46 Following

Currently reading

Biting Cold
Chloe Neill
Hidden (Guardians of Time, #1)
Marianne Curley
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)
Richelle Mead
Seduced in the Dark
C.J. Roberts
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Silver (The Silver #1)
Cheree Alsop
Inked Magic ( Inked Magic World #1)
Jory Strong
Three to Get Deadly
Janet Evanovich
Passion Play
Beth Bernobich
Blood Bound (An Unbound Novel)
Rachel Vincent
Swan and the Bear - Eve Langlais I failed to mention last time that the "Mastermind" tells bits and pieces of the story in this series. While it's a little far out that a school grudge is the reason for his warped ways, it is a lesson in hell hath no furry like a psycho bullied.

Now I said that the first book in the series was wacky fun. But wacky fun becomes just plain old news after the material has already been used. No really. The Swan and the Bear borrows heavily from it's predecessor. It even uses the same Monty Python joke! WTF! After that I just wasn't into the humor anymore. Sure there were a few one liners that made me chuckle. The meet the parents bit for the new couple and the old couple was great! So hats off to that.

What's even more disturbing is that I felt like I was reading the same characters again. The swan, Jessie, was the grumpy bear. (Pun intended.) Mason is the happy to mate like a bunny lead. So basically I'm reading the same characters from the last book, but the genders are switched. Sure Jessie is holding off because she just knows her play bear is going to drop her once he's tasted the honey. There wasn't enough background or character depth for me to believe that Jessie was so damaged about relationships that she would be that stupid. (Sure her father is overbearing on a mind blowing scale and abuses the trust of family, but it's just not enough.) Mason proves himself over and over, there's no proof that he's just a cheating evil man. Only that he's a big play bear and likes to sleep with the ladies.

In the end it probably was not wise to read Furry United Coalition back to back. I wanted to enjoy the character cameos while I could remember them. Maybe I wouldn't notice just how much this borrowed from the book before with space in between. Again no emotional connection, which rendered the sex scenes flavorless. Then the half attempted plot. What can I say, I'm picky. Erotica should have substance. Yeah, I know. That's just the way I am.

Sexual Content: Erotica, sex scenes ahead.

1/5- I couldn't finish it or wish I hadn't

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Bunny and the Bear - Eve Langlais Delicate Freakn' Flower is what originally turned me on to Eve Langlais writing. Much like that book, Bunny and the Bear did not blow me away. The sex scenes were OK, and the "plot" that underlines the whole romance is pretty neon-sign-glaring obvious. But it's a ton of fun, with giggle worthy animal innuendos, and wackiness. We all need a little wack. Plus, I love funky animal shifters . . .

The romance really isn't a romance. It's immediate lust on sight and I never actually felt that the romance was built during any part of the book. The sex is mild, and while there's plenty of better steam bringers out there, this will do. It also didn't help that both Chase, the bear, and Miranda, the bunny, where very cookie cutter characters.

The raunchy humor mixed with all of those animal innuendos just made my day. Especially, since it was play on words for Bear and Bunny things. Honey pie. Yeah. Chase has a serious obsession with Miranda's, nether regions and all of the ways he was pining for it just made me laugh. It was great reading the next silly thing he was going to say about getting into the honey pot, or getting that picnic basket.

It's clear this book has plenty of funk and wacky , just what the book doctor ordered. However, I've read better erotica out there. I'm a firm believer if the plot and romance isn't good, the bedroom scenes should blow you away, and vice versa. (At least when it comes to erotica.) Bunny and the Bear is for laughs, it's not here to leave a big impression.

Sexual Content: Lots of sex. Plenty of raunchy sexual humor, and beast

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Witchling - Yasmine Galenorn Whenever a reader picks up a paranormal book the biggest hope is to get a diverse world, interesting characters, and unique mythology. Witchling delivers. The series focuses on the three D'Artigo sisters Camille, Delilah, and Menolly. Each one as different from their looks to personalities. It's refreshing to have a series focus on sisterly love—nothing too gooey. The girls are OIA (Otherworld Intelligence Agency) agents sent earth side since their track record isn't all that great. The girls are half sidhe and half human, causing their magic to go haywire and get them in all kinds of trouble. Camille is the witch, Delilah, the house cat shifter, and Menolly the vampire.

Each book is told by a sister, starting with the oldest Camille. Camille is a required taste, coming off completely self absorbed. When she's in the middle of a demonic crisis she takes time to buy some lingerie. She's a buxom bombshell, she knows it and she flaunts it! She owns her sexuality and I love it. There's a lot of layers to Galenorn's characters and they have to be peeled back. Especially when a simple murder of an OIA agent turns into an end of the world scenario. A demon, Shadow Wing, is gathering Spirit Seals to merge the Subterranean realms, Otherworld, and Earth together. Many characters have to step up to the plate.

There's the full blooded human Chase, who comes off as a perv and slowly redeems himself. One of Camille's lovers is Trillian a Svartan, "dark elf", he's a cocky ass—which is what a guy has to be to be with Camille and handle her. Like Camille I don't love him, I grow to appreciate him. Morio enters the stage, a dark and mysterious Fox Demon and things get heated up! Then Smoky the dragon, with a kind streak, pops up and he turns into a powerful ally—and man. Lot's of man candy! Don't worry it's not all about Camille's lovers and the men in her life. The sisters have things going on and it's fun keeping tabs on them as Menolly starts to go to Vampires Anonymous, and Delilah has a few firsts.

It seems like more and more PNR/UF titles have very sparse writing, or trendy writing. Such as the House of Night series, Accidentally Friends series, some of Mary Janice Davidson's, and so many others. Galenorn's style is poetic at times, and the images it paints are sometimes breath taking and other times harsh. That doesn't mean that the writing isn't "modern" there's plenty of media humor from movies, music, and such. The best thing about Galenorn's style is the mix of rich writing with some of the slang of today. Everything blends beautifully from action to romance, mystery to sisterly love, horror to humor and so on. A few times I even had to look up the definition of a couple of words, which in my book is a good thing!

There are so many amazing creatures, mythology, and ideas to work with in the Otherworld series. Galenorn balances it all so well! The way the Otherkin see humans and humans see the myths is amazing. Some humans treat them like celebrities, others with indifference, and then of course the human only extremists. The mythical creatures for the most part see humans as lowly and don't exactly treat them right, but just like with the way humans there are other factions. The worlds blend together beautifully from politics to magic, and it's wonderful.

What a great start to a series! Each sister is very appealing and it's exciting to be able to change POV between the three Camille, Delilah, and Menolly each book. The characters and the way they interact are so complex, and I love how Galenorn's simple touches make them seem real. Between the amazing mythology and Otherworld politics I am one happy fantasy reader. The save the world plot is just the cherry on top! This book, and clearly this series is going to be magic!

Sexual Content: Considering that the sidhe are pretty lose and free with sex it’s not to bad. There are sex scenes, but nothing to graphic.

4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
The Darkest Whisper  - Gena Showalter It was clear that Sabin's love story was going to rock! Come on a guy who basically says that nothing is more important then his war, and doesn't want some woman to turn him into a simpering boyfriend, is going to be gleefully fun to bring to his knees.

The book starts out where the last one left off, the Lords breaking into a Pyramid where Danika's last vision/painting sent them to look for the latest artifact. What they find is even more evil wrong doing by the hunters. Mythical woman are being held and used as "incubators" to make the next superhuman generation of Hunters. Showalter's show of good and evil is refreshing as readers can make up there own mind by seeing the actions taken by both the Lords and the Hunters. It's a mind teaser seeing the Hunters—who think they are the good guys—blame every evil in the world on the Lords and then hurting children and women.

Gwen was a great character! She's a Harpy, a being who is so powerful that even bad girl Anya respects them and at one point she wishes she was one them. They love battle, blood, and all things dangerous. Of course, Gwen doesn't. She's Gwen the Timid! She likes safe boring, things, and wouldn't hurt a fly! Now that part was annoying, seeing a woman with so much strength afraid of herself. Yes, that was the journey of the book. Gwen finally being able to accept herself and deal with her blood thirsty ways. Her fears of her Harpy half are the true causes of her "accidents."

Sabin was an ass, and watching him fall in love really made my day. Seeing him finally come to the realization that he would step away from his all consuming battle with the hunters to be with Gwen was a great touch. Though the twist of who Gwen's father was is such an obvious plot twist that it killed some of the momentum for me.

Again the side stories here are amazing! Paris, Areon, and Torin take time to flesh out the story. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it when Gideon gets some page time to tell the story. He's going to be a fun character to read later on. Before this I wasn't very interested in him. Areon's Angel starker is clearly going to be tons of fun, especially with his little minion tagging along.

In the end it's decision time, and the results are . . . worth reading. The first book was awful (yes, I keep saying that), but once it's overcome the series reveals it has more to offer than "pairings". The battle of good and evil isn't black and white here, the Lords aren't saints. The Darkest Whisper is just what any reader needs for a nice dose of passion and action (of both kinds).

Sexual Content: Standard PNR love scenes. There are women that have been imprisoned and rape, while it’s never explicitly got into.

3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

Originally posted on Book Whispers.
The Darkest Pleasure  - Gena Showalter At this point I can now confirm that my enjoyment of book 2 was not a fluke, and the first book of this series really was THAT bad. Even with my fear that other books in The Lord of the Underworld series might be bad, the fact was I wasn't really interested in Reye's story. His demon is pain, and I kept having this fear that it would be some kind of chains and whips horror fest. Danika is a really interesting character that I've been fascinated with since the first book, and I feared pain would get in the way of that.

Again an author shows me that I have got to stop judging a book before I read it. Instead of Danika coming to a dark realization that she loves hurting people *cue evil laughter*, Showalter spins a tale of love so strong that over coming a necessity such as pain for pleasure is something that someone can overcome. Translation: Danika loves Reyes so much that she wants to help him, even if it means stabbing him every now and then. (Well that and a fantastic orgasms can literally transport you!)

Showalter spins a unique love story that's really sweet and tender, Danika is the first female lead that hasn't been a virgin and I enjoyed that. The trop that sex was never really that good until Reyes annoyed me. The side stories continue and they're amazing! Torin might have a little something starting up! Areon's suffering is truly fascinating, especially since a little scaly demon from hell comes up and seems a little overly infatuated with him . . . .

Paris. Paris. Paris. There is no way I can forget about him. If you thought the torture of book 2 was heartbreaking . . . forget about that! Cause it only gets more intense. He approaches Chronis himself to get his woman back, but things are never as simple as that.

Another great entry into The Lord of the Underworld series. The first book was dark romance, the second adrenaline spiked passion, and now a sweet and tender romance. The best part is all the side stories continuing throughout the book. Unlike JR Ward's work, were it gets overwhelming the bad guys, gods/goddess, and tons of other characters stepping in, the side stories don't overwhelm. Even though each book has a satisfying happy ending, the slow build up of all the side stories tantalizes the senses . . . and the possibilities.

Sexual Content: Steamy, dreamy, scenes! Nothing over the top basic PNR sex. Over course even if is basic, doesn’t mean it’s not hot!

3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

Originally reviewed on Book Whispers.
Comfort Food - Kitty Thomas Honestly I thought I was going to like this one. The Darkest Seduction was an intense read, and I enjoyed it's sick twisted ways. Comfort Food was just not for me.

The idea of being stolen, and then brainwashed and slowly broken down is a fear that I would hold up higher then torture, rape, and even death. Which is funny because fear of death is high up on my list of things to be afraid of. It’s the idea of losing yourself, and not being able to stop it. Even though you know what is going on.

Despite Thomas's strong writing and my enjoyment of her other works I couldn't sink in. This book made me sick. The characters made me angry and unable to feel for them. When Emily allows her captor to fondle her within a few hours just for a meal, then in about a day she needs human contact . . . well I couldn’t feel that. The weak will, personally I’d rather starve—yes, completely aware how painful that is. The Master of this book did it all for his selfish reasons, and everything was done knowing that he could get away with something like that. Emily was the perfect victim.

Now I know many of my GR friends loved this book. In the end I couldn't get over my own fears and dislikes. It was like a slap in the face. Nothing to justify the actions of her kidnapper and brainwasher. Plus, weak characters do nothing for me and Emily is beyond weak. However, I will say Thomas’s writing is as well done as usual. Other readers are going to love this one.

Sexual Content: Ladies, it a Kitty Thomas book. Sex, sex, explicit sex, fear for you minds!

1/5- I couldn't finish it or wish I hadn't

Originally reviewed on Book Whispers.
Valkyrie Rising - Ingrid Paulson Valkyrie Rising made it on to my reading radar with just it's title alone. Valkyries are creatures that I love reading about in paranormal settings. Going into this book I was already a happy and excited reader. It was painful to slowly realize that I didn't enjoy this book at all, mythology was great but the rest just went up in flames before my eyes. The fact that VR killed my reading mojo in what I like to refer to as Shera's-mad-book-craze-hunger.

Ellie wasn't annoying, in fact I like her a lot. Which is a point in favor for this book. What I didn't like was that her brother, that she loves so much, is entering danger land and she didn't try harder to find out what was going on. Plus, her grandmother new the storm was coming, but opted to leave out Ellie even though this was the summer that she was going to tell her about her true heritage. The idea that someone as smart and old as Ellie's grandmother could be that stupid was just . . . sloppy. Something that the author used to force the plot along so that it was Ellie against the Gods!

The romance infuriated me. Tuck is a playboy and it's clear he has one epic crush on Ellie. However, Ellie knows it can't be real because Tuck is a player. Through out the book there was nothing that actually convinced me that Ellie should like him. He's the bad boy with a big secret and it all feels so contrived. The fact that he's liked Ellie and still has been a player just leaves a bad after taste. Then the nice doctor kid gets rolled as annoying third wheel. It's so sad that I actually like Loki more, who is clearly out to use and abuse Ellie. In addition, Ellie is supermodel beautiful but she lacks so much confidence that she just feels like prey to any guy who compliments her. I feel that she’s a strong and smart enough girl to realize certain things about herself.

The one thing that was a good base for VR is Ellie's love for her brother Graham. Ellie dad isn't in her life and Graham has stepped up into the father roll. Protecting her and basically making decisions for her. At times it's annoying. Ellie has to grow up and confess her feeling to Graham, at other times it's the only real emotions (and storyline) that this book offered.

In the end, I can't give this book the 1 star that I want to. The writing is pretty good, and the basic idea behind the book is worth a twirl. However, everything else feels like it just happened because that's what a paranormal YA read like. It's trying too hard. Looks like I'll be waiting for "that Valkyrie" book for a long while. Here's hoping someone else can write a great series about them.

Sexual Content: Some sexual humor, there’s some kissing! Clean.

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out

Originally posted on Book Whispers.
Awry - Chelsea Fine Addiction baby! That's what every reader craves from the books they read. While the writing for the Archers of Avalon series isn't the most brilliant or stunning, the story is captivating. Even better is the connection I feel with the cast of characters, both the main and the side characters. The humor and romance blend so well together! It's a pleasure to read a book that makes me go "ahhhhh, happy bunnies" and then giggle at the latest inside joke.

Unlike some books where the love triangle is dragged on with no progress ever being made, Fine has taken some dramatic action in Awry. Scarlet isn't some wishy-washy petal puller here! No, she knows what she wants. Even if her memories are lost to her. She's strong enough to trust herself, and that's rare in leading ladies.

Besides the dramatic chase for the fountain of youth the stakes soon become higher as something has changed the way the curse works—meaning someone might actually die. Accompanying all that action is the chapters that reveal the past, how Scarlet came into the lives of the two twins. Who she fell in love with first and how she ended up engaged to Gabriel. It's amazing!

Again Fine leaves readers on a huge cliffhanger! Probably even more dramatic then the last book! (Is that even possible?) Before I "!" you to death, just take the hint. This series is an absolute addiction, doing everything just right! The romance is something that my cheesy little soul craves from paranormal YA, but never gets! Don't miss this series!

Sexual Content: Sexual humor, making out, still despite all the steaminess it’s pretty clean.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Origninally posted at Book Whispers.
Anew (The Archers of Avalon, #1) - Chelsea Fine Love triangle. Yep another one, but don't roll your eyes and ignore this book! It's made me come to terms with the fact that I adore love triangles—when done right. Tension, emotional turmoil, confusion, and the overall moment when you pick a side. Then you get to root and panic about your man (or girl) not getting picked! It is so nice to get all of those feelings with Anew.

Scarlet wakes up in the forest and has know idea who she is. Two years later all of her memories are still gone, and she feels that loss. She's been adopted by a great guardian and has a fantastic friend. When at the local Kissing Festival—yep—she meets a handsome boy that makes her feel normal, and another guy is creepily stalking her. Soon Scarlet is pulled back into a love triangle that has been going on since the 1500s, one that evolves around her death and eventual revival.

What I love is the unique way that immortals exist in the Archers of Avalon series. The mythology is fun and different. The slow revel is just tantalizing enough, without getting exhausting. Books that make headway are always a plus with me. It's so nice to read a book that doesn't feel like it's stealing ideas and concepts from other authors.

The cast of characters are real charmers. Especially Scarlet's best friend who is a crazy combinations of perky-blabber-mouth blonde that could have been annoying, yet ends up endearing. There's a nerdy immortal that helps the team out and I just love him. There's plenty of room here for other relationships to sprout up! It’s wonderful that all the characters are so well developed that they grow throughout the book, evolving right before the readers eyes. They’re not characters, they’re friends. People you want to invest your time in.

In the end you have to give this a try! Probably one of the strongest self published titles I've read in the YA genre. The cliffhanger ending made me immediately run out and buy the next book, and if the 3rd book would have been available too that baby would be mine! It's that good! So come on! Enjoy the unique mythology, swoon over a romance story that’s well done—don’t deny it you secretly want to—and enjoy characters that you would love to be friends with.

Sexual Content: Some sexual humor, kissing. Overall pretty clean.

4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.

Originally reviewed on Book Whispers.
The Ripple Effect (Rhiannon's Law, #3) - J.A. Saare Rhiannon saves the day, and the world, in the last book. Only to be betrayed by the very person that she laid down her life for. In all honestly things were not off to a good start for me and I have very mixed feelings about this book.

The first half just dragged on for me. Saare does a good job showing how much Disco regrets his actions, but I feel like Rhiannon would have taken books to get over it. The fact that she loves Disco enough to forget her own comfort is great progress, but I didn't feel it. Sorry, it hasn't been that long that they've been in a relationship and I don't think the books have conveyed enough emotions.

No one mentioned to Rhiannon when she had to choose a vampire group to become a member—servant—that demons ruled the houses. Scary demons. Kitty-eating-human-feasting-hell-spawn-of-the-lowest-depths-of-hell demons. This book is dark, creepy dark. Rhiannon gets shoved down the road of serious fear, pain, and loss. From the title it was clear the "ripple effect" from fate being altered would be happening, it was also clear who would have to die in Disco's place. Maybe there should have been some breather time, space to adjust and let characters grow. This book just kept shoveling the tragedy out. The problem was the books are so fast paced that only the first book has true character growth.

What I really dislike is when some kind of supernatural force alters the characters personality, and I can't tell. They're acting just as stubborn and stupid as I thought they would normally. Yeah, never a good thing. Rhiannon grows in this book? Yes. She realizes that life is too short without love. However, she doesn't learn to be smart. But I also stand by her decisions to not give up all her weapons to a demon.

In the end despite Saare's mad skills I feel like this series is tittering on the edge of a cliff. It's either going to fall off it's game or find a decent pace. Which might be hard because all hell is going to be after Rhiannon, there's going to be an uprising in the supernatural world of vampires, and Rhiannon needs to free an angel from hell to get it's protection or loose her life to it. Smack down to the ruling houses of demons is coming, and boy am I eager to see it!

Sexual Content: Very dark and scary things . . . nothing is explicit, but it’s dark.

3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

Originally reviewed on Book Whispers.
The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon's Law, #2) - J.A. Saare Going into this one I was nervous. The first book blew me away, but the idea that this would turn into some kind of apocalyptic/futuristic read made me really nervous. The battle to read, or not to read, was tremendous. In the end I bit the bullet and went for it. Thank you book gods. Thank you! Bookshopaholic'n paid off!

This books is like a heady mix of the best of the X-men time travel episodes (original cartoon series), apocalyptic futures, and love triangles! Each turn had me at the edge of my seat and I kept wondering how things could possibly get worse, and how on earth Rhiannon could possibly get back to "present" time.

Paine's revelations and love for both Disco and Rhiannon are beautiful. I knew it was coming, but it's just awe inspiring to watch events unfold. Paine in my mind is the better man. Disco's actions really reined in my respect for him. Sure he's been betrayed before, but he basically ruins Rhiannon in the only place that she's been slightly safe. Her mind.

There were a few things that bugged the crap out of me. First off in the future Rhiannon has a werewolf "mate" and he gets handsy in the beginning. It would have been better if their relationship could have built up, instead of him seeing her and he's all into her. It's tacky, and I expected more from such an amazing author. Goose's role was very intriguing and it raises many questions on who's side he can truly ever be on, but he does prove himself as a friend to Rhiannon. Rhiannon doesn’t even get upset when she finds out who heads the vampire family’s, which in all honesty would have probably made her NOT want to become a vampire’s servant.

In the end I have to tell all readers to try this series out. It's ambitious and completely amazing. This book alone mixes dystopianish settings, time travel, demons, heaven, morality, and different kinds of love. It's great seeing someone as damaged as Rhiannon find love, the kind that she would finally set aside her trust issues and do everything to save him.

Sexual Content: You bet you, some sex scenes and a plenty of sexual humor. Also Rhiannon has a BAD past.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon's Law, #1) - J.A. Saare Completely and utterly a wonderful read!! No! My mind is running around in circles frantically trying to understand what happened to it. It feels funny. But a good funny. Something like perfect bliss. Yet, bliss doesn't even describe what happened. In fact, this is probably going to be one of the hardest reviews for me to write. This book was so amazing and I want to express how much I want everyone else to read it! There lies the problem since I don't have the right words to even explain this book.

Rhiannon had me at the first page with her crazy "Rhianon's Law #27", the fact that I can still remember that it's law #27, and it's about strippers, shoes, and fighting says it all. The whole book just sticks in your head. Rhiannon is a smart mouthed, pirate worthy swearer, and she's tough as nails. No she's not super woman, but she can handle herself. Unlike other super paranormal but kickers out there she knows when she's shit deep in it and can make the smart decision. Rhiannon is the queen of damaged and complicated characters. Her past is haunting, a nightmare into State Foster Care system. There is a reason she will not trust people and pushes them away from her. She's learned to live and survive. Rhia's sarcastic humor and running dialogue had me clutching my sides with giggles often enough, which was a great counter to the dark world and gore.

When a vampire named Disco approaches her Rhia soon discovers there's a name for what she is, Necromancer. She has an infinity for the dead, and the theory behind how Vampires and Necromancers connect is really brilliant! The world is believable and each new character is given such depth that I feel like if I went to New York I could find these characters and join them for a game of pool.

Two pages into the book if someone asked me if I would fall in love with a vampire named Disco, I would have snorted and said "Heck, no!" However, I am shamelessly Team Disco hands down. Saare creates a beautiful and touching romance. It was a pleasure to witness Rhia's healing. There's clearly going to be some love triangle rivalry in the future, but Saare has built up the other interest so well that I'd feel cheated if he didn't get a chance. (Even though Disco is easily in my top 10 fiction hotties!)

The plot focuses on Vampire murders as something is killing them, and stealing their hearts while they’re still alive. This book is dark, gritty, and harsh. Countered by compassion and tender emotions. It's complicated, but so simple. Many more creatures await to be discovered, especially since Disco owes a demon a favor. Even when you think the action is over and the mystery is solved a cliffhanger of EPIC proportions comes out and wallops me on the head! Saare, how could you do this to readers!? Oh, the total obsession is on!

Sexual Content: Rhiannon works in a bar, so sexual content is there. Dirty thoughts, humor, and sex scenes. Rhiannon, has a really dark, dark past. Child molestation and other horrors present.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Orginaly reviewed at Book Whispers.
Stalking the Others - Jess Haines That's it! I can not in good conscious go on reading these books without stating that Shiarra is To Stupid To Live (AKA TSTL). From the first book I knew Shia was short a few brain cells, but I kept holding out. She had a lot of crazy stuff going on, and each book was a struggle. However, after having the leader of the White Hats, Royce (the vampire king of New York City), and so many other people say how clever, brave, and amazing she is I can't stand it any more. Over the course of these books, she's gone from dumb to . . . ugh, just plain annoying.

This book was hard to swallow because for the majority of it I kept going why the hell is she killing people on a whim. She has NO solid proof that the Sunstriker pack did all the evil things she thinks. Sure one of them scratched her, but she goes from never wanting to kill, to gleefully doing it. Not only that but one of the characters that I've been absolutely obsessed with turned out to be a dud. Much like this book. It felt like stepping off the cliff of this series’ development. She's basically being brainwashed, and the time when she's not being brainwashed she barely second guesses herself. For the majority of the book she doesn't even worry about poor Sarah, her best friend!

Royce is still amazing, however I can not honestly see what he sees in Shiarra. In fact, here's a little what he has to say about her:

"True, you are neither terribly wise nor clever--but your valor is what sets you apart."

For me that valor is the one good thing about her. Also, there still isn't enough here for me to believe that a guy like Royce would fall for someone like Shiarra. He basically idolizes Shiarra since she did not take advantage of him in the first book, turning him into a mindless slave. She showed him mercy, when for others he never did. Now that felt real. The immortal creature of power finding himself with the simple act of mercy.

Even after Shiarra gives into Royce, she continually doubts him. She switches her mind too much. "No Royce I need you, but I feel so ashamed." They had this amazing moment together, and she's still convinced that Royce is going to own her. That she'll be a mindless bonded blood slave. At this point I was practically throwing the book on the ground—if it hadn't been an eBook—over the fact that Royce has proved himself many times over. (And if the preview of the next book is any indication Shiarra's going to be hot and cold.) Her prejudices and fears are justified, but a lead who's strong enough to get over them should be strong enough to stick with her guns and not feel ashamed every other word.

This book is the turning point for me, no longer can I ignore those glaring character nesciences that Shiarra has been stirring in me. The next book is either going to save face, or it's over. (Or at least I hope I'll have the power to turn away.) This series has been a confusing addiction. There's many things that I don't like about it, and Shiarra being one of them is just not good. At this point I think my main reason for going on is Royce. Haines is a good enough author to take a character I never truly liked and make him the reason this series captivates me. If that isn't talent I don't know what is.

Sexual Content: Some sexual humor, there is a sex scene!

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out

Orginally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Hidden (House of Night, #10) - Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast This is probably the closest I have gotten to giving a HoN book a 1/5 rating. It dropped the ball. It was like going back in time to early books and all of the things that annoyed me about them, minus good side stories.

First off Zoey. She's gone the way of annoying lead character again. Honestly, I couldn't stand listening to her thoughts and complaints. Yes, bad things are happening to her, but even the Goddess tells her she needs to grow up, quit bawling, and take action.

Also, this is supposed to be a book of redemption. Zoey, Stevie Rae, Rephaim, Stark, Aphrodite (well kind of), Kalona, and so many of Zoey's nerd herd have made so many mistakes. Some even started out evil, and they've found redemption and forgiveness. However, when other characters like Eric, Nicole, Aurox, and few others try to redeem themselves and change. Zoey and friends basically shut them down, acting like pissy hormonal teens. (Oh, that’s right . . . )

The nerd herd is rude and overbearing. Maybe since they've been through so much that they can no longer open themselves up to others? However, I don't think that's what Nyx would want. They are continually bickering amongst themselves. It was beyond painful. Not only having to deal with the bitter thoughts they all had, but then to have to “listen” to them fight. At one point I wanted someone to stop and go "Really think of all the bad shit you've all done, heck some of you have killed people? Remember?"

About book five-ish Zoey has turned into a character I don't want to read or listen to, other story lines have kept me going. However, since Zoey took up the majority of Hidden I couldn't even cling to that. Shaunee's un-twinning was fun and I could have used more on that. Erin turning to the dark side was great. Shaylin as a new character was truly fun, and watching her influence on Eric was great! Lebonia's romance felt rushed and just plain anticlimactic. I'm happy at the end results, but overall I wanted more.

Neferet's latest target? Well let's see Heath is deadish, Zoey's mom is dead, and it's not that hard to guess who's up next on the chopping block. Really this book was pointless to me.

Right now I'm not too big a fan of most of the characters. This was supposed to be the turning point, but I felt like more either reverted back to crying (yes you Zoey!) and others just turned bitchy and self important. Charcters I wanted more on were being smacked down all the time and given very little page time.

Sexual Content: Zoey gets it on a few times, but nothing as graphic as some of the previous books. Of course plenty of sexual humor.

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 - Natsuki Takaya Fruits Basket was one of my "firsts" for TV series anime and to this day is still one of my top 10 animes. In fact, it was so great that by the time I was done with it, I had to seek out the manga. Which for me is a big deal. I'm a picky reader, and with manga I'm extra picky. Sure I can watch anime that's basically recycled garbage ti'l the cows come home, but if I'm gonna read it the thing better be GOOD! So with that said this review is not a comparison of the anime vs. manga, nor will any other review following.

This is the one series that I can recommend to anyone, no matter if they like anime/manga and never hear a complaint from the recommended. Which says a lot about it. It also says a lot about Fruits Basket that it's the top selling Shojo in the US and second top selling in Japan. It's no wonder why! Within the first volume characters are introduced and immediate growth occurs. By that final page not only do you feel like you know the characters, but you care. You want them to succeed and find happiness.

Tohru Honda is the star of Fruits Basket, and we're following her adventures. After her mothers death she finds herself living in a tent in the woods. Clearly this could take a turn for the depressing, but Tohru isn't that kind of person. She always believes that her life is full and wonderful, and things could be worst. It's amazing really. Sure she has many qualities that make her like many heroines in manga. Ditzy, check. Kind of stupid, check. Endlessly smiling, check. Unlike most, her joy seems real. Happiness, is definitely a huge part of the story. Fruits Basket focuses on how people don't, or do, see themselves. In understanding others.

"But she said that kindness is something that grows inside of each person's body . . . but it's up to us to nurture that kindness in our hearts. That's why kindness is different for every person."

There are a lot of hijinks in this one. One of Tohru's friends has the ability to sense "waves" and even give someone black "waves." (Personally I think it's an aura thing.) The whole manga centers on Tohru living in a house with two boys and there "guardian." Soon she stumbles upon their terrible secret, when touched by a member of the opposite sex they transform into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. This also incorporates a myth I had never heard of before involving the cat and the zodiac animals. Truly, it's tons of fun. FB feels like a beautiful comedy, but it's obvious that there's a darker side to the curse.

The art is fairly simple, but beautiful. Natsuki Takaya loves to draw girly girls, and her men tend to look skinny and elegant. A joke through out the whole series is how beautiful the men look. Sometimes it's hard to realize what actions or movements the characters are doing in manga, but Takaya really makes it seem effortless. Over all I'm pleased by the art, the style suits the feel of the manga perfectly.

Fruits Basket is a great coming of age story, or for readers looking to be inspired. The idea behind the name of the manga is a beautiful story in itself, and I always get a little nostalgic thinking about it. Tohru is a healer as she helps others and impacts their lives. It's wonderful to read any kind of book that by the end it's affected you somehow.

“Just be yourself . . . and do things at your own pace.”

Sexual Content: Some homosexual jokes, and a few sexual teasing under tones. Pretty clean for the kiddies and adults.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Originally reviwed at Book Whispers.
Moon Sworn (Riley Jenson, Guardian, #9) - Keri Arthur Fellow readers gave me soooo many warnings about this book. The conclusion to the much beloved Riley Jenson series. So I was bracing for the worst. Like some kind of gun-ho drama where everyone dies and the lead wakes up in an alternate universe where she is God. (Though those endings might only happen in Anime.) Because in my mind I have never read a truly brilliant final book. "The Ends" always disappoints. Maybe because you know everyone is going to get a Happily Ever After or the author spelled it all out for you books ago. In my mind end books are just there to say P.S. this series is over here's your closure. Even Harry Potter's final book didn't blow me away. End books are average reads at best.

That said, this book surprised me. Instead of pulling away from the general guidelines of this series, Arthur comfortably sticks to the good stuff. After all, if it's not broke don't fix it. Riley is set on a murder mystery where criminals released from jail are being killed by a red cloven hove demon. Kye's warnings of Blake, the alpha wolf that tossed Riley off the face of a mountain, are nagging at Riley. She's not sure whether she's paranoid or if Blake's "revenge" is coming. This is a Riley book, of course the bad guys are out to get her.

After yet another car accident Riley wakes up in the desert with a patchy memory and only a week to get her memory back or die. Unlike the other many UF/PNR titles out there where the lead has no memory it's a real treat to have one up on the lead. It was beautiful frustration knowing more then Riley as she struggled to figure out what was going on. Of course, the original murder mystery follows her. So yeah, even the final book gets hung up on the same old formula that Arthur desperately clings to. At this point I wonder if this is the formula she will use for every book she writes.

What is great about this final entry is that readers get closure. Quinn and Riley's relationship has been so intense and REAL for me. Especially Quinn. I've gone from mild interest, to loathing him, wanting him dead, and now to absolute adoration. Riley has grown from a free and loose wolf, with a white house picket fence complex, to a real person. Realizing that love can't be planned out or forced. The two have come so far, and I am beyond over joyed to see things come together.

In the end, this isn't a brilliant conclusion. Arthur needed to break a way from her overly done plot. Shake it up! Quite borrowing plots from your own stories. However, for this series it worked just find. All a reader can ask for at the end of a series is for closure. That's exactly what Moon Sworn delivers.

Sexual Content: For a Riley Jenson book pretty sparse. There is abuse of a pregnant woman, while it’s not graphically illustrated it’s mentioned.

3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

Originally reviewed on Book Whispers.