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Even Villains Fall in Love (Heroes and Villains Book 1)
Even Villains Fall in Love (Heroes and Villains Book 1)
Price: $3.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Witty, and Entertaining, April 27, 2012
I learned of this author from an interview she did on Lindsay Buroker's blog and decided to give the story a try. It's on the short side for $3, and only took about an hour to read, but I found it to be a sweet romance and an entertaining story. I don't usually go for superhero fiction but found the story easy to get into. The writing is clean and witty, and I look forward to seeing more from the author in the future.


On the Edge (A Novel of the Edge Book 1)
On the Edge (A Novel of the Edge Book 1)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.73

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was hoping for more..., August 3, 2011
This is my first Ilona Andrews book, and, now that I read more reviews, it sounds like I should have started with the author's other series. There are, however, more than enough 5-star reviews of this one that I expected a rousing good time.

The best I can say about the book is that it's OK. Some elements are wonderful, such as the overall world-building, which came across as quite original to me, and the two younger brothers. They are unique characters in every sense of the word, and the author does a great job of making them feel human (even if they aren't quite).

Unfortunately, I was less enamored with the main characters. Rose, whose name is as literal as you can get, didn't annoy me, but I didn't come to like her much either. Given all the hardship she'd endured, it was unlikely that she'd be such an altruistic goody goody. Declan was such a cliched stereotypical romance novel hero that I started to dread the sections with him. All those "I will have you, Rose" kinds of lines gave him a smarmy vibe IMHO.

My other complaint was the pacing and how much setup we got before anything happened. Actually not a lot happened at any point in the book. You'd get some interesting parts here and there, such as the hound attacks, but everything would return to the status quo in between and there never was much of a feeling of a climax with the heroes being in great danger and things coming to a head with the villain. Speaking of him, he was a very one-dimensional character, which is surprising considering how much time was devoted to giving us his backstory.

I'd say maybe I'm just not the target audience for a story like this, but I do like fantasy and I like love stories in my fantasy as well. I just like things more fast-paced and adventure-filled. And leading men that you don't want to smack.

I'm giving it three stars since I did finish it, and since I've certainly read worse, but I'm not tempted to go on and read the other books in the series. I may give the author's Kate Daniels books a try since that sounds like the stronger offering.


Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, Book 1)
Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, Book 1)
by Ann Aguirre
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.89
84 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Start to the Series, June 26, 2011
I debated between four and five stars for this one and decided on five since I finished it and immediately wanted to download the second book in the series. I was sometimes frustrated with the randomness of the plot, but overall the author did a good job of keeping things rolling and getting me to want to read more.

Jax's special gene, a requirement for "grimspace" travel, made for a unique twist in a genre that's often derivative. Also the pacing was good and there's a lot of adventure in the story. It's more action than romance and that's a blend I like. Though it's not exactly a happy-go-lucky plot, there's some humor in the dialogue between the characters and in Jax's internal voice, and I always appreciate that.

The reason why I almost gave it four stars instead of five is that I never warmed up to the main character. I was much more drawn to March, the male lead and romantic interest. I didn't dislike Jax but she's maybe a little too flawed and damaged and I grew weary of the moaning for the lost love. If the reader has never met a character, chances are she doesn't want to spend a lot of pages on memories of that character.

Overall this is a good start to an action filled space opera series, and I plan to continue on with it. Give it a try and see if it's for you.

4.5 stars.


Enemy Within
Enemy Within
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but Overpriced and Derivative, June 26, 2011
This review is from: Enemy Within (Kindle Edition)
I almost didn't make it past the opening chapters with this one, and it's only because of the positive reviews from others that I pushed on.

I rarely say the pacing is too quick in a book, but the first couple of chapters were a jumble of new characters, in a made-up SF universe, with the story starting with the good guys' ship already captured and the heroine about to get captured. I struggled to get grounded in the world, figure out what was going on, and get a grasp for who all the side characters were. At the same time I had a sense of a generic space opera universe, and there never was enough world-building to differentiate it from all the other SF romances out there.

Another strike against the book, for this reader, was the tired old romance plot device of having the hero or heroine possess some special power that initiates a sexual attraction even though the reader has absolutely no reason to root for these characters to be together yet. The heated desire and all that can be fine, even expected, later in the book, but it's more likely to make you roll your eyes when it's on page 5.

Like I said, I almost put this down, but I kept reading, thinking it might get better, and it did improve. It never develops into anything memorable (familiar characters, familiar universe, familiar plot), but it's an okay story, and I found myself getting more into it as it went along. ($10 is too much for the kindle version though.)

If you've read Linnea Sinclair and Ann Aguirre and are looking for more space opera romance, this might fit the bill. I do recommend downloading the sample pages first though if you're thinking of buying the e-version.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 21, 2012 9:10 PM PDT


The Skypirate (Dreamspun)
The Skypirate (Dreamspun)
by Justine Davis
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
78 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Release These for the Kindle!, June 9, 2011
I saw this book mentioned on a long list of science fiction romances on Wired.com. I didn't expect much from it (I hadn't been wowed by most of the finds on the list), especially since it was a 1990s version of a SF romance, more romance novel stuff than SF if you know what I mean. When my library didn't have it, I almost moved onto the next book in the list, but I happened to check on eBay and found this and Lord of the Storm (Dreamspun) there for $5 including shipping. I gave it a try and ended up really enjoying the book!

By the way, Lord of the Storm is actually the first of the two books, and this uses a minor character that was something of a villain in that one, turning her into the heroine. I actually enjoyed this one much more for the very fact that the heroine had a past and was trying to make up for some of her sins (sins which the hero and his crew were sure to resent her for once the cat was let out of the bag...). That made her much more interesting than the do-gooder heroine in LotS, and I liked the hero more too.

As far as world building and science fiction go, expect your stock space opera universe with nothing particularly unique. Honestly I didn't mind. There was enough adventure to keep things interesting, and I enjoyed the relationship that developed between the heroes. This one is a keeper and I expect to re-read it some day.

Ms. Davis, if you read this, and you have the electronic rights to the story, please put it out for the kindle. Lots of authors are doing this now with titles that went out of print.


The Curse of Scattershale Gulch, a Mick and Casey Mystery Novelette
The Curse of Scattershale Gulch, a Mick and Casey Mystery Novelette
Price: $0.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Short Story, June 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This short story features the main characters from the author's Have Gun, Will Play (A Mick and Casey Mystery), which I read earlier in the year. It's a fun Western with memorable characters so you may want to check out the novel if you like the short story. This tale does stand alone pretty well though.

It starts out a little slow with some character backstory but the accessible writing style is easy to get into, and things move along into an adventure that should be enjoyable for mystery and western fans. I won't get into specifics since it's not a long story, but you probably won't regret picking it up and giving it a try.


Song of Scarabaeus
Song of Scarabaeus
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $6.68

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creative and Original but Hard to Enjoy, May 21, 2011
I may have come into this book with the wrong expectations since it was recommended to me as a science fiction romance. You can see from my other reviews that I enjoy steampunk and space opera, especially if there's a love story. If I'd come into the story without the preconceived notion that there'd be a romance, I might have liked it more, but, given the setup with the hero being forced to follow the heroine around lest he die from his slave implant, I think I'd expect the heroes to be together in the end anyway. Unfortunately there was zero chemistry between them and I was kind of glad when they didn't hook up, though maybe they will in future books.

About that...it's a cliffhanger ending. I see the second book is out but I'm not sure I'll go on to read it. Maybe from the library. Why? Like I said, no chemistry between the male and female lead, and honestly it's just a very dark world where nothing goes right for the characters. Ever. That makes for good conflict but a low enjoyment factor as a reader. I don't always need a happily ever after but you want something in the end to leave you with the feeling that all that struggle was worth it.

So what's good about this book? Why three stars instead of less? The world building is wonderful and the author's background made for some fascinating technical ideas. Space opera rarely feels original. This did. The writing itself is strong, and the pacing is good. Things move along well and you don't find yourself skimming. I actually finished it in a day or two, so even if I didn't ultimately like the story much that says something about the author's talent.

Give it a try if you like dark gritty science fiction. If you're looking for a good space opera romance though I'd pass on this one.


The Affinity Bridge (Newbury & Hobbes Investigations)
The Affinity Bridge (Newbury & Hobbes Investigations)
by George Mann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.36
50 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster Read, May 21, 2011
I got this along with a pile of steampunk novels from the library, and I'm relieved I didn't order it for $10 for the Kindle. Though if I'd downloaded the sample first I might not have bothered reading further. I was surprised to come here and realize this was put out by a major publisher.

The story sounds good from the description but the writing is overly wordy with a tendency toward sentences that would leave an audiobook narrator gasping for breath. The characters are OK but not memorable, the mystery is easily solved, and the steampunk elements are over the top. I found myself skimming a lot in part because of the pace and in part because things had a tendency to be explained more than once to the reader. I was also annoyed with the author telling us how smart his characters were without them ever doing anything bright.

Overall it's just not a very engaging book and I wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't been on a road trip. I'd be more lenient with my review if this has been an independent author since it honestly reads like a self-pubbed title, but one expects more from a book published by Tor.


Hope's Folly (Bantam Books Romance)
Hope's Folly (Bantam Books Romance)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $5.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun romance--would like to see more in this series, May 7, 2011
This novel takes place in a universe established in earlier Linnea Sinclair books, but it works fine as a stand alone. The characters are both strong and enjoyable to read about, and they are the main reason this gets five stars from me. I love that the author made Rya a little chunky and body-conscious as one gets tired of all the gorgeous female leads out there. The male lead, Philip, would be the typical hunky catch but he's a little older and he's injured so wielding a cane in this one. It was easy to root for these two to hook up.

The story itself is OK though not a page-turner. One could boil the plot down in a couple of lines and it did feel a bit thin for a 400+ page book. There was enough going on to keep the characters busy though and there were some fun scenes where the author's humor shines through.

4.5 overall.

Also it's been a while since the last book in this series came out. I would definitely enjoy reading more of Ms. Sinclair's space opera romances.


Wilder's Mate: Bloodhounds, Book 1
Wilder's Mate: Bloodhounds, Book 1
Price: $0.00

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful premise, weak execution (also it's a novella, not a novel), April 8, 2011
I'm tempted to give this two stars (especially after seeing it was put out by a publisher and isn't an indie book), but I'm not that familiar with erotica, so maybe this is par for the course.

I got suckered in because I enjoy steampunk, and the sample pages made this sound right up my alley. Smart mechanically inclined heroine in cool Steampunk/Wild West world off on an adventure to save her mentor.

I expected a lot of action and adventure. Instead I got a lot of characters sitting around talking and/or lusting after each other with scads and scads of background information dumped on the page. I love a good romance along with my action (huge Linnea Sinclair fan), but this wasn't it. The world isn't fleshed out, and there's very little conflict, or anything interesting happening, and I found myself skimming almost as soon as the characters rode out of town.

Again, maybe for erotica this is kind of the expected thing, so please take my review with a grain of salt. I was just disappointed because the premise sounded very cool and the story didn't live up to expectations.

Also the publisher might want to put the word count in the description. I don't know how long this is, but I'm sure it's not novel length, and that may affect some people's decision to purchase at this price.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2014 7:45 PM PST


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