Reading Roundup…

booksI thought there had only been a couple of books since my last Reading Roundup post, but it looks like I was busier than I thought since it looks like I read 14 books/stories since then. I won’t go over them all here, but just some of the highlights.

Heart of AtlantisAlyssa Day‘s Warriors of Poseidon series falls into a strange category for me. I read them, then promptly forget them. Details just don’t stick, I don’t remember who most of the couples are, I can’t remember character names or storylines or anything. Now I am not saying that I don’t enjoy them because while I am reading them I actually do – they are not my favorites but they aren’t bad, either – but they just don’t stick with me. I have had Heart of Atlantis on Mount TBR for what seems like forever, but I was in no rush to read it even though it was the long awaited story of Alaric and Quinn. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Alaric is the one character throughout the whole series that stood out for me, so I was hoping he would finally get his chance at a happy life. Characters were great, lots of action to the story, and while it felt like the perfect way to end the series on a high-note, it also seems like the beginning of a new Atlantis storyline. And as a bonus, it has been a couple of weeks and I still remember what happened.

Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter – I was pleasantly surprised by the first book of Jessica Sims‘ Midnight Liaisons series, enough so that I immediately ordered the novella and the second book, Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter. The novella wasn’t bad, and I quite enjoyed this second book, too. A bit of a different storyline from others that I have read, since it revolves around a dating service for the supernatural. A light, fun read, but not goofy or dumb. These books are a great break from the usual dark and gritty stuff I usually read, and I find myself looking forward to book three when it comes out later this year. I will save it for when I need a break from the drama and just want something fun to read.

House Rules – Last year, one of my reading goals was to get up-to-date on the Chicagoland Vampires series from Chloe Neill. I did, and quite liked it. It is never going to rank up there with my favorite UF series, but it is still a very good series. I did find myself a bit underwhelmed by this one – not a bad book, but not something that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, either. I had no problem putting it down several times to drift off to something else, but I was still interested enough to want to find out how it all ended. Not a favorite, but still not all that bad, either.

ApollyonJennifer L. Armentrout is a YA favorite, so I was very happy to get my hands on the second last Sentinels book (crap, almost done). There is a lot of action in Apollyon, very fast paced. I have seen where many say that this one was a bit of a “filler” book, building up to the finale, but I didn’t find it to be so. It does set the stage for the big showdown, but there was enough happening to keep me interested. And thanks to reading the novella Elixir, I finally have a new appreciation for Aiden, and I even have some hope for Seth. I liked this one, but still sad to see the ending is only one book away.

Lone Wolf – I broke down and actually read a couple of e-novellas, too. One of them was Jennifer Ashley‘s Lone Wolf, only since it was part of the Shifters Unbound series which I read faithfully. I was meh about Lone Wolf, though. Not sure why, but I found it hard to get into and I even caught myself skimming though several parts (even though it is short enough as it is). I could’ve skipped this one and not missed a thing.

What did you read recently that you were surprised by, good or bad? Any disappointments or pleasant surprises?

Reading Roundup…

booksIt looks like since there are no new series starting up this week, I will be doing a reading roundup post instead. I thought that I had just done one, but it looks like it was quite a few books ago. I covered a bit of everything this time, it seems, since I am trying to switch around formats and genres so I get a bit of everything.

Beauty Dates the Beast – after finishing the epic Fever series, I wanted to grab something a little lighter. Loved Fever, but there was a lot going on. I hit Mount TBR, and came up with a new-to-me author that had been sitting on the shelf for quite a while – Jessica Sims. Cover was a bit cheesy, but it sounded like fun. Well, I was surprised by how much I got into this one. It was a fast, fun read, exactly what I needed, and when I finished I promptly ordered the rest of the series. I was very glad I finally broke down and read this one, and now looking very forward to seeing how the rest of this series goes.

Wolf With BenefitsShelly Laurenston‘s Pride series is wild and crazy and fun. This one was a little different for me since I found myself getting more wrapped up in the story than I usually do. There was less slapstick comedy (although there was some, of course) and more plot than I usually find, and I liked it. Probably one of my favorites for this series so far. I do wonder who’s story is next, though…

Frost Burned – not much to say about this one. Patricia Briggs can always be counted on for a terrific story, and this one is no exception. I was surprised by two things, though – one was how much time Adam and Mercy spent apart, and two was how much I found myself gravitating towards Ben. Ben had been interesting in the previous books, but I have to say he grabbed my attention (and respect) in Frost Burned. Now I think he ranks up there with Samuel in characters that I really want to have get their own stories. The only thing I wish is that Bran had made an appearance, since things usually get very interesting when he shows up. You know those authors that you wish would write faster but the wait is worth it in the end? Patricia Briggs is one of those.

Clockwork Princess – Crap. Holy crap. Cassandra Clare‘s final Infernal Devices book was good. This series stands apart for me because it is the best written love triangle I have ever come across. I know some have the Team Will/Team Jem thing going on, but I went back and forth. Book one I was convinced it was Will that Tessa belonged with. Book two Jem stole both my heart and the spotlight. Book three was anyone’s game. There was no one more deserving, more likeable, or more worthy. I think what made the difference is that all three characters loved each other (of course, in different ways, but love is love). All three respected each other, and all three would sacrifice anything for the other two. I went into this one with a bit of dread, actually, since I couldn’t figure out how all three characters could be happy. Good thing Cassandra Clare could, because after some true tragedy the book gave me a better ending than I ever could have hoped for. But I dare anyone to not shed a tear when they read the epilogue. Dare you.

Twice Tempted – Ah, Vlad. I’ve been waiting for you. Book two of the three Jeaniene Frost plans to write about Vlad, Twice Tempted was a one evening read for me since I couldn’t put it down. Love the characters, the world, the whole works. And Leila stands out as a particular favorite of mine, and that is saying something since I usually don’t pay much attention to the heroines at all. She is gutsy, brave, and holds her own against Dracula. How many characters can say that. Finding out Vlad’s true feelings was even more dramatic than I had expected, and there is no way that I can wait for the as-yet unknown third book. No way.

Wild InvitationNalini Singh can do no wrong with me, as I have always said. This is no exception, since I loved a book I had already read half of. The two new novellas are great additions to the series, in different ways. I loved heading into the San Gabriel den for Declaration of Courtship, and this story introduced a ton of new SnowDancers. Cooper’s den was a nice change of pace, and got me hoping we get more into the other SnowDancer areas in the near future. What I enjoyed most about their story was the dramatic difference in Cooper and Grace’s dominance, and the inherent problems it caused. It was a great glimpse into something that has been touched on before (Indigo and Drew’s story, for example), and I found it very interesting. The other new story was Texture of Intimacy featuring Lara and Walker, and I enjoyed this one in a very different way. Walker was the one character that I never really got a feeling for before – but you definitely see the man behind the Silence in this one. He is more like Judd than I ever realized, and carried much more of a burden than I suspected. And as a bonus, there is a subtle focus on Aden and Alice, which got me hoping for a pairing for those two sometime in the near future. The Psy/Changeling world is my absolute favorite, and both of these stories added to that.

So, what about you? Did you read any of these? I have been on a run of great books lately which I am truly grateful for, so here’s hoping that continues. What have you read and loved lately?

Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

Most of these new covers were grabbed from good old Amazon, but I did get a couple from Goodreads, too.  I have been seeing a lot of hype for the new Leigh Evans Mystwalker series, and now the cover for the second book has been released.  The Thing About Weres will be released on July 30th.

the thing about weres

Gini Koch‘s Katherine Katt series continues with the May 7th release of Alien in the House.  This one is fun.

alien in the house

This next one is from Jessica SimsMust Love Fangs is the third book of the Midnight Liaisons series, due out on August 27th.

must love fangs

This write up for this next one looks interesting.  The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love is a stand-alone (I believe) from author Erin Quinn, due out on August 27th.

five deaths of roxanne love

Some info is starting to come out about the new Dragon Kings series starting next summer from Lindsey Piper.  The first book is called Caged Warrior, and it is due out on June 25th.  Hm, pretty standard, but not bad…

caged warrior

…but good lord, could this chick be any more bored looking?  I’m sorry, but she can’t even work up a good stabby-face.  Anyways, book two is called Blood Warrior, and it will be released on July 30th.

blood warrior

Cover Lover – 3 New Titles

I scrounged up another three covers for today’s post.  This first one is from Demon’s Curse, the first book from a new series from Alexa Egan, which is due out on December 26th.

The second one is from Sharie Kohler (aka Sophie Jordan) and her Moonchasers series.  A Soul so Wicked will also be released on December 26th.

And the final one for today is from Jessica SimsDesperately Seeking Shapeshifter is from the Midnight Liaisons series, and it will be released on October 30th.

Cover Lover – 3 New Titles

Another day, another couple of covers to add to the pile.  I have been waiting for a glimpse of this one for a while, and I have to say that I really like it.  Gena Showalter will be starting an Alien Huntress spin-off series on December 26th with the release of Last Kiss Goodnight.  I would love to see the whole series follow this black and white trend, too.

Also, I just found the cover for the next Jeri Smith-Ready book, Lust for Life.  This one is due out on November 27th.

And the final one for this post is from the upcoming Undead in my Bed anthology, featuring Katie MacAlister, Molly Harper and Jessica Sims.  It will be released on September 25th.

New Series Alert…

Been a while since there was much new starting up, but this week we have three series firing up.  Kathy Love‘s Devilishly Hot is the first of at least two books, both being released in paperback.

Synopsis…

Annie Lou Riddle had a plan: Move to New York City. Break into the fashion industry. Work her way to the top. Nowhere in that scenario did she expect to accidentally sell her soul in exchange for a job at Hot! Magazine. Oops.

Demons, it seems, aren’t big on letting mortals off the hook. Now Annie is stuck working as assistant/personal slave to Finola White—diva extraordinaire, and glamorous she-devil. Whatever Finola wants, she gets, and she wants Annie to match her up with Nick Rossi, the gorgeous detective investigating shady doings at Hot!

Frankly, Annie sees the appeal. Nick is effortlessly sexy, rugged, charming—and the one man Annie should definitely not be flirting with, or kissing, or. . . Oops. But some loves are too devilishly hot to resist. . .

It will be followed by Devilishly Sexy next March 29th.

The second new series is from Jessica Sims.  The first book of her Midnight Liasons series, Beauty Dates the Beast, has been getting great reviews from a lot of reviewers and bloggers.

Synopsis…

WANTED

Single human female to join charming, wealthy, single male were-cougar for a night of romantic fun—and maybe more.

Me: The tall, sensuous, open-minded leader of my clan.

You: A deliciously curvy virgin who’s intimately familiar with what goes bump in the night. Must not be afraid of a little tail. Prefer a woman who’s open to exploring her animal nature. Interest in nighttime walks through the woods a plus.

My turn-ons include protecting you from the worst the supernatural world has to offer. Ready for an adventure? Give me a call.

Vampires and doppelgangers need not apply.

No word yet on following books.

And finally, something with a bit more UF feel.  Sandy Williams starts up her Shadow Reader series with a book of the same name.

Synopsis…

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Cover Lover – 12 New Titles

Many thanks to All Things Urban Fantasy, from where I nabbed many of these covers.

Well, the first one is from Rachel Vincent, called Blood Bound.  It is the first book in her new Unbound series, due out on August 23rd.

The second one is called Code of the Wolf, from author Susan Krinard.  It is from her 18th Century Werewolf series, and should be available on July 19th.

Hm, well.  The only author I follow in this anthology is Alexandra Ivy, and since her entry is a Guardians of Eternity short, I will be grabbing it for sure.  The Real Werewives of Vampire County also features Angie Fox, Jess Haines and Tami Dane, and should be out on October 25th.

The Hunter is the first book in Theresa Meyers‘ The Legend Chronicles.  Looks like a Cowboy Steampunk vibe going on.  Look for it on November 1st.

Next up is Devilishly Hot.  It is the new book from Kathy Love, due out on October 25th.  It doesn’t appear to be part of a series, but rather stand alone.

This one stands out with all of the vivid colors.  Siren’s Desire is the third book from the Dark Tides series from Devyn Quinn, and will be released on February 7th, 2012.

The cover for Barb Hendee‘s next one is out.  In Memories We Fear is the release from her Vampire Memories series, and should be available on October 4th.

Now, I know this one is YA, but I find the covers pretty.  The title and cover for the third book in Chloe Neill’s Dark Elite series have been released.  Charmfall is due early next year.

Jessica Sims will have a new series starting on October 25th with the release of Beauty Dates the Beast.  It is book 1 of her Midnight Liasons series.

Seems like there are a ton of new series starting up, and this one is no exception.  From Zoe Archer comes The Hellraisers.  Book one, Devil’s Kiss, is due out on December 6th.

Another new kid on the block is from Amanda Bonilla and her debut book, Shaedes of Gray.  It is part of her upcoming Shaede’s Assassin series, and will be on the shelves on December 6th.

The Bite Before Christmas is a duology featuring Jeaniene Frost and Lynsay Sands (I have my hopes up for a Bones fix), to be released in hardcover on October 25th.