Reading Wrap Up

mercy bladeOk everyone, it is time once again to check in and see what everyone is reading (and hopefully enjoying) recently. I have been continuing my Jane Yellowrock adventure, and I have just finished the third book, Mercy Blade (and all of the novellas up to that point, too). I do believe this is the point where I threw in the towel last time, or rather where I just drifted away with plans to return, but this time around I am quite into things. My love of Faith Hunter‘s spin-off Soulwood series is serving me well.

For the character guide updating, I have finished a re-read of Feversong from Karen Marie Moning. I did get way more out of it the second time around, since in my haste/greed in the first reading, I ended up blasting through it and retaining little. As much as I liked these books, I am ready for the series to change direction. There is so much still left to be explored in this world, and I will be glad to see Mac and Jericho step aside for whatever is to come.

power gameOh, and I am also re-reading Christine Feehan‘s Power Game. Yeah, not minding this one, either, except for one little thing. I know everyone who reads the series seems to adore Nonny, and while I liked the little bits of her we saw at first, now she is getting on my nerves. Not really sure why – maybe it is the incessant cooking lessons everyone has to have – but I could do with less of her. And if I am being honest, I would love to go back to one of the other teams for a change. Seriously, teams 1 through 3 seem like a distant memory at this point. Hell, I would even be happy with a couple of cameo appearances. And don’t get me started on the original orphans who were with Lily…not sure where they are at all. It is hard when a series just keeps adding more and more characters because so many that interested you in the first place seem to get left behind.

On to you. Anything really good this week (or even really bad)? What have you been re-reading lately?

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New Series Alerts

Wow, it has been eight days since my last post, which just shows how fast time flies. At least today we have a new series to take a look at, and it comes from author Amanda Carlson. Danger’s Halo is the first book of the Holly Danger series, and it will be followed by Danger’s Vice on October 23rd, and Danger’s Race on December 4th.

danger's haloSynopsis…

153 years in the future, Earth doesn’t look much like it used to

Holly Danger’s current assignment, gleaned from a set of foggy instructions and a handful of coin stuffed into a slot, is to pick up a street kid who’s about to terminate himself off a cliff. And, as a rule, she doesn’t turn down currency. Her job as a salvager keeps her fed and clothed above the norm, which isn’t saying much.

The norm in this city is a scrape-by existence in a post-apocalyptic world, where the rain never stops, food is always scarce, and the elite have deserted the ranks in search of something better. Picking up this urchin won’t take much time, even if he’s located outside city limits. Her craft is fast, her weapons deadly, and her tech has been optimized as well as it can be for a climate clogged with iron dust.

But things take a big turn when she decides to become the boy’s guardian instead of hand him over. Outskirts have descended on the city, and their plans don’t include playing nice. When her crew is backed against a graphene wall, it’s a good thing her Gem is primed and ready to go. It’s almost as deadly as she is…

Are there any sci-fi fans kicking around? About the only series I have read that I would think would be similar to this would be Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League, which I ended up really enjoying (as far as I had read). I might have to keep this one in mind for my “one day” pile.

 

Cover Lover – The Thief

For a while, I found that J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood hit a bit of a lull for me – it wasn’t like I started hating them or anything, but they just got to be a bit of a chore to read. There were so many plot lines and side stories and set ups for future books that it was just overwhelming. It was almost chaotic trying to keep track of what was going on. Anyways, I find that the last couple of stories have gone back to the style that made me like them in the first place – there is still a lot going on, but it doesn’t make you feel like you need a spreadsheet to keep everything straight. I hope that the next release, The Thief, keeps things moving in the right direction. I guess we will see when it comes out on April 3rd.

the thief.jpgHaving allied themselves with the Band of Bastards, the Brotherhood is committed now more than ever to eradicating the Lessening Society. Recovering from a most recent battle against the last of the lessers, the Brotherhood comes to realize their fight against enemies is far from over. Throe, Xcor’s former second in command, is using an ancient tome to summon a new army engineered by a force more dangerous and evil than the Omega. With an army rising from the shadows, brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will be tested both at home and on the battlefield.

The TBR-OD Bucket List

After years of nearly drowning under a TBR pile that got as high as almost 400 books at one point, I am very careful about not letting myself go down the rabbit hole again. I am not a fan of being disorganized, so after my switch to e-books I made a vow to not let things get out of control again. That said, though, I do have some series that are on my “To Be Read – One Day” bucket list.

I have checked a couple of them off already – Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunter series (which didn’t work out so well), and J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels books (which did). I am still plugging away on J.D. Robb‘s In Death monster, which is an absolute favorite, and just getting into Faith Hunter‘s Jane Yellowrock world…again. But my bucket list doesn’t end there.

As it stands now, my immediate list would look something like this:

  • Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander – I haven’t seen the show, but I am circling that, too. I would love another really good book/show adaptation to get into.
  • George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire – Love the show, and I think it would be great to pick up the books, too. Plus at this point I actually know who is who, which is a bonus.
  • Stacia Kane‘s Downside Ghosts – This has been a target for a long time now, but what is holding me back is the complete lack of info about the state of the series. The last book came out over five years ago, and finding any info about the next one is like trying to track down bigfoot. Apparently the new predicted release date for Unholy Luck is December 1st, 2018. Eh, we’ll see.
  • Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin – Another one that has been on the radar for a long time now. Mostly, I am attracted to the pretty covers, but it seems like a good, solid series that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. And I did like all of the young adult series of hers that I read.
  • Kim Harrison‘s The Hollows – Honestly, I have been meaning to get into this one for years. YEARS. And somehow I just keep skipping over it. Not sure why, but it will be nice to pick up a new series that has already ended its run – no painful cliffhangers that way.

A few others would be Eileen WilksWorld of the Lupi, the Sookie Stackhouse series from Charlaine Harris, and the October Daye and InCryptid series from Seanan McGuire have been tempting me, too. Oh, and any of the Elizabeth Hunter series are up there, as well. Sigh.

What are your bucket list series? If you have read any of mine, what did you think of them? Any favorites?

 

Reading Wrap Up

skinwalkerMy reading has been all over the place since my last wrap up post, and the vast majority of it has been a success. After I finished up J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, I decided to tackle another one of my “should read” series. Or in the case of the Jane Yellowrock books, it was a matter of giving it another try. I read a few books a couple of years back, but honestly I had a hard time getting into it. But my real enjoyment of Faith Hunter‘s spin off Soulwood books featuring Nell Ingram made me really want to give Jane another shot. And so far, so good. I have checked out a lot of the early novellas, and gone back and read the first book, Skinwalker, and for some reason it seems to be clicking for me this time around.

I also picked up the latest Dragon Kin book from G.A. Aiken, Bring the Heat. It was another solid installment of the series, and it was so good to see some long-standing issues get resolved so well. I have always enjoyed both Branwen and Aidan, but for me their romance took a backseat to everything else going on. And there was a LOT going on, that’s for sure.

feversongI did a couple of re-reads for the character guides, tackling Thea Harrison’s Spellbinder and Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, supposedly the end of the Mac and Barrons part of the Fever series. I ended up enjoying Spellbinder much more the second time around, and I have gone from being a bit “meh” on the UK Elder Races spin off to quite liking it. I would be happy to see it continue past the currently-planned trilogy. And Feversong? I read it so fast the first time around that I didn’t do it or myself any favors, and I am getting much more out of it with the re-read. As much as I do like the Fever books, though, I am so very ready to be done with Mac’s POV. She has had her time, and then some, and now it is time for the rest of the characters to get their turn. After Dani (and Ryodan), there is supposed to be a couple of books focusing on The Nine (I think), and I can’t wait.

And for something a little different, I stepped outside my comfort zone and tried a few different things. I picked up the British mystery/thriller Now You See Me from Sharon Bolton after seeing some really good reviews around, and I did quite like it. I quite liked it, more than I thought I would, but I didn’t feel the need to immediately go and pick up the rest of the books in the series. At least not yet, anyways. I also finally broke down and bought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Yeah, that didn’t work out nearly so well. I tried maybe 5 or 6 times to get into it, but it just didn’t happen. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so maybe that will spur me on, but as of right now it is a DNF after about 6 chapters. Sigh.

paper princessHave you ever decided to randomly just try a book, knowing going in that it is completely not what you usually like, and you end up loving it? That happened to me with Paper Princess by Erin Watt. I don’t do contemporary romance, and I don’t do young adult, so a contemporary young adult romance is an automatic miss, right? Nope. I Loved it. I bought it completely on a lark, and I think I even rolled my eyes when I decided to “just give the first chapter a quick look”. Well, that first chapter browse turned into me finishing the book in one sitting, immediately ordering the rest, and getting almost a third of the way through the second one before I finally made myself go to bed at 7:00 this morning. I can’t even tell you why I like it so much, I just do. What a pleasant surprise.

Over to you. Any great reads (or re-reads) lately? Any popular series you couldn’t get into, or any surprise favorites? Ever given a series a second chance and ended up liking it more the next time around?

Pick of the Week

A couple of years ago, my pick of the week would’ve been Dark Legacy. No question. Christine Feehan‘s Carpathians books were the top of the top for me, but over time they have become more of a “habit” read. I don’t anticipate getting my hands on the latest release, I don’t count down the days – hell, I am getting to the point that I don’t even remember who the characters are anymore. But I still can’t walk away. It is an addiction, I swear.

It might be a while until I actually get to my real pick of the week, but I will get there. Someday. The book I am talking about is J.D. Robb‘s 45th In Death book, Secrets in Death. I say it every time, but it amazes me that a series can be nearly 50 books in, and still going strong. Not only still selling well, but it seems like it is more popular then ever.

secrets in deathSynopsis…

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Who all is up-to-date with the In Death series? I am on…18? Maybe 19? But I spread them out (even though I could probably pull a decent sized marathon and not get tired of them at all). They are a treat for me, honestly – it is like re-visiting old friends at this point.

New Series Alerts

I have been getting caught up a bit on things around here, which makes me happy. I have added a bunch of titles to the new release pages, and even gotten the guides for The Elder Races and Dragon Kin up to date (working on the Fever re-read now, too).

As for new series starting up this week, we have a couple to look forward to. Isabel Cooper‘s Dawn of the Highland Dragon makes its debut with the release of Highland Dragon Warrior on Tuesday.

highland dragon warriorSynopsis…

Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war may be over, but so long as English magic controls the Highlands, not even a dragon laird can keep his clan safe. What Cathal MacAlasdair needs is a warrior fierce enough to risk everything, yet gifted enough to outwit an enemy more monster than man.

What he needs is Sophia.

Alchemist Sophia Metzger traveled to Loch Arach in search of knowledge. She never dreamed she’d learn to do battle, ride through the stars on the back of a dragon, or catch the eye of a Highland laird. But as her quest turns to sizzling chemistry and inescapable danger, she’ll soon discover the thrill of being caught in a dragon’s claws.

And on Wednesday, Chris Marie Green‘s Hot For a Bite will be released. It is the first book of the Vampire Rogues series.

hot for a biteSynopsis…

One sinful night, Kimberly White was bitten by a vampire.

It was the hottest, sexiest thing that had ever happened to her, and his breathtaking seduction changed her from an inexperienced, plain girl into a gorgeous, insatiable woman.

He was mysterious, as dark as the shadows, as wicked as an erotic fantasy.
Then he was gone, leaving her with a constant craving she hasn’t been able to chase away ever since that orgasmic encounter.

In search of more carnal satisfaction, Kim has been looking for her vampire on the sultry Vegas streets ever since, and when she finds him, all she wants is to feel his fangs in her once again.

But Rafe has secrets—and one of them is that he never bites the same human twice, no matter how addicted to Kim he is.
He’s also on the trail of another vampire who’s draining women, and Rafe has no time for attachments like the one he’s starting to hunger for with this human who’s intent on reaching the heights of ecstasy with him…

There you go. Both new-to-me authors. Have any of you tried some of their other works? What did you think?

September’s Book of the Month

I know this was pretty much a formality, but Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Viper is September’s book of the month. I read this one a couple of months back, but I am ready for a re-read, too. I think the bigger story is that J.D. Robb‘s Secrets in Death came in at #2 – it is the 45th freakin’ book in the series. Forty. Fifth. And more popular than ever. Blows my mind.

archangel's viperSynopsis…

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

I was surprised by how much I liked Holly. I mean, of course I expected to love the book, but I am really bitchy when it comes to female leads. It isn’t rare for me to like a story in spite of the heroine rather than because of her, but Holly made this book for me. I am still getting a Bluebell/Sparkle vibe, maybe not as strong as before, but it is still there – and I am still hoping I am wrong. I haven’t read many M/m stories – maybe two? One for Blay and Qhuinn (BDB), one for Caspion and Mirceo (IAD). I ended up enjoying them both, but I wasn’t as invested in their characters as I am Illium and Aodhan, either. We shall see, I guess.

To Read or Not To Read?

question markSince I have finished up one of my target series, J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels, I have decided to tackle another one – Faith Hunter‘s Jane Yellowrock series. I think I was at maybe book three when I stepped away, but my love of the Soulwood spin-off has made me really want to go back and finish it. I have decided that a complete start-over is called for, but I have a question – are the many, many novellas a must-read?

I usually don’t mind novellas, but honestly, there are just so darn many collections and companions and side stories that it throws me off. And when I bought Cat Tales from Amazon? There is no cover image, so I will have to edit and add a cover and then send to my ipad as a document so my OCD doesn’t slap me around. Unless I skip them altogether?

Did any of you tackle all of the many side stories, or have you stuck to the main book releases?

Cover Lover – Burn Bright

I have been looking every day for the last few weeks to find the cover for Burn Bright, the next long-awaited Alpha and Omega book from Patricia Briggs. As much as I enjoy anything set in the Mercy-verse, I am particularly looking forward to this one for some reason. Honestly, I would love to get a character guide done before it comes out on March 6th, but that just isn’t going to happen. Maybe before the 2019 release?

As much as I am looking forward to the book, I am not so big on the cover. It is the first one of the series that made me stop and go…eh. Maybe it is just because all of the Mercy books are so pretty, but this one doesn’t quit stack up for me. Not horrible by any means, but just not quite what I was hoping for.

burn brightThey are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf—but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills—his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker—to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

Where does this fall on your most anticipated list for next year?