Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quote of the Week #5 (TAG)

So I thought maybe this week we could have a little fun with the "Quote of the Week" post. I'm not gonna pick an especially important quote. Instead of that I'm doing the TAG-version. Here's my quote:

"She put her knobby hands to her face and felt wrinkles. At that, she discovered she had been in a state of shock all yesterday."
from "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones
Chapter 4, Line 13

Really, I love this book! I've only known the movie, but this year I finally discoverd that it's actually a book. If you haven't seen the movie you should definitely do that. It's a Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Their films are incredible and even if you're not a fan of animated films you should definitely give one of them a try. My favorites are "Spirited Away", "Princess Mononoke" and "Howl's Moving Castle".
The book is different from the movie, but still great. It's such a fun book to read. A whole lot of likable characters, a crazy plot and just enough love story to keep things interesting!

Now to the TAG part of this post. Here are the rules:

1. Pick a random book. It can be the book you're reading right now, your favorite book, the book lying closest to you or a random book from your shelves. You get the idea.

2. Open your book at Chapter 4 (if your book isn't divided into chapters open Page 40 instead), then go to Line 13.

3. Post the sentence in the comments section. Sometimes the sentence will start in line 11 or 12, but that doesn't matter, just write the whole sentence down. In case a sentence ends in line 13 and another one starts there, write down both sentences.

4. Don't forget to write down the title of the book, as well as the name of the author.

5. If the sentence has a special meaning to you, don't hesitate to tell us why!

6. Have fun! :]

After you posted the comment below you are welcome to do this on your own blog if you want. Just please don't forget to post a link to my page, thanks.
Let the quotations begin! :]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"The Many Sins Of Lord Cameron" by Jennifer Ashley (originally written March 9, 2012)

5+ stars

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I don't know how it's even possible, but I liked it even better than the first two books in the "Highland Pleasures" series. Especially "The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie" is one of my all-time-favorites, but "The Many Sins of Lord Cameron" was (and is) still in it's own league of great historical romances.
It's definitely one of the best books I read in 2012 and I've read quite a few already.

I'm a fan of Jennifer Ashley's heroines in this series. I wanted Beth as my older sister and would have been happy if Isabella had taken me under her wing, like she did with Ian's wife. But I simply adored Ainsley. She's honest, witty and has an open and warm heart. The gentle, but insistent way she helped and coaxed Cameron was heart-warming and emotional.

Then there's Cameron. In the first two books I wasn't too sure about him. I loved Ian and Mac from the beginning, but Cam just seemed too callous and brutish to me.
Now that I've read his story I can understand why. I won't say too much, but just know that he truly suffered in his former marriage.
I'm touched and amazed by the depth of his character Jennifer Ashley revealed to us in this installment. One minute I just wanted to take him into my arms and tell him that everything would be alright, while in the next second I found myself grinning at his funny and sexy antics. He's a fabulous hero - gorgeous, strong, but riddled with his own set of doubts and fears. But the thing is, he overcame them with the help of Ainsley and I loved reading about the whole progress.

Like a lot of other readers I enjoyed the lack of unnecessary drama. There were no overdone misunderstandings or any kind of deceptions. Yes, they had issues to overcome, but they did it together, while staying true to themselves.

Like I said, this book was fabulous and I truly enjoyed revisiting the characters from the previous books. Quite a few times I found myself laughing about something Daniel did or said and the whole setting with the horses fit perfectly to the romance.
And even though I'm not a big fan of Hart I'm still interested in his book. The glimpses we got of him made me really curious and the way Jennifer Ashley convinced me of Cameron's character doesn't leave a doubt in me that she will do the same with Hart's.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Delusion In Death" by J.D. Robb

4 - 4.5 stars

Let me start by saying that the only reason I didn’t give „Delusion In Death“, book #35 in the „In Death“ series, five stars was because this was such a hard book for me to read. Reason for that was the murder investigation.
It’s happy hour in a popular after work bar, owned, of course, by Roarke. A fight breaks out and twelve minutes later almost everyone in that bar, more than 80 people, are dead. It’s obvious they killed each other, with bare hands, teeth, forks, broken glass or pieces of the furniture. Eve Dallas has to find out how something like that could happen and who is responsible for such a gruesome deed.

I’m bad with violence and gory scenes so this plotline was a bit hard for me to stomach. Just imagining and thinking about this horrible crime was hard enough, but on top of that J.D. Robb actually went into great detail to describe the crime scene, recovery of the bodies and examination of the corpses. So if you are a bit sensitive about things like that you should prepare yourself before you start reading this book.
While it was even darker than most of the other books in the series, it somehow felt more personal at the same time. Maybe personal isn’t the right word, but what I’m trying to say is that I can only remember a few other books where I was as invested in the hunt of the murder.

But do you want to know the most amazing thing? Throughout this entire horrible investigation J.D. Robb still managed to create scenes that made me smile. They didn’t feel inappropriate or tasteless, but were welcome and exquisitely done breathers in the middle of all those tragic events.
Then there were Roarke and Eve, of course. You can just count on them to provide heartwarming, sexy and amusing scenes. I know some readers actually think they are getting “boring” and want more drama (I simply can’t understand that!) but I like the way their relationship progressed. It feels natural and right. I just love them united, strong and secure in their love of each other.
Of course there was some friction in this book, but that’s completely understandable considering the emotional stress they were under due to this nerve-wracking case. But then their arguments and little discussions just felt like natural parts of a healthy relationship. I don’t need some overdone drama, blown completely out of proportion, just reading about the nuances and ups and downs of their “everyday life” is exciting and rewarding enough. There will be more noticeable changes and developments in their relationship when it’s time. For me there’s no need to rush.

Another of my highlights of this series that got a lot of attention in this installment of the series, are the character and relationship developments. This time we got a bit more insight into Mira and Eve’s complex relationship and it was incredibly touching. There were also some surprising, but strangely appealing scenes between Eve, Summerset and Roarke. I really like the almost fatherly connection he has to Roarke and I adore his and Eve’s bickering. This time we got to see them from a different perspective and it was still fascinating.
As the cherry on top, Robb presents us with the most adorable Bella/Eve scene. It’s so cute how Eve is slowly getting used to the little kid.
One of the things I enjoyed most about “Delusion In Death” was the fact that there were so many plot strings, personal and professional. They were connected, but at the same time they never crowded each other or took the spotlight from the investigation. J.D. Robb is especially good at that, but it somehow stood out more to me this time.

This was another great book in a formidable series, with subtle, but rewarding personal developments and a hard, brutal, but nevertheless engaging murder investigation. A must-read for fans of the series. Newcomers should start at the beginning with “Naked In Death”.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quote of the Week #4

To celebrate tomorrow's release of "Delusion in Death", book #35 in the "In Death" series, I'll give you a J.D. Robb quote as this week's "Quote of the Week". Enjoy! :]

"What kind of cop shop is this", she asked, "with fancy art on the walls and uni- forms who give you a big smile instead of the beady eye?"
"You're the New York in Dallas."

"Buck up, darling. I'm sure somewhere in this facility someone's getting the beady eye."
"The security officer smiled and said 'Good afternoon, ma'am,' to me before I gave him ID."
"It's a sick world, Eve."
from "New York To Dallas" by J.D.Robb
God, I love those two! :D What about you, are you a fan of the series? Do you love Roarke and Eve as much as I do? What was your favorite Eve/Roarke conversation?

Btw, Sabrina from "About Happy Books" is doing something really great at her blog. Seven days that are all about the "In Death" series. It started today, so take a look and join some great discussions.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Archangel's Storm" by Nalini Singh

5+ stars

Mahiya lives only half a live in Neha’s court. Niece of the Indian archangel and the living reminder of her consort’s betrayal. Because Mahiya’s parents are none other than Neha’s sister and Erin, consort to the archangel. Now, centuries later, Erin is dead and Neha, half-insane with grief and anger, threatens to release her power and destroy entire cities.
Jason, sent to her court to avert disaster, must find the murderer, but by doing so he has to prove his loyalty and bind himself to Mahiya, the archangel’s only remaining blood relative.

What amazes me the most about Nalini Singh, her books and especially „Archangel’s Storm“, the fifth installment in her “Guild Hunter” series, are her complex and original character constructions/developments. With a lot of authors you get the feeling that they have one male or female hero type, which they then recycle for all their books. They might give them a different hair or eye color, make them taller or smaller, but in the end it’s basically the same character. I’ve never felt like that with Nalini Singh before and I definitely haven’t felt like that while reading “Archangel’s Storm”.

Jason and Mahiya are such appealingly flawed, complex and unique characters it was a pleasure to get to know them a little bit more with every read page. Especially Jason is such an intriguing protagonist. We didn’t find out a lot about him in the previous books of the series, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I even had some worries that it might be too early for his own book (even though I promised never to doubt Nalini Singh again), but once again she proved to be a master of her craft. Jason stays a mystery until the end of the book, but at the same time you feel so much compassion and affection towards him. Nalini Singh did an awesome job of walking the fine line while creating his character. She manages to make him guarded, without making him appear cold, as well as give him a core of immense strength, while also showing a certain vulnerability. By the time I finished the last page of the book he was one of my favorite Singh protagonists.
Then there’s Mahiya. In the beginning of the book Neha described her as a “fragile trinket” and let me just tell you: She was wrong. Due to her heritage and the circumstances of her upbringing she has honed her talent of blending into the background, so a lot of people underestimated her, even I didn’t fully comprehend the extent of her courage, intelligence and determination. This heroine came as a bit of a surprise to me. A very pleasant one. She has a mature kind of innocence to her and although Neha has treated her with nothing but distaste, even cruelty, she managed to keep her core of compassion and… goodness. She didn’t turn bitter, actually, she refused to turn bitter and was determined to stay true to herself. Considering what was done to her it’s nothing but a miracle (at least in my opinion).

Together Jason and Mahiya were just amazing. If you’ve read (and enjoyed) this series up to this point then you know that Nalini Singh’s romantic (and other) relationships are almost a thing of art. Her gift of translating feelings and emotions into words is incredible and she used it perfectly for Jason and Mahiya.
Jason became her protector. In a world where everybody looked down on her, while Neha did everything to crush her spirit, this black winged angel respected and acknowledged her for who she truly was. He listened to her, he cared about her opinions and step by step he started to care even more for her. Mahiya might have been extremely dependent on him, but at the same time she stood her ground and refused to accept the fact that Jason seemed to stay somehow detached from the world around him. Those two characters were so right for each other, despite or maybe because of all their differences. There were so many things standing between them, their individual pasts, obstacles thrown at them from the outside, as well as Jason’s loyalty to Raphael. But still, together they became so much stronger and reading about it was simply beautiful. For me this following quote describes their relationship and interaction perfectly (this scene takes place earlier in the book, so don’t worry about spoilers):

“He was beyond fascinating. Dangerous and unpredictable and frighteningly intelligent. A threat. And yet she wanted to run her finger over the blade of him even if it made her bleed, wanted to dance too close to the flame, wanted to take a risk that could destroy her.”

The mystery part of the story was fascinating, to say the least. The hunt for Eris’ murderer, as well as a wave of additional murders, all connected to Neha, kept things interesting, even on the non-romantic level. There were so many unexpected twists and sudden plot changes and once more, as always when it comes to Singh’s plotting, I was unable to predict the outcome.

This is a haunting story, a compelling mystery plot and a love story so heartbreaking, but incredibly beautiful at the same time. The fact that I finished this book in less than a day should already tell you something. If you’re a fan of the series you simply HAVE to read it. If you’re new to Nalini Singh’s universe, start at the beginning with “Angel’s Blood”, you won’t regret it.
The fact that I have to wait a year for the next book in the series is heartbreaking as well. Quite some of the revelations and things that happened in this book made me hungry (ravenous!) for more and I’m ecstatic that Elena and Raphael will be the protagonists of the next book once more.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September's additions to my book family

These are the books that will be published in September and will join the rest of my books on my shelves. I'll list them according to my excitement level, so my highlights will come first. And here they are (click on the covers to get to their Goodreads pages):

"Archangel's Storm" by Nalini Singh (publication date - September 4, 2012; book #5 in the "Guild Hunter" series)
"Delusion In Death" by J.D. Robb (publication date - September 11, 2012; book #35 in the "In Death" series)
"Alice In Zombieland" by Gena Showalter (publication date - September 25, 2012; book #1 in the "White Rabbit Chronicles" series) 

I'm really REALLY looking forward to all of them, especially since they all have amazing covers. They will look great on my bookshelves! ;] 

What are your September must-haves?