Tag: Kresley Cole

April Wrap Up

“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”

– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
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Tempting the Best Man by Jennifer L Armentraut Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★☆☆

This is a short romance about Madison Daniels who has been in love with her brother’s best friend Chase her whole life. Circumstances at her brother’s wedding put them in very close quarters blurring the line between friendship and love. It’s a nice quick story but nothing fantastic.

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole Immortals After Dark Elaine Howlin Book Blog

No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark #3) by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

This is one of my favourites from the series. I’d nearly say my favourite but it’s very hard to choose between the books (there are 18 so far). I love the supernatural Amazing Race in the story and I love Sebastian and Kaderin’s characters.

Kaderin is a valkyrie dispatched to kill vampire Sebastian but that doesn’t quite go as planned. She runs from him when he chases her through a supernatural version of the Amazing Race for a prize that would grant both of their deepest wishes.

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland Elaine Howlin Book Blog

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (White Trash Zombie #3) by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

Such a fun urban fantasy series!! The audiobook narrator is one of the best I’ve heard. It’s easy to get a shitty narrator that ruins the book but here she really adds another dimension to the story. She brings Angel to life I think.

White Trash Zombie follows Angel Crawford who is basically white trash. She’s a high school dropout with a drug problem and a shitty boyfriend when she’s turned into a zombie and things start looking up.

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

What to say about this book…. Harry Potter must be the most discussed series in the book community so there’s no need to talk about it anymore really. All I’ll say is I love this one for all of the character growth and the development of Voldermort’s character.

Clockwork Angel The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare Elaine Howlin Book Blog

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★☆

I had really high expectations for this one and it didn’t exactly fall short of them I just found it to be very predictable. I picked up on all the hints of what was coming so reading the ending felt like just going through the motions but it was still a very enjoyable book.

The Infernal Devices is set in the same world as The Mortal Instruments but in 18th century London. There are one or two familiar characters but we mainly follow Tessa Gray who has arrived from New York to join her brother. Tessa soon discoveries she is something more than human and her life is irrevocably changed.

Alpha and Omega (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

I spotted the audiobook of this novella on Scribd and since I’m about 4 books behind my reading goal I decided to give it a listen. I read this a few years ago and loved it and I loved it again listening to the audiobook. It’s much more paranormal romance than urban fantasy like Briggs’ other series Mercy Thompson is but it is connected to that series.

In this novella we are introduced to Anna who believes herself to be a submissive werewolf that has been abused by her pack. Charles (from the mercy Thompson series) is sent by the marrock to investigate her pack and reveals her true nature to her.

Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole Review

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark, #18)

Title: Wicked Abyss

Series: Immortals After Dark #18

Author: Kresley Cole

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis: This fairy tale doesn’t end with a kiss… A spellbinding Immortals After Dark tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole!

The terrifying king of hell…

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster–just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for eons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

Format: Audiobook

Pages/Hours: 13 hours

Ownership: Scribd

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Tags: Paranormal Romance, Demons, Fae

Themes: Beauty and the Beast, Enemies to Lovers

Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole
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Review: I really enjoyed it but it’s not going to be one of my favourites by Cole. I kind of wish I hadn’t listened to the audio and read the ebook instead.

I loved the nods to Disney and it being a Beauty and the Beast retelling without directly following that story.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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April Book Haul

I recently discovered https://thebookshop.ie/ thanks to Books and Charms so this is where all of my money will probably be going from now on. The Bookshop.ie sells second-hands from as little as 50c (but mostly about €2) and they are based in Ireland so shipping is nice and fast for me AND if you spend €20 shipping is free. So of course I picked up a few books.

A Place of Stones by Deirdre Purcell Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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A Place of Stones by Deirdre Purcell

An instant bestseller in Ireland and England, here is “an unputdownable story of Irish life and love” (Maeve Binchy). Molly new nothing of her real past. For all she knew, she was a true-blue Irishwoman. When she traveled to America as a rising star of the screen, she fell in love with an irresistible American, not knowing that their love could only lead to a nightmare, and the truth of who Molly really was.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits-talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire-and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay…

Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

Recently named the world’s chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire – the sizzling-hot Mircea – are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own …

The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire. The Codex’s location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found – the past.

But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world…

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

My name is Meredith Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why…

I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Merry Gentry, I am a private investigator for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems, Magical Solutions. My magical skills, scorned at the courts of Faerie, are valued in the human world. Even by human standards, my magic isn’t flashy, which is fine by me. Flashy attracts attention and I can’t afford that.

Rumour has it that I am dead. Not quite. I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. To speak that name after dark is to call down a knock upon your door from a hand that can kill you with a touch. I have been careful, but not careful enough. The shadows have found me, and they are going to take me back home, one way or another.

So the running is over. But the fighting has just begun…

Rich, sensual, brimming with dangerous magic, A Kiss of Shadows is a dazzling tour-de-force where folklore, fantasy and erotically charged adventure collide.

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole Immortals After Dark Elaine Howlin Book Blog 2
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No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

In this next installment in the Immortals After Dark SeriesUSA Today Bestselling author Kresley Cole delivers a scorching tale about a forbidding vampire who lives in the shadows and the beautiful assassin who hunts him there. 

A vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Everybody Matters by Mary Robinson Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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Everybody Matters: A Memoir by Mary Robinson

One of the most inspiring women of our age, Mary Robinson has spent her life in pursuit of a fairer world, becoming a powerful and influential voice for human rights around the globe. Displaying a gift for storytelling and remembrance, Robinson reveals, in Everybody Matters, what lies behind the vision, strength, and determination that made her path to prominence as compelling as any of her achievements.

Born in 1944 into a deeply Catholic family-the only girl among five childrenshe was poised to become a nun before finding her own true voice.Ever since, she has challenged convention in pursuit of fairness-whether in the Church, in government and politics, or in her own family.

As an activist lawyer, she won landmark cases advancing the causes of women and marginalized people against the prejudices of the day, and in her twenty years in the Irish Senate she promoted progressive legislation, including the legalizing of contraception. She shocked the political system by winning election as Irelands first woman president in l990, redefining the role and putting Ireland firmly on the international stage. Her role as UN high commissioner for human rights, beginning in 1997, was to prove an even bigger challenge; she won acclaim for bringing attention to victims worldwide but was often frustrated both by the bureaucracy and by the willingness to compromise on principle, which reveal the deep and inherent barriers to changing the status quo. Now back in Ireland and heading her Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, she has found the independence she needs to work effectively on behalf of the millions of poor around the world most affected by climate change.

Told with the same calm conviction and modest pride that has guided her life, Everybody Matters will inspire anyone who reads it with the belief that each of us can, in our own way, help to change the world for the better. 

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Magic is dangerous — but love is more dangerous still 

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare Elaine Howlin Book Blog
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Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough Elaine Howlin Book Blog
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The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O’Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

The central figures in this enthralling story are the indomitable Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, the stunningly handsome and ambitious priest Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph’s course moves him a long way indeed, from a remote Outback parish to the halls of the Vatican; and Meggie’s except for a brief and miserable marriage elsewhere, is fixed to the Drogheda that is part of her bones – but distance does not dim their feelings though it shapes their lives.

Wonderful characters people this book; strong and gentle, Paddy, hiding a private memory; dutiful Fiona, holding back love because it once betrayed her, violent, tormented Frank, and the other hardworking Cleary sons who give the boundless lands of Drogheda the energy and devotion most men save for women; Meggie; Ralph; and Meggie’s children, Justine and Dane. And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth.

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Now I have so many books to read I shouldn’t need to buy any more for the next few months… but we all know that won’t happen.

March Wrap Up

“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” 
― L.M. Montgomery

I started March with a few rereads. I guess I was feeling nostalgic or something…. I should have been reading for The Irish Readathon but sadly only managed one book for it. I was visiting family and traveling for two weeks at the end of the month so that’s my excuse for not reading as much.

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A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016. You can read my original review here. I enjoyed it a lot more on my second read. The main characters annoyed me a lot less because I understood why they behaved the way they did and where their story was going.

This book seems to have very mixed reviews from people because Lachlain hits very highly on the Alpha-Asshole scale.

Shadow Game (Ghost Walkers #1) by Christine Feehan ★★★☆☆

Shadow Game (GhostWalkers, #1)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016 as well but it was on audio and I kept falling asleep. Not cause it was boring just cause I was listening at night and kept snoozing so a lot of this seemed new to me reading as an ebook.

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Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9) by Lara Adrian ★★★★☆

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

Paranormal Romance

This one I read for the Kick’n Down Your TBR challenge in Gotta Have Romance With a Kick on Goodreads. I read book #8 in this series in 2013 so it took me awhile to remember everything about the series when I started this one (and most of it hasn’t come back to me 😅). Despite forgetting most of what was going on Adrian’s little recaps throughout the story reminded me of the important stuff and I ended up enjoying the story. I think the earlier books in this series were more romance focused and this one felt very story and action focused with a romance.

The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

YA, Fantasy

So close to the end now 😭😭😭 This series has been such an insane and emotional roller coaster! I am VERY invested in these characters now and if anything bad happens (or worse that what has already happened) to them I will be very upset. Cole is such a fantastic writer. She manages to write fiction in genres that are usually so predictable in a way that’s familiar but still refreshing. And she is a master at developing tension.

Dreaming of You (Gamblers #2) by Lisa Kleypas ★★★★☆

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)

Historical Romance

I read this book for the Romanceopoly challenge. I landed on Austen Row – Read a classic romance OR a historical romance on UTC or Peace Love Books rec lists. So I chose a book from the rec list and really enjoyed it. This was my first Lisa Kleypas book, it was published in 1994 and I think certain elements of it show that it was a historical romance from that time. There are some things that the characters do that just don’t happen in historical romances anymore. But it’s a very good book and definitely doesn’t go as far as being rapey like romances often did in the 70’s/80’s.

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes ★★★★☆

Under the Duvet

Essays

If you want to see what life was like for Irish people in the late 90’s and early 00’s then read this. Some of the language may be a little confusing if you’re not Irish but it’s a very entertaining collection nonetheless.

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole Review

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

Title: A Hunger Like No Other

Series: Immortals After Dark #2

Author: Kresley Cole

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:  In New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sizzling series, a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire become unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he’s waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. Emmaline Troy is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

Sheltered Emmaline finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 384 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Themes: Beauty and the Beast

Review: 1st Read 2016:The beginning of the book was a bit strenuous. I hated Lachlain and Emma was annoying. He was way too pushy and possessive and she was super wimpish. They do get better throughout the book but I still think Lachlain is just a bit too possessive.
Emma grows into a formidable character, though. She learns to hold her own against all the controlling bullshit that gets thrown at her. Lachlain tries his best to reel in the alpha crap but I’m still not all that impressed with him.
Despite my misgivings about Lachlain, I was rooting for the two of them. The story was captivating, thrilling and sexy.
What I really love about this series, is the world Cole has created. The mythology of the Lore is fascinating. I’m really excited to find out more about the various creatures inhabiting it.

2nd Read 2019: I enjoyed this a lot more on my second read. The main characters annoyed me a lot less because I knew why they behaved the way they did and where their story was going.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_