Books

Fire Bound by Christine Feehan

Fire Bound is the latest in the Sisters of the Heart series by Christine Feehan. Starting with the blurb:

The Blurb:  Flame-haired Lissa Piner is a skilled glass blower whose delicate gift conceals a burning inner strength that can destroy as exquisitely as it can create. Commissioned to design chandeliers for a string of luxury hotels, her remarkable skills have taken her to Italy. But Lissa’s real mission there is a secret. For her entire life has been a lie, leading to a chance to avenge a terrible wrong. Enlisted as her bodyguard is Casmir Prakenskii, a trained assassin living off the grid. In Lissa, he sees a kindred spirit—something unexpected and wicked, mysterious and sensual. But more than desire is about to bring them together: because both of their pasts cry out for revenge. And for two people with this many secrets, this much passion, and this many enemies, someone is bound to get burned.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this book alot. It had many things I enjoy in a story–interesting characters, some organized crime, betrayal, and of course, love. However, I will advise you that elements of this story can be a bit harsh to read. Both Lissa and Casimer are tied to the fire elemental. Lissa is one of the Sisters of the Heart–a group of women who came together after undescribable violence in their lives to form a tightly woven family. Each of them are tied to an element and will mate with one of the Prakenskii brothers. Lissa is on a mission–she is avenging the murders of her family but must come face to face with a betrayal she never imagined. I liked both Lissa and Casimer although it took me a while to warm up to Casimer. It also set up the last book in this series well. Each book can be read as a standalone but I always recommending reading in order.
Books, fantasy, paranormal romance, Romance

Dark Promises by Christine Feehan

First, the blurb:  Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing Gary Jansen, the man she loves nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once he was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and desires and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger. And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown…Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled into the path of a desperate man and a woman in love and on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.

My thoughts:  This book tells the story of Aleskei and Gabby. All Gabby wants is to live a life free of vampires, Carpathians, fear and away from the Mountains. She is prepared to mate Gary, a true hero among the Carpathians for all the work he has done to help them. However, Gabby’s destiny lies elsewhere–specifically, with an ancient Carpathian named Aleskei. Theirs is a story that will tug at your heart. Along the way, we meet Grandma Trixie–a wonderful character who can’t help but love!

I really enjoyed this book. I have been reading the Carpathians for years (and years). This is book #29 (yes, 29) of this series (and I believe that includes the novellas) I call them “my beloved Carpathians”. However, I have also been somewhat critical of this series for a while because I felt the author was not doing much to advance the overall story arc and I felt the writing was suffering. I am very glad to feel some of the formerly great writing coming back to this series. Having said that, I still have to say I don’t think this book did a lot to advance the story line. Yes, we did learn a few pieces of information, however, we also gained several more characters that I loved but now have their books coming also and we still have several characters whose books we have been waiting for. But, as I love the Carpathians, I will keep going!! I have to believe that Ms. Feehan will eventually save the Carpathians!

Books, indie author, paranormal romance, Romance

Sword Witch by C.S. Wilde

Sword Witch is a short novella by C.S. Wilde that tells the story of Sally, a sword (warrior) witch and her fight for the love of a human, Joseph.  She enters into a deal with an evil Fae in order to accomplish her goal by using illegal magic, and risking her own freedom.  And of course, it leads to an epic battle involving her half-Fae Brother, Neil.  I liked the give/take between Sally and Neil and seeing a little bit of their childhood and history.

This was a fun and entertaining read. I liked Sally’s magic–a couple of things she could do was really cool.   I also think this story would have worked as an even longer story, if the author chose to. I would actually like to see a story for the brother, Neil.

I received an ARC  in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Books, fantasy, great reads, Reviews, scifi

Ready Player Two…

Ready Player One

Okay so the book is called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline but (and I know many of you will find this shocking) I have played a few video games from my childhood on and ALWAYS when its been an option I am player two. So when I realized what this title meant I could actually see the words READY PLAYER TWO blinking behind my eyes and I got that old rush of adrenaline. Now if you’ve played the old video games you know the anticipation I’m talking about, the one where you been waiting for your friend/sibling,  cough, cough..SISTER to finally die off you you could get your turn. It was fun to take a walk down memory lane and Ready Player One will definitely remind you of any old games, movies, tv shows, etc from the 80’s. But lucky it proved to be more than that. First the blurb!

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I liked this book. A lot. And I was really nervous to start it, first because everyone was talking about how amazing it was, which whether you want it to or not, set my expectations higher, and then I had decided to read it myself. Normally that would be a good thing but other problem was I was reading the book not listening to it. It sounds silly when I type it but that’s how I felt. Many of the reviews that I read included the fact that they loved Wil Wheaton’s audio version and I’m not the biggest audio book person so I went back and forth on this one. Queued this book a few times in both formats. It got kinda ridiculous. But finally I buckled down and just got the read copy of this book, and took it seriously. Here’s my official thoughts.

I loved the concept of this book. I’m not talking about all the 80’s stuff that reminded me of being a kid, I mean the actual story. In fact I found this idea interesting, I loved the fact that gamers (or gunters as they were called in this book) didn’t solve the puzzle instantly. In fact some puzzles took years to solve, love that! Also I really like the main characters, Wade/Parzival, Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto. I found them funny and geeky, easy to read, most of the time, and liked their interaction.  I even loved the evil Sixers and their leader Sorrento (as bad guys of course) thought they played their part well and loved cheering against them. Okay I also enjoyed some of the 80’s references. I’m not sure how realistic it is to think that all these kids in the future would love everything 80’s, but it was fun to remember things from my childhood and IT’S FICTION PEOPLE..that means made up. So it’s okay that not everything is realistic.

So what didn’t I like. Well I think that Ernest Cline is a fantastic writer. There where parts that were like poetry to me in his book, he could paint a picture in my head with a few sentences. So that’s why I know that he didn’t have to go off on three page rants about random things, or I felt he didn’t have to, he just wanted to rant and then summarize the whole thing at the end of the chapter. I let him get away with it because I loved the story, enjoyed the trip down memory lane, and had fun with the character. Had this book not been firing on all cylinders for me, this review might be very different. Also this was a rare occasion when I wish there was zero romance. I get that he’s a hormonal boy so it made sense I guess but I would have preferred if it wasn’t even in this book, and I’m always the one hoping someone will get together so that just shows you how much I was into the actual quest.

In the end I think this is a very worthy read, especially if you like the blurb. I’ll be curious to see though what I think of other books by Cline. I might love them, I’ll never know until I read!