Archangel’s Heart (Nalini Singh)

Image result for archangel's heartTitle: Archangel’s Heart

Author: Nalini Singh

Series: Guild Hunter Series #9

Date: November 1, 2016

Summary:

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

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Review Day! 

That annual date with the authors I follow has come again, and this time it’s one I have talked (and praised) before, Best-Selling Paranormal Romance Author Extraordinaire Nalini Singh!

I introduced Mrs. Singh’s Guild Hunter Series last year with her Archangel’s Enigma  and today I bring you yet another treat in the form of the next book in this amazing series about angels, vampires and overall Urban Fantasy goodness for the lovers of the genre. So, without further ado, enter Archangel’s Heart!

More information, visit the author’s website: http://nalinisingh.com/

The Review ———-

Back to the New York of The Guild Hunter Series. There, the Archangel Raphael, oneImage result for archangel's heart of the all-powerful archangels of the Cadre of Ten, rules over North America with a severity and power that are awe-inspiring. By his side are his Seven, an elite guard of angels and vampires tasked with protecting Raphael and his domains, and Elena, Raphael’s ever-adored, Guild Hunter consort.

Ever since Elena was turned into an angel some short years ago, troubles have rained down non-stop over her and her archangelic lover, testing their bonds and those of the city of New York as a whole. But for the last 2 years, things appear to have settled down. Or have they?

For this book, and in true Nalini Singh’s fashion, the author once more takes on the couple that started it all and launched this series into bestsellerdom, Raphael and Elena Deveraux.

Unlike my usual Romance reviews, these characters are in no way unknown to fans of the series, and for those who are new to it, some advice: don’t make #9 your series starter, kids. Play by the rules! So this time I’ll try to review any changes in attitude and behavior for this particular book.

Raphael is the Archangel of New York and undisputed lead male of the Guild Hunter series (even though he sometimes cedes the spotlight to one of the members of his Seven). In Archangel’s Heart Singh takes on Raphael again now as a “married” or “mated” angel who is very much in love with his consort and very much involved in her affairs. Raphael and Elena’s love story happens basically during Angel’s Heart (Book 1), but the aftermath of that love story is what has fueled or the books since, and to be honest, it never gets old.

It’s fascinating to see this extremely powerful, extremely dominant man butt heads with a woman that will never be a damsel in distress, who throws out as many punches as she receives and it’s never afraid to tell the supreme ruler of North America when he is being an a*hole. In this book, we get to see a Raphael more used to dealing with Elena (versus earlier books where he was often bewildered by her) and more confident in his part of her mate. It is also endearing how he tries to protect her without undermining her, and how he always tries to cultivate her strength instead of demanding that she conforms with being protected by his far, far superior abilities.

To be honest I like Raphael’s character, his and Elena’s relationship dynamic is very fluid. They are always exchanging barbs and teasing each other and the chemistry between them is very smooth. This book was no different, except for the fact that Raphael, unlike previous books, took a veritable backseat compared to Elena, who gets much more development. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t get more couple time, but other than that I cannot fault the interactions.

Image result for archangel's heart

Elena, on the other hand, gets her workout for this book. We discover a lot of new things about her and her background, and we also see how she has finally adapted to her place as an Archangel’s Consort and how she is slowly growing into her strength as a “baby angel.” It was very interesting to see Elena more comfortable in her position as Consort, to see her moving among the Cadre with ease and sure in her skin for once.

We always get Elena strong in her warrior suit, but this book proved that she can be interesting when she is not fighting as well. Archangel’s Heart Elena is on a mission to find the truth about her roots and to discover herself and the story of her lost family. She will have to put down the knives and use the head first and foremost, and the wiles and wit that are unavoidable in the sharp political environment of the Cadre of Ten, where relationships are threaded on the finest silk and any small misstep can mean war. We got to see some of this in Book #2, Archangel’s Kiss, but we get to revisit it, very successfully, for this book.

Now, I’ll be honest, I liked this book. I enjoyed reading it and I had a good time revisiting old characters and getting glimpses of past couples. I am also excited to see what will Nalini Singh bring us next. Now that said… I really don’t understand what is this book’s objective. The plot-line doesn’t tie up to the rest of the series’ central arc, and at the end of this book, nothing has changed in the overall story versus the beginning. Sure, we know some new things, have a couple new interesting characters, but all in all, it’s same old. This book can be skipped completely and readers would barely notice it, because the characters that appear are not relevant to any future development, and the story that unfolds is completely separate from the main line.

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.

Dark Carousel (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Carousel

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathians #30

Date: August 2, 2016

Blurb:

In the new Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, a woman falls prey to the seductive allure of the past—and a vampire warrior’s intoxicating embrace…

The moment Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, Tariq Asenguard’s blood is set on fire. The ancient Carpathian had given up hope of finding his lifemate, but now he will do anything to make Charlotte his own. What Tariq doesn’t know is that Charlotte is using herself and her best friend as bait—to try to draw out the bloodthirsty killers who have already murdered Charlotte’s brother and mentor.
 
Charlotte is familiar with Tariq. Not only is he one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in the city, but he’s also a renowned collector of old carousel horses, which Charlotte restores. Their shared passion opens Charlotte up to trusting him with her life and with the desire she can no longer control. But it also makes her vulnerable to a centuries-old curse that will unite her and Tariq in a war against the enemies of humans and Carpathians alike…

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Review Day! 

August has been a good month! May things on the making, including the book launch for The Razvak Hunter (at last!), the final touches to the prequel novella Heroes of Vallenthar (which has become a bigger undertaking than what I initially planned), and a bunch of other things that have piled up together without me noticing. But anyways, after a while, we get a new release of a favorite series and, of course, I’ll deliver a review (we can talk about all those things later!).

For today, let’s take a look at the new Dark Series book by Christine Feehan, Dark Carousel

I am actually extremely happy with this author, because it’s been a while since we got two full books on a single year. And especially when it comes to a book with as much expectation built up around it as this one.

Dark Carousel is number 30 (it’s getting old!) and so far it shows no signs of stopping or slowing down any time soon. Feehan has the gift of weaving amazingly complicated plots and introducing fascinating characters that only leave you wanting more, even for those of us who, like me, have gone through each of the 30 books in the series. 

So, let’s talk about Dark Carousel. 

The Review ———-30002352

This book connects directly with the evens of Dark Crime (a short story previously published in the anthology Edge of Darkness). It takes us back to America and the city of San Diego, and to the vampire plot happening there. Things are thorny in California, but luckily, we have our hero (and a good assortment of side kicks added up) to the rescue.

The male lead fans of the series know already very well. A long time ago, a urban legend says that Feehan had this particular book already finished years ago, but she lost it and was only able to recover one chapter. That chapter was released to the world, and ever since, it has been steadily building expectation in favor of these two characters.

Tariq Asenguard and Charlotte Vintage.
I must say, all in all, the couple doesn’t disappoint. 

Tariq is an unusual Carpathian, who has chosen to spend his life among humans and knows them well. He is more progressive than the rest of his brethren in that sense, and more “modern” (if such word can be applied to a man of thousands of years). It’s definitely a breath of fresh air in a sense, but also, a little different from the initial impression we got from him back when he was introduced some ten books ago. Still, it was enjoyable to read about him. He is a very caring man and can be protective without being overpowering, which is very important. 

Compared to him and his strong presence, the heroine, Charlotte, is a little dull around the edges. She is powerful, with a good personality and overall likable, but doesn’t have anything that really makes her stand out. Sadly, in a world where the males have really strong personalities, you need a woman as well-crafted as them not to pale in comparison and Charlotte is not that. She is very forgettable, and probably in a couple of books I’ll be talking about her simply as “Tariq’s lifemate” unless she gets some more protagonism in future books.

The rest of the story flows really well. We have some new and old characters introduced, including a new conflict that will make more than one shed a tear or two. There is much to be sad about in this book, but also much to enjoy and love.

Overall, the book is a good reading, remarkable not so much because of the central romance as because the intricate plot-line. Something big is brewing in this corner of the world of the Dark Series, and all the action that during the past books had been centered around the Carpathian Mountains is now migrating here. We can expect many old faces to return in future books as they come to join the fight that is coming. Really, it left me very anxious to know what is going to happen next (hopefully I won’t have to wait a full year to find out!)

 

 

I believe fans of the series have much to look forward to in Dark Carousel, and they are sure to be left wanting more after the last page of this exciting new novel is turned.

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.

The Beast (J. R. Ward)

Title: The Beast

Author: J. R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14

Date: April 5, 2016

Blurb:

Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today).

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from..

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Review Day! 

 

Coming today, the latest installment of the raving warrior vampire series by best-selling author J. R. Ward, Black Dagger Brotherhood. 

The Beast is a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy novel that follows up on the events of the previous books of the series. Unlike other Romance series of the moment, The Black Dagger Brotherhood books don’t follow the traditional scheme of one-book-per-couple, and instead each volume runs on multiple continual timelines and perspectives that constantly introduce new characters and bring forward old ones. The timelines normally extend through several books and influence events within each other like a tight web.

Ms. Ward has introduced great innovation into the genre with this series, and her books continue to be complex, highly dynamic endeavors that cannot quite be read as stand-alone, but instead as an integral part of the entire series.    

More information, visit the author’s official page: http://www.jrward.com/bdb/

 

So, let’s see it! ———-

This book is both a new volume and an inner sequel to the second installment of the series, Lover Eternalthat takes on issues the couple has come across since the events of the original story. A follow up on old characters is something J. R. Ward has done several times before in this series in books like Lover Unleashed, Lover Reborn, and The King. It’s a proven strategy to keep the reader’s attention by bringing forward the characters they originally fell in love with, and in my opinion, it works quite well. Although this is a strategy that quite a good deal of authors use, I have yet to see one do it as masterfully as Ms. Ward. 

The main characters in The Beast are once again Rhage, Black Dagger Brother and Mary Madonna Luce, introduced ten years ago in Lover Eternal.

Rhage is the strongest warrior of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He is beautiful, irreverent, funny, and madly in love with his wife, Mary. Rhage also has a dangerous alter-ego given to him by a deity, which comes out at inappropriate times and creates messes for him and his brothers. At the beginning of the book, we see Vishous, Rhage’s brother who is gifted with precognition, tell Rhage that he is going to die, and the entire action develops from there into a whirlwind of emotion that explores Rhage’s deteriorated psychological state and his relationship both with Mary and his Brothers. Rhage is a character that is well-loved by the fans and for good reason. He is funny, he is sweet and overall fairly uncomplicated, compared to some of the other characters. However, this doesn’t mean he’s shallow. Rhage has been dealing with some survivor’s guilt since the previous book, The Shadows, and to it adds his own guilt and conflict with a longing that threatens the very core of his marriage. As always with this series, the character’s arc for the lead is joyful to read and the ups and down are both heart-wrenching and inspiring, treated with a care and mastery that make them life-size. Rhage’s problems and insecurities are very human and relatable, seemingly mundane at times, despite his vampiric (paranormal) environment, and thus, the resolution of these resonates deeply with the readers.

Mary is Rhage’s partner. She is a former human to whom the goddess of the vampire race granted immortality as a bounty to Rhage. While she was human, she was sick with leukemia, and the heavy cancer treatments left her infertile. Mary’s inability to have children has been one of the unresolved spots of the series ever since book 2, but the issue gets explored and made into a main topic in this book. What infertility does to Mary and Rhage, how they come to terms with it and fix the problem is the principal theme of their timeline. It shows once again the values of compassion, generosity and understanding that compress Mary’s personality, and acts as the component that strengthens her relationship with his husband in a way that is believable and real. For this book, Ward tackles an issue that is very human, when a member of the couple wants a child but the other member is unable to provide it, and does so with a talented and open-minded approach that doesn’t focus in the good over the bad (like many romance novels do) but instead puts every fact on the table and lets the plot resolve itself in a reasonable way according to the attitudes she set up for her characters.

Overall, the whole process is seamless and smooth, the actions and reactions of the characters making sense with their environment and the story developing at a dynamic pace during actions scenes, and a deep thoughtful pace during the self-reflection ones.

The Beast also continues with the timelines of secondary characters introduced in earlier books and resolves issues of the plot that had been left open. A brand new long-term character takes stage and some new conflicts arise to sustain future volumes. Overall, it’s everything you could expect as a mid-series installment, and uses the success recipe Ward has invented and perfected to make sure none of her Black Dagger Brotherhood books ever go below the 4 star margin. This one is no different.

 

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.

Archangel’s Enigma (Nalini Singh)

Title: Archangel’s Enigma

Author: Nalini Singh

Series: Guild Hunter Series #8

Date: September 1, 2015

Summary:

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required—those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets, is fascinated by his nature—at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it’s too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows… and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare…

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Review Day! 

Well, hello again! I like these little weekly meetings!

Today I bring to you a Paranormal Romance treat by Bestselling Author Nalini Singh!

Archangel’s Enigma is novel number 9 of a series that I’ve been following closely for the past couple of years. It showcases the most original and interesting take on the vampire myth I have ever read (and believe me, my sweets, I’ve been around!)

The Guild Hunter Series is a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance series that offers a new view not only around the archetype of the vampire, but also includes what I believe is one of the least used race of beings in fantasy/paranormal literature: the angels. Although I am not a big fan of overly twisted plotlines (indeed, you will not see A Song of Ice and Fire in my list of favorites), I must say I admire the control this particular author has over her storyline. Everything in her series is pretty complex but complete at the same time, and even though she develops her action in a parallel world, the integration of it with day to day culture is very successful. Unlike other authors in the genre who are content with developing a secret society in the margins of human race (and thus avoiding integration problems), Singh goes beyond and create a whole new history, giving us a vision of how the world would be if humans shared it with angels and vampires.

More information, visit the author’s website: http://nalinisingh.com/

So, let’s get to today’s main dish! ———-

In a parallel world, humanity is controlled by a superior race of beings: the angels. Powerful, winged warriors, the angels are a complex society ruled by razor-sharp politics, twisted power games and where only the truly strong and violent can survive. The angels govern the human race through their most loyal servants, the vampires, turned humans who are their direct underlings and make sure their orders are fulfilled and their wishes granted.

However, sometimes a vampire decides he is just too good to serve under a particular angel, and decides to take off on its on, creating carnage and gorging in the defenseless human population. That’s where the Hunter’s Guild comes in. A Hunter’s job is to fetch that rogue vampire and bring it back to his master. Sometimes, however, things can get a little out of hand…

The main characters in Archangel’s Enigma are Naasir and Andromeda.

Naasir is a character that intrigued me from the very beginning, and even more after the last book, Archangel’s Shadows. In a world riddled with predators and beings that are something definitely other, Naasir is at the top of the pyramid, more animal than actual human. He is strange, feline, a little (a lot!) on the wild side and with some definitely inhuman tendencies. At the end of Archangel’s Shadows, Naasir declares that he’s going to start looking for a mate. That made me excited, because he is such an unusual character that I was really looking forward to what kind of story he would spawn. At the beginning of Archangel’s Enigma we see him as the peculiar, endearing yet feral tiger-creature that he supposedly is, but I must say that wears off fast as the book goes on. Once he find his girl he becomes almost… normal. I was a little bit disappointed by that, because I wanted to see something different, and I didn’t. I’m not saying he was bad as a character. No, he was charming, possessive, understanding, a touch naughty and overall very sweet. Not like I would have imagined at all.

As a hero he was great, but as a character he was a little disappointing.

Andromeda doesn’t have anything really remarkable I can say about her. She is a good heroine. She is smart, sassy and strong. She had a rather complicated childhood, but again, good heroes don’t come from happy families. Her love for Naasir is something quite simple to be honest, almost going from infatuation to first love to actual love. The fact that she is a virgin and celibate may also be a reason why. She is quite the uncomplicated character, feeling almost a little too smooth for a series full of rough-edged characters. Regardless, it doesn’t interfere with the dynamic of the story and, despite the plainness of her, it’s not necessarily off-putting.

 

As usually with a series, I won’t give you a plot overview (because, really, you wouldn’t understand shite without the rest of it). Overall is not a bad book. Good interactions, one nice moment or two, and another episode in a very complex plotline that it seems is barely just starting to unravel. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy it, and those who are not regulars should definitely give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!

 

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.

Dark Ghost (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Ghost

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathian Series #29

Date: September 01, 2015

Summary:

He wasn’t civilized or tame. He had his own code and he lived by it.

Monk. Bounty hunter. Vampire slayer. Andre Boroi has spent centuries battling the undead, holding out against the dark with honor. But now, gravely wounded by master vampire Costin Popescu, Andre will be easy to track—his spilled blood marking the killing trail for Popescu and his hungry band of underlings. Andre’s only chance is to disappear into the gray mist of the Carpathians. To wait. To hope.

She had a healing touch and a scent that was his lifeblood.

In the mountains in search of a precious crystal, geologist Teagan Joanes suddenly finds herself hunted by those she once trusted. Then she comes across the warrior—wounded, wanting and irresistible. Andre has been craving her for an eternity: his lifemate. Her warmth envelops him. Her scent pulsates. And with every beat of her heart, Teagan surrenders to a passion she can’t possibly comprehend.

Now they are bound by destiny, but is it enough to keep them safe from a stalking, relentless darkness that threatens to swallow them alive?

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Review Day! 

Here we are again. After a relatively inactive week (first time visiting Los Angeles, I was so excited I forgot how to type!), here I am again with a new review, this time a book of my favorite Romance series in the entire world.

Bestselling Author Christine Feehan delivers her new Carpathians novel!

Dark Ghost is the brand-spanking-new installment (#29) of the Dark Series, also known as the Carpathians Series. A personal favorite, the Dark Series was what inspired my Romance Writer dreams, and Feehan’s Dark Prince, the first book of the series, was the first adult romance book I ever read. Such good memories…

Anyways, the Dark Series is a Paranormal/Vampire Romance series in the traditional style of Dracula, with vampires that are grotesque-looking and can shift into wolves, mist and bats. On the other side of the spectrum, we have the Carpathians, an ancient race of beings in the brink of extinction that hunts and destroys the vampires, protecting humanity

With a classic fantasy setting, fairy tale-like magic and ancient languages, The Dark Series is a gift for the Epic Fantasy lovers out there who want a little more spice to their love stories.

More information, visit the author’s website: christinefeehan.com

Now, let’s do this! ———-

I’ve been a fan of this series since the very beginning, and despite the author’s’ literary mishaps over the years (a rather large amount of them, sadly), the basic core of the stories still enchants me to this day, 29 books later.

The concept of the plot is a simple one: Carpathian people are an ancient race of beings that come from the earth. They have amazing powers; they can fly, shapeshift, control the natural elements, and their lifespans are nearly infinite.

However, there is a price for these gifts: they cannot go out in daylight, they have to drink blood to survive, and when they are born, their souls are divided in two. All the darkness in a soul goes to the male, all the light to a female. They must unite in order to be complete. And if they don’t do it in time, the darkness inside the male will overcome him and he will turn into the most despicable creature that there is, a vampire.

The men are forever looking for the other half of their souls, their lifemate, while fighting the whispers of darkness that haunt them night after night. If they don’t find her, they will be doomed, and their minds, hearts, their very souls will be engulfed by the shadow.

The main characters in Dark Ghost are Andre Boroi and Teagan Jones.

Andre is a character that was introduced a while ago, and who got the attention of many of the fans of the series. Some people might be disappointed by the fact that the plot of his book is kind of simple. To those people I say they should revisit the beginning of the series and how the books were back then. Over the last ten novels, the author has been upping the amount of action and plot included in every book, and although that it’s definitely good and interesting, personally, I must say that I have missed the uncomplicated topics of the first books. The times when it was all about the couple, and the villain was but an inconsequential fill-in are long gone from the Dark Series. And, although this is definitely an improvement, sometimes it just doesn’t quite feel like the series I fell in love with all those years ago.

Andre’s book takes me back to how it all started. To the simple charm of a man too haunted by shadows to go on living, and the woman who comes out of nowhere to give him back his soul.

Teagan is a character that I liked a lot. A modern, independent, outspoken woman, she is the perfect counterpart to Andre’s old-world ways. She is funny, she is smart, she is kind. She sees the suffering in Andre and just can’t let it go, even knowing it could mean danger for her. She is not a really deep character, I would say, but even with that, it works in the setting, because she is basically an archetype of the lifemate that Feehan has been creating throughout the last 28 books. You accept that this is the way that she is supposed to be, and don’t expect anything more.

Those who expected Dark Ghost to be a big event are going to be sadly disappointed. Even I am a little bummed at the fact that the author completely ignored the plotline she’s been building for a while now, but even so, it doesn’t bother me that much. Dark Ghost is a simple book, with no real high pretensions. It’s a nice book that it’s not incredibly interesting or groundbreaking, but it’s not boring either. Although it probably will not become a favorite, I did enjoy it, and it brought me great memories of the times books of this series used to be, and why I fell in love with them in the first place.

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.

Hidden in the Stars: HITS (Sadie Grubor)

Title: Hidden in the Stars: HITS 

Author: Sadie Grubor

Series: Falling Stars Series # 2

Date: August 13, 2015

Blurb:

When you’re Jackson Shaw, guitarist of The Forgotten, and your hearts been broken, shattered by the deception of a woman you thought was the one. You can’t hide from cameras and millions of fans hanging on every dirty detail printed and posted.

What you can do, is swear off love and dull the ache with gorgeous women who look nothing like that girl who tore you apart. A supermodel girlfriend and sexplicit escapades splashed across the tabloids is the ultimate revenge. It’s also the perfect way to hide your pain in the media. But when the ache turns to a hollow pit, and there isn’t enough sex, drugs, or alcohol to fill the emptiness, what do you do?

You cut your losses and head to L.A. to mentor the latest reality talent show. You follow an old friend into a world where the art of the tease and bump and grind were perfected. Where the sound of her voice calls to every primal instinct buried within your body and makes the demand for your attention.

Jackson’s an addict, and just one taste puts him back in the precarious position of falling in love with a woman who’s mastered the art of ensnaring and teasing.

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Happy Review Day! 

Yes, yes, boys and girls, is that time of the week again. Since I’ve been getting swarms of e-mails requesting reviews lately, it’s safe to expect this to become a weekly appointment. So, buckle up, everybody!

Today I come bearing gifts by an undiscovered Indie star: Miss Sadie Grubor

Find her at: Amazon , sadiegrubor.com

HITS (Hidden in the Stars) is the second novel she’s published of her series Falling Stars, all Steamy, Rock Star-ish, Contemporary goodness. I must say that I walked into it a little doubtful at first, but I’m very glad I did. Grubor has definitely turned me into a fan.

With good character development, and a very interesting narrative voice, Sadie Grubor is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future!

Now, unto the main dish! —-

The leads of this novel are Jackson Shaw and Eliza Campbell, who are also the two narrators. The novel is divided into two confessionary (first-person) POV lines, that at first, I thought would create a hassle (especially since the novel is told in present tense). But as it turns out, it works very well. Grubor manages to keep the pace dynamic, and she does a good job in stating the different personalities of the leads, so that you don’t get confused as to who is talking (besides, I liked the doodles, that was a nice touch).

Jackson is your typical foul-mouthed, body-inked, cocky-as-hell Rock Star. He is confident, talented, sexy, and overall, he does pretty much what he wants. However, at the beginning of the book he’s just come out of a very serious relationship that ended up badly, driving him to alcohol and drugs. He is a lost man, in a sense, and has pretty much given up on love after what his ex did to him. I must confess it was easy to buy Jackson’s character. He was very well portrayed, and although his actions grazed the border of cliché a couple of times, he still managed to retain individuality and uniqueness.

That said, I would’ve liked the struggle in his part to be a little more focused. He faces several hardships during his arc, but, even though they are not “shallow” per se, they don’t hold his attention for too long. They are not discussed, not delved into, and by the time he moves on to the next big conflict, it looks like everything was just a little Deus Ex Machina with the resolution of the prior one.

Eliza was far more solid as a character for me. She is a single mother (SPOILER Alert!), who had to give up on her dream of being a singer after she got pregnant at 15. Liza learned to cope with her fate and has built a life for herself and her son that is not only good, but also satisfactory. She has a job that she is actually happy with (albeit a little bit shy about), she is content with her family, and she manages the day to day challenges one at a time, with grace and aplomb.

The only thing missing in her life is someone to cuddle up with at night. Although she doesn’t realize this until Jackson appears and sweeps her off her feet.

I liked their interactions a lot, and I would’ve liked to see a little more of them. With all the drama that takes place during the plot (jealous exes, drug abuse, paparazzi rants, showbiz glamour, etc…) a little bit of the simplicity of the couple is lost, and by the time the author starts showing some more of them, it’s already the end of the book.

The secondary characters were also quite enjoyable, especially Cousin Sid (I’m rooting for you Sidrome!), and it definitely made me curious about the relationship between Chris and Mia (from the first book), so good job hailing me in, Miss Grubor!

Overall is a book I’d recommend. It’s very well crafted and Grubor’s voice is dynamic and lively. For fans of authors like J. R. Ward and Kresley Cole, this books falls along the same lines (except for the paranormal touches), and I’m sure will be enjoyable.

 

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.