Saturday, October 11, 2008

Witchy Business

Witchy Business Under His Spell\Disenchanted?\Spirit Dance
Witchy Business collects three Witch paranormal romances, these stories are connected by a clinic for disfunctional witches, who have either lost or not gained their powers due to love denied, love repressed or love rejected.

The first story, "Under His Spell", by Julie Leto was my least favorite of the bunch. Witch Regina St. Lyon and witch hunter Brock Aegis have a history. He romanced her and then tried to kill her, and she got even by banishing him to hell. Now he's back and he claims he was given a chance at redemption but only if he can keep Regina alive as the head witch hunter is out to get her. Since we jump into an established relationship there is no buildup and no time to get to know Regina and Brock. Regina quickly overcomes her distrust in the name of lust and Brock consequently is just the shadow of a character and not well fleshed out, so it is hard to care too much about what happens to these two.

"Disenchanted?" by Rhonda Nelson is much better. We get a real feel for Benedict DeWin the only powerless member of a famous witch family and Bryony Flynn also a witch misfit who has been banished by her family to avoid messing up the arranged-since-birth marriage of her sister - to guess who, Ben. This pair has an attraction that sizzles and they may just find that the magic of love is a cure to all their problems - except for the fiance one.

The last story, "Spirit Dance", by Mia Zachary. Has hereditary witch Siobhan Silverhawk heir to great powers - with Celtic witches on one side and Dine medicine women on the other - but she too has yet to come into her powers. Pilot J. B. Pendleton doesn't believe in the hocus pocus stuff, but finds himself under Siobhan's spell. Only the ghost of his dead wife is determined to keep what's hers, so Sioban better watch out. Both Siobhan's and J.B's growing desire for each other is done very effectively and I liked the scenes where Siobhan is performing the Dine ceremonies. You may recognized these if you've read any of Linda Conrad's Shadow Warrior series.

An ok book, of the 3 stories, Under His Spell, by Julie Leto was the best and the other 2 were so so.

Overall I'd rate this one a 3/5

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn
Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting . . . for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all . . .

It's true. He doesn't. Thomas rather likes having a fiancée—all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay—and he does intend to marry her . . . eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas's world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he's not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love . . . with his own fiancée!

I had high hopes for this book. I loved the first book and even rate it a 5/5, but this one failed to deliver on all that promise.

It builds from the previous storyline, but instead of giving us any new insight or storyline this is literally a retelling of the exact same story from a slightly different view point and simply does not work. There's little new information, there's very little character development, and the plot is ... very blah.

Sadly I give this book a 2/5

Side By Side: The Journal of a Smalltown Boy

Side By Side: The Journal of a Smalltown Boy by Mioki
SIDE BY SIDE is the story of Evan and Rick. Fast and close friends since their kindergarten days in a small town their friendship evolves into the love of their lives. They move to the big city where they meet Billy and Charlie and these four friends are soon inseparable. Mioki presents a moving portrait of gay life with all its highs and lows. Drawn in a sure style and masterfully incisive, Mioki's comic is a joy to read, is moving and the sex also doesn't get short shrift. A charming comic for the young and the young-at-heart.

Oh my, if you like gay comics this is a must buy. Its not as exaggerated as those drawn by Patrick Fillion, but equally arousing.

Its a simple tale of 2 boys from the same small town who grow up and move to the city and fall in love with each other. Excellent artwork, and I hope Mioki does a 2nd and 3rd and more books.

At the Bride Hunt Ball

At the Bride Hunt Ball by Olivia Parker
To Snare a Bride . . .

To Gabriel Devine, Duke of Wolverest, the bonds of marriage are nothing more than shackles. But if he's to remain a lifelong bachelor, that leaves only his younger brother to carry on the family name. Inviting the ton's most eligible ladies to an elegant ball, Gabriel is certain any one of them would be all too eager to become the next duchess and provide an heir—leaving Gabriel to continue his ecstatic pursuit of pleasure.

To Catch a Rogue . . .

Her social-climbing stepmother would give anything to have Madelyn Haywood betrothed to a future duke. But Madelyn believes the brothers Devine to be nothing more than heartless rogues—especially Gabriel, whose rakish reputation precedes him. He is nothing more than a slave to passion, and she will not be conquered by his caresses­—and yet his wicked ways tempt her so . . .

A pretty good book and fun read, but sadly another forgettable historical romance.

I rate this one a 4/5

Wild Card

Wild Card by Lora Leigh
It was supposed to be simple. All Navy SEAL Nathan Malone had to do was rescue three young girls from a Colombia drug cartel, then allow himself to be captured just long enough to draw out a government spy. That was before his mission went disastrously wrong…and before his wife, Bella, was told that Nathan was never coming home.

Bella’s mourned her husband’s death for three long years. But she has no idea he’s still alive. Forced to assume a new identity, the man Nathan was is now dead. If he can get back to his wife, can he keep the secret of who he really is…even as desire threatens to consume them? And as danger threatens to tear Bella from Nathan’s arms once more?

I simply loved this story. Guy finds love of his live, is forced to be dead, lives his life on automatic pilot. He is finally forced to reenter her life when she's in danger and they fall for each other again.

If you don't like slightly weepy stories, this might not be for you, but its hot and emotional. A good read.

I rate this one a 4.5/5

The Darkest Kiss

The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter
She has tempted many men… but never found her equal.

Until now.

Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death—a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him.

But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond imagining.…

I'm still on the fence about this whole series. But this specific book was pretty good. A minor goddess and the incarnation of death getting together.

The covers of this series is excellent, and this book is a decent read.

I rate this one 4/5.

Pleasure Unbound

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .

Talk about original, A demon who's a doctor, a world where demons are hunted by humans. A hospital for demons only but modeled after the human world. It goes on and on. Individually the various plots are not unique, but together it's a world that I've not read about in several hundred other books.

Oh and this is also a very hot book, did I mention that the demon doctor is rare kind of Incubus? So he's perfect male specimen and he's built to satisfy women, need I go on?

I give this book a 4.5/5, and subsequent books might very well be a 5.