Category Archives: Vampires

Series Review (4-7): Morganville Vampires

AA Feast of Foolslord of misrule Feast of Fools (#4), Lord of Misrule (#5) by Rachel Caine

Genre: Young-Adult, Paranormal-Romance, Vampires

The Review *Mild Spoilers for the series*

Feast of Fools and Lord of Misrule are two solid additions to the Morganville Vampire series and continue on seamlessly from where Midnight Alley left off. In these two books we are introduced to the character of Bishop who brings with him a much more sinister air and certainly amps up the tension. These books follow again the journey of Claire largely and then obviously her housemates, Michael, Eve and of course Shane.

The characters certainly seemed to develop to a much greater extent in Feast of Fools and sides were drawn and there were quite a few twists and turns I did not expect in terms of character development. This is one of the reasons that I really appreciate Caine’s skills as an author because she always manages to introduce a new element to the character and following the same individuals throughout this series really gives a chance to develop strong character traits and personalities and build up a plethora of secondary characters.

Admittedly, I have come to the conclusion despite his crazy ways, the unpredictability and some of the more dangerous sides of his character, Myrnin without a doubt is my favourite and although Shane captures my heart as the love interest of these stories, there is just an element of Myrnin that has so much more. For those of you who have not read the series, I urge you to read it just for Myrnin, he is intelligent, scary, creepy, excitable, unpredictable and at times he manages to be genuinely caring. He is a vampire who is immersed in science and discovering and he is certainly self-centred and authoritative and always believes he knows best. He is almost certainly not a perfect character and for me that is what makes him so endearing and likeable, although I doubt he would like to be called either.

In terms of the plot across these two books, it ramps up in action and whilst elements were frustrating with the seeming chain of events from the previous books appearing to reoccur just in a slightly different format, with slightly different characters, the novels were still engaging in terms of plot.

Overall, even five books in, I find the Morganville vampires series as refreshing as ever!

Favourite Quotes

“Claire stretched out against the wall and kissed it. “Glad to see you, too,” she whispered, and pressed her cheek against the smooth surface. It almost felt like it hugged her back. “Dude, it’s a house,” Shane said from behind her. “Hug somebody who cares.”

“What about Myrnin?” Eve swallowed, almost choked, and Michael patted her kindly on the back. She beamed at him. “Myrnin? Oh yeah. He did a Batman and took off into the night. What is with that guy, Claire? If he was a superhero, he’d be Bipolar Man.”

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

carpe corpusfade out

Carpe Corpus (#6), Fade Out (#7) by Rachel Caine

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Young-Adult, Vampires

The Review *Mild Spoilers for the series*

Carpe Corpus and Fade Out move in a slightly different direction to the previous books in the Morganville series and I am finally happy to see some more Shane action in terms of romance. Up until this stage, things between Claire and Shane have been together but rather tip-toeing around their relationship because of age concerns, parents and general differences between their experiences in life. However I felt like we had actual progression and a solid foundation for future between the two of them, although there were moments when I thought Caine was going to frustrate me and ruin everything.

Morganville by this stage has seen some serious changes to the start of the series, and I really like the development in the world building that slowly unravels the history of the town and the reasoning’s behind its existence. It still manages to move forward at the same time and it is a really excellent balancing act from Caine.

Thirdly, there are a lot more plot lines brought into the series now and elements that we have had no idea about until now, and it really serves to draw all the aspects of the previous novels together. However in some regards I feel like Caine is brining in all these new plot lines to draw out the series a little more. Nevertheless, I do not feel like reading is a drag at all in reference to the Morganville series, but it is certainly a long series. Although since the final book has been published, this has encouraged me to return to the series and finally finish it all in one go (hopefully soon since I have recently taken a short break from reading it)..

Overall, I think the Morganville series is refreshing in terms of the paranormal-romance and paranormal genre, since the idea of a town where vampires are confined to, and the humans are given protection or are free for the vampires to have their way with. It is very unlike Twilight and The Vampire Diaries and lots of other popular vampire novels out there, and I really enjoyed this element of the Morganville series and I think despite having grown up from being the young teenager reading these books, I still manage to find a connection with these books to enjoy them. If you have not tried this series, I definitely recommend it!

Favourite Quotes

“If the lab was neater, so was Myrnin. He was still favouring old-timey clothes, so the coat was dark green velvet, flaring out and down to his knees. The ensemble also included a white shirt, bright blue vest, a pocket watch chain gleaming against the satin, tight black pants, and…

Claire found herself staring at his feet, which were in bunny slippers.

Myrning looked down. ‘What’? he asked, ‘They’re quite comfortable.’ He lifted one to look at it, and the ears wobbled in the air.”

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Goodreads (#4), (#5), (#6), (#7) ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under 3.5 Books, 4.5 Books, Allison & Bushby, Paperback, Paranormal Romance, Rachel Caine, Vampires, Young Adult

Series Review (1-3): Morganville Vampires

Glass HouseThe Dead Girls' DanceMidnight Alley

Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine

Glass House #1, The Dead Girls Dance #2, and The Midnight Alley #3

Genre: Young-Adult, Romance, Vampires

The Review

The Morganville Vampire series is one I picked up quite a while ago and read the first five books over a large period of time. Unfortunately since it was so long ago, I have seemingly forgot what happened and when I had a spur of the moment decision to return to the series I was largely lost, so I decided the best policy was to start from the beginning.

I have literally devoured these three books over a couple of days. They aren’t particularly long and they are fairly easy going on the prose, nothing too complex, but they draw you in and keep lots of action and fast-paced plots to engage with the audience. If you like flowery, emotional prose then these books certainly don’t offer any of that, but the simplicity is made up for in the engagement and continual plot twists and turns, and suspense that is continually built up.

Admittedly yes, there are a few ‘well duh’ moments where your expectations are met, but that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment because there is always something a little unexpected and Caine doesn’t make the end result easily. Although she does like to leave things hanging, so I definitely recommend having all the books to just keep reading as once you finish one, you want to pick up the next.

The characters are honestly my favourite part. In ‘The Glass House’ we are introduced to Claire Danvers, our female protagonist who is a young, sweet sixteen year old and fairly innocent when she arrives in Morganville. However, she is intellectual, sassy and not afraid to fight by the end of things and in these three novels alone, she develops into a young woman who is not entirely fearless, but is stubborn, faithful and most of all she is a likeable character. Claire does rush into a few situations, she makes mistakes, but there are her own and she doesn’t allow herself to be bossed about my others, unless she can really help it. I mean nobody can really say no to a vampire thousands of years old, who might just kill you, right? Claire in my opinion, is a very strong, female protagonist who I hope to see develop more in the next few novels.

Now, the next three all offer something different. Eve, the spunky, goth girl who is loyal and feisty makes a dangerous enemy and she is easy to like and always helping Claire out when she really needs it. Michael the calm and collected one who acts as the responsible individual of the house has some interesting secrets, and issues which lead to exciting developments. He’s also a musician and the love of Eve’s life, so there is a little bit of romance to balance it out. Then finally there is the stereotypical man of the house/jock, Shane who rushes headlong into everything without thought, all in the aid of friendship and for the right moral reasons most of the time. He also happens to be the love interest for Claire. It’s kind of a little cliché and not always an easy path but I do love the pair of them together. I think they work really well.

Make no mistake however, there is no typical vampire series formula in this series so far  which is usually; girl + vampire boy = fall in love for the main plot theme. In fact, a lot of the plot focus is on the town and the four individuals who live in the Glass House and their survival. There is a strong theme of friendship, loyalty and life moral values that makes for some tough decisions, but also some entertaining insightful and joyful moments.

The villains in this novel range from typical high school/college girl who is the airbrushed glamour puss and daddy’s little girl who rules the town, to skulking boys in shadows with knives and mysterious motives and finally the wicked vampires with fangs who rule the town and expect the humans to fall in line. I love the concept of the vampire town and the idea of humans being potential property to the vampires, who sometimes act as protectors of the humans. However there are specific guidelines to this protection which are always changing and the vampires and human interactions run across very unsteady paths!

Overall, ‘The Glass House’, ‘The Dead Girls’ Dance’ and ‘Midnight Alley’ are an engaging start to the Morganville Vampire series that give you only a taste of things to come and certainly draw you in wanting many answers. There are numerous plot lines twisting through all the stories that continue throughout the series. This means the multiple lines that thread through the novels gives depths to series and enables the characters to be fleshed out and given personal identities that blossom and force you to become engaged with them. I most definitely recommend the Morganville Vampire series for vampire/supernatural lovers and even those who are quite a big fan I suggest giving the books a chance!

 

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars 

Goodreads (1), (2), (3) ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under Allison & Bushby, Paperback, Rachel Caine, Romance, Vampires, Young Adult

Twice Tempted

Twice Tempted

Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost

Series: Night Prince #2

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult, Vampires

Published: March 26th 2013 by Avon

The Plot

Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges…

Leila’s psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn’t sure what the future holds. If that weren’t enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she’s also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won’t admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity…

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.

*mild spoilers potentially for book one

The Review

Twice Tempted is honestly my guilt pleasure, or at least Jeaniene Frost is. This woman continues to astound me with her brilliance, talent and pure entertainment quality that she manages to inject into every inch of her books. Twice Tempted is tantalising, tempting and filled with tension for every moment that had me up well into the night turning the pages on my kindle to find out the next adventure of Vlad and Leila. And I assure you, Vlad hands down gets even better than before and he will set the world on fire. Despite my gushing praise, Twice Tempted is not perfect, but it’s enjoyable and filled with romance, action and mystery that means the plot link continues to elude you until the very end.

Vlad is my favourite of Jeaniene Frost’s characters and whilst Bones will always have a special place in my heart, there has always been something about Vlad. He’s definitely what you call the heartless vampire that will crucify his enemies and plunge a stake into the heart of his employee if there is even a whisper of betrayal. It’s ultimately what makes him so fabulous with his iron-will and strong notions that make him predictable. However, beneath all that there is a side to Vlad that is entertaining to be uncovered and he’s not quite as impenetrable as he once thought. He is also the archaic gentlemen with ideas of chivalry and fighting for his lady, however what makes it all the more entertaining is that he is in love with a modern lady.

I drank in the sight of his muscled chest with its dusting of dark hair and numerous scars. Vlad looked like what he was—a warrior who’d hacked his way through battles that would’ve killed lesser men. Unclothed, his seething masculinity and inherent dangerousness weren’t diminished. Instead they increased, and I’d have it no other way.

Leila continues to build on herself and her strength as she flies into everything head-strong and independent. She doesn’t allow anybody to beat her, least of all Vlad. This is particularly what makes their relationship entertaining as they battle and bicker that makes you smile. Leila definitely has lots of emotional turmoil to deal with in this instalment, but she is exceptional and comes out of everything even stronger than before. She is definitely what I call a real kick-ass heroine.

Honestly what makes Jeaniene Frost my favourite author is her ability to articulate flowing scenes, but balance it with humour, spicy romance and action. It perfectly blends elements of urban-fantasy and paranormal-romance into a balanced healthy mix that gives you the best of both worlds. I definitely think fans of either side can appreciate Frost for her wonder and enthusiasm which touches every aspect of her work. In addition to this she crafts well-rounded, realistic and characters full of emotion and grit that draws in every aspect of your attention until you are entirely drawn into it.

Twice Tempted certainly affirms why I love Frost so much and that whilst the Night Huntress series may have waned by the end, she has relighted the passion for her novels in something new, fun and quirky that takes place with the Prince of Darkness. Seriously, don’t miss out on Frost because she is undeniably an author that keeps me up late at night wanting to finish a book, which I find to be a rare occurrence these days.

4.5 Books / 5 Books

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Filed under 2013 Publication, 4.5 Books, Adult, Avon, E-book, Jeaniene Frost, Paranormal Romance, Vampires

A Shade of Vampire

A Shade of Vampire

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Vampires, Young-Adult

Publication: December 14th 2012

The Plot

A young girl, Sofia is kidnapped on her 17th birthday and whisked away to the land of the vampires. There she must learn to survive and stand brave in the face of fangs.

She meets and catches the eye of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince destined to save all vampires. The weight of responsibility weights heavy on his broad, handsome shoulders, but adding Sofia to his harem will bring butterflies and sunlight to his dark world.

However can he really be trusted and will his evil, blood-sucking brother Lucas destroy all? Or will Sofia’s infatuation with her best friend ruin any potential love match between her and Derek?

My Review

A Shade of Vampire was an interesting read to say the least, and whilst I won’t claim it was entirely original, it was enjoyable. Do be warned that journeying into A Shade of Vampire will be accompanied by quite a few clichés, but it will also be enjoyable, fast-paced and tension filled that made me turn the pages, quirk a smile and shiver in delight. I certainly found A Shade of Vampire to be entertaining at the base of things, and plunging into the world of vampires that exist in their own realm on the verge of extinction only makes things even more thrilling. I only hope that Forest will go on to explore the depths of the world-building in A Shade of Vampire and explore character depth and history a little more.

Firstly, I’ll start with the main character Sophia. I won’t claim she’s a kick-ass heroine, but she was kind, considerate and human. She reacted in fear, wonder, curiosity and didn’t judge everybody when she first met them. I liked that she cared about the individuals and that she was honestly torn. She looked beneath the surface of individuals and didn’t immediately jump to going “I love you, I love you” when she first saw the vampires or immediate “hate” she showed curiosity and intelligence. Sophia honestly isn’t my favourite heroine of all time, but I found it easy to like her and connect with meant reading was enjoyable. I think her strongest characteristic was her forethought to a situation and insight.

He was what every teenage girl would most likely describe as hot, which was rather ironic considering how pale and frozen he looked. He had the same features as his brother, but there was something more refined about him. There was a hint of boyishness in his face.

Derek is the love interest of the story and also the big-bad monster that will supposedly save the vampire race. I saw very little of this, I saw a man that was a coward, afraid of who he was meant to be and where he was meant to go. He was prepared to stand up to his guards, but his siblings and his duty were largely ignored or shirked. Derek for me, held lots of potential and he was always on the edge of falling into the deliciously suave, sexy and irresistible vampire that I expected that held the dark and dangerous edge down to a ‘t’. However currently as much as he was endearing, he’s not quite swept away with my heart as much as he seems to be capturing Sophia’s heart.

The plot wasn’t entirely original, but pacey and engaging enough to keep my attention. Nevertheless I feel that more substance needs to be added into the plot to fulfil my curiosity and questions in the next instalment of this series because whilst I feel like we have a solid foundation to the story, there needs to be more to sustain my interest. The world-building was basic, but the concept of the world separated and protected for vampires to live in from Earth was utterly fascinating and I’d definitely like to learn more about it. I felt like it was on the verge of becoming brilliant! Apart from the clichés I felt like there was a solid basis for a first book in a series.

Parts of The Vale looked like a town that had popped right out of the medieval era. The streets were lit with burning lanterns. Thatched roofs, clay exteriors, tents housing a variety of wares.

In regards to the villain of the novel, Lucas, he’s not really entirely despicable in comparison to others. However he was definitely devious and dangerous enough to ruffle a few feathers and I definitely predict his return with much more vengeance in future novels. He seems to be one of those villains that will never die off in my opinion and I fully expect more schemes and mystery to sink my teeth into. Oh and yeah, these vampires have fangs which get five bonus points from me, which they actually bite with.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Shade of Vampire and whilst it was short, it has lots to offer. A rainy day read or a quick escape into a world of darkness and vampires with some dark sides. There is a romance that will engage and entertain whilst not totally being slow and steamy, it is sweet and pacey that keeps the imagination ticking. Overall A Shade of Vampire is solid entertaining read, which I feel has lots of hidden potential.

~ 3.5 Books / 5 Books ~

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3.5 Books, Bella Forrest, E-book, Indie Author, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Young Adult

Once Burned

Once Burnedf

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Series: Night Prince #1

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult, Vampires

Publication: June 26th 2012 by Avon

The Plot.

She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…
He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

The Review.

Once Burned has reaffirmed why I fell so deeply in love with Jeaniene Frost. Reading her books are like taking long country walks, something enjoyable and refreshing and comforting because I always know that I will get lost in the wonderful world she paints and feel enveloped by the presence of her characters. Particularly her male characters who are always well developed and brooding and I always fall in love. Vlad was a character I loved in the Night Huntress series and I enjoyed his relationship with Cat, but here he was a little more cold and reserved, but the little cracks that came about showed his humour and personality that I fell in love with in the Night Huntress series and I’m so infinitely glad that he’s got his own spin-off. The last Night Huntress book wasn’t quite as enjoyable for me, but the new direction with Vlad is something I’m eagerly looking forward.

I want more Vlad. Yes, Frost left us hanging here. She could have given us so easily a summed up happily-ever-after that so many other authors fall into doing and I applaud her for not resolving the issues so easily because I don’t think it would have done the characters justice to do so. Frost is an author I adore so much because she doesn’t focus solely on the romance, she looks at the plot most heavily and the action and adventure that occurs within the novel and all the different events that unravel. The romance is far from being ignored, but she builds it on a realistic level. She starts at the bottom and forms foundations between the characters that can amount to relationships and this is clearly what occurs in Once Burned between Leila and Vlad. We get the sexual tension and eventually the sex between the two as we expect, but things aren’t fine and dandy like some authors create and there a lots of little pieces that I can see Frost carrying through that make for an intricate plot. However, I didn’t get nearly enough Vlad action in this novel. He is a man that’s dark and brooding, cold and calculated, but he’s so suave and archaic and I love it about him. He’s got a strong sense of loyalty and this is a man I would want, he’s not some cave man that claims Leila without a thought, there are reasoning’s to him and he’s smart. I just love everything Vlad.

I led my armies from the front, Vlad said. The proof was all over his body, from the scars that adorned his skin in random white patterns to the muscles that flexed and bunched with his slightest movement.”

Leila is one of my favourite heroines. She’s headstrong, she takes matters into her own hands and she really doesn’t depend upon Vlad. She even goes behind his back and I liked that she wasn’t afraid of Vlad. She was strong in her own right after everything that occurred to her and she certainly was kick-ass with her powers. There was lots of elements to Leila that made her a really likeable character that I could connect with. She also had this humorous edge to her that I loved. And she accepted the powers that she had and what this meant to her character rather than shunning it and going crazy about it, Leila made a refreshing character to this genre and I’m looking forward to her return in Twice Tempted where I hope she pursues Vlad with everything she’s got.

“You’re hot, big deal,” I shot back, refusing to let his knowledge of my most intimate thoughts daunt me. “I’m attracted to a lot of hot guys. If Chris Hemsworth were here, I’d light him up like a firecracker with how fast I’d jump on him.”

“And that would kill him,” Vlad noted.”

The plot was fast-paced and full of action. I really enjoyed that side of things and I liked the peak of Cat and Bones that we saw, but whilst they were present for a very short time, they didn’t overshadow the novel which is Vlad and Leila’s story. Whilst Once Burned does not have to be read in conjunction with having read the Night Huntress series because it is a spin-off and the fact that the Night Huntress series is so brilliant, I would definitely suggest you go over and check it out right this instance. I find that Jeaniene Frost rarely disappoints and she has kept me entranced with her characters from start to finish. Her novels are well rounded with great characters both secondary and the protagonists, scorching romances and whirl-wind, guns-blazing plots that manage to become the focus of the novel whilst not detracting anything from the romance. Frost is an author for all kinds of people and I thoroughly recommend her!

5 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, E-book, Jeaniene Frost, Paranormal Reading Challenge, Paranormal Romance, Vampires

Dark Lover

Dark Lover

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Vampires, Adult

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1

Publication: 2007 by Piatkus Books

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

Review:

Well, this is my second reading of the book and I loved it just as much as when I first picked up the series. I find that J.R. Ward is a refreshing addition to paranormal-romance when she brings in a multi-perspective third person view of the story and we delve into multiple plots with the romance at the forefront, it’s truly thrilling.

For our female protagonist we have Beth, but due to the multi-perspective Ward writes from, we feature Wrath as a strong male protagonist to balance the novel out and give us a level of both male and female time that can appeal to either gender. Not only do we feature these two, but then we have the Lesser society who feature strongly as the enemy and being able to track both sides of the field only adds to our anticipation and excitement.

Beth is stuck in the human world, unaware of her vampire heritage and longing for something she doesn’t realise. Whilst some of you may be a little perturbed by her throwing herself straight at Wrath and the high sexual energy and sex that enters the story early on, the romance develops across the story and unfolds to represent a strong relationship. I felt that the sex really gave a zing to the early plot whilst things were just starting to build and really kept you hooked for how the relationship between Beth and Wrath could pan out. As a character, her personality and profile are relatable and you just can’t help but root for her character. She’s strong and doesn’t allow the dominant male aspect of Wrath’s character to push her around and she represents a strong female counterpart which I like to see in romance.

“Woah. Fangs. She had fangs.

She leaned in, prodded them a little. Eating with those puppies was going to take some getting used to, she thought.”

Beth’s thought patterns were certainly amusing and watching her move towards a new direction in life and grow as a character was really entertaining.

The plot is pacey and intermingled with lots of different aspects that make it enjoyable. I find that we get humour, soppy moments, sexy moments and raw action that really keep you turning the pages and gritting your teeth.

I found that Ward gave us lots of twists and turns and that we were never at any moment expecting the direction. Whilst certain points of the plot could be called “predictable” we were always guessing as to what was going to happen in large for the thrill side of the plot. In amongst the tenser side, the humour lightened things up and I think the male characters of the Brotherhood have a really dry, entertaining humour.

“I’m going to talk to her.”

“And how’s that going to go? You’re just going to walk up to her and say, “Hey, I know you’ve never seen me before, but I’m your dad. Oh, and guess what? You’ve won the evolutionary lottery: You’re a vampire. Let’s go to Disneyland.”

I think without this humour, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series would be much darker and overshadowed by the darkness that surrounds the world of Caldwell with murder, violence and death. However, with the humour the tone of the novel is much lighter and it makes it easy to lap up the words that Ward feeds us.

In addition, we get some fantastic secondary characters that make up the brotherhood, with Rhage, Torhment, Vishous, Zsadist and Phury. The introduction to these characters is just the tip of the iceberg. Be prepared to meet a tonne of characters all with their own backstory which are slowly unveiled across the series.

Two negatives I have of the novel are the acronyms Ward uses, such as SOB. It took me several books to realise this meant Son of a Bitch and then there was another which I still haven’t worked out. I wish she’d just write it out because although it’s part of the character traits of the brothers and their rugged edges, I don’t quite understand the acronyms and it’s annoying to try and work them out.

Ward does have her own terms from the vampire world, but she gives us a dictionary at the start for these words which is really useful and I enjoy reading through to discover all the vampire words and culture they have.

Leelan: Aterm for a female bride of a male vampire, term of endearment roughly meaning “Beloved”.

The other point I have is at times I get bored of the lesser society interludes and I have to admit in my re-read I did skip a couple. However, they do add to the novel and are interesting. It’s just sometimes I find that I really hate the lesser society that I can’t bring myself to read about them.

Other than that, I think the novel is really good solid addition the paranormal-romance genre.

I’d suggest to everybody male or female to give this series a try and even if you don’t quite appreciate the first book of the series, move on to the second because once again the tone changes and things really start to move along with the world building and character developing of all the characters we’ve recently met in this one. So give the Black Dagger Brotherhood a try if you haven’t already!

My Rating:

4 books

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Filed under 2007 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, J.R. Ward, Paperback, Paranormal Romance, Piatkus Books, Vampires

When Darkness Hungers

When Darkness HungersWhen Darkness Hungers by J.K. Beck
Genre:
Paranormal-Romance, Adult
Series: The Shadow Keepers #5
Published: June 26th 2012 by Random House Publishing Group

FBI agent Alexis Martin knows that vampires exist—because one of them killed her sister. Assigned to investigate a series of bizarre homicides in Los Angeles, Alexis believes the murders are the work of rogue vampires—perhaps even the monster responsible for her sister’s death. Now she finally has a chance for retribution. Even better, Alexis receives unexpected help from a sexy stranger as hungry for rogue blood as she is. Serge is a centuries-old bad boy who stays off the grid—keeping his secrets, his hunger, and his heart safe from exposure. A new breed of vampire that feeds off other shadowers, Serge finds sweet torture in Alexis’s arms. Loving her is a chance to be free from the hiding, the loneliness, the secrecy. But the truth about what he is, and what he’s done, may banish him to the dark confines of his own private hell—and destroy the beginnings of their love.

Review:

I’ve never read any of the books in this series so I can’t speak for the rest of the books and how it interlinks with the series. However the premise for this sounded great so I just had to scoop it up of NetGalley! I’m glad to say I did because it was a very good paranormal-romance book and I think I may have to invest in the previous books to this series.

Lets start with the bad parts first. There aren’t many. I felt like this was predictable a lot, but I guess when you come to read paranormal-romance books you expect the guy to get the girl and all to end happily. So that probably is something I’m going to have to accept, but nevertheless it can make the reading a little redundant at times. I also found aspects of the plot to follow my assumptions and this makes it a little tedious. Although I’m quite perceptive at times, but it still makes me feel like J.K. Beck could have altered things a little to make it less of what we expect and more spicy and new.

However, on the good side I found the book well written and engaging throughout. It was enjoyable and full of action. We integrated lots of different aspects that I haven’t read in other paranormal-romance books with the FBI, paranormal divisions in government made up of other creatures and little gangs of vampires. It certainly made for an exciting read when we had many different aspects dragged into this book to keep a changing scene regularly.

Alexis was a strong female character and I appreciated her kick-ass enthusiasm and personality. She was set upon tracking down the killer of her sister and avenging her. Her morals were strong and she could fight for herself. We witnessed a build up of history and a tragic past. I suppose that could become predictable for most heroines these days since they tend to have to have a reasoning for their behaviour. She wasn’t all that smart at times, but her physical strength tended to overrule this and I enjoyed the aspect of her training herself to be a fighting machine. I found that she didn’t push Sergius away in a whiny way because she hated vampires, but she accepted him and who he was and this allowed me to enjoy the novel more.

Sergius was the character I fell deeply in love with. He was a tormented, sexy man who never believed himself good but recognised the world as it was. I found it very easy to fall in love with the man and he certainly swept Alexis of her feet. He was a brooding man, who could easily seduce Alexis and me! The seduction was rather satisfying and not overdone or crude which I appreciated. I felt like we lacked a real build up to the actual relationship, but this was probably due to the whole relationship being a whirlwind one of instant attraction. At the end I don’t think we covered a real talk to satisfy my need of their relationship being solved, but it fitted well-ish together to be appreciated.

I appreciated the novel starting in the past where we witnessed Sergius in his youth as a vampire and a key event that has moulded his life. It also allowed us to see characters that would be seen in the future and create real problems and I enjoyed being able to link past and present together. It also added to the ability of being able to reflect the length and torment of Sergius’ long life.

Something that I thoroughly loved was Beck bringing lots of the paranormal aspects and creatures into this story. We concentrated more on witches and vampires in this one, but other creatures were mentioned and lingered upon to open the world up wider. I feel that sometimes in the paranormal-romance sector we focus on a single type of creature and don’t witness the intertwining of the paranormal world and I really enjoyed reading about more than just one supernatural creature. It was nice to see a broad width of the paranormal scope rather than a sheltered view.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and happily read it. Whilst it wasn’t mind-blowing I’d be happy to read the other books in the series! A nice addition to the paranormal-romance genre. I’ll also be looking out for the next novel in the series out later this year!

*This was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for a review*

My Rating:

3.5 books

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Lord of Misrule

Lord of MisruleLord of Misrule by Rachel Caine
Genre:
Young-Adult, Vampires, Romance
Series: Morganville Vampires #5
Published: January 6th 2009 by Signet

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.
Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.

Review:

Wow! It has been an awfully long time since I picked up the Morganville vampire series. I own them all, but I just never seem to find time to read them. It was around last August I think that I read book 4 and I just haven’t found the right time to read this one. All I can say it, why didn’t I pick this book up sooner? It was fantastic!

I think Rachel Caine has such a talent with this series and the premise for the town overrun and ruled by vampires is fantastic. We don’t get sparkly teen angst from the Twilight series or the indestructible vampires she creates, but we get a hard core grit and pain from these vampires along with the towns folk that makes Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series so brilliant. The humans are almost ‘pets’ kept by the vampires and they control the town and who comes in and out. It’s quite sordid in an effect and really suspense building.

Not only do the books read well, she has some fantastic covers. I love looking at the covers of her books and this one is no different. We get some very pretty ones and it always boosts you up to read a book that is easy on the eye and just as good to read.

This one picks up exactly where the last one left off. However, I love that Caine gives us a little run down on what has previously happened in the last four books to jog our memory. My memory is pretty good, so most of it I’d remembered anyway, but for those of us that don’t have quite the memory, it’s really good to have that there to rely on. Another reason why Caine is such a wonderful author!

I didn’t find myself bored at a single moment of this book. I read it in around one sitting with a couple of breaks and I literally couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Claire is a fantastic character! She’s highly intelligent, brave and concerned for her friends. She puts herself into danger to save others and even to those she doesn’t like she always finds herself lending a hand. It’s refreshing to see a forward thinker like Claire in young-adult novels who is so highly intelligent and forward thinking on her own. She is literally a child genius and it’s a reason that I love the novel so much!

And, a real bonus to this novel was how highly unpredictable it was. I found that we were dotting everywhere like a ping-pong ball and it was exciting. It’s so easy for authors to fall into a stereotype of predictability and this makes Caine a very refreshing read!

The relationship between Claire and Shane is certainly developing in a positive direction and I find those two highly adorable. I am definitely a Team Shane man all the way. He’s protective and honourable and whilst he may have been the bad boy at the start, he really cares for Claire and it’s incredibly sweet. Shane is one of my favourite love interests that I read about and it’s safe to say I am entirely enamoured with the guy. The guy is humorous, quirky and caring and he steps out as brave even though he might be a little stupid, you have to appreciate his character.

The only thing I had about the whole novel was that Claire didn’t really learn much in this one or do much in the case of her brain or scientific. There are hints that she’s going to learn all about the portals with Myrnin, but it would have been nice to see more of an active intelligence side to Claire that we have seen in previous instalments to this series. Nevertheless it was a highly enjoyable read!

I felt like we got progression from the previous novel and Caine left us on a rather a cliff-hanger. It was highly unfortunate I didn’t have the next novel with me otherwise I know I would have started it straight away. Nevertheless I’m sure I’ll be picking it up soon, I know that I won’t be able to stay away now.

My Rating:

4 books

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Embrace the Dark

Embrace The Dark

Title: Embrace the Dark

Author: Caris Roane

Series: The Blood Rose Series #1

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Vampires, Adult

Expected Publication: July 1st 2012 by Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.

Plot:

Enter a world of blood-starved mastyr vampires and the rare women who can satisfy their deepest needs…
How can he resist his blood rose…
Gerrod, mastyr vampire of the Merhaine Realm, never thought to have his blood-needs satisfied by a mere human. But Abigail is no ordinary woman. She stuns him with her telepathy as well as the richness of her blood. However, her human DNA makes her an unacceptable mate. Yet how can Gerrod turn her away when she alone has satisfied his blood-starvation for the first time in a hundred-and-fifty-years?
Will she fall to temptation and give herself to a vampire…
When the dreaded enemy of all realm-folk, the Invictus, attacks at a fae wedding, Abigail’s simple human life gets turned upside down. She doesn’t know if she has the courage to pursue a path that means giving herself body and soul to a mastyr vampire. Will she return to her normal existence in Flagstaff, Arizona? Or will she embrace the dark…
Embrace the Dark is the first in The Blood Rose Series.

Review:

I just can’t continue…

This book had such a great premise and I was really excited to start it. I thought this short novel was really going to grip and thrill me and I felt like it fell too far flat on it’s face. In general most of the short stories I’ve read haven’t been fantastic and I’ve been searching for one to wow me because surely every short story cannot be dreadful? I know as a child I found many fabulously written ones, and now it seems for an adult audience authors simply cannot provide.

Unfortunately when I began to read, I found it stilted, hard to bear and just drab. There was moments that looked like they were about to be fantastic where we were just introduced to Abigail and she seemed a strong, independent woman and then suddenly she’d just thrown this all away and jumped on the Gerrod bandwagon. Personally I just couldn’t finish which is a rarity for me, usually I’m resilient and push my way to the end, but with this one, I couldn’t do it. I managed to get over half way through this short novel and then skim read and just gave up, it really didn’t thrill me. That’s probably the biggest disappointment that nothing was exciting or adrenaline pumping, it felt more of a fluffy romance tale.

Gerrod as a character was perhaps swoon-worthy and redeemable in the sense that he cared about his people and had a conscience, but he just didn’t work for me. There wasn’t a spark that made me yearn after him, nor did I find Abigail’s sudden epiphany that the male protagonist is wonderful and kind and other fluffy things. He starts out to be a brooding man with problems and this seems to vanish from the start of the story. I just couldn’t understand him… He didn’t stick to his traits and the gushing that eventually came from Abigail was surprising.

Especially when the two have very little emotional connection and suddenly we find ourselves drawn into their bed and euphemisms passing easily between them while they engage in intimate acts, that was really upfront and a little bold for this story which had been flowing at a sedate pace until then.

It felt like the author forgot the characters and plot she was writing and just turned them into perfect people who were suddenly in love. Abigail for me gained a Mary Sue quality and along with the stilted writing I found it hard to engage with the story. Nothing really drew me in and I couldn’t find something to latch on and enjoy.

For me this is a poor example of paranormal romance when I compare it to the likes of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Psy-Changeling series that I’m currently reading, it’s probably safe to say the high expectations I had would not be met.

I’d suggest bypassing this one and moving onto something more time worth. That’s not to say it’s irredeemably terrible, I just couldn’t face to read any more.

My Rating:

 1 book

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Lover Mine

Lover Mine

Title: Lover Mine

Author: J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult, Vampires

Published: November 30th 2010 by Piatkus

Plot:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.


John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Review:

These books only seem to get better. I have to admit, I have a weakness for J.R. Ward and her books and they are a true pleasure. I find this is exciting in a society where many of us has branded vampire books the “same” or unoriginal now, or even cast them aside after the “disaster” of Twilight, depending on your personal view, but J.R. Ward really brings a refreshing twist to the paranormal-romance sector. Her books continue to engage me and don’t fall at any hurdle. I’ve yet to find one that I didn’t like!

For me, “Lover Mine” was the book I’d been highly anticipating in the whole series since we were first introduced to John Matthew and his history, I wanted to really delve into his life. However his story is not the part I enjoyed the most, believe me, his story is fantastic, mind-blowing, thrilling, hot, emotional; you really have it all! However, I felt like it was eclipsed by the dynamic that was Qhuinn and Blay. You may have noticed my post of the cover which is to be their book, being released next year which I’m very excited about.

Qhuinn and Blay although they didn’t take up a large proportion of the actual book because we did focus largely on John and Xhex seemed to have an aura around them that drew me in and really had me clenching my fists and turning the pages to find out more about them. By the end my heart was certainly in a twist and I’m looking forward to picking up the next BDB book.

This book really links in where we left off from the previous book and I think Ward has a real talent to interlink her stories at key moments to keep the flow of the tale. I don’t feel like we’ve stilted or skipped anywhere along the way across the series that has been detrimental to reading and this flow is really great! It’s also good that the stories are separate entities whilst linking to the whole series and this enables you to read it without having to remember everything from the previous novel. Nevertheless these books are not a series you can just start reading in the middle. They are complex narratives, filled with lots of characters that you need to be introduced in order too.

In this instalment we get some very tense and emotional moments that I enjoyed because although the book is in the paranormal realm we connect to the characters and the situations. I think the idea that Xhex is gone and John is in morning really can connect to a lot of people who have lost somebody.

Another part of the novel allowed excerpts from Darius’ past life and I’m loath to admit that I usually find these parts boring, at least I did in Vishous’ past, but in “Lover Mine” I lapped them up eagerly and found them really connecting to the storyline.

I also felt that we gained a different perspective to Xhex than we’d previously seen and I really enjoyed that! If’ you’ve read any of the other BDB books, I’m sure you’ll understand Xhex is a tough character and whilst we know lots of John’s past, I think this novel worked to develop her past through both John and her. Unlike the other novels which in large focus on the male and developing his past, I felt although this one centred on John, we learnt more about Xhex through him which brought a different twist to Ward’s previous books.

Overall this book is well written, thoughtful, entertaining, light-hearted whilst being deeply emotional and it works really well together. Ward manages to make each novel unique and never feel repetitive like some authors fall into a pattern of repeating the same ‘format’ and I adore that about these novels. For me, there hasn’t been a fault to find yet, and I hope I continue to read on without them. I urge you to go stock your shelves with Ward because you’ll find it hard to be disappointed with her!

My Rating:

5 books

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Filed under 2010 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, J.R. Ward, Paperback, Paranormal Romance, Piatkus Books, Vampires