Almost Healed

“I’d like a helping of the flu with a side of bronchitis, please.” Said no one. Ever.

Although I didn’t want it, I still managed to get stuck with it. Ten days later, I’m back to 90%. I haven’t done much of late as the sickness sucked the energy right out of me. The one thing I did do to pass the time: read.

What did I read? Well, I re-read the first four books in the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill. I’d forgotten how much of an arrogant pain Ethan was early on. A healthy dose of Merit snark helped my mood. Plus, how can you not love some Mallory and Catcher?

Deciding I was in the mood for more vampires, I re-read some of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. Dark Lover, the initial book that was Beth and Wrath’s story, is one of my all time favorites. Of course, I had to delve into that one again. I’d recently finished re-reading Rhage’s book so I skipped his went straight to Butch’s. After finishing Butch and Marissa’s story, I moved to Manny and Payne’s. Theirs is one of the books I haven’t read over and over. Not sure why as I liked their story a lot, especially when the figured out Manny’s bloodline. I think I might have been tired of the V drama (I had forgotten about that in this book), which is why it isn’t one of my top favorites. Last but not least, I re-read Blood Fury because I just love me some Saxton. He waited a while for his HEA, and I’m so glad that he got it.

If you’re not familiar with Blood Fury, it’s part of the BDB Legacy series. The main couple in the book are Peyton and Novo. Here’s the blurb:

A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thoug

ht he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another.

Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love. But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love.

As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with a connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love . . . and cost Saxton everything?

With any luck, as my energy comes back, I will get back to writing and exercising. I’m already thinking about upcoming day trips and vacations. I’ve got to get back to Iceland!! But, that’s another story…

The Shadows: Big Disappointment

On Friday night, I stayed up late to finish reading J.R. Ward’s 13th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, The Shadows. And yeah, I slept like crap after I finished it. You’ll find out why when you read below.

Before you read further, if you have not read The Shadows and plan to, know that SPOILERS ARE AHEAD.

Here’s the scoop on the Trez and iAm’s book:

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could functiThe_Shadowson in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…

Now…to my disappointment. And the SPOILERS. Continue reading “The Shadows: Big Disappointment”

My Thoughts: The King

This past week I had the misfortune of picking up the stomach bug. Yeah, the one that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. At least if I had The_Kingto be home and feeling completely miserable, I had the nearly 600 page hardback copy of The King to keep my mind off my stomach. J.R. Ward’s latest release is book #12 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. In this novel, she revisits Wrath and Beth, who were the subjects of the very first BDB book, Dark Lover. Times have changed, though, since Wrath and Beth became mated. Caldwell is a different place. There are more Brothers, more matings, most of the Chosen now reside in a Great Camp in the Adirondacks, the Band of Bastards are wreaking havoc . . . well, you get the idea.

Here is the official description of The King:

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?

Before you read further, please note that there are spoilers. If you have yet to read the novel, you may want to stop reading this post. Now. Just sayin’! Continue reading “My Thoughts: The King”

Lover at Last

I knew once I started it that I wouldn’t be able to put it down. So, it was my post-surgery reward. Book #11 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover at Last, by J.R. Ward.

I’m probably one of the last BDB fans to be reading it, but it was so worth the wait. I love both Blay and Qhuinn, and I was so excited to see how they got their HEA. Ms. Ward did not disappoint. In fact, I was beginning to wonder as I got closer to the end… Never fear.

There was a lot going on in this book – all 591 pages of it – besides the drama between Qhuinn (and Layla) and Blay (and Saxton). Trez got a lot of page time as did Xcor and Assail. In fact, I’m not sure how she kept track of the POV’s! Continue reading “Lover at Last”

Lover Reborn

   Last night I finished Lover Reborn, book number 10 in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This was Tohr’s book. I’m not going to do a “typical” review because there is so much to cover and because I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for those that have yet to read it.
   I do confess that I let this book sit on my to-be-read pile for a bit. I would never want the author to rush through writing one of these books, but only one new book a year is difficult! As a reader, I obviously want more!!
   After spending my whole night reading (nope, nothing else got done at my house – my cat as my witness!), I finally finished around 10:15 PM. The last two hundred pages of the book were action-packed and emotion-filled. I confess that I rarely sob while reading a novel. (The last one where that happened was the book in the Chicagoland Vampires’ series where Ethan gave his own life for Merit’s.) Last night, however, me and the Kleenex box were best buds. As I thought about the emotions the book evoked, I found I had nothing but praise for Ward. As a writer, to be able to craft such an intense story (and one that was 572 pages long) that sucks the reader in so thoroughly, what an impressive feat! It should be every writer’s goal to have the reader so enthralled in the characters and the plot that the reader feels every emotion. Not only was I unable to put the book down, I felt the love and loss. The overwhelming grief. The yearning. I could go on and on . . . I hope that as a writer I am able to connect my characters with the reader in such a strong way.
   Caldwell, New York, despite being a fictional place, is somewhere I can visualize in my mind. The seedy downtown with the bars and clubs, the suburbs with the nice lots containing even nicer homes, and then the forested area of the mountain that houses the Brotherhood’s mansion (once you get through the mhis, of course).
   One other thing I noticed towards the end of the book was how much I felt for the Band of Bastards – particularly Throe and later Xcor. The bad guys (outside of the lessers) sometimes seemed . . . not so bad. My heart broke for Xcor as he punished himself for the way he hurt Throe. My heart broke even further at Throe’s desire to recover his sister’s ashes and see to it that she made it to the Fade. These antagonists weren’t all bad and evil – at some points I couldn’t help but want better for them, for them to see the error of their ways. Heck, for them to beg forgiveness of the Brotherhood and assist them in the battle against the Omega. I can’t wait to read what happens to them in the next book. Again, I would say this is something every writer should strive to achieve – bringing qualities to the “bad guys” to make them seem more life-like and even more likable – that classic struggle between good and evil.
   Of course, towards the end of the book we were given a picture of the emotional triangle between Saxton, Blay, and Qhuinn. I can’t wait to read Blay and Qhuinn’s story. Qhuinn grew so much in Lover Reborn. He became a male of worth, of loyalty and honor. Next spring seems so far away, yet I have no doubt we will be rewarded with another masterpiece.
5 of 5 stars

Sickness – be gone with you!

So, it’s the middle of summer…what is with the intestinal/stomach virus crud that is making the rounds??  I’m tired of it already!  I don’t like my schedule being impacted in this way.  Geez, I had to miss my zumba class last night.  Horror!  (Seriously, it’s fun and  a great workout).

Given I have so little energy or motivation, I have been reading.  Thank you Sydney Croft for the Storm series – I love it.  Feel free to write a couple (or several) more books.  I enjoyed Wyatt’s story immensely – almost as much as Remy’s.  Plus, you had to keep us in suspense – who is Dev’s new love going to be??  Although he will never replace Oz, he deserves someone in his life romantically.  Oh, and a big “thank you” for Ani and Creed.  I don’t want to spoil anything for those they may not know *wink*

Let’s see… what else have I read… oh, I am finally up to starting Jonas’ book – the last in the Feline Breed series by Lora Leigh.  I’m kind of worried – some of the reviews on weren’t very good.  I’ve been looking forward to the lucky girl who will turn Jonas’s world upside down.  Plus, I want to read about him going through the mating heat.  He seems to be able to dish it out, but can he take it??

Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, I am totally hooked on Twitter.  I’m so psyched that the Black Dagger Brothers and their shellans have joined Twitter and Facebook.  Beware – some of the postings are rather hawt and definitely for those 18 and older.  Check out some of Saxton and Blay’s posts – wow!  This may actually make surviving a bit easier until J. R. Ward’s next installment comes out.  Last I heard was spring for Payne and Manny’s story.  Evidently, the book following Covet (Crave, maybe?) comes out in October.  BTW, is anyone familiar with J. R. Ward writing under another name?  Yes, I know there is a 1o cent word for that, but I have no idea how to spell it.  I thought I saw something the last time I was at Border’s, but since I didn’t make a note of it, the title/author has slipped through one of the holes in my memory.

Well, I hate to cut this short, but I’ve had some good dreams lately that are serving as inspiration for my fledgling novel.  Got to get those ideas on paper (or computer) before they are gone.  Unlike my virus, I’m sure they will be gone much more quickly if I don’t make note of them!