Found this book because of Book Bub's sale alerts and thought the blurb looked pretty good. So, so happy that happened!
Raina Bowen drives a high-tech big rig through the post-apocalyptic Siberian wastelands. The New Government Order is supposed to secure a safe and peaceful existence even in this crummy, frozen region, but cronyism has actually secured a ridiculous amount of power to one man. The man who wants to torture Raina to death.
Raina meets Wizard when she "saves" him from her nemesis's ugly minions. She'd been there to meet him anyway for some finagled documentation, but the actual meet includes a rescue and confused intent. And thus our adventure begins.
Eve Silver AKA Eve Kenin says in the author's note at the end of the book that the show Firefly was a big inspiration for this world. Considering I'd thought that many times while reading, she did a good job of harnessing the same feel of the characters and the place. Being a big Firefly fan, that's a huge plus for me as a reader. And they're truckers! That's a new one for me, but it works spendidly.
Raina is beautiful and Wizard is hot. They're both damaged and a bit strange and their chemistry is clearly not something either of them has ever experienced before. It's totally believable in the story as well as refreshingly different from the typical romance path.
I'm already starting on the next book thanks to my inability to avoid sample chapters at the end of books. There's also a deleted scene included at the end of the main text that's pretty darn smokin'.
I don't know if it's on sale anymore, but it's definitely worth the read. My one actual story complaint is that the villain is A Very Bad Man. Meaning, he's just crazy, evil bad. He has one basic motive, but one doesn't have to be so Terribly, Terribly Bad and Evil to accomplish it.
I definitely liked this one for a new-to-me Romance/UF series.
Both leads were selfish and annoying. They're very poorly introduced so for most of the story they're completely unlikable and the only reason you'd root for them to be together is to spare anyone else the heartache of being married to such self-centered people.
They do get better over the course of the book, but their reasons for doing certain things are not valid enough to excuse the results. IMO.
The present tense, first person POV is also not one of my favorite new trends. Some authors pull it off okay, but most come off reading amateurish. One problem I've seen in most of the books I've read that use this device is that it seems to be an invitation to crazy grammar. The usage of "I" and "me" is especially wonky in most of them and I find myself editing too much in my head.
I liked getting both leads' POV regardless of how I was feeling about either one of them at the time. I guess this would be classified as NA, although the leads are around 28 or 29 years old.
One thing I always like is a small town story. This one, though, gave me no real indication of where the town was or anything specific to latch onto. I know it's in a place that gets cold. It's called "Beaumont", and it's a close-knit community. Big enough to have a shopping district, but not big enough to support more than one high school it seems. That's about as well-defined as it gets. So that was disappointing too.
I'm rounding it up to three stars because there really wasn't anything terribly objectionable about it, but it's more like two and a half.
My relationship with this series has been up and down. The first three had me gritting my teeth to get through (although there were, in all three books, the expected hilarious scenes) because of the behavior of the female protagonists. They really annoyed me.
But there was this character whose book I really wanted to read (Vance), so I stuck with it. The books got steadily better and now we come to the final one of the series.
Ally's a character I wasn't completely warm to. She seemed a lot like Keely in Lorelie James's "Rough Rider" series. The wild child younger sister who got in everyone's faces (and drives me nuts). I liked Ren from his earlier appearances in RC books, but I thought he was going to get ripped off with Ally as his HEA.
Glad to be wrong. Ally has hidden depths. She was far more thoughtful with Ren than I thought she'd be, even though this book centers around her proving herself to everyone else as much as it focuses on the her romance with Ren. After 7 RC books, this was a total change-up to the format and, for me, it was welcome.
The book does read a little like an epilogue to the series and we check in with the other couples, but the story line itself is engaging. Ren is a wonderful hero and Ally is refreshingly aware of this throughout.
It's a really nice series finale. The RC world isn't over, though, as there's a spin-off series taking place in LA. I'll be looking forward to that, although I really hope we don't get some of the relationship-delaying devices KA used in the earlier Rock Chick books. Since this series developed away from that (for the most part), I have high hopes for LA. :)
Warbound is the third and final installment in Larry Correia's amazing "Grimnoir Chronicals" trilogy. This series is one of my favorites and now that it's over it's going on the keeper shelf for all time. Correia has promised some more material in the world so I have that to look forward to, but I would definitely like to read more about these characters specifically. I don't know if that will happen, but I would be thrilled if we got to see them again.
This book isn't perfect. In fact it's probably the weakest in the series, but that's all relative since all three books are fantastic, IMO. The ending felt rushed and the epilogue felt incomplete for the ending of a story arc. I think it could have used another chapter to wrap things up and to bring the remaining characters back together for a check-in rather than some reminiscences from one character's POV (memorial, wedding, conference … just something to bring them to the same place at the same time). Then it could still have ended with the same really nice scene it does have. But nobody listens to me and I can't say I was horribly disappointed in anything.
The battles in this world are mind-bending and the relationships are very effective. There were surprises and heartbreaks and, as always, a lot of humor in the face of catastrophe. Correia handles character death better than many fantasy authors. It's always important, never a gimmick, and I can't express how much, as an emotionally involved reader, I appreciate that.
The basic overview of the world is that people started being born with magical abilities in the mid-1800's. These abilities are specific, such as teleportation (Travelers), fire starting/controlling (Torches), Healers, incredible strength (Brutes), the ability to manipulate gravity (Heavies AKA Gravity Spikers), and so on. They can be super heroes or super villains and some nods and winks are made toward the comic book genre. But this is an alt-history, so some of the things you might think are "stolen" from comics are really references to actual historical events. It's fascinating and inspires further research which is kind of fun with this created world lurking in the back of the mind.
The characters in this series are well made and just about any of them (on the good guy side, of course) could be called my favorite. There's intrigue and action and mild romance and dirigibles, although it can't really be classified as steam punk. It's called "diesel punk" but it's also modern epic fantasy/alt history.
If you like audio books, the first two are award winners. I read the Kindle editions and, unfortunately, this installment suffered from many typos. I had to wonder if Baen had been taken over by Penguin since I don't usually have that problem with them and Penguin is notorious for shoddy end product. Still, it was an annoyance and not a deal-breaker.
Clearly, I highly recommend this series. :D
I became hooked on this author when I bought the first book of the Pennyroyal Green series on sale. I absolutely loved Perils of Pleasure and I've always found Long's stories to be entertaining and often moving. But that first book was always the best. This one nearly equals it. I absolutely loved both lead characters and I loved the conclusion.
Having been a bit disappointed in the last installment (even after forgiving the huge publishing screw-up that left an incredible number of typos and editing mishaps in the text), I'm thrilled to have just enjoyed a story that's everything that's good about JAL.
CSI at the end of the 19th century. Fascinating story. Heartbreaks and triumphs. Interesting characters.
It was pretty dark and overwhelming with detail -- reminded me of Stieg Larsson's "Girl" books although I think this was written prior -- but once you've absorbed the ambiance of the place and the players, it's really a terrific read.
This is a prequel to the story "Leave Me Breathless", which I absolutely loved. In this short we get the full accounting of the shadowy hook-up between Ghost and Macy that was referenced in "Rock Me" and "Leave Me Breathless".
I loved visiting with Macy and Ghost again. I adore their connection and their chemistry. Two problems though. One, Macy was still in her tightly controlled, semi-bitchy phase and even though I know she's on the way out of it, it's still happening in this story. Two, the window of time upon which we're gazing is the worst part of "Rock Me" when Candace is being TSTL and an utter basketcase. So, while I love every encounter between Ghost and Macy, every scene with Candace makes me want to bang my head against a wall. And I want to kick Macy for being so scared to take a chance ... but then that's kind of silly because I know how it all works out.
So, in short, read "Leave Me Breathless" before you read this and enjoy it as a nice little fix of a favorite couple.
Not going to give this a huge review, just note that this is a KA that disappointed me a lot. The female lead pushes the male lead away until the very last pages. It becomes seriously annoying. I really did wonder why Eddie stayed so interested in Jet. I wanted to like them both, and I'm not sure that I didn't, I just didn't like them together. I'm hoping that the books following have some participation from them as a couple so I can believe they're not on the same treadmill they were on for this entire book.
KA has shown that she can follow a dud with a great success, so I'm definitely sticking with the series. I was just very disappointed in this installment. :(
So I thought I'd read the king of Kristen Ashley's dick heroes with Tack. I was wrong.
Actually Tate and Tack are pretty much even for sickishness, so at least he's got that going for him.
Another Ashley book where I really didn't believe the hero was going to win me over, but he did. Considering Tate's first interaction with Lauren pushed all kinds of personal buttons for me, I have to say that affecting my transformation from throwing the reader stink eye to bringing out the moony eyes was impressive writing.
I loved Lauren, the female lead. She was a great character with traits that were easily relatable and she was exceptionally lovable. It was completely believable that the town of Carnal would open up to her once they got past their initial, ingrained distrust.
There's a murder mystery going on in this one and it's pretty gruesome. It works for the story, though, and it really helped with humanizing Tate. It was interwoven well with the romance plot and it brought about some of Ashley's signature poignant moments. I did not have tears running down my face this time, but it was a near thing.
Some of the side characters were wonderful and they added nice detail and color to the setting.
The first book in this series was hit/miss ultimately, but this one was all hit for me. I had a hard time putting it down and I was eager to get back to it every time I did. Very happy I kept going with this series.