Tag Archives: Paranormal romance

marked title

Book Review: Marked, by Lacey Silks

I purchased a paperback copy of Marked, by Lacey Silks.

Marked Lacey Silks

The underworld is stirring. And it’s calling out my name.

One kill. One life. One snap of a demon’s neck and I will be marked with a sphere. It will not only give me purpose and strength but it will also bind me and my sister to a demon lord, Aseret.

He’s killed our kin, disturbed the underworld’s resting souls and now he’s preparing to strike at the humans and vampires. If we don’t stop him, another genocide will ensue.

Gifted with abilities from our ancestors, we are the last shifters. Except my sister believes that our destiny is to bear the water mark instead.

Fortunately for me, every marking comes with a price. For me, her name is Xela. The sinfully sexy dark witch with secrets flips my world upside down. She takes hold of my heart, opening the door to the underworld.

After all, there’s something good about being bad.

Note: Marked is Book 1 in the Two Halves Series with a HFN ending. Contains mature themes and is suitable for adult audience only.

I’ll start by saying the writing here is fine. But beyond that I don’t have a lot of praise to lavish on it. I thought the whole thing too full of talking about doing things and not enough actual doing of things. And when the action finally started RIGHT AT THE END, the main characters were barely part of it. They were there, but not much more. The big fight the book was leading up to was quite anticlimactic.

Plus, Xander felt about 15-years-old but the book is full of sex. Not all of it was explicit but there was a lot of it. So much, in fact, that I wondered if a man really should be able to come that many times in a night. That was practically more of a fantasy element that the witches and shifters.

But my big complaint comes with that note you see in the last paragraph of the blurb. “Marked is Book 1 in the Two Halves Series with a HFN ending.” It is a lie on two fronts. Happy for now infers that the plot has reached some sort of plateau and the couple has reached a moment of happiness, even if it isn’t for ever. This book ends on a precipitous cliffhanger. There is no sense of anything being completed. This feels very much like half (if not a quarter) of a book. And as it’s only 143 pages long, there isn’t really any reason it couldn’t have continued. It didn’t stop at any sort of natural stopping point.

Second, and more importantly, HFN required the characters have found some sort of happiness, preferably together. This books ends with one character essentially dead (for the moment) and the other running away and knowing they can’t even look for the other for years. There is nothing about that that is happy, for now or otherwise. NOTHING. That sentence is a lie and an important one. I wouldn’t have purchased the book if I’d known how it would end…or not end.

Just about the only thing I enjoyed about this book was the laugh I got at the printing mishap on the cover. I read the blurb when I bought it. But then it took a little while to arrive and sat on my table for days. I didn’t really remember what it was about when I picked it up to read. So, I read the back of cover. OK. I dove in and nothing made sense. The character names were wrong, the plot wrong, it didn’t even feel like the same book.

So, I did a little googling and realized it didn’t feel like the same book because it’s not!

Marked wrong back

That blurd you see on the back of my copy of Marked belongs to Baby Me. I can’t imagine how printing the wrong blurb on a book happened, but I got a kick out of it and it made me laugh.

Since I’m talking about covers I’ll also mention that the man on the cover, who one assumes is Xander (the main character) is wearing the wrong mark in the wrong place. That will only make sense if you’ve read the book. But I noticed. Reader notice these things.

 

The Dragon's Spell

Book Review: The Dragon’s Spell, by Bonnie Burrows

I picked up a free Audible code for a copy of Bonnie Burrows’ The Dragon’s Spell.

the dragon's spell

The witches were disappearing and Faye Everleigh’s sister was the latest who had been taken.

Faye had good reason to suspect that a nearby clan of dragons were behind all the kidnappings and she was planning to do anything and everything within her power to get her sister back.

However, she did not bargain on Rylan, the dragon clan leader, being so impossibly handsome.

And before she knew it, a man who should really be her enemy was becoming a friend, an ally and a lover all in one.

Was the witch now under the dragon’s spell? Or was there more to this than meets the eye?

Meh, this wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t great either. There just didn’t seem to be a lot to the plotgirl sets out to find her sister, gets captured, lazes about falling in love for a while, then, they save the day in basically one chapter.

Rylan was a nice change from the alpha-asshole, but his uncertainty made his feel weak and wishy-washy. Faye was pleasantly determined, but still didn’t actually DO much of anything throughout the book. The villain was obvious from the beginning and there’s really no depth to their machinationsevil for evil’s sake. I wasn’t at all invested in it.

Lastly, Morgan’s narration started out pretty rough, but it smoothed out eventually. But I noticed a lot of misplaced and mispronounced words. So many in fact, I have to wonder if he was doing a poor job OR an excellent one of reading the book just as it’s printed, errors and all.

 

Awakening

Book Review: Awakening, by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano

 

I accepted a copy of Awakening from the author, Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, for review.

Awakeing by Jennifer Pezzano

Jezebel is a solitary woman with a haunted past. Running a business in a small coastal town, she clings to the predictability of her days, seeking refuge in the silence. When an enigmatic new client comes into her life, she is drawn to him, unaware of the link she holds to his own tangled history.

He offers her a seductive proposal, and she is propelled into an entrancing world of pleasure that shatters her reality, and deeply alters her sense of self.

But underneath all his magnetism and power lies the human complexities of a grieving man running from his shadows. Will August surrender his centuries of pain and allow Jezebel fully into his life? And will Jezebel be able to navigate the landscape of what he has to offer?

Delivering a new meaning to the vampire archetype, Awakening is a multi-layered, sensuous, paranormal love story that reaches through the curtain of time. The intricate ties that connect these two to one another will forever transform the course of their lives, stretch the fabric of their reality, and awaken within them something deeper and more profound.

my review

This didn’t work for me. Certainly, the writing and the editing are fairly clean, though I think the writing won’t work for some people. It’s very purple. I don’t personally mind that, as I think it’s pretty. The writing here is quite lush. My only complaint being how frequently Jezebel’s name is said (too frequently). But anyone sensitive to purple prose will likely be put off. And I liked the idea of connecting to greater, collective energies. Plus, look at that gorgeous cover! But so very much of the rest of the book bothered me.

First off, I was bored breathless. This book rambles on and on, with literally entire seasons passing in a matter of pages and more time dedicated to describing the weather than whatever actually happens in that section of the book.

What’s more, if you include the Embrace, which isn’t actually sex but is quite sexual, I think a LITERAL third of the book is sex. And not extensive, erotic sex scenes, but instead sex that’s meant to be sooo meaningfulllll. We’re told about the look in someone’s eye (or what was read in someone’s eye), how badly it’s wanted, and thenBAMpenetrative sex, orgasm, and post-coital ‘you are so amazing’ pillow talk….multiplied by a million. I mean it was endless.

But what really bothered me was two-fold. It was the dismissive way that the whole middle section of the book is dedicated to August’s dead wife and then she’s just dismissed, a place-holder, existing solely to affect August and to gift the future Mrs. August a gift. Of no real importance on her own.

And it was the way everything centers on the all-knowing, perfect man. Jezebel meets him, learns from him (because he’s sooo much more worldly and knowledgeable), is improved by her association with him, and gives up her whole apparently meaningless life to run off with him…TWICE. Two clueless Jezebels come to him, fall in love, run off into the sunset, and learn to live because of how amaaaaazing August is. Men apparently hold the key to meaningful knowledge and a satisfying spiritual and emotional life, or at least this one does.

This was exacerbated by how quickly the relationships developed. They went from meeting to sex at light speed. Then there’s some lag and separation, and then they went from sex to love immediately. But the reader never really saw why, when, or how either party fell so desperately in love. August especially had some pretty big hurtles to get over and, even having finished the book, I still don’t know when or why that happened with Jezabel², as opposed to any other Giver.

All in all, I don’t think this is an inherently bad book. It, no doubt, will find its audience. It’s beautifully written and does have a gratifying moral it’s trying to impart. I’m just not the reader to appreciate it.