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Smashwords book reviews by Sarah
- Claimed (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Blood Lust, Novella 2)
on June 05, 2010
I loved both Anthony & Charlee when they were introduced in Kept so I was really pleased to see that they got their own story. Claimed continues the story right after the ending of Kept. When Anthony is drunk on magical blood he almost drains Charlee when he feeds from her - not wanting her to remember and be afraid of him he wipes her memory of the event. However, it soon becomes clear that he didn't just remove her memory of that night, she remembers absolutely nothing - not even who she is. When he is trying to help restore her memory he unwittingly draws human Charlee into the vampire world and ends up having to protect her from other vampires who want claim her as their pet.
After enjoying Kept I was looking forward to Claimed and thoroughly enjoyed it. I continue to be amazed at how much Zoe Winters can pack into a novella. Claimed is full of action and I loved watching the relationship between Anthony and Charlee develop. Charlee is a feisty character full of quick come backs that will have you laughing out loud. She has every reason not to trust Anthony after what happened the night he nearly killed her and several things happen that cause her to trust him even less but everything he does after the first night happens when he is trying to protect her. Being a vampire fan I couldn't help but love Anthony - he really is great hero material & I loved how everything was resolved at the end of the story. I'd definitely recommend giving this series a try but I would recommend reading them in order. If you're a fan of the paranormal I'm sure you'll enjoy this - Zoe has a great writing style that is full of humor, action and romance.
- Mated (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Blood Lust, Novella 3)
on June 05, 2010
Jane has been able to sense vampires since she was a child and this has meant she has lived her life in danger from the vampires who don't like the fact that she can see them. She has been forced to become a vampire groupie in the hope that one of them will turn her so her life will no longer be at risk. Abused and beaten by the vampire she had hoped would protect her it only gets worse when he gives her to the werewolf alpha Cole as payment for his gambling debt. She knows the rules of the vampire world and knows how to survive but finding herself at the mercy of a werewolf she has no idea what will happen to her. She has always believed that the werewolves are even worse than the vampires but can Cole prove she was wrong? And what will happen if the pack member who wants Jane dead manages to get hold of her?
Although I loved the first 2 novellas in this series I have to say that Mated was my absolute favorite. We were introduced to vampire groupie Jane in Claimed when she became friends with Charlee. I didn't think she was a particularly interesting character but as soon as I got to know her better in Mated she quickly became my favorite heroine in the series. She has been to hell and back but is a survivor and desperately wants to find somewhere she is safe and accepted. I absolutely adored Cole! He is a strong alpha who quickly recognises that Jane is his mate and wants to protect her. Understanding what she has been through he doesn't want to rush her or force her into anything so goes against all of his instincts by not immediately marking her as his mate. He is so sweet as he tries to gain Jane's trust & I dare you not to fall for him yourself.
Overall I would definitely rate this as a must read trilogy for fans of paranormal romance. Even if you're new to this genre I'd recommend giving it a try. I love Zoe's writing style and having seen what she can accomplish with these novellas I can't wait to get my hands on the full length novel that is due out this winter. I love the world she has created and am looking forward to immersing myself in it again in the future. My only warning would be not to start reading unless you have time to finish the whole story - I've read each of these novellas in just 1 sitting and devoured all 3 in less than 24 hours!
- Comfort Food
on June 15, 2010
Emily has been kidnapped, she has no idea where she is and very little hope of escape. Kept in an empty grey cell with nothing to do and not even a bed to sleep on she quickly becomes desperate for human contact - ANY kind of human contact. Although she is brought 3 meals a day (always chicken noodle soup) her captor refuses to answer her questions or even speak at all. Her world has been turned upside down and she will soon willingly submit to anything just to feel the comfort of his touch.
Comfort Food is like nothing I've ever read before but WOW is it a powerful read! Told in first person narrative by Emily you journey with her from the minute she wakes up tide to a chair and blindfolded. I loved her voice and it was scarily easy to imagine you were in her place. Given the situation she was in I'm not sure that anyone would have been able to handle things differently. The worst thing for Emily is that she can see what he is doing to her but she is powerless to resist.
The book does include scenes of BDSM which I confess isn't something I've read a lot of. It isn't a light hearted affair with what we would consider normal consent and there is no such thing as a safe word but Emily's captor doesn't do anything without her agreement. Emily can choose to say no at any time but then she is left alone in her empty grey cell with food passed silently through the door. Given the choice of nothingness or doing what her captor requests she finds herself accepting anything just to have his company and attention.
Although Comfort Food takes you on a dark and disturbing journey and isn't a book for the faint hearted it is an incredibly powerful story and one that I devoured in an afternoon. We've all heard stories of women who have been captured and held prisoner for years but it tends to be something that society tries not to think about and rarely discusses. It isn't something that should be pushed under the carpet though & I can't recommend reading this book strongly enough. I'm still thinking about the story days after I finished reading it and I know it will effect me for a long time to come. In my opinion that is the sign of a good story and if you're brave enough to give it a try I'm sure you won't regret it.
on Oct. 07, 2010
Belle is happy with her life as a cat, she lives with her owner Max and is adored by him and his brother & sister. She rules the roost as all cats do and is fed, petted and fussed over on demand - it's a cats life! When she is in an accident and exchanges bodies with a human she is horrified with her new hairless, clumsy body and wants nothing more than to go back to her life as a cat. However with more than one person out to get her she is going to have to use all her cat wiles to make sure her human body survives long enough for her to change back into a cat. As she tries to find out what is going on she becomes closer to Max realising she has feelings for him that she never felt when she was a cat. Will she decide to remain human so that her and Max can be together? And if she does what will happen to the human who is now trapped in her old body?
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Cattitude, I love cats so on the one hand I was really looking forward to it but I was a bit unsure about the whole idea of a cat becoming a human and falling in love with a man. I just wasn't sure how well it would work & if it would be easy to relate to Belle. I have to say I was impressed with this story & thought Edie Ramer did a fantastic job.
Belle is a wonderful character and Edie has perfectly captured the essence of a cat in her - Belle's attitude to life & humans reminded me of my cats so many times. I loved watching Belle adjust to life in a human body - everything she knows about humans comes from the way she has been adored by the family who rescued her and from watching TV with them so she has some very funny ideas about how things work.
The supporting characters are all well written and really help to make the story. I really loved Max and his family and even the bad guys are well rounded so you find out more about why they act the way they do. Sorcha (the woman who ends up in Belle's cat body) could be a little irritating at times but then again she has just been switched into a cats body without being given a choice in the matter so I guess it was understandable and I really liked the way there is a happy ending for her as well as for Belle.
Cattitude is a sweet romance that will have you laughing out loud and is a must for any cat fans. The story is light hearted, comes with a great cast of characters and an amusing tale that will keep you turning the pages and leaving you wanting more. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try and am looking forward to seeing what Edie Ramer comes up with in the future.
- Immortalis Carpe Noctem
on March 10, 2011
When Alyssa is walking home alone late at night she is brutally attacked by 2 muggers. Lysander rescues Alyssa but she is so badly injured that she is almost dead leaving Lysander no option but to change her into a vampire or watch her die. Waking up to discover she has been turned into a vampire comes as quite a shock to Alyssa - she had no idea that vampires even existed. While trying to come to terms with her new life Alyssa also has to deal with a powerful vampire mistress who isn't happy that Lysander turned her without permission and the Acta Sanctorum - vampire hunters. Will she survive long enough to learn how to use her new abilities?
I first heard about Immortalis Carpe Noctem when I saw it was going on a tour arranged by UK Book Tours, it wasn't a book seen before but it sounded interesting and I couldn't resist signing up to read it. I'm glad I did as I've discovered a new author who I will definitely be keeping an eye on in the future. This book is the first in the Immortalis series and I'm looking forward to reading future books as they are released.
I really enjoyed watching Alyssa deal with being turned into a vampire - she has been introduced to a whole new world without having any choice in the matter. As Lysander says in the book "Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition, that is the hard part" I'm sure Alyssa would agree with this statement! I've not really read anything that covers the issue of being turned without prior knowledge of what is happening and goes into as much detail as this book did. I thought Katie Salidas did a great job of showing how hard that must have been for Alyssa. She had no choice but to leave behind her old life, for their safety she could have no contact with her friends and wasn't able to return to her apartment. Not to mention having to come to terms with needing to drink blood to survive.
I found it quite easy to relate to Alyssa and understand what she was going through. She did complain a fair bit at the beginning but I think that was to be expected in the circumstances. Lysander was a great character but at times he didn't make things easy for Alyssa. He wanted to protect her but didn't always manage to explain his reasons to Alyssa which led her to feel suffocated by him. I enjoyed watching the 2 of them interact with each other though and I really liked the Peregrinus - a travelling group of vampires who were friends of Lysander.
The action in the story was good but a little predictable in places, there was a good twist towards the end though. Overall Immortalis Carpe Noctem was an enjoyable start to a new series. It's one of those stories that crosses the lines between paranormal romance and urban fantasy so I think fans of either genre would enjoy this book. I'm looking forward to seeing what Katie Salidas comes up with next
- Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells
on March 15, 2011
Portia has always been a normal teenager - until the day of her 16th birthday when she finds out that she comes from a family of witches and warlocks. As her magical powers start to develop one of the best things about joining the coven is getting to know the school bad boy Vance. Portia and Vance are drawn to each other but when Vance's past comes back to haunt them Portia is going to need all of her new found magical skills if they are both going to survive.
The Trouble with Spells is the first book in the Of Witches and Warlocks series by Lacey Weatherford and I thought it was a great start to the series. I really liked Portia as a main character, she is smart and sassy and I liked the fact that she came across as such a realistic teenager. Her new magical abilities came as a complete shock to her so I did feel that she picked up her new skills a little too quickly but the advantage of this was that the story was able to move at a much faster pace and believe me it is definitely a story you'll want to read in just one sitting! One of my favorite characters was Portia's grandma - she was so much fun to read about.
Vance is a great swoon worthy hero and yes he did steal my heart just a little bit! At first I was shocked that he & Portia's relationship built so quickly - within a few days of the first time they'd spoken to each other they knew they were soul mates and had a bonding ceremony - but this is explained in the book. Once you start watching the two of them together it is easy to forget about how rushed the beginning of the relationship felt, their emotions and feelings completely drew me in and I absolutely loved the pair of them together.
The Trouble with Spells is a romantic, action packed read and one that I would highly recommend to fans of YA paranormal romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series - this book ends on quite a cliffhanger so you might want to make sure you get hold of both books before you start reading!
- Dragon Blues
on May 10, 2011
Noah may be a dragon but he has lived as a human for the last 2,500 years since he changed form for a woman he loved. Now he lives for his music and for his treasures but his heart has never quite recovered from the reaction his first love had when she discovered what he was. He thought his identity was a well kept secret but it appears that someone has figured out what he is and they are prepared to go to any length to find a way to use him to gain immortal life. Lila is a strong woman and a martial arts expert who has an intense need to protect those around her. She has a troubled past and a difficult relationship with the sister who she loves but has been unable to save from a drug addiction and violent boyfriend. When the person who is after Noah kills Lila's sister she is determined to get revenge but she is going to need Noah's help to draw him out so she can go after him. Can she bring herself to trust Noah in time to go after their enemy?
I enjoyed Edie Ramer's previous story Cattitude and love dragons so was looking forward to reading Dragon Blues and it didn't disappoint. I loved her characterisation of Noah and even in his human form you could tell he was still a dragon underneath. His obsession with his treasure was hilarious and I would love to get a look at his collection! He isn't just a dragon though, he is also a sexy man but one who has suffered in past relationships and is wary of love. Noah is intensely lonely though and when Lila catches his eye he doesn't hesitate to go after what he wants despite his fears which is something I really liked about him.
Lila struggles against the idea of trusting Noah, her past has shown her that even the people closest to her can't be relied upon so she has always kept to herself. Despite feeling drawn to Noah she is wary of him and worried about giving in to her feelings. She was a great character though, very strong and so protective of those that she cares about. Lila didn't think twice about putting herself in harms way even for the chance of saving a stranger.
I really enjoyed the action in the story and Edie Ramer certainly knows how to create a great bad guy. One of the things that sometimes annoys me is when there is no real motive for the bad guy's behaviour but in this case it is explained very well and understandable even if you don't agree with what he is doing. With some sexy love scenes between Noah and Lila and a fast paced story line Dragon Blues is a great story and one I would recommend to paranormal romance fans. I'm looking forward to seeing what the author comes up with next!