Pick of the Week

You know those books that you both can’t wait to get your hands on and dread getting at the same time? Rituals from Kelley Armstrong is like that for me. I love this series – more with every book, it seems – but it also the fifth and final book. I don’t like saying goodbye to a favorite, but I also appreciate when an author knows when to wrap things up. I did get my print copy a day early, though, and it is great so far – loving where things are going.

ritualsSynopsis…

The fifth book and the exciting conclusion to bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s “impossible-to-put-down” Cainsville series, in which she mixes hard-hitting crime writing with phenomenal world-building to create a brand of fiction all her own.

Olivia Jones must make a choice. Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax.

Pick of the Week

I would love to be all bold and creative and have an unexpected pick of the week, but it just isn’t happening. Any time Ilona Andrews has a release out there just isn’t much choice. Even though I got an ARC of Wildfire, I was still on the countdown to open the ipad and see the “real” book – plus, I got my hardcover copy yesterday, too. Bonus.

wildfireSynopsis…

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Feel free to discuss in the comments section – spoilers welcome. And there is a lot to talk about. Happy reading!

New Series Alerts

Let’s be completely honest – not too many of us are thinking about much reading-related stuff other than tomorrow’s release of Wildfire from Ilona Andrews (on a side note, I got my hardcover copy this morning. Beauty). But, there is a new series starting up this week as well, and it is from author Carole Mortimer. I remember her from way, way back, but I don’t ever remember her publishing anything with a PNR bent until now. Nathaniel is the first book of the Dragon Hearts series, and it will be out on July 28th.

nathanielSynopsis…

Warriors, from the mists of time?
Dragons, of myth and legend?
Or both?

Taking a much-needed holiday in North Wales, journalist Chloe Evans discovers a castle not listed on any of the dozen or so maps she has of the area. The nearest thing she can find is the remains of a castle that used to be there but crumbled into ruin many centuries before. Her curiosity getting the better of her, Chloe decides to find out more about this imposing grey stone castle and anyone who might live there.

The locals, she discovers, call it Pendragon Castle. When Chloe asks them more probing questions some say there are half a dozen male members of the original family still in residence, and that they’re brothers. Others claim there to be more, or less, than that number. But all, without fail, describe those men as being big and muscular, more handsome than any man has a right to be, with eyes capable of mesmerizing and seducing any woman who falls under their spell. Some of those people add a knowing wink, others a warning not to venture too near the castle, and to certainly keep her distance from the men living there.

Visitors staying at the same small hotel as Chloe talk of seeing bright lights and helicopters landing on the mountain late at night, and of hearing strange noises that sound like the roars of wild animals.

There was a story here, Chloe was certain of it.

Whatever the mystery is regarding Pendragon Castle and the men who live there, Chloe decides she isn’t leaving Wales until she’s discovered exactly what’s going on.

While exploring the area around the castle, Chloe is challenged by the dark and taciturn Nathaniel. A man who fits the description of the castle’s inhabitants exactly: well over six feet tall, handsome as sin, with shoulders wide enough to fill a doorway, and eyes the colour of the clearest emerald.

The moment she gazes into those mesmerizing green eyes Chloe realises she should have run while she still could.

Book two will be called Deryk, and it will be out this September.

Did anyone else read Carole Mortimer Harlequins? It has been years, but I do remember picking up every one of hers that I could find. I would probably grab this one just for the nostalgia factor, but unfortunately I completely loathe female-reporter lead characters in a story. It might be irrational, but they drive me nuts – usually to the point where I can’t even enjoy the rest of the story. What makes you nuts in a book? Any particular character type or setting that you just can’t get past?

Pick of the Week

It seems like forever since Coreene Callahan released a Dragonfire book, but that wait ended today. Fury of Surrender is the 6th story in the series, and it is my pick of the week.

fury of surrenderSynopsis…

Dragon warrior Forge has been sentenced to death by the Dragonkind elite. Recalling the memories of his family’s murders could drive him to the edge of insanity, but it’s the only way to remove the target on his back. Fiercely determined to protect his pack and his newborn son, Forge agrees to undergo harrowing treatments to help him remember the trauma buried deep inside his heart and mind. When nothing works, a woman of unprecedented power is brought in to help.

Young, bright, and haunted by her own demons, hypnotherapist Hope Cunningham helps patients recover from their darkest memories. But each time she liberates a wayward soul, Hope’s personal pain digs deeper—until one patient ignites an unforgettable passion.

Forge’s healing journey is not without risk. Unwittingly, he has put Hope in the middle of a dangerous war, one that could shatter their eternal bond. Will the curative power of love be enough to save them?

Will you be checking this one out? It has been a while since I have gotten my hands on a good dragon shifter story, so that will be nice for a change.

Pick of the Week

Hahahaha….yeah. Like you were all on the edge of your seat just waiting to see what I would pick, right?

Anyways, I am off to grab the pick of the week, get a hotel room and a pizza, and have 24 hours of complete alone-ness with Silver Silence. I do this once a year (had to skip last year, and missed it a lot), and I can’t wait. My own version of silver silence, I guess.

Pick of the Week

It feels like the countdown to this week has been going on forever. White Hot, the second book in the Hidden Legacy series from Ilona Andrews, was a weird obsession of mine for the last couple of years. I would even go so far as to say that it was my most anticipated release since I first read Burn For Me back in 2014, and it was completely worth the wait. But to mix things up, I am going to pick the other title I was looking forward to as my pick of the week, just to mix things up, and that comes from Christine Feehan. Shadow Reaper is the second book of her newest The Shadows series, and while I might snicker and mock a bit, I still haven’t missed a book yet.

shadow-reaperSynopsis…

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood – but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own…

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her – a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She’s someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco’s embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them…

I am about half-way through this puppy, and it is decent so far. I don’t find the whole Shibari thing a huge turn on, but to each his or her own. There is a lot going on, decent action, and the heroine strays a little bit from the Feehan Female Formula, which is nice. She has blonde hair, hasn’t said “honey” once yet, and hasn’t yearned to cook anyone supper, either. Ricco hasn’t bought her any ruffled boots yet, but there is still time. Oh, he does move “like a great jungle cat”, but at this point I think if that wasn’t mentioned at least once in a book I would feel like there was something missing.

So there you have it. My heart belongs to White Hot, but I am not minding Shadow Reaper, either. I am sure most of you have tackled one or the other of these two by now, so how are you liking them?

Pick of the Week

My pic of the week was chosen for more the nostalgia factor than my excitement on getting my hands on the actual book, if that makes any sense. Cassandra Clare‘s Shadowhunters has long been one of my favorite young adult worlds, with The Infernal Devices being my all-time favorite trilogy. I am even grudgingly getting into the tv show based on The Mortal Instruments, too. I haven’t been as able to get into the most recent Dark Artifices series, but hopefully I will get back in the swing of things with this week’s Lord of Shadows.

lord-of-shadowsSynopsis…

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

These books are definite hard-cover buys just because they look so darn pretty all in a row. It is my first “real” book in a while, and I am finding it a bit of a trial getting into reading it. It feels weird holding it, awkward almost. How quickly things change. What are you most looking forward to this week?

Pick of the Week

There are actually a couple of books that I could pick for the pick of the week, but I am going to go with the safe bet and pick Cold Reign from Faith Hunter. I might be way behind on the Jane Yellowrock series, but my enjoyment of the Nell Ingram-centric Soulwood series has re-sparked my interest in getting caught up in the very near future.

cold reignSynopsis…

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Last year, getting caught up on the Dark-Hunter books was my goal (which I gave up on, but that is another story), but this year it is my plan to do the Jane Yellowrock series. And hopefully do a guide, too. Do you have any series you are trying to get caught up on?

Pick of the Week

Posts have been kind of scare for the last little while, but honestly there just hasn’t been that much to talk about. There have been a few young adult cover releases, but not enough for a full post. There hasn’t been much in the way of new release info, or any word on the countless upcoming spin-offs of soon-to-end series, either. Hopefully business will pick up soon.

Anyways, there were a couple of solid books released this week, including the final Merit-and-Ethan Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill. I figured it would be my pick of the week, but for some strange reason my interest in the newest Immortals After Dark book has grown over the last few days. I have been on a bit of a downwards slide with Kresley Cole‘s last few books, and honestly the thought of a beauty and the beast redo didn’t get me all that excited, either. But then I started to get a bit optimistic, and I found myself looking forward to Wicked Abyss. I am a couple of hours in, and so far I am enjoying it. Is my IAD rah-rah back yet? Not really. But it is a start.

wicked abyssSynopsis…

The terrifying king of hell…

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster—just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for aeons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

I would so love to go back to being IAD-obsessed rather than just mildly interested, and hopefully Wicked Abyss can help pull that off. What is the biggest-name series you have ever found yourself drifting away from, and did you ever manage to come back to your former level of enjoyment of it?

Pick of the Week

My pick for this first week in April is A Twist in Time from Julie McElwain. I was kindly sent a copy of the first book in the Kendra Donovan series, A Murder in Time, and it was one I really enjoyed. It gave me a whole Outlander-meets-In Death vibe, which is never a bad thing.

a twist in timeSynopsis…

Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.

Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life.

As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed.

The other biggie for me this week was J.R. Ward‘s The Chosen. My copy actually arrived yesterday, so got a little start on it last night. And guess what?!? I haven’t wished Layla a painful, screaming death even one time yet! That makes me very happy, since I was planning on sneering through all of her scenes and skimming them to get to the other stories. On the negative side, though – Qhuinn is being a bit of a douche. More to follow.