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.

Dark Promises (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Promises

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathians #29

Date: March 15, 2016

Blurb:

Lovers challenge destiny and risk their lives in the new Carpathian novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance.”*

Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing Gary Jansen, the man she loves nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once he was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and desires and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger.

And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown…

Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled into the path of a desperate man and a woman in love and on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.

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Review Day! 

 

Wow! It’s been forever since I did one of these. Ever since I started the blog I’ve learned quite a couple of useful things. Like the fact that authors are not supposed to review other authors’ books (as per Amazon TOS), and many other interesting tidbits. So now I’m only reviewing books I was already fan of before I started writing. Or books I read and enjoy specifically as a reader and nothing more. For today, we have the latest Dark Series book by Christine Feehan, Dark Promises

Dark Promises is not the first Feehan book I’ve reviewed here (check here for #28, Dark Ghost) and I’ll say again, I am fan of this author. I wait her books eagerness and I’m not afraid to admit that at this point there is nothing she can do that will make me drop the series (except killing Mikhail, Feehan, that is NOT allowed!).

That said, however, I struggled with this book. I’ll tell you why.   

The Review ———-Dark Promises ('Dark' Carpathian)

The book follows the path left by Dark Ghost, takes us to the Carpathian Mountains where the series started and shows us some more of the Carpathian world. For those fans of the series, you all know what this world is all about, and for those who don’t, here’s the summarized version: Carpathians are a race of beings that can fly, shapeshift and control nature. They feed on the blood of the humans but they do not kill. The Carpathians are almost extinct because of a particular trait of their race: each member can only have one partner for life. The males are the darkness, the females are the light. If the males do not find their mates in time, they risk being overcomed by the darkness in their souls and turning into a vampire, a mindless killer whose only purpose is to murder humans.

For Dark Promises we have not one, but two parallel stories (I’d go so far as to say there’s 3), which mean we have more than 2 main character.  Let’s start with the easy ones, shall we?

Two of the main characters are Fane and Trixie Joanes.

Dark PromisesFane and Trixie are already familiar because of their involvement in Dark Ghost. Fane is the Guardian of the Gates to the mysterious monastery that holds a group of Ancients too close to turning to be in the outside world. These Ancients keep to themselves and seclude themselves in the monastery in the hopes that, if they do succumb to the darkness, they won’t be able to harm anyone before their cellmates end them. Fane is funny and endearing, sexy and with a great sense of humor. Truly, his and Trixie’s pairing was a joy to read and I kept laughing non-stop through their scenes. Trixie is Teagan’s (Dark Ghost lead female) grandmother. She is feisty, sassy, sure of herself and yet vulnerable. She had a very difficult past but she didn’t let it bring her down, and instead made a good life for herself and her family. I really enjoyed reading about her. The problem was, these two didn’t have much time on the spotlight. 

That honor belonged to the other main couple (or threesome?).

Gabrielle Sanders and Aleksei are the other two. Aleksei is one of the ancients from the monastery. He is hard, domineering, dangerous and pretty much all we are used the Carpathians to be. Perhaps he takes it a teeny-tiny bit beyond (some hints of BDSM here and there), but nothing too radical. Personally, I had no trouble with him.

Gabrielle was the one who ruined the book for me. Gabrielle, for those who remember her, is sister to Joie, another leading girl, and was turned into Carpathian earlier in the series, after being stabbed almost to death. While she was still a human, she fell in love with Gary Jansen, another human that helped the Carpathian people. Fans were really eager to see how the relationship of these two would end up, specially after Gary was turned a couple of books ago, when he almost die in a fight. Needless to say, expectation was high. The problem is, as I mentioned before, Carpathians have one and only mate for life. They cannot have another or take another, and it’s against their law to take a partner that is not your mate. Gabrielle didn’t get the memo. Her obsession with Gary and with rejecting what she had become bordered on fanaticism, and her childish actions didn’t allow me to empathize with her situation. I kept seeing a three-year-old, spoiled brat set on her favorite toy, without any regard for the damage she left behind. With her selfishness, she hurts Gary, Aleksei and herself. The dynamic of her relationship with Aleksei is shattered at the very beginning because of her obsession with Gary, and sadly, it never recovers.

The rest of the book for these two is all about sex and domination, with Aleksei trying to impose himself on the woman he believes betrayed him, and Gabrielle unable to accept the fact that she was wrong in clinging to Gary as she did. In the middle of it all, Gary remains the saddest victim. He loses everything because of what Gabrielle did, and now is in real danger because of her selfish actions.

The only saving grace of this book was, as I said above, Trixie and Fane. Other than that, it was a no for me.

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.

About a Vampire (Lynsay Sands)

Justin Bricker's storyTitle: About a Vampire

Author: Lynsay Sands

Series: Argeneau/Rogue Hunters #22

Date: September 29, 2015

Blurb:

In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new Argeneau novel, a vampire accustomed to seducing every woman he meets finds the one determined to resist him…

With Immortal good looks and scorching charisma, Justin Bricker has yet to meet a woman he can’t win over. His potential life mate should be no different. But instead of falling into his bed, Holly Bosley runs away and ends up mortally wounded. To save her, he has to turn her. And then Bricker learns the shocking truth: Holly’s already married.

Holly wakes up with a bump on her head, a craving for blood, and a sexy stranger who insists they belong together. She needs Bricker’s help to control her new abilities, even as she tries to resist his relentless seduction. Choosing between the world she knows and the eternity he offers is impossible. But Justin is fighting for his life mate—maybe even his life—and he’ll break every rule to do it…

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Review Day! 

A new week, a new book.

This time allow me to introduce to you Bestselling Author Lynsay Sands who combines humor, action and romance in her widely successful books saga.

About a Vampire is book #22 of  the Argeneau/Rogue Hunters Series, a Urban Fantasy, more Science-Fiction than Paranormal, Romance series. By now you probably know I have a thing for vampires. Actually looking back probably a 90% of the ongoing series I follow have some sort of vampiric content. Sands’ books are no different, except perhaps in the fact that she has two things that set her apart from the rest:

Number 1: She provides a scientifically plausible explanation for the vampiric characteristics of her characters. I’m actually quite amazed by the way she has treated this topic, because it’s fresh, believable and (what makes it even more interesting) possible!

Number 2: Her books have a big humorous component. Even though the latest installments on the series have shown an increasing level of action (opposite to the first books, where there was hardly any), the books have not lost their laugh-out-loud core that identifies the saga.

At the beginning, I must confess I only wanted a simple, enjoyable vampiric series to pass the time. I really didn’t think she would hook me as she has, so good work Ms. Sands!

More information, visit the author’s website: http://lynsaysands.net/

So, for this book! ———-

 

Atlantis was a fabulous city with incredible technological advances. They developed a way to treat sickness and injury at its core through the use of nanotechnology. The nanos implanted in the hosts are programmed to heal diseases and treat overall body decay, and they need extra blood to be able to perform at full capacity. In Atlantis, this was never a problem, since they had blood banks. But then Atlantis fell…

Fast-forward three thousand years in the future, the descendant of the Atlanteans live among us as a hidden society of immortals. Time has changed them and they have evolved to adapt to the new world they were thrown in. They are stronger, faster, more durable, and with the ability to read and control human minds. They blend in with the rest of the world, have their own rules and laws, and the most important one is that if one of them finds a person whose mind he cannot read or control, that person is intended to be his or her life mate. The only person in the world they can love and live with. They only person in the world for them.

The main characters in About a Vampire are Justin Bricker and Holly Bosley.

Justin is a character that fans of the series have been looking forward to for a while now. Since he was introduced about ten books ago, he’s made a place for himself with his quick wit, youthful charm and funny remarks. Needless to say, I was excited about his book. Sadly, Justin disappointed me greatly. He’s shallow, selfish and overall a little bit of a jerk. He’s been thrown up with a married life mate, which I understand can be frustrating, but he manages the situation awfully, all the time thinking in sexual terms I got quite tired of because they weren’t even possible with the plot. His whole development as a character was poor, and, even though the ending was ok, by them I was already too disappointed to care.

Holly is no better. While she’s slightly more developed as a character that Justin, there are things about her that still make no sense. She is always confused, never seems to be sure of anything, and even when she is sure about something (like the fact that she wants to keep her marriage together) it comes across as naive stubbornness, because she doesn’t have a plan or an actual goal. Everything is pretty vague about her and I couldn’t find a quality that actually grounds her as a person.

The relationship was bumpy at best, awkward at worst. It started about the middle of the book so the entire beginning was just senseless stalling, and from then on it was sex-based alone. There were a couple of moments of actual talk but they never transpired. The actual things that make a couple were overlooked in favor of the sweaty stuff. Not nice, if I wanted to read sex I’d go for Erotica. Overall it was a bad book for me, and the only thing remarkable about it is probably the humor I mentioned earlier. Although dulled by a bad plotline, I still had a couple of laughs. Too bad it wasn’t enough to make up for the rest of it.

 

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.

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?

separador

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.

Dragonbane (Sherrilyn Kenyon)

Title: Dragonbane 

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Series: Dark Hunters Series #26

Date: August 04, 2015

Summary:

Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames

separador

Review Day! 

It’s finally that time of the month! First, a little introduction, shall we?

Today’s main dish is a recent release by Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon!

Dragonbane is the most recent installment (#26) of one of my favorite Romance series, The Dark Hunters. I love, love, love these books and have read them all, some of them several times over. The Dark Hunters is a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance series that incorporates elements of classic mythology (gods, demigods, demons, etc.) and uses them with a mastery and knowledge of the field that it’s quite remarkable. As a mythology junkie myself, I must say I am very pleased with what the author has accomplished in this series. Sure, she takes some literary liberties (don’t we all?), but even so, she manages to keep true to the legends and accepted historical facts quite well.

Also, the characters are just superb, and the world-building skills that this author displays are definitely top of the line.

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

So, let’s get to it! ———-

First, let me say that I’ve been waiting for Dragonbane for an entire year. After a couple or so-so books within the series, Kenyon released Styxx two years ago, which was as much a masterpiece as it gets.

And after that “Son of No One” which was also quite good. So I was really excited for Dragonbane, not only due to the precedents, but also because it featured a rather elusive character that readers had seen on and off throughout the whole saga: The Dragon Maxis Drago.

So I actually entered this endeavor with high spirits!

The main characters in this novel are Maxis and Seraphina, a dragon and his wife (not spoilers, all of this is in the SK page!).

As I said before, Maxis I already knew. He always had a mysterious air to him and he developed quite nicely in his own book. He is a good Romance Hero. Strong, protective, a little dominant, but also kind and forgiving. He gets into quite the deal of troubles but he manages to get out of them elegantly enough. I wouldn’t call him an easy-go-lucky kind of guy, but I’d say that overall he has a rather mellow personality, which is refreshing in a genre that can quite easily cause a testosterone overload problem. I didn’t have an issue with him.

He was quite well-crafted in his image of the tired warrior that now only wants peace. And hopefully, someone to share that peace with.

 

Seraphina on the other hand was a little harder to cope with. Here we have a character who, supposedly, due to her unconsciousness, fear and inability to compromise, caused her husband to be deeply hurt. She has a trail of “youthful mistakes” that already ruined her marriage once, and that you are supposed to believe, even though there are quite the number of holes in the theory. For instance, even though she claims to love her husband, she doesn’t hesitate to punish him cruelly for whatever mistake she thinks he’s committed, and she justifies her actions by saying that she “didn’t mean for it to be so bad”.

That wouldn’t be a problem, though if her arc of change was clearly visible to the reader. Readers are forgiving. If let’s say, she was a completely different person at the end than the one at the beginning of the relationship, then the readers could separate the “immature” version of the “mature” version. However, when we meet her at the beginning of the book, she is basically the exact same person from the flashbacks. Under this circumstances, her sudden willingness to compromise and work for the relationship with his husband is not believable.

I was actually disappointed in their interactions, because they didn’t feel real to me. Seraphina’s personality is not very defined, and as such, the pairing doesn’t quite work.

I won’t get into plot this time because, since this book is part of a series, there are several things involved in the plot development. I’ll only say that, although it’s a little bit complicated, is fairly easy to follow compared to some of the previous books. Also, the plot is quite unobtrusive towards the main relationship, which I always value in a Romance novel, although in this particular time, since the couple didn’t work for me, I don’t really care for it.

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.