Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Re-Read: Hunting Fear by Kay Hooper

This month, I've chosen a book by another of my favorite authors: Hunting Fear by Kay Hooper. I actually had time to re-read Touching Evil and Out of the Shadows, which are two other favorites of the series... but I think my mood somehow affected my reading of those two... so I won't be reviewing them, at least not today.

For those who are new to my blog, Kay Hooper is one of my favorite authors. I discovered her a few years ago, when I was still studying and went all around town to get my hands on all of her FBI SCU aka Bishop series books... they are simply just so good :D

Hunting Fear by Kay Hooper
published by Bantam Books in August 2004 (HC)

He's no ordinary kidnapper. Not only does he strike again and again, but he collects the ransom, gets away safely, and leaves his helpless hostages dead. Now, after months of eluding the best that law enforcement can put against him, this monster has left nothing in his wake but a cold trail of unconnected victims.

He's no ordinary cop. Lucas Jordan, a key agent and profiler in Noah Bishop's Special Crimes Unit, has an extraordinary skill: he locates missing people. But his uncanny ability comes with a price, and his methods rouse mistrust in the hard-nosed cops forced to call him into their investigations.

Now Jordan has come to Clayton County, North Carolina, where the latest in a string of kidnapping victims has turned up dead. Complicating the situation is the presence — and predictions — of someone who's even more of an outsider than Jordan himself: carnival psychic Samantha Burke, a woman out of his own haunted past. Her warnings meet with skepticism from the local police but spur Jordan on to do what he does best: hunt fear.

But the killer he is hunting is hunting Jordan — and he's already several moves ahead in a twisted game whose rules Jordan must learn in order to have a fighting chance. For his psychopathic opponent has extended a very personal challenge — and he's about to threaten the one life the profiler values even more than his own...

Genre: mystery
Series: FBI SCU, book #7

The Story: Lucas Jordan and his partner, Jaylene Avery, are called into Golden to investigate a kidnapping. Lucas and Jaylene believe that this is the latest kidnapping in a series that have started 18 months ago, from the East-side of the country to here. In every case, a ransom is demanded, paid and the victim, killed. In every case, the FBI showed up too late - either the victim was already killed or had very little time to live. Lucas and Jaylene do not think this case will be any different and think that all they can do is try to find a clue, something... till Samantha Burke.

Samantha Burke makes a living as a carnival mystic; however, she is indeed a psychic - a seer. Three years ago, she tried to help Lucas in a case and both the case and her relationship with Lucas ended up... badly. Now she is in Golden, telling Lucas the the kidnapper he is hunting is actually playing a game with Lucas. Having observed Lucas and knowing that he finds the victims by sensing their fears, the kidnapper has put in place a chilling and gory game... and Golden is the end point... and Samantha believes that Lucas cannot win without her.

My Opinion: This is one of Ms Hooper's best book in the series. Best book. I simply love it and am so glad I chose to re-read it. The plot is thrilling, intriguing and well-written. The cases are actually a bit gory, but it just adds to the book, especially when the theme is fear. Although I knew the story, I still found myself at the edge of my seat and turning the pages as fast as I could. What's great about Hunting Fear is that the storyline spans over a week or two. Yes, there is a sense of urgency, but the story is not rushed and compressed into 2 or 3 days, making any development in relationship unbelievable... and again, the plot is just flawless in my opinion and there are a couple of twists that I did not expect :)

Character-wise, I think Ms Hooper had winners with Samantha and Luke's characters. I love them and love their relationship. Ms Hooper also did a great job incorporating and developing their relationship. Samantha is a strong woman, a survivor. No matter what life handed down to her, she accepts and overcomes the obstacles and comes out of it stronger. As for Luke, he's strong as well... but closed down. Keeps to himself and I think that's why he got scared of Samantha the first time around. She got too close and he wasn't ready. However, the two of them together have so much chemistry... I love their banter and how Sam kept needling him. Being with Samantha makes him a better man and a complete one. By the way, I would have liked to know about his past...

We also get to see some other characters from the series that we've come to love, although know very little about: Bishop, Tony, Quentin and Galen. What I like is the fact that they provide insight for the readers, without over-stepping. And as always, I love her explanations of psychic and electromagnetic signatures and so on. Seriously, after reading these books, I do believe that psychics exist. She does write them very well - and I liked that a lot of her characters have adapted to their abilities and made a life for themselves.

Anyway, I personally believe this is Ms Hooper at her best. A solid relationship as well as interesting characters with a scary and thrilling plot. Although I'm a big fan of the series, I have to say that her latest books haven't been as good :( The balance hasn't been there between plot and characters/relationships... Also, Ms Hooper has to be careful not to take the easy way out. In a lot of instances, I find that the cases are suddenly resolved with a psychic phenomenum. I mean, she makes a lot of effort into writing her agents and the investigations and the cases... and then, the end seems to be resolved a bit too easily... almost rushed, as if she doesn't have enough pages to write. However, I'm still hopeful :)

Hunting Fear is definitively a classic of the series... and I wish Ms Hooper would write more like this one :) Also, I was re-reading Out of the Shadows this week-end... I want a book for Bonnie and Seth!!

My Grade: A. What can I say? I still love it, same as when I read it for the first time. This one is just compelling and I'm so glad I re-read it :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop

Hello everyone :)

How was your week-end? I had a very, very lazy week-end ^_^; Kind of sad actually. Anyway, I did finish my re-read! Review to come tomorrow!

In the meantime, you can go to Breezing Through and read my buddy review with Li of The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop :) Good and solid book :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Re-Read Challenge Reminder

Hello everyone :)

How are you doing? What's your plans for the week-end? Me, it'll be to read my re-read! LOL :) Finally chose the book and am going to devour it during the week-end :) At least, that's the plan...

So this is a quick post to remind everyone that next Tuesday is March 31, i.e. the deadline for this month's re-read challenge entry :) So you still have a week-end to re-read your book! :) I'll have the official Re-Read Challenge post up on Monday, so you can start posting review on Monday. Depending on how many reviews are up, I'll either draw the winner name on Wednesday or perhaps give everyone an extension :)

Happy re-read and good week-end!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Preference in books...

Sigh, I read one book so far this week. One. Well at least, I'm reading so that's the good news. Seems like I just can get myself completely out from Slumpville. Still going to try though...

Anyway, let's talk books :) Last week, I read Falling in Love by Pauline Trent, published by Zebra/Kensington... Did you ever notice that most books by that publishing house has the back cover following the last page immediately? Most other books I've read, there's always a few blank pages or pages with advertisements after the end of the story and then, the back cover. Personally, I don't like it when the last page is followed right away by the cover. Sure, it's easy to find the ending - I mean, how many times did I read the ending and it turned out to be an excerpt? However, I feel that the book is not complete... you know, that there's something missing in the wrapping ^_^;

Also, what do you prefer when it comes to the texture of books? I like it when the covers are mat and not glossy. It's more fun to touch LOL :)

So what are your preferences?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some changes...

Ugh, I'm still in a reading slump... kind of. My problem is not reading, but choosing what to read. Nothing really appeals to me ^_^; However, once I decide what to read, well I get it done and end up enjoying it. The worst is that I have a huge TBR pile and well, lots of choice... but just... bleh. So definitively no fun.

Not much reading done, so well nothing to blog. Well sure, I could blog about other things, but well.. I think that the blogging muse is still on vacation ^_^; Can't wait till she comes back as well :P

Otherwise, well I'm being obsessive... LOL, just ask Ames, Chantal or Holly ^_^; I'm waiting for Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr and The Warrior by Sharon Sala to come out. Both are supposed to be released next week, April 1st. However, from experience, I know that Mira/HQN books come in early at the bookstores... usually 2 weeks early. So I've been checking the online indicator daily... well, hourly ^_^; Finally, the wait is over!!! One of the bookstores has received the books. Hopefully, they won't wait too long to put it out on the shelves. Wish me luck :P

Aside from that, the biggest news at home is that my dad started his retirement yesterday! And it wasn't planned... expected, but not planned. Long story short, my dad is a chemist and work in the same field as me. He was with company A for a long time, more than 15 years... when company A was sold to company B. Company B was from England and all they wanted were the patents and rights to market the drugs developed. So after two years, company B closed down and my dad lost his job. That was about 6 years ago... It was very unexpected and the worst is that the whole family was on vacation when it happened. So when my dad came back, well... From what I understood though is that company B had an arrangement with the government when they bought company A and weren't supposed to close down. Long story short, my dad's previous boss, the owner of company A and the government teamed up to open a new company C and my dad was recruited to work there. Company C was expected to last for about 5 years... then, it would either be sold, go public or go down. This summer, they announced that they were looking into selling... Which was done about two weeks ago... My dad was hoping to work another year or two... however, they cut down people and my dad being the closest to retirement got the pink slip.

In a way, it's really not a bad thing at all. My dad is going to turn 60 this summer. He deserves retirement and well, we can afford it - that being the best news. Also, last time, when my dad was out of job, he was very stressed, because he didn't know if he would find a new one, etc. This time, well it's retirement... biggest worry is that he gets bored and my mom goes bersek ^_^; It's just that it took so long for the company to get sold... and then, after that, it all happens so fast. Friday, my dad knew for sure that he'd be receiving a pink slip... but he thought he'd work till the end of the month... Not even. They gave him his letter yesterday and was pointed out. LOL, although we were expecting it at home as well... let say it was a shock to see my dad's car in the driveway when I came home!

Anyway, it's going to be a huge change at home. My dad used to leave to work at 7am and come back at 7pm. Don't know how he'll be adapting. I just hope he enjoys it :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Review: Falling in Love by Pauline Trent

Well, earlier this week, I posted my entry for Keishon's TBR challenge... and I thought, why not be done with Brie's Contemporary Romance challenge as well? So this month, I would only have the Re-Read challenge left. Good idea no? Of course, to me, Brie's Contemporary Romance challenge is the easiest to fulfill each month, given that contemporary romance is my favorite genre :)

Falling in Love by Pauline Trent
published by Zebra/Kensington in January 2009

After years in the military, Chris Montgomery is looking for somewhere to relax and recharge, and Lambert Falls, with its tree-lined streets and picturesque town square, seems ideal. Chris expected that a stranger in town would attract suspicion and gossip. He didn't expect to meet someone like Angie Kane, with her warm, open smile and self contained air that are instantly intriguing. Angie has built a satisfying life for herself, one she's not willing to uproot for someone who's just passing through. But Chris is quietly persistent - not to mention handsome and charming. Against her own better judgment, Angie finds herself falling deeper than she ever intended - until one phone call forces her to choose between the town she's always loved, and a man she can't imagine living without...

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Chris Montgomery was with the Green Berets, but was injured in his last mission. He has now recovered and decided to settle down in Lambert Falls, where his grandfather left him a plantation house. He is immediately attracted to the sheriff's niece, Angie Kane. Although the attraction is mutual, Angie is reluctant to start a relationship with Chris. She's been hurt in the past and she feels that there's a gap between her and Chris. In addition, she expects Chris to want to leave Lambert Falls in the future... and that's one thing she'll never do.

My Opinion: I basically bought this book on an impulse and if I remember correctly, to reach a certain amount in order to use a coupon. The result? I really enjoyed Falling in Love and am glad I bought it!

Like the title says, the story of Falling in Love focus on Chris and Angie falling in love, their relationship. Chris is new in town, meets Angie and feels attracted to her. However, Angie is not ready to start a relationship... so with the help of a relatives, her uncle Bobby and her younger sister, Carter Ann, he slowly courts her and wins her heart :) I liked how the book only focused on Chris and Angie's relationship and how slow they took it. This type of books is so rare these days ^_^;

I liked both Angie and Chris' characters. I really felt for Angie and could relate to her. She's afraid, she doesn't have much confidence in herself and she can't see why Chris would be attracted to her. She's not bold like Carter Ann and has difficulty going after what she really wants. I like the fact that the people around her liked her so much and how her family helped Chris to court her... Her relationship to both Carter Ann and Bobby was heart-warming and it was funny how Carter Ann and Chris maneuvered Angie into situations so she could go after her dream. As for Chris, well he's the nice guy, the kind I wish I will meet in the future. Someone's patient, attentive and affectionate. He can be sneaky at time, but in a good way :)

I liked the issues that Angie dealt with, because I thought they were realistic, especially for a woman from a small town. Also, Ms Trent didn't spend too much time caricaturing the secondary characters from a small town. Like I said, she focused on Chris and Angie... I really like Carter Ann's character as well. At first, I wasn't sure, but she turned out to be a very nice and thoughtful woman, a loving sister. I hope she does get her own book :) Finally, I think that Ms Trent did a wonderful job writing Angie and Chris' storyline. It was believable and sweet, especially when Chris left to help his superior. Those communications and letters were so sweet :)

My complaints on this book are minor... like I'd like to know the reason of Angie's dislike towards Langdon Howard. I also felt the ending was a tiny bit rushed, a few extra pages would have helped. However, it doesn't affect the quality of the book. Overall, Falling in Love was a solid book and very enjoyable. I'll be reading more of Ms Trent in the future :D

My Grade
: B. Like I said, a solid book :) Refreshing in both the storyline and characters. It reminds me a tiny bit of Virgin River, but with less "action/event." If you're looking for a book about the H/H, you should give this a try :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TBR Day: Perfect Hero by Samantha James

I can't believe it's Wednesday already and I haven't posted anything since last Thursday! Ugh :( Well, there's nothing new with me. I'm getting out of my blah mood... My reading mojo is coming back to me! It took me the whole last week to finish ONE book - pathetic no? However, this week, I'm already done with two! So I take it as a good sign. My workload is supposed to get lighter as well, since we're done with the grant application. Well perhaps not, but at least, it means that we're no longer in a rush and I should be able to have the week-ends to myself which is a very good news. So all that's missing is really my blogging muse. Oh where are you, blogging muse? Please come back to me! I promise not to abuse you anymore! LOL :)

Anyway, I was lucky enough to finish my TBR book and yay, for once, it fits the theme of the month! So today, I'm reviewing Perfect Hero by Samantha James. I basically picked up that book after reading Lori's review for the Re-Read challenge.

Perfect Hero by Samantha James
published by Avon in June 2005

Can a perfect scoundrel be the perfect hero?

Since she was cruelly left at the altar at the age of twenty-two, Lady Julianna Sterling has resolved to have nothing to do with men. So she is shocked to discover she has unwelcome feelings for the very worst of the breed -- a dangerous, unbearably handsome highwayman who has set upon her coach in the countryside and taken her captive. Worse still, her righteous ire turns quickly to disappointment when the irresistible outlaw sets her free.

Viscount Dane Granville knows he should not have revealed his face to the enchanting Lady Julianna -- for he has compromised the secret mission he has undertaken for the Crown in the guise of the notorious Magpie. Now their paths are crossing once more, and Dane aches to taste again the sweetness of her kiss. But he must resist what his heart demands, for their passion can only lead to perils beyond imagining...

Genre: historical romance
Series: Perfect trilogy, book #3

The Story: Perfect Hero starts with Julianna Sterling being abandoned at the altar and having her dream of a good marriage and family broken. Fast-forward a few years, Julianna has resigned to become an old maid and has purchased a property in Bath. She is on her way to a few days of tranquility when the coach she is on is arrested by Magpie, the notorious highwayman. The driver of the coach panics and Julianna ends up unconscious. When she wakes up, she has become Magpie's captive.

However, Julianna is a smart woman and plans her escape. When, the opportunity shows up, she shoots Magpie... but she can't bring herself to abandon him, so come back and nurse him to health, then leave. Of course, she would never have imagined to meet him again at one of the most prestigious ball of the Season... and of course, Viscount Dane Granville has his reasons to posing as Magpie.

My Opinion: Hmmm, Perfect Hero wasn't a bad book, but it didn't wow me either. My problem is I keep wondering if I would have liked it more if I've been in a better reading mood. Anyway, the story was okay and the characters were okay.

So what did I like? The chemistry between the Sterling siblings. I have to admit, I would have enjoyed reading even more of the three of them together... but this being the last book of the series, there were other issues to deal with.

Julianna was a nice heroine. She didn't do anything stupid - I mean, the woman was smart enough to find a way to shoot her captor and "escape" and let just say her not escaping, well that was smart too :P However, she doesn't stand out very much from the tons of historical heroines... I do like the fact that the story didn't dwell too much on Julianne being left at the altar and that story took place several years after. As for the hero, well Dane just like Julianna was nice. He's not a rogue or a rake... just someone with a title and a job to do. The chemistry between the H/H was sweet.

Overall, the storyline was okay. I like that it focus on the H/H a lot in the first half of the book. The intrigue was minimal and I think it was very convenient to bring back the mother that way. However, it ties up the trilogy storyline as well.

My Grade: B-. Like I said, I think if I've been in a better reading mood, I would have enjoyed this one better. As it is, Perfect Hero wasn't a bad book, but not a wowzer either. It falls into the typical historical romance from Avon... a nice way to spend time :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Jayne Ann Krentz reviews...

Still alive. Life is busy at work - too busy if you ask me. Grant application deadline coming up, I hope to survive it. Meanwhile, I've been watching curling and been reading very little :( I have yet to finish one book this week... that is just too depressing! Also, there's so many little new releases this month! I went to the bookstore yesterday and it was also very depressing... Can't wait till April!

Well as you know, I've been on a Jayne Ann Krentz's kick. What helps is that most of her books are available at the library - UNBELIEVABLE!! LOL :) Let just say that's rare ^_^;

So let see what I've been reading...

Family Man by Jayne Ann Krentz
published by Simon & Schuster in July 1996

Almost a decade of working for the high-powered Gilchrist family empire has made Katy Wade sassy, spunky -- and secretly determined to open her own business. There's one last problem she has to solve before she feels free to leave. The Gilchrists need an heir apparent to save their mysteriously floundering fortunes, and there's only one man for the job: Luke Gilchrist. All his life the Gilchrists have made Luke pay for his father's scandal, and now he's a renegade who's sworn he'll never go home -- except to get even. Katy must persuade Luke to use his business expertise to rescue his family, but one look in his sexy green eyes, and she knows why they affectionately call him "the Bastard."

What she doesn't know is that Luke's decided he wants her even more than he wants revenge. He agrees to play savior, but only with Katy at his side. It's a high-handed tactic sure to make this saucy red haired angel madder than hell, but she's the only one who can turn this devilish rogue into a family man. Luke may be an SOB of a CEO, but he knows the bottom line is heartbreak...unless he can trust Katy with his secrets and she can believe in his love.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: The Gilchrist family has always been a family-operative business and is now in difficulty. The matriarch's only hope is to convince her grandson Luke to take charge... Only problem is Luke's father was disinherited by the matriarch when he left Katy's mother at the altar and both sides have been at odds ever since, even if only Luke remains - his parents and wife having died in a plane accident. Luke has no interest in his family or coming to terms with them... however, he is intrigued by Katy, the matriarch's personal assistant.

After her parents died, Katy had to raise her younger brother. Luckily for her, the Gilchrist's matriarch took her under her wing and thus, has earned Katy's loyalty for life. However, Katy has had enough of dealing with the melodramatic family and wants to start her own business. Her only hope is to convince Luke to come and take charge and thus, she will be freed... Only problem is Luke doesn't want to...

My Opinion: I read this one on Li's recommendation. In the back blurb, it says that the family affectionately call him "the Bastard." Ugh no!!! They call him that way to be mean, especially since he is NOT a bastard!! Basically, Family Man was an okay book - it pretty much follows Ms Krentz's outline - heroine meets hero for some business reasons. H/H are wildly attracted to each other and quickly get into a relationship... but their HEA ending is threatened by a villain because of said business. Then, you add a mix of colorful secondary characters - most of them, family relatives.

Although Family Man is formulatic, I didn't mind, because I didn't expect it to be otherwise. My main problem with this book however is everyone's perception of Luke. I mean, the Gilchrists have basically been ignoring Luke even before he was born! They've treated him like a non-relative, even calling him a bastard just because the matriarch didn't approve of his parents' marriage... and now that the business is going down, he has to come and clean up everyone's mess? Seriously? Sure, family is important and family bonds/relationships are too... but hey, it goes both ways! That's why Katy's arguments to get Luke back to help annoyed me so much. She just expected him to come back because it was his duty as a member of the family... Like I said, seriously?!?! Even when he finally agreed, everyone was suspicious of him, expecting him to cross them, to get revenge. Ugh.

Another thing that I found annoying was Katy's generalization of the Gilchrist family. How she was used to deal with them and how "Gilchrist" Luke was acting. I mean, it annoyed him and it annoyed me as well.

Otherwise, the rest of the story was all right. I mean, it doesn't stand out from other JAK I've read... Luke getting closer to his family, him mentoring Katy's younger brother... Katy and Luke falling in love. The parts that stood out the most would be the ones with Luke's dog, Zeke. LOL, it was so funny how he became addicted to pesto and how he wouldn't go anywhere without his bowl! The whole sabotage plot was a bit weak, but I liked the resolution of it. Very clever.

My Grade: C. It would have gotten a better grade minus the annoying bits I explained.

Perfect Partners by Jayne Ann Krentz
published by Simon & Schuster in April 1992

Midwestern librarian Letitia Thornquist didn't have the right stuff to run Thornquist Gear, Inc. That was the bottom-line opinion of Joel Blackstone, the seasoned CEO who had built the small Seattle sporting goods store into an industry giant. But Letty's rich Uncle Charlie willed her the company, and now she was bubbling with enthusiasm to have Joel, a perfect mentor, show her the ropes.

Teaching her the business was all Joel grudgingly planned to do...until the sensuous curves under Letty's navy suit and the unabashed desire in her wide, innocent eyes left him longing for a personal kind of merger. Soon his sizzling kisses convinced her that she wasn't in Kansas anymore. But no matter how skilled Joel was in the art of love, Letty knew she was at risk in his arms. Behind his tough facade she sensed a world of hurt that cried out for her warmth and understanding. She realized the "L" word might never be spoken if trust didn't make them perfect partners 9 to 5...and in the loving after-hours of midnight to dawn.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Joel Blackstone is the CEO of Thornquist Gear, Inc. and was supposed to buy the business from the original owner... Unfortunately, the owner died and left it to his grand-niece, Letitia Thornquist. Letty is a librarian at an university and Joel has no worries that he'll be able to buy her out and use the company to get revenge on his hometown... However, it turns out that Letty has different plans.

Letty is at crossroads. She was engaged to a professor at the university, but no longer after finding a grad student between his legs. Thornquist Gear, Inc. seems to provide her with new opportunities and a new life and Letty is no fool to let it pass... Only problem: is it safe to start an affair with Blackstone? What interests him? Her, the company or revenge?

My Opinion: Again, Perfect Partners is not a bad book, but it doesn't stand out from the bunch either. It actually was quite bland compared to other JAKs and one of the weakness I think were the secondary characters. They just weren't interesting... they actually were annoying ^_^;

The interaction between Letty and Blackstone was interesting. There were some cute moments. I think that Ms Krentz did go overboard a bit with the librarian stereotype ^_^; It's not because we like to read that we'll read a lot of articles. I was surprised that the revenge plot took so much of the story, but that actually kind of save the book... however, the resolution was just so-so.

My Grade: C. Basically, I think it was missing the omph factor.

Hidden Talents by Jayne Ann Krentz
published by Simon & Schuster in January 1994

Serenity Makepeace knows a lot about whole-grain bread, but she doesn't know beans about business. Her new catalog company featuring local handicrafts will benefit her offbeat artist community in Witt's End, Washington, but she needs a crack financial adviser to make it work. So she charms her way into the office, of Caleb Ventress, only to find a handsome wolf in conservative clothing.

An expert in the art of the deal, Caleb has no talent for long term relationships, and isn't sure what to do about this unconventional beauty who walks into his life. A pass from a paragon of conformity -- even one as handsome as Caleb -- is more than free-spirited Serenity bargained for. But when intrigues back in Witt's End threaten Serenity's plans and perhaps her life, she begins to trust Caleb without reading his fine print...and the bottom line might be true love....

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Serenity's mother died in childbirth and Serenity was adopted by the town of Witt's End and has been raised by its people - an eclectic group of people... The economy of Witt's End is going downhill and in Serenity's opinion, the only way to save the town is to start a catalog company offering the crafts of Witt's End's townspeople. In order to start the business, she needs the help of Caleb Ventress.

Caleb Ventress had always lived a strict and rigid life, making up for his father's mistake. However, Serenity is completely different and she brings out a new face of Caleb... Then, Serenity is blackmailed by nude pictures and it reminds Caleb of his own parents' scandal. As a result, he doesn't want to get involved with Serenity... but attraction is stronger.

My Opinion: Out of the three books, I think this one was the best... Although when I first read it, I gave it a lower grade... but in comparison, this one was really better. Basically, it has a theme that I enjoy a lot - the happy-go-lucky heroine thawing out the stuffy hero. In addition, there's a great cast of secondary characters that helps the heroine doing her job. It definitively was an enjoyable book :) The intrigue was also well-written and developed.

My only complaint about this book is Caleb's tantrum scene... when he finally explodes and let his grandfather, aunt and uncle what he really feels. I thought Caleb was a bit harsh. Perhaps they really deserved it, but most of it is due to these people not communicating well.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the book and liked the characters :) I liked Serenity, although I thought she was a bit aloof in the beginning. I mean, dropping during a conversation that you're being blackmailed... well if the opposition doesn't freak out, they just don't care right? Still, she had spunk and she was fun. Caleb is pretty much a carbon copy of most of JAK's heroes... If you liked them, you'll like Caleb. Some funny scenes in addition :) I just like how he got involved in the town's business without wanting to LOL :)

My Grade: B-. Better than Family Man and Perfect Partners... but still missing the omph factor.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Review: Too Good to be True and Kiss of a Demon King

Sigh. Seems like I'm a bit into a funk lately :( Not feeling like blogging or reading much. Part of it is due to Tim Horton's Brier - the man national curling championship... another part is the job... and well, my mood I guess. I'll try to get out of it, but don't be surprised if I'm a bit silent in the next few days - well at least, in my blog.

So let see if I can do this... two-fer review :) These two books don't have much in common except that they've both slipped away from me when it was time to review them. I got both of them before their release date, devoured them and just never got around to review them although I wanted to.

Since my reviews will only add to the praises everyone is lavishing on these two books, it will be somewhat shorter (or at least, that's the intention LOL).

Too Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins
published by HQN Books in February 2009

When Grace Emerson's ex-fiance starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she's seeing someone. Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up. Who is this Mr. Right? Someone...exactly "unlike" her renegade neighbor Callahan O'Shea. Well, someone with his looks, maybe. His hot body. His knife-sharp sense of humor. His smarts and big heart.

Whoa. No. Callahan O'Shea is not her perfect man Not with his unsavory past. So why does Mr. Wrong feel so...right?
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Grace Emerson was going to marry Andrew in three weeks... till she caught the glint in his eyes that told her he wasn't completely in love with her... and perhaps, his great love could be another woman... her younger sister, Natalie.

One year later, Grace has given her blessings to Natalie and Andrew to be together. However, she has become the pitiful girl in the family and everyone is trying to encourage her, but it just further annoys her. After her cousin's third wedding, Grace decides it's time to make up a boyfriend so everyone would just stop... and it's not as if she never made up boyfriends - she has experience. However, when Natalie and Andrew announce their engagement...

My Opinion: So I didn't mention Cal in my summary, because this is really Grace's story. Like I said in my previous reviews of her books, I think that Ms Higgins' style is more chick-lit than contemporary romance. Good chick-lit, but chick-lit nonetheless.

As usual, I really like Grace as an heroine. Ms Higgins really has a knack at writing the heroines. There's this confidence in themselves that sets them apart in my opinion. Actually, they're just comfortable in their body and settle in their careers. In addition, since there's no mystery, everything allows Ms Higgins to focus on the relationships, dynamics and interactions and it results in good books.

Okay, I digress. So what I really want to say is I enjoyed Grace's character :) She was fun, brave and strong. Some think that perhaps, she was too nice - giving her blessing to her sister and Andrew. In my opinion, it was well explained and it fit her personality. To Grace, Natalie is very special... and when you love someone, you want them to be happy, even at the price of your own happiness. I liked Grace's interactions with her best friend, her family and Cal :) and LOL, imagining boyfriends isn't so bad :P In Dear Author's review, the reviewer pointed out that all of Ms Higgins heroines are similar and have the same voice. I agree; however, it works well and these heroines are really refreshing :)

There were tons of funny situations in this book :) Starting with Grace's best friend signing them up to a course to find happiness. LOL, when the motivation speaker was speaking to them about the techniques to get people's attention and when he wasn't so sure it would work on a gay man LOL :) Or when Julian had to fake to be Grace's boyfriend and he was stuck in the bathroom's stall. All of Grace's mother's women parts scultures that they had to bring out from the cellar when the mom came up unannounced. Finally, I really love the last quarter of the book, from the moment Grace finally gets together with Cal.

My main complaint about this book was Grace and Cal's relationship. Again, as it is usually the case with Ms Higgins' books, I wanted more of the H/H together. Especially once they became a couple. They were adorable together!! However, I was a bit uncomfortable about Grace's reluctance to get involved with Cal. I'm not totally sure of her reasons... Part of it was prejudices because Cal was a convict... which I thought was unfortunate really. I mean, I understand her position and I guess that I would react the same in real life... but in fiction... I still prefer to believe that Grace thought he wasn't going to be THE guy. Anyway, it doesn't matter much since they do get together at the end and like I said, adorable :)

I really liked how Ms Higgins wrapped things up between Grace and Cal and the three sisters relationships at the end. I'm actually curious to know what happened to Cal's grandfather ^_^; I know, I know... very small details LOL.

My Grade: B. Overall, this was a very good and solid book... However, I do think that Just One of the Guys and Fools Rush In were better :) Also, I'd like for Ms Higgins to try her hand at contemporary... a bit more between the H/H would be greatly appreciated :D

Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
published by Simon & Schuster in January 2009
His Obsession...

Sabine, Sorceress of Illusions: the evil beauty who surrenders her body, but not her heart.

Her Downfall...

Rydstrom Woede: the ruthless warrior who vows to keep her at all costs.

They were never supposed to want each other this much...

With each smoldering encounter, their shared hunger only increases. If they can defeat the sinister enemy that stands between them, will Sabine make the ultimate sacrifice for her demon? Or will the proud king lay down his crown and arms to save his sorceress?
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Immortals of Dark, Book #7

The Story: Rydstrom Woede is the king of some demon kingdom, but lost his throne to an immortal sorcerer. He along with his younger brother, Cadeon, have been trying to get the kingdom back, but it's not easy to kill someone who can't die. However, his chance has come... Rydstrom is on his way to meet Cadeon whose mission was to exchange the Vassel for a sword that can actually kill the sorcerer... when he is kidnapped by Sabine, the Queen of Illusions, sister of his mortal (immortal) enemy. Sabine has her own agenda though, which would be getting her and her younger sister out from under their brother's thumb... and although Sabine knows that she is supposed to borne Rydstrom's child according to a prophecy... she just wasn't prepared for this mutual passion.
My Opinion: Okay, so the timeline of Kiss of a Demon King actually overlaps with the events in Dark Desires After Dusk and I'm not really a fan of overlapping books, but it actually worked real well for this book. I've been a fan of Rydstrom ever since he appeared in the series, but from the glimpses I caught of Sabine in Dark Desires After Dusk and her effects on Rydstrom, I wasn't sure I would liked her.

Oh boy, was I wrong. I ended up really liking Sabine. She was a very fun character and that, from the beginning of the book :) Sabine really wasn't what I expected. I mean, first she's a sorceress and then, she's Rydstrom's enemy's sister ^_^; I was imagining a wicked, evil heroine and didn't know how she would match Rydstrom. Anyway, long story short, she was a fun character and I liked her :) I'd like if she has shared more with Rydstrom... I liked her loyalty to her younger sister as well :) As for Rydstrom, well he WAS everything I was expecting. I was still uncomfortable about the two brothers' relationship - Rydstrom blaming Cadeon for the loss of the kingdom and Cadeon feeling guilt. Sure, it's adding angst, but in the end, I'm not really satisfied with the resolution of their issue. I guess I would have liked more closing.

What else I didn't like? Hmmm, the first part of the book when Rydstrom was Sabine's prisoner. I thought it was boring, Sabine trying to have sex with Rydstrom to get pregnant. Wasn't really involved in that part. Luckily, it all picked up when the roles were reversed :) That part, me likey. I thought that Sabine showed more of her true face to Rydstrom and they had more interactions. Rydstrom started to learn more about her, he opened more as well.

I felt that this book was a bit more stand-alone in the series and I liked that. It didn't have too much connections to the earlier books. It wasn't sequel baiting either, so that was a plus. I've always felt that Ms Cole's books had a primitive feel to them, but the two last books were a bit smoother and suited more the storylines :) What I don't like though is that there are a lot of paranormal creatures in this series and it's starting to get confusing. The structure of the world building doesn't seem solid... I feel it's very flexible and when you have so many creatures and storylines going on, it'd be better if it was a bit more ground in my opinion.

My Grade: B+. Very fun book. So far, all the books with non-vampires H/H have been more enjoyable to me :) Also , great for Ms Cole to keep this series open so no anticipation and expections for the next H/H.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Review: Talk of the Town by Karen Hawkins

Another very long overdue review ^_^; I guess this is the week for them, right? I've read Talk of the Town, Ms Karen Hawkins' first contemporary romance, back in November and reviewed it with Lori... However, laziness called and so it took my forever to post it over at Breezing Through. But it is now up!! Click here to read the review :)

Since overdue review seems to the be trend this week... Look forward to my review of Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins!... in the next few days LOL :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Review: Secrets of the Heart by Jannifer Hoffman

Sigh, a very, very long overdue review!! I've read this book back in January and I've been wanting to review it ever since... but never had time to ^_^; It sounds stupid, I know ^_^; However, it makes sense when: 1) I don't like to post many reviews on the same day, 2) I usually avoid posting review on the week-ends, because people don't blog hop and comment as much and 3) I have difficulty keeping up with reading and reviews... Also, you always want to review the "newer" books no? Then, life and work got busy... Result? This one has slipped away from me. But the most important is that I review it at some point, right? Right? :P

Secrets of the Heart by Jannifer Hoffman
published by Resplendence Publishing

When Nicole Anderson receives a midnight call informing her she has gained custody of her sister’s two children her quiet life is turned upside down. As far as she knows she doesn’t have a sister.

Hunter Douglas is assigned the task of delivering a deceased friend’s children to their aunt 1500 miles away. When he discovers the oldest child is his he doesn’t want to give her up. He takes them to Minnesota fully intending to bring them both home to New York with him. His plan goes awry when he begins to fall in love with, small-town, Nicole Anderson.

Can Nicole overcome the secrets of her past to open her heart to Hunter?

Together Nicole and Hunter must unlock the mystery of false birth certificates, a missing suitcase, peculiar pictures, a strange man following them, and a grandfather’s legacy. Attempting to solve the puzzle only makes it larger and more dangerous.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Douglas family, Book #1

The Story: The back blurb does a really good job summarizing the book so I won't go too much into the details. Hunter Douglas is a P.I. and a couple of years ago, he was asked by Brenda Casey to locate her biological father. After it was done, they have a brief fling and he never heard from her again... till today. Turns out that Brenda has committed suicide and before dying, wanted Hunter to bring her children to Minnesota and give them to her half-sister, Nicole Anderson who will now have custody.

Few problems though: first, as soon as Hunter sees Brenda's daughter, he knows that she is his and is willing to keep both children and second, Nicole was never aware of Brenda's existence. Now, Nicole is looking for answers and is unsure if she's ready to be responsible of two young children.

My Opinion: This book was much more than I expected! I don't know, I thought the story would mainly be about Nicole accepting the fact that her father cheated on her mother and getting to know the children better while falling in love with Hunter... but it was much more. Telling you more about it would be spoiling the book, so I can't unfortunately.

I thought Secrets of the Heart was well-written and I enjoyed the author's voice. I liked both Hunter and Nicole's characters. Both have lot of baggage, but they don't let it get in the way too much. They also strong, but compassionate. Nice, good and normal H/H - we need more of them! The kids were cute as well - not too baby-ish, but not too mature either. I don't think that readers will get annoyed with them.

My favorite part of the book was definitively uncovering the truth about her parents and Brenda's death. Very interesting. What I got annoyed at a bit though is Hunter's family. I thought there were too many siblings and they were each coming and going. I guess Ms Hoffman was trying to set up for the next book... but I thought it was a bit cumbersome.

I do have a question though, after reading the book. Brenda was described as a prostitute who had difficulty taking care of her children although she loved them a lot. I was wondering, how did it happen? Why did Brenda end up being a prostitute? I mean, she had a loving family and seemed to love them back... Did she get addicted to drugs? I just don't get what happened and I'm not sure it was explained.

My Grade: B. A solid and surprising read. I'll definitively be reading more books by this author :)

Re-Read Challenge: February Winner :)

We're now in March, time to round up things :)

So, what's the number you're asking? Well, 23 participants had completed the challenge! Yay! That's two persons less compared to January, but since the month was shorter, I think it's very good :)

What stood out this month is that two bloggers chose the same book for their challenge entry: Open Season by Linda Howard :) In addition, there were two books by J.R. Ward as well, Dark Lover and Eternal Lover.

What's been fun about the challenge so far is the diversity of the re-reads. You have a bit of everything, ranging from historicals to urban fantasy, as well as sci-fi and erotica. Fun, fun stuff :)

So, what everyone has been waiting for... the winner for this month's 10$ gift certificate :) And the lucky gal is...


Congrats! You can email me at natuschan @ gmail . com (without the spaces) and let me know which bookstore you'd like the gift certificate for :)

Already, I can't wait till the end of March! Hope everyone is having as much fun as me :D

Monday, March 02, 2009

Monthly Reads - February 2009

Ugh, good reading month, but crappy end of the month for me personally. Like I said, not feeling super well, which has screwed up my whole week-end and end of the month. Sigh. Going to sleep right after the curling finale :P (It's the Scotties - Women Canadian Curling Championship)

All right, let see my reading month in review. I think I might change a bit the format... It's obvious that I haven't been able to review all the books I read ^_^; Yes, I've been giving grades, but I'd like to add some comments. I think that would help readers of this blog understand why I'm giving the grades I give :) So let's see if it's better this way :)

1) Fireside by Susan Wiggs: C-
Fireside is book #5 in the Lakeshore Chronicles if I'm not wrong. Ms Wiggs is moving away from the Bellamy family members and exploring new characters of the community. This book didn't work too well for me, because I don't think that the H/H had much chemistry together. I thougt the romance was weak and I was kind of annoyed at the heroine for the incident with her ex. Something just felt off with the whole incident. What saved this book was the continuation of Daisy Bellamy's storyline... although I'm not sure how long this will keep up.

2) The Warrior by Jim Butcher: B
The short story in the anthology Mean Streets. This short story was interesting. It takes place after the events of A Small Favor and we see how Micheal has recovered and where he is in his life. The Warrior was quick and swift, the intrigue okay. Just not sure where this whole thing is heading off.

3) Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis: B-
There was quite a buzz about Instant Attraction at the beginning of the month. Instant Attraction was an okay book for me. I really liked the heroine and how she tried to change her life after a quasi-death experience. What annoyed me was Cam, the hero. I just wanted him to choose and stop being washy wishy. It annoyed me that everytime the H/H seem to make progress, they wound up in square one again.

4) Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich: C-

5) The Golden Chance by Jayne Ann Krentz: B+

6) Grand Passion by Jayne Ann Krentz: B

7) Tangled Up In Love by Heidi Betts: C

8) Hidden Talents by Jayne Ann Krentz: C
I'll probably review this one along with the other JAK. Overall, not a bad book, but not the best I've read by this author. The whole blown-up scene between the hero and his family was a no no for me though.

9) Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs: A-

10) White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz: B

11) Promises in Death by J.D. Robb: A-

12) Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr: A-

13) Family Man by Jayne Ann Krentz: B
Will probably review this one, so stay tuned :)

14) Perfect Partners by Jayne Ann Krentz: B-
Will probably review this one, so stay tuned :)

15) 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber: D
Potential TBR entry for March :)

16) Bitten by Kelley Armstrong: B

17) Stolen by Kelley Armstrong: A-

Okay, so looking back, I did very well on reviews this month :) More than 50% :) Hopefully, March will be as good! Reading-wise, it was a pretty good month. More good books than bad books and I'm happy with the number :) What else can I ask for?

Archives will be updated sometimes this week :)

Re-Read Challenge: February!

*** This is a stick post till Monday, March 2nd. Scroll down for new posts!***

Second month in the challenge, let's see how people did :) We had a great turn out for January so I wonder if a shorter month will make a difference or not? I know that I cut it close, but then, I always do for most challenges... What can I say, procastination :P

I hope that this month was as fun for you as the last one :)

As I said earlier this week, since February 28 is a Saturday, then you'll have till Monday to post your review and be eligible for the draw. Don't forget, to be eligible, you need to post your link in the comment section!

Have fun reading all the reviews!

Amy C: The Lover by Robin Schone
KMont: Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair
Isabel: Broken by Megan Hart
Seneca: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Taja: Eternal Lover by J.R. Ward
Rosie: Banner O'Brien by Linda Lael Miller
Renee: A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
Kristie: Open Season and To Die For by Linda Howard
Zeek: Another Dawn by Sandra Brown
Jenn: Hearts Awakened by Linda Winfree
Amanda: Stranger in my Arms by Lisa Kleypas
Tracy: Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
Kris: Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
Lori: A Perfect Hero by Samantha James
Kat: King of Sword and Sky by C.L. Wilson
Rowena: Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
Jan: Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Jill: The Bride by Julie Garwood
Li: The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
Jace: Open Season by Linda Howard
Nath: Bitten and Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
Leslie: A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
Ames: The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Re-Read: Bitten and Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

Sigh, I didn't intend to leave this till the last minute... but I had a busy day yesterday and I haven't been feeling very well this week. Overall, it's lack of sleep that leads to all kind of aches :( So I've been catching up today and thus, the late review ^_^; I'm also not looking forward to going back to work yesterday as apparently, the experiment fails and my supervisor is looking for someone or something to blame.

Anyhow, onto something more cheerful: my re-read review :) This month, I've chosen Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. It led to the re-read of the sequel, Stolen... which makes this month's challenge a two-fer for me :)

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
published by Random House in September 2001

Elena Michaels is the world's only female werewolf. And she's tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her— her temper, her violence—but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she's growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she's trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she'll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Women of the Otherworld, book #1

The Story: Elena Michaels is the world's only female werewolf, courtesy of her lover, Clayton Danvers. It has taken her years to adapt to this new life, accept reality and forgive Clayton. However, after killing a human to protect Pack, Elena realizes that she's become too comfortable with what she is and has crossed a line she never intended to. As a result, Elena freaks out and decides to break off from Pack, move to Toronto and pursue a normal relationship and a normal life.

However, Jeremy Danvers - the Pack's Alpha - is now asking Elena to return and help them resolve a mutt matter. Elena is not thrilled; however, the truth is that she owns Jeremy and so returns. Then, what Elena fears happens - her closeness to Clay makes her re-evaluates all her efforts in the past year... Although, before she can get to that, she and the rest of the Pack will have to survive.

My Opinion: It's no secret that I'm a fan of Kelley Armstrong and her Women of the Otherworld series. However, Bitten doesn't figure into my favorite books of this series and to tell the truth, if I didn't have Stolen when I read Bitten... then perhaps I would not have continued reading this series ^_^; It's not that the book is bad, it's actually quite good... Just not what I was used to - it's a bit less romantic and a bit more 'gory.' I also think it's quite a subtle read, trying to understand Elena's position and true feelings towards Clayton. As a result, I don't very often re-read Bitten and prefer the later books where Elena and Clayton's relationship is better and more solidly established.

So what did I think of Bitten on this re-read? I enjoyed it a lot. I remember the main lines, but my memory was a bit fuzzy on details and that's why it was so fun to re-read it :) I've always loved the setting of this book, i.e. have Elena already a werewolf for a certain number of years and having all the bitten incident as flashbacks and reminescences. I think that was a clever idea, especially with all of Elena's emotional baggage. For sure, Elena is emotionally torn and I think that Ms Armstrong captured that emotions very well. It's not simply being a werewolf, but the fact that she still loves Clayton, but can't accept that he's bitten her and her relationship with Jeremy. She thrives for his acceptance and respect, but she doesn't want to... All those relationship and interactions between the Pack members were the strength of this book... and after reading Ms Armstrong's online novellas... I'm sooo sad about the death of some Pack members T_T

The intrigue was also very interesting - Pack vs mutts, especially mutts that used to have a connection with Pack. It was also a great introduction to the universe of werewolves and the dynamics between Pack members and mutts. I like how all the action was intertwined with the relationship stuff and how Ms Armstrong didn't brush away the issue of Elena's relationship with a human or at least, dealed with it separatedly.

What makes Ms Armstrong's characters and relationships so interesting is that they are all flawed. Nobody is perfect, nobody is trying to be perfect... they are what they are and they're not making excuses for themselves. Best example is Clayton and I just love him for that. I was very relieved at the end of the book when Elena and Clayton got together... they are meant together... but they will have to work hard for it. Again, that is why Ms Armstrong's relationships are so interesting. She doesn't hand them the easy happy ever after ending. Instead, you see how the relationships improve and what they have to work on. The compromises, the obstacles, the sacrifices. It's the case with Elena and Clayton, Paige and Lucas, Jaime and Jeremy and Hope and Karl.

I think that in a way, my re-read of Bitten was even more enjoyable than my first read, because of Ms Armstrong novellas and the other books in the series. Men of the Otherworld and the other novellas have given me great insight into the Pack prior to the events of Bitten - for example, why does Daniel hate Clayton so much, I've also gotten to know Logan and Peter better, how Clayton and Elena met and the beginning of their relationships. So all those events made Bitten more cohesive to me. However, there are also some drawbacks. I think when Ms Armstrong wrote Bitten, she had a strong idea for the series, but I think she was a bit uncertain about where all this was going and that led to some inconsistencies in the storylines. For example, if I'm not mistaken, it's hinted in Bitten that Elena was molested in foster home, which made her stronger... however, I'm pretty certain that in Beginnings (Elena and Clay's novella prior Bitten), she's a virgin. I think that Ms Armstrong was looking for a reasono why Elena was so strong mentally... but in the end, she didn't really need it. There are also a few more details - Logan was not adopted and Jeremy's abilities beyond werewolf. So those are things that I picked up.

My Grade: B. Bitten was definitively a good, solid read - a good beginning to the series. However, contrarily to many series, the first book is not the best in the series... and my reason for not re-reading it as often as the others still stand.

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
published by Random House in September 2002
When a young witch tells Elena that a group of humans are kidnapping supernaturals, Elena ignores the warning. After all, everyone knows there's no such thing as witches. As for the thought of other 'supernaturals', well, she'd just rather not dwell on the possibility. Soon, however, she's confronted with the truth about her world, when she's kidnapped and thrown into a cell-block with witches, sorcerers, half-demons and other werewolves. As Elena soon discovers, dealing with her fellow captives is the least of her worries. In this prison, the real monsters carry the keys.

: Urban Fantasy
Series: Women of the Otherworld, Book #2

The Story: Elena is on a mission, checking on werewolf information being sold and meets Ruth and Paige Winterbourne who announce to her the existence of supernaturals. In addition to this unexpected turn of event, they also warn her of a group of people kidnapping supernaturals for study and who'd be very glad to get their hands on a werewolf. After actually being a target, Elena and her Alpha, Jeremy, have no choice then join this supernatural council meeting in order to get more information about this threat. Things turn out unexpectedly - not only learning that half-demons, witches and vampires exist, but in the end, the enemies get their hands on Elena.

My Opinion: Contrarily to Bitten, Stolen made my list of favorites in this series and after the re-read, it remains a favorite :) I especially love Stolen because it introduces the other supernaturals, setting up for the rest of the series. I really liked discovering this new world and in the re-read, I enjoyed getting back to the basics.

It was very fun to see where Elena and Clay's relationship has gone to after a year. Like I said, I enjoy it better when I know that their relationship is secure :) It was also fun to see Clay interact with other people. Sure, Clay is known to be anti-social, but it was kind surprising and touching to see Clay take Adam under his wing.

It's kind of weird, reading Stolen after so long and so many books... and realized that when the series start, there were only 4 representatives in the council ^_^; Sure shows how far the series has gone :) I think Ms Armstrong did a good job, setting for the next books to come, introducing new characters, but remaning focus on Elena being the main character. To my big pleasures, there were also some good LOL moments ;)

Once again, the intrigue was very interesting and credits to Ms Armstrong for the great balance. Although the time that Elena spends in the compound is not my favorite part, the escape and rescue plan though, top notch. Very interesting and gave the proper amount of action necessary to the book.

My Grade: A-. All in all, it's still one of my favorite book and there's nothing I really didn't like about it :D

After re-reading part of the series, it makes me realize how much I want to read more about certain characters. Nick and Cassandra for example. Cassandra's character is sooo complex and it'd be interesting to see if Ms Armstrong has anything in store for her... As for Nick, I think he's the werewolf that everyone under-estimates...

Anyway, I'm glad for this re-read challenge, especially since it gives me the opportunity of reviewings book I didn't have reviews for :) Sharing my love!!