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?

Quick Update and Book Review

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I have spent the last week being very sick. The flu that hit me was the worst one I have gone through in a long time. Nothing like waking up feeling like death for days on end.

And on top of that, Cape Breton had the storm of the century. And just a couple of days later, I am home from work due to a snow day. yet another 20 cm is barreling down on us. Oh. Joy.

During these days, I managed to finish my current book, ‘Lover at Last’ by JR Ward. This is my last JR Ward book for a bit. While I am dying to get into the next book of the series, ‘The King’, I don’t have it yet. Today I started a Stephen King to break things up just a tad.

My mind was pretty wonky when I read ‘Lover At Last.’ Between three days of no sleep (I wish I was joking) and flu meds, my head was fuzzy. But I was able to read it and still enjoyed it.

loveratlasstBack Cover: Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.

My Thoughts: When all is said and done, I really enjoyed this book. It was the one I have been dying to get to for awhile. I did feel a bit disappointed in the execution of this novel.

One thing I did with this book that I hadn’t really done with the others (and I am ashamed to admit it) was skim over several scenes. Most of the ones with Assail and Sola. I’m supposed to care about characters and I didn’t care about these two at all. I felt like this wasn’t the book to see their POV. I ended up skipping these parts, to get on with the rest of the story. I felt the attention was taken away from Quinn and Blay and it was supposed to be ‘their’ book.

There was a lot of character development, especially with Quinn. I have loved Quinn since the first time we see him. He is a strong character and in this book does some epic things, including pulling off the mother of Hail Mary’s when flying a plane for the first time, and coming to terms with who he is, and finds the courage to…well, you will have to read the book to find that out.

There were too many different POV’s, but I did love  seeing the POV of Wrath, The Blind King, yet again. I miss seeing the minds of the original Brothers, the ones who the first number of books centered around. The more into the series we go, the less of their POV we see. (That is why I am so stoked about the Legacy series, where we will see the main Brothers yet again.)

Also, I found there was just a bit too much angst. I felt like the end result could have happened a bit sooner so we could have seen some more of the happier moments. I felt for Quinn because he’s already had so much crap happen to him in his life that I just wanted him to be happy already. The guy deserves it.

Overall I loved it. JR Ward is a fantastic author who has created in depth characters, keeps the story going with plot twists, leaves you hanging and wanting more.

As much as I love vampires, I am now into an adventure with the King of Horror. After that, I’m not too sure. What are you reading? What’s next on your reading list?

Book Review: Lover Reborn

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lover rebornBack Cover: Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Review: Lover reborn is book 10 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series. It is now in the top 3 of my favorites for this series. It almost comes in first, but Rhage (book #2) will always be my #1!

Ok so, I was looking forward to this book for awhile. Tohrment was one of my favorite brothers since book one. His character has pretty much gone through hell and back, and finally he gets his own book and happily ever after.

Through the coarse of the series, the man Tohr looked up to as a father/best friend was killed, his shellan was murdered, his best friend and Brother (the Blind King) was severely injured, had a rift with his adopted son, and he was on the brink of death himself. If it wasn’t for a sassy fallen angel, he would have died. When he returned home to the mansion to be with his Brothers, Tohr was the shell of who he used to be. And come on, after everything he went through, who could blame the guy?

Lassiter informs Tohr that his late shellan, Wellsie, has not moved onto the Fade. That she is stuck in the In Between, and if Tohrment doesn’t move on, his beloved will vanish with their unborn son into nothingness. And it’s not just Wellsie’s fate at stake. Lassiter has been sent to help him move on, and he doesn’t think he’s the angel for the job.

Meanwhile we have No’One, once a female of worth, she comes from the Other Side to be with her daughter. She has her own horrible past and renamed herself No’One, since that is how she sees herself. Later she is renamed, and I loved the new name and how it happened.

I loved watching Tohr and No’one become friends, and then slowly turn into more. He denied any feelings of love even though to me it was obvious. A couple of times I yelled at the book (am I the only one who does that!?) because I just wanted them to realize their love and be happy.

We also seen more of the Band of Bastards. The leader, Xcor, wants to overthrow Wrath and become King of the vampire race. We haven’t seen much of the Lessers, aside from the fights with them. (I hate when I have to read the point of view of one of those baby powder scented bastards.)

This was the best book I have read in this series in awhile. I enjoyed the last few but they didn’t have me this engrossed. Tohr ripped my heart up on more then one occasion. I am a sucker for pain and angst in a book and this poor guy has it in spades. Needless to say, I cried with him but I also cried for him.

Some people online were worried that the WARDen couldn’t pull this story off. She totally did. I had faith in her.

Now that this book is finished, I have two books to go before I am caught up, but I doubt I will get both finished before the newest is released at the end of the month. I need to track down a copy of ‘The King’, and luckily for me I have ‘Lover at Last’ sitting on my shelf waiting for me.

International Women’s Day

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For once I am actually on top of things, and not worrying about being late like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Today is International Women’s Day, and I have chosen to honor it with my favorite thing in the world: books.

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Books written by my favorite female authors, which include some of my most favorite female characters.

I could have picked a bigger stack of books for this, but then I wouldn’t have been able to get them all in one photo. So I narrowed it down to my top faves.

‘Lover Eternal’ is my favorite book written in J.R Wards ‘The Blackdagger Brotherhood’ series, which features Mary Madonna Luce, who is compassionate, kind, and has a heart made from gold.

‘One’s Aspect to the Sun’ is written by Sherry D. Ramsey. Sherry’s novels and short stories always feature strong and interesting characters. I love Captain Luta Paixon, and her secret. (Wouldn’t it be nice to never look older then your thirties?!)

I’ve loved Jodi Picoult since I read ’19 Minutes’, which is a heartbreaking story that hits too close to home for some. I love how she shows the story for everyone’s aspect, and not just one or two POV’s. In stories such as ’19 Minutes’, seeing those extra POV’s adds depth to the story. Bonus Points: I wrote to her and she signed my card I sent. 😀

Jane Austen. If I could have picked an era to live in, it would have been hers. ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is the novel that made me fall in love with her. I’m a sucker for romance, and I have watched the movie and read the book countless times. The Dashwood sisters remain near and dear to my heart. Although sometimes I have wanted to kick Marianne right in the caboose.

Being the sucker I am for vampires, the supernatural and romance, my guilty pleasure is the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Although one of her books, towards the last of the series had me irked at the fantastic author, I have still loved each and one of these books. Charlaine has been one of the authors who inspired me to write dark fantasy/paranormal romance, and Sookie will always be one of my favorite female characters. (I’m a book or two behind. Don’t tell me if Sookie did something to fuck shit up.)

J.K Rowling inspired the world and our imaginations with Harry Potter. And what better female to honor today in the fictional world then Hermoine Granger, the bookworm/book smart/street smart lady full of sass who kept Ron and Harry in line. I am happy that someone had the sense to pull her manuscript out of the trash and seen it for what it was and is: pure gold.

Sophie Kinsella has always made me laugh with Becky Bloomwood’s antics, and made me cry in ‘Remember Me.’ No matter what book of hers I am reading, she never fails to entertain me and leaves me wanting more.

Another author that fills my love of dark fantasy is Karen Marie Moning. I started out reading her Highlander series when a client of mine recommended it to me. I devoured them quickly and moved on to her Fever series. The Fever series features MacKayla Lane aka Mac. She’s a girly girl who loves pink, who is thrown into the world of the supernatural and discovers she has a rare talent. I loved watching her transform from Mac 1.0, to the killer mac 5.0.

These are some of the ladies and characters who have inspired me and continue to do so. Aside from my mom of coarse 😉 Where would we be without those women who loved us no matter what and stuck by our side?

What female authors/ characters have inspired you?

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!

Snow Day with a Kitty!

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I woke up this morning to find our driveway with knee to waist deep snow. And no plow had yet to come on our road. So yuck!

Now that Mr. C and I have dug the driveway out, freeing it from the white stuff from hell, I am now warming myself up in cozy pj’s and a blanket.

And no snow day would be complete without a book. And a lil bit of company!

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Meet my kitty! This is Missy. 🙂

Missy tends to stay near me, especially when I am sick or when I am laying down. I wasn’t curled up on my sofa long when she came running!

I am almost half way through reading ‘Lover Unleashed’ (book 9 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series) but J.R. Ward. It isn’t my favorite in the series, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. (Just wasn’t looking forward to one character in particular.) I am also anxious to get to the next book, the one I have been dying to read for awhile. And like hell I am going to skip over any! I just can’t bring myself to do that.

What book are you currently reading?