Posts tagged “vampires

Cover Reveal: BOUND BY FLAMES by Jeaniene Frost

I tweeted this earlier, but in case you missed the update, here is the very gorgeous cover for Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost!

And the equally beautiful step-back art:

Love it? Hate it? Don’t care either way? What are we thinking? Do comment and share. 🙂

-Rika Ashton

(aka Cover Lover)

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Reviewing from This Side of the Grave

book cover of This Side of the Grave  (Night Huntress, book 5)byJeaniene FrostYes, it’s true I’m still alive. I have not been run over in a random – or not so random – bus accident. Nor have I been staked by a Twihard fan for all the Edward bashing I do on this blog. (Luckily, I won’t have to do any of my own Edward bashing in this blog, Bones is going to do it for me. Yes, that Bones.)

I thought I’d kick off my return to blogland with a review of  Jeaniene Frost’s This Side of the Grave, the latest in the Night Huntress series:

Danger waits on both sides of the grave. . .

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they’ve triumphed over the latest battle, Cat’s new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance.

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous ”ally”–the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war–to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

(Note: For readers who are new to the Night Huntress series, I’ll give you a fair warning that this is book 5 and there may be spoilers in this review.)

With all that emphasis on “danger” in the summary and an appearance from the ghoul queen, I knew this novel was going to be good but I couldn’t help but think that this novel was the calm before the storm. Yes, there are a lot of developments in the novel, including Cat’s new power source, Don’s illness and Apollyon but overall everything happened a closed off a little too neatly and knowing that there’s going to be another novel in the series, I can’t help but think that the real action has been put off.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of heads – literally! – roll in this novel, but not with the same amount at stake as in the last novel, the fight between Bones and Gregor, etc. Plus, Ms. Frost writing is great as always and Cat and Bones have some great and funny scenes.

There are two notably awesome scenes in this novel. One, when Bones teaches Cat to fly. Two, when Bones bashes Edward. (Yes, this was AWESOME!):

Timmie gave Bones and me a speculative glance. “Before I go, I gotta know: if mind reading abilities are real, there’s something else I wonder if fiction got right about vampire –“

“Ask me if I sparkle and I will kill you where you stand,” Bones cut him off with utmost seriousness. (Page 82)

LOL! (Yeah, I had fun reading that.)

That said, I also liked that the ghosts of the Night Huntress world are getting a little more credit. Who doesn’t love Fabian and his undying loyalty to Cat? Plus, I love how he talks back to Vlad. It was my favourite I-wish-I-was-there-and-could-see-his-face moment.

Speaking of Vlad, I think Ms. Frost is subtling laying the groundwork for his series in this novel as well.

But I have to say, I missed Ian and his slutty ways. Bones’ sire makes a very small appearance in this novel and his role is delegated solely to backup in the big fight scene. (My poor, poor Ian.)

Finally, we have Cat and Bones. As always they are a fabulous pair. I love how Ms. Frost didn’t go through that whole “are they going to be or not” scenario” and pairs these two lovebirds off fairly quickly. But I’m a little afraid with how things are going to turn out, namely because this novel had an entire scene where Cat dwells on the fact that someday one of the other of them is going to die. (Please, please, please let this not be foreshadowing!)

My current mantra is “Bones and Cat to infinity and beyond” and I’m hoping it stays that way forever.

Jeaniene Frost's pictureOverall, I did like the book even though it was slower that the other novels in the series. This Side of the Grave was more about developing the world. I learned a lot more about ghosts and Cat’s powers in this novel than the previous ones, so the slower pace gave me more time to swallow that info. Plus, it was nice to see that Kira and Mencheres got such a big role in this novel. (I’m biased because they’re my second favourite pairing.) I look forward to reading what Ms. Frost has in store for Cat and Bones in the upcoming One Grave at a Time (August 2011).

So my grade for this latest novel in the Night Huntress series is a 7 out of 10.


The Good, the Bad and the Undead

So has Twilight changed the ruthless image of vampires for life? Fortunately, not – at least not for me. Most vampires that pre-existed, coexisted and post-existed the Twilight saga are not only less sparkly but also infinitely hotter! Of course, I give props to Stephenie Meyer for coming up with a “glittering” vampire storyline that didn’t exist before.

So back to the point at hand, if Twilight didn’t ruin vampire novels for me then can I recommend some hot, fanged men that will make you swoon? Boy, can I ever! But vampires aren’t the only creatures that go bump in the night, are they? So can I also recommend demons, warlocks, werewolves, etc? Of course, you really didn’t have to ask. But what about the good in the “The Good, the Bad and the Undead”? Trust me, I can recommend some guys you’ll be sure to think are positively angelic.

These men were critiqued on the following qualities, as decided by the readers:

1) Looks. The superficial and shallow, but still all-important HOTNESS rating. Is this man a stud or a dud? Do you look at him and think “I gotta get me one of those” or think “those damn sparkles are irritating me eyes”? (Sorry, couldn’t resist 😛 )

2) Loyalty. Like a puppy, the men of the supernatural variety must be loyal and faithful or the heroine (and the reading population) must unfortunately kick him to the curb.

3) Intelligence. Like does he know the difference between a felis catus and a canis lupis familiaris…of course, since I could not give them a biology test, I opted to read between the lines and observe things like how fast does they figured out the bad guy’s plan, etc.

4) Being non-superficial. The supernatural man must be able to see below the appearance of the female (or any flaws she may have) to discover the person within. After all, the man has super-vision he might as well put it to good use!

5) Sensitivity. No, I’m not talking about their teeth or even the toothpaste they use but their ability to care for their heroine’s feelings. The supernatural man must be able to tell that when the female asks a question like, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” the best answer is “You’re perfect.”

6) “Alpha-ness.” Under reasonable circumstances the fanged, furry, or winged man is allowed to be protective and/or possessive, but these must be welcome or he will risk spending days in the doghouse (or the pound for men of the furry variety, because they might actually like it).

7) Ability to be a badass. Can these men pull off playing the villain or are they just too damn nice?

(Each criteria was given a total score out of ten and then compiled in a sum total out of seventy and ranked. Yes, I was hard-core about the scoring, you wouldn’t believe how shamelessly some of these men tried to cheat.)

So without further ado here are the top ten supernatural men as voted by readers and fellow writers!

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#10. Carlos Panterra

There were-panther hottie is from Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks is smart, sensitive and all round, entertaining. He made it onto our list for the ability to dance in a sequined thong without losing his masculinity. He has a solid score of 60/70 losing some major points for “badass-ness,” because frankly he is just too nice. However, the strengths include being extremely protective of the heroine, when required, and having a sense of humour despite the heroine’s tendency to aim for male anatomical parts best left alone during training sessions. He also gets props for major basketball skills! 😀

#9. Cade

Our resident demon bad boy is Cade from Kresley Cole’s Dark Desires After Dusk. Cade delivers on the seductive demon promise that we all want, a possessive demon hottie with a tortured past. Unfortunately, Cade’s past doesn’t remain in the past and conflicted loyalties make his lose major points of trust with the heroine. (No, he doesn’t cheat on her just to clarify or he wouldn’t have made it onto the list at all. As it is his “past” is not a female problem but a problem of political intrigue.) He does reclaim points in the end for grovelling and keeping me entertained throughout his novel. Cade pulls of a solid 61/70.

#8. Conde Cezar

I can say one thing for Cezar – despite his name sounding like a Ceasar salad, he is definitely a man, of the fanged variety that is. This vamp gets majors points for being faithful to a woman for two hundred years to be precise with nary a sign from her. And of course, when he finds her again he gets to act protective and possessive, I found no fault with this considering how much Anna and Cezar loved each other. Like most of Alexandra Ivy’s “Guardians of Eternity” men, Cezar’s possessive protectiveness will simply make you swoon and hope he’s nearby to catch you. You can read all about him in Darkness Revealed and he scores a noteworthy 62/7o!

#7. Raphael

From resident bad boy to angelic good guy, Raphael has got it all. Beautiful gold-tipped white wings and blue eyes that can see into your soul, Raphael has got the looks category won. And Nalini Singh agrees that one book is definitely not enough to give us our fill of Raphael so he stars in not one book but 3, the “Guild Hunter” series including Angel’s Blood, Archangel’s Kiss, Archangel’s Consort. Best of all, Raphael knows how to be a possessive badass – bet you didn’t expect that of an angel did you? This archangel of New York knows that being bad can be, oh so good! Judges declare that Raphael receives the greatness score of 63/70.

#6. Acheron Parthenopaus

Oh, Ash, Ash, Ash…what to say, what to say? Actually, what not to say? When it comes to looks no one can beat him! No really, no one can. You see he was cursed a long time ago by his aunt the Goddess of Desire to be the most desirable man in the world. But, really, he would have had that title in the bad regardless being an immortal Atlantean god. When it comes to “badass-ness,” he got it down to an art form from his FU clothes to his never-the-same colour hair. But, unfortunately, Ash just doesn’t have enough opportunities to show his possessive side in his novel, Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, to compete with the other males on this list. He scores a nice 64/70.

#5. Mick

This dragon knows how to turn up the heat. Good looking, badass but a sweetheart, distant but loyal Mick’s a mass of contradictions. Best of all he also has more than one book. Allyson James introduced Mick in Stormwalker, revealed more of his secrets in Firewalker and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the upcoming Hexed anthology and novel Shadow Walker. But of course behind every great man is a woman and Janet Begay heroine and first-person narrator of the “Stormwalker” series is definitely makes Mick sound like a man I wanna know! Mick receives a nice 65/70.

#4. Lachlan MacRieve

Lachlan the lykae’s novel A Hunger Like No Other was the first book I ever read by Kresley Cole and he was the reason I come back to the “Immortals After Dark” series again and again. Lachlan is a tortured hero, whose sole purpose in life since the moment he breaks out of jail is to find his mate. Talk about dedication! Little does he know that his mate is a vampire, the very creatures who have tortured him for millennia. Lachlan and Emma get off to a rocky start, but Lachlan’s love and desire for Emma overcome his initial and the two reach their happily ever after! Lachlan struts into the sixties with a solid 66/70.

#3. Lucian Argeneau

Lynsay Sands’ Lucian from Bite Me if You Can makes number three in this epic battle between the supernatural. Lucien is cranky, arrogant, bossy and an all-round unlikeable vampire at the start of his novel. Nor is her very nice to Leigh, his life-mate – though he doesn’t know it – when he first meets her. Oh, he has very good reasons for the way he is, but nothing chased away my uncertainty with him as a hero until the moment he fell. And, oh boy, how the mighty fall – fall in love that is! He’s now everything a woman could want, sensitive, protective, generous and just plain amazing at everything he does. Lucian scored a worthy 65/70.

#2. Zarek

Zarek from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dance with the Devil is one lovable psycho Dark-Hunter…and yes, he really is psycho and not a wannabe psycho, I mean would a sane man battle with a polar bear with nothing buy his metal claws no matter how immortal he thought he was. Zarek has a reason for his craziness of course; he thinks he murdered everyone in a village that he was supposed to protect and has carried this guilt around for a long, long time. Enter Astrid, the beautiful but blind justice nymph who has been sent to judge Zarek by Acheron and Artemis. Zarek falls for her almost instantaneously after she shows him a kindness he’s forgotten how to accept, but doesn’t think he’s worthy of someone as great as her. But unlike some guys who turn into marshmallows after they fall in love, Zarek retains nearly all of his original “badass-ness” and is only ever a marshmallow for Astrid. He’s still an outcast, still hot and still a psycho but the best kind of each! Zarek pulls in a noticeable 67/70 points.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the number one overall SUPERNATURAL HOTTIE is…

#1. Bones

Jeaniene Frost’s Bones from the “Night Huntress” and the spinoff, “Night Huntress World” series is one of the biggest reasons why I have not been turned of vampires by the Twilight disease. Bones is too awesome in too many ways and that’s probably why he has over 6 books published, not including anthologies, and many more upcoming novels. But like I said before, every great man has an equally great woman behind him and Cat, Bones’ wife, is probably his biggest supporter in her first-person narrated novels. The way she tells it, Bones is funny, smart and infinitely preoccupied with trying to get his wife into bed every opportunity he gets…which makes him all the more fun to talk about. But more importantly, Bones scored nearly straight ten’s in all the categories, losing only one point each for sensitivity and “badass-ness.” Bones is not nearly as bad as Zarek, so he lost a point for that and not nearly as sensitive as Carlos, who is our resident nice guy. But Bones is still one hot vamp with a 69/70! (For a full list of Bones’ novels go to Jeaniene Frost’s website, because honestly there are too many to list.)

***

That concludes the top ten supernatural battle royale. But if you want to learn more about the worlds these guys come from then I recommend reading their entire series because this was just a taste of what’s out there! How’s that for reading material to keep you busy for the next year or so? 😀

And because we love getting introduced to new supernatural hotties, who is your favourite all-time paranormal hero and why?

-Rika Ashton (aka The Judgemental)