Early Review – Seduced by Her Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan, #2) by Michelle Willingham

July 27, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Seduced by Her Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan, #2) by Michelle WillinghamSeduced by Her Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham
Series: MacKinloch Clan #2
Published by Harlequin Historical on August 1, 2011
Pages: 287
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

The MacKinloch Clan Highland warriors prepared to fight fiercely for their country...and for love

BACK IN HER HUSBAND’S BED

Alex MacKinloch is chief of his clan and, in these dark times of unrest, he has united his people. The void between him and his wife is proving a much harder challenge. When Alex discovers Laren has been keeping secrets from him, his thinly veiled frustration can no longer be contained.

The pleasures of the marital bed seem long forgotten to Laren. Yet her warrior husband is looking at her with increasingly hungry eyes... This powerful highlander has seduction on his mind and his wife in his sights!

I’m typically a sucker for a good Highlander romance so I quickly snagged this one up. I went into this with the impression that it would be your typical romance story but this novel really surprised me with how heartfelt and touching it was.

‘Seduced by her Highland Warrior’ is the second installment in the MacKinloch Clan series. I did not read the first novel and even though it did kind of feel like in the beginning I had walked into the story halfway through, the author did a fine job in still making it work as a stand-alone novel.

Alex MacKinloch is chief of his clan and is trying to get everyone to work together to rebuild their keep that was recently destroyed by the English. His wife, Laren, is an intensely shy woman who has difficulty adjusting to her roles and responsibilities when her husband becomes chief. Born to a poor family, she is looked down upon by other members of the clan and is treated unfairly because of their beliefs that Alex should not have married her.

Alex and Laren haven’t been close for almost 3 years now after the loss of their newborn son causes them to drift apart when they don’t know how to comfort each other from the pain it caused them both. I loved how the story shows glimpses of the past back when the two of them first met, fell in love, and also tells what happened between them after the death of their son.

This story while sad and touching was also hopeful because even though they had drifted apart they did still love each other and were doing all they could to work on things between them. Watching the story progress and seeing the two become closer was very moving, yet also extremely believable. I really enjoyed this one.

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Short and Sweet Review – At Grave’s End (Night Huntress, #3) by Jeaniene Frost

July 26, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – At Grave’s End (Night Huntress, #3) by Jeaniene FrostAt Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #3
Published by HarperCollins on December 20th 2008
Pages: 339
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Halfway to the Grave

three-half-stars

It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’s past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.

‘At Graves End’: the third installment in the Night Huntress series.

Cat and Bones are back working together doing what they do best: killing vampires. Their latest mission goes awry when Cat is recognized even with all of her disguises. To keep from putting her in constant danger the decision is made to put someone else on the front lines. The story continues with all the usual ‘Night Huntress’ craziness we’ve all come to expect: a vampire in a Chuck E Cheese costume, family reunions with a dad set on destroying her, friends become vampires, vampire alliances, crazy new mind reading powers, and… I think you get the picture.

I rather did enjoy this installment and not having to grumble through pages after pages of her annoying beyond on reason mother. If you can believe it, the woman actually does have a sense of humor, and it’s finally decided to bust on out. Certainly not soon enough but better late than never. The little love triangle between Bones, Cat, and Tate grated on my nerves a tiny bit. But I got over it. Because this series is pretty great.

And the best part…in the end?? Who do they battle? None other than my favorite un-dead creature ever! Yep, you guessed it. View Spoiler » hahahaha

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Book Review – Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

July 25, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan MaberryRot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Series: Benny Imura #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 14, 2010
Pages: 468
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

I’ve read several zombie books in the recent months. Because of this I know that it’s important for the author to come up with some original aspect to centralize their story around. I don’t feel that this book did it… what this book felt like to me was a typical YA story with zombies thrown in as an after-thought.

Rot & Ruin’s ‘original aspect’ focused on a group of people trying to change the world to make people see and understand that zombies don’t have any control over their actions and that they were once people and should be treated as such.

The society 14 years after ‘First Night’ is a far cry from the world today. People have developed a rut to the point where they have no desire to attempt taking back their world so they survive by living locked inside a chain link fence living in cabins and surviving without electricity. How zombies came to be is never explained either, which, I missed because I always love a good explanation for their existence. Even people who die of natural causes come back as zombies. But even after all this time, these people have chosen to live a stagnant life of monotony rather than attempt to grow and develop as a people and overcome the zombies. This line pretty much sums it up:

”Electronics and complex machines were no longer allowed in town, because of a strong religious movement that associated that kind of power with the “Godless behavior” that had brought about “the end.””

The Imura brothers, Tom and Benny, are in the zombie killing business… or more appropriately, they are in business to bring families peace of mind. Rather than just going out and mindlessly slaying zombies to be rid of them, they are hired by families to locate their zombiefied family members and kill them so that they can rest assured that they are no longer the walking dead going around munching on people. Num num.

There were a few other interesting tidbits to this story, like, “Gameland”. So apparently some really sick and twisted humans that were often described as being worse than the zombies (because the zombies of course don’t know what they’re doing and should be excused because they’ve got a bad case of the munchies) like to capture up small children and force them to fight against zombies. We never see Gameland, we just hear about it…. So that storyline kinda fell flat.

There was also the story about the “Lost Girl”. The girl who’s survived on her own for years. Benny first learns about her when he gets her ‘card’ in the latest batch of zombie cards. Yes, zombie cards. Much like your normal baseball cards, but with celebrity zombies, bounty hunters, etc. So yes, Benny gets the “Lost Girl” card and is immediately infatuated with her. It suddenly becomes his desire to find her, save her, and keep her from danger. Aw, here comes her knight in shining armor.

But the only thing I can think of is, here’s this 15 year old kid who just started training to be a zombie hunter less than week ago and he feels it’s his mission in life to now save this total bad ass Xena type zombie killing machine who’s been surviving on her own in the Rot & Ruin for YEARS… and Benny plans on saving her. With his wooden sword. Right.

By the time the ending came around I was truly bored. I think the complete predictability of the book had something to do with it but this story just lacked in overall excitement for me.

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Book Review – Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

July 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahonDon't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
Published by William Morrow on May 17, 2011
Pages: 464
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Source: Goodreads First Reads
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

Okay first off? The summary of this book does not even begin to prepare you for the weird ass, beyond twisted little journey that the author takes you on. I spent the majority of this book so mixed up with trying to determine exactly what the hell was going on.

Bottom line? This book was one big:

Yep. That’s me. Reading this book. In utter confusion.

Now that’s not to say that this was bad of course; I really enjoyed reading this. The first ¾ at least. The author clearly knows how to write a fabulous mystery that grabs you by the shoulders, shakes you, and demands that you continue reading because you just need to know! I also loved how the author would switch back and forth from writing about the past and then to the present. It really kept you on the edge of your seat when every end to a chapter was its own little cliffhanger.

But…

Yes. The inevitable ‘but’. But then the ending happened. If you can even call it that. It really fell apart at the end. Plus there seemed to be a few questions that were raised that weren’t exactly answered. Not sure if the reader is expected to come up with their own or if the author is anticipating writing a sequel? Either way the ending had me pretty repulsed.

But here are a few lessons I learned from this book:
1. Do not feed the fairies.
2. Making promises to fairies? NOT recommended.
3. Fairies do not look like Tinkerbell. Fairies are damn scary.
4. Make sure to pile immense amounts of shit under your bed.
5. That movement out of the corner of your eye? Yep. You guessed it. It’s a fairy.
6. Do not ask to play with the fairies.
7. And last of all? Whatever you thought was going on? You’re probably way off target.

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Book Review – Shameless (The House of Rohan #4) by Anne Stuart

July 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Shameless (The House of Rohan #4) by Anne StuartShameless by Anne Stuart
Series: The House of Rohan #4
Published by Mira on July 1st 2011
Pages: 412
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

A long string of tragic loves haunts Viscount Benedick Francis Alistair Rohan. Cool and cynical, he's weary of life's fickle games and wants a prim and proper wife he can ignore while indulging his sensual appetites.
Lady Melisande Carstairs is nothing less than a tornado storming into Benedick's measured life. Possessed of boundless energy and the soul of a reformer, Melisande always conquers, whether it's saving the souls of soiled doves or seducing the man she's inconveniently fallen for. When she informs Benedick that his brother's newly revived Heavenly Host has graduated from simple carnal debauchery to sadistic violence, he's compelled to investigate, undercover. Under those covers, however, is Melisande herself, playing a dangerous game in the name of justice.

And the Heavenly Host has just seen her hand, and more.…

This is the 4th novel in the House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart. This is actually the first book I’ve read of hers and found it worked as a stand-alone novel. I loved how this story was more than just a simple romance novel; it was also a mystery with a very interesting storyline that proceeded to completely absorb me.

The Viscount Benedick Rohan has only two goals in mind: One, find a suitable woman to marry and have children with, and two, to find someone to satisfy his sexual needs immediately. Benedick’s second wife recently died giving birth to their child and he is just now returning to town after the proper mourning period. While is pursuit of completing goal number two he encounters Lady “Charity” Melisande Carstairs, a woman that he finds thoroughly intrigued with, despite his inability to understand why he feels this way exactly. When Charity comes to Benedick asking for his help after rumors arise that the secret society “Heavenly Host” has been conducting violent acts, he agrees to help her knowing full well that more time spent with this woman would do him no good.

I loved Benedick and Charity. Those two had chemistry, no doubt about that, despite efforts from both parties to fight it and/or completely dismiss their feelings entirely. Charity herself was a great character. She is a recent widow who decides to use her late husband’s fortune to help women learn a trade, rather than being forced to sell their bodies for coin. Her “gaggle of girls” as they are called, certainly added a bit of humor to the story. I also loved the sub-story about Brandon and Emma and I really hope Anne Stuart expands on that and writes at the very least a short story.

Much like books of this genre, the storyline and ending was a bit predictable; however, I still found it thoroughly enjoyable. I’ll definitely be reading more from Anne Stuart in the future.

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Book Review – Quinn (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #2) by Iris Johansen

July 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Quinn (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #2) by Iris JohansenQuinn by Iris Johansen
Series: ,
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 12th 2011
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Bonnie

three-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen explores the darkest corners of the human heart as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan closes in on the killer who stole her daughter so many years ago.

As a former Navy SEAL turned cop, Joe Quinn has seen the face of evil and knows just how deadly it can be. When he first met Eve Duncan, he never expected to fall in love with a woman whose life would be defined by her dual desires to bring home her missing daughter and discover the truth behind her disappearance---no matter how devastating. With the help of CIA agent Catherine Ling, they make a shocking discovery that sheds new light on young Bonnie’s abduction and puts Quinn squarely in the crosshairs of danger. Eve’s first love, John Gallo, a soldier supposedly killed in the line of duty, is very much alive---and very much a threat.

Emotionally charged, with one shock after another, Quinn reveals the electricity of Joe and Eve’s first connection, and how they fell in love in the midst of haunting tragedy. As their search takes them deeper and deeper into a web of murder and madness, Joe and Eve must confront their most primal fears . . . and test their resolve to uncover the ultimate bone-chilling truth.

 

The Eve, Quinn and Bonnie series

Eve (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #1) by Iris Johansen {Purchase}

‘Quinn’ is tagged as the 2nd of a final trilogy; however, Iris Johansen’s ‘Eve Duncan’ series is the series this trilogy is based off of. If you want to be able to truly understand and appreciate this trilogy, I would highly recommend reading the Eve Duncan series first.

Iris Johansen’s ’Eve Duncan’ series has become a personal favorite of mine over the last decade. Personally fascinated by crime novels with interesting forensic tidbits at an early age, stumbling upon this series was quite a discovery for me. Eve is a strong and independent woman and is also a trained forensic sculptor who performs skull recreations to put a face to lost children to help bring their families peace. This is all in hope that one day she’ll find her daughter Bonnie who was kidnapped when she was 7 years old. ‘Quinn’ delves into the past when Eve and Quinn first met and he was first assigned to help find her daughter. It was very interesting to see the change in Eve and how she became a forensic sculptor; not simply out of the desire to find her own daughter, but out of the realization that she could do something to help the grieving families who hurt much like she does from the loss of her own child.

The story opens where ’Eve’ left off, with Joe Quinn in the ICU after being stabbed by Paul Black. In the hospital, Eve sees the ghost of her daughter Bonnie staring down at Quinn and thinks that he’s dying and she has come to take him to the afterlife. Catherine Ling has gone to track down John Gallo to get him to talk after Paul Black claimed John Gallo killed Bonnie. Only problem is John Gallo doesn’t remember him doing that; but doesn’t rule it out as a possibility considering his mental issues after being a POW in Korea.

The Good
My favorite bit was learning more about Eve and Joe’s past and when they first met each other. Knowing from reading the Eve Duncan series, Eve and Joe have a fierce love for each other and I loved being able to see how it all began.

The Bad
Okay, so after reading 13 books about Eve Duncan I think I’m a bit biased regarding my never-ending love for this series. With that said the one bad thing I do have to say this book resolved zero questions. Sure all sorts of new questions got raised, but was anything solved? Hmm… no not really. Which is really irritating. Sure us readers only have to wait 3 months before ’Bonnie’ comes out, but I still would’ve appreciated SOME answers.

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Book Review – The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark Rowlands

July 19, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark RowlandsThe Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons in Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark Rowlands
Published by Pegasus Books on June 14, 2011
Pages: 268
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Philosophy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

This fascinating book charts the relationship between Mark Rowlands, a rootless philosopher, and Brenin, his well-traveled wolf. After acquiring Brenin as a cub, it quickly became apparent that Breinin was never to be left alone, as the consequences to Mark's house and its contents were dire. As a result, Brenin and Mark went everywhere together-from classroom lecture to Ireland, England, and France. More than just an exotic pet, Brenin exerted an immense influence on Rowlands as both a person, and, strangely enough, as a philosopher, leading him to re-evaluate his attitude to love, happiness, nature and death. By turns funny (what do you do when your wolf eats your air-conditioning unit?) and poignant, this life-affirming book will make you reappraise what it means to be human.

This book is part memoir, part story of the 11 years spent with his wolf named Brenin and the impression that he made on his life, and part philosophical interpretation of what it means to be human. I can’t claim to be a true lover of Philosophy; however, this book and the author’s writing style kept me engaged. The novels main emphasis tends to focus on the differences between men and wolves from a philosophical stand point. Not only his personal philosophical views but also various different philosophers’ and how their opinions and views apply to certain situations.

The book does not consistently tell the story of his life with Brenin, rather there are bits and pieces interspersed throughout the book with philosophical concepts in between. I would have liked to see more time spent on the connection between him and Brenin because their relationship was pretty amazing.

“But when I remember Brenin, I remember also that what is most important is the you that remains when your calculations fail – when the schemes you have schemed shudder to a halt, and the lies you have lied stick in your throat. In the end, it’s all luck – all of it – and the gods can take away your luck as quickly as they confer it. What is most important is the person you are when your luck runs out.”

The novel was very intellectually stimulating; I just wish I had more knowledge of philosophy in order for me to be able to truly appreciate it. Insightful, nonetheless, and I did enjoy the experience.

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Book Review – Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian #3) by Diana Rowland

July 18, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 3 Comments

Book Review – Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian #3) by Diana RowlandSecrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #3
Published by DAW on January 4th 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon

four-stars

Homicide detective Kara Gillian has a special talent: she can sense the "arcane" in our world, and there's quite a bit of it, even in Beaulac, Louisiana. She's also a summoner of demons, and works on a task force that deals with supernatural crimes. Her partners are attractive and smart FBI agents, but they're not summoners, and they're not telling Kara why they are on this special force with her.

TO make things worse, Kara has pledged herself to one of the most powerful of demons-a Demon Lord-who helped save her partner's life, but now expects things in return. Meanwhile, she's trying to solve a string of murders that are somehow tied together by money, sex, rock music and...mud. But how can she concentrate on the case when she's not even sure who-or what-her partners are?

Kara Gillian series

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1)Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #2)

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}
Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian #2) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}

Yes, I really did just read all 3 books in this series in a row. Yes, they were all amazing. Yes, I am now going absolutely crazy because I have to wait until JANUARY for the next book. I don’t know why I do these things to myself.

As I stated above, ‘Secrets of the Demon’ this is the third installment in the fabulousness called the Kara Gillian series. I would not recommend reading this review if you have not read books 1 and 2. Unless you don’t plan on reading this series, which is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard, but… if you don’t plan on reading the series then feel free to read potential spoilers.

This story starts picks up a few months after the end of Blood of the Demon. Kara is pledged to Rhyzkahl, the most powerful Demon Lord, to be his summoner where she is required to summon him at least once a month for 3 years. She’s already completed approximately 3 months of her service to him at this point. Rhyzkahl has always thrown me a bit with the descriptions of him. Now see, when I read that he’s a ‘Demon Lord’, I don’t know about you but I think of something along the lines of:

But then that’s where Diana Rowland throws a curve ball. “He shook his white blond hair back to send it rippling in a perfect silken fall down his back.” You see, he looks like a human. But ever since she introduced him with his ‘white blond hair that rippled down his back’ I can’t help picturing this guy:

And it drives me absolutely bonkers. Because I don’t actually like him. But whatever, my problem.

Then there’s Ryan, the other man in Kara’s life. Ryan… or now known from the last book as a kiraknikahl, or oathbreaker. Oathbreaker sounds much better since I have no idea how on earth that first term is pronounced. Kara has as of yet been unable to determine what an oathbreaker is but more is revealed in this book. If you’ve been irritated like me and just want to know what the hell he is… you’ll be rewarded with this installment. Although I will say, it was nice that the readers were given bit by bit prior to the big reveal rather than figuring it out right off the bat. Love me a little bit of mystery.

Speaking of Ryan… or Ryan and Kara’s relationship/friendship. *sigh* REALLY?? As I said in my review of book 2, these two really just need to get over themselves, admit they have feelings for each other, and stop acting like junior high kids. They would be much happier together. I would be much happier too. Although I will say, it’s nice to see a pair of characters that actually have to work at their relationships and overcome various obstacles rather. I think it’ll make their future relationship (if that ever happens) very real to me.

Yet another fabulous book from Diana Rowland. I will be recommending her Kara Gilliand series to anyone who will listen to me. I will wait patiently sullenly for Sins of the Demon.

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Book Review – Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian #2) by Diana Rowland

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian #2) by Diana RowlandBlood of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #2
Published by DAW on February 17, 2010
Pages: 386
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Mark of the Demon, Secrets of the Demon

four-stars

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, MAN AND DEMON, SHE’S ABOUT TO FACE THE ONE THING SHE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE.

Welcome to the world of Kara Gillian, a cop with a gift. Not only does she have the power of “othersight” to see what most people can’t even imagine, but she’s become the exclusive summoner of a demon lord. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The fact is, with two troublesome cases on her docket and a handsome FBI agent under her skin, Kara needs the help of sexy, insatiable Lord Rhyzkahl more than he needs her. Because these two victims, linked by suspicious coincidence, haven’t just been murdered. Something has eaten their souls.

It’s a case with roots in the arcane, but whose evil has flowered among the rich, powerful, and corrupt in Beaulac, Louisiana. And as the killings continue, Kara soon realizes how much there’s still to learn about demons, men, and things that kill in the night—and how little time she has to learn it.

Kara Gillian series

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1)

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}

The second installation in the Kara Gillian series made me just as excitable as the first. I absolutely love love love this series. Did I mention I love this series? I don’t know WHAT it is about this series but I love absolutely everything about it. This is me, reading this series:

In ‘Blood of the Demon’ Kara is investigating a series of suicides where the individuals essence wasn’t released from their body the way a normal death would; their essence appeared to have been ripped forcibly from their body and Kara can’t figure out why or who could have done this. Rhyzkahl has requested that Kara be his ‘summoner’ where she would have access to his power and knowledge, she would just be required to summon him often. Kara begins realizing that there is in fact more than meets the eye with Ryan; but he’s not being as forth coming with information as she would like him to be. Kara’s Aunt Tessa remains in a coma as a result of the Symbol Man’s last summoning with her essence seemingly lost. Without her Aunt, Kara is left to learn on her own and it’s really awesome to see her grow as a summoner in this book.

The one irritating factor I had with the book which resulted in the 4 stars (since I still really liked it) was the Ryan and Kara relationship. I have wanted Ryan and Kara to be together from the very beginning. I LOVE those two. So. This is an adult novel; however, when Kara denies the fact that Ryan likes her, when Kara gets jealous at Ryan for lame ass things, or when Ryan does something but Kara justifies it in her mind as him being ‘just a friend’, I feel as if I’ve stepped into a Young Adult novel. And trust me; if I wanted to read a YA novel type relationship I’ve got plenty of books to satisfy that. But here I am reading a nice Adult novel and I feel like I’ve stepped into the YA Twilight Zone.

The ending? Ah! It made me go all ‘OMG Excited Cat’ all over again. Anyways, bottom line. You need to read this. I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s totally awesome and… well I love it. 😀

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Early Review – Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella DuffyTheodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy
Published by Penguin Books on September 27th 2011
Pages: 337
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

'Justinian took a wife: and the manner she was born and bred, and wedded to this man, tore up the Roman Empire by the very roots.' Procopius

Charming, charismatic, heroic - Theodora of Constantinople rose from nothing to become the most powerful woman in the history of Byzantine Rome. In Stella Duffy's breathtaking new novel, she comes to life again - a fascinating, controversial and seductive woman. Some called her a saint. Others were not so kind...

When her father is killed, the young Theodora is forced into near slavery to survive. But just as she learns to control her body as a dancer, and for the men who can afford her, so she is determined to shape a very different fate for herself.

From the vibrant streets and erotic stage shows of sixth-century Constantinople to the holy desert retreats of Alexandria, Theodora is an extraordinary imaginative achievement from one of our finest writers.

Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore tells the story of Theodora, before and after she became one of the most powerful women in the Byzantine Empire’s history. The novel touches briefly on her adolescent years and how it began by the age of 5 when her mother offered up her and two other sisters as supporters to the Blue faction.

Theodora was a strong thinking and willful woman in a time when this was far from acceptable. Theodora’s status was well known as an ‘actress’ when during these times being an ‘actress’ meant you were unable to marry and you were also unable to own property. During her relationship with Hecebolus she was his mistress, but nothing more. She did everything a typical wife would be expected to do, she just lacked title. This is when Theodora began her search for a priest or bishop who would be able to take her case to a higher court in order to have her sins absolved and to have the laws changed for her to be able to marry. She ends up being betrayed by her lady’s maid and friend, Chrysomallo, when she becomes Hecebolus’s lover and ends up with child. Theodora is forced to leave and learn to survive on her own using the only tool she knows; her body. The story continues with Theodora being introduced to Justinian and the path being paved to her becoming the future Empress.

This book is not a biography or a memoir, it is a historical fiction novel, and because of this I think I was expecting a little bit more from this. The author clearly did her research on the life of Theodora, but considering the fact that she was able to take artistic license with the subject, in the end it didn’t seem like she reached the potential the story could have had. In the end the story read like a biography and just told Theodora’s story rather than showing the life of Theodora and what made her the powerful woman she was known to be. I really didn’t care for Theodora all that much in this story; the character and overall story was definitely lacking.

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