3 of 5 stars to Craving by Stephanie Summers

Craving

Chemistry

Sabine knows that there’s a good chance she’ll be chosen as the next sacrifice to fulfill the infamous Willow creek vampire treaty. Still, she is devastated when she receives the notice on her eighteenth birthday and realizes that she will never be able to live out her dreams.
When Sabine meets the vampire she will be paired with, she is horrified. Remy may be the favorite progeny of Bastion, Lord of the Willow creek vampires, but he is arrogant, selfish, rude and uncaring. She knows that she will never be more to him that a food source, and yet she can’t help or understand the growing attraction she feels every time they are together.

Craving was a pleasant read. I’m a sucker for romance, so I enjoyed the storyline which focuses mainly on the conflict and chemistry between the two main characters, Sabine and Remy. The characters themselves are pretty standard, lacking in depth at times, but there was a nice chemistry between them, and I quite enjoyed Remy’s snarky comments. The supporting characters were few and really did not play much of a role in the story beyond some cliched scenes. I felt that the plot could have been tighter. It felt thin and rushed at times with large periods of times elapsing in the space of sentences. I personally would have preferred fewer, more intimate scenes. The witty dialogue made up for some of the novel’s shortfalls though and I still found ‘Craving’ an easy, fun read.

4 of 5 stars to “Highland Shift” by Laura Harner

highland-shift

Hot Scot, romance and magic…

Elena MacFarland is on her way to Scotland, to take possession of a small farm due to her in a legal settlement with her ex-fiance, when she meets Faolan MacGailtry on the airplane. He’s attractive, dangerous and exceedingly arrogant, and Elena, thinking they will go their separate ways when they land, makes pleasant small talk on the flight.

Upon arrival in Scotland however, Elena finds herself at the receiving end of more than one murder and kidnapping attempt. Faolan, conveniently, happens to be present and manages to foil these attempts. He appoints himself protector and moves into Elena’s small farm house.

Soon, Elena finds herself drawn into Faolan’s dark world of ancient, magical secrets. How long can she stay alive and withstand his dangerous, magnetic attraction.

I quite enjoyed this novel. It has many draw-cards: a handsome, brawny Scot, an independent heroine, danger, romance, paranormal, ancient magic and plenty of hot attraction. The writer in me felt that it should possibly have been two separate books since there are two distinct segments to the novel. There’s the first part when Elena and Faolan meet. This part was wrought with hot tension and intrigue and was well-paced. Then there is the second part, after the two fall in love. This part felt very rushed, almost as though the author wanted to shove too many things into the last few chapters. The result was an ending that skipped over some important story-lines, but still had a darkly-magical feel to it.

The plot and characters were still interesting and there were some amazingly steamy sex scenes. Overall, it was a fun story.

5 of 5 stars to ‘Captured’ by Erica Stevens

Captured

Emotive writing

Aria sacrificed herself to save a child. Now, she has been taken as blood slave to none other than the Prince of darkness himself. Raised on tales of the cruelty of the vampires, Aria has first hand knowledge as daughter of the leader of the resistance. But The Prince is nothing like she expected…

As far as plot go, this one is relatively simple in structure. It’s a paranormal Beauty and the Beast story – and yet so much more. There is something so raw and poignant in this author’s writing. Not many authors have this kind of ability to rip into a reader’s emotions and turn a simple plot into a deep, passionate love story.

I loved the vulnerability of Aria’s character. She is strong without being perfect. She challenges the traditional mold of heroine because her beauty is much more of the soul than of the body. The world is which the characters live is a dark and well constructed one, without overly complicated details to leash the imagination.

Beautiful start to the series, can’t wait to read the next book!

4 of 5 stars to ‘Numbers ignite’ by Rebecca Rode

Numbers ignite

Deeper into dystopia

Treena has left NORA in the hands of the boy she once loved and set out across the war ravaged desert in search of the man she wants to spend her life with. But NORA is hot on her heels and this time, they’re not taking any prisoners.

Vance gave up everything to see the girl he loves on the throne of NORA, including his freedom. Returned to his people, he must face the consequences of his actions for the past years. He’s prepared to pay the price for his deeds, but draws the line when he is wrongfully accused of another heinous crime.

Separated by time and no-man’s land, ripped apart by political agendas and family duties, can Treena and Vance find their way back to one another and unravel the mysteries that threaten the lands they call home?

This second installment of the Numbers Game series takes part outside the carefully constructed world of NORA. We get to see how the other half live beyond the walls, and taste a bit of the old America that was destroyed by war. The individual societies Rode has created are intricate in every detail. Each has their own rules and norms to ensure survival and yet each is plagued in its own way by prejudices and personal political agendas.

As far as characters go, I felt that Vance’s development was the most pronounced. His “whatever’ attitude conceals a depth of character and strength of leadership that can bring nations together. The peripheral characters were interesting, but not particularly deep, with some falling into cliched status.

This installment wasn’t as neatly tied up as the first. There are some loose threads I would like to see tied up and this made the ending a tad vague and not as convincing as it could have been. But I still loved the story!

5 of 5 stars to ‘Seven years’ by Dannika Dark

Seven years

Sexy start to the series

Seven years later, Lexi still hasn’t gotten over the death of her brother. Or the fact that his best friend, Austin Cole, kissed her and then walked out on her family when they needed him the most.
Now, on the anniversary of his death, Austin returns to town, bringing with him a whole heap of trouble and a few truths Lexi may not be ready to hear. He never counted on Lexi having her own secrets though, the kind that attracts danger like bees to honey.

Dark has created a realistic shifter fantasy world that gets this series off to a smashing start. The characters she has created are three dimensional, each with his or her own history. Dark has provided just enough of a taste to wet the appetite for each of the pack’s stories that are sure to follow.
Pack leader Cole, is a strong, passionate, hot and protective hero with the perfect dose of imperfection and vulnerability. Lexi is head-strong, independent and sexy. Together, they make great conflict and heaps of sexiness. This is the perfect adult urban fantasy to escape into.

4 of 5 stars to ‘Fury of Obsession’ by Coreene Callahan

Fury of obsession

 

Fun-filled cliche

Venom craves touch and longs to find a mate to call his own and share his life with. Life has never been easy for him though, especially when his very touch is lethal to all others. So when he stumbles across Evelyn Foxe, Venom can’t believe the turn of events. She is his perfect match in every way. The only person who is immune to the toxins of his touch.

The connection is instant and strong, but Venom is terrified of losing Evelyn if he reveals too much too soon. He plans to woo her before he unveils the truth of their fated connection and introduces her into the Night fury world. But then someone unleashes a biological weapon in Evelyn’s hometown and Venom knows he must act or risk losing her.

There’s an easy cadence to this series that overrides the romance formula writing and hooks you. This novel is rife with cliche metaphors, redundant clauses and cheesy alliteration and yet it remains enticing. It’s an easy read and the fantasy world created by Callahan is rich and fun-filled, with a huge dose of masculinity. The female lead in this novel was very one dimensional and cast as a typical female in distress, but the formula still worked well, making this a fun read.

Action-packed ending to amazing series

Rogue

Best fantasy series!

Nikolas is determined to hide Sara away in an impenetrable fort following the attack on Westhorne. He will keep his mate to be safe, even if it means taking away her freedom. Sara has other ideas. She’s tired of being underestimated and coddled. She’s not going to sit back while the Master vampire ravages the country in his search for her.
With the help of her werewolf friends and one Mohiri trainee warrior, she runs away from the Mohiri compound and the man she loves, in search of her estranged mother to get some answers. But no matter how fast and far she runs, trouble will always find her – and keeping two steps ahead of her Mohiri warrior mate may prove to be even harder than staying our of the hands of the enemy.

What an action-packed ending to one of the most brilliant fantasy series I’ve ever read! Lynch keeps the reader on the edge of your seat. Just when you think you’ll hit a lull in the story, she thrusts Nikolas and Sara into escalating danger.
The fantasy element is even more magical than ‘Refuge’ with the introduction of many more species of demons and fae. Lynch explores the powers of the various species and slowly unravels Sara’s own abilities in a perfectly paced plot. New characters fall in seamlessly with the old and each has their own quirks and powers to make a gripping mix.
The relationship between Nikolas and Sara smolders throughout the story, bringing the romantic element of the series to a fiery pinnacle. The ending is an amazing amalgamation of the many threads woven throughout this wonderful series, leaving the reader sated but eager to climb into another Lynch fantasy world! Wow!