Reading Wrap Up…

booksThat whole keeping track of what I read every week died a horrible death, so it looks like it is going to be a random post. Since there was no new series alert post, or even a pick of the week, now is as good a time as any.

Well, by this point, I am pretty sure we have all jumped on Magic Stars, the Derek and Julie-centric novella from Ilona Andrews. This one was an early Christmas gift, for sure. We have had Julie-based stories before, but this was the first time we really got anything from Derek’s POV. This story was short, but it was packed full of action (and more than a little romantic foreshadowing). Derek has always been a favorite of mine, and I was not surprised by how much I loved this novella. And the good news? The door was left open for more stories.

I also did a re-read of Viper Game by Christine Feehan. Not bad, but totally another one in the “Alphahole and the Doormat” series (which includes the latter Leopard series books). Ghostwalkers has been a favorite of mine since the beginning, but wow, yeah. This is the one that I consider to be more a breed story than a Ghostwalker book. It reads differently than the others in the series, but I am still holding out hope that the next one goes back to the old style.

And I also read Feel the Burn from G.A. Aiken. I really liked this one. In fact, I found myself getting more into the whole series with the last couple of books. I love the whole Daughter of the Steppes thing, and I so read their parts with a full-on Russian accent. I think that what held me back from full enjoyment before was that it was nearly impossible to keep track of all the characters. I liked them, but I missed a lot not being able to remember who was who, who was related to who, that sort of thing. I think I got a handle on it with the last couple of books, but it still desperately need a character guide. And I am so looking forward to a re-read of the series, which is a bonus.

Another good one was Thea Harrison‘s Shadow’s End, which was the long-awaited story of Graydon. Now, I have admitted in the past that I was a bit let-down when I found out that Beluviel was going to be Graydon’s mate, not because I didn’t like her, but because I have never been a huge fan of the whole second love storyline. I don’t mind when a character has been widowed and gets a second chance, but not usually when we have seen them as a couple. Also, I am not big on books where the couple has had a relationship in the past, mostly because it feels like we are missing out on half of the story. But to be honest, neither of my nitpicks came into play here. The relationship between Beluviel and Calondir didn’t really count for much, and we saw pretty much every moment of Graydon and Beluviel’s past so I didn’t feel like we didn’t get the whole of the relationship. This was a great book, and I ended up loving Beluviel for Graydon, which is a bonus. Not to say there isn’t a bunch of sad here, too, but it was still a terrific read. Now it looks like we are on to the European Elder Races for the next book. I am so thinking King Oberon.

That pretty much wraps up my recent reading. How was yours? What did you read and love recently? Or read and not love so much? How excited are you for more Derek and Julie books?

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19 thoughts on “Reading Wrap Up…

  1. PhoenixFyre says:

    I read Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Brotherhood Legacy) by JR Ward and loved it. we are back to the original way JR wrote her books but with two couples. One original and one new.

    Loved catching up with Butch and Marissa and why Butch still has some problems that he has to deal with.

    Loved the new recruits and the huge physical training to see out of 60 people would be recruited into the new “training program.”

    Paradise and Craeg made a perfect match for a new couple and loved the fact that one of them was a civilian while the other was an aristocrat and how that would work.

    Liked the new characters Axe, Peyton, Boone and Novo. It will be interesting learning more about them.

    Finally, Vishous had his moments that were funny because he actually screwed Butch up in a scene. And Lassiter? OMG! Totally hysterical. I had tears coming from my eyes because him being typical Lassiter….Yeah! FUNNY.

    • kaleigha says:

      I am about half way through, and really enjoying it so far. It is a nice change of pace to get back into that world but not have 10 different plotlines going on at the same time. And I am liking the whole return to Butch and Marissa, too. But I suddenly want to watch Magic Mike, for some reason.

  2. Emily says:

    Since you brought up Viper Game and Wild Cat, I have to rant, and get your opinion on something. I honestly believe that Feehan isn’t writing much anymore. I remember thinking, when she started having health issues, that I hoped another author knew her visions for each series and continued writing if she couldn’t. And oddly enough, that’s when this whole change in “her” writing style happened. Some books still have her tone, but the Leopard and Ghostwalkers series have both went waaayyy out there somewhere. Then, the most recent Carpathian book, Dark Ghost, finally convinced me I was right (doesn’t mean I am, but I think so. lol) To me, it was a clear divide between two different writers. I can’t remember how many times I put it down in the beginning. I just couldn’t get into it. The characters were bland, and nothing really happened plot wise. And, a little over halfway, it turned into a classic Feehan novel. All of a sudden, I actually liked the characters, enjoyed the story, and even got excited about the setup for the next book. That’s just weird! The idea of a ghost writer has been in my head for awhile, but there was a chance she’d just changed her style, lost her touch, whatever. But, when it was all in one book, right in front of my face, I got pretty convinced. Since I had actually hoped for it, it shouldn’t bother me as bad as it does. I think my issue is the dishonesty about it. Feehan has a huge fan base, or did, and her fans would have continued to support her if she admitted to having a co-author for health reasons. And maybe the books wouldn’t have seemed as bad if we went into them expecting changes. In fact, I can’t completely say they have been “bad.” But they aren’t classic Christine Feehan novels. Either, she’s really changed her writing, or someone is writing them for her. Which one do you think? And, would it bother you if she was putting her name on someone else’s work for the sales?

    On a more positive note- Loved, loved, loved Blood Kiss. Can’t wait for more Legacy books!

    • PhoenixFyre says:

      It is weird because on Goodreads “Viper Game” got 4 1/2 stars.
      Not so good for “Wild Cat.”

      I think if her style is changing, and people aren’t satisfied they should either let her know on FB or on her website under “Contact me.”

      Some authors want to know their fans opinions so they can do something to improve on their writing to keep their fan base strong.

      The only thing that bothers me sometimes about her is that with the “Dark series” it seems the relationships are more about sex than a story, plus I love a lot of action. I guess that is why I love Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR ward. I love humor, sex, emotions and lots of action. I also love to see a strong female heroine as in Sherrilyn’s League series as characters. I also love when their women stand up to their men and don’t take crap from them, lol.

      But I understand what you are saying about the change in an authors writing when it comes to long-time series. If they aren’t wring up-to-par then maybe they either need to take a step back and analyze it to get back to what their fans loved about their books or they need to end the series because they may be bored with it. JMO

      • Emily says:

        Haha, maybe she is bored with it. It just feels like the writing is coming from a whole different person. I know J.R. Ward lost some fans when her writing style changed several books into the BDB, which I love either way, but it still “sounded” like Ward. The past few Feehan books haven’t been bad; I didn’t give them bad reviews myself. They just don’t read like Feehan novels lately. They’re missing the action and humor, and have kind of scaled down towards erotica rather than a really good story. I have been reading her books since the very beginning, and for years she was the only author I followed, so this is coming from a long time, loyal fan. And also, one who is very familiar with her writing since I have read every single book many, many times. I wasn’t trying to attack her, or her writing, if that’s how I sounded. I just honestly think she isn’t writing the full stories anymore and wondered what other opinions were. I think letting her know under the “contact me” link on her website would be a waste of time as I really don’t believe she would admit it if that’s what she’s doing, and that’s what I’m curious about. If her writing style has changed, then I’ll either deal with it, or quit reading her novels, not write to her and complain.

        • kaleigha says:

          Yeah, for me I found Ward had more a change in format than in voice. Or more a change from PNR to UF (with a million storylines). But you can still hear Ward’s voice coming loud and clear.

        • PhoenixFyre says:

          I never felt you were insulting CF. You as a fan for years knows her style. I am new to her. My favorites are Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward. I only drop everything for those two authors. I need my fix from them, lol.

          I hate when styles change. I don’t like change…but I agree with CF and “Erotica.” I enjoy steamy scenes as anyone else. But I am NOT into erotica. I like humor and kick-ass stories. If it is mostly sex-in-nature I get bored with it. I love SK’s “Night Embrace” but man, All I felt I read was about Talon and Sunshine’s sex life that I ended up skipping scenes when I did rereads.

          I hope CF’s style goes back to what it was though…for her fans.

          • Emily says:

            I am right there with you on Kenyon and Ward. They, along with Nalini Singh, replaced Feehan as my favorite authors as soon as I started reading them, which was only 2 or 3 years ago. If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be Kenyon, but it’s really close. So glad I didn’t come off as insulting to Feehan. Sometimes I get on a rant and don’t think, but as frustrated as I am, by whatever her situation currently is, I don’t want to be rude. If she is using another writer, or getting lots of help, I’m sure it’s due to her decline in health. I just wondered if anyone else was thinking along those lines.

            • Iain says:

              On the opposite end of the spectrum is Gena Showalter and the Lords of the Underworld series… which started shying away from the sex scenes after her health issues and turning to God/Bible… she’s kind of found a middle ground now, but it does feel like some plots took some unexpected turns as a result… mostly Kane & the Four Horsemen

    • kaleigha says:

      It is a definite possibility that she might be having a bit of help, I have to admit. Maybe like a James Patterson thing, where he is involved in story set up and supervises the writing, but someone else does the day to day? Like you say, though, some are her tone and style, but some have hit Ellora’s Cave levels of Erotica. It seems like two different voices. Dark Ghost (aka – Dark Cave) was a bit on the milder side of things, wasn’t it?

      I can’t say it bothers me, though. Well, I should say that I do feel that the last couple of Leopard books and Viper Game don’t really count as part of those series for me. I didn’t dislike them, especially Viper Game didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the series. I am going with a “helper” or two, maybe some of the daughters?

      • Emily says:

        That’s exactly what another friend of mine said, who’s been reading her novels forever. I do think she would use family, or someone else close to her, as well. And it definitely sounds like a younger author. It’s mainly the Ghostwalkers series that’s the big irritation for me. I can’t deny that I enjoyed Viper Game, but like you said, it didn’t feel like part of the series. And that’s one of my favorite series. We waited for years and then didn’t get a “real” Ghostwalkers book. But, that is what we paid for, right? And that’s what bothers me. There’s all kinds of great books out there, but I’m really jonesing for a Ghostwalker book! lol

      • Emily says:

        I am right there with you on Kenyon and Ward. They, along with Nalini Singh, replaced Feehan as my favorite authors as soon as I started reading them, which was only 2 or 3 years ago. If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be Kenyon, but it’s really close. So glad I didn’t come off as insulting to Feehan. Sometimes I get on a rant and don’t think, but as frustrated as I am, by whatever her situation currently is, I don’t want to be rude. If she is using another writer, or getting lots of help, I’m sure it’s due to her decline in health. I just wondered if anyone else was thinking along those lines.

  3. Iain says:

    All those books you listed (Except Feehan) are at the top of my TBR pile… I haven’t been getting much reading done recently… but I want to read the Dragos/Pia novellas before hitting Shadow’s Run… at least I’m getting some listening done… almost finished the second and currently final story arc of Greywalker series (1.25 books left)… really enjoyed the second arc as long as I don’t compare it to the first arc… before the Power Reset at the end of book 5, Harper had pretty much become all-powerful… glad I took a break there before coming back to regular Harper in book 6+

    • kaleigha says:

      Whatever you do, you should probably (read definitely) read Shadow’s End before the Liam novella. There is a…development…that will be spoiled for you if you read them out of order.

    • kaleigha says:

      Sometimes I find novellas don’t really add much to the overall story arc, but Dragos’ and Pia’s had quite a bit going on.

      • Dawn says:

        I definitely agree. This last novella arc certainly added some possibilities to the next part. Now I have to wonder where she plans on taking story #10 — and who shows up in it.

        As to the conversation about Feehan above, I have only read the Dark series by her, but have noticed that the last few have had a definite change in tone. Although, to be honest, I have noticed the same thing with Kenyon’s books as well as the Breeds stories. It seems as though the longer a series goes on, the less, consistent?, the author’s tone appears to remain when you compare the earlier stories to the later ones. Especially when there are so many story threads flying around! To be honest, I worry about that happening one day with the Psy-changling series. (I am more hopeful with Singh’s series, as from what I’ve read, she is very careful to keep track of her details with her “Bible” and storyboards.)

        • kaleigha says:

          Yep, I have to say that while Nalini is my favorite, she also seems to be the most consistent (at least that I have noticed). She also does a re-read of the whole series she is working on every time she starts a new book, which is really smart.

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