“First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons“
I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.
I found this tag on Chelle’s Book Ramblings . It’s simple and fun. I thought I would put my own spin on it and make it a weekly thing.
Concrete Garden – Kotobuki Tarako
1st story: Angels exist and Kashii Kiyoharu, grandson of the man who “created” the angel, has been hired to befriend him. His name is Toki. Kashii soon finds out why the scientists need him around. Toki is lonely, but no one wants to get near him unless it’s necessary since he eats human flesh. What has Kashii gotten himself into?
2nd story: Everyone expects Tokiwo to go to a good university. However Tokiwo doesn’t want to in order to “play it safe”. One night there was suddenly an earthquake. The stone he was looking at started to glow and out of his floor comes someone who looks exactly like his childhood friend Jiu. Well there is a difference. This “Jiu” is dressed for combat and has a very large weapon. Just what does the stone have to do with “Jiu” and who gave Tokiwo the stone?
Two military sci-fi stories with interesting premise but are really uninteresting convoluted mess.
Lords of Discord: Saving Rafe – Jocelynn Drake
The troublemaker. The risk taker. The sexy club owner full of wicked promises.
Rafe has devoted his immortal existence to pleasure and causing mischief.
The only ones who can depend on him are his brothers. Of course, that’s very much a Varik thing.
But when the leader of the Arsenault clan specifically requests Rafe’s help in tracking down a killer, he can’t say no.
Sure, Rafe claims he’s doing it for his family. They’ve attracted too many enemies and could use a few allies.
That’s not the whole truth, though.
There’s something about Philippe Arsenault that draws Rafe in. He wants more of Philippe. The vampire leaves him longing for another second in his presence, another taste of his lips, another caress of those perfect fingers.
Yet when it’s all over, what will become of Philippe and Rafe. Because Philippe will always be an Arsenault, and Rafe will always be a Varik.
Saving Rafe is the second book in an MM paranormal romance series that has vampires, betrayal, annoying brothers, music, heartbreak, hope, sexy times, and a pair of star-crossed lovers.
I am happy to once again sow chaos with the Variks in this second book of Lords of Discord, Saving Rafe.
Vampire politics is something I’m keen on reading about and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. The story picks up months after the Variks defeated the Black Wolf clan. Other clans were getting antsy at what they thought was a power grab by the Variks. None were bothering to believe that it was the Black Wolf clan who attacked first.
The Variks were approached by the Arsenault, a clan many knew little about, for help in looking for their missing member. Rafe was especially picked for the task because the clan leader, Philippe Arsenault, saw something more in him other than a self-proclaimed ‘purveyor of fleshly delights’.
As much as I liked Rafe and Philipe, I wasn’t that convinced with their romance. It was all too insta. What I liked though was how the trust between them was built even if it sprung up too fast for two people who knew better. I also liked the comfortable companionship growing between them. I would have liked their friendship developed properly first before moving on to romance territory. That would have been more believable and would have strengthen the character development too.
Even though I wasn’t that invested in the romance, everyone made the book worthwhile for me. Every Varik, from Marcus, Bel, Winter and Ethan were given ample page time. And I’m so happy Aidan’s back to properly take his seat as the head of the family. The supporting characters Lola, Gideon, Ryder and Julian were also great additions to the cast.
What it means to be a clan was the main theme in the story. The Variks have always considered themselves family and not a clan. Now that their family has expanded to include Ethan, could they possiby accept other vampires into their fold? Would they finally take the step forward and be a clan? Would other clans take this as a sign of aggression?
Meanwhile, Philipe shoulders all the responsibilities of keeping his clan and their secrets safe. Somebody is picking off his most vulnerable clan members one by one. There were dead giveaways as to who the bad guy is. At some point, they were even reduced to a cartoon villain. While I liked it that there are different antagonists per story, the giant spectre of the Ministry hanging over them and an imminent war brewing, I wished we can get more fleshed-out villains.
This is a long book with the showdown reserved almost to the very end. This wasn’t as suspenseful as the first book with less action scenes. There were times I had that just-there-for-the-ride feeling but I wasn’t exactly bored.
The highlight for me was when my favorite twin, Bel, stepped in to save the day with his army. I would love to see that on screen! Winter and his shadowy tricks is making me so very, very curious. The wee Varik is giving Bel a run for his money.
I can’t wait to see what the youngest Variks are up to.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love