RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


Rhi vs. Life: Updates

Got a couple of reviews up this evening! Both are from books I reviewed for Amazon.com's Vine program but definite reads I think my audience will like. Hopefully will have more reviewing caught up by the end of the weekend but I don't know because...

After last week's little update on the state of things around here I had my baby. I blame it on finally purchasing a baby book and shaving my legs on Thursday night. Friday we welcomed the newest addition to our family. :) For the record let me just say that 'natural' childbirth (pain-med free) really is as scary as the movies seemingly over-exaggerate it to be. At some point I thought 'who the hell is screaming like a banshee?' and then the nurse reminded me I needed to be holding my breath to bear-down and push... not going all primal battle-cry and screaming bloody murder. Oops. ;D

I took Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men to the hospital with me and did get a little time to read but not much. The idea was to sleep and relax after all that but getting used to baby noises again isn't easy to sleep with.

More good news to add... we'll be closing on our new house next week which is awesome but does mean more quietness on my end as we attempt to move with a newborn. And don't get me started on the "Rhi's writer's nook" versus "Hubby's man-cave" room debate. :P We've been doing a little packing over the last week and he seems to think I have too many books. Blasphemy!

Well all, I am off. Lots to do but I had to check in and let ya know I'll be busy for a bit longer. Well wishes to all!
-- Rhi

Review: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

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Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire
Urban Fantasy, Fae
Mass Market Paperback (DAW, 368 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0756405718
October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.

Author Site:

Fresh Fare for Fae Fans (5 stars)

October Daye, better known to her friends and enemies as "Toby", has seen better times. Having recently recovered from a spell that left her trapped in the form of a fish for fourteen years she's lost everything she valued. A Changeling--half-human, half-fae--by birth she doesn't truly belong in either world. She may owe some allegience to her fae leige but having lost the human she loved and the now teenaged daughter she adored have left a mark on her.

With her old frenemy, Evening Winterrose, murdered it falls on Toby to find her killer or face the possibility of her own death. Dragged back into the world of Fae politics and secrets Toby must renew old ties and seek out the very persons she has been trying to avoid. There's no telling who she can trust amongst the Fae fiefdoms when enemies can be more straight-forward than one's own friends.

October's series is off to a good start with Rosemary and Rue. These are the fae most faeriephiles are familiar with but with some twists. McGuire gives readers just enough detail and hints to keep them reading but leaves a lot open for disclosure in future installments. I found her Cait Sidhe particularly interesting because I'm a cat lover. The variety of changelings make for an curious lot as there are many different types of fae in this particular world building. Where the author will go with this is anyone's guess.

As a heroine Toby is a little iffy. I liked her but felt like she wasn't telling us everything and some of her motivations seemed a little contrived. At times I felt like I had to guess at her motives and the lack of explanation of her relationships with her friends and enemies could have gone much deeper. There is a certain quality to her character that does make it hard not to want to continue getting to know her and wishing she was more forthcoming as the narrator of her story that will keep most readers entertained though. The wide variety of secondary characters were well done, strengthening the story even if (like Toby) I felt the surface was barely scratched with most of them. One issue I had here is that I frequently felt like I was told instead of shown how Toby related to the others.

Overall the story wasn't flawless but I found it hard to put down. After a while certain mythologies can feel redundant and Rosemary and Rue does its best to steer clear of that. Anyone who likes urban fantasy with Fae should pick this one up and check it out. The heavy sexual overtones of some other faerie series aren't present in this first book but may pop up in future ones. I recommend this one for urban fantasy fans looking for something fresh and original.

Review: The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter

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The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) by Gena Showalter
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Demons
Mass Market Paperback (HQN BOOKS, 416 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0373773927
Bound by the demon of Doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.
Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she'd fall for a kind human who wouldn't rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora's box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love.

Author Site:

Turning up the heat on the Lords... (4 stars)

When you're cursed to carry the demon of Doubt around with you it's hard not to question your own decisions some of the time. Sabin has tried and unsuccessfully had relationships with women who were confident and strong. But Doubt has always found his way into their hearts and minds slowly destroying them. The best way to protect them is never to allow himself to have relationships with them. Which could be easy to do with the war between the Hunters, lead by the demon-disguised-as-angel known as Galen, and the Lords of the Underworld catching flame and burning faster than ever.

When Sabin finds Gwendolyn the Timid locked away in an Egyptian prison at the mercy of Hunters he is immediately drawn to the sad, beautiful woman. Tormented and abused at the hands of the Hunters Gwen and the women with her are just the surface of their latest evil scheme. An immortal in her own right, Gwen should be fierce and capable of protecting herself. Yet doing so means giving in to her dark side, a side she is afraid to accept lest it make a monster of her. To Sabin she represents a chance to truly strike a blow to his enemies if he can persuade her to claim that half of herself but with Doubt fighting him and a multitude of threads to unravel only time will tell if he can get Gwen to trust herself and his growing feelings for her.

It's no secret this isn't my favorite series out there that follows a band of brothers. Sometimes the Lords of the Underworld can really feel like a generic version of this concept. The Darkest Whisper, however, seems to be the book that has begun to break the mold a bit. Sabin and Gwen aren't particularly memorable as hero and heroine but there is a definite stronger chemistry between them than previous H/H in the series. Gwen is a timid immortal with an interesting past/family life and Sabin (while probably one of the Lords I could care least about) is an strangely good match for her. The demon of Doubt is well used in this story, trying to make both Sabin and Gwen question one another's feelings and motives. As a romance I think most readers will be pretty satified.

The overall plot of the book does incorporate bits of what is going on with other Lords. The trouble with Paris takes a dark turn, Gideon's role gets a lot of attention preparing for his book (the next in the series) and previous H/Hs have roles that aren't just silly cameos. Readers who like this sort of book will probably still want a little more but I think this is a step in a strong direction for the LOTU on the whole. I'm also really thrilled to add that the plot for this book, while trying to bring a few too many different angles together, did something that rarely happens to me as a reader--it surprised me! It isn't often an author can pull a great plot twist without me seeing it coming. I loved that Showalter managed to do that this time around.

If you're a LOTU fan I think you will love this fourth book in the series. If you haven't read any of them yet this would be a really confusing story plot wise but is definitely a great example of both Showalter's best writing and the potential this series has if you want to give it a try. Enjoy!


Rhi vs. Life: The Battle Continues

Just popping in my dear readers to let y'all know I am indeed still alive. If barely. :P

Things are going okay around here. We're moving forward on our home purchase and it randomly occurred to me last night what a great writer's office one room of the new house would make. The soon-to-be former-owner was an avid hunter so he kept a room just for his guns and such... not a huge room but it's bigger than either bathroom and is somewhat secluded under the stairs which makes it a kinda neat place for a writer to hide away. Now how to break the news to my hubby that it's MINE!?!?! Hopefully by Halloween we'll be moving our things into the new house. I haven't actually lived in a house (only apartments and townhouses/duplexes) since I was a tween so the idea of not sharing walls with neighbors is reeeeally starting to excite me.

On the baby front no real news to report. We honestly thought the little pumpkin would be here already. Our first born was born a few weeks early and I have a family history of it but this one can't make up 'her' mind. Lots of contractions and laying awake at night trying to decide if it's time yet but so far no baby. With the actual due date less than two weeks away we know it will be any minute but sheesh! I can just imagine my Evil Fetus (as we've taken to jokingly calling 'her') humming "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash while these contractions come and go.

And the not so awesome news has been saved for last. I know it's everywhere right now but our town has been hit very hard with the H1N1 virus. We're waiting very impatiently for our chance to get vaccinated because of the baby but it's just not here yet! Very frustrating. Especially since our son was diagnosed with it last week. :( Since I am high risk (pregnant, asthmatic) I've been a little stressed and taking care of him and my husband (who caught something else from the doctor's office) has lead to me now being down with a cold or some such nasty. No fever yet so the docs won't treat me for anything or bother testing for H1N1. Wish me luck keeping this crud from getting me sick. For my sake and our baby.

So that is where I'm at. Been trying to get some reading caught up since I've had a lot of late nights thanks to coughing family members, a lot of afternoons spent lying in bed with contractions and a plain old fashioned lack of energy! I managed to finish Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter and Prey by Rachel Vincent. A really good bunch if you were interested. I hope to get them reviewed when I have more time and brain power. Last night I got started on Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper and so far it is fabulous!!!

Hope you're all enjoying some great autumnal weather and reading some great books. Has anyone read Covet yet? Is it any good? Will hopefully be a new home-owner and a new mommy again when I check in next! Take care and if I happen to miss it have a very Happy Halloween!
-- Rhi


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