Showing posts with label Nalini Singh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nalini Singh. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review: Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook

The Britlingens Go To Hell by Charlaine Harris

Batanya and Covache, two Britlingen Collective bodyguards are contracted by Crick to go to Hell. He needs to collect an object he stole from Lucifer but left there while escaping from imprisonment. Batanya is assigned this dangerous duty by her superior Tovis, who seems to be obsessed with harassing her. 

In this world, witchcraft is enhanced by science and the witches facilitate transportation for the bodyguards. Batanya, Covache and Crick battle their way through the dark and dangerous tunnels of Hell and on their way meet Hell's monsters, Amelia Earhart, Narcissus and two hellhounds. 

This is my first Charlaine Harris read and I'm afraid neither the story nor the writing grabbed my attention. The addition of Earhart and Narcissus to the story came out of left field for me and threw me out of the story. This novella was the weakest in the anthology for me. 

Angel's Judgment by Nalini Singh

In this pre-quel to Angel's Blood, we meet Sarah before she becomes the Director of the Guild of Hunters. Angel's Judgment is Sarah and Deacon's story. 

Deacon is the Slayer for the Guild. A position so secret, it is known only to the Guild Director and now to Sarah. His job is to hunt rogue Guild hunters -- those who kill vampires instead of returning them to their masters. In this story, Deacon and Sarah join together in the battle against a rogue who is killing vampires -- this right after Sarah is offered the position as Guild Director and comes under scrutiny from the Archangels. During their battles, they encounter an angel, vampires and of course Lucy, the hellhound. 

Sara and Deacon's mutual attraction and sizzling chemistry is apparent from the start. Their attraction is one that may conflict with their future professional relationship.I thought both the action and the romance were well done in this story. 

I liked the characters and the story kept my attention. We were not given as many details as expected about the Guild Hunter's world, although what we did learn was relevant. Elena and Raphael both make brief appearances and neither has much of an impact on the story.  A nice addition to this series, Angel's Judgment gives us a closer look and some added development to some important secondary characters in this UF/Romance series.

Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

Magic Mourns is a novella related to Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels urban fantasy series. Andrea Nash is a knight in the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid and Kate's best friend. She's also a shapeshifter in denial. The story picks up a few weeks after Magic Strikes ends, while Kate is recuperating from her wounds and Andrea is covering for her at the Order. 

In Magic Mourns, Andrea and Raphael, the sexy werehyena who has been courting her for six months, embark in their own harrowing adventure. They battle the three-headed Cerberus, Hades' hellhound, and must figure out why he left the gates he's supposed to be guarding. In the process, Andrea must come to terms with her feelings for Raphael and with her own secret monster. 

This story is told through Andrea's point of view, a refreshing way of seeing this character story and adding further development. Here, as in other Kate Daniels books we encounter mythology -- this time of the Greek kind. Fast paced and full of action, Ilona Andrews delivers a complete story with a couple of characters I loved and some great action.  This story was a winner for me.

Blind Spot (A Guardian Novella) by Meljean Brook

In this novella by Meljean Brook, Maggie "Winters" and Geoff Blake are thrown together when Katherine, Geoff's sister, is kidnapped. Maggie's loyalty is in question as the two of them joined by Mr. Pup, a three-headed hellhound, take off after the kidnappers for the rescue. 

A family secret that has been guarded and is only known by Colin, Savi, Katherine and Geoff is revealed. Maggie and Geoff discover each other's attractions while they race to save Katherine and prove Maggie's innocence.

I'm not familiar with this series and this is my first book by Ms. Brook. I found Blind Spot easy to follow and loved both the characters and world they inhabit. Ms. Brook's portrayal of Maggie and Geoff as both vulnerable and strong made them a winning couple for me. I'll be looking up the rest of this series. 

I usually read anthologies to discover new writers, to make decisions about a new series or to follow series I'm already reading. I discovered a new-to-me series I want to read, and loved the added development to two series I'm already reading.  Must Love Hellhounds was definitely a successful read for me.

You can find out more by visiting the authors:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mini-Review: Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

The Psy Changeling Series

When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, must work together to track the young man - before his shadowy captors decide he's no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it'll leave them both branded by fire.
Many wonderful reviews have been posted for Branded by Fire -- Lurv A la Mode , The Book Smugglers, Book Binge, to name a few -- I figured I would just post a short, mini-review outlining my final thoughts.

Nalini Singh continues to deliver with her latest installment in the Psy/Changeling series. In Branded by Fire, the romance was the center of the story and it was one of the most sizzling romances in this series so far. Mercy and Riley set the pages on fire.

The pairing of these two dominant changelings turned out to be both hot and tender. I loved the way Ms. Singh consistently maintained Mercy's alpha characteristics throughout the story. Mercy gave of herself without ultimately losing herself. Her dominant female characteristics and self-assurance were not lessened to give Riley, another alpha hero, the spotlight. Reiley as an alpha hero was also a winner. The give and take between these two characters made for a balanced and well done romance, gifting us with a strong and passionate pair.

Ms. Singh also delivers on the world building front. The overall arc in the Psy/Changling world stays tight and the story moves forward without sacrificing the romance. This world keeps getting better and it absolutely has my attention. I'm looking forward to learning more about Kaleb, the Ghost, the Net and of course, the Forgotten. Blaze of Memory should give us more on that front and I can't wait.

As you can see, I loved Branded by Fire. Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series maintains its place at the top of my Paranormal Romance list. Maintaining the romance focus without losing the tight world building, this installment gets a Hot A

Visit Nalini Singh here. Read an excerpt here.

Originally posted at Musings of a Bibliophile July 17, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Weekends and Urban Fantasy

I haven't managed to read much this week, real life has taken over. I'm getting ready for a long awaited four day weekend with family. My younger brother is coming to visit from Orlando and I can't wait to see him. It's going to be a weekend filled with testosterone, talk of Laker's basketball, Yankees' baseball, BBQs and camping. I'm looking forward to it!

I did receive Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready yesterday and I started it. I've been looking forward to reading this book ever since I read Wicked Game. Can't wait to catch up with Ciara, Shane and the rest of the DJs at WVMP.

Did I tell you I don't usually read Urban Fantasy? Well I don't. Usually. But, this year I set a goal for myself to read at least three Urban Fantasy series and give them a chance--be open minded about them since I've never been a fan.

I didn't really choose this series, it kind of chose me, lol! I fell in love with Jeri Smith-Ready's writing when I read her Aspects of Crow fantasy series and well... I just had to pick up Wicked Game when it was released. I'm loving what Jeri Smith-Ready is doing with her vampires and her heroine. Different. Now, I'm hooked!

The second Urban Fantasy series I'm reading also chose me. I won an ARC for Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh. I happen to be a huge fan of her Psy/Changling series and just had to give this new series a try. Singh refers to this series as an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. So far, I would say it is. I love her writing, like the concept and her world building--Raphael the Archangel is lickable and I want him. So yeah, I'm hooked on this one too. Are you laughing at me yet?

My third pick? The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews I chose deliberately. KMont, from Lurv a La Mode has been pimping this series to me forever and since she has yet to lead me astray, I figured why not?

Well my friends, I picked up Magic Bites, the first book in the series and became a fiend! Yes, I did! I couldn't stop myself and just had to read the other two installments one after the other. I devoured Magic Burns and Magic Strikes within a couple of days. I fell in love with Kate, the shape shifters, Andrews' writing style and all that gorgeous mythology. Now, I have to wait a whole YEAR to read more about Kate and Curran. So, yeap! I'm hooked!

Good thing I only decided to read three Urban Fantasy series, don't you think?