Monday, December 29, 2008

In my early days of paranormal romance reading I came across Karen Marie Moening with her “Highlander Series.” I really liked the time traveling aspects and more the strong romantic heroes and the stronger romantic heroines. There was a lot of wit in her books, which I love, as well as good conflict to keep the story moving and last but not least some wicked chemistry. I liked “Beyond the Highland Mist” and “The Highlander’s Touch” the best of the series.
The series in order: Beyond the Highland Mist To Tame a Highland Warrior Kiss of the Highlander The Dark Highlander The Highlander's Touch The Immortal Highlander
I have to say after so many highlanders the stories get a little bit too similar for real enjoyment. I think that is the struggle for any serial novelist, how to keep the story fresh.
In 2007 Ms. Moening went and changed up her style and moved her story telling skills to the modern fantasy/paranormal novel, ala Kelly Armstrong or Laurell K. Hamilton. In "Dark Fever" she created a new heroine in MaCayla (Mac) Lane. She will remind you of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sookie Stackhouse. This small town southern cutie had life by the tail when her life came apart at the death of her sister, Alina, who was living in Ireland at the time of her murder. (Side note: Ireland is the most magical place on the planet…I know, I’ve been there). Mac is drawn into the mystery of her sister’s death when a strange message is left on her cell phone by her murdered sister. She decides to go to Ireland and gather her sister’s belongings and maybe find the answers about her sister’s last days that could provide closure for Mac.
What she gets when she arrives in Ireland is beyond anything she could have imagined. Her sister was neck deep in some very ugly people, literally and figuratively. She had become involved with a very controlling unnamed man, (the Dark Lord) who she was obsessively in love with. Love isn’t the right word here, addicted to would be better. The situation becomes more unbelievable because magic is involved! Mac almost gets herself killed the first night in town when one of the demons realizes she can see it. She is rescued by a crazy old woman who warns her away but she doesn’t listen. She discovers through a series of events that she is what is called a NULL, a type of sidhe seer that can detect magical power objects. Among other things she discovers is a bookstore on the edge of what she calls the “dark zone”. The bookstore is owned by the enigmatic and secretive Jericho Barrons. He claims he can help her but she thinks he is just using her. There is plenty of sexual tension between them. There is other sexual tension with other characters, including a Royal Fae that kills by sex…what a way to go but and I like this part, there is very little actual sex. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a great sex scene but I feel like a lot of authors, (Laurell K. Hamilton, Beatrice Small and Rosemary Rogers come to mind) are writing not so soft core porn with a less than stellar plot to string the sex scenes together. It is nice sometimes to be left with my imagination and anticipation.
The 2nd book in the series, “Blood Fever” takes us further into the world of the sidhe seer and the Fae. The barriers between the good guys and the bad are starting to thin and Mac is called onto to join the fight, literally. She discovers she can kick demon butt as good as Buffy ever did. Mac also discovers that eating evil fae flesh can make a person darn near unstoppable but as with all weapons there is a down side to using it. Fae flesh is highly addictive and can make a person vampire like because of the addiction….can you say, yuck! Jericho and Mac discover some very interesting things about each other. Their mutual need for each other strengthens but so does Mac’s suspicions of what Jericho really is.
Now I come to the 3rd book, "Fae Fever". I was so excited when it came to the library! I couldn’t wait to find out if Mac finally discovers what Jericho really is and if she would finally capture that darn book, the sinsar dubh and we would find out who the Dark Lord is. Ms Moening gives hints and foreshadowing’s of many of those things and more but we get no answers. Okay, I realize she is writing 6 books so if she gave away too much too early she would run out of story before she got to the end. Mac has been growing and changing throughout these 3 books. She went from being a silly college co-ed who’s biggest concern was if her pedicure matched her outfit to a cynical, clad in black, magical warrior for the good guys. She is on a great path. I can see it now she is going to find the book, defeat the Dark Lord, hook up with Jericho and Ireland and the world will be safe from Magical terrorists, right? NOT! I was so sucked into this installment of the series that when the end came I threw the book! Why? I can’t tell you because it would ruin if for you. Suffice it to say, I am annoyed and I am addicted to the dark, sensual and magical world of the Fever Series. If you like modern paranormal, fantasy you are gonna love this series.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lisa Unger- Beautiful Lies and Sliver of Truth

Oh how clever art thou Ms. Unger. You wrote a book that sucked me in and left me hanging so bad I had to go out and get the 2nd installment immediately. (thank God for the Library!) She started off with a great mystery in “Beautiful Lies” and concludes with “Sliver of Truth.”
A young freelance writer by the name of Ridley Jones who lives a fast paced, exciting and fun life would have never pushed that little boy out of the way of the bus if she knew what would happen afterward. What is that old saying? “No good deed goes unpunished.” She is seen on TV news by thousands of people in the New York area and one in particular throws her very existence into question and chaos. She finds an old photograph and an unsigned note on her doorstep, “Could you be my daughter?” This anonymous note sets off a chain reaction of events that twists every memory Ridley ever had. Murder stalks her, from the violent end of a young single mother to the death of a creepy man claiming to be her father. Ridley spends the majority of the story running into one trauma or surprise after another and “Beautiful Lies” left me with as many questions unanswered as those that were. Oh, wait! That’s right that tricky Lisa Unger has another book that will answer the rest, right? I myself have a few more questions and would like a third installment.
Ridley’s life has been filled with loving parents, doting family friend she thinks of as an Uncle, a typical obnoxious brother but as she will find out none of her life was as it seemed down to her own name. She is helped by her new and very attractive and very mysterious neighbor. As I said before no one is as they seem. Who can she trust? Who knows the truth? Is her Uncle Max really dead? If Jake is not who he is then who the heck is Dylan Grace? Who works for the FBI and who doesn’t? The questions still run around in my head and it has been a month since I read the books.
This is my 3rd Lisa Unger novel and it definitely won’t be my last.

Back and Blogging

Happy NewYear!
I'm Back! Woo Hoo! And Yippee! It has been a busy and hectic 2 months. My youngest son left for boot camp at the beginning of December and my oldest is temporarily home before he goes back to active duty with the Army. It has been a time of transistions. But I am back and I have a new batch of book recommendations and a few that aren't so complimentary.
Thanks for waiting on me and I hope you enjoy my comments and read some of these books. Please stop by and let me know if you do!