Book Review ~ “Dead Ever After” by Charlaine Harris

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Title ~ “Dead Ever After”

Author ~ Charlaine Harris

Series~ Sookie Stackhouse

Book # ~13 (Final in Series)

Format ~Hardcover

Rating ~2 1/2 Stars

 

Short Recap ~ There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough… (recap courtesy of goodreads.com)

First off, let me say I LOATHE giving bad reviews, and 2 ½ stars was being kind in my mind. I prefer to give 4 and 5 stars and tell you to rush out and read a novel or at least put it on your TBR list and try to get to it soon, in this case, take your time and wait; borrow a copy (don’t put the money out for it if you don’t have too).

 

This was the last novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series, so I knew it was winding down; the last few books have given that sorta vibe and indicated a few things, yet, I felt like I was let down by ‘Dead Ever After’. I really, truly did want to love this novel and find ‘closure’ as much as possible with it, yet, it felt like there was something missing.

 

You won’t find any spoilers in this review as much as I am tempted; I want to let each reader have their own experience. Normally, I don’t read or skim other book reviews before I read a book, in this case, I did, about 2 dozen of them actually, and I was mostly 1 star and 2 star reviews; those friend friends and from others who like me, have followed the series from the beginning and who wanted the series to end on a high note.

 

Throughout the series, you have seen Sookie grow; from a telepath who had trouble controlling what she ‘heard’ and from having no experience in the ‘love’ department to a woman on her own who knows her self worth and with more experience and confidence. The man she ends up with, I did see coming, like I said, and this book is almost a copout as you saw a lot of what happens coming.

 

The disjoined chapters, made me feel like Ms Harris had several post it notes on her computer and she decided to get in as many as she could and put this one here and that one there. Some of the sections within the chapters were disconcerting and I had to reread them in order to understand them.

 

A few things are wrapped up and a few characters get their ‘happily ever after’ as much as they can, so that’s a plus. Returning characters from past novels make guest appearances, and help to wind the series down.

 

Things in Louisiana will definitely never be the same.

Book Review ~ “Kiss of Surrender” by Sandra Hill

Kiss of Surrender cover

Title ~ “Kiss of Surrender”

Author ~ Sandra Hill

Series~ Deadly Angels

Book # ~2

Format ~Paperback

Rating ~4 Stars

 

Short Recap ~  It’s not easy being a Vampire Angel.

No one knows that better than Trond Sigurdsson. In the centuries since he last went out drinking and wenching with his Viking buds, Trond has been a gladiator, a cowboy, a ditch digger . . . even a sheik. But now he’s the baddest of them all: a kick-ass Navy SEAL kicking butts of terrorist immortals with the help of his hotter-than-Hades female partner, police officer-turned-Special Forces operative Nicole Tasso–whom Trond dearly hopes to “partner” with very shortly in a whole different way.

The “cop” part of Nicole tells her there’s something bizarre about her gorgeous godlike teammate. But her “all-woman” side can’t help wondering how great it would be to have a virile Viking in her bed. Trond has secrets galore, but Nicole feels certain she can dig them out–and really get to the heart of this powerful, unnerving stranger whom she may be risking her soul to love.(recap courtesy of goodreads.com )

 

Since I’ve been on this ‘vampire’ kick as of late, this falls into that category, well, in a way.  Trond is not your typical ‘vampire’; he is a ‘vangel”- Viking Vampire Angel. Not what you would expect. Trond was shall we say ‘recruited’ by the Archangel Michael; definitely NOT your typical vampire.

 

Nicole, is one tough lady; I immediately liked her from the beginning, her spunk, strength, attitude, and how she knows who she is now and where she wants to be and where she wants to go. Trond has his hands full and with the ‘almost sex’ she is not the only one teased in this novel, the reader is as well. At one point, I was experiencing de je vue with the ‘almost’, yet, the plot pulled through and tey get an opportunity thanks to……. (no spoilers here)

 

Reading this novel kept me once again up reading late as others have, yet, this one had a unique presence in the evenings; when you are dealing with evil demons, vangels, SEALs, WEALS, one of bin Ladin’s son’s, a family estranged, one Archangel, things get interesting to say the least, not to mention tricky, yet they all meld into one strong and powerful story that will keep you guessing and reading not only late into the night, but to read ‘just one more chapter’, you won’t be stopping at just one more.

 

This was the first novel I have read by Sandra Hill and it will not be the last; I am hooked on her and this series now. I cannot wait to see what she does next and who she brings to the pages.

Book Review ~ “Immortal Ever After” by Lynsay Sands

Immortal Ever After cover

Title ~ “Immortal Ever After”

Author ~ Lynsay Sands

Series~ Argeneau

Book # ~18 (by publication date)

Format ~Paperback

Rating ~5 Stars

 

Short Recap ~  

A kiss doesn’t mean eternity . . .

Valerie Moyer doesn’t believe in vampires—until she is kidnapped by a fanged psychopath! After escaping her bloodthirsty captor, she’s through with creatures of the night. Until she finds herself under the protection of the darkly handsome Anders. Not only is she expected to accept that Anders is immortal, but also that she is the woman destined to be his life mate!

. . . Or does it?

Anders felt a connection to Valerie from the moment he cradled her bruised body in his arms. But before he claims her, he must destroy the vampire who almost stole her from him forever. His job would be easier if Valerie didn’t fight him every step of the way. Still, Anders loves a challenge, and the green-eyed beauty is worth fighting for!

(recap courtesy of goodreads.com )

 

As someone who has read all the novels in this series, I have been waiting for Anders to FINALLY get his lifemate, and boy does he ever.  Anders gave all the other enforcers and Lucian hell over passing out from scorching sex with their lifemates, but when he does, I looked at it as karma biting him in his luscious butt.  

From a few near sexcipades to finally making love the reader is once again drawn into the world of immortals from Atlantis and who are as human and as passionate as they come. With a Rogue who is eating ‘off the hoof’ and terrorizing women, Valerie leans on Anders who is immediately excepted by the adorable Roxy, Valerie’s cuddly companion.

Valerie proves from the beginning that she doesn’t need to be saved, that she can save herself, she just needs some TLC, the kind that only Anders can give. With passion, a rogue on the loose and the VERY pregnant Leigh keeping things interesting and moving, I stayed up late to read and to finish this novel.

This novels keeps a brisk pace with Anders playing bodyguard to a traumatized yet strong Valerie and the reader keeps waiting for Leigh to have her baby. In typical Lynsay Sands fashion, there are twists and turns (one that happened in a previous novel – I won’t share which one as it will give something away); and as always a passionate and happy ending for Valerie, Anders as well as Leigh & Lucian.

Vampires on the Brain

Ok, before I really begin, I want to point out that I blame my MOTHER for introducing me to vampires when I was a small child.  I knew who Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Bella Lagosi, Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney Jr, Charlie Chaplin, George Reeves were at a young age; I saw “Nosferatu” with Max Schreck when I was little, so I KNOW vampires or at least been exposed to them for as long as I can remember. It was all HER fault, so I firmly place the blame on her for me liking vampires and for having such strong opinions on them and for playing favorites so to speak.

 Scarry Vampire

With that over, I can move onto the ‘meat’ of today’s post.  Like the title for today’s post says, I have ‘Vampires on the Brain”; I can’t imagine why?!?!  I mean, I am currently reading “Kiss of Surrender” by Sandra Hill and next to that is “ Immortal Ever After” by Lynsay Sands (newest Argeneau novel), so their might be a slight reason for me to be thinking about vampires tonight.  When you are reading about Viking Vampire Angels and trying to finish up that one, so you can dive into ‘Immortals’ (aka vampires, but do NOT call them that) from Atlantis and haven’t been able to get your hands on an anthology, you too would have vampires biting around in your head as well.  Lets also throw in that when I ran to the store I saw a big promo for ‘Breaking Dawn” from the Twilight saga (no, I will NOT be watching that, or reading those novels, so don’t ask, nor will I be watching those movies, vampires are NOT ‘sparkly’). Vampires are EVERYWHERE!!!!

 

If you ever had the opportunity to look in my closet, besides my ‘weird’ organization of clothes (weird according to my husband), you would see almost two full shelves that take up 2 sides to my closet on the top of books; I keep my favorites close by for when I want something to read and I don’t want to go very far, also my latest paperbacks end up there so they are not forgotten.  The vampire series you will find include the Sookie Stackhouse novels (all 12 of them, #13 comes out soon), the Love at the Stake series, the Argeneau series (only the first one is missing, on loan to my mother in law), a few vampire novels from Katie MacAlister and the occasional rogue vampire novel I picked up or was given by a friend.

 Bill, Sookie, Eric, clothed

For me, vampires are NOT sparkly; they have a dark side to them, one of mystery, intrigue, an aura about them that draws you in while at the same time warning you about danger; the kind of feeling you get when you know you are being watched, the feeling that you get when you walk alone at night and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you start to take more notice of your surroundings.  THAT is the kind of feeling that I associate with vampires. The creatures of the night. The ones that bring fear to your soul as much as they make you lust for the and after them.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I prefer vampire novels with a good dose of romance and intrigue.  What hot blooded lady doesn’t dream of a man who can bring her to her knees with a look and one who kisses or nibbles on her neck (my hubby does this and he can attest that THIS lady goes weak in the knees and yes, ‘swoons’ – don’t be jealous); I’ve had dreams of a few (ok, more than a few), dreams that involve some very attractive men of the vampire persuasion.  There IS a reason, I try to finish vampire novels right before bed 😉

 

Since I was indoctrinated into knowing about vampires from a young age, I watched not only those old movies but I am also old enough to remember watching “Kindred the Embraced” and “Forever Knight”, both of which I try to watch whenever I can find them; they bring back from great memories and also get my mind going and get me seeking out my next vampire series to read.  They also get me reaching for one of my favorite [vampire] novels.   

 Kindred the Embraced

So the next time I am in a ‘vampire’ mood, I know what I will be reaching for, either one of my favorite authors or one of the new favorites I am finding just strolling down my local book isle in a chain store (no actual ‘bookstores’ for about 50 miles in any direction, except for used).

 

What will you be reaching for when you get that craving for something that goes ‘bite in the night’????