January Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Liam Takes ManhattanLiam Takes Manhattan by Thea Harrison – C+ The last in the latest trio of novellas about Dragos, Pia and Liam Cuelebre, this one is also the shortest one, coming in at about 50 pages. Also unlike the other two stories, this one felt somewhat incomplete to me. It was more in the nature of a prequel novella, presaging what the next chapter in Liam’s life is and acting as a bridge to (what I hope will be) full length books about Liam. I was involved in a discussion with the author on Twitter recently and she was canvassing interest levels for books featuring adventures in Liam’s life – the first of which would not involve any romance because he’s too young (I picture them as something like a paranormal Vorkosigan series FWIW). The novella sets up Liam branching out on his own. The significance of the Christmas present mentioned in the blurb is a bit misleading I thought. I was expecting a kind of “miracle at Christmas” vibe but it was far more subtle than that.

Pia Does Hollywood by Thea Harrison

Pia Does HollywoodWhy I read it:  I’m a fan of the series. After finishing the first in this trilogy of novellas, Dragos Goes To Washington on audio, I bought the next two in digital format because impatient.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  After making a diplomatic pact with humankind and the other leaders of the Elder Races, Pia Cuelebre, mate to Dragos Cuelebre, Lord of the Wyr, reluctantly heads to Hollywood to spend a week with the Light Fae Queen, Tatiana, before the busy Masque season hits New York in December.

Dragos has never let the lack of an invitation stop him from doing anything he wanted. Unwilling to let his mate make the trip without him, he travels to southern California in secret to be with her.

But when an ancient enemy launches a shattering assault against the Light Fae, Dragos and Pia must intercede. The destruction threatens to spread and strike a mortal blow against all of the magically gifted, both human and Elder Race alike.

Working with the Light Fae to neutralize the danger, Dragos and Pia find their deepest vulnerabilities challenged and their most closely held secrets threatened with exposure.

Series spoilers follow: Be ye warned.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  The title, while cute, is a bit misleading. The action of the novella takes place in a little more than 24 hours and Pia doesn’t have time to do anything Hollywood while it takes place. (I trust she did some during the remainder of her visit however.)

Particularly because Pia is pregnant with their second child, Dragos is very reluctant to let Pia go to Hollywood without him. However, the point of her going is to demonstrate trust and foster good relations between demesnes and Dragos going too would defeat that purpose. So, he follows incognito and they plan to meet up whenever they can and remain in touch telepathically. That way he can be close at hand if something happens. The added bonus is that their recent mating frenzy hasn’t quite worn off and both of them have needs. A week is a long time in Mating Frenzy-Land.

Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison, narrated by Sophie Eastlake

Night's Honor audioWhy I read it:  This was one from my own TBL.  The new release is out soon now and I wanted to catch up on the series.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  The Elder Races books are some of the few paranormal romances I still read.  I’ve gone off a lot of PNR compared to my reading diet a few years ago.  I particularly enjoy them on audio because Sophie Eastlake is a favourite narrator of mine.  Here, I think the format left me with a happier experience than would have been the case if I had read the book.

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