Frost's writing takes you thru intense and such seemingly realistic emotions that all the supernatural stuff is just fun icing and secondary. You'll experience the intense emotional wrench as the Heroine has to make one of the hardest decisions of her life but I so wished I was like her when confronted with a strong man whose emotions were so walled up his pride ran the show.
Even if you didn't read the first book of this spin off from the Night Huntress series, you will love Leila and get caught up quickly. Vlad? No writer in the history of this genre has made a Vlad so complex, delicious and dangerous.
Tavia Gilbert works hard to bring the personalities and accents of the narrative to life. And boy does she take you to the heights at pivotal points in the story. It'll bring you to your tip toes.
Thank you Ms Frost for the perfect sequel and the perfect cliffhanger--that satisfies yet tantalizes!
Out of 20 or so books this year, this is my vote for best of the year.
From the description, I was expecting this to be a cross between Christine Feehan's intense rockstar romance Turbulent Sea and Olivia Cunning's Sinners on Tour sexcapades. Since most of Cunning's sinful sexcapades were too much for me with the acrobatic and gratuitous erotica, I was thrilled that this was more like the sexy intensity in Turbulent Sea.
But that's where the similarity ends. With a wonderful role reversal, James creates a fascinating character in Liberty, the soldier sister mentioned in Saddled and Spurred, sister to lead Harper Masterson. Liberty is dealing with post war reintegration as a security specialist and now bodyguard, a role usually played in romantic fiction by the male. But Liberty is far from butch. And Devin is far from the stereotypical music star. If you've caught him in previous books in this edgy series, you probably suspected that!
James does an excellent job of turning these two characters toward one another despite a lot antagonism on both sides and I was thrilled that she avoided some of the usual cliches often seen in romantic suspense. Mostly I was thrilled that she didn't used the tired "misunderstanding" plot device as I was convinced of early on. The who-done-it part was a little too obvious, and I'd down grade a great listen to 4.5 if we could.
The pacing will keep you engaged in the story, the romance will keep you warm, and the sexy parts will make you burn. James has written the best one of the Blacktop Cowboy series--in character development, plot, and resolution. Altho all the other books in the series earned four stars from me, this one gets a 5.
Thoroughly enjoyable. I might even give country music a second try!
Few authors manage to keep a complex storyline fresh through so many books (14) like Kresley Cole. Throughout the series Cole has paired the most unusual but credible characters who are each so different, with different challenges and personalities. But in this installment we finally get an inkling as to the method for the madness in delicious returns of recurring characters like Nix. In this tale we get glimpses into why Nix has been meddlingg since the beginning of the series, and we get further direction into Nix's own story arc.
What has surprised me so much is how so many books she wrote in the series have a point-in-time intersection in the immortal prison island and then each expand outward in different plots. Many of these such as Declan and Regin, Malkom & Carrow, Uiellum & Chloe and of course the incomparable lunatic Lothaire ( recent books preceding Dark Skye), follow a similar outline of epic obstacles in the fantasy multi-verse, romantically resistant characters, but feature such richly detailed stories they each stand out and alone.
Cole's uniqueness in this genre is her ability to weave complex but riveting adventurous tales of romantic pursuit, with strong physical desires that become tempered by intense self-sacrificial love. While Cole doesn't hold back describing erotic scenes, one isn't struck by the gratuitous nature of the scenes, but a furthering of the growing bonds between our two heros.
Of course, the series wouldn't be so wonderful to listen to had anyone but Robert Petkoff been the performer. Petkoff's versatility in voices and accents is astounding. I've listened to around 500 audiobooks in the past few years, and few compare to his flawless and compelling delivery.
If you are new to Kresley Cole, note that the price of the audiobooks is one of the best buys in romantic fiction. Superb writing, excellent suspense and adventure, crazy poignant love stories and some of the best audio performance out there--the prices of many of the books in this series are well below a credit and making it the best bang for your romance buck.
Strongly recommend this book for credit or cash.
After reading the first two books about these exceptional men and world they created for others like them, I had zero inkling or foreshadowing of the turn this third and final book would take. Nor would I ever have expected the sheer breath-taking opening, the meeting of the two leads, nor the rollercoaster ride to the end.
I'm not going to give anything away so when you read it you'll be gobsmacked as I was. Its another book from this series that I will not soon forget. I'm a veteran reader in this genre, reading and listening to 400 books a year, so you will appreciate my delight in not anticipating any of the turns Rice took in this book. It saddens and perplexes me that this is billed as the final book of the series since there were so many other stories to be told. But we do get to visit in with the other fledgling couples from the first two books as well as see closure in some of the other characters stories in a most satisfying way.
One of the cool things about Rice is the good technical research she does compared to other top authors. All three of the female leads in these books are all research scientists and Rice will draw you in to disease etiology, vectors, transmission, and other epidemiological issues in a way that is engrossing but doesn't alienate or bore those of us non-medical types. Our female heros are uber feminine but strong, steadfast with no cracking under pressure, no screaming, swooning or other antics of old-fashioned romance. They are as much the heros as their swoon-worthy alpha dudes.
How's that for a refreshing change of pace!
The performance was very good. I really enjoyed Kaleo Griffith in Pamela Clare's I-team series, so it was wonderful to hear his honey-like mellifluous tones in this one. He's gotten much better at his military pronunciations too. Excellent pairing.
Read the series and definitely this book. Its excellent.
This new novel by Naughton is gripping, intense, well-written, and passionate spy thriller. Enter the world of career spies, double crosses, terrorism, and two spies that try to find their way back to one another after devastating horrors and intrigue separate them years prior. Naughton does a great job in the pacing and slow unveiling of a realistic terrorism plot and how it affects the lives of so many, in particular the leads. She is setting up what looks like a perfect series.
The romance is top notch and will stay with you. I can't wait to listen to this again now that I know what happens, so I can better catch the clues. I admit I was off about who-did-it and I do not know why that creates reader delight, but it did!
We also meet a couple others whose stories will be auto-downloads when released. Hurry, Ms. Naughton.
This was an excellent audiobook, and Hilary Huber really added to the overall enjoyment with her narration. What makes this a double-whammy? At the bargain price of $7 and change, it is definitely like finding Lindt chocolates in place of your hershey bar.
Fans of Suzanne Brockman, Lisa Marie Rice and others of this genre will be delighted.
Get this book and settle in.
I love this author's style and imagination. Loved the series even tho I started with book two and followed with book one, then three.
That said, this one was a bit of a disappointment. We had much of the same cast, altho there were curiously "convenient" absences by some of the core characters that played nicely in the story arc such as Hannah, the immortal young cherokee psychic. She gets sidelined in a flat way that tells me Ms Sandlin may be growing tired of the series. Some of the muddiness in the romance with various folks vying for the same mates also seemed forced. In fact I was quite bored by the whole thing.
But most disappointing--the lovely complicated scheming bad guy(s) that were so easy to hate in previous books were, in this book so predictable from very early on (chapter one or two?), that there was no suspense for me throughout the book. It's not a terrible book and if you are a fan of the series, you'll like this latest edition, but its definitely not like the first three in terms of suspense, romantic heat, plot and story arc. You'll like it. You just may not get the same thrill as earlier books.
There is a set up for Nick's ("Zorba") tale in the next book. I look forward to it.
Narration was fine and she kept on her toes with the Irish, Scottish, English, and deep south accents. Ms McFadden does a respectable job keeping them straight and moving at a good pace through the book.
This was a classic romance starring an nontraditional female lead who is a hard hitting war correspondent who struggles in silence with PTSD. I applaud the author for dealing with this subject in a non-combatant and in not making it too melodramatic, but making it one of the challenges the couple has to deal with.
There have been a variety of romance books that have featured characters suffering from this who are magically cured thru family "love" and other platitudes that overlook this difficult condition. Woods depiction is realistic as is the resolution.
This is a wonderful warm listen with a cast of characters you come to know and love not unlike Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, the characters all working on relationships or the lack of thru the book.
I offer 4 stars because it went on about an hour too long and could have used a little editing toward the end.
But I recommend this listen for a satisfying love story.
Readers of Virgin Valley series by same author will recognize the style, but not the romance, because it was distant--literally.
This is more a pastoral description of a country doctor's life, and not so much the medical portion, but the personal side of her life focusing more on the mystery of the bones found in her aunt's backyard. Features the usual eccentric characters and their daily dramas. Periodically we hear from the doctor's distantly stationed boyfriend.
But my romantic sense felt flat in this book.
If you haven't read the first book in this series (like me), you will get updated with one-line sentances that apparently featured large in the previous book. But you might feel rushed, as did I.
While I have given 8 of the Robyn Carr books in the Virgin Valley books solid "4s", this one was disappointing. The characterizations were solid, the large cast of characters and the many small town dramas were interesting. Its not a bad book. Its just not a romance.
Terese Plummer is reliable as the voice for Robyn Carr.
Kristin Ashley delivers more non-stop action in one chapter than 3 episodes of the tv series "24". Fresh, fun, her bawdy eccentric cast of characters will make you smile, laugh, and unable to turn the audiobook off.
Because I really liked her Mystery Man and Wild Man books, I had bought Rock Chick a while back but wasn't really drawn in by the description on the kindle version. It was fun how she threw in the overt references to Rock Chicks and included Lee in those two later books. Trusting Ashley, when it came out on audio, I got it instantly. Good decision. I had bought the next one in the series before the second half of the book even started.
Prospective reader: if you are having visions that this is going to be set in rock band groupies world, and find that doesn't appeal (it didn't to me, hence my delay to read it), don't worry, its not. Indie just loves loud rock and had a close encounter with joe perry from Aerosmith which is a highlight of her wild child days and is frequently referenced as a comparison point. Since the book is non-stop absurd crazy, she has a lot of comparing to do.
I love Ashley's "real", conversational delivery, the absurd over the top situations and dialogue and the fact that the characters are not the usual idealistic specimens that populate many writer's minds (and not the real world). Indie collects misfits and they make the scene. Jones does a truly fabulous job getting the intonation, pacing, emotion, and characters right in her delivery. She was the perfect choice of narrator to make this a 5 star-gimme-more book!
This goes on my top 5 of 44 audiobooks this year. Get it and strap yourself in.
Oh, and this also warrants a $15 bottle of wine, not the cheap stuff.
(countdown: 38 days till the next one.)
Thea Harrison doesn't know how to write a bad or boring story.
This was fun and satisfying. Her world of nightkind is so well written, and Harrison never disappoints with original characters and romantic pairings. Altho a bit pricy for less-than 4 hours, it is worth it. You'll love it!
In the late 1980s, in the military, I was into survivalism--being able to survive in case of societal breakdown/Soviet invasion/EMP and other disaster scenarios.
So, I thought this would be a fun dip back into that pond. A.American is clearly infatuated with name-brand gear and for the non-survivalist, you will have to stick it out in the long descriptions of acronym-laden gear required to be "prepared".
This book plows deeply into the conspiracy mutterings of the ultra right wing, namely that the government wants totalitarian control over you, wants to take your guns, your right to defend yourself, your food, your independence and your autonomy.
Within that conceptual housing, the theme was deeply anti-social in that as our lead guy tries to make it back to his family to east Florida from where he's at near Tallahassee and is accosted at nearly every interaction with other people who try to take his backpack, food, weapons, and life--and this but a few days after the event (an EMP of some sort). Thru his Magyver-life wileyness, he is able to extricate himself and stay on track for home. But not without meeting up with the ultimate uber "prepper", the mysterious Sergeant and his team of black op "patriots" fighting an unnamed secret counter-insurgency (again, were talking only days into this after the event) after they defect from a military operation run by Homeland Security who has now taken control of the US.
Time and time again, the author keeps reminding the reader that "Iron makes right" (guns will rule), that guns will rule the natural homicidal tendencies that seem to run in all of us even a day after all the electronics stop running. That evil will rise the top if good men stand by (without guns). That all people who lack something will suddenly become "socialists" and demand we share with them. That child predators will take over if they have guns and can only be stopped by those who also have guns.
In spite of some interesting writing (where nearly 25% of sentences in some sections began in first person "I went....I held....I then...."), I quite enjoyed this until about 2/3rds of the way in where the two sidekicks are painted as annoying cowards for being down on killing in the name of self-defense and then the constant proselytizing about need for guns and repetitive theme of how evil people will have guns so you must too. I didn't understand why these two, whose lives were at stake would suddenly have such reticence, and the character about-face was jarring.
I get the gun argument, and as someone who actually spends about 30 nites a year in the wilderness of the Sierra, White, Inyo and other mountain ranges, often happily alone, I get the self-sufficiency argument. But the amorphous arguments of the evil conspiratorial DHS and its gestapo-like agents in black helos arn't actually backed up with any kind of plot or rationale. The author seemed to been building a good plot for why the govt was being taken over and resulting chaos, but he totally ran out of steam and it degenerated into a rant about might makes right.
About halfway in to the book, I was driving across the mojave and the struggles in the book had me thinking I needed to replentish my water and other supplies (you know, just in case!) But in the last quarter of the book I felt pretty let down. I was hoping for a good story about the government takeover, but he never delivered.
This book will fan gun-right fervor like nitroglycerin, and it will very much resonate with those who think the government is bad, is trying to control them and other such ideas. But it contradicts itself, and doesn't really develop any kind of plot other than one tactical scene following another.
Halfway thru, I was excited for the next book. By the last hour, I just wanted it over with. This is appealing to some folks, but perhaps less so if you are sticky about having some plot to go with your conspiracy and doomsday scenario.
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