ARC Review: Heart Fortune by Robin D Owens

The Particu15985395lars: Paranormal Romance, Berkley, available in print and as e-book

The Source: ARC from the Auther

The Grade: B

The Blurb:

On the faraway planet Celta, there are some forces you cannot fight…

Jace Bayrum has always been a loner. Concerned more with getting an adrenaline fix and making money to live on his own, Jace cares little for family ties or matters of the heart. On the other hand Glyssa Licorice, Jace’s former fling and true mate, is both loving and loyal. She is determined to track down her HeartMate and have him claim her.

After hearing that Jace has been involved in an accident, Glyssa sets out to find him, departing for the excavation site of the lost starship Lugh’s Spear. Though her goal is to help Jace and finesse him into recognizing her as his mate, the excavation itself draws her in…

Thrust by fate into working side-by-side, Jace and Glyssa’s electric connection from years before sparks once more. She intrigues him, and Jace begins to realize that a HeartMate can make a difference. And one as magnetic as Glyssa could be exactly what he has been searching for

 The Review:

When Robin D Owens offered to send me an ARC of Heart Fortune as a thank you for helping her with the copy edits, I accepted.

Like all Celta novels, this was a well written novel, and for a nice change it didn’t take place in Druida. The camp setting felt believable. I really liked how there were a sense of community, and how they worked together to excavate Lugh’s Spear. But I also liked that not everyone was friends, that there were rivalry between different people.

Glyssa was born and raised in the city, but it was intresting to see how Glyssa gradually got used to life at camp, and the wilderness that surrounded it. I really liked Glyssa, and how she didn’t hesitate to stand her ground, yet she was willing to change to get a future with Jace. I also liked her with Lepid, her intrepid fox fam. And how he encouraged her to be more daring.

Jace on the other hand was used to living in camps, and to wander from job to job. I liked Jace. He had a sense of honor, and was determinded to keep his independence. This included having any relationships.  But his reluctance to form a relationship with Glyssa  made sense to me, since he had been scarred by his parents marriage.

The plot was well written. I liked that Glyssa and Jace’s romance moved slow, and that their relationship had its bumps. But I liked how they worked together to get over the bumps. And I really liked how the romance and the villain’s actions were connected.

Despite all the things I liked with the book, it wasn’t perfect. It missed that touch of angst that the best of Robin D Owens novels have.

Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

WARNING: Contains mild spoilers ( the name of the hero and the heroine) 

The Particulars:  Paranormal Romance, Berkley, available as e-book and in Print

The Source:  The bookstore
The Grade: B
The blurb:

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead

The Review:

I snapped up a copy when my local bookstore by mistake started selling this book too early.  (I got a bit lucky, since they had computer issues, so they couldn’t see that the book had a hard street date 🙂 ) This  is an excellent addition to the Psy Changeling series.

The world of the Psy is crumbling in this book, and there were a lot at stake.The plot was fast paced, with  a deft mix of action and romance.   I couldn’t stop reading, as the book builds toward the final confrontation with Pure Psy.  There were times were I hated Pure Psy for the decisions they made, and the lines they crossed.  
Interwoven in this is the romance subplot.  It was exquisite.  From how Kaleb guided Sahara back out of her shell, to how Sahara started to rebuild her life.  What I liked was how Kaleb opened up with Sahara. And the things he revealed was heart wrenching.   I liked Sahara. She had a spine, which made me cheer for her. I also appreciated that she made her own path during the book. And her gift made me shiver, yet it made sense in a way. I loved how Kaleb and Sahara grounded each other, and created something that was whole from two flawed halves.

Maybe it was because I had been looking forward to this book for so long, but I had some trouble sink in to the story.  Because of that I had trouble connecting with Kaleb and Sahara. It is possibly that it partly stems from  my uncertainty if  they were too scarred to truly love at times. But when they got their HEA it felt right, and they had earned it..


Cover Reveal: High Risk by Vivian Arend

This cover was revealed earlier this month, and I love it since it tells me what this books is: An erotic romance novel featuring Adrenaline junkies. ( Yes, I am tired of 50 shades of grey covers, that could be on any kind of book.)

Urban Fantasy reading challenge: Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn

The Particulars: Urban Fantasy, Berkley, available in print and as e-book
The Source: The bookshelf
The Grade: B
The Blurb:
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we’re savvy—and sexy—operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency.  But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times.  My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’s stressed.  Menolly’s a vampire who’s still trying to get the hang of being undead.  And me?  I’m Camille—a wicked-good witch.  Except my magic’s as unpredictable as the weather, as my enemies are about to find out the hard way… At the Wayfarer Inn, a portal to Otherworld and the local hangout for humans and beasties alike, a fellow operative, Jocko, has been murdered.  Every clue points to Shadow Wing, the soul-munching, badass leader of the Subterranean Realms.  He’s made it clear that he aims to raze humankind to the ground, turning both Earth and Otherworld into his private playground.  Our assignment:  Keep Shadow Wing and his minions from creeping into Earth via the Wayfarer.  The demons figure they’re in like Flynn.  After all, with only my bumbling sisters and me standing in the way, how can they miss?  But we’ve got a secret for them:  Faulty wiring or not, nobody kicks ass like the D’Artigo girls…

The Review:
One of my reading challenges this year is to re-read the Otherworld series by Yasmine Galenorn, originally the plan was to re-read it before Shadow Rising was out in February, but obviously that didn’t happen.
That said, I am glad that I made that vow, since I enjoyed this book a lot.
The world was rich, and intriguing. I loved the twists on the myths and standard tropes that was revealed, and in some cases hinted at.
I also liked the impact the Sidhe had on humans, that some loves them and some hates them. Which makes totally sense.But more than the world, I loved meeting the characters. I loved Camille. Her struggle with her feelings to the Svartan Trillian, who showed up without warning. Her love to her sisters. Her courage, and determination to do what is right.
The plot was fast paced, yet it felt as if it wasn’t too fast. It was easy to understand the characters reactions and actions. I loved how Camille’s Magic affected the plot. Not that it made it easier, if anything it made it harder.
So what I didn’t like with this book. It took a long time before it sucked me in, before it hooked me. In fact, it wasn’t until page 150 or so that I felt the urge to just keep on reading. Before that I put it down and picked it up several time.
Interstingly I have had different reactions each time I have read this book. The first time, I felt it was good, but not great , the second I loved it. This time it was a mix of the previous times.

Review: Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Berkley, available in print and as e-book.
The Source: Purchased at Kobo
The Grade: B
The blurb:

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed…and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.
Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life–the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…
Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past…or lose everything that ever mattered.

The Review:
This book hooked me from the start. I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to find out what happend.
It crackled with tension from the start. I loved the fact that both Clay and Talin had scars from their childhood. I could almost touch Talin’s hesitation over how Clay would react to seeing her again.
A lot of the tension in this book came from their past, and the struggle to move past it. But, that is not all that is going on.Amidst all this, they are running against the clock to find Talin’s missing charges.
I could almost touch Talin’s worry. Worry over her health, worry over if they would find the children.
I loved how Nalini Singh revealed yet another layer of the world in this book, revealing just how debated the Silence had been when it was introduced 100 years earlier.
So, What I didn’t like. I didn’t like the POV’s from Ashaya and Jon. Yes, I know that they were necessary, and that they set up for the next book, but I was so focused on Talin’s and Clay’s story that it just annoyed me.

Review: Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

The particulars: Paranormal Romance, Berkley, available as print and e-book
The Source: Purchased at Kobo
The Grade: B
The Blurb:
Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous – aching need… exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D’Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar’s instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating, and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith’s sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced – and keep her from Vaughn…

The Review:
What I like most about Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series isn’t the romance. No, it is the world. ( Ok, I might be exagerating a bit). The world she has created is detailed, and varied. There is the cold emotionless Psy that governs the world. The territorial changelings, that craves touch. And humans of course. Together they create a world that is stratified with Psy on top and the changelings and humans beneath., At least if you ask the Psy. Tossed into the world is memorable characters. 
This book is no different.  The picture that she painted of Faith’s life before she met Vaughn gave me goosebumps.   My heart went out to Faith when she fretted about wheter or not she would go insane.
As a changeling, Vaughn is Faith’s total opposite. He craves touch, he is violent.
That said, I loved the way he patiently coaxed Faith out of her shell, and helped her grow into the woman she should have been.
So to the weak spots.
It might be because of me, but the sexual tension I felt… flickered. Most of the time it was hidden in the tension to reach the end. I also didn’t like how she treated the mating bond. It felt as if she realised that they needed to be mates, and added the discovery.
Also, the book felt… unbalanced.  I felt that the only one that changed in the book was Faith. Vaughn was the same person at the end of the book as he was at the beginning.  

Review: The Mistress of Trevelyan by Jennifer St Giles

The Particulars: Historical Romance, re-issued backlist, available as e-book.
The Source: Amazon Freebie
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:

In 1873 San Francisco, spirited Ann Lovell takes a position no one else dares — as governess to the motherless sons of the enigmatic Benedict Trevelyan. It has long been whispered that Trevelyan Manor hides dark secrets and sinister deeds — including the murder of Benedict’s wife. But Ann refuses to pay heed to spiteful rumor.
As she grows to cherish her young charges, Ann also finds herself powerfully drawn to the handsome Benedict, whose passionate persuasion introduces her to a new world of sensual pleasures. But even while falling in love with the master of Trevelyan, Ann wonders if his attentions are intended to blind her to the secrets of the past — and if Benedict holds he key to her destiny…or her destruction.
The Review: 

This is another author that I have been curious about for awhile. When she offered it for free at Amazon, I decided to take the chance. And I am glad that I did.
This was an highly enjoyable historical romance. At times it felt like I was transported back to San Francisco anno 1873. From Ann’s reverence of books, to her struggle to remain proper, to the fashion styles.
But, most of all I loved the interactions between Ann and the Trevelyan family. From the moment she knocks on the door , convincing Benedict Trevelyan to hire her ( despite her lack of experience) to the last unexpected twist, Ann is open hearted and curious. I loved her patience with Robert and Justin, her struggle to over come her fear towards horses.
And then there is the romance. Oh my. I enjoyed their struggle against the attraction, and Ann’s determined attempt to keep the properity.
But, there are secrrets in Trevelyan Manor. Of course. I enjoyed Ann’s curiosity about what had happened to Francesca almost as much as I enjoyed the romance.
The past affects the household, and it obstruct Ann’s and Benedict’s happiness.
So, what I didn’t like. First, there were some formatting issues. Very minor, but I got a bit tired of them after a while.
The more major part, were that I liked the story fine. Until they became lovers. It felt… a bit predictable, and a bit against character.
Still, I am glad I downloaded it and I plan to purchase the next book in the series ( or download it as a freebie if Jennifer St Giles remains in KDP.)

Steampunk Challenge: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

The Particulars: Steampunk, Berkley, available in print and as e-book
The Source: Purchased at Kobo
The Grade : A
The blurb:
Note: This blurb is the official one, but it  contain spoilers for Iron Duke.

As the mercenary captain of the Lady Corsair, Yasmeen has learned to keep her heart as cold as steel, her only loyalty bound to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control.
Treasure-hunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair — he wants her coldhearted captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. To reclaim it, Archimedes is determined to seduce the stubborn woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies, but she’s no easy conquest.
When da Vinci’s sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco — and straight into their enemy’s hands. But as they fight to save themselves and a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart…

The Review:
This is the second book in the Iron Seas series. I read The Iron Duke and enjoyed it. This one? Was better. Set in the same world, filled with zombies, bugs, and the Horde. I am not sure why I liked it better? Maybe it because it lacks the save the world mentality? The stakes is still high, for all of them but it is in’t on save the world level.
I enjoyed the fast paced adventure, the way it started with a bang and never slowed down. Or at least it felt like that. I am sure it was a slow paragraph here and there.
I loved the way everything felt connected, and that both Yasmeen and Archimedes had things at stakes.
But what I really loved with this book was the characters. The snarky banter between Archimedes and Yasmine. The sensual tension between them.
I also loved that there was so many different kinds of characters. From jackasses, to traitors, to rough brawlers, to smart women, and curious boys.
Most of all there goes a thread of loyalty through the book. In so many ways.
I loved this book in so many ways, and I regret that I waited so long with purchasing it. The only thing that bugged me were in the beginning Archimedes said intended to fall in love with her. I could have accepted seduce, since it would have fit better. On the other hand, after finishing the book, I can understand why he intended to do that, but it still bugged me. 

Review: HeartMate by Robin D Owens

The Particulars:  Futuristic Romance,  Berkley,  available as e-book and in print
The Source: My bookshelf
The Grade: B+

The blurb:

All his life, Rand T’Ash looked forward to meeting his HeartMate, with whom he could begin a family. Once a street tough but now a respected nobleman and artisan, he has crafted the perfected HeartGift, which, in the custom of the psychically-gifted population of the planet Celta, is the way a man finds–and attracts–his wife…

Danith Mallow is irresistibly drawn to the magnificent necklace on display in T’Ash’s shop, but she is wary of its creator, despite an overpowering attraction. In a world where everyone is defined by their psychic ability, Danith has little, and thus is at the opposite end of the social specturm from T’Ash. But T’Ash refuses to accept her rejection, and sees it as a challenge instead. They ARE HeartMates, but can T’ash persuade his beloved to accept her destiny by his side?

The review:

This  is a fast paced read, filled with romance, action, and Zanth of course.   No Celta book would be complete without a Fam.    The setting is a refreshing mix of regency customs and magic.  Every part of the world feels solid.  From the nobles to the Downwind gangs.  But what made the book so good were the romance between Danith and T’Ash.  
I loved reading about T’Ash and Danith’s romance.   Everything went wrong from the start for T’ash. Danith rejects him.  But their romance shouldn’t be an easy one.   T’Ash is a powerful GreatLord, with a large dose of inborn arrogance. Danith is a commoner, an orphan, with very little Flair.  

Meeting T’Ash turns Danith’s life upside down. Suddenly she is showered with gifts, since T’Ash is determinded to follow every step in the etiquette book.  ( That scene made me smile)     It isn’t just the gift that affect her.  She finds out she isn’t as Flairless as she thought.    With every change, she clings harder to the familiar.
I loved how Mitchella stuck by her friend, even if her help might have caused problems between T’Ash and Danith.
But the romance plot were  intertwined with so many other things. From T’Ash past, to HollyHeir’s request that he honor a blood debt, to events unfolding in the background.  All of the action and danger stems from this part of the plot.

So for what I didn’t like.  It felt like everything happend too fast. For example,   Danith went from being flairless, to having a unique Flair.   Yes, it is spread out during the book, but I wish it had taken a bit more time. But, on the other hand it wouldn’t have been the same story without it.   Also, I didn’t feel that tugging that I get from really good Robin D Owens novels.

Review: Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4)Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trying to discover the identity of a murder victim brings together the vampire Dmitri and a hunter for the Guild, Honor. And as the gruesome murders continue, a lethal sensuality explodes between them.

When I heard that the next GuildHunter book would be about Dmitri, I was a bit curious how Ms Singh would manage to redeem him. I must say, she succeeded splendily. This is a complex, violent tale about venegance. It was interesting to see the world through Dmitri and Honor. The two main treads in this tale, is what happened to Holly, and Dmitri’s past. As Dmitri and Honor start to search for the ones that planned Holly’s aduction, they reveal the dirt sides of the society. Paralell to this, Dmitri is working on another case, on that leads straight to his past.
I was a bit surprised that I wasn’t bothered more by the violence, but it feels right. Dmitri is ruthless, and it would have been odd if he hadn’t acted like he did. Or maybe it is that I expect the GuildHunter novels to be violent.
Or maybe it is that there is so much more in the book that counter it, the friendship between Honor, Ashwini and Vivek. The way Honor treats Holly. The glimpses into Dmitri’s past.

Honestly, this review only scrapes the surface of the book. To really appreaciate it, you need to read the book.

View all my reviews