Browsing Tag

read

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Posted in Fantasy/ Magic/Paranormal/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Speculative Fiction/ Urban Fantasy 2nd November 2017
White Hot by Ilona AndrewsWhite Hot by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Published by Avon on May 30th 2017
Pages: 389
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

After the exhilarating read of ‘Burn for Me’, ‘White Hot’ took the development of Nevada and Rogan in a direction I can’t exactly say I liked.

There were parts that overwhelmed me: the visceral depictions of the brutality that exists when a magical realm is inserted into this alternate world were breathtaking (the feeling’s akin to reading Harry Potter for the first time), as was the soft spot I’d developed for secondary characters like Bug, Cornelius and his animals.

But there were also parts that didn’t—a lot of those had to do with the ‘heroic’ shaping of the protagonists—,which oddly disappointed me because I’d expected Ilona Andrews to eschew the archetypes of fantasy somehow, after the refreshing take on Nevada in the first book. The premium placed on character growth is evident, with Nevada taking on responsibilities (as unwanted as they are) that come with her unleashed power, her learning to play that game while manoeuvring the complexities of the magical families in the process and redefining what lines of morality she’d draw. Yet as enamoured as I was of Nevada in the first book—the underdog who’d been content to be that PI, relying on her sharp shooting instead of her hidden magic—I somehow wished that we hadn’t seen the typical journey of the fantasy hero/heroine growing in power until her skills matched those in the great standing Houses, her own methods of manipulation and mind-violation seemingly justified by the rationale to protect her family as she struggles to live with the magnitude of her skills.

Yet the old Nevada stood out more than the new, reforged one. I found myself constantly missing the cocksure, rough diamond of a woman who relied on her wits, leaned on her compassion and nothing more but the support of her family—that made her greater to me, rather than this new, untouchable truthseeker with powers that suddenly seemed to put her way beyond any mage, who always teetered on the slippery slope to ruthlessness.

On the other hand, Mad Rogan as always, remained frustratingly out of reach (the numerous cock-blocking moments notwithstanding) as every supposed step towards their long, drawn out sexual tension with Nevada was interrupted quite timely with an explosion or an urgent phone call. I wasn’t entirely convinced of the kind of hero he could be since he still seemed alarmingly inclined towards destroying first, negotiating later, if at all. While a small revelation of what made him that way did unravel Rogan a little, he felt cardboard flimsy next to the more multifaceted Nevada, which might be the only minus of the book being wholly written in Nevada’s POV.

At the risk of this entire review sounding like a rant, I’m going to say right now that it isn’t…really. My enthusiasm might have dimmed somewhat for the protagonists, but there’s enough driving force behind the secondary characters whom I like enough to want to carry on. Here’s to hoping ‘Wild Fire’ might bring something back to the fervour I had for the first book.

three-stars

Last First Kiss by Sidney Halston

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 8th August 2017
Last First Kiss by Sidney HalstonLast First Kiss by Sidney Halston
Series: Iron Clad Security #2
Published by Swerve on August 29th 2017
Pages: 202
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
two-stars

He's an A-list Hollywood heartthrob. She's trying to prove herself in a man's world.

For this female bodyguard, protecting her client is simply business, but what happens when sparks fly and the danger heats up?

A woman bodyguard and a male celebrity in a reversal of roles sounded exciting and ‘Last First Kiss’ did seem at first, like The Bodyguard, except that a kickass woman is taking the reins and showing the world’s who’s boss. But I found myself struggling very early on, and that was mostly with characterisation.

I had a problem with the characters not acting their ages from the start; the squabbling between the siblings of Iron Clad Security felt like a college-project quarrel, as did Rocco’s constant sexualisation of every movement that Annie made that made him like a creep than a swoonworthy hero. But Annie lashed out as well, like a teenager instead of a professional bodyguard as well in so many instances that it was hard to take her seriously, let alone a pairing that couldn’t seem to act like the adults they were. Rocco later insisted on trying to be the protector instead, and that lack of respect for Annie’s job—when all he wanted was to see her as his girlfriend and he the alpha male sort—was frustrating beyond measure when most of the squabbling was about Annie’s supposed inability to do her job.

Unfortunately, that was what did it for me. I couldn’t quite continue when both Annie and Rocco didn’t get past this issue without any more of the arguments along the lines of ‘I can’t lose you’ said by males who seem to love nothing but smothering the women.

two-stars

Fast Kill by Kaylea Cross

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 27th April 2017
Fast Kill by Kaylea CrossFast Kill by Kaylea Cross
Series: DEA FAST #2
Published by Kaylea Cross Inc. on April 20th 2017
Pages: 270
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The past has come back to haunt her. Having battled long and hard to put her painful past behind her, DEA Special Agent Taylor Kennedy has done everything in her power to make a new life for herself. She never dreamed that same past would suddenly show up on her doorstep one night, or that its reappearance would threaten everything she’s built for herself. Faced with the unthinkable, she’ll have to make the agonizing choice between her trusted childhood friend, and the man who’s managed to steal her wary heart. And the consequences could be fatal. FAST Bravo member Logan Granger knows Taylor was hurt badly by something in her past. He never expected to fall for a straight-laced, uptight forensic accountant, but Taylor has managed to redefine his definition of sexy, and now he wants to uncover all her secrets. Though they’re opposites in almost every way, Logan is determined to break through her barriers and show her just how good things can be between them. Then their worst nightmare is realized when Taylor becomes the target of the merciless Veneno cartel, and Logan will risk everything to save her—including his life.

Opposites do attract in Kaylea Cross’s ‘Fast Kill’ as Taylor Kennedy and Logan Granger – who have only known each other for a short time – are thrown together in a case that inadvertently drags Taylor into a mess. With the return of a childhood friend, Taylor’s quiet, introverted life is upended and Logan finds that he’ll do anything to help her pick up the pieces, even when it puts him at risk.

I do like ‘Fast Kill’s’ storyline, even though I’m still more partial to Cross’s military thrillers. Despite the focus on the drug war and cartels, the story is fast-paced, full of intrigue and as always, written around a central pairing that I did find believable and likeable. Taylor and Logan are express opposites in every way, from their careers to their hobbies, but I liked how they find common ground together, particularly when Logan never stops coaxing Taylor into doing things out of her comfort zone.

There’s also a kind of sympathy that Cross builds up for the villain and that’s the case here, particularly when he’s also someone from Taylor’s past who in fact, cared for and took care of her. It’s a little hard to believe that he turned so evil at the blink of an eye, but it’s this change that drives the conflict and indirectly, the relationship between Logan and Taylor.

Overall, I did find myself entertained, though part of me wishes for a continuation of her past series instead! Cross however, always delivers a HEA – whether it takes place immediately after the action or a few weeks or months down the road – and that kind of resolution goes a long way in cementing quite emphatically, how much a particular pairing ought to be together. In the case of Logan and Taylor, I didn’t need much convincing.

four-stars
Back to top

Pin It on Pinterest