Love Them, Love Them Not…

question markFor the last little while, I have been noticing a slight change in my reading habits – or rather, in who I have been looking forward to reading. As I have bored everyone with for the last few weeks, my total disinterest in Kresley Cole‘s Dark Skye is something that I never, ever would’ve saw coming. Kresley Cole was always, ALWAYS tied for my favorite author, along with Nalini Singh. That was just a given. Now? I still like her work, but I have found myself not as excited as I once was.

Alyssa Day and Lara Adrian are two more that I find myself drifting away from. I was never a rabid fan of their stuff, but it was something that I enjoyed while reading then promptly forgot (with the exception of Lara’s Darker After Midnight, which was a brilliant, game-changing book). I have gotten to the point where I am happy saying goodbye to both the Warriors of Poseidon and the Midnight Breed, so I probably won’t be picking up any more of their books.

But, on the other side, my adoration for Ilona Andrews has only continued to grow, and now I can honestly say that Ilona has supplanted Kresley as tied for my favorite author. Like Nalini, I haven’t yet read anything by them that I didn’t love, and that shows no signs of changing soon. Burn for Me is my most anticipated book for this fall (since I have already read Archangel’s Shadows, that is), and Magic Breaks was one of the best reads of summer.

And a recent development is my obsession with all things Kelley Armstrong. The Cainsville books have me completely hooked, and when I finally took Amber’s recommendation to start the Women of the Otherworld series I was pleasantly surprised. I have even been reading her middle grade Blackwell Pages written with Melissa Marr, and liking that (sort of like Percy Jackson).

How about you? What authors have risen, and which have fallen, in your must-read list? Are any old favorites losing their shine, or is there any new author you can’t get enough of?
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52 thoughts on “Love Them, Love Them Not…

  1. alexandra says:

    If you don’t want to break your record of reading something you don’t love by Nalini Singh I suggest you stay away from Rock Addiction :/

    It’s incredibly difficult for me to get into YA but I’ve read Tamora Pierce since I was a young teenager, and each book is better than the last. Her first quartet, The Song of the Lioness, isn’t perfect (I think she was in college herself when she started writing it?) and her improvement over the years is very evident. But damn if I don’t love that first series just as much as her recent books. The release for Mastiff kept getting pushed back but it basically blew my mind when I finally got my hands on it..

    • Rika Ashton says:

      I kind of liked ROCK ADDICTION by Nalini Singh. It wasn’t perfect but it was like a guilty pleasure for me. But I have to agree that it’s definitely not the same standard as her Psy-Changeling or Guild Hunter novels. The complexity and writing of those novels are in a league of their own.

      • alexandra says:

        Cassandra brought this up farther down and it’s something to keep in mind when a favorite author tries something new: though sometimes our favorite authors can seem like total rock stars they are just people and, like us, their interests change too.

        Rock Addiction wasn’t bad but coming from an author who displayed amazing control over intricate, long running plots and gave us such complex characters as Kaleb Krychek…it was a disappointment because it lacked real plot and character development. However if Nalini Singh really likes writing them that’s awesome. She is a stranger to me and owes me nothing BUT if you are an author who hopes your devoted fan base follows your expansion into other genres the only thing I would ask is don’t give us a book with multiple problems I honestly believe can be fixed with thoughtful editing (there had to be like two dozen sex scenes and you’re telling me they were necessary to tell the story?). It didn’t have to be on the same level as the Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series – it’s a different genre after all and she hasn’t written contemporary for a long time – but the fact that it broke pretty much the first rule of writing (quality not quantity) seriously irks me.

        I am a little sore about this but I simply won’t follow the rest of the series. Problem solved. I see they brought enjoyment to quite a few people (the reviews on Amazon are very positive) and I’m glad for it.

      • Cassandra B. says:

        I think it is so interesting how different readers react to the same book. I didn’t have any issues with Rock Addiction and the numerous sex scenes didn’t detract for me because the book (at least I would classify it as such) as romantic erotica (distinguishing it from just straight erotica). It definitely isn’t the complex world of Nalini’s other series, but I wasn’t expecting it to be either. It is neat to see what worked for some and didn’t for others. Makes you think.

        In this Rock Kiss series, I am not that interested in the next story (David), although I will read it, but I am very interested in the book after (Charlotte and T-Rex).

        On a similar thread, I don’t read YA but I tried to follow KC into her Arcana series. I actually enjoyed the first book, but I HATED the second book. I still like her writing style. Even though I had issues with Dark Skye, I enjoy KC’s style. But she is using themes or troupes that don’t work for me. That’s ok, they work for other people.

        And as I think @Alexandra mentioned further down, mood has an affect. I am constantly rereading and I pick the books based largely on mood or what feels right in the moment. Sometimes I start a favorite book and it doesn’t feel right and it is all about the mood I am in at the moment.

        • Rika Ashton says:

          Mood definitely has an affect on me as well. Sometimes I have a “craving” for a certain author’s writing style and I reread old favourites by them.

          I’m also looking forward to Charlotte and T-Rex’s book. I’m reading David’s story right now, and it’s definitely more of a slow burn compared to the inferno that was Fox’s story. Not to my liking, but people that love a slower pace in the build-up of a love story will love it. 🙂

        • renpuspita says:

          I’m with Alexandra here. I also do not enjoy Rock Addiction, but looking forward to read Thea and David’s in Rock Courtship. I guess, because Nalini is my favorite author evah, I willing to give her a second chance.

    • snapdragon says:

      I adore Tamora Pierce! Especially the Defender of the Small series!

      I actually liked Rock Addiction – – I got it knowing it would read more like a large Harlequin book and I used to devour those when I was younger. I will pick up the rest of this series because I believe it will get better.

  2. PhoenixFyre says:

    I can’t really say any authors have fallen from my grace yet. When it comes to “JR Ward or Sherrilyn Kenyon’s series, they just keep growing with me. As for the “Midnight Breed” I still love them. Yes, this have changed in their world. The second arc of the series is 20 years later so we didn’t see the kids growing up. I think a lot of people would have liked that. So I really haven’t changed much. The only thing is it is hard for me to read books with one POV. I did love Night Huntress series however. I totally loved Cat and Bones.

  3. Tiger Lily says:

    I too adore Ilona Andrews. Anything they write seems golden. I also love Anne Bishop’s The Others series. I have read and reread both books. I still enjoy (all must buys) Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Thea Harrison, Laurenston/Aiken, meljean Brook, Grace Draven, and Nalini Singh, except for some of her Psy books that landed in between the beginning and most recent books. I fear that I am becoming disenchanted with Jennifer Estep and J. Frost. I have long abandoned C. Feehan, except for the super soldiers books, and hated to say goodbye to Gini Koch and MaryJanice Davidson because those two ladies wrote some funny books. I guess when I look at the big picture I have more authors that I still adore than I have had to bid adios.

  4. Rika Ashton says:

    I’ve been having the same problem with Kresley Cole lately. It’s like her writing got extremely redundant after LOTHAIRE (which was the last book I was really excited for by her). I still like her writing style, but she needs some new inspiration to spice up her storyline…I really don’t want to give up on the IAD series.

    I’ve already drifted away from Alyssa Day. After the end of the Warriors of Poseidon series, I just couldn’t get into her new series.

    I haven’t read anything by Ilona Andrews, but they seem like a writing the team worth trying. 🙂

    Nalini Singh is still one of my favourite writers. I’ve only ever read one book that I hated by her, and that wasn’t because it was poorly written – total opposite, in fact – but it was too dark for me and the psychological aspects too inconsistent with what I was taught and beleive is right. (Yeah, psych 101 ruined it for me…I was taught too well. *sigh*)

    I’m still obsessed with Jeaniene Frost, Lynsay Sands, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and a few other though. 🙂

  5. Lydia says:

    I too have become bored dare I say it by Christine Feehan, Lora Leigh, Kresley Cole, Sherrilyn Kenyon and yes J R Ward. I don’t know what it is but there is no excitement anymore while waiting for their books. I have discovered new authors that I really like like Sara Draven, A W Exley, and Elizabeth Hunter; of course my old favorites are still number one Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews. I’m afraid to read Rock Addiction and be disappointed.

  6. Cassandra B. says:

    I find I wax and wane with some authors. I am definitely off with Kresley Cole right now, but a good IAD book could bring me back. I had basically given up on the Breeds by Lora Leigh, but I was pleasantly surprised by Rule Breaker and while I will still likely get the next from the library (rather than buy), I am looking forward to it.

    I have also found that some things that were okay or didn’t bother when I first starting romance bug me now as I grew more aware. Mostly here I am talking about issues of consent or male/female dynamics. Some of the books written in the 80s and 90s are just so aggravating in how the female lead is treated like a child. I also just reread A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole (the 1st full-length in IAD) and I was bothered by the issue of consent. I honestly don’t think I thought about when I first read the book.

    I have mostly abandoned Christine Feehan, but I did just read the most recent Dark book (Dark Blood). It was ok, but I skim so most with her books that I don’t find it worthwhile and the book definitely didn’t draw me back to CF. I left J.R. Ward behind several years ago, her writing style just wasn’t to my taste anymore.

    But I have been expanding a bit into UF and I really enjoy Ilona Andrews. I really like the Kate Daniels series, but didn’t really like her Edge series that much. I am hopeful about her new series, but I saw some early comments that it really doesn’t contain romance, so I am not sure if it will fit my reading tastes or not (although I am going to try it).

    Basically, I think that it is a combination of two things. Reading tastes change. There are a few things that are fairly constant for me (ie I don’t like 1st person [except Kate Daniels], I don’t read books with cheating, don’t like secret babies). But I have noticed that some things are fluid or I am willing to try that I may not have in the past. Secondly, authors change. Sometimes they go through a slump or change their style. You might not be along for the ride.

    On Nalini Singh, I really like Rock Addiction, but I regularly read contemporary romance. So, Nalini Singh remains in my top author slot with JAK. Jayne Ann Krentz is formulaic, but I like her formula, so it works for me. Several years ago, I did get frustrated when I brought I new book by her and was struck by its similarity to past books, but I have come to accept that all her characters are going to be recycled versions of each other. This sides horrible, but I like her characters and enjoy her stories, so it works for me.

    • alexandra says:

      I just want to add that not only do my tastes change – which can directly determine whether I continue to follow a series – but that my mood at the time can really affect my reaction to a book. And following that thought: sometimes I don’t enjoy a book but discover I really like it upon giving it a second chance. The opposite holds true too.

      And something I else I find interesting since you mentioned A Hunger Like No Other: I think the first 3/4 of it is 3 or 4 stars but the ending is like 5+ stars. Quite a few books work out like that for me, where some parts are amazing and others very frustrating.

      • Rika Ashton says:

        @Cassandra: I’m in the same place with Christine Feehan, I stopped reading her novels after the first few in the Dark series and haven’t been tempted to restart. And Nalini Singh and JAK remain my top, go-to authors.

        @Alexandra: I couldn’t reply to your comment up top, but I have to agree. It totally goes to show that a good editor is worth their weight in gold and can do miracles for a novel. 🙂

  7. Monika says:

    A really interesting discussion. I agree with Cassandra on two points: reading tastes change and I’m not a big fan of the first person narrative either, although I have come to see that a good number UF (especially series that follow one characters POV over a longer time) are written in this way. What I have most problems with is if you get the first person narrative from different persons in the same series, like with Kate Daniels and Andrea. It bothered me a little less in Night Huntress / Night Prince because although they are both set in the same universe, there is less connection between the two, with only cameo appearances of Cat and Bones in Leia and Vlad’s story.
    Unfortunately for me many of my favorite authors have lost their strong appeal, although I am not quite sure whether that is only because of my changed reading tastes or because their writing has changed over time. I think I have read every book by JAK (except for her McFadden series) and I used to seriously love her, but since she started with the Arcane Society series I’m looking forward to her books less and less (though I still read them). The same goes for Nora Roberts, I really liked that she seemed to have this distinctive voice, but nowadays I only read her In Death series and I found the last installment (#38) a bit of a disappointment, it lacked the intensity and throat gripping urgency of the earlier novels. I still love the characters and periodically revisting them, but sometimes I ask myself if it is not better to end a series at its height, as Jeaniene Frost has done with the NIght Huntress series.
    I have loved Christine Feehan from the go, read Dark Prince when it came out. I loved Dark Slayer (I think it’s one of the best, at least for me) but could hardly force myself through the South American books, in fact there is one I DNF, though I don’t remember which one. I loved the first part of Dark Wolf (Dimitri’s rescue), but after I looked at the reviews for Dark Blood (Zev having sex with Bronnie while she is immobile, the revelation that Xavier was part of triplets), I’m loath to start it. And if I have to read thru one more flower ceremony I’m gonna puke. I didn’t like the last Leopard book, either. Same with Sherrilyn Kenyon, really loved the first 8 or so books of her Dark Hunter/Were Hunter series, but then it started to fizzle out for me, the last one I read was Acheron, which I loved, though I think she should have written him a more interesting heroine. I have now started with her League series and Belador, which she has co-written with Dianna Love, looking forward to Demon Storm. I also used to be a great fan of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, up to Obsidian Butterfly, before the whole plot was reduced to Anita having sex with multiple partners all the time to feed the “ardeur”. One of my favorite contemporary/thriller authors used to be Elizabeth Lowell (she has also written some great historicals with paranormal elements, her medieval trilogy: Untamed – Forbidden – Enchanted), which is well worth checking out, as well as one of my all time favorite Romance books “Tell Me No Lies”, but that was all a long time ago.
    Authors/series that I have discovered in the last couple of years (some oft hem thru Wicked Scribes) and that I feel are still going strong:
    Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling, first book picked up while waiting at the airport, Guild Hunter recommended by a friend and admitting to a guilty enjoyment of Rock Addiction, though it’s not quite on the same level as her UF/PNR writing (it’s almost on the edge of “too much sex, but quite enjoyable if you are in the right frame of mind).
    Shelly Laurenston: love all her series, but especially the Dragon Kin
    Allyson James (Jennifer Ashley): love the Stormwalker series and the Tales of Shareem (would label it well written erotica)
    Patricia Briggs: love both the Mercy Thompson (first person narrative) and the Alpha and Omega (third person narrative)
    Ilona Andrews: love Kate Daniels, really enjoyed her two short Sci-Fi stories and the Edge was so lala, with the first two books being better. Waiting impatiently every week for the new installment of the Innkeeper Chronicles.
    Alexandra Ivy: I have only read the Guardians of Eternity so far, all books except for the first, because I was so intrigued with Lady Shay and Viper’s story that I started there and never went back.
    Karen Marie Moning was the discovery of the summer for me, all because the cover of “Iced” appealed to me (and recommendations by Kaleigha and Alexandra). After kind of a slow start the Fever series really grapped me and Barrons has become one of my favorite heroes, almost up there with Roark, Raphael and Kaleb. I found “Iced” very gripping, but also quite disturbing.
    What I couldn’t really get into was “The Others” by Anne Bishop (I have only read the first book, though). Basically all that happens is that Cassandra goes to work sorting the mail for some shapeshifters… maybe it’s because I compare it to the original Black Jewels Trilogy which is some of the best (and darkest) Fantasy that I have read…
    Would be happy about recommendations as I am always looking to satisfy my voracious appetite for books 

    • Cassandra B. says:

      Quick comments on Dark Blood if you want give it a go. I don’t think the flower thing shows up at all, I did skim, but didn’t skip so I didn’t think I am misremembering. The immobile sex thing was a bit out there, but there is clear consent. Truthfully, I skimmed all the sex scenes, so it did not really get to me. CF’s sex scenes aren’t bad, but they are not original anymore (the immobile sex may have been trying to mix it up) and I am not compelled enough to read them when it seems more a pause in the action then a meaningful addition to the story. I got this book from the library, so it was easy to skim.

      I brought the explanation why the dragon sisters (can’t quite remember their names) didn’t tell anyone Xavier was a triplet. It was a little weak, but I think overall it explained a lot.

      Also, a lot of past characters show up, especially Ivy and Razan which was neat. (Dark Slayer is also my favorite.) If you haven’t completely abandoned the Dark Series, this one moves the series along and does not have the issues I also had with the South American books.

      • Monika says:

        Thanks for the heads-up on Dark Blood, Cassandra B. I will definitively get around to it, but it’s not on top of my TBR pile. While reading your post I had to chuckle, with you skimming the sex scenes (and probably all the chanting and spells and whatnot) there is already a substantical part of the book gone. Now I am really intrigued how the “immobile-sex-with-consent” works, Just goes to show that there is no depending on Amazon reviews.
        If only some of the authors knew that their readers are skipping the sex scenes to move along in the story 😉

  8. Shannon C. says:

    Good topic! I share your love of Ilona Andrews. I love everything they write! My other top UF favorites right now are Anne Bishop’s Others and Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson/Alpha & Omega. Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer/Dorina Basarab are also consistently very good.

    In the PNR space, my current favorites are Guild Hunters & Psy Changelings by Nalini Singh, World of Lupi by Eileen Wilks, and Elder Races by Thea Harrison. They are consistently great!

    I agree about Kresley Cole; Lothaire was her last great book IMO. I haven’t given up on IAD yet, but it won’t be far off. Frost is the same for me. I have loved many of her books, but some of them can be hit or miss. Sadly, I have given up on Ward, Adrian, Kenyon, Feehan, Leigh, and Ione. I enjoyed their earlier books, but their series did not hold my interest as they went on.

    • Judy says:

      I was getting lax about the dark hunters, but my local library got son of no-one. It was really good. I (we) waited for Acheron & then Styxx, btw, too much suffering and other stuff. If you haven’t tried any of Jennifer armentrouts books, you should try the first one, Obsidian. Great Book. Or Faith Hunter’s skinwalker series.

  9. Alyssa says:

    I’ve gone off quite a few PNR/UF authors, most notably Jeanine Frost, Jennifer Estep, and Kim Harrison – I find their books cheesy, predictable and forgettable, and their ‘heroes’ are so lame.
    I still like but no longer love Patricia Briggs and Nalini Singh – again their new releases are too predictable and formualic. There’s never any twists or turns.
    I still LOVE KMM, Ilona Andrews, Karen Chance, and Kelley Armstrong. I’m also addicted to the Cainsville series, it’s brilliant.
    I’ve recently fallen in love with Grace Dervan too 🙂

    • Monika says:

      How can you not like “Vlad”?! I actually though that the way he was introduced when Leila connected to him through her mind was really great. I like him a lot and he is certainly not forgettable!

      • Alyssa says:

        I LOVED Vlad in the main Night Huntress books, but in his own spin off I find all his charisma has disappeared, to me he’s cliched, dull, and cheesy and I’ve never been convinced of his love for Leila. It doesn’t help that Leila is an insufferable, bland twit. I can’t stand him or his relationship with Leila, so unbelievably dull. Reading the Vlad books was what put me off Frost, I won’t be reading any of her future releases. They are no longer for me.

  10. Judy says:

    I like to read almost anything, but it does seem that after so many books, each author sometimes just rewrites an earlier book with new characters it leaves me with the feeling that didn’t I read this already and do I want to read it again and again. Like a formula x meets y with a problem, x solves the problem for y and they have a happy ending. Not saying Hea is bad, but..too many people and too many threads, just read the latest Carla Neggers book, or should I say a book with alot of characters that I’m not ever sure why they were there,will not be getting the next one.

  11. Marina says:

    I felt the same way about Alyssa Day and Lara Adrian. Loved their earlier books but hated the last few. Did not like Dark Skye either but will continue to still read Kresley Cole other books. Also Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books stopped being fun. 😦

  12. Cassandra B. says:

    Something that crystallized for me while reading these comments is I often am turned off by authors when they get too dark or heavy emotionally for me. I knew this about myself, but I just realized that it makes a certain kind of sense for a series or an author’s work to get darker after publishing several books or half-way through a series. By that point, the series or author will have a dedicated following that will be along for the ride. Also, the author might more confident in her ability to handle darker emotions or themes.

    For myself, I am very much affected by the emotional content of a book, to the point that I avoid anything too heavy because I don’t like the feelings caused by reading it. KC has tip-toed to my emotional line. I actually like Regin’s book (Dreams of a Dark Warrior), but it not a comfortable read for me and MacReive was too much for me. This is a large part of why I stopped reading J.R. Ward.

    I mostly dropped CF, however, because I was no longer compelled by her books. With Lora Leigh, the problem is the lack of consistency and jumbled storylines.

    I used to read Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books when they first came out, but it has been so long, I am not 100% sure why I stopped. But I think it was getting too dark. Fairly sure I stopped when Nick’s mom died (?) — did that happen?

    • PhoenixFyre says:

      Cassandra, I understand how you feel, however some can’t handle highly emotional books. I knew SK’s Acheron and Styxx would be heavy and I cried. A lot. But they are probably my all-time-favorites. Some can handle it and some can’t. I am currently reading “Son of No One” and it is emotional but it is also very funny and have laughed a lot. And there was a lot of OMG moments which I loved. This to me makes a fantastic reading. But then again like SK, I understand why she writes the way she does. In this world not everything is perfect. I came from a similar background with SK when it comes to abuse. So I understand her and her writing. But I love HEA’s. And to me SK and JR Ward do that for me. I am not particularly into Urban Fantasy. I personally like books with multiple POV’s. Not just one. I got bored with Charlaine Harris and some JF books cause of that even though JF is a fantastic writer. So I guess it is all in our personal tastes. Some love a certain book and others hate it. But when it comes to emotional or dark books, I don’t mind knowing most have a happy ending like “Acheron or Styxx.” JMPO

  13. Abra says:

    I have also stopped reading books by several authors I used to really adore. I guess there are many different reasons: each book seems like more of the same, the last book ruined the series for me, the quality of the writing seems to have gone down as the number of books published a year goes up, or just my growing dislike for several common tropes.

    I’ve given up on Sherrilyn Kenyon after reading Styxx, the fun Lynsay Sands books all began to seem the same to me, I didn’t find Bone’s treatment of Cat ok from the third Night Huntress book on, and I was one of the people really bothered by Curran in Magic Rises. I really loved Ilona Andrews and had read everything they wrote until that point.

    I’m still devoted to Debra Dunbar, Susan Illene, Seannan McGuire, E.J. Stevens, Nalini Singh (only PNR) and Grace Draven.

  14. Abra says:

    On the way to their destination the boat is attacked by pirates. All are killed but one who has a long conversation with Curran. Once the group reaches their destination, Curran is greeted very affectionately by a young woman he knew from a previous trip and is very affectionate back. Aunt B has already warned Kate that many young women will be throw themselves at Curran because he is unmarried. When they arrive at the castle Curran shows this woman more and more attention to the point of giving her Kate’s seat at meals to sit next to him and publicaly disappearing with the woman during the day and evening. Kate asks Curran if his behavior has something to do with a master plan, but he denies that anything is happening. Kate becomes more and more despondent and the other pack members are starting to grumble about Curran’s infidelity and the public humiliation of Kate. Curran is aware of all of this and allows it to continue. Through various adventures Kate runs away. Curran finds her with a few old fairy types. It turns out the pirate told Curran there was a contract on Kate’s life and the woman going after Curran was behind it. Curran’s plan was to abandon Kate and take up with the woman until he could stop the assassination. He tells Kate that she had to be jealous in truth because she can’t lie. As he proudly said: it was his plan and he executed it. Kate’s real pain over Curran’s actions was less important than his need to protect his mate. Kate studied martial arts, strategy, and magic from a very early age from possibly the most powerful warlord in the world. Her first public fight was when she was eight. After that she became a mercenary. She has been lying for years about who and what she is and is more than capable of handling the situation by herself. Curran was still playing with his siblings at that age and his fighting skills are self taught with some coaching by others. Kate has had every important male in her life consider her less important than their personal agenda. From her various family members (related or not) right down to Jim who used to abandon her in dangerous situations to jump to a pack situation. It is not a surprise she accepts what he’s done and rationalizes it. After the previous books, novellas, and POVs, I thought I knew Curran well and this plot sounded too much like the third Night Huntress book where Bones runs off to prove his ownership of Cat even though his plan includes making Cat jealous and heartbroken. I found Kate’s pain and heartbreak really tough and it seems to me that Curran didn’t and felt her pain was not important and that the important thing was for him to take care of the situation on his own. Curran says the he did everything he could do, and he’s sorry she was in pain, but he’d do it again the same way in a heartbeat. He will always make unilateral decisions regarding her without telling Kate if he perceives the necessity. I just couldn’t get past that.

    • Tiger Lily says:

      Abra,
      I hear what you’re saying but I felt it was more about Curren’s need to protect than his lack of respect for Kate’s skills. I believe that she would make the same kind of mistakes for him, in fact she admits it when they discuss it, because of her need to protect also. I think that as time goes by though, and they learn more about each other, that they will adapt and not go with their first response but will begin to consider their mate’s abilities and needs. No relationship is without errors. Part of what helps us forgive is the knowledge that we are not perfect ourselves and sometimes the rationale behind why someone hurts us. Knowing that his love for her is part of why he made the error in judgement helps her forgive him and the fact that Kate knows she might make the same errors in dealing with Curren also helps her to see it from his POV. I felt is was a great example of how relationships grow and change over time.

      • Abra says:

        I hope I hear what you’re saying, but I couldn’t get past the part where Curran says “I’m sorry I made you go through it, but if I had to do it over, I would do it again”. His love means that he will put Kate through pain without compunction. Seeing her pain didn’t stop him while he was humiliating her and he explicitly states it won’t stop him from doing it again. I guess I don’t see how their relationship changed for good over time. He treated her better in the previous five books.

        Anyway, thank you for the reply. I agree that no relationships are without errors. Hopefully, we all learn from them.

      • Monika says:

        OK, thanks for the recap. I think the reason why I didn’t remember it was that I probably read it more like Tiger Lily. I, too, thought that he should have trusted more in Kate’s skills. But on the other hand I did not interpret it the way that he puts Kate thru pain without compunction, more that he will do everything to keep her safe, regardless of his feelings for her (or her feelings for that matter). By saying that he would do the same thing again, given circumstances, he is IMO not showing her disrespect, but stating that he cannot change this basic part of his nature, the need to protect his mate no matter what, and if I remember correctly, it was quite brave of him to do so, because he is aware that there might be the chance that Kate is just not going to accept his stance, so I applaud him for standing by his convictions and I think being such a strong character is part of why Kate fell in love with him in the first place…

      • Abra says:

        I’m not sure where this will get posted, but this is a reply to Monika and Tiger Lily. Thank you both for trying to explain it. I guess this is why we don’t all fall in love with the same man. The convictions you see, I see as childish narcism. If it were about Kate and not himself, he would have used her talents (as he would have with anyone else in the Pack), and her pain would have been important to him. For me, putting someone (particularly someone you have a commitment with) through the extreme pain of jealousy and actively humiliating her in front of her Pack and the antagonistic other Pack, is not protecting her. Emotional safety is as important as physical safety and Kate certainly did not feel safe about Curran. He says he loves her, but because he was willing to humiliate her to protect her, it seems to me she could have been anyone that he’s responsible for. Kate didn’t get any special treatment. Why does this bother me so much? I guess I was over invested in that world and should have kept a better distance. Curran was never my favorite leading man, but I did respect him and his commitment to Kate, so this caught me off guard.

        Anyway, thank you for being patient with my taking the conversation off the topic of this blog post.

  15. PhoenixFyre says:

    We have to remember that some authors we love in huge series will have a few books that just don’t make it. Just like a TV series or music. There will always be a few that don’t make it. And I don’t give up on an author unless they fail at 4 books in a row. That is when I give up but not before. I love JR Ward and Lover Enshrined sucked, but that was the only book in the series that was bad for me. Same with Sherrilyn Kenyon. Time Untime wasn’t great but then Styxx came out and was fantastic. So we never know but I won’t just give up on an author. They are only human but bring us to amazing worlds.

  16. cheryl says:

    Just a few authors I have gave up on. Mostly because of a change in direction of the story arc that just doesn’t fit for me and the plot moves so slow nothing happens from book to book. The two that I gave up after multiple books are: Patricia Cornwell (murder mystery) and Mary Janice Davidson are the only 2 that come to mind but I have been reading forever and lots of books have been devoured. The saddest for me is when you find a new author and one book and done…. nothing else is released.

  17. Amber Hughes says:

    I’m happy to see you were pleasantly surprised with Kelley’s Women of the Otherworld series! Yay! I still need to read Visions and I hope to get to that soon. As for authors I’m still loving, Nalini, Ilona & Darynda Jones are definitely on my list.
    I still have to read Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “Son of No One”, but I think that is a series I might be breaking away from. I haven’t loved the last few books. It’s been a struggle for me to get through them. I do still enjoy her League series though. As for Kresley’s, I have to admit I’ve liked, but not loved the last few books in the IAD series. Not ready to let those go yet though!

  18. Janhavi says:

    Oh, this is a great discussion.
    I only discovered PNR and UF about 3 years ago, and it was SO MUCH more to my taste than everything I had been reading till then, it really revolutionized my reading life for the better. So I have not yet dropped many PNR/UF authors, except JAK who was my intro to the genre but I never subsequently followed up. But I have dropped many of the contemporary authors I used to read before. My PNR/UF go-tos- Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, Robin Owens- remain my favourites.
    I am really struggling with Rock Addition 😦 I started it days ago and am still only 74% in- it just isn’t holding my attention and I keep doing other stuff instead of reading it. And skimming the sex scenes. I had tried a early contemporary by Nalini Singh and didn’t much enjoy, but figured that was because it was her early work. I really thought I would enjoy Rock Addiction but no…Mild spoilers: Its partly that their initial fights and insecurities and anger is just annoying. And also they change their lives so much based on such a short acquaintance. I like the side characters so maybe the next one. I agree that mood matters a lot though. Maybe I am just not in the mood for endless sex scenes…
    I have loved Tamora Pierce since I was young, but unlike Alexandria I actually think her books are getting worse. I couldn’t stand Mastiff in particular, and am not a huge fan of the Evvy books either. But except for Battle Magic, I have still read all of them.
    Cassandra- I totally agree about the consent in Hunger Like No Other, and to some extent The Warlord Wants Forever. I was re-reading them last year right after the Mercy Thompson series and was particularly struck with Nikolai’s use of magic to compel Myst..
    I tried Anne Bishop’s Others series first due to all the buzz, here and elsewhere, and loved. Then I read Black Jewels but found that nowhere as good..

    • alexandra says:

      Janhavi you’re not the only newbie PNR/UF fan around here – I’ve been reading them for just over two years. The Immortals After Dark was my gateway drug. Like you, I haven’t read quite as many authors and series and I’ve found myself doing the opposite of abandoning series – a lot of them I couldn’t get into in the first place. I slogged my way through quite a few Black Dagger Brotherhood, Lords of the Underworld and Dark Hunter books before admitting to myself they just weren’t for me. The Dark Hunter books were difficult to let go because the following is so adamant they get better. However, with so many books and so little time I can’t justify reading book after book until I get to the really good ones. I wanted to hold out especially since each story synopsis is so interesting but Sherrilyn Kenyon’s method of storytelling drives me nuts. Not just content and characters but how it’s all put together seems to account for much of my reading tastes.

      On Tamora Pierce – it’s kinda funny: I love LOVE the Tortall books but I never got around to reading the Circle of Magic ones. By that time I was pretty much done with YA. I’ve been meaning to go back to them but haven’t found the time. Though Tamora Pierce will always be my number one recommendation for strong female characters who are good role models for young girls.

      On Rock Addiction – I didn’t mind that Molly changed her life so drastically so much as I did the logistics behind it. You can’t just acquire a visa to live in the U.S. in matter of weeks. And being self employed I’m not sure how she was going to avoid deportation (beyond marriage, which duh, I guess). These are the kind of details that never seem to matter in the movies or Romancelandia but I guess when the book isn’t exciting enough my mind wanders.

      • Janhavi says:

        I don’t exactly like BDB but find them somewhat addictively readable anyway. But I can see myself giving them up, I only picked it up last year. And as you say, there are various that iv given up on 1-2 books into the series. I just cannot enjoy gena showalter or Larissa ione, though many people seem to praise them.

        On Tamora pierce- aah, I used to enjoy the circle books as a teenager, but preferred Tortall. I don’t think they are great reads for adults, you may not enjoy now, I recently re read a bunch if Tortall books- the Diane, kel, and aly books- after magic breaks I was suffering a real book hangover! And so I picked up my old copies since I was visiting my mom and saw them there. Have you read the Tortall shirt story collection? It’s good, but I really didn’t like Mastiff because I felt too betrayed by the ending. The thing about Tamora Pierce is that she writes really slowly, and seems to be years behind on her contracted books. She was supposed to finish 2 Numair books, a circle book, and Maura on dunlath book by 2015, which I just don’t see happening.

        On rock addiction- it wasn’t just Molly! Fox too, with the SPOILER money part. They were only together for a month, and I just couldn’t see why they were so into each other.

        I think Rock Addiction would have worked much better for me as an arranged marriage story. It actually was great to see how they invested so much into the relationship to make it work. But I couldn’t get into the first part at all and why they were bothering to do so.

        • alexandra says:

          I did read the Tortall short story collection and really enjoyed it, although some of them were very spoilery for new readers who might want to pick up Aly or Daine’s books especially.Since I started with Aly’s books I only ever had to wait for Beka’s to come out and I remember being so confused. It was taking longer than Harry Potter for a new one to drop! They are long but that is still some pretty slow writing.

          SPOILERS AHEAD For Mastiff was it Tunstall’s betrayal that made you hate it? Also possibly the fact Beka didn’t end up with Rosto – oh and her abusive fiance (seriously WTF – in what universe would Beka let a man push her around especially after her childhood experiences)? I wasn’t a fan of the Tunstall fiasco and the fiance issue but I admire Pierce’s ability to give readers unpredictability and a book where the characters have true, deep flaws (another reason I don’t like YA – most characters’ cardinal flaw is that they annoy the crap out of me). As for Rosto this isn’t the first time Pierce pulled that (Alanna/Jon/George). Though I liked Rosto from the beginning Beka said in the first book she would never, ever be with a thief so I kinda figured she would have another love interest. Yet another thing Pierce does is go beyond your standard love triangles to give us young female characters who have often sexual relationships with more than one love interest (and she’s been doing it since the 80’s!). What made the book amazing for me was the politics and how it ended with slavery abolished in Tortall. I love me some political machinations but it’s not every reader’s cup of tea.

          I had the same issues with insta-lust/insta-love in Rock Addiction. We know this author can make insta-lust work (Branded by Fire is one of my favorite insta-lust books ever). Here, though, I think she tried to use a combination of insta-lust AND insta-love with the consequence of neither of them working well. An arranged marriage story would have made for a very, very different book…but a rock star story with an arranged marriage would be so interesting and definitely avoiding all the cliches used in RA. It might be difficult for an author to get readers to suspend disbelief in that case but if anyone has the skill to pull of such a complication it’s Nalini Singh. And now I’m in the mood for an arranged marriage story.

          • Monika says:

            Alexandra, with regard to an arranged marriage story I would like to make a recommendation, it’s quite out there, so you might not like it. My absolutely all-time favorite “arranged marriage” story is The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer. It’s one of her earlier historical’s and set in the Georgean period. If you can overlook issues such as the rather great age difference between the heroine and the hero and absolutely no love/sex scenes, this is one of the funniest, most entertaining stories of its type. It starts out very unconventional, as the heroine sort of arranges the marriage herself… If you don’t know Heyer yet and are not put of by a historical you should give this one a whirl…

          • Janhavi says:

            SPOILERS for mastiff- yeah it was tunstalls betrayal. I would have preferred Rosto, but ok fine, that was okay. But I really hated the Tunstall part. I think it’s partly because I re read Terrier so many times while waiting for the sequels that I was more invested in Rosto, and Tunstall, and the general set up of book1. This was before I discovered PNR or UF. It was in the days that I read contemporary and historical romance, but then re read Tamora Pierce, Tolkein, or other fantasy books from my teenage years, in order to get my fantasy fix. I tell you,PNR and UF have really made my reading life so much better. I do love political stuff- hence my love for psy Changelings but that couldn’t overcome the Tunstall part for me.

            Huh- ok I didn’t think the whole arranged marriage rock star part through 😀 but I guess all I meant was the insta love part didn’t work for me at all, but the last parts of the book, where they tried to make it work, were better. So maybe if the set up had some reason for *why* they needed to make it work! I would have preferred it. It was also really repetitive in many parts.

            Monika- I love love Heyer too! Convenient marriage is good, but I would really vote for Cotiliion . It’s not quite a MOC but close, and really one of Heyers best. But both are great!

  19. snapdragon says:

    I have become bored with Lora Leigh and C.Feehan’s Dark series — I like her Sisters of the Heart and Drake series along with the Game series more.

    I also stepped away from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake after Obsidian Butterfly — But the newest book Affliction was really closer to the beginning part of the series so that was a nice surprise. Plus her Meredith Gentry series got a new book and I really enjoy that series I’m hoping she will do a few follow up books.

    I have a love/hate relationship with Nora Roberts — I love the In Death series and several of her other series — the Quinn books, the Bride Quartet and several others. I disliked her latest book the Collector –there is nothing about a voyeur that I find attractive. I also really didn’t like the The Inn Boonsboro or the Cousins D’yer series she has going on. I got those through the library and am thankful that I did not buy them.

    • Janhavi says:

      I love In Death too, but somehow I have never found a proper Nora Roberts that I enjoyed. But I gave up pretty soon, in fairness, and have not tried many.

      • Tiger Lily says:

        Janhavi,
        Nora Robert’s 200th novel, I think, was entitled Witness and I really liked it. I don’t read Roberts, or much contemporary usually, but someone on a PNR/UF discussion list I am part of recommended it and I decided to try it. It was a good stand alone read. It hasn’t made me read any other Roberts books (although I have read about nine of the Robb In Death books) but it was a good read on its own.

        • Monika says:

          I used to read a lot of Nora Roberts. I just had a look at some of my favorites and they were all published in the 90s. I really liked the Irish – Born in Trilogy and the Quinn brothers – Chesapeake Bay. Among the stand-alones Montana Sky is one of those that stuck in my mind, though I have to admit I haven’t re-read any of them recently…

  20. renpuspita says:

    Some folks already said that they don’t enjoy Rock Addiction, and well, me too. Sigh, it’s so sad when you can’t enjoy your favorite author’s book right? It already happen before, with Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Surrender. Kaia and Strider grated my nerves, and some of LOTU fans also hate the harpies. I hear that her Angel of the Dark series is lost some steam, and maybe that’s why I’m not continue Gena’s book yet.

    Some authors that I leave for now are Jeaniene Frost and J.R.Ward. I still read Dark Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon, but read it when the mood strikes. I love all Ilona Andrews write, but with the book come just one book per year, I decide to waiting (also guys, please put SPOILER when you discuss about Magic Rises or Magic Break. Not all readers already read it).

    Kresley Cole? I love her! I think she become better with each book. MacRieve feels like a filler for me, but Dark Skye is a blast! Maybe because I don’t have a high expectation, so I can enjoy it.

    New author that I can’t get enough is Elizabeth Hunter. I recommend you to read her Elemental Mysteries! She is very underrated, imho. Denise Grover Swank also write a nice NA paranormal that have right amount of angst, drama but strong heroine as well.

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