Monday, April 23, 2007

QB's Quickies

"So, read any good books lately?"
"What did you think of...?"
Here's a Quickie answer to those questions.

Keri Arthur - Riley Jenson series
1. Full Moon Rising
2. Kissing Sin
3. Tempting Evil
4. Dangerous Games
5. Embraced by Darkness (07/31/07 release)
Series Category: Peanut M&Ms - mmmm...devour... sigh... then reach for the next one. My daily dose of Insanity-B-Gone. Most books fall in this category. (A-,B+,B)
Flame Height: 6” out of 9”
As I said previously, I listened to Full Moon Rising as an audiobook and found that the narrator’s Aussie accent really brought the book, and Riley, to life for me. Since Keri told me that no further audio books are in the works yet, I decided to go ahead and buy the next 3 books in this Urban Fantasy series. And man, am I ever glad I did! I opened and started reading book 2, Kissing Sin, and the next thing I knew, I was at the last page of book 4, Dangerous Games!
This series engaged my emotions while at the same time being a kick-ass thriller. All the characters are interesting- even the bad guys. We’ve not seen a character like Riley before. Her and her twin brother, Rhoan, are werewolf/vampire hybrids. As a werewolf, she is very sexually free and has multiple sexual encounters with multiple partners, yet this can’t really be defined as an erotic series because the scenes aren’t really all that graphic. Sex is just part of being a werewolf, and she still fervently hopes to one day find her soul mate and have children. Her and Rhoan work for The Directorate- basically the Paranormal version of our FBI/CIA. Rhoan is a full Guardian (judge, jury, executioner) and Riley sooo does NOT want to become one, yet circumstances are leading up to giving her no choice in the matter.
We meet some new characters that will apparently play an important part in future books. And we say goodbye to some old characters and storylines, both good and bad. There’s a preview of book 5, Embraced by Darkness, at the end of Dangerous Games and it sounds like the new storyline arc will be just as interesting as this last one- we apparently get to know more about their original pack. As usual, click the links for more information and much better summaries of the books than I could ever write.

Eileen Wilkes - Lupi Series
1. Lover Beware - anthology with Feehan, Sutcliffe, and Brand
2. Tempting Danger
3. Cravings - anthology with Hamilton, Davidson, York
4. Mortal Danger
5. Blood Lines
Book Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 4" out of 9”
I had a really bizarre moment when I read Blood Lines. At the beginning of the book, Ms. Wilkes recaps the events in Mortal Danger. I was a bit disappointed at first, because I hadn’t realized there WAS any previous books. But between the recap and further mentions of what happened throughout Blood Lines, I got the gist of the backstory, plus the previous leads, Lily and Rule, were very much a part of this story. Anyway, well into this book, Lily’s Grandmother shows up- she’s an overbearing Chinese matriarch who can shift into a ferocious weretiger. Suddenly, I realize I’ve met her before. I went back and read the recap. Still not a flash of recognition of the story or characters, but what are the chances that another author in another story had such a similar, memorable character? I was seriously getting worried that my last few functioning brain cells were finally blinking out on me! After heading over to Amazon and searching for Eileen Wilkes other works, it turns out, I HAD read a previous story in the Lover Beware anthology AND the Cravings anthology, but had NOT read any of the full length novels. PHEW! That's what I get for picking a book up based on the cover pic!
This series can best be described as a hybrid between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. Maybe Urban Fantasy Romance? Urban Fantasy because demons, sorcerers, shifters, etc. are real and part of society (Lily and Cynna are with the FBI). Each book is romance/relationship centered- Lily and Rule in the 1st stories, Cynna and Cullen in Blood Lines, although Lily and Rule are still very much apart of this one, too. But no HEA- no final, we’re-together-forever ending- YET. Cynna and Cullen’s story will apparently be continued with the next book.
To sum up, Blood Lines was an enjoyable read for me and I DO recommend it. I will probably buy the next book. Although, weeks after reading it, the only details I remembered about it are that I liked it, and the Grandmother. So, I cheated. I had to skim through the book just to write this commentary. And the Flame Height? Well, I know there was some sex in there, but I don’t recall anything about the scenes, so 4” out of 9” seems generous.

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