Suramya's Book Review Cafe

June 19, 2010

Skin Game (Skin Series Book 01) by Ava Gray

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 8:58 pm


Skin Game (Skin Series Book 01)
by Ava Gray

Description:

A beautiful fugitive’wanted dead or alive.

Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist’anything she wants’ for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.

A hit man who never misses the mark.

Reyes has nothing but his work. Pity for Kyra, he’s the best and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash’and bring her back to face Serrano’s ‘justice.’ Dead will do, if he can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce heat and her outlaw heart. So Reyes has a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love.

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Review:This is a book that I had tired to read before and for some reason couldn’t read more that a chapter at the time. When I started reading it again I thought that it would be the more of the same and would probably end up abandoning the book in the middle. But to my surprise I really enjoyed the book the second time around and finished it quite fast. I guess the first time I read the book I wasn’t in the mood for the kind of story this book had or something. I am just glad I reattempted to read the book.

The main character of the book is Kyra who has the ability to steal the strongest skill a person has by touching them skin to skin and she uses this ability to con people. The book starts off by introducing us to Kyra in the process of conning someone in a pool game. The plot was pretty simple but interesting and the way the characters interact with each other kept the book interesting.

One thing to keep in mind when suggesting this book to others, it has a lot of explicit sex scenes in it so don’t recommend it to someone who gets offended easily or is not old enough.

Final Recommendation: A good read. Will be getting the next book in the series.

June 5, 2010

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 7:48 pm


Strange Neighbors
by Ashlyn Chase

Description:

When all-star pitcher and shape-shifter Jason Tanner buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment but as a place to escape the demands of major league baseball. That is, until he meets his tenants – a sarcastic unemployed crime-fighter vampire; a wereraven with a morbid sense of humor; a super-friendly salesman werewolf; and two witches with an owl who work as phone sex actresses. Not to mention a beautiful, all-too-human nurse. But with all the hooting, howling, and hollering going on, how’s an all-American shapeshifter supposed to sweep a girl off her feet?

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Review:This is the first book I have read by this author and it looks like it might be the first book in a series. So far I haven’t found any confirmation if thats the case but if it is then that would be great.

The book is based in an apartment building where each of the tenants have their secret and when Merry moves into the building she is the only one who is not a paranormal. Add in the sarcastic ghost of a murdered writer from the 60’s and you have the beginning of a great book.

Most of the characters in the book were great but I really didn’t like the character ‘Dottie’. I found her to be quite irritating and could have done without her in the book.

Other than that the book was a fun read.

Final Recommendation: A good read

May 23, 2010

The Demon in Me (Living in Eden Book 01) by Michelle Rowen

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 7:18 pm


The Demon in Me (Living in Eden Book 01)
by Michelle Rowen

Description:

Hell hath no fury like a woman possessed…

After her hunky police detective partner guns down a serial killer in front of her, “psychic consultant” Eden Riley realizes that she’s no longer alone. A voice in her head introduces himself as Darrak. He’s a demon. But not in a bad way. He was cursed 300 years ago and he wants to find a way to break free. Eden’s psychic energy helps him take form during daylight, and she’s going to have to learn to live with this sexy demon…like it or not.

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Review:I really liked this book which is the first book in a new series. Even the series name is a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that the demon is literally living inside Eden (the main character of the book)

The initial two chapters or so were a bit hurried and not a lot of details were provided initially when Eden faces off the serial killer but that was quite all right because all that did was set the stage for the remaining part of the book which is her dealing with a demon taking residence inside her body till death do them part…

Since it was the first book a lot of it is basically setting the stage for the sequels but at no point did it get to the point that I wanted to leave the book and wait for the sequel where the actual story would be progressed.

The characters were quite well written and even the secondary characters were defined enough that you got a feel of their personalities but not so much that you get bored.

Final Recommendation: A good read

May 22, 2010

Bound By Darkness (Soul Gatherer Book 02) by Annette McCleave

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 7:29 pm


Bound By Darkness (Soul Gatherer Book 02)
by Annette McCleave

Description:

Death’s warriors guard against demon soul thieves for one chance at redemption…Desire be damned.

Bound together by burning desire and a similar darkness in their hearts, Soul Gatherers Brian Webster and Lena Sharpe race against time to take back from a demon ancient coins that could destroy civilization. But as the truth behind a deadly bargain Lena made surfaces, Brian is faced with a desperate choice-save the one, or save the many.

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Review:Bound By Darkness is the second book in the Soul Gatherer series and I have to say, I have some mixed feelings about the book. The first 3-4 chapters were quite confusing and if this was the first book by the author or of the series that I was reading I would have stopped reading then and there. However once I got past the quite rocky start the story started to make sense and I got into the flow of the book.

I think the problem was that the author expected you to remember the story from the first book completely which I didn’t and thus I missed the undertones of the book that would have been visible to me if I had. But once I got into the plot it was quite interesting and the book turned into a decent read.

The book is not one for anyone who is a prude as there are some quite steamy scenes in the book. So if you are one of those then I suggest that you skip the book. They are not as explicit as some of the other books I have read (like the last few books in the Anita Blake series) but are enough to merit a warning.

Final recommendation: A decent read, but make sure you read the 1st book before you read this one.

May 17, 2010

Ghostbusters: The Return by Sholly Fisch

Filed under: Paranormal — Suramya Tomar @ 7:08 pm


Ghostbusters: The Return
by Sholly Fisch

Description:

It’s been 2 years since the events in Ghostbusters II and the group finds itself neck deep in ghosts and ghouls as some of the most unsettling urban legends – like the hook-handed killer in lovers lane and The vanishing hitchhiker – all come to deadly life.

But the worse is yet to come for Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore – and quite possibly the people of New York. The ghost buster leader Peter Venkman has been chosen by an independent political party to be their candidate for Mayor!

With the city reeling under a supernatural reign of terror, can the Ghostbusters stop the arrival of an ancient fear-demon in time to save election day – or should Venkman start looking for another job already

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Review:This is the first book in a new series of Original stories featuring the characters in the Original Ghostbusters movies. The events in the book take place a couple of years after the second movie.

As a forerunner to a new series of books this book was a good choice, the book remained true (mostly) to the characters in the movie and still managed to get a decent storyline and plot in the process.

The plot remained interesting throughout and even the minor characters were well developed. Though he didn’t develop them to the point where a reader would get tired of it and start skipping portions of the book.

I really enjoyed the book and since this is the first book I have read by the author I will be making it a point to search for more books by him.

Final Recommendation: A good read. Waiting for the next book in the novelization series.

May 8, 2010

Barely Bewitched (Southern Witch Book 02) by Kimberly Frost

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 4:40 pm


Barely Bewitched (Southern Witch Book 02)
by Kimberly Frost

Description:

Welcome to Duvall, Texas, where new witch Tammy Jo Trask has just unleashed an accidental Armageddon-Oops.

Tammy Jo-s misfiring magic has attracted the unwanted attention of WAM, the World Association of Magic. Now, a wand-wielding wizard and a menacing fire warlock have come to Duvall to train her for a dangerous mandatory challenge. But is there more to their arrival than they claim?

When a curse leads to a toxic spill of pixie dust, the town comes unglued and the doors between the human and faery worlds begin to open. To rescue the town and to face the impossible magical test, Tammy needs the help of incredibly handsome Bryn Lyons, but WAM has declared him totally off-limits. To avoid deadly consequences, Tammy probably ought to follow the rules this time.

On the other hand, rebellion is an old Texas tradition.

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Review:The second book in the series picks up right after the first one ends. By now Tammy’s misfiring magic has brought her to the attention of the World Association of Magic and she has to pass a certain test before she can continue with her life. However if she doesn’t pass the test she will be executed so the incentive to pass if quite high.

To train her for the test two new characters (Incendio and Jordan) come into town but Incendio and Tammy develop an immediate dislike towards each other and a spell that would curse the person who spoke a lie in the meeting is released by Tammy.

While under the influence of the curse she dumps a box of pixie dust on the town making the people in it crazy. Now she has till Halloween to fix everything or the gates between the world would open destroying the world.

This book further expands the characters introduced to us in the last volume and has the same quirky sense of humor as the rest. Zach’s character is a lot more sensible this time and doesn’t make you wish he wasn’t there in the book. On the other hand Incendio’s character makes absolutely no sense at all and seems to have been put there just to make Tammy’s life harder. We are given no logical explanations for his actions or the destruction he creates.

The book sort of explains why Tammy’s magic doesn’t work reliably but I think the explanation is not quite complete and future books will explain things a bit more.

Final Recommendation: Even with all the drawbacks mentioned above the book was a good read.

May 7, 2010

Would-Be Witch (Southern Witch Book 01) by Kimberly Frost

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 4:37 pm


Would-Be Witch (Southern Witch Book 01)
by Kimberly Frost

Description:

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket – an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul – is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers – and a 007 savoir faire to boot – but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

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Review:Would-Be Witch is the debut novel by Kimberly Frost and takes us to Duval a small town in Texas and introduces us to Tammy Jo Trask.

Tammy is from a family of witches but magic seems to have skipped her for some reason and she is perfectly happy with that. She rather bake or cook than learn how to practice her witchcraft.

When her locket – an heirloom that holds Edie’s soul (the family ghost) is stolen she decides to try using magic to find it, unfortunately for her the results are varied but none of them lead her to the locket. So she turns to Bryn Lyons for help even though she is supposed to stay away from him.

While she is trying to find the locket a group of were-wolves has decided to kill her and Lyons. They try a variety of solutions before finding a fix.

The book was a very fun read, light hearted without becoming annoying. The main character Tammy is portrayed quite nicely and even though she is a bit ditzy and not all her decisions are logical I still ended up liking the character. The other support cast was also quite detailed and well crafted out. Though I didn’t much care for the love triangle between Tammy, Lyons and Tammy’s Ex husband (Zach).

In fact Zach was one character in the book I could have done without. The fact that Tammy kept coming back to him even after he acts like as ass was something that made no logical sense to me.

Other than that I loved the book, the plot wasn’t too deep but was still fun to read.

Final Recommendation: A fun read.

May 6, 2010

Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin Book 02) by Jennifer Estep

Filed under: Paranormal,Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 4:35 pm


Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin Book 02)
by Jennifer Estep

Description:

Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I’m Gin Blanco.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

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Review:In this second book in the Elemental Assassin series, Gin aka Spider has retired from the Assassin business to honor her mentor’s final wish. But trouble has a way of finding her and she gets pulled back into the game thanks to her curiosity and sense of honor.

The book gives us a bit more background on Gin and how she got into the Assassin business. As in the last book the background info is given to us in glimpses with not a lot of details. This gives the character a bit of mystery but not so much as to make it annoying.

The series has a different take from the normal elemental magic books and gives us a different view of the action from the viewpoint of an assassin. I guess you can classify Spider as a dark heroine and she is not in it for money or kicks, she just wants to survive at any cost.

Even though the book is self contained it sets the stage for the next book in the series and I can’t wait to read it.

Final Recommendation: A great read

April 23, 2010

Mind Games (Justine Jones Book 01) by Carolyn Crane

Filed under: Paranormal — Suramya Tomar @ 11:46 pm


Mind Games (Justine Jones Book 01)
by Carolyn Crane

Description:

JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.

Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness – only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

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Review:Mind Games is a book with a very different take on superpowers and how people use them. In the normal superhero books the hero/heroine has a power that they use for good, and its something like the ability to create fire or strength etc etc.. In Mind Games the heroes are people with serious phobia’s or addictions that they can channel into other people to punish them.

In Justine’s case, she is a hypochondriac who is convinced that she is about to die any second due to a burst blood vessel in her brain. When approached by Packard to join a private crime fighting team she initially declines but later joins them.

Throughout the book Crane takes the normal superhero tales and gives them her unique twist. I really enjoyed this book and have added her name to the list of authors that I follow. Hopefully her next book will be as good.

The book is a light hearted read but not completely without seriousness. This keeps the book from becoming a silly tale into something that you want to read from the start to the finish.

April 22, 2010

Hell Fire (Corine Solomon Book 02) by Ann Aguirre

Filed under: Paranormal — Suramya Tomar @ 11:44 pm


Hell Fire (Corine Solomon Book 02)
by Ann Aguirre

Description:

As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and know its history. It’s too bad she can’t seem to forget her own. With her ex-boyfriend Chance in tow-lending his own supernatural brand of luck-Corine journeys back home to Kilmer, Georgia, in order to discover the truth behind her mother’s death and the origins of “gift”.

But while trying to uncover the secrets in her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia. Inside Kilmer’s borders there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents-and it can only be satisfied with death…

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Review:Hell Fire is the second book in the Corine Solomon series by Ann Aguirre, it follows the adventures of Corine who has the power of Psychometry (She can read the history of any object by touching it).

In this book, Corine wants to know who killed her mother and why so she and her friend Chance who has the ability to create luck are back in her home town after fourteen years to get some sort of closure. She arrives in the town only to find that something in the town was blocking Chance’s ability and almost no technological changes have made it into town in the past few decades. On the plus side someone is out there trying to kill them so she knows that they are on the right track.

The book has a high amount of emotional drama / soul searching which is not surprising considering the subject but thankfully the author didn’t make the heroine to be one of the perpetually depressed tragic heroines who can’t make a decision to save their lives. So even when she is an emotional wreck she doesn’t make you want the author to kill her just to end her misery.

Final recommendation: A good read. Recommend that you read the first book in the series before this otherwise you will miss out on some of the finer points in the book

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