Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer

This book isn’t released until November 2017, so I’ll try and keep this brief and nonspoilery. Loosely based on The Picture of Dorian Gray, the story revolves around a young woman named Dorina Gray and her sister, Evadne.

Dorina and Evadne have a difficult relationship. When Evadne catches her with a girl and tells their parents, she is forced to chaperone her younger sister in London for the summer. They stay with their Uncle Basil, who is an artist. He introduces them to Lady Henry, who Dorina becomes smitten with, while Evadne views her hedonistic lifestyle as distasteful.

The two sisters continue to struggle to get along and eventually choose to mainly ignore each other. Dorina spends her time with Henry, while Evadne finds a fencing club. Fencing plays a very large role in this story. We find out that Henry has a secret club of her own that is occultic.

I thought this book was fabulous! It reads more like historical fiction at first, with the paranormal aspects coming to the front towards the end. It is well-written and focuses a lot on sensuality and appreciating the five senses, physical pleasure, art, food – and the philosophies revolving around a life lived in the pursuit of these pleasures.

Dorina is a lesbian and I got the impression that Henry was a bit of a cross-dresser. Sexuality was treated as a non-issue; the characters loved who they loved and lived as they wanted to live and no one made much of it.

Evadne was at first a rigid and unlikable character, but wow, does she have some surprises in store for the reader.

This book is very unique and I found it pleasantly, surprisingly FANTASTIC.

My review at Goodreads;

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital copy to read and review.

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The Red Lily (Vampire Blood 2) by Juliette Cross

This is a blog I wrote about book two in the Vampire Blood series by Juliette Cross featuring Nikolai and Sienna, who we met in book one. It will be released on
July 19, 2017 and was fantastic. Check it out below! 🙂

The Red Lily is book two in the Vampire Blood series by Juliette Cross. The kingdoms are ruled by the dark and powerful Varis vampire family. One of the royals is pulling the strings and powering the soldiers with a blood madness, called sanguine furorem, giving them extra strength and an indiscriminate urge to murder […]

via The Red Lily (Vampire Blood 2) by Juliette Cross — Dust off Your MacHalo

The Black Lily by Juliette Cross

Bam! 5 stars! I’ve been waiting for you, wonderful book! So often, I am disappointed by vampire romances. This one was perfect. Everything I love. I’m going to cast my favorite book boyfriend actor as Marius, the vampire prince.

For Arabelle, something like this:

She is no damsel in distress. She dresses in “man pants” in a time when women only wore dresses and gowns. She is the leader of a resistance against the vampire monarchy.

She sets out to kill Marius and of course ends up falling in love with him.

I thought this book was written well. The romance happened fast and there was insta-lust, but it was very believable, and besides, I don’t like romances that drag out forever. It’s a hate-to-love romance.

I loved the encounters these two had. I thought they had fantastic chemistry and the plot was quite substantial for a romance. I really hope there are more!!! I would like to see more of Nikolai. And Sienna. She was awesome. I loved the hart wolves and want to find out more about the magic of Silvane Forest.

The female is not a virgin and even though Marius is almost one hundred years old, it wasn’t quite as extreme as some paranormal romances are. She was experienced in her own way and independent.

I DEVOURED this in one day. It is one of my favorite vampire romances now. I want to go and binge everything this author has written now, even though I think this is her only vampire book. She did it all SO WELL. (I think she has a dragon series and a demon one?) More vampires please!

I have nothing but good things to say about this. I don’t think it is released yet, but I highly recommend. So so good.

I love my vampires and there are a lot of crappy vampire books out there. THIS is a great one, in my view. I would view it more as fantasy, since it takes place in a time of castles, swords, and balls, etc. PNR is generally more often set in “modern” time.

“Night Shift” (Midnight, Texas #3) by Charlaine Harris

Four Stars – The best one and apparently the last one.

The ending left it open to continue, but as of now Midnight, Texas is a trilogy. Figures it would finally start getting good and then end.

The plot: An ancient evil is rising underneath the crossroads of the tiny mysterious town where only secretive, strange people seem to live. Lemuel the vampire has to translate an ancient text that will explain how to stop the evil before it rises to cause unstoppable destruction.

I felt like I had finally started to “get” the people of Midnight and understand them. Before, they seemed kind of grumpy and as if none of them liked each other, but now I understand, they are all just introverts.

7ifj0ab

They DO like each other, they just don’t like to hang out – unless someone is getting killed or an unspeakable evil is rising…

What I liked is that we learned a LOT more about Manfred and Lemuel, Quinn was back, and Fiji’s character had a lot of development and was great in this. Lemuel had a bigger part and we get to see interaction with other vampires. We find out more about his and Olivia’s relationship. It was good!

What I didn’t like. There was a flimsy love triangle involving Fiji and Bobo and Quinn. Yes, Quinn. Again. SPOILER ALERT! And poor Quinn lost again! WTH. #foreveralone – I’ll take Quinn! Bobo wasn’t in it much until the end and it was totally predictable. Harris should really stay away from romance.

We meet Fiji’s sister, who is a total bitch. Mr. Snuggly is awesome, as usual. Overall, this was well-paced and quite enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised.

Apparently, NBC is making a TV show about it, which, hmmm, not sure about that. The first two were okay, but not that exciting. And with only three books, I am guessing they are going to have to expand a lot of the characters and it will have to be more complex?

My reviews are the books are also at Goodreads.

Midnight Crossroad

Day Shift

Night Shift

Pre-review:

Marking this as currently-reading for vampire month since Lemuel is supposedly a main character in this one. He’s one of my favorites in this world. Because vampires. Duh. I read the first two and they were solid three star reads. I’m glad Charlaine Harris has stayed away from romance, though, because, well, we know how horrible well she does that. #sookieflashbackhelpme

“Dragon Actually” by G.A. Aiken

Dragon Actually (The Dragon Kin, #1)Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, but rounded up.

So, reading and writing this review has given me another an opportunity to Google Jason Momoa pictures, since he reminds me of the male lead character, Fearghus (who is a SEXY dragon shifter).

On one hand, this was a pretty typical fantasy romance, but it also had some high points that put it above your average, tropey love story. Annwyl is a 21 year old virgin, but she grew up with an abusive father and brother and spent all her time learning to be a warrior, so she could eventually take the throne and save her people from evil tyranny. Annwyl is pretty bad-ass. She says what she feels, does what she wants, and knows what she wants. That is refreshing. There is little angst. The sex scenes are very steamy (and there are a LOT of them).

Fearghus is a fun romantic hero. He’s also got LOTS of sexy dragon shifter brothers, so that means lots more books in the series! HAHA – His sister, Morfryd is awesome as well. Another strong female character in a romance. Imagine that.

So, if you like PNR or fantasy romance, you’ll probably like this. It’s got all the “good stuff” (raunchy sex scenes) plus a plot plus strong characters you don’t want to bitchslap. That’s a win in my book! Where’s book 2?!?! *goes to find it*

Buddy read with my MacHalo dragon lovers. Even Sarah liked it!

View all my reviews

“Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror” by Christopher Golden

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric TerrorSeize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror by Christopher Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you Netgalley for a digital copy of this to read and review. I do love me some vampire stories, both the romantic ones and the creepy, horror ones. This is an anthology of the horror-type variety.

Overall, this was solid collection of horror stories. I admit with the cover of the shirt-less male on the front, I was expecting something a little more along the lines of this:

Or at least this:

Some of it was very vampy, of course, but mainly it was stories about flesh-eating monsters. Still good for horror fans.

I knew this wasn’t about emo sparkly vampires or sexy muscular ones who were great in bed, etc. But I was expecting less monsters and more old-school vampires. However, this is was still pretty good. I’m glad I read it.

Now for my long-ass breakdown of the stories and how I rated them.

1)Up in Old Vermont – 3 stars (a nice and creepy story involving vampire creatures called the skad)

2)Something Lost, Something Gained by Seanan McGuire – 3 stars (an interesting take on vampires involving fireflies?)

3)On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin – 2 stars (meh, this one didn’t do much for me)

4)The Neighbors by Sherrilyn Kenyon – 2 stars (This was incredibly short and just when it got good, it ended. The only reason I can think to include this is because of the author’s popularity.)

5)Paper Cuts – 4 stars (A wonderful story, longer than most of the others… it was creepy and had a very unique take on vampires. One of my favorites in the anthology.)

6)Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris – 2.5 stars (This had the potential of being interesting, but ended up just being okay. Harris is into “energy vampires” these days. She’s got one in her current Midnight series and it’s a similiar premise here. It just didn’t do much for me.)

7)In a Cavern, in a Canyon – 1.5 stars – MEH. (I’m starting to wonder where the real vampires are in this freaking book.

8)Whiskey and Light – 2 stars – MEH. (This one was boring although (view spoiler) I just didn’t care for the story that came before the ending.

9)We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong – 4 stars (This was really good. A dystopian, apocalyptic take on vampires as a contagion-type disaster scenario. I really enjoyed it!)

10)May the End Be Good – 3 stars (This was decent, creepy, and had the horror and gore aspect you’d expect in a book like this.)

OMG I’m only halfway done. This book is too frigging long. I think some of these stories could have easily been left out, to be honest, and it would have make it stronger overall.

11)Mrs. Popkin – 5 stars! (Hahaha, this one was awesome. I am not even sure what exactly happened or what was really going on, but it was creepy and twisted and fun. What a freaky family!)

12)Direct Report – 4 stars (This was really good. More of what I was hoping for with this collection: real vampires. A female accepts a job with a man who ends up being much more than he appears. She gets her revenge after going through some crazy shit. I don’t want to say any more because of spoilers. I enjoyed this one a lot, though.)

13)Shadow and Thirst – 2 stars (I couldn’t get into this one. It had a cool sci-fi twist to it, but I was bored with the back story and it just wasn’t my thing, I guess.)

14)Mother – 3 stars (This was written well and a nicely fleshed-out story about two rivals seeking information about the chupacabra who end up finding another type of monster altogether. Creepy and a good horror tale.)

15)Blood – 1 star (I think this was my least favorite out of the anthology. It was some weird Lolita thing and I had no idea what the ending meant.)

16)The Yellow Death – 4 stars (I enjoyed this. It was an apocalyptic deal with vampire-type creatures. It was a decent story with a nice creep factor. Much more along the lines of what I wanted with this.)

17)The Last Supper – 3 stars (This one had an end-of-the-world setting also. A lonely vampire wanders, looking for food and company.)

18)Separator – 3.5 stars (This was a nice horror story set in the Philippines about a creature called a manananggal which is a type of monster vampire that can detach the upper part of its body and fly around with wings looking for victims to eat. Prefers organs to “just” blood-drinking. Unlikable MC who sort of gets what he deserves, but it’s also creepy and gross. A good story.)

19)What Kept You So Long? – 3 stars (An entertaining story about a trucker who was infected with vampirism and the hitchhiker he picks up.)

20)Blue Hell – 3 stars (A weird one about an ancient tribe offering sacrifices to a flesh-eating water monster called Chaac.)

Review also found at:

https://theparanormalpaladin.wordpres…

Goodreads

“Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined” by Stephenie Meyer

No no no no no.

Okay, I admit I had my doubts at first, but then because I love Twilight so much, I decided I had no choice but to read this and ended up looking forward to this “reimagined” version. Only, aside from the alternate ending and a couple other scenes, there wasn’t much reimagining going on. The alternate ending, I admit, was kind of cool, but then most of it ended up being a recapping of the rest of the series and a huge unnecessary info dump.

I guess I can’t help it. I can’t picture any of the characters except as they were. I LIKED Edward and Bella. I missed Alice and Jasper and Carlisle and the other characters. They didn’t need changing.

It is apparent that Meyer “cleaned up” the writing and that part of it was better, but who cares??? That was for her, not the readers/fans. It seems like this whole endeavor was for her… to settle a curiosity, to fix errors, and other items she had OCD about.

It just didn’t work for me AT ALL. If anything, she should have released a short story with just the alternate ending. This was just a way for them to ramp the price up and to satisfy some ego thing with Meyer. The characters weren’t different enough to make this seem like a true “reimagining” – or worth making an entire new book about. If she had “reimagined” their personalities, it would have been much better. I didn’t like Beau or Edythe that much. Switching the names completely changed the dynamic and atmosphere of the story. I know that if this had been the original story, I would not have liked the series as much. I suppose it satisfies a curiosity for those so inclined.

I would wait until it gets to your library or you can get it for free, though. I would have much preferred a short story about another character. Whatever, I’m moving on. Still love me some original Twilight, though. #guiltypleasure

Buddy read with Anne and Kat.