Wild Highland Magic

Title: Wild Highland Magic
Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Genre: Paranormal romance, fantasy

I'm having trouble finding a way to talk about this book. It struck me as strange. Upon reading it I was struck, at least three different times, with the notion that this was a side story to a very large, intricate, and well planned out fantasy universe. Think of those fantasy novels, three or four different races, magic, demons, witches, wizards...whathaveyous and the fantasy novels they entail. Large sweeping stories full of battles and politics and magic. This novel is the more up-close-and-personal look at the life of some of the minor characters that might be in that larger story. Does that make sense?

Most of the book does not take place in that fantasy world, but the two main male characters come from it. One is the only son of two great magical races, who just so happens to be cursed. The other is a dragon (in human form). That being said this book takes place in what is modern day Scotland where a family is gathering from near and far....only they are werewolves. Whatever. I'm fine with paranormal romance....in fact love it! But, there was just something. I came away from this book with a whole host of questions about werewolves ( presentation, culture, hygiene) that I've never wonder about before. Interesting, that.

Also, and I may just be leading a sheltered from werewolf story life here, but this is the first novel where the female lead was a werewolf. In human form she was strong and sassy; she was equally so as a werewolf. I can only name a handful of movies/books where a female character was werewolf....and usually she isn't the lead. Neat!

Fun to read...but maybe you should read the series in order instead of just grabbing one.

And where was I?

A few weeks ago there was a conference I'd love to go to, but alas, as far as I know it is for romance novel authors. I am not one of those, just a humble reader. At the conference Harlequin gave away some quite nifty tote bags. Several different women, who I follow on blogs, hosted contests that included books and the coveted bag. So, I entered.

And then promptly forgot to check the results.

Until today when I received an email with a link to this blog post: Lusty Giveaway!

That's right....I'm a winner! I'm so going to carry all my teachery things around in that bag!

And Charolette.......thank you again for notifying me!

Lust, Loathing, and a Little Lip Gloss

Title: Lust, Loathing, and a Little Lip Gloss
Author: Kyra Davis
Genre: Paranormal, mystery, romance

First off, how fabulous is the title? It reminds me of the titles Carrie Bradshaw chose for her articles, in a way.

Now for the run-down:

Spunky, Jewish heroine who has a disturbing habit of finding dead bodies? √
Gay best friend who is also the best hairdresser in town? √
Ex-Husband who is strangely still in the picture? √
Opinionated mother? √
Blooming relationship with a private investigator? √
Ghosts? √
Murder of a top chef? √
A well trained parrot? √
Adultery? √
Pet cat who is fabulous on many levels? √

All the hallmarks of a fun and engaging read are wrapped up into this Sophie Katz story. Unfortunately, my library sent me astray, this is the first time I'd seen this novel. It is however, not the first in the series. Luckily, it does stand alone. I'm pretty sure that other than some larger character arcs, you aren't going to miss anything if you just pick any novel from the group.

Also, you can win a great prize package (including a tour of San Fran.) by visiting the author's website: http://www.kyradavis.com/ But hurry...the contest only runs until August 15th.

Super Fun!

One More Bite

Title: One More Bite (A Jaz Parks novel)
Author: Jennifer Rardin
Genre: Paranormal, sci-fi (library classification)

This is the most recent of the Jaz Parks novels out (at least that's what the internets tell me), but they can easily be picked up and read in any order....or even alone just for fun. I seem to be going on the completely out of order route. Several months ago I read the first in the series, loved it, couldn't get the middle ones from the library (they're popular ya'know?), and picked this one up last week. Loved it again.

Jaz is part of a super special, possibly secret, CIA team to fight crime......err....solve mysteries......err....kill bad guys, preferably paranormal ones. She works with and dates a vampire, a psychic, a tech guru, witches, ghosts.....whomever is needed to solve the case. She's what could happen if Buffy and Faith were smashed into one slayer. All the kick ass strength, the daring, the snarky quips, but a fairly good grasp on what's legal and what isn't. This time, she has to confront ghosts of her own while fighting other ghosts, witches, and tourists to solve the case. Plus, she has a great dog. :)

Fun to read.

His Lady Mistress

Title: His Lady Mistress
Author: Elizabeth Rolls
Genre: Historical Romance, e-book

This novel was an engaging read...for the most part. Often I was frustrated and grumpy at the main characters. Under the guise of caring for the other person and trying to give them what they would want both characters spoke in half-truths, left information out, and flat out refused to hold whole conversations with each other. I understand, humans (specifically males and females) have troubles communicating. I also understand that miscommunications are a staple of traditional genre romances. This was quite frustrating though. I was specifically frustrated with the hero, Max Blakehurst. He was quite capable of understanding and holding whole conversations where he expressed himself clearly without resorting to angry outbursts. He does this several times with various characters, yet, even when he's on the same page as Verity (heroine) he seems to be incapable of holding any sort of conversation beyond angry outbursts where he calls her a whore. Seeing as the characters were eventually able to actually work their differences out, I'm going to assume that the author meant for the characters' miscommunications to be this frustrating....like a lesson for the reader. See! If you are this frustrated while reading, guess how frustrated these two characters must be!

Worth the read

Little Red

Title: Little Red
Author: Sandra Fowke
Genre: e-book, erotica, paranormal-ish

First off, yes. Yes, that is the cover image that came with my Smashwords version. And yes, the book was free....but still. Ack. The cover image has little if anything to do with the story. I'm all for reenvisioning fairy tales, but when the main character isn't even a wolf....he just talks about being a werewolf and how that helps his cock to be larger. Ugh! There is a bit of D/s, a bit of age-play (as in he's 40, she's a barely legal 19) and there are a lot... No really, an abnormally large amount of misspellings and punctuation errors for a five page story. Really only MST3k or the weepingcock snark community of livejournal could do this one justice.

My favorite part: "Alice screamed his name as he took her impossibly fast..." Ummm...yeah. If the speed is impossibly fast then it didn't happen....It's part of the definition of impossibly.

Read at your own risk.

Field of Blood

Title: Field of Blood (Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy)
Author: Eric Wilson
Genre: Paranormal, Religious, Historical, Fiction

Awesome! I finished reading this book a couple weeks ago and am still excited about it. The author did a lot of historical and biblical research to flesh out this novel. (Pun totally intended.) The monsters are vampires, but they walk the line of zombie-ism by being reanimated dead....as in long dead.....as in putting back together dust and bones. It's hard to give a description of this book without just giving away the plot. It draws on stories and beliefs that built up Jesus and his deciples. It makes references to and draws from the Apocrapha. It spans centuries and continents. It's bloody, engaging, and hard. I put this book down and wanted to start looking for the mark on people's foreheads.

Must Read!

Every Demon Has His Day

Title: Every Demon Has His Day
Author: Cara Lockwood
Genre: Paranormal, Chick-lit, (library labeled) Romance

It's cute. It's sweet. It's a definite turn from paranormal romances where all things monster-y (vamps, zombies, ghosts, fairies, etc.) are accepted into the society. It does take on how demons, angels, prophets, and messengers from God might be treated in a world where people aren't looking for real, literal, and true angels or demons, though. I'm not sure the library should have this listed in Romance. Yes, there is a bit of a budding romance between the two main human characters, but it tame (just a step or two beyond Twilight) on the sex meter. It's sweet. Most of the true sex action is covered and dismissed by the demons making jokes about P.D.A.s . Definitely not a bodice ripper, but fun. C.L. gives the characters great, light-hearted personalities. Even the demons, based off the seven deadly sins, are mostly silly (in a good way)....Seriously, one of the main characters is a demon who refuses to do the messy jobs because he might muss his Armani suit. Also, I might be a bit biased towards this book because of my crush on Nathan Fillion. Not that he has anything to do with this novel, that I know of (Do you know something I don't know?), but because the main male character is named Nathan and maybe my brain is playing tricks on me, but the character read exactly how I envision N.F. acting the part if it were a movie.

Go read it!

In the beginning

"She sure reads a lot."
"Yeah, she's one of those readers."

That may not be the exact conversation between my husband and his sister, but the sentiment is accurate. I read. A lot. All the time. Usually, I have two or three different books cracked open and awaiting my attention at the same time. This is even easier now; I use my iPhone as an e-reader (even have the Kindle app.). Partially, this blog is a way for me to put down my thoughts, review the books I read. It's a place for me to snark in more than 140 characters, and possibly come up with some pretty good reading lists. If you have any suggestions of books to read - please, please leave me a comment. New books are always welcome on my shelf.
I read books they way other people eat, sleep, or watch movies....voraciously, obsessively, and as often as possible. The reviews, random commentary, and snark in this blog are mine alone. Don't take my word...read the book.
Copyright 2009 She Reads All rights reserved.
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