Tag: Elizabeth Vaughan

What I Read Last Week

Posted June 20, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 11 Comments

Bore da (pronounced Bore-ray dar aka Good Morning in Welsh)
How the heck are ya? Doing well I hope!
This week was an interesting/smell & disgusting one at work as a baby skunk got into one of the buildings at work and stunk up the place. OMG those things smell vile. I mean, I’ve passed areas while in my car that were smelly because of a skunk but I’ve never smelled one up close and personally. Yuk. I stayed in my office but my boss got sprayed and then walked into the office – gross! Needless to say we had to call in professionals and we still have residual smell.
Father’s day was nice as we had my parents, brother and his family, my niece and her boyfriend over for lunch. We also had my sister Ann who lives in Alabama come over since she is on a business trip in San Diego. She totally surprised my parents on Sunday morning at church and my girls were equally surprised. It was just a fun day.
I had a good reading week as well which was nice!
I started off with Make Mine a Bad Boy by Katie Lane. This was a pretty cute book but I had some issues with it. You can read my review here on The Book Binge if you’re interested. 3.25 out of 5
Next up was 911 by Chris Owen that I read for my TBR Challenge for the month. It was a good m/m/m book that I enjoyed. You can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5
This Perfect Kiss by Melody Thomas was an impulse request through Netgalley and I’m so glad that I got it. It was a great story (it releases on 6/28) about a girl of “almost” 18 who is infatuated with a man in the Royal Navy. Cut to 9 years later – both have been married and their spouses have died and they have both lived through many things. They fall back in love but the book is about so much more than that. I’ll be posting my review this week.
My next read was Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan. This is book 4 in the Chronicles of the Warlands and it was a good one. Be warned – this is not a stand alone novel so if you’re interested you need to start from book 1. This is the continuing story of the blending of the Plains people and the Xyians and has a lot of Lara and Keir in the story…but the story is told more from Heath and Atira’s viewpoints. You can read my review here on The Book Binge is you’d like. 4.5 out of 5
Infinity Pools by LA Witt is book 2 in the Changing Plans series and it was great. The story continues almost immediately from where book 1 ends and tells us about Elliot and Derek and their adventures together. I loved seeing the two men come together although I would have loved to have been in Derek’s head to see what he was thinking. Despite that it was a great book and I’m becoming a huge Witt fan. 4.5 out of 5
Visible Friend by KZ Snow was my next read and it was also great. The story centers around Chris who has been a drug addict for 9 years. He’s now out of recovery and trying to deal with life, staying away from drugs and those old friends who still do drugs and wanting to be with a man. He thinks he starts something with a man from a support group but that’s not what he thought. He also is dealing with a man who he thought was his invisible friend when he was young but now the boy is all grown up and appearing in front of him. This was a really great book and had all the wonderful writing that KZ puts into all of her stories. It was very emotional and I felt for Chris so much with his struggles. 4 out of 5
Last for the week was Undercover by Lauren Dane. This is my first read by Dane even though I have this entire series and the Cascadia wolves series – strange, I know. Anyway the story focuses on Sera who works for the Federation military. She is assigned to work with a covert ops team that includes the man that she was in love with 10 years prior but he ended up marrying someone else. The book has the two men, Brandt and Ash, working with Sera as well as sleeping with her and they all fall in love. I liked the story and the sex was hot but I found my attention waning at times during the story. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series though to see what happens next. 3.25 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that have posted since last Monday
Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan

Posted June 20, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Tracy’s review of Warcry (Chronicles of the Warlands #4) by Elizabeth Vaughan

All is not well in Xy. There is a faction of nobles who are plotting against the Queen and her barbarian warlord. As cultures clash and tempers flare, Heath and the fierce Plains warrior woman Atira of the Bear must come together to fight the conspiracy… and to search their hearts for something deeper than raw passion.

Lara, Queen of Xy and Warprize, along with her husband, Keir of the Cat, is returning to her homeland of Xy to give birth. But there are some people of Xy who don’t want Lara’s child to be born and they certainly don’t want Lara on the throne any longer.

Heath, who has been a friend of Lara’s since childhood, followed Lara to the Plains. He was infatuated with, and eventually fell in love with Atira of the Bear and wants to be her bonded so badly he can taste it. They’ve spent time together both fighting and sharing a more intimate relationship but Atira looks at bonding (the Plains people version of marriage) as something akin to being controlled. She also looks at it as something that happens to special people and since she looks at herself as especially un-special she can’t wrap her mind around the thought of bonding with Heath. But Heath doesn’t feel right about asking her to stay in Xy when she’s truly a Plains person.  Where will that leave their relationship?

When Lara and Keir, Heath and Atira and all those from the Plains make it to Xy they find that some things are in an uproar. There are disputes that need to be settled immediately but also some scheming by a few Lords that are unhappy with the combining of the Xyian and the Plains people.

This is really a continuation of the previous books with a bit of a focus on the romance between Atira and Heath. The story was told more from their points of view unlike previous books where the focus was Lara and Keir. The book itself, however, is more of the telling of the meshing of the two worlds and it was done so well. I love Vaughan’s writing in general because she has a wonderful way of bringing all of the key elements into the story as well as the little bits of life that the Xy or Plains people might experience. It just makes for a very complete story and I love that. I must say that the last few pages of the book were a bit out of the blue and crazy but hopefully all of that will be cleared up in future books.

If you have been reading the entire series from book one Warcry is not to be missed. If you haven’t read the first three books I would not recommend that this be your first foray into the Warlands. It would be mighty confusing for you and not knowing all of the ins and outs of the story you would be pretty lost.

A great story in a series that I highly recommend.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Series:
Warprize (Chronicles of the Warlands) Publisher: Berkley; Reprint editionWarswornWarlordWarcry (Chronicles of the Warlands)

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.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 13, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 14 Comments

Hello my fellow book lovers!

How the heck are ya?  I’m doing well.  There’s not anything to report here so I’ll get right to the books.

Actually I started the week reading a bunch of yaoi manga:
Reversible by various artists 2 out of 5 
Love Mode by Yuki Shimizu 3 out of 5 
Ka*Shin*Fu by Makoto Tateno 2 out of 5 
Golden Prince and Argent King by Kouko Agawa 3 out of 5 
Little Butterfly – Omnibus – by Hinako Takanaga 4 out of 5 

First up was Wicked Surrender by Jade Lee.  This was the story of the daughter of an actress who now ran a theatre.  She wants nothing more than to be found respectable so when the 4th son of an Earl proposes she accepts.  The problem is that she’s not accepted by his set at all and things aren’t exactly the way she expected them to be.  There’s also the problem of her having feelings for her fiance’s cousin and him constantly asking her to be his mistress.  I had some issues with the heroine of this book…and the hero at times as well but liked it for the most part.  I found out an interesting twist when I read the blurb for the next book in the series so I’ll definitely be reading that one to find out what happens. This one I read for The Book Binge3.5 out of 5
Next was All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins.  Ok, Higgins makes me laugh.  I really love her sense of humor.  The story was about a woman who had been in love with a guy for years.  He was now her boss and at one point had had a 5 week relationship that she thought was going somewhere.  Turned out it wasn’t quite great “timing” for her boss though.  Yeah, right.  Anyway, so she’s decided to branch out in the dating scene and starts – eventually, in a round about kind of way, to date the new town vet. That’s not before she goes on a couple of dates with men that’s she’s met on an online dating service (those were damned funny). It’s a crazy time in her life and very emotional at times but it works.  This book was funny, heart-breaking, sad and fun all rolled into one.  There were points in the book when I found it too descriptive, or the heroine would go off on a tangent in her mind and those were a bit frustrating but overall I really liked it. 4 out of 5
I read Her Laird, Her Lover by Sable Grey for The Book Binge.  This short story was about a woman who had been sent back into medieval times 3 years prior.  Her and her “mother”, the woman who had taken her in, ran cons to make money.  One such con was run on a local Laird only her secret is discovered and eventually love blooms.  I really liked this story.  Grey managed to pack a lot of good stuff into 40 some pages. 4 out of 5
After that was Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara.  I’m not sure why I’m reading Hanakkuh stories in September but whatever. lol  It was good!  Jonah is going home to visit his parents for Hanakkuh and he’s not thrilled about it.  He’s gay and a gay fiction writer but his parents know neither of these facts.  They think that he lives in Seattle and isn’t very successful.  Ethan, Jonah’s old neighbor – the guy Jonah had the hots for while growing up – and the guy who outed him and got him beat up and shoved in lockers in high school, picks Jonah up from the airport and starts flirting with him.  Huh?  The story is of Ethan and Jonah’s relationship as well as the search for a family heirloom that disappears during a blizzard and subsequent blackout.  This was a wonderful story!  I loved the mystery involved with all of Jonah’s relatives as well as the budding relationship with Ethan and Jonah.  I definitely recommend this one.  4.5 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week was Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughan.  I read Warprize a while back and loved it.  Why it took me so long to read book 2 is beyond me.  This book followed Lara and Keir in their journey to the Plains.  The story was mostly about the Plague and how it hits their camp but also about Lara and Keir finding a better understanding and deeper love with each other.  I laughed in this one, I cried (a lot, which I never do) and I loved it.  Great book 4.5 out of 5
I had to immediately read Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan after finishing Warsworn.  I didn’t want to wait so I picked it up and devoured it.  It was just as good as books 1 and 2 and I loved it as well.  This had Lara and Keir in the Plains and the many obstacles they had to face in order to be together.  They had to face many dissenters and it certainly wasn’t easy.  I really like Vaughan’s writing and yes, found myself crying at the end of this one as well.  How does she do that? lol  4.5 out of 5
Next up was The Promise by Brenda Joyce.  This is book 13 in the de Warrene dynasty series and it comes out on the 28th.  I don’t want to say anything about my thoughts since I’ll be reviewing it this week.  This was Elysse O’Neill and Alexi de Warrene’s story.
I read Whenever We Meet by Cerise DeLand for The Book Binge (yes, I’m trying to catch up!).  The story of a woman who is recovering from the death or her husband – even though they didn’t have a great marriage.  She goes to Mexico to design a hotel and falls in love with her client.  He wants her but is willing to wait until she’s comfortable with him.  He does have one requirement though – she has to kiss him hello whenever she enters a room that he’s in and kiss him goodbye when she leaves. Interesting concept – I liked the first part of the book since I love kissing scenes but the end didn’t really do it for me. (EC covers are not leaving much to the imagination these days are they?!) 3 out of 5
Next was another book for The Book Binge called Trouble in a Stetson by Regina Carlysle.  Lola and 2 of her friends leave Vegas for a grand adventure.  Lola was a showgirl (*sings* her name was Lola, she was a showgirl…nevermind) and got canned because she was too old – she’s 30!  Right after that her fiance breaks it off with her and Lola and her friends have had enough of Vegas.  Lola and her friends make it to Mesa Blanco, Texas when their car breaks down.  They have no money and end up staying to get the car fixed and get some money to get on their way.  Lola meets the town sheriff though and they start a relationship.  Lola was done with men but Sam just calls to her and Sam was hurt by a previous relationship/marriage and doesn’t want to get involved other than sex.  Yeah, that doesn’t work out for either one of them.  lol  This was a very cute book.  I’ve liked what I’ve read of Carlysle’s in the past and this one didn’t disappoint.  4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted January 11, 2010 by Tracy in Reviews | 14 Comments


How was your week last week? Did you read anything spectacularly wonderful? If so you need to let me know!

This past Saturday we had a small gathering of the So Cal Bloggers. Wendy, Lori, Renee, Holly, Rosie and I all got together and did a little used book store hop along with lunch. It was great fun and I’m pretty sure we all had a good time – at least I know I had a good time. 🙂 Let’s see…I got books 1 & 3 in the Tessa Dare trilogy, one of the Lynn Kurland time travel books that I’ve been getting (I really should start reading those), the remaining 3 books in Anne Stuart’s series about the Committee, The Hello Girl by Merline Lovelace and…wait, I think that’s it. lol I’m trying to do this off the top of my head but I think that’s it. Anyway, a good haul.

One of my local reading friends, Jen, was given a Total Gym by one of her friends. She decided she didn’t want it so she brought it to me and I am the new of own of parts of a Total Gym. There are no instructions how to put the darned thing together or how to use it but I’m sure a trip & search to the internet will supply me with that. Now I just have to get off my lazy ass and use it. We’ll see. 🙂

So what I read last week:

I started the week off with Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr. I reviewed it here. 4.5 out of 5

Then there was Wild Heart by Lori Brighton. I was really looking forward to this book because for some strange reason I thought it had to do with shifters. Where on earth did I get that idea? IDK, but there were no shifters in this book. lol. It’s a historical novel that has a paranormal element in that the heroine can feel the feelings of animals and calm them – only this man that she’s supposed to be teaching…she can feel his feelings too. (Maybe that’s why I thought he was a shifter). It was an ok read. I found it to be slower than expected. I did like the hero but he was so quiet it was hard to get to truly know him. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Next up was a “From Holly’s Bookself” read and my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week – See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson. I borrowed the book from Holly way back when I visited her at her home. I’ve written a review for The Book Binge and will let you all know when it posts.

His Convenient Husband by JL Langley was my next read. I added this one to my M/M Challenge and you can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5

Another M/M Challenge review will be for Chasing Smoke by KA Mitchell – this review will post Wednesday. Yep, I’m on a roll! lol

My next read was Shifting Winds by Lex Valentine. This is the first short in the Tales of the Darkworld series. I have to say that I expected the story to be much darker than it was – hence the word “Darkworld” but really, it wasn’t at all. The story was about a vampire, Elysia, and a dragon shifter, Declan, who finally get together and have a night of passion. They fall in love quite quickly but the story is so short that it really doesn’t show us why they fall in love with each other, other than the fact that they discover they are mates and very much enjoy having sex. Some pretty hot sex scenes but I found the love story itself just so-so. Rating: 3 out of 5

Last on my list for the week was Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan. This was recommended to me by Renee when the So Cal Blogger went to Costa Mesa and stalked the UBS there. I really liked the book for the most part and am looking forward to the next book. I did find the Warlord, Keir, much more communicative and understanding than I would expect a Warlord to be, but I didn’t think that it took away from the story at all. Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Happy Reading!

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Guest review: White Star by Elizabeth Vaughan

Posted May 20, 2009 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Publisher: Berkley, PenguinGenres: Paranormal Romance

Nath‘s review of White Star (Star Series, book 2) by Elizabeth Vaughan

There is one m.ore adored.. Everyone knows that the Lady High Priestess Evelyn is virtuous and noble, one of the leaders of the rebellion against the unjust usurper, as well as a gentle healer who channels the powers of the gods to help the sick and injured.

There is no one more despised… Orrin Blackhart, the Scourge of Palins, is renowned as an evil man. As the war leader of one of the usurper’s supporters, he has killed many and stood by while the sorceress he serves created an army of the undead.

And there is nothing more unexpected than passion… When Orrin takes Evelyn prisoner during the war, each will discover there is more to the other than they expected. And souls that should have clashed will be forged together in desire, redemption, and glory…

I’ve become a fan of Ms Vaughan after reading her excellent Warlands Chronicles trilogy. I loved everything about the Warlands Chronicles: the strong heroine, the ambitious hero, the meeting of two worlds, the journey, the secondary characters… everything!

After such a wonderful series, it is understandable why my expectations for this new trilogy would be high. I hoped for Ms Vaughan to follow-up with something great. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the case. Dagger-Star was somewhat disappointing and looking back on my review, I realized that I’ve been generous with the grade 🙁 I would have to agree with Li that Dagger-Star was more in a C-range… Still, I wasn’t going to give up on Ms Vaughan and I looked out for White Star. This second installment is better, but it still hasn’t met my expectations.

The beginning of White Star actually overlaps with the timeline of Dagger-Star and readers find out what happened to Evelyn once she was kidnapped by Orrin Blackhart, the Scourge of Palins. I have to say, that is a cool nickname LOL 🙂 In White Star, we discover that the fierce warrior that everyone seems to fear and be wary of is a man, a normal man who is tired of holding down the fort. Yes, at first, his baroness seems to have a good idea – raising an army of undead and using them to fight and take possession of the neighbouring lands… However, when your mistress turns out to be a bit loopy – okay, a lot crazy – and it’s up to you to see to the well-being of an entire army and population… well, it can take its toll. So Orrin Blackhart is just a man who is tired, exhausted by the burden of his responsibilities towards his men. He knows he’s made a mistake supporting his baroness, but at this point, it’s too late.

When news come that his baroness has died at the hands of the mysterious Red Gloves, Orrin knows that they have lost. He only hopes that the life of Evelyn and his surrender will spare his people’s lives. Thus, Orrin is taken back as a prisoner and is sentenced to death, while Evelyn is given a boon for the role she has played in making the prophecy come true. Upon hearing the voice of the Lady telling her to save Orrin’s life, Evelyn uses her boon… and Orrin is given one chance to obtain a pardon for him and his men – he must get rid of the remaining undead…

Overall, I enjoyed White Star better than Dagger-Star, mostly for Orrin. I really liked his character and his sense of honor. Yes, he did a lot of wrong in the past – but as a warrior, it’s to be expected. He regrets his action, did his best to make up for it and protect his people. I like his entourage, his team. They had very good chemistry and their interaction was fun to read. Evelyn was an okay heroine. I thought she was a bit too stuffy for me and haughty. As if the fact that she initiated the rebellion gave her some rights, you know? And if I remember correctly, she even acknowledges it as well. I understand why these two characters would be attracted to one another, unfortunately, I think the chemistry wasn’t there. Perhaps if the author had time to develop their relationship a little bit more…

My main problem with White Star though was the plot. I think that the overall idea was more interesting than Dagger-Star and had great potential, but the execution was poor. Everything went too fast, the action was not well developed… it’s as if we zipped through it all. I felt that Ms Vaughan had too many ideas and she tried to cram them all in one single book and as a result, it did not work to her advantage. Oh, I like the storyline… only, it could have been more. It could have been more engaging to the readers… The thing is, because all the events happen so fast one after another, the readers don’t have time to engage their emotions, get involved in the storyline and connect with the characters. In addition, I feel like the voice is a bit impersonal, it simply relates what happens. Perhaps if she was going back to first POV (I can’t believe I’m saying that LOL).

In addition, because there is so much action, I think that the world building was a bit neglected. We know that the Star trilogy takes place in the same world as the Warlands Chronicles, but in a different kingdom. We know that Palins is divided into different regions and each is governed by a baron. The politic part is okay… but I mean, it’s hard to reconcile Palins with the world we know from the Warlands Chronicles. How can magic exist in this kingdom and not another? Also, elves?!? I thought these things would be explained in this book, but it wasn’t 🙁

Again, it’s very unfortunate because I really like Ms Vaughan as an author. I said it in my previous review that I liked the whole idea of the prophecy and rebellion… for the chosen one to get back the throne… I would have liked it to span all three books. As it is, I will still pick up the last book, although to be honest, I’m not really interested in Bethral and Ezren’s story ^_^; (although I want to know more about Ezren… it’s more Bethral that is meh) I’m actually looking forward to the next trilogy, because I believe there will be one 🙂

Grade: 3.25/5

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

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