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Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Light My Fire by G.A. Aiken

Title: Light My Fire
Author: G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin, book 7
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Zebra (November 25th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
The trouble with humans is that they're far too sensitive. Forget you put a woman in the local jail for a few months--and she takes it so personally! And yet she is the one trying to assassinate the queen. And now I'm trapped with Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight…gods! That endless name!

But what am I to do? I am Celyn the Charming with direct orders from my queen to protect this unforgiving female.

Even more shocking, this unforgiving female is completely unimpressed by me. How is that even possible? But I know what I want and, for the moment, I want her. And I'm sure that she, like all females, will learn to adore me. How could she not when I am just so damn charming?
Light My Fire is the seventh book in the Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken.

Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Tribe of the Midnight Mountains of Despair in the Far Reaches of the Steppes of the Outerplains, (yes, that’s her name) was sent by the leader of her tribe on a “quest of honor”. Elina is supposed to find the White Dragon Queen and kill her.
“I am here to . . .” She cleared her throat. “. . . take your life, queen of the dragons, and bring your head back to my noble people.”

The white dragoness nodded slowly. “Aye. That’s what I thought you said.”
Elina knows is an impossible mission, she knows she won’t survive it, but for Elina her honor is more important than her life.
“I do not run,” Elina went on. “If I am to meet my death at your claw, then I will meet my death.”
Rhiannon actually likes Elina’s courage and decides not to kill her. She asks Celyn to find a safe place for her. The only place Celyn can think of is jail, so he leaves her there… and forgets about her… for months… Until a day when Annwyl needs an alliance with the Head of the Outerplains tribes and they remember about Elina. To say Elina is upset that Celyn forgot about her is an understatement, but she wants to help and accepts her new mission as Annwyl’s emissary.
To Celyn’s chagrin he’s ordered to escort Elina to the Outerplains. The last thing he wants is to spend time with the savage woman, but he cannot go against his queen’s orders.
Elina doesn’t want to spend time with the pompous dragon, but she is smart and knows he might be a valuable ally, mostly because she knows this most probably will be another death mission. Elina is not well like by her tribe because she’s a strategist and not a cold-hearted killer; for that reason they see her as weak and a disgrace to her tribe. They sent her to a death quest already and she doesn’t think she’ll find a warm welcome, especially from the tribe leader who hates Elina. Still, she wants to help Annwyl and will do her best to get an alliance.
Celyn never thought their journey will be so complicated; he also didn’t expect the welcoming they got from Elina’s tribe. He promise her he’ll protect her, but sometimes some promises are impossible to keep.

I love this series, I have loved some books more than others, but in general I can say I love them all… but, in the case of Light My Fire... I adored it… I adored this book!! Why? Because Light My Fire is much more than a simple paranormal romance book, it’s an amalgam of many small stories than intermingled perfectly to make a fabulous and complex main story.

Light My Fire is not only the story of Elina and Celyn, it’s the continue development of all the characters we love, their relationships and their offspring’s adventures. It’s also the continuation of the stories from previous books and the further development of the main arc.

One thing I have to mention is the world building. G.A. Aiken went the extra mile in this installment with the introduction of the Outerplains, its tribes and their culture. They were as different as it gets. The cultural clashes brought many laughing out loud moments, especially when Celyn is trying to understand Elina, her family and their culture.

I can’t say much without giving spoilers away. I will just say “the abominations” also known as “the kids” have grown and they are playing more important roles in the bigger scheme of things. They also bring many laughs to the story.
Some abominations that need mention are Dagmar and Gwenvael’s daughters, especially the older one, Arlais, she’s just a ray of sunshine. Here is an example of her charm.
“I want that woman executed,” the child announced.
Gwenvael stopped walking, rolled his eyes. “She’s your mother, Arlais.”
“Not by choice. She is a Low Born human who orders me around.”
“Arlais, my darling—”
“She is the daughter of a warlord, but I am the daughter of a prince. I outrank her . . . in many ways. In beauty, talent, and a rare grace that comes with being royal born.”
“Awwww. I’ve taught you so well.” He placed his hands over his chest. “It warms my hard dragon heart to see so much annoying and painful arrogance at such a young age.” He shrugged. “But you cannot have your mother executed.”
She stamped her little foot. “That is unfair!”
Light My Fire has romance, suspense, betrayals, adventures, laugh-out-loud humor, secrets and much more. The humor in this book is over the top, it’s bloody and it was perfect for me. As I said before I loved this book, I loved it so much I think it’s my favorite in the series. I’m not kidding you, since the moment I opened Light My Fire I couldn’t put it down until I reached its very end. Yes, it’s that good.

I can’t recommend you enough Light My Fire and the Dragon Kin series in general. One thing I recommend is to read these books in order to understand and get the full effect of all the currents that are going on in the story.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Dragon Actually
About a Dragon
What a Dragon Should Know
Last Dragon Standing
The Dragon Who Loved Me
How to Drive a Dragon Crazy
Light My Fire (November 25th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Movie Trailer: Cinderella

The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Early Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Title: Black Widow
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, book 12
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (November 25th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books in the series*
There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.
Black Widow is the twelfth book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

I have something to confess… Here it comes… I haven’t been crazy about last four books in this series. Actually, I was almost ready to give up on the series. I even considered not reading this one because I thought it’ll be a Spider’s Revenge 2, but at the end… it’s Jennifer Estep! So, I decided to give it another chance. Hallelujah! OMG! I’m so glad I did because Black Widow is made of awesome. It’s simply Jennifer Estep at her best. I can almost say Black Widow is one of my favorite books in the series. Yes, it is that good.

Gin always thought one of her virtues was patience, but in Black Widow she found her match in Madeline Magda Monroe aka MMM.
MMM took her time to design a very tight trap for Gin, her family and friends, and slowly, every one of them was snared into her evil plans. MMM’s modus operandi was completely different from what Gin was expecting and what she was used. She couldn’t react on time to avoid many hardships and heartaches. I can’t say much without giving spoilers away, but let me just tell you that more than once my heart ached for Gin. MMM is a cunning bitch!

Gin was a lot better in this installment than in previous books, but she wasn’t perfect. She made couple of mistakes about things that were pretty obvious… I was so invested in the story that I found myself talking to the book and almost yelling at Gin “Don’t go there”, “Don’t do that”, but Gin didn’t listen to me and bang… you have to read the book to know what I’m talking about. Apart from those “why you did that” moments, I don’t have any other complain about this book. Gin has grown a lot, she knows she is fallible, but she also knows she has a supporting group that will always be there for her and in this installment, more than ever, they were there for her. All of them! Even Bria, who took her head out of the hole she had put it in in previous books and stepped on the game.

That camaraderie between Gin, her family and friends was one of the things I liked the most about Black Widow; it felt like everything and everybody came to its right place.

I also like how Estep dealt with the MMM situation. If I’m honest, I was expecting something similar to the conflict we saw with Mab in previous books, but I’m happy to say I was surprised how things were developed and … I can’t say more without spoilers… You have to read the book.

Everything that I like about this series was present in this book, the characters I love, the banter, the action, the fights, the suspense, and of course, the food. All these elements made of Black Widow an-impossible-to-put-down-order-take-out-if-you-interrupt-me-while-I-am-reading-I-will-kill-you book.

Black Widow has an almost perfect end, one so well done that I could have been happy with this being the last book. Luckily for us fans, we still have two more books to go and I can’t wait to see what else Estep has in store for Gin and friends in next book in the series, Spider’s Trap, to be release on July 28th, 2015.

Black Widow is a great addition to a great series and a book fans of the Elemental Assassin series have to read; especially those who are considering giving up on this series. Trust me! Don’t give up yet, read Black Widow … and… Welcome back to Gin’s world.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
By A Thread
Black Widow (November 25th)
Spider’s Trap (July 28th, 2015)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Short Review: Walking on Her Grave by Melinda Leigh

Title: Walking on Her Grave
Author: Melinda Leigh
Series: Rogue River, book 4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
The electrifying conclusion of the romantic suspense novella series from Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.

The sleepy town of Solitude, Oregon, has turned into ground zero for a turf war between the manufacturers and distributors of a lethal new drug. When a teenage witness disappears, social worker Carly Taylor must find him before he’s silenced permanently.

Rogue County investigator Seth Harding wants to keep Carly, his estranged wife, out of harm’s way, but she refuses to let his concern keep her from doing her job. When one of her young charges vanishes, Carly gets pulled even deeper into the deadly case, and Seth knows he must help her…even if it leads them right into the criminals’ crosshairs.

Explosive and exciting to the last page, Walking on Her Grave is the fourth and final thrilling addition to the new romantic suspense series from Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.
Walking on Her Grave is the fourth book in the Rogue River series by Melinda Leigh.

In Walking on Her Grave we are back with Carly and Seth. The events in Gone to Her Grave (second book) got them closer and they are slowly working in their relationship and trying to mend their differences. They are doing that while working in their respective cases. Seth is investigating the drug problem in Solitude, Oregon and Carly is working her social worker cases. When one of Carly’s teens goes missing Carly and Seth join forces in the search for him. As the only known witness to the drug operation they know the teen’s life is in danger.

I liked Carly better in this book. She stopped being so stubborn and realized she wanted/needed Seth in her life.
Seth has come a long way. He’s working on his over protective issues and trying to be a better man/husband for Carly. He wants Carly in his life and is willing to do anything to have her back. I have faith in them.

I liked that we also see Zach and Stevie and how they are doing in their relationship.

Walking on Her Grave wraps perfectly all the loose ends and concludes the series on a high note. Although I guess the whodunit from the very first book, I can say it has a good enough amount of suspense.

Walking on Her Grave is a nice addition and conclusion to a highly enjoyable series. I don’t recommend reading Walking on Her Grave as a stand-alone. I recommend you to read it as part of the series. These books are short, so they could even be read back to back in just couple of hours.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Walking on Her Grave

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Falling by E.K. Blair

Today is Tuesday! You know what that means? Yes, today is that special day in the week when we can treat our eyes to some delicious eye candy. It’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

Today I have for you a soon worthy cover, the cover for Falling. Falling is the third book in the Fading series by E.K. Blair. I haven’t read this book but something tells me I should. *stares at screen and drools*

Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.

Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.

When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.

You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s.
If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson

Title: A Cursed Bloodline
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Weird Girls, book 4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Loveswept
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
Just when Celia thinks the supernatural world can’t turn deadlier, a new rival emerges, proving just how dangerous a power-hungry were can be.

Since being cursed with unique abilities, Celia Wird and her three sisters have fought the most bloodthirsty preternaturals in the Lake Tahoe region. But Celia’s greatest threat is someone she would have never suspected: Anara, a werewolf Elder who has allowed his hatred for Celia to spiral out of control. In a play for dominance, Anara tortures Celia and gives her an ultimatum: sever her mate bond with pureblood were Aric — or Anara will kill everyone she loves.

From the instant they met, Celia and Aric have shared an attraction that cannot be tamed. So keeping Aric away is impossible, and Aric would sooner die than allow anyone to hurt the woman he loves. Misha, master vampire and Celia’s sworn protector, also finds his way into the chaos, seeking blood from those who have harmed her.

Now Celia and her sisters are caught in the middle of a war driven by lust, fueled by hatred, and destined to end in tragedy. For Anara is a force to be reckoned with, and he will not succumb without robbing Celia of those who hold her heart.
A Cursed Bloodline is the fourth book in the Weird Girls series by Cecy Robson.

A Cursed Bloodline continues were Cursed by Destiny (third book) left on. Celia and her sisters are dealing with the aftermaths of what happened in Cursed by Destiny and trying to be supporting for their mates, at least those who still have a mate. Celia has something else on her plate, she just found out she’s pregnant with Aric’s child. A noticed that should have brought her happiness only brings more complications and sadness to her life. After she received an ultimatum from Amara instead of sharing the good news with those close to her she’s forced to hide her pregnancy and to cut ties with her loved ones, all to protect them. The only problem is she can’t be honest with them and tell them what’s going on therefore they can’t understand what’s going on with her and why she’s behaving so erratically.
Celia is not completely alone, Danny realized what’s going on with her and is trying to help her, but that help only complicate things with Celia’s sisters and the wolves.

A Cursed Bloodline is the darkest book in the series. Cecy really went the extra mile in this one making her characters suffer page after page. Sometimes I really think she enjoys too much making her characters and us suffer.
Poor Celia didn’t have a breather on this installment. She suffered attack after attack, so much I had to take some breaks while reading this book, because it was emotionally exhausting. Also, in this installment, because of the seriousness of the story and the distance between the characters we didn’t get as much comic relief as we got in previous books, this made of A Cursed Bloodline a even darker book.

Celia goes through so much in this installment that she can’t help but grow throughout the pages to keep up with what’s going on in her life. Without her sisters by her side she not only has to find new friends and allies, but also she was to take a more leader approach to survive everything Evil Cecy threw in her path.  

One thing I have to mention about A Cursed Bloodline is that Cecy’s imagination and creativity have no limit. OMG! She left me flabbergasted with all the elements she included in the story. She went where no author has gone before, did three turns around, stop for coffee and donuts and came back. That’s how freaky creative she is… I wish I could live in her head for a day… what a trip that would be.

As I said before Cecy is also not afraid of making us suffer and she proves it once again with the demise of a loved character… Sadly, it wasn’t Aric, Ok, I’m not kidding, but I still haven’t forgiven him. I think he was an ass and didn’t fight enough for Celia. I think Celia deserves better. Talking about better, I have to talk to Misha. I loved him in previous book and I kind of loved him in this one. I know he’s not the perfect man for Celia, but my heart can’t help but hurt from him. I just hope he gets his well-deserved HEA soon, very soon, and with the person I think is perfect for him. *winks*

Because of the circumstances Celia’s sisters don’t play a big role in this installment, still it’s pretty obvious they will do anything for one another and do so when it’s necessary.

A character that deserves a shout out is Danny. He is a great friend and despite his limitations he risks everything for those he loves. I’m so glad his future is a bit brighter and his place in the pack was cemented after the role he played in the resolution of the story.

Now about the resolution, I have one thing to say. I hate when the villain is killed off page and that’s what happened in A Cursed Bloodline. After everything we saw Celia suffer under the hands of Anara I think we deserved to see his demise on page. Sadly it didn’t happen, we only got third party recollections of the event.

As always, Cecy’s writing is top notch, she kept us engaged in this adventure with twists and turns that were completely unexpected, she brought us heartbreaks and joyous moments, and made her characters grow and evolve page after page. My only complain that is actually not a complain, but more like a comment… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there was a lot of action in this book, maybe a bit too much. As I said before, A Cursed Bloodline was emotionally draining. I applaud Cecy for bringing all those emotions in me, that only shows her gift with words, but… I hope things will be a bit calmer and less crazy for Celia and the rest of the cast in next book in the series, A Curse Unbroken, to be released on March 10th, 2015.

I recommend A Cursed Bloodline to urban fantasy fans, but I also recommend reading these books in order to get the full effect of the wonderful series Cecy Robson has created.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
A Curse Awakened (Prequel)
The Weird Girls (prequel) 
A Cursed Moon (Novella)
A Cursed Bloodline (November 18th)
A Curse Unbroken (March 10th, 2015)

Other reviews Goodreads

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Liam surveyed the damaged wall and the splintered glass and wood. I couldn’t tell him what happened. Aric and my sisters would be hurt—or worse. But I couldn’t lie to Liam. Like most preternaturals, he could smell a lie. So I worked to calm my racing heart and tried to gather my words carefully.

He helped me to stand once he failed to sense any immediate danger. His eyes widened as he took in my state. “Good Lord, Celia. What happened?”

“I was attacked,” I gasped, still unable to speak clearly.

Liam swept me into his arms, moving me away from the shards of glass. “Tell me who did this to you!”

“Our . . . enemy.”

Liam sniffed the air. I panicked, thinking he’d detect Anara’s scent. “Wolves. Wolves have been here,” he said.

Wolves?“I don’t recognize their scent.” Liam threw a blanket on the couch and gently lay me over it. “Hang on, Celia. I’ll call Aric—”

“No! Liam, you can’t call Aric.”

“Celia, I have to, you’re hurt.”

 My throat ached and it burned to talk. “I don’t want him to see me like this. He’s already
dealing with a lot. Please, Liam, just get me to Misha’s house. Emme can heal me there.”

Liam’s face split with guilt and uncertainty. As one of Aric’s Warriors, he was blood-
bound to protect me as Aric’s mate, but he was also obliged to obey him. “Celia, I know he’s in his own personal hell, but you’re his priority. He’ll want to be here.”

Emme is who I need right now. There’s still blood running down my back.”

In an instant, Liam was behind me, examining my wounds. I wasn’t a were. I couldn’t heal. “Oh, shit. I’ll get you to Emme right away.”

Liam lifted me and raced toward the door, kicking the empty boxes he’d dropped on the porch out of his way. He must have arrived to remove his belongings from the bedroom he and Emme had shared.

The bright sunlight burned my eyes. I shut them tight until we reached Liam’s SUV. The moment he strapped me in, he stomped on the accelerator and roared out of our cul-de-sac. “What exactly happened, Celia? And why did I only smell your blood?”

“I was caught off guard.”

Liam frowned. “What the hell? You’re always on guard.”

“I’ve been distracted because of . . . everything. Look, I can’t keep talking. It hurts too
much.” It was true, but mostly I was running out of ways to be creative with my answers.

“Sorry, Celia—I wasn’t thinking. I’m just trying to figure things out. Don’t worry. You’ll be with Emme soon.”

The relief I felt was short-lived. Almost immediately, he called the one person I dreaded

Aric’s voice pulsed with strain from the moment he answered. “Liam, I told you now’s not a good time—”

“Celia’s hurt.”

What? Is she all right?”

“She’s not dying.” Liam gave me the once-over. “At least, I don’t think she is. But she’s
pretty fucked up. Near as I can figure she was attacked by a bunch of Tribe wolves.”

The Tribe were the evil band of bastards who had awoken the even more evil and bigger bastard demon. In stopping them, we’d decimated their numbers, but they were still out there—thankfully providing the perfect scapegoat.

Aric’s breaths came out fast. “When did this happen?”

Liam sniffed the air around me. “By the way the dry blood on her smells, about an hour

Aric let out a string of swearwords. “By the way the dry blood smells on her!”

“Well, yeah, she’s still bleeding.”

“How bad is it?”

“Pretty bad, but I think she’ll live.” He shook his head when he took another look at me.
“Damn, you should see her. She looks like hell . . .”

I groaned. Way to keep Aric calm, Liam.

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