Tag Archives: fated mates

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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Silver Silence, by Nalini Singh

28 Jun

Over the years, I’ve stopped being blindly loyal to authors I once adored.

Most often, because there’s some change in the direction of their writing that doesn’t align with my own growth as a reader. Occasionally, I grow increasingly unforgiving of their writing tics, to the point where I cannot longer enjoy the story.

Either way, I tend to continue buying and reading books in a well loved series, because there’s always hope that the magic will happen again.

Or, perhaps, I just don’t know when to quit.¹

Which brings me to the Psy/Changeling series.

Last year, I thought I was done. Finis. The End. Game over.

However.

I was already invested in getting the next four story anthology, which…didn’t suck too terribly.² Add another year of the horrible, terrible, no-good reading slump, that stubborn hope, some amazon reward dollars…and here we are.

Caveat: explicit sex and some adult language in the book; a lot of ranting and spoilers, for both the series and this book, in the review. And I mean a lot–particularly the ranting. Proceed at your own risk.

Silver Silence, by Nalini Singh

This book is the sixteenth full length novel set in the Psy/Changeling universe, but it’s supposed to start a new arc in the overarching storyline of the series. If I understand correctly, the first fourteen books were “The Age of Silence,” the fifteenth book was…whatever it was, and this one starts “The Age of Trinity.”

The cover jacket blurb:
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Dark Desires After Dusk, by Kresley Cole

28 Jul

DarkDesiresAfterDuskIn between attempting to read other things, I’m still re-reading the Immortals After Dark books, so here’s another review for you.

Readers not familiar with the series may want to keep in mind that the world is relentlessly heteronormative; all the pairings involve the ‘fated mate’ trope; plus, there’s quite a bit of cursing and graphic sex, violence and gore.

In this particular installment, the heroine has OCD; I am not overly familiar with this disorder, so I cannot say whether how this is written here is sensitive, informed, accurate, or triggering. (There are spoilers on this in the review.)

Proceed at your own risk.

Dark Desires After Dusk, by Kresley Cole

This is the sixth story in the IAD series, and some of the events in this book overlap what happens in the next title, Kiss of a Demon King. Not coincidentally, these are the stories of The Woede, the two demon brothers introduced in Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night.

The heroine, who I find utterly delightful, is entirely new to the series. And, it turns out, to the Lore as well; one Holly Ashwin, PhD candidate and math professor at Tulane U, and, for her sins, this Accession’s most popular girl.

Here, have a blurb (I hate this blurb–what’s new, right?):
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“The Warlord Wants Forever” by Kresley Cole

14 Jul

TheWarlordWantsForeverI’m still bouncing between the Immortals After Dark series, and other, semi-random re-reads.

So here I am, with a review of the novella that set up the IAD universe.

A couple of things to know: there’s a lot of explicit, graphic sex for the page count; both main characters are total dicks towards each other, though the male protagonist’s behaviour toward his mate may be especially triggering for some readers (explained in the review, so…here be mild spoilers?).

Oh, and there’s cursing. Proceed at your own risk.

Also, please note: I’m using the original digital release cover.

This novella was originally released in print, a full decade ago, as part of the Playing Easy to Get anthology, with two other stories; one was Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “Turn up the Heat.” The other was a story by Jaid-I-hate-romance-readers-and-will-sue-blogs-and-their-owners-Black, aka Tina-I-married-a-convicted-murderer-and-harasssed-his-victim’s-daughter-Engler.

If you have read this blog before, you already know how I feel about any of my hard earned money making its way to that asshole’s pockets. If you have not, you may start here, and lose a few hours of your life finding out why. The point being: if you must read the anthology, you may want to buy it used, so the aforementioned asshole gets no royalty money from your purchase. Otherwise, this story is available by itself digitally pretty much everywhere ebooks are sold.

All good? Okay, let’s start.

“The Warlord Wants Forever” by Kresley Cole

The protagonists are Myst, a two thousand plus years old Valkyrie, and Nikolai Wroth, a three hundred years old Forbearer Vampire.

If memory serves, I read this story fairly recently, and only after it was released digitally. At any rate, I had already read at least the first two, perhaps even the first three of the IAD full length novels. Obviously, at this point I knew quite a bit about the series’ world, but I think that this story does a really good job of introducing the series and providing background for the characters’ actions and thoughts, while avoiding infodumping all over the place.

As I don’t have the print edition, I don’t know if there was some sort of story-specific blurb somewhere, but here’s one from Fantastic Fiction:¹
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Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, by Kresley Cole

7 Jul

DarkNeedsatNightsEdgeI’m still not reading new stuff, so, since I’m once again engaged in the Immortals After Dark re-read, why not review them?

Plus, can we agree that this series has the best titles ever? Seriously, they fit the world and each of the books better than so many generic paranormal titles I’ve seen.

Note: I’m using the original covers for these reviews, but they have all since been re-released with new ones. Personally, I prefer the old ones in almost all cases. What say you, dear readers?

The obligatory disclaimer, same as the last time: there are issues with these books. Beyond the graphic sex and graphic language, and the abundant gore and violence, the consent is problematic and heteronormativity rules the world. Also, some readers may find the depiction of a character with mental health issues to be triggering/clichéd/inaccurate/wrong. Reader, beware.

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, by Kresley Cole

While this is the fifth story in the Immortals After Dark series, it’s one of the rare ones that can be read alone without missing too much. There’s enough world building worked into the text–not quite info dumping, though if you read a few of them in a row it does feel repetitive, but then, this is a known effect of glomming–to set the story up, and both of the main characters are new to the series, though Conrad had been mentioned a couple of times in previous stories.

There are a couple of scenes that keep the overarching series storyline going, specifically, setting up the next book (Cade’s story), but since they also advance this novel’s plot, I didn’t found them terribly distracting.

Here’s the blurb:
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Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole

3 Jul

WickedDeedsonaWinter'sNight originalI’m still having a hard time reading new-to-me stuff, so I’m doing some re-reads to see if I can break the stupid reading slump.

Comfort reads have not quite done the trick, so I went for over-the-top-crazy-addictive-sauce this time: the Immortals After Dark series, by Kresley Cole.

It’s been over seven years since I read A Hunger Like No Other, the first novel in the series, and while I pretty much devoured it in one greedy gulp, it would be almost five years before I read No Rest for the Wicked–as I mentioned in that review, I have issues with the series.

The thing is, once I accepted that the things that bother me are part of the world building, and basically shrugged them off, I pretty much read nothing but Immortals After Dark for a couple of weeks back then.

It seems to be working this time around too.

However…

Reader beware: these books are relentlessly heteronormative; they all involve the dreaded “fated mates” trope, and they all have graphic sex, graphic language, and quite a bit of gore and violence. Also, if you fall for the world and the author’s voice, it’s likely you’ll find yourself reading the whole series (there are sixteen stories out so far, with the next one coming out some time next year).

Proceed at your own risk.

Oh, and, this review? It be long, yo.

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole

This is the fourth story set in the Immortals After Dark world, all of which overlap in the time line of the series.¹ A reader can consume any of these four stories as stand alones, but she will miss a lot of the world building, and will likely have a lot of questions about incidents mentioned in passing by any number of the many secondary characters. This is not a problem if you like the author’s voice, and if sequel bait is your thing.

The protagonists of Wicked Deeds on a Winter Night are: Bowen MacRieve, yet another member of the Lykae clan, who is introduced in A Hunger Like No Other; and Mariketa, a member of a fairly disreputable coven of witches from New Orleans, whom we meet in No Rest for the Wicked, at the assembly to begin the Talisman’s Hie (imagine the love child of The Amazing Race and Survivor, only with a lot more treachery, and a(n un)healthy dose of violence and gore).

Here, have a blurb:

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Allegiance of Honor, by Nalini Singh

27 Jun

AllegianceofHonorWell, I finally read something, and it’s actually something new, so, yay.

Sadly, it really, really didn’t work for me.

Quick caveat: there’s some explicit language, there are a couple of explicit sex scenes, and it’s the fifteenth full length book in a series with pretty complex world building. Which basically means: all the spoilers for all the books that came before. Plus, a reader new to the series would be completely lost in a sea of in-world references and jokes.

Further, the whole point of this book, as stated in the author’s note at the beginning, is to be “a walk through the interconnected lives of many of the characters who’ve become important to us over the past books and novellas.” (This, by the way, turned out to be a rather big problem for me.)

Seriously, if you are not already a fan of the series, reading this novel first will put you off even trying any of the other books.

So, let’s get on with the review–which is long and somewhat ranty, by the by.

Allegiance of Honor, by Nalini Singh

I have had mixed feelings about this book since it was first announced, mostly because it was described at some point as a bridge between the first and second arcs in the Psy/Changeling series. In the first arc, the world is unveiled, and a number of conflicts between the three main factions are revealed and, mostly, solved. In each novel and short story, different aspects of the world and these conflicts are explored and revealed, while following the stories of a series of couples who are, in their own way, integral to the resolution of the overall story arc.

In this novel there is no central pairing or love story, and while there are a few (very thin) threads that advance the overarching conflict between the three human groups, it’s mostly composed of little vignettes about…well, almost every character that’s even been mentioned up to this point.

The blurb:

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