Saying Goodbye – For Real This Time

Early this year, I made a post where I said I wasn’t going to be blogging anymore. I thought a lot about it, but as soon as I published the post I realized that it just didn’t set right with me. I sounded like a complete psycho, but the next day I changed my mind. It is hard to say goodbye to something you have spent years working on, and I realized then that I just wasn’t ready. But now I am.

I can give you the usual speech about not having enough time – and it is true. For the last year or so, with my weird work schedule, I don’t always get the time I need to devote to doing the blog justice. And with my nature, I don’t do half-assed well. If I can’t do something right, I don’t want to do it at all. But even more than the time issue, lately I find myself…disconnected, I guess, from it all. I still have my raging obsession for all things Ilona and Nalini, still love Briggs and Armstrong, still can’t shake my Feehan or Leigh habit. But that’s all on the reading front. On the blogging front, I just find myself not so interested. I found the cover for the next Karen Marie Moning Fever book, and where usually I would immediately do a Cover Lover post for it and gush and swoon, this time I just didn’t feel the need. For a while, I looked every couple of days hoping to find info on the next Kresley Cole book. But now? Couldn’t tell you the last time I checked. That’s not the way I like to be.

So, long story long, I might be pressed for time, but if I still had the drive I would make the time. I just don’t. I want to be a reader again, and not feel guilty when I pick up a book I want to read instead one I need to read to get caught up. I will always appreciate everyone who took the time to send over their reviews, who emailed me release info and covers they had found, those who made book and author recommendations. I will always be grateful for those who took the time to make a comment. I appreciate it so much. In my real life, there is no one who reads what I read, and it was so nice to share a community where we have common interests. I will be leaving everything up as it is for anyone who needs to grab whatever info appeals to them, and if there is anyone who wants to take the plunge and take the blog over just give me a shout. So thanks for everything, everyone. It has been much appreciated.

Scent of a Mate Review

Hey everyone. I have been quiet lately – I just got back last night from a 5 day road trip, so things are back to business as usual. Let’s start things off with Monika‘s review of Scent of a Mate by Dianna Love. It is part of her League of Gallize Shifters series.

47536319._SY475_What Monika said:

The unexpected sweetness of a hot tiger shifter

This is the fourth installment in Dianna Love’s exciting League of Gallize Shifter series. Theoretically the books could be read as standalones, as each one focuses on another pair of shifters, but they are all connected by an ongoing story arc, in which parts of the mythology surrounding this special breed of shifters is gradually revealed.

Gan and Scarlett’s story is a bit different though, because they featured as important supporting characters in the previous book, Stalking His Mate, and they also met there for the first time. Also, we get a lot of Gan’s background, as he is the adopted brother of Siofra, the heroine. They both lived in prison camps run by unscrupulous shifters, where they watched each other’s back. At that time Gan did not yet know that he is a shifter, as his animal had not yet emerged. And when it does, it’s a huge Siberian tiger that is constantly at odds with Gan. In order to learn control, he is placed in a sanctuary together with another shifter that has control issues. But Gan is deeply unhappy, as he sees this as just another prison and he wants nothing more than to finally be free and live life on his own terms.

Scarlett has demons of her own and she has made it her mission to rescue and help female shifters that have been abused. But her latest mission turns out to be more than she can handle on her own, so she cashes in the favor the Gallize shifters owe her. But things don’t go according to plan and she needs to rely on Gan for backup. Although Gan has his own plans, his tiger feels drawn to Scarlett’s cat and is much calmer in her presence. They both feel that because of their respective circumstances they cannot afford to have a committed relationship, but they can’t help developing feelings for each other. But before they can find their happy ever after, Scarlett’s past catches up with them…

I loved how different this story felt for a variety of reasons. First there is the hero, Gan: because of the way he grew up and his past experiences, or rather the lack thereof, he has kept a childlike innocence (although he is all man in other regards). But he says what he thinks and is unable to dissemble. Also, he is not driven by an unrelenting need to find his mate, as he doesn’t know about the Gallize curse. And I also liked that Scarlett is a shifter herself, whose cat can stand up to Gan’s tiger. Their relationship had an unexpected sweetness to it.

I am already looking forward to the next book in the series!

Thanks again to Monika for sending her review over. It is much appreciated.

 

Pick of the Week

Time for another pick of the week post, and my choice is from Keri Arthur. Wicked Wings is the 5th book of the Lizzie Grace series. I have to be honest, though, that I haven’t picked this one up yet. I will get there at some point, but not quite sure when.

wicked wingsSynopsis…

After dealing with the fallout of a shape-shifting, fire-throwing demon, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden are hoping the reservation will finally catch a break from the constant influx of evil. Those hopes are quickly dashed when Lizzie comes across the scent of evil and tracks it back to the clean-picked bones of a man.

As it quickly becomes obvious that this is not a one-off situation and there’s now a demon with a taste for human flesh on the reservation, another problem arises in the form of a White Lady—a ghost not only seeking bloody revenge, but demanding Belle’s assistance to get it.

And she won’t take no for an answer.

But the greatest threat of all might be the witch who is a magical bloodhound. A witch who’s been sent to the reservation to by one Clayton Marlowe…

Lizzie’s husband.

 

New Series Alerts

Hey, all. Y’all? Yeah, I can’t pull that one off. Never use it again. Ok. It is time to take a look and see what new series are starting up this week. Ninth House is the first adult release from author Leigh Bardugo, and the first book in her Alex Stern series. I wasn’t quite sure if it had enough supernatural elements to list here, but I decided to just go with it. Either way, I thought it sounded interesting.

ninth houseSynopsis…

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

And the second new series comes from Deanna Chase. A Witch For Mr. Holiday is the first book of the Witches of Christmas Grove series.

a witch for mr. holidaySynopsis…

Welcome to Christmas Grove, where holiday magic and matchmaking is in the air.

When Rex Holiday walks into the charming town of Christmas Grove, all he plans to do is to spend the season helping out at his buddy’s Christmas tree farm. What he doesn’t expect is for an overzealous matchmaker to slip a love potion into his cider. But the joke’s on the resident matchmaker, because not even a potent love spell can break through the walls he’s built around his heart. But when the girl next door catches his eye, some of his barriers start to crumble. Still, Rex Holiday’s time in Christmas Grove is only temporary. He can’t afford to fall in love. Or can he?

Holly Reineer is a powerful spirit witch who can see the future for everyone. Everyone but herself that is. And when Rex Holiday walks into her life, she sees his, too. He’s destined for a big corporate job all the way across the country. So when he starts to show interest in her, she knows it’s only temporary, and Holly’s not interested in a fling. She wants her happily-ever-after. But he’s very hard to resist… Can a love spell rewrite the future? If so, Holly will need to learn to follow her heart and, for once, trust what she can’t see.

There you have it. Speaking of Leigh Bardugo, did you see that her Shadow and Bone/Grishaverse books are being adapted for Netflix? On a completely shallow note, I saw Ben Barnes was cast in it and I was sold. Yes. That is really all it takes.

 

Site Updates

Rather than one of those posts where I whine and swoon about how far behind I am, I thought I would just give a quick update to say what I had actually managed to accomplish. I have added the Sapphire Flames info to the Hidden Legacy guide, and all I have left to do is give that sucker a good, solid edit. What I tend to do is just add everything, then go back later and sort it out a bit, take out what isn’t needed and try and put it is some sort of order that flows. I am on that part now, and hopefully I will have everything polished up by the end of the weekend, work hours permitting. So if you do head over to check anything out right now, it is a bit on the chaotic side. Just saying.

I have had a couple of you send over emails asking me when I would be getting the Mercy Thompson guide up. Yeah, that is a work in progress. Sorry. I have I think 5 or 6 books left to read, then add the info, then do the edit on it. My target was to have it done by the end of last month, but that came and went with a laugh. Right now I don’t have any particular goal in mind, but I am going to try and devote a bit more time to it that I have been lately. Hopefully.

There have also been a couple of emails with requests for other guides. Those are on hold, but I still plan on getting to Jane Yellowrock/Soulwood. That is a yes. At some point in my life. The Carpathians? Eh, right now that is a no (it is just too darn big). Lords of the Underworld is tricky, because my interest in that series has pretty much dried up, so spending months working on it doesn’t sound that appealing. PhoenixFyre (the creator of the guides for the BDB and Dark Hunter guides) sent over an email saying she is going to start on the Black Dagger update soon, so that is one that is definitely in the works. And ideally, I hope to get all of the guides that are currently behind updated before the next book in each respective series is released. Yeah, that.

So, my ramble is complete. Thanks for being patient. Again.

 

New Series Alert

Hey all. Another Monday has rolled around, and it is time to see what new series are starting up this week. There is only one to look forward to, and it comes from author S. Young. War of Hearts is the first book of the True Immortality series, and it will be released on October 1st.

war of heartsSynopsis…

Thea Quinn has no idea what she is. All she knows is that her abilities have been a plague upon her life since she was a child. After years of suffering at the hands of a megalomaniac, Thea escaped and has been on the run ever since.

The leadership and protection of his pack are of the utmost importance to Conall MacLennan, Alpha and Chief of Clan MacLennan, the last werewolf pack in Scotland. Which is why watching his sister slowly die of a lycanthropic disease is emotional torture. When Conall is approached by a businessman who offers a cure for his sister in exchange for the use of Conall’s rare tracking ability, Conall forges an unbreakable contract with him. He has to find and retrieve the key to the cure: dangerous murderer, Thea Quinn.

Thea’s attempts to evade the ruthless werewolf are not only thwarted by the Alpha, but by outside dangers. With no choice but to rely on one another for survival, truths are revealed, intensifying a passionate connection they both fight to resist. At war with themselves and each other, Conall and Thea’s journey to Scotland forces them to face a heartrending choice between love and betrayal.

Will you be checking out War of Hearts?

Pick of the Week and Review

What can I say? Today is a big day. Nalini Singh‘s 12th (how did that happen?!?) Guild Hunter book, Archangel’s War, was released today. We will get hauled off the cliff we were all left hanging on after the end of Archangel’s Prophecy and find out what happened to Elena and Raphael. I think I could use a re-read of the last book to get ready, honestly, but we will see if I have the patience to wait. Maybe. Anyways, Doug Meeks was kind enough to send over his review for Archangel’s War, as well, so I thought I would do a two-fer post covering both my pick and Doug’s thoughts on it.

archangel's warSynopsis…

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

What Doug said…

This is the book the last few have been leading up to and it did not disappoint for me but as some have mentioned it does kind of drag you through the mud for many pages before an ultimate ending that made me check to be sure the series had not just ended.

The world is headed towards war and nothing can stop it, there are battles and horrors but the majority of the Cadre of archangels are trying to prepare to stop an unstoppable enemy and sadly there are going to be casualties.

The Guild hunter world has always intrigued me but this one gives you a bit of everything you have seen and more, I can’t really say too much or ruin the plot which is worldwide in scope and is mind boggling but the ending is so complete I really thought she was ending the series and I missed the announcement (FYI: she has 3 more books at least contracted).

So with little to let you know all I can say is prepare for a small bit of romance and a ton of battles and war, I think I love the series so much I am biased since I have given all of them high marks even when many of my fellow reviewers did not but we all have our favorite series that just speak to us and this is one of mine. I love the violence, the romance, the loyalty and the family dynamics so enjoy this one because I have no clue where she is going after this but this is 5 Stars.

What do you need or want to see in this one? Where do you see the series going from here?

 

New Series Alert

Hey everyone. Time to take a look at what new series are starting up this week. We have one new entry, and it comes from author Jeffe Kennedy. The Orchid Throne is the first book of her new fantasy romance series called Forgotten Empires.

the orchid throneSynopsis…

A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

I find myself intrigued by this one, but I am trying to be good and not start any new authors for a while. But I think I will be adding this to my “one day” list. Will you be checking it out? Have you read Jeffe Kennedy before?

 

And Then It Lost Me

This one is probably going to get me in some hot water. Sigh. I think that I have dropped another series from my must-read list, and it saddens me. I have been following Alyssa Day‘s Tiger’s Eye Mysteries since it started back in 2015, having faithfully followed main character Jack Shepherd over from her Poseidon series. I found that he sort of got the shaft in the Poseidon books, so I was really happy to find out he was getting his own spin-off, even though it wasn’t my usual “type” of read – it has always felt more like a cozy mystery than a PNR to me. But I found I was always looking forward to the next release, I waited not-always so patiently through all the push-backs (speaking of which, I believe the next book, Eye of the Storm, has been delayed), and I always read on release day. Until now?

I was quite happy to wake up and find my copy of the latest book, Eye of Danger, on my ipad, and I started to read right away. But as I started reading, I kept waiting for – something. The same something I felt like I had been waiting for for the last couple of books. Some sort of advancement in Jack and Tess’s story, some development or change or…something. But it felt like a bit of the whole “same-old same-old”, as mush as I don’t like to write that. Maybe I am trying to apply PNR “rules” to a not-quite PNR series, but I guess I was expecting more on the romance front. But what was really pulling me out of the story was my reaction to the main character, Tess. Bluntly put, she bugged me.

Tess has always been the quirky-but-cute Southern belle who seems to stumble into one crazy situation after another, but here? It was sort of in overdrive. And where it was kind of cute before, I found Tess straying perilously close to ditzy. But she completely jumped the shark for me as a character with one small paragraph. I am going to keep this spoiler-free, but Tess and another character are being held by the bad guys, their lives threatened at gun-point, and Tess manages to get the other person released. She has been slapped around, the other person has been beaten, is tied up with a gun to their head, and Tess? This is what she says…“Look at me. Run to my house. Get in my house and lock the door. There’s pie in the kitchen.” Wait, what?

There’s pie in the kitchen? I stopped. Looked around. Went back a couple of pages. Read it again. I thought it must be code for…something. Some wink-wink nudge-nudge that I had missed. Nope. I thought it would be explained that this person was to go to Tess’s kitchen to find something, or do…something, but nope. It was just about…the pie. I know it was supposed to be funny and cute, but with those 20 little words, Tess jumped right to the top of my TSTL (too stupid too live) list. And once on that list, it is pretty hard to come off. I hold a grudge.

Alyssa Day recently announced that there will be at least 15 books in the Tiger’s Eye Mystery series, which I really hope works out for her. Book 5, Eye of the Storm, was originally scheduled for release this week but Amazon is now saying September 27th. Will I be picking it up? Maybe. I’m not sure. I don’t really feel the need to right now, but I might see how reviews for it shape up. What series have you found yourself cooling on lately? Anything teetering on the edge? What finally makes you pull the plug on a series you have followed from the beginning.

New Series Alerts

After a rather slow couple of weeks, we have a couple of new series starting up to look forward to. This first one is from author Ally Parker. Primal Instinct is the first book of her new Prowlers series, and it is available today.

primal instinctSynopsis…

Freedom has been a pleasure denied to Mackenzie for the last five years. Forced to do the bidding of a crazed man to keep both her sister and her self alive, she is sent on a mission to infiltrate a group of people. Payment; their release. The only problem, no one mentioned they weren’t human. Or, that she would be drawn to a certain sexy, addictive male.

Which will she decide, her heart? Or her freedom?

In a world filled with despair, Jaxx’s only chance to save his humanity is tethered to a woman he hasn’t met. Finding her in an underground facility with his kidnapped protégé, was the last place he thought to find his savior. In a web of corruption, he will have to find the truth and convince his mate, she is his.

Before it’s too late.

And the second one is from Anna Lowe. Her new series is called Billionaires and Bodyguards, and the first book is called Fire Maidens: Paris. It will be released on the 19th.

46771423._SY475_Synopsis…

Paris! City of dreams — or shifter nightmares? Natalie Brewer has come to Paris to live out a dream, not a nightmare. Then a vampire attack exposes her to a whole new side to the City of Lights — and to her own heritage. Before she knows it, she’s swept into a world she never imagined, with gargoyles, werewolves, and dragons who claim she’s descended from a legendary shifter queen. Now her life is in danger, and it’s impossible to know who to trust, other than the mysterious stranger who risks his life for her again and again.

After a decade in the Foreign Legion, all dragon shifter Tristan Chevalier wants is to settle into a civilian life and a new job. His mission: to prove himself to the Guardians of Paris and to protect the city. But all that is threatened when an innocent woman stumbles into his life — and into his heart. Being appointed her bodyguard is a blessing and a curse, because Natalie is absolutely, positively off-limits despite the smoldering desire they both feel. Worse, every shifter in Paris has set their sights on her, from bloodthirsty vampires to power-hungry dragons and jealous rivals. For Tristan, it’s the test of a lifetime, and the outcome will affect the fortunes of an entire city.

There you have it. Will you be checking out either of these new series? Have you read anything else from these authors before?