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The Feehan Female Formula

faa581382D66a62D49f72D9be82D9b895cf85a3epapersToday was a nice day. I had a conversation with a person who came into where I work about books. That is always a treat, at least for me, because not a lot (meaning virtually no one) in my real life reads what I/we do, so to exchange actual spoken words with another human about a favorite topic is really rare. As we were mentioning upcoming releases and past favorites, the subject of Christine Feehan came up. And that talk got me thinking, which will probably get me in trouble again, but then again it won’t be the first time. Here goes…

I have to qualify this, once again, and say that I pick up all of her books, and Christine Feehan will probably always have a place in my collection. This isn’t me slamming her or her work. She is the author that got me interested in PNR and UF, and it was her books that brought me back to reading again after a years-long stop. I snicker and roll my eyes sometimes, but I am pretty much always counting down a new release day. That said, however, when the lady at work and I were discussing things, I realized that the last few female leads in recent Feehan novels had to me all become the same character. We have discussed here on the blog before the “Alphahole and the Doormat” trend in some of the recent books, but for me things have actually gone beyond that, and the characters have completely blurred together.

When I started to think about things, I realized that in five of the last six Feehan books I have read, you could pretty much substitute one female lead for the next and not know the difference. I am talking the last two Leopard books, the last two Ghostwalker books, and the new Shadows book. Here’s what I mean…

  • All of the female leads are small, curvy, and have long, almost inhumanly thick dark hair.
  • All of them are on the run from the VBM (very bad man) who has hurt them and/or killed someone they love.
  • They are all without family, and only one has a true friend.
  • They all find safety with their VOH (very own hero), but make a half-hearted try to run to save him from the VBM. This is of course stopped before they actually get out the door, but it is the thought that counts.
  • No matter what has happened to them, they have remained innocent and without anger or bitterness. Only sweetness, with a deep core of inner strength (uh, ok).
  • All but one have absolutely nothing to their name, and their VOH buys them long, ruffled skirts and ruffled boots (Seriously. They all have ruffled boots).
  • They are all immediately accepted into their VOH’s very exclusive inner circle and immediately become part of the family. Usually a family that doesn’t trust any outsiders, either, but they are instantly embraced and protected to the death by one and all.
  • All of them are brilliant cooks, or determined to learn to cook perfectly, so they can be the most very perfect homemaker for their VOH. No takeout here, folks. No “make your own sandwich, and me one while your at it”, either. Just brilliant, instantly-made meals that usually leads to a different kind of dessert. Usually on the kitchen floor.
  • Oh, and each and every one of them tempers their VOH’s overbearing, possessive flashes of jealous rage with sweetness, placating, and surrender. Oh, and each one calls their special fella Honey. Not babe, not pumpkin, not any other pet name. Just honey. For all of them. As in “Ok, honey, I understand and I won’t ever, ever do that again. Ever. Even though I didn’t do anything, I won’t do it again. Honey.”

These are just the instances I could think of off of the top of my head. And I guess this formula works for me because I still keep picking up the books (except the last Carpathian book, because I loathed Gabrielle and was a bit horrified by the thought of Grandma Trixie). I have to admit, though, that what I am really getting tired of in the Feehan books is the young, physically and sexually abused girl who ends up being rescued from her horror only to have her story told in a future book. It was done with Skyler in the Dark series, and now there is another one in The Shadows in…Nicoletta? Nicole? Something like that. Maybe it just comes off as too tragic for me, but I could do with that not coming up again anytime soon.

Your turn. Do you think I am nuts, or have you started to see a “female formula” in Christine Feehan’s work? Do you like it, or is it getting old for you? Have you had this sense of deja vu with any other authors that you can think of? Oh, and did my skipping the last Dark book about Gabrielle make me miss anything good, or did it set up any new characters/stories for down the road?

Adaptations

Well, This is Just Plain Weird

I was doing my nightly scan through things to see what happened while I was at work today, and I came across a very, very weird article. Weird enough that I literally stopped for a second to figure out if it was April Fools Day, or the article I read was dated April 1st. But nope, it is still July, and this is my random weirdness for today.

Do you remember how the powers that be decided to split the final movie adaptation from Veronica Roth‘s Divergent series, Allegiant, into two parts? Yeah, they followed the trend (or more likely they followed the money), and decided to make two movies, Allegiant and Ascendant. Ok, here is where the weirdness comes in…it looks like Ascendant will NOT be heading to a theater near you. Instead, it will be a straight to television release. You heard that right, folks. No theatrical release. There haven’t been any details on exactly where you will be finding it (Network? Netflix? Who knows), but Ascendant will be exclusively on the small screen. And that isn’t even all of it. Nope.

It seems that the ultimate goal is to THEN spin things off into a full fledged TV show. They would wrap things up with the existing cast of Shailene Woodley, Theo James and company, introduce all new players, and continue on in some form or another. And may I once again repeat…THIS IS WEIRD.

Granted, if you look at the numbers, this franchise hasn’t been the biggest success. But still, this seems so very odd to me. And kind of like beating a dead horse. Either film it or forget it, but this plain out of left field. And screams of desperation.

What is your take? I might’ve mentioned that I find this plain weird once or twice (or way more than that), but do you think this is a good idea? Have you been watching the movies, and do you plan to follow it to the small screen? Can you see a TV show succeeding where the movies have obviously failed?

Release Info

Stephenie Meyer Announces New Book

As I was doing my daily check over at Hypable today, I saw that Twilight and The Host author Stephenie Meyer has announced a new book is coming our way on November 16th of this year. This time around, it is an adult action/thriller called The Chemist.

the chemist.jpgIn this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

Well. Interesting. I did read the first Twilight book, but never felt the need to pick up the other three after I watched the movies. In fact, I just got rid of all of them in my latest unhaul. But I did very much like The Host, and her adult sci-fi alien story makes me want to give this one a shot. Speaking of The Host, I have finally given up the ghost on the long-rumored two followup books, The Seeker and The Soul, so maybe this one can take their place.

Will you be giving this new one from Stephenie Meyer a try? I don’t know if it has a paranormal element to it, but it sounds like it could be fun. The author credited her love of Jason Bourne for the inspiration, which is never a bad thing. Another one to add to the list, it looks like.

Review

What She Said – Rock Kiss Review

Thanks once again go to Monika, who sent over her review for Nalini Singh‘s latest Rock Kiss book, Rock Wedding. I loved me some Rock Hard – that was a total winner for me. Couldn’t get enough of Charlie and T-Rex.  I was meh about picking up Noah and Kit’s story until I started reading, and then I really enjoyed it. But for some reason right from the start I haven’t been all that interested in Abe and Sarah’s story, and I didn’t know quite why. But from what Monika said, I might not be alone…

rock weddingWhat Monika said…

Too much… of everything (especially shirts, swearing, sweetness and weddings)

I’ve read almost everything Nalini Singh has ever written and loved all of it (some more and some a bit less), so it pains me to write a less than stellar review and rate one of her books only 3 stars.
This was also the first Nalini Singh book I did not finish in a day or two, but which I had to force myself to continue reading, and I only plodded thru to the end because I needed to write a review.

But first things first: this is the fifth story in the Rock Kiss series, and it’s about Abe and Sarah, of whom we have seen glimpses in previous installments. Abe is the band’s keyboard player and sometime vocalist and he has serious abuse problems: drugs, drinks, and dimwitted groupies, he does it all. Sometime along the way he inexplicably falls in lust with Sarah, marries her, doesn’t change his habits and treats her like dirt, until finally she can’t take it anymore and divorces his ass (takes her long enough). Then, at the end of Rock Redemption, at the Zenith event, we see Sarah get slapped around by her new boyfriend. The band members rally behind her and Abe finally realizes that he is still very much in love with Sarah and finally decides to get his shit together and seeks help for his abuse problems. So, that’s were we stand at the beginning of this book.

I actually do like second chance and/or redemption stories, but somehow this one didn’t click for me. I think the main reason was the characterization of the two main protagonists. I had a difficult time to swallow the complete about-turn in Abe’s behavior towards Sarah: when they were married before he behaved like a complete heel to her, he treated her as convenient fuck-buddy and occasional arm-candy, but otherwise he kept emotionally distant from her, was not interested in anything about her as a person, about her past or what her interests were or even her dreams. And even though he did not physically lay a hand on her, he would psychically abuse her every time he went into a drug-induced fit of rage. But say you paint you hero that way (and I do love reformed bad boys), but then they at least need a horrible past to explain their behavior, even though there is no excuse for it. But far from it, Abe is from a loving, supportive upper middle-class family and ever since he met the guys from Schoolboy Choir his friends have stood by him and had his back. There is a huge personal tragedy in his past, but for me it’s just not enough of a justification.

In comparison I liked Sarah a bit more, even though (at least in the beginning of the book) she was as close to a doormat as I could stand. She is deeply insecure and very needy, and lets Abe get away with shit and tries to be supportive. Most of this I can overlook, because she was very young when she met Abe, all alone in the world, and she did have a horrible past, so I could kind of relate to her for being awestruck by being noticed by a rock star and also her need to cling to the person that she believed loved her even a little. I also liked that after her divorce she started to build her own life and career, although – even with the suspension of disbelief – I had a hard time believing how she went in two or three years from a rather low-end job to owning her own successful business, especially as apart from going to one or two meetings and making a few phone calls we never see her working.

Now to some other problems in this book, chief among them the (needless) repetition: a reviewer of Allegiance of Honor complained that there were a gazillion descriptions of the clothes that the characters wore and I went “come on, describing dresses adds texture to the story and besides, I did not even notice it”. Unfortunately I  did notice here, mostly because Abe is always wearing a variation of the same thing, mainly a suit, either black, or charcoal or dark grey, with either a black, charcoal or dark grey shirt. Sadly, the repetition does not end there: Sarah is endlessy fascinated by his stunning physique and his bulging biceps. We already know Abe is a hunk, so no need to reiterate it every time he strips. She in turn is repeatedly described as feeling too tall and too curvy, and even though she claims she is (finally) happy with her body the constant preoccupation with said body actually creates the impression of an unhealthy attitude towards one’s own body image.

Obviously I am the last person who should complain about the occasional swear word, and really I don’t mind swearing, but it should at least be creative. Fuck, fucker, fucking appear a total of 91 times, mostly used either as an expletive or an intensifier and only three times to actually refer to intercourse, so it was just a bit too much for me.

Nothing against a feel-good romance but there was just too much of the happy feeling in this book. Aside from the main protagonists, everybody is deliriously happy all the time, deeply and disgustingly in love (they don’t even fight so that they can have make-up sex), and to top it off, there are no less than four! perfect weddings that naturally go off without even the tiniest hitch! Sorry, but ‘gag’! It’s like eating bar after bar of sinful chocolate, until you get sick of it and crave something savory! And there is even more ‘sweetness’, but I won’t mention it, because it would be a major spoiler!

So now I have to go find me some gritty UF novel with a kick-ass heroine who worries more about her fighting prowess than her looks or some dark romance with a deliciously bad anti-hero to get this feeling of cloying sweetness outta my head!

I think, for me, part of the problem is that I am not a huge fan stories where the couple already has a romantic history/divorce, that sort of thing. I have always felt that in that situation, it feels like being dropped into the middle of the story. Not sure that makes sense, but it is harder for me to get involved in the couple when so much of their story isn’t shown in the pages of the book. I do have high hopes for Gabriel’s brother’s books, though – they were awesome in Rock Hard. What did all of you think about Rock Wedding? Any fans, or were you like Monika and just found it too much?

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Site Updates

I have gotten a couple of emails and comments wondering when I was going to add the info from Allegiance of Honor to the Psy/Changeling character guide. The good news? All done. The bad news? That sucker is a hot mess and needs a complete edit, which should happen over the next week or so. So if you see totally contradictory info listed under someone’s name, I hope to have that straightened out soonish. It gets hard when the guides get that damn big and characters keep evolving to keep everything making sense, which it doesn’t always right now. Then on to updating Charley Davidson and setting one up for the new Christine Feehan series. Oy.

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Cover Lover – Silence Fallen

It seems like every few days one of my much-anticipated releases has their cover reveal, and today’s book is Silence Fallen from Patricia Briggs. I already did the blurb reveal a while back, but might as well do it again, right? This one is dark and beautiful, and has a release date of March 7th.

silence_fallen_layout.inddIn the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…”

This is one of my favorite covers of the whole series. Some of the previous Mercy covers, while all pretty, showed a little bit more of Mercy than I sometimes thought went with the character. Mercy never struck me as the plunging neckline and midriff baring type of gal, so this suits my version more. And I like the dark, intense vibe, too. So, are you a yes or a no on this one?

Spotlight on...

Spotlight Wednesday – Elizabeth Hunter

Because there is always so much good buzz around Elizabeth Hunter, and to celebrate her new release, Monika has put her up as this week’s spotlight author. As I have said anytime I have done a post about her work, I have never heard anyone say they weren’t a fan (and I can’t even say that about Nalini Singh or Ilona Andrews, which is something).

Elizabeth Hunter has quite a few releases under her belt, with her Cambio Springs books, the Irin Chronicles, and three separate series set in the Elemental World. But for this spotlight post, we are going to go way back to the beginning and the Elemental Mysteries series featuring Giovanni and Beatrice. The book that started it all is called A Hidden Fire, which was published in 2011.

a hidden fireSynopsis…

“No secret stays hidden forever.”

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he’d abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.

I did look around and try to find an excerpt, but I didn’t have any luck. It turns out, though that you can check this book out for free through Amazon right now, just click HERE. I have the paperback version on the TBR, but I am going to download the freebie in hopes that I will finally be able to move it up the reading list.

Also to consider:

elizabeth hunter banner
I nabbed the banner from google, so credit goes to whomever created it.

. . . . .

5251202About the author: Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy and romance author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She currently lives in Central California with her son, two very ineffective canine assistants, and a pitifully empty fish tank. She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Irin Chronicles, the Cambio Springs Mysteries, and other works of fiction.

Ok, everyone. It’s up to you. How many other Elizabeth Hunter fans are out there, and if you haven’t tried her before do you think you will? What hidden gem of an author would you like to share with your fellow readers? Just send me an e-mail under the “Contact Me” button and we can maybe spread the word.

Cover Lover

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight Cover and Blurb

Yep, you have to love it when one book comes out, and you get info about the next one a couple of weeks later. It makes the wait so much easier when you have something to look forward to. Darynda Jones is always great about keeping her readers updated, and now we have the cover and blurb release for Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, which is due out on January 24th.

eleventh grave in moonlight.jpgA typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

I will admit that I haven’t read 10th Grave yet, so I am not reading the blurb, but I am always happy to see signs of the next book. Not sure where things are going in the next few books, but it should be an interesting ride.

Review

He Said/She Said Review – The Staff and the Blade

Elizabeth Hunter is an author that I have only heard great things about, and today we have not just one but two reviews of her newest release, The Staff and the Blade. Doug Meeks has been a longtime fan, and Monika is a newer but no less enthusiastic convert, so let’s check out this latest release…

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00049]Warriors. Lovers. Enemies. Legends.

Their union became pivotal in Irin history, but to understand Damien and Sari’s ending, you must go back to their beginning. Four hundred years ago, a young singer and a hardened warrior met and loved each other, but their life was torn apart by violence.

Love. Desire. Grief. Betrayal.

No matter how much pain and anger stain their lives, bonds in the Irin race cannot be abandoned. Damien and Sari will never truly leave each other, because those who are destined cannot be ignored.

The Staff and the Blade is a four part stand-alone book of approximately 480 pages. It is the fourth book in the Irin Chronicles.

DREAMS: Damien of Bohemia was a legend content to live in obscurity. Weary from a century of human and Irin bloodshed, he took shelter among those who would not question his silence or the martial spells he wore over his body. Until an earth singer of raw power and no delicacy came to the village where he hid. Sari of Vestfold wasn’t intrigued by the mysterious warrior or his moody silences. And she wasn’t interested in listening for the whisper of his soul. Even when those whispers promised a connection that could tie them for eternity.

GHOSTS: A new posting in Paris during Napoleon’s reign leads Sari and Damien back to familiar faces and the Council politics Damien has tried so hard to avoid. But the Irin world has changed in the two hundred years since their mating. The singers have become more isolated. The scribes are more martial. And the Grigori flood growing cities and lay in wait. When Sari’s sister envisions the future, she sees emptiness, chaos, and a darkness that threatens to overtake their world.

MEMORIES: Hidden from Irin society, the Irina have learned to take their revenge on the Grigori. They answer to no one. They ask for no mercy. And forgiveness? That’s the last thing on anyone’s mind. Two hundred years after the Rending, Damien and Sari are thrown together to face a new threat, a girl who might be key to the healing of the Irin race. If they can survive the anger and grief that has separated them for two hundred years.

VISIONS: The Irin and Irina are together again. Society is being rebuilt. But what do you do when the foundation of your world has crumbled? Where do you go when all the boundaries have been redrawn? For Damien and Sari, charting a new path into the future means confronting the demons of the past. They’ve forgiven each other, but can they forgive themselves?

Doug sent his review over first so let’s see What Doug said…

Well let me start by disagreeing with the line in the synopsis that says “The Staff and the Blade is a four part stand-alone book”. I cannot see anyone really enjoying this book to its fullest without a lot of prior knowledge from previous books in this series. Since the last book was a bit over a year ago I had to move some brain cells around to remember certain things and the action skips over events that took place in previous books so I do not see this book as any type of “stand alone” other than the love story is self contained, much of the rest of the book is detailing things that happened in previous books but were not part of those plots or it skips certain events completely that were detailed in previous books.

OK, now let me mention that this book is laid out a bit different in that it is 4 parts (or 4 books as the author refers to them) that tell a story that covers centuries, mainly revolving around an epic romance between Damien and Sari. It covers a love story that begins with passion and love, almost destroyed by tragedy and decades of separation and regret before we get to a most satisfying ending.

If you have read the other books in the series you know some of what is coming and you are so involved that you wish you could prevent some of it but are swept away by the history that has already been shared in previous books and is touched upon lightly in places and horrible detail in others.

You will be caught up in the emotion and scope of this romance and epic story as it slides across centuries while telling not only the evolving love story but also the evolving history of the Erin/Erina race.

Bottom Line: It has been more than a year since I read The Secret and there was a lot of things from that book you needed to know so read it first if you have not already. This is an amazing story and I can see why it took over a year for her to get it done, it covers a LOT of Erin history and tells a love story that is tempered by passion, love and tragedy. As always when I finish one of her books I am breathless and wishing there were more pages to read but it does have a satisfying conclusion and I hope we get to see a bit more of these characters in future books. So I give it 5 Stars without any reservations since you have a love story, adventure, tragedy, revenge, battles, sex, and overall an epic story you will remember long after you read the last page. What more could you want .

And not to be outdone, now it is Monika‘s turn…

A hauntingly beautiful tale of love, suffering, sacrifice, and ultimately forgiveness that spans centuries.

Ever since Sari and Damien did battle in a meadow in “The Singer” and Damien held back (some) so that Sari could vent her rage on him, I have been dying to read their story. As they both appear as important secondary characters in Malachi and Ava’s story it is strongly recommended that new readers start with the first three books of the Irin Chronicles.

Damien is an Irin scribe and a warrior by blood and training. But years of war, killing and doing unspeakable things in the service of the council of his race have left him battle weary and empty. So he retreats to a little community in the Orkneys were he can tend to his manuscripts and fields and otherwise be left in peace. Until Sari, a young but powerful earth singer, is stationed there to help improve the crops. She is fascinated with the taciturn warrior who keeps to himself but as far as she can discover he doesn’t seem interested in women in general. But when he sees her work magic for the first time his soul recognizes hers. Sari doesn’t believe in fate and soulmates, she wants to forge her own destiny. When Damien is called away on a long mission Sari realizes that she wants to choose him, too, not because it was ordained by fate, but because of who he is.
Just as their relationship seems settled, the “Rending” occurs, the most traumatic event in the history of their people. The society of the Irin is structured in a way that the (male) scribes are the warriors and protectors, while the (female) singers tend home and hearth and maybe follow artistic pursuits. To protect the women they are segregated in so called retreats in the country, while the scribes hunt  their enemies in the cities. This proves disastrous as their enemies mount a concentrated large scale attack, drawing the scribes away, leaving the retreats that were believed to be safe unprotected. Mostly Irin women and children loose their lives, with many warriors following their mate, rather than go on without them. Sari survives because she insisted that Damien train her to fight, but she blames Damien, who was the watcher of their community, for what has happened. Damien blames himself, and so he not only carries his own pain, but takes on hers as well. In the aftermath they disagree on how what remains of their society should be restructered: Damien still adheres to the dictates of the council while Sari is building safe havens for the Irina all over the world, where they are free of council mandates. Their rare meetings become so painful that they stop seeing each other altogether, except for in their dreams. Then Ava’s mate is killed and Damien decides to take her to Sari’s safe haven in order for her to heal and to learn to control her magic. Will Damien and Sari be able to overcome the rift between them that was caused by pain, betrayal, and loss? Will they be able to forgive each other and themselves? And will they be able to fight the calcified structures of their council in order to reform their society?

I loved everything about this book: the love story between Damien and Sari that starts out sweet and poignant and then turns so heart-breaking; the two main protagonists, Sari with her independent spirit and sometimes abrasive demeanor and her kick-ass personality, Damien, who is strong and honorable (and hot), and brave enough to lay his soul bare. I also liked how the characters developed and grew throughout the novel, and how they learnt from their mistakes. And I found it extremely refreshing that their union is one of choice, that they came together out of love and not because of duty or fate or some inescapable mate bond.
Then there is the superb world-building with just the right amount of historical and local detail to weave a fascinating tapestry; it serves as the perfect backdrop for this epic tale of the descendants of fallen angels that fight to keep humanity safe. The overarching plot revisits and continues threads that were developed in the first three books, but also changes some of the premises set up at the beginning oft he series: the boundaries between good and evil are starting to get blurred.
The most fascinating aspect for me was the strong gender criticism pervading this book: the structures of Irin society have become very patriarchal, with men making all the decisions and the women being segregated “for their own protection”, instead of being taught how to protect themselves. It is precisely this thinking that has led to the worst tragedy in Irin history. The Irina/singers have different magic than the Irin/scribes, but it is just as powerful. Damien, though, always wished for a mate that could match him strength for strength. Hopefully the council can be brought to realize that a more egalitarian approach to the gender question will strengthen their society and not weaken it.

5+ stars from me. I strongly hope Elizabeth Hunter will continue to write stories in this fascinating and darkly compelling world.

I have been trying to get to her stuff for over a year now, since I have one of her books on my TBR pile. To be honest, I have never heard anyone say they haven’t enjoyed her books, and that is incredibly rare. Anyone else anxious to get their hands on this one?

Release Info

From the Author Pages

I don’t actually have much to post from my updating the author pages, but I did get my hands on a couple of little things…

  • The blurb is out for Kresley Cole‘s next Immortals After Dark book, Wicked Abyss, which is due out next March 28th. I swore it would’ve been about Furie (you know, caught underwater, in the abyss), but I was wrong…and can you say Beauty and the Beast?

He never wanted to be a beast…

As a boy, Abyssian ‘Sian’ Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has amplified his hell-demon blood, transforming him into an unrecognizable monster – just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian fantasizes about seducing and spurning her, but he can retain his former appearance for only one hour a day.

She never wanted to be a beauty…

When a beastly demon king abducts her, fey princess Liliana ‘Lili’ Barbot goes from one prison to another. The beast vows revenge for betrayals she can’t remember and punishes her with gruelling labour within his mystical castle. Her only solace is spending time with a fellow prisoner Bael, a devastatingly gorgeous male who is allowed to see her for only one hour a day.

Can they break the spell before it’s too late…?

In the guise of ‘Bael’, Sian toys with Lili’s heart and body. Yet as she falls deeper under his spell, Lili can’t help but respond to the beast’s vulnerability and pain, and her sympathy develops into something more. When truths from a far distant past are revealed and identities discovered, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit – and a looming supernatural war?

Oh, did anyone notice that it looks like Kresley Cole’s young adult Arcana series new release, Arcana Rising, will NOT be coming out in hardcover? How weird, and annoying, because you just know that means I will be tempted to pick up the first three in paperback to keep things matchy-matchy. Oy.

  • The next Call of Crows book from Shelly Laurenston will be called The Unyielding, and it also has a release date of March 28th…

the unyieldingStieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…

Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.

With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…

  • And the cover is out for the next Lora Leigh Breeds book, Wake a Sleeping Tiger. It will be out March 21st. Meh, kitty in the background looks weird. It doesn’t really scream hardcover release, does it?

wake a sleeping tiger