Reading Wrap Up

Sorry for the hit-and-run posting lately, but I am in the middle of a monster stretch of long, long work days. But, since it has been almost three weeks since my last reading wrap up post, I thought we could take a look at what we all have been indulging in lately.

big jackHonestly, there just hasn’t been time to read much at all. I did devour Big Jack from J.D. Robb, which is a novella from the In Death series. It was a fun read, and it really made me toy with the idea of picking up the Nora Roberts story that it is connected to. I did jump right into the next full book, Divided in Death, but this is the first one of the series that just hasn’t grabbed me that much. I’m not saying it is bad or anything, but I did put it down over a week ago and haven’t had any burning drive to pick it up again. Bur really, I’m not complaining. At this many stories in, it was more than time.

fury of surrenderOther than that, I am about half-way through Fury of Surrender by Coreene Callahan. I am only getting a few minutes here and there to read, so I am having a hard time getting into the flow of things. And once again, my selective amnesia seems to have kicked in and I don’t remember some details from the previous books. Like there is this dude, Nian, who is now part of the Nightfuries, and I have absolutely no recollection of him. None. It’s weird and a little frustrating, and happening more and more when series have long gaps between books. I am so going to have to start doing refresher reads.

That wraps me up, sadly. What have you been reading recently? Anything exciting?

Spellbinder Review

For some reason, I had completely forgotten that Thea Harrison‘s latest Moonshadow book was out soon. Granted, I am working so much that I literally don’t remember what day of the week it is, but still. Anyways, Larissa was kind enough to send over her review of Spellbinder, which is due out…yep, tomorrow.

spellbinderWhat Larissa said…

I love Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series, but the last couple of books weren’t as great. So when I heard she would starting a spin-off series across the pond I was apprehensive but intrigued…

Moonshadow caught  me by surprise and I loved it. I am happy to say that Spellbinder is also quite fantastic!

I loved that Thea used the villain from Moonshadow as the hero and showed us that things weren’t quite as obvious as they appeared.

Morgan is such a perfect anti-hero, I really don’t want to spoil anything but be prepared for his awesomeness 🙂

Sid is one my favorite PNR heroines ever! She goes through so many horrific things and is still able to be such an amazingly strong character… Smart, resourceful, sweet, strong and so many more… I adored her and Morgan together!

All in all this Elder Races spin-off is just getting better and better and I for one cannot wait for Lionheart!

How are you liking the idea of the spin-off books? I think it was a great idea to branch out, especially just after going self-pubbed, but I would like to go back to the original Elder Races gang, too. Maybe run them as two parallel series, alternating releases, rather than focusing on just one or the other? There are more than enough stories to keep both Elder Races and Moonshadow going for quite some time.

Wildfire Review

I am very grateful to Larissa, a fellow Hidden Legacy fan, who sent over her review for the upcoming third book, Wildfire. Not to panic, because there are officially “only” three books announced so far, but Ilona Andrews has said that the series will continue in one form or another. Trust me, when you get to the end of Wildfire, you will still be wanting more. Anyways, mark your calendars, since Wildfire will be released on July 25th.

wildfireWhat Larissa said…

Have you ever read a book or a series that made you feel like you could just read stories in that world, with those characters, forever?

That’s how the incredible writing duo that goes by Ilona Andrews, made me feel. The pages were running out and I felt my heart breaking, hoping for just one more so that I would not have to say goodbye to these people. However, that inevitable end arrived and I am having difficulty expressing what it meant to me to be part of that world, even if it was for just a few hours.

I was about to start “Wildfire” when I decided to refresh my memory regarding the events of “Burn for me” and “White Hot”. I just wanted to take a pick at the last chapters of both books when an overwhelming feeling came over me and I had to re-read them. Which was an absolute joy, even though I am not really a fan of re-reads and only a few special series have been worthy of it for me.

When I finally got to “Wildfire”, I told myself I was ready for whatever Ilona would through at me, but was I wrong. If “White Hot” felt like a roller coaster, “Wildfire” is like getting sucked into a tornado, being out of control and loving every single minute of it.

Andrews writes both families and children so well, that you feel like these people are real and you want them to part of your life. Nevada and Connor are marvelous protagonists, but I feel Ilona really shines in writing  the people around them. Those relationships are what help define the main characters without just telling us who they are supposed to be.

A lot happens is “Wildfire” and I really don’t want to ruin this extraordinary experience with spoilers. I will just say that if you enjoyed “Burn for me” and “White Hot”, you will absolutely love this new installment in the Hidden Legacies series. There is romance, non-stop action, twists and turns, laugh out loud moments, family conflict and so much more.

If you enjoy Urban fantasy with incredible world building and amazing characters, you have to check out this series! I just hope we see more books in it, because I already miss this world with a passion!

Let me just put it out there that I loved all three of the books. I haven’t had a series grab me right from the start like this one did since…ever. It shot to the very, very top of my favorites right from the first book. Like top three, right up there with Kate Daniels and the Psy Changelings. Now the stalking begins as I hunt for info on what is to come.

Reading Wrap Up

envyIt has been a while since one of these posts, and I have a few decent books to talk about. I am up to the third book in J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, Envy. I find myself liking these books more as I go on, and I am trying my best to avoid spoilers even though I have heard things here or there. I wasn’t really planning on liking Envy for some reason, but I found this one hard to put down. Let me say straight off the bat that Davina is one creepy but oddly entertaining piece of work, and if the rumors I hear are true about her making an appearance in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, things will be getting interesting.

Oh, I also did re-re (meh, probably re again) reads of both White Hot and Wildfire from Ilona Andrews. Honestly, I think they get better the more you read them. I can’t say much I haven’t already gushed about before, but there is a reason that they were both the books of their respective months by such a huge margin.

imitation in deathNo matter how many In Death books from J.D. Robb I read, I don’t get bored. Those suckers are like crack – you can’t put them down. Even though I am nearing 20 books in, I am still excited to get back into the world, see what the characters are up to, and just get involved in the mystery. This go round I tackled Imitation in Death, number 17, which not only had a good solid storyline, but lots of development for some of the secondary characters. I do try and pace myself, but it is sometimes hard to not just pull a monster marathon and blow through a bunch of them. I like having them to look forward to.

the red lilyAnd I ended up liking the “blind buy” purchase I made last week, which was The Black Lily from Juliette Cross. In fact, once I finished that one, I dove straight into the second book, . I have been hit or miss with fairytale retellings, but so far so good. The first one is loosely based on Cinderella, and the second one on Little Red Riding Hood. It does make me wonder what’s next, though. Maybe Sleeping Beauty (or Rapunzel) based on Mina, or maybe Beauty and the Beast for Riker? Who knows, but I will be keeping an eye out for it.

That wraps things up for me. How about you? What have you been reading lately? Any big hits or misses? Any books from favorite series you have treated yourself to?

Reading Wrap Up

silver-silenceSooo, I am back from my little book-based vacation, where I devoured Silver Silence in, well, complete silence. All by myself, no noise, no tv, just peace and quiet and a great book. It was heaven. I loved Silver Silence, but I expected nothing less from a Nalini Singh book. The bears were a great addition to the world, and I hope we get back to them soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Pavel and Arwen novella in our future, either. Maybe Bo up next? That would be great, since it has been a while since a human was in the mix.

I also pulled a re-read of White Hot – and loved it just as much this time around. That is one hell of a world Ilona Andrews has created, and it has honestly jumped to the top of my favorites list…I might go so far as to say it could be my absolute favorite, beating out even the Psy/Changelings and Kate Daniels. Bold statement, but it just might be true.

the-darkest-promiseOh, then there is The Darkest Promise from Gena Showalter. I managed to get a solid start on that one, too, but…eh. The humor is falling flat, I don’t have much interest in the characters or the world, and the romance just isn’t doing it for me. I am skimming over pages, which is bad when you are only a third of the way in, and I find myself a bit bored and feeling like I have read it all before. Honestly, it might just be that I read and re-read two great books just before it, but at this point I keep thinking that either the series should change direction or just wrap it up. Maybe focus on the angels, or William and the four horsemen, or move on. I am going to put it down for a while and hopefully I can get more involved after a break. Or I will just skim the sucker and get it over with. We’ll see.

If you feel like spoiler talk on any of this week’s books, let it fly in the comments section. How did you like the new Trinity storyline for the Psy/Changelings? Am I just being bitchy about the LotU or do you feel it is in a bit of a decline, too? What have you felt the need to re-read lately?

Reading Wrap Up

After a particularly brutish work weekend, I am for once sort of out of words. In person, I have been pretty much reduced to blink once for yes and twice for no, so I am not going to dawdle on the reading wrap up, either. Maybe.

craveI did tackle the second book in J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, Crave. And like the first one, I find it quite decent. A solid, middle-of-the-road book for me. Nothing I didn’t like, but honestly nothing that made me rabid to start the next one, either. Interesting premise, decent characters, and no guarantee that the good guys will always win is in its favor, but it doesn’t have that something-something to suck me in. I plan on keeping on with the series for sure, but it might take a while before I get it finished.

And then there was Shadow Reaper. It was vintage shadow-reaperChristine Feehan, and she seems pretty much back on track after the issues of a couple of years ago. Love it or hate it, she has a style that either works for you or doesn’t, and this one is no exception. I find myself quite liking this newest series, but the only thing that pulled my enjoyment down was the Shibari side story. Honestly, I am not that exciting, but even I found that part dull. I mean, how much do I really need to know about rope? So, I skimmed those parts to get back into the story, and that worked for me. Decent, non Feehan Female Formula lead (Blonde! Never cooked! Don’t think she said honey even once!) was a really nice change, too.

portrait in deathI also pulled a re-read of Moonshadow by Thea Harrison, which I mentioned a bit in a post below, so not going to go on about it. I think the highlight of this bunch, though is my continued trek through the In Death series from J.D. Robb. I finished up Portrait in Death (Roarke backstory. Niiiiice), and am almost through Imitation in Death. Still loving them, and I show no signs of getting tired of them at all. Honestly, I get excited when it is time for the next one (I space them out a bit), and I already have the next one ready.

Your turn. What have you been loving the last couple of weeks? Did you find anything to fill the days between last month’s White Hot from Ilona Andrews and this weeks’ Silver Silence from Nalini Singh?

Silver Silence Review

As we all start the countdown to the release of Nalini Singh‘s Silver Silence next week, early reviews have started coming in…and they are good. Really good. Doug Meeks was kind enough to share his thoughts on this one, and it makes me even more excited to get my hands on it.

silver-silenceWhat Doug said…

This book was around 500 pages …….. not enough pages! There are few books that can even hold my attention without scanning for 500 pages and this one did that and could have gone on for another 500 pages.

Silver and Valentin are the couple in this new excursion that is part of the new “Trinity” story arc. We get to see a few people we already knew like the most powerful man in the series Kaleb Krychek which we could not leave behind, since he just adds to any scene.

The story revolves around the persistence of Valentin (an alpha bear changeling) and the semi-Silenced Silver (hence the title), there is the usual life threatening plot that goes with almost all of the books in this series and the drama and several subplots just make for an intoxicating mix of drama, romance and family values (these families value “disposing” of anyone who threatens the family). Since the book starts out with an assassination attempt (this is in the synopsis so not a spoiler) the “families” involved have simple solutions if they can find the culprit.

The book has several scenes that are just hilarious and an equal number that are just as warm.

The book starts out at full speed after about 2 pages and seldom lets up so hang on because it is going to be a bumpy ride for about 500 pages and you will still want more when it is done.

Bottom line: Great story, exceptional romance, amazing plot and subplots, humor, engaging and memorable characters. So what more could you want? 5 Stars and still thinking about it 2 days later.

I will be doing my yearly run-away-from-home for this one. Even though I have it preordered for my ipad, I will be driving a couple of hours to the nearest big town (and sadly the nearest town with a bookstore. Go figure) and picking up the hardcover, too. I go all by myself, take myself out to supper, then get a hotel room and spend one glorious night reading. Alone. By myself. In peace and quiet. Serenity now.

White Hot Spoiler Talk

spoiler-alert

Alrighty, people. Have at it. Time to discuss Ilona Andrews‘ latest, White Hot, which had been probably my most anticipated book for the last couple of years. For me, it lived up to the hype and then some, but let’s see what you all thought. Let the spoilers fly…

Just a quick note for those who are interested. There has been a hardcover option for both White Hot and the upcoming Wildfire, and at first it was believed to be a hardcover library binding. Nope. It is just a regular hardcover, so I immediately pounced on it like a great jungle cat (just finished a Feehan book, and I always wanted to try and work that expression into a regular conversation). And it looks so pretty next to my Kate Daniels books. I was going to include a picture, but that might’ve come off as a bit weird even for me.

Reading Wrap Up

I have already bored everyone a couple of weeks back with my sudden love for e-books. I think I went bipolar or something, because something made me flip the switch from snobby contempt to raging love affair in the matter of a day. Well, the love is still going strong, and I am having a blast. I either packed up or un-hauled all of my mass market and trade paperback books, which emptied out three full six-shelf bookcases (I did keep pretty much all of my hardcovers and UK paperbacks, though). I did manage to spend a few hundred dollars over the last couple of weeks re-buying the must-haves, but it was worth it to free up the space. And as a sign of my special nerdness, I even edited some of the books when there were different versions of the covers I liked better. Yep, nerd.

And as bonus, I have exactly one physical TBR book. ONE. That has always been the goal, but it never seemed possible. Now it is a matter of “what do I feel like reading? One Click. Mine”. It is so freeing to not have Mount TBR mocking me from across the room anymore. I went all digital on music a while back, and I have been playing around with switching my blu-rays, too, but that one is hard. I still like “the collection”. At least for now.

blood kissedEh, back on topic. I did manage to get four books read recently. Well, three and a DNF, but whatever. I ended up “One Clicking” (totally a thing) Keri Arthur‘s Blood Kissed, which was the first book in her new Lizzie Grace series. I hadn’t planned on starting a new series, but my freedom as mentioned above went to my head. It was my first book by this author, and I enjoyed it. And strangely, I haven’t ever read a book set in Australia, either, which was a treat. It was a fast read, quite interesting, and I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here. There wasn’t much on the romance side of things, but the set up is done and things should get going in the next book. I might have to check out a few more series now, too.

covetI also dove into one that had long been on the former Mount TBR. I have faithfully followed J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger books for years, but I never made the jump to the Fallen Angels until now. I didn’t have much in the way of good or bad expectations for Covet, but it ended up being a decent read. I have to admit that I was looking for more Brother sightings, but a quick little run-in with an unnamed Phury was a treat. I liked the characters, it was an interesting premise, and it was nice to have a Ward book that wasn’t so over-the-top brand-name dropping and slangy, but still with some humor and snark. I wouldn’t pull an epic marathon and read them all in a row, but spaced out it could be a good thing. Oh, and Devina needs to die. Now-ish.

purity in deathAaand my J.D. Robb trek continues, this time with Purity in Death (#15). I can’t say much I haven’t said before, still loving them, still look forward to each new story, still haven’t even gotten slightly bored, either. Great characters, great premise, great promise for more to come. The supporting cast just keeps getting better, and while there are still times I would like to slap Eve around, it is part of the enjoyment. And Roarke may be one of my dream guys. It is a series I still pick up in physical copy, and the UK paperbacks look so pretty it should be a crime. Love.

talisman chroniclesHonestly, I can’t quite be sure what made me “One Click” the Young Adult (which I don’t read anymore) The Talisman Chronicles by T.M. Franklin (whom I have never heard of until now), but I did. It was a collection of six previously-released short stories about six kids who must fight the forces of darkness, but I only made it through the first story. It wasn’t bad, but it did make me remember why I had given up on YA. I could’ve kept reading, it would’ve been fine, but I didn’t care if I did or not so I figured it was time to hit the old delete button. If it doesn’t grab me, I figure why waste the time?

So, your turn. Come across anything exciting lately? How goes your TBR battles?

White Hot Review

As the countdown to the White Hot continues, I figured I should probably post my own review of it since that is part of the deal in getting ARCs. As always, I have to say that Ilona Andrews is a favorite author of mine, and Hidden Legacy managed to jump to the very top of my favorite series list with only one book, which has never happened before. Sometimes, something just seems like it was written just for you,  and for me this series is it.

white-hotMy review of White Hot…

I haven’t written many reviews, but I am quickly learning that while it is difficult to write a fair review of a book you didn’t like, it can be just as hard to write one for a book you loved. Here is my hopefully coherent review of the latest and greatest from Ilona Andrews, White Hot, which will be released on May 30th.

It has been a couple of months since the events of Burn For Me, and Nevada has been getting back to her normal life, staying under the radar and out of the cut-throat world of the Primes. But when she is hired to find those behind several cold-blooded murders, she is once again put squarely in the path of one Mad Rogan. He has his own personal reasons to be on the case, and when Nevada and Rogan team up chaos – and bloodshed – is sure to follow.

Nevada has been coming into her own in regards to her powers, but when she uses her abilities for all the right reasons, it brings her to the attention of all the wrong people. Her old life as she knew it is changing whether she likes it or not, and she is being forced to make decisions that impact not only her, but her family as well. It turns out that Nevada isn’t the only Baylor with unique powers, and what is coming threatens them all.

There are long-awaited developments in Rogan and Nevada’s personal relationship, as well. They have a great dynamic, and while it might not always be the smoothest sailing between these two strong-willed people, it does pay off in the end. They are both incredibly powerful in their own right, and will be nearly unstoppable together.

Everything just works. The world Ilona Andrews has set up is detailed and unique, but it flows so well that you don’t get overwhelmed trying to keep things straight. The action is pretty much non-stop, but it isn’t at the expense of the story. There is humor and snark and sarcasm mixed in with all of the drama, and those lighter moments were always a blast. We learn a lot more about the Baylor family – and their magic – and we also get a look at what made Rogan what he is. Pretty much every character shines, and while in Burn For Me it was Grandma Frida and Leon who played a big supporting role, this time around it is Arabella and Catalina who get their turn. Even Augustine gets in on the action, but if I have to be perfectly honest I think Cornelius stole every scene he was in.

I went into White Hot with incredibly high expectations – almost too high, I figured. I adored the first book of the series, Burn For Me, more than I can remember loving any book for a long time – the characters, the world-building, the family dynamic, the action – I adored the whole thing. But I might just have to say that I liked White Hot even more. It is pretty rare for an author (or authors, in this case) to keep topping themselves, but Ilona Andrews does. And who else could have four separate series (Kate Daniels, Innkeeper, The Edge, Hidden Legacy) about the same topic – magic – and give each one its own unique spin? Nobody I can think of. Oh, and thankfully this world is pretty much guaranteed to go beyond the current three titles, because stopping now would be a crime.

I have my review copy, and I have also pre-ordered it for my ipad, too. Unfortunately, I did lose all of the notes I had made on it for the guide during a recent self-inflicted computer snafu, which sucks, but then it just gives me an excuse for a re-read. Or re-re-read, in this case, but whose counting?