Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: My Year in Books

Here we are... 2016 has been a tough year in many ways, but I'd like to remember it for all the great reads I had the pleasure of reading: both new and old.

It's been a year of Ilona Andrews' books for me. I finally took the plunge and basically devoured most of their back catalog, including Kate Daniels, The Edge, and Innkeeper Chronicles (this time on audio, which is absolutely fabulous by the way). The only problem now, I'm all caught up and have no idea what I shall do with myself - perhaps I need a re-read?! #sendhelpandbooks

Friday, December 2, 2016

Book Review: A Stone-Kissed Sea

A Stone-Kissed Sea (Elemental World, #4)
Elizabeth Hunter

Release Date: December 6, 2016

Book Description:
An immortal wanderer. A brilliant scientist. A centuries-old menace written in blood.

Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity.

Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point.

When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.

Amazon US | Goodreads

ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for fair and honest review. Thank you!

Aah... I'm both sad and excited to see this story-arc come to an end, but what a way to do it! Bring on the ancients, the lush settings, grandiose style, tradition, battle, and, of course, a fiery and explosive couple - I guess even an earth and a water vampire can bring those adjectives to mind...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Book Review: Marriage Games

Marriage Games (The Games Duet #1)
C.D. Reiss

Release Date: October 22, 2016

Book Description:
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.

That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.

She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.

She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.

She’s wrong.

Amazon US | Goodreads

Gah! I don't know what to say about this book. I loved it and hated it at the same time. C.D. Reiss always writes such complex, multi-layered characters and stories - you think you know where it is going but really, you have no idea... 
"The world we inhabited wasn’t designed for people to be in love. It was designed for intensity, pain, pleasure, courtesy, and ritual." Marriage Games (Kindle Location 584).

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: Magic Burns

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2)
Ilona Andrews

Release Date: April 2008

Book Description:

Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Amazon US | Goodreads

I don't know if I'm quite sold on Kate Daniels and the whole UF genre is not quite my thing, but I'm intrigued and look forward to reading more from the dynamic author duo of Andrew and Ilona Gordon.

Magic Burns is the second book in the series and I happened to get this one on audio, which in turn slightly affected my opinion of the story. The narrator - Renée Raudman does a decent job, but her inflections often felt exaggerated and forced. I also found some of the voices and accents that she employed to portray certain characters take something away from their appeal for me. It is unfortunate, but narrators can truly affect your perception of the book.

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