Tuesday, June 21, 2011

REVIEW: Destined For An Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Destined For An Early Grave (Night Huntress #4)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July, 2009
Paperback: 355 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Rating: 9/10

Description: Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger...

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

My Thoughts: I love this series and this installment really pulled at my heart and emotions. This book also had me laughing myself silly, tears running down my face with one of the best scenes I’ve read in a while between Cat and Bones’ sire, Mencheres…

"Then you remember the dream,” Mencheres stated. “That bodes ill.”

The fear of that made my reply snappy. “Hey, Walks Like An Egyptian, how about for once you drop the formal stuff and talk like you live in the twenty-first century?”

“The shit’s gonna splatter, start buggin’, yo,” Mencheres responded instantly. I stared at him, then burst out laughing, which was highly inappropriate considering the very grave warning he’d just conveyed."

In this story, we learn a little bit more about Cat’s life before she met Bones. We find out there’s a vampire who is much older than Bones who is staking a claim on Cat, demanding she be returned to him as she is apparently his wife and has bonded with him. Obviously, Bones isn’t going to accept that lying down and compliance is definitely not in his vocabulary either. The scary thing about this vampire is that he can snatch Cat away through her dreams.

Bones also does a very convincing job of making Cat think they are through after she goes to Gregor to try to help the situation by convincing him to leave her alone. I should say the operative word here is “try” and of course it doesn’t work. Gregor is insistent that she belongs to him and is very persistent and it’s not in a good way at all. Bones even convinced me that he and Cat were through and it made me sad and a little annoyed at Cat for creating the situation, no matter how good her intentions were.

There are some major events in the book that came as a shock and a surprise. I won’t go into them so as not to ruin the story for any of you who haven’t yet read it. I struggled with the rating for this book because I love this series and I did love this book. However, something devastating occurs that I felt didn’t need to and I think it will make the series lose some of its charm. It’s not enough for me to stop reading, but I feel like the author chose a path that didn’t need to be travelled.

The devastating event notwithstanding, I highly recommend this book and the series. Fans of this series will enjoy the witty dialogue and snarky comments we have come to expect and enjoy. The awesome in your face fight scenes and the smoking hot love scenes all combined to deliver another fantastic installment to the Night Huntress series.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

REVIEW: Knock Off by Rhonda Pollero

Title: Knock Off (Finley Anderson Tanner #1)
Author: Rhonda Pollero
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: February, 2008
Paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 10/10

Description: Meet Finley Anderson Tanner. FAT to her enemies. A West Palm Beach paralegal, who hates the gym, still rents her condo and loves two hour lunches with her friends. But what really gets Finley hot is hunting down deeply discounted designer goods she can wear at her upscale law firm.

Too bad work isn't all about fashion. Especially when a grieving widow is sitting in your office, convinced that her husband's accidental death wasn't. Investigating murder isn't really Finley's bag (that would be Prada, 75% off), but the deeper Finley digs, the stranger things get, and this discount shopper knows slightly irregular when she sees it. Kind of like sexy Liam McGarrity. Everything about the hot, hunky P.I. screams, "Get out while you still have your underwear!"

For a girl whose biggest ambition is take-out Moo Shu at 5:01, life is taking some exciting, unpredictable, and decidedly dangerous turns. Someone doesn't like Finley's new work ethic. And if this paralegal wants to bring home the real goods, she'll have to keep from becoming a killer's total knock off...

My Thoughts: An important thing you need to know about me when it comes to reading is I don’t read very fast and am not like some of my book buddies out there (you know who you are) that read hundreds of books a year. The next thing you need to know about me is I read this book in 2 DAYS!!! I could not put this book down, literally. You’re probably saying “you’re kidding.” I kid you not. Everywhere I went, I had this book with me reading, watching television, making dinner, sitting on the toilet…this was not one of those stories that I would pick up and read a paragraph or a page and be able to put it down. This book made me miss my program, burn dinner and cause pins and needles in my legs from lack of circulation! But it was so worth it!

When we first meet Finley, she is working as a paralegal for a firm handling estates and trusts. She gets pulled into a murder case when she inherits a client whose husband died and the client is convinced it wasn’t an accident. The client is very overbearing but Finley begins to look into her husband’s case. Finley isn’t your stereotypical airhead and she quickly learns that things about her client’s husband’s death aren’t adding up.

I really liked Finley. She’s not afraid of getting a little dirty and even receiving death threats don’t deter her from digging. Not having any murder investigation background at all, she manages to put her paralegal education to good use and begins researching. I was impressed at how tenacious she was since the client was a real pill.

Liam McGarrity is everything Finley’s not. He’s a former police officer who is carrying some secrets and it will be interesting to see how long before he opens up. Finley is convinced he has a wife, possibly an ex wife, that he is still sleeping with so I expect she will be digging into that scenario at some point.

There’s major attraction chemistry going on with Finley and Liam. I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes. Finley has a very difficult mother and their relationship is tense at best so I am curious to see how Finley responds to her mother’s criticism. Finley is in a relationship that the reader understands very explicitly is not the exciting love fest that Finley craves. It will be interesting to see if Finley stays with him in the second book. I have to admire Finley that though her relationship isn’t what she is hoping for and she is feeling major attraction vibes for Liam, Finley doesn’t jump into bed with him. I’m strongly hoping that the relationship issue gets resolved soon because Liam is yummy.

The plot moves forward at a great pace and the identity of the killer came as a surprise but not a shock. This is a great start to what I hope will be a very entertaining series. I am looking forward to seeing what Finley gets into next.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

REVIEW: I Only Have Fangs For You by Kathy Love

Title: I Only Have Fangs For You (Young Brothers #3)
Author: Kathy Love
Publisher: Brava
Publication Date: December, 2006
Paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 8/10

Description: One thing you have to know about my brother Sebastian: he loves being a vampire. He's eternally twenty-five. He's single, and frankly, he's a chick magnet. Yeah, undeath is good. The only thing he's serious about is his nightclub, Carfax Abbey. It's the sort of dark, happening spot where vampires can really let their fangs down. My brother Rhys and I have tried to get Sebastian to clean up his bad-boy ways like we did, but then he went and called us fang-whipped. Okay, Bite Boy, chew on this…

The ultimate righteous reformer, Wilhelmina Weiss, is on a mission to shut down Carfax Abbey. It seems the spirited, sexy-without-knowing-it vampire is working undercover as a cocktail waitress while waging a secret war to bring him down. Sebastian's A-positive he can convince Miss Goody-Vampire-Two-Fangs that nothing beats the ecstasy of a good vampire bite. I gotta tell you, the suspense would kill me—if I weren't already undead.

My Thoughts: Without starting a debate on the pros and cons of vampires and being a loyal member of Team Jacob, I will say that I have been a fan of vampire-themed romance novels for a very long time since I read my first Amanda Ashley novel. Over the years there have been many variations on the vampire theme, which includes humor and some tongue-in-cheek wit and banter. I almost didn’t read this book because the last book in this story seemed too campy on the humor for me. Poor Christian went from pretty evil and scary to living in a trailer park listening to country music. Sadly, the story was very cliché and boring for me. So hopefully you will understand why I started this book with deep reservations.

Sebastian Young is a ladies’ man. He knows the ladies are drawn to him and he uses it to his advantage. He has no intention at all of ending up like his brothers did, head over heels in love and “fang whipped.” Sebastian owns a nightclub called Carfax Abbey (don’t you just love it?) and that keeps him pretty busy anyway so he doesn’t have time for any long term commitments. Strange occurrences have been happening at the club and Sebastian believes there’s a saboteur among them. First the police, now the Health Department are investigating and Sebastian is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Wilhelmina Weiss is one of the waitresses at Carfax Abbey. She hasn’t been there long and she isn’t very good at her job, which explains a lot as because being a waitress really isn’t her job. Her job is to shut down Carfax Abbey, by any means possible. She’s working undercover at Carfax Abbey for a group called The Society, a group of paranormal creatures who are trying to keep humans safe from the evil vampires of the City and the group has picked Sebastian as the number three most dangerous vampire. Trying to flood the club by starting a fire or creating a health hazard by trying to infest the place with rats are some of the attempts she makes to shut down the club. Luckily for Sebastian, none of them work.

I adored Sebastian. Of all three Young brothers, he is my favorite. He loves being a vampire but isn’t evil. He has embraced his immortality with both arms and is living the undead life to the fullest. Unlike his brothers, Sebastian doesn’t seem to have any regrets or wastes his time looking in the past. Though he’s very charming and appears to be a good guy, there were times I got the impression that he was just going through the motions. His mind seems to be fixated on biting or sex, usually both at the same time. He puts up a good front, but he is lonely. He is intrigued by the new waitress, Wilhelmina, but can’t understand why.

I really liked Wilhelmina, though I detest the name. Luckily, Sebastian calls her Mina, which suits her much better, thank goodness. She’s been a vampire for a while, though not as long as Sebastian. One thing I found interesting is that she doesn’t seem to know how to be a vampire. She has no idea what it means, what she can do and she goes to great lengths to hide her appearance. She has no sense of style. Her hair is a complete mess and she wears glasses, which she obviously doesn’t need. She refuses to drink human blood, even from the blood bank. She hates Sebastian with a passion and that really surprised me. He wasn’t the one to change her but yet, he’s the target of all of her animosity. She’s carrying extensive emotional baggage. Her crossing over experience was horrifying and it’s a miracle that she managed to survive.

Sebastian is a surprising character. His curiosity about Mina rises when he learns that she is the one trying to sabotage his club. I expected him to want revenge or have her punished in some way. I mean his brother Christian tried to murder his future sister-in-law, so I thought some evil act on Sebastian’s part would be making an appearance. Nope. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, Sebastian tracks her down and they strike a bargain. He will show her how great it is to be a vampire in exchange for not biting any humans for a month. At this point, you really begin to see the real Mina and understand where she’s coming from and witness her excitement and amazement at how different the world is when you open yourself up to it and she couldn’t have a better teacher than Sebastian. Her opinion of Sebastian changes drastically and they begin to trust each other, though she is much quicker to opening herself up to that possibility.

In the end, this installment became my favorite of the three. Sebastian is a fun character who isn’t afraid to take risks or speak his mind. He learns some important lessons about trust from his brothers, of all people and in his unique way goes after what he wants. Mina is a surprising character from first meeting her all the way to the end. She’s open minded and willing to admit when she’s wrong. They make a great couple. I am hoping to read the fourth book in this series this year which is about the sister that Rhys, Christian and Sebastian have thought was dead. I recommend this book and the series for fans of all vampire romance.

Friday, June 03, 2011

REVIEW: You Can't Hide by Karen Rose

Title: You Can’t Hide
Author: Karen Rose
Publisher: Warner
Publication Date: April, 2006
Paperback: 497 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 8/10

Description: YOU DON'T KNOW WHO I AM.

Terror has forever changed the life of psychiatrist Tess Ciccotelli. Someone is tormenting her patients, pushing them to commit suicide, and setting her up to take the blame. But Tess can't break her oath to protect her patients' privacy at all costs. Even when detective Aidan Reagan demands a list of everyone she's treating. Even when the mounting danger threatens Tess herself.


Aidan doesn't like anyone who stalls his cases. Still, he can't help but admire Tess's fierce loyalty to her patients, especially when it becomes clear that a nameless, faceless enemy is set on destroying her career, her family, and finally, Tess herself. As Aidan's heart softens, the killer's will hardens, and one thing becomes clear -- the noose is tightening around Tess's neck.


My Thoughts: One of the indicators that a series is good is when the author keeps you connected to earlier characters while still moving the series forward and devoting the current book to the current story instead of rehashing the past stories. Some authors do this perfectly while some are unable to do it at all, driving me to give up on the series completely.

YOU CAN’T HIDE is the fifth book in Karen Rose’s romantic suspense series. I am very reluctant to even label it as part of a series because each book up to this point stands on its own and doesn’t require the previous books to have been read first. However, I strongly recommend you read them all as it would be a shame to miss them. The Reagan family is back in this story that features Aidan Reagan, who is now a Detective. He and his partner are investigating the suicide of one of Tess Ciccotelli’s patients and the clues seem to point to Tess as the one to blame. Immediately, the reader is given a sense of the animosity between Aidan and Tess and we quickly learn that Aidan despises Tess because he is angry that a serial killer of children escaped prosecution because of her medical testimony. Aidan suspects Tess and argues with his partner who believes Tess is innocent. Unfortunately for Tess, more of her patients die and Tess’s life becomes endangered. After one tense and dangerous standoff, Aidan realizes that Tess is being set up. Along the way, they develop feelings for one another.

I really liked this story especially when Aidan started being more open minded about what was going on with Tess and not letting his anger lead him. I had my suspicions early on about who was behind the killings and sabotage of Tess. My suspicions proved correct though I don’t know why I suspected this person to begin with. The most interesting aspect wasn’t about WHO was behind this, but WHY they were doing it. This proved to be very disturbing as each layer revealed another dark and sinister fact and that this villain could be capable of the level of hate required to commit these acts proved to be the most frightening of all.

Aidan and Tess are a perfect match. Their personalities complement each other and both have trust issues resulting from bad relationships. Both have suffered personal loss. Both have built walls around their hearts. Tess is estranged from her family back in Philadelphia and being around Aidan’s family fills the void in her soul. Tess has a cat named Bella and Aidan has a Rottweiler named Dolly, which is just one more aspect of why I loved these characters.

This author is becoming a favorite for me to choose when I want suspenseful stories featuring likeable characters with wounded souls but carrying great amounts of strength of will and personality.

New Additions To The TBR Pile In May

I was a good book addict in May. Definitely read more than I took in so could that mean I'm on my way to recovery? Yeah...no. Don't get excited people, I definitely wouldn't go that far. I'm pretty sure this book addiction is incurable... :o)

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

Description: When Chelsea Handler needs to get a few things off her chest, she appeals to a higher power - vodka. You would too if you found out that your boyfriend was having an affair with a Peekapoo or if you had to pretend to be honeymooning with your father in order to upgrade to first class. Welcome to Chelsea's world - a place where absurdity reigns supreme and a quick wit is the best line of defense.

In this hilarious, deliciously skewed collection, Chelsea mines her past for stories about her family, relationships, and career that are at once singular and ridiculous. Whether she's convincing her third-grade class that she has been tapped to play Goldie Hawn's daughter in the sequel to Private Benjamin, deciding to be more egalitarian by dating a redhead, or looking out for a foulmouthed, rum-swilling little person who looks just like her... only smaller, Chelsea has a knack for getting herself into the most outrageous situations.

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea showcases the candor and irresistible turns of phrase that have made her one of the freshest voices in comedy today.

No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Description: Live fast, fight hard and, if you have to die, then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power--one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.

The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at sharalsbooks@yahoo.com Happy Reading! :o)