Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz

Title: Running Hot
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: The Arcane Society (book #5)
Previous in series: The Third Circle
Next in series: The Perfect Poison

My rating: 3.5 Stars

Working as a librarian for the Arcane Society, Grace Renquist has secrets she is desperate to keep. Assigned to partner former police officer, Luther Malone, who shares her ability to read auras, Grace fears that her past will return to haunt her. Caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse with operatives from the renegade group known only as Nightshade, Grace and Luther must think on their feet and combine their resources if they are to survive dangerously potent powers enhanced by the founder's formula.

A fun read but not as suspenseful as some of the others in the series.

Luther and Grace are a typical Krentz couple. She is intelligent, feisty and damaged in some way while he is tough, sexy and absolutely irresistible. They have intense chemistry and their paranormal abilities complement each other - Grace profiles auras while Luther manipulates them. Nevertheless, their romantic relationship materializes too rapidly with very little development. 

The writing and dialogue are smooth as usual, however, the suspense plot is ultimately predictable and the threat posed by the villains is scarcely threatening. Moreover, the pacing is a little off with numerous superfluous explanations that fill in gaps rather than developing the story and characterization. The Nightshade plot is overly complex and even though some questions from previous books are answered, there is insufficient information on the origins and progression of the organization. 

The secondary characters are entertaining such as the band of misfits Luther hangs out with in Hawaii and Fallon Jones who seems to have bitten off more than he can chew. His character is very intriguing and I look forward to his book. 

All in all, quite entertaining for those times when you want an uncomplicated read.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling (book #1)
Next in series: Visions of Heat

My Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: In order to curtail their violent tendencies, the Psy race has been indoctrinated to feel nothing – no anger, no jealousy, no hatred and certainly no love. But Sascha Duncan is different and can no longer restrain her emotions once she meets Lucas Hunter, the leader of a Changeling pack. With the ability to shapeshift into animals, the Changelings are true predators and they hunt a Psy who has been butchering their women. Lucas believes Sascha may be his ticket into the Psy world but both he and his animal are fascinated by her. Can Sascha and Lucas resolve their differences in order to catch a killer? Are they willing to sacrifice everything for a taste of the ultimate temptation?

Review: Slave to Sensation starts out a little slow but grows into an exciting story once it gets going.

The romance is intense and the love between the main characters is irrefutable. Sascha is an intriguing character. She is feisty and courageous and succeeds in concealing her flaws from her own people. She nevertheless yearns for a place to belong, which she finds with Lucas. On his part, Lucas is a dominant and possessive alpha, but never hesitates to accept Sascha for who she is despite their differences. He is even willing to sacrifice himself and the welfare of his pack to a certain extent. The fact that their mating develops over time rather than as the result of immediate and intense attraction further contributes to their relationship. 

The serial killer plot adds a sense of urgency to the action and highlights the profound differences between the Psy, who are reminiscent of the Vulcans from Star Trek with their cold and analytical logic as well as the Borg with their hive mind, and the Changelings who focus on emotion, physicality and sensuality.

Singh's writing is fluid and her world building unique, interesting and entertaining. The dream sequences are particularly good (shared dreams are a favorite plot device of mine and these are written very well).

The secondary characters are appealing in their own right and their stories should be enjoyable. Overall, a solid beginning to the series and I look forward to continuing with it.