Monthly Archives: September 2012
You can get the novella Undenied by Sara Humphreys for free on Amazon. Yes, I said FREE!! This is an enjoyable new series and if you haven’t tried it yet here’s a good excuse to start. When you’re done make sure to pick up a copy of Untouched where we first meet the tiger shifter Boris.
Enjoy a taste of The Amoveo Legend in Sara Humphreys’ riveting paranormal romance short story expanding on the world of the Amoveo—beautiful, secretive shapeshifters whose very existence is threatened by an age-old enemy and warring factions within the clans.
In this free promotional tale, Boris Zankoff is a shapeshifter from the Tiger Clan who wants no part of the burgeoning civil war among the Amoveo, But when his human mate lands on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, apathy is no longer an option.
ORDER A COPY: Serpent’s Kiss (A Novel of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: October 4, 2011
Paperback: 312 pages
Rating: 4 stars
In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a Queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion.
In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling—without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.
Recently, Carling’s Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpen’s kiss—the vampyric disease that’s killing her.
With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss.
Carling Severan, is a vampyre, a sorceress, and a member of the Counsel of Elder Races. Carling was turned into vampire during the time of ancient Eygpt. Although great age brings great wisdom and power, it also brings madness. Those few vampyres who have reached such an advanced age have been lost to a type of mental deterioration and they have needed to be destroyed.
Carling is one of the oldest of the Nightkind still existing, and she has notice the accelerating deterioration of her mind. As an older vampire and powerful sorceress, her “episodes” are affecting the world around her and the King of the Nightkind has asked her to confine herself to the Other land until her death.
Wyr Sentinel and gryphon Rune Ainissesthai had made a promise to Carling to come to her in one week’s time and do a favor of her choosing, if she would save a mortally wounded Tiago. Now his week was up and he needs to make good on his promise. Upon his arrival at Avalon, the first thing he noticed was the Carling’s usual army of attendants and sycophants was absent. They have abandoned her during her final days.
After Carling releases Rune from his promise with only a kiss, Rune decides he will stay and help Carling try to find a solution to stop her further deterioration.
When the Carling is next drawn into one of her “episodes,” Rune is surprised to find that her episodes are actually Carling reliving her memories. He is further surprised to find himself drawn into her memories and how real it all feels to him. When they finally figure out that Rune is actually interacting with Carling in the past and changing her past, they know they must be very careful because any change in the past could be detrimental to the future. But as Carling relives some of her most painful memories of her youth, Rune finds it almost impossible to sit back and allow Carling’s mistreatment no matter what effect it may bring to their future.
Rune and Carling’s research bring them back to San Fransciso in search of answers, but the King of the Nightkind is distressed that Carling has left her exile, enough that he will approach the Counsel to have the very powerful Carling destroyed before her madness can lead to disaster.
Rune with do whatever he must to protect Carling, even turn his back on his oldest friend, Drago. Will they be able to find a cure for Carling before the madness takes over?
This is a great series and I am really excited to get to the next book Oracle’s Moon. We meet the Oracle at the end of this story and it will also feature the Jinn prince. I also want to squeeze in one of the short stories which involves Seremela, the medusa, that we meet in the last story, Storm’s Heart.
I thought I would enjoy Rune and Carling’s story a little more than I did since I was looking forward to it so much. Rune is such a great, laid back character, in his worn jeans and his Jerry Garcia T-shirts. He is as old as Drago and the other sentinels, but instead of remaining aloof to the human world, Rune enjoys the music and the stylings of our world and blends in well. Carling’s personality changes with her time spent with Rune, and the idea is that he teaches her how to relax and remember how to enjoy the world in what should be her last days. I found I didn’t relate as well to the changed Carling hanging out in her new jeans. Her aloof, imperial and cool vampyre personality were so much of her character in Storm’s Heart, it seemed wrong to have her chilling out with Rune.
It wasn’t a bad story, but there was some build up of things in the beginning that I thought would be worked into the solution of Carling’s problem, but they just sort of dropped off and it sort of ended with a whimper instead of a bang. Again, not a bad story, but after the build up and the excitement in the first two books, it just didn’t meet it’s full potential in comparison to Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart.
This is part of my catch up with a series with audiobooks experiment which is going very well. The only audiobook left is Oracle’s Moon. I have already downloaded the short stories which I will try to sneak in before I get to Lord’s Fall which comes out in November.
I couldn’t make up my mind about using the fun scene or the sexy scene but since I usually use the sexy scene, I decided to go with fun this time. This scene includes Seremela when she comes to San Francisco to consult with Rune and Carling.
As a medusa, Seremela Telemar was Demonkind, although she lived in Chicago, well outside the Demonkind demesne in Houston. She was a pretty woman in late middle age. Carling guessed her to be around three hundred and eighty years old. Her head snakes had grown to the length of her thighs.
When she reached old age, they would touch the floor. Her skin was a creamy pale green with a faint snakeskin patterns, and her slitted eyes had a nictating membrane that was open for the moment. Several of her head snakes tasted the air as they peered curiously around her waist and over her shoulder at Carling.
However, most of the medusa’s head snakes were more interested in Rune.
Carling watched a couple of the snakes slide up his arm. Was she imagining things, or was it actually possible for a head snake to look adoring?
Neither Rune nor Seremela were paying attention to what the medusa’s snakes were doing. They were busy in conversation, talking to each other as they focused on her.
Carling cocked her head and pursed her lips.
She strode forward and snatched up the two head snakes, one in each hand. Rune watched her in mild surprise. Seremela jumped and blushed, and began to apologize profusely, “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. You know they have a mind of their own and, well, they like Rune.”
ORDER A COPY: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin)
Publishing Date: September 25, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.
Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?
Jonas Merrick is a bitter, angry man. When his father’s marriage to his mother could not be proven, he lost his right to inherit his father’s title of Viscount Hillbrook, but that was only beginning of life’s punishments. Others wanted to punish the bastard son and carved up his face. The remaining scars are a hideous and constant reminder of this status as a bastard. Not only does Jonas feel betrayed by the world, but his cousin William, the current Viscount Hillbrook, is the embodiment of all the evil done to Jonas and the hatred between the two fuels them both.
Jonas has seen William’s wife, Roberta, at the gaming tables and gets her to bet larger and larger sums until he holds notes that he knows she has no way of paying. His solution to her dilemma is to sleep with him for a week and he will not tell William of her debts. Jonas is enjoying the thought of defiling his cousin’s wife, a woman who often shows her disgust of his scared face.
At first he is unhappy when it is not Roberta who shows up at his doorstep as arranged, but he soon decides that spending a week bedding Robert’s sister, the beautiful Sidonie Forsythe, is so much more interesting then bedding the pompous Roberta. The longer Jonas spends with Sidonie, the more impressed he is with her strength and her kindness, and he finds himself jealous of the unflinching loyalty Sidonie shows to her sister. He also realizes he doesn’t want to do anything to destroy the purity and spirit of the beautiful woman.
Sidonie knows that her brother-in-law William has a violent temper and if he were to find out about Roberta sleeping with his enemy, his usual beatings would turn deadly. Sidonie is willing to exchange her innocence for her sister’s safety, a sister who was always like a mother to her.
Sidonie very soon looks past Jonas’s scars to see the true man before her. She learns that there is a thoughtful, caring man underneath his cool, aloof behavior, and that he merely uses his mockery to keep the world away, a world that has shown him nothing but pain. She is torn between her growing feelings and her burning desire for the beautiful man beneath the scars, and how society’s dictates a proper woman should act. She also doesn’t want Jonas to think that her compliance is only to settle her sister’s debts.
As desires flame hot between the two, the question we want to answer is: can beauty win the heart of the beast?
As you can guess, this is a beauty and the beast story. I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Jonas comes off at the beginning of the story as very heartless and cold, but we quickly see that he does have a conscience although he denies it, and that his coldness is a defense to people who have mistreated him either for his bastard status or his scars.
Sidonie is very brave to step forward to take her sister’s place. Living in a house with William and her sister, she has only heard horror stories about Jonas’s character, which was portrayed as terrifying as his disfigured face. To step into a house expecting to be defiled and used by man who is supposed to be a monster in all ways would require a great deal of courage, and to see past his scars and his bitter attitude to see the true person before her, makes her a wonderful character.
There is some false advertising in the name since there wasn’t really 7 nights as the title suggestions, as it takes a few days for Jonas to talk Sidonie into bed, but once they get there it is quite sensual and you better have a magazine handy to fan yourself with.
You should also have a hankie close by since it does get very tear-jerky at the end when misunderstandings and betrayals come into play. Of course, (thankfully) everything gets worked out for our HEA.
I would highly recommend this novel. The characters were sympathetic and wonderfully written, and the storyline took me in directions I wasn’t expecting. This was the first book in a new series by Anna Campbell, and I will be putting the next book on my list.
Received digital ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Tensing, she glared at him. “Don’t you like my dress?” she asked sharply, lifting her chin.
“I’ve never had clothes like this in my life.” At some point since her arrival, he’d ordered some gowns from Sidmouth. She wore a dark green dress Mrs. Beven had altered to fit.
“You could thank me.”
She surveyed him without favor. “I assume a verbal expression of gratitude will suffice.”
He winced theatrically. “Why, Miss Forsythe, you suspect ulterior motives?”
She stood in quivering stillness while he prowled toward her. “Turn around.”
“I’m not a toy in your playbox.”
His smile held a hint of wickedness. “Oh, yes, you are, carissima.”
“This toy has spikes,” she growled, not shifting.
“I’ll handle you with care.” He wandered around her in a leisurely inspection that seemed to endure an hour. Devil take him, he set the very air vibrating.
“Very nice.” He stepped forward to straighten the blond lace trimming the disgracefully low bodice. With mortifying swiftness her nipple hardened. She hoped to heaven he didn’t notice.
“The dresses are indecent,” she said stiffly, the rich silk flowing against her body like water.
She shot him another fulminating glance. His eyes lit with that unholy glint she’d learned to mistrust. “Admit it. It’s a gorgeous dress and you look gorgeous in it.”
“It’s made for a courtesan.”
He snorted. “What do you know about courtesans, sweet little lamb?”
She narrowed her eyes. “Knowing about courtesans is no character recommendation.”
“Cutting.” His smile reeked satisfaction. “Yet still you wear the gown.”
“Mrs. Bevan took away my muslin.”
“She must need a dishclout.”
She didn’t know why she argued. Who could object to wearing something so stylish? While the silk might cling to her body, it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in any London salon. Especially on a lady no longer an ingénue. “No respectable woman would wear this dress.”
He trailed one finger down her cheek, tracing a prickling path of awareness. “But, amore mio, you’re no longer a respectable woman. You’re a monster’s paramour.”
Heat flared in her face and she jerked away. “Not yet.”
The fascinating lines around his eyes deepened with the laughter that always warmed her to her bones, in sprite of everything she knew about him. “Not yet? By Jove, you offer hope.”
Elizabeth was our winner of a copy of Fever courtesy of Kensington Books. Congratulations!
ORDER A COPY: Blaze (Phoenix Rising)
Publishing Date: September 25, 2012
Paperback: 378 pages
Rating: 5 red-hot stars
Ever since FBI agent Keira O’Shay started tracking a young boy named Mateo, she’s felt a connection even her empathic abilities can’t explain. She needs to save Mateo from the cult leader holding him hostage. Nothing can interfere with that—not even the reappearance of Luke Ransom, the hot-as-hell fire captain she’s regretted walking out on for three long years.
Losing Keira left Luke vulnerable—in every way. When they were together, the powers each possesses were mysteriously enhanced. But it’s the sexy, surprising woman beneath the tough exterior that Luke’s really missed. Even if she betrayed him utterly. And even if agreeing to help her uncover a government conspiracy means watching his life and his heart go up in flames again.
Blaze is Joan Swan’s second book of her Phoenix series. These stories revolve around seven firefighters who were caught in a chemical explosion in a government warehouse which left one dead and the remaining members forever changed. Each member has developed their own special abilities, and in this paranormal series, the scary monster in the closet isn’t a vampire or a zombie, it’s our very own government.
This black ops division of our government was aware of the toxic stew they kept hidden in their storage warehouse and have been monitoring these firefighters for the past five years. Those in charge are torn between destroying them before the public finds out or using their usual powers for their own purposes.
While all of the firefighters are being watched and monitored, it is Luke Ransom and Keira O’Shay who hold the most interest to the government. Luke and Keira were lovers long before the fateful fire, but everything changed when Luke walked out of the warehouse both fireproof and bulletproof and Keira was suddenly able to hear thoughts. Amazing enough, but it did not go unnoticed that while they were together their powers were enhanced. Because of this, everything is being done to keep these firefighters from coming back together. The fear is how powerful they could be as a team.
Keira and Luke are brought back together when the FBI and ATF are brought in on a raid on what is supposed to be a religious compound and turns out to be a laboratory, and when a fire starts during the confusion, they can’t help but notice the strange colors blazing in the flames. Those same colored flames that burned the night of the warehouse fire.
It seems the government got tired of waiting to see if they could control the firefighters and have decided to try to create their own gifted solders, starting with more malleable children.
At first Keira doesn’t understand the strange bond between her and little boy Mateo they rescued until she finally realizes that he too has the same special abilities shared by herself and some of the other firefighters. Now, Keira and Luke are on the run and trying to protect this boy but the government wants him back real bad, and they are willing to bargain whatever lives are necessary so they can get him back and bury their mistake, permanently.
Keira and Luke have been apart for three years now and neither has been able to get past the love that they shared, but is this undying love enough when your every move is watched and the danger only increases the longer you are together?
Joan Swan is definitely working her way to the top of my favorite author list! This story was riveting, heart-poundingly intense, sexy, and definitely leaves me wanting more. I can’t wait for the next story.
When the danger is from our own very powerful government, there really is no one you can trust and no where that is truly safe. They were being monitored and no matter where they ran, there was already someone waiting to grab them. The way our government is portrayed as heartless and bloodthirsty in their pursuit of these firefighters gave me chills.
My only complaint comes from Keira’s flip-floppiness. Granted, she does have some childhood trust issues, but you can’t have an epiphany of how much someone means to you, how you have been existing, not actually living without them, and how you almost lost them forever, and then be like, “what I said before about how much I love you and I can’t live without you and you can trust me not to break your heart again…meh, I think I’m going to go back to being too scared of losing you to stay with you.” WHAT!!!???!!! I wanted to smack her upside her stupid head!
Received an ARC from the author. Thank you, Joan.
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Her breath leaked out of her lungs. “I’m sorry. I was trying not to wake you.”
She didn’t move. “W—why?”
“You know why.”
“Keira?” He closed his eyes, visualized his body cooling. He couldn’t be wound this tight when she finally caved. And she would.
“Come to me.”
She hesitated. Took her first step. Crossed the room and stood beside his bed. He scooted back, making room for her. Still, she waited. When he lifted one arm in invitation, she finally dropped onto the bed and curled into him, much the way Mateo curled into her.
She pulled her knees up against his thighs, pressed her face to his shoulder, her hands to his chest, and broke. Her sobs raked through the knots in his chest, pulling and ripping. He held her tight, smoothed his hand over her hair.
“Shh, baby,” he whispered. “It’s okay now. We’re all okay. Shh.”
God, she felt heavenly in his arms. Warm and soft and curvy. She smelled mouth-watering. But it was the vulnerability that cut through every argument for pushing her away. The same weakness she never showed anyone else that had made him fall in love with her the first time around. And this was no different. Only, when his heart surrendered and opened, he realized he’d never stopped loving her in the first place.
If he’d thought his life was rough since their breakup, it was now headed for severe turbulence if he had to continue living without her.
Ten minutes of crying was all it took for her to detox. As she calmed, her breaths slowed form chaotic spurts to shaky wisps of warm air with an occasional hiccup.
“I…I…I killed them.”
“Because they would have killed you. Or me. Or Mateo.”
She sniffed and nodded. “Have you ever…killed anyone?”
“Does wanting to count? ‘Cause I was about to take Tony’s head off at the hospital.”
She laughed softly. Her legs uncurled, and that warm skin brushed his as they stretched the length of the bed. Excitement spike through his body. Want rushed his system. All he could do was shift his hips away from hers. But not before his erection brushed her thigh. He sucked air against the flash of white hot lust. Knew by the way her bright eyes darted to his face that she’d noticed. Goddamn, it had been a long time. His body felt as if it were twisting inside out with need, and everything he wanted was lying in his arms, yet he couldn’t risk the reach.
He purposely averted his mind from searching hers. Any negative though would hurt like hell. Any positive thought would push him over the edge. He wasn’t stable enough in the moment to control either emotion.
ORDER A COPY: Storm’s Heart (A Novel of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Berkley Sensations
Publishing Date: August 2, 2011
Paperback: 305 pages
Rating: 4 stars
He’s a Wyr warrior, a god of storms. She’s the heir to the Dark Fae throne. But desire will bring both to their knees in this 2nd Novel of the Elder Races.
During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle “Tricks” Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle’s death, there are those who don’t want to see her ascend to the throne.
Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr’s best weapons. And he’s sent to protect Tricks when she’s almost assassinated in Chicago.
Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.
When Drago Cuelebre, leader of the Wyr kind, killed Urien Lorelle, the king of the Dark Fae, who was holding Drago’s mate, Pia, hostage, he started a chain of events that would bring his public relations guru, Tricks Periwinkle, into the limelight. Trick’s real name is Niniane Lorelle. She is the sole surviving royal heir, and she had been in hiding with the Wyr since her Uncle Urien slaughtered her family 200 years ago.
Now that Urien is dead, Niniane is meeting with the Dark Fae delegation in Chicago to discuss taking over as the rightful Queen of the Dark Fae and returning to the Other land to the Dark Fae castle. Urien had forbidden the Dark Fae from traveling to our world and was stealing the beautiful works of the Dark Fae artisans and selling them here and keeping the profits for himself. Many are hoping that the return of the true heir might again shine a prosperous light on the Dark Fae. But there are a few who had already hoped to claim the crown for themselves if ever Urien was killed, and they are not happy to find Niniane still alive and standing on their doorstep.
When assignation attempts are made against Niniane, forcing her into hiding, Diago’s most fierce sentinel, Tiago Black Eagle, insists on going to Chicago to find her and protect her on her travel to the Dark Fae realm. Even those who support Niniane, do not like the idea of a Wyr sentinel acting as guard to their future Queen. It appears too much like a Wyr takeover of the Dark Fae kingdom. But Tiago is not going to let anyone have another try at murdering Niniane, so like it or not, he is going to accompany her and protect her.
While both Niniane and Tiago know that his protection of her is causing enough of an uproar, they soon find that their insane attraction to each other cannot be denied.
Like Drago in Dragon Bound, Tiago is almost as old as the earth. He has lived centuries and in certain cultures he has been worshiped as a God. But unlike Drago, Tiago seems to be a little more flexible. Not that he’s not an alpha male, but he isn’t completely a “do as I say, now!” type of guy. I LOVE this big strong guy who understands that his tiny fae is a real girly-girl and he appreciates and loves that about her and he buys her fru-fru things that he knows she will like.
I am loving this series and can’t wait to hear more. This is part of my catch up to a series by audiobook project. I have already downloaded the next audiobook, Serpent’s Kiss, which features the sentinel Rune, a griffin, who is a little more modern day than our two prior heroes, and the Vampire Queen, who we meet in this story. I am looking forward to it.
“Come on, Niniane. Open the door.”
“Wait, I’m in hiding. Don’t use that name either.”
He put his hands on his hips. “Then what the hell do you want me to call you?”
“Nothing. Thank you for stopping by and go away. I’m okay. Everything’s okay. It’s all taken care of now. Just don’t watch any TV for a while, okay? You can go back to New York, or wherever it is you lair when you’re not killing things.”
He scowled. No, thank you and don’t watch any TV? What the hell did she mean by that? He muttered, “I do not live in a lair.”
He settled his shoulder against the heavy metal door that was constructed to meet fire-safety codes and keep thieves out. After pushing with a steady increase of pressure, the lock and chain broke.
The motel room was a pigsty. Shopping bags were piled on the bed nearest the door, with clothes and other items spilling out. Clothes tags littered the floor. Niniane lay on her back on the other bed, which was rumpled. She had kicked off the pillows, and they were on the floor too. She was dressed in some kind of porno version of camouflage, in very short shorts and a tiny stretchy T-shirt that left her narrow waist bare. Her head was hanging off the end of the bed. She held a bottle of vodka in one small hand. It was significantly low in liquid. She clutched a remote control in the other hand. A cigarette smoldering in a half-full ashtray and an open bag of Cheetos lay on the bed beside her.
Her compact, curvaceous body was laid out like some kind of offering to a pagan god. As someone who had once been a pagan god, he knew what he was talking about, and he definitely appreciated the view. As her head hung over the end of the bed, it accentuated the thrust of round luscious breasts that curved over a contrasting narrow waist. A gold ring glinted in her navel, just begging to be licked. Her graceful hip bones and the arc of her pelvis were outlined by shorts that Congress ought to make illegal. Slender, shapely bare legs tipped with toes painted a saucy pink completed the package, and his appreciative cock swelled to salute every visible succulent inch of her.
He glowered, thrown off balance by his own intense, unwelcome reaction. Rein it in, stud. Under the reek of smoke he could smell feminine perfume and—was that the scent of blood?
“Oh, you shouldn’ta done that,” Niniane said. Large upside-down Fae eyes tried to focus on him. “Breaking and entering. That’s against the law.” She sniggered.
Tiago took refuge from his strange feelings in the much more familiar emotion of aggression. “What are you doing?” he demanded. “What do you mean ‘go back to New York’? Do I smell blood?”
“I can only answer one question at a time, you know,” she said.
ORDER A COPY: Death Warmed Over (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.)
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Publishing Date: August 28, 2012
Paperback: 305 pages
Ever since The Big Uneasy unleashed vampires, werewolves, and other undead denizens on the world, it’s been hell being a detective—especially for zombie P.I. Dan Chambeaux. Taking on the creepiest of cases in the Unnatural Quarter with a human lawyer for a partner and a ghost for a girlfriend, Chambeaux redefines “dead on arrival.” But just because he was murdered doesn’t mean he’d leave his clients in the lurch. Besides, zombies are so good at lurching.
Now he’s back from the dead and back in business—with a case load that’s downright unnatural. A resurrected mummy is suing the museum that put him on display. Two witches, victims of a curse gone terribly wrong, seek restitution from a publisher for not using “spell check” on its magical tomes. And he’s got to figure out a very personal question—Who killed him?
For Dan Chambeaux, it’s all in a day’s work. (Still, does ***everybody*** [delete: the media] have to call him “Shamble”?) Funny, fresh, and irresistible, this cadaverous caper puts the P.I. in R.I.P….with a vengeance.
This was a cleverly written book by Kevin Anderson. I was intrigued by the novelty of the zombie P.I. but the story didn’t hold my attention.
Although I didn’t finish this book, I did spend a lot of time laughing at the parts of the book that I did read, but the underlying story of Dan’s murder and the murder of his girlfriend was so chopped up among the other stories, that I lost my overall interest in the book. We were introduced to characters whose cases he was investigating, but then we didn’t go back to them before meeting other characters or focusing on Dan’s case for a while. The main character indicates that this is the way of investigations, not the one hr solution of the case you see on TV, but it ended up being as choppy as a multi-POV story. Maybe it was simply that it was trying to do too much.
As far as being cleverly written, for example, there was the nerdy vampire who thought all his neighbors were being staked since they weren’t showing up for his book club or his chess club, etc. No question they were not intending to spend eternity with this dweeb.
There was also the witch sisters who bought a new spell book and wanted to use a beauty spell, but due to a typo in the spell, the one sister was turned into a pig. The book company was standing behind their statement of “the book was intended for entertainment purposes only.”
There were great lines that included the new seasonings to make chicken “taste just like human.”
And talk of the local beat cop, “When he walked his beat, McGoo tried to be prepared for everything. He carried a service revolver loaded with regular bullets on his left hip, and one with silver-jacketed bullets on the right. He had a spray can of Mace and a spray can of holy water, along with a bandolier with wooden stakes, both blunted and sharpened.”
I don’t know if it would be been better written as a collection of short stories focusing on a particular case investigation until the end, or maybe that is how it started and Kevin Anderson tried to revise it to add the continuing story of Shamble’s own murder investigation the flow the whole thing together.
In the end, I put this book aside to start on something else that I had really wanted to read, but it didn’t have enough draw that I bothered to pick it up again.
It was very cleverly written and certainly enough to make you chuckle, but I don’t know how the novelty won’t run out real fast.
ORDER A COPY: Dearly, Beloved
Publisher: Del Rey
Publishing Date: September 25, 2012
Paperback: 496 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Can the living coexist with the living dead?
That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.
Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.
Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.
As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.
Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling.
As we begin the second installment of Lia Habel’s Gone with the Respiration series, things have slowed down and the living and the dead are trying to learn to “live” side-by-side. Although Dr. Dearly has agreed to allow Bram Griswald to court his daughter, Nora is finding the return of the New Victoria stringent rules to be harder to embrace after the freedoms she was allowed during the siege.
Society in general has started embracing their undead relatives, but not everyone is ready to play nice on either side of the living and the undead. There are now men in masks calling themselves The Murder grabbing zombies off the street and attacking pro-zombie supporters. There is also a group of zombies calling themselves The Changed who want to protect their own.
As a zombie and former Captain of Company Z, Bram is trying to balance between keeping the living safe from mad zombies as well as keeping the innocent zombies safe from frightened living. As tensions begin to rise again as both of these terror groups run rampant through New London, he is starting to wonder whose side he should be on.
Nora’s best friend Pamela is showing signs of PTSD after her adventures during the siege. She desperately wants to return to her pre-siege life but is unsure if she can ever accomplish that.
All the while, Michael is putting into motion his grand plan to convince Nora that he is a better man than her zombie love; plans which include kidnapping them both and ripping out Bram’s unbeating heart.
I was very interested in giving this book a try and I would say that I have mixed feelings about it. The story was well written enough that it was enjoyable and the characters were likeable, even the villains (Michael is kind of a pathetic villain), but the constant switching of POV dragged this story out a great deal to the point I felt like “How can I still be reading this book?” There is a reason for it since it gives you not only insight into your main characters, but also into Michael and his obsession for Nora; we have a first person view into the Changed camp; and we also spend time in the world of Verpertine, who was a protagonist in the last book, and we are given a chance to determine for ourselves if she is truly evil and selfish (like Michael) or if there is more to what drives her.
There was enough to intrigue me to read the next story when it comes out, but I am hoping that it is intended to be a trilogy only. There are answers to questions that pop up in this story that I would like answers to, and we get a hint that Michael’s father is everything a true villain should be, but I know that I could not continue this as a series, her style of writing, although enlightening, is just too draggy.
I would also like to stick around to see if there truly could be a happy ending here. Zombies might be walking around but they are still decomposing. Our hero Bram may have 4-5 years at best before his mind decomposes to mush and he could be a danger to those around him. Unless there is a miracle “cure” found that will return them to living beings, there can’t really be a HEA for Nora and Bram.
I am definitely in this for one more book, but definitely no more than that.
Received digital ARC from publisher through Netgalley.com. Thank you.
Favorite Scene (Best scene of the book is the last chapter, but I won’t ruin it for you):
“I think I’d look awesome as a zombie personally.”
Bram’s expression went from jovial to mortally serious in about one second flat. He turned fully toward me and captured my upper arms, pushing me gently up against Papa’s gun cabinet. “Don’t joke like that,” he said, his voice focused and intense. He let go of me with one hand and gestured at his face. “You can’t become like this. You physically can’t. We’ve talked about this before.”
Forcing a laugh, I said, “I have to joke about it, Bram. Just like the rest of you do. It’s laugh or cry, live or die.”
“I know. It’s just…the hijacking reminded me of that. You have one shot at living.” He slid his big hands up my arms, over my shoulders, and cupped the sides of my face. “You’re perfect the way you are, Nora. Don’t ever think I want you to change, to be something you’re not.”
Had Bram felt the fear, too? Just a few weeks ago, terrified and overwrought, I had watched him while he slept, convinced he’d be taken from me. I didn’t want him to know. He was the strongest person I had ever met in my life. All my striving aside, as self-loathing as it might sound—I wanted to be worthy of him. I admired him that much.
“I won’t do anything stupid.” I promised, sneaking my hands up to lay them on his chest, marveling at the power I felt there—even as I failed, as always, to detect a heartbeat. “Believe me, I want to be safe. I want all of us to be safe.”
Bram slid the thin pad of his thumb over my cheekbone and nodded slowly. My breath caught as he started to lean closer, the motion of his neck fluid. We hadn’t kissed properly since Columbia, and I could still recall every second of the last one he’d given me. Sick as it was, I’d love the sensation of his cold lips so much that I couldn’t even comprehend the idea that warm ones might be better. I loved how firmly he had kissed me, just hard enough to hint at the sensation of a bruise. He was the only boy I’d ever kissed, and I knew he was perfect.
Thank goodness no one was around to see just how eager I was to disobey my father. Or possibly judge how disturbed I was. But if other people wanted to call me a “necroslut”—fine. That’s what I’d be. And I would never feel ashamed about it again.
The winners of our First Anniversary/blog follower giveaway were:
Tuesday: Amy D.
Wednesday: Tina B.
Thursday: Denise Z.
Friday: Brenda D.
Grand Prize Giveaway: Pamela R.
I just want to thank everyone who follows our blog for their support. A thank you to all of the authors who have worked with us with interviews and giveaways. And a great big thank you to all the publishers for providing the hard copy review books as well as the digital approvals from netgalley.com and a special thank you to Kensington Books and Viking Books who provided our giveaways this past year.
Your support and generosity is greatly appreciated.
Oooo — just found out about another special that’s on for this weekend only. If you haven’t made up your mind to try the J.R. Ward Fallen Angel’s series, here’s the excuse you were looking for. It’s on sale this weekend only for $2.99 from most major retailers. And, WHOO HOO, check out that cover!!(lickable abs — who said that?)
Ooooo!!! I just found out that Amazon has Fated listed as only $1.00. $1.00!!! In case you haven’t heard me say how much I enjoyed this series, this is your opportunity to try it for only $1.00. You can’t even get a cup of coffee to enjoy with your new book for $1.00. Really people…do you need me to loan you a dollar? You really, really want to try this!!
This Dark Protector series by Rebecca Zanetti is one of my favorites. The stories just keep getting better and better and she is such a talented author/horrible tease that she know just how and when to drop a bomb on you so you’re sitting there screaming “No, no, no. Oh my God you did not just say that! Damn!! When’s the next one come out???