Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

Title: The Warlord Wants Forever
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date:

The Warlord

Nikolai Wroth, a ruthless vampire general, will stop at nothing to find his Bride, the one woman who can “blood” him, making his heart beat and filling him with strength. Coldly interested only in the power his Bride will bring, he can hardly believe when Myst the Coveted awakens him body—and soul.

The Seductress

Famed throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, Myst has devoted her life to protecting a magical jewel and to fighting the vampires.Wroth provides her with the perfect opportunity to torment her sworn enemy—for with his new heartbeat comes a consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her. Denying him, she flees, struggling to forget his searing, possessive kiss.

The Hunt is on…

She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen her enchanted jewel, giving him absolute power over her. Now that she’s his for the taking, he intends to make her experience first-hand the agonizing, unending lust she subjected him to for half a decade.Yet when Nikolai realizes he wants far more than vengeance from Myst and frees her, will she come back to him?

Okay, I admit it - I should hate this book. Forced seduction? Check. Physical blows between heroine and hero? Check. Almost, could-be-described-as, rape? Double-Check. Strong woman waiting for a man to tame her? Check. Man jealous of woman's previous 'experience'? Check. In fact, you could put a check mark next to a lot of my pet-peeves in romance novels.

I should have read this and immediately ran in the other direction, screaming out warnings. I guess the most amazing thing I can say about it is, then, that I love it. Every single torturing minute between Myst the Coveted and Nikolai Wroth had me entranced and in love with them.

What the hell happened to me?

Though this isn't my favorite story in this series, this novella will give you a good idea if you're going to enjoy the rest of the series. Kresley Cole puts her protagonists through the wringer! Not only do they suffer injustices from outside their HEA, but from the very person that's supposed to give them their HEA!

Yet every time I pick up this novella (or most any story in the series), I can't put it down. Not to come update, not to sleep, or eat, or anything. Myst is a strong as hell heroine, a Valkyrie, and one of the strongest in the Lore (the supernatural beings that have hidden their existence from humans in this world). She's got a smart mouth, and isn't afraid of her sexuality - which I found so incredibly refreshing. Nikolai is a 'gentleman warlord', in Myst's own words - something that she, and I, find hard to resist apparently!

Though I hated some of the things that both of them do to each other, I couldn't ever hate them. I wanted them to find a way through every obstacle and be happy, give each other the happiness they deserved.

Oh, and if I forgot to mention? The sex - OFF.THE.CHARTS.HOTTTTT!!! *phew*

*fans self*

I do admit that in this series I tend to forgive things that would be unpardonable in, say, a contemporary novel - the world of the Lore simple seems to beg for exceptions. It's not an easy world they live in, and alliances - even for love - are not easily made.

Obviously Myst and Wroth do find a way to their happiness, though there's much hurt before then. More hurt than I would have thought possible to shove into a novella, in fact. And though the HEA doesn't promise to be easy, I know that they're always fight to be in each other's arms and I can't help but sigh in happiness at the thought.

Grade: A-

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 8 April 2014

In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known.

When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

From the beginning of Daughter of Smoke and Bone I knew that Laini Taylor has a beautiful writing voice. Lyrical and expressive, I couldn't get enough of reading her prose.

Until now.

There are a couple of things that make this book not as good as the first two (which I LOVED beyond compare). The aforementioned prose is here in abundance - what I once thought I could never get enough of...well, there were places I was skimming. 4-Kindle-click-pages of description on a feeling of Karou's, a feeling that is then summed up in a single sentence? It was a mite too much in some places.

Then there's the brand new character, introduced out of the blue and only the vaguest conception that she's important to the overall story somehow. I spent the first quarter of the book reassuring myself that she had some important role to play. She just had to. After that I started skimming her sections. Blah, blah, blah - take me back to Karou and Akiva. Haven't they suffered enough by now? Can't they just have a freaking moment alone, to themselves?

For crying out loud! The tension of them getting together nearly killed me! Talk about suspense. Laini Taylor does love to put obstacles in their way - that's for sure.

Then there was the feeling that there was just too much going on! The war, Jael, the humans, chimaera and seraphim working together?, Stelians, Eliza, this, that and the other! Jeez.

By the end I didn't even feel like it was an ending. Sure I can imagine a bit out ahead for my beloved Karou and Akiva (and some other strongly shipped characters!!), but not too far because there's something so completely monumental thrown into the story near the end! I can't say much more without spoiling it, but I feel like I won't know the end of the story until I know the resolution of that. Honestly, I feel that if some of this story had been pulled out through some of the previous books, or something, it would have worked better. Here it felt crammed in and just too much.

I sound like I'm complaining a lot. And I am - kind of - but I had very, very, very high expectations of this book. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver on all of them. This is still a good book, and a decent ending to the series. I'd still definitely recommend the series to just about everyone. It's fantastic. It just got a bit away at the ending.

Grade: B- / C+

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