June 22nd, 2016

Me

Book Critique 2016 – 03/30/2016: The Twilight Before Christmas (Drake Sisters Novels #2)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For the review of all the books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: If you believe that there is more than to everyone that involves with connection to elements of nature and human, then this is the series I recommend you pick.

Drake Sisters Novels are the first series in the Sea Haven Novels by Christine Feehan. The Twilight Before Christmas is the second installment of Drake Sisters Novels published in December of 2003. The book I have is the reissued anthology titled The Wicked and the Wondrous published in September of 2004 and also contains another short story by Christine Feehan along with this one - which I will be posting for another day.



Drake Sisters are seven sisters who are intertwined with each other and possess magical abilities to control not only elements of earth, water, fire and wind but also have psychic abilities. It is prophesied that when the locked gate of their family home opens to a stranger, he would be the true love of the oldest sister. And the rest of them follow tying themselves to the remaining sisters. Each of the sister is powerful in their own ways but the seventh sister, the youngest of all, not only most powerful but also bears the greatest gift of bearing the next generation of seven sisters. Like all powers come with a cost, so does the same for these sisters. It may not be a cost but each of them have to face the challenge that comes with their powers and overcome it as one unit - all the while finding (or escaping in some sisters' case) their true love.

In the first book Magic in the Wind, the gate opened for Damon Wilder and he walked straight into the home and life of Sarah Drake. We also have been introduced to three more of the seven sisters - Abigail "Abbey" Drake, Kate Drake and Hannah Drake. Now each of the sisters should be prepared to have their true love walk into their lives - which is very much dreaded by them. And next it line is Kate.

Matthew Granite had loved Kate for as long as he knew her but never could muster up courage to tell her. Kate always had a secret crush on him but feared that his brothers and friends laughed at her all the time making her suspicion that she wasn’t right for Matt more stronger. Matt was a decorated U.S. Army Ranger and now settled in Sea Haven with his family construction business. Kate is a famous novelist with the special ability to bring peace with her voice. Kate bought an old mill on the cliffs and is planning to renovate it into a bookstore and a coffee shop and modernize the home to live in it as well. Matt volunteers to take up the renovation work. When they visit the mill to assess the effort for renovation, they come across a strange seal in the ground in the basement of the mill. With the recent earthquake the seal seemed to have been moved a little letting out whatever was shut in there. Kate reads a few words in the seal that read "sealed until the day one is born" but she would need help of her sisters to completely understand what it is and what was sealed inside.

Thus starts another adventure involving the sisters battling the centuries old curse their ancestors had put on someone and sealed, trying to bring peace and festivity back to the town during the season of Christmas and at the same time Kate and Matt find the courage to face the love they have for each other. Apart from the sisters that are already on the island, Elle Drake, Libby Drake and Joley Drake also arrive in time to help Kate. Jackson Deveau, the deputy Sheriff, lends his hand as needed along with Jonas Harrington - Sherrif of Sea Haven - although he keeps to himself. With the help of all these well-wishers, Kate and Matt fight the old spirit bringing peace to everyone.

A charming Christmas tale involving old spirits, curses, love, peace and brining hope and happiness to everyone. Christine Feehan at her best again. A quick read, no complex sub-plots and equally balanced characters.
Me

Book Critique 2016 – 03/31/2016: Oceans of Fire (Drake Sisters Novels #3)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For the review of all the books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: If you believe that there is more than to everyone that involves with connection to elements of nature and human, then this is the series I recommend you pick.

Drake Sisters Novels are the first series in the Sea Haven Novels by Christine Feehan. Oceans of Fire is the third installment of Drake Sisters Novels published in April of 2005. This book revolves around the third Drake sister - Abigail "Abbey" Drake - and Aleksandr Volstov



Drake Sisters are seven sisters who are intertwined with each other and possess magical abilities to control not only elements of earth, water, fire and wind but also have psychic abilities. It is prophesied that when the locked gate of their family home opens to a stranger, he would be the true love of the oldest sister. And the rest of them follow tying themselves to the remaining sisters. Each of the sister is powerful in their own ways but the seventh sister, the youngest of all, not only most powerful but also bears the greatest gift of bearing the next generation of seven sisters. Like all powers come with a cost, so does the same for these sisters. It may not be a cost but each of them have to face the challenge that comes with their powers and overcome it as one unit - all the while finding (or escaping in some sisters' case) their true love.

Abigail "Abbey" Drake, the third sister, possesses the ability to make others speak truth as well as her strong affinity to water and bond with dolphins. In one of her swims with dolphins she comes across a cold-blooded murder being committed on the very same shores that she enjoyed swimming. In the attempt to save Gene Dockins, whom she knew since she was a child, and was injured in the cross-fire, she gets scraped by bullets and sharks. She finally gets herself and Gene safely on to the pier with the help of dolphins only to come face to face with a pair of mid-night blue eyes filled with ice cold rage belonging to one Aleksandr Volstov. An interpol agent and the last person she expected to see in her home town brought back haunting memories to her. And now she is again back in the sights of not only Alexsandr but also the killer by saving Gene.

Aleksandr also had not expected to meet Abbey, of all the places but here - right in the middle of his case. He and his partner Andre Danilov stumbled upon something bigger than what they had anticipated when they originally started this case. That brought them to Sea Haven and now Danilov was murdered, Abbey was a witness to it and he is come full circle right in front of her again - his fiancée nonetheless. He was following the trail of smugglers who were shipping stolen antiquities and jewelry from Russia to this part of west coast in US.

But what was the reason for Abbey to break away from Aleksandr? What happened in the past that scares Abbey even now? With the killers hunting Abbey, will she be able to accept her flaws as she sees, accept Aleksandr's help and outsmart the killers? Will Aleksandr be successful in keeping her this time? To top it all the famed Russian killer Ilya Prakesnkii is in the vicinity which means his boss would be around too. Why is he here? Why is he watching Abbey or is he?

Christine Feehan again at her best in weaving a web with strings of international smuggling, espionage, murders and treasure hunters all surrounded by the lattice of love and sexual tension between Abbey and Aleksandr. The story also starts thickening from this book onwards showing so many elements and dark evil worlds of human nature. Its not just another magical and erotic story anymore. Thoroughly enjoyable read even though I still feel that there are so many repeat paragraphs - which is normal trend with Christine. Well, what's holding you all to pick this book? Go on, pick it up, sit by a window or your backyard and get lost in the world of magic, intrigue, mystery and love.

Spoiler alert: Ilya Prakenskii, partner to Joley Drake gets introduced in this book and their face-offs (Joley and Ilya's) continue for the next two books before they finally merge in the sixth installment Turbulent Sea.