Review: Some Kind of Magic

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Some Kind of MagicSome Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Goodreads
three-half-stars

“I’d never know for sure who much that damn perfume had factored into his feelings for me. And he’d never know for sure how little his fame factored into my feelings for him.”

FINAL DECISION:  This is an enjoyable if a bit predictable story. I liked Eden’s quirky if conservative nature that is changed when she meets the rock star and begins to allow herself to want more.

THE STORY: Eden Sinclair is a biochemist.  One night she wears the latest work from her office out to watch her musician brother. She ends up meeting Adam Copeland and in a move unlike herself, ends up having really hot sex with the slightly grungy musician.  Eden doesn’t realize that Adam is an international rock god wanted by women all over the world. When she finds out she also discovers that her work “perfume” is actually a pheromone designed to attract men.  Now Eden is afraid losing Adam but she doesn’t know if he wants her or the perfume enhanced version of herself.

OPINION:  The positives of this book is how normal the relationship between Eden and Adam is.  Adam might be a rock star, but he also is messy and wants a normal dating relationship with Eden. Eden doesn’t treat Adam with awe, and Adam responds to that.

They both have insecurities in their relationship.  Eden is conflicted about the perfume. She worries that the attraction on Adam’s part is rooted in that pheromone spray. As the book begins, she can’t imagine that she is attractive enough to draw someone like Adam to her. Throughout the book, that instinctive fear that she is not good enough threatens their relationship. I very much enjoyed the growth in Eden as she begins to stretch herself, reach for dreams that she feared trying for.  Adam is insecure as well because he always has the fear that his fame rather than his own self is what attracts Eden to him. This is especially true because even if Eden doesn’t care about his fame, those surrounding her are always effected by it.

The negative in this book for me is that things happen too slowly and didn’t hold my interest in the middle of the book. There were some chapters that I had to push myself through. I thought the pacing could have picked up and would have made the book more compelling.

This is only a small negative because in the end, I enjoyed the book as a one time read. I look forward to what this author will write next.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is the author’s debut novel.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SOME KIND OF MAGIC is a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

three-half-stars

Review: A Vampire’s Honor

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Vampire’s HonorA Vampire's Honor (Vampire's Promise, #3) by Carla Susan Smith
Series: Vampire's Promise #3
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on September 27th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 250
Goodreads
four-stars

“Mistress of impulsive decisions, questionable behavior, and foolish choices…Yeah, I was all that and more.  Guilty of obeying my heart more than my head.  And this was going to be no exception.”

FINAL DECISION:  This series is improving with every book.  I enjoyed this one because we got to know more about Aleksei (which is deeply woven with Gabriel’s story).  I liked how the various threads of the various storylines weave together.  There are still a lot of questions, and some seriously messed up situations, but I am never bored with the plot of this series.

THE STORY:  Rowan is building a new life with her Vampire lover Gabriel but there is much about the past that she doesn’t know.  In this book, she discovers more about Gabriel’s friend Aleksei.  Aleksei’s past comes to threaten Rowan and Gabriel.  Rowan is also dealing with the after effects of having a portion of her soul stolen by a demon.  Rowan and Gabriel are threatened by all around them in this book.

OPINION: I enjoyed this book best of the three I have read so far.  The action and plot in this series is really ramping up.  There is not a tremendous amount of progress in Rowan and Gabriel’s relationship, but this book seems like the beginning of the long time test of their relationship.

The relationship between Rowan and Gabriel seems to be normalizing.  The two are living together and Rowan has truly given up her normal life.  Clearly Rowan has sacrificed almost everything to be with Gabriel.  But the two haven’t been able to get to a stable compromise.

The two must learn to navigate a relationship and truthfully neither has done that before.  Both continue to act more like individuals than a couple.  They make independent decisions that have bad consequences.  I like that their relationship is challenged in this manner.

I also appreciated that Rowan is beginning to recognize the possible folly of her actions and yet she allows her heart to guide her.  The question is whether or not those actions will ultimately be right or wrong.

This book has a lot of background about the couple’s friend Aleksei.  His story is told and is not over by the time this book ends.  We are also introduced to a couple of new enemies who threaten the happiness of Rowan and Gabriel and their friends.

The serial format of these books means that there are more and more problems which arise in each book.  That doesn’t bother me, but I know that some readers are driven crazy by the lack of resolution.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is part of a serial involving the same couple.  This book ends on a cliffhanger for those who might not like those types of books.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A VAMPIRE’S HONOR is the third book in the Vampire’s Promise series.  This is a serial that follows one couple. Each book is connected to the others and the books have cliffhangers and unresolved issues.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: A Vampire’s Soul

Review: A Vampire’s SoulA Vampire's Soul (Vampire's Promise, #2) by Carla Susan Smith
Series: Vampire's Promise #2
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on July 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 256
Goodreads
three-half-stars

“Are you so sure this you love feel for the vampire can endure? That it will withstand temptation, greed, and lust, and all the other petty vices your kind are so easily swayed by?”

FINAL DECISION:  Much better than the first book in the series, the story picks up now that Rowan has discovered Gabriel is a vampire.  This book sets the stage for the drama of the series as Rowan is in danger.  I enjoyed the action and drama in this book.

THE STORY:  Rowan has discovered that her sexy boyfriend is actually a vampire.  Now that the truth is revealed, Rowan begins to learn the truth about her connection with Gabriel.  The two also struggle against enemies both old and new.  As Rowan discovers a world that she didn’t know existed, she has to make a choice whether or not to accept Gabriel as who is actually is.

OPINION:  I enjoyed this book as an adventurous paranormal romp.  After the slow first installment in the series, this one really picks up the pace.  Now that Rowan knows that Gabriel is a vampire, her life is going to change. The knowledge begins the process of Rowan having to confront the past, along with its enemies and friends.

As Rowan doesn’t fully remember the past, there are a lot of ambiguous figures who begin to appear in her life.  She struggles with trying to determine friend and foe.  Also, she begins to realize that she must choose between her life as she knows it and Gabriel.  The events in this book demonstrate that she will be forced to choose between them.

We do discover more about Gabriel’s past and how Rowan is connected to Gabriel.  There was a lot of action in this book.  I wish there was more romance and connection between Rowan and Gabriel, but this book is more about the external conflicts and Rowan’s own acceptance of Gabriel’s vampirism than it is about their relationship.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This series is a serial meaning that the story of this couple is not resolved here but continues in subsequent books.  If books ending on cliffhangers or with unresolved issues bother you, I suggest you pass on this series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A VAMPIRE’S SOUL is the second book in the Vampire’s Promise series.  It is a serial and continues the story of Gabriel and Rowan.  I don’t think it’s necessary to read the first book because this one gives all the information you need.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars