Reader Reaction – Dark Skye

dark skyeAs we get ready to pick the book of the month for September, I thought we might take a look back at this month’s book, Dark Skye. Kresley Cole‘s 14th Immortals After Dark book was released on August 5th, and I figure we have all dove in already.

I didn’t make any secret of the fact that I was underwhelmed by it, but I still can’t figure out why. I didn’t dislike it, nothing like that, but I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t like the backstory of Thronos and Lanthe – well, I liked when they were children together, but I didn’t like how Thronos suffered in the centuries after. That really took me out of the story, and I ended up not liking Lanthe much because of it.

If I am going to be completely honest, I didn’t have much excitement going into it. I don’t know if I was having a premonition that I wasn’t going to be too excited by the book, or my lack of interest made me not enjoy the book as much, but it wasn’t meant to be. I had no problem putting the book down, and it ended up taking me almost a week to read. Unheard of for me.

What did you think of the long-awaited Thronos and Lanthe book? Were you happy with it, or did it leave you wanting more?

September’s Book of the Month…

book of the monthHard to believe how fast a month goes by, but once again it is time to vote on which book you are most looking forward to for the month of September. Some months, I have to scramble to try and come up with 10 books that I think have a chance of competing, but this month the problem is narrowing it down to just 10. There are a lot of biggies (and most of them are due out on the magic day of September 2nd).

You know what to do. Pick your most anticipated read for September, and the winner will be the book up for the next giveaway. I have listed 10 upcoming releases, but as always if your choice isn’t there just select “Other” and leave your pick in the comments section. A complete list of September’s releases can be found HERE.

 

I don’t actually know which one to pick for this month. I am torn between Shifting Shadows, Dark Blood, and Night’s Honor. Going to have to put some thought into this one.

New Series Alerts…

As another Monday rolls around, we take a look at the new series starting up this week. Jeaniene Frost‘s new Broken Destiny series gets its start with the release of The Beautiful Ashes.

the beautiful ashesSynopsis…

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second new series is from Alexandra Adornetto. Ghost House is the first book of the Ghost House Saga.

ghost houseSynopsis…

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And finally, we have the prequel novella from Claire Legrand‘s new young adult series called Winterspell. Summerfall is available in e-format only.

summerfallSynopsis…

Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans.

Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war.

Their love could save the kingdom of Cane . . . or shatter it forever.

In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming Winterspell, Claire Legrand weaves a story of magic, political intrigue, and forbidden love that sets the stage for the rise of a wicked queen and the journey of a human girl named Clara . . .

Purchase at Amazon.com

Of course, the biggie for this week is The Beautiful Ashes. I have been trying to remain spoiler-free, so my browsing of reviews has been limited, but I am interested in seeing what everyone thinks of this. You just know the comparisons to the Night Huntress books are inevitable, but I hope it stands well on its own.

 

So…This Quick/Krentz/Castle Thing is Out of Control

I am working on changing the links for the Series Reading List pages over to Goodreads, and since I am stripping everything down I decided I might as well update as much as possible while I am doing it. I have added some, deleted some, and updated a lot, and things were chugging along until I hit IT. I have been hearing more and more lately how much you all like Jayne Ann Krentz and her alter egos Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, so I thought I better check and make sure I had everything covered.

Nope.

I can honestly say it took a good, solid couple of hours to figure this monster list out, and I thought I would post it here to see if you all can make sense of it. Not only are there three author names to contend with, but so much series overlapping it boggles the brain. What do you think?

Arcane Society (Series Complete)

Curtain (Jayne Castle)

Dark Legacy (as Janye Ann Krentz)

Dreamlight Trilogy (Series Complete)

  • #1 – Fired Up (Arcane Society #7 – as Jayne Ann Krentz)
  • #2 – Burning Lamp (Arcane Society #8 – as Amanda Quick)
  • #3 – Midnight Crystal (Arcane Society #9, Harmony #7, Curtain #8 – as Jayne Castle)

Ghost Hunter (as Jayne Castle – Series Complete)

Gift Series (as Jayne Ann Krentz – Series Complete)

Harmony Series (as Jayne Castle)

Ladies of Lantern Street (as Amanda Quick)

Looking Glass Trilogy (Series Complete)

Lost Colony (as Jayne Ann Krentz – Series Complete)

Rainshadow (as Jayne Castle)

St. Helen’s (as Jayne Castle – Series Complete)

Whispering Springs (as Jayne Ann Krentz – Series Complete)

Can you follow it, or is it just a jumble? I can’t really figure out another way to do it without color coding, diagrams, and perhaps flow charts.

Cover Lover – 2 New Titles

Hard to believe how long it has been since any new covers came my way, and there is only two to break the ice. This first one is from Jacquelyn Frank‘s upcoming Immortal Brothers series. Cursed by Fire is due out on February 24th.

cursed by firePurchase at Amazon.com

This second is from Paige Tyler‘s upcoming SWAT series (Special Wolf Alpha Team). Hungry Like The Wolf is due out on January 6th.

hungry like the wolfPurchase at Amazon.com

 

Doug’s Review – Evernight

review iconSometimes I think that I spend too much time writing about books and not enough time reading them, because there are so very many series that I say “one day” about. And that list just keeps growing. One of the series on that list is Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London, which I can honestly say I have never heard anyone say less than glowing things about. Even a friend of mine who doesn’t like PNR or UF loves it, which is a good sign in itself. Doug Meeks reviewed the lasted book, Evernight, which is due out on August 26th. As Doug pointed out, however, it is one of those titles caught in the Amazon/Hachette battle, so pre-ordering through Amazon isn’t available at this time.

evernightWhat Doug said…

Kristen Callihan seems to excel at bringing together couples who really don’t like each other at the start of these novels in the Darkest London series (which seems to get a bit darker as this series progresses).
 
William Thorn and Holly Evernight are a extreme example of that talent since their first meeting in this novel he is trying to kill her, not a great opening line in most instances since her feelings are close to his,  but this is Darkest London and it only raised the bar a bit higher than the others in this series.
 
You also do not get wilting flower heroines; the women are strong but still vulnerable.  Holly Evernight is possibly one of the strongest of these heroines and still the author was able to build a believable romance here.
 
What you get is a soaring romance that is wrapped in a mystery with a couple of subplots being moved along at the same time.  The lack of the legion of secondary characters that you saw in some previous novels is pretty much missing here and the emphasis is mainly on the main couple which is understandable since the distance from trying to get a couple from “I want to kill you” to “I love you” is an awful long way but Ms Callihan pulls it off right nicely but not without dragging the reader through some pretty emotionally gut wrenching situations and a surprising twist of an ending, throw in an almost Cinderella vibe and you have an amazingly great reading experience that will stay with you for a long time.  I would warn you to take nothing for granted in this story and the last page leaves you with a inkling for what I expect will be a series changing next novel along the lines of Acheron (sorry if you don’t know that reference).
Bottom Line:  An exceptional novel, well written, a romance that will roll around in your mind for days or longer, an alpha male, a exceptionally strong heroine and it all works together.  I only had one complaint, you left us in the dark on the maid, I expect some detail next novel.  The ending was a bit of a dark premonition for the next novel and left me a bit unsettled but I guess that was the purpose, hold on to your seat for the next one.  This may be the best book of the series to date so don’t miss it, the previous novel would give you some better background but is not a requirement I do not believe since most of the important things are revisited.
So, who else loves this series? There is at least one more book, Soulbound, which is due out next February, to look forward to.

This and That…Things Are Changing Edition

Not a biggie this time, but there are a few little things to mention…

  • Many thanks to Alexandra, who let me know that some info has come to light from Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series. It seems that the originally planned three-book Dani arc and two-book Mac and Barrons arc has in fact been condensed to three books in total, but that’s not all. Burned will actually be a return to Mac’s narrative, with some Dani POV, as well. I wondered why the official blurb hadn’t come out yet, but here it is…

Sidhe-seer MacKayla Lane may have finally managed to locate and bury the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient book of deadly black magic, but its hold on her has never been stronger, as it threatens to destroy the worlds of man and Fae alike. Meanwhile, a whole new breed of evil is being unleashed in Dublin, and the city is fast becoming a war zone. The only thing keeping Mac grounded is the unshakable, undestroyable Jericho Barrons, until a secret about their relationship forces her to question who she can trust if not the man she loves.

I have to admit, I am a bit bummed by this. I didn’t mind a condensing the five into three, actually, but I wanted at least one more to focus on Dani. And by Dani I mean Ryodan and the Nine. According to the author, the storylines themselves won’t be changing, just the way they are told.

  • As I said a while back, whenever I see the word “End” in a series I like, I get nervous. Such was the case the next Guardians of Eternity book, whose title is When Darkness Ends. I decided to go to the source, and Alexandra Ivy shot me back a quick answer.
“Right now I am finishing up the series with Kensington, but I promise that I have many more stories I intend to set in the Guardian world, although they will probably be self-pubbed.”

 

It was great of her to get back to me about it, but I was hoping I was just being negative. I don’t usually follow the self-pubbed as well as the traditional, but I will make a definite effort to on this series.

  • On the young adult side of things, author Kiera Cass has announced that her Selection trilogy…isn’t. It turns out that there will be two more full novels coming out, starting next May with The Heir.

So, that about covers it. Less than planned for one, a change of plans for the second, and more to come for the third. Things are a changing…

 

Archangel’s Shadows Tidbits and Reaction…

As I usually try to do on these types of posts, I have to start by saying that Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors, to the point of it being a bit pathetic, actually. So does that mean that I go into anything she writes expecting it to be great? Yep. And she has never disappointed me yet. I was totally surprised to get an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows, and it was a one-sitting read. This will be a few spoiler-free glimpses, but I will assume that you are up-to-date with the events in Archangel’s Legion.

archangel's shadowSynopsis…

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s sensual and painfully beautiful Guild Hunter world in her new novel of sacrifice, loyalty, and the choices of love that can shatter the heart.

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

I went into this thinking that it was going to be equal parts Raphael and Elena’s story and Ash and Janvier’s, and I was thinking that Ash and Janvier might get short-changed. I couldn’t’ve been more of the target. The story breaks down, as best as I can figure, to be about 75% Ash and Janvier, 15% Raphael and Elena, and 10% everyone else. Nice.

We start out seeing a little bit of role Ash, Janvier and Naasir’s trio played in the battle against Lijuan, and the bond they formed behind the lines. The recap of the battle is brief, but the impact of it continues throughout the book. When a new issue rises that threatens the stability of a city that has already been through so much, Ash and Janvier end up teaming up again to track a vicious enemy. There is lots of action, but that doesn’t overpower the romance at all. Their story has been simmering over the course of several stories, and it was worth the wait.

Illium and Aodhan make a few appearances, usually as comic relief. Change is coming for Illium, and I do believe his story will be heading our way (soonish). And I could totally see a novella for Ransom, too. Dmitri and Honor are settling into their new life, Aodhan is continuing to make progress coming back into the world, and the Legion is slowly beginning to find a place. But the scene-stealer, no doubt, is Naasir. I didn’t think anyone could outshine Bluebell, but Naasir did. Half feral, half innocent, and completely unpredictable, he made every scene he was in. We don’t find out exactly what he is, or what he isn’t, for that matter, but I can’t wait to find out. Elena continues to make the role of Consort her own, even if it sometimes a struggle for the fighter to handle the politics of the position.

So, that is about it. I thought it was a great story – strong on the romance, the action, and the set up for future stories. Oh, and as an extra bonus, there was an excerpt from the upcoming Secrets at Midnight, the Bastien novella that will be in the Night Shift anthology due out on November 25th.

Pick of the Week…

I have been really looking forward to my pick of the week for a while now, even though it isn’t quite my usual fare. Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series is more of a mystery with paranormal elements rather than a full-on PNR like I usually read. This week the second book, Visions, comes out.

visionsSynopsis…

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your pick of the week? Did you like the first book of the Cainsville series, Omens? My only complaint is that the Canadian covers aren’t the same as the American ones, which I thought were great.

Wonky Blog…

Not sure what exactly is going on with the blog, but either WordPress or Wicked Scribes is acting pretty wonky. Things aren’t opening for me to update or post on the main computer, so I am just managing to post on the tablet for some reason.

*Yay, me. Fixed. I think.