Heart of Fire Review

Heart of Fire by Amanda Bouchet was my pick of the week for this week. I enjoyed most of the first book, and I remember liking the second one well enough, too. Maybe not as much as the first, but sometimes there is a bit of a lull in the middle book in a trilogy. Unfortunately, according to Doug Meeks (who was kind enough to send over his review), things don’t end on a high note.

heart on fireWhat Doug said…

Plot in 4 Words “I am a failure”

Well I must be one of the few people in the world that did not think this was some great literacy achievement, coming in at 418 pages for a story that could have been told in 250 and probably better unless you are addicted to pages and pages and pages of self-introspection and did not succumb to terminal boredom.

While the above may be a bit over the top it does represent where I spent a LOT of my time reading this book and was finally forced to scan a few pages to stay awake.  After you have read so many pages of “I am a failure” … ad nauseam you want some action.  Seems the action usually follows some TSTL moment and more “I am a failure” laments.

I can say at least this one did not have the feel of any domestic abuse I found in the other 2 books but this was IMHO an overwritten novel with pages and pages of near nothing happening.  Throw in a few VERY frustrating action scenes and battles with her mother, followed by   ….. you guessed it “I am a failure” I am beginning to think I did not read the same book as everyone and after dragging us through pages and pages of nothing we wrap the whole thing up in a few pages (now she wants to conserve pages WTF?)

Taken as a whole this trilogy gets 3 Stars from me, it has made me mad, bored me and frustrated me with a whiny heroine, an overbearing alpha male (who along with his heroine seemed to have done a Jekyll and Hyde do-over for this last book) I guess I am missing whatever made this such an addicting reading experience for so many people.

3 Stars and really I am confused why anyone thinks it deserves more ….

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Welp, that is unfortunate. I was hoping that maybe the author would branch out and tell more stories set in this world, but I guess we will have to see. Did you check out Heart of Fire? What did you think?

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Pick of the Week

Well, it is time for my very first pick of the week for 2018 – which seems so very weird. My inaugural pick comes from Amanda Bouchet‘s Kingmaker Chronicles series. Heart of Fire is the third (and apparently final) book in the trilogy, but I do hope that the author will branch out and explore some other characters in a spin-off or two. The world is quite interesting, and it would be a shame to see it wrap up so soon.

heart on fireSynopsis…

Who is Catalia Fisa?

With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin’s role in shaping her destiny.

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step—reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

What doesn’t kill her will only make her stronger…we hope.

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I also picked up the re-release of Lora Leigh‘s Elizabeth’s Wolf (which I swore I wasn’t going to do), and a Christine Warren novella (who I swore I was done reading a couple of years back). So far, 2018 doesn’t look like it will be the year where I showcase my awesome willpower, does it?

 

New Year’s Resolutions

New-Years-ResolutionHow are all of you getting along with this busy, busy season? Have all of the shopping and cooking and cleaning stuff done, if you are into that? Mine is honestly pathetically easy, since I just buy for my father, the people at work, and my best friend’s daughter. All done, given out, and paid for already. I don’t decorate or bother with a huge meal, so I am pretty much set. Yay.

But now is time to start to think of what I will be trying to target in the new year. 2017 was all about getting the TBR down to virtually nothing, which I would consider a success. For 2018, I have a bunch of weird resolutions, and a few of them are “entertainment related”. For one, I plan on striking some of the biggies off of my TBR list, as per the usual. But I also plan on going back and doing some major re-reading of my old stuff, too. I know it sounds a bit strange, but in the long run I figure it could be a treat. It might help get me more into some of those series that I have always been a bit meh on, like the Lords of the Underworld. And it would be great to revisit an old favorite like Mercy Thompson.

I would also love to get caught up on some tv shows I have either started or always wanted too. Sons of Anarchy, The 100, The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead are up there. So is getting a start on Outlander and a few others. On the movie front, I am actually going to watch the Star Wars movies – never seen them. Well, parts of them here and there, but I have never actually sat down and watched one. Strange, but true. And I want to do a re-watch of the Lord of the Rings movies, which will take a while. Heh.

There, those are my goals. What do you have planned for 2018? Anything you would like to do, or redo? What big movie franchises or tv shows do you feel like you are the only one who hasn’t watched yet?

The Darkest Captive Cover and Blurb

A bit of info has started to come to light about The Darkest Captive from Gena Showalter. It will be published under the “1001 Dark Nights” banner, and it is considered a stand-alone story in the Lords of the Underworld world – an introduction for new readers, and a bonus release for the die-hard fans. The bad news? It is due out on December 4th – of next year. Yeah, that.

the darkest captiveSynopsis…

For centuries, Galen the Treacherous has been the most hated immortal in the Underworld. With good reason! This bad boy of bad boys has lied, stolen, cheated and killed with abandon. Possessed by the demons of Jealousy and False Hope, he has always lived for a single purpose: destroy everything.

Then he met her.

Former demon turned human femme fatale — Legion Honey — sought to kill Galen, but ended up parting with her virginity instead. Afraid of their sizzling connection, she ran away…and ended up trapped in hell, tortured and abused in the worst of ways. Now she’s free, and a shell of herself, afraid of her own shadow.

Galen’s hunger for Legion has only grown. Now the warrior with nothing to lose must help her rekindle the fire that once burned inside her. But as desires blaze white-hot, will Legion run again? Or will the unlikely pair succumb to love at long last?

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Are you looking forward to this one? Galen and Legion’s story has been a long time in the making, but I don’t find myself particularly anxious to get hold of it. Honestly, I don’t really look too forward to any story but William’s. This series has always fallen into my “like” category, rather than my “love” category, but I think what is throwing me off at this point is the fact that I have never done a re-read, so details have gotten fuzzy over the many years since I first picked it up. Maybe a mini-marathon or two would immerse me more in the world, and get me more into the swing of things.

 

Pick of the Week

Well, there is only a few weeks left in 2017, but there are a still a couple of books to look forward to before the year wraps up. One of them is Amid the Winter Snow, an anthology featuring authors Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Jeffe Kennedy and Elizabeth Hunter.

amid the winter snowSynopsis…

THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace Draven
The mark Jahna Ulfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of Deyalda, there’s nowhere to escape. Until a handsome stranger promises to teach her to save herself…

THE CHOSEN, by Thea Harrison
In her visions, Lily sees two men fighting for her tiny country’s allegiance: the wolf and the tiger, each deadly, each cunning. One will bring Ys chaos and death, one a gentler path—but she’s destined to love whichever she chooses. The midwinter Masque is upon them, and the wolf is at her door…

THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter
When her soul mate died in a massacre of the half-angelic Irin people, Renata thought she’d never feel happiness again. She’s retreated to the snowy Dolomites to remember her hurts—until determined, irrepressible Maxim arrives to insist on joy, too. And before she can throw him out, they discover a secret the Irin have to know…

THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN, by Jeffe Kennedy
As a blizzard threatens their mountain keep, the new Queen Amelia of the Twelve Kingdoms and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. But when a surprise attack confines them together in their isolated sanctuary, the feast of midwinter might tempt even Ash into childlike hope…

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Sadly, the only one of these authors I have read is Thea Harrison, but I have the others on my “one day” list. Which of these stories are you most looking forward to? Any favorites?

 

Reading Wrap Up – Repeat Edition

wildfireYep, so it has been a bit since my last reading wrap up post, and things haven’t been too bad. I dove into Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter, and I loved it. Totally worth staying up all night for, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here. Love Nell, love Occam, and love seeing their potential coupledom take a few big leaps forward, too. I also got back into the In Death series from J.D. Robb after a couple months long break, and that was welcome, too. The great thing is that it is like coming back to old friends, and with this series I never feel lost even after a bit of time away from them. Works out well. And I finally did my re-read of Wildfire from Ilona Andrews. I seriously can’t even tell you just how much I love the Hidden Legacy books. They are absolute favorites – like top 5 series of all time – and I do so hope for more.

I also tackled a new to me series I have been meaning to get to for forever, with…interesting results. I read a couple of Jennifer Estep‘s young adult offerings over the years, and actually quite enjoyed them. But I am having a little bit of an issue with the Elemental Assassin books. I mentioned in a post from last week that I thought I was nitpicking, but that the constant repetition of everyone’s eye color was getting on my last nerve. I liked pretty much everything else, but that one detail bugged the crap out of me. Once, twice, three times… I am fine with that. Repeating a characters eye color more than 40 times in one book – sometimes multiple times on a page – was over the top. Well, that was what I found in the first book, and my issue has expanded a bit.

Now, I have learned to basically skip the eye color thing. I might roll my hazel eyes a few times, but I was dealing. Until the rest of the repetition reared its ugly, ugly head. Descriptions and phrases are said pretty much word for word, over and over (and over) again, without end. The repetition was never ending.

I repeat: the repetition was never ending.

Gin’s 5 point weapons arrangement. Finn’s love of chicory coffee. Bria’s shaggy blonde hair. JoJo’s painted toenails. Sophia’s monosyllabic grunts. Over and over and over. But the one that really bugged me was weird. It was the way she referred to Sophia – long time friend, co-worker, helper, basically extended family member. She is either called The Dwarf or the Goth Dwarf 90% of the time, and for me it became insulting. Saying what she is a few times is fine, but she has a name. Use it. One of my friends is a bit older than me, and French, but I call her by her name, not the “old French chick”. I believe there was one page where she was referred to as the dwarf or the goth dwarf four times. ON ONE PAGE. I REPEAT – ON. ONE. PAGE. It got to the point where I was mixing up the names of the “Dwarf sisters” because Sophia’s name was so rarely used.

The problem is that I do like the storyline, and pretty much all of the characters – except Gin. Because the story is told from her first-person POV, I keep hearing her repeating everything so my annoyance has transferred to her. But I do like Finn, The “Goth Dwarf” and her sister, and Owen seems like he has potential (I am only on the third book, Venom). I really do want to keep going with the series, but I find myself skimming a bit when the verbal replays get too much. And as one of you warned me in the previous Nitpick post, apparently Gin picks up a nick-name for what I will assume is Owen that will really push me over the edge. Sigh. Something to look forward to. I repeat….eh, never mind.

Pick of the Week

Yeah, I know. This post probably isn’t going to come as a big honkin’ mystery to most of you, but my pick of the week is Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter. I am about 20% into this one and loving it, and I find myself going back and re-reading sections as I go along. Not looking forward to the wait for the next one, but what can you do?

flame in the darkSynopsis…

Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED–the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead–and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more–or less–than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

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What is your favorite spin-off series? I think that this one is mine, but I have high hopes for Heirs of Chicagoland from Chloe Neill. I even hope to like it more than the original series, honestly.