Friday Booktalk!

This has been a really good book week for me! In fact I’m saving some to write about next week too because I wont’ be reading as much because I just got edits for Chased. I don’t generally do plot recaps in my reviews – you can read the links to the book pages for that, FYI.

First up – Eileen Wilks’ Blood Lines:

I loved Blood Lines from beginning to end. I think Eileen Wilks is one of the freshest and most interesting voices out there writing paranormals and reading her books is a pleasure.

I won’t waste time with a plot recap, you can read the blurb above for that. But I will say I think Rule Turner ranks up with Roarke on the best hero ever list.

Lily is strong but not so strong she doesn’t have room in her life for help but she needs to be strong to keep Rule from taking over her life. I like the balance they’ve achieved and I love the emotional tension as they recover from what they endured as they were separated in the last book.

The action is all well written and fun and I can’t say I found the book confusing as a standalone at all. Frankly, I quite liked the multiple storylines at once and the two sets of hero/heroine – it kept me interested and as I love Rule and Lily, I was quite happy that they featured strongly in the book.

In a sea of books that sometimes bleed into each other plotwise, Wilks rises above the pack (no pun intended) and gives readers something to really sink their teeth into (okay so that one was, LOL) I highly recommend Blood Lines and I can’t wait for the next installment.

And – Hells Belles by Jackie Kessler

Again, another refreshing take on a paranormal. Told in first person and with a really unusual heroine, a demon succubus. She’s not virtuous and I loved that about her. It’s tough as a writer to take a character like Jessie (Jezebel) and make readers like her despite the fact she’s a soul sucking demon who steals credit cards and considers prostitution to pay the rent.

But there’s a level of honesty with Jessie that makes you like her despite her faults.

The use of the mytho-religious structure of hell, archangels and demons was quite clever and fresh.

Hells Belles is sexy and really funny and I totally enjoyed it.

And lastly for today, Colleen Gleason’s The Rest Falls Away.

It took me a bit to get started on this one. I’d just read several paranormal contemporaries in a row and it was hard to get into the historical set language. But, IMO, that’s a good thing because Gleason did it right.

Anyway, after my initial stumble in the first fifty or so pages, I fell into the story. This is a historical, yes, but it’s got a decidedly modern feel – and it’s done well. Gleason treads the line between historical accuracy and modern vampire hunter novel with skill. I liked Victoria a great deal even though I often have a hard time identifying with characters in regency romances who are so very young. But Victoria, while wanting a normal life, didn’t storm off and cry about her fate, although she did challenge it and yes, with some tragic results.

The meta story of the Venators was really well done and interesting and I want to know more. I loved the backstory about Victoria’s great aunt and I hope to hear more in the next book. The vampires are baddies, which was delicious and most of the characters were not so much virtuous or evil but flawed, as humans can be. The secondary characters were memorable and not so many you lost count.

I loved this book. I loved the spin Gleason gave the vampire genre, keeping it alive and interesting. I will definitely be back for more!

One thing – the spine says it’s a paranormal romance and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time you’ll know I’m one of the least sticky people about genre boxes. I do however, want to say that as a standalone, this book isn’t what I’d term a romance. There is a wonderful romantic subplot and a lot of great emotional tension, but the end is not an HEA. It’s a series, so I’m expecting it to lead more along the lines of a romance as we go and like I said, the book is really good and I’m willing to wait. I just wanted to point that issue out.

2 comments to “Friday Booktalk!”

  1. Jordan
    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:38 pm · Link

    Sigh, now I may have to skip ahead to Eileen’s most recent release. I’d just started reading the second book in this series, but Blood Lines sounds so good I may not wait. *ggg*

  2. Lauren
    February 3rd, 2007 at 9:34 am · Link

    Jordan – I absolutely adored Blood Lines and I’m afraid if I ever meet Eileen I’ll go all fangirl on her because I think the world she’s built is flat out amazing!