Scarlet Wylde's Reviews :-)

Scarlet's review of:

"Dearly, Departed" by Lia Habel

I’m in love with a zombie!

To anyone that is not completely thrown by that statement, let me give you a bit of back-story.  As a child, I loved Annie and I watched it over and over again, like the adorable, spunky, charming little darling that I was.  My little sister loved Thriller.  It terrified me so badly that I would go stand outside in the dark just to escape the sound of the music.  Even as an adult, I’ve been known to literally run out of a building to get away from the song.  If someone attempts to do that effing zombie dance, my eyes will actually well-up with tears of terror.  I’m absolutely not exaggerating any of this.  My name is Scarlet, and I’m zombie-phobic.

So you can imagine my utter and complete joy at winning free books and face-to-face time with Lia Habel, author of Dearly, Departed at this year’s Authors After Dark convention.  I sucked it up and showed up with a smile on my face, determined to be polite and make the best of the situation.  We met over ice cream.  I started off, “With respect, why zombies?”  I’m paraphrasing but she basically said that the idea of eternity scared the bejeesus out of her and that she was sick of pretty monsters.  In spite of the fact that I’m addicted to immortal, gorgeous monsters and aspire to finding a way to live forever, I actually wound up liking her a great deal.  She explained some of the premise of her YA futuristic steampunk zombie romance series (oh, my!) and I actually found myself intrigued.

I started reading it.  It did give me major wiggins a couple of times.  But I couldn’t put it down!  Her world is so thoroughly imagined- the history, society, politics, architecture, music, technology, climate- that you could legitimately see it as a possible future of mankind. 

But it’s the characters that really got me.  They just seemed to jump off the page, fully formed, as if they were real people.  I cared for them all almost instantly.  Nora, the main heroine, is extraordinarily likable from the start: smart, funny, loyal, passionate, and willing to kick some ass, in spite of the fact that it isn’t ladylike.  It didn’t shock me that I liked her…she’s alive.

What got me was how much I liked Bram, the zombie hero.  I got that he was honorable from the start and knew that if I was reading about him before he became a walking embalmed corpse (he’s a medically treated, sane zombie so he doesn’t smell and he’s not gross looking; but he’s still dead and it’s obvious in his appearance), I would’ve panted over him and swooned from his sweet thoughts about Nora.  I was shocked, however, when around the mid-way point of the book, I began to kinda fall in love with the guy and wanted to know more and more about him.

The development of the relationship between Nora and Bram is believable, in spite of the fantastic circumstances.  It’s really beautiful.  They are 2 young people from very different backgrounds (she’s a proper New Victorian and he’s a Punk) that would have never met without the tragedy of the Lazarus plague.  The relationship is built slowly, with Bram showing infinite patience in showing her that he means her no harm.  For her part, Nora bravely begins to see the heart of gold in the still chest of the dead boy.  I think that’s what I found most special about their love story: the lengths they go to try to understand and empathize with each other.  Also, instead of a lot of whining and angsty lamenting about how they don’t have forever (Habel maintains that there is no cure for being undead), they maturely decide to make the most of every moment they are given.  Very romantic!  And a lesson to all of us to cherish those we hold dear…and be thankful that more than likely, one day they won’t try to eat our brains.

The supporting cast is amazing, as well.  And Miss Habel dosed it with just enough snarkiness to keep it a little light, without spoiling the apocalypse ambiance.  She caught me off guard completely in a scene where a zombie is telling how he became the walking dead.  There’s a twist that had me literally laughing out loud.
The true sign that perhaps I’d been infected with the zombie-madness that so many seem to have already succumbed to was when I started cheering as a living person was attacked and eaten.  Trust me, he had it coming.
I won’t go on anymore because I don’t want you to waste anymore time reading my bullsh*t.  

Go buy Dearly, Departed already!  It’s amazing!!!

Book Info:

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. 

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Amazon Kindle Format


Scarlet's review of:

"Pleasure of a Dark Prince" by Kresley Cole

I love the whole Immortals After Dark series! They are all hot and sexy with a good deal of humor.  To make the pot that much sweeter, it’s encapsulated in marvelously imagined and constructed world.

My favorite is Pleasure of a Dark Prince, where we see the story of Garreth MacRieve, the werewolf prince, and Lucia the Huntress, the Valkyrie archer.  One of the first things that stands out for me about this novel is that Garreth is one the less tortured romantic heroes that I’ve read in awhile.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that I really suck at fixing tortured men so I’ve cultivated my tastes for more stable and happy guys.  While Garreth does have some dark spots in his past, he still has a sense of humor and playfulness about him.  Add to that his Scottish accent and utter devotion to his woman and I’m totally smitten.

I liked Lucia as well.  I think most women can identify with having a bad relationship that makes us reluctant about romance.  Thank Freya most of us have never had to deal with something as bad as Cruarch, Lucia’s evil god of a husband!  I love her courage, independence, and the fact that she’s sporty instead of overly girly (nothing wrong with girly, just a nice change of pace to see the tomboy get the hot guy).  I love the way she makes him earn her affection and trust.  I love the lengths that she goes to stay with him in the end.

The plot was a fast-paced adventure with lots of hot interludes thrown in to keep me panting.  Kresley has an infuriatingly masterful grasp of build-up and teasing that is unmatched, in my opinion.  For me, she has just the right balance between sexy fun and great plot.

A great read!!


Book Info:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole enraptures again with this seductive tale of a fierce werewolf prince who will stop at nothing to protect the lovely archer he covets from afar. 


Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her -- and those she loves. 


Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own. 


From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia's greatest weakness -- her wanton desire for him.

Amazon Kindle Format

Scarlet Wylde

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