Tuesday, November 28, 2006

#68 Naughty Fairy Tales from A to Z edited by Alison Tyler

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

There were some really great and titillating stories in this book! I'm definitely going to seek out additional works by some of these authors. Fortunately, the editors included a section at the back with further detail on each author including what else they've written, where they've been published, including some website URLs, etc.

Because I don't generally like to read a bunch of short stories all at once, I read this book over the course of 2 months, tucking in anywhere from 3-5 stories in between other full-length books I was reading. But you know what? I always looked forward to finishing a novel because that meant I'd get to read a few more of these juicy tales before starting something new. I especially liked to "go to bed" with this book. ;)

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more information.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

#67 Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

I totally enjoyed this foray into the Faerie Realm with Henry, Mr. Fogarty, Pyrgus, and Blue, and look forward to reading the 2nd book in the series, The Purple Emperor. This is billed as a young adult book, assumingly because of the age of the characters. But the plot was intriguing with multiple things going on, and can just as easily draw in any adult.

Henry didn't believe in faeries until he caught one in Mr. Fogarty's backyard, saving it from Hodge the cat. But once Pyrgus fills them in on the attempts on his life, and explains how he must get back to the Faerie Realm to warn his father, the Purple Emperor, against an imminent attack. Behind the scenes, the Nightside Faeries have allied with the Demon Realm to insure the success of their attacks. But can Henry and Mr. Fogarty do their part to help the Lightside Fairies from falling into oblivion at the hands of these dark forces?

Monday, November 20, 2006

#66 Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights by Kyra Davis

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

This was a fun read, and I enjoyed all the characters. I'd forgotten the specifics and other character details since I'd read Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte, but it was fairly easy to get back up to speed. And though there were references to incidents which happened in the previous book, not knowing the specifics wasn't detrimental to the story, it simply gave you a little more insight into some of the characters.

Someone has shot Sophie's brother-in-law, Bob, and the prime suspect is none other than her sister Leah. Sophie will do whatever it takes to prove her sister's innocence, so she hires Anatoly, a hottie PI whom she thought was trying to kill her in the last novel, to work with them.

Sophie's friends are a hoot... Dena owns a sex shop and is very open and vocal about all things sexual, Marcus is a gay hairdresser, Mary Ann is fairly down-to-earth and probably one of the pegs that holds the group together.... Dropping Leah, an ethnic Martha Stewart, and her "devil-in-disguise" 18-month old son Jack into this mix keeps the banter lively and flowing.

The mystery to try to figure out who killed Bob and why is deep and difficult to figure out. But with Sophie and Anatoly on the job, with no help from the police thank-you-very-much, they're sure to get their man (or woman)! I was kept in suspense right up until the very end.... I like when a mystery is able to keep me guessing and on my toes the whole way through.

BookCrossing journal page for this book

Thursday, November 16, 2006

#65 Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

This is the first second book (after the renumbering) in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish this book. During the first 150 pages, I kept thinking that if I have to read the descriptions of Kyrian's "luscious body" one more time, I was going to barf! It was just waaaay to heavy on the romance for my taste! But since this book is the first of a very popular paranormal series, I wanted to at least be able to reserve my judgment until after I've read the first book in its entirety.

With that commitment made, I plodded on, often putting the book down for a longer length of time than usual and not wanting to pick it back up, seriously considering starting on something else instead. I guess it was finally around halfway through that it started to get a little more interesting. I don't know if the author got sick of going on for 2 pages describing Kyrian's 6 pack, or if I just got used to it, but any of that overly-descriptive gushing seemed to become slightly less at any rate, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the story somewhat.

Other reviewers talked about the sex scenes, and though there were plenty, they were kind of blah, not graphic enough for my liking. I think the author is afraid to use words like penis or pussy, which I much prefer in sex scenes, and instead used all kinds of flowery terms instead. Wouldn't you rather read about his rock hard cock sliding in and out of her wet, juicy pussy than his hard, stiff manhood sliding into her warm sheath? I don't mean to offend anyone by saying this, but if you're trying to write like erotica, then just do it, don't pussy-foot around! (Pun intended *grin*)

BooksnBeer wrote that she liked the next two books better than this one, and since I liked the ending more than the beginning, in contrast to CandyDarling, I'll probably tackle at least the next one or two to see if I like them better. But if I don't, then heh, I'm still thankful to NeedSun for giving me the opportunity to experience this series. And for all the other readers who kept replacing all the copies that got lost along the way. :)

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and information.

Friday, November 10, 2006

#64 Got Fangs? by Katie Maxwell

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

This was an okay teen read. Comparing it to the other YA books I've been reading recently, which you can see in my book blog, I found it better than the Cate Tiernan Sweeps series, but not quite as good as the Darren Shan Cirque Du Freak ones.

Like Candy, a lot of Fran's quirks and insecurities got to me after awhile. But I think a lot of that's simply in the author's writing style because A Girl's Guide to Vampires hit me the same way, with the immature squabbling those characters did. And I didn't care for all the cutesy words either—I thought I'd scream if she said nummy one more time!

Beyond all that, the book had a somewhat interesting story line. Fran and her mother, who's a witch, are traveling around Europe with the GothFaire. Fran has been pulled out of school for a year and she's not that happy about it, struggling to fit in and all. As it stands, with her gift of psychometry (being able to sense things by touch) she should actually be more at home among the people of the Faire: witches, demonologists, palm readers, vampires, and the like; yet still she hides her gift and feels like a freak.

Fran's mom asks Fran to use her gift to help determine who's been stealing the money from the Faire's safe, and though she's reluctant to do so, she eventually agrees. Though Fran claims she's a mystery buff, her detective skills were laughable; she'd write people off as suspects for stupid reasons. I had a feeling I knew who was behind everything from the beginning and I ended up being right, despite Fran's inability to see the truth. I would've also thought that with all the psychics and such hanging around, that getting away with such a crime would've been near to impossible. But then the author wouldn't have had much to build the story on.

Like in her adult Dark Ones series, written under the name of Katie MacAlister, we have Dark Ones in this book. The Faire's palm reader, Imogen, is a Dark One, or a Moravian more correctly since supposedly only the men can be called Dark Ones. A Dark One is basically a vampire, with a few minor differences from vampires as we encounter them in other books. Imogen's younger brother, Benedikt, has come to the Faire to visit his sister, and takes an immediate liking to Fran, and tells her she's his Beloved. A Beloved is a Dark One's other half, and is the only one who can redeem his soul. I can imagine this would be a lot for 16-year-old Fran to handle. But then again, Benedikt is 300 something! So the budding romance, if you can call it that, between Fran and Ben is cute and adds to the rest of the story.

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and information.

#63 Hunter's Moon by C. T. Adams & Cathy Clamp

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

What a great start to what looks to be a wonderful series. Going in, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the amount of romance in this book; it seemed as if it'd be a major part of the story line, which it is, however NOT at the expense of the rest of the story. I was really drawn into Tony's world. He was made into a werewolf a year ago and not having a pack or mentor to tutor him in the ways, has just been learning as he goes.

Tony is a hit man for the Family, another name for the Mafia in his world. And then he meets his new client Sue and the attraction between them just sizzles, literally. Sue wants to hire Tony to kill her, and Sue's family is making her life a living hell. In the meantime, Tony has vowed decided to become Sue's protector and bodyguard, to keep her safe in addition to the danger he always finds him in.

The only minor complaint I might have is that there were often a lot of new names introduced, like others in the Family for instance, whom I promptly forgot any details about. And then when they were brought up again later in the story, I'd already forgotten who they were or any significant details about them. This was one of those books where maybe I could've used a post-it on the inside back cover to keep track of the page numbers on which new characters are introduced and/or described. (I've done this frequently in other books, especially series ones from my PC.)

The story is definitely not short on action and it's only towards the end that Tony actually discovers he's part of a much larger race known as the Sazi, which includes shapeshifters of all kinds! This sets things up for what promises to be an interesting series, one I'm quite looking forward to.

BookCrossing journal page for this book

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

#62 Cirque Du Freak #3: Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

I'm enjoying this series. Unlike another young adult series I'm currently reading, the plot isn't super simple, though it does move along fairly swiftly.

In this installment, Darren and Mr. Crepsley have left the Cirque for what is initially an unknown reason to Darren after a mysterious visit from one of the Vampire Generals. Mr. Crepsley allows Darren to take his friend Evra, the snake boy from the Cirque, along with them. Once they reach the city, they discover there's been a series of murders occurring in the area. Because the blood was drained from the victims, Evra and Darren immediately suspect Mr. Crepsley of the crimes... especially since he's been going out every night and keeping secrets from them. As they attempt to track down a killer, Darren also meets his first girlfriend and has his first kiss. Evra's life is put in danger and Darren is asked to make some difficult choices.

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and information.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

#61 Courting Midnight by Emma Holly

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

I went into this book thinking it took place before the events of Catching Midnight and Hunting Midnight, but that is not the case. I guess I got that impression from something I read at Amazon, plus the fact that the events of this book take place in 1813. But referring back to the journal page for Catching Midnight, I see that one actually took place in 1349. But in any case, this book could very easily have stood alone. Some of the characters from the others were mentioned briefly and towards the end an appearance is made by Aimery and Gillian, but there's nothing in this book that requires that you've read the others first.

That said, I did like finding out more about Lucius after seeing him as sort of a stand-alone kind of upyr throughout the other books. He doesn't seem to have much feeling or emotion left to him, being the oldest living upyr, and so it's nice to finally see him happy and embracing life.

I appreciate that Holly doesn't censor her sex scenes. Granted, this isn't one of her Black Lace books, but she doesn't really hold back and use flowery terms when talking about sex, and in these Upyr books, particularly this one, she's not afraid to let her passion for erotic writing come through. :)

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and information.