Monday, January 28, 2013

The Better to See You by Kate SeRine

Synopsis: Once upon a time, a spell went awry and Make Believe characters were cast into the ordinary world. And the results aren’t always happily ever after… Everyone thinks fairy godmothers can do no wrong. But if not for a certain spell mis-cast by Lavender Seelie, Cinderella’s former fairy godmother, the Tales would not be stuck in the Here and Now. Fortunately for Lavender, she’s about to get a second chance at a happy ending… The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, seems like the perfect place for Lavender to start a new life—especially when she discovers an unexpected ally in Seth, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender wonders if Seth’s deep sensuality has blinded her to the truth. And that distraction could put innocent lives in danger. Including her own…

My Thoughts: Kate SeRine's Transplanted Tales world is utterly fascinating. I loved seeing Hansel and Gretel, Bo Peep, Puck, and so many more characters make their appearance throughout the book.

The mystery of who is trying to hurt Lavender (or maybe Seth) is intriguing and entertaining and Lavender makes a good heroine.

However, there are some minuses in the book.

There is more sex in this book than romance which leaves the development of the H/h's love underdeveloped. They fall in love almost at first sight to where we, the readers are left wondering how it happened. This compromises some of their heartfelt declarations making them somewhat cheesy.

The mystery isn't as tightly woven as I'd have liked. There is still an openness about it making way for future books and the big bad evil is one we wouldn't necessarily know.

There is repetitive usage of the "F" word throughout the book by both the hero and the heroine that borders on excessive. I only mention it because many would find it offensive. I don't, as I tend to use it quite a bit myself (please don't tell my mom she'd be mortified), but even to me it felt like too much.

In addition it is told from Lavender's perspective through first person narrative and I find this to be very restrictive in paranormal romances. I would have liked to have known more of what Seth was thinking as well as a glimpse or two from the Big Bad Evil's perspective.

Overall, The Better to See You really is a decent book but I would recommend reading from the first book in the series (Red) before reading this second book. There are things that are best not spoiled by reading out of order.

(I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Lord Immortality by Alexandra Ivy

New Ivy Cover
Old Raleigh Cover
Synopsis: Amelia Hadwell has no time for London's nightlife. Not when her beloved brother's odd ways have their family threatening to institutionalize him. And not when she is questioning her own sanity after being confronted by a murderous shadow creature - then being saved by a captivating stranger, a man who belongs to a world she cannot imagine. Reserved and scholarly, Sebastian St. Ives has been content without human desires - until they are reawakened by the delicate, brave Amelia, whom he is meant to protect. For the young woman has no idea she possesses the key to a ravenous vampire's dark victory. Now Sebastian must shield her from both a killer and his own growing attraction - or bond with her completely, and forever.

My Thoughts: This was just re-released in ebook which I received via NetGalley and found that it was very lacking. It lacked passionate characters and it lacked length to fully realize it's plot. It left a big dangly bit hanging with no closure which had consumed a fairly large portion of the book too. The ending wrapped up the continuing tie in plot-line that tied in this book with the other two in the Immortal Rogues (aka My Lord) trilogy which seemed a bit anti-climactic. This is the only one I've read by the way.

Originally these books were published by Zebra publishing in 2003 as short regency romances that reminds me of a Harlequin/Silhouette category series under the name Debbie Raleigh (the trilogy was called My Lord under the Raleigh name). They are being re-released under her pseudonym Alexandra Ivy, in my opinion, to capitalize on the popularity of her Guardians of Eternity series. On an interesting note Nefri an ancient vampiress who bestowed the three amulets onto the three mortal women in this trilogy has her own book coming out in July. The upcoming book is part of her Guardians of Eternity series written as Ivy. This is another reason I think these books were re-released now.

I don't think that even if the plot had been completely wrapped up I would have enjoyed it more. The characters were so completely flat that I found I was never fully immersed into them. I read the book. I didn't live it.