Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review ~ Haven by Kay Hooper

Goodreads Synopsis:

Another nightmare, in the woods this time. Different: She was running. Trying to escape.

But the same ending. Always the same ending. Another dead girl…

Emma Rayburn was born and raised in Baron Hollow, North Carolina, and it was a quiet life. Then came the accident…and the nightmares—each filled with unshakable visions of darkness, blind panic, and desperate women chased toward inevitable death. With no reports of local women missing or found dead, Emma has written it off to troubled imaginings—night after dreaded night. Until her sister arrives.

Jessie Rayburn, psychic investigator for a firm called Haven, has been estranged from Emma for years. Unresolved issues from Jessie’s past have not only kept them apart but have been clouding Jessie’s unique abilities. A return to her hometown to face a dark and violent incident from years gone by is her chance to regain them. But reconciliation with the past comes with a price. Few people in Baron Hollow are welcoming Jessie back. No one dares to breathe a word. And in this conspiracy of silence, Emma’s nightmares are becoming more vivid than ever.

Even with the help of Noah Bishop, head of the FBI Special Crimes Unit and co-founder of Haven, Jessie and Emma soon find themselves outnumbered by the secrets buried in Baron Hollow—and outrunning an evil that has been festering for years, one that’s targeting Jessie and Emma one last time.

My Review:

Kay Hooper is the author that took my hand and let me into the paranormal.  I read crime and thrillers, then I came across some crime fighters with special abilities.  I did kind of take it to the extreme once I latched onto that whole special abilities thing, running all the way to vamps and weres, but I always stay true to Kay and read all of the Bishop / Special Crimes books.

Haven is not truly a Bishop book, but focuses on Haven, the organization of civilians with special crime-fighting abilities that Bishop helped create.  Jessie is a member of Haven but finds her abilities are being hindered by regressed memories.  Her task is to return to her childhood home and work through those memories so that she may better access her abilities.  Going back proves to be difficult and the memories she has suppressed become dangerous even after all this time.
Emma is Jessie's sister.  She doesn't know about all these special powers and thinks she is just having wicked nightmares.  It's not until Jessie returns, and these other strangers all whole up in her bed and breakfast, that her blinders are pulled off and she starts to see that there is more to her nightmares.

There is a killer in Baron Hollow, although no one is really aware of the fact since they have so many passing hikers and such that no one really misses them in the town.  This killer has it in for Jessie when he discovers her back in town. 

Jessie really ticked me off.  I wanted her to be there for her sister a lot more than she really was.  She seemed so determined to do things on her own and not use the tools available to her, like her fellow Haven operatives.

The killer is this book has a really strange disposal method, and I found that kind of weird.  Oh and one of the scenes in the book seemed to come straight out of a Criminal Minds episode.  If you know which one I mean, comment below.

The ending was sad.  I'm so used to my HEA's with all my paranormal romances, that coming across a book that is not a perfectly happy ending left me feeling shocked.  I kind of miss those surprises.  The crime and thriller books can certainly get you out of that predictability rut.

All in all, I would give Haven a 3.5 out of 5.  The story was good, I didn't guess the killer but I just didn't form an emotional attachment to the characters.  I think I was a little confused too on the past scenario that started the whole thing.  I still would recommend it.  It was good, just not as good as other Bishop novels I have read.

Much love!

Dirty Little Secret #6

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets. We hope that you will all join us!

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions. 
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link to the Mr. Linky at Under the Covers.

Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!! Let us know your answer in the comments! 

We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

This week's question:
With all the great releases out this month, which has been the one you have clicked up first?  Which has surprised you the most?

My Answer:
I didn't get any of the new releases for September.  I've been trying to get all of the Immortal After Dark series read as well as the couple of books I had for book club to read.  I'm a slow reader!  I will say I was surprised by one of my book club books, Take It Like a Vamp by Candace Havens.  It was cute, and witty.  The heroine wasn't some gorgeous super model and was quite relatable (is that a word?).  I was surprised it was so good, as the cover wasn't really a big hit with me, plus it was a great deal on Kindle.  Try it out!

Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!! Let us know your answer in the comments! 

We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review ~ Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep

Goodreads Synopsis:  I used to murder people for money, but these days it’s more of a survival technique. Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town. Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

My Review:
I did not start out as a Gin fan.  I know that assassin's are cold-hearted and need to be for their jobs, I just didn't see enough of her personal side at first to determine if I liked her or not.  With each book we get to know Gin a little better and see that she indeed has feelings.  She is letting her affair with Owen grow into something and I was so glad to see that.  Then this bitch Salina comes along.  Owen's reaction to her appearance pissed me off and I wanted to dive into the book and slap him.  I totally appreciated Gin's logic and control over her emotions.  It was something I didn't like about her to begin with, but it was a tool she needed to fall back on in this situation.

After reading Thread of Death I was quite curious about Phillip Kincaid.  Widow's Web gives you a really good look at Phillip's past and his friendship with Owen.  He was made out to be a villianous mobster, but is he really?  Having a head mobster being called "Philly" nearly had me in tears.

Gin's on a mission to save Ashland, Phillip, Owen and his sister (her name escapes me at the moment), AND her relationship.  She knows what needs to be done, but will her job cost her the love of her life?  Gin knows her priorities and does not let her personal life get in the way.  I find myself in awe of her strength and selflessness.

All in all, I would give Widow's Web a 4 out of 5 rating.  I lost some respect for Owen and that had a bit of an impact on my rating.

Other thoughts:

Ok, this is not related to Widow's Web, but I really need some neat rating graphics, and a blog make over.  Does anyone have a favorite designer?  I'm on the lookout so leave me some suggestions!

Thanks for reading fellow readers!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review ~ Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams

Hello Everyone!  I've been away from the blog for awhile.  There have been some really awesome books come out, and then something that will surprise others that know me... I joined a book club.  I real, honest, face to face book club!  Go me!  With this new adventure brings new books.  This will give me little interludes of other genre's.  As you all know, I read mostly paranormal romance with some crime and thrillers thrown in.  I don't normally read a lot of light, cozy books.  In fact I think the last cozy mystery I read was Madelyn Alt's Bewitching mysteries and she hasn't released a new one of those in a while.  On a side note, if ANYONE knows when In Charm's Way will finally release, will they let me know?  They have it on Goodreads, but Amazon says it's "Currently Unavailable".  Back to the point here, it's been a long time since I've read a cozy.  So here we go!  Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams

Goodread's Synopsis:
When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

My Review:

As I said, it's been a long time since I have settled back and read a light, cozy mystery.  It was kind of an adjustment for me, and made it a little hard for me to get into.  Ella Mae and her family are special.  They have very unique powers.  I really liked the Aunts, they brought some good lighthearted feelings to the story.  Their belief in Ella Mae and her abilities was heartwarming.  The mystery was good, and the "death by rolling pin" was actually kind of funny.  I think the way Ella Mae accepted her abilities kind of surprised me.  I didn't really relate to her reaction.  I know that if I found out I was making people feel and do the things I was thinking about when I cooked.... well, I guess that really isn't something I can relate to anyway, because I do not cook!  Or on the other hand, everyone in my life would be irritated because that is what I feel when I have to cook!  I just think she accepted it so fast and without any question at all.  We could say that she was just used to these strange things in her life because of her mother and aunts all having some strange powers, I guess.

I'm going to give Pies and Prejudice 3 stars.  I didn't hate it, but I didn't make that emotional connection that I normally have to have to give something a 4 or 5.  I guess if I was going to put it into one word, I would say "indifferent".  

There is a sequel, Peach Pies and Alibis coming out on March 3, 2013.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review ~ Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Time Untime
Time Untime (Dark-Hunters)

Time Untime
Sherrilyn Kenyon 
Published August 7, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…

Long before recorded history, there was a Keetoowah warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.

The Time Untime approaches…

Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.

What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life. One who belongs to a world the scientist in her refuses to believe is real. 

Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has found the one person he can’t fight. The one person who, against his will, holds the most sacred part of him.

His heart.

But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.

Will he be able to make it again?

My Review:

I think that Time Untime is more of a "Dark Hunter Universe" book than it is a complete Dark Hunter book.  Yes, the main character is a Dark Hunter, but his world revolves more around fighting the evil from his pre-Dark Hunter civilization than the Daimons.  The book was alot like a series beginner than the 17th of a series.  The whole world and situation had to be laid out for us as a lot of the history is unrelated to the previous books.  I will admit, this was a hard thing for me.  With the other Dark Hunter books, I could relate to the gods like Artemis, Apollo, Zeus and the others.  But the history here involved more the Native American and Mayan beliefs and I am unfamiliar with those and the names were kind of hard for me to pronounce so I would have to keep reading them over and over to try and wrap my head around them.  I would really like to know if the beliefs in this book are actual beliefs from those nations.  It makes me want to pick up some history books and do some studying.  I actually was looking at my sons high school history syllabus wanting to take the class for him.  It was US History this year, but they are doing the old west and that just reminds me of Sundown!  Is it crazy of me to want to take high school courses so I can better relate to fictional characters?  There is just so much to read and learn!

Back to Time Untime.  I was really surprised at the relationship between Kateri and one of our previous characters.  It was a pleasant surprise as it guaranteed a visit from one of my favorite Dark Hunters.  I won't say who though because I don't want to spoil the surprise of who Kateri really is.  I was going to say another "one" of my favorite Dark Hunters makes an appearance, but that would be wrong, I think in total there are 3 that we see that I've formed an attachment to.  One of them though, is definitely Sundown.  He cracks me up every time he speaks.  That is another awesome point about all of the Dark Hunters.  They may have endured incredible pain and hardship, but they come back with some witty comments and attitudes (after they find their women that is).  One of my favorite quotes:

"Sure.  Why not?  If everyone dies, I'd have to cook my own food, and I cook like shit.  How about you?"  Ren laughed.  "Only fry bread and okra, and I make no claims to the edible state of either."

I think I like that one because I can't cook either!

I really liked Time Untime, but I think it was more because of the supporting characters than the story itself.  I think if I knew more about the background culture and legends, it might have been easier for me.  This may be a spoiler but it will explain one of my drawbacks to Ren.  So stop here before I say this.  I did not like Ren's age.  It puts him on a level with another character and I think that it took a bit away from that person.

So, I'm going to give Time Untime a 4 heart rating.  It would have been 5, and may even be a 5 for others, but I took too long to pick up the legends so it made it kind of a hard read for me.  Now onto the year-long wait for Styxx, releasing August 6, 2013.  Man, I hate waiting a whole year for a book.

Get your copy of Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon here:

Oh and let me drop a link to Sundown's book.  Just gotta have everyone learn about one of my favorite characters!