Wednesday, April 16, 2014


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A Song of Love won her heart.
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate.
Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King--the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful--and dangerous--Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul--will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it's too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

I was checking my notes and I realised I read the first book in this series back in 2008. It is a wonder I never needed to go back and reread before starting each new book. This is the final novel and we finally get to the big confrontation between Ellie and the High Mage of Eld. I wasn't sure what to expect as Ellie and Rain have faced so many challenges before. And I am quite happy to report that in term of story development I was quite happy with this one.

It is not and easy book to read as it has much violence and quite a few known characters die but I was happy with Ellie and Rain's development and how they deal with obstacles they find on their way to fighting the war. Their confrontation with the High Mage is also painful to read and Wilson manages to keeps us guessing about their fate for a while. Ok maybe not so much guessing (this is  romance after all) but I was reading sitting on the edge of the couch for a while. This is definitely a book filled with tense emotional scenes, some for the good and others for the bad. 

I had a few problems with the pacing of the story. I think at times it was a bit slow and I just wanted to move on and get to the interesting bits. I also think this book left almost as many threads open and closed ones so I'll definitely be reading her next book set in this world. I really want to know more about the girl that helped Ellie's parents - Melliandra, about all those Dahl'reisen and their families, about Ellie's sisters and about Gaelen.

Since the author has a new book coming out soon but of  different series and I can only urge her to write faster!! And I'll be getting that book too.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Scarpetta Factor - Patricia Cornwell


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It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta-despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN- to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same telecast, she receives a startling call-in from a former psychiatric patient of Benton Wesley's. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds an ominous package-possibly a bomb-waiting for her at the front desk. Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta's life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionairess with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past.


I was bit confused while I was reading this. There seemed to be a lot of bad guys and I sometimes had a hard time keeping up with "who's who " and the "what are they doing and why". There was too much going on I felt - Benton's patient and former colleague, Lucy's relationship, Scarpetta's relationship with the TV channel... I'm finding hard to recognise them as the characters I enjoyed from previous books.

The only one that I enjoyed reading about was Marino. He seems to be closer to what he used to be in the beginning than in the latest  books of the series. I'm not sure where Cornwell is taking us next though. The crimes have ceased to be interesting for me and the main characters I'm not sure I wan't to continue with them if they are continuing as in this one.  Besides there seems to be less and less forensic issues and analysis with each books and that was one of the things that I enjoyed.

Will I read the next one in this series? I have a few doubts, especially as what I read about it is that someone is targetting Scarpetta again. She seems to have so many enemies that it has turned into a boring affair.

Grade: 2/5

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blood Ties - Kay Hooper


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A  series of grisly murders has left a trail of blood across three states, bringing the Special Crimes Unit to a small Tennessee town. There, two more brutal killings lure Noah Bishop and the SCU into what may be the ultimate trap, and lead Special Agent Hollis Templeton into a dangerous attraction—and a serial murder investigation that turns very, very personal. In her time with the SCU, Hollis has shown an uncanny ability to survive even the deadliest attacks. But what she can’t know is that this killer intends to destroy the team from within. As the body count climbs, and Bishop and his agents race to uncover the true identity of their enemy, not even their special senses can warn them just how bloody, and how terrifyingly close, the truth will be.



Another Kay Hooper book, another installment in the Bishop series. I think her latest books have all been connected to one another and I wouldn't suggest reading this one without reading the others. Although the back blurb only mentions Holly I felt Diana was as much a main character here. And since they are both recurring characters I really enjoyed seeing them find center stage in this story.

Hooper does manage to keep the suspense going on two fronts. Who has been trying to harm Bishop and his work and who is the serial killer at work in a small town, that seems connected with the main villain they have been searching for.

I did like the story as a whole and indeed I read it almost in one sitting but I think Hollis love interest came about a bit too sudden and I would have liked to see more interaction between them. I was very much surprised by the "who wants to discredit Bishop?" twist and I found the final twist a bit worrisome - Although I enjoyed this trilogy I am ready to move to the next one.

By the way has anyone read the next book in the series? Haven? What I have been reading about it hasn't exactly thrilled me but I'll give it a go one of these days.

Grade: 4/5


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn


He thinks she's an annoying know-it-all...

17259795Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.
She thinks he's just plain mad...
Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't care that his leg is less than perfect, it's his personality she can't abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless ...
New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn's enchanting third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and tug at your heartstrings in equal measures.

It's so good when Julia Quinn is at her best. I think this TSOAK may well be my favourite book in the Smythe-Smith series so far. Lots of banter between the h/h but especially I liked the enemies to friends to lovers plot line (I guess several of my favourite books do have this plot line).

I liked both Hugh and Sarah, I liked that they are both given some depht of character. Especially Hugh who has had a lot going on in his life ever since the duel with Daniel Smythe-Smith. It was interesting to see the events through his eyes and how guilty he felt about his, and his father's actions. No wonder he felt he had to do everything Daniel asked of him.

Sarah was a trickier character to like in that sense because, although she feels Hugh ruined her life, it never seems something as serious and the life threatening events that befell both on Hugh and Daniel. Although I do understand that a good marriage may as well be that important for a young lady in that period.

Sarah makes no secret of her dislike for Hugh and he doesn't much like her character (obviously) so it is quite entertaining to see them evolve to a friendship of sorts and then on to something more.

The scene with Hugh's father, near the end, was one of those funny scenes by Quinn that makes us laugh out loud even after closing the book. A really good one on my opinion.

Grade: 4/5

Monday, April 7, 2014

Watch Your Back - Karen Rose


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Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. And, despite it all, she’s still a fighter. When she learns that her ex-partner might have miscarried justice, she’s determined to put the past to rights, even when she becomes a target.It’s former Marine Clay Maynard’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he doesn’t have to look hard to find the danger surrounding Stevie. Since the minute he first saw her, Clay has wanted to protect the wounded officer, and he started loving her not long after that. So when Stevie attracts the attention of a vicious psychopath, Clay will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. That is, if he can stay ahead of a killer with everything to lose—and something terrifying to hide...

Keeping up with Karen Rose's books I was quite happy when I grabbed this one as Clay and Stevie's story is one we have been waiting for since reading about them a few books behind. Although some of her books can be read as stand alones that is definitely not the case here as this story wraps up the plot line started several books ago.

There's a lot going on in this story and it would be unfair to reduce it to the romance bit. The truth is that there is an engaging mystery to solve. The story features a lot of already known characters but we also see the appearance of several new ones and at times it even gets confusing trying to get who's who and what are they planning.

There also plenty of suspense as not all is what it seems. I really liked how Rose brought the events from the past to connect them with what was going on with Stevie's life. It never feels over the top or reality stretching. We know from the beginning that Stevie is bent on making up for Silas's wrongs but things are way bigger than I thought.

Two things annoyed me though. Yes Silas was a bad guy but he, and a lot of other people it seems, did what they did because their loved ones had been threatened. Considering Stevie's love for Cordelia would she really have acted differently had the little girl been threatened? Not that she shouldn't have protected Cordy better at times and that he shouldn't be condemned but it was too much at times. And by the way did his wife and little girl survived the last book? The other this is that Stevie is just too damn stubborn in what concerns Clay. The poor guy was so obviously a good guy and right for her and she kept fighting her own feelings in the name of God knows what.

Well, have said that it was a pretty good story and I look forward to the next one.

Grade: 4,5/5

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blood Sins - Kay Hooper

6996469Young, vulnerable, attractive, Tessa Gray made the perfect victim. Which was why Noah Bishop of the FBI's Special Crimes Unit recruited her to play the role of grieving widow. As the supposed new owner of property coveted by the Church of the Everlasting Sin, she'd be irresistible bait for the reclusive and charismatic Reverend Samuel. His fortified compound in the mountains near Grace, North Carolina, had been the last known residence of two women murdered in ways that defied scientific explanation. Though hardly as naive or as vulnerable as she appears, Tessa knows she has a lot to learn about using her unique gift. She also knows that Bishop and the SCU have to be desperate to rely on an untried psychic agent in an undercover operation so dangerous. And desperate they are. For the killer they're hunting is the most terrifying they've ever faced and shakes even the most seasoned agents: a soulless megalomaniacal cult leader who can use their own weapons, talents, and tactics against them. By entering the cult's well-guarded compound, Tessa will be exposing herself to the dark magnetism of a psychopath on an apocalyptic crusade of terror that spares no one, not even the youngest victims. And Samuel has protected himself within a fanatically loyal congregation, many of whom occupy surprising positions of power within the community. Even Grace's chief of police, Sawyer Cavenaugh a a man Tessa will have to trust with her life a may be unable to protect her. Because no one, not even Tessa herself, can guarantee she's strong enough to resist a or powerful enough to battle a a killer who's less than human.
I really enjoy this Bishop series. The book I have enjoyed the less are those with a higher lever of ghost and paranormal activities and with little romance. So, this story, shouldn't really have been a favourite for me. But I have to admit that I read it almost in one sitting and couldn't wait to reach the end.

This is single handedly the investigation into a religious organisation and it's preacher - a psychic who keeps his flock under strict control and can actually kill without touch. Hooper keeps us on the edge if our seat following the activities of the FBI agents and those within the flock who fight against the preacher and are exposed to great danger. There is a sense of urgency in most of the plot that I enjoyed. 

The action is fast and goes so smoothly that I really didn't notice the lack of the romantic aspect. One can guess that two of the main characters will eventually be a couple but nothing happened in this story. I do have a few complaints however namely that Bishop doesn't appear as much as usual and that there is a sub plot about someone who is trying to discredit him that isn't closed in the final chapter. The ending also felt a bit rushed.

The story is connected to the previous book in the series as the preacher here is the mastermind behind the killer they caught in that book and one guesses that it is strongly connected with the next book as I'm sure we won't be left in the dark long about who wants to harm Bishop and his unit.

Grade: 4/5

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny


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Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.

I really enjoyed the first book I read in this series and I was quite happy when I found this title. I did enjoy reading it but, in the end, not as much as the previous book.

I loved meeting Gamache again. I really enjoy how he works and how he deals with those subordinates of his. How ever it feels like something bad is about to happen to him and we have some sort of impending doom feeling from beginning to end of the story. I also would have enjoyed to see more of his wife.

I did like revisiting the same little village - even if I am asking myself how many murders can take place there -  and reading again about Gabri and Oliver, Ruth, Clara and her husband, Myrna... All those unique characters I had previously met in book 1.

I didn't much like the mystery in it self. The victim was an odious woman, I did not feel I got to know her well enough and I was hoping the murderer would be someone else. The resolution of this case had a very bittersweet feel to it as one is left to wonder who the real victim was.

And my attention was mostly focused on what was being said and done in Gamache's back. In a way this felt like laying the ground for the next book nowhere he will have to face some troubles. It's a book that won't stand long in my kind but that left me curious for the next  one.

Grade: 3/5

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