Release Day Review – Lady of Silver

Thanks goes once again to Doug Meeks, who sent over his release-day review for the first book of Shona Husk‘s new Blood and Silver series, Lady of Silver.

lady-of-silverWhat Doug said…

This book was a bit of a puzzle as far as reviewing it since it was dark, fast moving and a decent plot but the hero spent an inordinate amount of time being a jerk.

This is not a long book at under 200 pages it really falls into the novella category but all things considered I did enjoy it and read it in one sitting without a break.

Dale and Saba eventually made a good couple but the vast majority of the “romance” was him being a jerk and her waiting to see if he would come around or become a memory.

Bottom Line: This was a novella length story that has a good vampire murder/thriller plot, it is also the first of a series of books (books in the series is unknown at this writing) but sometimes you really want a good fast moving story that you can start and finish within a short time and this is perfect for those times, it is addicting and doesn’t spend pages on the color of grass or multiple highly descriptive page burning sex. If Dale had not been such a jerk for so much I might have given this 5 Stars. Recommended for those times you don’t feel like starting a doorstop length novel, this is a great fast story you will like in the end.

New Series Alerts

As we roll into the last couple of weeks of February, there are a couple of new series getting their start. Shona Husk‘s Lady of Silver is the first book of her new Blood and Silver series.

lady-of-silverSynopsis…

A man on a mission
A brutal crime is haunting detective Dale Morgan. A young woman has been murdered on the city’s outskirts, and her blood drained. Dale suspects the leader of a depraved cult may be to blame. Yet with barely a shred of evidence at the crime scene, Dale will have to turn to the one person despises almost as much as the killers he puts behind bars.

A woman with secrets
To humans, Saba Venn is a psychic, but she’s Albah, a race long forgotten by humans but who live amongst them, her powers fueled by blood and silver. She agrees to help Detective Morgan, if it means stopping the vampire cult she believes is behind the killing. But the attraction she feels with Dale is immediate, and as their relationship intensifies she begins to doubt she can keep her secret from him.

And the second one is young adult. The Dragon’s Price is the first book of Bethany Wiggins‘ Transference series.

the dragon's priceSynopsis…

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

So, any plans to pick up either of these newbies?

Reading Wrap Up

This is pretty much the most lame reading wrap up post in the history of blogging, since I have managed to read only half of a book this week. I am still in the process of reading the long-awaited The Fiercest Joy by Shana Abe, which is the third and final book of The Sweetest Dark trilogy. I did have to do a bit of a quick re-read of the first two books to get back up to speed, but it wasn’t a hardship. The only thing that I find wrong – and it is totally my fault – is that I remember very little from the original Drakon series that this is spun-off of, and I think it could’ve come in handy now. There are characters and situations that I sort of remember from the Drakon books, just enough to ring a bell, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. But even with my foggy memory, it so nice to get back into this world and get a proper finale.

What did you read this week? Did you discover any new authors or series, or are you playing catch-up before the monster releases of next month?

Cover Lover and Other Stuff

Recently, Chloe Neill uploaded the cover for her upcoming third Devil’s Isle book, The Hunt, and that made me realize that I haven’t read the first one yet. What did you think of this newest Neill series? I honestly haven’t heard much about it, but maybe it got lost in the shuffle of wrapping up the Chicagoland Vampires series or something. I still have time to check out the first couple of books, though, before this one is released on September 26th.

the-huntWhen bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil’s Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it.

Now the weight of Liam’s own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she’ll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out.

On a couple of completely random and unrelated side notes, it looks like the Shadow’s Seduction novella from Kresley Cole has been pushed back again, but only by a couple of weeks. It was first supposed to be released in January I believe, then early February, then on Valentine’s Day. It looks like the newest date is now February 28th. The sad thing is, I have pretty much no interest in picking it up, but I need it to keep the Character Guide updated. Meh.

And it looks like the next Alpha and Omega book from Patricia Briggs now officially has a title. Burn Bright will be released in March 2018, which is a long wait. But we all know it will be so worth it.

My Review – How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days

review iconKerrelyn Sparks has long been an author on my “one day” list. As in, one day, I will actually get around to picking up one of her books. And when I saw she was starting a new series called The Embraced, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dive in. I was excited when I got a review copy of How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days from NetGalley, but  unfortunately it didn’t work out quite as well as I had hoped.

In another time, and another place, there are five kingdoms that make up the world of Aerthlan. Four of these kingdoms are ruled by kings who worship the sun, and anyone who does not follow the faith is subject to death. But the fifth kingdom, made up of two small islands, worship the Goddesses of the Moon. Twice a year, the two moons align, and children born on those nights are called The Embraced. Because they are often born with supernatural powers, they are considered abominations against the God of Light, and to escape certain death, often these children are smuggled to safety on the islands.

It is into this world that Luciana was born. As one of the Embraced, she has spent her entire life in an island convent, believing she was an orphan. She has lived a happy life, making her own family with her fellow “orphaned” Embraced and worshiping the Moon Goddesses. But her entire life is turned upside down when her father arrives, needing Luciana to take the place of her murdered twin sister. If Luciana does not become Tatiana – and marry the man known as The Beast of Benwick – her father will be killed on orders of the king, his lands and property seized for the crown. But to do so means leaving behind everything Luciana has ever known.

While I liked the idea of the book, I had a hard time with it, too. If it hadn’t been a review copy, I probably would’ve DNF’d it at about the 10% mark. It wasn’t that it was bad at all, but it just didn’t engage me at the start. Things did get better as I went on, but my main problem was just that everything was too…easy. I liked Luciana, I liked “the Beast”, I liked them together, but there just wasn’t any sense of drama. Long-lost father shows up, and within a couple of pages they have a strong father/daughter bond and Luciana changes her whole life for him. No anger, no hurt, just one conversation and all is well. And that just kept happening. Everything just kept falling into place way too easily. Even the dramatic showdown at the end was anti-climactic because everything for everyone is perfectly wrapped up in literally a couple of pages. It was too perfect, too happy, too quickly.

So, in summary, I can say I liked the main characters and i enjoyed their relationship, but there wasn’t anything that grabbed my attention, either. Maybe I am used to darker and more dramatic stories, but for me this one was just too light. Am I sorry I read it? Not really. Do I feel the need to pick up the next one? No. It was a fast, uncomplicated read that unfortunately didn’t live up to the potential I thought it had, and sadly it will probably be the only Kerrelyn Sparks book I end up picking up. I would give it 2 stars out of 5.

I know Kerrelyn Sparks has a lot of fans out there, so this is probably not going to be a popular review. Is her work usually so…easy? No drama, no sense of urgency or danger, just light and breezy romance? Just curious, since it is the first book of hers I have ever tried.

Reading Wrap Up

I am hoping to have a Weekly Wrap Up feature every Sunday, looking back at what we all read over the past week. At least, that is the plan. Maybe we can even have it as an open discussion thread for the books that were released in the past week, that sort of thing. At least, that is the goal.

eleventh grave in moonlightIt took a while, but I finally got around to Eleventh Grave in Moonlight from Darynda Jones. I find myself torn over this one, honestly, and it probably isn’t going to be the popular opinion. The first half or so didn’t really work for me. I didn’t feel the usual connection between Reyes and Charley – they came of more as adversaries than a couple, at least to me. Once they get back on the same page, I got more into the story, but it took a while.

I have found myself struggling a little bit with the Charley Davidson series the last few books, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally clicked when I was reading this one – I am not a huge fan of the God angle. I like Charley the reaper and Reyes the son of Satan, whose daughter is destined to save the world. I don’t even mind Charley with her “extra” powers. But God Charley and God Reyes and the Gods of Uzan and the bad God Eidolon and Gods in the God Glass and Reyes’ big brother the God Jehovah doesn’t quite do it for me. I find myself skimming all of those sections just to get back to the day-to-day of Charley and Reyes and the great supporting cast. Hopefully I can get more on board with it, since it doesn’t look like that storyline is going anywhere soon.

power gameNext up was Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the thirteenth GhostWalker book (and the first to be released in hardcover. The last two books were ok, but different. Like way heavy on the Alphahole and the Doormat scale of things. They didn’t feel like they belonged to the series at all, but Power Game seems to bring things back in line again. I liked this one quite a bit, and I have to say it was a relief to back to the “old style” GhostWalker books. In fact, Wyatt and Trap don’t even make an appearance, so it was like their two stories never happened.

I wasn’t completely thrilled when I knew this book was going to be a return to the swamp, but Power Game got me interested in team four again. I still miss the first teams, and I would like to see a return to some of the original girls like Cami, but I am ok with more of team four, too. All in all, I like this one. A few missteps and changes in tone gave my love of the series a few hits over the last couple of years, but things seem to be back on the right track.

betrayal-in-deathThere really isn’t much to say about Betrayal in Death from J.D. Robb. It is the twelfth book of the In Death series and I show no signs of slowing down on the series. I am still excited when it is time to pick up a new book, and I find myself compulsively devouring them.

The supporting cast is great in this one, and I so enjoy getting glimpses of Roarke’s past life. The bad guy in this one was a particular scum-bag, and his takedown made me very happy. I don’t always like Eve, honestly, and sometimes I think that Roarke gets the short end of the stick when it comes to where he falls in her life, but she is getting better at putting him first. I save these in the UK paperback version, and they look awesome on the shelf. Onto the next one!

how to tame a beast in seven daysI wasn’t too lucky with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days, though. It was my first Kerrelyn Sparks book, and since this is a new series I thought it would be a good chance to check one of the authors on my “must try” list off. Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t a big fan of the book. I won’t go into details since it was a NetGalley copy and I will be upping my full, rambling review probably next week, but it fell pretty flat for me. It wasn’t a bad story, and I liked the potential, but there wasn’t any tension, any drama, any sense of excitement. It was almost a DNF – not because I hated it, but just because I found it too easy. It is hard for me to get involved in the story when it seems like the characters themselves aren’t. I am probably going to be in the minority for this one, but I guess it just didn’t work for me. If you are looking for a light, breezy read with a decent love story, it might work out better for you.

I picked up A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings from George R.R. Martin, and I picked up e-book copies of The Sweetest Dark and The Darkest Night from Shana Abe, to go along with The Fiercest Joy. I already have them in hardcover, but I think the third book (which is supposed to be out this week) will be e-format so now they match. And I got Blade Bound, the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, as a review copy. Looks like I won’t be bored this week, either.

How about you? What did you manage to read this week? What did you think of any of the “big” releases from the last couple of weeks?

Well, One Down

A few months ago, I did up a post asking about what books we have all been waiting for the longest, and one of mine was the third and final installment of Shana Abe‘s The Sweetest Dark series. I very much enjoyed books one and two, and patiently waited for the third story. And waited. And waited. For three and a half years. But now the wait is over.

Just today, The Fiercest Joy has been upped on Amazon for purchase. There wasn’t any pre-order time or warning – it just appeared. Doesn’t matter, though, since I will take what I can get.

the-fiercest-joySynopsis…

In the autumn of 1915, Eleanore Jones is on the verge of becoming who she was always meant to be: a drákon of stunning beauty and strength. She has discovered she is not the last dragon in the world, as she’d long thought: not one but two drákon brothers vie for her heart.

And just as Lora begins to embrace her destiny, yet another drákon enters her life—another female who, like her, has disguised herself as a student at the prestigious Iverson School for Girls. It’s no coincidence. Secrets come unraveled; time comes undone. Soon all four of the drákon caught in Iverson’s mysterious, enchanted world are going to have to confront a new enemy: an army of dragons, come to steal Lora away—and destroy anyone who attempts to stop them.

Have any of you gotten any of your long-awaited books lately? Or at least any word of them? Are there any you have finally just given up on?

Cover Lover – The Trouble With Twelfth Grave

I just recently got finished with the last Darynda Jones book, but it looks like the cover and blurb have just come out for the next one, The Trouble With Twelfth Grave. It has a release date of October 31st, but I will warn you now…

If you have NOT read Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, there are major spoilers ahead!

Be Warned!

the-trouble-with-twelfth-graveEver since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

Feversong – What Did You Think?

feversongIt has been a couple of weeks now since Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, the ninth book of the Fever series, was released. It was set to be the final book of the main series focused on MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons, but it left several loose ends that will hopefully be addressed in subsequent stories.

For me, I was so anticipating this one that I couldn’t wait to dive in. I pulled an all-nighter reading it, and by the end I was so tired I found myself skimming a lot just to get to Jada, Ryodan, Christian and Dancer sections. I honestly can’t even tell you how things wrapped up for Mac and Barrons or the King and Queen. Nada.I definitely didn’t do the book or myself any favors by trying to rush through such a complex finale in one long sitting. I did very much enjoy what I did absorb, I just didn’t take in enough. I will soon be doing a slower, much more thorough re-read, and I am looking forward to it.

I did just see that the next book set in the fever world will be called High Voltage, and it will be a Dani/Jada centric story (but it does not pick up where Feversong ended). I wasn’t thrilled when the series changed direction mid-stream and veered away from the proposed Dani trilogy, since I liked Dani much more than Mac. And for me, Mac’s story was wrapped up in the first five books. But maybe things worked out for the best, because now we can get a full Dani/Jada story with her as an adult – and hopefully a resolution to her and Ryodan’s story. After that, I can totally see a Christian book, which would also resolve the whole Dageus situation, as well. I hope.

Ok, what did you think of Feversong? Was it a fitting “end”, or did it leave you wanting more? Were you like me and found Mac’s POV getting old, or did you like the second arc of her story? What did you like best (and least) about this Fever finale?

Pick of the Week

There aren’t a lot of series that you can point to that have 40+ highly successful books. There are even fewer yet that still feel fresh and exciting that far in. Hell, to be honest, a lot of series half that length are starting to show their age and make me think that they are overstaying their welcome. But J.D. Robb‘s In Death books are still going strong, and show no sign of slowing down. My pick of the week is #44, Echoes in Death.

echoes in deathSynopsis…

After a party in New York, Lieutenant Eve Dallas rides home with her billionaire husband, Roarke, happy to be done with cocktails and small talk.

After another party, not far away, a woman retires to her bedroom with her husband—and walks into a brutal nightmare.

Their paths are about to collide…

When the young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—wanders in front of their car, Roarke slams on the brakes just in time, and Eve, still in glittering gown and heels, springs into action. It’s been a long night for the tired homicide cop, and it’s far from over.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil” . . .

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked—and that he treated Daphne like a trophy wife—this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse as the first suspect. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

I am only on In Death #12, I admit, but I am still loving them and I can’t see that changing. I do spread them out a bit, but I could honestly see myself happily marathoning a bunch of them and not getting bored at all. I look forward to each new story, and every book is a treat. How far are you into the In Death series? Has your interest waned at all, or are you still a fan?