Reading Wrap Up

booksIt has only been a few weeks since I did my last reading wrap up post, but it seems like so much longer. That is probably because I managed to go through a decent number of books for a change, and I also managed to tackle some of my TBR pile, too. A win/win.

First things first, and this is a big one for me…

I did it. I finally, finally tackled some of my huuuge Sherrilyn Kenyon TBR pile. Her books make up just shy of HALF of my total books to be read – yes, almost half – and the pile staring at me had gotten so out of control that I figured if I didn’t jump in now I never would. Not quite sure where to start, I tackled the first five Chronicles of Nick books, and I ended up quite liking them. I figure it will give me a bit of a backdrop for when I do get to the Dark-Hunter books, too. The Nick books I read were fun, and I flew through them really quickly. I can’t say I will be caught up with all of Kenyon’s books anytime soon, but at least I have gotten a decent start.

Hm, what else…oh, yeah. I finally got to the latest from Darynda Jones, The Curse of Tenth Grave. I didn’t dislike this one, but it was…lacking, somehow. Maybe it was because of the distance between Charley and Reyes (both physical ad emotional) for the vast majority of the book, especially since it was based on what felt like soap-opera level drama. I think for me, just Charley isn’t quite enough to carry the book – she needs the gang around, and they weren’t around much. Things did pick up in the last quarter, so all is good again. But like I said, when Reyes, Garrett, Osh and the rest aren’t around, it doesn’t quite work as well for me. Still funny and all, but not quite as engaging.

Well, I also broke down and decided to borrow a book. Weird, for me, but there you have it. For quite a while, I have debated on picking up Dark Promises from Christine Feehan. There were a couple of issues I had – the biggest being that I loathed the character of Gabrielle since she was first introduced way back when. She just rubbed me wrong even in the little bit she had been seen in previous books, but I wasn’t stoked to read a whole book about her. I probably would’ve bitten the bullet and just picked the darn thing up anyways, but then I read the first chapter excerpt on Christine’s website, and I really couldn’t stand the way Gabrielle came off. Whiny, needy, demanding, and completely oblivious to pretty much everything going on around her, that one chapter completely turned me off her. Plus, I was strangely weirded out by the thought Grandma Trixie. Not sure why, but it just sounded odd. Add to that the less than stellar reviews I had heard, and negative reactions to the “hero”. So, not excited for the book. At all. But I do still have higher hopes for the next one.

However, I was thinking that if I didn’t give this one a try, I might miss some story set up for future books. You know, the introduction of new characters, possible leads on new lifemates, that sort of thing. But nope. I could’ve completely skipped this one and not missed a thing. I thought Gabrielle was a waste of page time, and to be honest I can’t even remember the name of her lifemate. Nope, no clue what his name was. Trixie wasn’t that bad – I ended up preferring her and Fane to Gabrielle and…unknown ancient dude…but I did roll my eyes a few times at nearly virginal, still incredibly hot and awesomely built, self sacrificing great grandma Trixie, but at least it was good for a laugh. And at least she was different. Gabrielle followed my “Feehan Female Formula” down to letter…but at least it was someone else who mentioned the “awesome boots” this time. Joy.

And I finished up Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Heart just last night. It has a different tone to it than previous books, but I liked it. It wasn’t my favorite by a long shot, but it is always great to get back into a favorite world. There is a lot of Aodhan, too, and he is making great strides towards taking back his life. I am still getting a Sparkle/Bluebell vibe, but I can’t be completely sure if it is just me.

So, what have you been reading lately? Have you managed to tackle any long-standing TBR monsters, or have you been hitting all new releases?


42 thoughts on “Reading Wrap Up

  1. dougmeeks says:

    A: Never read a book almost 3 months before release, it limits what you can say and when other people start talking about it (if you are like me) you have to try and remember things ๐Ÿ™‚ I try to read them around 1-2 weeks before release but that is just me and my weak mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    B: 10th Grave seemed to have readers that either loved it (like me) or found it lacking, not bad but not great. I think maybe it has to do with how much you enjoyed the humor (I enjoyed it a lot) since some people just see her as coming off as a smartass 9which she admits to)

    C: I pulled out my favorite Dark-Hunter book today and was tempted to reread it but all those “you promised to review this” books pulled a big guilt trip on me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Still Night Play gets my vote for “Best In Series” leaving out Ash’s book)

  2. kaleigha says:

    I can see where the too-early read has its drawbacks. I am lucky I don’t review, since I would lose so many details by the official release date I would be useless. Have to admit, I was really surprised this puppy came so early. I was thinking maybe mid-September, to be honest. A nice surprise, but still a surprise.

    I did like the humor, too. It wasn’t too over the top like it can sometimes get, where Charley almost comes off as ditzy. I found it was on point for this one, but like you said I think I fell on the not bad side of things. I do love me some Osh and company, and even Mr. Wong.

    Good lord, I am almost ready to dive into the Dark-Hunters. Can’t believe it. I have all of them in paperback, AND picked up all of the hardcover re-releases, and haven’t read any. Here’s hoping I like them, or I will be doing one hell of an unhaul in the near future. That would hurt.

  3. Jill says:

    I can’t believe you have been able to ignore Sherrilyn this long. She is my absolute favourite author and even though her League series is her best series in my eyes, I also loved the Dark Hunters. Wait until you get to Acheron and Styxx’s books, you just can’t help but love them…and cry for them….lots. The Chronicles of Nick series is great but I don’t put it up there with the other two series. Maybe because it is young adult it doesn’t have the same sparks. I am pretty sure that when you start Dark Hunters or League, you won’t want to put them down. Hmm, might be time for me to reread them again myself.

    • kaleigha says:

      I think the problem is that there were already so many books out when I started back reading, and I picked up so many books in so short a time, that for a while they got lost in the shuffle. And then it just became easier to tackle the series that only had a handful of books out rather than this monster. I did read and really like the early League books, which is a good sign.

  4. bfmason50 says:

    I personally hope that in the next few Guild Hunter books their will not be a matching of Bluebell and Aodhan since I do not enjoy reading or listening to male/male relationships. I am not “anti-gay” I just do not want to read about it. Not to get this to go all political, but the problem I have about reading about gay male love is the actual act and how they perform that love that puts me off. For example I don’t really have a problem in Kate Daniels world with the 2 Alpha Rats being homosexual since their acts of love are not being described vividly in the series. I had to skip forward some parts of Lover at Last book 11 of Black Daggers Brotherhood during parts of Qhuinn and Blaylock scenes.

    I enjoy listening to books or reading to get drawn into the worlds that authors so colorfully create, that most of the time I wish the authors would quickly go over the actual acts of love. Like in classic movies from like the 1930s thru 1950s. When you see the male and female stars hug, kiss, lay down in bed, and then screen goes black and it is the next morning and they are waking up. Where the act of love is left to your imagination.

    I am done with my ramblings I guess now.

    • cheryl says:

      I can remember when I was a young girl … I would read Barbara Cartland books that the love scene always ended with the door closing. Fast forward to todays books and holy moly … too graphic. Can we have less than full chapters of love scenes and descriptions of every little move or should I say every conceivable move? I would like a more happy medium… J.D. Robb would have scenes with the hottest couple that would get the feelings across and your emotions engaged without me learning about the mechanics of said scene.
      I think we have “Fifty Shades of Gray” to thank for the over descriptive trend nowadays.
      Now I tend to skim so many parts of books … just to get to the story…. that it makes me sad.

      • snapdragon says:

        I have been thinking about this and the best author to date on having the romance but not really going into detail is Lynn Kurland. I have most of her books and every story has romance but not really any sex. Her stories are fulfilling without the explicit sex.

      • Carol Vasseur Scanu says:

        Actually the start of this trend of steamy scenes is a bleed over from historical romance novels attributed to the late, great Kathleen Woodiwiss and precisely with her first novel, The Flame and the Flower, published in 1972.

    • Gabrielle says:

      I agree. I don’t want Illium and Aodhan to be a couple. I love them both but I don’t see them being romantically involved with one another. They’re a lot like Jem and Will from the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. They have a brilliant and beautiful friendship that made them closer than brothers or lovers. But to write them in as a gay couple, would take something away from the simplicity and innocence of their friendship. Saying that – their other halves are going to have to be pretty badass women for me to like them. Bluebell and Sparkle can’t be paired with just anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s even if they get a book at all. Nalini Singh is only contracted to write one more book after Archangels Heart – which I am so so jealous that you have been able to read it way before it comes out. My jealousy has jealousy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kaleigha says:

      I am not a big fan of a m/m story, either. For that matter, I am not a big fan of the whole m/f/m stories, or ones where there are multiple partners, either. I don’t mind a same-sex story in the background, but as the main story it doesn’t always work for me. I don’t always need to beat over the head with the bedroom scenes – some is fine, but too much just gets in the way of the story, for me at least.

  5. Emma says:

    Several weeks ago I finally took the plunge and started Anita Blake (LKH) I have all of them up unti Jason. I’m currently on Skin Trade…I’ve had these books in my TBR since 2010, so it’s taken a good long while to get to them.
    I also have Kim Harrison’s Rachel series to read (at some point) not to mention the entire series of Otherworld of Yasmine Galenorn. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew on these ones!

    • kaleigha says:

      Hey, that’s great when you can drag a long-standing one off of the pile. It feels like you actually accomplished something (or at least it does for me). I have the first book of Kim Harrison’s series, too, but that one will be way down the line, I’m afraid.

        • kaleigha says:

          Yeah, they do linger. I weirdly enough feel guilty when I see books sitting there forever. It is like I failed somehow.

          • Emma says:

            I don’t believe it’s weird. Each story is a new adventure and I haven’t met a book lover yet who doesn’t resent or feel guilty for missing out on an adventure

  6. julianabarth says:

    Oh man, you are NOT the only one getting the Sparkle/Bluebell vibes.

    Their story is just beautiful, and Nalini should take the plunge godammit.
    I take it that in archangelโ€™s heart there are more stunning scenes between them? Be still my beating heart

    • kaleigha says:

      Glad I am not alone on vibe. I hope it doesn’t go that way – I have Illium with Sorrow, for some reason, and maybe Aodhan with…I believe it was Lijuan’s sister….the architect? She would be hellishly older, but has been asleep for so long she probably hasn’t been “alive” as long as he has.

      • Monika says:

        I, too, hope we don’t get Bluebell with Aodhan, I don’t want to read any m/m action. Actually I didn’t get that vibe as Illium got his punishment over a woman who seemed kind of important to him. For me Illium and Aodhan are bonded in a purely non-romantic way.
        I’ve actually got Venom with Sorrow, but I agree with Aodhan and the architect…we’ll see…

        • kaleigha says:

          My Illium/Sorrow brainwave came from Illium’s love of humans, which Sorrow was, paired with Sorrow’s terror over winged beings. I figure that way Illium gets his human love (without the traditional change to vampire) that will live forever, and Sorrow overcoming her fear of angels gives the story a punch.

  7. psub20 says:

    Re: Archangel’s Heart – colour me jealous.

    I’m hoping Bluebell/ Aodhan is not a pairing; not because I don’t like reading m/m books but because we would get only 1 book instead of 2. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • kaleigha says:

      Yeah, I am not hlping for Aodhan and Illium, either. And I hadn’t thought of the two books instead of one. Here’s hoping not.

  8. snapdragon says:

    I have been on more of a sci/fi and mystery kick lately. But I did devour M. L. Bushman Heart Strike and really adored it. Funny, snarky, and touching with lots of action…sigh.

    Started map of Bones by James Rollins — I am getting a very Dan Brown, Steve Berry, and Clive Cussler vibe and am enjoying this one.

    I have gotten into Laura Childs — Tea Shop Mysteries and have finished the first 5 or 6? Enjoyable and fun with lots of history about Charleston.

    • kaleigha says:

      You have covered a lot of ground in your choices, which is nice to see. I tend to get stuck in a rut, but I have managed to read some romantic suspense here and there, trying to mix things up.

  9. Lidy says:

    “And I finished up Nalini Singhโ€˜s Archangelโ€™s Heart just last night”
    Oh the envy. Please, just tell me we’ll also get more of Alexander (beyond the excerpt), Keir and Caliane. Pretty please, please? *puppy eyes*

    I don’t really want an Illium-Aodhan pairing. If something happens in AH to make me feel like they’re a romantic couple and not two friends who’ve been separated by trauma, then I’ll ship them, but if it turns out to be nothing but the result of reader pressure… not so much. Now, I must say that I worry about Illium’s feelings for Elena. Also, I think that vampire from Archangel’s Legion (the one with coffee/blood shop) would make him a great heroine (Marcia Blue – Bluebell – Illium’s blue wings) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congratulations on decreasing the size of your TBR pile! LOL I’m currently ambivalent on SK’s books: I love CON (although I still think Dark-Hunter Nick is a little shit), whereas the main adult series doesn’t really interest me anymore. I’ll keep reading, but without the anxious wait… although I’m curious about the 2018 release.

    I like the Charley books, but lately, being in Charley’s mind has been tiresome.

    And, Kaleigha, have you seen the cover reveal for Wicked Abyss and the interview Kresley Cole on Heroes and Heartbreakers? She confirmed it’s Sian’s book – just what I was waiting for.

    • kaleigha says:

      Yep, I will give you a hint. No Keir, but Alex and Callie (!) both play a decent sized role. I didn’t actually know that there was a fan thing about pairing up Sparkle and Bluebell, though. I hope it doesn’t happen, either, but if anyone could pull it off then Nalini would be the one.

      I am going to try and pace my Dark-Hunter reading so that I can keep the details fresh while not getting overloaded. It is how I am working the In Death books, and so far so good. But I must be completely mental to start the 30+ Dark Hunter series while I am only on the 7th book of the 40+ In Death series. Oy.

      Wicked Abyss cover?!? I just got home from work and had no idea! Thanks for letting me know.

      • Lidy says:

        OMG, thank you! I ship Caliane and Alexander so hard! I really like Keir, it’s a pity he doesn’t show up. Now, I’m cracking up just thinking what will happen when the archangels get together – something always does, much to Elena’s chagrin. *evil laughter*

        After Illium thought in Archangel’s Legion that he’d survived losing his human, but he wouldn’t survive losing Aodhan, some readers have gone mental and took it to mean that theirs is a, let’s say, homoerotic friendship; I don’t really buy it, but if Nalini writes it, I’m going to buy and read it. Of course, the readers also want Raphael and Elena to have a baby, which Nalini has said, time and time again, won’t happen in the foreseeable future.

        I wish Nora Roberts did it for me; I read one of her Macgregors books (a middle-book in the series), and the first McKade, and neither caused anything in me. Not distaste, nor will to read the others. But yeah, the Dark Hunter series is huge – I began reading them after Bad Moon Rising was released. The nice thing is that, aside from Acheron and Styxx, most aren’t (too) long.

        • kaleigha says:

          I couldn’t get into Nora Roberts stories, either. And I so wanted to just because of the covers, but they didn’t do anything for me. Not bad, not good, just no response.

  10. Redbutterfly says:

    I really hope there’s a Sparkle/Bluebell pairing, I’ve been shipping them since the last book.

    About Charley Davidson, I make Doug’s words mine (I really liked that book).

    As for Sherrilyn Kenyon, I only read one book in the Dark-Hunter series, Fantasy Love (I think that’s the name) and really liked it, but I still haven’t read the rest. I’ve been slowing reading her League series, and I’m really liking it, BUT… her heroines sometimes gets on my nerves, I love the heroes but sometimes I just want to punch her heroines in the face *argh*

    • kaleigha says:

      Meh, I have the heroine-issues (uh, that came out wrong, but you know what I mean) all the time. It is more common than not for me to love the male lead, and wish the female would get killed. Harsh, but true. And it would make for a depressing story, now that I think about it.

      • Monika says:

        Actually, I have that issue, too ๐Ÿ˜‰ Though I was dubious in the beginning, I ended up liking the book from Reyes POV more than about half of the Charley books. As somebody said here Charley is getting tiresome and the longer we go on, the less I think she deserves Reyes (I haven’t read book 10 yet, it’s kind of smoldering on my TBR pile as I did download it)…

        • kaleigha says:

          I thought I was the only one who didn’t dive into 10th Grave right away. I do like Charley, but she does need the others around her for me to get full enjoyment out of her, though.

  11. Robin says:

    I am so happy you finally started reading Sherrilyn Kenyon. I LOVE NICK. When you get to Dark-Hunter you will see why it was important to see Nick as a youngster. You will love and hate him. But time is changing. You will see Simi, Kyrian, Acheron, Styxx, Bethany, Urian, Mennie, Thorn, Noir, Jared and Jaden in the DH books also. CON takes place when Nick is between 13-24. Then he will have his adult novel in Dark-Hunter series since the rating will be erotic.

    Isn’t Caleb and Bubba great, lol?

    • kaleigha says:

      I like pretty much all of the characters in CoN, and I hope that some of them translate over to the DH books – especially Caleb. I think the only character I don’t actually like is Cherise. I don’t despise her or anything, but her hysteria does get on my nerves sometimes.

  12. Monika says:

    Reading people’s reaction do Dark Carousel I don’t feel the slightest twinge that I have completely given up on Feehan. It sounds kind of masochistic trying to force yourself reading a book where you have to skip scenes in order to even get thru it. Aside from Charley 10 I also downloaded Illusion Town (I am a die-hard fan of JAK’s and so far it hasn’t gotten to the point where I have to skip scenes), but I have been reading more Romantic Suspense lately, I really loved Wicked Sexy by J. T. Geissinger (and though part of a series it can be read as a standalone). Thru J. T. I discovered Marie Force’s Fatal series and have just finished the first book. It’s romantic suspense, exciting, quite a lot of police procedural which I enjoy. The only problem I had with it is that the hero is just too freaking perfect: great looking guy, considerate, nice, easy-going (most of the time), loyal, has a great job, tidy, ribbed, loaded and did I mention great in the sack, in one word too-good-to-be-true.
    On a recommendation thread I also came across Annette Marie’s Steel and Stone series (UF/YA), and despite the YA label I am kind of intrigued and I was wondering if anyone here has heard of her or read one of the books? Quite good reviews on Amazon, but I don’t really trust Amazon reviewers as a whole…

    • kaleigha says:

      I have gotten about half-way through Dark Carousel, and I am sort of middle of the road so far. Not great, but better than most of the recent ones. I like the shift away from the mountains/jungles to a city setting, and a sort of new crew…the triplets, and then four other random dudes that I can’t remember the names of. On the downside for me, though, is that it feels so far that it is a set-up book. It seems to be throwing a bunch of females into the mix all at once, and all of course “gifted”. Kind of takes the mystery out of things. We’ll see how the last half goes.

  13. dougmeeks says:

    Folks, I have read many Nora Roberts books and not including the “Death” books I can only recommend 2 series and 1 novel.

    The Circle Trilogy – Loved it, was one of my top 5 for many years. Exceptional mix of urban fantasy and paranormal romance

    Sign of Seven – Possibly one of the best mix of horror./romance/mystery and paranormal I ever read.

    The Witness – This was her 200th novel and she put some extra effort into this one I thought.

    Sadly that is it, most seem to be written to some formula but she IS a talented writer but seems that her books sell no matter what and she does not seem to rise to a new challenge very often IMHO

    • kaleigha says:

      I tried a couple of here-and-there books when they caught my eye over the last few years, and I tried a quartet about a wedding planning company. I never tried the Circle trilogy, but I have seen mention of it around.

    • Monika says:

      Actually I am staggered by the sheer volume of books that Nora Roberts has written. I decade or more ago I used to read her avidly, but I have forgotten most of her books. The ones I remember are Montana Sky (a standalone) and the Irish or Born in Trilogy which back then I found very emotionally moving (but that was a long time ago). Nowadays I only follow her in Death series, which I love. I will give Doug’s recommendations a try once my TBR pile has dwindled, since he usually he is spot on ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Redbutterfly says:

      I’ve read The Witness too Doug, and I loved it. Besides the In Death series, I think this is her only book I’ve read. I’ve got The Circle Trilogy in my TBR pile, good to know it’s good

  14. Haylo says:

    I hope that Illium and Aodhan don’t get together, but not because of any issues with M/M pairings. Them being together would mean one less book and that’s a no-no for me. I think that Sorrow will be with Venom so she’s out as a potential partner. I think Lijuan’s sister will be with Aodhan; he can’t bear to be touched and for her she was mercilessly tortured by her sister for centuries. I definitely can see the connection there. For Illium, after all the words dedicated to his love for humans, I can’t imagine that he’ll fall for anything other than a human or maybe a very young vampire who still retains her humanity.

  15. Carol Vasseur Scanu says:

    I have just finished reading the first 7 CoN stories and I adore the whimsical twist. Cherise is a PITA. I am now going through the Dark Hunter series. They remind of the early Feehan Dark series… the satisfaction of seeing a hero who has survived the torment of hopeless solitude and finally finds his soul mate.

    Dark Promises, I’m glad to see Tariq finding his mate.

    • kaleigha says:

      Yeah, Cherise is totally annoying. I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the Nick books, what with my recent YA burnout and the overall lack of romance, but enjoy them I did.

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