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Winger
Andrew Smith
Gameboard of the Gods
Richelle Mead
Burning Up (Berkley Sensation)
'Meljean Brook', 'Virginia Kantra', 'Angela Knight', Nalini Singh
Love and Other Perishable Items
Laura Buzo
The Orphan Master's Son
On the Edge - Ilona Andrews I like this so far but am not loving it. It's missing something but I am not sure what. We'll see how I feel at the end of it...
Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City - Meljean Brook Fans of Mina Wentworth and Rhys Trahearn rejoice. Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City is a wonderful short story that is a great addendum to The Iron Duke, giving us a little peek into life after the book ended. The Invisible City takes place 8 months after The Iron Duke. When a mutual aquaintance of Rhys and Mina's shows up dead, Mina is called in to investigate. The only clue they have is that the butler saw a giant brass wheel in the garden moments before the body was found. The hunt escalates when Mina discovers that the killer may have a connection to Rhys and she must find him before he can kill again.I actually didn't know about this novella until my paperback copy of The Iron Duke showed up in the mail. I originally read an e-copy from the library but I loved the book so much that I wanted a copy for myself. I am so glad I bought it, too, because it contains this great little novella. Short stories ar not usually my favorite. It's really hard to write a short story that feels complete in such a short span of words. But Brook manages it quite well with The Invisible City. The story arc felt complete with a true beginning, middle, and end and it was a fun visiting these characters again and getting another view into their world.The mystery plot was well executed and fast paced. Mina is as determined as ever and is dogged in her pursuit of the killer. While the mystery was a large part of the story, we also get to see how Mina and Rhys are taking to marriage. While they love each other passionately, their marriage is not without its problems. Both Rhys and Mina are still getting accustomed their new relationship. Neither of them has ever been in love before and they each have their own insecurities about the marriage. As a police inspector, Mina is often in danger, and Rhys is having a hard time dealing with his fear for her. Her safety means everything for him but he knows that he cannot stifle her or he will lose her. Mina is afraid that now that Rhys has her, his passion may have waned after the initial excitement of the pursuit has worn off. It was interesting to see how these two dealt with their feelings and insecurities. It's clear that they both love each other passionately. Of course there was also a good amount of steamy sex in this story - more than I would have thought for such a short story. I could have done with a wee bit less shagging, but I'm not really complaining.It was also great seeing some old favorites from The Iron Duke. Scarsdale is as charming and outrageous as ever. Newberry plays a large role as well and I loved seeing him again. Mina and Rhys also include Anne the tinker in their family and we learn a bit more about her in this story. I had a great time catching up with these characters. If you wondered what happened to Rhys and Mina after that fateful afternoon in the square, look no further. With incredible world building, great characters, a sexy romance and a fast paced mystery, The Invisible City has something for everyone. A must read for fans of The Iron Duke!
The Iron Duke -  Meljean Brook This series has been on my radar for a while now but, for whatever reason, I did not read it for a very long time. I'd heard really good things about it and one of my favorite authors (Nalini Singh) even said that it was one of her favorite series. With such hype, I was a little afraid that this book would not meet my expectations. Fortunately, it surpassed them and I had a really great time diving into this new world. The Iron Duke is a great mix of steampunk, pirates, zombies and romance. It's like all of my favorite things in one book. The world building is really incredible and Brook manages to create a really intricate world without overwhelming you. There was a lot to take in but I never felt like there was any info dumping or hand holding and I learned about the world naturally as the story progressed.The story is pretty heavy on the romance though not annoyingly so. Mina and Rhys are both fantastic characters and they make an unlikely couple. Mina is a total badass and I loved how smart and tough she is. She hasn't had the easiest life. A child of what is called a Frenzy, Mina reminds people of their time under Horde rule and she is often discriminated against and assaulted. She has to work twice as hard to make up for the prejudices against her but it hasn't made her mean or bitter. It's just made her more determined. Romance is not something she is used to and it's fun watching the normally calm and cool inspector try to manage her feelings for Rhys.Rhys Trahaearn is a great match for Mina. Though it seems like the ruthless former pirate captain is the exact opposite of Mina, the two actually have a lot in common. They're both strong willed and fiercely protective of what is theirs. They are both outsiders and don't quite fit in. Rhys hasn't had the easiest life but he made himself into one of the most powerful men in the world. They treated each other as equals and made a great team. Their romance was sweet at times and frustrating at others. They both behaved a little foolishly at the end of the book and neither of them wanted to admit that they needed the other. But don't worry, it all works out in the end. :)I love it when I find a new series and a new world to explore. The plot was well paced and action packed. I loved Mina and Rhys and the book also had an amazing supporting cast. Newberry and Scarsdale are my favorites. I am so glad I finally read this. This world has truly captivated me and I have a feeling that I've only scratched the surface of it. I already have book 2 on standby.Recommended for fans adventure and romance.
Live Wire - Lora Leigh This book was just an OK read for me. There wasn't anything really wrong with it but it also had a hard time keeping my attention. I think it was a little too long and there were slow periods where not much happened. It was certainly steamy enough and the two main characters had a lot of physical chemistry and some intense love scenes. Those were fun to read but I also felt that some of the love scenes were a little long (I never thought I'd say that about a love scene) and, at a certain point, became repetitive.Live Wire is part of the Elite Ops series and I believe it's the last book in the series. I have not read any of the other books in the series. I don't think you necessarily need to read the other books in order to enjoy this one but there was obviously a lot of history between all of these characters. Tehya's been on the run for most of her life until the day, 6 years ago, that Elite Ops helped her take down her father, an infamous and cruel criminal lord. Since then she's become a valuable member of team. Jordan Malone is the leader of Elite Ops, a man who has sworn never to feel or love again after losing one of his teammates in an op. He thinks that getting too close means getting sloppy and he doesn't want to make another mistake again. Of course, the two are insanely attracted to each other but Jordan insists on maintaining his distance. I wasn't the biggest fan of Jordan's. I get why he didn't want to fall in love but he treated Tehya pretty poorly. He warned his teammates and friends to stay away from her but he never made a move on her himself. Hr wants her to give him everything but holds himself at a distance. Tehya's a really interesting character. She had a really brutal childhood but managed to survive and do well for herself. But her past has definitely left a mark on her and she often feels lonely and unloved. She's a fighter though and I admired her. I liked that she called Jordan on his BS.The plot wasn't terribly interesting to me. I wanted to find out who was after Tehya but it felt like we were taking the long road to figuring it out. I wish it had been a little more fast paced as I think it would have kept my attention better. Fans who have read other books in the series might enjoy this one more, having more invested in the characters. This book just failed to fully engage me and I found myself reading it just to finish it rather than because I was really enjoying it. Fans of romantic suspense might still want to check it out. It just wasn't for me.
Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon - Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido Hot on the heels of the hit Avengers film comes a new comic book series about Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton. I was never a huge Avengers fan growing up (I was more of an X-Men kind of girl) and pretty much all I know about them I have learned from the recent Marvel movies. You don't need a lot of previous back story to read this collection though and I found it easy to follow along.My Life As A Weapon is a collection of the first 5 issues of the Hawkeye series written by Matt Faction (The Invincible Iron Man, The Immortal Fist). The first three issues illustrated by David Aja (The Immortal Iron Fist) and the last two illustrated by Javier Pulido (Spiderman: Black Cat). This collection also includes a special issue of the Avengers Presents that features Hawkeye's first meeting with Kate Bishop.The first three issues of this series are standalone stories. There is no real connection between each episode storywise and I think they are meant to give us insight into how this character ticks. Clint Barton is an everyman who also happens to be an Avenger. He's smart but not a genius and he reminds us more than once that he doesn't have any super powers. He just happens to have really good aim. It's kind of nice seeing a character like this, one who isn't brilliant or have super powers but wants to do the right thing. He gets himself into crazy scrapes and puts his foot in his mouth more often than not.Kate Bishop is a character that is new to me and I really liked her. She and Hawkeye have an interesting relationship, to say the least, and I enjoyed watching her push his buttons. I would definitely like to read more about them together and see where their relationship goes.I really enjoyed David Aja's artwork. I wasn't familiar with him before reading this but am interested in reading his back catalog now. He has a clean, bold style that I think works really well for this fast paced action series. I wasn't as big of a fan of Javier Pulido's artwork. There's nothing wrong with it but it didn't stand out to me either. I am also one of those people who enjoys continuity in a comic series and it's a bit jarring when they switch artists halfway through.While this series is fun, I don't think it's going to be a regular read for me. The lack of an overall story arc didn't give me much to invest in. This may change as the series goes on. If you like The Avengers and/or are curious about Hawkeye's back story, this is a good collection to pick up. There is some great dialogue and action sequences and Aja's artwork is top notch.
Beautiful Bastard - Christina Lauren Just when I thought I was over these boardroom type romances, Beautiful Stranger comes along and changes my mind. Beautiful Bastard is deliciously over the top and just plain fun. Full review to come.
The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2) - Courtney Milan Courtney Milan is an auto-buy author for me. Her historical romance novels never fail to draw me into her world and into the lives of her characters. Her characters are never conventional or cliched. They feel like real people with quirks and flaws. I always have a really emotional response to her stories and each one leaves me wanting more.The Heiress Effect is book 2 in the Brothers Sinister series. It focuses on Oliver Marshall, the son of Serena and Hugo from the The Governess Affair, a wonderful short prequel story to the series. You don't need to read The Governess Affair to understand the series but it's fantastic and I highly recommend it. Having been born a "bastard," Oliver is very aware of society's rules and works hard to maintain his reputation in order to be taken seriously and to make a different in Parliament. Jane Fairfield is anything but proper. She's loud and says things that a proper young lady should never say. She is an heiress so society must tolerate her but they all ridicule her behind her back. And this is fine with Jane who wishes to remain unmarried in order to stay with her under age sister and protect her from a pious, overbearing uncle.This is a romance that doesn't start as a romance. Oliver finds Jane ridiculous and totally improper and Jane still holds a grudge against Oliver for a wrong committed years ago and for which he has since made up for. However, their dislike soon becomes friendship when they realize that each is not what they first appear to be. I really liked watching Oliver and Jane get to know each other. From barbs and insults to frank conversations and inside jokes, their relationship slowly evolves and I loved watching them slowly fall for each other.I'll admit that I was not a huge fan of Jane's at first. She seemed a little bit frivolous and selfish. She soon started to grow on me though and I found her to be kind, an extremely protective older sister, smart and fearless. While some of it is an act, Jane will never be what society considers a proper lady. I admire her for being herself even when it means ridicule. Oliver is a great hero. He is honorable and intelligent though he has flaws. He struggles with who he and I think has always felt a little out of place in society. This is why Oliver and Jane make such a great pair though. Neither of them fits the box that society wants to put them in and they make a great team. There is also a great cast of supporting characters. Robert and Minnie from The Duchess War make an appearance as does Sebastian, another Sinister Brother. I loved seeing Oliver's parents, Selena and Hugo again, older and still in love. Jane's sister Emily has a really sweet storyline a well and I enjoyed her parts in the book. Jane's uncle is the "villain" in the novel though he is not all bad. Like all of Milan's character, he is a complex character that is only too human. The Heiress Effect is another wonderful novel by Courtney Milan. Full of great dialogue and nuanced characters, her books are a must for any romance reader. I can't wait for the next book in this series! *I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
Rush - Maya Banks There seem to be a slew of romance/erotica books hitting the market lately that all have similar premises. An extremely wealthy, ruthless and domineering playboy becomes involved with a much younger woman, usually working for him in some capacity. The young woman may or may not be a virgin but is usually less sexually experienced than the male and the male may dabble in BDSM. The relationship usually escalates to a point where both parties are obsessed or addicted to the other and they both have to learn to cope with these new, intense feelings. I tend to think of this as the 50 Shades Effect. And I am not knocking 50 Shades. I've read excerpts and it's just not for me. I know many people loved it. I like to call 50 Shades of Grey the gateway smutand if it get more people to read romance and erotica, then I am all for it. However, I've read several books in a similar vein now and, while the characters constantly talk about the depth of their emotions for each other, I have a hard time believing it.Such was the case with Gabe and Mia. Mia's always been Gabe's best friend's little sister of Gabe's best friend until one day he notices that she's not so little anymore. Mia's always had a crush on Gabe but tells herself that she'll never have him. Until one day, Gabe decides to act on his attraction and pulls out a contract, asking Mia to enter into a relationship with him. So here's my first problem. I had a really hard time believing that an intelligent woman like Mia would sign a contract basically saying that she would become a sexual submissive to Gabe. I know he;s hot and she's really attracted to him, but it felt contrived. I also got tired of the words "addiction," "obsession," and "like a drug" constantly being used to describe their feelings for one another. I get it - you're hot for each other. I had mixed feelings about Gabe. Sometimes he was really sweet and kind to Mia, and other times he was a complete ass. He was overprotective and possessive, which I can enjoy in an alpha male, but Gabe takes it too far. He doesn't allow Mia to get to work on the subway or take cabs. I definitely think Mia is old enough and smart enough to take the subway to work once in a while. I am glad Mia didn't let him push her around completely though and wanted to give her a high five when she called him out on his bullshit near the end of the book.There was one scene that I really had a problem with in the book. It's the scene that takes place in Paris. Now I am not any kind of authority in BDMS and what little I know of it, I learned from TIffany Reisz. However, even to my layman eyes, this scene was just wrong. I really don't understand how Gabe could do something so stupid and dangerous. For a man who is so paranoid about being betrayed that he makes women sign a contract before getting involved with him, it makes no sense that he would go through with the scene in Paris, involving potential business partners. Not only is is dangerous for business, it's also dangerous to Mia. BDSM is all about trust. A Sub needs to trust her partner to take care of her and not put her in dangerous situations. So either Gabe is really dumb, or a supreme asshole. Neither reflects well on him.As you can see, this book just wasn't for me. I have no doubt that Ms. Banks is a talented writer but the two main characters did not do it for me. I have heard good things about her other books though and plan to read them. The sex scenes were smoking hot. I also liked the fact that this is a standalone book. Yes, it's part of a series but Gabe and Mia's story ends here and the next book goes to Jace. I am actually a little curious about Jace's book but may wait a while to give it a try.
The Mistress - Tiffany Reisz **This review may contain spoilers for the series. Do not read if you have not read the first three books in the series.**It’s been almost a week since I finished The Mistress and I feel like I have needed that time to fully process my feelings about it. I am usually a big ball of emotions after reading a Tiffany Reisz book and this was no different. I will do my best to put my feelings into words.The Mistress picks up right where the crazy cliffhanger ending of The Prince left off. Nora’s been kidnapped by Søren’s long thought dead wife and Kingsley’s sister, Marie-Laure. She’s gone off her rocker and has kidnapped Nora in an elaborate scheme to exact revenge on Søren. Nora stalls and keeps herself alive by telling Marie-Laure bedtime stories of her life with Søren, Kingsley and Wesley. Meanwhile Søren and Kingsley are working on a plan on getting Nora back in one piece.Alright let’s start with the things I didn’t like about this book. The first half of the book was pretty slow for me. Some of Nora’s stories seemed like lessons in BSDM, which seemed pointless since Marie-Laure was never going to understand their world. It wasn’t until about midway through that the stories really started to interest me. I also felt like there was a lot of diabolical posturing on Marie-Laure’s part, which made her a cartoonish villain instead of a menacing one. The appearance of Grace in the story also surprised me. I really like Grace from The Siren and from some of the short stories that are on Reisz’s website, but I didn’t really understand her purpose in this. Dear Wesley fell short of my expectations and I felt that his role in the story was so much less than what it could have been. My least favorite character was Laila. Søren’s niece is a sweet but bland addition to the party and her character’s purpose was apparent as soon as she showed up. I don’t want to give too much away but I thought her story arc was a little too convenient and contrived. Now that I’ve gotten the negative things out of the way, let me tell you about the good things in this book. After three books, I didn’t really think that these characters could surprise me anymore, but they did. After The Prince, I wanted Søren and Kingsley to be together. Nora’s great but I just felt like Søren and Kingsley belonged together in a way that I wasn’t sure that Nora and Søren did. But Tiffany Reisz managed to prove me wrong and, in The Mistress, she showed me how these three characters fit together. I feel like I finally understand Nora and Søren and what they mean to each other. There is a really touching scene between Søren and Nora near the end of the book that just killed me. I also learned a lot about Nora and Kingsley’s relationship, which added another dimension to the story. And for all of you people who have been waiting for a love scene involving Nora, Søren and Kingsley, wait no more. It’s seriously awesome. There is also a brief appearance by Michael and Griffin which was really sweet. I love those two and enjoy every scene they’re in.I know these words are inadequate. If you know me, you already know how much I love this series. The Original Sinners series is really unlike any I’ve ever read and these are characters I will not forget. While The Mistress had its faults, I thought it was a fitting end to an amazing series. I think everyone ended up where they needed to and I was happy with the outcome. Luckily, this ending is not a true ending and Ms. Reisz will be starting The Whites Years soon, which goes back to the beginning of Søren and Nora’s relationship. Thank you, Tiffany Reisz, for creating this world of strange and wonderful people and for taking me on this wild ride.*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews The Kate Daniels series has quickly become one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time. I can't believe that only a few short months ago, I hadn't read any of these books. A series can often get stale the longer it goes on, but that's not the case with this series. I always feel like there are new things to learn about the characters and Andrews always manages to keep things interesting.In Magic Rises, Curran and Kate are called away to a remote European island to be impartial parties in a precarious situation that has them guarding a pregnant shapeshifter. It is most likely a trap, but Kate and Curran must go because their prize is panacea, a magical substance that will ensure that the rate of loupism in their young dramatically decreases. Navigating through the political waters of three shifter packs hoping that they fail is hard enough when an unexpected new threat reveals itself.Magic Rises has everything you'd expect from a Kate Daniels novel - action, mystery, suspense, drama, sexy times, and Kate putting her foot in her mouth more than once. There is a lot of political intrigue in this one as well as more insight into Kate's past. Magic Rises is also a bit of a departure for the series in that it has a lot of emotional angst in it. This might annoy some readers but I was really drawn into it and I got pretty emotional reading this book. Kate and Curran are both very strong personalities and a relationship between the two is bound to have its ups and downs. In the end though, I think they are stronger for all of their struggles.Besides Kate and Curran, a lot of other series favorites appear in this book. We get Andrea and Raphael as well as Aunt B, Mahon, Doolittle, Derek and even Saiman. This story focuses a lot on the meaning of family and what it means to be Pack. One of the things that I also love about this series is that the characters are very real. They make mistakes and have doubts and insecurities, just like anyone else.Magic Rises is another fantastic addition to the Kate Daniels series. It's smart, funny, emotionally intense and full of fantastic action. I don't think fans of this series will be disappointed. It feels like things are coming to a head with Kate's father as well and I can't wait to see where Andrews takes us next.
Seeing Red - Jill Shalvis I am a fan of Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor series and, when I saw that her publisher was re-releasing one of her older and unavailable books as an eBook, I jumped at the chance to read it.Summer Abrams and Joe Walker have been best friends since childhood. Until one day a terrible warehouse fire changes everything for the both of them. After high school, Summer leaves town and doesn't look back. Years later a similar fire bring Summer back to town and she finds that Joe is no longer the chubby, awkward teen that he once was and is now a fire marshall. As Joe investigates the fire, it's clear that the connection between he and Summer hasn't died and they both want more this time. I know a lot of people who have a thing for firemen. And after reading this, I can see why. Joe is kind, sensitive, has killer abs and is doing a job that saves lives. I don't know how much hotter he can get.Summer, unfortunately, was not the best heroine. I understood why she left town all those years ago and kept her distance. I didn't agree with it but I could see where she was coming from. What I didn't like what how she treated Joe when she came back. She was extremely selfish in their relationship, using Joe as a way to relieve her stress when she knew her actions would hurt him in the end. Even when he tells her that he can't do casual with her, that he'll get hurt, she persists in pursuing a purely physical relationship because it makes her feel better. She doesn't think about how her actions will affect others, which has led to her current strained relationships. I just had a really hard time liking her and thought that Joe deserved better.Seeing Red isn't Shalvis's best, though it definitely shows promise. If you are in the mood for a quick, beach read or have a thing for firemen, this might be a good pick. Otherwise I would recommend picking up one of Shalvis's more current books. *I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
The Duchess Hunt - Jennifer Haymore I have only been recently introduced to the work of Jennifer Haymore. I had previously read the prequel novella to the House of Trent series which, while showing potential, did not wow me. However, the novella did include a lengthy excerpt for The Duchess War which sounded really promising and I was glad to see it pop up on Netgalley a few weeks later.The Duchess Hunt is the first book in a new historical romance series by Julie Haymore featuring the unconventional Trent family. Rumor and scandal follow the Trents wherever they go. Simon Trent, the Duke of Trent, has spent his whole life trying to undo the damage that his parents did. He has a strict moral code and works tirelessly to restore his family's good name. When Simon's mother disappears without a trace, he must work quickly and quietly with his siblings to find her before the ton finds out and scandal once again darkens their door.Called in to help is Sarah Osborne, the gardener's daughter and now head housemaid. The Duchess of Trent raised Sarah almost as one of her own and she and Simon share a special bond and friendship. They also share a deep attraction, which both of them have been fighting. A maid and a Duke cannot be together, and both of them know it. But investigating the Duchess's disappearance throws Simon and Sarah closer together and their feelings for each other become harder and harder to ignore.This was such a wonderful romance! I loved both Simon and Sarah and thoroughly enjoyed their story. Sarah is a great heroine. I love how smart she was and stoutly loyal and devoted to the family. As a gardener's daughter, she has realistic expectations of her life but still has aspirations. She's already reached far ahead of what most people in her position could. Simon was great as well and I loved how kind and loyal he was. He always tried to do the right thing for the family, even if it was detrimental to himself. He always treated Sarah with care and respect even though she is far below him in social status.Sarah and Simon had fantastic chemistry. Every time they were in a room together, I could feel the tension in the air. Years of denying their attraction to each other really amped up the energy between them and when they finally get together - wow. While the love scenes are extremely passionate and hot, there were also a lot of really sweet moments between the two. It's clear that they have a special connection born from years of friendship and I loved some of the small moments they had together.Overall, I was really impressed with The Duchess Hunt. The romance was great and I loved the main characters. The mystery aspect of the story did fall a little flat however. It wasn't quite as exciting as I was expecting, but I really didn't care because all I really cared about was what was going to happen to Simon and Sarah. I was also really intrigued by the rest of the family. They each have very distinct personalities and I cannot wait to read their stories. The Duchess Hunt included a short except for the next book in the series, The Rogue's Proposal, which follows the surliest Trent, Luke, as he searches for his mother. The excerpt is very promising and I have added it to my TBR list. If you like historical romances with emotional punch and great characters, don't hesitate to pick up The Duchess Hunt.*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
Dead Ever After - Charlaine Harris Dead Ever After is the final installment of the long running Sookie Stackhouse series. This series has been steadily going downhill for me for a while now but I knew that I wanted to finish it and get some closure. After the previous book, I didn't have very high expectations for this one.After 13 books, Harris definitely had her work cut out for her. There were a lot of loose ends to figure out and you can never really please everyone with a series as popular as this. I expected Sookie to go out with a bang, but it was a quiet ending that left the future a bit open.The book starts when a body is found behind Merlotte's. The body conveniently has a piece of Sookie's clothing on it and she becomes the number one suspect. Harris goes back into familiar territory here as Sookie tries to unravel the mystery, while trying to stay alive. A lot of characters pop up in this book. While some of them do add to the plot, I can't help but feel that some of them are there just to make a goodbye appearance.Of course, the big question is - which guy does Sookie end up with? Without spoiling it I have to say that I am not surprised by the outcome. Harris has been hinting in the last few books which way this might go. I think a lot of fans might be disappointed but I didn't have a strong feeling about it. In many ways I think she ended up with the right person but I also would have been OK had it gone in another direction. I guess I just didn't have that much invested in Sookie's romantic life anymore. While I was expecting some kind of epic ending for the series with revelations and battles galore, what I got was just another Sookie book. There were more guest appearances than usual by characters I imagine people wanted to say goodbye to. Harris does wrap a few things up with Sookie and her fae family as well. But, for the most part, it really didn't feel like an ending at all, but just another crazy day in Bon Temps. While I was a bit underwhelmed by the whole thing, I wasn't particularly upset about the ending. Would I have liked to have seen some things resolved differently? Sure, but this is Harris's baby, this is how she wanted to end it. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of the last few books, I will always think of this series fondly, and am interested to see what Harris will do next.
The Marquess Who Loved Me (Muses of Mayfair, #3) - Sara Ramsey Really liked this one. I have noticed that I like stories of reunited lovers. Lots of angst. Full review to come.
The Mistress Files - Tiffany Reisz I hate to give this collection such a low rating. I am a really big fan of The Original Sinners series and was looking forward to The Mistress Files. While it was entertaining, there was just something missing from these stories that I can't put my finger on. Maybe I just have high standards after reading the first three books in the series but I really expected more from this collection. The "files" start off in first person but then switch to third person, and thank goodness for that. Nora's inner monologue is a little too manic for me and starts to grate if left unchecked. I felt like she was speaking in a lot of one-liners as well, which seemed forced at times. She's much better in third person. My favorite story of the bunch was definitely The Story of the Secret Switch, which is about Kingsley. I love Kinsley and this story showed a different side to him. I really liked seeing the dynamic between he and Nora and it gave me some insight into their relationship. It was also ridiculously kinky and hot. The other stories aren't very memorable to me. They were entertaining but I wasn't invested in any of the characters. I've read all of Reisz's free short stories on her website and they're all very good. I am not sure why it's not translating in this collection. If you're looking for something to tide you over until The Mistress hits bookshelves and you've already read her free short stories, I think this is still worth the $1.99 price tag. The Story of the Secret Switch alone is worth the price of the book. I would definitely recommend at least reading The Siren before reading The Mistress Files. You don't have to but I think you'll get more out of it if you do. While this wasn't my favorite release by Tiffany Reisz, I am still really excited about The Mistress. I love Nora, Kingsley and Soren and can't wait to see what happens next!
The Devil's Pearl - Jennifer Haymore The Devil's Pearl is a prequel novella in the new house of Trent series by historical romance writer Jennifer Haymore. While I enjoy Haymore's writing style, this novella didn't do much for me. Neither of the main characters were particularly compelling and the kidnapping element pushed the romance into creepy and not sexy.Devlin Vaughn is furious for Julie Beaumont. The two start a passionate affair which is cut off when Julie suddenly leaves Devlin in a very public and humiliating manner. A year has passed but Devlin hasn't forgotten Julia and he still wants his revenge. When he finds that she has returned to London, he decides to kidnap her and in the hopes of rekindling the physical passion that they once shared without the emotional attachment.I feel like this story could have been called "Poor Communication" because that's really the root of Dev and Julia's problems. Both of them failed to communicate their feelings and fears during their brief affair, leading to pain, embarrassment and public ruination. Now I know misunderstandings are quite common in romances and that they are great catalysts for drama and emotion. However, it just didn't seem very believable to me in this case. I blame Devlin more than Julia for their initial demise though. He was older and much more experienced. We don't learn too much about their initial romance but it sounds like he pursued Julia (not unwillingly) then met with her secretly once a week to continue their affair. He never told her he loved her or talked about the future. His excuse is that he assumed that she knew his feelings were. This seems a little naive on his part. I just can't believe that he wouldn't understand that he was treating Julia like a mistress and not someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. I don't really blame Julia for leaving while she could. Sure, she could have handled it better but Dev didn't give her much hope to begin with. I also did not approve of Devlin's method of revenge on Julia. Kidnapping's not cool, even if you love the person. He fully planned on locking her in a room (which he actually did for a bit) and forcing her to become his courtesan. Julia didn't seem very upset about this, which also bothered me.There were a few really tender moments between Dev and Julia and I am glad that they sorted everything out in the end. However, the elements of this story never really came together for me and I finished the story feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. There is quite a long excerpt for the first full length book in the series, The Duchess Hunt, at the end of The Devil's Pear which seemed pretty interesting. I still want to give Haymore a chance but I've only read her novellas thus far. I think a full length novel will showcase her talents better.*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.