Book Review: In Over Her Head – Judi Fennell

In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Form: Book

Reel Tritone is the rebellious royal second son of the ruler of a vast undersea kingdom. A Merman born with legs instead of a tail, he’s always been fascinated by humans, especially one young women he once saw swimming near his family’s reef…

Ever since the day she swam out too far and heard voices in the water, marina owner Erica Peek won’t go swimming for anything – until she’s forced into the water by a shady ex-boyfriend searching for stolen diamonds and is nearly eaten by a shark. Luckily Reel is nearby to save her, and he discovers she’s the woman he’s been searching for…

Before she knows it, Erica is off with Reel on a series of wild underwater adventures to retrieve stolen treasure, battle the mother of all sea monsters, and defy a death edict from the kingdom’s high council. But even if they get out of their madcap mission alive, how will they find a way to stay together when she hates the water and he can’t survive on land?

Source: Back of Book

In Over Hear Head was very entertaining, and satisfying to the romantic soul. The book is filled with the typical antics of a normal romance book – only 90% of it takes place under water. If you have a good imagination – or you’ve seen The Little Mermaid, this is a very bright and colorful book. If you like romance, and you like fantasy – but not a fan of dark, bad, and scary – this is the book for you!!

The high points of the book – it was fun light-hearted and the characters were easy to enjoy. I am pretty sure I read that this book is the beginning of a series, and I am intrigued to find out what happens next. Some low points would include the author’s use of a famous actor for the description of Reel, the male lead. I don’t like it when authors do that. I’d prefer to have descriptive words and come up with my own image.

Hitting bookshelves June 1st, I do think that if you love to see sparks fly – especially between two unlikely characters – In Over Her Head is your book!

Lover Avenged – J.R. Ward

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Form: Hardback Book
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a symphath, his identity is a deadly secret – the revelation of which could result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. As plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll on Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world – Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him – and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Source: Front flap of book

I finished this book probably 2 weeks ago…I’ve just been that behind!

Very exciting, action packed Brotherhood novel. I love Rehvenge for who he is. He is a deep dark protector. No matter of his sociopathic disability, he does everything he can to keep it and himself at bay, protect his family, his friends, his secret. It’s taking it’s toll on him. No matter – because it’s all getting ready to be revealed. Ehlena is the perfect female for Rehvenge. I was shocked at how romantic Rehv is. Which was a wonderful change from Z’s hard and powerful possessiveness, and V’s….well, “fun and games.” I think J.R. brought it out even further how different Rehv is when Ehlena showed up at V’s place instead of Rehv’s. Quite humorous in my opinion.

Ehlena was perfectly human, er well…normal. Her reactions to Rehv, especially when she finds out who he really is, was spot on. Hurt, betrayed…but then revelation. She figures it out all on her own. She’s a very strong female, able to take care of herself…but she’s very venerable at the same time. She needs the tenderness that Rehv provides.

Okay…more on the book itself. LOVE the subplots ones again, although they really weren’t that secondary. The story seems to align much more nicely in this book than in books past. In the past we had the main story, then we had some side things going on. This time we had a book. Wrath and Beth played a much larger role, which was just wonderful in my opinion. I was sort of missing them. I can just imagine how difficult it would be to incorporate every one in all the books – but usually, that is what I want. I liked seeing Butch a little more too. But most of all, I absolutely ADORE the continuation – and the beginning – of John Matthew and Xhex’s story.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say John Matthew is going to end up taking Zsadist’s position in my heart as my favorite brother. I think it has something to do with how incredibly well we know John Matthew. There really won’t be a need for too much of a back story on him, so I imagine we’ll be getting to know Xhex more in Lover Mine (perfect name…I soo can’t wait for this book!). We really get a nice start to their rocky relationship in Lover Avenged.

My one disappointment of the book? I was REALLY expecting Rehvenge started fighting with the Brotherhood. There is a much different alignment though – but I won’t ruin that for you.

In my opinion…while all these books are great, this is the absolute best Black Dagger Brotherhood book yet. My expectation is that Lover Mine is going to meet and exceed this. I *think* this series has 3 books left, including Lover Mine, and she’s definitely going to take it out with a bang.

I’m totally going to check out J.R. Ward’s new Fae series as well.

Kiss of Midnight – Lara Adrian

Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Form: Mass Paperback
Series: Midnight Breed

He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night – or this man – is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never new existed-a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite. Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind – and the unwitting humans existing alongside them – from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands. Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all….

Source: back of book
Another series. Or better yet, another vampire series. Maybe I’m obsessed, I don’t know. I think one of the things I like the best about all the different vampire series is all the different versions of vampires you come across.

This particular series is centered around warriors who are fighting against their own kind who are blood addicts, or have the disease “bloodlust,” which causes the vampire to crave the blood of humans just as much as a junkie craves his drugs. The warriors fight to keep the peace, and to keep their species from being detected to the human world. The Midnight Breed’s are a type of vampire who originated from an alien species who landed on earth and started running wild in their own bloodlust addiction. It wasn’t until later that they discovered that they were able to breed with certain women, a minority group known as Breedmates.

Character development was pretty good. I think what I liked most about Gabrielle was that when Lucan needed her the most, she was there for him. He wasn’t always the hero. In some, actually many, cases he was actually the bad guy. But he was very hard on himself for sins of the past, and Gabrielle was able to point that out to him. Gabrielle was a strong female. Not really a damsielle in distress, but she did find herself in trouble more than once. She actually was regularly walking into trouble and did not know it. She meets Lucan just in the nick of time.

I’m sort of hoping that Gabrielle’s special talent will play out a little bit more in upcoming books. It would be neat to see her used strategically in the Breed’s plans to overcome the growing, and organized Rogues.

Dragonswan – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dragonswan by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Form: Book
Series: Dark Hunters

Channon, enjoying a day at the museum studying her favorite exhibit, a dragon tapestry finds herself swept into the arms of a sinfully handsome man who weaves all sorts of amusing stories about who he is, where he’s from and even explanations of the tapestry she’s so obsessed with. At first, she just thinks Sebastian is full of charm and wit and it just successfully trying to impress her, but soon finds he speaks mostly the truth as she is swept into a world she never imagined with a man who makes her weak in the knees.

Dragonswan is the prelude to Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. I have been impressed upon by some “friends” over at the Karen Marie Moning web-forum, to read. This first book was a mere 86 pages, and was an okay short story – but I wasn’t overly impressed myself. But given that it is a novelette, I’m not going to base my opinion of Sherrilyn Kenyon as an author or the series in general by this one little read.

Kenyon did do a good job at developing the characters in such a short book, enough that you did want a bit more than what you were left with. The book did have sufficient romance and action for it’s size as well. I just like a bit more depth I guess.

Lover Enshrined – J.R. Ward

Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Form: Book
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love….

Fantastic! The story is really coming together – I can almost see how some things will play out. This book kept me going. Once again, it was more what was going on outside of Phury and Cormia that kept the book intact for me than their story – although it was very good. Cormia must come out from being a part of an entire entity of beings and discover who she is, and Phury must find himself in the mess his life has been since the day he was born. It’s a great combination. I recently read where someone didn’t feel Phury truly get over Bella – but I disagree, I believe Phury was getting over Bella from the very beginning of the book when he was drawling the picture of her with her hair up. Cormia was already seeping, unknown to him, into his mind.

I loved the tenderness that came out of John Matthew towards Cormia in this book too – he really did help her in her discovery process I believe. I just wish that the boy …er, man…would communicate more. He sees things and does things and truly needs to tell people about them instead of doubting himself all the time. Of course I think it will come eventually. I’m just curious if eventually he will get his own book, or if his story will continue to be told on the sidelines. Same with Blay and Quinn.

I’m anxiously awaiting Lover Avenged while reading the guide book.

Lover Unbound – J.R. Ward

Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Form: Book
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp, he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time–until destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her…

Lover Unbound is probably my 3rd favorite dagger book, after Lover Awakened and Dark Lover. I really enjoy the backstories on the Brotherhood a lot. And in this book’s case, I actually liked the side stories (John, Phury) more than the main story itself. I expecially like seeing Zsadist come out even more in this book. He IS my favorite brother afterall. Some things I did like about Vishous’ story included his release of Butch, and even more so Butch’s explination about how his attraction to him was more about caring for someone other than himself for the first time rather than love.

What I didn’t like was how Jane came back in the end. Oh, I wanted her back of course – but the how it was done was a little wonky to me. Didn’t really sit well with my “oh yeah, that could happen,” imagination.

Lover Revealed – J.R. Ward

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Form: Book
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He’s got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. If he can’t have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers…

Fate Curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him…

Another book down on my newest obsession. I am in love with this series. I love the action – but I’ve said that before, haven’t it? Butch is such a great guy! Even before his big “revelation” he is totally on board with the BDB and their mission. He loves these boys like they are his family – and I think it’s awesome. I’m doing my best here, not to give away the book, but I will say that I wish there was a little bit more foreshadowing of Butch’s fate, I think that would have tied the book in a bit better. Just an opinion though.

Marissa, on the other hand, I wasn’t digging her to much. She was all lust and lacked understanding. I wish she would have opened up to what was going on and stopped being so selfish. She didn’t want to loose Butch, but geez – was the guy suppose to sit around and continue to corrode his liver for his entire life? He needed a purpose, a job – and when he finally got one, instead of being a supportive, loving gal – she decided to walk out. Not cool in my book. So far, I think she is my least favorite of the females. But I DO like her new initiative of having a Vampire social services type deal. That’s awesome, and I hope plays more of a role in the books to come.