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Smashwords book reviews by Dottie Taylor
- Saint Valentine's Clash
on April 05, 2011
While Varick is away on business, Keila finds herself in demand. She has finally come to understand that she is strong enough to stand on her own. Since the death of her parents, she's been a little lost. With Varick's help, and steady pushing, she's glorying her own abilities, and they're many and varied, and growing everyday. And she's found out something else about herself, without her vampire lover at her beckon call, she's becoming more like the vampire, in her thoughts and her needs, maybe even becoming a little bit of a vampire herself.
Simy, Keila's best friend, has been summoned back to New Zealand. But, when she drops him at the airport, he's kidnapped by a distant relative, a sex mage. It turns out, though Keila or Simy can't remember anything about what happened before, this is the same mage that kidnapped Simy and his sister. It's also the last thing Keila's father did before his death, freeing Simy from the very same sex mage. Now, it's up to Keila to find her friend and set him free.
While the airport and before she knows about Simy, she discovers another man, a gentle Japanese man, being forced into a van by other stronger men. It goes against her family creed not to try to help the weaker when possible. She frees the man, Kiyoshi, only to find out, he is one of the sex's mages underlings. Moira bound a demon to his soul, turning into an incubus and immortal. His abilities are to soothe, calm, use others with his sexuality. To get Simy back, Keila will need his help.
Also, Giovanni, since losing his daughter, Charlotte, has left the vampire's employment and he's now running a shelter for teens. Trying to give back and help other teens as he wasn't able to help Charlotte. When teens go missing, Keila thinks she knows where they are, and it all comes back to the sex mage, Moira. And there's more going on than Keila is even aware of.
When Varick calls Keila to see if she'd like him to return, in need of his help, she refuses. She needs to try to do for herself.
Saint Valentine's Clash by Raven Corinn Carluk is the second installment of her Keila O'Brion, Psioinic Warrior series. In this installment, we find Keila on her own, her German vampire lover, Varick Eitenhauer, out of town on business. Simy has been called back to New Zealand, but it's all a ruse to get him back into the evil clutches of Moira, ancient sex mage and distant relative. Without her vampire, Keila has to depend on herself, use her wits and cunning along with her powerful abilities to find and free Simy. Moira, sex mage and wicked witch, has intruded once more into Keila's life and is daunting her with facts she doesn't remember, the reason for her father's death. Keila is also, with the help of the vampire's networking abilities, being called to help with preternatural problems. A private investigator, Cliff, calls about an odd book left in his care. He gives Keila the ancient book.... covered in something besides leather... and there's something about the book, something unclean... (there's more story to tell here, so there's hope for a three book for this series). Keila is the same gothic tongue-studded character from All Hallows Blood, Book 1 (Crescent Moon Press) who uses her abilities for good. She refers to herself a sociopathic, but I prefer "emotionally divergent" (she may exhibit some antisocial behaviors by not conforming to the societal norms, but she is engaged and she helps those who need her). It is through her emotional divergence that she's able to stay calm in extreme situations, not minding a little blood shed.
Saint Valentine's Clash is an excellent follow up to All Hallow's Blood, though I would have enjoyed seeing more of the vampire, Varick Eitenhauer. He was a strong character in the last book, and I missed his presence in this book, other than phone calls and dreams. But, Keila becomes more focused, a stronger character without the vampire taking care of her needs, letting her grow and come into her own. There is less romance in this book than the first, with the vampire out of town, but the introduction of Kiyoshi and his growth in the story, helps fill out the missing pieces. Though Saint Valentine's Clash is Book 2, it is easily read as a stand alone. Raven Corinn Carluk also wrote a flash fiction with Keila and Varick on her website, it's definitely worth a peek too. This is a book that all urban fantasy lovers will want to take a look at. I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series.
on April 06, 2011
Pammy has suffered for twelve long years at Bobby's hands, before he decided to leave her. And instead of questioning why, all she can do thank her lucky stars. But, when it comes time for dividing up the assets she has earned with the scars on her body, Bobby balks.
Even though it is he who wants out of fruitless marriage, he'll be damned if he gives Pammy the barest of considerations, even if it has been she who has suffered the beatings, bruising, and broken bones.
It all comes to a head for Pammy, when Bobby thinks he's going to take the only thing that is rightfully Pammy's, her childhood home left to her with the death of her mother.
Half Inch by McCarty Griffin is a short novella of a marriage gone terribly wrong. But, it's Bobby's deficit personality, his abusive nature, his lack of human capacity for true emotion that drives Pammy to the point of breaking psychologically. That's when her inner voice takes over, driving Pammy to make plans and come up with contingencies to remove Bobby permanently from her life. And, to her inner voice's delight, it's about time.
Half Inch is a quick little read, about a little more than an hour's worth of time. It reaches is conclusion with an ending where the reader maybe isn't surprised, but certainly fooled. Pammy's ultimate plans are foiled by Bobby even from the grave. Thriller/chillers lovers may want to take a look at this one, though short, it's fulfilling. I found myself hoping Pammy's plan succeeded, even if I did think her a little whiny, but then, I didn't have to put up with her abusive husband either.
- Shimmerspell: The Shimmer Trilogy, #1
on July 07, 2011
Jensen has had a strange life. She's never known her mother or her father, both gone soon after her birth. She's been raised by her con-artist sister, Lauren, constantly on the move, going from one to another when it gets too hot to stay. But, this time something is different. Even when Lauren tells her it's time to move on, Jensen stops to think, why now?
Then, a strange thing happens. Jensen has been the burnt of the A-listers jokes, maybe because Liam, hot and magnetic, notices her. When she decides to even the scales, Liam intercepts her activity, catching her in the act. But, the weird thing isn't being caught, it's the wings that suddenly sprout from his back. And he's not the only thing that's different.
Shimmerspell by Kimberly Spencer is a fun ride into the world we didn't know existed and neither does Jensen. Everything isn't how it appears to be, and not everyone is who they claim to be. And Jensen's world gets more interesting and more complicated with every glance. But, it might also lead to her imprisonment in a world that can't exist, Jensen's never has known existed. Only her father can save her, and she doesn't even know him.
Shimmerspell was fast paced fun trip into the land of faery, and it gets better. There's a struggle going on and Jensen is stuck in the middle. If you want a quick little read that's just the tip of the iceberg, pick up Shimmerspell, you won't be disappointed, and there's more stories to come. Paranatural story lovers will want to read this one, interesting and fun take on the land of faery. Great for an afternoon pick me up!! Kimberly is blessed by the cover goddess as well, lovely cover! 4.5 out of 5 fairy kisses. Excellent read and I'm looking forward to the next novella is the series.
- Limerick: The Shimmer Trilogy, #2
on Sep. 27, 2011
Jensen has been left, alone and abandoned, with her newly found wizard father, Dermott. She's still a little lost without Lauren who seems to have vanished into thin air. Liam, her new faerie boyfriend, has been trying to keep her distracted, but Zoe's twin sister Shelby, wants her boyfriend back, and she'll do everything she can to break the tentative bond Liam and Jensen have built. Throw into the mix stalker dragon boys and a secret that Zoe hasn't shared, and Jensen's life is about to get real interesting. And on top of it all, Brennen has taken a real interest in her safety or lack of it.
Limerick by Kimberly Spencer is an excellent addition to her Faerie Tale Girl series. In this addition, Jensen finds her life turned upside down first by Shelby and Liam, then she overhears a conversation between Dermott and (she thinks) Lauren. Why would he lie and say he hasn't heard anything from her? Then, Brennen, the siren with the magical voice, keeps popping back into her life, and she sooo doesn't need him. And she's recently noticed stalkers, of the male variety, looking surprisingly a lot like dragons. A few weeks ago, the thought would seem ludicrous, now it is more than likely and alarmingly all too real. What is going to happen in her life next? Once again, I'm left hanging and wondering...
Limerick was a fast fun little read, just what I needed between books. It's novella length, and I'd recommend reading Shimmerspell first, it lays down the foundation for the series (click here to read my review). I had fun with this short story, and can't wait to take a peek at the next in the series, Lore, which is actually an inbetween story within Books 1 & 2. Triquetra, Book 3 in the Faerie Tale Girl series should be released sometime in September 2011. It's my opinion that Kimberly Spencer is an author to watch, I've fallen for her series. The only thing that could make it better is a tiny bit of editing, not that it really matters to the story. This is a sweet little YA paranormal romance that I'd recommend to all YA lovers, so much fun. Kimberly Spencer's books can be found at B&N, Amazon, and Smashwords. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this short little novella from this reader.