What Kind Of Review Can You Expect?

If I could describe what kind of reader I am, I would hands down say I was an emotional one. When I read I want to fully experience the book, from the emotions coursing through the characters to reacting to the twist and turns of the storyline. I'm looking for those books that fire up my imagination and leave me breathless when it's over. It's for this reason why the reviews I write aren't so much what I think and are more on how I feel. My hopes in sharing my review in this way is that something will spark an interest and have you wanting to have the same experiences. This isn't to say I don't have issues with grammar, word choices etc. Trust me I do and most times all it takes is waiting for the story to grab hold for it not to matter. When I do include things about what I thought about the book (for example I've included comments about word choices and being too descriptive), I only do so because it directly affected how I felt. I hope this helps. Enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Raine Benares Series

Armed And Magical
Lisa Shearin / Urban Fantasy

Raine is a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, she can usually take care of herself. But when her friend Quentin, a not quite reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, Raine finds herself wrapped up in more trouble than she cares for. She likes attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting her down is not her idea of a good time. The amulet they're after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when Raine takes possession of the item, it takes possession of her.   

(Click title to read more)
Armed and Magical

All Raine wants is her life back - which means getting rid of the stone and the power it possesses. To sort things out, she heads for the Isle of Mid, home to the most prestigious sorcery school, as well as the Conclave, the governing body for all magic users. It's also home to power-grubbing mages who want Raine dead and the goblins who see her as a thief. As if that's not enough, Mid's best student spellsingers are disappearing left and right, and Raine's expected to find them. Lives are at stake, goblins are threatening to sue, mages are getting greedier, and the stone's power is getting stronger by the hour. This could get ugly.

The Trouble with Demons

An opened Hellgate leads to a demon infestation on the Isle of Mid, and while there's never an ideal time to face down demon hordes, it's hard to imagine a worse one. Already fighting the influence of the Saghred, Raine discovers she is also magically bonded to a dark mage and a white knight, two dangerous and powerful men on opposing sides - and Raine's stuck in the middle. But with demons pouring through the Hellgate, Raine can't afford to be distracted. Turns out the demons want the key to unlock the Saghred. As a seeker, Raine should be able to find it first. As the axis of light and dark powers, she's a magical cataclysm waiting to happen...

Bewitched and Betrayed

Being bonded to the Saghred wasn't my idea - neither is hunting down its escapees. Especially not when on of them is also hunting me. He's regenerating his body by taking the lives of powerful victims, along with their memories, knowledge, and most important of all, their magic. The dark mage wants control of the Saghred, and if he gets it, he'll become an evil demigod whom no one can stop. The only thing in his way is me. One of us doesn't stand a ghost of a chance


Ok. Reading this series was an interesting experience for me. I had read the first three about a year ago and fell in love with them. Raine is likable heroine who doesn't hold back and is surrounded by people who stand by her side through the many troubles she finds herself in. She isn't a character to sit back and wait for someone else to solve her problems and her courage, which is sometimes carefully disguised fear (which is understandable because she is a magnet for trouble) is inspiring. If I found myself in her situation, you'd find me crying in the corner wondering how the heck it happened and waiting for my knight in shining armor to ride in and save the day. Raine has plenty of people wanting to save her, but what I liked was she accepted the help of those around her but ultimately lead the way as she helped in saving herself and protecting those she loved. Raine is no damsel in distress. With the recent release of the fourth book - Bewitched and Betrayed, I decided to reread the entire series and this is where I had a hard time. I became frustrated. Why? Because in the year since I read the first three, I had been reading a majority of romance and so I've become accustomed to great sexual tension that had follow through. Raine isn't lacking in leading men. She has the attention of dark Mage Tam and Paladin Mychael, who are both sexy, incredible men. She finds herself in an intimate bond with them of both mind and magic and there is some sexual tension between them. This time round, I lost sight of the story (which is INCREDIBLE) and kept waiting for those moments of chemistry where she shared hot kisses and steamy exchanges and I felt I was left hanging. I felt disappointed because there was great potential but Raine just never seemed to get there. Point in hand - at one point Raine wakes up after being in a healing sleep for 10 hours and finds her self naked in the arms of the one who healed her and one who she had feelings for (you need to read to find out :P). My guess would be since there was chemistry there, one thing would lead to another. Nope. Nothing. I was finally rewarded with the scene I wanted but it took 3.5 books to get it and once I read it, I was fine. Satisfied. I could focus back on the story. So I guess what I would want to share with anyone who wants to read this series is this - if you're expecting a full blown romance, this might not be something you want. There is a romantic element but it plays second to Raine's journey with the Saghred. You'll LOVE Tam and Mychael but you won't see many scenes of intimate moments. However, if you are a lover of urban fantasy, you will LOVE this series. The author has written a very convincing story and in the last book had me on the edge of my seat. She took turns and twists I never saw coming and I finished the series with a HUGE grin on my face. It's definitely a series to read and one that hooks you from the beginning. There are wonderful characters that Raine is surrounded by other than Tam and Mychael - Phaelan, Piaras, Talon, Vegard, as well as very convincing villains. You never know whose on what side and whether the friend at your side is really the enemy at your back. I can't wait to see what happens next :)

Ratings: 4 stars and 2 hearts

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