepy factor. In this book, it’s all about putting the voodoo on someone.

DEAD ON DELIVERY is the second in the Messenger series and the main character, Melina’s finally hitting her stride. She’s figured out what it is to be a Messenger and how to fit it into her life, she’s taken on a young Messenger-in-training, and she’s got herself a nice boyfriend. So why can’t she just do her job and not stick her nose into things that aren’t her concern?

Well, it could be that guys are dropping dead shortly after she gives them a package. And, because she’s duty-bound to deliver the packages, she feels duty-bound to figure out what’s killing them. It could also be that she’s a suspect and she wants to clear her name. Personally, I think she’s just nosey and isn’t completely satisfied with just dumping a package with someone, especially when bad things happen to them.

Poor Ted, Melina’s cop boyfriend. He tries to understand Melina but he really wants to play the manly protector and she frustrates him at every turn by denying him the chance. She keeps him in the dark, despite his best efforts. The connection and interactions between them are…strange. Melina’s not good at relationships (this one with Ted is her first adult relationship ever) and seems to be pushing him away. He’s hanging in there, putting up with her odd life and strange acquaintances but unless she changes, at least, opens up a bit more and shares both feelings and her life with him, I don’t see him sticking around for too much longer. Although, they are pretty hot in the bedroom…Many guys will stay for that. For a little while, anyway.

Melina’s a strong character with a ton of flaws, flaws that she’s working on. I truly dislike “perfect” characters, the ones who never learn from their mistakes and the ones who can’t see when they’re totally messing up. Melina’s the type who will learn from what goes wrong in her life but she’s not so great about asking people for help, which lands her in even more trouble (Don’t you love when the author tortures her characters like that? Yep, me, too.).

DEAD ON DELIVERY delivers the action (Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Bad puns rock.) and mystery but falls a bit short when it comes to the romance aspect. Not that I was expecting Melina and Ted to go hot and heavy every other page but a bit more romance and relationship development would have been good. Melina’s an interesting character with a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing what shows up on Melina’s doorstep in the next Messenger installment.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

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

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

What I Read Last Week and RT 2011 Fun

Posted April 11, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 24 Comments

Happy Monday!
I have a lot to tell you this week – aren’t you happy? lol The excitement started Wednesday when I got an email from Malle Vallik who is the Digital Director for Harlequin. She stated that along with Angela James, Executive Editor for Carina Press, they were having a dinner that night to meet with bloggers and get to know them a bit. Holly from Book Binge couldn’t attend but was nice enough to forward some other bloggers emails to her and mine was one of them – woohoo! I ended up at the dinner (at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse which was excellent) with Malle, Angela, Lori, Renee (So Cal Bloggers), Katie (young librarian on twitter), Amber (Buried by Books blog), Sarah (Smart Bitches), Mallory (an editor for Carina) and Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly. We had a great discussion about Goodreads and just talked about books for hours – so much fun.
From left to right: Renee, Sarah, Katie, Malle, Angela, Me, Lori, Mallory, Amber
On Friday I drove back down to LA and shacked up with Holly, Lori & Nikki for the weekend. We attended the Ebook/Graphic Fiction expo that day where I got to meet ZA Maxfield again, Belinda McBride, Mari Freeman, Mari Carr, Vivian Arend, James Buchanan, Angela Knight and many more. It was great meeting all of these wonderful authors. And of course I got to see my friends LB Gregg & Rosie after not having seen her for a year and that was a huge highlight. 🙂 That evening after dinner at LA’s famous Pantry we hung out in the lobby bar and talked to authors Beth Kery & Julie James who are just nice, nice, nice women. (I was doing my inner fan-girl squee and trying to act calm. lol) We were joined later by Lorelei James, Angela James and Jane from Dear Author which was very cool as well. I think others joined later but sadly after 2 margaritas my brain didn’t latch on to much. lol
Me, Julie James & Jane from Dear Author
On Saturday we attended the Giant Book Fair and it was incredibly fun. I got to meet and see so many wonderful authors – Shana Abe, Ann Aguirre (who I’m pretty sure managed to talk me into reading the Sirantha Jax series even though I’m not a sci-fi fan), Tessa Dare, Lydia Dare, Joanna Bourne, Elizabeth Hoyt, GA Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, KB Alan, Jennifer Ashley, Tara Taylor Quinn, Lorelei James, Victoria Dahl, Heather Davis, Ashleigh Raine, Jennifer Haymore, Jill Sorenson (who actually knew me by sight – how cool is that?*waves*), Delilah Devlin, HelenKay Dimon, Lila DiPasqua, Megan Hart, Courtney Milan, Kate Noble, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mary Wine, Veronica Wolff. I think I might have missed some in there but it was all a bit overwhelming but fabulous. I did miss Lynsay Sands, Shelly Bradley/Shayla Black who I had on my list but somehow missed them. I suck. lol
On Saturday we had a So Cal Blogger/Author get together in the lobby bar and invited anyone and everyone to attend or stop by and say hi. We were joined throughout the night by Zoe Archer, Sabrina Darby, Eden Bradley, Nico Rosso, Jill from Romance Rookie, Holly, Lori, Renee, Rosie, Rowena, Beth Williamson, Lorelei James, Vivianne Westlake, LB Gregg, James Buchanan, Rhiann Cahill, RG Alexander, Stephanie Dray & Susanna Kearsley, Colleen Gleason, Lisa Hendrix. Did I miss anyone? Sorry if I did. 
KB Alan, Vivianne Westlake, Lisa Hendrix

Zoe Archer, Renee & Lisa Hendrix

Amber, Nikki, Holly, Renee, Sabrina Darby in the back there with Stephanie Dray next to her.  James Buchanan has her back to us with the lovely black and white jacket…and I can’t tell who the others are.  Anyone?

Lorelei James, Beth Williamson, the back of LB Gregg and the side of Colleen Gleason

Lori & Rosie & the back of Rowena on the right

Holly looking adorable & Me (I apparently have really squinty eyes and 1 wandering eye.  Who knew?)
We headed up to the Carina Press party for a bit where I met some other great authors, Caridad Pineiro, Dee Tenorio & Hunter Raines among others. And Carina gave away an IPAD2 and a Nook Color – neither of which I won – bummer. 
Nikki and others at the Carina Press party
I gotta tell you that I haven’t had that much fun in a long damned time. Every single author that I met was just as nice as could be and was more than willing to stand or sit and talk about books as well as a myriad of other subjects. I’m so glad I went!
My co-worker just handed me this comic that he cut out of the paper so I thought I’d share. Funny.

Click on picture to enlarge

Ok – what did I read this week?
I started off the week with Dead on Delivery by Eileen Rendahl. This is book 2 in the Messenger series and it was a good one. I didn’t like it quite as much as the first because I think there was less action and because our heroine, Melina, was a bit stressed throughout the book. She had every right to be but her stress kind of fed through the book. If interested you can read my review here on The Book Binge. 3.5 out of 5
My next read was Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. I am now firmly a fan girl of Steve Kluger. I read Almost Like Being in Love and it became one of my favorite m/m books. I ordered LDoS from the library and dug in and it was so. damned. good. It’s not a romance but a story told in epistolary style about a 12 year old boy, Joey, back in 1936-1942 who needs a father figure in his life since his father re-married and wants nothing to do with him. He latches on to the 3rd baseman for the NY Giants, Charlie, and starts writing him letters. Charlie doesn’t want to be latched on to but eventually the two become friends. The story follows their friendship and how Charlie changed Joey’s life but Joey had such an affect on Joey’s as well. It was hilarious and heart-wrenching and just an absolutely fabulous read. 5 out of 5
Next up was Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall – another book I read for The Book Binge. This was the story of Isobel who is at a masked ball and can’t keep her eyes off of the Marquess of Blackwood. The Marquess approaches her and they end up having more than a little fun in the garden. He wants to know who she is but she has to have a squeaky clean reputation because if she doesn’t her son will be taken away from her. This was a romance/spy for the crown/evil in-law story and on some levels it worked for me and others not so much. I’ll let you know when my review posts on TBB and you can read more of what I thought. 3.75 out of 5
Last for the week was The Good Thief by James Buchanan. This was a great story about Caesar who is a thief who cases and breaks into houses for a living and Nate who is a beat cop. They meet at a party and end up going home together and really love being together but the next day Nate’s a bit of an ass and then Caesar finds out he’s a cop and decides not to leave his number. When Caesar breaks into a house and finds some horrible pictures involving kids he takes them to Nate and an investigation begins that puts Nate and Caesar firmly together. They finally realize that they’re falling for each other but how can a cop and a thief live happily ever after. I really liked this book. Buchanan really knows how to suck me into the book and keep me there with the relationship. She really knows how to balance the romance with the sex and the other parts of the story and I really enjoy that about her books. Good stuff. 4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
That’s it for me. I’ll leave you with a picture of a place I saw when Lori was driving me to the train station. Do I really want those two things at the same time? I don’t think so.
Happy Reading!

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Dead on Delivery by Eileen Rendahl

Posted April 7, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Urban Fantasy

Tracy’s review of Dead on Delivery (Messenger #2) by Eileen Rendahl

There are two men who have bitten the dust after a delivery from Messenger Melina Markowitz. As she tries to put together the pieces of this puzzle, she discovers that the two victims share common friends, common unexplained absences, and a common crime. Now, dark forces from the local community have been unleashed, drawing Melina into the web of a powerful woman, her voodoo, and her vengeance…

Telling Melina not to look into something that she’s curious about is like telling her to just go ahead and do it because she’s gonna do it anyway. She just can’t let things go once she starts thinking about them. She doesn’t ever look into the packages that she delivers – she just does her job as the messenger and then moves on. But when she hears that 2 of the men that she’s recently delivered packages have died – supposedly by suicide – she’s damned curious to find out what happened to them.

She decides to look into the deaths and discovers some strange magic that’s akin to Santeria or voodoo. Both men had received dolls that had affected them to the point where they felt it better to kill themselves rather than stand the torture. Now she wants to save the third man that she knows will eventually receive a package as well, find out who is after the man and stop them. Needless to say no one besides Melina feels like this is a good idea.

This is book 2 in the Messenger series and we pick up with Melina and her friends about 6 months after the last book. Melina and Ted Goodnight are still dating and getting further attached to each other. Alex the vampire is having a craving for someone special and Melina’s roommate, Norah, is frightened of going outside, ever. Melina’s werewolf friend Paul is having issues with his pack and his girlfriend Meredith but everyone decides to pitch in and help when Melina starts having issues with the bad guys of the book.

For some reason I didn’t find Melina all that interesting in this book. She definitely had her moments but she seems so much more reserved in this book than she did in the last. Granted the story itself was less action-packed but she was having a lot of stress and it almost seeped into me as a reader…which I didn’t particularly care for.

I really liked Ted again in this book – he’s just a nice guy and I loved how he helped and “put up with” Melina when he could have just as easily said “see ya.” He’s a great character. With Paul and Meredith we were given a bit of information about them but it was a tad confusing and I’m not sure why it was added except to set things up for the next book? IDK.

Overall the book had a good feel to it and I liked it, it just didn’t bowl me over.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Series:

Don't Kill The Messenger (A Messenger Novel 1)Dead on Delivery

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

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

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Don’t Kill The Messenger by Eileen Rendahl

Posted March 25, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Publisher: Berkley, PenguinGenres: Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Tracy’s review of Don’t Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl

Melina Markowitz is a Messenger, a go-between for paranormal forces and supernatural creatures. Problem is, when a girl’s a go-between, it’s hard not to get caught in the middle…

When ninjas steal an envelope from Melina, her search leads her to a Taoist temple in Old Sacramento, where the priests seem to practice Zen and the art of mayhem. Melina learns from the handsome ER doctor (and vampire) who gave her the envelope that it contained talismans created by the priests to control Chinese vampires, who are attacking gang members to spark a street war.

Although he may look more like a surfer than a cop, Ted Goodnight is dead serious about investigating the surge in gang violence. At every turn he runs into Melina, a very attractive-and very mysterious-young woman. Can Melina enlist his help to battle something he doesn’t even believe in without blowing her cover?

Melina is asked by ER doc and vampire Alex Bledsoe to take an envelope to the area’s “head” vamp. When in the process of taking the envelope Melina is attacked by Tai Chi wielding ninja’s she’s a little confused and really pissed off. She’s determined to find out who attacked her and why. What Melina finds is a huge conspiracy to take over the drug trade in Sacramento, California. Melina tries to get to the bottom of the problem but the bad guys attack her friends to try to keep her away from her discoveries. But no one is stopping Melina.

Through all of this Melina meets Ted Goodnight. He’s a cop – and completely human. Melina knows that she’s not a normal girl. She delivers messages and packages to supernatural beings during the day and works as a file clerk at a hospital by night. She knows she shouldn’t get mixed up with Ted but he’s so nice and heroic and he smells like cookies – how can she resist? When Ted discovers that Melina is way more woman than he thought he’s a little confused, to say the least but Ted’s determined to get to the bottom of everything.

This was a very good beginning to what I think will be a wonderful series. Melina is intelligent, thoughtful, caring and she can kick some ass too. She doesn’t think she has all that many friends but when push comes to shove more people than she would think come out of the woodwork. She’s a character that I’m looking forward to reading more about.

Ted Goodnight, Alex Bledsoe and the other secondary characters in the book, Paul the werewolf, Norah – Melina’s human roomie, Sophie – a newly formed messenger, Ben – Melina’s 15 year old neighbor boy and Meredith the witch are all well written and multi-faceted. I believe Rendahl has written an new world that I found interesting in it’s normality – even if it does have paranormal characters.

If you like a good Urban Fantasy read I think you’ll very much enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 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.

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

What I Read Last Week

Posted February 15, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 14 Comments

Happy Monday!

I want to start off by telling everyone thank you once again for all of your support this past week.  Between comments from the blog and personal emails it’s been amazing and made me cry on more than one occasion.  You guys are the best.

My hubby is now home! Yay!  He had surgery on Thursday to correct the collapsed lung.  The surgeon told us that he couldn’t find the weak point in his lung which is a bummer but he cleaned things up and did a procedure that will make the likelihood of it happening again less. The surgeon was so nice to give us pictures of his lung – ew!  I love you all and will not be sharing those with you.  Believe me, you’d thank me. Hubby’s in a lot of pain but he’s moving around some which is good.  He’s young and otherwise healthy so they think his recuperation will be relatively fast.  I say it’s just really good to have him home!  The girls are doing really well with him and trying to help as much as they can.  They might drive me bat shit crazy some of the time but they’re good kids, I have to say. 🙂

I read quite a bit this week just hanging at the hospital.  For such a busy place it was incredibly quiet. lol

Strangely enough I was sick this past Monday  – thank heavens that had gone away by the time hubby went in or I wouldn’t have been able to see him.  I got two books read that day – both for The Book Binge.  The first book was Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles.  A cute paranormal story about a woman, Jackie, who gets turned into a Succubus by a vampire and a Serim (fallen angel).  You can read my review here3.75 out of 5

The next one I read that day was Succubi Like it Hot by Jill Myles.  This is the next story in the Succubus Diaries series and follows Jackie as she gets used to being a succubus.  She’s formed a relationship with both her fallen angel sires, Noah, and her vampire sire, Zane.  I love both men but Zane is one hot vamp lemme tell ya. Wow. 🙂  Anyway, once again a cute story – there’s humor and sex and romance…as well as some ass kicking in both of these books.  You can read my review here4 out of 5

Next up was Close Contact by Rebecca Airies.  I read this one for The Book Binge as well.  It was a novella about a woman who is cursed but doesn’t know by whom or why.  She’s in horrible pain if she’s away from her mate – that she just met – who happens to be a werewolf.  The book really wasn’t really my thing, unfortunately.  I’ll let you know when my review posts. 2.5 out of 5

Next up was The More I See You by Lynn Kurland. The funny thing about me reading this book: I’ve started buying the De Piaget series from book 1. Have I read book 1?  No.  Why read book 7 then, you may ask?  Who freakin knows?  Actually it was a grab and go when I was running out the door to the hospital so that might explain it – at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂  Anyway, I really liked the book.  Jessica is in England and wishing on a star that she’d find a gallant, chivalrous man and next thing you know she’s in 13th century England.  She gets attached to Richard de Galtres who is a Knight but one who’s trying desperately to forget his childhood.  He’s gruff and surly and I have to say it made him all the more adorable in my eyes – in Jessica’s as well.  4 out of 5

The next book was not intended as a Tracy’s TBR Challenge read but I discovered it was just easier to have my ereader with me this week rather than books. And then I discovered that I’d had the book since last June!  Fitting that the name of the book was Discovery. lol  I started book 5 in Jet Mykles’ Dark Elves series – Discovery.  This was an interesting story as it didn’t deal mostly with the Dark Elves.  They were in the beginning and the end of the book but not a lot in the middle.  A young human bard goes to live with the elves for a couple of years to gain information that he can then share with the humans – possibly making their lives more interesting to the humans and more woman would want to live with them as the elves numbers are dwindling.  Though Kinig falls desperately in love with Fallil he knows he has to leave him to spread his message.  Nine years later he gets captured by an evil elf from a different race but is taken care of by Nialdlye, yet another elf from another race, and eventually saved.  This was a great step in the continuing story of the dark elves.  I would have liked to have seen more interaction with the dark elves themselves but Mykles has a great way of bringing everything together in a fashion that sometimes you just don’t expect. 3.75 out of 5 (m/m, m/f)

Next was Dark Elves VI: Awakening by Jet Mykles.  This is, for now, the final book in the Dark Elves series  This follows the offspring of the couples that we read about in the first few books.  They’ve grown and are becoming warriors and sorcerers in their own right.  Savous and Irin’s daughter, Eryhaen, has massive amounts of power but doesn’t have a clue how to control it and she herself is a selfish, out of control woman.  Radin is back in the picture but in a comatose like state.  Eryhaen is sure that he is her true mate and will do anything to get her way and her way wants Radin.  She’s just not fully aware of the people that she is hurting in the process.  This was a good but sometimes sad story of friendship, loyalty and love.  I hope, in the future, that Mykles decides to write more about the elves. 4 out of 5 (m/f, m/m, m/m/f, f/f, m/m/m/f)

And last but not least was yet another one for The Book Binge (seriously, I have so many books to read for TBB I might have to read nothing but BB books for a week straight just to get it down to a manageable sized pile.  What?  I just can’t say no when they sound really good!).  This one was Don’t Kill The Messenger by Eileen Rendahl.  An UF book that I really liked. The girl is a Messenger who passes messages and items, etc. around to different paranormal groups that don’t get along.  A very good book that I think a lot of you will like.  I’ll let you know when my review posts. 4 out of 5

FYI – my review for Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh went up over at The Book Binge.  You can read it here.

Happy Reading!

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,