Hello friends! I can’t believe it’s October. While Fall is my favorite season of all, l am not looking forward to the Holidays and the stress that comes with it. I hope to escape into my reading and will probably do way too much procrastinating resulting in more stress. It’s a freaking vicious circle. But for now, I had a decent reading week:
I don’t usually find myself venturing toward Christmas themed stories, but I’m a big fan of Vivian Arend and since this takes place in her Heart Falls world, I decided to chance it, and I’m glad I did.
Hanna Lane is a single mom who has moved to Heart Falls with her little girl. Hanna has been on her own since the age of 16 when she found out she was pregnant and was kicked out of her home. She had to grow up really fast, and her daughter, Crissy, has been her everything for the past 8 years. She’s really had no time or inclination to form attachments to any men, but all that changes when she meets Bradley Ford.
Brad is the new fire chief who moved back to Heart Falls after his dad had an accident and needed help with his home and farm while he recovers. He’s had Hanna on his radar and while he’s pretty sure there is some mutual attraction going on, their attempts at dating always seem to fall short.
When Hanna’s home is lost to a fire, she and her daughter find themselves homeless. With Christmas just around the corner, Brad and his father offer her a place to stay. With no other options, Hanna accepts making sure it is clear that it’s just temporary. Of course, Brad agrees, though he hopes that being in close proximity might push their relationship to the next level.
At under 200 pages, Arend gives us a delightful story that doesn’t rush the romance too much. While there is definitely an attraction, Brad is gentle and patient with Hanna and lets her set the pace as these two spend time together and get to know each other. I loved Brad’s dad, who clearly had his son’s number where Hanna was concerned. He also has a cute relationship with Crissy, as he helps with babysitting. Nicely paced and low on drama, you’ll love watching this couple fall in love and become a family.
Stygian by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dark Hunter #27
August 28, 2018
Favorite Quote: For hate is a boomerang that once it’s cast out has a nasty way of coming back to the one who threw it, and more oft than not, it cripples the hand that first unleashed it.”
I recently read Stygian by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Tori has already posted a spectacular rant on this book. We read it and the prior book, Dragonsworn, over the same few days and we texted back and forth over that time. It was mostly me asking for clarification here and there because Tori’s memory for details is incredible and can be counted on to clear up details that my brain has long since forgotten. Though I am several books behind in this series and have not read the other series’ whose worlds seem to have crossed over into the Dark Hunter realm, I agree with Tori’s comments.
I loved the first part of this book. I loved watching Urian as a child growing up. I loved that he loved his mother so deeply and had such a strong relationship with Stryker and yes, it sucked that they were all lied to. I loved his special relationship with Apollymi. And while I know Phoebe has been touted as Urian’s one true love, I was really happy he ended up with Xyn.
Yes, in the end I had a lot of questions. Yes, there were scenes that were literally cut/pasted from previous books and for what these e-books cost that just really pisses me off. Yes, I was disappointed that storylines are dragging and we can’t seem to get closure on anything. And everything else Tori mentioned.
But I still love this world and I love these characters. And when I’m in the moment, reading and experiencing it, I seem to forget all my frustrations and don’t want it to end.
Ms. Kenyon, please reign it in and tie up some loose ends for us. Focus and bring the romance back. I beg you.
Castle of Illusions by Graceley Knox
Wicked Kingdoms #4
August 31, 2018
Chronic Press, LLC
I found this series last year and loved the first 3 books which were released within months of each other. I loved everything about this series that has every kind of fae you can imagine, queens and kings, and magic and spells and all kinds of good stuff. And of course, there are bad guys who want to kill Ever. The first 4 books focus on the romance developing between Ever and Dare while they strive to keep not only themselves and the people they love safe but also keep their kingdoms safe from The Order.
At the end of book 3, Ever learns that she is pregnant and book 4 picks up with Ever giving birth to her twins, a boy and a girl she names Ronan and Raley. Ronan and Raley are pretty special babies and I was not prepared for how special these newborns would turn out to be. Now, I know that magic is normally prevalent in the fae realm. I can buy that the magic could be sensed within these babies, but they are still newborns. NEWBORNS. Even in the fae world, don’t the children have to grow into their powers? They have to learn how to use them, so they are turning people into frogs or sheep or chairs for goodness sake. These babies communicate telepathically with their nanny, Siana-though it’s explained that the gift is hers, which of course makes her the most perfect nanny that ever lived.
There were many WTF moments for me following the birth of Ever’s twins. I was completely shocked that Ever races out to do battle just hours after her children are born. Isn’t she supposed to be bonding with and um-maybe feeding her babies? Also, there is a sex scene within a day or so of the twin’s birth between Ever and Dare and I’m not talking about “a lovey, dovey, you’re so beautiful, thank you for my beautiful children that you pushed out through your hoo-ha some 24 hours ago, let me hold you while you rest.” I’m talking P in the V, and I’m sorry-there ain’t magic in the world that made that scene okay.
I was excited to get book 4, which was supposed to tie up some loose ends-or so I thought. The author had told me that she had planned for the first 4 books to cover Ever and Dare’s journey and I think the first 3 books were excellent. Great world building, strong character development, and a story arc that continually moved forward with purpose. By the end of book 3, Dare and Ever are pretty committed and in love and while the pregnancy is a surprise I believe it was welcome. This story gives us the birth, shows us how special the babies are, infers that there is a mole among their people and then it kind of just ends.
Definitely not as good as the first 3. It left me a bit frustrated. The ending is kind of open-ended so I hope there will be more. It’d be nice to see Ever’s crew get their HEA’s.