Tuesday, December 6, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Second Grave on the Left

Darynda Jones would pick up a pencil and paper and scribble nonsense on it even when she was a toddler, asking her mother to read her literary genius aloud.  Soon after, she started writing plays for the neighborhood kids, making up stories for her brother, and creating age inappropriate fantastical stories for Barbie and Ken to enact.  In high school she almost finished her first manuscript, and even then, was dabbling in romance and the paranormal. 
Darynda took a break from actively writing for several years, wherein she got married, had a couple children, graduated Summa cum Laude from UNM and got a job as a teacher and sign language translator.  She missed writing though, and started up again in 2002 with the goal of getting a publishing contract securely in her mind’s eye.  After 3 complete manuscripts, she finally landed an agent, a three book deal, and won the 2009 Golden Heart award for Best Paranormal Romance in 2009.

Second Grave on the Left, Book #2 of the Charley Davidson series
Author:  Darynda Jones

Synopsis:  When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
1st and foremost, I found myself shaking my head over and over while reading this book, wondering how in the world Daryda can be such a genius with words even when it’s filler.  I’m utterly amazed at her ability to turn EVERYTHING funny, even when the characters are in dire straits.  It truly is a gift…
O.K, on to the book.  An amazing follow-up to First Grave on the Right.  Another smart, sexy, sassy, sophisticated read, with incredible action, mystery, and romance.
Per usual, Charley is constantly finding herself in trouble, though this time she’s not only trying to solve a  missing person case for the APD and her best friend Cookie, she’s also trying desperately to save Reyes from himself. 
Reyes doesn’t make it easy on her AT ALL, and while we learn a little bit more about the enigma that is Reyes Farrow in Second Grave, I know there is still so much to uncover.
The underlying stories in this book and the supporting characters’ roles were phenomenal.  I enjoyed every single offshoot of the main plotline, and found myself right there with the characters at every turn. 
I laughed (A LOT), I groaned, my heart beat quickened… it was a wonderful journey with a fabulous book, and I’m very excited to dig into Third Grave Dead Ahead.
LITERAL ADDICTION gives Second Grave on the Left 5  Skulls and suggests it to anyone who wants a witty, amazing, unique paranormal read.

While Second Grave can be read as a stand-alone, I highly suggest reading First Grave on the right before Second Grave to get the full impact of the character’s and the story.  Believe me, you won’t be disappointed!

Second Grave on the Left:



[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Cataclysm

C.L Parker is a mother of three living near Louisville, Kentucky. Born in Los Angeles, California, her parents decided to move back to their native town just two weeks after her birth. There, Parker grew up with her three sisters, and they remain inseparable to this day.

After graduation, she enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia where she served a two year enlistment. Due to a family tragedy at the time, she chose to return home to Kentucky instead of re-enlisting.

Parker eventually ventured into the world of writing. An outlet for her overactive imagination, it quickly grew into a passion that could not be ignored. Having a fascination for the paranormal, it didn’t take long to decide what type of book she would really love to write. She went to work on her first novel intended for publication, Supernova. There are plans to write two additional books creating the Supernova Saga.

Once the Supernova Saga is complete, she will start a series of seven books, which will eventually spin-off into another series. All of these will be in the paranormal romance genre.

Parker’s reality is that she is easily lost to a world of fantasy, driven to bring her characters to life if only in the pages of a book, for their story is one that must be told.

Cataclysm, Book #2 of the Supernova Saga
Author:  C.L Parker
Synopsis:  Kerrigan Cruz and Dominic Grayson thought the worst of the storm was behind them. In reality, they have only weathered impossible odds to find they are smack dab in the eye of an unforgiving cyclone. More is on the way. The raging bands of chaos that surrounds them are forcing the destructive walls of the monster to close in around them. Taking on a life of its own, the storm growls and gnashes its teeth, threatening to devour everything they ever were or ever will be. There will be nothing but devastation left in its wake, and it sets its sights on Kerrigan and Dominic.

Through the howling winds and punishing lashes of rain, a stranger comes. The promise of a better tomorrow, a brighter, sunnier life filled with hopes and dreams rests in the palm of his hand. It is knowledge, a formidable weapon when wielded by the right person at just the right time. If she can only harness the power of this stranger’s knowledge, Kerrigan may be able to save the one she loves before he fades into nothingness, and she is left all alone.

But is this stranger friend or foe? Drawn to her side by an unseen force, will he enlighten Kerrigan or will he seek to claim her for his own?

Cataclysm:
Through the darkness of night, Light will lead the way.

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
Let me start out by saying that C.L poured her visceral soul into Cataclsym and it was evident from the 1st page to the very last turn.
I have read A LOT of really good books lately; some funny, some dark, some action packed, some steamy…  Cataclysm was all of the above and then some, and skyrocketed to the forefront of my favorite books ever list.
When I flipped the last page of this book, I had goosebumps for a good few minutes after.  It was THAT good…
Like a brilliant author should, C.L had me feeling things during Cataclysm that I wasn’t prepared to feel.  I fought it at times because I jus didn’t think I could change my mindset from where I was at following Supernova, but in the end she did her job.  There were other moments where I went from a chuckle, to being utterly angry and frustrated a few pages later; mumbling like a mental patient, to being absolutely lost in the story with a dreamy look on my face a few chapters after that – it was a emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions and I loved every second of the ride.
Outside of the emotions elicited during Cataclysm, the character dynamic was incredible and the world building superb.  Surprises, secrets, and mystery around every turn, all tied up beautifully with characters you can’t help but relate to, in a supernatural world that is well… believably natural. 
I really wish I could tell you more about this amazing book, but there was so much that happened that I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  I will simply say that you MUST read this series, and get to Cataclysm as fast as you can.

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Cataclysm 5  Skulls (would give it more if there were more to give), and would recommend it anyone and everyone who wants a beautifully written Paranormal Romance with enough darkness to keep Urban Fantasy lovers happy as well. 

In my review of Supernova, I said that I had a feeling that C.L would change my mind with Cataclysm and make me give it more than the 4 Skulls I gave Supernova.  Boy did she ever!  Way to go C.L.  LOVED this book!  Bring on Nexus. 

Cataclysm:


Saturday, December 3, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of First Grave on the Right

 

Darynda Jones would pick up a pencil and paper and scribble nonsense on it even when she was a toddler, asking her mother to read her literary genius aloud.  Soon after, she started writing plays for the neighborhood kids, making up stories for her brother, and creating age inappropriate fantastical stories for Barbie and Ken to enact.  In high school she almost finished her first manuscript, and even then, was dabbling in romance and the paranormal. 
Darynda took a break from actively writing for several years, wherein she got married, had a couple children, graduated Summa cum Laude from UNM and got a job as a teacher and sign language translator.  She missed writing though, and started up again in 2002 with the goal of getting a publishing contract securely in her mind’s eye.  After 3 complete manuscripts, she finally landed an agent, a three book deal, and won the 2009 Golden Heart award for Best Paranormal Romance in 2009.
First Grave on the Right, Book #1 of the Charley Davidson series
Author:  Darynda Jones
Synopsis: Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.
This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
Darynda Jones’s debut novel was a smart, sexy, sassy, sophisticated breath of fresh air and utterly fantastic from start to finish!

Our heroine, Charley Davidson, is a Grim Reaper and gateway to heaven.  She’s also a ridiculously funny, smart, sexy, sarcastic Private Investigator and consultant to the APD with attention deficit disorder. 

Our hero, Reyes Farrow, is an enigma.  He’s Charley’s dream guy (literally), but appears to be oh so much more and reading his tale unravel was like peeling a golden onion. 

The supporting characters are loveable and absolutely perfect for the story, perfectly placed and elaborated upon by Ms. Jones. 

The plot of First Grave on the Right was also genius - a multiple homicide with more angles and twists than a slinky leaving me putting off meals, housework, and pretty much everything just so I could read more. 

LITERAL ADDICTION gives First Grave on the Right 5 Skulls, and would recommend it to everyone!    

I’m super excited for the upcoming installments of this series.  It’s a definite winner and a straight shot to the top of my favorites list.

First Grave on the Right:
 

 


[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Immortal Rider

 

Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who penned her first novel at the age of 13 and hasn't stopped writing since. She has been a U.S. Air Force meteorologist, an EMT, and a professional dog trainer, and you never know when one of those interests will pop into her novels.

She lives a nomadic existence with her U.S. Coast Guard husband and son, so her writing career has been a blessing -- a job that moves easily.

Immortal Rider, Book #2 of the Lords of Deliverance series
Author:  Larissa Ione
Synopsis: Sexy, powerful, and immortal, Limos is on a crash course with destiny. She’s been marked as Satan’s bride and her jealous fiancĂ© wants her all to himself. The only way this Horseman can keep herself—and everyone else—safe is to keep her distance. But not even Limos can save herself from the secrets she’s kept . . . or resist the seductive allure of one very brave human.

Arik Wagner knows the saying “love hurts” better than most, yet he never thought stealing a kiss from Limos would land him in Hell. Literally. It takes all his military training to survive the demon torture, but once he’s topside, Arik realizes that the agony has just begun. With the Apocalypse looming and Satan demanding his bride, will Arik and Limos surrender to the desire smoldering between them? Or will giving in to their passion unleash hell on earth?

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I love Larissa’s books, was fully hooked with the 1st installment of the Lords of Deliverance series, and couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for Limos in book #2.

Immortal Rider was, in a word, fantastic!

Immortal Rider is about Limos, the only female horseman of the Apocalypse who would become Famine should her seal break.  She’s a wonderful conundrum… a legend, old as time, tough as nails immortal who is also one of the most feminine characters I have encountered with her penchant for flirty beachwear and nail polish.  In her book, we get to investigate a whole other side to Limos that I really never saw coming in Eternal Rider.  She’s vulnerable, and she has the weight of the world on her shoulders over things that have happened in her past. 

Our hero, Arik, is a soldier in the RX-R, who also has his share of past secrets and complex layers. 

As a couple, they are fabulous.  They have numerous obstacles to overcome not only separately but also together, and it’s not a foregone conclusion that they will have a happy ending, which makes what they go through together all the more powerful.

The story-line of Immortal Rider is fascinating, and leads the reader through a treasure trove of characters, beautifully constructed world building and action-packed fast paced plot. 

While Limos and Arik were the focal characters of the book, Immortal Rider was comprised of incredibly compelling secondary stories, as well as beautifully crafted loops back to book #1, Eternal Rider, and Larissa’s other series, Demonica. 

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Immortal Rider 5 Skulls, and would recommend it to all Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance readers. 
While Immortal Rider can be read as a stand-alone, I highly suggest at least reading the 1st book, Eternal Rider before settling in with Immortal Rider.  If you’re not in a hurry to get to Immortal Rider and haven’t read Larissa’s Demonica series yet, I would actually suggest reading that first – only because it’s absolutely fabulous and you’ll get more joy out of ‘ah ha’ moments when characters from the Demonica series are looped into the Lords of the Deliverance. 

Immortal Rider:
 

 


[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Bound by Blood

 

P.A Lupton has had an addiction to books as long as she can remember, and from the moment she picked up her first Anne Rice novel, she was hooked on the paranormal. The compelling lure of the paranormal world is irresistible to her. It is a world where anything and everything is possible, and the boundaries of humanity need not apply. 
Women love a dangerous man, and what could be more dangerous than a vampire. Vampires embody everything we crave about the stereotypical bad boy. They exude confidence and sensuality. They are exciting, mysterious, and the epitome of masculine perfection—strong, youthful, and indescribably gorgeous. What’s not to love?
Her first novel, Bound by Blood, combines her two favorite paranormal legends: witches and vampires—with a little romance thrown into the mix.
Bound by Blood, Book #1 of the Garner Witch series
Author:  P.A Lupton
Synopsis: FBI agent and psychic, Brianna Reece, descends from an ancient and powerful bloodline of witches, only she doesn’t know it. But now that legacy has come back to bite her—literally.

In the shadows of night in Denver Colorado, a serial killer is hunting women, and FBI agent Brianna Reece is hunting the killer. Unlike any case she’s worked before, Brianna can’t ignore the prickling at the back of her neck when she glimpses the resemblance she shares with the victims. The investigation begins to touch even closer to home when it is revealed that all of the victims were also psychic.

Complicating matters further, Brianna is captivated by the FBI’s prime suspect Nathan Donovan. Though she senses he is hiding something from her, the attraction she feels for him is compelling, and unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Through a chance twist of fate, Nathan learns of Brianna’s ancestry and is forced to divulge secrets to Brianna that will change her life forever.

When she learns that the killer is an evil vampire, and he’s now set his sights on her, Nathan alone holds the key to awakening her dormant powers. Now he must race to teach her how to control her emergent gifts before she becomes the next victim.

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I ran across Bound by Blood in my Amazon recommendeds and had to give it a try.  I’m certainly glad I did! 

Bound by Blood was a fast paced, wickedly sexy, action-packed, paranormal thrill ride and had me hooked from the first page. 

Our hero, Brianna, is smart, tough, sexy, sassy and unwilling to take any guff. 

Our hero, Nathan, is drop-dead gorgeous, mysterious, sensitive and an all around ‘good guy’. 

Together, they’re a power couple unlike any other, and utterly enjoyable.

The plot is complicated (yet seamlessly written and therefore easy to follow), full of magic and mystery, and utterly compelling.

Everything I look for in a fantastic Urban Fantasy was present in Bound by Blood.  It had intrigue, mystery, suspense, deceit, romance, magic, mayhem, and action, all delivered beautifully by Ms. Lupton. 

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Bound by Blood 4 1/2 Skulls, and would recommend it to all Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance readers.

I can’t wait for the next installment in the Garner Witch series!

Bound by Blood:
 


 

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Guardian

 

Sherrilyn Kenyon is referred to as “the preeminent voice in paranormal fiction”, and it has been said that “she not only helped to pioneer, but define the current paranormal trend that has captivated the world”.  She has more than twenty-five million copies of her books in print, in over one hundred countries, and has claimed the coveted #1 bestselling spot sixteen times in just the past three years.

The Guardian, Book #5 of the Dream-Hunter series
Author:  Sherrilyn Kenyon

Synopsis: Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: To descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian…

Seth’s time is running out. If he can’t hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn’t been able to break the god in his custody. Then there’s the beautiful Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn’t just guarding the gates of Olympus—she’s holding back one of the world’s darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive...

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I adore Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series and its combined sub-series, Were-Hunter and Dream-Hunter. 

A feisty mixed species heroine with a past even she doesn’t know about, a tortured hero, family ties, alliances forged, promises broken, forbidden romance…  The Guardian was fantastic!

Lydia, our heroine, is in a quest to rescue the god of dream, Solin, from hell.  She’s feisty, and strong, but doesn’t take into account exactly what she’ll be up against.  When she runs into our hero, she isn’t quite prepared for what she finds – or the conflicting feelings she’s having. 

Our hero, Seth, a guardian to the evil Noir & Azura who has a single-minded quest is, in true Kenyon fashion, a sexy, tortured and complex character.  His evolution throughout the book was fascinating and intriguing.

Plot-wise, The Guardian was streamline, action-packed, mysterious and sexy and reminded all over again me why I love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books. 

LITERAL ADDICTION gives The Guardian 4 1/2 Skulls, and would recommend it to all Sherrilyn Kenyon fans, Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance lovers. 
While The Guardian can be read as a stand-alone, I highly suggest that you invest in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter/Were-Hunter/Dream-Hunter series from the beginning.  While it has over 20 books now, it’s still one of the best in my honest opinion, and should be checked out by everyone.

The Guardian:
 

 


[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Last Breath



Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including the immensely popular Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season series.
She was born at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, attended Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, and earned a bachelors degree in business administration from Texas Tech University. She’s worked in many jobs, including accounting, graphic designer, insurance investigation, corporate communications, and web design, to name just a few. She became a full time writer in 2010.

Rachel is married to award-winning fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad.


Last Breath, Book #11 of the Morganville Vampire series
Author:  Rachel Caine

Synopsis: With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town—a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville’s latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn’t merely human. But is he a vampire—or something else entirely?
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I love the Morganville Vampires series and have been an avid follower since book #1.  Nothing could have prepared me for the fabulousness that was book #11, Last Breath, however. 

Rachel hit a home run with this book in every way possible!

Like all Morganville books, there was tons of action, danger lurking around every corner, sweet romance, problems to be solved, friendships solidified, alliances forged, and mysteries galore. 

Unlike other Morganville books, Last Breath gave the reader a closer insight into some of our main characters when Rachel switched up point of view from Claire, to Michael, to Amelie and back – all seamlessly.

While I read that people were worried that there wasn’t going to be as much Myrnin in this book (yes, I love him too!), no worries, there was plenty.  Actually, if possible, we get an even better glimpse into the enigma that is Myrnin, making my love for him grow even more. 

This book was an intense, heart pounding, sigh & gasp inducing, anger igniting, emotional thrill ride and it was my favorite of the series thus far.  Bottom line…Last Breath took my breath away.

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Last Breath an easy 5 Skulls, and would recommend it to EVERYONE!  Morganville may be classified as YA, but adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance readers will love this series just as much.  You really do need to read the first 10 installments of The Morganville Vampires series before settling in for this gem, however.  There is just too much history that you would be without, thus making Last Breath only a sliver of the prize it truly is.  I am beyond thrilled that there will be a 12th book in the series, my only complaint is that I don’t have it in my hot little hands right this second.

Last Breath: