Monthly Archives: October 2012

Seize the Night

Seize the Night

Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult

Series: Dark-Hunters #7

Published: Published February 24th 2005 by Piatkus Books

Valerius isn’t a popular Dark-Hunter-he’s a Roman, which means that the largely Greek Hunters have a major grudge against him and his civilization for superceding them. To make things worse, he’s very conscious of his aristocratic background and breeding. So it serves him right when he runs into Tabitha Devereaux. She’s sassy, sexy, and completely unwilling to take him seriously. (Not to mention that she’s the twin sister of the wife of former Dark-Hunter Kyrian-Val’s mortal enemy.) What Tabitha does take seriously is hunting and killing vampires-and soon she and Val have to grapple with the deadliest of all Daimons-one who’s managed to come back from the dead, and one who holds a serious grudge against both of them. To win against evil, Val will have to loosen up, learn to trust, and put everything on the line to protect a man he hates and a woman who drives him nuts.

My Review:

Dark, enticing and exciting, everything about this book made me hunger for it more. Valerius was a sexy, sensuous man who was struggling with being estranged from society, which wasn’t entirely his fault and Tabitha is every bit of kick-ass and sensitive to what a female protagonist needs to be. The two were unconventional, they had problems, they were entire opposites and they had the gulf of family hatred, but this made it all the more thrilling, and exciting to witness forbidden romance and Kenyon really engaged me with the seventh instalment of the Dark-Hunter series. I think these get better as they go along!

“Perhaps, but it wouldn’t bother him so much if he was the one who bored the brunt of it. The disaster always seemed to fall onto the ones he tried to help.”

Valerius is a character I haven’t liked all that much up until this point. However, I think this is the perception from other characters who don’t like Valerius and in ‘Seize the Night’ we really get the opportunity to see Valerius flourish as a character and develop his own identity. I feel like in the other novels he’s been forced to conform to other’s expectations and here was our chance to see Valerius free and wild. He’s certainly a man who’s pompous, an ass and a little snobbish, but beneath the surface is a nice guy who needs to be comforted and accepted.

The Dark-Hunter series has lots of elements that get drawn into making a complex, exciting and thrilling read. We link back to the previous novels where Tabitha’s sister ends up in trouble and the ideas continue to develop and become ever the more intricate. There was lots of elements from demons, ghosts and God powers that intervened in the everyday life of Tabitha who is one of my favourite female characters. She ploughs headlong into everything and engages with all the fights, takes not crap from anybody, but beneath it all like Valerius she’s a little jagged on the inside and needs somebody there for her. She made a Batman reference and boom, I loved her.

“Good evening, my lord.” His butler didn’t comment on the fact that Valerius was coming home wet. There was something about the rigid, older Englishman that reminded Tabitha of Alfred from Batman.”

The romance was crafted well and I think Kenyon has become a bit of an expert about this by now. She doesn’t throw the two together, but generally they fight and struggle before settling into a equilibrium that works whilst we get some intense, steamy moments there always seem to be a moment for humour and light-heartedness.

Kenyon really keeps up the standards with this one and all I can say is she had a real stunner of an ending. I’m excited to get hold of the next novel and immerse myself in the adventures and twists and turns of the next Dark-Hunter book because Kenyon never seems to bring two things the same with every new plot twist. Although, I swear if she makes one more character immortal, there will be nobody left who can die!

4 books

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Filed under 2005 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Hardback, Paranormal Romance, Piatkus Books, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Stacking the Shelves (16)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Here it’s chance to share the books you’ve acquired this week and what you’re excited about. So it will be a weekly Sunday occurrence to see what we’re ‘Stacking the Shelves’ with!

This week, I’ll be looking at the past two weeks, since I haven’t really got a lot and I need to catch up on literally TONNES of books to read, so no more accepting books to review and I need to stop requesting off NetGalley. Luckily (or unluckily for my blog and my readers—in the short term) I am going on a week’s holiday to Tenerife as of Friday so I won’t be blogging, but I will be doing as much reading as I possible can beside the pool/beach and on the plane.

Books for Review:

1 Charmeine Book Cover2 Mactus Book Cover3 Accendo Book Cover

Charemeine, Mactus and Accendo are the Light-Bearer series by Emily Guido which she gave me for review. These are quite short, so I’m hoping to get them read on holiday.

Blud and Magick

Blud and Magick I got from NetGalley and it looks really cool. It’s by Preston Norton and I adore the cover.

That’s my week in books, which is small but necessary so I can get to reading ASAP.

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Waiting on Wednesday (15)

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

This week I’m hotly anticipating…

City of a Thousand Dolls

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Harper Teen

Goodreads

The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

This certainly sounds like a rather awesome fantasy and the cover is pretty phenomenal. I look forward to this book because it looks like something that will touch on some old mystery that borders into fantasy.

What are you waiting on?

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Infinity

Infinity

Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Series: Chronicles of Nick #1

Genre: Urban-fantasy, Demons, Young-Adult

Published: May 25th 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him.

Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn’t hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

My Review:

Exciting and engaging from the first moment, ‘Infinity’ has a real air of mystery that draws you in and really ensnares you in the action. Nick is a character I have heard from people time and time again that they don’t like him. Honestly, I’ve never had a problem with him, his sarcasm has always humoured me and whilst he can be a little cynical and offensive, his intentions are never bad. Nick is frankly a very likeable character and he unravels deeper in this novel in his own way that creates a greater understanding and might make him more likeable to you.

“What rock you been living under not to know that?”

Some people would probably call that rock “reality”, but Nick valued his life enough to keep that sarcasm inside.”

It clearly felt strange to read this book alongside the Dark-Hunter series, which is Kenyon’s adult series where Nick is first introduced. We jump back in time to when he is much younger and not yet as heavily involved in the Dark-Hunter world; well actually he’s entirely oblivious for the start of the novel and his understanding of the world is rather entertaining to see, especially when reading this alongside the Dark-Hunter series two very different worlds are seen. However, I wouldn’t say it is necessary to read the Dark-Hunter series because this clearly stands on it’s own as a series and whilst those who read the Dark-Hunter series will clearly be able to appreciate Kenyon’s style and versatility to move into young-adult and a separate series that develops Nick (who is primarily a secondary character in the Dark-Hunter series) as his own individual, those who haven’t will still gain equal enjoyment and may be encouraged to venture into the realm of adult books.

Kenyon has to be applauded for venturing into using a male protagonist because so many authors stick to the same female protagonist that becomes a little expected at times and I find a very different experience comes from male protagonists. Most of her adult novels take on a dual tone with male and female perspectives interspersed for each half of the couple and generally the female tone is more dominant, this is all in Nick’s perspective with intermingled scenes from others who are generally the ‘bad’ guys or mysterious creatures who are all part of the paranormal world. I really enjoyed the humour Kenyon managed to really put into Nick’s narrative and it was clear whilst being a teenage boy, his relationship with his mum was really developed and he clearly loves her deeply. The dynamic of their relationship was really evolved and nice to see that Kenyon didn’t put Nick as shying away from his emotions even as a teenage boy and presented him as very much a guy with an attitude who loved his mum.

“I swear you’re the lippiest child on the planet.”

Onto the actual plot, we get lots of characters, but they’re all introduced at different points in a way as not to confuse you so I felt like the plot slowly revealed itself which really allows the smooth flow of the story. The plot is a little slow to start with, but this is all character introductions and setting the scene which allows Kenyon to set this novel aside as a separate series that you are not expected to know any of the characters. Once we get into the bulk of the story and the zombies, demons, vampires and everything else that is hectic, mayhem and paranormal things really get exciting with enhanced cow prods and rocket launchers, there is humour, action and excitement galore. I don’t think I found a point of this novel to be boring once we got past the mundane introduction.

“But once you let me live … your big mistake … now I know you think I’m too cute and fluffy to kill.”

Overall, ‘Infinity’ is a novel that I urge all fans of Kenyon and fantasy young-adult fiction to pick up. Nick is a character that I think is likeable if you enjoy sarcasm and aren’t easily offended, so don’t be intimidated for him because beneath the surface is a “mummy’s boy” who is humorous and caring he just needs to find the straight path. I’ll be looking out for the next book in the series and whilst the recent read of ‘Seize the Night’ has confused by view of Nick and some of the relationships he has with characters, particularly Simi in this novel, but I’m sure Kenyon will enlighten me in the future of both the Dark-Hunters and the Chronicles of Nick since I feel they will both lead to a pinnacle point where they intertwine.

4 books

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Filed under 2010 Publication, 4 Books, Daimons, Paperback, Sherrilyn Kenyon, St Martin's Griffin, Urban-Fantasy, Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an weekly meme created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Favorite Authors In Paranormal-Romance Genre. Paranormal-Romance is definitely one of my favourite genres and a large proportion of my books fall into this category. I haven’t read as many books as I’d like, but I certainly have a few who are some of my the best authors.

jrward1. J.R. Ward

I do not have words to cover how much I adore this woman. I have never rated one of her books lower than 4 stars. I find that I can read her books again and again and never get bored. I just all around love her in her paranormal-romance shoes.

JeanieneFrost2. Jeaniene Frost

Cat + Bones = Sexy, hot romance and humour. She creates a perfect dynamic for a couple with tonnes of action, a real developing romance that manages to take a major role, whilst not overshadowing a clear plot.

NaliniSingh3. Nalini Singh

I adore most of the Psy-Changeling series and have about 3 books to finish it off until I’m all caught up, but I’ve come to a momentary stop in reading to savour these books. Then I have the first of the Guild Hunter books to try. So I hope Nalini Singh shows her versatility as a paranormal-romance author and that I will enjoy her other series with equal vigour.

Christine Feehan4. Christine Feehan

She was one of my first paranormal authors, so I think she will hold a special place in my heart. Certainly a raunchy book to get started with and it was a little shocking, but I think (secretly) it is part of what kept me hooked.

Sherrilyn Kenyon5. Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark-Hunters are hot. Simple as. She writes about Greek, Roman, Celt warriors who are all extremely sexy and Gods, demons, vampires, zombies and all other forms of the paranormal. I feel like Kenyon combines so many different aspects of the paranormal and works them really well into a series of books. The only problem is the series is freaking huge!

Lynsay Sands6. Lynsay Sands

Time and time again I seem to come back to the Argeneau series and whilst it might not be perfect or mind-blowing, I genuinely enjoy reading every one and I can’t wait to finish the series.

KeriArthur7. Keri Arthur

I’ve only read one book by her, but I did really enjoy it. It was ‘Beneath the Rising Moon’ and a really interesting werewolf novel. I had a a few discrepancies, but I’ll be looking to read more of her books.

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Be Still

Be Still

Be Still by Tania L. Ramos

Genre: General-fiction, Romance, Adult

Published: Published May 19th 2012 by iuniverse

World-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Silver has been through hell and back. After he and his wife, Shannon, lose their daughter when she is just three days old, their family is left shattered. The effects of the tragedy are devastating. Shannon withdraws from the family while harbouring a dark secret. Jack emotionally abandons his wife and surviving teenage son, Travis, and dives into his work. But years later, on the exact anniversary of her daughter’s death, Shannon is killed by a speeding motorist under peculiar circumstances. As he grieves next to his wife’s lifeless body, Jack makes the fateful decision to lock away his faith and hope forever.

In a futile attempt to preserve his wife’s memory, Jack hides the bleak facts of Shannon’s death from Travis. As more time passes, the already strained relationship between father and son becomes estranged. Desperate to alleviate his loneliness, Jack befriends the young and witty Dr. Christina Amity-while hiding troubling symptoms that seem to increase by the day. But when Jack receives a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Amity, everything changes.

My Review:

Heart-breaking and gripping, this is a tale of sorrow, pain and redemption. Ultimately general-fiction isn’t my favourite thing, generally because it’s sad and full of hurt and too close to real life. I prefer to escape into a fantasy world where I can immerse myself in something entirely unreal. However, there was something quite poignant about Ramos’ novel. It really had lots of twists and turns. At points I felt like Ramos needed to reign things in a little and it was outstretching too far into the absurd for reality, but mainly the novel was kept on track and really drove with a painful father/son relationship that had lots of deep rooted issues at the basis. I think this novel certainly had the epitome of problems that wasn’t built up into being nothing and I found I could appreciate that more. I do feel a little more conciseness could have served to allow this novel to flourish a little more, but overall it was a solid, emotive piece.

“There was still unfinished business; that was the most he could acknowledge for fact. Still demons in his head to fight. Still reflections in the mirror that haunted his waking hours.”

There was definitely a deeper emotional level to ‘Be Still’ that I wasn’t quite expecting. I gathered it would be an emotional journey, but it really did reach into some real issues with wellbeing and sanity and the realms of heaven and hell. I guess the religious touches pushed me away from liking this novel since I tend to stray away from them, but I could appreciate the otherworldly aspects. I also felt that the development between Jack and his son, Travis was working, but it would have served better to have a different resolution to the end because it didn’t quite feel closed. However as characters the growth was clear to see and I think Ramos really worked wonders on this. The characterisation was clear and whilst I felt scenes and characters were a little jumpy in behaviour at times, I could definitely interact and get a feel of the characters.

“Yeah, I know, busy. Do you ever just stop and be still? Ignore the banter in your head and be still? I promise, it’ll change your life.”

The title definitely links into the novel and some might argue Ramos overdoes the ‘Be Still’ again on occasions, but I liked the reminder to the title and the connections Ramos tried to make. It felt like a centre for the novel to revolve around more.

Definitely ‘Be Still’ is a novel that tissues are most needed for, a strong heart and an iron will to plough on even at the toughest times. On the other hand, we develop a beautiful dynamic between Travis and Dr. Amity who develop a relationship that whilst it has its turbulence serves to add lighter moments and a little romance blossoming never fails to melt the heart and endear. At times you will want to bash their heads together and at times you will wonder how schizophrenic they’re going to behave, but despite the dysfunctional behaviour they work and it’s quirky and cute and I liked it.

Overall, I think Ramos has a good general-fiction novel that I enjoyed and whilst I probably wouldn’t read it again, I’d recommend you to try it out if you like general-fiction otherwise it probably wouldn’t be your cup of tea. I think this book is definitely designed for a specific audience, but it’s good nevertheless!

3.5 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3.5 Books, Adult, E-book, General, iuniverse, Romance, Tania L. Ramos

The Globe Theatre: The Taming of the Shrew

Taming_of_the_Shrew_(globe)

Last Friday I visited the Globe Theatre in London and what a wonderful experience it was! I truly adored the theatre and the experience. I went to see ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and admittedly I’ve never read it but I wasn’t going to say no to such an opportunity. However, I think reading it now would pose to be something wonderful after adoring the play. I did purchase myself a lovely cushion to perch my backside on for the duration of the (around) three hours in which I sat through ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ because I don’t think my poor backside could cope with hard word for all that time.

         globe inside

I sat over on the right of the stage up on the top right of the stage, so I was nice and dry when it started raining. Poor fellows in the pit had to pull on their rain gear. globe outside

I urge you all to come to Britain and take a visit to the lovely globe because not only is it a landmark to remember, but dropping in to watch a play also really shouldn’t be passed by!

‘The Taming of the Shrew’ was definitely hilarious, witty and easy to keep up with. Shakespeare can be daunting, but I found the production of this play to be all the more easy going and enjoyable.

shrew 3shrew 4shrew1_0shrew2

 

The costumes certainly added to the whole experience and they were really fabulous. This is the cast above that were partaking in the play on my journey and this is definitely what I saw. It made me last most of all when Petruchio struts about naked with a pan on his head. He was certainly a character and one that I won’t forget quickly. His counterpart Katerina, was feisty and entertaining and they really drew me into the performance.

Without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourite theatre experiences to date.

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Waiting on Wednesday (14)

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

This week I’m hotly anticipating…

Venom

Venom by Fiona Paul

Expected Publication: October 30th 2012 by Philomel

Goodreads

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin… and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

This definitely looks and sounds like a brilliant book. I adore Venice; it’s such a beautiful city and the Renaissance era is a fantastic one. I truly hope that this book lives up to expectations.

What are you waiting for?

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