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.

Cover Lover – 8 New Titles

Covers, covers, covers. That time again. Let’s start with a biggie for most people…Vision of Silver from Anne Bishop. This one is due out on March 3rd.

vision in silverPurchase at Amazon.com

Cover number two is Soulbound, from Kristen Callihan. This one is due out on February 24th.

soulboundPurchase at Amazon.com

Nicole Peeler starts up a new e-book series this November, and the first book is called Jinn and Juice.

jinn and juice

Purchase at Amazon.com

J.T. Geissinger is up next with Into Darkness, which is part of her Night Prowler series. It is due out this November.

into darknessPurchase at Amazon.com

I haven’t heard of this one before, but Rachel Vincent will be releasing The Stars Never Rise next June.

the stars never riseThis one is funky. Stolen is the second book in Melissa de la Cruz‘s Heart of Dred series, and it is due out on November 18th.

stolenPurchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Kerry Wilkinson‘s Renegade, which has a release date of January 6th.

renegadePurchase at Amazon.com

And wrapping things up for today is Victoria Aveyard‘s Red Queen, which is due out on February 10th.

red queenPurchase at Amazon.com

Well, what do you think? I sort of thought that Vision in Silver might be, well, silver, but that is nit-picking since at least it matches the first two in the series. I am liking the trend in YA covers to move to a single strong symbol on the cover rather than a model shot…when it is done well, it looks great.

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

According to Facebook, Kresley Cole will be releasing not only the title for the third Arcana book soon, but she will up the cover for Dark Skye on Saturday (and it involves wings. Nice). To tide us over until then, I do have 6 new covers to show, including this new one from Amanda Bonilla and her Shaede Assassin series. Against the Dawn is due out this May.

against the dawnThis next cover seems to have a different feel than the previous ones in the Walker Paper series, but C.E. Murphy‘s Shaman Rises will be out on June 24th.

shaman risesCheryl Brooks‘ next Cat Star Chronicles book, Rebel, will be released on July 1st.

rebelI have heard good things about Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London series, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. This is the cover for the fifth book, Evernight, which will be out on August 26th.

evernightI like the noir feel to Vicki Pettersson‘s Celestial Blues covers, and this one for The Given is no exception. It will be released on May 27th.

the given
The final book in Deborah Harkness‘s All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life, will be released on July 15th.

the book of lifeThis final one is from Stacey Kade‘s Project Paper Doll series. The Hunt will be out on April 22nd.

the hunt

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

I have to say, I like this batch of covers. I grabbed most of them at Goodreads, and a couple at Amazon, too. Let’s start with the YA titles first, for a change. The first book of Aimee Carter‘s upcoming Blackcoat Rebellion series, called Pawn, will be released on November 26th.

pawnThis second one is from Alivia Anders. A Shard of Ice is the first book in the Black Symphony series, and it is due out next April.

a shard of iceThere is a novella coming from Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London series on November 5th called Entwined.

entwinedThe re-releasing of some of Keri Arthur‘s early work continues. The first book of her Damask Circle series, Circle of Fire, will be hitting the shelves again on January 28th.

circle of fireThe Problem With Promises, the third book of Leigh Evans‘ Mystwalker series, will be released on February 25th.

the problem with promisesI still have to tackle the first book, but the cover for the second book in Thea Harrison‘s second Game of Shadows series, Falling Light, is out. It will be released on February 4th.

falling lightAnd the final one today is my favorite. Bite Me, the next book in Shelly Laurenston‘s Pride series, will be released on March 25th.

bite meWhich one of these are you most looking forward to? I am going to start the Mystwalker series soon, and The Pride series is always a favorite. I find myself interested in Pawn, probably because I love the funky cover, but I will wait and see on that one.

Cover Lover – 8 New Titles

This is a bit of a different Cover Lover post. All three of the covers from the upcoming The Baskerville Affair from Emma Jane Holloway have been made public. Book one will be called A Study in Silks, and it will be released on September 24th.

a study in silks

It will be followed bybook two, called A Study in Darkness, on October 29th.

a study in darkness

And will wrap up on November 26th with the release of A Study in Ashes.

a study in ashesAnd Lynn Viehl also has a double-header posting today. The first two covers from her upcoming Disenchanted & Co. e-book series have been released. Her Ladyship’s Curse will be released on August 12th.

her ladyship's curse

And it will be followed by His Lordship Possessed on October 14th.

his lordship possessedRebecca Zanetti starts a new e-series this July with the release of Forgotten Sins. This one gives me a Ghostwalkers vibe, with soldiers enhanced with special abilities.

forgotten sinsThe fourth book from Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London series, Shadowdance, will be released on December 17th.

shadowdanceAnd the final cover for today’s post comes from Tessa Adams and her Lone Star Witch series. Flamebound will be released on December 3rd.

flamebound

Guest Review – Winterblaze

Douglas C. Meeks has found another great read, this time from author Kristen Callihan. Winterblaze is the third book of her Darkest London series, and it will officially be released on February 26th…

winterblazeWhat Doug said…

Winterblaze (Darkest London)

by

Kristen Callihan

Darkest London Series

Firelight (Darkest London) Book 1
Moonglow (Darkest London) Book 2
Winterblaze (Darkest London) Book 3

Summary:

Once blissfully in love . . .
Poppy Lane is keeping secrets. Her powerful gift has earned her membership in the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, but she must keep both her ability and her alliance with the Society from her husband, Winston. Yet when Winston is brutally attacked by a werewolf, Poppy’s secrets are revealed, leaving Winston’s trust in her as broken as his body. Now Poppy will do anything to win back his affections . . .

Their relationship is now put to the ultimate test.
Winston Lane soon regains his physical strength but his face and heart still bear the scars of the vicious attack. Drawn into the darkest depths of London, Winston must fight an evil demon that wants to take away the last hope of reconciliation with his wife. As a former police inspector, Winston has intelligence and logic on his side. But it will take the strength of Poppy’s love for him to defeat the forces that threaten to tear them apart.

Review:

Poppy Lane has been heading up a secret society since she was a young girl and the need to keep that hidden overrode all else in her life, until Winston was attacked then she was forced to reveal her true nature which made her husband Winston believe that their whole life had been a lie. This is a myriad story with a broken romance at its heart while trying to resolve several life threatening situations.

The action is heavy in this novel and the motivations of the characters are laid out for the reader to enjoy (and to add to the angst and frustration of the human condition). There is a bevy of creatures to choose from and the demons, werewolves, and vampires are just a few of them.

You will enjoy the banter between the 2 main protagonists and the eventual realization to both of them that they were both much more than they seemed and a few surprises from their past add to the stress of this addition to the Darkest London series (which is one of the better written series on the market IMHO).

There will be a few subplots that will be resolved and a couple that will most likely play out in the next installment of this series since the author always leaves you with a tidbit of what to expect from the next novel without any cliffhangers (which I am thankful since I hate cliffhangers.)

Rating:

This was a long awaited novel for me since I hated to see the last book end without resolution, but I can see why now, this is a very long book for paranormal romance/urban fantasy at around 450 pages, but it was worth the wait.

This is an excellent novel and even with its length it seldom wastes the readers time although it does drag in a few places to convey needed information. Bottom line is this is a 4.5/5 Star reading and to many readers it is more, I will most likely round it up to 5 Star level in many of my reviews since most don’t allow half stars .

Order this book and make sure you have read the previous 2 novels (ignore the “prequel” since it was just a publishers money grab and gives you nothing).

I do know that a friend of mine loves this series, and she is not a PNR lover (straight historical romance). It sounds like it is a cross-genre treat, with something for everyone.

Cover Lover – 4 New Titles

Hmm, I have been hoping for a really, really good cover to post for the last month or so, since this last while has been a bit iffy.  Some have been ok, some cheesy, and some downright ass-ugly.  Pretty much what I have found this go round, actually.

I actually don’t mind this first one…pretty, but sort of a flashback to the old historical romance bodice-rippers of yore (Lord, did I just yore in a sentence?!?).  Er, yeah, so this is Winterblaze from Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London series, which is due out on February 26th.

I am not quite sure about this one.   I don’t hate it, but it seems to be going for the same vibe as Winterblaze (above), but doesn’t quite pull it off.  I am not sure if it is the grainy effect, or the bad font for the title, but Gilded, the second book from Karina Cooper‘s St. Croix Chronicles, isn’t a great cover.  It will be hitting the shelves on December 26th.

This one is Jaguar Fever, the second book from Terry Spear‘s new Jaguar series.  I actually don’t mind this one, since the photoshopping is well done and everything is clear and easy to read.  Pretty much standard, with intense shirtless dude, smoke and animal in the background, but it works unlike the next one…

Yep, saved this one for last.  Good lord, this is so very, very wrong.  I think that Pamela Palmer‘s A Love Untamed holds the distinction being the only book whose cover model scares me.  There’s intense, and then there’s serial killer mug shot scary.  I stopped reading this series a while back, and this one won’t make me want to pick it up again.  This Feral Warriors novel will be released on December 26th.

This and That

Things have been a bit on the quiet side around here for a few days.  Between working extra and just a info lull, I didn’t have much to post.  The downside is that things are not as up to date as I would like.  So, tomorrow is updating day.   Yep.  I plan on one whole day of nothing but blogging.  Not everyone’s idea of fun, but I can’t wait.  Love it.  The plan is to add the almost 100 new book release dates I have found, update the covers and blurbs, and add something like 20 new authors to the the Series Reading Lists pages.  And, if there is time, I have to update the Mythos Academy Character Guide to include the info from the last book, Kiss of Frost.

I did find a couple of little tidbits on my hunt for new info, however.

  • Shea Berkley will have two more Keepers of Life books coming out.  The Lost Prince will be released this coming August, and The Bastard King will follow in August of 2013.
  • March 2013 will see the release of the third Kristen Callihan Darkest London book, this one called Winterblaze.
  • Megan Crewe‘s second Fallen World book will be called The Lives We Lost, and should be available next January.
  • For the followers of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl‘s Caster Chronicles, the title of the fourth book has now been revealed.  Beautiful Redemption will be released on October 23rd.
  • The fourth (and supposedly final) The Edge book from Ilona Andrews will be called Steel’s Edge.  Look for it on November 27th.
  • Tes Hilaire‘s second Paladin Warriors book will be called Deliver Me From Temptation.  It is due out on December 4th.
  • A Savage Hunger is the title of the first book in a new jaguar shifter series from Terry Spear, and it should be available on October 1st.

Cover Lover – 3 New Titles

Thanks to All Things Urban Fantasy for the first couple of these.  Diana Rowland‘s second Zombie book, Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues, looks like a fun one.  It should be available on July 3rd.

The second one is from Kalayna Price and her Alex Craft series.  Grave Memory is due out on July 3rd.

And the final one for today is the second book from Kristen Callihan‘s new Darkest London series.  Moonglow will be available on August 1st.

New Series Alert…

It must be because I didn’t have much to post last week, but it feels like I just did the last New Series Alert a couple of days ago.  That…or I am getting old.  Huh.

On the adult side of things, Kristen Callihan starts up her new Darkest London series this week with the release of Firelight.

Synopsis…

London, 1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

There will be an e-book prequel available on February 1st called Ember, and a second book released on August 1st called Moonglow.

Also new this week is Cynthia Garner‘s Warriors of the Rift series.  Book one is called Kiss of the Vampire.

Synopsis…

Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world-or send it spiraling into chaos.

Half-demon, half-human, Nix de la Fuente is accepted by neither and mistrusted by both. Determined to prove she’s more human than not, she devotes herself to solving crimes between the world’s mortals and its most unsavory undead. But her latest case brings her face to face with the one vampire she could never resist . . .

Called in to investigate a string of violent murders, special agent Tobias Caine isn’t interested in rekindling his relationship with Nix. Yet one look and the vampire knows his need for her is as strong as ever. Once, their all-consuming passion nearly cost Nix her fragile hold on her humanity. Now, as their hunger for one another intensifies, exposing them to an unimaginable danger, it could cost them both their lives.

It will be followed by Secret of the Wolf on July 1st, and Heart of the Demon after that.

On the Young Adult shelves, Jodi Meadows will be debuting the first book of her Newsoul series this week with the release of Incarnate.

Synopsis…

NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

And finally, Kristen Simmons will start up her new Article 5 series with the release of the book of the same name.  No word yet on following titles in the series.

Synopsis…

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police — instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior — instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested don’t usually come back.

17-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

In the three years since the war ended, Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the Federal Bureau of Reformation. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And what’s worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.