Tag Archives: 7.00 out of 10

Wild Embrace, by Nalini Singh

5 Jul

Wild Embrace, by Nalini Singh

This is the second all Psy/Changeling anthology, and the first with all new stories. (I reviewed Wild Invitation, the first anthology, here.)

Wild Embrace was released last year, after Allegiance of Honor came out; despite my utter disenchantment with that novel, I had already decided I would read the anthology, so I did at some point later in the year. I wasn’t awed by it, but I remembered enjoying it well enough.

After reading Silver Silence, I decided to re-read and review it, to satisfy my ‘completist’ tendencies.

I probably shouldn’t have done it so soon after, though, because I was hyper aware of all the worst of Ms Singh’s writing tics; none of these stories have aged well for me.

Reader warning: This anthology is part of a long series, so the review by necessity spoils some of the stories that came before. As with the rest of the series, there’s some adult language and explicit sex. Finally, I rant–a hell of a lot–about one of the novellas in this book. Continue reading

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Wild Invitation, by Nalini Singh

2 Mar

Wild InvitationIt is not a secret for regular readers of my humble blog, that I am a fan of the Psy/Changeling series. Early last year I made a push to finish reviewing all the full length novels in the series, on time for the release this summer of Shards of Hope, the fourteenth title.

However, and despite having won an ARC copy of this all Psy/Changeling novellas anthology back in February 2013 *wince*, I have only reviewed one of the novellas in the series: “Whisper of Sin,” from Burning up.

Operating on the principle that late is better than never, and because a second Psy/Changeling anthology (this one is all new stories, yay!) is in the works for release some time in 2016, here is my review.

Warning: there’s some graphic sex and cursing, and newcomers to the series may be lost–particularly on the last two stories–because of the world building. Read at your own risk. For readers who are behind in the series, the last two stories are spoilerish for Kiss of Snow and Tangle of Need, respectively.

Wild Invitation, by Nalini Singh

This one-author anthology was originally released in March 2013. It contains four stories, though only two were written for it. I’m reviewing them as they appear in the book, though the blurbs for the first novella is from the original release.

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“Wrecked” by Meljean Brook

25 Feb

wreckedI have said before, all over these intrawebs, that I am a fan of Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas stories.

First, there’s the top-notch world-building: steampunk, alternative history that involves actual political and economic forces behind the different players’ actions, and internal consistency. Then, there are the wonderfully realized characters. What’s not to like?

Well, there’s one teenie teensie tiny snag: how few of these stories there are, and the likelihood that no more are forthcoming. :sigh:

Ah, well, fans of the series can always re-read the published stories–which is what I’ve been doing lately.

Behold, a review!

“Wrecked” by Meljean Brook¹

While this story is set in the Iron Seas universe, and was published after the first three length novels, it is not connected to any of those characters or stories, so I believe it can be read on its own. Keep in mind that that is hard to judge, though, because I read the stories in order, and I cannot un-know what I already know about the world Ms Brook has created.

Here’s a blurb:

Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear—and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go…

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The Summer of You, by Kate Noble

21 Aug

The Summer of You cover (mmpb)Originally, I was trying to read this one for the June TBR Challenge, as I have probably eight or more books by Kate Noble in the TBR mountain range of doom, with The Summer of You being the first one to make its way there (back in 2010, during RWA in DC–my copy is signed and everything).

But the dreaded reading slump from hell struck.

Then I thought, “well, it was nominated for a RITA, so I’ll read it for the July TBR Challenge” (don’t ask me how or where I got the idea that it had been nominated, as I cannot find it listed now).

But I was still in reading slump hell.

Then I looked up, and suddenly is freaking August!

At any rate, I have read high praise indeed for Ms Noble’s work in general, and for this novel in particular, and yet…

And yet, I hadn’t read even one of her books until now.

So here we are.

The Summer of You, by Kate Noble

I confess that the first few chapters left me cold. I would start reading, then put the book down, and forget where I had left it. I would pick it up again, put it down, and lose track of it again. Lather, rinse, repeat. At least a little of this can be blamed on the horrendous reading slump of late May-all of June-all of July, but still, some of you may experience the same issues with the beginning.

The blurb from my trade paperback copy:
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Opening Up, by Lauren Dane

14 Aug

Opening UpI am generally a fan of Ms Dane’s work, with the Federation Chronicles, and their spinoff, the Phantom Corps novels, being my favorites by her.

However, what with my TBR taking over my house (yes, I have a problem, but admitting it hasn’t helped me any–and no, thanks, I don’t want help with this particular problem), I had not read anything new by her in a while. Then I realized that Falling Under was coming out this month, and since–thanks to Sela Carsen–I seem to be finally getting over the reading slump from hell, I decided to start the series at the beginning, so I treated myself to this book.

Usual warning: this is an erotic romance, with graphic language and graphic sex. If you object to either, do us both a favor, and skip this one.

Opening Up, by Lauren Dane

This is the first in the Ink and Chrome series, about a group (three?) friends who co-own a “hot rod and motorcycle shop”–whatever that actually means.¹

At any rate, Asa is an ex-Marine, with a love for cars and motorcycles, a need for adrenaline, and little compunction to engage in the occasional bout of recreational violence (he and his partner belong to a bare-knuckle Fight Club, among other things). PJ is the youngest daughter of the CEO of Colman Tires, a family business started by her paternal grandfather, a former race driver.

Shared interests and a common language set the stage for their relationship, even though there’s some early (and rather inconsequential) angst about their age difference.

Here’s the blurb from the author’s website: Continue reading

Heart Search, by Robin D Owens

30 Jan

Heart SearchIt’s been over five years since I wrote my review of HeartMate, the first book in the Celta series, and I wrote the review for the second novel, Heart Thief, just a year ago.

Honestly, I don’t quite know why that is, as I am still a fan of the series, as I commented in this review of Heart Fire over at The Book Binge (though admittedly not as ardent as I once was).

However, life and my reading and reviewing being what they are, it’s unlikely I’ll review all the books in the series, so I’m jumping to the most recent title I actually own.

Heart Search, by Robin D Owens

For starters, I strongly suggest that you don’t start reading the series with this book. Not so much because it’s not the best example of the series (more on this below),  but because the world building is key to character motivation and growth.

Celtan culture is complex, so if you don’t understand the cultural and political pressures the characters operate under, a lot of what they do, and most of what they feel and think, will seem contrived.

Further, and taking into account that Heart Search is the tenth title in the series,¹ the cast of characters from previous books who make an appearance–and actually have speaking parts–is fairly long. So while there is some sequel baiting, a lot of the setup for this story is rooted on events that happened some fifteen years before the book actually starts.

Here’s the dreaded back over blurb from my print copy:
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Charmed Anthology (Jayne Castle, Julie Beard, Lori Foster and Eileen Wilks)

15 Jan

(Barely under the wire, I just finished writing this now, and have to run to work)

Charmed anthologyThis is, once again, all SLWendy’s fault. I am not entirely sure how it happened, but I have once again signed up for her annual TBR Challenge. Considering I have already managed two full reviews this year, I’m cautiously optimistic that I may last longer this time around than I did two years ago (when I lasted all of five months *wince*).

Anyhoo, this month’s theme is shorts, and happily there are a number of anthologies in the humongous TBR mountain range. Behold, my brief review of the four short stories in

Charmed Anthology, by Jayne Castle, Julie Beard, Lori Foster and Eileen Wilks

This anthology was originally published back in 1999, but I didn’t get it until a couple of years ago (or something like that, all I know for sure is that it’s been a while). And the main reason I bought my copy is because the first story is written by Jayne Castle aka Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick, aka an author I usually enjoy (though I see with extreme surprise that I haven’t reviewed anything by her yet—under any of her names!). I was also happy to see that the last story is by Eileen Wilks, an author I wanted to try…because I have a couple *coughorahandfulcough* of her full-length Lupi novels in the aforementioned TBR mountain range.

At any rate, as is often the case with fickle lil me, the anthology languished in one of the many TBR shelves until now. So, and without (too much) further ado…

The mercifully short back cover blurb:

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