Friday, April 17, 2015

Love Hurts



The tearjerker, they call those kinds of books that for a reason. Sometimes reading hurts.  I have a habit of becoming totally immersed in a book, if written well, I feel what the h/h feels.  I really seem to go into the world the author has written.

 Back in the day I read all kinds of genres, not just romance.  But the more life I experienced with all its travails, I slowly started weeding out genres where I wasn’t sure there would be a happily ever after.  I had to let go of Stephen King and other horror type authors.  Then straight fantasy wasn’t always guaranteed to have a good ending.  Then regular fiction was the next to be dropped.  I remember one book I read, The Balloonist I think was the title, but I don’t see it on Amazon.  The hero was making a trek across the ocean in a hot air balloon and something went wrong.  He ended up sabotaging everyone left on board and they all died.  That really bothered me, to the point I can still recall the shock.  They give me nightmares and it can take days to get over a bad ending.  Another one I vaguely recall had the hero die at the end while saving the heroine’s life.  She went on to marry someone else.  I don’t like those kinds of endings.  And that is why I’m almost strictly a romance reader now.  I know it will end on an uplift rather than a downswing.

But sometimes, even romance book, when it is written very well and deals with a tough subject matter, can be painful to read.  I was reminded of this when I saw an update of Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath posted on GoodReads.  I read that book myself years ago and it was very well written and the reading was raw.  The hero of the book refused to do any actual fighting during the civil war, a conscientious objector we call them now, though he did enlist with many of his friends.  As a result, he was branded a coward and reviled by the town he grew up in by just about everyone, including the woman he had been in love with most of his life.  She was especially determined to make sure he paid for his cowardice.  But what they didn’t see, that we the reader did, that he was a true hero.  And even though it’s a romance and you know that things will end happily, the journey is incredibly sad.  Ms. Heath has written a number of books that are truly emotional

 I have read a few other romance books where this has happened too.  I still remember having my throat close up when I read Tapestry by Karen Ranney.  I don’t remember exactly what made me so sad.  It’s been years since I read though I do have it as an ebook and must read it again.  But while I don’t remember the details, I know I will need to be in the right frame of mind for such an emotional read.

 
And I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this.  One of the drawback of age I think.  Like so many other topics I think might be great as I sit at work pondering, they start off with a bang and kind of peter out, but I do want to say that while I don’t find/read that many, despite the emotions they bring up in me while reading, I do love them.  I don’t think I could do a steady dose of them, but they can be such a rich reading experience.

'til later


Monday, April 13, 2015

Recent Reads


Not Another Soldier by Samantha Holt

Why this one:  I don't know

Steam Level: Hot

My Thoughts: I want to love every book I read.  Sadly, this doesn’t always happen and such was the case with Not Another Soldier.  The outline sounds great. But for me the content isn’t so great.  Our heroine, Sienna, is a recent widow.  Her husband was a Marine who died in a car accident when he was under the influence.  He was a Very Bad Man.  We are constantly being hit over the head with this.  Nick was the best friend of Rob, as well as a good friend to Sienna.  He’s been waiting in the background, aware that Rob had been a terrible husband, but Nick has strong feelings for Sienna and she for him.

Why this didn’t work – hmm, here’s the first one.  They start making out on the day of the funeral.  I know, it was a very bad marriage and she was going to leave him anyway, but for the most part I have difficulty when the heroine moves from one relationship to another way too soon – and on the day of the funeral is just tacky.  And things didn’t really get better.  I found both of them kind of stupid and this a death knell for me when both are stupid.  There are Evil Drug people after Sienna because of Evil First Husband.  Instead of going to the cops (though they themselves come across as rather Keystone like) Sienna and Nick try to solve the puzzle while at the same time Sienna is being pulled by the Very Hot Sex, but she can’t marry another soldier, but the Sex is So Hot  And on and on it goes.  And they stay clueless and she stays on the teeter totter of should she or shouldn’t she most of the way through the book.

The Evil Guys are just as stupid.  They are still after Sienna weeks after it was reported in the paper that the drugs were turned in.  And earlier in the book it mentions the head Evil Guy has alluded being charged.  I don’t know how that happened as they are pretty bumbling crooks and Nick finds them no problem.  Mind you he waits until the last possible moment before calling the cops.  Stupid is a stupid does I guess.

Another issue I’ve read on a number of reviews at GoodReads is the author apparently doesn’t really get the difference between Marines, Army and Soldiers.  I’ll confess I don’t really get it myself, but this is a HUGE miss on the part of the author.  You can’t write a military book and not have done research ON the military.  Big Fail.

I finished it, that’s a plus, but I didn’t really enjoy the way to the end.  The main reason was to mark another book read for the GoodReads challenge and I was glad to finish this one up and move on.
 
Grade: 2 out of 5
 
 
The Soldiers Dark Secret by Margeurite Kaye
Why this one:  The review at AAR intrigued me
Steam Level: Pretty much perfect
 
My Thoughts:
It didn’t occur to me until just now that last two books I read are both about soldiers, but my what a difference.  It’s been quite a while since I last read an English historical; I am SO over the whole aristocracy thing but when I read the review for this book at AAR, I thought I’d give it a try and the hero, Jack Trestain is a soldier and not titled, though his older brother holds a barony.
Jack has cashiered out of the army after the battle of Waterloo.  He is suffering from what we know is PTSD, he can’t eat, can’t really sleep, has ghastly nightmares, has a hair trigger temper and in general is not the same person he used to be.  He is living in the country, at the estate with his brother and his family and they are quite concerned about him.  They are planning major changes to the grounds and have hired a Parisian artist, Celeste Marimon, to do paintings of the gardens before they are renovated.  Celeste first spies Jack when she watches in in his early morning swim.  She can see the agony and pain on his face and she knows he is suffering from something deep an painful, as is she.  He’s not exactly pleased when he realizes he’s been seen in a vulnerable moment, but it doesn’t take long to recognize that there is sorrow in Celeste’s life too.  There is a growing attraction between the two as Jack offers to help Celeste with what is troubling her.  Her mother recently committed suicide leaving more questions than answers and as Jack was a riddle solver during the war, he offers his services to find out the story behind the story and is with her with each new discovery they make.  As he helps Celeste, while not exactly healing himself, he does at least have a purpose now.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I adored both Jack and Celeste.  Jack was haunted by an incident that happened during the war.  He finally confesses the dark secret to Celeste but she doesn’t turn away.  Jack is loyal and intelligent and a great hero.
Celeste is equally a great heroine.  All her life she has felt rejection from her mother and she has had to wall up a great deal of herself to keep the pain at bay.  But with Jack’s patience and understanding and with his different take on some of the things they uncover about her mother, Celeste’s walls slowly come down.  Theirs is a love story that starts first as a friendship and as such, the HEA is very believable.  Normally I can take or leave an epilogue but with The Soldier’s Darkest Secret, I thought it closed the book very well.
 
Grade: 4 out of 5
 
'til later

 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Outlander - The Books vs The Series




I’m intimidated by big books.  Any book with over 500 pages scares me.  I like to read fast and with a large book, I know going in it’s going to take a lot longer to read.  So even after hearing so many wonderful things about Outlander, I still gave it a pass.  But after hearing constantly how Jamie Fraser was the perfect hero, I finally bit the bullet and read it.  This is probably going back about 10 years or so.  I read Outlander, skipped Dragonfly in Amber and skipped a good deal of Voyager and read the part where Clare and Jamie were reunited and I was all good.  I was never tempted to read any of the other ones. 
 
 
 

I heard talk over the years about how wonderful it would be to see the books be made into a movie and who should play what part.  I never really cared.  But then I heard Starz was going to make it into a series. A much better idea then say a three part movie franchise like they do with so many other books to movies.  And while I was ambivalent as to who would play Clare, when I saw who was chosen for Jamie, well, my hot actor radar kicked up big time and the more I read about it the more excited I got until I could hardly contain myself when it started playing in Canada on Showcase.  I love period piece movies series, North and South, Last of the Mohicans, Rob Roy, The Highlander (the television series – never did see the movies) and so on.  So I was ecstatic when I found out that yes, we would be able to see it in Canada.
 

I loved it from the opening credits, in fact I have the song now from ITunes.  I waited anxiously for 10:00 every Sunday night for it to start.  And oh my, the connection between Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire!  Their chemistry leaps off the screen.

I thought three episodes in that since it’s been a while since I’d read it, I should do a reread.  And now that I had a Most Excellent Picture of Jamie – I think I didn’t really before as he was described as having red hair and
Carrot Top kept getting in the way.  I skipped the first part and started reading where the series was up to and kept reading until the end of the first series.  I figured I’d keep reading when the series had a break but that didn’t happen.

The second series started last Sunday – and hands up – who watched it??  I gave up smoking when I broke my leg but my heavenly stars I could have used one towards the end of the final scene. 
 
That was – as Jim Carrey says – SMOKIN’.  I was definitely breathing heavy.  Anyway – moving on – I figured I’d best get back on the book horse and start reading again.  And I hit a wall.  A huge wall.  I wall I don’t think I can climb and now I remember why I didn’t get caught up in the whole series like so many others have.

 

I Don’t Like Claire.  Oh no I do not like her at all.  While not as apparent in the series because I do like Caitrona playing her, in the book, I find her dreadful. 

***Rant about to begin****

I do not understand why she seems determined to press all of Jamie’s buttons. 
It seems like it’s almost out of spite.  Here she has this hot, young guy who is strong and brave and hot and patient and forward thinking for his time and hot and willing to risk his own life for her and hot and funny and protective and willing to take on the punishment of others and hot and a virgin no less but very good at it once he gets going and hot and between the Jamie in the book and the Jamie in the series just about the most perfect hero – evah – and Claire seems determined to rile him up in one way or another.  I get that she comes from the future and as a working woman is even more advanced than the usual housewife, but she’s not in her own time and so she shouldn’t play be the rules she knows.  In the past, she should be led by Jamie.  While I don’t agree with the controversial spanking, she did do an extremely stupid thing and as a result has risked the whole clan, not to mention putting a HUGE target on Jamie’s back.  She knows there are redcoats wandering about.  She knows that Black Jack Randall is after her.  And during their epic fight she had the nerve to call Jamie a sadist – when she had evidence herself and what she saw he had done to Jamie, that Randall was a sadist in truth. 


Yes, I get that she wants to get back to Frank - though why I don’t understand completely why when she has Jamie.

Yet despite everything he has done for her she accuses him of cheating.  She accuses him of marrying her for money.  NO, you stupid woman!  He married you to SAVE YOUR LIFE.  I don’t see a whole lot of gratitude for that either.  Sure there was some – but not much.  I swear Jamie has the heart of a saint to both get past his anger so quickly and forgive her so easily.

 Anyway, I’m going to have to give up on reading the book.  To do both would be a double negative on my feelings for Claire.  I would be so angry with her while reading and so angry while watching.  And because the series is so good and Jamie is so, um hot, I’m just going to stick with the series.
~*~*~*~
 



And I need to update a previous post.  I was talking about getting invested in shows only to have them cancel before their time and I completely forgot about Copper.  This was another show that ran on showcase a couple of years ago about Kevin Corcoran,  a ‘copper’ from Ireland who helped police the slums of Five Points district in New York City just around the time of the Civil War.  He was a very intriguing character, a real anti-hero.  One scene he would do something heroic, the next something despicable.  It was a series done by BBC America and I loved it.  I was devastated when it was cancelled.

Well, that's it for today.

'til later

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Recent Read

 
 

 
http://gracedraven.com/radiance-2/
 
Why this one:  See below
 
 Steam Level: Luscious, not too hot, not to cold
 
Grade: 5 out of 5
 
My Thoughts:  Do you ever have those books that seem to be fated to be read?  Such is the case with this one.  It kept coming up on Amazon as a recommended read it I had read such and such a book.  It was mentioned on message boards.  When I did look it up on both Amazon and GoodReads, its siren song began to call – barely heard at first, but every time I saw it anywhere, its call became louder until I could no longer resist its call.

I’m very glad it called to me, very glad.

 

This is a wonderful story of two rather throw away people who were put together for political reasons.  Brishen is a warrior and prince, the second son or the spare of the race of Kai.  They aren’t quite human and they look very different.  Their skin is grey and their eyes are very different than human eyes.  They live at night and sleep during the day.   Ildiko is the impoverished niece of the king of the Gauri, a human race.  It was determined that the two of them marry to shore up a political alliance – marry sight unseen.  They run into each other before the wedding and in a very sweet and funny scene, the each agree they find the other one repulsive.  It’s not meant to be insulting, more of a matter of fact admission.  But what is rather cute is Brishen is very attractive to fellow Kai and Ildiko is very attractive other humans.

But this meeting and honest assessment of each other is the basis of a growing deep friendship.  Brishen becomes very protective of Ildiko, defending her against his vile family and protecting her from those who would attack her because of the political intrigue resulting from their marriage.  Ildiko, on her part, does everything she can to immerse herself into Kai culture and become a helpmeet to her new husband.  There is an ever growing respect for each other and I loved the dynamics between the two.  This is a true story of friends first and then developing romantic because the friendship does turn deeper and they both see the inner beauty in the other and they slowly fall in love.

I loved this book – simply loved it.  I liked that the conflict came from outside, not from the hero/heroine.  They are united throughout the story.  It made very much for an ‘us against the world’ kind of feeling.  Though there is a great secondary character,  Brishen’s cousin and a warrior in her own right.  She is devoted to Brishen and slowly sees that Ildiko is a true mate for him, even though she does come from a different race entirely.  Both Brishen and Ildiko are wonderfully written.  Brishen is a warrior, but he is also very sharp when it comes to the machinations around him.  He’s attentive, protective, and gentle and all that is good to Ildiko and eventually he’s even jealous when he realizes how attractive she is to others.  And Ildiko is tender, understanding, compassionate towards Brishen and fierce when it comes to protecting him.

They are in fact perfect for each other.  While the story did end, and happily so, there is a final little bit that leaves it open for another book and in fact this is called Book 1 in the Wraith Kings.  I shall be happily waiting for the next one.  In the meantime, I have Master of Crows and Entreat Me by this author to help in the wait.  And then of course, I’ll have to reread this one again when the next in this series comes out.

And one final point, I just LOVE the covers of her books.  Part of the call to me of Radiance was the cover.  And Master of Crows and Entreat Me also have what I feel are great covers.  So kudos to the artist too.

 


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Mullet Madness - This is SO wrong

I'm one of the lucky ones working this entire holiday weekend and much to my surprise, it's been very busy!  Now I knew Saturday would be, but I thought it would be very slow on Good Friday - but it WASN'T.

I do have a bit of a break now though.  Every day I check the Kindle Romance Daily Deal to see if I'm interested and most days it's a book that doesn't really interest me.  But I just checked today's deal and it's this book



Ack!!!  The eyes, the eyes.  It hurts the eyes.  This cover is just wrong for so many reasons.  I'm not sure when it came out - but surely they could have updated the cover when they released it as an ebook.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Up with the Reading, Down with the TV



Until I started this new goal of highlighting authors who epublish, either with a small publisher or on their own, I had no clue how many ebooks I read and didn’t review.  I really slacked off last year on a lot of things I usually keep up on it seems – damn depression.  This means I’m going to have to read many of them again as it’s ever so much easier to do a review when the book is fresh in my mind.  I’m almost giddy with the thought.  As I’ve said, I have found some real gems and I’m looking forward to reading them again and sharing those I’ve enjoyed.

This means however, I’m going to have to buckle down and READ.  No more Dr. Phil – which is a habit I need to break anyway.  Honestly, that man really is a legend in his own mind isn't he?  And he does love to self-promote.  Soaps are out too.  I confess to not minding that one.  While I have been an avid watcher of them for years, it is a way to unwind when I get home.  But since I’m none too happy at the direction either one (Y&R, B&B) at taking, it will actually be a relief to let go.  No more Harvey Levin and the gang on TMZ.  Families with have to Feud without me watching.  I haven’t gotten into DWTS, The Voice, American Idol or Survivor so I don’t have to worry about any of them.   


I do like Forever on Monday nights CTV though (Tuesday nights on ABC- 10:00 PM in the US).  It stars Ioan Gruffudd (whom I’ve loved since watching the Horatio Hornblower series years ago) as a medical examiner in NYC.  The twist is he is immortal and has lived for over 200 years.  He does die, but always comes back again, usually in quite amusing scenes, naked and in the water.  Weekly he solves crimes and we also have flashback scenes to the different lives he’s led in the past.  I almost hate that I love this show though as that’s almost the death song for drama shows I’ve loved.  The last time it happened was with Intelligence with Josh Holloway and Marg Helgenberger.  I LOVED that show and I’m still bummed it only ran for one season.  He was a super spy with a chip implanted in his brain and he had all kinds of neat superpowers.
 
 

Onto Tuesday nights.  One reality type show I simply can’t give up is Face Off.  I LOVE that show.  The premise is 16 contestants are given challenges every week of coming up with specially themed characters.  Every week there is a winner and someone goes home.  It’s utterly fascinating watching them come up with masks and costumes and all kinds of make up to transform models into the kind of characters you might see on science fiction type movies whether it be aliens or werewolves or whatever creature they are tasked with.  It comes on the SyFy channel Tuesday nights and last night’s challenge was based on dolls in which the contestants had to come up with scary doll like characters.  I think what I like best is how helpful all the players are with each other.  When one is running into trouble, all the others pitch in to help.  There is none of the back stabbing you may find in other shows.

Wednesday night I’m good for not turning on the telly. 

Thursday night is Big Bang Theory, but I don’t know – since Penny cut her hair it just doesn’t seem as funny as it used to.  I think I’ll still give myself that half hour.
 

Friday and Saturday I can also give up all television watching
 

And then we get to Sunday evening.  I start to quiver with excitement on Friday over Sunday night.  You see – that’s the night that Outlander is on.  The next series starts this coming Sunday and I already have all my plans made.  I’m working this upcoming weekend so I can stay up late watching and swooning.  They ran a marathon of the first season last Sunday from 12 noon to 12 midnight.  I parked in front of the TV and barely moved.  I was um, ah, about an hour late for work Monday morning.  And yes, I know I’m mentioning Outlander – a lot – but then think back to my thoughts about North and South……..  The passion doesn’t die, it just may move a bit sometimes.
 
 So that’s it!  I’m limiting myself to 4 hours of television a week and spending all other free time reading and rereading.  Life, it is good.


 

‘til later

Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Wonderful E Author


 

Elizabeth Hunter's turn up to the plate


This isn’t so much an eauthor highlight as it is a particular series by an e author.  It’s a three book series written by Elizabeth Hunter that can’t be read as stand-alone books but I can almost guarantee that if you read the first book, you will want to read the other to so you can find out what’s going on.  Warning – if you are a reader who hates spoilers, the first book up should be OK to read, but then skip the next two reviews if you don’t want to know what happens from there on.  I might even play with using the break thingy on Blogspot to hide them.

This author has more books and series though one is a vampire series and since I don’t do vampire series any longer, I never did warm up them as a whole, I don’t know if I will read any of that series or not.  But I will certainly read any of hers that aren’t.
 
OK - can't figure out how to do do a break - so I'll just give a warning
 
 
The Scribe (Irin Chronicles, #1)The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read this book twice now with the intention writing a review and hmmn - neither time I did. So this review is more from memory that usual. Ava Matheson is a very troubled heroine. All her life she has heard voices that no one else hears and they leave her no piece. He mother and step father think she needs help. In order to help with the voices that give her rest as well as an ongoing 'restless' feeling, she lives a pretty isolated and solitary existence. She earns a living traveling around the world as a photographer. She is in Turkey taking pictures when she realizes she is being followed. Her very wealthy step father has done this in the past and she is very angry and decided to turn the tables and confront her 'stalker'. She grudgingly allows him to know that she knows he's tracking her and at different times will interact with him. But when she discovers he does NOT work for her step father, she is really angry.

When she finally agrees to speak to him again, he has quite a story to tell. He is of a different race of people, the Irin, who are descendants of angels. Malachi has been sent to watch over her as she has gained the attention of the Grigori, descendants of fallen angels. Grigori are evil and prey upon humans and it is the Irin duty to protect humans. Malachi is very attracted to Ava and she to him, but because they are different, they are not allowed to touch skin to skin at the risk of what the power Malachi has can do to humans. But touch her he does eventually and through that they discover that she is NOT human. They are not quite sure what she is.

This is a combination RS/Paranormal as Malachi and his people/team work to find out what exactly Ava is and why she is being targeted by the Grigori. This book is lush and vivid in both the description of the localities and the growing love/ tenderness/ need between Ava and Malachi. Elizabeth Hunter is a wonderful writer and you can really “feel” the love between these two, more so than many a book I’ve read. Malachi made such a sacrifice at the end of the book, that I my throat was all closed up and I was in tears. It’s rare that I get that caught up in a book. There is no question that this book gets the highest marks from me.

There is no question this is a 5 out of 5 book.











~**~~**~
 
There are spoilers ahead
 


The Singer (Irin Chronicles, #2)The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I kept meaning to star and review the first book in this amazing series, The Scribe. To that end I recently reread it but that was around the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I still didn’t get around to it. And now that I’m in the GoodReads Challenge, I’m not sure if I go back, it will get counted as part of the 2015 challenge. I most certainly don’t want to cheat and fudge the numbers. When I pass that 60 book mark I set for myself, I want to be honestly earned – she said earnestly.

So until I figure out if that one will spoil the numbers, I’ll stick with the second one in the series for now, The Singer. The Singer starts out almost immediately after The Scribe ends and absolutely cannot be read without reading the first book.
This series of books is a race of people descended from fallen angels. There are the Irin (male) and Irinia (female) who came from angels who after they fell, went back to Heaven. They are the “good” guys. And then there are the Grigori (male) who are descended from angels who stayed fallen and they are the bad guys. They are extraordinarily beautiful and feed on the souls of human women. In the first book, Ave Matheson, our heroine, has been ‘hearing voices’ her whole life. She has been to many doctors, been treated by physiatrists and had to learn to stay away from people in order to stay sane. She meets Malachi, a Irin who tells her she is an Irinia, and a very powerful though untrained one. They form a soul deep connection, to the point where one can barely live without the other.

At this point there be spoilers coming. If you haven’t read The Scribe but are planning on it (and you should) and are not a fan of spoilers – read no further – it’s at your own risk




At the end of the last book, Malachi gave his powers to Ava to save her life and as a result was killed by a Grigori. Ava in inconsolable as she watches him turn to dust and in her overwhelming grief screams a phrase in the old language, “Come back to me Reshon”. Because she is strong and has powers never imagined and not understood, Malachi does come back. But Ava doesn’t know this. He reappears somewhere else and he has no clue as to anything, his name, his powers, where he’s come from, nothing. The only thing he does know is he was called by someone he loves beyond all reason, even though he doesn’t remember her.
Because of her relentless heartache, though heartache doesn’t really begin to explain how she feels, she goes to a retreat run by Irania to get them to help teach her what she is and what she can do.

This brief outline just barely touches on what this book and the one before it, is about. If I only had one work I could use to describe it, it would be longing. Ava and Malachi spend most of the book apart and while Malachi slowly begins to discover who he is and who Ava is and he is desperately trying to reach her. And Ava still thinks Malachi died and has a very difficult time even functioning. At the same time something dark is coming. Ava can sense it but she doesn’t know what it is. On top of that there is the mystery of who she really is. It is the mother’s line that determines if someone is Ir

Ava is in deep, deep mourning over the loss of Malachi, her Reshon, and her fated mate. The author manages to convey the loss one feels and the depth and pain of it brilliantly. I know this from experience in losing my own husband a number of years ago. You think the loss is lessening somewhat and then the least, most unexpected thing happens and it’s new and fresh all over again.

Ava and Malachi spend a good part of this book apart and if this were strictly a romance, it would really bother me. But because this is more than a romance, it’s like a paranormal with a very (very) strong romantic element, it works for me. Both Ava and Malachi are such richly written characters I’m in awe of this Elizabeth Hunter. The secondary characters are also very real. The world building is phenomenal. You can tell I’m impressed can’t you?

This is the second book in the series and as such ends on almost as much a cliffhanger as the previous book. I’m kind of glad I took so long reading this one – it’s been sitting in my TBR pile for a while now – because the time before the next one is much shorter this way. It’s not every ebook that I’m willing to pay whatever they charge, but it doesn’t matter what they do – I NEED to read more about Ava and Malachi and this fascinating world.


~**~~**~
 
There are even more spoilers ahead


The Secret (Irin Chronicles, #3)The Secret by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating:  4.5 out of 5 Stars

This is a wonderful wrap up to this series. First off, it absolutely can’t be stand alone book. You need to have read the two previous books to understand what’s happening in the third book. I’ll try and give a real quick synopsis on what’s happened so far. In the first book of this trilogy, we are introduced to Ava Matheson. She has been ‘off’ all her life. She hears voices constantly, she can’t relax and it’s best for her if she is somewhat isolated from others. We meet Malachi, a very mysterious man who is keeping an eye on Ava as she travels through Istanbul in her job as a photographer. He is not to make contact with Ava, but she’s one smart cookie and catches him spying on her. Malachi has the power to still the voices she hears and throughout the book, they fall deeply and completely in love with each other. Ava it turns out, is more than she seems and a lot of bad guys; Grigori, children of fallen angels and fallen angels themselves, are after her. At the end of The Singer Malachi gives up his life to save her, an ending that almost physically hurt, in the way it affected me.
In The Singer, Ava has brought Malachi back to life with her incredible powers. But he comes back with no memory except of a woman names Ava. A good deal of the book is spent with Malachi trying to reach this mysterious woman who has called him and with Ava mourning the loss of her Reshon, her mate. Because of the richness of Ms. Hunter writing, we really feel the pain that Ava feels, even though the reader knows that Malachi is trying to find her. He is such a strong hero and he is so lost in this book. Yet he retains his innate strength through out. Their eventual reunion is very poignant but Malachi is not the same man Ava knew before because of all the missing pieces in his memory.
We discover more in the second book, what Ava is and the world building continues. Ava spends a great deal of time in a retreat for the Irina, the female member of the Irin race, learning and working with her powers.
Now we come to The Secret. The story opens with Ava and Malachi spending time with each other, trying to get to know each other in this new reality they are living. Though their love is just as strong and compelling as it ever was, they still need to get to know each other in a more intimate setting. The Irin race spend a lot of time with each other, they are close, and Ava and Malachi need some time with just each other.
There is more world building and things aren’t always as they seem in this, the final book in the story of Ava and Malachi. Pretty much anything I say will be a spoiler and I don’t want to do that so I will say that pretty much all are questions are answered in this book. We find out how and what Ava really is. There is a whole group of people that are very important to the overall story but we haven’t seen them yet until this book.
I’m not giving this one a 5 out of 5 but a 4.5. As the series has gone along Ms Hunter has added more and more characters and I found myself getting a bit lost as to who is who in the secondary characters. I preferred the more streamed down first book in this area for this reason. But I still adore the love story and the connection between Ava and Malachi is off the charts.
The author says after the book that though this was originally planned as a 3 book series and she has pretty much finished the story of Ava and Malachi, she now realizes she’s just barely touched the surface of this world and I so agree. With this new race there are a lot more stories she can tell so I’m glad she is staying in this world she has created


  'til later