Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Killer Honeymoon by G.A. McKevett

This book picks up right where the previous book left off. In the previous book P.I. Savannah Reid marries best buddy/turned romantic interest Detective Dirk Coulter. The murder in this book takes place while they are starting their honeymoon. While looking out from their lighthouse cottage, Savannah’s interest is caught by a woman darting about suspiciously. After running down to scope things out, her instincts are proven correct when she witnesses the woman shot to death on the beach. Even though they are on honeymoon, having witnessed the woman’s death firsthand, they can’t help getting involved in the investigation. On a more personal level, Savannah is reminded of her recent brush with death after being shot. Of course the fact that the local police force seem to be totally inept make stepping in too irresistible.  One of the roadblocks in their investigation comes in the form of Chief Charlotte La Cross. For better or worse, she is the law on the island of Santa Tesla and her lack of cooperation & involvement with one of the main suspects make things difficult. I enjoyed this mystery and, as a longtime fan, enjoy the usual things about this series that make it a delight. This is a fun cozy, with great characters that you care about and enjoy watching the team effort in solving the crime. The disastrous first sting operation was a hoot. I love the new additions of Savannah’s brother Waycross and her Granny Reid to the “Scooby gang”. I’d love for them to be regulars in future books. I thought the romance was sweet and balanced with the mystery. I enjoyed the ending with Dirk getting his own man cave in Savannah’s house & the revelations about his family. Can’t wait until the next book comes out!

Monday, February 25, 2013

How To Seduce an Angel in 10 Days by Saranna DeWylde

There are a lot of characters and storylines going on in this book so you have to pay attention in the first few chapters when the main characters & their situations are explained in detail. This is a good example of a series that you should read in order so that you are not confused.

The main character is Drusilla “Tally” Tallow. She is a witch who has had a really rough time of it lately. She was recently possessed by a lamia or “the great and terrible evil”. A lamia has the body of a bird and the head of a woman with a taste for human flesh. In the previous book, a warlock whom Tally thought loved her and didn’t know was evil, summoned one using her body. Needless to say, while possessed, Tally did a lot of very bad things and there was a good amount of bloodshed and carnage. One of the casualties was Tristan Belledare. He was Tally’s official boyfriend, but after being killed by Tally became the Angel of Death. Another victim of the lamia was Falcon Cherrywood – the brother of Tally’s best friend & also Tally’s longtime crush. After a skirmish with the current Cupid, Falcon was handed the job – much to his horror. At the opening of the book Tally is majorly bummed. The fallout from the lamia episode has left her at a crossroads. She is temporarily deprived of her magic as part of her punishment for the lamia’s actions. She also has a humiliating encounter sexual encounter with Falcon when he falls asleep in the middle of making love to her. This kind of adds insult to injury because she feels kind of like a Typhoid Mary of the magical world. The Powers That Be decide to put Tally on parole. She now has two parole officers – Falcon (“Cupid”) is her heavenly one and Ethelred (a Crown Prince of Hell) is her infernal one. They each take turns with visitation trying to pull her to one side or the other. Ethelred kind of stole the show in this book for me a little bit. He is quite the character. He’s a demon hottie, morally ambiguous, funny, and hits on anyone (no matter the sex). I felt like on his days with Tally, he built up her confidence. I like the curse that Falcon puts on him. It’s kind of a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” curse. Basically, he is made to fall in love with the next person who propositions him. That person just happens to be Luminista. Luminista is the twin sister to Emilian Grey. Emilian has a werewolf curse. This curse and Ethelred’s curse cause all kinds of complications. I did like this book, but I would love it if the next book focused on Ethelred and Luminista. I would love for them to have a happy ending – even though the way things worked out in this book make that next to impossible.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

Rating: 5 stars

This Book 5 in Shelly Laurenston's "Pride" series, but it is the first book I have ever read by this author. From the cover I expected it to be a very sexy story (which it was, but not overly so) and very action-packed and intense. There was some action in this story but more than anything, this book made me laugh. The humor in this story really took me by surprise.
For me, this story was all about the personalities of two main characters - Blayne Thorpe (wolf/dog hybrid shifter) and Bo Novikov (polar bear/lion hybrid shifter). As unlikely as it seems after being first introduced to the characters, they do have some things in common. They are both hybrids, and they were both raised by very tough military father figures. And, as Blayne says, that kind of upbringing usually makes you go in one of two directions - either you embrace order and discipline, making it your way of life or you run from any and all semblance of order and never run your life on a schedule. Bo is the first type. He is an OCD badass hockey player, nicknamed "The Marauder", who lives and dies by his schedule and his single-minded obsession with keeping control of “his” hockey puck. He even has backup copies of his lists in case something happens to his original copy. Blayne Thorpe is the second type. She’s a roller derby girl who hangs with a pack of wild dogs, and wears watches that don't usually work but are beautiful yet cheap. The two first cross paths years ago in Bo's early hockey days. No words are spoken but it's the total "across a crowded room" experience except, due to Bo's size and the general swirl of violence that surrounds him on the ice, Blayne runs away in fear. Flash forward to the present and they cross paths again because Blayne is close friends with a hockey team that is courting Bo to sign with them. He signs with them in order to be close to her and try to have some type of romantic relationship for her. Due to their own unique personality quirks, and their differences, there are some very funny moments between the two. The main story for me was the romance between Bo and Blayne. I loved the unusual chemistry between the two. The "B" story was the storyline involving the capturing of hybrids and using them for fighting in much the same way that people breed and train pit bulls for illegal fighting.  I loved when Blayne & Bo were in his hometown. The scenes with Blayne and the townspeople, and with Bo's uncle were at times funny, sweet, and interesting. At first I thought Blayne would be a little too ADD for me to stand, but what made me like her was that she was genuinely nice to her friends and others. In fact, that's one of the plot points - she's too nice to go for the kill while she's doing her roller derby thing. I also liked that Blayne wasn't as oblivious as people gave her credit for. Her friend assigns tough she-wolf Dee Ann to shadow Blayne for her protection, but don't tell her about it or the reason why. What they don't realize is that Blayne knows she's being tailed, and she even correctly guesses the reason why and kind of understands the thinking behind the reason. What hurts her is that nobody was straight with her about it. It really hurts when she finds out she was micro chipped - courtesy of Dee Ann (who thinks of Blayne as an annoying toy dog). I really enjoyed this romance and will check out others in this series.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All Natural Murder by Staci McLaughlin

This book is Book 2 in the "Blossom Valley Mysteries" series by Staci McLaughlin. This book picks up with the characters right where they left off from Book 1. Besides the actual mystery, I was glad to see Dana and Jason's romantic relationship continue.
The murder victim in this book is Dana's sisters boyfriend du jour Monster Truck driver Bobby Joe Jones. The instant obvious police suspect is Dana's sister, Ashlee. Shortly before his untimely death they had a very public & loud argument in which Ashlee threatened Bobby Joe. Though never claiming to be a professional detective by any stretch of the imagination, Dana jumps to her sister's defense and spends the book hunting down clues and trying to clear her sister's name. Even their mother is rattled enough to encourage Dana, in spite of the potential danger. It's obvious how affected Dana is by her sister's situation - she has trouble focusing on her work at the organic farm & spa. I enjoyed the mystery and the variety of suspects. I liked that Jason wasn't super obnoxious and pushy trying to interview Dana & her family even though they were news. His explanation that he was privy to some of the inside cop info and didn't feel like her sister was a good lead to pursue satisfied me. I also liked the pace of this story, it kept me interested while still being a good cozy mystery. I liked the bit with the Steddelbeckers at the end & the romantic wrap up with Dana & Jason. I look forward to more books in this series. The only thing I didn't care for was the annoying and always grumpy spa manager Gordon. I'm glad he ended up having to apologize to Dana at one point, however grudgingly.