September 1, 2012

ARC Review: The Reluctant Amazon

Order your copy
The Reluctant Amazon
Alliance of the Amazons Bk 1
Sandy James
Release date: 03 September, 2012

Carina Press, eBook edition
eISBN: 9781426894305 (File size: 366KB)

The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior.  But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don't, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons.  Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.

An immortal, Artair has trained countless warriors for more than four hundred years.  He understands Rebecca's confusion at the new world she's been thrust into and worries she is too emotionally vulnerable, but that doesn't stop his growing feelings for the beautiful and fearless woman.

When an evil force threatens to destroy the Amazons, Rebecca must claim her full powers - but they come at a cost.  Can she sacrifice the man she loves if it means saving the world?

I wasn't sure what I would find when I read this ARC, but all I can say is WOW!  Jilted at the alter, her temper - and a conveniently timed earthquake - are the straw that breaks the brides bouquette.  Punching her ex-fiance right in the nose, she storms out and into the arms of a stranger.  Oh boy, Rebecca's is in for an emotional rollercoaster ride. 
As a terminal paranormal romance junkie, the world that Sandy James has created for her Amazons totally sucked me in.  I forgot my worries, my cup of tea went cold, and I left reality behind as I followed Rebecca and Artair.  Forbidden romances are always so much fun, and watching these two deal with everything their world threw at them, with Goddesses at every turn - and bitchy ones at that - will Artair and Rebecca have a happy ending, or will a Goddess break them apart?

Unlike a lot of books, there are only a few central characters.  One of the most memorable is Sparks.  A real hot-head, she has a smart mouth as well as a nifty fire power.  With her sisters lost, and the next generation coming in for training, Sparks is desperate to find her sisters.  Will she trust in Rebecca and Megan?  What lengths will she go to to find them?

In the middle of Sparks struggle, and surrounded by fast and lethal women, Rebecca seems to be having a hard time fitting in.  The odd man out, she's not as quick, strong or athletic as the others (and if you listen to the goddess Rhiannon she's useless), but there is something so loving and giving about her that you can't help but root for her as she struggles to stay in Avalon.

Now Artair on the other hand is the hunky Celt.  Centuries young and gorgeous, as good heroes always are, the Sentinel and trainer for the Amazons has the task of training generation after generation of these powerful women.  That is until he finds his long forgotten heart being reawakened by this fragile Earth.  He swings between being a sweety, and a total hard arse - especially towards Rebecca.  There were times when I wanted to kick him in the butt, but the fact that I felt that way means that Ms. James has done her job well I think.
Two of my favourite characters were the changelings that seem to fulfill the Amazon's ever need in Avalon... Hey!, minds out of the gutter please ;-D.  Dolan and Beagan seem to have a soft spot for Rebecca.  Usually hidden from the other women, they often appear as cute little bunnies.  They grabbed me not because they are witty and sarcastic, but they were just sweet (plus I had a rabbit as a child).
It is not often that I come across a book that ticks all the boxes for me.  The Reluctant Amazon is one of those books.  There is romance, comedy, love and loss.  All the elements in seemingly perfect harmony.  Sandy James has created such memorable characters that I will definitely be buying the following books in the series.  And yes, I admit it. This book made me reach for the tissues at times, but I wouldn't have passed the opportunity to read this book for anything.
Oh, and by the way.  I never did get to finish my cuppa.

Review: Gunmetal Magic

Gunmetal Magic
Kate Daniels Bk 6
Ilona Andrews

Published: 31 July, 2012
ACE Fantasy, Mass Market Paperback, 434 p.
(inc. 105 pages for Magic Gifts novella)
ISBN: 978-0-425-25613-8

Some people have everything figured out—Andrea Nash is not one of those people.  After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is to try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend Kate Daniels.
When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda and Andrea’s former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate…and must work with Raphael. As Andrea’s search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, she knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a back seat to saving the world...
After waiting a whole year for the next Kate Daniel's book, I was not sure how I would feel about someone other than Kate getting a book.  I hummed and harred about it, but in the end I couldn't resist.  Of all the characters we've met in the Katieverse, Andrea has been the most important person to Kate behind Curran.  With her earlier mysterious, and unexplained, disappearance Ilona Andrews has obviously decided it was time we finally found out what happened to Andrea after the events of Magic Bleeds, and what that meant to her relationship with the pack's peacock, Raphael.
Before I say anything else, I just have to say that in this book Raphael is a jacka$$.  There.  I've said it - it's now out there.  Because, even though, I love the pair of them, it made me so frustrated that Andrea had anything to do with him.  We all know that Andrea doesn't take any of Raphael's shit like Aunt B does, but after his behaviour (and his reasons for it) I just wanted to strangle him for his treatment of Andrea in this book.
In Gunmetal Magic we find a different Andrea.  Traumatised by what has happened in her personal and professional life, she's obviously decided enough is enough.  Andrea is finally coming into her own {yeah!} and has come a long way from the Knight that was hiding from herself and others in the early books.  Now, thanks to the events in Magic Bleeds and Magic Slays, we find a woman who has also become a harder version of Andrea that we knew and loved.  In a way I find it a bit sad, that she's had to embrace the truth that Kate and Curran live with, but the new Andrea is much more exciting to follow.

I loved this book.  There were new Gods, and creatures, kick a$$ fights, and all the usual stuff.  However, the only disappointing element I found in this book was how quickly Andrea forgave Raphael.  The fact that he not only hurt her and ripped her heart out - just to get back at her like the child he can be - but, it just happened so quickly.  She cried over him for crying out loud!  For that he should have been gotten on his knees and begged for forgiveness!  Especially after bringing another woman into her territory!  {Aunt B should have chewed him out for that}.  But no, once he'd confessed his sins, it went back to the same mating rituals, flirting, shagging and arguing, etc., as before.  So annoying.

Apart from her relationship with Raphael, Andrea also has to face some reminders of her own painful childhood. {**talk about being kicked while you're down**}  Her behaviour and reactions over the series becomes clear after reading what happened to her.  Most of the stuff you already have an idea of, but you get more details this time round.  To add insult to injury, she runs into someone from her past and has to make a decision about whether or not to take revenge.  As if Andrea doesn't have enough on her plate already!

Seriously, this is a great book.  Andrea and Raphael are a great, if twisted, couple that you can't help but love.  Aunt B makes an appearance with an offer out of the blue, and we see more of Kate's freaky Russian cousin.  I also got my Kate/Curran fix as they show up a couple of times throughout the book - which makes it even better IMO.  A great addition to the bookshelf, especially if you already have all the Kate Daniels series. 

Review: Always the Vampire

Always the Vampire
Francesca, Vampire Princess Bk 3
Nancy Haddock

Published: 21 July, 2011
Berkley, Paperback, 342 p.
ISBN: 978-0-425-24088-5

Francesca Marinelli must act now ... or forever hold her peace.

It might seem like I'm slacking on my duties as a vampire princess, but you can bet your fangs that I'm going to be the best maid of honor ever for Maggie's Victorian wedding.  I want everything to be perfect, even if I have to wear a bustle.  But when my mostly human honey, Saber, falls ill due to a magical construct called the Void, I know I'll have to go beyond the call of bridesmaid duty...

The Void is affecting every supernatural being in my afterlife, incuding my shape-shifter ex, Triton.  To counter the Void's reign of terror, I'll need to activate ancient amulets and fully summon my vampire powers - two moves that may lead to my own doom.

With a lot more than a wedding party to worry about, it's tie to show undying love and save them all - and save myself...

Yes, I know this book came out last year.  But it's new to me ;-D

I have been following the series since the beginning, and after waiting for soooo long for the third book I found it easy to slip back into Francesca's world.  Saber is still her honey, and Triton finally makes his presence in town known.  This time round, Francesca may have bitten off more than she can chew.  The Void is back with a vengeance, and is killing all the supernaturals it can get it's claws into.  So Francesca has been called in for vampire training by Cosmil, wizard extrodinaire.  All while trying to give Maggie the best wedding she can throw.

All of our main character are believable, within reason - hello... vampires!, with flaws that we can relate to even if we'd never experience them (as there is no way I'm going to drink a caramel flavoured blood drink... ewwww!) but even though it is a world of vampires and magic it's not totally over the top.  I'm hoping that the story arc gets a little bit of a shakeup soon.  There is a very real danger of the storyline getting staid if we just keep revolving around Francesca, Saber, Maggie, etc., although it was a nice twist to find out that Gorman had a personal link to Francesca.  Perhaps now the Void is gone it will offer up some fresh ideas.

Nancy Haddock has written a wonderfully funny series.  These books offer a fun read, great to pack for a trip.  For those who are wondering, there is no real language issues, and no graphic sex scenes.  Just a good fun book to while away the hours with.  If you like the Francesca, Vampire Princess books then I'd recommend Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampire series, Nalini Singh's Guild Hunters, as well as the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

P.S. d'uh, I nearly forgot.  Haddocks books are very much in the style of MaryJanice Davidson!  So check out her Wyndham Werewolves, Undead, The Royals and Mermaid series.

August 31, 2012

Enchanted Inc. Book 6 announced!

Just found out that Shanna Swendson has written a 6th book in the Enchanted Inc. series and it will be available - fingers crossed - on 01 October, 2012!

Format unknown, but will update you all ASAP :-P

See Shanna Swendson FAQ for more details

Review: Much Ado About Magic

Much Ado About Magic
Enchanted Inc. Bk 5
Shanna Swendson

eBook Released: 15 August, 2012
NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC, eBook, 238 p.
Paperback available: 31 Aug, 2012 (B&N)
ISBN-13: 9781620510520

To Do: Manage Magical Mayhem, Save the Company, Save the World
Katie Chandler is back in New York and at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. – and just in time. The city’s in the grip of a magical crime wave from spells that wizarding whiz Owen Palmer thinks look awfully familiar, and the rogue firm Spellworks is raising its profile in the magical world by selling protective amulets. It’s Katie’s job as the new director of marketing for MSI to fight this battle of public perception while Owen and the other wizards try to uncover what’s really going on.
What Katie doesn’t realize is that her idea to stage a showcase for MSI’s magical achievements is playing right into a devious plot more than three decades in the making. Now Katie has to do damage control that has nothing to do with marketing. To save the magical world, she’ll have to prove who the real enemy is, and doing that will require digging deeper into Owen’s mysterious past than he wants anyone to go. If she fails, she not only stands to lose a magical war, but she could also lose the man she loves.
I have been eagerly awaiting this book for ages.  As a fan of the series since the release of Enchanted Inc., it has been a joy to watch Katie as she navigated her way around NY, as well as her new found knowledge that magic was real.
In Much Ado About Magic, picking up soon after the events in Don't Hex with Texas, and Katie has once again wiped the dust from her boots and is in New York and back at MSI.  However, there seems to have been a shift in power since she last walked the corridors MSI.  No longer working with Merlin, it seems that Katie is now heading up Marketing... yeah, I know!?  With staff throwing parties every day, and Spellworks still cranking out shoddy magic, it's up to Katie to once again haul their butts out of the fire.
What I loved...
Kate back working with MSI.  Let's face it, New York and MSI is where she belongs.  Katie and Owen seem to be a happy couple now (fingers crossed), and most of our past favourites are back - even if they only say "hello".
In this book, Swendson has brought Owen's family history into the storyline, which was a real surprise.  It was totally unexpected as I don't remember Owen ever bringing up his birth mother, Rod only mentions the adoption a few times, but it did explain a whole lot.
Although Idris was our major baddie in past books, it seems that it's tiime for him to take a back seat as Shanna has gives us a new baddie.  One so devious that even Idris got sucked in!  I won't give him away, but he's a guy you'll love to hate.  And finally, one of the standout moments was when Idris finally got his comeuppance. It was great!  Unfortunately Owen gets caught up in it too which kind of sucks, but hey, that's for the next book ;-D
The Bad
Idris is still a gigantic pain in the butt.  Geez, how many times did they have to loose this guy over the series before he got his just desserts?  (P.S., it was awesome though!)  There is also the introduction of a new address for Katie and her roommates, plus the addition of a fourth girl to share the rent.  Oh boy.  It seems weird, but I'm hoping that book 6 explains the necessity of adding another totally new character to the storyline.
Our bad guy is great bad guy, but the men who make up the magical communities governing body must have been stupid to ever fall for all of his blarney.  Maybe it's just me, but the arc that covered his interest in Merlin, Owen, MSI and Idris came out of left field.  It works, don't get me wrong, but I think with more hinting in previous books, it could have been even better.
Now, I mentioned above how great it was to see some of our favourite characters, but there was one connection that I really missed and that was the friendship between the girls from the office and Katie.  Unlike the previous books, I really missed Katie getting drawn into the troubles of Trix and Isabel.  Remember them kissing frogs in Central Park?  Classic. 
Speaking of the girls, what about Ari?  What happened to her?
So, should I get it?
YES!  For goodness sakes, yes.  If you loved the previous books than Much Ado About Magic is a must.  So far it seems to be an eBook only release (available at all good online retailers), but B&N does list a paperback format available - but they are the only ones.  I'm still going to wait for paperback, but if I can't get my hands on a copy I'll be Kindle-ing it for sure.

Review: The Dark Elite, Part 1

The Dark Elite, Part 1 (Firespell)
Chloe Neill

Published: 02 August 2011

New American Library, Paperback, 458 p.
ISBN: 978-0-451023588-6

In the hallowed halls of St. Sophia's School for Girls, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most mostrous things she'll have to face.  But in the first two novels of the Dark Elite, Lily discovers just how wrong she is...

When Lily is sent away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, the only thing keeping her sane is her roommate Scout.  But Scout has secrets, and she often disappears in the middle of the night.  When a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs under the school and she's attacked by something that shouldn't exist outside a nightmare, Scout come to her rescue.  And she tells Lily the truth: She and her friends are fighting a secret war to protect Chicago against demons, vampires, and the corrupted magic users known as Reapers.
This is the first book in The Dark Elite series by Chloe Neill, and though I love her Chicagoland Vampire books I was a little hesitant about reading yet another YA series.  But, I've read so many good things about this series so I thought - what the heck? - and after reading Firespell last night I'm glad I bought it.
As with most paranormal YA fiction these days, you have a bunch of popular beautiful girls who rule the school.  They're mean and don't care who knows it.  On the other end of the scale you have the new girl who ends up becoming friends with a smart, quirky, but outcast girl.  And while the formula holds true for The Dark Elite, Chloe Neill has made it work for her.
Lily is a great character.  Smart and pretty, she is as curious as a cat about the new world in which she finds herself.  Scout is a smart and quirky goth girl who slips out at night, gone for hours, and returns without telling anyone what she's up to.  I love the banter between these two roommates, and when you add the nasty classmate Veronica to the mix, it's just YA gold.
Now, you can't have a YA series without a budding romance or two.  Enter Jason and Michael.  They're part of the reason Scout keeps slipping out, but not for the reason you think.  And while Michael and Scout seem to keep dancing around each other, Lily and Jason just seem to click.  However, Michael (and possibly Jason) seem to have attracted the attention of Veronica and Co.  This could get messy in the future ;-D
So, we've covered friends and enemies, plus a budding romance or two.  Now all that's left is the magic, so when Lily finds herself lost in the catacombs under the school she accidentally stumbles upon the reason Scout keeps sneaking out at night.  Caught in the crossfire, Lily pays the price for her adventure, and has now been drawn into the war with the Reapers.  To survive, Lily will have to learn to use her powers or else.

Review: Precinct 13

Precinct 13
Tate Hallaway

Published: August 2012

Berkley, Trade Paperback Edition, 308 p.
ISBN: 978-0-425-24779-2

Recent college grad Alex Connor is thrilled to have landed a job as the Hughes County coroner/medical examiner in Pierre, South Dakota.  But since her first day on the job ends with a nissing corpse, Alex starts to wonder if she would have been better off collecting unemployment...
When the cops made some cryptic remarks about being careful with the body they brought in, Alex thought the boys in blue were messing with her.  That is, until something freaky happens that no amount of med school could have prepared her for.  By the time Alex gets herself together, the body has disappeared and the other residents of the morgue start talking her ear off.
After working up the courage to report the missing body, Alex is transferred to the mysterious Precinct 13, where she discovers that her new coworkers - including a cute technomage (and cop) named Jack - are paranormals just like her.  Now, Alex is being encouraged to use her ability to speak to the dead to solve crimes.  And despite being in the middle of nowhere, Hughes County sure does have a lot of paranormal activity...
Having read some of Tate Hallaway's other books I was looking forward to Precinct 13, and I wasn't disappointed. 
Alex Connor is having a bad decade.  And it only seems to get worse after the cops drop off a body to her morgue with some cryptic warnings. Miffed at what she supposes is a hazing in bad taste, Alex is totally unprepared for the guy on her slab to get up and leave during the middle of his own autopsy.  Confusion and hilarity ensue, as Alex and the cops of Precinct 13 race to solve the case of the missing body.
Best bits
Alex is a bit of an oddball, but I like that about her.  She's strong and fiesty, but has a vulnerable side that we get a glimpse of every now and then.  I like that her checkered history bites her on the butt when she finds out that not only is magic real, but she may have powers of her own.  The arrival of Valentine (and the reason for him showing up) were great.  He reminds me of Smoky in the Yasmine Galenorn books.
So, with witches come the familiars, and I have to admit that once TH mentioned familiars (Sarah Jane rocks!) and the like, it didn't take long for me to guess who Alex's familiar was - and I was right!  I won't mention the details as I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't picked up Precinct 13 yet, but trust me, it will make sense.
Now there is a little bit of language, but nothing too bad (and a lot of it implied rather than stated), and while Alex does get romantic with her boyfriend, it's in no way as graphic as and LKH book ;-D which is all a plus for me these days.
So-so points
Okay, I've just waffled on as to why it was a good book, and now I have to play devil's advocate.  So, there were a few things that I wasn't so enamoured of, but it could just be nit-picking on my part. 
All the main characters were well written and had a place in the plot, but the introduction of Brooklyn could have been done to maximise her role in the story.  She just seems to arrive on stage, diva-esque attitude and all, and it just seems over the top.  Her role is important, but I just wish we'd seen more of her.  You could tell she was a bad seed from the get-go, where as I would have liked her to have been more mysterious.  Then there is Boyd.  Another problem of mine.  He's in the background all throughout the book, and then BAM! he's in the action up to his eyeballs.  Again, I would have liked to have had more of a sense of his personality through the book. 
Alex's parents, her father and stepmonster, are frequently mentioned, but I suspect this is more to set up future storylines.  Which in itself is annoying because I want to know more about Alex's life with them.  Also her mother isn't mentioned much, if at all really.  Does Alex get her abilities from that side of the family?  Again, perhaps a future storyline.
So ... should I buy it?
Yes, you should!  Alex Connor has the potential to become a great series. 

August 30, 2012

New in mailbox

I'm so excited.  The postman left a parcel on my porch this morning - he always arrives while I'm out. 

There were only four titles, but having read all the positive reviews I'm sure I'll enjoy them.

So far I've already finished Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway (review to come ;-D ), and am starting on The Dark Elite (containing Firespell and Hexbound) by Chloe Neill.  This is the first YA book/s of hers I've read, but I love the Chicagoland Vampires series that I couldn't resist.

The other two titles, Fairy Bad Day and Discord's Apple, will have to wait until I finish doing the next few activities for my last two assignments.

Will post reviews of recent reads ASAP.

Hope you found something great on the bookshelves and happy reading.

August 28, 2012

Review: Nightshifted

Unknown series Bk 1
Cassie Alexander

Released: 22 May, 2012
St. Martin's Press, Mass Market Paperback, 341 p.
ISBN: 9780312553395

Welcome to the secret wing of County Hospital—where vampires get transfusions, werewolves have silver allergies, and one nurse is in way over her head…

Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond…
I found this book while trolling through Amazon and the cover looked great.  There were some negative reviews, but I ignored them and bought myself a copy not long after... a mistake I won't make again.

The Good

Ummm, let me think.  I liked the idea of having a human/mortal nurse working in a paranormal hospital that sits underneath a county hospital.  I loved the other nurses that shared the ward with Edie, especially Meaty, the seemingly gender neutral mortal who seems to be part nurse, part bouncer.  Edie's relationship with the resident zombie was a new twist.  I don't ever remember reading about a love interest that was a zombie so kudos for the pairing.  However these were the only positives of this book for me.

The Bad

Where do I start?  I didn't like our heroine Edie.  There, I've said it.  She was a neurotic tart who couldn't seem to keep her knees together and her panties on!  Okay, that may be a tad harsh, but I really don't like slutty characters unless they are an essential part of the storyline.  I know that one night stands are common place in contemporary literature, but adding unprotected sex?  I am so out of there.

I also found that the storyline didn't really work for me.  There were a few arcs going on, and I would have rather read about some of them than what I got.

Overall impression?

If I bother to read the next book - and that's a big if ladies and gentlemen - I'll be borrowing it from the library.

August 27, 2012

Book Binge

I feel so guilty.  I went on a HUGE book binge over the weekend and ordered way too many books.  But no buyers remorse allowed - I need books!  As I tell my friends and family, I don't drink or smoke, so this is my vice.

"So what have I ordered this time round?" I hear you ask.  Well, just remember I did go a tad overboard, and I bought . . . drumroll please . . .

  • Fairy Bad Day - Amanda Ashby
  • Discord's Apple - Carrie Vaughn
  • The Dark Elite - Chloe Neill
  • Precinct 13 - Tate Hallaway
  • Archangel's Storm - Nalini Singh
  • The Lost Night - Jayne Castle
  • Sins of the Angel - Linda Poiteven
  • Chaos Burning - Lauren Dane
  • A Werewolf in Manhattan - Vicki Lewis Thompson
  • Werewolf in the North Woods - 
  • The Accidental Werewolf - Dakota Cassidy

Hmmm, I'm sensing a theme with the last few books.

Anyhow, that's what's winging it's way to me as we speak.  I can't wait to dive in.

Hope you've found something great to read too.

Review: Stygian's Honor

Stygian's Honor
Breeds Bk 27
Lora Leigh

Released: 07 August 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 374p.
Berkley Books
ISBN: 978-0-425-24607-8

The Breeds return - in Lora Leigh's breathtaking new novel of animals instincts and human desires...

Window Rock, Arizona, is the last known location of Honor Roberts, who vanished when she was just thirteen.  It was her only sanctuary from the Breed research that would surely have ended in her death - one such insidious experiment should, indeed, have killed her.  That she lived is both a miracle - and a great mystery.

Stygian's mission is to find Honor Roberts, no matter the cost.  Now, with the help of Liza Johnson, assistant to the chief of the Navajo Nation, he is closer than ever to his goal.  But will the discovery of Honor Roberts mean the destruction of the mating heat that has developed between Stygian and Liza?

This latest installment of the Breeds series sees us following Stygian in his struggle to secure his mate's love.  I have been following the Breeds for more than 10 years, and even though the formula is still the same - Breed finds girl, girl resists, first kiss then BAM, mating heat, trouble follows, fights erupt, kiss and makeup - I still can't get enough of these guys.

The Good:

So, what did I like about Stygian's Honor?  I have been curious about the mysterious Breed that has played a part in so many of the previous books.  Stygian is another loner who has found himself wanting a woman who is being hunted by the Genetics Council.  He is a strong, loving, protective male who only wants Liza.  I do love a dominant Breed :-D

The story arc is still following the hunt for anyone who can help Amber (Jonas and Rachel's daughter) survive. It's a good storyline and always tugs on the heartstrings, but I hope that it gets resolved soon {I want to read Cassie's story *nudge nudge*}.  Having said that, you can see that Jonas and Co. are making real progress in that respect - and that helps move things along.

Many of the characters we know and love pop up in Stygian's Honor which is great because you can find out what they're up to (in a limited fashion of course).  It's always nice to see old favourites.

The Bad:

Okay, so it's basically the same as every other book.  Just change the names, physical descriptions, and voila! a new book.  As for characters, as much as I love him, Jonas is getting on my nerves.  Seemingly a God among Breeds, apparently there is little he can't do.  I would like someone to be able to hand him his a$$ just for once.  Perhaps Gideon will be that Breed?

Liza is quite a confusing character, so she gets a special mention. Not to say that she isn't a strong, fiesty woman, but she was all over the place emotionally throughout the book.  I did find the premise of a hidden identity enticing, however the discovery and revealing of the much hunted Honor was a little disappointing.  I thought that more could have been done in that respect.

Then there are the fathers of Liza and Claire.  One minute Audi, Liza's father, is protective and loving then a few chapters later he's giving her his 'military face' and causing no end of grief for her. Consistency please!  Liza's mother appeared to be set up to have a more substantial role in the book than she ended up with.  During one of the final confrontations between the families and the Breeds, she was nowhere in sight.  I would have liked to have her reaction to the 'secret' shown. 

Also, thanks to Dog and his conversation with Thane it appears that there is another twist in the storyline ... now what new subplot is being set up?

Overall opinion:

Lora Leigh has stumbled onto something magical with her Breeds and their struggle for freedom, but there are only so many storylines one can use before it all gets repetitive.  There is a real chance that the series could deteriorate, story-wise, like the Kenyon's Dark-Hunters, or Feehan's Dark series.  For now, I think there is still life in the series - I can't wait for Gideon/Fawn and Cassie's stories - so I'll be on the look out for future books.