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


1.26.2010

Review: Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat

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Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat
Historical Fiction, Demons, Spoof
Trade Paperback (EOS, 384 pages, $14.99)
ISBN# 0061976016
There were many staff at Kensington Palace, fulfilling many roles; a man who was employed to catch rats, another whose job it was to sweep the chimneys. That there was someone expected to hunt demons did not shock the new Queen; that it was to be her was something of a surprise.
London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the scepter, and an arsenal of bloodstained weaponry. If Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there’s the small matter of the undead to take care of first. Demons stalk the crown, and political ambitions have unleashed ravening hordes of zombies even within the nobility itself.
But rather than dreams of demon hunting, Queen Victoria’s thoughts are occupied by Prince Albert. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere? With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, zombies, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best demon hunter the world has ever seen.
In another incarnation as a more serious (though still satirical) author, A. E. MOORAT has won critical acclaim and been shortlisted for awards. Here, however, he was chained in the dungeon, fed tea and ghost stories, and kept busy writing the adventures of Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter.
Author Site: www.harpercollins.com

False Advertising Run Amok (1 star)

Surely by now most readers of popular fiction have heard of the popular spoof concept being applied to classic works of fiction. The light-hearted humor is intended to poke fun at these popular classics while also being just plain entertaining. Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter attempts to take that concept a bit further and present a reimagining of the life of a historical figure.

In theory the idea of a Queen of England as a demon hunting protector of her people is both bold and exciting. Unfortunately the excitement stops there. Presented in painfully slow, crude but dry humor the story of Victoria as demon slayer lacks any intensity that would appeal to the urban fantasy reader. The plodding pace is bogged down with point-of-view changes that only add to the drag and characters are so under developed it's a wonder anyone cares what happens to any of them.

My biggest beef with this book is the title itself. Don't go in expecting Victoria to actually be doing any demon slaying for the first 300 pages. I assumed this book was going to focus on her exploits as a demon killing machine by night, queen by day. Sadly, that's not the case. I won't offer any spoilers but I don't think it would be fair not to warn readers looking for something with a little action that the title and summary are a bit deceptive about Victoria's actual actions.

I rarely give one star reviews but I was so disappointed with this book I wouldn't want anyone to think I liked it even a little bit.



Notes: I received this book as an ARC through the Amazon Vine program.

1.21.2010

Review: Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn

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Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville #5) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 320 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446199532
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS? Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.
Author Site: www.carrievaughn.com

Weakest in the series thus far... (3 stars)

Even though they're mated as wolves already, Kitty and Ben are going to make it official the human way. Getting KNOB to pay for a trip to Vegas where she can sip fruity drinks by the pool and do a televised Midnight Hour is the perfect time to do it. Or so Kitty thinks. Staying in a hotel where the gun show consists of werewolf hunters isn't a very good start to the weekend that's supposed to be fun. But then she has to go and get the attention of a group of potential shapeshifters and a magician who may or may not be the real deal. Needless to say Kitty finds herself in all sorts of trouble before she and Ben manage to tie the knot.

It's kind of hard to say much more about the plot of this one. To be honest I enjoy this series a lot but this story would have made a good anthology addition instead of a full novel. It's not that the story is bad—it's entertaining enough—it's just so transitional. It's more or less taking readers from Kitty and the Silver Bullet to the real storyline she wanted to do here... the one she sets up to be executed in Kitty Raises Hell.

I still don't like Ben. He's really boring as a hero to me as a reader and he's even less interesting this time around. I get why Kitty like him and that's all that keeps me from hating him. In fact, it took me months to read this one because it was pretty dull between Ben and the slowly progressing plot. Unlike Kitty and the Silver Bullet this one has very little action.

Should you bother? Well yeah, if you're a reader of the series and you want to be fully informed for the next in the series. I'm not 100% sure you could skip it completely. But on the same token maybe you can. This book leaves off in a sort of cliffhanger fashion that I imagine requires some recapping in the first chapter of the next book. I'll let my fellow readers be the judge.

1.13.2010

Spotlight: Kitty Norville Series

Urban Fantasy is a genre that is dominated by strong female protagonists. It's the genre where women really get to be the heroes of the story. It's totally acceptable for a girl to be as tough as the guys if not tougher. Even better, they can be sexy AND be a bad ass.

I think that is a major reason this genre is my favorite and I am always chomping at the bit when I find out about a new series coming out that focuses on a woman's adventures with the supernatural. Growing up in a family with strong, opinionated and very independant women I relate better to women who are their own hero. Nothing wrong with having a guy step in and sweep her off her feet but she has to be able to take care of herself.

And Kitty Norville is a perfect example of this kind of woman. She starts off being pretty wimpy, getting pushed around by her pack's alphas. But as her story progresses she turns out to be stronger than she thought. In her world the guys are equals, not above or below her and in this genre that is a really hard balance to pull off. If you like this kind of dynamic check the series out! (www.carrievaughn.com)
-- Rhi


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Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville #1) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 332 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446616419
Description: VAMPIRES. WEREWOLVES. TALK RADIO. Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station—and a werewolf in the closet. Sick of lame song requests, she accidentally starts "The Midnight Hour," a late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. After desperate vampires, werewolves, and witches across the country begin calling in to share their woes, her new show is a raging success. But it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew…

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Kitty Goes to Washington (Kitty Norville #2) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 360 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446616427
Celebrity werewolf and late-night radio host Kitty Norville prefers to be heard and not seen. So when she's invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of supernaturals, and her face gets plastered on national TV, she inherits a new set of friends, and enemies, including the vampire mistress of the city; an über-hot Brazilian were-jaguar; and a Bible-thumping senator who wants to expose Kitty as a monster. Kitty quickly learns that in this city of dirty politicians and backstabbing pundits, everyone's itching for a fight.

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Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville #3) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 336 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446618748
After getting caught turning wolf on national television, Kitty retreats to a mountain cabin to recover and write her memoirs. But this is Kitty, so trouble is never far behind, and instead of Walden Pond, she gets Evil Dead. When werewolf hunter Cormac shows up with an injured Ben O'Farrell, Kitty's lawyer, slung over his shoulder, and a wolf-like creature with glowing red eyes starts sniffing around the cabin, Kitty wonders if any of them will get out of these woods alive...

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Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Kitty Norville #4) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 352 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446618756
Kitty's radio show is as popular as ever and she has a boyfriend who actually seems to understand her. Can she finally settle down to a normal life? Not if this is just the calm before the storm. When her mother falls ill, Kitty rushes back to Denver--and right back to the abusive pack of werewolves she escaped a year ago. To make matters worse, a war is brewing between the city's two oldest vampires, threatening the whole supernatural community. Though she wants to stay neutral, Kitty is again drawn into a world of politics and violence. To protect her family, her lover, and herself, she'll have to choose sides. And maybe become what she hates--a killer.

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Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville #5) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 320 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446199532
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS? Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

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Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville #6) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 336 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446199540
Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.
Kitty and Ben flee The City That Never Sleeps, thinking they were finished with the dangers there, but the sadistic cult of lycanthropes and their vampire priestess have laid a curse on Kitty in revenge for her disrupting their rituals. Starting at the next full moon, danger and destruction the form of fire strikes Kitty and the pack of werewolves she's sworn to protect.
She enlists the help of a group of TV paranormal investigators - one of whom has real psychic abilities - to help her get to the bottom of the curse that's been laid on her. Rick, the Master vampire of Denver, believes a deeper plot lies behind the curse, and he and Kitty argue about whether or not to accept the help of a professional demon hunter - and vampire - named Roman, who arrives a little too conveniently in the nick of time.
Unable to rely on Rick, and unwilling to accept Roman's offer of help for a price, Kitty and her band of allies, including Vegas magician Odysseus Grant and Kitty's own radio audience, mount a trap for the supernatural being behind the curse, a destructive force summoned by the vengeful cult, a supernatural being that none of them ever thought to face.


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Kitty's House of Horrors (Kitty Norville #7) by Carrie Vaughn
Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 304 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0446199559
REALITY BITES Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.
The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in . . . before it kills them all.

1.11.2010

Review: Queene of Light by Jennifer Armintrout

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Queene of Light (Lightworld/Darkworld #1) by Jennifer Armintrout
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Fae
Mass Market Paperback (MIRA BOOKS, 384 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0778326624
An unimagined destiny an undeniable passion.
In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder creatures of myth and fairytale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.
But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampires, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.
Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin....
Ayla, a half-faery, half-human assassin is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.

Author Site:
www.jenniferarmintrout.com

Conceptually good, but poorly executed... (3 stars)

Years after the veil between the human world and the world of the fantastical was split open the creatures of magic and myth have been cast below ground. Carving out an underworld in the sewers and tunnels of an underground labrynth the fae, trolls, dragons and other creatures have kept their own shaky balance. The creatures of the Lightworld stick to their side and the creatures of the Darkworld stay in theirs. Only in a place called The Strip do they mix and mingle, this neutral ground providing all with what is even forbidden amongst the other worlds. But this balance can't last forever. There's the prophecy about the Queene returning the fae to the world above... if only she weren't busy indulging her own petty whims.

Ayla is an assassin vituperated for her mixed blood. Half-human and half-faery she belongs to neither the world above or the world below. It is only by the grace of the faery Queene's brother, Garret, that she is able to survive among the fae. Sent into the Darkworld to slay demons she is stalked by the Death Angel Malachi. Unaware of her human blood his Immortality is stripped when he attempts to harvest her soul. She should kill him while she has the chance but something compels her to spare him. An attraction both violent and dangerous continues to lure them to one another but with court intrigue afoot Ayla may die before she can be with Malachi again.

I wanted to like this book. I really liked the basic concept for the story. The idea of the fae world (and other mythical races) clashing with the human world only to end up below ground sounded really fresh and dark. Unfortunately Armintrout doesn't deliver this plot well at all. So little is explained throughout the book that readers are left guessing as to how it happened. Because this is also a romance one would expect there to be some chemistry between the hero and heroine. Sure, classic fae characters are a bit icy but these are so icy they aren't likable and thus the romance suffers. It's more of an animal attraction and not in the good way.

The book dragged on and on never really making me care for any of the characters or even the outcome of the story threads that were established. Malachi was barely described and what was physically explained about him was cliched and boring. Ayla was seemingly naive but didn't seem to care enough to change that when she realized she was being used. The most interesting character in the book was Keller, the outcast human who helped Malachi recover when he became Mortal but he isn't in the story enough to save it from being a snorefest.

Overall the book just does not deliver a story worth me recommending it. I may eventually read the second book in this series because I do like the concept but I'd have to be pretty bored to bother.

Spotlight: Jane Jameson Series

One of my favorite discoveries of 2009 was the Jane Jameson series. There are lots of funny, fierce female characters out there in urban fantasy land but few as endearing as Jane.

The stuff Jane goes through on a daily basis dealing with being newly undead are cute, the sort of stuff everyone really wonders about. I mean what would a newly turned vampire in modern days do about sunlight or a dislike for the taste of blood? How would she deal with technically being dead enough her family might want to inquire about an inheritance?

Molly was sweet enough to send me a copy of Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men last fall but I didn't get around to reviewing it until tonight because it was the book I was working on when I went into labor. After I had the baby the first things I did (besides the obvious shower and snuggle my newborn) were ask for a cranberry juice, my froggie slippers and my book I could see what was going to happen with the wedding of the century!

So I owe Molly a HUGE thanks for sending me not only a comp copy of the book but a nifty bookmark too! And big apologies for not getting the review up sooner.

Now that she has three books out in this series I am dying to find out if she's got a contract to do more but in the meantime check out her website www.mollyharper.com or her blog (she has done some fun interviews!) and look for a non-paranormal romance she has coming out later this year called And One Last Thing...
-- Rhi


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Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson #1) by Molly Harper
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (POCKET STAR, 384 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 1416589422
Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.
Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She's forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn't enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a nice undead girl to do?


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Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson #2) by Molly Harper
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (POCKET STAR, 400 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 1416589430
Once a devoted children's librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a rundown occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she's now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she's an eternal bridesmaid -- which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistibly sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read. While Jane is trying to master undead dating, she is also donning the ugliest bridesmaid's dress in history at her best friend Zeb's Titanic-themed wedding. Between a freaked-out groom-to-be, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and Zeb's mother, hell-bent on seeing Jane walk the aisle with Zeb, Jane's got the feeling she's just rearranging the proverbial deck chairs.
Meanwhile, Half Moon Hollow's own Black Widow, Jane's Grandma Ruthie, has met her match in her latest fiancé. He smells like bad cheese and has a suspicious history of dead spouses. But Jane's biting her tongue. After all, would a nice girl really think she has a future with a vampire?


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Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3) by Molly Harper
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (POCKET STAR, 336 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 1416589449
Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson's sexy sire Gabriel has always been unpredictable, but the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow -- alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.
Now the children's-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby...or litter. Step Three: Figure out who's been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is suddenly becoming a matter of life and undeath....

Review: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

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Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson #2) by Molly Harper
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (POCKET STAR, 400 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 1416589430
Once a devoted children's librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a rundown occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she's now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she's an eternal bridesmaid -- which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistibly sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read. While Jane is trying to master undead dating, she is also donning the ugliest bridesmaid's dress in history at her best friend Zeb's Titanic-themed wedding. Between a freaked-out groom-to-be, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and Zeb's mother, hell-bent on seeing Jane walk the aisle with Zeb, Jane's got the feeling she's just rearranging the proverbial deck chairs.
Meanwhile, Half Moon Hollow's own Black Widow, Jane's Grandma Ruthie, has met her match in her latest fiancé. He smells like bad cheese and has a suspicious history of dead spouses. But Jane's biting her tongue. After all, would a nice girl really think she has a future with a vampire?

Author Site:
www.mollyharper.com


Nice Girls DO Write Hysterically Funny Novels (5 stars)

Once upon a time Jane was a living, breathing children's librarian... then she died in a rather tragic mistaken-for-a-deer-by-a-drunken-redneck accident and was turned into a vampire. Now life in Half Moon Hollow is filled with visits from her ghostly great-aunt and her sexy sire. That, and her best friend, Zeb, is getting ready to marry a werewolf and she's been called upon to play bridesmaid.

Jane's boss at the occult bookshop she's now working at offers a book on werewolf mating customs to help smooth the process and there's hilarity galore as the Titanic-themed wedding from hell approaches. Grandma Ruthie's creepy new boyfriend, Zeb's mother's attempts at getting Jane and Zeb to realize their true feelings for one another and scary werewolf bridal meltdowns make for tasty reading on the lighter side of the paranormal.

It's taken me forever to sit down and review this one and for that I am super sorry! I LOVED this book. LOVED. I don't say that often but it was such a fun read that I made sure I packed it in the bag I took with me to the hospital when I went into labor—and forgot to pack my favorite slippers!—just so I could finish it.

What readers looking for some romance might not like about this one is that there's really not much romance-romance. It's pretty tame there. You have the whole Gabriel/Jane thing but really their relationship isn't the focus of the story. I haven't had time to read it yet but I think the next in the series will focus a bit more on their relationship.

I will admit it is a little long and there were a few parts that were a little slow-ish but if you like paranormals and urban fantasies with cheeky humor this follow-up to Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs is just as good as the first. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for something light but not fluffy in the genre. Jane is fast becoming one of my favorite heroines and Harper is definitely an author I plan to watch closely.

1.10.2010

Spotlight: Vampire Academy Series

In honor of January being my month of reading about girls (and women) who kick butt I decided to feature one of my favorite young adult series!

While young adult vampire stories have been the hot thing for a while now this series hasn't gotten the attention others have. Which is a total shame because Rose Hathaway is a really tough young lady. More relatable than one of the most popular heroines of the genre if you ask me, Rose is the sort of girl who makes mistakes and still manages to pick herself up afterwards. It's her job to guard her best friend Lissa, the last of a royal bloodline. But kicking butt isn't just something she does, the job runs in the family.

Mead also writes the Dark Swan series which is another favorite and the Georgina Kincaid series which I haven't actually started yet but can't wait to start. If you're interested in an author who knows how to write strong, likable gals drop by Richelle Mead's website (www.richellemead.com) and check them out.
-- Rhi


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Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Vampires
Paperback (RAZORBILL, 332 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 159514174X
Released: August 2007 (Reviewed: May 2008)
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.


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Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Vampires
Paperback (RAZORBILL, 336 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 1595141758
Released: April 2008 (Reviewed: May 2008)
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...
It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians--including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if handto- hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks....This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...



Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (RAZORBILL, 448 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 1595141979
It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all...might be seeing ghosts. As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line--and choose between the two people she loves most.

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Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (RAZORBILL, 512 pages, $9.99)
ISBN# 1595143106
How far will Rose go to keep her promise?
The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.
He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?


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Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Vampires
Hardcover (RAZORBILL, 528 pages, $17.99)
ISBN# 1595142509
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

1.08.2010

RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading [01/08-01/10]

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Why am I writing up about my weekend reading at 5 o'clock in the morning on Friday instead of some more sane hour? Because if I don't do it now while the baby is asleep I might not find the time later.

Ten years ago when I had my first born I had been a pretty avid reader. The moment I became a mother I stopped reading. Didn't pick up another book until the baby was 2 years old. Thinking back on it I was wondering why I waited so long and what finally prompted me to pick up books again. Weirdly enough my getting back into reading after my first baby was the result of two very different things. The first being 9/11, which happened while I was living overseas and very far from my family, home and the safety I had felt there. The second was the first Lord of the Rings film. It was one of those series of books that I'd never sat down to read and like a total lame-o I watched the movie and had to go buy the books and read them.

Fast forwarding ten years to baby #2 and I may not have the time for reading like I want but I'm hoping this kid will grow up to love reading like I do... unlike the older sibling whose idea of reading involves either comic books or game guides.

So this weekend when I have one hand free to hold a book—while the other arm and hand are busy with baby duties—I will be working on E.A. Moorat's, Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter and finishing up the final chapters of Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk. Why? Because this month I am all about female empowerment and girls who just plain kick ass.

On that note, what kick-butt chicks in fiction (or fact for that matter) do you readers love?
-- Rhi


photo credit to bies of stock.xchng

1.03.2010

Review: Fugitive by Cheryl Brooks

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Fugitive (The Cat Star Chronicles #5) by Cheryl Brooks
Paranormal Romance, Sci-fi Romance, Erotica
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 416 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402229402
When a Zetithian fugitive meets a beautiful Earth woman, their passion may cost them both their lives…
Manx is a Zetithian fugitive with a feline gene that gives him remarkable sexual powers. He has been in hiding in the remote jungles of Barada Seven ever since being marked for extermination by the violent Nedwuts.
Artist Drusilla arrives on Barada Seven, enticed only by the promise of finding a nature paradise there. But she discovers a wildlife she wasn't expecting when she encounters Manx. Reckless with desire for the beautiful Earth woman, Manx risks his life to win her as his mate.
It's only a matter of time until the Nedwuts find them, but it will take all of Manx and Drusilla's passion, skill, and ingenuity to survive.

Author Site:
www.cherylbrooksonline.com


Erotic Romance or Chick Porn? (3 stars)

Drusilla's last boyfriend turned out to be gay so when her agent sends her off to Barada Seven to get away from it all and paint the last thing she is looking for is a man. The froggy natives keep a very peaceful planet and invite offworlders to stay in a luxurious lakeside house that offers just the sort of relaxation and avian wildlife Drusilla needs. But when she meets the local potty-mouthed lake monster, an eltran named Zef, he insists that she meet his friend Manx.

Manx, unlike his fellow Zetithian males, has never really been a slave. He's been on the run since the destruction of their homeworld never staying anywhere once the Nedwuts catch wind of him. Hiding out in the jungle of Barada Seven has been alright with Zef to keep him company but one whiff of the woman staying at the lake house is all he needed to decide he needed a little more.

Meanwhile, Jack and the gang are searching not only for other Zetithians still rumored to be alive and in hiding but also for the source of the enormous bounty set on their heads. And when a pack of Nedwuts set their sights on Barada Seven and the newly coupled Manx and Drusilla you can bet Jack and company aren't going to let them get away with murder.

If you're looking for a more stand-alone Cat Star book I kind of think this one would be it. While the overall series plot about the bounty on Zethitians is finally starting to unravel some in this one I felt like there was some lacking in flow from the other books to this one. For one, Manx wasn't as well explained background wise as the other heroes in the series thus far. To be honest I thought both he and Drusilla were boring. I enjoyed the stuff going on with secondary characters and our previous heroes and heroines more than the romance between these two.

As far as Brooks improving on the third person narrative I think she nailed it this time! The flow from perspective to perspective was much better this book and I think it will work well for those who don't like first person romances.

Aside from not really liking the hero and heroine in this story I had one reeeeally big problem. I enjoy erotica and I enjoy romance. Romantica done right can be really good too when I'm in the mood for that kind of reading. In Warrior the dirty talk was a little edgy but primarily I liked it. Unfortunately in Fugitive the dirty talk wasn't really dialog between characters but rather in the descriptions of the sexual scenes. The wording choices and general tone reminded me of a porno script and instead of being a turn-on was a real turn-off for me. Not all readers will find it off-putting but I personally don't care for phrases like "fucking his wife's mouth" or "meaty cock" in a romance.

In the end this is my least favorite in the series so far but definitely a pivotal story in the series flow so if you're following it I think it is a must read.

Happy Belated New Year!

In case it wasn't insanely obvious I got nothing accomplished reading wise during the holiday season. Between trying to get Christmas cards out, gifts bought and wrapped, decorations up, baking and family visits (not to mention caring for the new baby) I only had time for some non-fiction reading I needed to do and one fiction book. Awful!

I'm hoping once I finally get the decorations down and the laundry caught up I can get some reading done AND time to review. :) Hopefully as 2010 gets underway I'll get back to proper blogging and reviewing order. Wish me luck!
-- Rhi

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