Tag Archives: Paranormal Romance

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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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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Changing direction

14 Apr

I wasn’t going to write about the issues with the mis-marketing of The Shadows, the latest in J R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Mainly because I’m grateful Ward’s decision to finally admit that she doesn’t want to write romance cemented my resolution to stop wasting time on books that, while crackalicious¹ to read, have fallen too much into hate-reading territory.

And seriously, as fragile as my reading mojo is, why should I submit myself to that?

Also, because there are plenty of other people writing about it–see Gabby’s lovely rant at BookThingo, Casee’s review at Book Binge and Tez Miller take on her blog. (Reader beware: spoilers for the novel in all three links.)

Why, then, are you reading this?

Because I realized that many unhappy readers are not aware that they can return the book, or how to go about it.

Let me go back a bit.

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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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Heart Change, by Robin D Owens

25 Feb

Heart ChangeThis is still Holly’s fault.

See, she reviewed Heart Fire here, and then I reviewed Heart Search here, and there was reminiscing in the comments to that review, and of course I had to come back and re-read Heart Change and Heart Fate. What’s a reader to do, after all?

So if you get bitten by the Celta bug, don’t look at me–it’s all Holly’s fault.

Heart Change, by Robin D Owens

This is the eight novel in the series, and I definitely do no recommend that anyone start here. The world building is complex on several levels–socially, religiously, technologically–so a new reader would be understandable lost.

To that, we must add the fact that the stories in this series literally build on one another, and a number of previous characters make appearances in the current story, and really, it just makes sense to start at the beginning. Being less confused by the world building and less overwhelmed by the large cast of characters means more enjoyment of this story, and that is always a good thing to me.

If however, you decide to plunge into the world of Celta with Heart Change, please take a moment to read the quick summary I offer after the blurb in this review–you’ll find it useful, I promise.

And with that, here’s the blurb as it appears in my print copy:
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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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