Tag Archives: 8.50 out of 10

Shield of Winter, by Nalini Singh

30 May

Shield of WinterI’m pushing this horribly, but since Shards of Hope comes out next Tuesday, I really don’t have much time to fool around.

Behold, my review of the thirteenth full length novel in the Psy/Changeling series!

Same caveat as for the past several installments: if you are new to the series, don’t start here. Slave to Sensation is the first book, but you can read Visions of Heat, Caressed by Ice or Mine to Possess out of order without appreciable spoilers. After that, I strongly urge you to read the series in order.

Shield of Winter, by Nalini Singh

As far as I can see, this is the first post-Silence story,¹ dealing with the fallout of the events in Heart of Obsidian. Not only is the Psy Council truly dissolved, but a new ruling body has surged unelected–and uncontested–from the rubble.

This ruling coalition sees before it a Herculean task: to maintain calm among the Psy around the world, while dealing with the insidious and fast growing rot that is killing the Net, before the strain is too much.

Blurb from my hardcover copy:
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Play of Passion, by Nalini Singh

8 Apr

Play of PassionI am on a quest to finally catch up on my reviews of the Psy/Changeling series, before the release of Shards of Hope this summer, and I confess that I’m puzzled.

Given how much I enjoy the series as a rule (there have been a couple of books I haven’t enjoyed as much–which is perfectly normal for a series going on fifteen novels and eight short stories/novellas),  I’m always surprised to realize just how long it’s been between reviews for the past three or four books.

I’m talking a couple of years intervals here.

Why do you think that is?

(We’ll pretend that the obvious and easy answer–I’m easily distracted–it not also the correct answer.)

Anyway, without more ado, my review.

Play of Passion, by Nalini Singh

This is the ninth installment in the series and deserves a bit of a warning. While each story revolves around one couple’s journey to their happy ending, the series follows an overarching plot centered on the conflict of the three main races. This means that there are a number of plots threads that may not lead anywhere in that particular book, but that build up through a number of stories, and eventually get their own resolution.

These are things that would bother me, were I choose this novel as my entry to the series. Your mileage, oh gentle readers, may vary vastly.

At this point in the series we have had pairings involving pretty much every different type of human in this universe. We’ve had a number of changeling/psy couples, one human/changeling, one human/psy, one wolf/leopard, and even one psy/Forgotten couple.

This is the first time in the series though, where the protagonists have known each other literally all their lives. In a sense, it’s a friends to lovers story, with a couple of twists thrown in.

Here’s the blurb from my print copy:
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Heart Fate, by Robin D Owens

21 Mar

Heart Fate cover(Color me flabbergasted–this was supposed to post on Friday, but didn’t. In fact, it wasn’t anywhere in the blog. So I had to wait until I could access the original file at home, copy it and schedule it again. It’s not technology, it’s the user–I know 😉 )

Continuing on my quest to review all the Celta books I have in my possession, until such a time I actually catch up with the series, here’s another one! (Blame HollyAgain.)

Reader beware: there is past physical and sexual violence against the heroine starting when she was only fourteen, as well as references to a miscarriage. Also, the setup for this novel depends so heavily on events from the previous books–particularly the male protagonist’s current situation, which fuels the conflict between him and the heroine–that spoilers for those novels cannot be avoided when reviewing this one. Consider yourself warned.

Heart Fate, by Robin D Owens

This is the seventh book in the Heart/Celta books, and rightfully one of both Holly’s and my favorites. Both main characters are very likable, well fleshed out, and grow a lot through the story. The setting is wonderful in many ways, and some of the secondary characters are fantastic in their own right (Strother, I’m looking at you).

The worldbuiling in this series is unusual and specific enough to make coming into it cold at this point a rather dicey proposition. I strongly recommend starting at the beginning, with HeartMate. If you want to start here regardless, do yourself a favor and read the primer for the series that I wrote after the blurb in this review.

Without any further ado, here’s the blurb:

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Mr Irresistible, by Karina Bliss

2 Mar

Mr IrresistibleI have mentioned before that I really like Ms Bliss’ writing, despite the inexplicable long time between reading Mr Imperfect and these last two in the trilogy, Mr Irresistible and Mr Unforgettable.

Slowly, but surely, I’m correcting the oversight.

Mr Irresistible, by Karina Bliss

This is the middle book in the Lost Boys trilogy, and once again we have a winner. I will never understand how Ms Bliss manages to pack to much emotional impact in a relatively short length, particularly considering all the constraints of writing a category romance.

The important thing, I suppose, is that she does. Boy, does she ever!

Here’s the blurb, from the author’s website:
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Heart Thief, by Robin D. Owens

29 Jan

Heart ThiefA while back I wrote a short piece on how I can be a devoted fan of a specific series by an author and have no interest whatsoever in the rest of their work. This is the case with Ms Owens. I really, really enjoy her Heart/Celta books. I find the series as a whole—or at least as far as I’ve read, I think I’m a couple of books behind—wonderful and refreshing, for many reasons. And yet, I have never felt any interest in trying her other work. Your mileage, obviously, may vary.

Which brings me to…

Despite being a fan of the world and the novels, I am also aware that this is not a series that should be glommed. In fact, two books straight is my limit. Why? Because there are some writing mannerisms that start getting on my nerves as soon as I start on a third novel in a row. And here again, your mileage may vary.

Now, on with the actual review.

~ * ~

Heart Thief, by Robin D. Owens

This is only the second of the Celta novels and also only Ms Owens’ second published book. The world building is very consistent with what we learn in HeartMate, but the whole concept of fated mates (one SLWendy so despises¹) is explored from a completely different direction. Heart Thief is one of my favorites in the series so far.

Okay, I’m again getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the much hated blurb:
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Synchronicity–yeah, it does happen

28 Sep

Isn’t it funny how, when you are into something, it seems like suddenly everyone else is into it as well?

Probably it’s just that one is more attuned to any mentions whatsoever of one’s current obsession, but this one instance struck me as particularly funny.

I am reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series right now–and enjoying the absolute bejeesus out of it.

Oh my good lord, I love it!

*

It all started a while back when I got Wicked Intentions during RWA 2010 and devoured it. Mid seventeen hundreds, the heroine is genteel poor and runs an orphan home in one of the most notorious and dangerous slums of the time in London. The hero is a Lord–a simple Baron, mind you!–with a reputation as a Greek scholar and as a sexual deviant. Ms Hoyt populates her world with numerous secondary characters (more than 20, in fact) with not only speaking parts, but enough personality as to be more than just named plot contrivances; they are not sequel bait, they are people you want to know better, whose stories you can’t wait to know. There is a number of plot threads running through the book, and only a handful of them seem to be solved by the novel’s end. The sex between hero and heroine is hot but never gratuitous, the conflicts between them are realistic–it’s never just a matter of “he can’t love me!” or “she’s too good for me!” or some other shorthand for “all the issues between the main characters would be solved if they could communicate like rational adults sometime.” And the solution to these problems is just dramatic enough to be convincing without being so neat it becomes a fairy tale no one beyond the age of six can buy.¹

*takes a breath*

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The Return of Luke McGuire, by Justine Davis

2 Feb

From the way back machine…1

The Return of Luke McGuire, by Justine Davis (aka Justine Dare)

Originally published in October 2000, this book reminds me why I love so much of Ms Davis’ earlier work, such as The Morning Side of Dawn2. There is an ease to the author’s voice and a realism to the characters, that draws the reader in, time after time. This time, into the story of a once bad boy and an always respectable woman. Here is the blurb (a good one too, for a change): Continue reading