Thursday, 31 July 2008

The Well of Shades by Juliet Marillier

In this captivating third installment in Marillier's historical fantasy series (after 2006's Blade of Fortriu) set in the sixth-century Scottish Highlands and Ireland, Faolan of the Uí Néill clan—bard, assassin, spy and adviser to the Pictish King Bridei of Fortriu—must complete three difficult missions. For Bridei, he must track down a cleric named Colmcille. For his own peace of mind, he must return home to Erin and confront his past. (Ten years earlier Faolan faced an impossible choice that shattered his family and left his eldest brother dead.) For his deceased comrade Deord, he must bring news of the warrior's death to the man's family in Cloud Hill, a task that lands Deord's impoverished 16-year-old daughter, Eile, and her toddler in Faolan's care. Faolan brings Eile back to the court of King Bridei, where they find themselves enmeshed in a plot against the king's half-fey son, Derelei. Despite some anachronistic instances of liberated female behavior and a few discordant modern colloquialisms, this episode will appeal to series fans and new readers alike.

My View
This is the third in the brilliant Bridei Chronicles, and takes place almost immediately after where Blade of Fortriu ends. Faolan returns to his homeland to complete a mission for Bridei. As he informs Deord's family of his death into his life comes Eile, Deord's daughter. Eile helps a heartbroken Faolan to heal.

New characters are introduced in this volume as well as the old characters of course. I would have to say, and I have read pretty much all of Juliet's books that Eile and Faolan are two of the best characters she has ever created they gave so much to this instalment both having been through so much.

A brilliantly developed and fast-paced novel, I hope this is not the last of Bridei's chronicles.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Vampire Interrupted by Lynsay Sands

In over 700 years of existence, Marguerite Argeneau has never held a job. Her fledgling career as a PI seemed like such a simple plan - track down Christian Notte's father and convince him to give up the name of his son's mother. But, the best laid plans...Julius Notte has loved Marguerite for a long time - a very long time. When she turns up on his doorstep, demanding answers to very sensitive questions, it's clear that something is wrong. Certain he's the only one who can save her, Julian is determined to rekindle their love. But, someone is standing in their way; someone who will stop at nothing - not even murder - to ensure that Marguerite's past stays in the past.

My View
Finally Marguerite's story! Marguerites husband is dead all her children have found their lifemates and only Marguerite hasn't ... until now! Christian Notte believes his mother to be dead and has believed that for the last 500 years but, he sets out to find out her name and hires Marguerite to help him. The more the story goes on the more you find out Marguerite is not the quite headstrong vampire she would have us to believe.

I loved the ending and though all of Marguerites children have found their lifemates it still leaves a little there for other characters to find theirs so hopefully that will mean more books, I was very sad to come to the end as I have loved each and every book from this series.

Just one tip if you don't want to know how the story pans out DO NOT read the 'helpful' family tree at the beginning of the book!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Witch In The House by Jenna McKnight

Jade Delarue is determined to find the man of her dreams, so the sexy witch casts a spell that brings a gorgeous man to her door. But private detective Mason Kincaid isn't looking for love. Jilted by his last girlfriend, Mason's thrown himself into his work. He's visiting Jade on official business, and not even the blizzard raging outside her house—or her spellbinding beauty—can distract him.

Then Jade realizes the mistake she's made in her spell, and she wants him gone. But there are charms to spare in Mystic Manor, showing Mason that the witch in the house might be the woman he's been waiting for. Convincing her, though, means coming up with a little magic of his own.

My View
I found this book from my recommendations on Amazon and whilst this is not the greatest book you will ever read it was certainly fun.

The descriptions of the witchy things were quite good I loved the descriptions of Imbolc and spells etc. Jade does 3 spells which end up being sort of linked - firstly the spell she does for a woman called Brenda ends up with Brenda jilting her husband-to-be at the altar, so then she does a spell for the jilted man to find love and then one for herself because after six years since her husband died she is getting kind of lonely! Then an ill wind makes the candles all melt together.

This was a very humourous cutesy kind of romance think a witchy chick-lit!

Very cute and nice to read!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Vampires Are Forever by Lynsay Sands

Ines Urso is not pleased. After dragging herself out of bed and running to the airport at 5 am, Thomas Argeneau has the nerve to ignore her! Here she's gone through all this trouble, and disrupted her carefully planned life, and he acts like she's not even there. Once she tracks him down, she's going to give him a piece of her mind - if she can ignore his charming good looks long enough. When Thomas opens his hotel room door to an irate woman, he knows he's in big trouble. But it's not his fault no one told him he was going to have a partner! He's determined to make it up her though, because he's starting to believe she's going to have a permanent place in his life. On a wild search to track down his aunt and with his entire family descending upon them, Thomas and Ines are finding out that when it comes to happily ever after, no one does it quite like the Argeneaus.

My View
The main objective of this book was finding a missing vampire not just any vampire though, Marguerite Argeneau!

Thomas Argenau is the centre of attraction on this instalment and when he meets the Portuguese Inez he realises almost straight away that she is his lifemate, she is also an employee of Bastiens, Thomas's cousin. Because Thomas is trying to find Marguerite this makes his attentions not wholly on Inez and they travel to Amsterdam and then to York, UK to try to find Marguerite but, someone is on their trail and keeps trying to wipe Inez's memory ...

Another good instalment but, sadly not a great one, the plot seemed to waver off a little and seemed a little incomplete as if nothing got resolved. Thomas and Inez were great characters but, just wish they had been given a meatier styoryline.

Still essential reading if your planning on completing the Argeneau series.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands


Ever since an accident turned her into a knockout vamp, Elvi Black’s been catching her z’s in a coffin, staying out of the sun, and giving up garlic. She knows there’s more to being undead than what she saw in Dracula, but she can’t very well ask her mortal friends about proper biting etiquette. But when her neighbors placed a personal ad for her in the local paper, she never imagined she’d meet Victor Argeneau, a vampire who could have his pick of any woman—dead or alive.


Rich, powerful, and drop-dead gorgeous, Victor’s the perfect man for a novice neck-biter like Elvi. He’s willing to teach her everything he knows, but he’ll have to do it fast. Someone’s out to put a stake through her new vamp life, and only Victor can keep her safe – and satisfied – for all eternity.

My View
This series just gets better and better, this one focusses on Victor, one of the eldest of the Argeneau's. Victor heads off to Port Henry in response to a lonely hearts ad, the ad at first Victor is not going as a prospective suitor but, things soon change . Elvi, meanwhile is very confused as to what it means to be a vampire and believes all the typecast vampire myths and sleeps in a coffin and hasn't eaten since she was turned. But, someone is out to attack Elvi.

This was very funny, and brilliantly written by Ms Sands, I keep thinking I am going to start to get bored with this series soon and I never do, I have a few Vampy books at home to read after these and they are going to have a hard time living up to these fun vampires!

Friday, 11 July 2008

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The first book in the Darkest Powers trilogy - a brand new series by bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager - the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy.

But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be normal again. Soon ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she's admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients - charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek; obnoxious Tori; and Rae, who has a 'thing' for fire - Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn't your usual 'problem kid' behaviour.

And they're about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home, either ...

This is a Young Adult book but,a very grown up one, some YA's can seem a little childish at times but, not this. Chloe is very interesting yes a little disturbed and at times disturbing but, a brilliant character.

Even as a young toddler Chloe could see ghosts and in the house she lived in were ghosts in the basement which just scared her, when she was 8 Chloe's Mum died.

Chloe lives in Buffalo, although she lives with her dad he is away a lot so is mostly brought up by housekeepers - Chloe sees ghosts. The ghost she sees is quite terrifying and this is what ends up with Chloe being sent to the group home, Lyle House. Mostly the House's residents are mid-teens with as amany if not more, problems than Chloe has.

I love Kelley's books and this is another great addition, whilst not as agood as the Women of the Otherworld series this is brilliant and going by the ending I am presuming this is just the beginning of a great new series, look forward to book 2!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts

Roberts ( Genuine Lies ) plunks a pair of likable lovers into an equally likable rural Southern community; she then keeps the story from turning sweeter than blackstrap molasses by setting loose a serial killer. World-class violinist Caroline Waverly, recovering from a breakdown and an affair gone bad, arrives at her grandparents' house in Innocence, Miss., looking for peace and quiet; what she discovers is the naked, mutilated corpse of Edda Lou Hatinger. Only days earlier, Edda Lou had thrilled local gossips by publicly blowing up at Tucker Longstreet: he wanted out of their affair; she wanted marriage.

Edda Lou is the third woman stabbed to death recently, so local police call in Matthew Burns, a federal investigator who specializes in tracking serial killers. In the meantime, Tucker decides to be right neighborly to Caroline, and after her initial resistance crumbles, she responds to his Southern charm. Tucker is on Matthew's list of suspects, and soon a fourth dead woman is found on the Longstreet family property. Caroline, too, faces the knife as she is drawn into a confrontation in which she learns who is behind the deaths.

My view
Wow, wow! This book was brilliant a brilliant whodunnit with some romance to boot! I have to say the cover is not so exciting but, don't let that put you off (I have a fascination with covers!).

The female lead character is interesting whilst not weak I didn't find her particuarly strong, Caroline is a famous violinist and has come to Innocence to stay at her Grandmothers house to take a break from her hectic life and upon arriving she first comes across Tucker Longstreet.

The main plot of course is the murders and Tucker Longstreet becomes a suspect once you get to the end it is a huge surprise who the murderer is, I thought I guessed but, was so wrong!

Another excellent novel from Nora and I see this is shortlisted to be made into a TV movie next year, hope this one makes it as I would love to see how it is portrayed on screen.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

A Charmed Death by Madelyn Alt

Maggie O'Neill was just your average small-town girl, stuck in a dead-end job until she started working at Enchantments, Stony Mill's finest antique shop with a unique mystical secret. Now Maggie is Indiana's newest witch. Learning to cope with her newfound powers is tough enough, but add to that keeping the stock at Enchantments organized, keeping the peace with her somewhat controlling mom, and remembering to tape reruns of her favorite show, Magnum, P.I., and Maggie's got a full plate.

But when a second questionable death occurs a scant two months into her store tenure, she can't turn her thoughts away from all the town gossip about the teenage princess and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the girl's charmed life and death. While the police get caught up in procedure and logic, Maggie uses every trick, charm, and intuition she can summon, with the assistance of her favorite witchy boss Felicity Dow, to get to the heart of this spellbinding murder.

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

In this case? Get witchy!

This book starts 2 months after the ending of Trouble With Magic. And while Maggie's boss Liss recovers from her sisters murder Maggie is left to hold the fort at Enchantments.

Three girls from the local high school go into Enchantments and one of the girls, Amanda buys an antique clock, she subsequently ends up murdered!

Not as fast paced as the first book and I find Liss more exciting to read about than Maggie but, overall an enjoyable read.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Book Blowout - Mini Challenge

Mrs S posted a mini challenge for all the participants of the July challenge:

So here are my replies!

1. Describe yourself in one sentence - I am a married thirty something female, no children working in the crazy world of Canary Wharf!!

2. What book will you start the challenge with? I started with Dead Girls Are Easy by Terri Garey.

3. Where is your favourite place to read? Anywhere! Mostly i read on the train, on the sofa and in bed.

4. What is your favourite book of all time? Oh too many but, two that stand out are Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier and Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey.

5. Remind us all of your challenge target - its 10 (currently on my third so fingers crossed!)

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt

Bringing a little culture to Stony Mill, Indiana, Enchantments is one of the area’s finest antique stores. But shop clerk Maggie O’Neill and her employer Felicity Dow do more than conjure up curios for the locals—they each possess a talent for spellbinding sleuthing . . .

Bored with her office job, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to work at Enchantments. She was a little weirded out when Felicity described herself as a witch, but if her boss wants to play with broomsticks and cauldrons, where’s the harm? However, Maggie’s first day on the job may turn out to be her last when Police question Felicity in the murder of her estranged sister.

With everyone in town proclaiming Felicity’s guilt faster than the Salem Witch trials, Maggie finds herself wondering if she’ll also be tied to the stake. And lately, she’s been receiving messages on a spiritual frequency guiding her to prove Felicity’s innocence—and to embrace her own "charmed" life.

Another great paranormal chick lit (just can't get enough of these!!), this one was brilliant keeping you in suspense until the end as to who killed Felicity's sister. An interesting cast of characters and if I was to mark this I would give it 3 out of 5, there are some magical elements but, not a huge amount it was really for me more of a suspence than paranormal however, we see more of that in the second so definitely a series I will be sticking with just love the descriptions of all the pagan things.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Dead Girls Are Easy by Terri Garey

There's something about almost dying that makes a girl rethink her priorities. Take Nicki Styx—she was strictly goth and vintage, until a brush with the afterlife leaves her with the ability to see dead people.

Before you can say boo, Atlanta's ghosts are knocking at Nicki's door. Now her days consist of reluctantly cleaning up messes left by the dearly departed, leading ghouls to the Light . . . and one-on-one anatomy lessons with Dr. Joe Bascombe, the dreamy surgeon who saved her life. All this catering to the deceased is a real drag, especially for a girl who'd rather be playing hanky-panky with her hunky new boyfriend . . . who's beginning to think she's totally nuts.

But things get even more complicated when a friend foolishly sells her soul to the devil, and Nicki's new gift lands her in some deep voodoo.

As it turns out for Nicki Styx, death was just the beginning.

Continuing with my current addiction for Paranormal chick lit, this one is a stand alone (I think!). This is the first of Terri Garey's books I have read and oh boy what a feast, never a dull moment as there are a lots of sub plots going on here too.

I did find lots of similarities with Victoria Laurie's Ghosthunter series (previous review) but, thats fine I loved that too!

This is not an intense fun its a lot of light hearted fun and nothing too taxing on the brain but, something I am loving at the moment, I hope there is more but, to be honest I am not sure as this was on my recommendations list on Amazon so off to find out more about Ms Garey!