While I've tried to be good during my convalescence, there were a few books that I simply couldn't resist. Some were review requests, some from NetGalley, and some purchased. In my defense, this is about a month's worth of mail. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.
In the final electrifying novel in the HoN series, Neferet has finally made herself known to mortals. A Dark Goddess is loose on Tulsa and the world. No single vampyre is strong enough to vanquish her - unless that creature has the power to summon the elements as well as the ability to wield Old Magick. Only Zoey Redbird is heir to such power…but because of the consequences of using Old Magick, she is unable to help. Find out who will win and who will lose in this epic battle of Light versus Darkness. (Goodreads)
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. (Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts--and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. (Goodreads) ***
When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons. (Goodreads)
ARC provided by Meryl L Moss Media Relations in exchange for an honest review
Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body - the works. He's also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she's older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon. Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young - and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather's legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette's scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he'll break all the rules to do it…(Goodreads)
While I'm not usually a fan of fighters, I've been looking forward to Cannon's story ever since we first met him in an earlier book! Cannon is definitely hero-material...a real good guy who still worries about his family and his old neighborhood. He's even used some of his UFC earnings to open up a gym that helps keep the neighborhood kids off the street.
Cannon comes back to the old neighborhood when he learns that his old friend Tipton mentioned him in his will. Thrown together with Tipton's granddaughter Yvette, he soon realizes that she's no longer the naive teenager who crushed on him years back.
I really enjoyed watching Cannon and Yvetter's relationship develop, and loved getting to know Cannon's friends at the gym. Lori Foster is one of my favorite writers, and you can always depend on her for a good romantic story with interesting characters! Already looking forward to the next book!
Cannon couldn't stop looking at her. Damn, he’d remembered her as pretty, but she’d matured into killer good looks - and didn’t seem to know it. An angel’s face paired with that trim but curvy figure, and yeah, he was pretty sure every guy in the place had already started fantasizing.
Too bad, because none of them would touch her. If he’d had any doubts about wanting her, they were put to rest in a big way. Instead of three years, it felt like a decade he’d been waiting on her. Yes, he wanted her. He would have her, too. The only question was how soon. A few weeks ago she’d lost her grandfather, and she probably needed time to acclimate to being home around the unpleasant memories. He’d love to segue right from hello to hell yeah, but he also enjoyed just looking at her and talking with her. Sipping her Coke, Yvette stole a peek at him. Feathery lashes framed those big green eyes he remembered so well - eyes that used to watch him with innocent infatuation, but now seemed wary. She sat straight, proper.Spoke carefully. Avoided his direct gaze. As Tipton had said, she was guarded. She wore makeup, but not a lot. Even in a ponytail, her long dark hair made him think of it spilled loose on his pillows, or gliding over his chest. Or his thighs. And her clothes, while casual, covered such a sweet body it left him visually undressing her. Repeatedly. Knowing he had to get a grip, he asked, “Are you hungry?” She shook her head. “But please go ahead and eat if you want.” “I’m good.” Arms folded on the top of the booth, he smiled. “I can’t get over how much you've changed.” That pleased her, he could tell. “It’s been almost three and a half years.” Long enough for her to put the past behind her? To put him behind her? No, he wouldn’t let her. “I’m sodamn sorry about Tipton.” “Thank you.” She set the drink aside, then nervously drew her finger through the damp ring the glass hadleft on the booth top. “I wanted to talk to you about that. About -” “Hey, Saint.” Two guys sidled up to the table. “Can we get a pic?” Cannon forced his gaze away from Yvette. “Sure.” He would never alienate a fan, but damn, the timing could be better. Yvette had been screwing up her courage to say something. Now he had to wonder what. Stepping out of the booth, he bent a little to put himself more in line with the shorter guys, and with a double thumbs-up, smiled as a plump lady used her cell phone to snap a few photos. That only seemed to unleash other fans, and before he knew it, he was posing with men and women alike.Some wanted to hug him, some wanted him in a fighter’s stance, a few just wanted him to mug for the camera.Before he could get a handle on things, he’d taken around twenty photos and signed more than a dozen autographs. Yvette watched it all with a look of fascinated indulgence. When there seemed to be a lull, he reseated himself. “Sorry about that.” “You’re popular, I understand.” Her long glossy ponytail spilled over her shoulder when she tipped her head to study him. “I watch the fights.” That pleased him more than it should have. “Yeah? What do you think?” “You’re pretty amazing.” He held back his grin. “I do my best.” That earned a short laugh. “Humble too.” Shaking her head, she teased, “No wonder they call you the Saint.” He’d rarely heard her laugh before, and hearing it now did funny things to him. It was nice. Rich. Husky. A turn-on.
ARC received via Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review
The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous. (Goodreads)
Flora 717, born to the lowest caste of the hive, is an anomaly. With a large build and considered ugly, she is the only sanitation worker who isn't mute. She has several unusual talents that, along with her intellect and curious nature, make her an asset to her hive.
Surprised at how quickly I was drawn into the story, I really liked Flora and became invested in her story. I was proud of her for not meekly accepting her designated role and wanting more, while still supporting the structure of her hive.
I was fascinated by the various roles every bee played in keeping the hive running smoothly, from the lowly sanitation workers to the nursery feeders to the ladies in waiting. Everyone has their role to play in order to keep the hive running, including the dreaded police bees. Flora 717 steps outside her role, but only because the hive is in trouble and needs her multiple talents.
The book has been compared to The Handmaid's Tale, but I honestly didn't see any similarities. It has been awhile since I read THT, but I know it left quite an impression and made me think. While I enjoyed The Bees, it didn't leave the same impression.
This is an odd book in that I've never read anything like it. An enjoyable read with interesting tidbits about bees and their hive, I took it at face value and didn't try to ferret out any deeper meaning. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a bee is just a bee. I enjoyed the story and will leave the deep analysis to others.