Tag: Kris’ Reviews

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale

Posted June 27, 2019 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Midsummer Moon by Laura KinsaleReviewer: Kris
Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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An impossible inventor...

Ransom Falconer, Duke of Damerell, is sent to see if Merlin Lambourne, the famous inventor, has created a truly magnificent innovation that can be used in the war against Napoleon. What Ransom doesn't realize is that Merlin is a woman, and not everyone wants to see her invention become a reality...

With dreams of flight...

Merlin Lambourne is a brilliant yet slightly eccentric scientist whose dream is to build a flying machine. Nothing can distract her from her goals, and Ransom offers her refuge at his estate-a safe haven to work on her invention undisturbed. But when Merlin's dream puts them both at risk, Ransom must overcome his own fears and realize her invention may be the answer to saving both their lives...

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on June 2, 2008.

Kris‘ review of Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale, a standalone historical.

This was a cute book. I enjoyed it for the most part. The heroine bugged me a little. She is sooooo naive and innocent it is hard to believe. She was funny in her naiveté but there was no connecting with her because she was so clueless. It is hard to swallow just how sheltered she had been.

She has never left her isolated house in the country. She and her uncle just worked on their experiments and that was their life. She has never seen a child or baby, she has never seen a young man or been courted by one. She knows nothing about titles or that there is a hierarchy in the country besides the king/queen. She knows absolutely nothing about sex or lust or even kissing (never even heard of it). But this book appeals to my love of nerds. I love nerdy characters whether hero or heroine. She is very much the absent-minded professor.

Ransom, the hero, was a protector and very arrogant. Which is funny with a heroine like Merlin. He was a lot more alive to me than Merlin because I could relate to his fear and understand his POV. He is petrified of heights and equates heights with falling and dying. So the thought of Merlin finishing her flying machine and trying it out equals her death, which he is trying to prevent. Especially at this point in history when flying was not a thing that people could do. I don’t think that what he did to it was very nice, but I can understand the reaction.

I thought there would be a little more suspense or action and there was not but that was okay, this was not a romantic suspense. So for me, it dragged in a couple of places. It was a cute fluffy book, and good if you can get past the heroine. I just had a hard time with it. So I would give this one a:

3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Casablanca. But you can buy it here. Read more from Kris at The Reading Spot.


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Guest Review: Afterlight by Elle Jasper

Posted April 15, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Afterlight: The Dark Ink ChroniclesKris‘ review of Afterlight (Dark Ink Chronicles, Book 1) by Elle Jasper

The first title in the Dark Ink Chronicles.

Savannah tattoo artist Riley Poe is quite familiar with the local underground scene. When her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires, Riley discovers a world of shadows and blood–and those who exist there. Original. Savannah’s most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe, lives on the edge. Now she’s put over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires. Her only ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley’s beauty and rare blood type. To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley faces dangers she’s never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour it all…

I read this a few months ago and then wanted to read it again before the next book came out but then I realized I never reviewed this one after the first time I read it. Riley is a gifted tattoo artist in Savannah, who has made a good name and reputation for her awesome tats and Goth type outfits (I picture Abby from NCIS when I think of her outfits). She has been taking care of her teenaged brother since the death of their mother 5 years ago. After a night of teenage boy mischief, Seth as gotten in over his head and is now tied to some very old, very bad vampires. Riley has no idea what is wrong with him and enlists that aid of their “adopted” family. They own the medicine shop next door and are part of the Gullah. (I am not sure how exactly to explain them, they are an old superstitious group in the area, mostly descended from slaves brought there from West Africa who held on to a lot of their traditions and beliefs over the years.) They introduce her to the Dupre family who has lived in Savannah for a very long time, about 200 years.

They are vampires who have a pact with the Gullah for blood in exchange for protection. The family is made up of mom, dad, three sons and a daughter. The oldest is the hero of the book, Eli. Eli and Riley are attracted to one another but Riley has a some quality in her blood that is massively appealing to vampires. Her adopted parents have been giving her a special blend of tea to hide it for years. So to be with her Eli has to find and use massive self-control not to bite her every time he is near her. They have one month to protect the city from the minions like Seth that they have enlisted before the two bad vamps come to full power and the Dupres can fight them.

I really enjoyed this book. The storyline was good, the love scenes were hot and the characters were interesting to read about. I loved Eli’s character and how intense he was. His family was nice and a little quirky, which I liked. Riley’s style rocked and her loyalty to her brother was admirable. She was willing to do anything to rescue him and was ready to die to save him. I enjoyed reading her sparring sessions with the family. Though my favorite part was probably still the love scenes. I loved that the story was set in Savannah, I love that area and it is always fun to recognize places you have been when you are reading. Plus the cover is gorgeous; I am such a sucker for a good cover.

The only thing that bothered me in this story was Eli’s reaction to Riley’s blood was so strong in the beginning and then it seemed to taper off, and that seemed inconsistent to me. Maybe I missed something, but that bugged me. Other than that, I enjoyed it a lot and I cannot wait to read the next book.

I give this book a strong 4 out of 5.

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

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Guest Review: Finding Destiny by Jean Johnson

Posted March 30, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Finding Destiny (Sons of Destiny)Kris‘ review of Finding Destiny (Sons of Destiny) by Jean Johnson

From the author of “the fabulously fresh, thoroughly romantic, and wildly entertaining” (Jayne Ann Krentz) Sons of Destiny come four all-new novellas set in the same bewitching world of danger, passion, and providence…

I very much have enjoyed reading the series that originated this anthology so was very excited to hear about this book. I read a good clip about the stories on her website:

It holds four stories, all set in the Sons of Destiny universe, each one a different flavor: village life, steampunk, palace life, and pirates. Each tale leads to the next, with each one set in a new kingdom, so you’ll get the chance to explore new corners of their world with familiar faces…starting with the tale of what happened to Eduor, son of the Earl of the Western Marches from my very first novel, THE SWORD.

So even though it is an anthology that takes place all in the same world you get very different stories with the various settings. I was very surprised to be put in a steampunk setting, but it was a nice surprise. I loved how all these stories built upon one another. You would meet the character(s) for each story in the preceding story, that was fun. I liked that they were all connected, if loosely, to one another. A lot of fantasy anthologies will give you four separate stories that just happen to possibly take place on the same world.

The slave…Chanson, a privileged Arbran dyara, discovers an unexpected connection with the excitingly different Eduor, a bracingly sexy war-slave who desires his freedom. But what binds them together could also destroy them.

The first story was “The Slave” and it took place in a village. Eduor is a newly freed slave who finds himself in a small village trying to make a place for himself. He takes over the farm of a man who has gone off to fight a battle an in doing so has left his farm to be unproductive. Now their law states that if a man can make himself productive on land that remains unclaimed for a year, they can keep that land. So Eduor goes to work. One of the village leaders is a woman named Chanson, she is a weather witch for the village and her position is very highly regarded. As he shows his work ethic and integrity it draws her in and they fall in love.
Sweet story, I enjoyed it, though honestly when I started it I did not recognize Eduor as a character from the previous book though his name was slightly familiar. I realized later that he was mentioned in The Sword. It did take me a little bit to get into this story, not exactly sure why so I have to give this one a 3.75.

The knight…The Arbran diplomat Sir Zeilas must turn the Guildaran people—with their strange machines and weaponry—from former enemies into allies. But in the case of their intriguingly beautiful leader, perhaps something more intimate is in order. 

The second story was “The Knight”. This story’s main character was one of the knights escorting Eduor before and after he was newly freed from slavery. Zeilas is told to go be an envoy to the new formed country of Guildara. This is our steampunkish story. Guildara is a country that is making it reputation on it mechanical inventions. With their previous tyranny, they have lived the unavailability of magic, because the previous king either killed or brainwashed them. Zeilas’s country is vast and powerful but loves the new weapons and such coming out of this little area. Then Zeilas meets that brains and beauty that is the leadership of this fascinating land, Marta.

I liked the conflict in this one, there was an actual battle. I enjoyed the scenery and the storyline. I think my only issue was a superficial one and that was her name. I just have a personal issue with that name so it affected my like the story. But will still give this one a 4.25.

The mage…Gabria never expected to become a Guildaran envoy to Aurul, or the subject of their seer king’s prophecies. But the most stunning surprise was what waited for her in His Majesty’s winter palace, and why.

The third story was ‘The Mage”. Marta’s good friend and part of the newly formed mage guild is requested to come to Zeilas’s

The third story was ‘The Mage”. Marta’s good friend and part of the newly formed mage guild, Gabria, is requested to come to Zeilas’s country. She assumes as an ambassador. But their king is the Seer King who is periodically taken over by their god and is given visions and prophesies and such and He has foreseen that she will be the Seer King’s wife. She finds this out after she gets there and they are preparing her for her wedding. She handles it very well, better than I would have. She is very conscious of not causing a scene and not wanting to make a major faux pax but wanting more information before she is married off.

This was a very well constructed story. I think it was my favorite of this anthology. It is basically an arranged marriage and the two people are trying to learn to get along and learn each other as they are actually falling in love. It does not happen over the course of a week which would have drove me crazy, it took time and they grew together. Loved watching that, and it was so well done to be able to do that in a short story. I give this story a 4.5.

The pirate…Captain Ellett would do anything for his king. Even hunt down the pirates plaguing the Jenodan Isles. But he never counted on the seductive powers of the pirate’s captain—beautiful, tempestuous, and impossible to resist.

The last story was “The Pirate”. This one takes the Seer King’s Royal captain, Ellet, and sends him to investigate a possible pirate off their southern coast. He goes down and discovers that the pirate is a beautiful woman that is mad that his country has been stealing from hers. He knows this is not true so knows there he has a lot more to learn about what is going on. They uncover a deeper plot and grow closer as they investigate.

This one was nice, I liked that adventure in it. Pirate stories are almost always fun to read as long as the characters are good, I have seen many TSTL heroines in pirate books. In this one she was the pirate and she was a smart one at that. I enjoyed the storyline in this novella and was anxious to see how it worked out. I give this one an 4.25.

The anthology was a nice read all around. If you have never read any of the other books in this world you are not really missing any previous storyline, except maybe Eduor’s backstory, but I did not remember it when I read it and still relatively enjoyed it.

I give it a 4.25 overall.

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

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Guest review: Blood Wyne by Yasmine Galenorn

Posted March 25, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Blood Wyne (Sisters of the Moon, Book 9)Kris‘ review of Blood Wyne (Sisters of the Moon / Otherworld Book 9 ) by Yasmine Galenorn

We’re the D’Artigo sisters: half-human, half-Fae, we’re sexy, we’re savvy and we just turned in our badges to the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked good witch. Delilah’s a werecat and blossoming Death Maiden. And as for me? I’m Menolly, acrobat extraordinaire turned vampire. But being a vamp isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when the Godfather of all vampires decides to play Prince Charming…

It’s the holiday season and a vampire serial killer is on the loose. Hungry ghosts are tearing up the town and people are running scared. I strike a deal with Ivana Krask–one of the Elder Fae–and too late, discover strings are attached. But when I turn to Roman, one of the oldest, most powerful vampires around, for help, he offers me more than I ever bargained for.

If you have not read this series yet, I would suggest starting at the beginning (Witchling) because all of the books build upon one another. The series is about three sister and alternates which sister is telling the story, this one is told from Menolly’s POV. Menolly is a vampire who is finally starting to accept who she is and that she can be loved as who she is. In this story, Menolly is going after a vampire serial killer that is on the loose in their town. But runs into some problems when the serial killer hides out in the ghost infested part of town which is where we meet Ivana Krask, who I am betting we will see again later in the series. She also hooks up with Roman who is a very old very powerful vampire who has decided that he wants Menolly for his own. Menolly is attracted to him but also has a commitment to her girlfriend, Nerissa. (FYI: There is an f/f love scene in this book.) She also is trying to figure out what to do with her vampire daughter who needs a new change of residence from where she has been living. So Menolly has her hands very full in this book. Lots of time and storyline juggling that Ms Galenorn does very well. I would be so lost in writing this trying to keep everything straight.

I enjoyed this story very much, it moved the overall plot line pretty well in addition to keeping this book interesting and having a resolution. This one was a little different in that we did not see much of the main bad guys. This book was kind of in the down time after the last engagement before they go at it again with them. Delilah is still healing her wounds so we do not see very much of her and Smokey is out dealing with family business. Their lives are not boring that is for sure. I think these sisters are the living the epitome of the curse, “May you live in interesting times”.

They do not have much down time, or we just do not see much down time. It exhausts me reading about all they have to do, but I cannot ever put the books down because they get me so caught up in them. All of the sisters are coming into their own and finding their place in the world and that is cool to watch.

This is a great series and I cannot wait for the next book! 🙂

I give it a 4.75 out of 5.

Read more from Kris at The Reading Spot.

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

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Guest Review: Dirty Thirty by Cara McKenna

Posted February 13, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Kris‘ review of Dirty Thirty by Cara McKenna

Despite his scrappy punk packaging, Evan’s got a submissive streak in him that’s just screaming to be indulged. So on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, Evan’s wife Margie arranges for them to ring out his twenties by realizing his darkest fantasy—inviting another man into their bedroom.

Margie’s found the perfect candidate for Evan’s birthday treat. Paul works as a bouncer at their favorite bar, and lucky for Evan and Margie, he’s every bit the sexual Dominant his intimidating body suggests. Evan isn’t a hundred percent sure he’s ready to go to all the places his kinks seem determined to take him, but one thing’s for sure—by the time he wakes on his thirtieth birthday, his fantasy will have become reality.

Wow, this was hot.  It was well written, the main character were pretty fleshed out for the story being so short.  The story is told mainly from Evan perspective but you do have glimpses from Paul’s POV.  It is a straight guy’s one night fantasy played out for him.  There is a little bit of D/s play and there is of course m/m but there is also m/f as well.  His wife stays with them the entire time and is part of the encounter, which I appreciated.  I like that she wanted to be a part of it but I also liked that it was a one time thing and then Paul went home.  I think I have been reading too many menage relationship stories so it was a nice change of pace for me to read an encounter story.

I think the only issue I had with this story was the wife.  She was a good character but she was not as fleshed out for me.  Also I got bugged by her name.  Because i do not know anyone named Margie, I picture an old lady.  Maybe if I had gotten to know her better I would have been okay with it because i would have been able to associate it with her personality more.   As it was I never saw things from Margie’s perspective so i had a harder time getting to know her character.

Overall I really enjoyed this story and do recommend it if you like hot mm stories.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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