Pick of the Week…

Once in a while, there is an epic week for new releases, one where there are just too many great books to chose from. And this is one of those weeks. With all of the great books hitting the shelves today, I had to debate which book to chose as my pick of the week. Since Vision in Silver is the book of the month, and Doug already did a review of Dead Heat and that had its own post, I figured I would pick the other biggie this week, Dark Debt by Chloe Neill.

dark debtSynopsis…

Between standing Sentinel of Cadogan house and making society appearances with House Master Ethan Sullivan, a new member of the American Association of Vampires, Merit has her hands full. The last thing she needs is trouble, especially of the deadly kind.

But when an old friend shows up in need, Merit can’t refuse. Morgan Greer, Master of House Navarre, has gotten himself into serious debt with a dangerous Chicago crime syndicate known as the Triad. And they’re willing to exact more than a pound of flesh for payback—unless Merit can find a way to stop them.

Only the Triad’s connections go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Ok, your turn. I actually picked my third most anticipated book as the pick of the week so I wouldn’t repeat posts already done, but it is still up there. And I think we have all already said what we were looking forward to most, so instead, I will ask how your reading week is shaping up? I already finished Vision in Silver, which was great, and I am just starting Dead Heat (and can’t wait), so mine is so far, so good.

Pick of the Week…

I think this is the first time I have actually chosen an e-format novella as my pick of the week, so maybe I am becoming less of a print book snob. Anyways, the Chloe Neill Chicagoland Vampires short story Lucky Break is released today, and who can’t use another Merit and Ethan story?

lucky breakSynopsis…

In this thrilling new novella from the New York Times bestselling author of Blood Games, vampire Merit bites off more than she bargained for when a romantic trip to a secluded Colorado town turns deadly.

Merit and Ethan are in desperate need of some alone time, far from the worries of Cadogan House, but trouble tends to follow wherever they go. Their attempt at a romantic getaway is quickly interrupted when one of Ethan’s vampire friends shows up at their door–covered in blood and accused of killing her shifter husband.

Merit and her Master soon discover their vacation spot is far less idyllic than it appears. A centuries old quarrel between local vampires and shifters has made the town a perpetual supernatural battle zone, and this fresh blood has stirred the already volatile pot. Now, Merit and Ethan must put their passion on pause to figure out who’s really responsible for the murder before all hell breaks loose…

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your choice for pick of the week? There isn’t a ton of new stuff coming out, so it looks like a good chance to hit the TBR pile again.

Pick of the Week…and a Mini Review

I have whined quite a bit about the long, long wait for a new Ghostwalkers book by Christine Feehan, but that wait is over since today is the release day for Viper Game.

viper gameSynopsis…

GhostWalker Wyatt Fontenot knows the price he paid for the secret military experiments that gave him his special catlike abilities. After all, he left his bayou home a healer and came back a killer. While Wyatt and his GhostWalker brother Gator may have known exactly the sort of game they were getting into, Wyatt never anticipated where it would lead—or to whom.

The swamps hold many mysteries, but few are as sinuously seductive as Le Poivre de Cayenne. The woman the locals call Pepper is every bit as enigmatic as the three little girls she’s desperately trying to protect. From what, Wyatt is soon to discover. Right now Pepper needs a man like Wyatt. Passionately. But her secrets are about to take them both deeper into the bayou than either imagined—where desire is the deadliest poison of all.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS!  POTENTIAL SPOILERS!  POTENTIAL SPOILERS!

I got my copy yesterday, and finished it last night. It was fun to get back into the Ghostwalker world, but it had a different feel for a couple of different reasons. Most obviously, it was our first real introduction to the mysterious team four, the Pararescue Jumpers. Even though we have briefly seen a couple of members like Joe and Mordecai, it was Wyatt who was the big mystery. Not only what he was, but how and when he became a Ghostwalker. The timeline gets dealt with, but how he actually ended up a Ghostwalker remains a little vague, honestly. It wasn’t a big deal, but hopefully we will get more details on the team origins in later books.

We do have to pretty much forget what little we knew about Wyatt going into this one. When we first met Wyatt back in Night Game, he was the charming, hard-partying little brother who had a secret crush on sweet, innocent Joy. In Viper Game, he has somehow become not only a Doctor, but a surgeon. Yep, in the storyline time between the two books, which reads like maybe a year or two at most, Wyatt spent a whole lot of time in school. That made me snicker a bit, but it wasn’t that big of a deal in the scheme of things. The Joy thing is addressed, too, and changes a bit from the first book. It isn’t a huge part of this story, but there is some creative license taken. Wyatt has also become surprisingly Alpha. As in, the most alpha of all of the Ghostwalkers to date. Seriously, didn’t see that coming.

I like the return to the Bayou, and fans of Nonny will be happy to know that she plays a major role. Other than her, though, it is an all-new cast of characters. I really like the new team, like the dynamic and the interaction between them. I even quite liked Pepper as a character, which is a bonus for me. Usually storylines with children aren’t favorites of mine, but the kids don’t overwhelm things so I didn’t mind. Again, though, you have to suspend your disbelief with the kids.

 As I have said a few times, though, you have to sort of just…go with it. It seems every new book has the enhancements getting more and more extreme and, dare I say it, unbelievable. As we get further into the series the characters are changing more and more from enhanced humans to superhumans. The machinations to put the two main characters together are also getting more involved and outlandish, but such is the nature of the series.

I always, always laugh out loud when a new team member is introduced. There is a totally random and absurd info-dump that never fails to crack me up, even though that is not the intention, I am sure. Remember when Jonas Harper was introduced back in Shadow Game? He was the master of disguise/knife thrower/hire wire specialist who grew up in the circus. We have two such introductions in Viper Game. There is Draden, the male model with a masters degree/insomniac, and Trap, the boy-billionaire/inventor/scientist/with a possible personality disorder. They end up being great characters, especially Trap, but their introductions are a hoot.

So, not sure I got my point across, but I was really glad to get back into the Ghostwalker world. I liked the new team, I liked the direction they are going, and I really look forward to Spider Game, which will probably be Trap’s story. He was a total scene stealer, by the way. There were issues that niggled, like the changes in Wyatt’s character’s backstory, but they were not a huge deal. There were a few consistency errors in the book, as well. Wyatt starts off saying he knows himself and how jealous he is, then later says he has never been jealous before. Then he warns Pepper that he has always had a jealous streak, but later reminds his team-mates that he has never been affected by jealousy before. Also, just a warning, this one is a five on the alpha/controlling scale. Heat factor is really, really high, more so than any other Ghostwalker book to this point. Wyatt is a total dominant, and he can sometimes skim the border of being too controlling. At least for me. Let me know what you think of Viper Game. Worth the wait, or too different for you?

Pick of the Week…

Today is the day that Burned by Karen Marie Moning officially hits the shelves, and it was a big one. It was a one-sit read for me, and I am looking forward to the re-read. Basically, I can say it started my 2015 reading year off right.

burnedSynopsis…

It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed.

Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

When word originally came down that Burned was changing from being the second Dani O’Malley book to a multiple POV story heavily focused on MacKayla Lane, I was less than thrilled. I liked Dani, liked her take on things, and most of the time I forgot she was supposed to be only 14. I know some people had issues with her as the protagonist – the fecks and dudes, the age factor, for example – and those were addressed, and addressed well. I will start up a discussion thread later, if there is any interest, or you can drop a comment about it here after you finish. Happy reading!

Pick of the Week…

I am actually at a bit of a loss for a pick of the week this week. There was a time when a Kresley Cole book was an automatic PoTW, but I am actually choosing Dead of Winter because there really isn’t much else that appeals. Not quite a glowing recommendation, but there you have it.

dead of winterSynopsis…

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions

Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory

Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned

There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, what is your pick for this week? Anything you have been looking forward to?

Pick of the Week…

Even though I couldn’t wait for my copy of Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews‘ new release, Night Shift, so I actually decided to order a copy through Kindle (and waited up until 4:00 am so I could read it), I am going with something different for my pick of the week. Getting Jim and Dali and Bastien stories in the same anthology is a real treat, but I think getting Torin’s Lords of the Underworld series is going to just edge it out for this post. Strangely enough, Gena Showalter hasn’t upped any info about upcoming Lords stories, which makes me wonder if she is going to concentrate on her two new series she is starting up rather than finish up what she already has going. Anyways, my pick is going to be The Darkest Touch

the darkest touchSynopsis…

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

So, there it is. What did you think of the great books that came out this week? I loved Night Shift, and both Nalini and Ilona delivered. Next up for me is The Darkest Touch…has anyone else given it a shot yet? What did you think of the long-awaited story of Torin?

Pick of the Week…

My pick of the week is Sarah Rees Brennan‘s Unmade, which is the third and final book in her Lynburn Legacy trilogy. Actually, I got the first book of the series way back when on a whim, thinking that it was a historical young adult series, but in reality it was modern-day story with a Gothic feel. So far, the series has been one of the more pleasant surprises I have come across, and here’s hoping the third book doesn’t change that.

unmadeSynopsis…

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Any other fans of this one? What are you most looking forward to reading this week, new release or just new-to-you?

New Series Alerts…and Pick of the Week

Because I am a total dufus who can’t remember what day of the week it is, I forgot to do the New Series Alerts post yesterday. So, I figured I would just combine it with today’s pick of the week post and call it done. There are actually four new series to look at, starting with Deborah Blake‘s Baba Yaga. The first book is called Wickedly Dangerous, but there was a recently released prequel novella called Wickedly Magical, too, if you want to check that out first.

wickedly magicalSynopsis…

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them….

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned by a woman desperate to find her missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Up next is Birthright, a prequel novella from Jean Johnson‘s new Flame Seas series. My history with Jean Johnson is spotty, but it does sound interesting.

birthrightSynopsis…

Who is entitled to the Flame Sea throne? For twin beauties Arasa and Kalasa, the question of their royal birthright has driven them both to find the answer by any means necessary. But to determine the rightful heir means that they must discover who was born first. So begins a legendary pilgrimage for the twins, each accompanied by a man of their most sensual dreams. For Kalasa it’s her devoted fiancé; for Arasa, it’s the handsome sorcerer Elrik.

But the legendary odyssey is not without its dangers—for one of them is not at all whom they appear to be, and their true motives are in question. Now, as treachery and desire become one, the truth of the birthright could be as perilous as the very future of the Flame Sea itself.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Also new this week is Devon Monk‘s House Immortal, which is from the series of the same name.

House Immortal.inddSynopsis…

One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized….

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

Purchase at Amazon.com

And for something a little different, Cherie Priest‘s The Borden Dispatches starts this week with the release of Maplecroft.

maplecroftSynopsis…

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Purchase at Amazon.com

This week’s only young adult newbie comes from Josephine Angelini. Trial by Fire is the first book of the Worldwalker Duology.

trial by fireSynopsis…

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Purchase at Amazon.com

And since I am at it, I thought I would add my pick of the week. The choice this week is particularly hard, since there were tons of great books coming our way. In the end, I kept coming back to Thea Harrison‘s Night’s Honor, so I am going with that.

night's honorSynopsis…

In USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison’s latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, that is how things are shaping up. What was your pick of the week? there are so many great ones I am hoping that they don’t all get delivered at once because I just won’t know where to start. Since I have zero self control, I usually end up reading a few pages of one, then another one, then off to a third. Makes me nuts, but I want to do everything at once.

Pick of the Week…

I have been really looking forward to my pick of the week for a while now, even though it isn’t quite my usual fare. Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series is more of a mystery with paranormal elements rather than a full-on PNR like I usually read. This week the second book, Visions, comes out.

visionsSynopsis…

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your pick of the week? Did you like the first book of the Cainsville series, Omens? My only complaint is that the Canadian covers aren’t the same as the American ones, which I thought were great.

Pick of the Week…

It is always hard to say goodbye to a series from a favorite author, but on the other hand it does free them up to start something new. Such is the case with Jennifer L. Armentrout, who wraps up her Lux series this week with the release of the fifth book, Opposition. There were a lot of great books coming out this week, but my sentimental vote is going to this one.

oppositionSynopsis…

In the stunning climax to the bestselling Lux series, Daemon and Katy join forces with an unlikely enemy to ensure the survival of not only their love for each other, but the future of all mankind. Opposition will bring forth a new dawn to the Lux universe, where man must stand with alien to survive, and the future, no matter the outcome, will never be the same.

Purchase at Amazon.com

I still have to read the last book of her Covenant series, too, so it looks like I will be doing a goodbye marathon soon. Ugh.