Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races #1)

Genres: Adult, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 9 out of 10
My Rating: 3 out of 5


Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.


I dont think there is really anything wrong with this, its just not for me. I was uncomfortable with Dragos' possessiveness. And I expect a little sex in an adult PNR, but it just happened so often that it felt like that was the only purpose of the book. Dragon Bound actually had a pretty decent story and an interesting world, but the sex was so much more frequent than was necessary, that I would say this is for a different audience than normal PNR. And the sex wasn't really focused on enough to be a true erotica either. And it happened so quickly it was ridiculous! They knew each other less than a day before they were having crazy animal sex.

I mostly enjoyed the characters, though I would have preferred Dragos to be less intense. That is only my personal preference and I know the caveman alpha types are very popular with most woman. And Dragos is definitely that.

"He had been born along with the solar system... His massive bones and flesh must have been formed along with the planets."

He is a shape-shifting dragon who is the oldest being in the universe, and in the modern world he is a billionaire businessman. And the dragon still loves to hoard treasures.

"Have I been added to his hoard?" 
"No, cupcake. I'm pretty sure you've replaced it."

Pia fights him all the way. She hates the idea of being possessed but he doesn't know how else to handle her. He is a monster who has never loved anything before in his long life. He just wants her to stay with him, and to keep her safe. The only way he knows how to do that is to own her. I cant even guess how many times the words "You're mine" were said in this book. It was borderline creepy, but he meant well.

I really liked Pia. She was a really strong, independent heroine. She had a big secret that she had kept from everyone her entire life. And it was driving Dragos crazy that she wouldnt tell him either. In this world, all magical creatures can shape-shift into human form. Pia has never shifted because she is a half-breed and doesnt have enough magic to shift on her own. She eventually lets Dragos help her, and a split second before they revealed what her true form was, it just clicked in my head. What would be the most ridiculous thing for her to be? I was right, and it was hilarious and ridiculous and awesome at the same time.

So the romance was pretty intense but really funny as well, as Pia struggles to understand and deal with such a great beast in her life. It takes pretty much the entire book for them to understand each other. And Dragos' employees and friends that are in their life are just amazed at their boss' changed behaviour and it can be pretty funny at times. I am sure a lot of people would really love this. But I will check out the next book in the series one day.

You're my miracle and my home...I will always come for you, always want you, and always need you. We clear?" 
She had begun to glow. "Sounds a lot like love to me.”

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Existence by Abbi Glines (Existence Trilogy #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5


What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.


You know when a book is really hyped you start to worry that it cant really be as good as you heard? Well, that is how I felt going into Existence. But I was still totally unprepared for how much I loved it. I was completely blown away by the direction the story took and all the issues it explored.

I heard some complaints about Pagan as a heroine, that she was weak. But I don't see it like that. Character flaws don't mean flaws in the books. People have flaws, its realistic. Although some people just prefer books with a certain type of lead, which is understandable. And I do sort of see where they are coming from. When Pagan started having trouble sleeping and yelling Dank's name at night, it gave me a brief flashback of Bella. But their circumstances were quite different. For Pagan it wasn't an overreaction, so I can forgive her. Because what she and Dank felt for each other was something more than love, perhaps it was even supernatural. It couldn't be controlled and it couldn't be stopped.

This book more thoroughly explored the meaning of love than is usual for a YA. It also explored life and death and mental health. All the while taking us on an emotional roller coaster, in the best of ways. I don't usually like books that make me upset, but the payoff was worth it.

I heard another complaint about the heroine once again choosing the inappropriate guy over the sweetheart. In a lot of books I would agree that that is tiresome, but not in this one. Leif was sweet, but in a Puck or Matt (TVD) sort of way. He should be firmly placed in the Friend Zone. And Dank wasn't inappropriate, he was unbelievably amazing. He never did a single thing wrong that I can complain about.

In some books, when the guy can't be with the girl, he tries to hurt her to force her to move on (Tiger's Voyage, Clockwork Angel), but Dank never once denied to Pagan how much he wanted her, and you could clearly see his heartbreak, especially on the night of the homecoming. Even when he was forced to leave her he still made sure she was safe and was there when she needed him, even if it was just to sing her to sleep. He had a surprisingly small amount of ish to deal with, considering he was Death. You'd think he would have issues, but nope. He just needed her. I suppose because he didn't have a heart or soul, Pagan was his heart and soul. A line you have probably heard before in romance, but this time it is true.

Although I hate the names Pagan, Dank, and Leif, this story had incredible depth that brought Pagan to some dark places in her life, and amazingly strong characters that discovered that there is something greater than life, and something greater than love.

“I’m not a man so I do not have a heart that loves as a human does. I’m an immortal god that dwells with supreme power because I hold the keys to Death. But you are my existence. I am yours.” Hot tears streamed down my face as I stared into the face of someone who comprehended an emotion much stronger than my weak, feeble words of love.”

Friday, 20 April 2012

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Genres: Classic, Historical, Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Vanity, not love, has been my folly.

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.


This book is perfection! It had everything I loved about the movie and more! As with most book-to-movie adaptations, the book contained so much more thought and insight to everyone's behaviour, and in a book such as this, understanding people couldn't be more important. And of course, a lot was taken out. Almost every meeting or dinner event in the movie, was in fact, 2 or 3, or 10 such events in the book. It is completely understandable that they were all condensed for the movie but kept the important dialogue. But, with all the added material, we see that Elizabeth and Darcy knew each other more than I thought. And that Elizabeth had the opportunity to develop feelings for him, and certain hopes for their future, even before she discovered his involvement in Lydia's marriage. I really enjoyed all the material that was new to me.

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”

I was surprised by a few things. I discovered that I like the characters of Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins even less than I did before. They were both mean. Mrs. Bennett made it quite clear that Elizabeth was her least favourite daughter, and that she didn't care what became of her, as long as she understood that her mother would not be taking care of her if she didn't find a husband. What a horrible person. Also, Mr. Collins I knew could be condescending, but he was worse than I thought. He told Mr. Bennett, after Lydia's marriage, that he should have put her out of the house and never spoken her name again. Wow.

“Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.”  

I really appreciated the amount of information that was given after both Jane and Elizabeth were married. For those who are not familiar with the 2005 movie, it finished with the line from Mr. Bennett, "If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at my leisure." The book had another 8 pages, which explained how the marriages effected the family on both sides. And I always wondered what happened to Mary and Kitty, so I was glad to find out what I could. I feel like I know Elizabeth and Darcy twice as well as I did before.

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Night Season by Eileen Wilks (World of the Lupi #4)

Genres: Adult, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Pregnancy has turned FBI Agent Cynna Weaver's whole life upside down. Lupus sorcerer Cullen Seabourne is thrilled to be a father, but what does Cynna know about kids? Her mother was a drunk and her father abandoned his family. Or so she's always believed...

As Cynna is trying to wrap her head around this problem, a new one pops up in the form of a delegation from another realm. They want to take Cynna and Cullen back with them- to meet her long-lost father and find a mysterious medallion. But when these two born cynics land in a world where magic is common-place and night never ends, their only way home lies in tracking down the missing medallion- one also sought by powerful beings who will do anything to claim it.


I read the first 3 books in this series fairly back to back. All in February. But I kept putting this one off, because it switched focus from Rule and Lily, to Cullen and Cynna. I thought it would feel very different from the first 3, but it didn't. We already knew Cullen and Cynna pretty well, and they were still dealing with the shifting magic, and a fair amount of lupus issues. It has its place in the this series. And I really grew to love them much more. I already really enjoyed Cullen's character, but Cynna has finally grown on me. I used to like her enough, but she seemed far too butch. But she had to face a lot of things in her life during this book, things that brought out her feminine side.

I also enjoyed the setting of Edge. Edge is another dimension that is ruled by gnomes. Cynna and Cullen, along with a few other familiar characters such as Ruben Brooks, Steve Timms, and Gan, go to Edge to help the Gnomes find a stolen medallion that regulates the seasons in Edge. It was a quest through a mystical land and it was a lot of fun, especially with Cullen and Gan around. They are the two funniest characters in the series.

The only thing that bothered me about this book was how Cullen and Cynna were planning to get married at the end. I love that they are getting married. But lupus are not supposed to be monogamous because of their low fertility. It is part of their culture. But if they can just as easily fall in love as humans, why is this the first time it has happened? During hundreds of years of history, would Cullen really be the first lupus to fall in love and be willing to give up his people's beliefs for a woman? It doesn't seem likely. And there weren't even any repercussions. If there had been that would explain why it hadn't happened before. There is no worse fate for a lupus than to be clanless. So threatening to kick a lupus out of his clan for getting married would explain it, but that is not the case. Well, maybe they will explain it in the next book.

I look forward to the rest of the series and I hope to see lots more of Cullen and Cynna. I must admit, I like Cullen better than Rule now. This was the best book in the series since #1.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan (The Paranormals #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: July 22nd 2010
POV: Female - Third-person, Past tenseMy Rating: 2 out of 5


Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.


This book is extremely unique and I cannot think of anything to compare it to, or a certain audience to recommend it to. I am not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I cant even decide if I liked this or not.

Its about Jenny, who can't touch anyone without giving them a plague and killing them. Eventually she meets Seth, a boy who has a healing touch, the opposite of Jenny, so they can touch each other. Eventually they realize that there is another like them at their school. Ashleigh, whose touch causes great desire. This is where things get weird. Anyone who touches her wants her bad. She can also channel her power into others, to make them want each other instead of her. She uses this ability to manipulate everyone she knows, even to make rivals or enemies sleep with someone and ruin their life. Ashleigh is a psychotic bitch and she is super creepy. She has manipulated most of the town and they are all freaky. The only normal people are Seth, Jenny, and her dad. It all made me rather uncomfortable. Its beyond weird, and pretty gross and monstrous at the end. And on top of that there is a lot of explicit sexual content which is really weird for a YA. There was even a scene of a threesome of sexual favours, which was super gross.

The pros are that I really felt for Seth and Jenny. They fought hard to be together. They really didn't deserve all that Ashleigh put them through. Even if Jenny did go kinda psycho herself in the end. I think Ashleigh's ultimate goal was to rule the world (yeah, she's that crazy), so she saw Seth and Jenny's power as a threat.

I also really liked the ending. We finally find out what Jenny, Seth, and Ashleigh are. They aren't a mutation, or a government experiment. They are something else more unique than usual for this type of stories about kids with powers. It was a nice twist, and it was great that Jenny and Seth got to find out in the end. I am not sure if I would recommend this or not. I have no idea what kind of people would enjoy it and who wouldn't. I am sure there are those that would. It isn't necessarily bad. It was well written with some good characters. It was just so absolutely out-there, bizarre, and a monstrous nightmare at times. I don't plan on reading the next one in the series.

"He was a miracle, and you killed him. Now you've just got me. And I'm a curse.”

Monday, 2 April 2012

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Scoundrels #3)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: January 1st 1995
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


They call him many names, but Angelic isn't one of them...
Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the "Bane and Blight of the Ballisters"--and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He's determined to continue doing what he does best--sin and sin again--and all that's going swimmingly, thank you..until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.

She's too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world...
Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she's going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him--and with him, her family and future--means taking on the devil himself, she won't back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible, and the person who needs the most saving is--herself.


This was like an extremely uninhibited cross between a Jane Austen novel and Jane Eyre, where the heroine is like Elizabeth Bennett on steroids, and the hero is Mr. Rochester on crack. I didn't read the first two books in this series, but they don't need to be read in order. I don't know if I will read the rest of the series or not because the other books sound far less interesting. Not that Lord of Scoundrels wasn't familiar, but it is the good kind of familiar. Where as this features a beauty and the beast type of story, with a big, mean, and ugly hero; the first book in the series, The Lion's Daughter, features a handsome pirate.

The Marquis of Dain, thirty-three, and known simply as Dain by everyone, half Italian, big, mean, and ugly. So ugly in fact, that he is called the spawn of Satan, Beelzebub, and the Bain and Blight of the Ballisters (his family name). His father hated him from the moment he was born. When his mother left them, his father didn't want to deal with him anymore, so he was sent away to school at the age of 8, and they never saw each other again. As soon as he arrived at his new school, he was treated poorly by his fellow classmates.

"No wonder his mama ran away. Did she scream when you were born? ...I say your mama bolted because she couldn't stomach the sight of you another minute. Because you look precisely like a filthy little earwig."

He learned to deal with the pain by fighting back. He eventually gained the respect of his fellow classmates and acquaintances because of his physical prowess. He became very strong and eventually grows to a good 6 and a half feet. He is also very successful as Marquis and can afford all the luxuries and women he could want. But he is well aware of his limitations, and that no woman will ever have him without being paid. He didn't even realize that that bothered him, until he met Jessica.

From the moment she laid eyes on him, she could think of nothing else. She could dream of nothing else than the huge, dark, masculine, beastly god of a man! I am unsure whether he was really as ugly as everyone led on, or if he simply wasn't up to their English standards, with his dark skin and "Italian nose". It is perhaps similar to what Dain thought when he first met Jessica.

"She was not classic English perfection, but she was some sort of perfection."

Although, the difference is that Jessica is still considered beautiful by all. It may seem perhaps convenient to the story that she is the only woman in the world that finds him attractive, but somehow it is convincing. Somehow he is depicted as being revolting but absolutely irresistible at the same time. Loretta Chase is truly talented.

Jessica is well aware of Dain's reputation of being a lecherous gambler, but she cannot help herself. She goes out of her way and makes excuses to bump into him. She is half out of her mind with desire, but he has no idea. Whenever she shows any interest in him, he interprets it as mockery. When she finally expresses the full extent of her attraction to him, the poor man was nearly shocked out of his mind.

"His knees grew wobbly. He crouched down in front of her and took a firm grip on the mattress. He cleared his throat. "Lust". He managed to keep the one syllable low and steady. He decided not to try any more syllables of anything... Dissembling was utterly beyond his power. He shook his head... He tried to find a place in his dictionary under "Dain" for de Medici princes and Roman gods, but the phrases fit nowhere, and merely contemplating them made him want to howl with laughter. Or weep. He couldn't decide which. He decided he was becoming hysterical. He wasn't surprised. She had a knack for doing that to him."

I love their relationship. They are hilarious together. They constantly bicker and antagonize each other good-naturedly. They do genuinely fight a lot as well, since Dain is not used to being in any sort of relationship that lasts more than a few hours, and he is severely damaged goods. But they work through everything and come out stronger. And although the book is kind of long, 550 pages, it kept my interest. At about 150 I thought, "Oh no, where can it go from here? Will this be drawn out?" But no, the story just keeps going, in directions I would never have anticipated!

The writing was amazing. So many wonderful moments and quotes I want to continually relive. The dialogue and the characters and the relationship is absolutely beautiful. A truly unforgettable story. This is the kind of book that stays with you. I will remember this for a long time to come.

"She was falling in love with him- in spite of everything and against her better judgement- more slowly, yes, but just as inexorably as she'd fallen in lust with him."

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