Review: Pamela Palmer – Passion Untamed

•August 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

Book three in the Feral Warriors Series

Star Rating 3 out of 5

This is a great new series that started in June, about a group of Therian shifters called the Feral Warriors. They protect the Therians from the Mages, the Dradens and Human discovery. It is also their job to protect the Radiant, the most important woman both to Therians as a whole and the the Feral Warriors in particular, as it is from her they gain their powers. 

The first book in the series introduced us to Kara a woman raised as a Human but who was in fact a Therian and destined to be the new Radiant. She falls in love with and becomes the mate of Lyon, the leader of the warriors. The second book gives us Tighe’s story as he tracks down his evil clone created by a Mage witch with the help of Delaney an FBI agent.

Therians and Mages have fought as long as memory can go back, they are mortal enemies but for a time they united to fight the ultimate evil, Satanan, who was defeated and locked inside the Daemon blade. However a group of evil mages are seeking to release him and have managed to gain control of the blade and are reeking havoc on the Feral Warriors.

This book gives us Paenthers story. A Warrior with a deep personal hatred of the Mages.  He is captured by the beautiful Mage enchatnress Skye, but his hatred of all Mage blinds him to the truth about Skye and the pain and suffering she has endured at the hands of the archsorcerer Birik since she was a child.

I have enjoyed each one of these books equally, they are very hot and  sexy with a high blood count but also with a level of angst that really works for me. At times I really felt for Skye and the pain and rejection she endures at the hands of just about everyone, especially Paenther.

I will admit that at times the books have stretched the imagination a little too far and I have sat there thinking yeah right a few times, but then so do a lot of other books, lets face it a writer can’t please us all, all of the time and on the whole Ms Palmer pleased me most of the time with her stories.

If you like Christine Feehan and J R Ward then I am sure you are going to love this series. Ms Palmer writes in a style that is uniquely her own but just imagine the Brother’s in Carpathia and you have the type of wonderful world building Ms Palmer has achieved.   And I for one feel that it works well and am looking forward to Jags story next year.

But I do have to say Ms Palmer, how cruel it is to give us three books all in a row then make us wait a whole year for the fourth one!  But hopefully we will get three books in a row again to make up for it!?

Tazallie

  1. Passion Untamed
  2. Obsession Untamed
  3. Desire Untamed
  4. Rapture Untamed (July 2010)
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Review: L L Foster – The Kindred

•August 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Book 3 in the Servant trilogy.

The Servant series as a whole has been a wonderfully crafted dark, edgy and incredibly unique urban fantasy that has had me reading with a pounding heart at times and at others with tears in my eyes for the life Gaby, the lead character, has led.

Gaby is God’s paladin, she was born in horror and has lived her whole life alone, an outcast and in pain. Because of this she is truly innocent in the ways of the world and yet at the same time she is far more worldly wise than anyone should be.  She is a ruthless killer for God, allowing him to use her as he will to eradicate true evil from the face of the earth. The monsters she encounters don’t have fangs or fur, they are far scarier than that, they are wholly human and completely evil.  Gaby is God’s wrath, his vengeance, his tool.   A tool that he has no compunction to use, to bend to his will, he is an old testament God that believes in an eye for an eye.  Gaby is more than willing to do her duty and take that eye, turning the other cheek is not an option for her.  Her reward for all of this has been pain, both physical and emotional and a life that was bleak and without hope.  

That is until she meets Luther, a cop with an aura unlike any she has ever seen before, a man who sees beyond the abrasive attitude she shows the world, but one who sees the true reason both Gaby and God do this, love for the worlds innocents. And Luther loves her all the more for it.

In this final installment (how that hurts to write!) Gaby has finally moved in with Luther, but it isn’t going to be easy.  The opening chapter had me reading with a breaking heart for Gaby as she struggled against her duty to God and her feelings for Luther.  Ms Foster did a wonderful job portraying Gaby’s desperation and pain along with Luther’s reaction to seeing her in the grip of a mission, and later Gaby’s terror in the face of the storm.

After this the book begins to take a less edgy, lighter turn (in context of the other two books) as Gaby and Luther struggle to find a way to work together, both in trying to find a vicious cannibal and in living together.  Whilst I have enjoyed the edgy feel to the other two books that this one to a degree lacked, I can fully understand why this one was softer in tone, as it is sadly the last one.

The twist to the story was unforeseen but perhaps a little cliched, and in fact left more questions than it answered, which is a little frustrating as its the last book.  I don’t want to go into too much detail as it will be too huge a spoiler but suffice it to say that it did detract slightly from the ending that should have been by rights a wonderful conclusion to a fantastic series. 

All things considered I enjoyed this book immensely.  The romance between Gaby and Luther was at the heart of the story and it was wonderful to watch Gaby grow and come to the realisation that she was no longer alone, and that perhaps she could find a way to be happy.  And I loved watching Gaby explore her sexuality, in fact at times I did feel a little sorry for Luther as Gaby found the power of mind blowing sex!

This has been a wonderfully dark, edgy and emotional journey with a truly unique heroine that I shall sadly miss. 

Tazallie

  1. The Awakening
  2. The Acceptance
  3. The Kindred

Review: Christina Dodd – Storm of Visions

•August 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

First book in the new Chosen series.

Welcome to the fight between The Chosen and The Others.  Each are people who were abandoned as babies, each have paranormal ability, each have to decide are they on the side of good or evil, the Chosen or Other.

This is a classic tale of good versus evil but with a unique twist and a fascinating legend of twins, The Abandoned Ones,  rejected and left to die due to vanity.  From this one act is spawned the  current battle between good and evil, The Chosen and The Others.

Every seven years, seven new Chosen join the battle against  The Others and this year they are an eclectic and mixed bunch that compliment and spark off of each other, they are also going to be faced with a harder task than any other group of Chosen so far. 

The first one of the seven to get her story is Jacqueline Vargha, a woman who has been running from her gift, her destiny and her lover.  But Caleb D’Angelo whilst a patient man isn’t going to let her run any longer, its time for Jacqueline to accept who she is; one of the Chosen and his soul mate. 

This book is a wonderful mix of romance and paranormal suspense, the characters are well written, diverse and intriguing.  The plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing but without making you feel sick.  The romance has enough sizzle mixed with a wonderful dose of tenderness and vulnerability.  Ms Dodd also did a fantastic job looking at the relationship between Jacqueline and her mother as well as the mix of Jacqueline, Caleb and her mother  (and lets not forget Caleb and his mother, cos you have to love an alpha male who loves him mum!)  All of these elements combine to give a romantic paranormal suspense story that is well worth a read.

Ms Dodd is an author who knows how to write romance, if your looking for lots of blood and gore you wont find it here, but if you want a a fast paced romance then pick up this book up and get caught up in the legend of  The Abandoned Ones.

I eagerly await the next book and the next Chosen ones story, that of the enigmatic and reluctant Aaron Eagle. 

One final point, if you have read Ms Dodd’s Darkness Chosen series, you will be pleased to know that that series gets a mention in this one, with hopefully a future quick visit to some old favourites? (well I can hope can’t I?)

Tazallie

  1. Storm of Visions
  2. Storm of Shadows (1st September 2009)

Review: Patricia Briggs – Hunting Ground

•August 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Book 3 of the Alpha & Omega Series.

Up until now I have enjoyed this series but it hadn’t really caught me the way the Mercy series had, until this book that is.  Now I am enthralled with it but for entirely different reasons.  Perhaps that is where as a reader I failed to do this series justice…subconsciouslyI kept comparing them and whilst they are set in the same world with known characters, these books are completely different.

The Alpha & Omega series is about Charles and Anna.  Charles is the Marrok’s son and enforcer, he never gets close to someone in case he is ordered to kill them and although not an Alpha he is one of the most dominant wolves there is (apart from his father).  Anna is an Omega neither dominant nor submissive, she just is, but at the hands of her old pack she has been sexually and emotionally abused.  Whilst she wasn’t fully broken by them she is damaged but one thing she does know is that Charles (and his inner Brother Wolf ) love her and she loves them, no matter how hard it is for them all.

In this book Charles and Anna travel to Seattle to act as the emissaries of the Marrok at a meeting with the Alpha’s of the European packs, to discuss the Morroks plans to bring the North American wolves out into the open.  But there are others there with plans of their own.

Whilst in Seattle both Anna and Charles learn to face her past and its scars, but more importantly begin to move beyond them and to accept who Anna is.

There is a tenderness in this book that is astounding to read, and a strength and depth of character to Anna  & Charles that draws me into their story more and more.  What I also admire about the way Ms Briggs has written this story is that she recognises that Anna can’t be  ‘fixed’ and that her scars don’t just magically disappear because she loves Charles, that in fact love can conquer all but that it takes time and hard bloody work with lots of steps forward and back.

In my realtime life away from reviewing I am a counsellor who works with the parents and carers of sexually abused children and in this book I see some of the journeys that I have watched my clients make, and I not only applaud Ms Briggs for writing it but also for portraying it as accurately as a fast paced work of fiction can. 

Anna is badly wounded and scared emotionally but she is not broken, even though she feels she is, she survived, but survival was all she could focus on  and so she never sees the strength it took to survive the abuse…she sees it as a weakness that she allowed herself to be cowed and beaten down and a further weakness that it still affects her just a few short months later…but with the help of Charles and with her own innate strengh of character she is facing her past and and finding out who she is both as a woman and as an Omega. 

Charles is equally wounded emotionally but for a different reason, in order to survive as his fathers enforcer he has not allowed himself to let anyone close to him, except Anna, and that terrifies him and tests his control.  But Charles shows amazing love and respect for Anna by supporting her in finding her inner strength and in healing.  He and Brother Wolf would like nothing better than to cocoon her in cotton wool to keep her safe, but he recognises that she needs to be allowed to fly,while he waits ready to hold and support her when she needs it.

There is one passage in the book that stands out for me, as pivotal to Anna’s healing process.

“Omega didn’t mean doormat.  It didn’t mean weak.  It meant strong enough to do exactly what it had to do in order to triumph, whether that meant cringing in the presence of dominant wolves or tearing her enemy apart.”

That passage for me holds true not only to Anna being Omega but also to Anna being the survivor of abuse.  Just change the word Omega to Survivor and you have something that I try to help my clients see about themselves.

This book was amazing to read and is one that will live on my work shelf, books that are a mixed collection of fiction, education and biographical stories that I can recommend to clients (as appropriate) and their families to read, that offer some small insight and or perspective into what is happening in their lives. 

Fiction can be a powerful tool and Ms Briggs wields it as only a master of her craft can.

Tazallie

  1. On the Prowl (anthology)
  2. Cry Wolf
  3. Hunting Ground (out on the 25th)

Review: Karen MacInerney – Leader of the Pack

•August 16, 2009 • 2 Comments

Book three in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf series

This series is about Sophie Garou, a born werewolf who was raised outside of a pack by her witch mother.  In fact Sophie doesn’t want to be a werewolf and drinks gallons of wolfbane tea to help prevent her from changing.  Sophie is happy in her life as an auditor and has just made partner.  Sadly turning hairy on a regular basis has forced her to end her engagement to long term and very normal boyfriend Heath before he found out what she is.  On the upside her new client Mark is steaming and hot for her…a fact that has made her break up more bearable.  Then there is the mysterious lone wolf Tom, who unfortunately is dating her best friend Lindsey, who by the way wants to become a werewolf.

This series is a good read that keeps you interested and with this book is beginning to hot up considerably.  What keeps me reading is the fact that Sophie isn’t your usual stereotype heroine…she’s an accountant and wants to only be an accountant, its not her fault her mother is a witch and her father is a werewolf!  Its not really her fault all this weird stuff happens around her, it just does!

Ms McaInerny fills her books with humour, spice, action and characters that are witty, intelligent and normal, well ok normal if you’re a werewolf in Austin. 

This book deals with Sophie finally meeting her estranged father and trying to defend him from a murder conviction at a werewolf trial.  Along the way she finds out some interesting facts about the men in her life and also about herself.  As well as having to uncover the real bad guy, fight of the demon of lust and stay alive when so many people seem to want her dead.

If your looking for something to read that’s not too heavy but also not too light then go get this series as it’s entertaining and fun.

Tazallie

  1. Howling at the Moon
  2. On the Prowl
  3. Leader of the Pack

Review: Sherrilyn Kenyon – Bad Moon Rising

•August 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Book 6 in the Were-Hunter Series or book 28 in the connected Hunters series (Dark, Were & Dream Hunters)

Until I read and reviewed Acheron I had had no real interest in this series, but after finishing Acheron I promised myself I would go back and read the others and did so not long ago (and it was a fantastic fest of hunters!).  I was hooked, although in some of the books I think it was more for a glimpse of Simi, my all time favourite character in this series, than anything else.  But as a whole I found the books to be filled with action, romance, a good story and more importantly for me characters that drove the books forward because of the depth of their pain, caring or sheer force of personality.  I can’t say the same for this one.  I won’t say I hated it because I didn’t (well not entirely).  

This book tells the story of Fang (Vane and Fury’s brother)  and Aimee (the only daughter of clan Peltier), characters we have met in a number of other books.  Fang is a wolf and Aimee a bear, there love is forbidden on many levels not least being that they are different animals to each other.

The book was sadly a confusing mess of past stories, that weren’t even rehashed just glossed over.  For me the major problem with this book was the fact that Ms Kenyon in her attempt to make this book fit with the others forgot to actually develop the story to this one, or actually really tell Fang and Aimee’s story other than with a few snippets here and there. 

The time scale was vague with no clue as to what was going on in intervening months and was filled with so many ‘over the coming weeks’, ‘a few months passed’ or just an assumption of time passing as to make it confusing and bland.  As an example Fang spends months having black outs and is accused of murdering numerous humans and hunters, this is covered in just a few short passages and the wonderfully articulate “over the next few months… ” Very little attempt is made to show where he has been, how he is feeling, how he was lived and perhaps more to the point how this has affected the woman he loves, or the brothers who remain loyal to him all of whom knew he was missing and suspected of being a murderer (Surely a wonderful opportunity for character development?).  I have come to expect so much more from Ms Kenyon, and to be truthful if this was a new author I was reading, it would be the first and last time!

There was no character development in this book, in fact it failed to tell us anything about Fang except what we already knew in passing.  There were some wonderful opportunities to develop an understanding of the motivations and emotions of both Fang and Aimee but they never materialised.  In fact Fang  (and even Vane) seemed to have undertaken a personality transplant with no explanation except that a few weeks had passed…well what happened in these weeks to make him change to a lovey dovey love sick puppy from the belligerent, smart mouthed wolf we knew and loved?  And are we really expected to believe that Vane just wiped his hands of his brother when he came out of his coma all hurt and angry over his perceived abandonment? 

It was clear that there was an assumption that we have all read the previous books and so back story could be skipped, but this resulted for me at least, in a story that was confusing and felt only half written.  I am sorry but I cannot recommend this book, and would go so far as to say skip it if not for the fact that we meet yet more new characters and get a tiny hint of yet another possible hunter group about to make an appearance …I hazard that this will be the Demon (not daimon) Hunter spin off.

This series is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success, there are too many factions, interacting  reoccurring characters and spin offs to make it comfortable reading.  You almost have to sit there with your computer open to Ms Kenyon’s web site re-hashing who did what, with whom and in what order …in fact with this book I did that on a number of occasions…which does not make for good reading regardless of the other issues I had with it.

Lets just hope this was a blip on the horizon and not a taste of whats to come!

Tazallie

  1. Dragonswan
  2. Night Embrace
  3. Night Play
  4. Unleash the Night
  5. Dark Side of the Moon
  6. Bad Moon Rising
  7. Scars and Souvenirs

August 2009 New Release List

•August 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I love august!  Its a great month in my family for birthdays, my Dads, my Mums and even better mine!  And its also the anniversary of when the evil unicorn tree boss bought her business in the first stage of world domination.   But thats not all, this month its also Paranormal Romance Reviews birthday, our first to be exact how cool is that? well ok maybe cooler to me than you but hey its a birthday so bring on the cake!

August is also shaping up to be a fantastic month for new releases and I can see myself getting fat and lazy on good books and birthday cake this month, so without further ado so that I can get back to reading here is my list of top picks for the month of birthdays

  • Dark Hunger – Rita Herron – 1st August
  • Bad Moon Rising – Sherrilyn Kenyon – 4th August
  • Cold Moon Rising – C T Adams & Cathy Clamp – 4th August
  • Storm Visions – Christina Dodd – 4th August
  • Cape Storm – Rachel Caine – 4th August
  • Vanished – Kat Richardson – 4th August
  • The Red Tree – Caitlin Kiernan – 4th August
  • When a Man Loves a Woman – Toni McGee Causey
  • Dreamfever – Karen Marie Moning – 25th August
  • Hunting Ground – Patricia Briggs – 25th August
  • The Kindred – L L Foster- 25th August
  • Passion Untamed – Pamela Palmer – 25th August
  • Obsidian Prey – Jayne Castle – 25th August
  • Nice Girls Dont Date Dead Men – Molly Harper – 25th August
  • Tall, Dark & Fangsome – Michelle Rowan – 25th August
  • Living with the Dead – Kelley Armstrong – 25th August
  • Retribution – Jeanne Stein – 25th August
  • Night’s Cold Kiss – Tracey O’Hara – 25th August

I LOVE AUGUST! Happy Birthday to Dad, Mum, Us and Me and to everyone else with the best birth month!

Tazallie