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? I am currently OPEN for review requests for review requests. I have promotional openings for July through November open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


9.27.2012

Guestpost: Author P.T. Michelle [BKoD Blog Tour]

 
Dear readers,
 
It's my great pleasure to once again welcome one of my favorite authors to RhiReading. If you're in the mood for some exceptionally good young adult fiction please go read my reviews of BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS and LUCID. I am hopelessly addicted to this series and hope you will enjoy this smart guespost about how P.T. built Nara's world.
 
-- Rhi 
 


BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS AND WORLDBUILDING

I used to compare worldbuilding (crafting the world inside a story) to working a jigsaw puzzle. First, you connect all the straight-edged pieces, creating an outside framework. Then you work your way toward the middle, manipulating the pieces until everything fits into place. You do this by setting up the "framework of the story" first, and then you go back and fill in the rules and details about your world through the characters' interactions.

But while I think the puzzle "visual" works pretty well to get the point across, I believe it's a little two-dimensional.

Now I like to think of worldbuilding like the human body. The meat of your story is the organs inside, from the brain to the heart. But what protects and holds all of that precious cargo together? The skeleton does. Thing is, the skeleton can't do it alone. There are also tendons, muscles and even skin that act as layers of protection, holding everything in place.

That's how worldbuilding works. You have the structure and rules of your world (the skeleton) and inside the structure there are the characters you create (the organs). Your world will have additional layers that give it depth and make it unique (skin, tendons, muscles), but as solid as your whole world is, it should also be dynamic. Characters change, grow, and evolve. Your world rules can bend and adapt, so long as they remain true to the general concept you set in place. Basically, your whole world should breathe and have movement (the body walking/running/dancing).

How does what I've talked about apply to my worldbuilding of BKoD? In the picture above, I'm holding my original scribblings about the BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS world. While working on book two (LUCID) and also in planning for book three, some of the events and players I'd originally envisioned shifted and changed. Remember when I said you should let your world breathe and have movement? Ha, that definitely happened! But in making these changes to the BKoD world, I had to make sure that any adaptations I envisioned would hold up under the rules I'd already set in place in book one. Above, I also talked about being able to bend the rules so long as they remain true to the general concept. Not only is understanding worldbuilding important in crafting your story, but it becomes especially important when writing books in a series. I always try to keep the "human body" concept in mind while crafting my books' worlds.





BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 1

Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

Read an excerpt
Amazon | Barnes and Noble


LUCID: BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 2

Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t.

Read an excerpt
Amazon | Barnes and Noble





ABOUT P.T. MICHELLE

P.T. Michelle is author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.

LINKS: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

9.26.2012

Review: Wife For Hire by Christine Bell

Wife for Hire by Christine Bell
Contemporary Romance, Category Romance
Ebook $2.99 (133 pages, ENTANGLED/INDULGENCE)
He needs a wife for three weeks…
Owen Phipps is out for revenge. His mission? To expose the man who stole his sister’s money and dignity. All he needs is a “wife” who can play along. Too bad his last best hope is an actress who tries to mace him with perfume when he offers her the role of a lifetime.
Lindy Knight is a real sap. She loves too hard, feels too deep, and often finds herself saying yes when she should be saying “Let me think about it.” She can’t believe her good fortune when Owen offers her more than enough money to hold off foreclosure until she can find a job. Three weeks at a resort, money she desperately needs, and she gets to help bring a criminal to justice? Score.
It seems easy enough until a couples bonding game turns intimate, and they realize how dangerous their mutual attraction could be. Can they keep their hands to themselves long enough to find the evidence Owen needs? Or are the close quarters more temptation than they can handle?

Author Site: christine-bell.com

 Another humorous hit from Christine Bell! (5 stars)

I am not a contemporary romance fan. It's just not my genre or choice. But Entangled Publishing has managed to get me reading—and loving!—some of them, the latest of which comes from an author I already love, Christine Bell. Bell's steampunky time-traveling Stormy Gale stories are awesome if you're into that kind of thing so I was truly thrilled to find out she was publishing a contemp with one of my favorite publishers.

I wasn't too sure what to expect with a tropey romp like WIFE FOR HIRE but somehow Bell manages to take an age-old category romance staple and make it funny, sexy, and surprisingly fresh. Lindy did push my buttons a bit, I kind of wanted to knock some sense into her at times, but that's exactly what was supposed to happen. Owen felt a little stiff at times, not quite real enough to completely buy him, especially as an Irishman and yet I couldn't help but think of Richard Gere in Pretty Woman with him. He's just a very guarded guy and for reasons that anyone would have the same reaction to.

While the romance between Lindy and Owen is the center of the story, the revenge plot keeps it moving and will likely have readers turning the pages from start to finish, I definitely found it hard to put down. Bell excells at bringing in enjoyable secondary characters to round out the story without overdoing it. By the conclusion I was rooting for Lindy and Owen's happily-ever-after and eagerly looking forward to seeing what Bell has coming out with Entangled next.

I highly recommend this one to old school category romance fans and fans of Bell's work under her Chloe Cole pen name. It's short, sexy, and the perfect afternoon delight for the romance reader needing a funny fix.




Other Reviews:
Cocktails and Books

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

9.25.2012

Guestpost: Author Tamara Morgan [PLAYING WITH FIRE Blog Tour] + GIVEAWAY!

Touchy Feely Superpowers…Activate!

As a romance author, I find myself secretly wishing for quite a few superpowers to get me through the day. A little invisibility would help in eavesdropping and expanding my current people-watching regime. The ability not to sleep would certainly help me meet deadlines. And while I’m making things up, I might as well put in a request for magical, calorie-burning powers to combat the ever-pervasive “writer’s butt syndrome.” (It can’t hurt, right?)

One superpower I do think most romance writers have, whether they want it or not, is the ability to look beyond the surface of a fictional relationship to pinpoint the emotions going on underneath. Did he just get a twinkle in his eye? BAM! He’s laughing at the heroine, finding joy in her company. Did she suck in a sharp breath just then? POW! She’s reacting to his nearness, her body feeling a sudden lack of oxygen from all the increased blood flow you-know-where. Are they standing toe-to-toe, screaming obscenities at each other, vowing vengeance at all costs? KAPLOOEY! What they really want to do is rip each other’s clothes off and get busy. And, oh, how we wish they would already.

The ability to see all this going on isn’t something most romance writers are born with—it’s more of a power acquired through years of having our noses buried in romance novels, searching for clues. And watching people interact, seeing the way a small gesture can mean so much more than an overt kiss on the lips or even an “I love you.”


9.24.2012

And... I'm back!

 
My sincerest apologies everyone! I didn't intend to take a 'vacation' this past week and a half but it just sort of happened that way. We had family come out to visit and that always means I do things like shampoo the carpet and finally change all the burned out lightbulbs and stuff. By the time company arrived I was ready to just chill with my books but then it was time to cook and bake for a crowd, plus my son's first football game and there was a school fundraiser going on. It was a long week. Fun, but long.
 
I honestly had very little time for reading, I got in maybe 100 pages the entire time. I felt awful but sometimes you just have to know it's all about the prioritizing. That said I am buried in unwritten reviews! *headdesk* I also have a lot of tour stops coming up. Well... a lot for me. :P
 
Monday is RhiReading's 4th blogiversary too! I am super broke but I'm trying to figure out how I can swing a juicy giveaway to celebrate. I've got a collection of vampire themed goodies and swag I could box up and mail out.

For the sake of my sanity and to let you guys know what's scheduled here are the upcoming events:


  • Tuesday, September 25th -- Playing with Fire Tour : Guest Post from Author Tamara Morgan
  • Thursday, September 27th -- BKoD & Lucid Tour : Guest Post from Author P.T. Michelle
  • Monday, October 1st -- RhiReading 4th Blogiversary
  • Friday, October 5th -- Three River Ranch Tour : Interview with Author Roxanne Snopek
  • Tuesday, October 9th -- From the Ashes Tour : Guest Post with Author Adrien-Luc Sanders
  • Sunday, October 14th -- Seeking on Sunday Meme Launch + GIVEAWAY!!!
  • Wednesday, October 17th -- Lucky Break Tour : Interview with Author Kelley Vitollo
  • Thursday, November 8th -- Trace of Moonlight Tour : Author Allison Pang (*tentative)
There will, of course, be tons of reviews if I can get my head out of my rear too. ;)

So mark your calendars and be sure to drop by. Some of those tours have giveaways going on and the guestpost from Adrien-Luc Sanders will cover a topic that is very... I guess personal isn't quite the word... it's just something that's very important to me as a reader who has often felt like I was alone in feeling how I feel about the subject.

On that note I am off to format tomorrow's guest post, try to get the toddler to nap (ugh, potty training attempt #5 begins this week), and find a moment to read before dinner must be made. Have a good one! -- Rhi

9.11.2012

Interview: Author Rachel Astor [SUGAR RUSH Blog Tour]

Dear readers-- I have been devouring SUGAR RUSH over the past couple of days and just know it's going to be a hit with you if you have as much of a sweet tooth as I do. I was very excited to interview Rachel and hope you'll enjoy reading her answers as much as I enjoyed trying to think of some sweet (*giggle,giggle*) questions for her to answer. -- Rhi



Hi Rachel! Welcome to RhiReading, where today we’re celebrating the launch titles of Entangled Publishing’s latest imprint, Bliss. Your title, SUGAR RUSH, features dueling chocolatiers on a collision course with love, has one seriously adorable cover, AND includes a special candy recipe! {Readers take note this book will inspire some hardcore indulgence of the sweet tooth, you've been warned. ;)}

Thanks so much for having me!

While SUGAR RUSH is a romance, the hero and heroine are facing off in the Annual Assembly of Chocolatiers. Which came first, your characters, Dulcie and Nick, or the concept of a H/H competing as the plot that brings them together? Was there any special inspiration behind either?

The plot actually came first, though Dulcie and Nick were not far behind. I love to think about my readers and what might make them happy, so my plots tend to be closely related to jobs or events that I see as being tons of fun—such as running a candy store! And what better way to fall in love than within that theme of chocolate and candy? It can’t help but be a sweet romance! ;) Dulcie was the first character I came up with and it was tons of fun getting into the mind of a chocolate genius- and as a side note, the name Dulcie means ‘sweet.’


With a tagline of ‘sweet & sassy short romance’ one of the key elements of the Bliss imprint that makes it different from its sister imprints is that any love scenes are closed-door or ‘fade to black’. What can you tell my readers about SUGAR RUSH that might convince those who love their romances filled with steamy love scenes to give it a try in spite of the lack of nitty gritty details?

I’ve always been a fan of the sweeter side of romance (no pun intended!), and with my other books, it’s proven to be something people really seem to connect to. I think it’s those very first sparks…the angsty ‘does he like me or doesn’t he?’ phase of a relationship, that really gets a chance to be in the forefront. So many emotions can swirl even before anything steamy (or too steamy at least *grin*) happens, and the Bliss line gives us a chance to explore some of those feelings a little more closely.


In the age of e-commerce and big-box-chains Dulcie’s small business dilemma isn’t far-fetched at all. Publishing can even be a lot of the same and it’s fascinating to see the wide variety of options an author now has to bring their stories to the masses. What has your writing journey been like and what’s the best tip you can share with aspiring romance writers?

Absolutely! Times are definitely changing and I personally have had a lot of success with my self-published series. Now, with Sugar Rush I’ve been lucky enough to publish with the digital teams at Entangled and Bliss. I don’t rule out anything for the future including traditional paper publishing, as each book is different and different formats can work for different types of books. I am a big believer that everybody’s journey is unique and that there is no right or wrong way to go about living your dream.


Now that SUGAR RUSH has been out long enough for many readers to have snapped it up and devoured it, I have to ask: will we see more sassy and sweet Bliss releases from you in the future?

I have nothing under contract as of right now, but there is certainly a lot of sweet and sassy romance left in me, and Bliss and Entangled have been wonderful to work with!


And now for a few just for fun queries:


If you were stranded on a desert island but could only bring 3 items featured in SUGAR RUSH what would they be?

Well, hopefully I can find a way to make electricity, because I’d love to take along Nick’s fancy-schmancy coffee maker, some jazz music, and of course, Dulcie’s family Spell Book of Sweets.

If I went into my favorite pub and ordered a SUGAR RUSH, a drink inspired by the book, what kind of cocktail would the bartender serve me?

Hmm…great question! I’d say definitely something in a Martini glass with a sugared rim and lots of chocolate flavor inside, topped with a chocolate-dipped cherry for good measure.

And lastly, my readers love to know how celebrated the release of SUGAR RUSH... were you too chocolated out by the end of the manuscript to treat yourself to some Godiva? ;)

Lol – there’s no such thing as being chocolated out! Actually I was on vacation in Niagara Falls on release day. What an amazing place to visit!

Thank you so much for the interview Rachel and congratulations on the new release!

Thanks for having me!



Now see what I mean? I'm having to hold myself back from the delicious Theo chocolates I bought last week after reading this. If you haven't grabbed your copy it's available as an ebook only from retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also get to know more about Rachel and her books through the following linkage...


Connect with Rachel Astor

9.10.2012

Review: The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz

The Superheroes Union: Dynama
Romance, Superheroes, GLBT
Ebook $3.99 (89 pages, CARINA PRESS)
What if your evil ex really was evil? TJ Gutierrez used to be a superhero. But after the birth of her twins seven years ago, she hung up the yellow spandex. Until the day her archenemy and ex-husband, Singularity, breaks out of prison. When it becomes clear he's after the kids, she's forced to call the nanny helpline—and once again become...Dynama! Annmarie Smith doesn't have a superpower. She saves the world by keeping kids safe while their parents fight evil. She temporarily moves in with TJ, and the way the magnetic mama puts family first captures Annmarie's respect, and maybe her heart—even though she knows better than to fall for a superhero. Still, it's hard to resist their wicked chemistry. Kapow! But they can only hide from the world for so long. When Singularity's quest for custody puts the kids' lives in danger, can the two women conquer the evil villain and save TJ's family—all before their first date?Author Site: n/a

Minimal Good vs. Evil + Lukewarm Romance = Bummer!  (2 stars)

As with a few of the titles I've reviewed recently I find myself citing the blurb as giving a great enough gist of the plot I don't have to summarize it myself. In boiled down basics THE SUPERHEROES UNION: DYNAMA's blurb lays it out. Former superhero mom, evil ex-husband-slash-arch-enemy father of her twin kids, babysitter to the rescue, romance, superhero custody battle, neat and tidy ending. Except that the ex isn't really all that evil, the babysitter spends more time ogling the mom's breasts and whining about her childhood than being really useful, and the mom herself seems very detached from it all.

I'm a geek for anything superhero related and thought I'd be getting something a little more Sky High or The Incredibles-ish with the family element. What I got was a pair of heroines I found very dislikable. Annmarie is bland, whiny, and well, what we geeks call a Mary-Sue. TJ has so many names, nicknames, and aliases (Heidi, Hidden Hand, Dynama, Terry, etc.) I was constantly confused who was being referred to. When I could figure it it was TJ who was being spoken of I found her to be completely 2 dimensional. There was a lot of telling the reader she cared about her kids and not a lot of showing. More dumbfounding to me was how TJ and Annmarie never had a moment of sorting out the girl-girl attraction, since TJ had obviously been married to a guy I expected there to be at least a moment where it would be noted between them that she was bisexual. (Yes, I admit this was my first lesbian romance so maybe I just don't know how these things are supposed to be done but it felt contrived to me personally because there was never any discussion of the matter).

The whole evil ex part of the plot was so slow and boring up until the end I almost didn't finish it. I honestly think this should have been a plot for an actual superhero comic book because it read like one without the pictures to pull it along. I honestly didn't want to review TSU:D because I felt guilty for not liking it and really don't want readers to think it had anything to do with it being a GLBT romance. I was actually thrilled to try a lesbian romance finally but found it lacked in the areas I would dislike whether the couple were m/m, f/m, or f/f, orientation really didn't matter here, unlikable characters and a lackluster plot just didn't sell me.

If you're looking for a superhero romance (as I was) I'd suggest a pass on this one. There's just too much focus on the politics of being a superhero and the couple are too unlikable as individuals to enjoy as romantic interests. If you're a fan of lesbian romance already you might like it but I honestly have no basis for comparison yet so I can't be a fair judge.




Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Notes: Review Copy received via NetGalley.

9.09.2012

Seeking On Sunday: The BETA Test! PLEASE READ & COMMENT!

Dear Readers,
 
I've been wanting to create this meme for a VERY long time but the very idea of running one is intimidating. I didn't feel like it was one I could ask for a co-host on and ultimately—thanks to DaVinciKittie from GraveTells putting the thought in my head—realized it would be a great monthly meme instead of weekly.
 
Ultimately, I still need to tweak it a little before it officially launches next month but it was important to me to flesh it out and hold a beta test period (yeah, my gamer geek just popped up there) before just diving in.
 
The beta test goal is to see what readers and my fellow bloggers think of the basic concept and how they would want to participate.
 
Would this meme appeal to you as a reader of blogs? If you saw someone seeking suggestions would you leave a comment if it was something you felt knowledgeable about?
 
As a blogger would you find this meme useful in cultivating chatter both on your blog and via your social networks? What kind of image would best suit your blog (size, color, etc.)? As a whole I do want the meme to be for ANY type of blog but would consider more than one style of 'button' if bloggers wanted to donate one to share with all participants that they made to suit their color scheme/theme/etc.
 
Please leave a comment with your thoughts and feel free to post a 'beta test' to your own blog to see what your readers think too! I would be super appreciative of any feedback (as long as it's constructive, of course) you can give. Especially if there's already a similar meme out there that I just have never managed to come across. That would be really sucky. ♥ -- Rhi
 
 
 
Seeking On Sunday is a once-a-month meme hosted by RhiReading to bring together readers who are looking for book suggestions. It is open to any blogger on the 2nd Sunday of each month who wishes to post one of the following:
  • an 'If you like this book/series/author, I think you will enjoy this book/series/author because...' suggestion post
  •  
  • a post seeking commentors' book suggestions within a certain set of terms
  • a post seeking the name of a book the blogger can recall details about but can't remember the name of
This is for ALL bloggers, not just book bloggers! If you're seeking bread baking books or suggesting board books for babies or having a difficult time finding the name of the romance novel you read the blurb of while standing in line at the grocery store this meme is for you.

 
Grab the button to share in your post &
feel free to share it in your sidebar too.



This week being the BETA test I'm just going to say that I'm looking for any book suggestions for middle-school aged boys. Minimal romance and male protagonists preferred. Anything involving martial arts or zombies or fantasy stuff like the Ranger's Apprentice series would probably help me out. My kid just HATES to read and reads way too fast for me to keep up with suggestions so I'm getting stumped.

He's read most of Rick Riordan's series, Maze Runner, and Young Samurai books.

Thanks!



9.07.2012

Weekend Reading [09/07-09/09] :: Secondary Characters...


I think I might be a bad reader. I was pondering one of the books I'm working on and realized that I rarely am as quick to love a protagonist as I am to find a secondary character I adore. It makes me wonder if that's how our lives can be to outsiders. We're the frustrating character leading the story but it's our eccentric grandmother or hilarious cousin or super cute pet that people find interesting.

What are some of your favorite secondary characters from books? Jenks? Oberon? Linc? Phin? See... it's that easy for me to pull up a handful.

One of the big secondary characters in my life is my grandmother. She's 80 and we live too far apart but we talk every week and without her I'd be sunk. Leave it to a woman who grew up during the Great Depression and raised kids in the 50's-60's to have some of the best advice. We had such a big laugh last week because I was trying to tell her something (long story) and get her to understand I was talking about sex without having to say the word. Finally I just said, "Oh grandma! I mean SEX, I just didn't want to say the word sex to you because it's embarassing to say it in front of my gramma!". She thought I was hilarious for being uncomfortable about saying the word but darnit who wants to broach that subject with their LDS grandmother? Not I. D:

This weekend I'm getting into prep mode. We've got family coming to visit in about 10 days and I realized it would be a good idea to pretend we give a damn and do some dusting and carpet steaming and reshelve all the DVDs that the kids have stacked everywhere but in a decent order. You know... that sort of cleaning you only really do because you HAVE to. Blech!

This weekend I'll be bouncing between a pair of books. I've been getting into the Halloween mood (yes, I always start waaaay too soon) and decided to work on the arc of Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes, which has been really good thus far. The ARC is apparently going to be quite different from the finished copy so I'm not sure what my review will be like but the concept is utterly ME in concept. On the lighter side I'm working on Lucky Break which I'm both kind of liking and hating at once. It's going to be a difficult one to review because writing wise I'm not loving some of the things the author does and yet conceptually I dig it. Don't you guys hate when that happens?

Not much more to say this weekend. I'm just feeling very bleh. It's that time of the year I get sad because the mornings are freezing and the afternoons hot, while everything here dries out and dies. My trees are already turning yellow! I just want to curl up with hot apple cider with a splash of butterscotch schnapps and read something spooky to pull myself out of it but there's too much prep work for fall to enjoy it like that yet. Anywho, leave a comment telling me what you're reading! -- Rhi

9.04.2012

Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1) by Stacia Kane
Urban Fantasy, Alternate History, Magic
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (352 pages, DEL REY)
Ebook $7.99

Audiobook $19.95
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

Author Site: staciakane.com

Just had a tough time of it... (3 stars)

As the blurb serves to give a good impression of the plot and the protagonist let me just jump to my thoughts on UNHOLY GHOSTS.

I finally picked up UNHOLY GHOSTS to read after having it on my TBR list for ages. After finishing the latest Annabelle Lee book from Stacey Jay (I believe she and Kane are critique partners but don't quote me on that) I thought I was still in the mood for a drug problem addled urban fantasy heroine. Unfortunately, I found that with the world building the way it was there was no one really to buffer Chess' dislikable traits. Everyone is Chess' world is either bad news or suspected bad news. It's a tough world to mentally flesh out and I was definitely left confused on multiple occasions.

In spite of a hard to swallow heroine and a world building set that can be confusing I did eventually find one thing that kept me reading. Terrible, Bump's enforcer, reminded me a bit of Marv from Sin City, sort of scary and yet magnetic. In all honesty if it hadn't been for Terrible I'd have given up at the halfway marker. I couldn't help but find him an enigma in the genre and I liked that a lot. You just don't see the 'ugly' guy being the hero type much.

Ultimately, there's a reason the Downside Ghosts series has a cult following and it's got to be that there's just nothing in the genre that's quite like it. Kane's writing style is tight and never strays into overly thick world building dumps, giving Chess a strong narrative voice that's sure to work well for UF genre fans who like a tough heroine. I'll definitely read more of this series, this one just turned out to be a hard sell for me personally.




Other Reviews:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Larissa's Bookish Life
Melindeeloo
Reading Between the Wines Book Club

Notes: Purchased by me.

Check this book out if you liked:

9.02.2012

Review: To Wed the Fae Prince by V. Vervain

To Wed the Fae Prince by V. Vervain
Paranormal Romance, New Adult, Fae
Ebook $2.99 (103 pages, SELFPUBLISHED)
Etta Cooper has been promised to marry the Prince of the Faeries since before she was born. A move from her mundane life and family take her into the enchanted Faeryland where she is promised to the handsome Bronn, eldest prince of the Fae King, but when Bronn decides he doesn't want her she is betrothed to his elegant, introspective, and... sullen younger brother Farron. Farron is a human hater. Trapped in this lush, beautiful world of faery Etta longs to escape until she begins to spend time with Farron, and their conversations slowly chip away at the frosty, superior mask he wears. Perhaps, just perhaps Farron is exactly the challenge she's been looking for...
Recommended for ages 16 and up due to mature content.
Author Site: N/A

So much conceptual potential, but lacking editorial refinement... (3 stars)

Etta Cooper learned at a young age that her fate was not her own to decide. Promised to a faerie prince she must marry or break the oath her parents made and let them suffer for it. Taken to Faeryland she grows fond of her would-be-husband, the eldest Fae Prince Bronn, but when he casts her aside she finds herself betrothed to the human hating prince Farron instead. Though elegant, Farron's cold air of superiority does nothing to warm Etta's sad heart. As the pair grow to know one another, however, she discovers there's much more to the broodish Fae Prince than she was lead to believe.

Conceptually, TO WED A FAE PRINCE had so much promise. A teenaged girl who find out she has to leave the only world she's ever known to be married to a stranger. Having that stranger cast her aside, leaving her bound to someone she likes even less and knows hates her. Misunderstandings and deceit that create tension and conflict to evolve the romantic plot. Alas, poor editing and a lack of refinement keep this fae romance from being fully enjoyable.

Etta is very immature and her first person narrative makes love scenes feel dirty, and not in a good way. Though technically Etta is only 16, Vervain uses the Fae world and her being human to explain away an aging process to make her 'adult' that I could not personally excuse enough to not find the graphic sex inappropriate. Farron seems a bit cookie-cutter and though not completely unlikable, he's not well fleshed out enough to be that interesting. As a romance, TO WED A FAE PRINCE, is likely to disappoint mature romance readers with weak use of the formula the genre is traditionally built around. For the New Adult audience I think this one will be more pleasing with the younger characters and very detailed love scenes.

I wish Vervain's editor (if one was utilized) had pointed out that there wasn't any world building before Etta was thrust into Faeryland and that the storyline would have benefited from giving the reader a bit more to work with. Additionally, the wording in the love scenes felt like a child's descriptions of what they think sex is. As an avid romance reader I never want to see the word 'humping' used by a heroine. Aside from those frustrating areas there's a decent story of a hero and heroine breaking down one another's barriers to become friends and lovers. Worth a read for the late-teens aged reader who might not be ready for more erotic fantasy romances but still want some blush-inducing spice to their read.




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Notes: Review copy received via author.

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