Thursday, April 21, 2011

WINNER - KLB Eternal Rider Virtual Journey Giveaway

And the winner, chosen via the random number generator on Random.org, is..........

KAHEA!!!

The winner has been contacted via email.   Thank you to all for your wonderful comments and welcome to all of my new followers!  Thanks most of all to Larissa Ione for stopping by (I haven't stopped squeeing over it yet!) and to the ladies of KLB Virtual Events for including me in this book tour.  Happy Reading, all and congrats to Kahea!

Monday, April 18, 2011

KLB Virtual Events Blog Tour - Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione - Day 8 - Review + Giveaway

Title – Eternal Rider
Author – Larissa Ione
Series – Lords of Deliverance Book 1 (related to the Demonica series)
Pages – 412 (includes a 10 page excerpt of Immortal Rider, the next book in the series)
They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.

Hello and welcome to Day 8 of the KLB Virtual Events Blog Tour of Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione.  I thank the wonderful ladies of KLB for including me in this blog tour! 
Have you read Larissa Ione before?  I’m a fairly new reader to her books but I can tell you that her books include great world building, rich characters and snappy dialogue.  Oh yeah…and BLISTERINGLY HOT SMUTTINESS!!  Oh my gracious!!  And this book was no exception!  Ok…sorry…didn’t mean to yell..and maybe I should discuss the storyline before I get into the hotness.  I guess.

I have not yet finished the Demonica series but I wanted to be a part of this blog tour and figured any information I needed from the Demonica series would be included in this book and I was correct.  Usually, I prefer to read all books in order, even if they aren’t all required to be read, as such; I’m just a stickler like that.  If you have an issue with spoilers, you may want to read the entire Demonica series first since this book does give away some events from the Demonica series.  Also, there is a BUNCH of information and a fairly large number of characters introduced in the beginning of this book, if you are not already familiar with the myth and lore of the Demonica series.  It’s needed for readers, such as myself, who did not read the entire Demonica series but may feel like a bit of a re-tread for those that have read it.  Don’t let that put you off, though; the story moves right along and you need the information in order to understand the events.

Events that occur in Sin Undone, the last book of the Demonica series, set the action of this book into motion.  Reseph, one of the siblings who would become the Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse, has his Seal broken which changes him into Pestilence.  Just so you know…Pestilence is NOT a nice guy!  He bares no resemblance to the man he used to be.  Larissa is very good at writing characters that are very bad!  I was actually taken aback by a few of the things Pestilence does and says in this book (in particular, a line about ripping someone a new orifice and then..ahem…enjoying the new hole….gave me pause!) but that’s a good thing; it’s a mark of good writing that I was so disturbed by his evil deeds!  Now that his Seal has been broken, next up is Ares who will become War.  Pestilence is determined to find a way to break his Seal, Ares is determined not to let it happen and Cara unwittingly becomes a major player in their conflict.  That’s about as much as I can give you without giving away too much; after all, I DO want you to read it for yourself!

Now…back to the hotness! I’m not necessarily a big fan of war in general…but WAR in the guise of Ares….COULD GET IT!  Violence and aggression and conflict turn him on.  And a turned on Ares, quite frankly,  makes your panties sweat.  Phew!  Two words folks; Shower. Sex.  I’m a big fan and Larissa does NOT disappoint.

As far as the romance is concerned, I believed the relationship.  They started as a emotionally scarred timid woman and an emotionally unavailable, unyielding man but they had believable growth and grew to be what they needed to be for their partner.  I liked Ares a bit more than I liked Cara, especially in the beginning, but I usually like the guy more; go figure! 

If you’re read the Demonica series, you’ll be happy to know that there are several cameos from familiar characters and some scenes set in Underworld General Hospital.  I smiled each time a character I knew showed up; I always like to know what’s going on with characters after the events of their specific books.

A host of new characters (for me, at least) were developed in this book and there are two I’m extremely interested in knowing more about.  Limos, the female sibling of the four, is one bad ass chick and I can’t wait to hear more about her!  And Thanatos, who will be Death if his Seal is broken, is the big blonde one of the bunch.  And, if you read this blog regularly, you know I like the big blonde ones!  J  I’m glad to have had an opportunity to read and review this book and look forward to the rest of the series.  I give Eternal Rider a strong 4 out of 5 stars. 

Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a $15 gift certificate from Borders or an equivalent book purchase from The Book Depository.  Please be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.  The contest ends 4/20/11 at 11:59pm so get your comments in quickly!  The contest is open to all who care to enter.  Thanks again to the ladies of KLB for including me on the book tour and thanks to you for stopping by!

Monday, April 4, 2011

REVIEW - Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward *Contains Spoilers*

Title – Lover Unleashed
Author – J.R. Ward
Series – Black Dagger Brotherhood - Book 9
Pages – 489
Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother:  A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either. 
When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world.  Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.
As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

 
Before I start, I have a couple of confessions to make.  First, I LOVE this series.  This is one of the few series that I will consider paying FULL PRICE for a hardback in the series.  That, in this age of weekly coupons and discounts and markdowns (not to mention ridiculous gas prices keeping my pocketbook on lock), is a big thing for me.  As it happens, I did pay full price for this book…plus some, in order to get a signed copy.  Keep that in mind as you read this because the price that was paid might have added to my….passion.  (or is that vehemence?  You decide).  Secondly, I am usually in the minority in my feelings about this series.  I am not on Team Qhuay (I LOVE Qhuinn….I like Blay….I’ve never wanted to see them together.  I am on board for a threesome HEA though, so that my boy Qhuinn can get all of his tastes satisfied whenever he wants, but I believe I may be the only member of Team Qhublayla.  Hmph.) .  I like Jane and always have.  I thought the fact that V’s glowing hand could make her corporeal was a beautiful thing that meant they belonged to each other.  I liked Phury’s book, which I know a lot of folks HATED and consider one of the least romantic of the series.  On the other hand, Z’s book, which is considered one of the most romantic of the series, is one of my least favorites (note – one of my least favorites in the BDB series is equal to some of my most favorites in many other series so please understand that does not mean I didn’t like the book; I just didn’t like it as much as several others). So, knowing that I usually fall on the other side of popular opinion, I was not worried when I started seeing ratings on Goodreads and comments on Twitter indicating that this book was getting mediocre ratings.  From the comments I did read, I could see that the Team Qhuay folks were upset that there was no significant progress with their relationship and the romance fans were disappointed in the lack of focus on Manny and Payne.  Neither thing bothered me that much so I figured I’d LOVE this book and, once again, be in the on the opposite side of popular opinion. 
Not. So. Much.
I did not hate the book but I did have some issues with it.  There were things to like so I will end on a high note and discuss those things later.  We’ll start, however, with what did not work for me.  There are two items that I’m not going to specifically name…but I’m going to try to work them into my reivew.  See if you can spot them!
-The word “verily” can quite verily KICK. ROCKS.
-Annnnnnnnnnd where was Lassiter?  And what was the whole subplot about Murhder doing in the last book if there was to be no progression on it at all in this book?
-Annnnnnnnnnnnnd from what I understand, Veck was introduced because he’s to be featured in a future fallen angels book.  I would have preferred he be introduced in that series so that more time could have been spent on the characters of this series that I care about.  True?
-Ohhhhhhhhhh yeaaaaaahhhhhh…..ANNNNNND I know that John is with Xhex now and can take care of himself blah blah blah but Qhuinn IS responsible for his life.  You think they might have wanted to spend more than three minutes in each other’s presence for the whole book?  Ya feel me?
-I love Qhuinn and V.  They are two of my favorites in the series.  I gotta admit, though, I was NOT in love with Qhuinn’s whole since-I-can’t-have-Blay-I’m-gonna-kill-myself-by-starving vibe and I didn’t really believe V’s whole I-was-jacking-it-but-I-can’t-tell-my-girl-EVEN-THOUGH-SHE-KNOWS-I-DO-IT-SINCE-SHE-LIKES-TO-WATCH-ME drama.  It just didn’t ring true with me.  True?
-Annnnnnnnnnnnnd Qhuinn without his piercings?  BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
-Annnnnnnnnd ohhhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiit….Manny can cure paralysis with just a look at his junk?!?!  For reals?  My back hurts; you think it’ll be fixed because I just read about his cure all junk?  Maybe? 
Ok…I think that’s enough of that.  On to a happier subject; the things that did work for me.
-I was just happy to be back in Caldwell.  I love those Brothers; I truly do!
-I like the Manny and Payne pairing, even with the whirlwind romance and the dick of destiny.
-I LOVE the way Butch figured out how to help Vishous!  Their relationship is still one of my faves.
-I like that we got to check in with Detective De La Cruz and now know that he’s still looking for Butch.  I like the continuity there and I think that’s going to lead to more in the future.
-I like getting a little more insight into Saxton and Layla.
-I am not yet invested in the story of the new rogue band of bastards WITH THE EXCEPTION of when they were GETTIN.IT.IN with Kandy!  LITERALLY!  J.R. Ward is always good for some down and dirty and she did not disappoint!  Yeah…it wasn’t the featured couple but…hey…smut is smut and we’ll take it! 
-Loved the scene with everyone hanging out together; I like the happy family moments!  I’m a sap like that!
All in all, I give the book at 3.5 out of 5.  It wasn't my favorite in the series but it wasn't my least favorite, either.  And, my motto still remains, some BDB, whether its the best or not, is always better than no BDB!   And trust…I will be buying the next one as soon as it comes out because I love these characters and this series.  Ya feel me?  Verily.  True?  Word.  J