Saturday, October 31, 2015

An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson


Josphine Tey Mysteries - Book 1

So it wasn't my favourite mystery that I've read in the past while, but it wasn't bad at all. I think I had trouble with too many POVs. It felt like the author wanted us to have the POV of everyone who was a suspect. Which gave the book a certain depth, I think, but made it a bit of a slog for me. Also... it was touted as a Josephine Tey mystery, but we certainly didn't see a lot of her solving the mystery. It was much more Archie Penrose mystery, I think. Archie being Josephine's good friend and a police inspector.
I wasn't certain who the murder was until it unfolded on the page and that's always a plus. I thought it was someone else. What annoys me is that the author never tells us what happened to that someone else, like she does with most of the other 'suspects'.

So, while not a favourite, should the next in the series be on sale, I will pick it up.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker


A terrific off the beaten path novella that was recced last weekend by Bree of Kit Rocha fame. This was a freebie on both Kobo and Amazon, so I urge you, if you like BDSM erotica, go and download it!

Our heroine is a Jewish University professor who has decided to embrace the more Orthodox lifestyle of her religion. The hero is a kosher butcher in the Orthodox community from a very orthodox family. Both have been previously married, he's a widower and she's divorced. I liked both of them and totally believed their love story. And the D/s elements were very well done. I think the story could have been expanded and the developing relationships explored a little more, but all in all, it was a really enjoyable and interesting read. I learned stuff about the Orthodox Jewish community too. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz


The Original Sinners - Book 1

I picked this book up because I read Tiffany Reisz's blog post for Queer Romance Month and was intrigued. As I said in my comment to this post, I headed over to Amazon Canada and it was on sale so it seemed like I was fated to read this book. :) I did. And OMG, it was NOT what I expected.

First off, if you're going to go into reading this with the idea that it's a kinky, queer romance... baby, it ain't that! Oh, there's romance, there's kink, there's queer, but what this book is... is... hell, I don't know. It's the story of a woman, her obsessions, her loves, her needs, her desires, her darkest thoughts... it's ... well look, I'm going to link romance author Courtney Milan's Goodreads review here. She says things SO much better than I ever could.

Courtney Milan on The Siren

There are a lot of things in this book that I wasn't okay with... A LOT. That's why I could only give it 4 stars and not 5, even though it probably deserves the 5. *LOL* But there was a lot that was uncomfortable to read, but I couldn't NOT read it. There was so much PAIN. Physical and emotional and while I looked for some of the glory and the wonder that I know can exist in BDSM, there was little of that here. I didn't like Nora and I didn't like Soren but Dear Lord, they were fascinating! (I did like Zach, Wes and what I saw of Griffin and Kingsley)

Will I read the next book in the series? The Angel? Yes, I will But not right away. After The Siren, I've picked up something totally different. A fantasy adventure. With magic and stuff. Because The Siren just wrecked me all to hell. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Master of Crows by Grace Draven


What a yummy, yummy fantasy romance! I really enjoyed it! Enough so that I recommended it to a friend who enjoys romances in a fantasy setting. Fantasy as in magic and spells and creatures and gods. If you're looking for someone to stand alongside Anne Bishop in your fantasy romance bookcase, Grace Draven will fit the bill.

In Master of Crows we meet Martise (an AWFUL name that bugged me through the whole book I must admit) of Asher, the slave, or bondwoman if you prefer, of the Bishop of the magical Conclave. He is taking her to spy on the renegade Silhara of Neith, The Master of Crows. He has requested an apprentice from The Conclave who knows ancient languages and luckily, Martise is such a person. So, in order to gain her freedom, she agrees to spy for The Conclave. But... she falls in love and thereby hangs the tale.

The first thing I liked about this book was the fact that Martise was a full grown woman, no wet behind the ears NA heroine here, thank God. She's also not a shrinking virgin. It felt to me that she had more than one or two encounters with men in her past, but only one deep relationship that managed to break her heart. She's no beauty by any means, but she does have one of the sexiest voices imaginable. That works for me just fine. :) She's a simple woman, really, and I grew to like her a lot.

Silhara is an arrogant SOB from the get go, but I think he's entitled to a lot of his arrogance. And he's gorgeous, at least in my mind. Hawklike features, tall, lean, muscles where men should have muscles, and the most beautiful head of long inky hair that is TO DIE FOR. *g* He's real purty! I really enjoyed how he just really wanted to be an orange farmer despite the massive magic power that he possesses. I think I fell for him along with Martise. *LOL*

I guess one could say that Martise and Silhara's love story is predictable, but it's the interaction between the two that makes it stand out. Clever dialogue. I love clever dialogue and clever characters. And characters that aren't afraid to laugh at themselves and these two - as well as the wonderful Gurn, friend and servant - are not afraid to do just that. I liked watching Martise and Silhara fall in love while trying to find a way to concur the Big Baddy. It took it's time happening and that was fine with me - I found the slow build up to the explosive first sex scene to be actually very sexy. And the sexytimes themselves... oooh boy! *fanning* They weren't numerous, but damn they were good.

And you know what? The story, with a few lovely twists and turns, wraps up in this one volume! Yes, there is a novella that follows this novel, but I think it's like an extra added adventure.

So, to whoever recced me this book, Bree from Kit Rocha maybe? Or maybe it was from the Twitter convo she inspired about romantic fantasies? Good call!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Champion of the Scarlet Wolf (Book 2) by Ginn Hale


Cadelonian Series - Book 4

I loved this 4th book in the Cadeleonian series. I loved the magic in it. I loved the old gods and the feel of history. I loved the characters, main and secondary and even the characters that got little more than a walk-on. I loved the animals... I swear, Elezar's stallion, Cobre, was one of my favourite characters in the whole book and I was ready to do the author a violence on his behalf on more than one occasion! *LOL*

The love story between Elezar and Skellan was very satisfying to me. They were both so different for the most part, but they complimented each other perfectly. And they were similar in their ... fundamental beliefs about life. I loved how their intimacy and feelings grew and matured over both Scarlet Wolf books. And that there was humour in their relationship as well. And with Javier and Kiram as well. I'd love to see these 4 on an adventure together. *LOL*

My only complaint, I think, was that the whole epic story got wrapped up so quickly. Not the final 'battle', per se, but the resolution of the various interpersonal conflicts. In some ways it felt as if the author was finished with telling the story and that was that. Maybe she's planning a return to this universe - which I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with! - and in that case, some unanswered questions are warranted. I did want more of a final scene between Skellan and Bone-Crusher.

One last thing... the last line, IMO, was a weak one. But I find that I'm very persnickety about last lines and often authors aren't at the top of their game with them. This time, it just felt... lacking.

Anyway... maybe it's wouldn't be a 4.5 star book for some people, but I loved it in spite of the caveats!