Wakefield, QC, Canada | Member Since 2011
Jennifer Estep definitely has a knack for creating characters; from her phenomenal heroine, to her lovable sidekicks, to her downright devious villains, I can’t help but be impressed every time I step into her world. That and I simply can not put her books down! Widow’s Web was no different except for the fact that I was mildly scared to turn the pages; not because I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy the story but because I feared for Gin and Owen’s relationship. That’s how involved I am in this series. Their struggles actually take an emotional toll on me. If that’s not the definition of a great author then I don’t know what is!
I find myself oddly fascinated by Estep’s antagonists; even if some of them are only present for one book, the amount of detail and thought that goes into them is simply remarkable. On the surface, Salina Dubois appears to be merely an ex-girlfriend trying to rekindle an old flame. However, as the story progresses it becomes obvious that there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. By the end I was in awe of her cruelty and cunningness; she definitely gives Gin a run for her money (in more ways than one)! I loved the way that Estep gradually widened this character’s scope until the big picture was revealed. Practically every chapter ends on a cliffhanger which had me constantly saying “I’ll just read one more…” and you all know how that goes. Now I’m stuck waiting until March for Deadly Sting. Ooh, the pain!
There’s trouble in paradise between Gin and Owen which honestly, was to be expected. Had their relationship bliss gone on for too many books I would have been disappointed. Yes I love them to death and yes I want them to get their happily ever after but they haven’t been tested nearly enough yet for them to have reached that point. This is Urban Fantasy people, there’s no such thing as easy! Grayson’s attitude was tiresome but understandable; love is blind and this book does a great job of illustrating that. I was impressed with Gin’s level of maturity and patience given the situation, in her shoes I would have turned into a jealous, sniveling mess. I think that Owen will eventually come to his senses and I’m more than willing to wait for that day; I just hope that he doesn’t take too long because he might end up being too little too late.
Finn really proved himself to me in this installment. For the past several books he’s been taking on a more active role in the assassin business and he really brought his A-game this time around. His character has morphed into so much more than just the ladies man that he started out as. Gin asked some very difficult things of him in Widow’s Web and he never hesitated. Not once. Like Blanco, he does what needs to be done regardless of who it pisses off and I love him for it. Especially now after everything that went down between Gin and Owen; it helps to lessen the blow knowing that Finn has her back.
I skipped over my usual go-to review criteria like the plot, pacing and writing because the awesomeness of these elements are a given seeing how this is an Elemental Assassin book but rest assured, they’re just as good this seventh time around. Be prepared to be put through the emotional ringer with Widow’s Web but take heart, Jennifer Estep will make it up to us. I have faith.
I’d like to start off this review by stating that this novel is nothing like Twilight so whatever hang-ups you may have about Stephenie Meyer’s original series should be set aside. As an avid reader, I’m a firm believer in that “the book is always better” saying so when I found out that there was a The Host movie in the works I couldn’t resist bumping this novel to the top of my to-be-read pile. Saying that I’m glad I did would be a gross understatement; I was glued to my ear buds from the moment I first pressed play!
The Host is unlike anything that I have ever read thanks to its emotionally complex story, unique POV and unlikely love triangle. This is one of those books that when you’re done reading it, you’ll need to take a moment to let it all sink in. I really enjoyed the two-characters-for-the-price-of-one aspect of this novel; it gave a whole new meaning to the “we” and “our” possessive pronouns. In this instance, instead of talking about a group of people the author is referring to the two minds in one body which made for one heck of an interesting first person POV. Kate Reading does an excellent job of sounding “other” while narrating from Wanderer’s perspective and human while reading from Melanie’s. Her voice is mesmerizing and definitely helped to make this 23 hour audiobook just fly by.
Normally, love triangles are one of my biggest pet peeves in fiction but Meyer’s is so outside of the box that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the characters’ emotions. Imagine having two people inside of your head who are in love with different guys! Not only that, but Wanderer and Mel’s psyches become so closely intertwined over time that it’s a challenge (even for them) to determine which feelings belong to whom. Throw some good old fashioned jealousy into the mix and you’re left with one incredibly complicated predicament!
A lot of really interesting questions surface in this book but the one that I personally found the most fascinating was what it means to be human. In the beginning the answer is pretty clear cut: humans = good and souls = bad. However, as the story progresses that line becomes progressively blurrier. Does the answer simply come down to a matter of genetics or is it a person’s actions that determine their humanity? By the end of this book I was surprised by how much my opinion of Wanderer had shifted. Although, it’s important to note that she’s not a typical soul so even though she won me over, the rest of her race did not.
The Host is an emotionally charged story that redefines the classic love triangle and take the first person POV to a whole new level. After finishing this novel the first thing that came to my mind was how in the heck are they ever going to make a movie out of this? I have a sneaky suspicion that as usual, the book will be better than the film.
For the second BDB installment in a row I found myself struggling to connect with the couple that’s supposedly at the center of this story. I enjoyed following Tohr on his road to recovery after losing his mate but No’One’s victim-like demeanor and inability to move on without a man’s help just didn’t sit right with me. I also found the chemistry between the two to be only lukewarm at best; quantity is not a good substitute for quality. Thank goodness for Xhex and JM otherwise I think this book would have been a total flop for me.
I started this novel thinking that a reasonable amount of time had passed since Welsie’s death so Tohr moving on made sense. He lost the love of his life and I thought that Ward did a good job of not belittling his heartbreak. However, once No’One was introduced as a possible love interest the brother’s attitude did a complete 180 and not for the better. Tohr came off as a user who was willing to throw anyone under the bus in an attempt to save his mate from the Fade. Unfortunately for No’One, she was easy prey because of her past and went along with Tohrment’s ridiculous tirade.
One of my main pet peeves about this series is the weak female characters and No’One is the most spineless one to date. I understand that she’s had a tough go at it but you’d think she’d have learned to cope after 200 years. I’m sorry but if I’ve learned one thing in my 30 odd years on this Earth it’s that you can’t rely on anyone but yourself. Yes it’s great to have family and a support system but at the end of the day the only person who can initiate change is you. Funny that I know this but that a centuries old vampire hasn’t figured it out… No, instead she needs a man to save her. Puhlease! Plus, why didn’t anyone else in the house step in or at least try to befriend her? In previous books when a character gets stuck on a destructive path the brotherhood takes action. I wasn’t a big fan of the mid-story name change either. On a few occasions I found myself wondering “where the heck did this Autumn person came from?”
The ending flat out pissed me off; if Ward can turn people into ghosts and revive others, why does Welsie even have to move on at all? Especially given what’s revealed about No’One’s situation. Same thing goes for Lassiter, he supposedly makes the ultimate sacrifice yet suffers no consequences? There were just SO many cope-outs made in this book that I don’t even want to go there or I’ll never finish this review. Lover Reborn is worth reading for the Xhex and JM’s side story but other than that, I’m sad to say that I could have done without this book.
After my positive experience with Fifty Shades of Grey, I decided to give this book a try seeing how so many comparisons haven been made between the two. The story is definitely similar as is the rich, alpha male stereotype but its Sylvia Day’s writing that is the clear winner here. The narrative flows well, the vocabulary is diverse and there’s minimal repetition which is a feat in itself considering the number of sex scenes in this novel. Bared to You is clearly the superior read amongst the two contemporary erotica series’.
I found that both of the main characters were reasonably well-developed but that Eva was significantly more defined than Gideon which is not surprising seeing how Day probably wanted him to maintain a certain degree of mystery. Tramell is just as messed up as her counterpart which surprised me a little because I’d expected there to be only one broken person in this book so there’s another un-Fifty like characteristic for you. Eva’s past is a troubled one and her tell-all session with Gideon took real courage and made my opinion of her skyrocket.
One of the things that irked me about this novel is that every single character, even the secondary ones, are beautiful. I expected as much of Eva and Gideon seeing how their initial attraction was purely physical but was it really necessary that Tramell’s roommate and Cross’ receptionist be equally as stunning? It felt like overkill to me. Also, as I mentioned, Day probably purposefully didn’t explore Gideon’s character in detail but by the end of the book I didn’t know much more about him than I did when he’s first introduced; other than the fact that he’s gorgeous of course. I’m thinking that this first installment was more about Eva and am hoping that the next book will focus more on Cross. You can only push the “mystery” so far in my opinion until it morphs into shallowness and this novel was close to falling into the latter category.
Jill Redfield is an enthusiastic narrator to say the least and listening to Bared to You while at work was… interesting. I will definitely be adding more erotica audiobooks to my library in the future! Redfield does every scene justice by adding just the right amount of emphasis to suit the storyline. She does a great job of alternating between a sassy tone and a dramatic one. More than once I found myself looking around my office to see if any of my coworkers were finding it as hot in the room as I was. Needless to say, it was just me!
I read the entire Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy so I think that it’s only fair that I give Sylvia Day’s next installment a chance as well. Hopefully Crossfire will improve with each book unlike its sister-series. But one thing is for sure, Bared to You will make your blood boil with either lust or anger and sometimes both!
Firelight may have knocked my socks off but Moonglow positively swept me away! You don’t just read this book but actually live it thanks to Kristen Callihan’s vivid descriptions, limitless world-building and irresistible characters. Once you enter her Darkest London universe you’ll never want to leave! Moira Quirk’s narration took some getting used to but once I got into the groove I was just as mesmerized by her voice as I was by Callihan’s superb writing.
This book requires your complete intention in order to be able to fully grasp the brilliance of it so don’t start it unless you’re prepared to commit! Darkest London is not just a locale but rather a living, breathing entity; so much so that it felt like a third (albeit welcome) wheel in Ian and Daisy’s adventures. I couldn’t help but marvel at the number of threads that Callihan introduces and then masterfully weaves into this story. Everything has a purpose regardless of how insignificant it may seem and all of them will come into play again before the end.
Daisy’s character is an interesting combination of warmth and steel; I loved her sunny disposition just as much as her immovable will. She’s an empowered woman in a city were social conventions reign supreme and I enjoyed watching her assert her newfound freedom. Kristen does a nice job of redeeming Ian’s character after his less than stellar actions in the previous book. His back-story is heartbreaking and helped to explain his earlier behaviour which went a long way in earning this reader’s forgiveness. The sex is steamy, erotic and memorable, especially the carriage scene!
The werewolf plot line kept me engaged with its politics, history and the intricacies of its subgroups. I also really enjoyed the way in which the author revealed the link between her books; it goes beyond the three sisters and came as quite the surprise! Moira Quirk’s English and brogue accents are well done but difficult to understand at first, especially when paired with the Victorian vocabulary. At times I regretted not having read this book because seeing the words instead of hearing them would have helped. However, once I got over that hurdle it was smooth sailing and I adored her narration.
The ending is unexpected and wonderfully crafted with just the right amount of build-up for the next installment. Moonglow is the perfect book to get lost in!
After having voraciously devoured all of the previous Elemental Assassin books I was curious and a bit apprehensive to uncover Estep’s “post Mab Monroe” game plan. Gin’s quest for vengeance has all but consumed this series’ storyline up until now so I was anxious to see what the pacing of By a Thread would be like without this driving force. And I have to hand it to Jennifer; this installment was just as mesmerizing as its predecessors.
Up until this novel I was willing to give Bria the benefit of the doubt; like Gin, she had a tough start in life. But that’s where the similarities between the two sisters end. After the initial ugliness, Coolidge had a pretty typical upbringing with normal things like friends, a happy childhood and the chance to pick her own path in life. In the early chapters of this book she came across as a female version of Donovan Cain. I seriously wanted to reach into the pages and b*tch slap her. The way Bria handled the introductions between her best friend, Callie, and Gin was awful. I’m still reeling from the insult. She might as well have ripped Blanco’s heart right out of her chest and stomped on it. Her pretty little speech towards the end was a step in the right direction but Bria still has a long way to go in order to earn my forgiveness, let alone Gin’s.
The breakneck action that this series is renowned for was just as riveting as ever but for me, it was the emotional elements that really stood out. Estep demonstrated that not only can she entertain her readers but she can also provide an enriching experience as well. Between her sister’s catty behaviour, Donovan Cain rearing his ugly head and Owen’s jealousy, it’s a wonder that Gin even has the time to kill anyone in this book. I loved the one fingered salute Blanco gives her ex towards the end of the story. This novel is worth reading for this scene alone. Anyone and everyone who’s ever been scorned by a lover will appreciate the karma behind their encounter.
I was impressed with Estep’s ability to breathe new life into her Elemental Assassin mold by switching up the big bad, changing locals and adding new characters into the mix. The backbone that I have loved since day one is still there but change is good and Jennifer does a phenomenal job of revamping her series. As usual, Lauren Fortgang’s narration was flawless and remains a key ingredient in my overall enjoyment of these books.
I sincerely hope that there’s no end in sight to this series because I will keep on reading it for as long as Jennifer Estep keeps on writing it. By a Thread seamlessly blends the old with the new and steers the Elemental Assassin world in a promising new direction.
I’ve been postponing reading the final novel in this series because I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to Georgina Kincaid. The ride has been fantastic, nearly every installment is a 5 star read however, like all good things it had to end sometime. But, boy what a way to go! Succubus Revealed sure wrapped things up with a bang! I never really picked up on the overall plot line of this series; Seth and Georgie’s on-again-off-again relationship has always been at the forefront but the significance of it never really hit me until this book. Their HEA not only exceeded my expectations but actually left me in awe. Well played Richelle Mead. Well played.
The opening chapters of this book start out like all of those that came before it. Georgina is given a new assignment from Hell which in this case means she’s being shipped to Vegas; yet another obstacle in her relationship with Seth. I didn’t really think much of it nor did Kincaid because it was pretty much status-quo that is, up until things just seemed a little too perfect. Roman, being the sh*t disturber that he is, encourages his roomie to look into her succubus contract. Again. This leads them to search for answers in the most unlikely of places: Seth. What they uncover shatters both of their worlds beyond repair. The time for playing ostrich is over; now that the truth is out, it can not be ignored.
I thought that Mead did a great job of gathering all of her characters together for one last hurrah. Aside from the bowling tournament which seemed a little ridiculous in my opinion (demons duking it out with strikes and spares, seriously?), I was happy to get some face time with each of them one last time. That’s the thing about this series, as much as I LOVE Georgie, I adore her friends almost just as much. Well, except Jerome. I enjoyed seeing Roman and Carter’s roles in Kincaid’s life come to fruition as well. Many other reviewers complained about the predictability of this book and I’m not sure if I just read the installments too far apart or if I was just too blind to see what was right in front of my nose but the big reveal caught me completely by surprise.
The main plot of Succubus Revealed is pretty straightforward so I won’t delve into it any further for fear of revealing too much. This series really is worth experiencing from beginning to end so I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. The audio versions are all the more satisfying thanks to Elisabeth Rodgers’ brilliant narration skills. Having listened to every one of these books I now find it hard to picture any other voice other than hers as Georgina Kincaid. Her performance as my favourite succubus is incredibly memorable and spellbinding.
Succubus Revealed is highly emotional, jaw-droopingly shocking and just plain fab. If you’re searching for a new series, you should make this one a priority.
Molly Harper has become my go-to author whenever I’m in the mood for a happy-go-lucky story with quirky characters and Amanda Ronconi has the perfect sarcastic tone that helps add some extra oomph to an already hilarious tale. This book is a great way to break a reading slump or to lighten your mood. I think Murphy’s Law: “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, was written with Jane Jameson in mind. Each chapter begins with a cute quote from The Guide For The Newly Undead; Harper also did something similar in her The Naked Werewolf series and I’m happy to see that it wasn’t just a one-off because these tips are hilarious! Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs will make you laugh so hard that you’ll end up in tears (in a good way!).
I discovered Molly’s books backwards; after having enjoyed her werewolves so much I just had to check out her vampires too! Please keep in mind that I am left-handed though so I tend to do things a little out of whack compared to most. Jane and I hit it off instantly! How can you not want to learn more about a character who gets fired from her job, drunk, mistaken for a deer and then shot within the first few chapters? You can’t. Jameson is ditzy, sarcastic and lovable. She’d probably drive me crazy in real life but as a fictional character, she’s freaking hilarious! Her shenanigans are laugh-out-loud funny and the situations she finds herself in are baffling in their absurdity. More often than not I found myself thinking “this could only happen to Jane”.
There’s a decent amount of world building in this novel which is expected seeing how it is the first installment of this series. I enjoyed learning about Harper’s vampires, the undead council and especially Jane through her internal monologues. The main story struck me as kinda odd; at first I wasn’t really sure of its direction and then as the pieces came together I was quite stunned by the overall turn of events. They were… unexpected. I’ll be curious to see what the next installment has in store because I had trouble identifying a plot line that’d continue into the next book. I’m thinking that these novels might be episodes in the mini-series that is Jane’s life which is fine by me because Jameson’s world definitely isn’t dull!
The side characters are just as lovable as the main one; I especially liked Gabriel and Zeb. The former is undeniably sexy but begins this story with a stick up his butt. At first I found him stuffy, a little stuck-up and rather mundane but, as the book progresses Jane slowly chips away at his snooty outer shell. I enjoyed watching his transformation and by the end I was putty in his hands. Zeb’s a normal guy who suddenly finds himself with a werewolf girlfriend and a vampire for a best friend. At one point, he repeatedly stabs Jane just to watch her heal. Their experiments with her undead-ness are beyond funny!
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs is good, clean, fun and guaranteed to make you look like an idiot because you will laugh out loud and receive dirty looks from those around you.
The humor in these books is so over-the-top ridiculous that you’ll spend a good chunk of your time wondering where the heck does Jones come up with this stuff! For example, I met Will Robinson and Danger in First Grave on the Right but in this installment Darynda names even more of Charley’s body parts. Priceless. Expect to laugh and to keep on laughing because Second Grave on the Left is better than 9.5 hours of live stand-up comedy!
Charley has a mouth on her like you wouldn’t believe; I could listen to her wise cracks all day long. She could even make a funeral entertaining, seriously! Her personality, fearlessness and saucy wit have sold me on the merits of this series. I also like how even though she’s a Grim Reaper she’s not indestructible; Davidson loses more scraps than she wins which is oddly refreshing in the world of Urban Fantasy.
Cookie is one of the better fictional sidekicks that I’ve encountered; not only does she have Charley’s back but her ditziness makes me laugh without trying too hard. Her faux pas’ aren’t stereotypical because they’re few and far between which keeps her character from becoming annoying but when she does goof, it’s spectacular. There’s this one scene that’s been on constant replay in my mind since I finished this book because it’s just too funny. The main plot revolves around one of Cookie’s friends so she takes a more active role in Davidson’s investigation this time around and I hope that this continues because I think that she really adds something extra to the story.
There’s only one thing that can make an already talented author’s writing even better and that’s a gifted narrator. Lorelei King’s portrayal of Charley is beyond memorable; her witty tone and colourful reading puts the little voice inside my head to shame. You really do get the best of both worlds with the audiobook version of this tale. There’s also a couple of extras that make it even more irresistible including an interview with the author conducted by King and a preview of the next installment.
I do have a few beefs with book 2 though; namely that it doesn’t contribute to the overall story arc of this series and that there weren’t enough Grim Reaper tidbits for my liking. As a result, this novel felt more like a snarky P.I. murder investigation as opposed to a story about THE angel of death; slightly disappointing but still entertaining nonetheless. The dream state sex between Charley and Reyes is also starting to bug me; it’s good but I’m itching for the day when they knock boots in real life.
Darynda Jones and Lorelei King are a winning combo that can’t be beat which makes Second Grave on the Left an essential listen for all audiobook junkies.
Elena Michaels is my favourite Women of the Otherworld narrator and listening to her poignant point of view via audio this second time around made me love Frostbitten even more. Jen Taylor had me hanging on her every word because she reads this story as though it were her own. I only have one complaint with this novel and it’s that it was over far too soon.
Reading this book a second time was bitter sweet for me because on the one hand, I love Kelley Armstrong’s wolves and am ecstatic to be revisiting them but on the other, I know that this is the last installment in this series that features Elena as the narrator and it wasn’t nearly long enough for my liking. Compared to her other novels, this one felt more like a novella than a full length book; the plot is rather basic and the tone is much lighter than its predecessors. I did enjoy the descriptiveness of Armstrong’s writing in this installment as well as the playfulness that Alaska brought out in Clay and Elena but I couldn’t help but feel cheated. I wanted more.
Elena has come full circle as a character and Frostbitten really brings that to the forefront by sharing bits of her past, present and future. This installment was kind of a mini-recap of Michael’s life as a werewolf because it showcases aspects of her relationship with Clay, experiences as a mother and future role as alpha. It also revisits her life as a foster child by dredging up painful memories and putting her in situations that force her to confront her traumatic upbringing. These are the parts where Jen Taylor’s narration really shined; I could hear Elena’s distress in her voice, the pregnant pauses and contemplative quietness mirrored Armstrong’s writing beautifully.
Clay and Elena’s relationship is another element that has come a long way since Bitten and I enjoyed seeing them finally getting to experience their HEA. There’s an open line of communication between them which is something that they’ve struggled with in the past. Their dialogues about Michael’s struggles with alphahood and Clay’s inability to be the pack enforcer he once was were some of my favourite parts. It has been a long upward battle but I think that they’ve finally found their “happy place” and that’s more important to me than the overall ending of the Women of the Otherworld series.
I probably won’t be re-reading this series a third time because Armstrong’s other characters didn’t succeed in capturing me quite like her werewolves have. The only books that I’ll never grow tired of are the ones that feature Clay and Elena, and Frostbitten is one of them.
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