From The Book Pile: The Shadows

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I spent the wee hours of this stormy day finishing off my latest read. At 4 a.m as the wind howled outside and the snow piled up around us, I felt a little bit heartbroken and yet happy at the same time. That’s what happens when you are routing and hoping for the best for two brothers.

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Personal opinion: 4 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of J. R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The Shadows is book thirteen in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As always, the book is well written  and each character had their own defined voice. Which is hard to do when you are writing with so many personalities.

This book took me longer then thought to read. For starters, this book focuses on Trez and iAm, Shadows from the s’Hsibe. While I am a huge lover of iAm, his brother Trez was far from my favorite character. So it was (at first) hard to get into.

Also, when you get hit with a migraine or two, the last thing you do is strain your eyes and make your head worse by reading. That’s if you can actually keep your eyes open while in the middle of one.

But the last few days I have had my head down in the book, lost in the world of my favorite vampires.

In the beginning of the series, the points of view are few. Usually the Brother whose story it is, his mate, a villain and maybe another character is who you would be in the head of. But as the books went on, more and more PoV’s were added. I wasn’t happy with the last few books. In one book I skimmed much of it because I had zero interest. I didn’t see the purpose of that character having a PoV.

In this book however, the PoV’s were ones I wanted to see, for the most part. I didn’t skim as much as I had in the last book. I was anxious to know what was happening and a bonus: my fave character finally had a PoV again. If you have read the books, you know Rhage hasn’t had a real PoV in awhile. Which I know is also setting things up for the next book which he is the main focus. (I admit, if that book is “watered down” with a ton of different view points, imma be pissy. I need a dose of my book boyfriend 😉 )

I grew to love Trez, and my heart broke for him. (No spoilers). While in the past I felt Selena, his mate, was a cardboard character. But in this novel she was more in depth and I  enjoyed her much more.

iAm is a character I felt bad for in the past. He has taken care of his brother for so long. Putting his life on hod in some ways so he can be there for Trez. After all he has done, the Shadow was due some happiness.

All in all, this was a good read. If you have read The Shadows, what did you think of the book?

Half Book Review, Half Rant

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So this past weekend I finished reading “The King” by J.R Ward. It is the 12th book in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series.
the king 2Now, anyone who knows me (or have read some of my reviews of the series), knows that I LOVE these books. In fact, I am obsessed over them and I have claimed Rhage as my book boyfriend.

I usually devour these books quickly. While I have had issues with a couple of the books in the past (with so many books, not every one of them will be your favorite), but this book…this book took me ages to read.

Like, over a month. I just couldn’t get into it.

When I heard about ‘The King’, I was very excited. I had loved Wrath’s book (Dark Lover, #1 in the series) and I was very much looking forward to reading his next book.

But what I hoped for and what I got was two different things.

For starters, I found the book was diluted down with too many side stories. (I swear if this happens with Rhage’s book next year- The Beast- I will be one unhappy girl.)

For instance, I think that Sola and Assail would have been much better off in another book entirely. I found their scenes in ‘Lover At Last’ felt as if they were just randomly thrown in there. I pretty much skipped those scenes since I wanted to get back to the ‘real’ story.

I loved Wrath’s parents, seeing them and learning more about what happened to them. I loved JM’s scenes and wished there had been more of them. And of coarse given the fact someone wants the throne, I knew the villain would come into play but sadly his PoV was less often then I thought it would be. I really didn’t like how he tried to take the throne on a political way with the glymera. Not that I wanted him to succeed in his mission, but I found this to be boring.

Also, I was irked from the get go with Beth. Which is why I think I had a hard time getting into the book.

Wrath’s shellen is a strong, independent character. What she pulled off in the beginning annoyed me to no end. She basically did the vampire version of trying to trick her man into getting her pregnant. Which I think is dirty pool, even for humans. Beth tried to kick start her needing by spending time with another female vamp, while Wrath was dead set against having a child.

The book also included Trez’s Pov which sets things up for the next book called “The Shadows.” I’ll be honest, I skipped a lot of these parts too. Trez grew as a character throughout the novel, but that’s all about all I liked. Well, aside from his brother iAm, who I think is the better of the two brothers.

There was lots that I loved about this book too. Seeing Wrath become a dad and what it did to him was fantastic. I felt heartsick for him when Beth began to bleed and having to call Doc Jane. Being blind, the only thing he could do aside from panic was hold her hand and rely on others to tell him what was going on.

And of coarse seeing bits of the Brotherhood, like when Wrath and Beth had a human wedding. There were parts that had me laughing out loud which makes me excited for the new Legacy series, where we will see more of them and the slices of life we don’t get to see so much anymore.

All in all, I give this a 4 out of 5. I did love every minute of Wrath and most of Beth. (I got over being pissed off, and for good reason.) Had it included more of them and less of others, it would have been a better read.

So, have you read ‘The King’? What did you think? Am I the only one who felt like they needed to rant while reading it?

New Book Series by JR Ward and my Happy Mail

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So firstly, because I am freaking the hell out at this news, I have to mention the newest on J.R.Ward.

My book review I posted the other day was one book in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series, which I am in love with.

The one thing with the books growing, the story becoming more complex, is that you see ledd of the ‘originals.’ The vamps that made you fall in love with them.

You still see them of coarse. One thing I loved about ‘Lover Unleashed’ was that I got to see the POV of Vishous, who is one of the originals.

Anyway, seems like JR Ward misses them too. the good ol’ days. The fun times with lines such as “If you’re going to bloody up the human, please take him outside.” And things like cherry stems, Grey Goose, and the boys causing shenanigans.

She’s announced a new series, which the brothers are back in the forefront, and the first book comes out this December. I can hardly contain myself. Mr. C is shaking his head at me. I love him but he just doesn’t get it.

Here is the link to the WARDen’s Goodreads post, explaining it all.

Goodreads | J.R. Ward’s Blog – The Black Dagger Legacy Series – February 10, 2015 09:21.

In other news, I was super stoked to get a letter today from Rosa in Denmark! (I hope my letter reaches you soon, if it already hasn’t!) It’s been a slow mail month (incoming wise) since I owe so many people a letter. So I was very happy to find the pretty letter in my mail box! 🙂 I just making a post from my phone app this morning, but in good old classic Blackberry fashion, my app isn’t working.

Anyway, I am going to go back to squeeeeeing over this latest news and attempt to write a letter 😉

Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward

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I’m not used to doing book reviews. This is something really new to me. So I ask that you be patient with me. I’m sure in time I will get better. (I hope.)

Today I sat down and finished ‘Lover Unleashed’, book nine in the Black dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

I should back track just a tad. If you haven’t read any of these books, let me give you a brief idea of them.

The series is a vampire romance, and the Brotherhood is a group of big, badass warriors. The books are full of dark fantasy, romance, drama, ass kickin’ and some fun twists added in. The Brotherhood protects the ‘civilian’ vampires from their enemy, known as the Lessers. (I do think they could have been named something better, but whatever. The term has grown on me.)

If you decide to read these books, I highly suggest starting from book one, Dark Lover.

Summary from the book jacket:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: The warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself – only to face a devastating injury.

Manuel Manello, MD, is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can – but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birth right and the biology that separate them?

My thoughts:

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to sitting down and reading this one. I had devoured books one through eight, yet paused on the series for several months because book nine felt daunting. (Also, after power reading the first eight, I needed to read something else for a bit before I got back on the vampire wagon, so to speak.)

The reason is this: I wasn’t looking forward to Manny. When he appeared in another book, I figured he was there just for a small purpose, never to be seen again, and I didn’t pay much attention to him. I just didn’t like him.

But now that I read the book, I am so glad I did. While this is not the best (in my opinion) in the series, it is far from the worst.

Payne and Manny are a better couple then I originally thought, but they didn’t have the ‘pop!’ that the other couples had in the previous books.

I found there were too many point of views. In the start of the series, it is just a couple POV: the vampire, his mate, and the enemy. But at the series continued, more POV were added. (Which usually I don’t mind at all. I was used to the format of the first few books, so adding in more characters through me off. It makes sense though, as there are a lot of them. Plus more side stories help keep the series going.)

I did enjoy seeing more of Vishous and his shellen Jane. He has a big fan base, and his fans will agree he is better then ’50 Shades’. ( I have no thoughts on this, I have yet to read those books.) It was great to see his POV again, more of his back story, and how he deals with his Jane. (Who is a ghost, BTW.)

The book also introduced new vampires, a group called The Band of Bastards, who came from Europe. This book laid some foundation for what’s to come. I am looking forward to the trouble they will cause, and how King Wrath and his warriors will deal with them.

I was rooting for Payne and Manny the entire time. Payne suffers an injury, and Manny being an amazing surgeon, is brought in to help her and heal her. He is a human, but yet begins to face some odd experiences, things that only male vampires have. When he first sees her, one word comes to mind: MINE.

I love how he adores her, and aches for her. I love that Manny will do anything for her and it broke my heart when I didn’t see a way for them to be together. Neither thought that a future together was possible. Their love is slower paced but yet romantic. I admit I loved Manny quickly. And I think other readers did (and will) as well.

One side story with Quinn and Blay, well, it seemed kinda pointless. We didn’t see their POV very often, and the little I learned (that Quinn is suffering from not telling Blay he loves him), could have been shown in another way. There wasn’t much development on their story and I feel that their POV could have been left out.

I think I will leave it here, because if not, I know I will let out every single spoiler and basically end up summarizing the entire book. When it comes to this series, I can talk on and on and on about it.

Have you read this book? Or any of the BDB series? If so, tell me your thoughts!

Genre Overkill- Dealing With My New Novel

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I finally headed over to the Nanowrimo website, to start checking things out and see what’s happening in the forums. There’s a lot of great stuff there. Too much sometimes. I could get lost for hours in them, reading and posting comments. I collect ideas from various threads like the famous “Dares” thread and brainstorm with fellow writers. The people there are pretty cool and I always enjoy a solid month of hanging out on the site before the writing frenzy begins. (Or as my friend likes to call it, “the month where Kerry disappears and comes out hissing at the sun.” Both descriptions are accurate.)

As I ventured over to the genre lounges, I popped into the horror/supernatural section. I read several threads right off the bat about dealing with vampires. Cliches, ideas for what new threats are in their world, vamp mythology, etc… As I read some of these, my heart dropped a bit.

I fell in love with vamps before they were ‘cool’, and God, looooooong before they ever effing sparkled. I remember as a kid, they were my favorite creature. I loved the true horror version of them, and also the romanticized versions of them as I got older. I began at a young age to write stories, and loved the looks I would get when I told people what I wrote. My stories went from horror (*cough* more like the attempt at horror) to romance. It all depended on my mood.

Truth is, I still love vampires today as much as I did when I was a kid. And I love writing stories about them. My fourth short story is about to come out in December, and that is a vampire story. I classify myself as dark fantasy, seeing as how I write about different creatures from the supernatural, and romance is an element, NOT the plot.

Anyway, as I was reading, I came to realize how beat to death this genre is. SO many people are now writing about vamps. Which is a good thing. But people also have negative views on it. I can almost here the mental eye rolls of people now when I tell them what I write.

So what do I do? I had a moment tonight of thinking, ‘Sod it. I need to find something new. Something not so beat to death.’ (or close to it) I was embarrassed for a moment at the thread I started, asking for a bit of advice on yet another vampire novel. Especially after reading about cliches. Yeah, I totally fit in some of them.

And then I thought ‘Fuck it!’ This is what I love to write. Or at least one of the things. Why should I let what someone else thinks hinder my love for it? For the record, not one person has ever said anything negative to me on that site. People (in my experience) have been pretty supportive. I think it’s my inner critic rearing it’s ugly little head, trying to make me doubt myself.

So, beat to death or not, I’m going to write what I love. I’m going to keep working on my plot and giving my characters depth. (I am very much in love with one of them. So how can I tell the poor bastard that I can’t come out to play? That would just break us both and I can’t do that now, can I? 😉 ) I’m going to tell that inner critic to shut it, and focus on doing what makes my geeky lil heart happy. I think that’s an important rule in life, to do what makes you happy and screw what anyone else thinks. 🙂