Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mailbox Monday

WARNING: Mailbox Monday may lead to intolerable envy and gigantic wish lists.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at Mailbox Monday. It allows for readers to share what books they bought or recieved during the week.


Two years ago, October "Toby" Daye believed she could leave the world of Faerie behind. She was wrong. Now she finds herself in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, sharing an apartment with her Fetch, and maintaining an odd truce with Tybalt, the local King of Cats. It's a delicate balance—one that's shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended.

Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile. But if Oleander's back, what's her game? Where is she hiding? And what part does Toby's mother, Amandine, have to play?

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher. For the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda, and there are more players in this game than Toby can guess. With everything on the line, she will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can't find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she thought she'd never have to face again...

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mailbox Monday

WARNING: Mailbox Monday may lead to intolerable envy and gigantic wish lists.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at Mailbox Monday. It allows for readers to share what books they bought or recieved during the week.


Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...

With thanks to Penguin Canada


Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer¹s Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she's not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world's sweetest boyfriend, behind.

But when Cryer's Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn't get close to... the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.

Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she's always loved, Kendall keeps up the search--and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can't stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried....

NOTE: I apologize for the late post and lack of reviews. I have been dealing with a health related issue and have been in and out of the hospital. Check back soon for new reviews.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf

Title: Her Vampire Husband
Author: Michele Hauf
Publisher: HQN
Pub. Date: October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback (357 pages)
Source: Bought
SHE MAY RESIST HIS BITE, BUT SHE CAN'T RESIST HIS CHARMS...Werewolf princess Blu won't allow her seductive husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed calls out to her darkest desires. Yet when Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation - and Creed - she is forced to confront her growing feelings for him. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his sensuous bite?


The Good

Her Vampire Husband is one of many books in Hauf's Wicked Games series. I haven't read any of the other books until now, so rest assured, Her Vampire Husband can certainly be read as a stand-alone. Being the first Hauf book that I have read, I must say I was quite pleased with the experience.

The main characters; Blu—werewolf princess, and Creed—ancient vampire; are both equally charismatic, if not polar opposites. The romance in Her Vampire Husband takes front seat, and Hauf allows enough time for Blu and Creed to come to terms with the others...eccentricities, of which there are plenty. Both characters are well developed, and very likable. I enjoyed seeing the unexpected romance between them kindle into something real.

But as with any good PNR, treachery is on the horizon. The plot is not simply one of love. Betrayal and action add excitement to the storyline once the romance starts to get hot and steamy. I found it difficult to put the book down, not only because of the enjoyment I found in the love story, but because I knew that something bigger was about to happen.

Hauf's writing was strong, keeping my interest throughout the book. The pacing was steady, even when the first half of the book focused mostly on Blu and Creed's relationship. The dialogue between them was amusing, and Blu in particular proved to be a strong, female lead, which is always a treat in the Romance genre.

The Bad

There are really no complaints. It was a great read, with a fun storyline. It just doesn't stand out in any way to make it incredible.


Her Vampire Husband delivers steamy romance and action, with a fun and witty edge. The enjoyable characters prove that two people who are total opposites can overcome their differences, and anything else thrown in their way, to be together.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 eBook Reading Challenge

After telling you all about how much I like my Kobo, I may as well put it to good use. What better way than to join the 2011 eBook Reading Challenge, hosted by The Ladybug Reads? My goal is to reach the Obsessed level, which will require me to read 20 eBooks between now and December 31, 2011.

For more information about the challenge, visit this page.


Review: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

Title: A Local Habitation
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Pub. Date: March 2, 2010
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Toby Daye-a half-human, half-fae changeling-has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world had other ideas...

Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the Country of Tamed Lightening to make sure all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary. It seems like a simple enough assignment-until Toby discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, and that if the killer isn't stopped, January may be the next victim.


The Good

A Local Habitation picks up months after Rosemary and Rue, when Toby is called upon by her leige, Duke Sylvester Torquill, to check on his neice, January, who hasn't been returning his phone calls. So, diligent Toby, accompanied by Quentin, set out to the liberated Duchy of Tamed Lightning, only to find that things are not as okay as they seem.

After reading Rosemary and Rue, I found a new favourite heroine in October (Toby) Day. Her character is compelling. Being only half Daoine Sidhe, and the daughter of one of the most powerful Fae in Faerie, Toby strives to prove herself to her Fae counterparts, while attempting to live among humans in the mortal realm. Despite being significantly impaired in terms of Fae powers, she boasts a strong will and stubborn disposition, making her one kick-ass changeling PI.

In A Local Habitation, interpersonal relationships abound. Toby's protective treatment of Quentin is sweet and reveals her maternal nature. She quickly builds a stunning rapport with newcomer Alex, meanwhile her connection with Connor comes to the fore-front. But despite all of this, I am routing for Tybalt, who appears aplenty in this book. The Kind of Cats gets my blood boiling, and he is an obvious love interest.

The world of Faerie continues to intrigue as we are treated to an in-depth journey through Tamed Lightning, and meet new characters with interesting backgrounds and abilities.

The Bad

McGuire's writing drew me in from the beginning and kept it's grip until the very end. But while the plot was interesting, the execution fell short.

Toby is an ace detective, but relies heavily on her ability to perform bloog magic. She fails to see what is right in front of her. McGuire attempts to drag out the murder mystery, yet I had the murderer pin-pointed from the get go. Toby plays investigator and performs rituals while people continue to die, and though it all adds excitement, it seems irrelevant to the outcome.


The likeable characters and enchanting world of Faerie make A Local Habitation a great addition to the October Daye series. Toby continues to grow, and shows her softer side, when she is at her breakign point. Angst and romance engross readers, even while the mystery disappoints.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Mailbox Monday

WARNING: Mailbox Monday may lead to intolerable envy and gigantic wish lists.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at Mailbox Monday. It allows for readers to share what books they bought or recieved during the week.


Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warrior reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.

Yet every reincarnate comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan's torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?
Format: Paperback

Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed.

Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination—something that should not exist—and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends—a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop—Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation…before it’s too late.
Format: eBook

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Title: Silver Borne
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Ace
Pub. Date: March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover (352 pages)
Source: Publisher
When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she'd previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side-leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...


The Good

Urban Fantasy is a difficult genre to master. All too often, a series begins to falter after only a few books because the authors feel that they need to bring in new elements to make each story fresh and exciting. But what ends up happening, is that the plot, the world, the characters...they all become too convoluted. Everything becomes too complex, too farfetched.

This is not the case with Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. Each new book exceeds the last while staying true to the characters and the world in which they live. Since the first book, Moon Called, Mercy Thompson has been a tough as nails VW mechanic, lacking in girlish charm and stubborn to boot, with more charisma and compassion than you would expect from a tomboy, coyote shifter. We've seen her delicate side, as well as her merciless nature (pun intended), but in the end she is the same Mercy Thompson that we have come to know and love.

In Silver Borne, the plot picks up with the mystical Fae book that was previously lent to Mercy by Phineas Brewster. Phin goes missing, and Mercy comes to learn that a powerful Fae will do anything to get their hands on the book. So it is up to her to protect the book and to find Phin. Mercy's instincts and cunning come to the forefront and she once again proves that she is the coolest badass in the Tri-cities.

Samuel lovers will both love and hate this book. Now that Mercy and Adam are on their way to what promises to be a meaningful relationship, Samuel is front and center. Unfortunately, he's not all gumdrops and rainbows. Samuel is hit hard with a deep depression, and becomes a danger to himself and those around him. The relationship between Samuel and Mercy is heart wrenching. Despite her love for Adam, Mercy proves that she cares deeply for Sam and is willing to do anything to keep him from harm.

Mercy continues to struggle with the after-effects of Tim's attack while shaping her bond with Adam. Their relationship is refreshing in the world of PNR. Briggs' didn't just throw them into eachothers arms and make them gaga for one another. Instead, we get to experience the growth of two characters who are learning to love and cherish their companionship. They've made strides, and their relationship is finally passed it's infancy.

Naturally, it doesn't come easily. Now that Mercy is a part of Adam's pack, the werewolves are full of unease and some are up in arms about having a coyote on their turf. Pack loyalties are shifting, and betrayal rears its ugly head, forcing some relations to sever and some to fortify.

The Bad

Although each book picks up after the previous one, Briggs' takes pity on us all and tidies up loose endings nicely. Major questions are answered in each book, with no real cliffhangers. However, the books all seem to end far too soon, the final chapters rushed. Silver Borne is no different. It felt as though the climax hit, and then the rest went into fast-forward.


Another fantastic book in the Mercy Thompson series. Relationships continue to strengthen, characters experience growth while staying true to themselves, pack politics and betrayal make for great suspense and Mercy seems unable to keep herself out of trouble. Briggs' writing is tight as ever, keeping readers on their toes and eyes glued to the pages. I can't wait to see what Briggs has in store for us next.


Don't miss the release of River Marked, the sixth installment of the Mercy Thompson series, available March 1, 2011!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kobo eReader Review

I got the Kobo™ Wireless eReader as a Christmas gift from my wonderful parents. I wasn't sure how I would feel about using an eReader. It's not a book. But, I'll admit, I have been pleasantly surprised with my Kobo™ in the past couple months.

What is my favourite thing about having an eReader? Well, let's say I want a book, NOW. I make my way to the local book store only to find that said book is not in stock, and will take 1-2 weeks to ship. Great. Now what? I could either order the book and wait up to two weeks, in utter agony, before I can finally read it. OR, I could go home, find the eBook to purchase, instantly download the book to my eReader, then settle in for a night of fantastic reading.

Sounds awesome, right? But what about the eReader experience?

I can't speak for all eReaders. I haven't gotten my hands on a Kindle, Nook, or Sony Reader. But, I can tell you what I think about the Kobo™.

The Good

Price. The Kobo™ Wireless eReader sells for $149 CDN, which is comparable to the price of the Amazon Kindle™.

Lightweight and Portable. The Kobo™ weighs in at only 221 grams, about the same weight as your average paperback, but much thinner at only 10mm. It's compact size makes it easy to carry with you in your purse, pouch, or backpack.

"Quilted" Design. I must admit, this is one of my favorite things about the Kobo™. It is unbelievably comforable. One of the selling features is the unique "quilted" back, which makes it very easy to hold in one hand, without the fear of slipping. And so soft!

Colour Options. Just saying...some people like a choice. The Kobo™ is available in four colours: Porcelain, Onyx, Metallic Silver, and Pearlized Lilac.

Pre-loaded Books. The Kobo™ comes pre-loaded with 100 classics. These books may not be for everyone, but it's a nice touch.

Expandable Memory. The Kobo™ comes with 1GB onboard memory. That's enough memory to hold 1,000 books. But you can add an SD memory card up to 4GB, for even more.

Book-like Reading. The 6" E Ink screen means that there is no glare, making for easy reading.

Choice of Font Size and Style. I believe this is a standard in the world of eReaders. There are 5 font sizes to choose from, and multiple fonts to choose from.

Battery Life. The Kobo™ boasts a long battery charge, which allows for up to two weeks of reading or 10,000 "page turns".

The Bad

Formats. The Kobo™ Wireless eReader only supports ePub, PDF, and Abode DRM files. While this may be problematic for some, I have not had any issues finding eBooks to download from kobobooks.com. In fact, I have found some that I could not find on Amazon.

Sluggish Performance. It hurts me to phrase it in such a way, but it's the truth. The page refresh time on the Kobo™ is not as prompt as I would like it to be. I'm only talking a second, but I had expected a page turn to be instant. This issue is minor enough that it does not effect my reading experience, but I can see that it may test the patience of others.

Internet Connectivity. The problem here is that, there is none. This is probably the biggest factor in deciding to buy the Kobo™ or an alternative eReader. Personally, I am happy to not be distracted by the internet. That is why I have a computer. Isn't an eReader meant for, you know, eReading?


If you are looking for a device with non-reading features, the Kobo™ is not for you. But if you are looking for an eReader with a single purpose, the Kobo™ Wireless eReader will get the job done.

I was pleasantly surprised with my Kobo™ eReading experience. While I'll never stop buying hardcopy books, I will always be sure to have my Kobo™ close by.