Red Hot Books
Romance and Urban Fantasy Reviews
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Review: Embrace the Night
But... Even with all this, I liked it in a guilty pleasure sort of way. The love scenes were very, very hot. And I love Pritkin, even if he has some questionable parentage. God only knows what will happen next in the series. I guess the only way to find out is to keep reading. 4 stars.
Embrace the Nightby Karen ChanceRelease Date: April 1, 2008Publisher: Penguin Group, USA
Monday, May 30, 2011
Review: Claimed by Shadow
The story picks up just after the events of Touch the Dark. Cassie has escaped the senate, but reveals she stole a few objects of power on her way out of the door. She is looking for Tony, not only because of past issues with him, but because she wants to free her father’s ghost, and neutralize Myra, the other heir to the Pythia power. (She thinks Tony is the key to finding them both.)
Just as she approaches a member of Tony’s organization to try to get a fix on him, she is attacked by mages. She is forced to make an alliance with the mage assassin Pritkin to escape. They decide to work together to get to Faerie, where they believe Tony and Myra are hiding. Pritkin wants to get to Myra for his own reasons.
While all this is going on, Cassie discovers that Mircea has placed a geis on her… a powerful spell that prevents her from sleeping with other men. If she makes a move to do so, she and the potential partner experience great pain. But this is at odds with the power of the Pythia which is urging Cassie to lose her virginity in order to claim her full power.
Review: Touch the Dark
But for the most part, I really enjoyed it. The ending isn’t exactly a cliffhanger, but there is clearly more story to tell. And I want to read it! A dark, sexy start to the series. 4 stars.
Touch the Darkby Karen ChanceRelease Date: June 6, 2006Publisher: Penguin Group, USA
Series Reading Order: Cassie Palmer
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Review: Portrait of Seduction
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Review: Waking Up With the Duke
It would be easy to say I was crazy about this book because it features a grown woman with a sexual history --and because we get to the action quickly. But it wouldn't do the book justice. There was even more to fall in love with.
Jayne is a loyal and loving wife to Walfort. Three years ago, her husband was in a carriage accident that left him paralyzed. She's been taking care of him ever since. In addition to the obvious hardship of his care, she also lost the baby she was carrying due to the stress of his near-death experience. And she has no chance to have another, since the accident robbed him of the ability to make love.
Walfort decides his wife deserves a baby, and he gets it in his head to ask his best friend Ainsley to get the job done. Ainsley is notorious rake and he still feels guilty that he escaped the carriage accident unscathed, when Walfort was so badly injured. Jayne is appalled by the idea. Not only is she a woman utterly devoted to her husband, but she blames Ainsley for the accident and hates his guts. But Ainsley uses his exceptional charms to change her mind --and soon she is at his county estate for a month of, er, family planning.
Jayne is a really great lead. She is a good woman, who is struggling to deal with the terrible hand life has dealt her. And we see her slowly come alive under Ainsley's care. The romance is both sexy and quite lovely. The first half of the book flies by.
This was a good one. 4 1/2 stars.
Waking Up With the Dukeby Lorraine HealthRelease Date: June 28, 2011Publisher: Avon
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Review: Before the Witches
The story has a lot going for it. The sexual tension and the romance action were great… and so were the fantastic scenes of destruction. In a very short time, the author had me caring about these characters –even the secondary ones. I could see the sequence of events playing in my mind like a great action movie.
P.S. If you’re wondering if there are any actual witches in this book, the answer is yes… sort of. Katya has a little bit of premonition and some consider her a witch. But most of the witch-reference is in the Epilogue, where the author explains that many go on to blame witches for a hand in the apocalypse.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Before the Witchesby Karina CooperRelease Date: May 17, 2011Publisher: Avon
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Review: Cameo and the Highwayman
This book seemed shorter than the one before it, more like a novella than a full-blown novel. And I was disappointed. Because I wanted more. The tension, the action, the emotion… all kept building and building until it all exploded at the book’s conclusion. I was surprised at the way things ended and frankly kind of pissed off that I couldn’t find out what happens next. That’s right. We’ve got a cliffhanger here and it’s a doozy. This sequel better than the original and you can be sure I intend to read Cameo and the Vampire when it comes out in the fall. 4 1/2 stars.
Cameo and the Highwaymanby Dawn McCullough-WhiteRelease Date: January 11, 2011Publisher: CreateSpace
Monday, May 23, 2011
Review: Cameo the Assassin
Years later, she has become an assassin. In the course of a hit, her path crosses with two highwaymen who rob her carriage. She lets them escape, but tracks one down later to get her things back. It’s those same highwaymen who become her next targets for assassination. She would have carried out that mission as well, if her boss hadn’t sent Gail with her as a partner. She was a victim of Gail, herself, once. And the urge to kill him finally gets the better of her. Now she is thrown together with Opal and Bel as they try to survive the next wave of assassins.
Opal confused me a little as a character. He is flamboyant and over the top. He wears lots of make-up and Cameo asks more than once if he and Bel are involved. Yet, he is also painted as a rake who charms the pants off of women and develops a thing for Cameo, himself. I’m not entirely sure what to make of him, even now. But I do know, that I found myself rooting for him and Cameo to reach out to each other throughout the course of the book. So maybe all the make-up and purple brocade were just lagniappe. Who knows?
Joining our strange trio is a teenage acolyte named Kyrian. Cameo becomes his protector after his grandfather shows her a kindness. There’s mystery surrounding the boy, not the least of which is why Cameo’s master can barely stand his presence. And speaking of Cameo’s master… he is hardly a benevolent sire. I’d kind of like to kill him myself. Despite the fact that he saved Cameo from death, all those years ago, he doesn’t seem much better than the men who nearly killed her in the first place.
Overall, I did like the book. It features vampires and ghouls, but it didn’t feel like standard horror or Urban Fantasy fare. Cameo isn’t your standard heroine, either. Most supernatural heroines these days are snarky/sexy/tough/witty women who kick ass on the side of right. Cameo is haunted and broken and surprisingly sympathetic. I get the impression that she kills because she doesn’t consider herself worthy of doing anything better. The ragtag group that comes together in the book are likely the only friends she has ever had. Which makes me ache for her to have just a little bit of happiness with them.
The ending of the book does wrap things up for the most part, but leaves several loose ends for the next installment, Cameo and the Highwayman. 4 stars.
*This book was provided by the author for review.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Cameo the Assassinby Dawn McCullough-WhiteRelease Date: July 16, 2009Publisher: iUniverse
Armchair BEA: Who Are You?
Review: Magic Slays
For the last third of the book, I was completely unable to put it down. The ending was utterly fantastic and sets up even more drama for the next installment. I can't imagine that Kate is keeping her secret for much longer. 4 1/2 stars.
*ARC Provided by Penguin Group USA
Magic Slaysby Ilona AndrewsRelease Date: May 31, 2011Publisher: Ace
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Review: How to Marry a Duke
Tessa is a worthy heroine: smart, independent, brave and loyal. And it's always a treat when a desirable woman is wrapped up in a package that's bigger than a size 2. Don't expect much in the way of surprises... things progress pretty much as you would expect. But sometimes there's comfort in that. I enjoyed it. 4 stars.
*I won this book in a giveaway from the publisher
How to Marry a Dukeby Vicky DreilingRelease Date: January 1, 2011Publisher: Forever (GCP)
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Review: Embraced by Blood
It was frustrating to see Dom's unwillingness to forgive his brother or believe in his goodness. And the resolution on that part of the story was a little abrupt. On the plus side, we have some well drawn secondary characters, like Jackson and Santiago; both of whom have their own books coming soon.
So the bottom line... I liked it ok. I'm pretty sure I liked the first one better, though. 3 1/2 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Embraced by Bloodby Laurie LondonRelease Date: June 21, 2011Publisher: HQN Books
Friday, May 20, 2011
Review: Magic Bleeds
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Review: Magic Strikes
Reviewed by JenI’ve liked the Kate Daniels series from the very first book. But with Magic Strikes, that like has turned in to full-blown love.
Kate senses it’s a bad idea. But things go more wrong than she ever imagined they could. For vengeance, for justice, Kate and a band of her closest friends end up competing themselves. Their goal, to take down the Reapers and win the grand prize.
This book was outstanding. It had big emotion, lots of action, and the fantastic & witty dialogue that’s a hallmark of the series. 5 stars.
Magic Strikesby Ilona AndrewsRelease Date: May 31, 2009Publisher: Ace
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Review: Magic Burns
There are also some great secondary stories here, some featuring familiar faces like Crest and Red; others are new, like Andrea and Julie. Old relationships end; new ones begin. And we’re still getting nuggets of information about Kate’s past and the secrets to her power. Not a dull moment in sight. 4 1/2 stars.
Magic Burnsby Ilona AndrewsRelease Date: April 1, 2008Publisher: Ace
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Review: Magic Bites
I can tell you that each one of the books in this series gets progressively better. And I loved them so much that they inspired me to start writing book reviews in the first place. If you’ve never read Kate Daniels, and you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy, what are you waiting for? You’re missing out on something great. 4 1/2 stars.
Magic Bitesby Ilona AndrewsRelease Date: March 27, 2007Publisher: Ace