Bites

Published: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Broken Angels (self)
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

Eight years ago, vampire Justus de Wynter fell in love with bluestocking, Bethany Mead, and suffered the consequences. He was sentenced to exile as a rogue vampire, and she was imprisoned in a mental institution.

After years of searching, and dodging patrolling vampires, Justus has finally found his love. But even after he breaks Bethany out of the asylum, the challenges that face them have only begun. For Justus is still a rogue, with no territory to grant them safety, and Bethany is a fugitive.

As they flee across the English countryside in search of refuge, Bethany and Justus must overcome the challenges of their past and find out if love is possible on the run. (goodreads.com)

Ugh. I love Ann’s writing. I really do. With the way WYNTER’S BITE ended I’m wondering if this is the last of the series. Each book has set up the next book’s protagonist nicely and obviously. This one . . . it could be a couple different people. I’m wondering if the intent is to let the series lie with this one and if she decides to carry it on she at least has a couple options. Methinks that might be the case.

The one thing that stood out to me about WYNTER’S BITE against the other books was that the sexual tension wasn’t as fantastic here. I’ve always praised Ann’s ability to write panty-soaking tension with her character. She likes to build up, dangle a piece, and then take it away at least one or twice before the culmination actually happens. Here, though, the tension was subdued. I didn’t feel that squirmy anxiousness that I normally felt in the other books.

That could have to do with the character situations and pacing being vastly different from the previous books. In all the other books the female protagonist and love interest are new to each other. Here Justus and Bethany have known each other and he’s rescuing her. So we have some flashbacks to set up their meeting, flashing forward to the rescue, peril as they remain on the run, both for Bethany as an escaped lunatic and Justus, a rogue vampire, before they finally settle. So no surprise that in a book that deviates from the norm of the series it’s going to deviate in more than one way.

Just don’t think this is me saying that the book was bad. Not at all. It just stands out against the others and I wasn’t prepared for such a different take on the standard plot so it threw me a little bit. I still loved Justus’s development and Ann creates fantastic, strong female characters that fit the regency mold in their limitations but break clean out of it with their strong minds and strong wills. Ann uses women that would have otherwise been rejected from society and gives them life with other societal rejects in the vampires. I love it.

I do hope Ann keeps writing in the Scandals with Bite series, but if she is setting this one aside for now I would understand. She has plenty else for me to read, and I can always re-read some of my favorite books!

4.5

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

February 13, 2017

This was the book that first introduced me to Mari Mancusi about ten years ago and it’s been love ever since. And not only because she totally love-drops The Lost Boys in her Blood Coven series. It’s a fantastic set of books with awesome characters and a plot that’ll suck you in right from the beginning and won’t let you go until the very end.

Mari recently had the rights to the series returned to her so she’s re-releasing the whole set with brand new covers! And starting today through February 17th you can get a copy of BOYS THAT BITE for free on Amazon Kindle! If you haven’t checked out the Blood Coven series yet, now’s the perfect time to start.

Two sisters–as different as the sun and the rain. For one, getting into the Blood Coven is to die for. But for the other, getting out could be lethal…

When Sunny McDonald gets dragged to Club Fang by her twin sister Rayne, she doesn’t expect to find anything besides a bunch of Goth kids playing at being vampires. But when some guy mistakes Sunny for her dark-side-loving sister and bites her on the neck, she finds out that his fangs are real–and deadly.

Now, Sunny has less than a week to figure out how to reverse the bite, or else she’s going to end up as the perpetually undead. And not only will she be a vampire, she’ll also be bonded to Magnus–the bloodsucker who bit her–forever. And forever is a really long time… (Amazon.com)

23304539Published: September 8, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Star
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

When Kiley learns firsthand what evil lurks in the heart of her boyfriend, he’ll learn about the Cold Girl, and her penchant for retribution. (goodreads.com)

I’ve known of Caine for years now and while I haven’t read any of her stuff, I do have INK AND BONE on my want list and of course I’ve heard of the Morganville Vampires series. Haven’t read it, but I haven’t been living under a rock either. To be honest I thought it lumped itself in with that rash of teen vampire books that came out following TWILIGHT. I’ve been assured that is not the case AT ALL and I’ve since added the series to my want list as well. I need me more brutal vampires in my life.

And ‘The Cold Girl’ gave me that, and with a neat little spin.

Initially I wasn’t digging the story. I wasn’t really liking the voice or the set-up at all, with the girl and her crappy boyfriend and how she lost everyone close to her because she was totally in love with this guy and it was just all so typical. Rolling my eyes, all that jazz.

And then it got dark. Like, really dark. Like murder and revenge and cold-blooded death dark and then Caine had my full attention.

I loved how the carnival was set up, this old rickety, creaky thing that looked like a death trap and IRONY. I really liked where the story went and how it revealed what the carnival really was, and I liked how Caine went THERE with Kiley and what she needed and, deep down in her heart, wanted to do. It put Caine’s vampires in a whole new light for me and I’m about to be all over this.

So totally glad I read ‘The Cold Girl’ and that I didn’t stop reading it after the first few pages. Really it was too short to stop reading. Not even 35 pages. But Caine slapped me in the face with darkness after the stereotypical set-up and now I can’t get enough of it.

4.5

November 29, 2016

7046413Published: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the Dark Fae in order to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they imagined. Now Myst, the Vampiric Fae Queen of the Indigo Court, has enough power to begin a long prophesied supernatural war. And Cicely Waters, a witch who can control the wind, may be the only one who can stop her-and save her beloved Fae prince from the Queen’s enslavement.

Cicely Waters, a witch who can control the wind, has returned home to New Forest, Washington, after learning that her family is in danger. The Indigo Court holds the city in fear. People are vanishing, and strange deaths plague the town. And when she is swept into an unexpected and passionate reunion with Grieve, the Fae prince who taught her how to harness the wind, Cicely finds herself with a fierce and territorial lover.

But Greive has been enslaved in Myst’s court, and now, caught betwen two evils, the lovers must survive the machinations of the Vampiric Fae queen, even as Cicely untangles the hidden secrets to her own heritage. (goodreads.com)

This was a really fun, sexy read that worked wonders on my reading funk. I needed something like NIGHT MYST that could help me escape, give me a great character to follow, some awesome sex to read, and throw me a fantastic story while it was at it. Talk about delivering.

Galenorn gets quite dark with her paranormal world, especially with the vampires. Making them basically sexual deviants, they’re both arousing and repelling at the same time. I found myself feeling much the same way Cicely was when she was around them. Total train accident. You know you should look away, but you can’t.

And the fae and the Indigo Court? She made the fae both whimsical and terrifying at the same time. Yes, they’re these lovely creatures that exist in this in between world and they’re beautiful and powerful and they will annihilate you. Don’t you forget that. Cecily finds herself the pawn more than once and it really roots her into their world. She is a tool to be used and they make no qualms about letting her know that. It humbles her and reminds her just where she stands in the grander scheme of things.

As for the Indigo Court, they’re truly terrifying. These vampire/faery crossovers that are basically the Blades of Galenorn’s world and they’re looking to mess stuff up. I like the hoisted by their own petard twist at the end along with Cecily finding out just where she stands, again, with these heinous fae things. As if it couldn’t get any worse.

I liked Cecily. I liked how Galenorn made a point to show that she’s tiny but fit, and not like yoga fit. She’s 5’4″ and 140 or 150 pounds, so girl’s pretty jacked. She’s better at holding herself against the physical requirements of her supernatural job that’s been dropped in her lap, but against otherworldly beings she still falls horribly short. She’s humble and realistic and completely down to earth and someone I look forward to getting to know over the course of the series. I found her reactions to things incredibly reasonable and it made me so happy how she reacted to the vampires. It was something that made sense for the situation without devolving into your grossly standard “falling in love with a rapist” scenario. No notion of a love triangle. There is one dude for Cecily and she does her damndest to help him.

Overall a really great beginning to the series. I tried Galenorn’s Sisters of the Moon series but I didn’t get past the first book. It just wasn’t clicking with me. But NIGHT MYST is totally nailing it. It’s such a great balance of romance (which is actually fairly light), sex, and world-building that it really sucks me in. The characters are great and believable and sympathetic (and at times awful and terrifying and seducing), the story is dragging me along from one end of the other, and I’m loving Galenorn’s world. I want more.

4.5

8140709Published: November 10, 2010
Publisher: Pyr
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming. Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. When she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan, her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans. (goodreads.com)

This was a fun and interesting read. I liked how the Griffiths broke society down and when, and how they built it back up. The whiteness of the Equatoria Empire irked me, but I had to keep reminding myself before the world dissolved, the British were all up in colonization at that time. So not surprising, but still bothersome.

The only other irksome thing I had going on with THE GREYFRIAR was the head-hopping. It was jarring at times. Even from paragraph to paragraph it would happen, on top of chapter to chapter. I didn’t really get an omniscient third person POV out of the story so the flopping around kept disorienting me whenever it happens. I found myself, on multiple occasions, having to read back and see who stopped talking and who started because there was often no break between POV shifts.

Other than that it was entertaining. I like how ruthless the vampires were, with their own language, their own moral compass, their own way of functioning in the world. I liked how they were other than human. Above human, if you asked them. I also liked how the Greyfriar was a vampire. If you didn’t pick that up from the second he appeared on the page you’re reading with your eyes closed. It was obvious to the point where I felt Adele was being plot-servingly obtuse in not recognizing what Greyfriar was.

I liked how they built their world, how ravaged the cold areas where, how completely destroyed, but the warmer areas were thriving human meccas. It lends a different perspective to the post-apocalyptic influx of books out there. Not only is it set in the past (or rather happened in the past, alt history, if you will, as opposed to varying distances in the future, it’s also steampunk (dirigibles abound), it has vampires, and the world isn’t entirely obliterated. Planetary lines are drawn between where’s safe for humans and where’s vampire territory and it’s more than just little hovels of people. Full empires exist. It’s neat.

I have at least one more book in the series around here somewhere so I’ll definitely keep reading. My hair isn’t blown back by it (really, the head-hopping had a lot to do with that), but it was engaging. I think the characters are great, Adele especially. Such a BAMF. The world is wonderfully built and rich and I can’t wait to dive back into it again.

3.5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.