Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kate Locke - God Save The Queen :)


God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #1)
    Author:  Kate Locke                            
 Plot Type: UF, HIS
                                                                                         Ratings:  V4; S4; H3
Publisher and Titles: 
  God Save the Queen (7/2012)
  The Queen Is Dead (2/2013)


     The series is set in an alternate London that, contrary to some reviews, is not a  steampunk world. Although there is some gadgetry, not a single steam-driven or gear-powered device shows up in the entire first book. The story takes place in kind of retro-2012, where a modified and slightly updated 19th century culture predominates and Queen Victoria (a vampire) is still on the British throne, celebrating her 175th anniversary as queen. In this mythology, vampires and werewolves are called Aristocrats. This supernatural Aristocracy developed gradually over the centuries in Europe as a direct consequence of the Black Death, which released bacterial DNA into the cells of its victims. This resulted in the development of the Prometheus Protein, which allows the body to repair injured tissues and to initiate regenerative reactions that give enhanced humans and Aristocrats their special traits and talents. In this world, there are several different types of enhanced individuals: 
>   Enhanced humans, who are stronger and live longer than regular humans 
>   Vampires, who can heal themselves quickly, live extremely long lives, are immune to most diseases and poisons, and are very sensitive to the sun 
>   Weres, who can transform into exceptionally strong and fast animal form; have enhanced scent detection, night vision, and hearing; are immune to most diseases; but are susceptible to some poisons 
>   Goblins, who are born of a vampire and a were, have the traits of both vampires and weres, are even more sensitive to light than vamps, and are the strongest creatures in the supernatural world. The goblins are looked down upon and feared by humans and by the rest of the supernatural world.
>   Halvies are born of a human mother and an Aristocrat father. They inherit the abilities of the male parent. Courtesans (human women who are deemed fit to give birth to Aristocratic children) live in brothels visited by Aristocrat males who want to father children. The children are raised by their mothers in the brothel until they are old enough to attend the Academy, where they are educated and trained to be protectors of the Aristocracy. 
     All of the Aristocrats are extremely allergic to silver. The author includes two sections at the end of the book that you might want to read before you begin the story: "Understanding the Aristocracy," which explains the origins and characteristics of vampires, werewolves, and goblins, and "Glossary," which defines specific terms that are used frequently throughout the story.

     This world is similar to the present-day world in many ways, but there are differences. For example, mobile phones have rotary dials; horse-drawn carriages compete for space with mechanized carriages; and clothing styles are a mix of Victorian and modern-day fashion. Historical characters make appearances, although they are very different from their real-life counterparts. 

        BOOK 1: God Save the Queen        
     The heroine is Alexandra (Zandra) Vardan, a halvie whose father is the vampire Duke Vardan, a cold, power-obsessed man who has fathered three other halvie children by different mothers. Zandra's mother was taken from her when she was quite younghauled off to Bedlam (an insane asylum) where she supposedly died. Zandra has always feared that she, too, will eventually succumb to madness. Currently, 20-something Zandra is a highly skilled soldier and an officer in the Royal Guard, which provides security for the Royal family and other Aristocrats. 

     As the story opens, Zandra's sister, Drusilla (Dede) is missing. Zandra learns that Dede has been confined to Bedlam after attacking her Aristocratic former lover, but before Zandra can track her down, the news comes that Dede has killed herself. The main story thread follows Zandra as she refuses to believe that Dede is really dead and tries to prove it. Her adventures take her into many dangerous situations involving traitorous Aristocrats, murderous revolutionaries (both supernatural and human), and dark secrets about her own genetic heritage. She also meets and falls for Vexation (Vex) MacLaughlin, the tall, sexy werewolf who is the alpha for all of the UK werewolves.

     Both the mythology and the plot are very complex, and the author uses a less-than-graceful information dump approach to adding it to the text. This is a book that cries out for a prologue, which would have provided a proper introduction to the mythology without interfering with the flow of the story. If you can make yourself stick with it, the story will eventually draw you in, but getting through the bits and pieces of the world-building while trying to follow the plot can become difficult. After you finally begin to understand how this world works, you can relax and follow Xandra's adventures, which is why I suggested earlier in this review that you read the two informative sections first. 

     Xandra is a tough but vulnerable heroine who must deal with a series of revelations that disclose that everything she has been told about herself and her family history is completely false and that the people she most trusted are the ones who have been lying to her all her life. Now that we have the parameters of Xandra's world established, I'm looking forward to a more accessible story in book 2. Click HERE ( ) to read the beginning of chapter 1.
Review by -

Lisa Desrochers - Personal Demons

Personal Demons (Personal Demons, #1)

Personal Demons (Personal Demons #1)

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance---even her closest friends---and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. 

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy---all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

Original Sin (Personal Demons, #2)

Original Sin (Personal Demons #2)

Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.

Last Rite

Last Rite (Personal Demons #3)

In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie's best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn't learn fast, the consequences could be devastating--even apocalyptic.

What happens when you can't outrun Hell...or trust the ones you love?

Becca Fitzpatrick - Hush Hush

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1)


Romance was not part of Nora Grey's the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)

Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2)

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)

Silence (Hush, Hush #3)


Nora Grey can't remember the past five month of her life. After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks - with no one knowing where she was or who she was with - she tried to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge mom's creepy new boyfriend.

But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers...and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)

Finale (Hush, Hush #4)

Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the "New York Times" bestselling Hush, Hush saga. Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen Angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean that they will always be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. And yet their biggest challenge lies ahead. Can their love survive a seemingly insurmountable divide? The lines are drawn, but it's unclear which sides have been taken. And in the end, will there be enough trust left to rebuild what has been broken?

Monday, July 9, 2012


Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6)

I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...  Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life...
Arise (Hereafter #2)

Arise (Hereafter #2)

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.
Once (Eve, #2)

Once (Eve #2) 


When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.
The Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7)

The Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods #7)

Watch out for the explosive finale in the Blue Bloods series.
The seventh and final novel in the epic saga.

All your questions answered. . . All the mysteries explained. . . Friends reunited. . . Hearts broken. . . Will Bliss return with the Hellhounds? Will Schuyler save the Blue Bloods? Who will live? Who will die?
Asunder (Newsoul, #2)

Asunder (Newsoul #2) 


Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.
Everbound (Everneath, #2)

Everbound (Everneath #2)

Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen - and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.