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Book Reviews by Lori, Laurell K Hamilton

Flirt – by Laurell K Hamilton, Book 18 in the Anita Blake series – book review

Flirt by LKH Anita Blake book 18
We're all flirts at heart.

Okay, so I read the most recent Anita Blake novella, Flirt , by Laurell K.  Hamilton, a while ago. I have to say, it failed to ‘wow’ me. It’s definitely a filler book and,  if you plan to follow the Anita Blake series, not one you can really skip because we wind up with a new member to Anita’s ever-growing harem of men.  The novel focuses more on Anita’s moral standards with reasons why she’ll raise a zombie and what reasons she won’t raise a zombie for and its centered around a little luncheon flirtation after Anita is asked in two different client meetings by two very different people to raise two zombies for reasons that Anita can’t, won’t and isn’t willing to do for no amount of money.  One of those clients doesn’t take Anitas’  no for the answer it is and, having throughly researched her, hires some not so friendly werelions to persuade Anita to change her mind. The lions, Jacob and Nick, corner Anita back at the cafe she had her friendly flirtatious lunch at and Anita picks up on their ‘bad news’ mojo right away. Her lion also perks up and through a series of conversational foibles, Anita finds out her Regina is in heat and sending up the red flags for ‘Come and get me’. While fighting for control over her Regina, Anita finds out her client went to some very big extremes in order to ensure her cooperation with the raising of the zombie and now her lovers are in danger.  Skip a few pages of big font and Anita finds herself cut off from her men and in need of a feeding and normal food won’t cut it. Anita has to choose between the two lions that first accosted her and settles on Nick since he seems the most drawn to her and the most willing of the two to share her with other men. Lions are extremely territorial wereanimals and sharing is just not in their natural makeup. The other lions feel Anita and Nick hopping on the aurder feeding wagon and try to stop them but wind up losing one of their own badies. The power of a wereanimal death gives Anita what she needs to free herself, break the spell the werelion witch had cast that blocked her from her men and, oh yea, raise an cementary to take care of her pesky client.

This story was brief, filler fodder and seemed only to answer the Cookie/Haven dilema Anita has been struggling with. The cartoon at the back was almost not necessary but Laurell seemed to want to share the background for her idea as much as tell a story. Would I recommend this? For something to read while waiting for better, yes. And I guess, I’d almost have to recommend it for anyone following the series otherwise we’d be missing some important pieces when Bullet comes out. Do I wish it had more of the first Anita novels? Hell yea. I don’t mind Anita becoming more comfortable with the life she has and the gift she has but I miss the mystery. I miss  the suspense and the tension of sexual possibility. Now its just an inevitable occurance and a rather graphic one at that. I am happy though that Hamilton has toned down a smidgeon the sex machine that Anita has become over the last couple of novels. Here’s hoping Bullet brings back some of what I fell in love with in the first novels.

Pick up a copy of Flirt and the first  six Anita Blake novels by clicking on the images below and ordering one from Amazon.com:

   

Book Reviews by Lori, Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking, A Rachel Morgan, novel by Kim Harrison – book 1 review

I must share my other Alternate History Paranormal mystery romance author with you – Kim Harrison. If LKH’s steamy sex is a little to0 graphic for your reading leisure, then check out Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series. Below is my abstract/review I posted on ShvOOng a while back. I’ve re-read this series almost as much as I have the Anita Blake series and this series came out 10 years later. Truly, a good read.

The world is a different place since the Turn. Who would have thought that a genetically engineered tomato could forever change the world when it took on a deadly passenger in the form of the T4 Angel virus? A virus that wiped out most of humanity – enough that those formally thought of as Fairy tale creatures took advantage and came forth for the world to see. Rachel Morgan is a witch – not a Warlock that can’t stir her own spells but an earth witch. A spunky, sexy, tall, athletic, frizzy red-haired witch who has reached her maximum tolerance of crappy assignments from the I.S., Inderland Security, a task force set up to police those the humans can not and are not capable of handling.

Kim Harrisons' "Dead Witch Walking" novel
Married Pixy.

The novel, Dead Witch Walking, by Kim Harrison, starts off with Rachel’s impetuous decision to quit the I.S – something that most never do and those few who do – don’t survive. Her last tag for the I.S. is a Leprechaun that failed to properly report a pot of gold. While scouting out her tag, Rachel runs into an old work associate – Ivy Tamwood, of the living vampire Tamwoods. A vampire born and not created, living caught between two worlds, Ivy struggles everyday with her innate urges that come from being formed with the vampire virus percolating since birth.

Rachel hitches a ride with Ivy, their tags and Jenks, Rachel’s pixy back up. Rachel shares her desire to leave the I.S. which leads to the startling revelation that her old co-worker, Ivy,  and her current pixy backup, Jenks,  want to leave the I.S with Rachel. So begins the new life for Rachel, Ivy and Jenks – Ivy manages to buy out her contract with her entire living and undead savings, Jenks being a pixy means no one will miss him and Rachel…well Rachel was lucky enough to incur the wrath of the I.S. since they couldn’t go after a Tamwood for breaking their contract, Rachel was the I.S.’s next target and now no one will deal with a Dead Witch Walking.

A spelled paycheck, the lost of her apartment in the Hollows and small spells that detonate when no ones around to see it are just a few of the things that Rachel faces shortly after her bid for freedom. Miraculously she lands on her feet, moving into her new office – a church. Now she is living on Hollow ground that will protect her from the undead vampires, weres and she will be living with Ivy so she has the added protection of the Tamwoods family name. The kitchen and garden are more than a witch with a price on her head could hope for plus the garden lends a home to Jenks and his family of 54 children. Don’t underestimate the power of a pixy and the humor of the muttered commentary Jenks shares. The phrases are so unique that laughter is inevitable.

Only, the attacks on her life won’t stop until Rachel finds a way to pay off her contract and she focuses all her efforts on bringing down the untouchable Trent Kalamack, species unknown. Ivy, Rache and Jenks set up office and home in their church and Rachel uses the old spell books to find a way to bring down Trent. The adventure is only beginning as Rachel discovers so much more about herself, her powers, the true bonds of friendship, surviving against all odds and what true evil Trent Kalamack is hiding. With stellar dialogue, imagery and the ability to alter history so smoothly you fall under the spell of the Hollows, Kim Harrison takes you on a journey of action, sorcery, mystery and adventure. Grab your guide to dating a Vampire, make sure you’re on hollow ground and curl up with some good old pizza if you dare….Rachel Morgan’s fight to survive awaits you in Kim Harrison’s, Dead Witch Walking.

The first book in the Rachel Morgan series can be purchased by clicking on the Amazon.com image below:

 

Book Reviews by Lori, Katie MacAlister

Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Katie MacAlister – book review

Good Morning!

book cover for Katie MacAlister's new novel: Steamed - A Steampunk RomanceSo, nothing like getting started on my new blogs. I recently read a new book by Katie MacAlister, Steamed: a Steampunk Romance. This is a new adventure for Katie. I’ve read her Dragon and Vampire series and a couple of her avant garde standalones and find her humor worth the read. Not only that, she takes our everyday world and puts a unique spin on it. She is a true Paranormal Romance author.

I have to admit – I am very new to steampunk. I know its popularity  is picking up and kudos to Katie for jumping into that genre. So when I picked up this book I was slightly skeptical on whether or not it would hold my interest. The novel starts out with a quirky male character, Jack Fletcher, who through a couple of events that got blown out of proportion is a local hunky hero – despite Jack’s many efforts to explain how things really went down. Shortly after meeting Jack, we’re introduced to his sister and that’s where the adventure begins.

*pause* I have many friends who would cut off their ears or more likely my tongue should I divulge spoilers to something they haven’t read or seen yet and they most definitely plan to. So when I do these reviews, I’m going to blog on the content, enjoyability and style of writing but do my best not to ruin the story for you. Heck, its like reading the last page of a book beforehand. At that point, I usually don’t want to read the book. I won’t do that to you . *Okay, back to the book review*

Now the adventure has begun and we get to meet Octavia Pye, the Aerocorps captain on her maiden voyage. Octavia has more secrets than a Rubics cube puzzle. This sexy woman with fiery red hair has the unique position of power and she knows it. She’s in charge of a ragtag small crew that has their own quirks. The crew provides moments of mayhem and humor that move the story along.

When Jack and his sister are discovered as stowaway’s on Octavia’s ship, Octavia  finds herself challenged with many detours and keeping her secrets becomes almost an impossibility. Top that off with a rather rampant attraction to her male stowaway who happens to have a rather odd fascination with goggles and anything steampunk, her best laid plans are falling apart.

I hope you noted the romance part of the Paranormal Romance because this author has some very not ‘G’ rated scenes. Heck, they don’t even make the ‘R’ ratings at some points but  if your eyes and mind can handle the images don’t let these racy sex scenes hold you back from picking up this novel. One of the things I like about Katie MacAlister is that she has a unique sense of humor when it comes to her sex scenes that leave you with dueling emotions of blushing and wanting to laugh at the same time. Octavia and Jack do not leave us wanting for the raunchy humor.

The imagery Katie uses to describe this new world for us puts the reader right there on the ship. The boyish wonder that Jack exudes helps to make the unbelievable just a slightly bit believable. I enjoyed the way Katie weaved the romance in with the adventure and the sparks between these characters really do fly – all pun intended ;-).

I hope I’ve done Steamed justice and that a few of you out there will pick up this book and give it a try. I know I plan to come back and read more if Katie turns this new novel into a series. It’s not my normal cup of tea but  with the possibilities and adventure as well as the humor, its enough to bring me back for more.

Here is a link to the authors website: http://www.katiemacalister.com/bookssteam.php#steamed

Please check out her Aisling series, her Dark One series as well as her Silver Dragon series.  The demon talking dog , Jim , in the Aisling series provides laugh out loud reading moments. Happy reading all!

Purchase Steamed right now on Amazon.com by clicking on the image below:

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