Friday, July 30, 2010

Sins of the Heart

Otherkin Trilogy - Book 1

Author: Eve Silver

Roxy Tam grew up moving from place to place. Abandoned by her mother at a young age and placed in the foster care system, she had no family or anyone close. Until she trusted the wrong person and ended up in the hands of a killer. Her savior, Dagan Krayl, changed everything she thought she knew about the world and then left her alone once again. Feeling angry and abandoned, she runs to the very people he's warned her away from. She finds a family in the Daughters of Aset, who are enemies of Sutekh, Dagan's father. She tries to forget Dagan, but she can't, and eleven years after he saved her life, he's back and her both her association with the Daughters of Aset and her resentment puts them on opposite sides.

Dagan Krayl is a demi-god. A son of Sutekh, God of the Underworld, he is a soul reaper who scavenges the Topworld to harvest the souls of evil humans to feed his father. When he comes to reap the soul of Roxy Tam's would be killer he does not expect there to be an innocent there. No one has ever seen him and lived to tell. Dagan desires Roxy and feels drawn to her, but he wants her to have a normal life, something she can't have with him. He warns her to stay away from his father's enemies and leaves her behind, but he's never been able to leave her behind in his mind. He never expected to see Roxy again, much less as one of his enemies, but when his brother dies and his search leads him to the Daughters of Aset, he knows he can't walk away from Roxy again.

I've enjoyed Eve Silver's historical romances and only recently read her Compact of Sorcerers books, so I was pretty sure I was going to like this book and I'm glad to say that I was not wrong. I'll admit that sometimes I got a little frustrated with Roxy's choices, I understood why her character reacted the way she did. She was a though cookie who didn't let people get close, but with good reason. I also think that if Dagan was so set on her having a normal life and couldn't forget her, he should have peeked in on her now and again. I know that I couldn't have just walked away and never wondered what became of her. I did like that once he decided to go after her, he did not let her, or the opposition that they faced, put him off.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box

PassionFruit Games is apparently coming out with a game based on Marjorie M. Liu's book, Tiger Eye. I'll be honest, I think I've loved every book I've read from Marjorie M. Liu, but Tiger Eye has got to be my favorite. Not only was it the first of her books that I read, but the whole idea of someone trapped in an object for centuries by a curse until someone comes along who can release them, is one I really like. I'm also crazy for puzzle games. Have been since the web based cypher puzzle games back in the 90's.

The game description:

Encounter mystery, magic, and romance in the interactive tale Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box.

Play as the beautiful and psychically-gifted Dela Reese, who is hurtled into an extraordinarily dangerous situation soon after purchasing an ancient riddle box in a Beijing dirt market. After Dela arrives back at her hotel room and manages to open the riddle box, she is shocked to encounter a gorgeous 7-foot tall warrior, who had been imprisoned in the box for 2,000 years. The warrior, Hari, has been cursed to serve as a slave to whomever opens the box. While Dela, a strong 21st century woman, is repulsed by the idea of controlling another human being, there are others who desperately seek the box’s power and will stop at nothing to obtain it. Help Dela escape assassins, win the respect and love of Hari, and lift the evil curse that strips Hari of his freedom.

Right now there's a contest going on at PassionFruit Games. They're looking for beta testers. The first 50 people win a chance to get first crack at the game. So head on over there and have a look!

E-books, Video Games, and Kids

I haven't been blogging, which is pretty obvious. I know I need to start back up. I've been rereading a lot, which is part of the reason I haven't been blogging, family holiday stuff and video games being others. I love playing video games only slightly less than I love reading. Between the Sims 3 expansion, World of Warcraft, and Dragons Age: Origins, my reading time suffers a bit, but I am reading. I've got several e-books that I'm going to be blogging about eventually, maybe keep me from molesting my husband by recounting plots and stuff. The main reason I started this blog in the first place. So there will be new stuff up, I'm just not sure when. I'm not sure whether to start posting after my kids go back to school or next Monday. Maybe Monday, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Scandal in the Spring

Wallflowers Series - Book 4

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Daisy Bowman is a dreamer. She knows she's the odd one in the family, everyone else is so practical and driven while she's content to watch clouds and pick out the shapes she sees in them. She loves whimsical things and and fantastical novels. When her father brought her and her sister, Lillian, to England to find aristocratic husbands, Daisy wasn't overly concerned. So long as she wasn't separated from her sister, she didn't much mind it. Though she did wish she might find a gentleman who was a bit of a dreamer too, someone who would understand her a little, but as the season draws to a close with no real prospective husband on the horizon, her father begins to become impatient to return to his business in America and begins to chafe at all the money wasted on an investment that doesn't look to make a return. He gives Daisy an ultimatum. Find a husband by the end of the month or marry his protege, Mr. Matthew Swift. There is no one Daisy would rather marry less than a cold-blooded business man who is an exact replica of her father. Much less one that will see her back in America, an entire ocean away from her sister. With the help of her sister, the rest of the Wallflowers and their husbands, she hopes they can save her from Mr. Swift. Even if he is looking a great deal more attractive than she remembers.

Matthew Swift isn't the man everyone thinks he is. He is a man with secrets. One of those secrets is the fact that he has been in love with Daisy Bowman from the moment he first set eyes on her, but his other secrets make any life with Daisy impossible. From the time he was an adolescent, and Mr. Bowman all but adopted him, he's looked up to the man and striven to be a successful business man like him. He knows that none of the Bowman's children like him, Daisy maybe least of all. She thinks him a carbon copy of her father, who disapproves of her fanciful nature, but the truth is that Matthew loves every quirky thing about her. When Mr. Bowman summons him to England for business he knows it will be hard for him seeing Daisy after all this time and doubtless surrounded by suitors, but she'll marry some aristocrat and he'll go back to America where he won't have to see her with another man. All he has to do is keep his feelings in check and hidden from everyone, shouldn't be too hard, he's been doing it for years. He just didn't bargain on how hard it would be watch another man court her or that Daisy might begin seeing him in a different light altogether. How can he resist the girl of his dreams? And resist he must because the secrets of his past are finally catching up to him.

Matthew's secret was pretty darn major. I thought that the untangling of it was kind of brief. I was kind of surprised that Mr. Bowman and his wife reacted the way they did to learning about his secret. Much cooler than I thought them capable of being. I could understand why Matthew thought that there was no future for him with Daisy, but I think that he just wasn't thinking it through enough. If he hadn't slipped up with his dad then he would have been perfectly safe to start a life in England, farther from the man who was looking for him and, since he did not know that his father had told where to find him, it would have been perfectly understandable for him to seriously consider it. I wish he would have told Daisy himself instead of having her find out the way she did. I found it annoying that Daisy never thought to give Matthew the time of day until he showed up in England looking all fit and attractive. By her own admission, she was never nice to him and yet when she sees him again, she is instantly attracted to him and agitated at the thought that he isn't interested in her. To me it makes her seem a bit petty and shallow. She never tried to get to know him when he was a bit gawky, but she disliked him anyway.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Devil in Winter

Wallflowers Series - Book 3

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Evangeline Jenner is the daughter of Ivo Jenner, former boxer and proprietor of a gaming hell called Jenner's. Her mother was from an upper class family, but met Jenner after a near miss accident involving her family's coach. She ran away with him and eloped. She went to her family before her daughter was born and dies during childbirth. Thought Evie was allowed to visit her father, she was raised by her mother's family. They treated her terribly and were not above beating or starving her to bend her to their will. She's always believed that marriage was her only way out of her terrible situation, but she's got so much working against her, chiefly the fact that her shyness causes her to stammer when speaking. Usually the more attractive the gentleman trying to talk to he is, the worse she stutters. She knows her odds are slim at best, but maybe with the help of her fellow Wallflowers, she might find a kind gentleman to marry. Then she finds out that her father, whom she hasn't been allowed to see in months, is at death's door and that her relatives plan to marry her off to a cousin so that they can keep her father's money. She also suspects they may kill her shortly after getting the money. She desperately needs a husband and there is only on man whom she knows who needs a rich wife just as desperately.

Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent, has made women and the pursuit of pleasure his life's work, unfortunately for him, it isn't the sort of work that pays well. His father has squandered away the family fortune and St. Vincent needs to marry an heiress before his creditors come calling. A task he's made harder on himself by attempting to kidnap and force a marriage on Lillian Bowman, an heiress, a Wallflower, and the Duke of Westcliff's fiance. All he managed to get out of the deal was a severe beating and the loss of his best friend, the a fore mentioned Duke of Westcliff. When the stuttering, red-headed Wallfloer, Evie Jenner, showed up on his doorstep, all he felt was annoyance. When she proposed that they elope immediately, he was definitely suspicious, but a man in his position could hardly afford to pass up such an opportunity. They agree that Evie shall have a portion of the money for herself and they'll live separate lives, but once St. Vincent gets a look at Jenner's club, he starts to see an entirely new future opening before him ... a future that just might include such foreign concepts as fidelity and love.

Some of you may recognize Ivo Jenner as Derek Craven's nemesis in Dreaming of You. I always love it when author's do things like this, bring secondary characters from other books/series in to newer. It makes you feel more realistic. I mean, you've got all these character's living in certain areas, it's likely they're crossed paths, especially when you're talking about the aristocracy and upper classes. They tended to travel in the same circles. I'm not sure how I felt about St. Vincent, especially after the doings in the previous book, It Happened One Autumn. I was glad to know that he never would have made good his threat to rape Lillian, but he still shackled her to a bed and threatened to rape her. Yes, Westcliff's mother probably would have had Lillian killed if St. Vincent hadn't agreed to take her, but he could have easily taken her to a safe place and let Westcliff know what was going on. If he'd thought it through, even for a moment, he would have seen how impossible the whole scheme was. He started out being rather prick-ish to Evie, which was at times incongruous with the kindnesses he showed her, but for someone who is supposed to be a hardened libertine, he changes course rather suddenly. With most characters like St. Vincent when we see a change it's because they've become weary of their life style or something drastic has happened o cause them to rethink they're whole way of life. These things happen with St. Vincent, but neither of them seems big enough to cause such a change, and certainly not as suddenly as it did. I think I needed more of a redemption for him than I got. Eve was great. I like how she didn't do what most heroines do an give in to lust and sleep with St. Vincent regardless of her concerns. Sometimes I get so tired of the heroine who knows the guy is bad news and has decided that sleeping with him is a bad thing, yet the moment the hero comes within arms reach her clothes fall off and her legs flop open like she's some mindless blow-up doll. Evie wanted him and loved him, but she stuck to her guns until she felt it was right to sleep with him.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It Happened One Autumn

Wallflowers Series - Book 2

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Lillian Bowman is the daughter of a rich American industrialist who's trying to buy his way in to the upper class by offering a sizable dowry to any man of suitable pedigree who's willing to marry his daughters. A fact so well known that in New York, where the girls are from, that they've coined the phrase "Marry Lillian and get a million". Now the girls are in England and they've got a season to find aristocratic husbands. Their father is doing business with the Earl of Westcliff and they're spending a month at his country estate. Lillian would be perfectly happy to enjoy the beautiful estate if it weren't for the arrogant, uptight earl who disapproves of just about everything she does. When he isn't mauling her, that is.

Lord Marcus Westcliff, Earl of Westcliff, is very interested in machinery and believes that industry is the future. Unlike his peers, who are desperately trying to hold on to their "superiority", Westcliff embraces industry and fosters it whenever possible. It is this that brings him in contact with Mr. Thomas Bowman, a soap magnate, father to Lillian and Daisy Bowman. He wishes to talk Mr. Bowman in to opening a branch of his business in England. Marcus could only wish that dealing with Mr. Bowman did not entail having to deal with Lillian Bowman. He finds Lillian to be arrogant, domineering, manipulative, and prone to inappropriate behavior. In other words, a complete hellion! There is nothing at all to recommend her. Why then has he suddenly been struck by this inability to keep his hands off of her?

I don't know how I felt about this perfume thing and how Westcliff disliked her intensely one moment and then was all over her the next. Only to retreat then maul her again. I understand that Westcliff's dad was an abusive jerk who tried to beat any sign of weakness or emotion out of him as a boy, but he seemed to be pretty self-aware, except apparently when it came to Lillian and what he wanted from her. That seen where he comments that a man who has sex more than once a week has too much time on his hands in a room with two recently married men and a complete libertine is just so funny to me. I liked that Lillian was of stronger character even though she did occasionally fall in to the trap of making stupid choices just to prove she was capable. Only one of those moments, the one with the horse riding, made me think she was pulling a TSTL. I'll admit that the whole thing with St. Vincent was a shocker. Did not see it coming! I know it was mentioned repeatedly that he was completely lacking in morals and untrustworthy, often by St. Vincent himself, but I still did not expect it to go the way it did. They mentioned the time he stole a woman from Westcliff, but I saw it as a favor to him. I figured that St. Vincent knew what that woman was about and that she was wrong for Westcliff so when she tried to use him to make Westcliff jealous, he seduced her so that there would be no chance of her snaring Westcliff. I still see it that way, even after the boneheaded thing he did with Lillian.

Evie's story is next and St. Vincent is slated to be the hero in that one. I'm reserving judgment on just how he's going to be redeemed after this. Here's hoping.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Secrets of a Summer Night

Wallflower Series - Book 1

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Annabelle Peyton getting desperate. Her father's death has left her family in dire straits. What little money they have goes mainly toward putting her younger brother to school and keeping her looking as fashionable as possible on their meager budget in hopes that she will catch a wealthy husband. Even though she is beautiful and gently bred, she has reached the age of 25 and this will be her last season, her last chance to save her family before she's forced to do something ruinnous, like accepting the protection of one of the many "gentlemen" who have begun to circle like vultures. She knows there is no coming back from that and so she'll do whatever she has to do to catch a husband, even if it means going along with two outrageous Americans and a mousy red-head who stutters in a scheme crazy enough to work. They're tired of being wallflowers and all in need of husbands for various reasons, so why not pool their resources and join forces to get them each a husband one at a time. After all, what man could stand against the combined cunning and determination of four marriage minded women? If only that dreadful cit, Simon Hunt would stop asking her to dance and making inappropriate propositions that remind her all too well of that one time, years ago, when he kissed her in a darkened amphitheater. Yes, he's got obscene amounts of money, but he's not of her class and she knows he's not the marrying kind. The Wallflowers have set their sights on a rich viscount who seems very sweet and kind. They've got their strategy all mapped out and they'll have that gentleman caught in a compromising position before before he knows what hit him.

Simon Hunt was born the son of a butcher, but you couldn't tell it by his fine clothes, bulging bank account and thriving businesses. He's got more money and connections than some aristocrats can boast and he's gotten there through ambition, hard work, and determination. What Simon Hunt wants, he gets. He's been fascinated with Annabelle Peyton from the first moment he saw her. He's never been able to forget the time he went to an amphitheater with Annabelle and her brother. The lights went down for a few minutes and there, in the dark, he gave in to the urge to kiss her. He expected to be pushed away and slapped, but instead she gave in and kissed him back. He's spent the last two years since that kiss trying to get her alone. He knows her family's financial situation and when she finally gives up on marriage she'll need a protector. Simon plans to be that man, no matter how many other gentlemen he's got to take down to do it. When rumors first surface that she's already taken a protector, an unsavory man who apparently gives her just enough to get by on, Simon is sure it's all a lie, but during a house party in the country, there seems to be an odd sort of tension between Annabelle and the man purported to be her protector. Could it be true? When Annabelle is poisoned by an adder bite, Simon diagnoses and treats her before the doctor even gets there. He realizes after the ordeal that he might just love her and that he wants her to be his in every way, but can he convince her to marry a man who's not of her class? Especially when a rich viscount seems ready to offer for her at any moment?

I really like Simon, though in the beginning it irked me that he used not being a gentleman as a rationalization for taking advantage of her bad situation to make a mistress out of her, but looking down on the aristocrats for doing the same thing. He has been fantasizing about this girl for 2 years and he never thought to offer her marriage? Really? Annabelle wasn't much better in her resistance to Simon. She let her prejudice of the lower classes color her judgment when it came to Simon. If she'd have accepted his offers to dance she might have gotten to know him. I mean, the guy is mega rich, and interested in her. If she'd gotten over herself she could have eventually talked him around to thinking marriage. She never even thought to give it a chance. The whole attitude the guys in this book had with regards to Annabelle's situation was disgusting. They're all like "Why marry the poor girl when I can wait until she's desperate enough to become my whore? " I know, different times and all that, but it's still sick as far as I'm concerned. I really liked the rest of the Wallflowers and am looking forward to their books.