A Triple Review

Doug Meeks has sent over not one, not two, but three great reviews. Looks like he has been a busy fella, but at least he hit a run of good books. This first one is called Blood Legacy from author Marianne Morea.

Blood LegacyWhat Doug said…

Blood Legacy

By

Marianne Morea

Summary:

A MAN TRAPPED BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARK
Freedom fighter, Carlos Salazar, lived by his sword, fighting evil in the guise of righteousness and the atrocities carried out in the name of God—until the night he met true evil. Three hundred years later, he still walks in darkness, his only solace the hope that one day he will find absolution and a purpose under heaven for his cursed existence. Can forgiveness transcend time and heal a broken soul? Even if it is no longer human?

A WOMAN CHANGED FOREVER
Trina Markham’s life was ordinary—until a chance meeting with the man of her dreams. Alarmed by the intensity of their attraction, dangerous passions ignite when she falls head over heels for this dark stranger. But when she finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed, her life becomes a legacy of blood and lies, a nightmare where the monsters are real. Can she be saved from this nightmare, even if it means choosing death?

Review:

This story starts with just enough interest and action to keep you engaged but make no mistake, this is a romance.  The fact that it is filled with action in various places do not stop the main thrust from being Carlos’ attraction to Trina.  This is your usual entertaining story about love , romance and the problems that come with it.  Carlos’ was turned hundreds of years ago in a violent act and has been struggling with his humanity because he promised his first love that he would remain the decent person that he was before his life was changed forever.

This is a love story that spans hundreds of years and has several nice plot twists and peaks into the past that make you feel more a part of Carlos’.  Trina the girl with seemingly no real direction is working as a waitress at an old church turned nightclub which plays a part in the beginning to let Carlos’ know that Trina is more than she seems.

The story is engaging and even in the parts of introspection it stays interesting. There are a few surprises along the way which astute readers can see coming in a general sense but that does not take away from the entertainment value of this novel.

If I have any complaints it would be that the majority of the secondary characters are somewhat 2 dimensional (with a couple of notable exceptions).  This small note does little to impede the enjoyment of the reader but you got the feeling there was going to be more to some of them that never really materialized.

Blood Legacy combines romance, action and character development in a good mix that results in a very satisfied feeling at the end.  This is probably about 4.5 Stars (a bit more or less depending on the reader) but I consider it a highly recommended reading experience.  The sexual level of this novel is probably quite a bit above YA but short of erotic, good passion and emotional involvement.  This will feed your revenge junkie a bit and sooth your White Knight syndrome a bit also, got it all.

This second review is for a short book from Molly Harper called Driving Mr. Dead. It is part of the Half Moon Hollow series.

Driving Mr DeadWhat Doug said…

Driving Mr. Dead

By

Molly Harper

Summary:

Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation.

Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog! And she has to do it without letting her passenger—the most persnickety, stuffy, devastatingly handsome vamp she’s ever met—drive her crazy. As she and Collin find disaster on the roads, they also find an undeniable spark between them.

Could Miranda have found the perfect job and the perfect guy for her?

Review:

Well I am not sure what I expected when I grabbed this title and started reading since I was just looking for something that would give me a break from the blood and violence of my normal PNR/UF reading (which I love but you need a break every now and then to maintain).

I am sure I did not expect this to be the funniest stand alone PNR book I ever read.  It was all I could do not to wake “She Who Must Be Obeyed” with my laughter.  It was that funny.

This is the story of Miranda who seems to have a superpower of chaos and bad luck combined with a job of ferrying Collin, an arrogant and fastidious vampire half way across the country in a vampire safe vehicle dubbed “The Batmobile”.

The chaotic events that follow combined with the hilarity of Molly Harper’s writing would be a winner in any story but the myriad subplots along the way combined with exceptional bad luck result in an exceptional novel that only the most heartless among you could dislike.

In the end it is a story of romance and perseverance in the face of unbelievable circumstances (hence the power of chaos and bad luck combined), you will love it.  5 Stars with little if any reservation, this is not a literary masterpiece, it is pure entertainment done to perfection.

And this third one is one that Doug got a very pleasant surprise from. The Nightman Cometh was written by Tony-Paul de Vissage.

Nightman Cometh What Doug said…

The Nightman Cometh

By

Tony-Paul de Vissage

Summary:

In 1249, Damien La Croix willingly choses Undeath rather than perish of the Plague. Once risen as a vampire, he takes his betrothed into the dark with him, but something goes wrong and Antoinette perishes. Thus, Damien begins a solitary walk down the corridors of time in search of Antoinette’s replacement.

Beginning with Konstancza in 15th century Romania where Damien and his garde de nuit serve Voivoide Vlad Drakula, his search extends into the far future to a fateful meeting in a snow-filled Chicago. Until then, Damien meets, loves, and loses each person he thinks may be the one to replace his Antoinette—Kate in Colonial America, who avenges herself against her rapist but prefers to hang rather than become an Undead; Bess, a 21st century Goth, wanting both an Undead lover and a living one and dying for the wrong choice; Michel, a concentration camp guard where Damien and his kind are imprisoned in the human answer to the Vampire Problem; Alyss – descendant of his beloved Konstancza –lost to a rival vampire’s seduction.

All could be his but all perish, for when the Night Man Cometh, can Death be far behind…?

Review:

This novel was pretty much a gift from someone who suggested I read it, as with a lot of literary gifts I put it in my “To Be Read” stack and moved on until about 45 days later I pulled it out in my version of Kindle roulette.

It took me several chapters before I realized I had cheated myself out of one of the better literary treats of the last several months, possibly longer.  This novel covers such a huge scope of around 3500 years that it boggles the mind.  It is a changing genre novel of historical, horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and ending with a bit of science fiction.  Never read anything like it unless you want to count HG Wells masterpiece The Time Machine.

It starts out with a young man who only wants 2 things from his existence, he wants to live (this is during the Black Plague) and he wants to be with his love Antoinette.  He will get his wish and lose much more in the process.  Damien became a vampire by choice, making some terrible and soul killing decisions when he did and now he must live with himself.  There are some terrible things in this book but it is a more dark look at vampires.

This is not a short vampire romance novel with a great “happy ever after” this is a masterpiece of work that covers some horrible things concerning our hero Damien and tragic periods of history.  Life is not all roses and happiness, far, far from it.  Damien tries to retain a bit of humanity from time to time which serves to frustrate him as much as it helps him at times.

What he really wants is to find “the one”, that woman who will make him feel complete, the true love he has always wanted but seems to lose each time he comes close.

This is not a singular romance, this is a story of a vampire cut from the Dracula mold of Bram Stoker (garlic, crosses, holy relics, all hurt him) and his search through centuries for the woman he feels sure is out there if he can find her.  He is at times heroic, other times tragic and many times, just the vampire he has become.

A large part of the action takes place prior to the 20 century since that is the time that shapes his persona but we are taken on a ride through history and into the yet imagined future with this novel and all of it captures the imagination.

I give this 5 Stars because I cannot think of anything to compare it to and the scope combined with the highs and lows of Damien’s life is exceptional.  It felt like  the author may have rushed the ending a bit but then again it was almost to the point of “you gotta stop somewhere” and the ending was very fulfilling and satisfying to me.  Highly recommended but this is NOT a novel you will read in one session, it may take days to soak it in, but I loved it.

Did any of you try these titles for yourself, or do you plan to? I was eyeing the Molly Harper story, but I am trying to behave and not add to the TBR too much.

Guest Review Times Two…

Snowday!  Today is my first day off because of a snow storm in something like 2 years (and I live in Atlantic Canada, so that means I have drug my ass to work in some god-awful weather).  I will pay for it tomorrow, but today I am happier than an 11 year old not having to go to school!  Ok.  Squealing over.

Doug Meeks has been busy.  Very busy.  He has sent over quite a few reviews lately, so I decided to to a double header post.  For this round, Doug has spotlighted the Cursed by Blood saga from Marianne Morea, and Wait for Me from Elisabeth Naughton.  I am still amazed by just how many books Doug can read, and review (which took me forever), and still manage to keep things straight.  Not a talent I have, for sure.  First up, Cursed by Blood.

cursed by bloodWhat Doug said…

Cursed by Blood Saga

by

Marianne Morea

These are  the first 2 books in this series so far and while I am not sure when book 3 will be released these two comprise the complete opening story so there is no requirement to read more but I am sure I will be looking for book 3 in the future,  but the books so far are :

Hunter’s Blood Special Edition (Cursed byBlood Saga)

Twice Cursed (Cursed by Blood Saga)

Summary:

Revenge. It’s a way of life for psychic, Lily Saburi. Haunted since the brutal murder of her best friend and partner, she’s obsessed with retribution—a vigilante bent on striking a blow for humanity against the shadowed world of the supernatural. Prey turned predator she aims to even the score—one bullet at a time starting with the beast that changed her life forever.

Prepared for Armageddon she’s in for the fight of her life. But when mortally wounded by a diseased and insane Were, Lily is rescued by a most unlikely savior—Were-hunter, Sean Leighton. Sexy and powerful, Leighton is charged with destroying anything infected with the deadly pathogen threatening the survival of his pack, and that includes Lily. But their immediate attraction leaves them both breathless and confused. As Lily grapples with truth about herself, Leighton is faced with the looming reality that he will most likely have to kill the woman he’s falling in love with. Only time will tell if they are destined to be together or if they’ll fall victim to the Hunter’s Blood.

Psychic investigator, Lily Saburi is no stranger to the supernatural. Tough as nails, she’s a hunter in her own right, a once self-proclaimed vigilante that has joined forces with the man she once sought to kill, Sexy, Sean Leighton, Alpha of the Brethren of Weres.  In the wake of a mysterious virus threatening everyone they love, they are embroiled in an unforgiving scheme of political double dealing, hidden agendas and assassination, with Lily and Sean as primary targets. But treachery follows hard on Lily’s heels when she returns home, to find New York City bathed in a series of bloodbaths. Baffled, the police have no leads, so they call in their last line of defense to work the case. Lily.
Thrown together with homicide detective, Ryan Martinez, dangerous sparks fly as the two uncover the undead truth behind the killings. Long hidden secrets are revealed, as are truths too unbelievable to accept when Lily is kidnapped, and Sean and Ryan have to work together to find her.
Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

Review:

This was a story I stumbled into after reading a bit about Hunter’s Blood on a forum and let it be known right up front, book 1 ends with a bit of cliffhanger which you MUST have book 2 (Twice Cursed) to avoid death from frustration.  The combination of these 2 book is one continuous story that grabs you and draws you into a world of Weres and eventually Vampires.  There are some other things mentioned and I can hardly wait until she writes more in this series as I see huge potential to it.

The story revolves around Lily who is a bit of psychic plus a bit more powers that seem to be unknown even to her, then add in the requisite hunk Sean Leighton (Alpha of the Brethren of Weres) and you have a perfect storm of intrigue, passion, mystery and action.  Someone is seemingly trying to kill off most if not all of the supernatural species via a biological agent and the search to figure it out while dealing with personal demons is riveting.  This story has a bit of everything, villain that is easy to hate (motivations are unclear until almost the shocking end), main couple that you can’t figure out if they are in lust or love for about half the story, good secondary supporting cast although the vampires are painted a bit too vicious in some respects but pretty much line up with the ones in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel series in motivations and personality (totally unlike in powers).

I was a bit disappointed in the lack of romantic buildup but this is more of an mix of PNR and UF with the main thrust being the urban fantasy story with the romance as a good motivation and keeps the story interesting and multifaceted.  This is a story that will stay with you and characters that are memorable.  I give this about a 4.5/5 Star rating in entertainment, the only complaints is my revenge junkie was not fed as well as it could have been (but not ignored either) and a romance that fell closer to the old “MINE!” than a true meeting of minds until much later in the story.  All things considered I highly recommend the 2 books together and hope I see more.

This second review is for an author that I have building on Mount TBR.  Elisabeth Naughton is another one I am determined to get to, since I have her Eternal Guardians series staring at me right now.  Sigh.  Well, for this review, Doug has read Wait for Me which falls more in the romantic thriller/mystery category.

wait for meWhat Doug said…

Wait For Me

by

Elisabeth Naughton

A 2013 Bookie Award Nominee – Best eBook Novel of the year!
A 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards finalist!

Summary:

A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

Review:

Occasionally,  when you read as much PNR/UF/Fantasy as I do you need a break to “cleanse the palate” so to speak.  This was one of those excursions and since it was FREE on Amazon by an author already known for writing skills (she also does a 5 Star PNR/UF series Eternal Guardians) it was an easy choice.  The summary made me think this was a light read with a soaring HEA ……  wrong again, great authors don’t take the easy way out very often.  This turns into a romantic mystery/thriller that borders in places like a SCI-FI murder mystery.  Make no mistake, the main thrust of this novel is still the heroine with no memory of her past and the hero millionaire neither of whom are cut from the usual pairings we see in so many paperbacks and their totally messed up relationship (can’t say too much without spoiling things).  Let me just say that almost nothing went the way I thought it was going to go from reading the cover info.  This was a great book, the way it starts grabs you and then moves along a line and just when you think it is going to go “just the I thought” …… nope, not gonna happen.  The summary above gives you enough information to get you hooked (or it should) and most people that have read this agree this is 4-5 Star reading.  Take a break from the usual and grab this book for free in a Kindle format on Amazon and enjoy an exceptional reading experience with a great ending (one of the very few things that came close to what I thought/hoped).  I am always amazed by authors that can out-think me and take a novel off into a direction I had not seen without making me wish I had not read the book (I hate authors who use a “shock-jock mentality to be different or unique)  This is dang near 5 Star reading for me and the fact that I paid ZERO for it just adds to the pleasure of it, get this book even if you have to pay for it, its worth it.