“I snuck a look to see how Eric was taking this, and he was staring at me the same way the Monroe vampires had. Thoughtful. Hungry.
“That’s interesting,” he said. “I had a psychic once. It was incredible.”
“Did the psychic think so?”—Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman, Southern Vampire Mysteries: Dead Before Dark (via booksnotlovers)
“The vampire stared at me, his mouth slack as Ghastek assessed his options. I took a couple of forms from my desk, put them into the vamp’s mouth and pulled them up by their edges.
“What are you doing?” Ghastek asked.
“My hole puncher broke.”—
Review: Vegetarian Vampires and Dryad Girls - Blood of the Maple
Vegetarian vampire. Stop right there. Say what now? Welcome to the alternate universe of Dana Marie Bell’s Blood of the Maple and the set-up for some fantastic lines aiming straight for the jugular of our hero, Parker. “She turned you into Bunnicula,” was a particular favorite of mine.
The ‘she’ is an ex of Parker’s who curses him after he leaves her. Decades later he is still dealing with the aftermath of being unable to drink blood. And then he meets of heroine, the lovely, fey Amara, a dryad outcast in the town of Maggie’s Grove (which is also a haven for all supernatural folk, by the way).
Cue visions of tiny flying cupids, white picket fences and vamplings. It is true luurrrrvvveee. And boy, do they express that love. Everywhere. Explicitly. But it can’t all be happy endings (boom tish!) for our couple. They have to deal with the psycho with stalking Parker and the strange animosity that the other supernatural folk demonstrate towards Amara, who has some secrets of her own to deal with. I won’t spoil it, but when you find out what she is, you will laugh out loud (in a good way- it’s totally out of left field!)
I loved the premise for this book- the supernatural community (just as closed minded as any human one), the vegetarian twist, the unique, slightly off heroine and the amazing battle scene were all highlights.
I just wish the author stopped and wrapped it all up there at the big battle, it felt like a very natural climax, but I guess she wanted to tie up more of the loose ends for the readers.
But overall, a fun read with twists galore to keep your attention even if you are a long time fantasy reader.
Review: Evil Malhags and Comedic Stylings- South of Salem
Allegra Fairweather is a Paranormal Investigator with a personal life that is a lot more frightening than the supernatural stuff she deals with in her line of work. She handles it all with a sharp tongue and by keeping her thoughts to herself, especially when it comes to dealing with her crush- her guardian Angel, Casper- who will be punished by the beings on high if he ever touches her. Combine that with an uptight and judgmental family and it’s no wonder she uses humor to deal with it all. This time around her family desperately needs her help as they battle a witch trying to kill them by taking control of their bodies when they sleep. Definitely one of the more creepy supernatural villains I’ve come across lately.
South of Salem by Janni Nell kept me a little off-center the whole way through. In part it was due to not realizing this was book two of a series and having a lot of references to past mysteries that left me wondering if I ‘slept-read’ through something. But that was entirely my fault!
The other part of feeling off-center was the way in which Janni Nell combines humor (which relaxes readers) with some seriously nail-biting scenes (18 wheelers barreling down on the heroine and deep dark caves to name but two situations) and gives no warning she’s about to change tack. My poor brain couldn’t relax enough to get used to either path, but definitely an effective way to keep the reader on his or her toes. Don’t think I could survive reading a book where Ms Nell turned all her skills to pure horror.
It was a fast, fun read for me and my only grumbles are about the unrequited love and the way we’re left wondering if really there is even the slightest chance of anything coming of that love for Casper.
Disclosure- I received an digital ARC for this book for review.
After reading the fourth book in the Chicagoland Vampires series, Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill, I think I’ve finally come to appreciate how fresh a voice and perspective Ms Neill brings to the genre. I’ve always loved this series but the fourth book has pushed me firmly into fan-girl territory. Ms Neill is on fire! How do I love this book? let me count the ways…
1.Merit has everything you want in a heroine, a mix of vulnerability and strength- the vulnerability from being oh-so-new at this vampire game and the strength from being oh-so-good at the vampire game- without ever pushing any of the readers ‘SRSLY???’ buttons.
2.The love story woven through the books is so deliciously fraught with tension it makes you shiver in anticipation several times before it ends. The hero is gorgeous, flawed and so redeemable, with an intensity that just bleeds off the page.
3.The challenges each book brings to the vampire Houses get better with each book. The villains aren’t bringing about the end of the world as we know it, but it doesn’t lessen the urgency any less, a refreshing change from other series.
And then we come to number 4. that ENDING! I won’t go into it too much, but kudos to Ms Neill for taking such a risk. It made me squeal and reread it in disbelief, but it will not be something I forget in a hurry. Bring on November and Book 5!