Cassandra Reads

Most (likely all) of my blog posts are going to be for reviews.  I read a lot of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, historical romance and I'm one of those people that read nonfiction for fun.  My favorite kinds of nonfiction include science, psychology, history, evolution and religion.


Review: The Next Always by Nora Roberts

The Next Always - MacLeod Andrews, Nora Roberts

I really loved the whole idea of each room at the inn being themed.  The book didn't get that much into it, but each room is themed after a couple in a book - they have a Elizabeth and Darcy room, Eve and Roarke (loved that!) and several others I didn't know. There wasn't really all that much about the Inn in this book, some since Beckett is fixing it up with his brothers, but not as much as I expected.  

I didn't expect the drama to be what it was - no real relationship drama, but there is a guy that has a thing for Clare and she's too nice to tell him to fuck off (he's really pushy about it). There's also a ghost, which I didn't expect.  The ghost ends up playing a big part in this one.  No one really sees her, but the end drama has her saving one of them (or telling the others that one is in trouble).  It reminded me a little of Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters series, although that's really the only thing similar (ghosts helping out).


Review: You & I, Me & You by MaryJanice Davidson

You and I, Me and You - MaryJanice Davidson

I liked this one the most of the three.  I was right about there being some unplanned re-integration starting in the last book.  I'm glad that the end of this one isn't them all being completely one person again.  That's what I really expected to happen, but it seemed a little too cliche, too pat, too perfect.  Adrienne doesn't come out as much anymore, but Candace and Shiro are about equal in this book (maybe a little more Candace, who gets to confuse George when she cusses or laughs at him - something that Shiro would do but not Candace).


I was wrong about the love triangle really being over - it works out better than I expected it to.  I knew Patrick and Candace's relationship was over the minute he assumed she'd quit her job (turns out she's not really an FBI agent - that wasn't as big of a surprise as it really should have been).


There was less about the serial killer in this one then the others - he wanted to get caught and it also wraps up the Threefer case (from the first book) neatly.  

Review: Yours, Mine and Ours by MaryJanice Davidson

Yours, Mine, and Ours - MaryJanice Davidson

This one wasn't as confusing as the first book, simply because I'm more use to Candace and her "sisters". I'm still not too sure about Patrick (and would have been a lot happier without one of the "sisters" having an odd crush on another character in this book).  It wasn't quite a love triangle, but it getting close. Despite the almost love triangle, I liked this one more then the first one.  

Shiro has changed between the start of the first book and the end of this one. Candace has changed too, although I think we spend more time in Shiro's head in this one then the first one.  I think there's some unplanned re-integration going on, although it's not stated in the book.

Review: Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson

Me, Myself and Why? - MaryJanice Davidson

This book is very confusing at first.  Candace calls her other personalities her sisters, so that was confusing.  Then each personality has a different voice, which isn't confusing after you've gotten use to it but it was really odd when Candace stopped talking in the middle of a sentence and Shiro took over (which started a new chapter). That doesn't happen all that often but I do wonder what everyone near her is thinking when the tone of voice changes.


I didn't like Patrick all that much.  I don't hate him either, but there was something about him that annoyed me.


Shiro's point about integration was a good one and something I'd never thought about before.  Is re-integration of separate personalities murder?  From that (those) personality(-ies) standpoint, it must be.

Adrienne's chapters are all like poems (or nursery rhymes) which adds another layer of confusion when she first shows up.

Review: Blood Magick by Nora Roberts

Blood Magick - Nora Roberts

I built this one up in my head a little too much. I liked it, but I've really wanted to read Fin and Branna's story since first meeting them in Dark Witch. The romance in this one is a little bittersweet, since Fin is a descendant of the sorcerer they are fighting and Branna is one of the three (there's a interesting twist in this book about the three, but I'm not going to spoil it). They were together as teens and then Cabhan's mark appeared on Fin and that was the end of their relationship.

The concept of dark witch gets even more confusing in this one. The witches use light magic but they are dark witches. I'm so confused. It wouldn't be so confusing if they didn't call the sorcerer's magic dark, but really. Aside from the dark witch/light magic thing I really liked this series, although that's still confusing me.

Review: Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts

Shadow Spell - Nora Roberts

This one is a little lighter on the romance and the romance related drama then Dark Witch. Conner and Meara have known each other for years. She's his sister's, Branna, best friend and works with Iona (Conner's cousin). Meara does have commitment issues (her father left her mother, although it's not really discussed in this book - I assumed he died at first) but aside from one little freak out when Conner says he loves her there isn't any relationship drama.


The sorcerer does go after Meara and since she isn't a witch she falls under his spell more easily then Iona did. She doesn't give it, but it was odd to see him going after the non-witch. He does go after Conner, but Meara makes an easier target (or so he thinks).


They try to kill Cabhan again and it unsurprisingly fails (if it didn't, what would be the drama in the final book?)


Review: Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

Dark Witch - Nora Roberts
The dark witch thing isn't explained very well. Witch is the term they use, while the "evil" one is a sorcerer.  Dark tend to have negative connotations (dark=evil), so a little explanation would have been nice.  It doesn't take long to realize that dark doesn't mean evil in this series. The term difference becomes clear once Iona learns that Fin is a descendant of the sorcerer they are trying to defeat and it's made clear that he's a witch and on their side. 
I expected a little more world building in this one, I know it's magical realism but some info would be nice.  Iona is the only one that hasn't grown up learning magic and she grew up in America and not Ireland. I really liked Iona's connection to horses and I'm hoping for the same sort of connection with Conner and his hawk and Branna and her hound. 
I was a little worried that this series was going to be like Robert's Circle Trilogy. They are both magical realism with three people working to defeat an evil.  That series includes time travel, which was the big issue I had with it.  This book took a while to get into, since the first three chapters are from Sorcha's (the first Dark Witch) point of view, back in the 1200's.  I wasn't all that surprised at first, but three chapters in the past confused me quite a bit (normally something like that is in the prologue).
I could have done without Boyle's stupid moment were he suggests that his affection for Iona is due to a spell.  It gets brushed off, mostly.  She overhears and gets mad (can't blame her), they break up.  Then he claims he'd just been upset and hadn't really meant it.  BS!  Yeah, he was mad but he wouldn't have said it if he hadn't at least thought it at some point.  They become friends but get back together without ever discussing it.   

Review: Smiley by Laurann Dohner

Smiley (New Species) - Laurann Dohner

I really loved that Vanni is shy.  I don't think any of the other heroines in this series have been shy (or many in any book I've read).  It was a nice change of pace in some ways. I didn't like that she was cheating on her fiance with Smiley.  I know they were drugged and Carl was a complete ass, but it was still cheating. I really liked her and Smiley together, but it seemed a little rushed.  It's been a while since I've read one of these, so that could just be me - they all seem to get together very fast. 


Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

The Shadows - J.R. Ward

This one didn't really seem like Selena and Trez's book. It was, but at the same time, I was more invested in iAm and his female (not giving any thing away). Trez and Selena don't get a happy ending, which really isn't a surprise but it still think it's a little unfair (Jane's back, after all). I'm betting there's something going on there. The next book is about Mary and Rhage. I kind of expected it, since there is quite a bit of focus on the two in this one.


This series is just getting bigger and bigger. So many POVs, so many different things going on at once. I don't mind a little set up for the next book but the last few of this series have had the other characters taking over the book and the main characters get lost in the shuffle.

Review: Vampire in Denial by Dale Mayer

Vampire in Denial - Dale Mayer

I'm really unhappy about the cliffhanger. The summary does warn, but it's annoying none the less. I really liked the idea of a pure-blood vampire being a throwback, but I'm not really sure about this series other then that. Pure vampires aren't a new thing (J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood comes to mind - although only one of them is a pure vampire). I did like Tessa, but I don't like love triangles and this series has one already: Cody, Jared and Tessa. It would be easier if I liked one of the guys and hated the other, but I like them both so far.


It took me a lot longer to read this then it should have. This is the only book I've read this month, and since it's already the 30th it's likely going to be the only one. I don't think the book had anything to do with my slow reading of it, I just haven't been reading much.


Review: Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn

Night Myst - Yasmine Galenorn

I should know not to read reviews of a book I've already started reading!  I was less then half done with this one and read a review that mentioned a really messed up rape scene (no other way to explain it, really). It happens close the end but knowing it was coming really ruined this book for me.  It could be argued that it wasn't rape, but she wouldn't have said yes to him without the deal they made and she even asks him after if he knows/cares how violated she feels (really he just doesn't care at all, but he's a vampire so that isn't a surprise). Cicely does have a love interest in this book, but I didn't really care about him at all.  We don't meet him until after the first time she meets the guy who later rapes her (with her reluctant agreement, it's not a yes if there is no choice!) and they end up having sex.  Really, I think Cicely needed something other then sex at that point and that didn't make me like Greive that much. I liked the characters in this book, but I spent too much time dreading the rape scene to really get into this book.  I really love Galenorn's Sisters of the Moon series, but I'll pass on the others in this series.    

Review: Shadow by Laurann Dohner

Shadow - Laurann Dohner

This one is my favorite so far in this series.  I feel like I say that every time, but I've been hoping for one of the species females to get her HEA and here it is. This one also better explains why the other New Species females don't seem interested in having long term relationships. I've been wondering about that for a while, but this one offers a view as to why, at least for some of the females.  


The action/drama comes a little late in this one.  I thought that they were going to get away without really having any outside drama, but that doesn't happen.  I should have expected it really, because none of them can really catch a break, but I was hoping.  Shadow and Beauty did have some relationship issues, since they've both been hurt and neither one really knew what they were doing.  It does all work out and they seem a little better at fixing issues before they really hurt the other person (misunderstandings are discussed ASAP instead of letting the problem fester). I know not all romance books are really bad about that, with the whole just talk to each other already, damn it! But I really like that Shadow and Beauty seemed so willing to talk to each other. 

Review: Obsidian by Laurann Dohner

Obsidian - Laurann Dohner

I didn't really like Obsidian at first. I understand that he's new to being free and isn't use to being nice to people, but I was really glad that they ended up spending three months away from each other. That seems a little harsh, but he needed time to grow up (for lack of a better term) and learn to be independent without being violent all the time. The book ended a little too soon after they get back together, but it worked out really well.

Review: Looking Out for Lexy by Kristine Dalton

Looking Out for Lexy - Kristine Dalton

I have noticed that not reading the summary of a book right before reading it could be a good thing. I wasn't really sure what was going on in this book at first. It's a second chance romance that jumps around a little timeline wise - it started 18 years before then goes to now and goes back and forth like that for most of the book. I figured out pretty fast that Ryan (Lexy's teenage son) is also Jack's son and that was why she married Tom. I thought it was a little weird that she married the guy that beat up her lover/boyfriend. Her being pregnant explains why she married so fast.

I didn't really like Jack all that much, really. I didn't hate him but he acted like an ass instead of asking Lexy why she'd married Tom. I didn't really like Lexy that much either, but we spend most of our time in her head so that's why I took her side over Jack. They'd both been hurt but other people's schemes. There were some people trying to keep them apart (both in the past - her parents and the present - a woman that Jack works with).

Review: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - Seamus Deane, James Joyce

I felt a little lost at some points during this one. Parts of it seem a little disjointed, mostly near the start of the book. Maybe I just misunderstood somehow, but Stephan is younger at first then he is during the later part of the book (ten vs sixteen or older - the first age is a guess). It seemed like he was just starting school and then right after going to university. Maybe I lost the plot at some point, or it really was just a sudden change in time.

I really need to start reading the summary of a book before reading it. I know I've read the summary at some point, but in some cases it's been months since I read the summary and it often confuses me.

I didn't really care all that much about this book, really. I cared more for the characters in this one then The House of Mirth, but that's about it. It was a little too religious for me in the end. If I'd re-read the summary, I wouldn't have been surprised but that's my fault.

Review: My Lady Coward by Jaimey Grant

My Lady Coward: An Episodic Regency Romance - Jaimey Grant

This one really does read like separate stories, instead of one longer story. I've only read one other serial collection, which read like a full novel instead of different stories bound together later. I understand that this wasn't really meant to be a full novel, but episodes in the life of Lady Maria. I really liked the set up, but I was a little iffy on the plot: she loves her husband but thinks/knows he's cheating. Spoiler, not everything is want it seems (he doesn't have a mistress, but it's understandable that she assumes the woman is his mistress - the evidence is damning!) I hate cheating, so if he really had been I would have really hated this book on principle. It's pretty clear early on that he isn't really cheating, but the why it seems that way wasn't what I expected.


I've never heard/seen the term Cit, which is someone who has made their money in trade instead of inheriting it. Is it a common term in Historical Romance and I just missed it?