The Qwillery | category: Karen Chance


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018

Well hello again. Lots has happened since my last post. First I had a super fantastic holiday in Nova Scotia visiting my sister. It is a beautiful part of Canada and if you ever get the chance to go try out October when the autumn colours are all out. Usually holidays aren't always a time when I read a lot but I was visiting my sister who reads more than I do so I got through some really good books. So let me tell you all about them.

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
So I have read quite a bit this month so hold on for a loooonnng post. First up is a nice short story - Dragon's Claw by Karen Chance. This is a Dorina Basarab story and set just after the events of Shadow's Bane. When a bunch of vampires end up dead Dorina reluctantly ends up investigating. She winds up with her faithful vamp follower - Ray - in an alternative/magical Hong Kong chasing a killer of killers through the mayhem of the magically enhanced streets. If she loses it means the end of all vampires and a shift in the war with the Dark Circle.

I enjoy the Dorina Basarab series, much more than the Cassie Palmer books and for this very reason - Dory has a job to do and she does it. She isn't busy swooning over Pritkin or Mircea...she just gets on with it. Chance hasn't written very many short stories in this world so it was a real treat that there was one and so soon after the release of a main instalment. It ends rather abruptly and more action packed than character based but for fans of the series, this is a nice diversion.

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
For my flights to and from Canada I needed a book that didn't require a lot of concentration or a complicated plot and so I turned to Clash of Storms by Bec McMaster. I read book 1 of this series - Legends of the Storm and really didn't think I would continue but took another chance.

This instalment centres on Malin - the half dreki who has led her life in the shadows - neither full dreki or full human. The dreki warrior Sirius Blackfrost isn't very happy to discover that a half dreki is his fated mate and he can't let on, especially to the Queen who will take advantage of this news. All Malin wants to do is help her princess escape a loveless marriage but with Blackfrost on her tail it might not go as planned. Fated to be parted but destined to be together.

Clash of Storms was pretty much your standard fantasy romance fare. Malin and Sirius were the opposites that attract - the weakling and the warrior all in a race against time with a uber baddie trying to keep them apart. I didn't miss much by not reading book 2 and was rather disappointed that there seems to be a book 4 coming up. If you really like this genre or need something mind numbing to read then give it a go. A bit weak for a McMaster romance in my view.

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
I discovered that the lovely Qwill had sent me the ebook of The Amiestrin Gambit by J. Kathleen Cheney and I had yet to read it. Lucky for me I discovered this while on holiday that encouraged reading. For those of you who don't/haven't read my posts I LOVED Cheney's Dreaming Death. While I waited for the next instalment I thought I would tuck into The King's Daughter series.

As the name suggests Ellis Dantreon is the king's daughter but not a beloved one. She has lived, on her own, sequestered on an estate far away from the palace....virtually abandoned by both her parents. No one is more surprised than Ellis when the king decrees that she trains as a soldier. Her home turns into a barracks for the next few years as she trains to become what her father wants her to be. New friends and more importantly enemies await Ellis as she starts her new life as a soldier.

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
The Amiestrin Gambit wasn't the only book of this series that I read in October. I also quickly plowed through books 2 and 3 - The Passing of Pawns and The Black Queen. I have to admit I wasn't sure about The Amiestrin Gambit. I had no clue what was going on for the first several chapters as names were very similar, the magical powers were unexplained and races/relationships were hidden away at the back of the book. However, books 2 and 3 were 'unputdownable'. I liked Ellis as a character. She was resilient and strong without being a warrior or hero. She is supported by an interesting cast of characters, some with magical powers and some without. My favourite character, apart from Ellis, was Grandfather who was actually a woman....sort of.....not going to say anymore so that you can find out for yourself. Each book builds an individual story that starts the weave of the plot for the next book. Book 1 focuses on Ellis in her first year of training to become a soldier. She isn't quite old enough to be a full soldier but trains with the men who have been stationed at her estate. Ellis and friends uncover a nefarious organisation of magically gifted people that hope to topple the power structure. They can take the shape of anyone at anytime, putting both Ellis and her friends at risk. The Passing of Pawns continues immediately after book 1 with Ellis's training and the plot by the separatists. As Ellis matures, a sort of love triangle has developed between Llelas (the soon to be Duke of Sandrine) and Captain Carmeyon Dantreon which adds another layer onto the plot arc. By book 3 - The Black Queen - this is more fully established and at this point Ellis is one of the King's guards. Her mother, who abandoned her when she was only 5, is back in town along with her brother who she had never met. The backstory of the Queen's abandonment of her only daughter is told alongside the continuation of the overarching plot. This is probably the best book of the series so far and I am looking forward to find out what happens next. Certain characters, who are quite prominent in one book do not feature in the next which worked well with the chronology of the overall plotline and made it more credible. If you enjoy fantasy or are a fan of Cheney's then these are a must read.

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
Cheney has a definite writing 'voice'. Her female leads tend to be young, experience great hardship and persevere, yet supported by very slightly older, more magical male characters. There is no expectation that the man comes into save the day but the male characters are definitely there for backup and Ellis sometimes needs it. Cheney has serialised book 4 - Knight & Nightrider - on her website (in draft form). I did vow to myself that I wasn't going to read another free serialised book as I have found recently that there can be too much angst tied into a weekly freebie. I have however, read the first 10 chapters that have been released. I think I am enjoying them because there is no expectation as to when a new chapter will be released which means I am not disappointed if one doesn't arrive 'on time'. Cheney also releases chapters of the Dreaming Palace series in a 'pay to read' type arrangement whereby you basically pay a subscription to read chapters early. I haven't signed up for this but thought it was an interesting alternative to waiting for the full book to be released.

That is all I am going to leave you with for this month. I hope you had a great month of super fantastic reads and I look forward to telling you what I read in a few weeks time. Until then Happy Reading.

Dragon's Claw
A Dorina Basarab Novella
Smashwords, Inc., September 2, 2018
eBook, 170 pages
  Also available in Paperback

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
A new novella in the New York Times bestselling Midnight's Daughter series!

Everyone knows that vampires are hard to kill. But when Dory Basarab is called to a crime scene in a smelly basement in Queens, she discovers that that may no longer be the case. Somebody has developed a new weapon, a vamp killer, and left her plenty of clues to follow. One of them leads her to the other side of the world, and to a city like no other, where the paranormal is normal and where death stalks the streets. Can she defeat a clever killer before he kills again, and on an unprecedented scale?

Clash of Storms
Legends of the Storms 3
Lochaber Press, September 11, 2018
eBook, 366 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland's volcanoes and steal away fair maidens.

Malin wants none of such myths. As a half-blood dreki, she's beneath the notice of the arrogant warriors who rule the skies—except for Sirius Blackfrost, the most ruthless dreki within the court. This dark prince watches her every move, but he's more villain than hero, and in her favourite fairy tales the servant never earns the prince's heart. But is there something more to the look in the Blackfrost's eyes?

To love her would be to curse her to a fate worse than death...

The second he saw her, Sirius knew her for his fated mate. But Malin is a nobody in the dreki court and her very presence is a threat to the queen's ambitions for him. Forced to hide the truth and accept the match his queen has made for him—to mate with the princess Malin serves— he dares not reveal his heart.

But when the princess flees, he must find her—and his only clue is Malin, who aims to thwart him at every step. With danger surrounding them, they must forge a truce. But can Malin ever give this wicked prince her heart? Because, while Sirius's kiss burns through her like lightning, to love him would be to defy the stars themselves…

Join USA Today bestselling author, Bec McMaster, on a seductive journey through a mythic land, with a wicked prince who's never played the hero, a servant girl with a fate larger than she can believe, and an evil queen who threatens to tear them apart. Download this epic historical fantasy filled with magic and breathtaking romance today!

Don’t miss any of the Legends of the Storm books!

Book 1:
Heart of Fire
Book 2: Storm of Desire
Book 3: Clash of Storms
Book 4: Daughter of Storms (featuring Tormund)

The Amiestrin Gambit
The King's Daughter 1
Dream Palace Press, May 1, 2018
eBook, 384 pages
  Also available in Trade Paperback

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
Ellis Dantreon is barely fifteen when she learns that her father–the king of Jenear–has decreed that she’s to be trained as a soldier. Thrust in among the others at the newly reopened War College of Amiestrin, Ellis must earn the other cadets’ respect and trust. Not all of them are pleased at having a girl among them. Ellis has to choose which ones to trust, sometimes pushing back against her instructors’ urging as she does.

But most of all, she must deal with a world far wider than the one she’s known. That world will shape her future, for the Gifted whom her meager staff have always considered myths prove to be very real indeed. Those people want very much to influence the course of a future Jenear. When it comes time for her young brother to take the throne, the Seers among them believe that Ellis will decide whether her younger brother lives or dies, or if he’ll be replaced by another claimant to the throne altogether.

And hiding among the cadets and staff, some of those Gifted have arrived at Amiestrin…

The Passing of Pawns
The King's Daughter 2
Dream Palace Press, June 14, 2018
eBook, 265 pages
  Also available in Trade Paperback

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
Ellis Dantreon is sixteen now. For the last year she’s worked to make a place for herself among the first class of cadets at the War College of Amiestrin. It’s been a struggle, but she feels they’ve begun to accept her. But a plot that would have put Ellis’ very life in danger unravels, and it seems that the Separatists may have been behind it.

Ellis has to decide quickly where she’ll place her trust. Are the Separatists trying to remove her from the line of succession? Or trying to frighten her into joining their cause? In the end, will friendships prove stronger than family?

And will the Gifted be able to get to the truth of the plot?

The Black Queen
The King's Daughter 3
Dream Palace Press, July 31, 2018
eBook, 466 pages
  Also available in Trade Paperback

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018
When Ellis Dantreon's father ordered her to become a soldier, she became the only female at the war college. Now she’s graduated and has taken her place guarding the king. But the country Seers are still predicting a terrible possibility—that she might end up marrying the Duke of Perisen, Anton Marisi.

And if she does, she probably won’t live long. Nor will her brother, Prince Kerris.

Ellis is baffled by the prediction. She’s never even spoken to the man. She certainly has no intention of allowing him to court her if she does meet him. But when another woman pretends to be her, Ellis realizes how easy it would be for that marriage to happen after all.

Now Ellis has to gather all the help she can to stave off that possibility. Unfortunately, she has an added challenge: her mother, the Queen of Jenear, has come to Verina.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018

Welcome to August. I can't believe that 2018 is already half over. Where does time go?  Some of you may have seen on the news that the UK is still in the grips of a heatwave. This summer has actually been a summer! I also can't believe that it is August and the weather is still in the high 20's and low 30's. The downside of all this lovely weather (despite sweating buckets at work) is that I can't concentrate on reading. I usually feel a bit like a wet noodle and can't pick up a book. I have however, read 1 book this week that I can tell you about. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018
Berkley has published the 4th instalment of Karen Chance's Dorina Basarab series - Shadow's Bane. Not a lot has changed for the newly appointment Senator as her life is just as wild and crazy as ever. When the nephew of one of her fey friends goes missing and presumed sold into slavery Dory is on the case. She discovers that slaves are being bought and sold to take part in illegal fight - a sort of underground fight club. Well this is what it seems on the surface. Dory and her alter ego Dorina are determined to find the missing fey and put the slavers out of business, permanently. All this while fending off assassins who want to take her place on the council and the growing dominance of her true vampire self, Dorina.

I prefer this series to Chance's Cassie Palmer series mainly due to the pace. While the pace is still frenetic at least Dory has the opportunity to eat dinner and have a heart to heart with her bestie Claire. Dory isn't as driven by her sex drive as Cassie is and there tends to be more of a plot in this series. It was interesting, that  while Dory is supposed to be the star of this story, it is Mircea that steals it. Dory's present day story is interlaced with chapters dedicated to Mircea's story back in the 1400's when he was trying to find a way to separate Dorina and Dory to help his daughter survive. It is through these back flash chapters that the background to the story's whole plot starts to unfold. We are also given insights into Dorina's real powers which add another element to the plot in the present day story.

The prominent theme in this instalment is one of belonging or perhaps more about family. Dory worries that Dorina is becoming more dominant and that she will take over and destroy everything that she has tried to hold onto like her relationship with the hunky vampire Louis-Cesare. There are a few sideline plots with her roommate Claire and the battalion of fey soldiers that are living in their back garden protecting Claire and her baby (and heir to the Light Fey throne) Aiden. Dory desperately wants to belong and keep hold of the community of friends she has started to think of as family. In the past Dorina, when she takes over, she manages to destroy any relationships that Dory has tried to build....until now. In between the Dory/Dorina elements of the plot is a lot of action. Usually with Dory getting her butt kicked and ending up with bruises on her bruises. Saucy scenes  between Dory and Louise-Cesare are still there but these are more like filler between the slaver plotline and the Mircea POV chapters. Overall, this was a good balance between action, romance and plot. A few of the characters that have been missing in previous books return along with the introduction of new ones. It did kind of feel like a final book as there was a resolution to a number of plot threads from previous books. It seemed like things were being tied up for Dory so I don't know if this is the last we will hear of the 5 foot nothing, hard as nails dhampir.

I hate to sound like a Hugh D'Ambray groupie but I bought the audio version of Ilona Andrews Iron and Magic.  I loved the narrator - Steve West  - who did the voice over for Galahad in the video game The Order 1886 (which I also loved.....a must play for any gamers out there). He has a very swoony voice and it worked perfectly for Hugh. Some of the female characters didn't sound anything like I imagined they would but he did such a great job of Hugh I wasn't too disappointed.

The temperature is going to drop a bit this week so hopefully I can get some of my reading mojo back. Until next week Happy Reading!

Shadow's Bane
A Midnight's Daughter Novel / Dorina Basarab 4
Berkley, July 31, 2018
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 624 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018
Half-human, half-vampire Dorina Basarab is back–and facing her biggest challenge yet in the next urban fantasy in the New York Times bestselling series.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir–half-human, half-vampire. As one of the Vampire Senate’s newest members, Dory already has a lot on her plate. But then a relative of one of Dory’s fey friends goes missing. They fear he’s been sold to a slaver who arranges fights–sometimes to the death–between different types of fey.

As Dory investigates, she and her friends learn the slavers are into something much bigger than a fight club. With the Vampire Senate gearing up for war with Faerie, it’ll take everything she has to defeat the slavers–and deal with the entirely too attractive master vampire Louis-Cesare….

[click to embiggen]

Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018
Book 1
Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018
Book 2
Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018
Book 3

Melanie's Week in Review - July 16, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017Why am I so tired if I only worked three days this week? Might have something to do with going to my step son's graduation and then making and decorating a mini wedding cake and a birthday cake. One turned out and one didn't.....check them out. There was almost tears with the 70th birthday cake. It didn't quite turn out as I expected. Let's just I won't be reading anymore cake recipe books for a while!

So what did I read when I wasn't baking?

Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017
Was it a coincidence that one of the books I read was about chocolate? The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer is more of a murder mystery than it is about chocolate. Tasmin and William were destined to be wed despite the fact that Tasmin is from the North and considered a barbarian and William is from the more reserved and less magical South. When William is accused of murder the wedding looks to be called off until Tasmin decides that she is going to prove her intended's innocence. What she discovers besides William's fledgling chocolate business, is murder and revenge. Someone wants to see William and his family destroyed and Tasmin is determined to find out who and why.

I quite enjoyed The Chocolatier's Wife but didn't love it. I liked how Speer told the back story of William and Tasmin's relationship through the letters that they wrote to each other while they were growing up. Why I only quite liked it rather than loved it was that it was just a bit too drawn out. While the letters were a great way to tell the reader more about the characters it also tended to interrupt the story. A couple of the big reveals, including the identity of the main 'baddy', were very good. Lovely illustrations throughout as well.

Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017
I have to confess that I read book number 2 a few months ago. I received it from the publisher via NetGalley back in April (or possibly May) and had to wait a while before I could write a review. Ride the Storm is Karen Chance's eighth instalment in the Cassie Palmer series. Cassie is still travelling through time in an effort to catch Pritkin so that she can restore his soul. He isn't too keen to get caught and joining her this time is Pritkin's father and now frenemy Rosier. There are more crossovers this time with the Dorina Basarab series which finds the Mages and the Vampires under attack. Cassie is still being pursued through time by a few acolytes who wanted the top job as the Pythia. While that is enough to get on with, the gods want to come back and Cassie is only person that can stop them breaking through but she can't do it alone. She has a lot on her plate and a lot is at stake on the young Pythia's shoulders.

I preferred this instalment to the one before (Reap the Wind) as I thought the story flowed a bit more cohesively. It is still pretty chaotic with Cassie being in modern day Las Vegas one minute and ancient England the next. We also learn more about Cassie's parents and get to 'meet' her father which adds another dimension to her character. The ending is a bit of a surprise and I am still not entirely sure what happened. Feel free to make a comment and let me know!

That is it for me this week. I am looking forward to a week that doesn't involve getting covered in icing sugar. Wish me luck!

The Chocolatier's Wife: Illustrated Edition
Dragonwell Publishing, April 28, 2017
Hardcover, 302 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, July 6, 2012

Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017

When Tasmin’s betrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn’t have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William’s own family, who all resent her kind – the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose – and he is intent on ruining William’s family at all cost.

The Chocolatier’s Wife is a truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

Ride the Storm
Cassie Palmer 8
Berkley, August 1, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 608 pages

Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017
Cassie Palmer can see the future, talk to ghosts, and travel through time—but nothing’s prepared her for this.

Ever since being stuck with the job of pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up to the lifetime’s worth of training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the fabled pythian court. Catch up to the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her more than a little burned.

But now she realizes that all that was the just the warm up for the real race. Ancient forces that once terrorized the world are trying to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them…

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015

Before I start to tell you about what I read this week I would like to say happy birthday to my sister Lauranne. Why the special mention? Well she is the very reason I am here at The Qwillery telling you about all the great speculative fiction I read. Lauranne first introduced me to the urban fantasy series Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and my all time favourite fantasy (EVER!) Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay about 8 years ago. I hadn't read very much in these genres before and hadn't like epic fantasy up until that point. So Happy Birthday Lauranne! But what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015
I wasn't as productive on the reading front this week unfortunately. I only finished 1 book (gasp!) and it was the seventh book in the Cassie Palmer series Reap the Wind by Karen Chance. I received this via the publisher from NetGalley so the rest of you are going to have to wait until the 3rd of November to see if you agree with my review.

In this installment Cassie is determined to find her half incubus friend and more than potential love interest Pritkin, centuries in the past in order to remove the curse placed on him in the last book. This isn't the only thing on her super packed agenda as she also have a whole pack of young children to take care of. She rescued the young acolytes at the end of the last book by going back in time and changing the time line.  All of this is in the back drop all of the escalating war between the Circle, the vampires, the demons and the fae.   Trying to rescue Pritkin isn't as straightforward as it seems as she has to take his demon father Rosier with her into the past in order to remove Pritkin's curse. Thwarting the rescue are the other Pythias Cassie needs to avoid who are determined that she doesn't create too many paradoxes with all her time travelling.  Too much too do and too little time should be Cassie's motto.

I was disappointed with this instalment.  While I will admit I haven't enjoyed the Cassie books as much as I have the Dorina Basarab series, which is set in the same world with a few cross over characters. Cassie always seemed much less in control than Dorina and a bit more of a pushover. However, in Reap the Wind it was the story itself I had a problem with. I found the story really rambled with an excess of quirky dialogue which in the end was annoying. There was also excessive use of sentencesthatallruntogetherwhichbecametedioustoread. There didn't seem to be much of a flow in the story like there has been in other books of the series and the time travelling element made it even more difficult to follow.  One minute Cassie was in a present day Las Vegas, a sentence or two later she is in the past searching for Pritkin and then a sentence or two after that she is trying to save Casanova from being killed in a weird alien/demon gladiator ring. I found I was having to go back and re-read parts of chapters in an attempt to sort out in my head what was happening. I felt there was little in the way of explanation of events or development of either Cassie or the plot until at least halfway through. By that point the story had started to lose my interest and I found myself flipping a few pages. On the positive side there is a better insight into Cassie's relationship with Mircea and she does start to stick up for herself more towards the end. It isn't all about the sex and romance now as she sees a side to him she hasn't seen before plus there is also a good use of cross over characters with the Dorina series. Overall, this took me much longer to read than what I had expected and by the end I wasn't satisfied that it was worth the investment in time however it won't stop me from finishing the series. I just hope that book 8 brings the story back on track.

Sorry folks, that is it for me for this week. I am travelling a lot next week so more time dedicated to reading. Until next week Happy Reading.

Reap the Wind
Cassie Palmer 7
Signet, November 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 528 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tempt the Stars comes the latest in the series that’s “well worth getting hooked on”(Fresh Fiction).

You’d think that being chief seer for the supernatural world would come with a few perks. But as Cassie Palmer has learned, being Pythia doesn’t mean you don’t have to do things the hard way. That’s why she finds herself on a rescue mission skipping through time—even though she doesn’t entirely understand her dimension-bending new power.

Rescuing her friend John Pritkin should have been an in-and-out kind of deal, but with the near-immortal mage’s soul lost in time, Cassie has to hunt for it through the ages—with Pritkin’s demon dad in tow. He’s the only one who can reverse Pritkin’s curse, but with the guardians of the timeline dead set on stopping anyone from mucking about, Cassie will have to figure out how to get her friend back without ruffling too many feathers—or causing a world-ending paradox or two….

Melanie's Week in Review - April 6, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - April 6, 2014

Welcome to April. I can't believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2014 with spring here and summer in the not to distant future. I decided to say goodbye to March and hello to April by having a HEA week. I sort of achieved it. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - April 6, 2014
I discovered that Karen Chance had released Masks (Cassie Palmer 4.3) which tells the story of Mircea's early years being a vampire. For those who aren't familiar with either the Cassie Palmer or Dorina Basarab stories, Mircea is a very powerful vampire in both series (Dorina's father & Cassie's honey bunny), but in Masks he is just starting out as a fledgling vampire. I thought this was going to be novella or a short story but it was a full length novel (I think) and took me much longer to read than I thought it would. Masks is based in Venice just two years after Mircea was cursed and turned into a vampire (sound like Angel from Buffy?). Mircea has been bought by a wealthy courtesan and finds much more than a warm bed as the favourite of one of the vampire senators. Much like the series from which this story is born there is murder, mystery and political intrigue on every corner and all set in 15th century Venice. Like her other novels Chance keeps a healthy pace and you need to pay attention in order to figure out 'who dunnit'. I had figured it out but only a few pages before the big reveal. I also thought the ending was a bit bittersweet but I don't want to ruin it and also, you need to have read the Dorina series to understand why. Mircea isn't my favourite character but overall there was a solid plot and a good backing to the Dorina series which I enjoy.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 6, 2014This was also the week for books downloading onto my Kindle. The first was Death's Daughter which is the second in the Realm Walker series by Kathleen Collins. I have to say I had no recollection of book 1 when I saw this one pop into my Kindle library. I had to go back and read the ending of book 1, the Realm Walker to figure out why I had pre-ordered book 2 but it all came flooding back quite clearly. In this instalment children are being kidnapped and ending up brutally murdered. Juliana is determined to make the killer pay. This instalment is a bit unusual as it written from both Juliana and Thomas's POV in alternate chapters. Juliana is all about solving the case but Thomas is only concerned with protecting Juliana and exacting revenge on Raoul who had viciously raped his mate over 10 years ago. Normally, I prefer the romance to take a back seat to the action but in the case of Death's Daughter the romance was almost non-existent and when it did surface it was a bit 'snoresville'. There is just no chemistry between these two. I can't put my finger on it but there just isn't. I thought the plot was OK but guessed who the baddie was way before the ending.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 6, 2014
The next book to help fill up my TBR was Six Months by Danika Dark which is the second in the Seven Years series. If you read my WIR when I discussed book 1  - Seven Years - I was a bit nervous about starting a series by this author as she tends to write erotica which I don't enjoy. While book 1 was practically labelled '' this is not erotica " book 2 veered away from its urban fantasy beginning and focussed much more on 'tingling cores' and 'throbbing manhoods'. This instalment shares the same characters as book one but we get the inside story on Lexi's colleague April and the hunky, tough shifter Reno. April is pretty much your femme fatale who is in serious debt to loan sharks while Reno is a PI with an over protective streak. There was a lot happening in this story but there were almost too many bit characters who fought with April and Reno for centre stage. It was also full of a lot of testosterone and studly shifterness. Where Lexi stood up for herself April allowed herself to be trampled by almost everyone and there were so many bad things that happened to her it got a bit formulaic by the mid-way point. I am still interested though where Dark takes this series next. There are many more characters that are ripe for their own story but I am not sure who will get centre stage next.

I was a bit disappointed by my HEA week as I thought a number of the romances were a bit flat. I think I will stick to reading a mix of genres so that I have some variety and not comparing one book to another so readily. I hope you have had some success reducing your TBR and until next time Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - September 15, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review  - September 15, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review  - September 15, 2013Hello everyone! I am sure you are thrilled to know that I was much better behaved this week and didn't buy any books on a whim.....I did buy a book but not on a whim. I didn't think I was going to get very much read this week because I was on a course for work and had to study for two exams. This week however, was nearly back to back excellent books. So what did I read?

If you read my WIR last week I read The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke and LOVED IT! I then bought and read the second book of the series The Pirate's Wish which I also loved. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was a duology and not a trilogy. I don't know why I was expecting more books but I was. I did have a mini case of the doldrums when I discovered that I wasn't going to be able to read anymore of two characters I had quickly grown to love. On reflection I think that Clarke ended the story perfectly but it was both touching and melancholy in equal measure. I am not sure if these are YA or not but if you like a unique story, engaging characters and a colourful, magical world then you need to read these books.

Melanie's Week in Review  - September 15, 2013I decided to go for something a little more dark and edgy so turned to Karina Cooper and her new installment of the Cherry St Croix series, Corroded. I won't ruin anything for you by saying too much about it as I will be reviewing it soon.  Plus, I am about to explode with the need to discuss this with someone and don't want to blab something by accident. If you haven't read this story then you better get started so you don't read any spoilers.

Melanie's Week in Review  - September 15, 2013Right before my last exam I decided I needed something fast-paced but not too taxing on my poor studied out brain. I discovered Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance on NetGalley and thought this was just the thing I needed. Avert your eyes now if you haven't read the other books as its hard to describe this book without giving a little bit away of the previous books in the series. In book 6, Cassie is on a quest to rescue Pritkin from the incubus hell dimension his father banished him to. In order to get there she goes back in time to get some advice from her former goddess mother. Nothing, ever goes to plan as Cassie finds herself in the fight of her life, over and over again. Nearly every supernatural baddy wants to take down the Pythia and she risks life and limb to save her friends. I quite enjoyed Tempt the Stars as I thought it was more plot than romance in comparison to the other books. I can't believe that 6 books have only spanned 3 months in Cassie's life. I am not sure how she does it as she is almost getting killed every other chapter. So for just three months that is a quite a few near death situations. I also thought that Chance had 'jazzed' up Cassie's dialogue. There were a lot of run on sentences as if 'ChancehadonlyjustdiscoveredTwitterandwastestingouthashtags', alas without the hashtags though. I like Cassie but I think I prefer the Dorina Basarab, Dhampir series a tiny bit better. Cassie seems to be constantly in turmoil about who or what she is. Dorina is much more grounded in comparison. This is a high energy read so don't expect to relax as you will be on the edge of your seat from page 1.

That's it for me. I am looking forward to tucking into a few more books I received in my last Qwill 'care package'. I hope you had an eventful week in reading and until next week Happy Reading.

Melanie's Month in Review - October 2018Melanie's Week in Review - August 5, 2018Melanie's Week in Review  - July 16, 2017Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - April 6, 2014Melanie's Week in Review  - September 15, 2013

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