Holiday Four Pack

Okay guys, December has proven to be as much of a challenge as November was. So, here’s the deal; I have one big shebang to cover the whole month. Four, count’em four, reviews all wrapped in one.
Now I know that seems like a lot, but I made it a little easy on myself because two of the reviews are on novellas from the same series.
So, to kick things off, here is my review on both Dragon’s Oath and Lenobia’s Vow from the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast.
All of the novellas from this wonderful series touch on the lives of the vampire professors from the main books. I covered Neferet’s Curse a while back, and I still maintain that seeing things from the crazy antagonist’s POV was pretty cool. But Dragon’s Oath, as well as Lenobia’s Vow, come from secondary characters that have a big impact on the overall storyline.
Brian Lankford is a spoiled son of a noble with a complex. He’s not first in line to inherit his father’s estate, even if he wanted it, and nothing gives him more pleasure than being a thorn in the side of society. Not to mention that he loves winning the hearts of fair maidens. But his gallivanting goes too far, and his father decides to ship him off to the new world to be rid of the miscreant. Fate finds him before he can get on the ship, and the next thing he knows, he’s been marked to become a vampire.
Within a couple of years, Brian, now known as Dragon, has become the new Sword Master for his House of Night. He has also gained the attention of many of his peers, and the new professor of Spells and Rituals doesn’t approve. Even though Anastasia is the youngest vampire to claim a professor’s position, the fact that many of her students have come to her in search of a spell to win Dragon’s heart is disturbing.
In trying to find a proper solution, Anastasia ends up twisting her fate with that of the young warrior. And even though Dragon is happy with that fact, Anastasia would prefer a student/teacher arrangement. But will Nyx let it stay that way or is there more to the young couples connection?

Most of the teachers at the House of Night started their human lives in the 1800’s. Lenobia, who eventually becomes the Horse Mistress for the HoN in Tulsa, began hers in France around that time.
Being a servant in the 1800’s couldn’t have been easy. Being a servant in the 1800’s, half French and half English, working for your father who’s a French noble, with your English mother, while looking like your father’s legitimate daughter must’ve been ten times worse.
Add to the mix the death of Lenobia’s half sister, who she looks like, and there’s a recipe for disaster. In an effort to avoid that disaster, Lenobia’s mother decides to disguise her as the recently deceased girl and send her off to be married in the new world. Since there is talk of a contagion, the coachman doesn’t question the fact that they’re waiting by the side of the road. It’s tearful goodbye, then off to the ship that will take Lenobia to a better life.
Or so they thought.
An unexpected visitor makes hiding a necessity, but pretending to be sick constantly gets old fast. Lenobia finds solace with the horses being shipped with them, until she’s caught by one of the deckhands. His accent is strange and beautiful, but getting involved with him just might risk the chance her mother stole for her to have a better life.

Next on the list is The Crush by Sandra Brown. Why? Just to throw a curve ball.
Doctor Rennie Newton is a responsible citizen. So when she is asked to be on the jury and deliver a verdict, she’s more than happy to do her part.
What she didn’t plan on was getting an admirer for her efforts. Then one of her colleagues is murdered. One that got a promotion instead of her, and Rennie is now the prime suspect.
Enter Wick Threadgill, a detective who follows his own code of conduct and thinks he has Rennie all figured out. But when the tokens start arriving and a killer makes his intentions for the good Doctor clear, Wick might have to put all assumptions aside to save Rennie’s life and catch this criminal once and for all.
Just as they get comfortable and think they’ve slipped out of Lozada’s grasp, not to mention the heat sparking between Rennie and Wick when they find themselves alone together, that’s when the threat rises to a whole new level. Sadistic knows no bounds when a killer’s in love.

Last, but miles away from least, is the long awaited continuance of the Fever series. Iced by Karen Marie Moning. Long awaited by whom? Me, that’s why.
At 495 pages, I found this to be a very smooth read. And oh boy, did I ever get grumpy at anyone who interrupted me.(Sorry to anyone who got nipped at.) But oh momma, was it ever worth the wait!
There is something to be said about branching off in a series. If done well, you have a whole new avenue for the plot to traverse. While staying true to it’s original theme, Iced follows Dani “The Mega” O’Malley. Introduced in the Fever series as the very young, superfast Sidhe-Seer that became fast friends(pun intended) with the main heroin, Makayla Lane or Mac for short.
I have never met a more strong willed character in all my life of reading. To say the least, The Mega doesn’t like to be held down. And that’s exactly what Ryodan tries to do. He’s faster than her, stronger, and definitely older. But there’s more to him, and Dani can’t figure out what. All she knows is that all of a sudden, there are a lot of people interested in her every move.
Sure, she has the Sword of Light, one of the few weapons in creation that can kill the Fae. But that doesn’t mean everybody needs to be gettin’ in her space! And why does Ryodan keep trying to get her to work for him? Doesn’t he know that the world as we knew it ended? But here he is, trying to get the Mega to sign a contract. Dani refuses, of course, but Ryodan is a very patient man. And he’s not above chaining Dani to a wall to get what he wants.
Throw in a once hunky Highlander turned Unseelie Prince that wants to be the only man in Dani’s life, and a shut in genius of a human teen who is not bad looking either and poor Dani has a mess of problems on her back. Each turn lands her in a new and even more awkward position. All the while there’s some kind of “thing” that’s icing all of Dublin and forcing the whole region back into a bitterly cold winter.
So now the Mega has to work with everyone, even those she’d prefer not to, in order to return her city and the humans still in it back to relative safety. But at what cost?
I wouldn’t give any of these books less than four stars, but Iced gets five fantastically frozen stars that are ready to explode at the slightest vibration. My fingers are crossed that Burned will be just as good.

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