Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander - 5 Stars!

Hi all!


This was my surprise hit of the year! An awesome m/m read that I found thanks to my new Kindle :D




Series:  Shattered Glass #1
Release date: 31st of January 2012
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Romance, M/M
Pages: 361 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

A male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder and a maniacal mix-up that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life. Nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.

Austin — seems to have it all. At least on the surface. A loving fiancee. A future with the FBI and a healthy sized trust fund. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to everyone hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember. And his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled. Until he meets someone who immediately sees him better than he sees himself.

As events unfold and Austin’s world unravels, he finds himself pushed into making quick life-changing decisions. But can he trust Peter or what’s happening between them when each meeting seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?


Review:

This book had the number one ingredient for it to be super duper just my type of book and a lot more: intriguing, sympathetic, colorful, distinctive, realistic, and at the same time totally whacko, and plain AWESOME characters! Take your pick, from the absolutely hilariously narcissistic hero Austin to the number one girlyguy/fairy who will pulverize you if you get on his bad side to the partner with nerves of steel since he’s stuck with bigheaded Austin to the mysterious and odd but incredibly compelling Cai to ..... Shattered Glass nailed with its cast of characters and this is the main reason I adore the book to bits!

But his story possessed other noticeable aspects as well, not as brilliantly shining as the characters, but the book was equipped with an intense crime plot and detective mystery to figure out as the backdrop to the various relationships (and, surprisingly, the outcome and answers weren’t plain out obvious). The length was also something I thoroughly appreciated, this is a long story, but I gobbled up every word and was left wanting for more. I liked that there weren’t constant plot driving scenes all the time, some random conversations, meetings, descriptions, flashback, etc were great for breathing room and getting to know the characters. I didn’t want it to end.

There was an abundance of incredibly funny, heart wrenching, exciting, steamy, intense, scenes. It would be torture to pick my favorite. Dialogue, especially the banter (come to think of it, most of the conversations were banter) was smart, fun and entertaining to read. The conversations really reflected the characters, their interrelationships and were flat-out enjoyable to follow. Again, it would be agonizing to choose my favorite line or dialogue part.

I also found the end and how things were resolved very exciting and promising and I’m eagerly, impatiently, desperately waiting for the second book to meet the incredible bunch of characters again and see what messes they get themselves tangled in this time! Can’t wait!

Characters:

I LOVED Austin! And I can’t fully recall when last I wanted to establish a fan club to the main character. Then again I entirely understand that he is in no way everyone’s cup of tea and most might dislike him for the same reasons I think he rocks. So what kind of guy is Austin? A complete driven arrogant incurable self loving smartass with a constant need for attention, he gave me secondhand embarrassment at times but I could never not love him, sometimes he was just asking for someone to punch and shut him up for is antics and babbling, but, again, I could never not love him. There was just something intriguing and nice about him, he was a good guy with a conscience and a generous heart, despite being quite a douche most of the time. But most of all, he was simply interesting and out of the ordinary, I get so bored with the sexy brooding silent guys who never do anything to embarrass themselves. Austin is entertaining. As Peter said, Austin makes choices and stands by them, he may not always be honest to himself but he sticks to what he does and if he wants to act like an idiot then there is nothing stopping him! And I’ll be standing by him, reading, pointing my finger and laughing.

Peter – a beautiful young man who was, unfortunately, a lot older and much more experienced than his appearance suggested, he had gone through so much that I’m surprised he’s still sane. Responsible, protective, careful, loving, smart but so insecure that it will break your hear. His overly controlling personality was, however, a pleasant surprise and that also made me sad for him, firstly, he had to constantly try to be in control to provide his brothers a safe life, and secondly, he wanted to be in control to actually have any grip on his life, which hadn’t ever seem to be in his own hands with everyone using and shoving him around for their own needs and purposes. I adored Peter, he deserves only the best!

The dynamics and overall progress for Austin and Peter’s relationship was masterfully created and, most importantly, realistic. You can’t expect a guy who’s been burned and used by life and basically everyone to trust, devote himself and submit at first sight. I appreciated Peter manipulating, using and distrusting Austin, it was logical, his style to survive and completely him. Thus, the subtle changes in his feelings and actions were incredibly sweet and heartwarming to observe. Austin’s initial treatment of Peter and the occasional w-word had me cringing and feeling sorry for Peter, but then again, it would be out of characters and in general illogical for Austin to declare his love for Peter, jump in the sack and forget that Peter had a dark and troublesome past. Moreover, Peter’s lies, evasive behavior, hostility, etc didn’t really speak volumes for Austin to treat him as a delicate princess. Yes, Austin was a douchebag, but Peter didn’t make it any easier. BUT, this is why I found their relationship so endearing, they are incredibly wrong for each other, oh so different and broken but it works, and that’s all that matters.

Other characters (oh there were so many great ones to mention):
Austin’s detective partner Luis was a great support, he acted realistically to Austin’s antics and held his back, Angelica was gorgeous and smart and I loved how her and Austin’s relationship progressed and they were friends before anything, Austin’s father was a bastard but I couldn’t completely figure him out, Begone the cat was a true asset to the story! Etc, etc.

Darryl and Cai get their own paragraph:
I think I’ve used the word “love” so many times in this review already and that meaning has been somewhat lost, but I also loved those two. Darryl was such a pretty, mean, kickass, snarky fairy princess that he became a legend. I was on the edge of my seat with laugher whenever Austin and him were in the same scene or arguing, Darryl lived to rile him up. Cai was an enigma, but a very endearing and adorable one. Can’t wait to read his book since he’s an expert at causing “trouble” as it seems.

Overall:

If you don’t mind m/m relationships then I order you to read this book right now!



5 stars!

LIIS


Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hi all!


A review for the latest book in the great Dark-Hunter series.





Title: Time Untime
Series: Dark-Hunter #17
Release date: 7th of August 2012
Published by: Macmillan
Imprint: St. Martin’s Press
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 371 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…

Long before recorded history, there was a Keetoowah warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.

The Time Untime approaches…

Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.

What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life. One who belongs to a world the scientist in her refuses to believe is real.

Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has found the one person he can’t fight. The one person who, against his will, holds the most sacred part of him.

His heart.

But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.

Will he be able to make it again?

Review:

I’ve been a fan of the Dark-Hunter series from the start and I have to admit that I’ve never been so engrossed with any other adult series like this one. Out of this world plots/ story lines, ambitious goals, gripping/sympathetic/despicable characters that just stay with you, all the connections discovered/explored while the world gets bigger, more complicated and more familiar so that whenever you take up the newest book of the series you feel like meeting up with old friends/places again. Top notch stuff!

Unfortunately, this book suffered under the same issues I’ve had with many of the later additions to the series. I felt that there was just too much information thrown at me, I struggled to recall crucial details and connect the info, there was just so much going on behind the relationship of the main characters that I was somewhat lost at times. And at the same time, because of all this, I couldn’t fully connect with either of the main characters or care enough for their budding love as I would have wanted to. If this wasn’t a romance, it would be a more than decent adventure/paranormal/historic story.

Nevertheless, I still couldn’t put the book down or anticipate what’s going on/what will happen/how things will resolve/who of the characters we already know from other books will show up with what role/etc. It’s a fun adventure book, but the romance stays as a subplot for me.

Despite everything, the mythology is still beyond awesome, all the possibilities, directions to follow, endless topics to explore, it’s just amazing and impressive. The universe created is already so fleshed out that I’m already expecting a tall, dark and handsome immortal to cross my path on my way home any day! At times the number of pantheons and characters does become overwhelming but I just have concentrate more I guess.

In addition, a huge plus, as I’ve mentioned, is definitely the characters that you’ve come to love and follow through the series making bigger or smaller appearances. Acheron I love you! – Although I felt, that a couple were just inserted to this book just because. But, ok, I’ll try to overlook that.

Characters:

Ren – He was your typical I-can’t-believe-he-is-still-alive-and-kicking! tormented but handsome hero that thought no one would cared or, least of all, love him. Well, the past has proved it true till the sweet and nice Kateri comes along, who is the first in eons to understand and not view him with contempt or fear. I have to admit I found him sweet, he was more vulnerable, approachable and human than many other heroes in this series. I thought the stutter gave him something to stand out from the rest, plus it was very saddening but somehow cute.

Kateri – She was your typical kind, brave and spunky heroine who saw the true value of our hero and didn’t turn away from him. Honestly, there is nothing really wrong with her, she’s a good character, but she didn’t really stand out from the other heroines in the series.

Other characters:
There were a couple of new intriguing faces introduced, several old favorites resurfaced and, of course, Acheron kicked ass. He and Nick weren’t flat-out trying to kill each other in this one and we got more info on what is going on with their issues. There was also some interesting background information for other characters who have already had their own books. Still, I miss the original New Orleans crew, even tough a couple of them did have mini roles in this.


Overall:

A decent addition to the series, but still not on the same level as the first books. The next book Styxx, however, is something I can’t wait to get my hands on!



3 stars!

LIIS



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop - December 27-31!


I hope you all had wonderful Christmas and had a chance to spend some time with your loved ones. It's time to announce Best of 2012! Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop is hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. there are almost 170 blogs participating. It's going to be a blast!

I have so far read 121 books in 2012 and it has been a great experience! My giveaway below will show you the choice of books I have particularly enjoyed! Take a look!


What can you win this time?

There will be two winners. Winners can each pick one book from the choice below. Be aware, that there are many e-books on the list!

Giveaway details:
NB! Many books on the list are e-books!
Open internationally.
Runs 27th - 31st of December.
You must fill in the RC form below to participate.

Let's take a look at the books:
 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading!


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