Saturday, 21 March 2015

Country vs Country - Darkness Rising

Julie-Anne: Both these covers are very pretty so this is actually a tough choice for me. I like the blue on the US cover but I don't like that her face is all blue as well, I also don't like that the earring is all blingy. Admittedly it's been a while since I've read this book but I thought Maya was a bit of a tomboy and therefore can't see her wearing this dangly thing in her ear. I like the detail on the UK cover and the green, although the cover model doesn't seem quite right for Maya. Pushed to pick, I'm going for UK.
Danielle: I like both covers quite a lot. I think US ekes out the win for me though. I love the blue (even on her face). She has a kind of wild quality to her that I really loved. I admit the model on the UK cover looks a little more like how I pictured Maya, with the rounder, younger looking face though. I also don't love the earring. The US publishers for this entire series had a thing with jewelry. The Darkest Powers part of this series had the same problem with the ever changing amulet on the covers. I pick US here though.
J: But the amulet at least played a role in the Darkest Powers story.
D: Only because Kelley felt she had to add it. The original story had nothing to do with one.

J: The colouring on the US cover isn't as strong as the first one although the cover model looks too old for me, and again with the earring. Again I like the detail on the UK cover, I do prefer the layout of the UK better than US. I'm going with UK on this one
D: I honestly don't care for either cover here. The US plays against my dislike of facial shots, but I don't really like the UK person in a person motif. I feel like they were trying to make a point with it, since it's on all three covers, but I think it missed the mark. I agree that the US model is too old for Maya. This girl could pass for 19-22 easily. Maya is supposed to have a sort of soft quality about her. This model also lacks the ethnicity it should have. Still, I choose US.

J: I like that all 3 covers are following the same theme, and I'm glad that the US covers decided to tone back the colouring after the first book. And I do like that UK are changing the colour up from cover to cover. Again, I'm going with UK.
D: Yes, all three covers follow a theme, and they all go together, which I appreciate. Nothing worse than covers going in a different direction mid-way. Both covers have facial shots, but I like the appearance on the whole of the US cover better.

Danielle: This series was another winner for me. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, so she doesn't normally disappoint me. I loved the characters in this series, I loved the intrigue, I love the action. I gave this series to my daughter to read, and she loved them all too. Though I think we both preferred the Darkest Powers to Darkness Rising. Both are excellent though.
Julie-Anne: I love all things Kelley Armstrong and these books were no different. I also prefer the Darkest Powers books, I like Maya just as much as I liked Chloe but I much prefer Derek over Daniel (so much so that I actually had to ask Danielle what Daniel's name was, I'd totally forgotten).
Danielle: I liked Daniel actually. And I was most definitely Team Derek.

Protecting Fate by Katee Robert

He'll keep her safe...but who will protect her from him?

Fixer Sara Reaver is in serious trouble. She's stepped on the wrong toes, and now her uncle is sending her out of the city in an effort to keep her safe — and he's assigning her a glorified babysitter. The last person she expects to show up is the gorgeous Z, or for him to tempt her and then reject her in the space of a single night. Twice. Now she's out to prove to him just how good they'd fit up together in every way imaginable.

Mercenary Z Loreto hates protection jobs, but he's willing to make an exception for his best friend's little sister. The only problem is she calls up things he's been doing his damnedest to keep under wraps for the last seven years. But when she pushes him too far, it all comes rushing to the fore, and the fact she's willing to submit to his every desire only makes the loss of control sweeter.

Sara and Z have a boatload of issues between them, but they're sure they can make things work if they take it one day at a time... Right up until things spiral beyond their control. Now Z's playing for keeps in a big way, and Sara's got to decide if a chance at true happiness is worth the risk of repeating history.

What are the chances that all the siblings in one family would be into the Dom/Sub scene? Sara Reaver has to time her trips to Serve so she never sees her brother mid-scene (would be a tad awkward!)

I've liked Sara's little parts in both her brothers books but I wasn't a huge fan of her as the main character. I did like Z though, he'd had a bad experience with his ex and has held back on his dominant side ever since and I really liked his introduction back into it - he's delicious alpha.

This is Katee's last book in the Serve series although the series will continue on with two new authors and I'm looking forward to reading more, especially since I've read that Nolan is in one of them.

Amazon UK: Protecting Fate

Friday, 20 March 2015

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson's life is never simple.

Her mate Adam's ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam won't turn her away, but Mercy can't shake the feeling that something isn't right.

Soon, Mercy learns that Adam's former partner has the furthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and will do anything to get him, including turning Adam's pack against Mercy.

Meanwhile, there's an even more dangerous threat circling. The boyfriend is more than a bad man - in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies pile up, Mercy finds herself facing a creature with the power to tear her world apart.

This series is really waxing and waning for me with the last few books. I disliked River Marked but I really liked Frost Burned and this one was very "meh" for me. I have no desire to pay hardback prices for this series so I even waited a year before I read this.

My main problem with this book was how overdone the "Christy-is-a-bad-person" thing was. I mean, I understand that Christy is a bit of a bitch and I was well prepared to hate her. I just felt the whole thing could have been a bit more subtly, it was too in your face with the reasons why she was a bad guy and it bothered me.

Tad gets some good book time in this and we see a show of his powers as he helps Mercy out of a somewhat sticky situation.

I will continue with this series so I can see what happens next but I'll probably never be in a hurry to buy the books again.

Book Depository: Night Broken
Amazon UK: Night Broken

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

The Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a holiday to Arizona drops them into some bad supernatural business...

Charles and Anna will discover that a dangerous Fae is on the loose, replacing human children with Simulacrums. The Fae's cold war with humanity is about to heat up - and Charles and Anna are in the crossfire.

Anna and Charles are fast becoming my favourite couple in this universe. I like Anna's down-to-earth-ness and how Charles is her opposite in so many ways but her total equal at the same time.

It's sort of hard to talk about the world building and character building details in a book that's already well into a series since the world has been built in previous books and also the Mercy Thompson series. I can however talk about the character growth in this book, Anna has decided she wants kids with Charles but female werewolves aren't capable of carrying a child to term because of the changes so Charles isn't very amenable to the idea.

Through the course of the book, Anna gets to see how Charles is with kids and this actually seems to firm her idea and make her more determined to convince Charles.

I will actually buy and read an Alpha & Omega book over a Mercy book now, and I suggest you go do the same if you haven't already read this series.

Book Depository: Dead Heat
Amazon UK: Dead Heat

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Country vs Country - Black Dagger Brotherhood

The layout is weird for this one - it's UK old, UK new, US when there's 3 and UK, US when there's 2

Danielle: Wow. Finally a series I definitely like the US covers better for. The first UK cover is okay, but it isn't great. The new UK I don't care much for at all. The original US cover is my favourite. It's the cover I have and love. I love the colour, I love the dagger in the title. I love that JR Ward's name doesn't take over the entire cover. I can say I almost hate the new US cover. Just no.
Julie-Anne: I have the original UK covers and I like them okay but I don't really love any covers here. The only thing I like on any of them is the sword on the US. I really don't like the new UK covers which is disappointing since it's the only ones available now. Based on the sword thing, I suppose I'll choose US.
D: Um, it's called a dagger? Hello! :D
J: Sorry!!

D: Still picking the US cover here. I love the blue. When you see these covers in person, there's almost a frosting in the ink. They almost shimmer a little. The font is embossed a little, and they're just really pretty. I don't mind the original UK cover here. I do like the colour, and I don't mind the font. I'm not fond of the new UK cover at all.
J: Again, no love from me here. I really don't like the covers that much and, as much as I like this series, I hate the titles. I'm going to choose UK just because I feel I have to choose one.

D: Again, US cover for me. Like I said, these covers are really pretty in person. You don't quite get how nice they are on the page here. This one glimmers a silvery colour, and the blue of the title really stands out. The original UK is not too bad. The red is nice, but the cover is a little too dark on the whole for my liking. I really don't care for the new UK, though it looks like they've tried to re-create Z's slave bands a little here. I still don't love it.
J: I know Dani keeps saying the US cover are pretty in person but I'm only seeing them in jpeg form and I don't like them. I don't really like the UK ones either. Never been keen on the colour of the UK cover and I don't like the model on the new ones. Again, I feel I have to pick one but I'm struggling. I'm going to choose UK again.
D: I wish there was a shot we could find so the US cover showed better. They have a really nice sheen on them.

D: Sticking with US here. I'm not a huge orange fan, but this cover is really nice. I like that they added fangs to "Marissa". They're nice, dainty fangs, so I don't feel they're cheesy or overpowering. The purple of the original UK cover is nice, but I don't like their model for Marissa at all. The second UK cover I don't like at all.
J: Still not keen on the new UK covers. I also like the wee fangs on the female model but I prefer the colour of the UK cover so I'm going to choose that one.

D:I will stand by my choosing of the US cover here too. However! I will say that I didn't like the "facial hair" on V's model. V has a full goatee and moustache, so though the attempt at having a model with facial hair was nice, it didn't work. It looks like someone just penciled it on. I don't like the original UK cover at all. The new UK cover would be my second choice here. At least that model (Who is highly over-used for covers, so I don't want him as my V) has actual facial hair. They've also tried to make his eyes more V-like and they also tried to have his tattoo done. It's a valiant effort, but I still prefer the US. The cover is really pretty.
J: I agree with the cheesy facial hair on the US cover, looks totally fake. I don't pay attention enough to cover models to recognise the new UK guy but I feel he's better for V than the others. I mean, the guy on the original UK doesn't even have facial hair! Again, not a fan of any cover but based on the look of the 2nd UK cover model, I'm going with that.

D: This cover for the US issue is my least favourite of the original 5. The colour, and the Phury model are both ugly. I still like it better than the UK, just because I dislike having faces showing covers. I really don't like the new UK cover at all. Not the colour, not the model, nothing.
J: I have mutual dislike for all these covers. The model in the new UK cover is just bleh and I don't like the colour of the other two. I totally can't pick a favourite here, don't like any.

J: These covers are pretty much the same with just slight changes. The changes are small (more light on the face in the UK one, the typeface & border details) but, of the two covers, the UK appeals more to me.
D: I agree that these are basically the same cover. I like the shading colour on the UK better, but I feel like the US is clearer. I've said before a bunch of times that I don't like to have faces on covers, and this is no exception. However, I feel the UK cover is not as clear. Grainier maybe? I like the font on the UK better, but I like the outlining on the US better. This is also where JR Ward's name started taking over the covers, making them more the focal point - which I don't like. Yes, her name is important and it sells a lot of books. But I like my covers to show the art/photo more than the title/author. I think I'll choose US only because I like the dagger is still there, and the gentle swirly patterns at the bottom.
J: Don't ya mean the sword is still there? :p

J: I hate the cover model on the UK one and I also hate headless torsos on covers so again, I have to pick my least disliked one rather than my favourite one. And since I really dislike the expression on the UK cover model's face, I'm going with US.
D: It's US for me too here, though there are some things I dislike. John-Matthew didn't have tattoos like this, and I really dislike covers adding imaginary features. I also dislike headless models, but I dislike full facial shots better, so this is preferred. I also don't understand why "Xhex" is leaving gouges in his chest with her painted nails. (Xhex would never wear wear makeup, never mind polish her nails). One thing about this book, is in the US hardcovers, they have their names in the Old Language inside. It was a nice touch. I also agree about the expression of the UK model. His face also looks like it's covered in blemishes. Or is that supposed to be sweat? Either way? Blah.
J: Yes about the Xhex thing! It's been a while since I read the book but I thought she wasn't a girly girl. The old language name on the inside sounds nice.

J: I like the background lightning on the UK cover but not the model pose. For the US one, I don't like her eyes and the blue is too much, I feel they could have toned it down a little. If I have to choose a favourite, I'll go with US.
D: I also choose US here. What is the UK model looking at? He also looks like the same dude from Lover Mine, just from another angle. Payne's eyes look to fake in the US cover though. I understand she has unusual eyes, but this looks dumb. Better to have just left them. Or, had her close her eyes or something. The blue is a bit much here, but I don't hate it.
J: "What is the UK model looking at?" Umm, the lightning?

J: Not keen on the colour of the US one, and I like the tattoo detail on the UK one (can't remember if Tohr actually has a tattoo though, it's been a while since I've read the books). I do like that it looks like the same model, and he almost looks like he’s making the same face. I'm going to go with UK on this one.
D: This was one of the covers I was really disappointed with. This is definitely one that should have had the female in front, and Tohr not showing at all. Tohr is not attractive by this point in the books, so this is a gross misrepresentation. I also thought it looked like the same model on both covers. I have to disagree on the tattoo though. I don't like it. I think they may have been trying to have the Brotherhood mark on his chest, but it's a scar, not a tattoo, and definitely not that big. I think US wins out for me, though I don't actually care for either one.

J: I haven't read this book but I'm going to assume this is Blay on the cover? I really don't like the pose or face of the guy in the US cover. I'm never a fan of the topless male on covers but I do prefer the UK over the US for this one.
D: No. Just no. I almost feel like I can't even begin to state my grievances. I hate the US cover so hard. It's supposed to be Qhuinn, who up until the book before this one was my favourite character. I LOVE him. This model (and the UK model for that matter) don't look anything like how Qhuinn should look. You can't really tell in this shot, but "Qhuinn" on the UK cover has the heterochromia showing. That's the only reason I knew I it was Qhuinn though. This cover was such a disappointment. Fitting, since the book was too. I don't understand what is happening with the UK cover at all. Why are there street signs? The model I think would have been more fitting for Manny. He looks old, and not powerful at all. Blah.

J: Last book in the series I read was Lover Unleashed but I have such a strong thought that Wrath has long hair. Yeah, in the US cover it could just be pulled back in a ponytail (and it sort of looks like it is) but in the UK cover, it's definitely short. So either I'm wrong, or he cut his hair in one of the preceding novels or the publishers just don't give a crap about their models looking like the character. I think I'm going US for this one.
D: He didn't cut it. I think it's supposed to be pulled back. You can kind of see the tail over his right shoulder just a touch. Neither cover pleases me, to be honest. Wrath has black hair, and both models are sandy brown at best. Again, I'm not sure why he's on the street, naked in the UK cover, but I really dislike the US model all together. The only thing I like about the US cover is the throne. I also haven't read this one yet, since I was so badly disappointed with the last one. US, if I have to choose. Only because the throne is cool looking.
J: Standing naked on street corners is the best way to hide your secret race, didn't you know that? I mean, nobody would look twice at the naked guy!

J: Hmmm, while I like the colour of the US over the UK I don't like the headless back thing going on. Since I don't like the flashy bit in the middle of the UK cover, I'm going to choose the US cover.
D: It's US for me here too. I don't mind the headless back, since I think Trez and iAm would be really hard to capture in a model. I think the UK model just looks wimpy, which the Shadow brothers are not. They're supposed to be huge and powerful. I'll choose US here.

Julie-Anne: I like this series but not enough to have rushed into reading the books I've missed. I do plan on catching up on the series but I just don't feel an immediate rush to do so. Cover wise, I've never been a huge fan of the covers of the titles of this series, at least the last two have fairly okay names.

Danielle: The first what, five books in this series were really really good. Loved them. I used to go to the bookstore on release day to buy them. And I may or may not have done a little happy dance once I had the book in my hands. I also may or may not have petted the covers all the way home. I also really loved the covers in the beginning, and I feel like the cover love tapered off with the books becoming less enjoyable. I do still intend to finish the series, but I am in no hurry at all. I have the King, and I read the first chapter, but it did not pull me in at all. The books have also gotten to a point where there are too many heads to play in. You never really get to the main couple's story like you did with the earlier books where, say, Wrath and Beth were the main focus, with a little tiny bit of insight to the Brother whose book was next. Now in the series, we're lucky if we get ten whole chapters out of 25 with the actual cover couple. But enough about that. I do recommend this series on the whole. One day I'll catch up.

Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent

Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she's been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn't hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient — more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby's secret becomes a threat to Jace's authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

OMG! You guys have no idea how excited I was to read this book! This was literally me about this book ...

I really loved the Shifters series and was sad when it finished so when Rachel Vincent announced this new series I was very excited!

This book confirms why Rachel Vincent in one of my favourite authors. She did not disappoint. This book was hugely anticipated (not just by me, I'm sure by all Shifter fans) and she didn't let me down. It was action packed and had already developed and well loved characters so it was easy to just fall into.

I started reading it on lunch at my work and got pissed when I kept having to stop. I got so into it that I actually read some before bed one morning, which is saying a lot since I work 13 hour shifts and only get about 8 hours in the house between shifts so tend to just sleep. So yeah, it takes a fantastic book to get me to give up my between shifts sleeping pattern.

We all know and love Jace but we also get to know and love Abby in her first full length outing. You can tell she's enough like Faythe to cause the council worries but she's also her own person and wants to stay that way. As much as she has feelings for Jace, she also has a huge secret to hide from him as her Alpha so it kinda gets in the way of their relationship becoming anything - well that, and other things.

I'm really struggling to write this purely due to the fact that I loved it and don't have a bad thing to say about it. I'm dying to get the actual paperback version when it comes out and I cannot wait for the next book to see what's next for Abby.

Also this is Rachel's first indie published book so please buy from an actual retailer.

Amazon UK: Lion's Share Lion's Share Lion's Share
Smashwords: Lion's Share
Kobo: Lion's Share
Nook UK: Lion's Share
Barnes & Noble: Lion's Share
iTunes: Lion's Share