Monday, February 28, 2011

Night Huntress Books 1-5 by Jeaniene Frost

Book #1: Halfway to the Grave
My Grade: A

Book #2: One Foot in the Grave
My Grade: A-

Book #3: At Grave's End
My Grade: B

Book #4: Destined for an Early Grave
My Grade: A+

Book #5: This Side of the Grave
My Grade: A

I have a rule when reading and writing reviews for books. I cannot start a new book until I write my review for the book that I just read. Part of that is because I read so fast, after a few books later, it's difficult for me to remember details about the book without re-reading it. The other part of it is that I would never get my review writing done if I didn't make myself do it. (I really like the reading part...hehe.)

I broke my rule when it came to these Night Huntress books. I started reading them and simply could not stop. (I had that same issue earlier this year with KMM's Fever books.) The problem with doing that in a series is that it makes it really difficult to go back and write about what was happening in Book #1 when you know all of it is basically irrelevant by the time you know what happens in Book #3.

These books are about Cat & Bones. Cat is a half human-half vampire. Since the age of 16, she has been hunting down vampires, any vampire, to kill them. When she meets Bones, he is a vampire and a bounty hunter. She has taken out his mark and then decides that she needs to kill him too. He has other plans because what she doesn't realize is that all vampires are not bad and deserving of death. He trains her on how to kill the really bad vampires and partners up with her.

(For those Karen Marie Moning Fever fans, you will LOVE these books! Cat & Bones' relationship reminds me a lot of Mac & Barrons, but it is more of an adult/mature relationship. Bones is seriously hot in a Barrons kind of mentoring way and Cat is just as clueless as Mac without all the angst that Mac had. Cat is strong and tough completely on her own and Bones loves that about her and doesn't hold her back. These are GOOD BOOKS!!!)

Every single one of these books is good, but you can't read just one, you need to read the entire series. 

The books have a huge cast of characters that have really developed over the books and I love every one of them and what they add to the books. 
*Cat & Bones- are both extremely strong characters. Their banter is so fun to read....lots of snark that I love. They both have very human moments when they are wrong and I love that their relationship is strong enough that they are willing to admit that when they realize it. They also have an incredibly sexy relationship...LOVE that!

They are surrounded by a fabulous cast:
*Tate- I love Tate's character from the time that he showed up at the end of Book #1. I so hope we will get to see his book one day esp. after all these years of him loving Cat. He deserves a love of his own.

*Vlad- Cat's true friend. Love him and his snark and that he and Bones have never liked each other. Every time he interacts with Cat about their friendship, it simply gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

*Don- love this human and the surprise at the end of book #5 about his character. I really like where this storyline is going!!!

*Juan, Cooper, & Dave- Cat's team...loyal to a fault. They would follow Cat anywhere if she asked or commanded it. 

*Mencheres- a couple thousand year old (although he looks 24-25), very powerful, vampire who gives Kat the creeps, but he has moments where what he says is so funny. You just never expect it from his staid character.

*Spade- Bones friend from when they were human. They were turned together and have a great friendship.

*Cat's mom- will NEVER like doesn't matter how many times he saves her life and proves that she can trust him. The war of words between them will never end and it is always entertaining esp. as the books go on and circumstances change. 

Overall, I cannot recommend these books enough. They are fun, well-written, thought out, and highly entertaining. The romance between Bones & Cat is absolutely sizzling. At times, it has made me bawl. At times, I have been totally laughing out loud when reading them talk to each other. I can honestly say that they are one of my favorite couples EVER!!! YOU NEED TO READ THESE BOOKS!!!! I promise you, you will not ever regret picking up this series!!!

Favorite Cat quote (when talking to Bones):
"You know, in addition to your mind-reading abilities, I may have absorbed some sluttiness from your blood."

Favorite Bones quote:
"Ask me if I sparkle, and I will kill you where you stand."

Favorite quote from all the books:
(this is from Vlad- a vampire who has the ability to control fire- right after he spontaneously combusted a guy that Cat had been trying to convince Bones not to kill)

"What the hell was that?" I (Cat) gasped.

"Premature inflamulation," he (Vlad) replied. "Happens sometimes. Very embarrassing, I don't like to talk about it."

Awesome Bones & Cat moment:
"I'll always be with you, Kitten. Always," Bones rasped before his lips closed over mine.

Just a truly funny quote:
"Then you remember the dream,” Mencheres stated. “That bodes ill.”

The fear of that made my reply snappy. “Hey, Walks Like An Egyptian, how about for once you drop the formal stuff and talk like you live in the twenty-first century?”

The shit’s gonna splatter, start buggin’, yo,” Mencheres responded instantly.

I stared at him, then burst out laughing, which was highly inappropriate considering the very grave warning he’d just conveyed."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

March Releases

I hope that you have been saving your pennies, because March is an amazing release month this year!!!

Live Wire by Lora Leigh 
Elite Ops series
$7.99 paperback retail
March 1, 2011 release date

Hidden Away by Maya Banks
KGI #3 series
$7.99 paperback retail
March 1, 2011 release date

A Lot Like Love by Julie James
$7.99 paperback retail
March 1, 2011 release date

Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann
Troubleshooters #16 series
$26.00 hardback retail
March 15, 2011 release date

Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Chronicles of Nick #2 series
$17.99 hardback retail
March 22, 2011 release date

Lover Unleashed by JR Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood #9 series
$27.95 hardback retail
March 29, 2011 release date

The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter
Lords of the Underworld series
$7.99 paperback retail
March 29, 2011 release date

The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis
Lucky Harbor #2 series
$7.99 paperback retail
March 29, 2011 release date

Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione
Lords of Deliverance #1 series
$7.99 paperback retail
March 29, 2011 release date

My One & Only by Kristan Higgins
$7.99 paperback retail
March 29, 2011 release date

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Blue-Eyed Devil
Author: Lisa Kleypas
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Travises#2
Main Characters: Hardy Cates & Haven Travis
Release Date: March 2009
ISBN978-0312351656 or 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
His name is Hardy Cates. He’s a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston’s oil industry. He’s got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.

She’s Haven Travis. Despite her family’s money, she refuses to set out on the path they’ve chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course.

Two years have gone by. Now Haven has come home. This time, she is determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door—or setting her soul on fire.

My Review:
Wow- talk about an emotionally charged book. Hardy & Haven are wrong for each other in pretty much every possible way. She's coming off a horrendous, abusive marriage where she made all the wrong choices. As a result, she (and everyone else around her) questions her judgement when she starts to fall for the bad-boy form the wrong side of the tracks who has made himself an enemy to her very powerful family.

Hardy has worked hard and clawed his way up from the squalid trailer park where he grew up. He can hold his own with the elite Travis family, but there is truly only one Travis that he wants to hold- Haven. He is drawn to her, just as she is to him, but they have a LOT of obstacles to overcome before they can have their happily-ever-after.

I love the chemistry between these two. The book has such strong emotional under-currents with the past abuses that each of them have suffered. My heart ached for each of them as individuals and for both of them together as they struggled through the emotional minefield of finding each other's hearts. It's a beautiful story and I truly, truly loved it!

My favorite quote from the book:
"Hang it all Haven, talk to a girlfriend if all you want is a pair of ears. Guys hate it when you give us a problem and then don't let us do something about it. It makes us feel bad. And then the only way to make ourselves feel better is to rip a phone book in two or blow something up. So let's get this straight- I am not a good listener. I am a guy." -Jack talking to Haven

Thursday, February 24, 2011

TBR Thursday- One Word- FROST!

Jeaniene Frost is my TBR this week. Her Night Huntress series featuring Cat & Bones.

Here is a tidbit about the series from J. Frost's website:
The NIGHT HUNTRESS series is an urban fantasy romance featuring half-vampire heroine Cat Crawfield. My heroine and hero have a difficult road ahead of them and they will have to work very hard to earn their HEA (happily-ever-after), so their story isn’t over with the first book. Hope you come along for the ride.

I am excited to get started on them!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Sugar Daddy
Author: Lisa Kleypas
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Travises#1
Main Characters: Liberty Jones & Hardy Cates & Gage Travis
Release Date: March 2008
ISBN978-0312351632 or 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:

Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas—if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.

When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty is under the spell of a billionaire tycoon—a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past.

Will they find their hearts’ desires—
or will HEARTBREAK tear them apart?

Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you’ll root for every step of the way. A love story you’ll never forget.

My Review:
This book does not read like a normal romance novel. The book starts when Liberty is 14 yrs old and she doesn't reach full adulthood until about 2/3 of the way through the book. It is a VERY GOOD book (all of it,) but I just don't particularly care for this style of epic story. That being said, the entire book was really good and it kept my attention enough that I read the whole book in one sitting. But, for me, it definitely got really good when Liberty was at her adulthood point and I ended up wishing that there had been more to that part of the story.

There is a lot of depth and layers to this story, and if I say too much about them here, then I will end up giving away spoilers and I don't want to ruin the story for you. Just know, that Liberty is a great character. Smart, sexy, assertive when she needs to be, honest, up-front, hard-working, etc. She is paired up with some amazing alpha males in this book. There are no bad choices! Unfortunately, I read book #3 in this series first so I knew the outcome of this book and book #2 (which I cannot wait to read today!!) before I even opened the books, which took away some of the turmoil in the book for me. This is a great series of books by an amazing author!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

Title: A Brush of Darkness
Author: Allison Pang
My Rating: A-

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Abby Sinclair #1
Main Characters: Abby Sinclair & Brystion
Release Date: January 2011
ISBN9781439198322 or 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

My Review:
A Brush of Darkness is Allison Pang's debut novel and it is brilliant fun. In this first novel, A. Pang is introducing us to her Urban Fantasy world, but this book does NOT read like a traditional 1st-in-a-series novel, with the story getting bogged down while explaining the details of the world. A. Pang gets right down to the fabulous story and lets you play catch-up with the details and how it all works. At times, this leaves you a bit confused, but I think that it's awesome and keeps the book moving at an amazing, rocking, action-packed pace.

Abby is an amazing heroine. She's almost the only mortal in this surreal OtherWorld that she didn't even know existed more than 6 months ago. She deals with the stress of it all with humor, self-deprecation, and more than a little bit of snark. It's awesome watching her assert her own place in this world that could easily overrun her.

Our hero is Brystion- a sexy incubus with his own agenda. Abby is a means-to-an-end for him, but he quickly finds himself under her spell too. 

Throw in a miniature unicorn, an angry archangel, a World of Warcraft playing daemon, and a circus of other crazy characters and you have this fabulous, smart debut novel to keep you giggling and guessing. It sounds like books 2 & 3 are on their way to us next year and I know that I will be first in line to purchase them. I am officially an Allison Pang fan!!

A little extra:
This book is full of fabulous one-liners, so I thought that I would share some of my favorite quotes from the book so that you can see just how fun this book is...

"Did you learn to dress that way in Leather for Bad Boys one-oh-one?"

"Another chunk of my childhood dreams had just run down the reality drain in the form of a horny unicorn, no less."

"I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon, and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Smooth Talking Stranger
Author: Lisa Kleypas
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Travises #3
Main Characters: Jack Travis & Ella Varner
Release Date: March 2010
ISBN978-0312351670 or 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

The New York Times bestselling author of Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil
Lisa Kleypas
is back with her most sensual and heartfelt novel yet!

A billionaire playboy, and all-around ladies’ man, Jake Travis has a reputation as big as the state of Texas. He drives too fast, lives too hard, and loves too many women to count.

In her advice column, and her love life, Ella Varner is always practical. So when she’s left holding her reckless sister’s baby, she decides to ask Jake Travis to take a paternity test.

Ella is instantly struck by Jake’s bold good looks and easy charm—but she’s not falling for his sweet talk. This big sexy tomcat needs to take responsibility for his actions, and Ella’s making him stick to his word. Now if she can only ignore the unspoken attraction that smolders between them…

My Review:
You gotta love a book set in Texas, at least I do, and this one did not disappoint.

Ella is a strong independent woman's lib kind of gal in a steady, reassuring relationship with her live-in boyfriend Dane. All of that is thrown into an uproar when she suddenly is left in charge of her sister's newborn baby, Luke. Dane won't allow Ella into their home with the baby so she's left stranded in Houston with no friends and few options.

To the rescue rides Jack Travis...gorgeous, billionaire playboy. All of a sudden he's feeling things for Ella that confuse them both and the whole situation is already complicated enough. He's a good old Texas boy and proud of it. He takes great pleasure in pushing Ella's liberal buttons, but he sees that she needs help and quickly decides that he's the perfect man for the job.

This book is full of fun dialogue and bantering back and forth between Ella & Jack. Here is one of my favorite quotes:
"You can't stand between a Texan and his power tools. We like them. Big ones that drain the national grid. We also like truck-stop breakfasts, large moving objects, Monday night football, and the missionary position. We don't drink light beer, drive Smart Cards, or admit to knowing the names of more than five or six colors. And we don't wax our chests. Ever."

This is a fun book. It's a smart book. It's a heart-wrenching book. It's everything including a really good read. Now I need to find the other 2 books in this series that I missed.