Iron Dominance ~ Cari Silverwood

  • Title: Iron Dominance
  • Author: Cari Silverwood
  • Series: Steamwork Chronicles #1
  • Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Steam Punk
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Raised from childhood as an assassin, Claire finds her world knocked off kilter when Theo Kevonis, a rich, ex-Air Corp nobleman, rescues her from an airship crash. Being a soldier of a hostile nation she cannot reveal her identity, but Theo sinks his steely Dom fingers into her heart and soul, showing her the pleasures to be found in surrendering to his touch. Captivated, Claire cannot help but bind herself in lie after lie rather than risk losing the one man who’s ever loved her.
When her loathsome commander returns from the dead, her deceit is uncovered. Somehow, Claire must find a way to win back Theo’s trust and destroy the man who threatens them both.

Review:  No one plans on having a surprise attack be the saving grace that changes life forever. Claire is one of the few survivors of the crash. A connection forms between Claire and Theo as soon as they meet. A mixture of curiosity, desire and an infinite need to hold another in submission.

At first, the story reads like a dashing, seductive romance with a strong leading man and an inexperienced young woman. Here is every man’s fantasy. An exotically, beautiful young woman with golden eyes and a natural submissive nature. The lonely, loveless girl yearns for a firm hand and a place to belong. She’s found both in a man who towers over her, watches her with stark gray eyes, and commands her to things that she’s never thought to do in manners she’s never imagined possible.

I coo’ed the first handful of love scenes and the beginning of Claire’s lessons in D/s lifestyle. Theo had her in the palm of his hand–literally! She spent the first part of their exchange as a captive in his house and it was made clear at every encounter who is in charge.

The story lost me at the bear event, and the way Theo reacted to Claire trying to save the bear and the men from harm. It felt out of character for Theo to respond that with such passionate negativity.

The steamiest scene was the byplay on the aircraft! Being on the cross and over a clear glass. It must have been like flying without the wind whipping along the body.

I had a hard time falling back into the rhythm of the story and going along with Claire & Theo’s D/s relationship. It didn’t feel as genuine.

The outfits are outlandishly sexy! I love the buckles jacket and the black pearl corset. The steam punk vehicles and aircraft sound intriguing. Although the descriptions were a bit off and I wasn’t able to clearly draw a picture in my mind.

Dankyo is amusing! I hope there’s more of him in the series.

The story is a sensual, erotic dream with a grand power play. I would have grinned and stayed delighted from start to finish if the dream had not been darkened by the story falling out of sync. I’m curious to see what’s next!

Archangel’s Storm ~ Nalini Singh

  • Title: Archangel’s Storm
  • Author: Nalini Singh
  • Series: Guild Hunter #5
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

Review:  A slow fire is a good way to describe this book. It doesn’t start with a bang but that’s okay.

Jason with the stark, black wings is the Archangel Raphael’s spymaster. He has been alive for centuries in a distant fashion from the world. Never a true part of what goes on but not far enough to become inhuman. In order to ferret out information, he takes on a blood vow to the Angel Mahiya and promises to find out who killed Archangel’s Neha’s consort. In another web of horrific stories, wishes, dark desires, lust, revenge and murder, Jason and Mahiya fall in love with actions rather than words.

On one hand, I’m glad there were snippets of the other characters thrown in the book to show there’s progression or that they’re still there. However, the method is sloppy and didn’t really have a place in the overall story. Here’s this “murder mystery” that needs to be solved and there are suddenly huge viewpoint & environment changes to see what Dmitri & Honor are doing. Weird and kind of silly to read.

The story about Jason and Mahiya is comprehensive but it was filled out with extra stuff that didn’t really fit in with the rest. Without the blocky fillers, I would have rated this story a four. It’s my third favorite in the series.

I want Raphael & Elena back! They’re more interesting!!!

Archangel’s Consort ~ Nalini Singh

  • Title: Archangel’s Consort
  • Author: Nalini Singh
  • Series: Guild Hunter #3
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Nalini Singh steps back into the shadows of her heartbreakingly original world where angels rule, vampires serve, and the innocent can pay the greatest price of all …Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil …A vampire has attacked a girls’ school – the assault one of sheer, vicious madness – and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear. An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed …

Review:  Elena is the first human to be made into an Angel in countless years. Regardless of the physical changes, she works hard to become stronger and keep the changes in her life minimal. This novel is about Elena embracing the astounding love she shares with Archangel Raphael, honing her skills to stay sharp as a Hunter, and facing a multitude of memories that tear at her heart. The string of murders, mystery and angelic fights are small snippets that string together a floundering plot line of deceit and power.

The novel reads like a filler book with a handful of important character developments, a ton of steamy love scenes, crappy fights scenes and a few heartwarming moments that will stand out clearly from the rest. If you like Elena, you will like this book.

Angel’s Blood ~ Nalini Singh

  • Title: Angel’s Blood
  • Author: Nalini Singh
  • Series: Guild Hunter #1
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible.

Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break. 

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  I’ll be frank. It took me FOREVER to get into this story! Two reasons kept me going to the bitter end:

1. I did something I rarely do. I skipped to the last chapter and skimmed it. It was interesting enough for me to go back to where I left off.

2. This book is one of the books in my Recommended Buddy read list.

There’s a lot of promise in the characters and the world that makes up Angel’s Blood. Reading the story has been a frustrating experience that stretched my patience but I’m glad that I did. The ending’s good enough to make me curious about the next book in the series.

Elena is one of the best Guild Hunters. She is a modern warrior woman that hunts down renegade vampires that try to escape their service contracts, and slays deranged vampires that kill indiscriminately. Archangel Raphael commands Elena’s services to track down a deadly Archangel that has gone insane with blood rage. She’s frightened to death of meeting Raphael and there’s no guarantee that she will survive to capture the target. Yet, Elena cannot turn away from this hunt because she must do whatever she can to protect the innocents from horrific slaughter.

The main idea of Elena, her friends, Raphael and a world that has real Angels has a lot of promise. I love the mini story about ambrosia and the possibilities for where the story can go from the end. Steamy love scenes-win!

I didn’t care for the jagged flashbacks about Elena’s past that hints to a horrific event that she can’t stand to recall. I want to know what happened. I want to see how it impacts Elena’s development. I didn’t like how awkwardly it was placed in the overall story. The action sequences sucked. What’s the deal with EVERY angel and vampire that is part of Raphael’s 7 hitting on Elena? Barf. There were too many elements that I couldn’t pretend to believe. Like Raphael becoming “mortal” due to his interactions with Elena.

I am a sucker for romance, butt-kicking female protagonists, steamy winged heroes and a happy ending. I’m curious to see what the next book will be like. I think I’ll go find out!

Collide ~ Megan Hart

  • Title: Collide
  • Author: Megan Hart
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Book
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  A childhood accident left Emmaline vulnerable to disturbing fugue states that last only minutes, but feel like an eternity. The blackouts are unsettling but manageable…until she meets Johnny Dellasandro.

The reclusive painter gained notoriety in the ’70s for his debauched lifestyle and raunchy art films. His naked body has achieved cult status, especially in Emm’s mind—she’s obsessed with the man, who’s grown even sexier with age. Today Johnny shuns the spotlight and Emm in particular…until she falls into a fugue on his doorstep.

In that moment she’s transported back thirty years, crashing a party at Johnny’s place in his wild-man heyday— the night is a blur of flesh and heat that lingers on her skin long after she’s woken to the present.

It happens again and again, each time-slip another mind-blowing orgy, and soon Emm can’t stop, though every episode leaves her weaker and weaker. She’s frightened by what’s happening to her, but she’s even more terrified of losing this portal to the Johnny she wants so badly. The one who wants her, too, and takes her—every chance he gets.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  Emm moved to a new city, made a best friend, began a life of her own, and fell into instant lust with her best friend’s movie crush: Johnny Dellasandro. Since her freak accident as a child, Emm has odd blackouts that left her feeling off centered and ill. She thought the episodes were gone for good but they came back with a vengeance. Will she ever have a normal life? Is it just her imagination or did she really find true love?

I love the girl talks, how Johnny’s accent makes Emm burn with lust, the total atmospheric change that occurs when Emm flashes back, and the depth of passion between Emm & Johnny.

The idea of being intricately entwined by Fate, and a love so true that time bends itself backwards to make it happen is sweet and intoxicating. My interest waned as the story continued and Emm failed to show growth for most of the book. There’s no real understanding of the flashbacks. Just because is not enough of a reason when everything else has a “cause” to explain why.

I keep trying to figure out the age difference between Emm & Johnny in my head as I read the story. Johnny has to be a least 30 years older than Emm. There aren’t that many people who can pull of looking like a stud around their mid-50’s. Love conquers all?

I am cheesy enough to appreciate a happy ending. =)
Yah, I’m cool with Emm and Johnny sticking together forever.

The End.

Fifty Shades Freed ~ E.L. James

  • Title: Fifty Shades Freed
  • Author: E.L. James
  • Series: Fifty Shades #3
  • Genre: Erotica, Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.
Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.
Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

Review:  Like a greedy kid before Christmas morning, I did a few technical jumps & vanquish a few demons before I got my hot little hands on this book. The first book in this trilogy became one of my favorite books as soon as I became acquainted with Christian Grey. I eagerly tore into the second novel and impatiently awaited this one.

I’m happy to have wrapped up the series and satisfied my curiosity. Overall, I can’t say I love this book. In many ways, it is the weakest of the three. There are plot holes, hurried scenes, disjointed mental flagellation, and a few loose ends.

The prologue piece is touching but I didn’t think it was a good opener for the story. I wasn’t expecting surprises or a twisty plot but the deal with Jack Hyde was a huge stretch for me and I felt pained by Ray’s car accident. That felt more like a plot device than another piece of the story.

Parts I Love

– Kinky fuckery (Yes, please!)
– Butt inspectorate. (SO funny!)
– Bonus short story from Christian’s POV. LOVE!!!
– Christian Grey, Fifty Shades
“My world was ordered, calm and controlled, then you came into my life with your smart mouth, your innocence, your beauty, and your quiet temerity… and everything before you was just dull, empty, mediocre… it was nothing.” (Favorite Quote)

Thank you, E.L. James! It has been an interesting ride. I look forward to your next work.

*Note that the book only received a 3 star rating from me because I am a fan of the trilogy. It does not reflect how I feel about the writing. This book is the worst book in the series. In fact, this series is the only one that I know of where the books get worse with each addition.