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Mistress of The Dark Path "Suzie" (The Otherworld)

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A Blood Seduction: A Vamp City Novel
A Blood Seduction: A Vamp City Novel
Price: 2.62

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the Urban Fantasy book I was hoping for, 7 Jun 2012
Quinn Lennox has always known she wasn't normal. In her childhood she'd performed feats no human girl should have been able to do and recently she'd starting seeing strange glimmers no one else could. When her brother's best friend goes missing and they try to find her, those abilities allow Quinn to figure out what happened. Unfortunately they also cause her and her brother to cross into a world that shouldn't exist. One full of vampires and other dangerous creatures she'd always believed to be a myth. Only they weren't. They'd been hiding in a magical dome right over D.C. that no one knew about. Soon after, Quinn and her brother are separated and her magical talents discovered by those that would use them. Finding her brother and getting away from her captors becomes an almost insurmountable goal, but one she has to try and achieve.

I'm always looking for a new Urban Fantasy series to try. It's like seeking the holy grail as it's tough to compete with some of the great ones already out there. I've grown to have certain expectations and not all authors can produce what I'm looking for. The transition from paranormal romance to urban fantasy Pamela Palmer attempted didn't work as well as it could have. The world building was excellent, I'll give it that. Vampires were every bit as cruel, heartless, and cold as one could expect. Even the nicest among them had ulterior motives for their behavior. From that perspective, it worked, and I liked it.

The biggest problem was with Quinn herself. She didn't live up to the typical urban fantasy heroine. I'm not saying they all have to be alike by any means, but I do prefer to see a woman who can stand up for herself and be strong against the odds. One that doesn't give in too easily. Yes, Quinn remained determined to find her brother, but she caved against her new master, Arturo, far too often. She cried on his shoulder even as he continued to betray her. He easily melted her with his kisses and she continually chose to trust him even when he had told her she shouldn't. No matter how good he seems, eventually you discover he isn't. The man lies with everything he says.

It seemed like much of the book was Quinn bumbling around and accomplishing very little. There seemed to be a lack of focus and direction which caused the story to have a lot of slow parts between little action. I had to put it down several times because it grew to be annoying waiting for the good stuff. It's sad when a scene where humans get horribly tortured in the worst possible ways is one of the highlights of the novel. The heroine did occasionally manage to fight back, but it usually amounted to nothing for her. She always got recaptured. The ending left a lot to be desired as well. Leaving open threads for the plot of a first book in the series is expected, but I wasn't happy with how the author wrapped things up. It made me feel bereft and unsatisfied, rather than ready for the next one to come out. I'm not sure I'll bother to grab it whenever it does release.

If you're a fan of paranormal romance, you'll get the push-pull typical of an anti-hero/heroine relationship, but it won't satisfy you because there isn't enough good qualities between them to make it work. For those hoping for an Urban Fantasy, the heroine isn't strong or dominate enough to make a good lead female. For the most part she is inept and too emotional. I'm not sure who will like it, but some probably will. Don't go by how the novel starts out, that really doesn't give you an idea of how the rest will go. If you want to take a risk, just be warned it may not be as good as you hope. I'm not entirely upset I read it. The fact I finished it means it's not all bad, just not nearly as good as I had hoped.

This book gets 2.5 stars from me. Wish it could have been more.


Highland Shift (Highland Destiny Book 1)
Highland Shift (Highland Destiny Book 1)
Price: 0.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars- Good read with just a few things keeping it from being great, 7 Jun 2012
Elena's life has just been turned upside down. All her carefully laid plans set for after passing the bar exam ruined. Now she has a chance to start over again in Scotland with a house and land she received from a settlement. It seems like a good deal, but things begin to go wrong from the time she leaves Arizona. It all begins with a run-in with a highlander named Faolan who has his own agenda. She discovers her life is in danger, but can she trust a strange man to help keep her safe or is he part of the problem? The chemistry between them certainly makes it difficult to push him away.

I was drawn into this story from the beginning. The characters were intriguing and it had a lot of suspense that made me keep reading to find out what happened next. Elena and Foalan were clearly meant for each other, but they had a lot of things working against them. You're kept wondering for awhile as to what is really going on that they aren't revealing. There is plenty of action, romance, and even humor as the story progresses to keep it from ever being dull. Readers familiar with Karen Marie Moning's Highlander/Fever series will notice some similarities in the Fae mythology used in this book, though it takes a slightly different slant.

This wasn't a novel I could easily predict the outcome. It had a lot of twists and turns in the plot, along with being considerably longer than expected. This was a good thing since it was enjoyable in most ways. The only problem with some of the twists was that a few didn't jive for me. Such as Elena discovering important information that she knew Faolan desperately needed and then keeping it from him until too late. She knew time was of the essence and yet she cited doubt in her discoveries as her reasoning for not telling him. This is despite the fact it is clear to anyone reading the story that there is nothing to doubt. This drove me crazy because it happened a few times with her and some of the others because they chose not to see the obvious. It seemed there could have been a better way to keep the plot going without using the insecurities of the characters as the main delay tactic. Maybe it's just me, though. I've been known to be picky.

For those who like their stories to be heavy on the romance, I will say this book provides it in spades. The sparks fly from the beginning between Elena and Faolon. They try to fight it, but weaken further every time they are together. Plenty of time was spent developing the relationship between them and there were numerous spicy scenes for readers who enjoy them (I skimmed most of them because I was more into the plot). Only the couple's doubts and stubbornness put a wrench into things, but don't think that stops them from getting close. They have a very difficult time resisting each other.

There are a few tiny plot holes that left me wondering. Such as why Faolan wore a kilt at the airport in Arizona in the beginning, but never wore one again for the rest of the book (which all takes place in Scotland where it would be more natural). Other unanswered questions may have been intentional since the author left the book open to sequels, either with the same main characters or with a guy (Gabhran) who was introduced in the latter part of the story. He certainly caught my attention and would be a great lead for his own novel. I would pick it up in a heartbeat if the author wrote it. She may have had a few things that niggled at me in this book, but I still enjoyed her writing enough that I'd be happy to read something else written by her. Highland Shift was definitely worth my time and I would recommend it to others.


Adversaries and Lovers
Adversaries and Lovers
Price: 0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars A sweet romance that kept me reading to the end!, 7 Jun 2012
"Adversaries and Lovers" is about a man and woman who are at odds with each other. Ben Stassen owns a sports outfitting company and has plans to build his new company headquarters in a historic area Kate O'Conner doesn't want touched. She has good reason for trying to stop him. Her family and many others she is close to have lived in the area for decades don't want to lose the place they have called home for so long. If Ben has his way, it will all be gone and re-zoned so the locals won't be able to afford living there anymore. This puts Kate and Ben on a collision course, but not exactly in the way they expect. The two are determined to get what they want yet they find themselves undeniably attracted to each other. They can only hope there is a way to work things out so neither loses what they want, but that may be more difficult than it seems.

I must admit I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. All the characters involved were endearing in their own way and they were people you could relate to for various reasons. The author did an excellent job of creating well rounded characters who had deep histories affecting their current behaviors. I liked learning the various details as they unfolded. Ben comes off as a over-confident jerk initially, but something about Kate brings out another side to him. I do think his behavior change to a (somewhat) sweeter guy was a bit rapid and could have been done in slower increments, but the sparks that flew between him and Kate were so fun to watch that I didn't get all that upset about it.

Kate was a great character as well. She came off as determined, stubborn, and independent much of the time, but also had a softer side and could be emotional (in fact she admits this several times in the book). A weak heroine would have annoyed me, but she had enough underlying strength so that having the occasional meltdown didn't seem so bad. Sometimes her behavior bordered on irrational, but I understood it because in real life we make some stupid decisions when our emotions run high (at least I know I do). Despite this, you had to admire her for sticking with her beliefs and not backing down. She didn't let her feelings for a man she just met make her lose her resolve.

The novel had many other points that made me enjoy it as well. The banter between various characters ranged from serious to light-hearted and felt natural while also keeping me entertained. There was a secondary romance that took place and you had to root for those two falling for each other as well. The story didn't focus on that one as much as the main characters, but it was a nice bonus. I also enjoyed how the author developed Kate and Ben to bring out their talents, hobbies, and interests. While Kate had always known she had a love for art, she was forced to put it on the back burner in favor of working a job that paid a steady income. Ben, on the other hand, had a knack for building artistic masterpieces in his free time while denying it was art. He preferred to think of his work as something to do to kill time and otherwise meaningless. It was only once the couple met that their hobby became something more. I liked how the art angle developed as the story progressed. By the end of the novel, all the pieces fell together and I finished the book with a smile.

There is so much more I could say about why I liked this novel, but I'll stop from revealing more and just say you have to check it out for yourself. Don't be deceived by the book cover. I really don't think it fits the story at all and led me to believe I was buying something totally different. Thankfully, I enjoyed "Adversaries and Lovers" even more than expected. It is a great story with depth and heart. One that is well worth the time to read if you are into sweet contemporary romances.


All In (Be-Wished, Book One)
All In (Be-Wished, Book One)
Price: 2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling contemporary romance with a spark of the paranormal, 7 Jun 2012
Mariah is not one to believe in fairy tales coming true, but little does she realize one might be in the cards for her. Just a year before while vacationing in Mexico she put on a wish bracelet (along with a couple of her friends) and wished for the one thing she'd wanted for years. Though Mariah writes off the whole thing as fantasy, she knows she must wear the bracelet until it comes off on its own. She forgets about the whole thing until it does fall off and she meets a wish fairy who swears Mariah will get what she wanted. It takes a little convincing, but she begins to believe when the man she wished for suddenly comes back into her life. The only problem is she is limited to forty-eight hours before the wish expires and there are some catches the fairy initially fails to mention that could ruin everything. Now that Mariah is finding love, she has to get her happily ever after and will do whatever it takes to make all her dreams come true.

I admit I didn't expect much from this short novel. It sounded like something I probably wouldn't even be able to finish. Yet once I started reading, the story really grabbed my attention. Mariah is a strong and independent woman, but she isn't afraid to dream and take chances. She has a sweet and soft side that helps you relate to her. When Tucker shows up, you root for her to find the love she wants with him. I will warn he isn't quite as easy to relate to in the beginning. This could be due to the fact I am not much of a poker fan and this guy made a living as a professional poker player. Definitely not my kind of dream guy. Yet I hung in there for Mariah's sake and eventually found myself really liking Tucker as more of his background came out. Despite it being a short novel, you get enough details to help you understand the two main characters and feel like you know them fairly well by the end. Even some of the side characters were great and helped flesh the story out.

There are a couple other things that could be considered both strengths and weaknesses for the novel. One, there are a lot of sex scenes and they begin early on in the story. I had hoped to get a little more warmed up to the characters first and that threw me off a bit. On the other hand, you learn a lot by what they are thinking and saying during those scenes. Tucker and Mariah met many years before so there is a lot of reminiscing even as they jump back in the sack together. Also, the author does an excellent job of writing sizzling scenes that most any romance reader could appreciate. I wish the story had been longer and more drawn out (there was a lot of room for growth) but I also understand writers like to tell the story as they see it. You don't have to deal with all the misunderstandings that are often used as ploys to prevent the H/h from finding their Happily Ever After (HEA) more quickly. It was refreshing to see the two characters forthright and upfront about their feelings without all the holding back you often see.

There were a couple of instances where the dialog seemed a bit weird to me, but most of the time I had no problem with it. The ending was the best part. It tied everything up and even provided for some comedy (I won't say how, you'll just have to read it). All in all, this was a novel I don't regret trying and believe it is one most romance readers will enjoy. It looks like this is the first in a series so I plan to check out the ones that follow "All In". I have faith they will be at least as good as this one.


Mortal Death (The Vamp Saga Book 1)
Mortal Death (The Vamp Saga Book 1)
Price: 2.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars due to the slow start, but worth hanging in there for the rest!, 7 Jun 2012
Manon Mourey hasn't led the easiest of lives after being orphaned at an early age and separated from her twin brother, but she thought she had her path all figured out. That comes to a crashing halt when she discovers she is a half-vampire at the ripe age of twenty-eight. Something she never suspected before, despite a severe anemia problem. Not only this, but an elder vampire, Mikkel, wants to turn her fully and marry her. How does one react to going from poor and unwanted to rich and envied? Manon is about to find out, but it isn't going to be all fun and games.

The upper echelons of the vampire hierarchy are not amused by the idea of a half-breed being turned, and certainly don't want to see her married to one of the most powerful vamps in the world. While Mikkel might appear to be supportive of her, he has his own hidden agenda and secrets to hide. There is a past she doesn't know about, and it affects her a lot more than she could ever imagine. She has her work cut out for her if she wants to survive and make it in the undead world. It will take all her street smarts and cunning gained over the years, plus newly developed powers, but she is willing to fight for her right to live and take her place among the vampire elite. Whether they like it or not.

Death Wish is not like any other vampire book I've ever read. It is set in a world where the supernatural have come out of the closet and taken over the planet. Humans still have some control, but it is mostly by the vampire's good graces. There is quite a lot of backstory to cover all the changes that came about after the undead came into the light (figuratively, of course). This makes for a slow start to the book and I found it didn't really pick up speed until about a quarter of the way through. Once it does, though, the reader is in for a thrilling ride. You'll be left wanting to know what happens next and how it will all turn out.

The author clearly went through a lot of trouble to develop her characters. They have intricate details of their lives and backgrounds revealed as the story progresses. Often, it will seem like too much information at once, but for those who love genealogy and fully fleshed out characters, it will probably be a treat. The world building is just as richly detailed and will give you an excellent picture of how different things are compared to our own reality. My only complaint here is I would have liked to see the main character out in it more so I could see everything through her eyes, rather than just being told about it. Manon spends much of her time in vampire establishments so you don't really get the full idea of how humans are reacting to their changed circumstances.

Her relationship with Mikkel is one that will leave you both intrigued and frustrated. He is an old vampire and can often act according to his age, but sometimes he can also be very sweet and romantic. Manon has her own mood shifts, so it is difficult to tell how the couple will behave toward each other at any given time. They both tend to run hot and cold, depending on what is going on in their heads. This makes for a roller-coaster ride of a relationship, and passion flares all the more for the explosive reactions the two have with each other, but it also means they can be rather unpredictable.

Vampires, in general, are not the nice and likeable kind you may find in some paranormal series. The men and women that make up the race in this one are cold, ruthless, and savage. Very few of their own self-imposed rules hold them back. Readers should expect a good deal of violence, foul language, and dark scenes that are morally questionable. For me, this was a nice change of pace from the usual stuff, but may not be for everyone.

I had my doubts on whether I would like this novel in the beginning, due to the slow start, but it was well worth pushing through to the good stuff. Once Death Wish captured my full attention, it didn't let go until the end. It has a few areas where the author could improve the story, but I would still recommend it to others who enjoy the darker side of paranormal romance. You'll find this book does not hold back, and gives a realistic take on what the world would look like if vampires ever took over. I'll be looking forward to the next novel in the series when it is released later this year. The author has definitely got me hooked!


Blood Queen: Blood Destiny, Book 6
Blood Queen: Blood Destiny, Book 6
Price: 1.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot happens in this novel but I'm going to avoid any major spoilers, 9 Feb 2012
First and foremost, if you are just finding this series, do not start with this novel. Far too much has happened in the previous five for this one to make any sense and it is highly unlikely you would find this one very enjoyable as a standalone. It would be best to go to the first one, Blood Wager, and begin from there. For everyone else, I will do my best to not reveal any spoilers in this review.

Blood Queen begins right after the final scene in Blood Royal. Lissa is taken by her father, Griffin, to the planet Kifirin three hundred years into the future where a battle is taking place. She sees that many of the Comesuli are dying and those defending the planet are heavily outnumbered against their enemies. As is her nature, she jumps right into the battle against the Ra'Ak taking them down as fast she can, but still many are dying since she can't reach them all at once. The outcome of that battle reveals devastating losses and shapes the course of events that happen after.

I won't go any further. To say any more will spoil the book. Unfortunately I saw some of the other reviews prior to reading Blood Queen and realized a few gave away far more than I had wanted to know. It took away a lot of the suspense I would have otherwise felt. So I'm going to do my best to not do that to others. I will say this, it was a very intense beginning and you really wonder how things go from that point forward. The rest of the novel pretty much involves dealing with the fallout from that opening battle and succeeding events that change the way life on many planets goes on.

Something should also be said about Lissa's love life. Prior to this novel, you could already see it coming that she would not be a one-man kind of girl. In this one that becomes even more obvious since many more come out of the woodwork. She is rather reluctant to deal with so much attention, but can't exactly get around it since the M'Fiyahs make that rather difficult. She does learn some surprising details on how they come about that were not known before, along with some other important parts of her past that have shaped who she is. There is an increase of her powers that some will find difficult to believe, but I think they were necessary for the role she has to play. It didn't bother me, but some may find that aspect hard to believe.

I will say overall that this novel is intense and particularly emotional toward the beginning. If you have read all the previous books, this is not one you want to miss. There are a lot of the pieces of the puzzle that finally get revealed and many questions answered. The one unfortunate thing is that the number of characters in this one, even with the author having reduced them during revisions, is still staggering. Nearly everyone that has been seen in the previous books is either seen or mentioned, along with many new ones. It got rather confusing for me, I will admit. I began to wish I had jotted down a list of characters while reading the series just so I could refer to it for this one (and add all the new guys and gals to keep them straight). Despite this, you can muddle your way through it and still enjoy the story. There are a few typos here and there as well, but those weren't too distracting so they didn't bother me much. I still loved every minute of reading this novel and craved more after it was over. Though I'm not sure where it could go from here.

I must say this series has become one of my favorites for the paranormal genre, and I guess you could say sci-fi romance. It doesn't get too heavy on the sex scenes but does give a taste. Every character seems to have their own unique flavor. There is no other story-line like this making it really stand out from all the rest. I think the heroine, Lissa, is amazing and likeable. Someone you can really relate to in a lot of ways. The men in the book aren't anything to sneeze at either! So if you are on the fence about picking up this latest book, I would say go for it. I'm not sorry I did and will look forward to future work by this author. Blood Queen turned out to be another intense book, like its predecessors, that will leave the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next!


Death Wish Book 1: The Vamp Saga
Death Wish Book 1: The Vamp Saga

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars due to the slow start, but worth hanging in there for the rest!, 9 Feb 2012
Manon Mourey hasn't led the easiest of lives after being orphaned at an early age and separated from her twin brother, but she thought she had her path all figured out. That comes to a crashing halt when she discovers she is a half-vampire at the ripe age of twenty-eight. Something she never suspected before, despite a severe anemia problem. Not only this, but an elder vampire, Mikkel, wants to turn her fully and marry her. How does one react to going from poor and unwanted to rich and envied? Manon is about to find out, but it isn't going to be all fun and games.

The upper echelons of the vampire hierarchy are not amused by the idea of a half-breed being turned, and certainly don't want to see her married to one of the most powerful vamps in the world. While Mikkel might appear to be supportive of her, he has his own hidden agenda and secrets to hide. There is a past she doesn't know about, and it affects her a lot more than she could ever imagine. She has her work cut out for her if she wants to survive and make it in the undead world. It will take all her street smarts and cunning gained over the years, plus newly developed powers, but she is willing to fight for her right to live and take her place among the vampire elite. Whether they like it or not.

Death Wish is not like any other vampire book I've ever read. It is set in a world where the supernatural have come out of the closet and taken over the planet. Humans still have some control, but it is mostly by the vampire's good graces. There is quite a lot of backstory to cover all the changes that came about after the undead came into the light (figuratively, of course). This makes for a slow start to the book and I found it didn't really pick up speed until about a quarter of the way through. Once it does, though, the reader is in for a thrilling ride. You'll be left wanting to know what happens next and how it will all turn out.

The author clearly went through a lot of trouble to develop her characters. They have intricate details of their lives and backgrounds revealed as the story progresses. Often, it will seem like too much information at once, but for those who love genealogy and fully fleshed out characters, it will probably be a treat. The world building is just as richly detailed and will give you an excellent picture of how different things are compared to our own reality. My only complaint here is I would have liked to see the main character out in it more so I could see everything through her eyes, rather than just being told about it. Manon spends much of her time in vampire establishments so you don't really get the full idea of how humans are reacting to their changed circumstances.

Her relationship with Mikkel is one that will leave you both intrigued and frustrated. He is an old vampire and can often act according to his age, but sometimes he can also be very sweet and romantic. Manon has her own mood shifts, so it is difficult to tell how the couple will behave toward each other at any given time. They both tend to run hot and cold, depending on what is going on in their heads. This makes for a roller-coaster ride of a relationship, and passion flares all the more for the explosive reactions the two have with each other, but it also means they can be rather unpredictable.

Vampires, in general, are not the nice and likeable kind you may find in some paranormal series. The men and women that make up the race in this one are cold, ruthless, and savage. Very few of their own self-imposed rules hold them back. Readers should expect a good deal of violence, foul language, and dark scenes that are morally questionable. For me, this was a nice change of pace from the usual stuff, but may not be for everyone.

I had my doubts on whether I would like this novel in the beginning, due to the slow start, but it was well worth pushing through to the good stuff. Once Death Wish captured my full attention, it didn't let go until the end. It has a few areas where the author could improve the story, but I would still recommend it to others who enjoy the darker side of paranormal romance. You'll find this book does not hold back, and gives a realistic take on what the world would look like if vampires ever took over. I'll be looking forward to the next novel in the series when it is released later this year. The author has definitely got me hooked!


Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga)
Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga)

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You have to take the good with the bad, 12 Dec 2011
Morgan Bailey is a bounty hunter who kills vampires and demons for a living. She has gotten quite good at it over the years and feels confident there isn't a job she can't complete. Now she is up for the greatest challenge in her career yet. Hunting down a mythical sunwalker and finding an ancient amulet he purportedly has in his possession. Morgan is used to dealing with regular vamps that can't go out in sunlight, but this one will be a bit trickier for her to track, not to mention kill. She doesn't let the details get in the way of her job, though. It simply means it will be more challenging than usual. What she doesn't realize is there is a lot more going on than originally anticipated and as old, dark secrets are revealed, she may learn some things about herself that she didn't know.

Kissed by Darkness is the first novel in the Sunwalker Saga. While it may have been written by a new author to the Urban Fantasy genre, there is much to recommend it. It starts off with a bang, introducing key characters and giving the reader a good idea of what the world they have entered. Most humans are unaware of the supernatural elements around them and there are those (human or otherwise) who work in secret to keep it that way. This novel is not light reading. It certainly has dark and bloody elements that make the story fit right into the genre it was written for. A lot of questions are brought up early on, some answered by the end, and others left for later novels to deal with. All around, the plot and world building were in-depth and fascinating.

There is a colorful cast of characters as well. Kabita is the woman who runs the private investigation firm Morgan works out of. She is cool, calm, and collected. The perfect foil for her subordinate, which is the complete opposite. Then there is Inigo Jones, Kabita's cousin, who is a clairvoyant that helps out on jobs when needed. Though he appears to only be twenty years old, his abilities and talents, as well as good looks, make Morgan lust after him in ways she knows she shouldn't. There are other characters introduced as the story plays out as well who hold vital importance. It all makes for an intense and suspenseful story.

The one thing that held me back from truly enjoying this novel is the main character, Morgan. While I liked all the others in the story, her personality and attitude didn't work for me. Now, I have no problem with most snarky, confident, tough female heroines- Cat, from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, is one of my favorites. Yet Morgan rubbed me the wrong way. She is supposed to be a twenty-nine year old vampire hunter with years of experience under her belt. I expected a certain level of maturity from her. Yet she constantly bragged about how tough she was, how much she enjoyed killing things, how great her breasts looked, and how scared everyone was of her. In much of this, showing instead of telling might have alleviated some of my concerns. Instead, the reader has to listen to how great of a badass vampire hunter she is (yes, in those words, multiple times). Not only this, but she has major hormonal issues throughout, practically jumping all over several guys because she can't control her libido. There is probably an explanation for this that was not given in book one, but it reaches the point of being extremely annoying. Mac, in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, has some libido problems around Fae princes, but she acted far more mature about it than Morgan does in this book. I simply couldn't get past this characters behavior to fully enjoy the story being told. It made for a difficult read when it shouldn't have been.

Having said all these things, I don't think this is a bad book. There is a lot to recommend it and most likely the series does continue to get better. It just isn't one I can keep up with due to my reservations about Morgan. Clearly there are others that didn't have the issues I did, based on the reviews I read prior to buying the novel. If the traits I mentioned about Morgan's personality don't bother you, this might be a book worth checking out. I just want to warn those that may have preferences closer to my own. Otherwise, feel free to check it out and make your own call on whether this series is one to follow.


Awakening Sand (The Race of Fire Book 2)
Awakening Sand (The Race of Fire Book 2)
Price: 1.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Part two gets even better!, 2 Dec 2011
Awakening Sand is the second novel following Revealing Rexa. It starts off right where the previous book left off. The king and queen's amulets have finally been reunited after centuries apart only to be separated again when Netta (who holds the queen's amulet) is kidnapped. This occurred at the end of the previous novel along with Sand, a revealer, being called to go save her. In the meantime, Sand's unofficial wife, Miyam, is stuck preparing for upcoming tests so she can be promoted to journeyer in the revealer ranks. This means she cannot go with him to help. Netta's husband Atwin, who holds the matching king's amulet, is also impatient to participate in the search, but is being asked to wait for Sand's arrival (who will have to travel for several weeks to reach him). He feels the distance growing between him and his wife through their link and is becoming frustrated by the inactivity. The longer it takes to find her, the further she will be taken and the more difficult it will be to find her. The kingdom cannot afford her loss right now and the journey to get her back will be filled with peril for all concerned. Not only this, but a war is looming on the horizon with the Kalkar and the human's are ill-prepared to defend themselves against the nearly unstoppable force. Events will occur that forever change the face of the land.

I found the first book in the series, Revealing Rexa, to be a great read. It set up the world building, cast of characters, and a detailed plot (along with several sub-plots) to make for a strong story. It certainly had the elements of a good fantasy, but this second novel turned out to be even more of a page turner than its predecessor. The stakes are higher than ever and every character is in mortal danger as the enemy draws closer. There are two couples who get the most face time in the books- the first being Sand and Miyam, followed closely by Netta and Atwin. Both of their relationships were built in the previous novel and grow stronger in the second.

It is rare that I read strict fantasy, but once in awhile I do like to delve into the genre for all its amazing characteristics. This series is a little less complicated and deep than A Song of Ice and Fire, but is perfect for those who wish for happier endings than that series provides. Its cast isn't quite as large either, which made it easier to follow. I definitely enjoyed the romance that played out in these two novels. It came more naturally than other books I have read, but also had its own twists so nothing was easy on the characters involved. There are no sex scenes, but the author managed to supply enough passion between the couples that the relationships felt real and believable. Beyond the romance, the plot also takes a lot of twists and turns. Some of it is foreshadowed enough that you can predict it but other things will come as a surprise. I certainly felt the suspense throughout and feverishly turned the pages wanting to know what would happen next. The author's imagination supplied an incredible story that has plenty of room to grow in future books.

*** Some Minor Spoilers***

One thing that niggled at me the entire time I was reading book one and the first part of book two was how the humans dealt with their Kalkar enemies. Keep in mind that I am ex-military and automatically look for weaknesses in my enemy to exploit, whereas not everyone does this, but I felt the smart cast of characters should have. The Kalkar only have two major weaknesses (for the most part). One is that they cannot move during the day and are stuck in place. The other is water will kill them if poured on their bodies in sufficient quantities. There were numerous times this advantage could have been utilized to protect the palaces and cities. Instead it was used minimally until the latter parts of book two. Some people might find this point bothersome like I did, others may not, but didn't stop me from enjoying the story. I just had difficulty getting that point out of my head.

***End Spoiler Alert***

All in all, Awakening Sand proved to be an exciting read that was well worth the time. Those who enjoy fantasy novels should certainly give this one a try, along with those who like a good light romance or two in their fiction reading. It provides plenty of action, suspense, and magical elements to satisfy the preferences of a wide audience. I would certainly be willing to read future books released by this author!


Story Time (America's Great Emerging Authors)
Story Time (America's Great Emerging Authors)

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm pleasantly surprised by this thrilling read!, 27 Nov 2011
Story Time is an apocalyptic tale of earth's final moments before utter destruction. An event that comes in many forms no one expected, but a lot of them are reminiscent of predictions from the book of Revelations. It begins with a few major natural disasters that aren't really tied together at first but eventually it's clear something awful is brewing. No one expected how far it would go or how bad things would end up. The loss of human life reaches epic proportions in a relatively short period, leaving few survivors. This is not a story that could be properly told from only one view point, so there are several which give individual accounts as to how things went down. The one constancy they all have is that every narrator eventually ends up at a place called Harmony Ranch in Washington State. One of the last places where humans fight to survive before the planet becomes uninhabitable.

Readers will meet a multitude of characters, some more likeable than others. The story is told from both good, honest people and those who are little more than criminals. One of the most prominent is Naomi, the woman whose family owns Harmony Ranch. She is a soft-hearted, sweet young woman who is forced to take the mantle of leadership for the many people who come to her home for refuge. There is also Steven Cummings, a reporter who was forced to flee with his life partner and seek safety at the ranch. Michael Anderson, a former NBA player, is turned into a hero by his actions to save those weaker than him. There are also several more who were not so good in the things they did. Their version of accounts show a darker side to human nature.

Story Time grabbed my attention from the beginning and didn't let go. As each account was revealed, I desperately turned the pages (or rather touched the screen to flip them) so I could find out more. The world building in this novel is impressive as the author thought of numerous small details to add depth and greater visualization. I could see every event as it unfolded. Not only this, but the character development throughout was excellent. Each person came to life with their unique backgrounds and made it easy to see how people of various walks of life were affected by the disasters that hit earth. They all had their strengths and weaknesses which made them realistic and easy to relate to. Despite the excellent descriptions, I never found the story to slow down, if anything it sped up as things came to their tragic conclusion.

***Spoiler Alert***

There is very little to complain about with this novel. It is well written and thought out. I would have liked to know more about what happened to people on other continents, aside from North America, as little was mentioned about them. It is one factor that should have gotten a bit more attention, even if only at the final stages of the novel. I got the impression from things revealed toward the end that there were other pockets of humans that made it off the planet alive, but couldn't be sure how this occurred. The ending was a bit abrupt as well. I had expected to learn exactly how the humans were saved on that final day, aside from the fact it was aliens that helped them. Little explanation was given on this. Who were these aliens and why did they come to the rescue? These questions linger in my mind. Yet I wouldn't say that the above factors hurt the book much. It still told a very vivid story that certainly gave a fairly complete picture.

***End Spoiler Alert***

If you enjoy suspenseful tales involving the apocalypse that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Story Time is a must read. It is one of the better versions I have seen, especially if compared to other books and movies on the same subject. I am certainly pleased for picking this one up and giving it a chance. It was well worth the time and most certainly a very entertaining novel!


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