Monday, June 29, 2009

The IIlegimitate King by Olivia Gates

The Illegitimate King (Silhouette Desire) The Illegitimate King by Olivia Gates

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very passionate and emotional, with vivid descriptions and steamy love scenes. If you are a fan of Olivia Gates' Throne of Judar series, you will also enjoy her newest series. As a fan of unrequited love storylines, I was in heaven. He loves her but thinks she hates him. She loves him, but thinks he only wants her because she's a princess. The fun is watching how they come to realize their feelings are very much mutual.

With Gates' writing, everything is larger than life, but it does charm this reader. If you are the type to roll your eyes at very dramatic moments and characters, you might not like this book. But if you read books for escapism, you will find hours of enjoyment in this book.

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Dark Legend by Christine Feehan

Dark Legend (Carpathians,  #8) Dark Legend by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
My favorite things about this Carpathian books were:

Francesca is very independent and capable. She's existed for many years and managed to hide herself from the Carpathian males and the vampires. She figured out how to live as a human. I love her big heart, how she takes care of the homeless people and heals the sick. She was a great heroine.

I also liked Gabriel. He accepted Francesca as she was, embracing her personality and her strengths, and admiring and supporting her.

Skylar's story just about broke my heart. There I was sitting in the airport, tears coming out of my eyes as I read about her suffering. It just about made me homocidal to read about a so-called father doing that to his daughter.

The cat and mouse game between Gabriel and Lucian kept my interest. I think Feehan did a great job keeping the suspense where you wondered what was up with Lucian, but at the same time could believe he was redeemable, the way he was helping Skylar and protecting Francesca. I was very happy with the resolution of the angst between Gabriel and Lucian. Although there was no big bang in this story, per se, I still really enjoyed it.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Safe Harbor by Christine Feehan

Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters, #5) Safe Harbor by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was torn on the rating for this book, because it was a little dry in some points, but it really won me over by the end of the book. I loved the connection between Hannah and Jonas. They truly are soulmates. Their lives are enriched by each other and strengthened by the bond that they share.

Both Hannah and Jonas suffered horribly, and yet still believed in their love for each other. In the end, this made the book a winner for me.

I really appreciated the intense bond of sisterhood that the Drakes share. They are different and unique but share a love and devotion that resonated with me because of my love for my sister. It's a theme that never gets old for me.

The mystical, magic aspects were intriguing. I'm not a big fan of witch books, but I do like what Feehan does with the theme. The parts with the house protecting the sisters were pretty creepy. I was sitting in class, reading my book illicitly and I snorted out loud on the part where Jonas gets a little freaked out at how the house deals with the assailants that come to attack Hannah, Jonas, and her sister.

One aspect of Feehan's writing that always impresses me is her ability to write action and have the violent aspects really impact me as a reader. Yet at the same time, they are seamlessly integrated into the plot, and don't overwhelm or repel me. The part where Hannah is attacked was very visceral and really affected me. Yet, the aftermath, and how it brings together Hannah's sisters and family, and Jonas, along with the deliciously enigmatic Ilya Prasenskii, to help to save her life balanced it so well because it showed the power of love in the face of the evil and horror in the world. It was quite well written.

I really liked Hannah and Jonas both as characters. Neither was perfect, but they were people that you cared about and rooted for. I liked that they didn't play emotional games with each other. Although initially they didn't grasp the fact that their future lay together, despite deep inside rested the knowledge that there was no one else for either of them, once they did come to realize that was the way the wind blew, they didn't act silly and do the makeup and breakup thing that drives me crazy in too many romances. Although I like a romance to be above the everyday annoying and mundane aspects of life, I enjoyed how this couple faced the obstacles that life threw at them united. They worked through the fears and anguish that each of the other faced together, and didn't turn their backs on the unique and wonderful love they shared.

Reading this book and seeing the interactions between Joley and Ilya makes me want to reread Turbulent Sea to revisit their relationship. I just love Ilya. He gives me the shivers. Joley is so passionate and outrageous, you can't help but love her. Similarly I want to read the other sisters' stories and see them meet and fall in love with their future mates, particularly Elle and Jackson's.

A deep, involving, and emotional story about the strength that lies in each of us despite the obstacles we encounter, as well as a story about the bonds of love between a man and a woman, and the invaluable connection that we share with family, there was no way I couldn't Safe Harbor five stars.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout

Norse Code Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can say one thing, if this is Greg Van Eekhout's first and last book, I think he can retire pretty proud of himself. As a fan of any mythology, I have to recommend this book. It brings the myths to life in all their dark, violent glory. Ever wonder what Ragnarok would look like? Read this book. I have decided this book is as close as I'd like to come to the Norse end of the world.

Yes, this book is violent and gory. But it should be. It would have lacked the important impact otherwise. Think about it, heaven is preparing for the final battle on the side of Odin during Ragnarok, with brief periods of drinking mead served by comely maidens, er valkyries. These myths have a built in blood and guts factor. Like the best books, I felt like I was right there in the action, knots in my stomach as Fenrir devours the moon, while his ever-ravenous pups devour the sun and whatever else gets in their way. The Midgard Serpent engages Thor in the final battle, and the ship of the dead, carrying Hel, the Norse goddess of death's troops, comes from Helheim to fight the final battle against the Einherjar.

Well thankfully there is a reluctant and disgraced god, Hermod, and a runaway valkyrie, Mist, to stave off Ragnarok. Mist is looking to rescue her sister Lilly from Hel's clutches in Helheim, and Hermod is the only living person to go there and return. He went there to retrieve his brothers Hod and Baldr, who died unjust and untimely deaths (long story, read the book). In payment for his aid, she agrees to help him save the nine worlds, which include Midgard, what we call Earth. It sounds complicated, and well it is a bit, but it's so entertaining, and so interesting reading about all these events. This book really is urban fantasy at its best.

Although some might want a faster paced read, I felt this book is very much worth the investment in reading it. The descriptions are so vivid, and it is clear that Mr. Van Eekhout did his research, which he earns my admiration for doing. And for telling a story that is so readable, fun in parts, and almost dreary in others, as only the myths are; and increasingly hard to put down. Although reading Norse Code doesn't replace reading the Prose Edda, I would say that this book would do very well to introduce a novice to Norse mythology, and what a cool ride it is along the way.

This book starts rather slowly, but you definitely want to hang in there. Heck, there's even a great, eight-legged horse (Slepnir).

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Bedded by the Warrior by Denise Lynn

Bedded by the Warrior (Harlequin Historical Series) Bedded by the Warrior by Denise Lynn

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was a bit disappointed by this book. It was good, but not great. It never quite grabbed me. Let's put it this way, I decided I'd rather sleep on the planes than read it. I think it had great potential with a tortured hero and heroine, a heroine who was misunderstood and had a bad reputation, and was forced to wed a brutish, scary warrior. That could have been a great book.

I tired of the back and forth, hormonal imbalances of the hero and heroine. The couldn't decied if they loved each other or hated each other. I really didn't feel there were great obstacles between them, so their bickering was mildly annoying. Maybe if the love scenes had been more passionate I would have accepted this better. I don't think love scenes have to be explicit, but the ones in this book was unnaturally lukeworm. I didn't really find the action scenes very exciting. Normally that is a part of medievals I really enjoy. Not necessarily a lot of blood and gore, but more showing and less telling. And since the hero was known to be a formidable warrior, I was expecting to be wowed by his prowess in the fight scenes. Also the cameos by King Henry and Queen Eleanor didn't really seem that vivid. Okay, I am quite the Medieval Romance Nerd, so my standards are a bit high, but I enjoy having the requisite, yet well-done cameo by a regal figure of the time.

Although this is not the worst book I've read, but I have read much better medievals in the Harlequin Historical line, and one by this author. I think for the disgraced by their allegiance to the King/Queen, you should reach for The King's Mistress by Terri Brisbin before this one.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Enticing the Prince by Patricia Grasso

Enticing The Prince (Kazanov Brothers Series) Enticing The Prince by Patricia Grasso

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Patricia Grasso does it again. There is just something about her books and her writing that I find irresistible. She has a way with humor that I love. Her books are filled with family, sexy heroes, and spunky, adorable heroines. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments because of snarky comments made by someone in the book. There is usually a pet who is a prominent, treasured member of the family. I love the motifs that she uses in each book, such as the majordomo (butler) who always has an unusual name, such as Tinker, who is very outspoken but in a wry sort of fashion. One very amusing aspect of Grasso's regencies is there is always at least one scene where the hero and heroine, and anyone with them almost gets run over by a carriage because someone is trying to murder them (I guess London assassins aren't very creative), and there is usually a pregnancy in each book. The large family of Russian princes, either brothers or cousins, certainly helps the appeal.

This is a favorite of mine by this author, because Prince Drako is just a really good guy. He's not a rake, he's not distrustful of women, he's not domineering or obnoxious toward his heroine. He's a sweetheart. Yes, he does deliberately get Katerina pregnant so she'll have to marry him, but he has a really good reason for it. She's bound and determine to avenge the deaths of her sister, brother, and father, and he can't have her jeopardize herself like that. Plus, he falls head over heels for her very early in this book.

Katerina is strong and independent, but not in an annoying way. She has taken care of her family and has a thriving jewelry design business heavily patronized by the 'ice'-loving Duchess of Inverary. She is immediately attracted to Prince Drako, although she thinks he is her enemy she has vowed to revenge her family against. The great thing is that she doesn't hold onto her beliefs that Drako is the villain as she gets to know him and what a good guy he is.

I love all the nuances of this story, the funny conversations, and the poignant moments. The tea parties that the little girls have are hilarious, where they trade gossip about the imaginary Lord Rotten and such characters as that. I love how the Princes eagerly attend the Tea Parties and participate, spending time with the little girls. It's just adorable. You really have to read these books to see what I mean. This is not regency noir, nor is it fluffy per se. It's light, but substantial for a reader who wants to enjoy a book that's not overburdened with angst. Don't get me wrong, I love angst, but it's nice to have a little relief from it.

If you are the type to read books in order, it's best to start with the related series, which is about the Duchess of Inverary's (a prominent recurring character full of sage advice about relationships between men and women) nieces, which begins with To Tempt An Angel. This runs over into the Kazanov series because one of the sisters marries Rudolf, the first Russian Prince. The Kazanov series intersects with the seven Flambeau sisters series (they are the illegitimate daughters of the Duke of Inverary), as they intermarry with the Kazanov Princes. It's a little complicated, but oh so worth reading.

Highly recommended for a Regency romance fan who wants to laugh and really enjoy a fun book.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #19) Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
If Kenyon had been borne before modern times, she would have been a traveling bard. For this woman can tell a story like no other writer on earth. I have been a fan of hers for almost ten years, starting with her historical romances written as Kinley MacGregor. I had turned away from my true self, abandoning the world of fantasy and the supernatural. I didn't read any horror, fantasy, and I turned my nose up a paranormal. 'Who wants to read a book with a vampire as a romance hero?' I scoffed. I laugh at myself now. I read Night Pleasures out of curiosity, because my sister loved it so much. She was the big paranormal fan in the family, you see. Well it was love at second sight (I already loved this author as Kinley MacGregor). A decade later, I am a paranormal romance fiend.

Well, this many years into the future, I can say that Kenyon still has it. Her imagination knows no bounds. Her ability to take ancient myths and build a modern story around the, filling the story with lovable or hateable characters with the human quirks that make a reader keep reading, is a great gift. Few authors write a tortured hero so well as Kenyon does. And Sin joins the ranks.

I was a little skeptical how this story could succeed in bringing a hero who was an ancient Sumerian god to life. But it was done very well. Sin might have been a god, but he has a humanity that makes me love him all the more.

Katra, introduced in Kiss of the Night, finally gets a book of her own. And it was grand. I liked her from the beginning. It's great to see her story, and how convoluted her family tree is. To reveal that would spoil things, so I won't. But there is a familial reunion in this book guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes if you are a Dark-Hunter fan. Kat is a fun heroine, but also very lovable. Her heart is big and filled with kindness, and she has the wisdom and sensitivity that makes her perfect for an embittered man like Sin. And she can kick some serious bottom too.

Kat and Sin were a great couple. Definitely one of my favorites in the Dark-Hunter series so far. It's great to see both of them find happiness, after Sin had lost so much, and Kat had gone eleven thousand years missing a vital part of her identity. Both of the had seen love go wrong, and had the wary hearts to prove it, but they found each other, and saved the world in the process.

I also gained some insight into a long-despised recurring character in this book, Artemis. Spoiled, selfish, mercurial, yet she does have the capacity for love. Still not my favorite, and still making me desirous of slapping her hard enough to make her eyes roll, but I can see that she does have some good points.

A consistent strength of Kenyon is the cast of secondary characters that she weaves into each story. This book introduces some new faces that had me laughing out loud in the gym on the elliptical trainer with their sarcastic quips. I love the wit and the humor in these Dark-Hunter books. It helps to transition very well from the scenes of sadness as these ancient characters go through awful events that have left the mark of suffering on their psyches. love how she intertwines mythology along with the things that surely come out of her great imagination in her books. It's great to see familiar characters from the myths, but in a story that shows different aspects (and brings these characters to life, dare I say) that the myths could not delve into. Like Hades' sarcastic wit, and his fear of Persephone being angry at him. Gotta love that poor Hades, the all-powerful god of the Underworld is a whipped husband. I must say that I find Hades to be quite the hottie. The much beloved Simi and her sister Xirena also make appearances, with their love of shopping, Diamonique, and devouring demons.

Acheron has a very pivotal role in this story that I loved, and we get to see more of his backstory. If you are a fan of his (of course you are), you need to read this book. I need to get the last two books read before I can pull out his book, Acheron. We get to meet Xypher, who is the future hero of Dream Chaser. I am already intrigued with him. Sin's brother Zakar is an interesting character whom I hope to see again, as well. Kenyon also gives us a more sympathetic look at Daimons, as we learn they are not the worst enemies in this universe.

Kenyon is one of the funniest writers I've ever read. It's amazing that she can also write some of the most angsty, most tortured heroes I've had the pleasure (sounds sadistic of me) to read about, yet she can make me laugh out loud at the gym, uncaring that people are probably wondering if I'm going crazy or something.

If you want several hours of enjoyment that takes you into a world just like our own, but is filled with action, adventure, magic, myth, and an incredible love story, you should read this book.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1) Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I hadn't read any Kleypas for a while when I started reading this book. It reminded me of how effective and seductive Kleypas is as a writer. She really does write a beautiful love story. Her stories are dreamy and elegant, full of imagery that draws me into the story and out of my everyday existence. She really is a wordsmith to this reader.

I know a lot of fans were unhappy that Cam was not paired with Daisy, but I have no regrets. Cam and Amelia were meant to be together. Cam was searching for something that gave him a sense of home. He found it in Amelia. He found himself unsettled by living as a gadjo (non-Romany). He was almost disgusted with his adopted materialistic lifestyle, hating the fact that he couldn't seem to stop accumulating wealth, even though he tried very hard to lose money, investing in companies sure to fail, but always recieving windfall after windfall. Just when he is about to walk away from that life and return to the wandering ways of the Roma, he meets Amelia. She challenges and compels him as no other woman has. He wants her desperately, although she is clearly a woman who would need a settled man in her life. Yet, he cannot walk away from her. You realize it before Cam does that he is a goner. He tells himself he will walk away from Amelia, but you know that he's not going anywhere. For all his prior determination to leave Amelia alone, once he decides he wants to keep her, Cam is pretty much set on that path. I liked that about this story, as I love heroes in pursuit. I liked that although Cam does seduce Amelia, he has committed to her in his heart and won't go back on that commitment. I really enjoyed the part when Amelia woke up with his ring on his finger, and how she couldn't get it off. I thought that was a nice touch.

It was interesting that Amelia was the reluctant one in this story, although it totally made sense. She had been let down by those who loved her. Her parents died on her, leaving her with three younger sisters to care for, and a brother who was intent on losing all of their income, and destorying himself after the loss of his fiancee. Not to mention the fact that her first love abandoned her for a girl whose father could help his career. She is determined not to marry, and feels content with watching over her family. She doesn't think she's anything special. So when Cam starts to pursue her so ardently, she does resist, at least at first. But Amelia is as drawn to Cam as he is to her. He is beautiful and wild, and temptation in a in irresistible package. Knowing it's a bad idea to get involved with him, she cannot seem to avoid him or her feelings for him. It was a delicious love story to read.

Amelia's somewhat bad-tempered moments are refreshing. I like sweet heroines a lot more than some readers, but it's also nice to see heroines who do have bad days and temperamental moments. Who do get frustrated and say things in anger. Amelia has a lot of responsibility and stress, and it was realistic for her to have moments where she showed that her nerves were frayed. Cam seemed to embrace her outspoken and at times somewhat abrasive behavior, enjoying that part of her equally with other aspects of her person. He was considerate to her needs, understanding her fears and doubts, and did everything he could to help her family, even before he had committed to marrying her.

Cam truly showed that was steadfast, showing her that he could be relied upon. Considering the fact that Cam is half-Roma, and there was obviously a prejudice against the Roma, I enjoyed the fact that he showed the good traits that her prejudiced ex-fiance Christopher lacked, although he mocked and looked down on the "dirty, untrustworthy Roma." I liked despite the fact that Cam was Roma and that there were those who did not like the Roma was touched upon, but it wasn't truly an obstacle in their relationship. Cam looked at his heritage as being part of him, and knew he would not give her up, despite the prejudice they might face. I liked that he embraced his heritage, good and bad. As a fan of possessive heroes, I quite enjoyed him being so jealous of any man being near Amelia. The part where he finds out Amelia was alone with Christopher Frost, whew! (Okay I know I'm weird.)

The elements of Romany heritage, culture, and language were very interesting to me. I don't really know much about them, so it was a nice little lesson to this history buff.

I do have to say that Leo was bugging me. I feel bad that he lost his true love, but he didn't seem to realize that he wasn't just hurting himself, but his sisters who depended on him. I hope that we get to see him mature and get over his loss and become the person he was meant to be. I'm pretty sure that's what Laura (his lost love) would want for him. I loved the paranormal twist with the ghostly haunting that the Hathaways were experiencing, which was heavily tied into Leo's emotional issues. Very nicely done, adding to the delightful Victorian feel. As a fan of classic ghost stories, particularly set in the late 19th/early 20th century, I certainly enjoyed this twist in the story.

The Hathaways are an entertaining family, each sister having a distinct personality that I hope to see more of. There were moments that their sisterly interactions reminded me of one of my favorite books, Little Women. You can guess who Win reminded me a little of.

I loved the interactions between Win and Merripen. I have a feeling their book will be wonderful, as it is very clear already how deep the love they have for each other is.

Also it was so cool to see St. Vincent (sigh) and Evie, and Westcliff and Lillian. I like how down to earth Lillian is, and it's clear that she's been a great influence on Westcliff, although he's still bossy as ever.

If I have one complaint, it's how quickly the conflict wrapped up with Amelia's ex-love, Christopher. That was a little too abrupt.

All and all, a great reintroduction to a long favorite author of mine.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

I just wanted to say thanks!

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my humble little book blog, left comments, and supported me. Also to thank the lovely ladies who have given me blog awards. I am very technologically challenged, and time challenged, or I would post the awards on my blog. I will try to get up to speed and start doing that. Having said that, I am truly thankful for the recognition.

Blogging is such a great release. I love writing and communicating my thoughts through words. I'm not much of a public speaker, but I do love to get my ideas out there in the written form. Combining this with my love of books is magic. I must say that I have been blessed to get to know so many great people online who share that magic connection with me, the love of books. I just wanted to take the time to extent my sincerest thanks and gratitude to my e-friends and my blogging friends. Let's keep reading and writing about books!

Dark Thirst by Sara Reinke

Dark Thirst (The Brethren #1) Dark Thirst by Sara Reinke

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Brandon is a one of a kind hero. His story is heartbreaking. At one point, I almost put the book down, thinking why? How could someone be cruel to their own grandson like this? If you like tortured heroes, you must read this book. I like that Ms. Reinke threw out the rule book when she wrote this book. She was not afraid to make Brandon vulnerable and the opposite of what a lot of romance novel heroes are. That doesn't make him any less appealing. Brandon has been abused and mistreated by his family after he was horribly wounded and almost died during a botched robbery. The scene where we see this happen just broke something inside of me. The aftermath is that he is a deaf-mute. His family is intolerant of his imperfection, yet they won't let him escape to find a better life. They hate that he is different, and want to crush his individuality in every way. Like I said, heartbreaking. Despite this, Brandon shows an inner strength, kind of in a Zen way. He is the tree that doesn't break because it bends. He refuses to give into the bloodthirsty ways of his people. He refuses to let go of the love in his heart for Jackson, the man who taught him how to read and to sign. And for Angelina, and he puts himself in jeopardy to save them, when he family set it up for them to be murdered. Brandon is very young when this book starts, only twenty-one. He's actually several years younger than Angelina, the woman of his dreams. I thought it might be weird that he was so young, and it was certainly different. But again, I like that Reinke wasn't afraid to do this. I also liked that in some ways he is more vulnerable than Angelina. But at the same time, he has an inner strength. Now I did have an issue with Angelina's character. I don't think I truly got to know her. I wish more time had been spent on her backstory, but realizing the shortness of this book, and how compelling Brandon was, I can see why the author chose to focus more on Brandon. I loved the connection between Brandon and Angelina. I do think they were soulmates, complementing each other. Although Angelina was the more experienced, and harder character, Brandon had an inner strength that brought a calm and peace to Angelina. Another pet peeve I had was how beat up Brandon kept getting in this book. He was a really good fighter, but his evil, awful brother was always just that little bit stronger than him. This wasn't really bad in itself, just different. I liked the mythology of this series, although it's a bit different from a lot of the vamp paranormals out right now. That's a good thing. I do feel that there is much more to learn about the Brethren. Right now, they are not really nice vamps in my mind, except for Brandon, Tessa, and Remy. I'm eager to read Remy and Tessa's book, and to find outwhere things unfold after this book was over. Although this wasn't a perfect book, I do love it because of the wonderful character that Reinke has created in Brandon. I just sigh thinking about him.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Dark Secret by Christine Feehan

Dark Secret (Carpathians, #15) Dark Secret by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rafael is something else. He's definitely a 'I want, I take' kind of hero. This book plays out like a tug of war. He sees Colby and knows he has to have her as his lifemate, and then proceeds and taking control of her life. But Colby isn't down with that. She's attracted to him, quite fiercely in fact. That makes the physical part easy for Rafael, but there is not a more stubborn woman on earth, at least in this book. Colby has had to be stubborn to survive her life, and keep a roof over the heads of her brother and sister and herself. She works from dawn and past dusk doing so, running the ranch, and training other people's horses. She doesn't even allow herself to think about a life for herself and meeting her own needs.

She's scared to death when the De La Cruz brothers arrive with the Chevez brothers who are the uncles of her half-sister and half-brother. They are going to take her family away to Brazil, and she'll never see them again. So her defenses are up against the admittedly gorgeous and unbelieveably attractive Rafael, despite the pull he has on her.

Rafael is pretty underhanded in his seduction of Colby. In his mind, having her as his lifemate is a foregone conclusion, so he proceeds full-steam ahead. He seduces Cobly while she is dreaming, and when she realizes what happens, she is devastated. At this point, had Rafael not been remorseful, I would have thought he was a complete jerk. He really does feel sorry for taking away her choices, yet at the same time, he's not going to give her up.

As a Carpathian, Rafael doesn't have the same understanding of man/woman rules that a human male would follow. All he understands is that she is his other half and he can do nothing else but claim her. Yes, he's pretty arrogant, but he also shows genuine caring and love for Colby and her half-sister and half-brother, protecting her from the menace terrorizing her, and helping them to shoulder their burdens.

I couldn't help but like Rafael, despite his flaws. I liked him because his heart was in the right place. I think that CF did a good job of fleshing him out and giving him all the vulnerabilities that put his arrogance into perspective.

I really liked Colby. She's a tough, strong woman. She doesn't back down. I admired that she managed to keep the ranch going and to deal with macho guys and put them in their place when they tried to get into her business. She could have walked away from her siblings and lived her own life, but she stuck it out of love. I liked the way Colby handled Rafael and was honest with him about how she didn't like the way he had manipulated her. And when his life is in jeopardy, she does all that she can to save him. In my mind, they are a great couple.

The menace of the vampire was very apparent and creepy. CF showed it in various ways, and makes each book feel different, although it's a similar basic storyline. This book straddles the line between paranormal and horror, in my opinion. There are some moments are very thrilling and have the ick factor of a full-on horror novel. The action scenes were awesome, and the descriptions of Rafael and Virkinoff, another Carpathian, hunting and fighting the vampire Kirja were exciting. I think that Christine Feehan is a fantastic author. Yes, she tends to have her favorite words and motifs, but what author doesn't. I have to say that this is another one of my favorites in this series, and I am so glad that I discovered Christine Feehan this year, and for the recommendations to read this series.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dark Fire by Christine Feehan

Dark Fire (Carpathians, #6) Dark Fire by Christine Feehan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had a feeling I would like Darius' story when I read about him in Dark Challenge, and I did. He is a powerful, charismatic hero. Seeing who he ends up with was a particular pleasure, and I must say that Ms. Feehan chose the perfect heroine for him. This book was good from beginning to end. Tempest and Darius had the magic chemistry that makes romance novels so delicious. Also, I just plain liked Tempest. For the hard life she had lived, she was a bright person, with a great sense of humor. She didn't let people get too close to her, but it was clear that she was going to be part of the family when she takes the job as mechanic for Desari's musical troupe. Darius sees her and it's love at first sight. Sigh. Okay, I'm a sap. The thing I like about these Carpathian books is how the switch is flipped. The Carpathian males are the ones wanting the bond, and the heroines are usually running away. I like that so much better than the pining heroine who is throwing herself at the hero (with a few exceptions). If you like action and adventure, this is a great book for that, because Tempest cannot seem to stay out of trouble, and then she'd have to get out of fixes or get rescued. It didn't bother me although I am sure some readers would be annoyed. It was just impossible not to like her. I loved the back and forth between Tempest and Darius, adding a light-hearted element to a story that easily could have been dreary due to the fact that Carpathians live a very desperate, edgy existence, staying one step ahead of their enemies, and hunting the vampires who were their kin who turned to the dark side. I liked that Tempest wasn't a pushover, and would tell Darius where to stick it in a second. I also liked how she made a very tough decision to help save Darius' life. This couple really showed what love is supposed to be (IMHO). I also enjoyed seeing Julian and Desari again, as well as Barack, Syndil, and Dayan. Although it was nice to see Barack and Syndil get together, I wish I could have had a little more resolution. The way this story ends, you know they will be together, but they haven't exactly worked out how. I would have to say that this is my favorite Carpathian book so far, but there are more to go.

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