Vampires, werewolves, and fairies--oh my!
Review method--totally subjective and my personal opinion.
Five Stars are for life-altering books that I think you should keep and read again and again.
Four Stars are for great books.
Three Stars are for good books.
All of the above I recommend reading. You will very rarely see me give a review of One Star (awful) or Two Stars (not worth reading) because I usually don't finish books that I don't think are awful and/or not worth reading. Sadly, sometimes, I do get tricked into wasting my time.
Almost Adam by Petru Popescu ***** (Five Stars)
This book, written in 1994, is more Michael Crichton (to me) than it is Twilight. Running into a tribe of "protohumans" who are two million years behind modern humans was intriguing. The modern human drama that accompanied the discover was, though, too sadly predictable. It's a great story about friendship, who we are, and who we want to become.
Born in Chains (2013) by Caris Roane **** (Four Stars)
Chains of Darkness (2014) *** (Three Stars)
Unchained (2014) *** (Three Stars)
Half-human half-vampire vampires with "Ancestral" powers that can fly and live to battle their evil sire. The first book drew me in, and I liked it best of the trilogy.
Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore *** (Three Stars)
Men writing female characters can produce some odd results, and I'm not just talking vampires. But it's a good book and a fun read.
Cole, Kresley, author of The Immortals After Dark series. I've reviewed some of the books in this series individually; suffice to say that you should read them all. A "bad" Kresley Cole is still a great read.
Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole ***** (Five Stars)
I really like the characters in this story. Everyone loves a man--or, in this case, a rage demon--who's utterly, completely, in love.
Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole ***** (Five Stars)
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I love the conflict, the characters, the story. I rarely read a book twice, but I've read this one over and over.
Dead and... by Charlaine Harris *** (Three Stars)I read this entire series (eleven books?) voraciously and I couldn't figure out why. I didn't like the characters or the stories or the entire story arc. The vampires were horrible, selfish, and practically all of them should have been staked. And yet, like I said, I read every book. I finished one and went to the book store five minutes before closing to find the next one. When they didn't have it, I went to another book store. Frustrated again, I bought it on eBay and chewed my nails until it arrived. What made the books so compelling? I honestly can't tell you. You'll have to read them yourself.
Deja Demon by Julie Kenner **** (Four Stars)
"The days and nights of a demon-hunting soccer mom." Like the mob, there's no retiring from a demon-hunting death squad. But how do you juggle the PTA, a two-year-old, a teen, and a demon in the frozen food aisle? This is one of the best urban fantasies I've read.
Demon Chick by Henry Kaye **** (Four Stars)
The main character in this story is 16, but I put it in this category because there's casual sex--and not even with the hero. The heroine is sold to the Devil by her mother for a political boost and ends up in Hell with a demon who says he's now her "husband." In this book Hell sounds a lot like a working-class neighborhood in Jersey--although your next-door neighbors might be a little bit scarier.
Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels **** (Four Stars)
A charmingly inept heroine gets a job in a cemetery, bumps her head, and starts seeing ghosts. Despite a trip to the ER, the ghost won't leave her alone until she solves the mystery of his thirty-year-old murder. Great characters and TWO potential love interests!
Don't Talk Back to your Vampire by Michele Bardsley **** (Four Stars)
A very entertaining book. The heat between the characters sizzles. The conflict is ongoing (this is part of a series) and would probably seem more urgent if I'd read the other books. It's still a very enjoyable read all by its lonesome.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole *** (Three Stars)
Kresley Cole's "Immortals" series has many well-developed characters who are each utterly unique. Unfortunately, I didn't like this hero. But you still have to read this book.
Eros Island Lucinda Betts, Dawn Thompson, Devyn Quin *** (Three Stars)
This collection of three short stories is very steamy, but the storyline takes a backseat to the sex.
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips **** (Four Stars)
The Greek gods are alive and well and living in a house in London. They're still fighting and feuding, throwing tantrums and turning the odd human into trees. And, as usual, humans are drawn into their drama. This is a really fun read.
The Hex Witch of Seldom by Nancy Springer ***** (Five Stars)
Magical. A story about growing up and letting go but holding on to the good parts. A sexy, dangerous Dark Hero and a sweet Light Hero. This story is absolutely compelling.
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole **** (Four Stars)
This is the first in her "Immortals After Dark" series. Read past the prologue--I almost didn't, and I would have been very sorry.
The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Aceveda ***** (Five Stars) Urban Fantasy, Mystery
This series is set in Colorado and stars a Hispanic vampire detective. It's got romance and humor and some unexpected twists. You'll never guess how it ends, so you better get it now.
Pall in the Family by Dawn Eastman **** (Four Stars)
This urban fantasy has a mystery and a romance, as well as an appealing family drama.
Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole **** (Four Stars)
Immortals After Dark Series
One of Kresley Cole's greatest gifts is the unique characters and storylines she creates. But this means that I like some of her characters much more than others, and Garreth and Lucia are not my favorite couple. Even with that said, you'll still want to read this book. Compared to other Kresley Coles it's not great but, compared to ALL THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE WORLD, it's terrific.
Posted to Death by Dean James **** (Four Stars)
Urban Fantasy, Mystery
A gay American vampire romance writer takes up residence in the English countryside. Ironically (it seemed to me) the fact that he's American and a vampire is less important than his search for friendship and love. But then I spent some time thinking about it and realized that gay or straight, American or not, vampire or other, aren't we all just looking for people (and that one special person) to share our lives? This book isn't as serious as this review and was a lot of fun to read.
Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole **** (Four Stars)
Funny, poignant, gripping, dripping with conflict and tension. She is a master.
Green, Simon author of The Nightside series and the Secret History series. I've read them all and enjoyed them all.
The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder *** (Three Stars)
A story-within-a-story, this book follows a father and son as they travel to find the wife and mother who left them--and reconnect with their own family history.
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead **** (Four Stars)
This one is not for the kids. It's an interesting story with an intriguing twist and two sexy potential heroes. The main character is, not surprisingly, a succubus. She has to have sex with mortals (the badder the better) and feed off their energy to survive. It's her nature, but I'm not sure if I can get past the sex-without-love issue. But it's a good story and unique enough to make it a good read.
Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead *** (Three Stars)
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead**** (Four Stars)
These are the last two books in the series and a satisfactory end.
True Blood by Charlaine Harris *** (Three Stars)
I read this entire series (eleven books?) voraciously and I couldn't figure out why. I didn't like the characters or the stories or the entire story arc. The vampires were horrible, selfish, and practically all of them should have been staked. And yet, like I said, I read every book. I finished one and went to the book store five minutes before closing to find the next one. When they didn't have it, I went to another book store. Frustrated again, I bought it on eBay and chewed my nails until it arrived. What made the books so compelling? I honestly can't tell you. You'll have to read them yourself.
The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey ***** (Five Stars)
Funny, sarcastic, completely unexpected. Terrific!
Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson ***** (Five Stars)
The early books in these series are terrific--I love the tension between Sinclair and Betsy, and MJD writes fabulous sex scenes. As the series continues the books get increasingly dark, strange and violent...but I still read them all.