So this year I caught on to the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. I heard about this series because I started listening to the Fated Mates podcast (see my other post on how I fell onto the podcast – up later this week). I had no idea it was a read-a-long with a romance series but I decided to give the first book a try and see how things went.
So the first book in the series is A Hunger Like No Other, featuring Emmaline and Lachlain. Amazon says it’s actually the second in the series but on Fated Mates this is the first one we read. The one Amazon considers first is really a novella that we read later in the podcasts. Anyways, this book was BANANAS. I was hooked on the series right from the start and I DEVOURED it once I started it. At first I tried to use it as a reward, like read 2 of my scheduled books and I get to read an IAD book. But then I gave up on that and just read IAD books because I couldn’t WAIT to get to the next person’s story. I read the whole series as it stands now (18 books) in less than 3 months.
Obviously there were some books within the series that I liked more than others. I mean the whole series is amazing, I think the lowest rating I gave any of the books in the series was like a 3.5, which means I still liked it. Most of the books in the series I rated a 4 or above. Some of my favorites are the ones below:
I didn’t post individual reviews of the books since the series was one that I was just reading for fun and not for my reading schedule. I did post individual reviews on my Goodreads page though. I wanted to do an overall post on the series though since I’ve loved it so much. It was especially enjoyable to read the books along with the Fated Mates podcast. The next book in the series, Munro, is coming out in the summer I think and I can’t wait. I would definitely recommend the whole series – it is so interesting and complicated and amazing. Go read it now!
Title: Immortal Born
Author: Lynsay Sands
Date finished: 9/17/19
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: Not sure exactly the number but its #30-something in the Argeneau family series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Nothing compares to the physical chemistry between an immortal and his life mate—or to the spellbinding thrills in a new Argeneau novel by New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands…
A simple promise to protect her friend’s infant son has turned Allie Chambers’ existence upside down. Caring for—and feeding—an orphaned vampire baby has been tricky enough. But as little Liam grows, so does his appetite. He needs more blood than she can personally supply. And when her attempts to steal from a blood bank go awry, Allie wakes up surrounded by doctors, cops…and the gorgeous, mesmerizing Magnus, who she can neither trust nor resist.
Magnus never expected to find his life mate breaking into a blood bank. Clearly, Allie is already entwined with his world—in deeper, more dangerous ways than she realizes. A band of vicious rogue immortals is in pursuit, and Magnus’ first task is to keep her safe. His second: to awaken her to mind-blowing pleasure, and hope she’ll accept the life, and the passion, that only he can offer.
My rating: 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.
I used to read this series a long time ago, it was probably one of the first paramornal series I read ever. I was excited to get back to the series and be able to read one of the newer novels! I’ve been reading Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series a lot lately so it was kind of hard to switch into this other author’s vampire world – each author does their own world-building and creates different quirks intrinsic to their own vampire group. That being said there was a lot of explaining in this novel so it was a good one in the series to pick up. The whole like first half of the book was plot and world-building, so much so that when we turned to look closer at Allie and Magnus’s characters I felt like they weren’t as well-developed as the plot was. They just didn’t leap off the page to me, though they were both fierce and loving and good people. The whole town atmosphere was a little cheesy / unbelievable for me but it’s nice that they had so many friends. Overall I liked it but didn’t really love it. (I think I like her Highlander novels a lot better lately) I’d still recommend it if you like vampire / paranormal romance! And especially if you like a “small town romance” which I think is pretty prevalent in this one too.
Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page
Title: BuzzBooks 2018 Romance Sampler
Author: Various – see below
Date finished: 8/12/18
Publication Date: July 12 , 2018
Pages in book: 241
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I finished this book for ARC August 2018! Love this reading challenge. And this year I’m especially excited because as part of the challenge they added one of my favorite things, reading Bingo! This book will be checking off my “FREE! Happy ARC August” box.
These are the samples that are included in the BuzzBooks Romance collection – each excerpt I’ve scored on a scale of 1-5 on my interest in reading the whole book:
- Time Bridge: Cassie by Annie Becker (Oct 16, 2018) – The book summary sounded a little dark, but the time travel aspect was interesting. The book reminded me a lot of books I’ve read in the past by John A. Heldt. Score: 3.5
- Tempt Me with Diamonds by Jane Feather (Jan 29, 2019) – I don’t particularly like the race horse aspect that seemed to be a part of the book’s plot. Also the heroine sounds kind of drama-loving, it didn’t sound like it was for me but who knows based off of two chapters. Score: 1.75
- Unchained by Helen Hardt (Blood Bond Saga Book 1) (Oct 2, 2018) – Sounded pretty interesting, maybe a little cliched (vamp falls in love with a human) but the characters sounded good. Score: 3.75
- The Memory House by Rachel Hauck (April 2, 2019) – I liked the puppy and the mystery baby, story peaked my interest a good amount. Score: 4.25
- On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter (Last book in the Blue Ridge Romance series) (Nov 6, 2018) – I didn’t find anything in the excerpt overly intriguing, it was ok but didn’t seem exciting. Score: 2.5
- As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson (Sugar Lake novel) (Oct 30, 2018) – This one sounded interesting, I was eager to learn about what had happened to Clayton and his previous relationship. Score: 4.0
- In a Badger Way by Shelly Laurenston (March 26, 2019) – I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole shifter thing. Also there were just so many characters within th efirst two chapters I couldn’t keep everything straight. Score: 1.0
- Intercepted by Alexa Martin (Sept 11, 2018) – I got pretty hooked in the story, I’m interested to see what happens with Marlee (even though see was acting a little like a doormat). Score: 4.25
- The Sweetest Thing by Judith McNaught (Oct 23, 2018) – First couple chapters seemed pretty cheesy but I’d be interested to hear more about what the TV show was about. Score: 2.75
- Their Perfect Melody (Matched to Perfection) by Priscilla Oliveras (Nov 27, 2018) – Seemed ok. Nothing overly thrilling in the first couple chapters. Score: 2.5
- Ignite by Angel Payne (Volume 2 – Parts 4-6) (July 31, 2018) – This seemed super interesting, I’ve never read a romance novel with a super hero before. The first couple chapters of this were interesting and steamy. Score: 4.0
- The Rancher by Kate Pearce (Nov 27, 2018) – It sounded ok but there were a LOT of characters introduced in the first couple chapters, I could barely keep it straight. It probably would’ve been easier if I had read the previous books. THe characters sounded interesting though. Score: 3.0
- Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose (Feb 12, 2019) – LOVE the involvement of the cult aspect, that always gets me interested. This one sounded like it would be really interesting! Score: 4.5
- Solace Island Island by Meg Tilly (Nov 6, 2018) – I loved how fierce the main character was, she had so much spark! And I loved that she gave her ex what he had coming to him, the first couple chapters really had me hooked. Score: 4.25
Title: Deja New
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Date finished: 11/29/17
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Insighters series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Leah Nazir lives in a world where the past can and will come back to bite you in the ass. No, not teething ghosts—reincarnation! As an Insighter, it’s Leah’s job to delve into the murky and (often) deadly former lives of her patients. And she knows a thing or two about danger after killing her mother’s murderer with the help of new beau, Archer Drake.
Isn’t he the best?
Now, it’s time to take their relationship to the next level, but not in any way Leah could have predicted. She and Archer head to Chicago to meet his parents—and try to figure out why Archer’s dad killed his brother decades ago. When someone tries to sabotage their investigation, Leah must decide if the Drake family past is a deal breaker…
My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book continues the story of Leah Nazir and Archer Drake, whose relationship began in the last book in the series, Deja Who. It’s hard to pin down exactly but it sounds like this book picks up a few months to a year after the last book left off. Leah and Archer are visiting Archer’s family, hoping that Leah’s Insighter ability will be what makes the difference in solving a years old mystery: why Archer’s father (Dennis) killed his brother (Donald – Archer’s uncle). Angela Drake is Archer’s cousin and is thrilled that he’s bringing Leah home to meet the family. An Insighter herself (but with far less strength to her abilities than Leah’s) Angela is having a bit of celebrity shock over meeting one of her heroes. It’s this and the new detective on the case, Jason Chambers, that Angela hopes will finally help settle the family’s questions once and for all. But Dennis does not want to cooperate. He’s serving what he feels is a just sentence and has no interest in being freed. The family is quite convinced that he didn’t kill his brother though, so why is he so determined to stay in jail? And why is Angela’s mom been a ghost ever since that fateful day so many years ago?
Overall I liked this book a good amount. Similar to the last book in the series this book has a really creative plot, and this book has a great twist ending! Also similar to the last book, the conversations can get a bit confusing since they’re so fast paced and there’s usually multiple people involved. But that’s part of the charm of the book, I think, is that there is so much going on in it. And the characters are all really funny too, and the situations they all get into are pretty comical as well. I liked that we got to hear more about Leah and Archer, while also seeing a relationship develop between Angela and Jason in this book. I thought this was a great continuation of the story line and I love meeting the different members of the Drake family. I would be interested to see what happens with Leah and Archer’s situation in the future or to hear more about one of the brothers/cousins, I hope for the possibility of more books in the series! I’d recommend giving this one too try, it’s fun and light and I think very interesting.
The bottom line: I liked this book a lot, it was funny and fast-paced and has a very interesting plot. I would recommend giving this one a try!
Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page
The hundred and second book I read in 2014 was Blood Magick by Nora Roberts. This is the third book in her Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. I read the first book in 2013 and it is therefore not on this blog yet, the second book I read in 2014 and you can see the review here. I finished this book on 11/16/14. I rated this book 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Branna O’Dwyer and Finbar Burke. Branna is the last of the three Dark Witches of Mayo. She has been in love with Finbar Burke since she was young but after they had sex for the first time when they were eighteen Fin woke up one morning with the mark of Cabhan.
Ever since that day, Fin has remained in Branna’s life but they haven’t been together as they both longed to be. In the previous two books we hear the story of Iona, Branna’s cousin from America, and Connor, Branna’s brother. We hear much of Branna and Fin’s back story through the first two books but we learn about some interesting developments in this third book in the trilogy. To be honest I thought it was a little weird that all of a sudden in this book Branna trusts Fin and decides to have a slumber party with him after all the inner turmoil she put herself through in the first two books.
Overall I thought this was an ok book. The ending went a little fast for me. It was a three book build up to this ending that was only about 10 pages, it just felt a little anticlimactic. It may have also been that i was looking forward to the book so much that I psyched myself up for it a bit too much. I did a WOW post on this book previously, which you can see here. And also I had trouble getting emotionally involved in the story, I didn’t feel like the characters had a lot of depth to them. Other than that it was a good read and I love the magical twist and also the glimpses into and connection with the past and the first three Dark Witches.
Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Magick-Cousins-ODwyer-Roberts/dp/0425259870/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1416355039&sr=8-1
The hundredth book I read in 2014 was Long Time Coming by Edie Claire. This book was recommended to me by my cousin, Stephanie Gorman. I finished this book on 11/9/14. This was the first book I’ve read by this author. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Joy Hudson, who after 18 years away returns home to Wharton, Kentucky to care for her father and mother, both of which are not in the best of health anymore. Joy left home a long time ago and never looked back, too scarred by traumatic events that occurred at the end of her senior year to think of Wharton as home.
When Joy returns to Wharton though she is forced to face a variety of issues that she had up until then successfully avoided. Like why she feels so guilty about her best friend’s death in high school. And why she’s scared of Jeff Bradford (her best friend’s high school boyfriend) and how he makes her feel, even now eighteen years later.
Overall I did enjoy this book. I was interested in the story line and liked the mixture of paranormal and suspense in the plot. I thought that the characters could’ve been developed a tad bit more and had more depth. As much as we delved into Joy’s psyche I found her character to be a bit flat I guess. Other than that I liked the story well enough. Though I wouldn’t consider it one of my favorites, it was interesting and also free on Amazon Kindle!
Link to author website: http://www.edieclaire.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Long-Time-Coming-Edie-Claire-ebook/dp/B004RJ7Y8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415646021&sr=8-1&keywords=long+time+coming
The eighty-sixth book I read in 2014 was The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle. This is the fifteenth book in her Harmony series and the third book in her Rainshadow series. I finished this book on 9/27/14. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Sedona Snow (descendant of Arizona Snow from one of Jayne Ann Krentz’s earlier novels) who was the victim of kidnapping and a subsequent awful medical experiment. After she escapes the mad scientist’s lab in the catacombs, she retreats to the island of Rainshadow to try and start over.
Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss of the newly formed ghost hunter Guild on Rainshadow. While he is exciting to take on this new challenge, he is also there to check up on Sedona Snow. Jones is also a member of the Jones from the Arcane society. Cyrus was sent by Arcane to see if the “formula” worked on Sedona and she has developed some kind of second talent as her ancestor had also done. Multi-talents can sometimes become unstable and dangerous but Cyrus finds Sedona to be not only stable but extremely intriguing.
There’s a lot of other stuff going on in this story, all of which adds to the intrigue of the plot. I do have to say though that if you haven’t read the other Harmony books (or at least one) then this novel might be kind of hard to understand. Harmony is another planet. Apparently at some point in the future a “curtain” will open up between Earth and Harmony. Some people traveled over to Harmony to colonize it and then all of a sudden the curtain closes. The colonists on Harmony are stranded and all of a sudden when the curtain closes all their technology stops working. Also after living on Harmony for awhile amongst the Alien’s psi-strong tunnels, all the citizens of Harmony start to develop natural powers. Most citizens have low-level powers and all citizens need tuned amber to rez their talents, but Sedona and Cyrus are off the charts talents.
Overall I thought this was a really good book. I like this series a lot because its creative and interesting and completely out of the box. Who would ever think of this other planet where everyone has powers and there are underground tunnels that you get lost in unless you have tuned amber on you? Crazy. I would never think of that on my own. So, good book. Nothing outstandingly exciting but overall solid plot, well-paced, and interesting.
Link to author website: http://www.krentz-quick.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Zone-Rainshadow-Jayne-Castle/dp/0515154725/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411829348&sr=8-2&keywords=hot+zone