Archive for March, 2010

Author: Richelle Mead
Books In Series: Succubus Blues (#1), Succubus Dreams (#3), Succubus Heat (#4), Succubus Shadows (#5, March 30, 2010)
Formats Available: Paperback, AudioBook, eBook
Pages: 304
Original Release: January 1, 2008
ISBN #: 978-0758216427

Richelle Mead certainly knows how to end a book with a bang! Wowza! I absolutely love the way Georgina and Seth find to “work around” their intimacy limitations! However, I’m getting ahead of myself, lol.

While trying to make a relationship work was an important part of Succubus On Top, it wasn’t the only thing going on. I liked seeing other side characters being the center of some of the attention in this story. Doug and his band jumped right up in front for this one. I thought the storyline itself – band looking to make it big, trusts the wrong people and makes some bad choices along the way – was an interesting one. I really loved how mythology was, yet again, brought into the storyline. Having those old tales figure into the somewhat contemporary story in these books is really fun. My only issue is that Georgina took soooooo looooong to figure it out. She’s a smart woman. She’s been around the perverbial block a time or two and should have been able to guess something was really wrong long before she did. I had two theories before she even registered that there was a problem. Her cluelessness bothered me a bit, but I guess I can chalk it up to her being distracted by her work, her old friend, and her new boyfriend. Poor Ms. Kincaid worked her succu-butt off in this book.

Speaking of old friends… HELLO BASTIAN!! And when I say old, I mean hundreds of years of history as friends and partners in the seduction of mere mortals. When a gorgeous incubus shows up at your door, what do you do?? You agree to help him corrupt the self-appointed reformer of too-liberal, morally-deficient suburbanites, of course. Georgina and Bastian working together is a comedy of errors in the best possible way. There’s a scene involving stolen “herbs” and the possibility of cookies that had me laughing out loud, for real. Again, the only problem I had with this storyline was the characters’ complete obliviousness to what appeared to be a fairly obvious “snag” in their gameplan. It was fantastic when they finally figured it out, but getting there was a little frustrating to me.

Now, back to my opening statements. The chemistry between Georgina and Seth is so incredible, it’s almost tangible. It’s heartbreaking what they have to go through in order to be close to each other. I don’t agree with Bastian’s “problem solving” actions, but I do completely understand the longing that spurred Georgina on. I much prefer the solution that Georgina came up with herself by the end of the book. Between her “gift” to Seth, and what was going on at the end of the book… I think they just might have a chance. That makes my heart happy.

There wasn’t as much Carter/Jerome banter in this one, but when they did show up, it was brilliant. All in all, this was a really fun follow up to Succubus Blues. I like the series and the characters and I’m looking forward to the next book, Succubus Dreams. I love the way Richelle tells the story, and the personality of the characters, I just hope the next one keeps me guessing a little longer.

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Review: Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen

Posted March 9, 2010 By Jennifer

Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Title: Garden Spells
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 304
Original Release: August 28, 2007
ISBN# 978-0553805482

Delightful.  Magical.  Fantastical.  Bewitching.  Heartwarming.  Charming.

To be a Waverley in Bascom, NC is a special thing. Some would call that special thing strange, some would call  it natural. Some would embrace it and some would run as far and and as fast as they could from it. Accept it or not, appreciate it or not, the Waverleys are special.

Claire and Sydney Waverley are sisters who had dramatically different childhoods. One seemed to inherit the talent to use the edible flowers in their family garden to create enchanted dishes. Apples from their moody apple tree are said to show the greatest event in your life. Ladies served biscuits with lilac jelly & lavendar tea cookies to encourage their guests to keep their secrets. Parents gave their children angelica candy and cupcakes with crystalized pansy leaves to make their children more thoughtful. The whole town took sips of honeysuckle wine on the 4th of July so they could see in the dark.  All secrets that were passed down from Grandma Waverley to an eager Claire.

Sydney, however, took after their mother. She distanced herself from the label of the Waverley name and escaped from Bascom as soon as she graduated high school. Now, years later, Sydney is trying to escape from something else. She comes home with her daughter, into Claire’s very isolated world. Both sisters struggle to overcome misunderstandings from their childhood, and choices they’ve made as adults. They learn to trust each other, and eventually themselves. Once their carefully constructed walls of doubt start to crumble, they discover the true magic of old family ties and new love.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. I’ve been reading so many urban fantasies and darker paranormal romances lately that I just really wanted something light and fun. The story is told in such a magical, almost sing-song kind of way. I love that it’s not told by just one character, as well. We get to go inside the head of the storyteller for each of the different aspects of the tale. So many things going on, but all blending and weaving together. It’s comforting, and despite the very obvious supernatural aspects of the story, completely makes you believe.  This book is full of funny, quirky side characters that just move into your heart and stay there. Evenelle, who will show up at any time of the day or night to give you something that she just KNOWS you’re going to need (and you do, always, end up needing it), is one of my favorites. Not everyone has a happy tale to share, but the friendships that get them through are just inspiring.

I’m starting Sarah’s second book later tonight (The Sugar Queen), and her third book (The Girl Who Chased The Moon) will be out the end of this month. I hope you all take some time to wrap yourself up in the charm that is Garden Spells. I promise you won’t need any rose geranium wine to remember how good it was!

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Author: Diana Rowland
Title: Mark of the Demon
Series: Kara Gillian Series, #1
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 384
Original Release: June 23, 2009
ISBN# 978-0553592351

One thing a burgurlar should NEVER do is break into a cop’s house. Another thing they should NEVER, EVER do is break in while she’s summoning a demon in her basement. Mark of the Demon has one of the best opening chapters I’ve read in a very long time.

Kara Gillian has just been promoted to detective and she takes her job very seriously. She’s done the footwork, and the deskwork, and is ready to prove herself. It’s incredible the amount of  insight into procedure we get due to Diana’s own background in law enforcement. It’s detailed enough to enhance the story but not so much that it takes over the other aspects. Kara is also a Demon Summoner, an inherited gift from her grandmother (and, I hope, not something that was written from the author’s personal experience, lol). Little did she know these two parts of her life would come together in her first homicide case.

“The Symbol Man Murders” baffled the Beaulac, LA Police Department three years ago, and now it appears they’ve started up again. Kara felt arcane signatures on the victim then, and feels them on the newest victim, so she knows she’s the right one to find and stop the killer. However, after her latest summoning went dramatically wrong, she’s having a hard time trusting herself.

Between the gruesome murders, the terrifying but beautiful demon lord, Rhyzkahl, who ended up in her basement (and continues to make delicious appearances in her dreams), and her new FBI partner, Agent Kristoff, Kara has her hands full. Throughout the story, aide from some expected, and some not so expected sources help pull the pieces of the case together.

I have to admit, I thought I had the killer all figured out, but I didn’t see the end coming AT ALL. There was one clue that I didn’t catch until the reveal. The story was told using equal parts nitty-gritty police investigation and powerful supernatural intuition. The side characters were absolutely perfect. Each one had an important place in the telling of the story and added to the overall feel of the book. They also helped Kara infuse some much needed comic relief. I loved that Kara was strong, and even though she had doubts about what went wrong with her summoning, she moved past that and used her other strengths instead of wallowing. The “romantic” aspects of the story were non-traditional, but completely fit. The hot was REALLY hot… and the UST (unresolved sexual tension) was written in such a natural progression that I totally believed it.

I am so excited to get my hands on the second book in the series, Blood of the Demon. I’m not sure where the story’s going from here, but I’m totally ready to find out!

P.S.- Rhyzkahl is pronouced by the author to sound like “please call”… although after pronouncing like “rise call” for the entire book, I’ve been assured he would still come if I called him. *claps hands and looks for a way to put a basement under this Florida duplex*

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