Release Day Review – Lady of Silver

Thanks goes once again to Doug Meeks, who sent over his release-day review for the first book of Shona Husk‘s new Blood and Silver series, Lady of Silver.

lady-of-silverWhat Doug said…

This book was a bit of a puzzle as far as reviewing it since it was dark, fast moving and a decent plot but the hero spent an inordinate amount of time being a jerk.

This is not a long book at under 200 pages it really falls into the novella category but all things considered I did enjoy it and read it in one sitting without a break.

Dale and Saba eventually made a good couple but the vast majority of the “romance” was him being a jerk and her waiting to see if he would come around or become a memory.

Bottom Line: This was a novella length story that has a good vampire murder/thriller plot, it is also the first of a series of books (books in the series is unknown at this writing) but sometimes you really want a good fast moving story that you can start and finish within a short time and this is perfect for those times, it is addicting and doesn’t spend pages on the color of grass or multiple highly descriptive page burning sex. If Dale had not been such a jerk for so much I might have given this 5 Stars. Recommended for those times you don’t feel like starting a doorstop length novel, this is a great fast story you will like in the end.

Reading Wrap Up

This is pretty much the most lame reading wrap up post in the history of blogging, since I have managed to read only half of a book this week. I am still in the process of reading the long-awaited The Fiercest Joy by Shana Abe, which is the third and final book of The Sweetest Dark trilogy. I did have to do a bit of a quick re-read of the first two books to get back up to speed, but it wasn’t a hardship. The only thing that I find wrong – and it is totally my fault – is that I remember very little from the original Drakon series that this is spun-off of, and I think it could’ve come in handy now. There are characters and situations that I sort of remember from the Drakon books, just enough to ring a bell, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. But even with my foggy memory, it so nice to get back into this world and get a proper finale.

What did you read this week? Did you discover any new authors or series, or are you playing catch-up before the monster releases of next month?

Reading Wrap Up

I am hoping to have a Weekly Wrap Up feature every Sunday, looking back at what we all read over the past week. At least, that is the plan. Maybe we can even have it as an open discussion thread for the books that were released in the past week, that sort of thing. At least, that is the goal.

eleventh grave in moonlightIt took a while, but I finally got around to Eleventh Grave in Moonlight from Darynda Jones. I find myself torn over this one, honestly, and it probably isn’t going to be the popular opinion. The first half or so didn’t really work for me. I didn’t feel the usual connection between Reyes and Charley – they came of more as adversaries than a couple, at least to me. Once they get back on the same page, I got more into the story, but it took a while.

I have found myself struggling a little bit with the Charley Davidson series the last few books, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally clicked when I was reading this one – I am not a huge fan of the God angle. I like Charley the reaper and Reyes the son of Satan, whose daughter is destined to save the world. I don’t even mind Charley with her “extra” powers. But God Charley and God Reyes and the Gods of Uzan and the bad God Eidolon and Gods in the God Glass and Reyes’ big brother the God Jehovah doesn’t quite do it for me. I find myself skimming all of those sections just to get back to the day-to-day of Charley and Reyes and the great supporting cast. Hopefully I can get more on board with it, since it doesn’t look like that storyline is going anywhere soon.

power gameNext up was Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the thirteenth GhostWalker book (and the first to be released in hardcover. The last two books were ok, but different. Like way heavy on the Alphahole and the Doormat scale of things. They didn’t feel like they belonged to the series at all, but Power Game seems to bring things back in line again. I liked this one quite a bit, and I have to say it was a relief to back to the “old style” GhostWalker books. In fact, Wyatt and Trap don’t even make an appearance, so it was like their two stories never happened.

I wasn’t completely thrilled when I knew this book was going to be a return to the swamp, but Power Game got me interested in team four again. I still miss the first teams, and I would like to see a return to some of the original girls like Cami, but I am ok with more of team four, too. All in all, I like this one. A few missteps and changes in tone gave my love of the series a few hits over the last couple of years, but things seem to be back on the right track.

betrayal-in-deathThere really isn’t much to say about Betrayal in Death from J.D. Robb. It is the twelfth book of the In Death series and I show no signs of slowing down on the series. I am still excited when it is time to pick up a new book, and I find myself compulsively devouring them.

The supporting cast is great in this one, and I so enjoy getting glimpses of Roarke’s past life. The bad guy in this one was a particular scum-bag, and his takedown made me very happy. I don’t always like Eve, honestly, and sometimes I think that Roarke gets the short end of the stick when it comes to where he falls in her life, but she is getting better at putting him first. I save these in the UK paperback version, and they look awesome on the shelf. Onto the next one!

how to tame a beast in seven daysI wasn’t too lucky with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days, though. It was my first Kerrelyn Sparks book, and since this is a new series I thought it would be a good chance to check one of the authors on my “must try” list off. Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t a big fan of the book. I won’t go into details since it was a NetGalley copy and I will be upping my full, rambling review probably next week, but it fell pretty flat for me. It wasn’t a bad story, and I liked the potential, but there wasn’t any tension, any drama, any sense of excitement. It was almost a DNF – not because I hated it, but just because I found it too easy. It is hard for me to get involved in the story when it seems like the characters themselves aren’t. I am probably going to be in the minority for this one, but I guess it just didn’t work for me. If you are looking for a light, breezy read with a decent love story, it might work out better for you.

I picked up A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings from George R.R. Martin, and I picked up e-book copies of The Sweetest Dark and The Darkest Night from Shana Abe, to go along with The Fiercest Joy. I already have them in hardcover, but I think the third book (which is supposed to be out this week) will be e-format so now they match. And I got Blade Bound, the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, as a review copy. Looks like I won’t be bored this week, either.

How about you? What did you manage to read this week? What did you think of any of the “big” releases from the last couple of weeks?

Weekly Wrap Up

booksHey everyone, how is the new year shaping up for you so far? Have you been sticking to your resolutions, or do you even bother making them? I am proud to say that I have finally – finally – started to watch Game of Thrones. So far I am very much enjoying it, but the trying to figure out who is who in the secondary characters has prompted me to order the first couple of books, too. I haven’t really read too much straight fantasy before, so that will be a good place to try something a little different.

I have to say, this was a pretty great week for reading, too. Things got to a great start with Feversong, the final book of the main Fever series from Karen Marie Moning. As I said before, though, I pulled an all-nighter (literally all night – I think I finished around 8 in the morning), and my enjoyment of it suffered a bit because at that point I just wanted to find out how it ended. I found myself skimming all of the Mac sections just to get to Christian, Dani, Ryodan, Lor and Dancer, and I was completely disinterested in the Queen and King. So while I didn’t take in the whole book, I did get completely wrapped up in the rest.

While Mac and Barrons’ story is now wrapped up, it didn’t really feel like an “end”. There are still two more books to be set in this world – Dani and Ryodan could (and must) get their own book, and ditto for Christian. We still need to know what happened to Dageus (which could be handled in a Christian book), and more about the Nine (which would work in a Ryodan-centric story). Mac has been, for me, the weakest part of the last few books, so I am very excited to see where things go from here.

I also picked up Phantom Kiss. It is the next-to-last story in Chloe Neill‘s Chicagoland Vampires series, and it was a quick little ghost-story with some lead-up to the Merit and Ethan wedding. It wasn’t bad at all, but if you skip it you aren’t missing anything pertinent, either. I do like this series, but it never did become one of my “must reads”. I am interested in seeing where the spin-off goes, though.

And I am just finishing up a re-read of the whole Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken. This has been fun, and as a bonus I can actually keep most of the characters straight now. I had completely forgotten so many of the early stories and characters it was like discovering a whole new series. This one is always good for a laugh, and makes a nice change of pace.

But the absolute highlight of my week, month, and most anticipated of the year was White Hot from Ilona Andrews. I whined, begged, and spammed until I got a review copy, and it was everything I hoped and a whole lot more. Burn For Me is one of my favorite books, and I loved this one even more. It has all of the great characters and storylines of the first book, but we dive even further into the magical side of things, the house structure – and the abilities of Nevada’s family. I can’t quite explain to you how badly I wanted to get my hands on this one – and I worried that maybe I had set my expectations too high. I am so glad to say that I hadn’t set them high enough, because this was one hell of a follow up book. There are currently only three books contracted, but I could honestly see the Hidden Legacy series going on indefinitely. I hope.

So, that long-winded post wraps up my week. How was yours? Did you have any great reads this week? What did you think of the final Fever book – and did you find yourself over Mac’s POV like I did? Where do you see it going from here?

Review and Giveaway

A couple of days ago, Monika sent over a review for a book she really enjoyed. I should’ve posted it already, but I got behind updating the 101+ Series reading list, so I do owe a big apology for not getting this up in a timely fashion. The book is Dragon King of Treoir from Dianna Love, and it is the latest installment of the Belador series.

dragon-king-of-treoirWhat Monika said…

I’ve been a fan of Dianna Love’s exciting and multi-layered UF series set in Atlanta from the start and so far I have not been disappointed. Dragon King of Treoir is the 8th installment and heralds a new direction for the series. But before we go into that I have to stress that Dragon King is not a standalone, but very much builds on all the previous books of the series and without having read them it would be difficult to understand what is happening. From the beginning the series was set up as an ensemble piece with the interlocking fates of the three main protagonists Evalle, Tzader and Quinn, the history of the Beladors and the VIPER coalition which functions as a sort of policing force keeping the various supernatural factions in check and hidden from the majority of the human population.

In the previous book, Rogue Belador (Belador #7) Tzader was finally re-united with his Belador Princess Brina. The Goddess Macha was ousted from Treoir and the Gryphons freed Daegan, the dragon king, who had been cursed by Maeve into immobility to serve as her throne. The book ended with Maeve having cunningly maneuvered the tribunal into ruling that Quinn would be compelled to hand over the body of Kizira, his lover who was also a Medb priestess reluctantly serving Maeve and who had died saving his life during the battle over Treoir.

After previous books have seen Evalle finding love with Storm and Tzader finally getting his princess this book focuses on Quinn. Racked by guilt and sorrow Quinn entombed the body of his Kizira instead of burning it and scattering the ashes. Now he hast two days before he has to deliver it to Maeve who wants it to gain information through necromancy. The body might indeed hold crucial information and Quinn does not know what to do. But Maeve is not the only one who wants the body, and while Quinn is busy acting as maistir two other factions try to get their hands on the body while there is also an increase of supernatural attacks in Atlanta that the Beladors as part of the VIPER coalition have to deal with…

I have to admit that I felt heart-broken for Quinn when Kizira sacrificed herself to save him. But with many characters coming back from certain death and re-incarnating I was holding out hope for a happy end for Kizira and Quinn, but it has become clear that it is not to be. Instead there is a new character, who, though hurt herself, manages to shake Quinn out of his sorrow by her irreverent ways.

I really like the direction that the assession of Daegan to the throne of Treoir and the introduction of new characters have given to the plot. I can’t wait to find out where the story is going to go next and whether Quinn will find love again. The end seems very promising.

This is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series. I love the Atlanta setting, the various supernatural beings with their different types of powers and magic, the combination of fantasy, action and mystery elements and that the story is following the fates of different protagonists that are all connected to each other.

And the Giveaway…

Monika also took it a step further, and offered to do her own giveaway. If you would like to win a Kindle copy of this book, just leave a comment in the comment section to enter. Again, this is for a Kindle copy, so the winner must have an account through Amazon. All entrants welcome, contest to close Wednesday at Midnight (Atlantic Time). Thanks again to Monika, and good luck to all!

White Hot Review…and Giveaway

I don’t make any secret of my love for all things Ilona Andrews, but even I was surprised by just how much Burn For Me grabbed me. Honestly, I can’t remember a first book ever getting me that excited for a new series before. Unfortunately, things came up and the second book, White Hot, had a rather major release date push-back, but a few lucky souls have gotten their hands on early ARC releases, including Larissa from Larissa’s Bookish Life. She kindly offered to share her review here on Wicked Scribes, and I am happy to say that it sounds like it doesn’t disappoint…

quotation marksI was in utter awe last year when my favorite writing duo, Ilona Andrews, released “Burn For Me”; the first novel in a brand new urban fantasy series. Their world building is always on point, and that along with fascinating characters and amazingly intriguing stories got me completely in love.
Nevada Baylor’s world is one full of magic, but magic and power is something the elite controls for the most part, so when she finds herself neck deep in politics, intrigue and all out war it takes all of her will and fledgling power to deal with the threats against her simple life.
White Hot starts two months after the events in Burn for Me. Nothing has really changed, but things go from staled to worse very fast keeping the action fast paced and this reader on the edge of her seat from beginning to end.
Mad Rogan is back and whenever him and Nevada are in the same room sparks fly so strongly that I bet it’s hard to stay in the same location with them. I absolutely loved their relationship. I loved how their obstacles are not just fabrications to help the story along, but actually make total sense in this world they live in. Even though we might think that it’s obvious they will get together, I spent the whole book doubting it in parts, because their issues are so believable.
Besides the possible romance, we also get tons of new info on Nevada’s family and heritage. We also get to find out more about Rogan’s past and understand him more. One of Andrews talent is being able to give us much history and extra info without turning into obnoxious info dump, making the reader’s eyes glaze over and feeling like maybe there is something more interesting you could be doing. No, the pace is so perfect that you can’t help but keep yourself glued to the story until the very end.
Let’s not forget the incredible cast of secondary characters that help color this fantastic world. Nevada’s family is back and more lovable then ever. We also get to meet plenty of new characters to fall in love with and I guarantee that you will.
Hidden Legacies is series the surface seems to be about magic, but is in fact about family, loyalty, love and power. Any of those can be amazing but they can also be corrupted to a point where they are not even recognizable anymore. Hidden Legacies is about all of that, both sides of these coins and how people deal with them, for better or for worse.
If you have yet to experience Burn for Me I could not recommend it more, I am absolutely sure you won’t regret it. Then, dive right into White Hot and I guarantee that you will have the ride of your life.
I cannot wait for Wildfire, the third installment in this superb trilogy and I hope that we get more stories in this world because I don’t want to say goodbye to it anytime soon.

Ditto on hoping this is way, way more than a trilogy. Don’t be surprised if I harp on this a bit, because hopefully more publicity means more books. Not that I figure I can make much difference, but at least I can give it a shot. So, in that vein, I thought I might do a giveaway of the first book, Burn For Me. I figure most have already picked it up, but just in case there are still a few who haven’t given it a shot yet, here’s your chance.

burn for meSynopsis…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

And, I will preorder a copy of White Hot for you from The Book Depository as well, but you will have to wait until the June 1st release date for that one.

white hotSynopsis…

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

So, if you would like to win a mass-market paperback copy of Burn For Me now, plus a reserved copy of White Hot to come in June, now’s your chance. Winner to be chosen at random, giveaway closing at midnight Atlantic time on December 24th. Good luck.

Reading Wrap Up

booksI am going to try and make this post a little less rambly than usual, so let’s see how that goes. Since October has streaked by, I thought it would be a good time to do another Reading Wrap Up post to see what everyone has been up to.

My battle with Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunters continues, with mixed success. I seem to be in the like one then not so much stage of things, with the last one being a solid meh. My problem with Dark Side of the Moon can be placed squarely on female lead Susan, and pretty much only her. I don’t like female reporter characters, which is weird, but that isn’t what bugged me about her. I didn’t like her over the top snark and sarcasm. I like both snark and sarcasm, but hers came off as inappropriate and mostly just rude. She did get a bit better as the story went on, but not enough to make me like her.

My other big stumbling block when I read is the pregnant-by-another-dude female, which I thought would mean I wouldn’t like Deborah Blake‘s Dangerously Charming. Turns out that in this case it didn’t bother me at all. I quite enjoyed this one, and look forward to Dangerously Divine….whose cover I found just this minute. Behold.

dangerously-divine

Aaaand, my enjoyment of J.D. Robb‘s In Death series is also still going strong. Loyalty in Death saw some great and long awaited developments for certain side characters, and paired with a good, solid story and lots of Roarke, I was a happy girl. I had weirdness with my last book order, which means I have to wait a bit for my next fix to be delivered. On to #10…and only like 35 more to go. Yeah.

Oh, and I broke down and finally tried A Promise of Fire from Amanda Bouchet. I was still on my no-new-series ban, but I caved and ordered this one for my ipad, and I was glad I did. It was a very nice break from my usual, and it has been a long while since I picked up one that had a historical feel. I will be definitely keeping up with this series, and I do so hope for stories for Carver, Flynn and Kato after the original trilogy wraps up.

Finally, there were a few re-reads, too. I tore through Ilona Andrews‘ latest Kate Daniels, Magic Binds, when it was first released, and I was shocked by how little I retained. Seriously, I might’ve remembered maybe 10% of the storyline, so the re-read felt almost like a first time, and it was great. The only downside is that you can feel the build-up to the end, which is not something I want to contemplate. Ever. And I also re-read What a Dragon Should Know from G.A. Aiken, and it was a blast. You can’t miss with one of these books if you are looking for crazy antics and humor, and going back to it was a treat. Now if I could just find out when the next new book is coming out, I would be happy.

So, I aimed for less long-winded, and missed by a mile. But what have you been reading lately? Have you kept up on the very recently finished serialized One Fell Sweep? Were you happy how it wrapped up? Do you also pick up the print or e-format versions when they are released, or do you stick to reading them on the Ilona Andrews’ Blog?

Archangel’s Heart Review

Any time Nalini Singh has a new book in sight I am happy, and Archangel’s Heart is no exception. This is the 9th book of the Guild Hunter series, and it is still going strong. Doug Meeks sent over his early review for this one, which is due out on November 1st.

archangel's heartWhat Doug said…

I read a lot of fantasy/paranormal romance, much of what is classified as urban fantasy really is romance in many cases but I can count on my fingers(with a couple left over) the number of writers that can really pull off a true emotional, gut-felt and truly believable “I can’t live without you” romance. Nalini Singh is one of those very few and this book pulls you right into that “love to last the ages” feeling while trying to figure out a sinister plot that has you guessing a good bit.

We start with a summons to a meeting by a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata who call the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of Lijuan’s territory since it appears she is no longer in charge of her lands (her actual status is saved until the last page).

It soon becomes apparent that this is a dual plot since the above plot gets shunted aside until later in the book because of some very sinister things going on at the fortress of the Luminata.

This is a great set of plots and the romance is worked into the story beautifully as well as finally some answers to a few questions that have been hanging around this series for a long time plus it looks like we may add a few secondary characters to the series.

This book does reveal something that has not been shown a lot in this series, which is that none of the Cadre are really 1 dimensional characters, we get a bit of time with all of them in this book.

Bottom Line: 5 Stars, maybe I am just addicted to the writing of Nalini Singh because there is really nothing to even mention that was negative, The story was riveting, the emotion was heartfelt, the only thing I can ever complain about is this book could have been 200 pages longer and I still would have wanted more, there is so much fertile ground for future stories. 5 Stars for one of the paranormal genre’s premier writers once again giving us an exceptional story that you will remember long after the last page.

I was very lucky, I must admit. Not only was I sent an ARC for this one a while back, I was also sent an early copy of the actual paperback release, too. It was a great surprise, and I will be diving back in again for my re-read pretty soon.

My DNF Weekend

yes-noUsually, I don’t DNF anything. I will chug along, no matter what, even if I have to take way longer to get through something than I would like. But this weekend, I had not one but two things I tanked on.

First off, I just couldn’t get into Midnight Crossroad from Charlaine Harris. At all. I figured I would give it a shot since I found out there was going to be a tv show based off of it, but it just didn’t work out for me. I can’t say it was bad, strangely enough, but it was just…nothing. I made the half-way mark, and absolutely nothing had happened. It was page after page of the details of everyone’s life – what they were wearing, where they were going, what they were eating and who they were talking to – but nothing happened. No plot, no action, no character development, no intrigue, no romantic development – just…nothing. It was like reading 100 pages of someone’s grocery list. But, there is still a plus side – I was anxious to try this one, so I ended up buying the Kindle version. Yes, I still wasted the money, but I don’t have the print-book urge to make myself keep reading because I have the book in my hand. It was just a matter of hitting delete and done. It is my plan to try all new series in ebook now before I commit to picking up the print copy. Less disappointment that way.

And strangely enough, I also DNF’d a tv show. I have heard so, so many people rave about Mr. Robot that I thought I would give it a try. It is offered through Shomi, a Canadian streaming service, and since Shomi is shutting down next month I figured this was the best time to dive in. But once again, it was a bit of a dud for me. I tried the first half of season 1, and again it just didn’t grab me. Not horrible, just not enough to keep my attention. Maybe it gets better as it goes on, or maybe things get more exciting, but it looks like I will be skipping this one.

What have you DNF’s recently, either on page or screen? Anything that everyone else seems to love that just doesn’t work for you?

Dangerously Charming Review

One of the more anticipated books for this coming month is Dangerously Charming from Deborah Blake, the first book of the Baba Yaga spin-off series. Thanks goes again to Doug Meeks for sending over his early review for this one, which has a release date of October 4th.

dangerously charmingWhat Doug said…

I have enjoyed all the Baba Yaga books and this new spinoff series was something I had been looking forward to with a lot of anticipation and hope that it could be as good as I hoped it would be.

Part of a possible problem with this book is that I am unable to discern how much a new reader would enjoy it as those of us who have read the other books and know the history that resulted in the present day situations the Riders find themselves in since it seemed that a lot of history was provided to keep any novices from being totally lost but without that detailed history from the Baba Yaga books I cannot say with any certainty that it is enough.

This story starts with action soon after the first pages and the pace seems to pick up slowly all through the book which made it a great reading experience.

Mikhail made for a terrible hero and love interest for much of the book due to his overwhelming soul crushing guilt from the events of the last Baba Yaga book, to be honest his constant angst was really getting on my nerves before it finally lightened up a bit.

Jenna is a great heroine being just tough enough and just tender enough for her part of this story, her overwhelming desire to get rid of her family curse is what keeps this story moving along in most instances.

As a couple Mikhail and Jenna are not an easy match and his guilt makes him tend to shove anyone away so this is going to be a hard romance which is just one of several subplots in this novel.

Bottom Line:  This was an exceptional novel, the story was good, the characters were engaging, the reappearance of several of the characters from previous books was wonderful and I enjoyed the book almost 100% but since I did get tired of the angst and Mikhail’s constant self-flagellation I am giving it 4 Stars for the book even though I think the story itself was closer to 5.  Highly recommended and I have to say that I would also highly recommend reading the 3 Baba Yaga  novels and the novella that ties up a couple of loose ends Wickedly Ever After before this new series to get the maximum enjoyment from this series and these characters.

The 3 novels that are highly recommended to be read before this series can be found at this link:

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0141KA9AK

Who else will be picking this one up? If you read the Baba Yaga books, which one of the Riders was your favorite?