Review of Caller of Light by The Violet Hour

Summary Via Goodreads: Carina McKay is an outsider. With one parent of royal blood, she’s not nobility, yet not a servant either. The only comfort in her mundane existence is her love of Critons, the large fire-breathing creatures that protect the border of her homeland. But her destiny changes forever the day she catches the eye of King Marek Duncan.Marek’s heart is closed to love. After an arranged marriage withers to a bitter end, he dedicates his energy to protecting his kingdom. Yet he’s searching for something more–the Caller of Light, the one who summons Critons.Carina’s beauty and willfulness intrigue Marek, and he’s determined to have her. When his enemies try to come between them, he discovers just how much he will endure to protect her. Together, they can unlock a love that binds their souls, but only if they find the strength to follow their hearts.My Review (4.5 out of 5 stars):EEEE!!! This is like AHHHH one of the best fantasies I’ve read in awhile! yay!!! (though I do have to drop it just a half a star for a very personal reason i will get to and I promise its not bad so 4.5)First warning: Kay so I was totally honored by being asked by the lovely T.J. Shaw to read this for a review – exchange stuff. And honesty is the best policy, so that’s that, and lets start this review shhhhhaaalll we?Song Choice: “Always” by Panic! At The Disco, “That’s All” by Michael Buble (Fantasies are a little hard)First thoughts: This. WAS. AWESOME. I am stupid for taking so long to finish this, I did actually read a majority of this in one day but by the time i got about to 75% through the book I was spent, and quite frankly I got super busy 🙁 I had manage to pick up it up here and there and get to read like a page, but I FINALLY, FINALLY got to finish it and it was amazing! I loved this book. It’s a high fantasy – while if you aren’t familiar with fantasy style…maybe this isn’t the best introduction book – I only say that because maybe its just me but i felt that because i am familiar with fantasy i just got things, but i didn’t also feel like i was sitting there reading it going, okay yeah i know all these things… anyways point is OMG AWESOME, there was adventure, kickass characters, suspense, dragon-like creatures, and rooommmmance. :)Thoughts on Plot: This was awesome! There was this really great pace about the book like i mentioned before i pretty much read this book in a day – unfortunately i was also tired that day and just didn’t manage to finish it then. There is always something happening, or something about to happen there isn’t a lot of predictable moments in this book, and really the characters have to something to do with that and thank god for them – but i will get to that in a moment. There are these “dragon” like creatures called Critons, and they are super neat creatures. While they play a big part in the plot there is more going on than that. There is a bit of mystery, a bit of moments were you are like welllll duh! but most times i felt I was going, oh…OH WOW! I haven’t read as much fantasy as i should but this was definitely original, entertaining is and overall awesome. I really did love this. Like i mentioned there is a lot that happens but it doesn’t feel like anything got rushed through, in fact near the end i was wondering when something was going to happen – finally did yay! Okay so now for that pesky half star…I am sorry but the label of mistress really got under my skin, it made my blood boil and made me sort of want to take on the hulking Marek. It’s a personal thing, really sorry. seriously though that would really have to be my only complaint.Characters:Carina: Oh my god I loved her. While with her father and half-sister she was very submissive and sort of acted like she didn’t matter when she was with Marek, and with others she was this lively little thing that was beyond feisty and totally kickass. She didn’t give up, nor did she back down. She was one tough cookie and I loved her. She eventually became so much more too even around her father and half-sister. She was vulnerable when I think it called for it but she was very revolutionary which ‑ahhh sooo much love! It was interesting seeing her break from her shell and being this totally amazing character. A woman of true honor right here.Marek: Holy hulky hot man. Seriously – okay i guess i have one last tiny, itty bitty complaint, in the summary it makes Marek sound like this totally uncaring guy – i don’t think he is, I just think with the pressure of an entire kingdom on his shoulders, and a marriage in the crapper just made him a little elusive. I really, REALLY liked him with Carina he was a totally different guy, he was happier, and just like sort of playful, but still protective, schmexy warrior. He was really awesome i liked him, i liked him a lot.The ending….ohhh my that ending. I thought… well i can’t say… but totes could be another book and i would be totally up for that! But do i feel like it was a super cliffie or anything like that nah. But seriously T.J. give me another book.

via Caller of Light by T.J. Shaw.

Review — Fated by Rebecca Zanetti

Fantastic Start to a Series!

For those who’ve been fans of the Dark Protectors series since the beginning, you’re probably wondering where the hell I’ve been. Well, all I can say in my defense is that I was a little slow. Actually, after starting a string of books that I couldn’t finish, I was growing dismayed in my inability to find something to sink my teeth into (pardon the pun). But thankfully, Ms. Zanetti restored my faith in great storytelling.

FATED by Rebecca Zanetti is a wonderful start to the Dark Protectors series. I love Ms. Zanetti’s writing style…absolutely love it! Her dialogue is sharp and witty while the storyline is a fantastic twist on the vampire theme. The heroine, Cara, is everything I look for in a lead character—strong, smart, passionate, funny—but not perfect. Talen is amazing, possessing all the attributes of a larger than life hero. He’s one HOT male!

For paranormal readers who like a good vampire story, I truly believe you’ll enjoy Dark Protectors. And for those fans who’ve already read SHADOWED (the 8th book in the series) and are now waiting in the bleachers with bated breath for the next one, well, scoot over. Although I still have 6 books to read, I’ll be sitting beside ya soon.

Focused. Strong. True.

(click image to visit Rebecca)

Fated — Rebecca Zanetti

Review — Claimed by Rebecca Zanetti

Since I’m starting to sound like a broken record concerning Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protectors series, I’ll most likely make this my last review and just rate the rest as I read them. CLAIMED is my favorite in the series so far. I loved Emma, and Dage is a hero to die for. Ms. Zanetti’s witty dialogue and sense of humor between the characters makes the book a fun, exciting read.

What I truly admire about Ms. Zanetti’s style is that she introduces secondary characters gradually, but integrates them in such a way that by the next book, I’m eager to read more about these well fleshed out personalities. That’s talent, and what a great way to hook the reader on the next book…like me!

CLAIMED, just another great book by a great author.

Focused. Strong. True.

(Click on image to visit Rebecca)

Claimed — Rebecca Zanetti

Review — Tempted by Rebecca Zanetti

It’s been a long time since I sat down and read a book in one sitting…a long time. And I fell into TEMPTED by accident. I’d signed up for a giveaway of Ms. Zanetti’s latest release, SHADOWED over at Tome Tender Book Blog (, although I didn’t win, the book sounded interesting. Then while scanning through my Kindle looking for the next read, I saw that I had TEMPTED. What a great discovery TEMPTED and Ms. Zanetti turned out to be. TEMPTED is a wonderful take on the whole vampire genre. I like Ms. Zanetti’s entire concept about mates and extra chromosomes. Her writing style is sharp, sassy, and super sexy. I absolutely loved the hero, Max, and heroine, Sarah. Her secondary characters also were a joy and fleshed out extremely well.

Ms. Zanetti’s technique drew me in and the real world disappeared as I stayed up into the wee hours finishing TEMPTED. I’m not sure if I should thank Ms. Zanetti or chastise her for my lack of sleep.

If I have one complaint it’s that the ending seemed rushed. I wanted more! But I guess that’s what good writing is all about, leaving the reader wanting more and that’s what Ms. Zanetti did, left me wanting. Looks like TEMPTED is the third book in the Dark Protectors series, so I’ll have to start at the beginning, but TEMPTED worked as a standalone. And now that I’ve hopped onto the Dark Protectors series bandwagon, I’m sure I won’t regret the ride. A well deserved 5 stars!

Focused. Strong. True.

(Click on the image to visit Rebecca)

Tempted — Rebecca Zanetti

Review — Torn (Beneath the Shadows of Evil #2) by Jolynn Raymond

TORN begins exactly where TAKEN left off as tormented Mikhal attempts to prove himself as a man who loves Alliana and can control his beast. Since I’d read TAKEN (the first in the series), I was prepared for Ms. Raymond’s many POV changes. The typos, formatting issues, misspellings, incorrect word choices (quite when it should be quiet) etc., were still present and in full force.

However, a curious thing happened. Since Ms. Raymond writes in multiple POVs, I found myself very interested in two secondary characters, Natalya and Lucian. The growing sexual tension between them not only held my interest, but I looked forward to reading about them almost more than Alliana and Mikhal. Most authors would’ve kept Natalya’s and Lucian’s story for another series, but not Ms. Raymond. I almost feel guilty because it’s like I’m getting two books for the price of one.

Extensive introspection throughout the book occurs just like in TAKEN and several scenes could have been shortened to increase the pacing and action. To compensate, I skimmed through some passages. But for all the hiccups, I remained interested in the storylines. Editing can be learned, but the ability to write an intriguing book that holds a reader’s attention requires a great imagination and an innate ability not everyone can master. Although I so wish Ms. Raymond would find a proper copy editor, I’m anxious to read TREASURED to learn how Alliana and Mikhal fare as parents while Natalya and Lucian struggle to deny growing (and inappropriate) feelings toward one another.

Please remember, you must be willing to overlook the editing issues and multiple POV changes. If you cannot then I’m not sure if you’ll enjoy the book. But if you can, the day might pass you by as you lose yourself within the storylines of these intriguing characters.

Focused. Strong. True.

(Click on the image to visit Jolynn)

Torn — Jolynn Raymond

Review — Taken (Beneath the Shadows of Evil #1) by Jolynn Raymond

This was a very hard review for me. I only review books I like and I initially stopped reading TAKEN. Why? Was it because the book was too dark? No, as an ex-cop, I’ve seen what real demons look like in our world. I stopped reading because Ms. Raymond is a very unconventional writer and her technique threw me completely out of sorts.

Every type of writing has a style and within those styles there are certain “rules” the writer is supposed to live by. Well, Ms Raymond has a writing style all her own and doesn’t care about the rules! She loves to change point of views, not just once or twice, but several times. You’ll be reading from one person’s POV at the beginning of a paragraph only to end the paragraph from a different POV. If I remember right, we even had an omniscient POV a few times. And she’s an equal POV opportunist—it doesn’t matter if we only see the character once in the book because chances are, for a few short lines, we get to read from that incidental character’s POV. Now, I’ve said this before, I don’t mind head-hopping (and truth be told, I tend to enjoy it) if it’s done well. Because Ms. Raymond jumps from one person to the next so regularly, I sometimes had a hard time knowing whose head I was in until the end of the paragraph and that was frustrating.

This book also had format errors, misspellings, and typos to add into the mix of why I initially put it down. So, what made me pick it up again? Because Ms. Raymond did something writers dream of doing and what good writers accomplish—she made me care. After I shelved the book, I spent the entire day wondering about Alliana, the poor gypsy girl married to the soulless demon, Mikhal. I wondered what new torture he’d inflict on her as she stood proud before him, refusing to back down. I longed to see a little bit of compassion in his eyes as his journey to redemption begins. Ms. Raymond made me care about these characters and that is great storytelling.

If you decide to read this book, you must understand a few things first: you will be jumping from not one or two, but several POVs. This book also is not for the faint of heart because as a demon, Mikhal truly is a heartless, cruel bastard. There is a lot of introspection at times which slows down the action. And finally, the ending just stops practically in mid sentence, there is no conclusion. You will be left hanging! If these attributes are going to bother you, then you might not enjoy the book. But if you remain vigilant, you might just surprise yourself and discover that you too care about the sweet, smart, and strong Alliana and the demon whose soul she’ll save, whether he wants her to or not.

Now excuse me while I go read TORN, the second in the series.

Focused. Strong. True.

(Click on image to visit Jolynn)

Taken — Jolynn Raymond

Review — SHADOWS of the SOUL by Angelique Armae

SHADOWS of the SOUL started off like gang busters for me. Ms. Armae does an excellent job of drawing the reader into her world. I loved her description (the rain didn’t just fall on the heroine, the rain assailed her). Words such as assailed are great descriptive words that create such a terrific reading environment for me.

SOUL was written in first person and I’m usually not a first person fan, but I fell in love with the heroine, Isabel. She’s a tough, passionate character with a terrific sense of humor. The hero, Nicolai, also is super sexy—loved that his uncle is none other than Lucifer!

About half way through the book slowed a bit. Ms. Armae’s attention to detail can also be a double-edged sword and bogged down the pace in some of the scenes. I’d also hoped for more—I’m not sure how to say this in a politically correct fashion, so I’ll just say it—SEX in the bedroom. I mean Nicolai is half demon for crying out loud!

(A special comment to Ms. Armae would be to get another copy editor next time because the one you had didn’t do your work justice. There were just too many typos and missed track-change marks for a book of this quality). But those few concerns didn’t prevent me from enjoying the fantastic world Ms. Armae created. Her main and secondary characters were a joy to discover and had vivid lives of their own. Nicely done.

Focused. Strong. True.

(Click on image to visit Angelique)

Shadows of the Soul — Angelique Armae

Review — Across the Veil by Lisa Kessler

I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to read ACROSS THE VEIL and was pleasantly surprised. Ms. Kessler has an easy-to-read writing style that lured me into her world and characters. For a short story, she had a lot of information to get across and she did so with beautiful, descriptive sentences and heated conflict between the characters. The initial re-union between Talia and Keth was a bit rushed for me, but this is a short story after all! I guess that just means Ms. Kessler either needs to write a novel length prequel or sequel to VEIL so that I can truly fall in love with the characters and the wonderful fae world she creates.

Focused. Strong. True.

(Click on image to visit Lisa)

Across the Veil — Lisa Kessler

Review — LORD of the FADING LANDS by C.L. Wilson

Although I also read this book and the series during their original release, FADING LANDS is one of those rare stories that I can read over and over. Ms. Wilson’s lyrical writing style captures me as a reader and doesn’t let me go. I lose myself in her words. Her world-building is fantastic and the ending blew me away—totally didn’t see it coming. I consider Ms. Wilson one of the best contemporary fantasy romance authors today.

So, although this series isn’t new, if you love fantasy romance you’re missing out if you don’t read it. Truly, FADING LANDS is fantasy romance at its best.

Focused. Strong. True.

Click on image to visit C.L.

Review — RISE of the FALLEN by Donya Lynne

I admit that I picked up this book because of the cover. What a great cover!!! And the book didn’t disappoint. From the first page I was drawn into Micah’s heartache and pain. Ms. Lynne did an incredible job of making me feel like I was in the room with Micah as he tried to ease his torment. Throughout the entire story, I enjoyed Micah the most. Having said that, I also liked the heroine, little Ms. Dynamo, Sam. I could easily picture her in my mind and loved her tough-as-nails attitude.

The story was unique and kept me interested throughout. I did, however, find a few things intriguing in Ms. Lynne’s writing style. On occasion, she would switch the point of view and throw the reader into another character’s mind for a sentence or two before jumping back into the original speaker. Some would argue that this “head-hopping” is a no-no, but jumping from one POV to another has never bothered me as long as I don’t end up confused as to whose head I’m in! And Ms. Lynne did a nice job of keeping me straight. Also, there were a few scenes devoted to secondary characters that never tied back to the plot. Once I read the About the Author blurb at the end of the story, I now think Ms. Lynne did that as a way to tease the reader on her upcoming books in this series. Personally, I would’ve preferred it if those scenes weren’t included in RISE. Ms. Lynne is a strong enough writer that she didn’t need to include teasers for her next book, although I must admit she did it in a very non-cliché way. Fine job. Good book.

Focused. Strong. True.

Click on image to visit Donya.

Rise of the Fallen — Donya Lynne
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