What’s New Pussycat?

BOOK 1: An American Werewolf in Hoboken  by  Dakota Cassidy

What’s New Pussycat?  description:

Derrick Adams is not happy. His pack of wolves isn’t like all the others. He’s got a brother who found his lifemate in the pound, a cousin who’s a vegetarian and now he has a lifemate of his own and she isn’t barking.
Martine Brooks is in a pickle. Derrick Adams is in a jam.
Pickles and jam. Not exactly a hot combo. Unless the “pickle” is a sultry, sassy cat shifter and the “jam” is a gorgeous hunk of wolf.

Derrick is cursed to die if he doesn’t make the woot-woot with his life mate on the night of the next full moon. Martine’s been held captive by a power-hungry warlock for six long months, forced to do his bidding before finding herself stuffed in a cat carrier and ditched at a 7-Eleven.

After rescuing her from a dumpster, Derrick and Martine strike a mutually beneficial deal: Mate, save a life, walk away—both alive and kicking. Win! Yet, there are kinks in the plan. Like the fact that Martine’s one-time captor is on the hunt, planning to extinguish all of her nine lives at once. Or the fact the curse threatening Derrick’s life is about to throw him a monster curve ball.
But the biggest kink might prove to be Derrick and Martine themselves, two avowed commitment-phobes…who are beginning to wonder what forever looks like.

 

BOOK 2: What’s New Pussycat?   3 STARS

The humor wasn’t as prominent as it was in the last book, though it still managed a light, fun story. However, it’s such an overused and ridiculous trope to have the two main characters be completely against the idea of a forever sort of love, and to then be surprised and unsure why they suddenly think about the other so much and are so happy to be near them. Regardless, it was nice that from the very beginning Martine knew exactly what was going on with Derrick, and happily agreed to be there for him, which did allow for other plot twists to come up. As well as for the fact that they’re in Cedar Glen for the most part, and so we get to see all the characters that were brought up previously and really get to know the strange bunch of paranormals that make up this little safe haven. It really added to the story, and makes for the promise of more books set here a rather appealing one. I want to know what’s to come of all these characters, not just the main ones that are the star of the book. Derrick, of course, is a werewolf, and it was funny for him to be initially opposed to Martine being his potential mate because she’s a cat, and we all know cats and dogs don’t mix. Martine was really the more interesting part, because she’s not just a cat shifter, she’s a witch’s familiar. This is the big driving point of the story, and gives us a lot more magic to deal with than just another shape-shifter to read about. Altogether it was a good story with a surprise ending.

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To Trust a Wolf

To Trust a Wolf   by  Danielle Hardgrave   description:

A list of things Helen Jurist never expected to see in her museum:

1. Viking relics
2. A dangerously seductive Dane with a suspicious interest in Viking relics
3. Werewolves

With the discovery of the Cutler Hoard, Helen may be forced to strike the word “never” from her vocabulary.

BOOK 1: To Trust a Wolf    4 STARS

I have to admit that within the same old story of werewolves and vampires the part that shines brightest is Helen. Here is finally a heroine that I can relate too whole heartedly. A no nonsense woman, who doesn’t get hysterical at the sight of mythical creatures, but instead takes it in realizes what’s happening and moves forward from there. While she can’t help but notice how handsome Rune is, and is at times swayed by his charm, she doesn’t let him stop her from trying to do what’s right and find the truth. But mostly a woman whose more about research and organization than some magical quest. I just feel like this here is a real woman, or maybe it’s just because that would so be me. And while Rune is a character I did quite enjoy, I believe Benji was far more intriguing. A being whose hypnotic powers felt more like that of the old tales of vampires, and I’m very curious to see what he’s all about. Altogether it was a good book, with some twists and romance to keep you coming back for more, though it does feel like it was over rather quickly. Regardless, I’ll definitely be picking up the next book as soon as I can.

House Rules… Chicagoland Vampires

BOOK 1: Some Girls Bite by  Chloe Neill

BOOK 2: Friday Night Bites

BOOK 3: Twice Bitten

BOOK 4: Hard Bitten

BOOK 5: Drink Deep

BOOK 6: Biting Cold

House Rules   description:

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of twenty-seven, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal—tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.

house rulesBOOK 7: House Rules  3 STARS

This was definitely an improvement from the last book. It’s nice that Ethan and Merit’s relationship is finally firm, even as they argue they know they’re still meant for each other, no more on again off again junk. And Ethan is acting more like his old self. There was a lot of good development as the characters are trying to move forward from the past events, and from dealing with this break from the GP, trying to figure out where they stand now is a big deal and I liked where it went.

What I didn’t like, other than numerous typos (seriously does she have an editor?), is how Neill is trying to cram more into this book than needed to be. The break from the GP was already a huge deal, and trying to figure out what they’re going to pull and how much hell they’re going to cause for Cadogan house was already giving this book a lot of tension. However, she then has to throw in these murders, that were barely a background issue for most of the book, only to be miraculously dealt with right there at the end of the book.

 

Spoilers following:

My problem with the murders is that there was no real evidence or progress made, and then right there at the end all of sudden everything just falls right into Merit’s lap. My question is why would Donovan keep Carlos’ ring since he hated him, and then use that insignia ring in a way that would then lead back to him? Why would he start killing now after all this time? Is it just because McKentrick paid him? And how would McKentrick even know about this deep dark desire of Donovan’s, when no one else does? Why did Ethan hire him? Wouldn’t he have done a good background check to find all this stuff out about him to begin with. And if all the vampires Celine turns has the same genetic marker, and then anyone she turns gives the same genetic marker to anyone they turn, then how does any vampire have any unique genetic marker? What about when they go on to make their own House, like when Laney left Cadogan, do they all have the same gentics marker then too? So would that biometric scanner really be worth a damn, because who the heck make Celine, wouldn’t all the others they made have the same marker as well?

Seriously, it was like these murders were only happening so that in the end, Ethan and Merit could save members of the GP and Cadogan could be seen as something good by them, so that maybe they’d back off. It was all very contrived, and not believable. However, it was just a background plotline, and the rest of the book was rather good.

Mona Lisa Blossoming

BOOK 1: Mona Lisa Awakening by  Sunny

Mona Lisa Blossoming  description:

Mona Lisa has finally accepted what she really is-a Mixed-Blood of the Monère, the children of the moon. Stronger, faster, and more beautiful than any human, they are the origins of Earth’s darkest legends-and Mona Lisa is their newest Queen.

Accompanied by her loyal cadre of warriors and kin, Mona Lisa is entering her territory of Louisiana for the first time. She slowly learns the erotic and savage customs of the Monère elite-though some of her new subjects are uneasy at being ruled by a half-human. Her reign is threatened by enemies old and new, and she is ensnared in the thrall of dark forces she cannot deny. In a hidden world of animal passions and unrelenting lust, Mona Lisa soon grasps the tremendous power she must command if she is to hold her realm together-and if she is ever to come into her own.

mona lisa blossomingBOOK 2: Mona Lisa Blossoming  3 STARS

With Mona Lisa finally taking over a territory and becoming a queen, this book really takes an interesting change of pace. First off, with her being completely lost on how being a Queen works, and then having to figure out who is loyal to her in this territory and who may still belong to Queen Louisa just makes this a very tense and a little uncomfortably amusing addition to the series. I say uncomfortable because Lisa stumbles through the introductions and has her people really unsure what to expect from her because even she doesn’t know what she should do. However, once more it seems a little unrealistic how cut off from the world they are, especially considering they make their money by being invested in many different sorts of businesses, which means they have to deal with humans, and should probably know about the human world around them. This, though, does much more in the erotic department, finally seeking pleasure just for pleasure’s sake. And I do like that those she knew from the first book came back into play in good and interesting ways. It’s a good second book, and I do want to read what happens next.

Some Halloweenish Reading

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

So for Halloween I thought I’d put together a list of books that were spooky, creepy, gave me the heebie jeebies, or  you know deals with the supernatural. Here you go.

phantomsPhantoms by  Dean Koontz

So this is one of those books that just makes you never want to turn out the lights again, and possibly hide in your room the rest of your life. Really freaked me out, because even when you finally get the full story it’s still completely disturbing and really does leave you wondering, especially since it uses bits of real history where weird junk happened and there’s no explanation for it. Never like it when they do that, because even as you may believe that Koontz’s explanation is most likely not even close to what happened in real life, it still leaves you wondering what really happened to those people, and could it happen to you.

skinSkin  by  Ted Dekker

Unfortunately I don’t have an actual review to attach to this. Something I definitely need to remedy. This however is one strange cookie of a book. A group of people who don’t know each other end up in this town, and one moment it’s a town being plagued by a serial killer, and the next their waking up in a deserted version where they’re all alone, and possibly still being hunted by a serial killer, and back and forth they go. You get glimpses into the mind of the  killer as well, which always ups the creep factor of a book, and definitely made me never want to eat mustard again. Either way, it’s an interesting book with a wicked ending.

insatiableInsatiable by Meg Cabot

Yes it’s vampires, but Cabot made it both interesting, amusing, and devious. The 2nd book in the serious definitely goes into creepy territory at times. I do like that the main girl hates vampires, thinks it ridiculous the soap opera she writes for is trying to introduce them, and can also tell exactly how a person is going to die. Plus I love the tie in between angels and demons, so it really took it a step beyond the norm.

forbiddenThe Forbidden Game  by  L.J. Smith

We got evil Shadow Men, and that alone is enough to make it to this list. Mainly cause they love making people face their worse nightmares, and well do a bunch of evil stuff trapping people’s souls in those nightmares or in like creepy fortune telling machines. So many layers of messed up that just keeps coming. It’s sort of like a twisted and even more disturbing version of Jumanji that just keeps coming for you even if you technically win the game. It just wants to play with you… forever… and ever… and ever…

moonlightMoonlight, Madness, and Magic

This is 3 short stories, well 4 if you count the introductory one, each dealing with the descendants of a curse. It’s a paranormal romance as well, but instead of just falling for the vampire or werewolf they’re having to figure out how to break the curse that’s causing them to transform into such, which was a nice switch-up. Plus it’s a little naughty as well, and that’s good any time of the year.

Slightly Spellbound… a Southern Witch novel

BOOK 1: Would-be Witch  by  Kimberly Frost

BOOK 2: Barely Bewitched

BOOK 3: Halfway Hexed

Slightly Spellbound   description:

With two kinds of magick at odds inside her and two gorgeous men vying for her attention, Tammy Jo Trask is used to being pulled in opposite directions. But in the latest Southern Witch novel she’ll have to make some serious decisions—like how she intends to stay alive.

Tammy Jo’s romance with the wizard Bryn Lyons is on hold while her ex-husband is in town trying to remind her of the good old days. Choosing between them isn’t easy, and it doesn’t help that a skeletal creature is spying on her, a faery knight is hunting her, and she just made friends with Evangeline Rhodes—a rich witch who thinks her own family is trying to kill her.

When Evangeline disappears under suspicious circumstances, Tammy Jo is determined to find out what happened. As she uncovers a secret more dangerous—and personal—than she could have imagined, she also discovers that, in both love and magic, you can’t stay neutral forever.

slightlyBOOK 4: Slightly Spellbound  5 STARS

I really love how Frost is moving the series along. She isn’t falling into the tragic flaws of dragging things out too long. I don’t consider it a spoiler to say the love triangle is done. Tammy Jo makes a decision early on, and that really helped the story focus more on the dealings with Evangeline and Skeleton guy. And we’re even discovering more and more about the fairy world, and that helps to understand Tammy Jo as well. Regardless of the love triangle, both Bryn and Zach continue to give a lot to the movement of the story, and the action going on within it. Plus there’s a lot going on, and misdirection that made the tangled plot something that captured the attention and wouldn’t let go. This is a series that is so funny and enchanting that I never want it to end.

Feast of Saints

Feast of Saints  by  Zoe Wildau  description:

When special effects artist Lilly Rose agrees to design the vampire Allegrezza for the blockbuster film Feast of Saints, she’s made a grave mistake. The violent subject matter and the grueling schedule are a far cry from the G-rated children’s fantasies she’s used to, as is the actor who plays the villain. Jake Durant never plays a nice guy. He’s an entertainment powerhouse who runs a business empire that includes L.A.’s most prestigious talent agency. During the intimate process of transforming Jake into Allegrezza day after day, his commanding personality and intense sexual interest in Lilly become a constant source of conflict as Lilly repeatedly rebuffs him. He’s her client and her boss’s boss and Lilly’s learned from watching that women never come out on top in the kind of relationship she believes Jake has in mind for her. Her resolve to keep their relationship strictly professional is further fueled by stress-induced nightmares in which Jake appears as a demonic beast intent on setting her on fire.

Feast weaves and the magic of Hollywood special effects into this steamy, contemporary romance to create an enduring love story that brings fantasy to life.

feastFeast of Saints  4 STARS

I really loved this book. I loved the main characters and their personality, and I liked that while obviously the love story was the main point of this book, it wasn’t all that was going on. Having it mainly from Lilly’s point of view we see all that she does as a special effects artist. It was interesting to see the process one might have to go through for such things. I have no clue how accurate it was, but it made sense to me. But I also like that it wasn’t so overdone as to distract from the story or be filler. There were times when what she was working on was glossed over and other times when it was used as major plot points because of how it was affecting her and the things she had to overcome to make everything exactly as it should be. The most surprising to me was how realistic the story was. Who would’ve thought a romance based in the world of special effects and illusion would have such a reasonable look at love, because so often romance novels throw preposterous obstacles in the way and the people seem to overreact or misunderstand each other to the point that it’s ridiculous. Like they’re just trying to stay mad. But Lilly had good reason, and wasn’t afraid to right her own mistakes when she realizes that being with Jake wouldn’t be so bad. And Jake was finally a guy who tried to do the right thing, and give her space and not get angry that she might not want him. It’s one of the better sort that I’ve read. The reason it didn’t get 5 STARS though was the beginning dragged a bit, and the characters started out too flat and so it took it a little while to connect names to faces. I’m also not the biggest fan of the meshing of fiction and reality like she does, but it’s understandable to a degree and she does put a little disclaimer at the end noting it. Altogether definitely worth the read.

Accidentally Dead… Again

BOOK 1: The Accidental Werewolf  by  Dakota Cassidy

BOOK 2: Accidentally Dead

BOOK 3: The Accidental Human

BOOK 4: Accidentally Demonic

BOOK 5: Accidentally Catty

Accidentally Dead, Again   description:

He was just looking for a night of fun. 

After a wild work-sponsored Halloween party, entomologist Sam McLean wakes up with a spotty memory—and a pointy set of fangs. Sam’s one-night stand wasn’t just dressed as a vampire; she had the bite to match. Somehow, Sam’s unconscious body ends up at the OOPS office, where paranormal crisis counselors Nina, Marty and Wanda give him the down-low on accidentally becoming a creature of the night.

What he got was an eternity of trouble.

Dealing with a newbie like Sam is no easy task, but things get even more crazy when Phoebe Reynolds—a woman who claims to be Nina’s sister—storms into the office and causes a catfight that ends when Phoebe is accidently bitten by Sam’s recently formed fangs. Now, the OOPS girls have two fledgling vamps on their hands, and their powers—and the attraction building between them—are unlike anything they’ve seen before…

dead againBOOK 6: Accidentally Dead, Again   3 STARS

Well… the plot was awesome… maybe the best plot this series has ever had… it has double agents, secrets, FBI, CIA, a bunch of other acronyms, and a strange virus running through the vampire world… and yet… the characters kind of bomb, at least for the first half of this book… it was so bad that I struggled to get through the beginning… in fact I only did it so I could give it a review… the characters were just unrealistic… Nina, Marty, and Wanda were like an over told joke that you just can’t laugh at anymore… Sam sounds like an idiot half the time… and Phoebe is just rather stupid in some parts… though I give Cassidy credit for calling herself out on some of the ridiculousness going on… like when Pheobe thinks Sam is gay she considers him a complete moron she wants to go away but the moment she knows he’s straight she’s all over him like white on rice… really? though the last half becomes exponentially better… and considering everyone in here is keeping secrets or aren’t who they say they are or knows more than they’re letting on… maybe that’s why all the characters seem a bit off in the beginning… but really it took too long for Cassidy to get her junk together and make this book worth finishing… though I do love that in the end it goes a little bit past the perfect Happily Ever After that you know is coming and shows a little of the hardships they had to work through… this book is just hard to rate because I absolutely hated the first half and then completely loved the last half… honestly even though I did enjoy it by the end I wonder if this series might have just reached a point where there’s no need to keep going… though I have said that before and here I am…

The Ruby Circle… The Last of the Bloodlines

BOOK 1: Bloodlines  by  Richelle Mead

BOOK 2: The Golden Lily

BOOK 3: The Indigo Spell

BOOK 4: The Fiery Heart

BOOK 5: Silver Shadows

The Ruby Circle   description:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

ruby circleBOOK 6: The Ruby Circle   5 STARS

This series was perfect… it never dragged or felt like it was stretching the story on and on… and this book tied up all the story lines beautifully… nothing felt forced like she was just having to make everything come to an end… but it even answered a few questions that you might not even have known you were asking and I liked that… it’s these kinds of books that make me want to become a writer… this world is just so detailed and real with so many different moving parts and layers to it… without being convoluted or feeling like a conspiracy nut… and the way the characters grew and changed it was like you really knew them… and you could run into them on the street and wouldn’t even be surprised… okay maybe a little surprised… though there is just one little bit that I’d honestly love to know more about… don’t want to spoil anything here but lets just say Mead could definitely do some more stories in this world and I wouldn’t complain…

Rereading Harry Potter 3

BOOK 1: The Sorcerer’s Stone

BOOK 2: The Chamber of Secrets

azkabanBOOK 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban   5 STARS

The main reason I’m rereading these books is because I never actually read the last one… but it’s happening now because I keep seeing all these jokes pop up about Harry Potter… mainly aiming at why don’t they fix all their problems with magic… and you know reading them now the only thing that does bother me is the castle being freezing during winter… I can believe that perhaps they don’t want to go overboard with magic and feel the need to control everything because you could turn all psycho like Voldemort… but I think keeping the castle warm so students don’t freeze to death inside would’ve been a good idea… but really I like looking at this again… though it didn’t help that for the first half of the book I was mistaking Lupin for Moody and kept wondering when he was going to start showing his evil side… fallacy of such a series… but this one you can really see how it’s going from a young readers book to a young adult as the characters really do mature and the plot itself is much stronger and complicated because it’s reaching out further into the magical world and building up plots to come… I liked how Hermione wasn’t just the girl who loves the rules, but also began standing up for herself and taking charge… and I never liked her much as a kid but she really is the adult of the crowd… I mean she’s right, a crazy killer is after you and you want to go sneaking off while everyone’s trying to protect you is just no good… but I think that’s where Harry begins to mature… realizing that he can’t just be running around because he wants to but to look at life a bit more seriously… also that seeking revenge isn’t the answer… that the truth must be discovered and justice found… while a lot of it is rather childish there’s a lot of good to be discovered in these books and I’m really enjoying reading them once more…