Friday, 25 February 2011

Scent of Darkness by Christina Dodd

Scent of Darkness (Darkness Chosen, Book 1)Title: Scent of Darkness
Author: Christina Dodd
Series: Darkness Chosen (book #1)
Next in series: Touch of Darkness
My rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:The Wilders must break the pact their vicious ancestor forged with the devil or be cursed for all eternity. On the night Ann Smith decides to seduce her boss, Jasha Wilder, she is astonished to see him transform into a wolf and soon learns that she holds the key to his family’s salvation. Chased by shapshifting assassins, Ann and Jasha must control their passion and work together to outwit these dangerous predators or they will never survive.

Review: A fresh and invigorating story in a genre inundated with vampires. Christine Dodd has crafted an spellbinding mythology involving demons and holy relics that grip the reader throughout. The characterization is excellent, especially Ann who begins her journey as a naïve girl and develops into a proud and strong willed young woman. The back story regarding her mysterious childhood and tattoo is particularly intriguing. Jasha, however, can be a little overbearing but Ann has no problem putting him in his place.
I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder
Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder (book #1)
Next in series: Desires of the Dead
My Rating: 4 Stars

My Synopsis: Violet Ambrose can see, hear, smell, and even taste an imprint left by a dead animal or person as well as the matching imprint carried by the individual responsible for that animal or person's death. She lives in a small town, where teenage girls suddenly begin disappearing. Violet stumbles across one of their bodies and becomes involved in the search for the killer whom only she can identify.

My Review: This is a great debut novel. 
The plot elements are unique and engrossing. The characterization is excellent, especially the relationship between Violet and her best friend, Jay. My one small quibble is the lack of tension and build up of suspense toward the end, but this does not detract from the overall reading experience.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden

Deadly FearTitle: Deadly Fear
Author: Cynthia Eden
Series: Deadly (book #1)
Next in series: Deadly Heat
My Rating: 4.5 Stars 
Warning: Contains sexually explicit scenes

My Synopsis: Jasper, Mississippi is in the grip of a serial killer who exposes his victims to their greatest fears. FBI profiler Monica Davenport has a reputation for being cold as ice, but it is this skill that enables her to “see” into the minds of the most atrocious monsters. As the body count rises, Monica, along with the only man to ever get under her skin, fellow agent, Luke Dante, must bring down this cruel sadist before he turns his attentions on them.

My Review: This is a riveting, edge-of-your-seat thriller that pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the very end. Monica’s characterization is amazing with her combination of strength, vulnerability and passion. Luke, on the other hand, is not as well fleshed out. His compassionate nature is hinted at but never completely fulfilled. Nevertheless, he is an endearing character and a perfect complement to Monica. The villain is also especially creepy but I would have liked to know more about his backstory.
Despite these issues, I highly recommend this enthralling read and will definitely be continuing with the series.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Mistress of the Art of DeathTitle: Mistress of the Art of Death
Author: Ariana Franklin
Series: Mistress of the Art of Death (book #1)
Next in series: The Serpent’s Tale
My Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis: Henry II of England has a problem. The Jews are suspected of killing small children and cannot pay their taxes. Henry summons a “doctor of the dead” from Salerno, and Adelia Aguilar must not only investigate the gruesome deaths but also conceal her identity among a superstitious people preoccupied with blood libels and witchcraft. Adelia and her companions are in a race against time to solve the mystery before the Jews are lynched and another child is slaughtered.

Review: This is one of the best books I have ever read – it is basically CSI in the Middle Ages. The descriptions of the period are detailed and thought provoking, and the characterization is brilliant even for the supporting cast. I particularly enjoyed the heroine, who is intelligent and admirable. The traditional serial killer plots takes on an interesting twist that will shock and disturb. I know it made my throat go dry.