Tag Archives: Karen Chance

Buying Trouble by Karen Chance

Overview
Buying Trouble

Title: Buying Trouble
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Dorina Basarab #1.1, Cassandra Palmer World #9
In: On the Prowl (Patricia Briggs)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, FaeParanormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: The dragon was Tanet, my newly discovered brother.

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Synopsis

Claire just wants to keep out of trouble. But that isn’t always easy when you’re a mage with the extremely unusual ability to block all magic around you. And when Claire’s sleazy boss decides Claire herself is the most valuable rarity to sell at a magical auction, trouble finds her. Now, her only hope for survival is to trust a mysterious and handsome stranger, a Fey Lord named Heidar. As their pursuers close in, there’s one thing for sure, savior or threat, Heidar can show Claire things she never imagined in this world, and in herself. . .

Thoughts

This story took a lot of unexpected turns – first, the journey started at an auction house, then Clare finds out that she’s actually up for auction, and then she finds out more about her true heritage. All in all, the combination of these facts created a tumulus ride which spanned a number of beautifully constructed settings. The fact that the alliances and loyalties of the obvious love interest within the story were vague and difficult to pin down helped to add to the unpredictable, fast-paced track of this novella.

The use of first-person in telling this tale helped to place me in the slightly uncomfortable shoes of Claire. Mostly due to her status in the magical world and the constant danger which her powers place her in. However, the irresistible pull she feels towards her male counterpart and her fear and frustration at being forced to flee are incredibly potent emotions that are stunningly displayed through her own words. Her description of her emotions, confusion and thoughts made me feel incredibly connected to this slightly unorthodox lead, something which I love when reading any story.

Although slavery isn’t supposed to occur anymore, the use of Claire as a pawn in overall political games and the willingness of others to sell her reek of a lack of women’s rights in this world – even when slavery is supposed to be abolished. Even her newly discovered family appear to be politically inclined, although at least they are grateful for her presence. It is a reminder that although overt ownership of women isn’t present in today’s society, there is still a sense of ownership and usage over women who can prove to be useful.

The thing that I loved most about this novella was the conclusion of this tale. It leaves the story open for more journeying into the world of Claire and the Dorina Basarab series, but also hints at a ‘happily ever after’ for Claire.

<- InhumanMona Lisa Betwining ->

Image source: Goodreads

Vegas Odds by Karen Chance

Overview
strange-brew

Title: Vegas Odds
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Cassandra Palmer #4.4, Cassandra Palmer World #14
In: Strange Brew (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: They hit the floot to avoid the bullets Cyrus was letting fly, making them perfect targets for a second potion – one designed to induce unconsciousness.

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Synopsis

Lia manages to beat the vegas odds in this amazingly fun and active short story.

Thoughts

From the very first sentence of this short story, you are thrown into the middle of the conflict. Lia’s self-berating and gradual realisation of the culprits in her attack help to add to this immediate sense of drama and action. The twists and turns of the plot are impossible to predict as her inner strength and moxie are revealed. To me, this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the story – once the cause of one point of conflict is revealed, a number of other problems quickly arise.

The idea of Lia as a half-breed and the subsequent stigma and segregation which she experiences is a great reminder of that which anyone who is different tends to experience. In some cases, people who come from two starkly different cultural and racial backgrounds aren’t fully accepted by either group of people. The pain and discomfort that Lia feels in her lack of acceptance, and even her inability to fully trust her boyfriend (who obviously loves her) to accept her speaks to the pain which such a discrimination can cause a person.

The showiness of this story beautifully matches what I picture of Vegas, at least as much as I can on the other side of the world. Even the Trials by which the war mages must take their new place in society is a showy affair with lots of drama and flash to make a simple point and test. The subterfuge throughout the story helps to match this, and even Lia’s own personality seems to fit into the idea of show and flash throughout the tale.

<- Death Warmed OverHecate’s Golden Eye ->

Image source: Goodreads

Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview

strange-brew

Title: Strange Brew
Authors: Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Karen Chance, P.N. Elrod, Charlaine Harris, Faith Hunter, Caitlin Kittredge & Jenna Maclaine
In: Strange Brew (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Paranormal romanceShort story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Murphy jumped on me then, pinning my left arm down as Meditrina started raking at my face with her nails, both of them screaming like banshees.

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Synopsis

Today’s hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris’ “Bacon,” a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother—and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected. And in Jim Butcher’s “Last Call,” wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers—the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.

For anyone who’s ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who’s imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection of short stories!

Thoughts

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories – they all erred on the side of dark fantasy and had twists to traditional ideas that I didn’t expect. The balance of female and male chief protagonists was well thought out, with a range of characters for even the most discerning reader to fall in love with. I loved that each tale was strange and unique, but they all fit together in a fabric that made the stories flow easily into each other.

The nine authors collected together in Strange Brew contributed short stories from their larger series, but they were easily accessible if you have not read the greater series (as I hadn’t for the majority). They are a window into another world that encourages you to jump in, feet first, something that I, for one, intend to do!

<- Dark Sins Review Seeing Eye Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

On the Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance & Sunny

Overview

on-the-prowl

Title: On the Prowl
Author: Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, Sunny & Eileen Wilks
In: On the Prowl (Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, Sunny & Eileen Wilks)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romanceShort story collections
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Lightning stitched from one black-hung pocket of sky to the next.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs
The werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack- and inspires a power in Anna that she’s never felt before.

Inhuman by Eileen Wilks
Kai has a secret gift of sensing thoughts and desires. What she senses in her neighbor Nathan could be dangerous. Because he has a secret gift, too, and it’s about to be let loose.

Buying Trouble by Karen Chance
In a New York auction house, a Lord of the Fey crosses paths with a fiery redheaded mage named Claire. But in this strange underground society, the rarity up for sale is Claire herself.

Mona Lisa Betwining by Sunny
Among the children of the moon, Mona Lisa is of Mixed Blood- part Monere, part human, and destined to be alone. Then she meets a man who could be her salvation- or her downfall.

Thoughts

I am absolutely in LOVE with this stunning collection of short stories. The strong women; unabashed way in which these four authors approach a woman’s sensuality and sexuality; and the fantastical worlds which are created through their masterful words create a series of spine-tingling stories that will leave you greatly anticipating just what happens next. Long after the last page has been turned, the characters float through my mind in an antagonising march of potent story-telling and rampant romance.

I’m a sucker for a good romance, and I love it even more when the woman is strong and independent enough to fight for herself, whilst still embracing the love with which they are presented. As a woman, the fine line between succumbing to love while still remaining strong and tough is a difficult one to walk. To create literary characters that embody this in a way that they appeal to a wider audience is immensely difficult, and the authors who contributed to this anthology show their supreme talents in being able to construct these characters.

<- Inhuman Review Alpha & Omega Review ->
Image source: Patricia Briggs