From the Dark by Michele Hauf

fromthedark.gif“Plain” Jane Rénan is a glass smith hired to design a stained glass window for an important client. Except she isn’t alone. Michael Lyndsay, lead vocalist of rock band The Fallen, is also staying there while on “break” due to his obsessive blood cravings. (Yes, you guessed it, he’s a vamp.)
Needless to say, one thing leads to another… πŸ˜‰

I have to say, I liked From the Dark. Most vampire romances these days are fairly standard. Anne Rice rip-off hero who haaaaaaaates himself falls in love with a woman who freaks out that he’s–oh noes!–a vampire. Frankly, I can’t stand that shit.

Jane doesn’t care that Michael’s a vampire. After all, her father’s one. Her biggest concern lies with her own blood. While her dad’s a vamp, her mum’s a witch, and witches’ blood is fatal to vampires. Think like stakes ‘n dusting in Buffy, and you’re not far off. Thing is, Jane she doesn’t know for sure that her blood possesses that quality; she’s never had a chance or reason to “test” that theory.

Let’s just say there’s quite a bit of conflict between Michael and Jane based upon her possibly toxicity and his bloodlust.

Overall, this is a very hot, intense book. The reactions of both the H/h aren’t what I normally expect, which was refreshing. My biggest issue is that some of the scenes felt… “over the top” and almost satirical as a result. It didn’t feel entirely “natural,” at least not to me.

That all being said, I’m looking forward to the next installment of Ms. Hauf’s “Bewitch the Dark” series. πŸ™‚

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Eternally by Maureen Child

eternally.gifI picked up Eternally despite my misgivings about the plot centering around a psychic bond (I have… issues with them, but I will go into that at a later date). A couple people I know had said they really liked the book, so what the hell?

Lord. and. Lady. on. a. fucking. pogo. stick.

The premise is interesting enough. Kieran McIntyre is a Guardian; the full details of such is not explained within the book, but, basically, he’s an immortal demon-hunter. Hot on a demon’s trail, he crashes a party at Julie Carpenter’s apartment. He warns her of imminent danger, but she writes him off as a crazy man and doesn’t believe him.

The next morning, she wakes up to find one roommate dead and the other in critical condition.

Like I said, interesting enough premise. By this point, I wanted to find out what happened next. πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, the story only went downhill from there. It turns out that there’s a legend of “Destined Mates” for the Guardians… and Kieran feels that Julie is his. Oh, and he can telepathically communicate with her–and apparently, only a Mate could hear his projected telepathic thoughts.

Kieran’s not happy with the idea of having a Mate. After all, he’s done well enough for ages without one. But the more he thinks about it, the more it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. After all, if he has sex with Julie, thereby realising the bond, they will be both be able to telepathically communicate with each other. And the bond that they have will allow him to telepathically connect to the demons to better track them.

… Yeah. You heard me right. A bond between the hero and the heroine will allow him to connect to the demons just by virtue of them having it. Even though neither of them have no connection with said demon!

Logic? What the fuck do we need that for?

I have to say, this is probably my hugest beef with paranormal romances. The authors don’t bother to make the worldbuilding make any damn sense! (If they have worldbuilding at all. I’ve seen books where the author stuck a pair of fangs on Ye Olde Harlequin Alpha and called him a vampire… but that’s another tangent.)

Right, so now Kieran’s still opposed to the idea… but if he has sex with her, he gets all these powers to help fight the Evil Demons! Yes, that’s his primary motivation for pursuing the bond at all instead of sticking his head in the sand like a demented ostrich.

At this point, the book nearly hit the wall. But I kept reading, even though the supposed “hero” seems to be nothing more than your average arrogant asshole.

Add to that, he constantly refers to Julie as “woman.” Like, constantly. You know how in some books, the characters always refer to each other by name in dialogue (even though I don’t know anyone who talks like that in real life)? Yeah. Think that kind of frequency, only “Woman,” this. “Woman” that.

I mean, really. What would you say to a guy who said shit like, “Woman, you try my patience”? ALL. THE. FUCKING. TIME.

(Me? The dude would be having a date with my fist. In the sensitive regions. But I’m a bitch. :twisted:)

But I was hormonal, tired, doped on way too much pain medication, and figured I’d keep trying anyway. Kinda like when you’re having sex, you know it isn’t working, isn’t likely to, and you should just give up and try later… but you’re stubborn and keep at it anyway. Yeah, that.

Cut about a hundred pages in which Kieran convinces Julie to come to his place for his protection, various incidents of mindless lust occur, Julie decides she’s not “safe” at his place and escapes (usually this falls into TSTL territory, but I can’t blame her; I’d have done the same thing), etcetera.

And then we get to the Big Fight. You know the one, about 3/4 of the way through most any romance novel.

In which Kieran tells Julie they’re Mates and that the only reason he wants her is so he can increase his power for the hunt.

Um. WTF?

I think it was supposed to be a confession, fight, and makeup scene, but I must, er, confess that I didn’t get that far. If the hero at this point is telling the heroine that all he wants is to fucking use her, then he’s not a hero. He’s just a fucking asshole.

I could not believe that Kieran loved Julie or wanted anything to do with her except use her. And, frankly, I don’t enjoy case studies of domestic abuse.

The book went flying.

The sad thing is, this could have been a really good story. The heroine is sassy and sensible, and there’s certainly enough conflict. Problem was the hero. If he actually had a heart, or had been portrayed in a more three dimensional fashion, this could’ve been awesome. Except the hero wasn’t much better than some villains I’ve read. That doesn’t make for a romance, sorry.

I want my $5.25 and three hours back.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

(This is an example of the “long” review. ;))

Book Reviews… Kinda

I’ve been doing the occasional book review for Evolution’s Book Reviews, but I haven’t had the time/energy to put the effort into a “formal” review. At the same point, I still like to chatter about books I’ve read, so I think I’m going to do something like that here. More casual “reviews.”

Sometimes they’ll be long. Other times they’ll be short.

Don’t expect ’em on a regular basis, because I go through odd periods with reading. I’ll read three books in a two-day period and then not read anything for a week or more. (Or rather, I’ll read, but I won’t finish.)

(And we’ll see how long this lasts. LOL.)

The Twilight Deception released today!

The Twilight Deception releases from Cobblestone Press today!

Here’s a brief blurb, if you’re interested:

When the FBI receives word of vampire-related murders, they order tough-as-nails resident witch Arielle Thompson to investigate. But the last thing Arielle expects is to have her butt saved by a friendly vampire who claims he’s tracking the master vamp responsible for the murders.

Despite her wounded pride, Arielle can’t help her inexplicable attraction to this sexy-as-sin vampire who calls himself simply “Jackson.” He reluctantly informs her that their enemy is far more powerful than reports said — and his powerbase is only increasing.

Arielle and Jackson must team up to stop him, before he grows too powerful to defeat.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Wanna buy it? Click here.

In celebration of the release, I’ll be holding a contest for a free copy of The Twilight Deception. Comment to this post with a number from 1-30, and the person closest to the number I’m thinking of wins. πŸ™‚

A Passion Draconic

I got my cover for A Passion Draconic, my forthcoming release from Liquid Silver Books. The cover is designed by the lovely Anne Cain, who did an amazing job.

The blurb, if anyone’s interested:

Healer-Priestess Shaiandral would rather let the Dragonlord rot than save him. But when her Healer’s oath is called upon, she must rise above the contention between their two shifter tribes and travel to his realm.

When she arrives, the Dragonlord Veren is dying of a magical toxin. Shaiandral makes a sacrifice of her own blood to raise the required energy for healing, but her actions raise a demon from Veren’s flesh. A demon that can become incorporeal at will and is impossible to fight.

The demon gives her two options. She can either sacrifice her Oath-bound virginity to heal Veren–or she can become his new host. At first Shaiandral refuses, but faced with a choice between losing her virginal power or losing herself, she chooses the lesser of two evils. Taking hold of the rising energies, she threads them into a complex weave. Just when she thinks she’s failed, Veren takes a deep breath, returning to life. Using the power released in her orgasm, Shaiandral forces the demon into a wilting red rose, binding him forevermore.

Except Shaiandral has caused more problems than she’s solved. The sacrifice has left her with a sudden, consuming lust–and an inexplicable attraction to Veren, a man she should hate. Now, a demonic infiltration threatens both their realms. Can they overcome their differences and work together to stop this threat before the demons take hold once more?

NaNoWriMo

So far, not so good on the Nano front: 2300 words. >_< Times like this I start to wonder why I keep signing up for this thing. After all, November's traditionally a hellish month for me. Between holidays, financial stress due to said holidays, Seasonal Affective Disorder (which seems to affect my fibromyalgia), and a shitload of "anniversary" stress due to the sheer number of times that November has sucked more balls than a drunk whore at a frat party....... Yeah. It doesn't help, either, that I managed to pull muscles from my forearm up through my shoulder to my back, and all around the right shoulder-blade. Compensating for the injury has led to strained muscles in my chest. Fun all around. πŸ™„ On the bright side, I'm happy with what I've written so far. That counts for something, yes? πŸ˜‰