Reading Wrap Up

Hey everyone, been a while since the last post. I figure we might as well take a look back at the last week, and see what we were all reading. I did manage to finish two books – Bound Together, which I have a mini-review on below, and Lora Leigh‘s Wake a Sleeping Tiger. Hmmm.

wake a sleeping tigerWake a Sleeping Tiger was a bit weird for me. I can’t quite decide how I felt about it, and not sure if I can explain why. Maybe because it didn’t completely feel like a Breeds book? It was a bit more tame than they usually are. On the plus side, I don’t remember finding any glaring errors like I usually do, and I don’t think I rolled my eyes even one time during this one. But it just sort of felt like not much happened. As much as I was interested in Cullen and his story heading into it, for me he came off as a bit dull for most of the book. And Chelsea often bugged me with her random demands for independence that didn’t really give me the sense of tension I think was intended. At least, though, she seemed quite able to handle herself in sticky situations and didn’t need the white knight to come save her, so that was a bonus. Usually in a Breeds book, I can feel the attraction between the main characters, but here not so much.

I was happy that there was less of the Navajo agencies and bureaus and covert ops thingies to keep track of, because they make my brain bleed. Graeme was a scene-stealer, as always, and it would’ve been great if some of his charisma had rubbed off on some of the other characters. But other than that, while not horrible, it just felt like filler to set up Cassie’s story (and quite the set up it is). I think if someone just read the last, oh, two or three chapters, they wouldn’t have missed much.

Your turn. What did you enjoy this week? Did you read Wake a Sleeping Tiger, and if you did, what did you think? I have thought Cassie would be paired up with Rhyzan since he was first introduced, and I am sticking with it. Did you see the swerve ending coming, or was it out of the blue for you, too?

Pick of the Week and Mini Review

There are a couple my guilty-pleasure books that were released today, but thanks to the delivery gods I actually got my hands on both Bound Together from Christine Feehan and Wake a Sleeping Tiger from Lora Leigh a day early. Then I had the endless debate about which one to read first, but Bound Together won out. And since I actually finished it, it is my pick of the week.

bound-togetherSynopsis…

For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind…

Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist…becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart…

So, I liked it. Quite a lot, actually. The Sea Haven books are the only Feehan series that didn’t have a style/tone change during “the questionable period”, and it has stayed a consistent favorite of mine. It managed to wrap up the Sisters of the Heart arc, link with the Drake Sisters books, all while setting up the upcoming Torpedo Ink series.

There is only two things I can say didn’t quite work for me – one is style, one is subject. On the style side, Christine once again introduces a ton of new characters in a relatively short period of time, and trying to keep a ton of Russian names – and nicknames – was tricky. Thankfully, there are only a few of the Torpedo Ink gang who play a major role in this book, so while they were all introduced in a big jumble, it was necessary to only remember a couple of the new gang.

My second quibble might sound cold, but I am hoping that Christine moves on from the whole human trafficking/child rape angle really soon. I know it is a real world issue, but it has come up in pretty much every book of each of her five series for the last couple of years, and honestly? I am getting a bit numb to the brutalized children thing – especially since it seems like it is getting more intense. In early books, there were characters who had suffered in the past (like Skyler in the Dark series), to those who had been recently abused (like Nicoletta in Shadow Riders) to walking in on the abuse as it is happening. Maybe if it was only featured in one series, but when it is a theme across the board, it gets a bit overwhelming.

Now, I’m off to dive into Wake a Sleeping Tiger. And of course, when I was flipping to the back to see if there were any excerpts for the next Breeds book, I saw a major plot point that can’t be unseen. I always do that crap. Always. Arrgh.

Cover Lover – Archangel’s Viper

Just when I was thinking that there wasn’t much to post for today, I caught a glimpse of this beauty. Nalini Singh‘s next Guild Hunter book, Archangel’s Viper, will finally be Venom and Sorrow’s story, and it has a release date of September 26th.

archangel's viperOnce 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.

Ooooh, my pretty. I had still been holding out hope that Sorrow was going to be paired up with Bluebell, but honestly this doesn’t disappoint me, either.

Reading Wrap Up

I swear, I have been trying to make the reading wrap up a regular Sunday feature, but it just seems that I keep missing the mark. On the bright side, though, I did get both Silence Fallen from Patricia Briggs and Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop done. With varying degrees of success.

silence_fallen_layout.inddSilence Fallen was up first, and I really liked it. I enjoyed seeing Mercy on her own, fighting her own battles (and winning), but I liked seeing Adam without Mercy even more. I don’t remember any other books in the series where Adam played such a large role – or was seen more as pack Alpha than Mercy’s mate. I liked seeing that side of him, and I liked how much faith he had in Mercy to get herself out of whatever situations were thrown at her. And Bran? So didn’t see that coming. It was definitely a winner for me.

I know that there is a Tom and Moira book in the works, and next March is the fifth Alpha and Omega release, but I would be so happy to see stories for Bran, Ben, Honey. I know it might be too much of a good thing, but I always find myself wanting more of them.

etched in boneAnd I am just finishing up Etched in Bone. Unfortunately, though, I can’t quite tell how I feel about it. Is it good? Yep. Is it end of the story arc, resolve everything good? I don’t think so. There was a pretty good sized chunk of story in the middle of the book where I was just waiting for…it. Something. The set up for the big finale. The progression of Simon and Meg. Hell, someone to get killed. And it didn’t happen. It was still a good book, and the ending kicked the drama up, but I guess I expected more of a finale for this arc. More of a “last book” feeling.

Ok, that wraps things up for me. What have you been up to? I am sure most of you already picked up both of these – what did you think?

Cover Lover – 9 New Titles

I was all set to upload this post yesterday, but technical difficulties put me in the most foul mood imaginable so I got fed up and went to bed instead. So, it might be a day late, but here are nine covers for some upcoming releases.

Let’s start with Dark Legacy, the next Carpathian hardcover from Christine Feehan. This one has a release date of September 5th.

dark legacyIn a beautiful compound hidden away from the world, Emeline Sanchez tries to blunt the pain that has wracked her body ever since her terrifying ordeal in the labyrinth beneath the city—when she was forced to exchange blood with an evil master vampire.

Now, it’s his voice that haunts her…that calls to her in the dark…that never lets her rest. And while the children that she helped to free from his clutches struggle to heal, watched over by their Carpathian protectors, Emeline knows one thing: She must sacrifice herself to keep them all from harm…

Flame in the Dark is a biggie for me. I really liked the Soulwood series, and I was so happy to see that Faith Hunter recently announced that there will be even more books set in this world. This one has a release date of December 5th.

flame in the darkNell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

MaryJanice Davidson‘s next release is Deja New, the second book from her Insighter series. It has a release date of November 7th.

deja newLeah Nazir lives in a world where the past can and will come back to bite you in the ass. No, not teething ghosts—reincarnation! As an Insighter, it’s Leah’s job to delve into the murky and (often) deadly former lives of her patients. And she knows a thing or two about danger after killing her mother’s murderer with the help of new beau, Archer Drake.

Isn’t he the best?

Now, it’s time to take their relationship to the next level, but not in any way Leah could have predicted. She and Archer head to Chicago to meet his parents—and try to figure out why Archer’s dad killed his brother decades ago. When someone tries to sabotage their investigation, Leah must decide if the Drake family past is a deal breaker…

Number four is from Yasmine Galenorn. Fury Awakened is the third book of the Fury Unbound series, and it is due out this May.

fury awakenedBy day, I run the Crossroads Cleaning Company, and I also read fortunes and cast hexes at Dream Wardens, a magical consulting shop. But by night, I’m oath-bound to Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads. Hecate charged me from birth with the task of hunting down Abominations who come in off the World Tree and sending them back to Pandoriam.

Deep in the Wild Wood, we’ve hidden out from both the ruthless Devani and the zombie invasion going on in Seattle. In her anger, Gaia retaliates and devastates the city. The Order of the Black Mist has thrown off their secrecy and are openly vying for dominance with the Devani, as the ruthless warriors of light destroy all who question the control of the Corp Rats. As I learn more out in the wilds about the world of the Fae, and as our group of survivors strengthens its bonds, Hecate beckons me into the woods where I stumble on a secret that could turn the tide. But it will put us on the front lines as targets–and it will mean letting go of my fear of the fire and fully accepting my Theosian nature.

Ride the Storm from Karen Chance was originally due out April 2016, but was pushed back until August 1st, 2017. With the push-back came a re-tweaking of the original cover, as well.

ride the stormEver since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them.

The hardcover re-releases of Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunter series continues, and the next one up is Unleash the Night. It is due out on November 28th.

unleash the nightAn orphan with no clan that will claim him, Wren Tigarian grew to adulthood under the close scrutiny and mistrust of those around him. A forbidden blend of two animals – snow leopard and white tiger – Wren has never listened to anyone when there was something he wanted. Now he wants Marguerite.

Marguerite D’Aubert Goudeau is the daughter of a prominent U.S. senator who hates the socialite life she’s forced to live. Like her mother before her, she has strong Cajun roots that her father doesn’t understand. Still, she has no choice but to try and conform to a world where she feels like an outsider. But the world of rich and powerful humans is never to meet the world of the Were-Hunters who exist side by side with them, unseen, unknown, undetected. To break this law is to call down a wrath of the highest order.

In order to have Marguerite, Wren must fight not just the humans who will never accept his animal nature, but the Were-Hunters who want him dead for endangering their world. It’s a race against time and magic without boundary that could cost Marguerite and Wren not just their lives, but their very souls…

Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright‘s next Pantera Security League book will be called Three to Get Ready.

three to get ready

These next covers are all from young adult releases, starting with the new one from Marie Lu. Warcross is the first book of the series of the same name, and it is due out on October 3rd.

warcrossFor the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I can’t quite get a handle on this last one. Before the Devil Breaks You is the third book from Libba Bray‘s The Diviners series, and it is due out on October 3rd. The first couple of books had a real art deco feel, and this one doesn’t even look like it is part of the same series. Mid-series re-designs don’t always work out for the best.

before the devil breaks youAfter battling a sleeping sickness, The Diviners are up against a group of new and malevolent foes–ghosts! Out in Ward’s Island sits a mental hospital full of lost souls from people long forgotten. Ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the Man in the Stovepipe Hat also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over New York City, the Diviners must band together and brave the ghosts haunting the asylums to bring down the King of Crows.

That wraps things up for today. There are a couple on my auto-buy list, how about yours? Anything you are eagerly waiting for?

New Series Alerts

Hey everyone – been a while since I have actually had much to post. I did find a couple of new covers and blurbs which I might try and put up tomorrow, but for today we can look at a new series starting up. Meagan Spooner‘s Hunted is the first book in the young adult series of the same name.

huntedSynopsis…

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

I have to admit, I am a bit over the whole fairy tale retelling thing. I really enjoyed the first couple I got my hands on – especially the Lunar Chronicles from Marissa Meyer. But now, it doesn’t seem special anymore. Even Kresley Cole seems to be wading in with her next IAD novel, Wicked Kiss, which doesn’t have me excited at all. Are you still on the retelling bandwagon, or are you over the whole thing like I am? Do you have any favorites?

Pick of the Week

Sometimes the pick of the week is an absolute no-brainer. Sometimes, there just isn’t one. This week, though, has two great releases that both deserve it, so I am going to go with the one not named book of the month for March. Patricia Briggs might only write one book a year, but it is always one to look forward to, and this week’s Silence Fallen is no exception.

silence_fallen_layout.inddSynopsis…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

Yep, this one sounds like it will be right up my alley. Throw in a bunch of Ben, and I will be a happy camper. Let the countdown begin for next March’s Alpha and Omega release, Burn Bright.

New Series Alerts

As I have said over and over, March is pretty much the most monster month for books all year. It seems like it is jam-packed with big releases – and new series, too. This week alone there are four, starting with a new one from Yasmine Galenorn. Souljacker is the first book of the Lily Bound series.

souljackerSynopsis…

Lily O’Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker–an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before–has escaped to reclaim his “artwork,” Lily knows she’s next on his list. With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn’t expect to fall for Archer-and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim.

Next up is The Arctic Brotherhood series from Jane Godman. The first book is called Ice Wolf

ice-wolfSynopsis…

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Elliott Wilder is a mild mannered Alaskan college professor. Wilder craves the things most people find boring. Seclusion. Monotony. Anonymity. But what Wilder craves most of all is the thing he can’t have… memory loss. Four hundred years ago, Wilder and the other members of the Arctic Brotherhood were captured and tortured by the leader of the Siberian werewolves. Wilder is still haunted by memories of that night, when he wasn’t able to protect his leader.

Now the Siberian wolf is on the loose and seeking revenge. Not only must Wilder lead the brotherhood, he must fight the attraction he feels toward its newest recruit, Jenny Piper. Jenny offers Wilder a glimpse of the life he can’t have. As the brotherhood races against time to save humanity from the horror their enemies unleashed on the world, Wilder must reach inside himself to find the leader the brotherhood needs and the mate Jenny craves.

…and the second book is also being released this week. It is called Shadow Wolf.

shadow-wolfSynopsis…

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Samson Lee last saw Valetta Rickard five years ago when a shared a kiss almost led him to break the promise he had made to himself. Now Valetta has disappeared, and Samson has promised her father he will find her. When Samson finds Valetta leading a rogue gang of bloodthirsty Arctic werewolves, he soon discovers that all is not what it seems. As soon as they see each other again the feelings they denied all those years ago resurface.

Valetta is Shadow Born, a rare and mystical werewolf with legendary powers. If she chooses, she can destroy a whole species. A power that an evil hunter wants so that he can destroy the Arctic wolves. Samson, together with the other members of the brotherhood, must find the hunter before he can put his plans for Valetta into action. At the same time, Samson must put the past behind him and convince Valetta that she is worthy of love.

Sara Humphreys is starting her new Amoveo Rising series this week with the release of Undiscovered.

undiscoveredSynopsis…

He’s the man of her dreams

A long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who-and what-she really is?

She’s the end to his nightmare

Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…

And finally, Kerrelyn SparksHow to Tame a Beast in 7 Days comes out this week. It is the first book of The Embraced series.

how to tame a beast in seven daysSynopsis…

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Sadly, How to Tame a Beast didn’t work out for me, but I am pretty sure I am in the small minority on that one (I wanted to like it, but just didn’t). I haven’t tried the other three authors at all. Are any of these on your must-read list? Have you read anything by these authors before?

Weekly Wrap Up

ceremony in deathOnce again, I didn’t get as much read this week as I had originally planned on. I am doing a re-read of Ceremony in Death from J.D. Robb for the character guide, which is always great, and it made me notice how much things have changed. While Ceremony is the 5th book of the series, I am also doing a “first-time read” of Seduction in Death, which is something like book 13. What is really standing out from reading them at the same time is how much Eve and Roarke’s relationship has evolved. Eve especially is much less wary and much more accepting of the realness of Roarke’s feelings, and I can image that that only continues as the books go on (and on. And on). It is so nice to have a consistently good series to look forward to, and with 30+ more books to go, I won’t run out of reading material for the foreseeable future.

into the fireFor some weird reason, I wasn’t that excited to get my hands on Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost. I was looking forward to it in a general way, but not in the whole “countdown the minutes” fangirlyness I can sometimes pull. But weirdly enough, when I got my copy in the mail, I couldn’t wait to dive in. I read almost all of it in one overnight stretch, and it turns out I really enjoyed it. Details from the previous books came back to me pretty quickly, and there was lots of Ian to keep me happy (so looking forward to him and Veritas in the Night Rebel books). I might be wrong, but did anyone else get a whole Maximus and Gretchen vibe? Not sure how I feel about that, since Gretchen annoys me a bit. She always gave me a Justine-lite feeling, which isn’t a compliment.

What did you pick up this week? Any great reads to share? What did you think of the Night Prince wrap up?

Book of the Month – Etched in Bone

Even though March continues to be a pretty epic release month, I’m sure that there aren’t many of us who are surprised that the new Others book from Anne Bishop was quite definitively chosen as the book of the month. Etched in Bone is the final book in this first arc featuring blood prophet Meg and the Lakeside Courtyard, but there are thankfully more stories set in this world to come. Some series are hard to let go of, and this would be one.

etched in boneSynopsis…

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.