Thursday, April 28, 2011

hidden away.

Most people would take an all-expense=paid trip to the beach in a heartbeat. Garrett Kelly only accepts to keep tabs on Sarah Daniels, who's in hiding after witnessing a murder committed by her half brother-a personal enemy of KGI. But Garrett hadn't planned on falling for Sarah. When he glimpses her dark past, he feels an urgent desire to keep her safe-even as she disappears, running for her life.

This is the third book in Maya Banks' series about the Kelly brothers. Each book shows improvement in Banks' writing and storytelling in the world of romantic suspense. Do I think this one was better than No Place to Run? Eh, no. But, maybe just behind it.

I love Garrett and Sarah wasn't a bad match for him. Again, Garrett's mission and the danger to the heroine are ever present here, as the suspense is attached to their relationship. All the Kelly brothers are present and accounted for, as well as some of the other KGI employees. I believe Ms. Banks has even hinted at the first non-Kelly story to come, between Cole and P.J. Apparently, I was wrong. I just read that the author has said they won't be each other's love interest, which begs the question, WHY did you do that?! I should've written this before I found that tidbit of information. (Aside: I don't like when authors mislead me about future pairings. Luckily, I found out about this early enough that I hadn't really given it time to take root in my mind.) I'm guessing, then, that she'll put P.J. with Rio.

Anyway. Rusty is here, yet again, given more time than in No Place to Run, but less than The Darkest Hour. She has a traumatic event in Hidden Away and I was sympathetic to her. But, I still don't like the character. And I still want her to disappear.

If you haven't already gotten into this series, I'd suggest you do so. :c)

Friday, April 22, 2011

eagerly anticipating - april 2011.

How surprised are you that I've been able to keep up with my three review minimum for each month? I know it's only four months into the year, but HOT DANG! I'm doing it! I'm pretty proud of myself for keeping up with this so please hold while I toot my own horn.... [toot!][toot!]

That's not what this post is about. I would like to be able to include a non-review post here every now and again. What better way to do it than to let you know what books I'm waiting for? A quick note: Just because a book is on this list doesn't mean I'm going to rush out and buy it on release day. That never happens. (I can count on one head how many books I've pre-ordered. And one of those was that last Wimpy Kid book for my nephew - the price was unbeatable. )

Right. So, enough of the chatter. Here goes What Cee's Waiting For. Enjoy.
  1. Ghost Story (Dresden Files, #13) by Jim Butcher - July 2011
  2. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Highland Pleasures #3) by Jennifer Ashley - August 2011
  3. In the Air Tonight (Shadow Forces #3) by Stephanie Tyler - July 2011
  4. Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor #2) by Lisa Kleypas - January 2012
  5. Sweet Justice (Last Chance Rescue #7) by Christy Reece - August 2011
  6. Sweet Revenge (Last Chance Rescue #8) by Christy Reece - September 2011
  7. Face of Danger (Guardian Angelinos #3) by Roxanne St. Claire - April 2011
  8. Just Like Heaven (The Smythe-Smiths) by Julia Quinn - May 2011
  9. It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro - May 2011
  10. Savor the Danger (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #3) by Lori Foster - June 2011
  11. With No Remorse (Black Ops, Inc #?) by Cindy Gerard - July 2011
  12. Good Girls Don't (Donovans #1) by Victoria Dahl - August 2011
  13. Bad Boys Do (Donovans #2) by Victoria Dahl - October 2011
  14. Real Men Will (Donovans #3) by Victoria Dahl - November 2011
  15. Heat Rises (Nikki Heat #3) by Richard Castle - September 2011
Because I never keep up with release dates, this took a bit of effort on my part. Glad I did! I forgot the Dahl trilogy comes out this fall. And, yes, I know I read a lot of series. What can I say? It's convenient.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

into the crossfire.

Former Navy SEAL Sam Reston keeps to himself. His world is dangerous, uncertain, violent...and there is no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves in next door to him . . . .

Nicole Pearce's life is complicated enough—with an ailing father and a new business to worry about—and the last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hardheaded neighbor. Yet Sam leaves her breathless—her body tingling with erotic desire—and it takes every ounce of her fabled control to resist offering herself to him, no strings attached. What she doesn't know is that Sam Reston is on an undercover assignment . . . and she's about to step into the crossfire.

Never has Sam ached for a woman so badly, and he's never fallen in love before. Now that Nicole is in grave danger, he will become her shield, and guard the tempting body he longs to touch and taste. Because a terrorist plot hatched half a world away is heading to their doorstep—and it can only be derailed by one man and one woman.


The short version: I didn't like it. I don't read erotica because I don't like it. So, if you're a fan of it, maybe you won't have the same issues that I had. If you're wondering why I read this, it was based on a recommendation from a good friend who did enjoy it.

Ok, the positives. I thought Nicole was a great character. The reasons behind her actions were clear, her love for her father came through the pages easily. I also really liked the villain here. It was the most believable part of the book. I thought it was sneaky, but could've been better executed.

Now for the rest. I can’t say any of the same character type things for Sam. He didn’t come across as genuine to me. I found it unbelievable that these two people fell in love over the course of the book. I thought the sex scenes were unfeeling. That wouldn't be a problem except you're trying to get me to believe that they are somehow falling in love. I couldn't get with that. On the other end of things, it took a long time for the author to actually introduce the danger to Nicole.

The writing itself also left a bit to be desired. Something was off about it and I found myself being more distracted by that than into the story itself. At least I can tell my friend that I read it and it's not my cup of tea.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I was alone, and I was lost. I didn’t know where I was; I didn’t know who I was. It doesn’t get more lost than that. Knowing what I knew and not knowing anything else at all, why would I want to be in the darkness where monsters hide?

Because killers hide there, too…

Half-human Cal Leandros has always walked a bloody line between keeping his mortal soul free and clear (sort of) and unleashing the horror of his otherworldly heritage. The one thing that’s always saved him is the memory of his brother, Niko, his friends, and those he loves.

Until now.

Cal wakes up on a beach littered with the recently slaughtered remains of a variety of hideous creatures that were obviously looking for trouble. The fact that he was the one doing the slaughtering doesn’t bother him. The fact that he feels like a natural-born killer doesn’t either. What bothers him is that Cal doesn’t remember Cal anymore…

And he’s not sure he cares.


I'm happy to report that Blackout is a vast improvement from Roadkill, though still missing something from the first four. What I loved here is that Thurman gets to step out of her box as far as characters go. With Cal's memory loss, he becomes a completely different person. New Cal, if you will. New Cal thinks about things and possesses a far more sympathetic nature than regular Cal. As he is without his memory for the majority of the book, Thurman basically has the opportunity to create a new person. Some of the essential Cal things are still there - his love of guns, laziness and sloppiness, constant boredom stemming from Niko's lectures - but his view on monsters and killing them are different. The book is more about New Cal than any fighting or case. It was very much a character story, if that makes sense. I found it to be pleasant, which isn't a word I'd use for any of the other installments. It seemed to pause the progression into darkness that the previous books include.

For me, the biggest thing I realized was that I'm in love with Niko. I've always liked his character, but with the things he does in this book, I feel head over heels. He is amazing and just about makes up from the fact that George hasn't shown up in forever. By forever, I mean the last 3 books. (Seriously, will she EVER come back? I miss her dearly.)

Note: Thanks to a comment on GoodReads, I found out the author has stated that she will not bring Georgina back, as she doesn't fit into Cal's life. With that information and the direction it implies, I doubt I'll continue reading this series for much longer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

a light at winter's end.

In her latest contemporary romance novel, Julia London treats us to the story of Holly, the younger sibling to her seemingly perfect older sister, and Wyatt, a man trying to recover from losing his wife. Everything changes for Holly when her sister enters rehab, leaving her with her infant nephew.

I thought the strength of this story was the characters and their atypical circumstances. When Holly is forced to care for her nephew, it isn't an immediately happy situation. London shows how the character felt inconvenienced and how she changes throughout the story to create a new life that works for her and Mason. The same goes for Wyatt. In a previous installment (which I now want to read), Wyatt's wife leaves him for her first husband who has come back from the dead. Understandably, he is still smarting from the failed marriage, but determined to remain active in his daughter's life.

Additionally, Light addresses the dynamics of sibling relationships, addiction, and blended families very well. Each issue is seamlessly woven into the story and given the appropriate attention and resolution. I really loved that the ending, in regards to Holly and Mason, didn't end perfectly, but realistically. But, I would have liked just a little something more between Wyatt and Holly at the conclusion.

I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book, since it's been some time since I could say that about one of London's books, especially about one of her contemporaries.

Friday, April 1, 2011

no place to run.

Sam Kelly was her first love.

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam's child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

Now he's her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

The things that I thought went wrong in The Darkest Hour were corrected here, as I suspected they would be. In the second novel of the KGI series, Maya Banks does a great job of balancing the two sides of the story. Readers are never left wondering about the progression of the case, as it is never far from any of the characters' minds. The romance between Sam and Sophie is set at an almost perfect pace. There weren't random scenes with the Kelly parents and, thankfully, Rusty appears only briefly in this one. (I still don't like her.) No Place to Run is quite an improvement over The Darkest Hour. I expect that Banks' KGI books will continue to get better.

A pretty short review, I know. But, that's exactly how I felt about it. (And I read it awhile ago, but forgot to post the review here. Oops!) Go read the book!