Review: Soulbound by Kristen Callihan

22395684 This is book #6 in Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series. And it is such a dark series filled with awesome, dark creatures – some of which we’ve all heard of before and some that seem totally new and unusual. Which is why I completely love this series. It started out with creatures such as werewolves and vampires which felt familar and has moved into GIM’s or ghosts in the machine which are hard to describe but pretty amazing to see brought to life in these books.

In Soulbound the story is focused on Adam who is a completely unusual hero in this world in that he is actually a human, albeit a cursed one. His curse means that he is immortal but cannot truly live. He was cursed by the Fae queen but an Angel lightened the curse by allowing for Adam finding his soul mate and if he does he can break the curse. 700 years later Adam has found that soul mate in Eliza May but in trying to hold her so tight to him – literally in chains – she chose to escape him at the end of book 5.

Eliza does not believe for a second that she has a soul mate in Adam and she hates him for how he treated her while in captivity. She’s been living with the Fae queen who is actually her grandmother but things are not great for her here either. Eliza can’t stomach the things that happen at the hands of Mab and when Mellan, Eliza’s old nemesis shows up that is her last straw and she realizes she needs to leave. When she finds that Adam has been kept chained in Mab’s basement she has to do something.

Adam and Eliza’s roles are very much reversed in this book from the last one. Adam is literally the one in Mab’s chains for a large portion of the story and he realizes he has to make up for how he treated Eliza previously. I appreciated this because I was not feeling Adam until this book. Eliza has many secrets she’s holding in and doesn’t want to share any of them because she feel she can’t trust Adam with her secrets, much less her heart. I really enjoyed getting Adam’s back story here too because he was one creature that I didn’t understand much at all initially.

We do get to see appearances by a few of the others from the previous books, which I always appreciate. On a side note – I absolutely NEED Lucien’s story at this point, although at the end I felt that we’re going to get Sin’s sooner. Which is admittedly intriguing but Lucien’s more so for me!

The ending surprised of these books always manage to surprise me. There is a huge build up and then a lot of action I don’t expect but it didn’t disappoint. I really liked what it delivered.

4 Stars

ARC received via Netgalley on behalf of the publisher in return for an honest review.

~Melinda

Amazon

Amazon UK

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soulbound-kristen-callihan/1119678097?ean=9781455581658&itm=1&usri=soulbound+kristen+callihan

My Top 10 of 2014 + Giveaway!

Here is my Top 10 List for the year! All of these books below were released in 2014 and got 5 stars from me. If you’d like a chance to win any one of these books please leave a comment either here or on Facebook and let me know. I will pick one winner this Friday the 26th and gift the kindle version at that time.

10. Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran

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This is just a really great romance book and my first by this author that I’ve read.  I had to read her backlist after this one since I loved it so much. The cover is gorgeous and pulled me in but I stayed and finished it due to the wonderful banter between the hero and heroine. The hero seems to be a rare breed – an alpha male who isn’t too overbearing. Both of the main character were intense as was their romance but the comedy balanced that nicely. I’d highly recommend this one!

 

9. Sun Kissed by Laura Florand

I have to include this book on my top 10 of the year. A) It’s dedicated to me (WOW!) because I had asked the author about these characters and that led her to tell their story. B) The main characters are older and have been friends for 20 years. It’s rare to see romances not in certain demographics and I love when a book isn’t super common. C) The friends-to-lovers trope is one of my favorites. D) Laura Florand writes such beautiful and emotionally intense books that they stay with me for quite a while. If you haven’t read any of hers before and you enjoy romance you NEED to check her books out!

8. Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

This unusual Regency romance came to my attention late in the year but I’m so glad it did.  It had a not often seen setting of politics in that time. The Whigs and Tories have an upcoming election and both sides are desperate for votes. So desperate they are trying to get the heroine to marry someone who will cast their votes for whichever side. An injured Veteran is chosen for the task on the Whig side and eventually romance blooms, but for the wrong people. I enjoyed the banter between the two main characters as well as the unexpected references and quotes from various books – I love book references within books. The hero and heroine are both kind of broken and to see them put each other back together was beautiful.

7. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

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I love, love, love the All Souls trilogy. I wasn’t disappointed in any of the books and this conclusion to the series was wonderful. The suspense of the previous books combined with the love among Matthew and Diana’s pieced together family made for a great book. I got the answers I was looking for and was left wanting more about the secondary characters.

 

6. Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen

I assume novellas must be difficult to write – to get enough of a story to make us care about the characters and still leave room for plot has to be hard. Sarina Bowen nailed it with this one. She has a knack for getting me to care about people I normally wouldn’t – the basketball player and the sorority girl being the case here. Witty yet emotional, this one definitely had everything I want from a novella.

5. Archangel’s Shadow by Nalini Singh

Finally the book with Ashwini and Janvier came out this year! I’ve been highly anticipating seeing their story be told and not surprisingly Nalini Singh delivered. More banter between the sarcastic heroine and the sensitive hero made me fall more in love with this couple even more so before. She is definitely one of my favorite authors so I couldn’t do the list without one of hers.

4. The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

This one came out of nowhere for me. I got a recommendation from Vi to read it and like always she was right that I would love it. Soon after I saw may people raving about this sweet and sexy New Adult romance. This book had the right mix of sassy heroine and in lust-turned-to-love hero. The dialogue is sharp and hilarious and I loved Anna’s take no crap attitude. Light on the drama compared to many NA books which in my opinion was a good thing. Also has a nice HEA whereas that can be hard to find in this genre as well.

3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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I found this book to be hard to put down. Told in a different kind of way, with snippets of police interviews and knowing the outcome at the beginning, Big Little Lies was able to surprise me. I thought it was going to be a light heart murder mystery but it evolves into something more by the end. All of the characters seemed as if I had met them in real life at one point or another, including the many children in the book.

 

2. A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

So I obviously see a pattern emerging here – I fell in love with multiple new to me authors and Sonali Dev was no exception. I loved this book’s integration of Indian traditions into the plot in a way that felt unobtrusive. It opened up a new area for me and made me more interested in learning about the culture and exploring Bollywood films and other books. It seemed to be authentic with the Indian touches and brought a very sweet and complicated romance with it. The chemistry builds between the two main characters slowly and develops beautifully and in a believable way.

1. The King by Tiffany Reisz

I love Tiffany Reisz’s books. They are not for everyone, with their very frank exploration of BDSM but I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys romances. This story tells the early years of Kingsley Edge, a character anyone familiar with the Original Sinners books knows well. But apparently not that well because this explores how King began his club and reveals even more of his relationship with Soren, not to mention new characters to us. I loved every bit of this one from the beginning to the end.

 

I hope you’ve all had a great reading year! Don’t forget to leave a comment with which of these books you’d like to win a kindle version either here or on Facebook.

~Melinda

Book Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

“That first night. It was the best damn feeling I’ve had in my life. And I’ve won the fucking Heisman!”

Anna Jones and Drew Baylor, seniors, meet in a philosophy class. There’s a spark that Anna tries to deny. Drew acknowledges and attempts to flirt with her.

“Standing there, I became aware of myself, this big oaf, looming over her, my tongue thick in my mouth, a crazy twitch starting up on my cheek. God help me if she noticed that twitch. So I blurted out what is possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever uttered in my life, “Hey, Big Red.” “

Yeah. Shoot me now. What the holy hell had I done?”

When they do eventually hook up, Drew pushes Anna for more, a relationship beyond the casual. He gets very except when Anna refuses to kiss him. This results in their first fight.

Anna has reasons for not wanting anything resembling a relationship. She grew up watching her mom go through a revolving door of men. Drew has a tragedy in his life. Both his parents died the summer after he graduated from high school.

When they eventually have that big blowout fight (where clothing is thrown out the door), I was heartbroken for them. The fight felt authentic and not over the top to play on our emotions.

This book is fine example of the New Adult genre. Anna and her friends, Drew and his football teammates make the college believable. Add in the chemistry between Anna and Drew, great banter, and spicy sex and it makes this book one of my favorites of the year. I look forward to the next book in the series, which sadly, won’t be out until 2015.

Go buy & read this book now!

ARC kindly provided by the author.

5/5 stars

~Vi

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