Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: The Vampire Hunter by Michele Hauf

I’ve only read two books by Michele Hauf, but based on those two books, I have plans to read pretty much everything else she’s written because she writes some of the best vampire stories I’ve ever read.  She has created such an interesting, gritty world, full of magic – vampires and witches and werewolves and fairies.  I love it. 

The Vampire Hunter is the second book in The Company of Vampires series.  The other book I have read of hers was the first book in this series.  That one was about a vampire and a hunter.  This book though is about a vampire hunter, Kaz, who falls in love with a witch, Zoe.

I loved Kaz, loved how he was devoted to his work, but not entirely afraid to fall for Zoe.  Loved that he was so romantic and sweet and protective, but not creepily so.  I didn’t love Zoe, I thought she was a bit too na├»ve.  For her to be so clueless about some of the things happening was frustrating.  But I didn’t hold it against her, because it was explained that she did live a very sheltered life, didn’t get out of much, kept to herself.  She lives in a fairy tale-type world of her own creations, and makes no qualms about yearning for a happily ever after.  She just wants to stay out of trouble, help her friends and do good for others.  Even Kaz at one point says to her that she’s entirely too forgiving.  Because it was made clear that this was a flaw of Zoe’s I was okay with it, it didn’t make the story seem too sappy – like oh, she’s so good and perfect she can’t help it.  It was clear that her lack of awareness was the cause of a very big problem.

The setting is Paris, and having been to Paris, I loved recreating the streets in my head.  Very atmospheric, filled with mysterious, dangerous, beautiful creatures.  Romantic, sexy, steamy.  Did not want to put this book down, and when it ended I wanted more because it was that good.

I will definitely be reading more books by this author.

I received a review copy via NetGalley.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Grave Destinations by Lori Sjoberg

Last year, Lori Sjoberg’s Grave Intentions was one of my favorite paranormal romances, so I was very glad to see that Grave Destinations, another book in that series was available. 

This book would read fine as a stand alone, it isn’t necessary to have read the first book – but you should anyway because it’s really good.  The characters from the first book are mentioned briefly but don’t play major roles in the story.  Ruby, the reaper in the book, was also mentioned a bit in the first book, but again, not anything essential to understanding this story.

Anyway, Ruby is a reaper.  In order to pay for her sins, she has to retrieve souls and send them on their way in cases of unnatural deaths.  She’s on a cruise ship – and she hates boats – but she has to be where her orders send her to be.  But then people start dying who were not part of her original orders.  She has to call in for backup and needs to figure out who is causing these deaths.

Also, while on the cruise she meets a guy, a very attractive guy, who happens to have a demon inside of him.  He’s on the cruise in hopes of meeting with a woman on an island who can remove the demon from inside of him.

What I really enjoy about these books is the chemistry between the characters.  In the beginning, the two are both perfectly okay with just having a casual fling, but as they get to know each other, things begin to change.  Plus, these characters are all kinds of sexy and steamy, long before they make it to the bedroom. 
hese characters actually develop a relationship, and readers are able to see them falling for each other.

Also, I loved Ruby.  Strong, independent minded female characters are essential for me to thoroughly enjoy a book, and Ruby is awesome.  She’s tough and confident, knows what she wants from a guy. 

I very much recommend this book to fans of paranormal romances: a good mystery, plenty of actions, sexy characters.  Fun, enjoyable read.

I received a review copy via NetGalley.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Review: City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte

After reading City of Dark Magic this summer, I was very much looking forward to reading City of Lost Dreams - and it completely lived up to my expectations.

However, when I read City of Dark Magic, I happened to be in Prague, and could walk down the streets mentioned or through the rooms of the Lobokwitz (check spelling) Castle.  I did not have that convenience while reading City of Lost Dreams, which largely takes place in Vienna.  It's been a few years since I've visited Vienna.  So instead, I put together a board on pinte
rest - it isn't complete, sometimes while reading, I wasn't near a computer - but I put this together so that if anyone else is reading this book and would like to view the sites, I've already done some of the work. 

I love the characters in this story.  I was a little disappointed to discover in the beginning that Sarah and Max were no longer a couple.  After City of Dark Magic, I was expecting them to become quite the couple.  Max is still in the book, but for most of the story, he's in Prague with his new girlfriend while Sarah is in Vienna, having her own adventures.  Part of what I loved about Max and Sarah together was the idea of this normal, smart woman attracting a "prince" or whatever Max's title was.  But they decide their lives are too different to make things work.  So this isn't a romance, but that's okay, because there's still plenty of mystery and magic and weirdness.

I would very much suggest you read City of Dark Magic before reading this.  I'm not sure this book would make sense at all if you haven't read the first book of the series.

Overall though, great sequel to City of Dark Magic.  Was nice to return to this world.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Goodreads Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Angel has completed her goal of reading 65 books in 2013!
81 of 65 (100%)      

This makes me very happy.  Two years ago, my reading goal was thirty books, and I thought it was awesome that I read 38 books that year.  Last year, my goal was 50, and I read 60.  This year, my goal was 65, and I read 81.  However, I should point out that quite a few of those books were novellas - only around 100 pages each.  On the other hand, I made it through a few 800+ page books, so I guess it all balances out in the end.

Also, I know not everything I read is what might be considered literature, but I read for me, for enjoyment, entertainment, escape, fun.  I'm not in school anymore - well, I'm not a student.  Reading all that high quality literature didn't do me a whole lot of good now, did it?  I still read literature, and I learn something from almost everything I read, so it's all good. 

I've already started my reading list for 2014.  There are currently 63 books on the list, but I know that will change weekly.  I'll add some, remove a few, all depending on my mood and what's available or catches my interest.  I've already have a fairly good idea as to what I'll be reading for the next two months.  A nice mix of paranormal romance, vampires, and historical fiction and a memoir or two.  These are the things that get excited :)

In more long term reading plans, I'm wanting to finish up the Outlander series in the next few months.  Also planning to start re-reading the PD James books, in order.  I think I have the first three on my kindle.  The big read I have planned for this summer is Doctor Zhivago.  I've wanted to read that for a while. 

I'll probably set this year's goal at 75 books.  Anyway, happy reading to all!  Going to get back to reading City of Lost Dreams now, had hoped to add this as my last book of 2013, but I guess instead it will be my first of 2014.