Monthly Archives: December 2016

Heart of Stone (Gargoyles, #1) by Christine Warren

Heart of Stone (Gargoyles, #1)Heart of Stone by Christine Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Heart of Stone
Author: Christine Warren
Series: Gargoyles, #1
Pages: 297
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Date: December 31, 2013

Summary:

From bestselling author Christine Warren comes a thrilling new series about a young woman caught between a rock and a hard place—between gargoyles and demons…

Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum’s terrace suddenly comes to life?

Heart of Stone

Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn’t a vision; he’s a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Somehow, Ella triggered his reawakening. Maybe the demons have been unleashed? Maybe his heart is finally ready to be chiseled open? The fate of the world isn’t carved in stone…yet.

Review:

This is the second or third time that I have read this book, so that should tell you that I really enjoyed it. It certainly means it deserves a review.

Like any first book to a series there is a good bit of world building. It doesn’t become cumbersome, but it does slow things down just a little bit. The author handles that through teaching the “little human” about the world of magic that she had no idea existed.

Kees is a gargoyle (really a grotesque, who knew there were any such things?) and was created to guard against the Demons who want to invade and destroy our world. He sleeps for hundreds of years until called by the Wardens. Only the Wardens can awaken the Guardians (gargoyles), that is, until Ella accidentally wakes up Kees. She’s not supposed to be able to do that and Kees doesn’t understand it either.

Kees doesn’t have much use for regular humans. If a human is not a Warden, he’s never had a real reason to interact with them. He also doesn’t have feelings and he will tell you so . . . over and over again. Talk about your big, strong, alpha male!

However, because Ella is the one who woke him and he doesn’t understand why, he is forced into staying with her. And talking to her. And learning about her. And liking her.

But no, he doesn’t have feelings.

There are two plots to this book. One is the “battling evil” at all costs plot. The other, more entertaining one, is Kees coming to grips with the fact he does have feelings. And that Ella is not scared of him and has no intention of doing anything just on his say so.

Kees:

“Very well. Will you please be quiet so that we may discuss this rationally?”

Surprisingly, Ellas closed her mouth, though she continued to eye him with irritation and no small amount of suspicion. “If by discuss, you mean you’re going to order me to do whatever you say, then no. If you intend to treat me like a thinking, feeling, and logical human being, then feel free to try. I’ll let you know how you’re doing.”

I had only planned to re-read this book right now, but I am so into the series again I will have to re-read them all before the new book comes out next year.

To make it easy on you, because you know you want to read them too, they are

1. Heart of Stone
2. Stone Cold Lover
3. Hard as a Rock
4. Rocked by Love
5. Hard to Handle (February 7, 2017)

I forgot to mention there are seven Guardian gargoyles who consider themselves brothers. So there has to be seven books, right? I cannot wait.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton

A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry #9)A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Shiver of Light
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Merry Gentry, #9
Pages: 372
Publisher: Berkley
Date: June 3, 2014

Summary:

I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn’t be the only one for much longer…

Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.

Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.

To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage.

Review:

So far, this is the last of the Meredith Gentry books and I NEED another one. It’s been two years since its publication and that is way too long. At the very least, I need a hint that there is going to be another book and when it will be released.

Can you tell I love this series? I am a longtime fan of LKH’s Anita Blake series, but I wonder sometimes if I don’t like this one even more. They are set in completely different worlds, but both series are wonderful.

Now I’m trying to decide what I can say without spoilers. The book has been out for over two years as I said, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but . . .
Nope. No spoilers. I can’t do that to you.

And without spoilers, I can’t really say much about the content of the book. There are a tremendous amount of subplots going on.

Taranis and Andais are causing problems, so nothing new there. Although, Andais is trying to form a relationship that will allow her access to the babies. Merry’s relationships with her men seem to be solidifying. The Goddess is still strongly in support of Merry and her Court and new Faery land continues to appear.

It sounds like things are working out as well as they ever have for Merry, which is not really all that peaceful, but this is Merry’s world.

And then there is the end of the book.

Nope. Not saying a word. You have to read it.

And you will be like me . . . when are we getting another book?!?

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic Monday: The Cowboy by Jayne Ann Krentz

Talk about an oldie.  This book was originally published in June 1990 and yes, I bought it then.  For some reason, I had a reading slump a few days ago and my solution is always to read something that I know I will enjoy.  Needless to say, that means pick up a Jayne Ann Krentz regardless of what name it is written under.

She has always written alpha males and strong females.  Her earlier books sometimes make me (and the heroine) want to “Gibbs” the guy in the back of the head, they can be so controlling.  (If you’re a NCIS fan, you’ll get what I mean.)  Even so, I love them and I love that I can depend on JAK no matter what she writes.

So, a quote to demonstrate the relationship and the fact that JAK can always interject a little humor when it is needed.

“I want you to marry me.  But I want you to come to me willingly, Maggie, love.  Not because I’ve pushed you into it.”  Rafe drew a quick breath and got the rash words out before he could rethink them. “Take all the time you need to make your decision.”

“So long as I come up with the right one?”  Her eyes danced mischievously.

He grinned slowly, relaxing inside.  “You’ve got it.  So long as it’s the right one.”

And I’m over my slump.  I just needed something to make me remember why I love to read so much and this book did it for me.

“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup. Head on over there to see what everyone else is posting about this week.

quote-tastic final with green bordercowboy

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Wild Wolf (Shifters Unbound, #6) by Jennifer Ashley

wild-wolfTitle: Wild Wolf
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound, #6
Pages: 294
Publisher: Berkley
Date: April 1, 2014

Summary:

In the latest Shifters Unbound novel, a man has resigned himself to a life half lived. But a beautiful, courageous woman has him longing for something more…

Graham McNeil knows that his pack is unruly, but he’s not sure he can take the next step toward Shiftertown stability—choosing a new mate. After losing his mate and son long ago, Graham has worked hard to keep his heart in check. And even if he was inclined to bind himself again, his girlfriend, Misty, is human—a fact that won’t sit well with Graham’s old-fashioned wolves.

But Graham is up against a new enemy, one who could spell danger and death to all of Shiftertown. Graham must now defend his leadership and save Misty, the woman he has grown to love—before Shiftertown is pulled into an all-out war.

Review:

Graham controls his Shifter pack simply by strength of personality. And boy, does he have a personality! Even for a Shifter lupine, he is growly. He is the leader, but to cement the pack he needs to find a Lupine female to mate with and have cubs to inherit the leadership. He needs someone who is strong and pure blooded to satisfy the members of his pack.

So, of course, he falls for a human female.

Misty has problems of her own. You would think that a human female involved with a Shifter leader that no one particularly likes would have enough problems. No, she has a baby brother that has served time and gotten involved with human criminals that make the Shifters look easy going.

So, she is trying to protect Graham from the human bad guys and Graham wants to protect her from his pack.

You know, of course, they are mates. I mean, how else could it go?

I love Graham even if I do want to whomp him upside the head sometimes. Not as much as Misty wants to, but still the urge is there. And Misty is no pushover. As Graham puts it after he tries to convince her to go to safety and she refuses,

“I know you’re not, because you’re an obstinate human woman who doesn’t understand danger.”

Of course, Graham doesn’t always show the most sense either.

“And you’ve been shot.” Misty touched his arm, finding his skin hot and slick with sweat.

“Yep. But don’t worry, sweetheart. I’m used to it.”

Misty is responsible for her younger brother, but Graham has his own responsibilities as well. There is Dougal, his nephew, who has just come through transition and, to me, the stars of the book, Matt and Kyle. Matt and Kyle are three-year-old wolf cubs that Graham is raising. And they are special. Even more special than Graham and Misty realize.

The first time I read this book, I knew it was good. I didn’t realize it was great until the second time through. I don’t know what made the difference, but this is one of my favorites of the series.

And on that note, this is a series. Do not read them out of order and do not try to read any of them as a standalone. It will not work. You NEED to read them in order. Really, you have to! Luckily, they are so good that is not a problem.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Feral Heat (Shifters Unbound, #5.5) by Jennifer Ashley

Feral Heat (Shifters Unbound, #5.5)Feral Heat by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Feral Heat
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound, #5.5
Pages: 153
Publisher: InterMix
Date: March 18, 2014

Summary:

Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.

In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own—she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.

Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone’s true mate?

Review:

At 153 pages, this story is far too short. Yes, it is listed as a novella, but I wanted more. Jace deserved more and that is the only reason the book received four stars instead of five.

Okay, I have that off my chest.

I originally read this book when it was released back in 2014. For some reason, I was going through a bad time and reviewing books fell by the wayside. That was unfair to some really great books and I am trying to catch up on some reviews that should have been done a long time ago.

Other than the relationship between Jace and Deni, this book focuses on removing the shifters’ collars. Can it be done? Should it be done? Some of the shifters are not to be trusted without the collars. It kind of makes me wish we had something similar for some humans I know.

Anyway, I digress.

Jace is able to mute for lack of a better term the pain from the collars, so he has volunteered to see if his can be removed without him going insane or dying. Unfortunately, he pays for his ability to suppress the pain and it is agonizing.

Deni has her own set of problems.

Deni was seriously injured in a previous book and although she has recovered physically, she still has emotional issues that make her susceptible to going feral. She doesn’t think she has anything to offer a mate and is afraid of injuring or killing anyone who gets too close to her.

Add to both of these issues is the fact that Jace is from Las Vegas and Deni lives in Texas. Shifters are not allowed to visit between Shifter Towns, much less move without human permission.

Does it work out? Of course it does. This is a romance after all. The getting there though! They have to go through so much and it’s not just the collars and human law, it’s their own nature.

This is NOT a standalone book. I really don’t think any in this series should be read out of order. Even then, there is so much going on with so many different characters, I can find it hard to keep straight. It’s worth it though. I love this series even if I hurt for the Shifters sometimes.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic Monday: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

quote-tastic final with green border“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup. Head on over there to see what everyone else is posting about this week.

Yes, yes, I know.  It’s not Monday.  Let it go people.  I’m on Christmas break.

I have three other books that I should have already reviewed.  I had every intention of reviewing them before I STARTED ANOTHER BOOK.  So what happens?  A new Innkeeper Chronicles title is released.  All of my good intentions went the way of intentions everywhere at this time of year.  In other words, I ignored them.

I used the second book in this series for my Quote-tastic Monday back in November.  I had just discovered the series at that time and, obviously, could not wait for the third book.  It’s an amazing series.  There are aliens (of the outer space variety), vampires, werewolves, and of course, Innkeepers.  What I find funny with this post though is that the two quotes I highlighted to use both deal with Dina’s relationship with her sister Maud.  There are lots of exciting things happening in the book:  alien invaders, interstellar travel, things blowing up, and romance.  But what struck me was the sisters.  So, here goes,

Maud is in the beginning of a relationship with a vampire warrior.  Did I mention the vampires are from another planet too?  Anyway, they are having a difference of opinion and he has done something particularly stupid.

My sister did that narrow thing with her eyes that used to make me run yelling for Mom . . .

And yes, he survives.

Later, Maud and Dina are talking about Christmas presents and Dina wants to know what Maud is getting her.

“I’m not going to tell you and I won’t let you snoop either.  You were always a terrible sneak, Dina.”

“That’s a lie.  I’m an excellent sneak.”

I love it!  The only problem with this series is that there are only three books.  This is definitely one that I could binge read.  I highly recommend them.  As you can tell, I think they are wonderful.

one-fell-sweep

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Tiger Magic (Shifters Unbound, #5) by Jennifer Ashley

Tiger Magic (Shifters Unbound, #5)Tiger Magic by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Tiger Magic
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound, #5
Pages: 308
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Date: June 4, 2013

Summary:

He was once a captive, but his urges were never caged. Now he’ll release them on a beautiful stranger whose own secret desires are longing to be sated…

He doesn’t have a name. He doesn’t have a clan. The humans who held him prisoner for forty years have taken them away. He knew nothing but captivity until nearly a year ago, when he was released into the light. Now Tiger lives in the Austin Shiftertown, where he struggles to belong and searches for an identity.

Carly Randal thinks her fabulous life is complete—until her car breaks down on the side of the road, and a wild-looking Shifter is the only one to help her. Tiger takes one look at Carly and knows instantly—she will be his mate. As Carly is drawn into his Shifter world, she risks everything she has for that forbidden something she still wants: passionate love.

Review:

Jennifer Ashley (AKA Allyson James, AKA Ashley Gardner) is a wonderful author. It doesn’t matter if she is writing historical, paranormal, or science fiction, I love her books. I discovered her Tales of the Shareem years ago, lucked into the Mackenzie series much later, and most recently found the Shifters Unbound.

I have read many, many Shifter books, so I am very familiar with the genre. Ashley, however, has managed to give it a twist that keeps it fresh.

And Tiger Magic is the most unique (and yes, I know that is poor grammar, but it really is) of them all.

Tiger (that’s his only name) was introduced in Mate Claimed. He was rescued from a human compound where he had been kept captive in a cage for forty years. He suffered torture and experiments his entire life which makes him unpredictable. Even the other Shifters are nervous around him.

Except for the cubs . . . the cubs love him.

Enter a human female with no experience with shifters, so of course they are mates.

Tiger’s tragic background makes me cringe, but the book does not dwell on it. It’s not just about him overcoming his past or dealing with current problems. There is happiness and humor and that is all because of his human mate Carly. She comes to love him and is just as protective of him as he is of her.

She’s also funny.

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

 

Tiger knows after only one night together that Carly is pregnant. She is on birth control, so she doesn’t think it’s possible, but . . .

Shifter sperm, especially Tiger’s, was probably stronger than a human’s. Even if her birth control was meant to keep eggs from falling where they could be fertilized, she wouldn’t be surprised if one of Tiger’s sperm had found one and dragged it out of hiding.

I love it!

I read this book when it was released in 2013, but failed to review it. It deserves a review. In an already wonderful series, it stands out as exceptional. Try it and be sure and read the others in the series as well. It really is a series that needs to be read in order.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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