Monday, 24 December 2012

The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt (Princes #2)

Genres: Adult,, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: April 1st 2007
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


The One Thing a Lady Must Never Do...

Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn't want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she's not just dealing with a servant, but a man.

Is Fall In Love...

Harry has known many aristocrats—including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms.

With Her Servant.

Still, it's impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar. The locals blame Harry for everything. Soon it's all Georgina can do to keep her head above water and Harry's out of the noose…without missing another night of love.


This was a great historical romance. I really enjoyed it, although it wasn't quite as good as its predecessor, The Raven Prince. The Raven Prince was just on fire! There was so much passion and so many scenes that I read over and over again. The Raven Prince amazed me with its balance between romance and erotica. It had a lot of both that perfectly accented each other. The sex made the romance better, and the romance made the sex better. The Leopard Prince also had a lot of both, but I didn't feel the perfect balance happening. It was very romance heavy. I felt the focus was put much more strongly on their emotional relationship than their physical. Yet there was still a great deal of erotic material in this. I just didn't feel the emotional connection as much as during the erotic scenes, or as in The Raven Prince. 

But I still really enjoyed this book. Harry and Georgina were great characters. I hadn't read a historical romance before this where the woman was the one who was higher class than the man. It usually goes the other way around in these. It made the story really interesting, to see how different things are for a man compared to a woman, all the double standards. And I really loved Harry, from the second page I was already getting tingles. He and Georgina definitely had a connection. I loved the way they carried on. They were really amusing, and both very strong. Georgina was extremely independent and demanding, and wasn't afraid to tell Harry what she wanted, such as the first time they slept together. A very bold move from a virgin Lady. And the same with Harry. He was extremely forceful and would not back down from what he wanted from Georgina.

I really love Elizabeth Hoyt's writing, and how easily she draws you into a story and into a scene. I am very excited to finish this series with The Serpent Prince, and to start another of her series with Wicked Intentions.

“Be that as it may, a gentleman doesn't continue to press his attentions on a lady who can’t return them.” 
“Then, as I see it, you have two problems, my lord,” Harry said.Tony’s eyes narrowed. 
“One, that the lady does, in fact, return my attentions, and two”—Harry turned to meet the earl’s gaze—“I am no gentleman.”

Monday, 26 November 2012

Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck (The Tiger Saga #4)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Mythology, Adventure, Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5


With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all. 

I'd like to say this was an amazing, beautiful ending to an awesome series. But its not the end! There is another book! How is this possible? How can we go on from this? But regardless, this was unbelievable. The best in the series so far.

I know that I must address the love-triangle. It gets all the attention around these books and I would really like to add my opinion on the matter, so I will get right to it. The first two books in the series focused on Ren and Kishan respectively, and although I loved Kishan after Tiger's Quest, there was no sign that Kelsey would. She remained faithful to Ren. But once I read Tiger's Voyage I was pretty torn. I grew to love Kishan even more, and I was pretty upset at Ren for how he handled the situation. He gave Kelsey up way too easily in my opinion. But Kelsey clearly still loved him, so I had to give him credit for that. Although it almost seemed like she had no choice in the matter. She loved him beyond reason. And I found Kishan to be a better person, far more grounded, easier to talk to, and a lot of fun. But it was Kelsey's choice, not mine, and I guess Ren was more her type. More sensitive and fond of grand gestures. But, although he had lost his memory at the time, I felt like he had no right to be upset over her relationship with Kishan, when he was the one who gave her up. He had still loved her at the time, memory or not.

But then we get to Tiger's Destiny, and I start to see where the Kelsey-hate comes from. I still love her. She is one of my fave heroines because she is so incredibly brave, determined, stubborn, and smart, and even a little snarky at times. But she seriously mistreated Kishan. I would understand if she didn't want to be with Ren. Because he hurt her. Because she was afraid. Because she felt she didn't deserve happiness when so many others hadn't found it. But that did not mean that she had to pretend to love Kishan more than she actually did. She could have decided to be alone. She could have waited until their journey was over before deciding on either brother. She could have done so many things besides leading Kishan on, when it was so clear that it was not going to last. She could barely get through the day without Ren. How could she think she could get through forever? And agreeing to marry Kishan?! That is forever, but their situation was not. I don't understand why she thought that she would feel the same way about herself and her situation a year from then, ten years from then. She could have told him it was too soon, to wait until after their final journey. There is no excuse for committing yourself to someone, when you are in love with another. It was a promise she would never have been able to keep. Kishan deserved better.

And Kishan is the one that made the sacrifice in the end. Kelsey always said that Ren had a superhero complex, but he didn't. He only risked his life for her, never for the mission, for their destiny, or for Durga. Ren is just as bad as Kelsey if not worse when it comes to all-consuming love. And I'll admit, grand gestures aren't my thing, but Ren could be really sweet. I did love him first, back in Tiger's Curse. I seriously swooned when he gave her the fireflower in the fire world. And I was really moved when he leapt in front of the gae bolga, and I saw the severe pain he was going through, all because he loved her. And Ren was extremely brave and was amazing in battle.

But Kishan is still my hero in the end. The more noble and selfless brother. I would never want to diminish Kishan's love for Kelsey, but he was willing to look at the bigger picture, willing to make the sacrifice that Ren refused. But I'm sure there was still a part of him that only did it because he knew it was what was best for Kelsey. And that is why I think the ending was so perfect. I knew that Kelsey would end up with Ren in the end, it was inevitable, but I really didn't want to see Kishan hurt. This way, the choice was Kishan's, not Kelsey's, and he eventually found happiness. I really appreciate that we got to see the letter from Kishan to Kelsey and Ren, and how he said that part of him loved her for centuries. As I said before, I don't want to diminish Kishan's love for Kelsey. I would have felt betrayed if he had found someone that he loved more than her. Colleen found the perfect alternative.

This series, and this book in particular, is so emotionally engaging, with characters that I love so much. It was so important to me that the ending be just right so that my heart would not be broken, and Colleen nailed it. I cant even say how much I loved the love in this book. A few poor decisions on Kelsey's part cannot overshadow the depth of the characters and the love that all three have for each other.

I feel like there isn't much else I can say about this book. Everyone who has read even one book in the series knows the reason it is so appealing is the unique focus on eastern mythology and its amazing adventure. And Destiny continues that trend and took it further. Their visit to the fire world was reminiscent of the journeys in book 1 and 2, but their journey to the past and their final battle against Lokesh was epic and amazing. The action and the fulfillment of destiny was breathtaking. Colleen really outdid herself and I really really hope and pray that Tiger's Dream will be a worthy successor, because I really can't think of a better way to end this incredible series. Thank you Colleen for officially writing my second favourite series of all time!

“There is still a piece of my heart that belongs to you. I have cherished it all these centuries.”

Monday, 19 November 2012

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (The Lynburn Legacy #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: September 11th 2012
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


This book was incredibly unique. It had me hooked from the very beginning with its unique feel and fascinating story. I could not put it down and I read it in just over a day and I stayed up way past my bedtime. It was a lot of fun to read and was seriously addictive. I loved the fast-paced, witty narrative. I did a good deal of laughing while I read this. And the characters were just as sharp. I especially loved Kami and Angela. It reminded me a lot of Nancy Drew, but set in a small Gothic town with magic. I have never read anything quite like it.

“Your soul is like the souls of a thousand monkeys on crack, all smushed together.”

Also, the whole idea of two ppl being linked from birth, and never knowing whether the person you share your whole life with is real or not; that created entirely new dynamics for Jared and Kami. Very complicated dynamics. I appreciated the tumultuous-ness of their relationship, although I could have done with a tad bit more hope.

There is usually miscommunication in YA romances, that leads to the main character and love interest taking far longer to come together than they should have. But you still always know it will happen, eventually. But at the end of this, I find myself not entirely sure. Jared and Kami are in a place that they have never been before and I dont know how they will come back from this, but I still have hope. I have to, its the only thing that will keep me going until Untold.

"All the lights in his crazy gray eyes were dancing. A shiver went through her, a ripple of his delight. She felt again the way she had at the Crying Pools and at her house, the thrill of sharing your secret soul and having someone think it was wonderful."

Friday, 9 November 2012

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Mythology, Romance
Publication Date: October 31st 2012
POV: Female - First-person, Past tenseMy Rating: 5 out of 5

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden.

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...


This is my favourite book in the series so far. The first was amazing and blew me away, the second delved deeper into the story and was really exciting but didn't have enough Aiden. In Deity the story expands and explodes, and so does Alex and Aiden's romance. It had everything we loved about the first two and more. It definitely satisfied all the Aiden fans and then some.

I am Team Aiden, but I always loved Seth too. Even in book 1 when we didn't know him too well, there
was just something about him that I liked. He seemed like a lot of fun. And now I feel really sorry for him.

He is clearly being used and manipulated. I am sad that he would let it happen. He has gone so far over the line, but I still believe he can be saved, and I hope once Alex comes around, that she will still be standing up for him. Maybe he doesn't even realize what the connection was doing to her. Maybe there is so much more at play than we even know. And there is still a god out there somewhere, working with Lucian. Its too early to tell what could possibly be motivating Seth. But I still never expected him to go as far as he did and it breaks my heart seeing what he has become.

Aiden also does funny things to my heart. :P The lack of Aiden in Pure was definitely made up for in Deity. And we got to know him so much better as he took his relationship with Alex further, and decided she was worth risking it all. I have so much hope for Apollyon.

“I'm afraid of never being allowed to feel what I do.”

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Close Liaisons by Anna Zaires (The Krinar Chronicles #1)

Genres: Adult, Sci-fi, Romance
Publication Date: October 5th 2012
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 9 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


A dark and edgy romance that will appeal to fans of erotic and turbulent relationships...

In the near future, the Krinar rule the Earth. An advanced race from another galaxy, they are still a mystery to us – and we are completely at their mercy.

Shy and innocent, Mia Stalis is a college student in New York City who has led a very normal life. Like most people, she’s never had any interactions with the invaders – until one fateful day in the park changes everything. Having caught Korum’s eye, she must now contend with a powerful, dangerously seductive Krinar who wants to possess her and will stop at nothing to make her his own.

How far would you go to regain your freedom? How much would you sacrifice to help your people? What choice will you make when you begin to fall for your enemy?


This was an extremely compelling, hot, and uncomfortable read. I highly recommend it for fans of dangerous and potentially damaging romances. I couldn't stop reading.

In a not too distant future, an alien race called the Krinar come to Earth and tell us they guided our evolution to make us their sister race. They look like humans, but bigger, smarter, faster, more beautiful, better in every way. They want to integrate with our population and help guide us through the final stages of our evolution as we become the great race they dreamed we would be. Some view them with apprehension, some with outright hatred, some welcome them as gods, and others, like Mia, dont really care. They are here to stay, just accept it and move on. Not like she expects to ever have to deal with them personally. Until one sees her in the park.

As soon as Korum sees Mia, she has no hope of escape. He claims her as his own and takes complete control of her life. She doesnt fight it because she is terrified, and because deep down she has to admit she is attracted to him. He takes care of her and never physically hurts her, but she can never leave him. He has no regard for her will. She is a prisoner in her own life.

Mia's struggle was fascinating. Besides the semi-imprisonment, Korum treated her well and they had explosive sex daily. She could not imagine her life without him, and didnt want to. Although she knew it was wrong, she caught herself sometimes thinking that the loss of her freedom would be worth it, to be with him as long as possible. But she still feared him. Even in the end, she thought he would hurt her if properly motivated. But I never thought so. They clearly have different beliefs on how she should be treated. There was never any indication that Krinar women were treated as inferior, so his people were likely led to believe it was ok to treat humans as possessions, since the Krinar had created them. But I dont think Korum would have gone to such lengths to keep Mia with him, if he didnt care about her. He just has a drastically different way of showing it.

Korum himself is an extremely captivating character. He is an extremely demanding and dangerous man, and as the book progressed he did not soften. He is not a man who will change to please a woman. He brooks no argument and Mia will do what he tells her to or suffer the consequences. She only displeased him once, and he punished her with sex (which is kind compared to what Mia thought he was capable of). But somehow, he is the same man that nurses her when she is sick, massages her when she is tired, helps her with her homework, cooks for her, and desperately wants her to be happy with him.

I have no idea what book 2, Close Obsession, will have in store for us. Whether or not Mia and Korum will be able to forgive their mutual betrayals. Whether they can move their relationship beyond the physical and become less destructive to each other. Will Mia ever trust Korum not to hurt her? Will Korum even trust Mia not to leave him? Can he love her, or only possess her? I cannot wait to find the answers to these questions, and whatever else Anna Zaires has waiting for us. It will be marked on my calendar.

“The romantic teenager buried deep inside her was weeping at the perversion of her love story. There was no hero in her romance, and the villain made her feel things that she had never imagined she could experience.”

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tangled Web by Crista McHugh (Deizian Empire #1)

Genres: Adult, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: October 9th 2012
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


The deadliest assassin in the empire just got too close to her target…

Azurha, a former slave turned deadliest assassin in the empire, has just been offered the ultimate challenge—seduce, then murder the new Emperor. But Titus is not the tyrant his forefathers were, and his radical ideas might be the glimmer of hope the empire needs.

Titus Sergius Flavus has yet to master the powerful magic of his ancestors—magic he must wield if he’s to protect his people—but his father’s death has left him no choice. Rule the Deizian Empire and attempt to right his ancestors’ wrongs, or watch her fall to his greedy kin.

More than just Titus’ ideas hold Azurha captive. Night after night, he awakens desires she thought lost, and uncovers the magic of her hidden lineage. As her deadline approaches, Azurha is forced to make an impossible decision—complete her job and kill the man she loves, or fail and forfeit both their lives.


This was a very interesting world that reminded me of a cross between ancient Rome and the Barsoom series. Azurha's planet was conquered by the Deizians, who now rule using their technology which only they can control with magic. It was a combination of fantasy and sci-fi that you don't see often, especially not in romance.

I have read a lot of court intrigues and books about female assassins lately, and this was better than all of them. It wasn't too slow or talkie and didn't focus on politics. The romance was smoldering and the action and suspense was so intense that it literally left me breathless with anticipation. At one point, I had to put the book down and watch some TV for awhile, to let my heart-rate get back to normal.

Azurha and Titus had great chemistry that you could see and feel, even outside the bedroom, although that's where they spent most of their time. The sex scenes are not particularly graphic and are sometimes as short as one paragraph, but they are ridiculously frequent so I would still categorize this as erotica. Azurha is a perfect example of the saying, "Behind every great man is a great woman." With her help, Titus has the potential to be a great emperor who can save their planet. They complement each other and make each other want to be better people. And they love each other desperately.

There is always a conflict part-way through a romance, and Titus was inevitably going to find out Azurha's secret, but I love how it was handled. Titus acted rationally and considered what he knew about her before jumping to any conclusions. He loved her enough to consider her side before letting his hurt feelings get in the way. It was a major event, but hardly even a stumbling block in their relationship.

The first part of the book focused on developing Azurha and Titus' relationship and establishing her place in the story. But after Azurha changed her mind about her place, things started to get tense. There was always something else around the corner. But now Azurha and Titus can face it together, and I cannot wait to read the next book!

“For the first time in her life, she felt free. Free to do as she wished. Free to shape her future. Free to love the man who knew her darkest secrets and still wanted her.  And she embraced it with every fiber of her being.”

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon (The League #1)

Genres: Adult, Sci-fi, Romance
Publication Date: September 29th 2009
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption . . .

Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League—and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target.

As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.


This book was amazing! It was the best book I have read in a long time! It was also my first Sherrilyn Kenyon book and I look forward to there being many more of them in my future.

I really enjoyed going back to my roots and reading some sci-fi, while still indulging my new obsession of romance. And it really had everything. Laser blasters, space dog fights, bars full of unidentifiable aliens. All very cool. But most of all it had romance. I could die happy. And I just might if I don't stop thinking about Nykyrian. He is going to give me a heart attack. If you are a fan of tortured heroes, like I am, this book is for you! Nykyrian is the epitome of tortured heroes. Although I hear Sherrilyn Kenyon has some great tortured heroes in her historical romances, so I will definitely be checking those out!

Nykyrian is the most tortured hero I have ever met. He was not only tortured by his past, but he was tortured in his past. He was beaten down and abused, chained and treated like an animal, mutilated and raped, told he wasn't human and that he was worthless until he believed it. Eventually nothing bothered him anymore, physically or emotionally, he was untouchable, until Kiara. She was a ballerina that he thought was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and everything that he would never deserve. But after she is thrust into his path he has no choice but to protect her, and she wants nothing more than to show him his true worth.

As they grow accustomed to each other, Kiara gets enough glimpses into his beautiful soul to know that she wants more. Kiara does most of the work in this relationship, putting up with Nykyrian's attempts to protect himself by pushing her away, trying to break through and convince him he deserves everything she wants to give him. I cant help but want to love men like Nykyrian. And when he finally does find reason to let her in, he is so passionate. He has so much feeling in him that he never had a reason to use before. Its so powerful. I just love how much they fought for each other. Through all the assassins, all the gun fights, their sights were still on each other. Always.

"I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could go back to when you were born and take you somewhere safe. Far away from all the people who've hurt you." 
"You’re doing that now."

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin (The Light Blade #1)

Genres: Adult, High Fantasy, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Her lineage is both a blessing and a curse...

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish king, longs for more than a tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...

With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by theNa'Reish horde have increased. As chosen leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons—and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council—and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into a civil war...


I was surprised how much I enjoyed the story in this, despite the fact that I was only reading for the romance. At first I was a bit bothered by the stiff dialogue. It sounded too formal to be natural. But it is a fantasy world and perhaps they simply speak like that there. But despite stiff dialogue, that story was captivating. It was first and foremost a romance, but it still had a large story full of larger-than-life characters, dark evils, and world shifting threats, as well as an interesting history and mythology.

Also very impressive was the way the relationship between Annika and Kalan was laid out and paced. The book wasted no time getting right into the story in the first chapter, and you see the respect and trust growing between them throughout the first half of the book. Then the strong physical attraction, then their unwavering friendship, then love. A strong, self-sacrificing love. It was incredibly real and organic. Also, they didnt love each other just because. They were both incredible people well worth loving, and I could see their reasons alive in each of them.

This is a wonderfully beautiful combination of high fantasy and adult romance for fans of both genres. If you are only a fan of high fantasy, this may not be for you due to multiple graphic sex scenes, but if you are a fan of both, or just romance, this is a must!

I am very much looking forward to reading Alliance Forged, which is Kymora and Varian's story. From the moment they met, their connection was as obvious as Annika and Kalan's. Having gotten to know their characters quite well in Vengeance Born, I am not against a switch of MC. I usually avoid such series, but Varian had several chapters from his POV in this, which acclimated me to him and Kymora. I cannot wait to learn more about those two enticing characters!

“Say it again, Na’Chi.” 
“I love you, Light Blade.”

Friday, 12 October 2012

Guardian of Time by Amanda Gerry, Christy Hall (Shardwell #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: August 6th 2012
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5

A secret has the power to destroy a kingdom.

I have learned this through both isolation and sorrow. My inheritance is a legacy of lies—they flow through my family like poison. Each new morning they become harder to hide.

But now my world is in turmoil. The Second Kingdom has already fallen. Demons rise from its ashes, crossing our borders to slaughter my people. Betrayal threatens to consume all I strive to defend. The Jeweled City is on the brink of war. Only my marriage to a stranger can slow its tide.

How can I choose between duty and love?


This book was even better than the first, and perhaps even better than anything I have read all year. It is a prequel to Phoenix Angel, and shows what Maggie and Lily's lives were like before, as Margariete and Esilwen, and even explains some of the events referred to at the end of Phoenix Angel. Sadly, Kyle was not in this at all, but we get to learn a great deal more about Carter, as well as Raeylan and Feralblade. And what we learned was fascinating. There are so many character revelations in this books, it continually surprised me. I had so many misconceptions before starting it, and I loved the way Amanda Gerry and Christy Hall laid it out for us.

Esilwen and Kirion

I have read many other YA fantasy lately, such as Grave Mercy, Bitterblue, and Throne of Glass, and they all disappointed me. They were also all very similar. But Guardian of Time was one of the most original YA fantasy I have read and I would even recommend it for adult fantasy readers. It had a highly developed magical system and amazingly complex mythology and world building. And the story was non-stop. Just when you think you may know where the story is going, another villain is introduced, another threat against Thyella, against the First Kingdom, or against a loved one. But it all flowed together perfectly and kept me reading.

Again, it focused on Margariete and Esilwen. I think this is meant to be both of their stories. Two incredible women as close as sisters, and their loves and losses, as they fight for the lives and freedoms of their world and others. And this book is not afraid to go dark, as it explores the darkest parts of a person's soul, what motivates evil, and how far someone is willing to go for what they believe in.

I can't even think of enough words to describe how amazing this was. I am completely captivated by the world of Shardwell and its stunning imagery. I cannot wait to find out what happens next, how Margariete meets Kyleren, how they end up in our world, and what Kirion will do next!

"Even after I lay in my tomb," he whispered, "I will continue to love you, Esilwen."

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Phoenix Angel by Amanda Gerry, Christy Hall (Shardwell #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: January 21st 2012
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5


What is happening to us? I’ve asked this question a thousand times, but there is no answer.

I was a normal teenager, trudging my way through senior year with my best friend. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three of us. We’ve developed terrifying abilities—strange powers that separate us from normal people.

Even worse, someone—or something—has taken a deadly interest in us. We never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect ourselves. We don’t even know who they are.
All we know is that they want one of us alive, and we don’t know who. The others they want dead.

Which will I be?


I thoroughly enjoyed this book! At first I thought it seemed was familiar, just with enough differences to keep me hooked. But by the end I realized that it was actually like nothing I have read before.

It starts out as a normal high school paranormal romance. Strange things start happening to beautiful Maggie. Things she can't explain. Then a hot new guy shows up at school. This is when the guy would usually tell her that he can help her understand what's been happening to her. But he doesn't. Kyle is actually as confused as Maggie. After they meet he starts to develop super-human strength and speed. They try to make sense of their new world together, along with Maggie's best friend, Lily.
One of the things I loved most about this book was Maggie. She was like no other heroine I have read. Somehow I could still relate and understand her even though she was a complete bitch. She didn't accept crap from anyone. I have never had trauma in my life like Maggie, but I am extremely emotional and sensitive, so I can understand just needing to keep people out. And I was bullied in school so I admire her and wish that I had had the strength to fight back.

The book had alternating POVs between Maggie, Kyle, and Lily, but the focus was mostly on Maggie and Kyle for the first half, their tumultuous romance, the push and pull, and Maggie struggling to get over her bitterness enough to care about someone again. If this were a contemporary romance, that story alone would have been enough to keep me hooked. But that’s far from all there is to Phoenix Angel.

In the second half of the book, there are still POVs from Maggie, Kyle, and Lily, but the focus switches to Lily, and Carter is added to the mix. When Carter meets Lily, he develops powers as well, and now the four friends have to help each other, and avoid the mysterious figures that start appearing. I loved the feeling of the group working together, facing the unknown. As things become more dangerous for them with each passing day, we realize how much we don't know about them. Until the end, when worlds collide and they are forced to face their pasts. They aren't all who they seemed and friends and lovers could be torn apart.

The writing in this is absolutely amazing. It is beautiful and descriptive. When I first started the book I thought it was pretentious. But that was probably just because I had got used to the juvenile writing in most of the books I have been reading lately. At first I was stumbling over the big words, but after I got used to it I was loving the imagery and flow. Its hard to believe this is Amanda Gerry and Christy Hall's first book. The only other problem I had was with the cover. It was really confusing and I spent most of the book thinking I might have gotten the wrong book, or that it had been put in the wrong binding. The cover makes more sense after reading the second book, but it doesn't suit the first book at all.

Phoenix Angel has elements of contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as parallel-world fantasy. If those sound like the kind of genres you would enjoy reading, I really recommend this book!

“Sacrifice and devotion do not inherently save those you love; sometimes their chosen path will lead them past any hope of redemption.”

Monday, 17 September 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction/Alternate History, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: February 7th 2012
POV: Female - First-person, Present tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.


This book really wasn't what I expected at all. It took awhile for me to get into it. Part of that is probably due to the fact that I was in the mood for something different. But once I got introduced to the story I enjoyed it regardless. With all the historical-fiction tags, and the blurb, I thought this would be a story similar to the Salem witch trials. But its really not. It is set in an alternate 1897, Maine. Witches used to rule, until 30 years earlier when there was an uprising and all the witches were killed. Now the Brotherhood rules, and women are oppressed. The entire society is based on the oppression of women. Women are forced to marry at 17, so that they have a man to control them before they get too old. If you don't choose a husband by the time you are 17, the Brotherhood will choose one for you. But of course more witches have been born since, and they live in fear of discovery. It is really a dystopian. There is also a prophecy that foresees the coming of 3 very powerful witch sisters. I love prophecies.

I enjoyed Cate's character. She was put in a very difficult situation, with not nearly enough guidance from her mother, no cooperation from her sisters, and she is doing the very best she can. She made some mistakes but she always put her sisters first. I really could not stand her sister, Maura. She was such a brat and a busybody. So much could have been avoided if it weren't for Maura. But the youngest sister, Tess, was adorable, and I loved Finn.

Finn was described as sinewy, with red hair, brown eyes, glasses, a gap in his teeth, and covered in freckles. But Cate absolutely loved him and it was adorable. I have no idea if he was good-looking or not because Cate never described his facial features, but she thought he was gorgeous and was always fantasizing about seeing the rest of his freckles. They were just so cute. Sometimes in YA there are heroines that are plain, like Tris, but Four was still hot. The guy is always hot. The authors are appealing to the female readers, and they know that some of their readers will be plain, but want them to still be able to believe they can get these hot guys. But the truth is that being loved by a moderately cute and quirky boy can be just as wonderful, if he really loves you. I don't have a thing for freckles myself, but the way Cate was always thinking about them was just too adorable.

The title of the series, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, makes me think that they might shift focus to another sisters in Star Cursed, but I really hope not. I don't want a book from Maura's POV. And I really, really want to see more of Finn. But the way things were left at the end of the book, I can't imagine them leaving Cate's POV. She is at the center of everything. I cant wait to find out what happens next, and you just know Finn is going to go after her. *dreamy sigh*

“I have never been this close to a man before. Something stirs deep, pulsing through my body, and its quite like the tug of magic, buts its not the magic; this is something entirely different, just between Finn and me and this moment.”

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt (Princes #1)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: November 1st 2006
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


There comes a time in a lady's life...

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

When she must do the unthinkable...

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

And find employment.

When Anna becomes the earl's secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his "manly" needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her "womanly" desires...with the earl as her unknowing lover.


This was pretty amazing. Anna and Edward are like a Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre duo. Anna is plain and Edward is a moody older man. I don't think he is too old though, about 35, but he has a few gray streaks in his hair. I love them both. They are the usual duo for historical romances. A rogue and a spinster. But it is such a great formula, why fix what isn't broken?

I don't usually read erotica, but I think this likely fits the bill. And I have to admit I enjoyed it. Not because of the sex scenes (although those were great), but because of its honesty. I was at first shocked by the way Edward and Anna admit to themselves instantly, how attracted they were to each other. Most books don't feel the need for explicit content outside of one or two sex scenes. Although Anna and Edward really liked each other, and their romance felt real, their physical attraction was so very obvious and added to the experience. But it was perfectly balanced with their emotional connection. I often feel a lack of emotion in adult romances and find their focus is put too much on sex. So its wonderful to find that this book has more of both. Anna and Edward had incredible chemistry.

I am not sure what I loved most about this book, but a strong contender is the story. I love the idea behind it. Edward cant contain his need for his new secretary anymore, but he would never defile a proper lady, so he makes an appointment with the most high class brothel in London. Anna figures out what he is planning, and is herself so full of need and jealousy that she makes a deal with the lady of the brothel to allow her to be the one to meet with Edward, while wearing a mask. They spend two incredible nights together. But, since Edward thought it was just a whore, all it does is make him want Anna even more. And although Anna gets what she wants from Edward physically, it only makes her want his love even more. It took place over a few chapters in the middle of the book, but it was the turning point in the story. They could no long deny what they wanted and they both returned home unsatisfied. Their physical and emotional intensity only increased from there.

My only complaint is the abrupt ending. Although it was a great ending, and everything before it was incredible, I didn't get to see as much of their happiness as I would have liked. I like more of a drawn out conclusion in my books, but that might just be my personal preference. I was glad for what we saw in the epilogue, but it was not explained how it was possible. I suspected from the beginning that it would happen, but that was before we learned of Felicity's red-headed daughter. I guess it could have simply been a matter of chance, but it seems unlikely.

Regardless, this was one of the best historical romances I have ever read, even though I could count how many I have read on one hand. I am no longer turned off by the idea of erotica as a whole. When done right, they can be even more emotionally involving than regular romance. I look forward to exploring the idea and this author's books more in the future.

“Have you ever noticed that once you have had a taste of certain sweets—raspberry trifle is my own despair—it is quite impossible not to think, not to want, not to crave until you have taken another bite?” 
“Lord Swartingham is not a raspberry trifle.”
“No, more of a dark chocolate mousse, I should think.”

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