Reading Wrap Up

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week and Mini Review

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

bound-togetherSynopsis…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading Wrap Up

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Wrap Up

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

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

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

Reading Wrap Up

February was supposed to be a big TBR-hitting month for me before the monster releases of March, but…not so much. Not sure why, maybe it is just a reading slump, but I didn’t get through nearly the books I thought I would.

tales from the shadowhunter academyI started out DNF’ing Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy from Cassandra Clare. I was iffy on picking it up, but it was so pretty and it would go so well with the rest of them on my shelf that I gave in. Then I realized that I had absolutely no interest in reading it. Nothing against the book itself – I didn’t make it far enough into it to judge if it was good or bad – but I am so far out of the whole YA thing that it just didn’t appeal to me. Another one for the donation pile, I guess.

I was much more successful with the novella Interlude In Death from J.D. Robb. I am loving the In Death series more each book, and even the short stories are a treat. This one was set off-world at Roarke’s Olympus resort, which was a nice change of pace, and had a really nice amount of Roarke and his backstory. I have only read a couple of novellas at this point, but they are just as good as the full-length books.

white-hotBut the star of this week is actually my re-read of White Hot from Ilona Andrews. As fan-girly as it might sound, I so love this series. Burn for Me was awesome, White Hot is even better. I am putting together a cheat sheet for the beginning of the Hidden Legacy character guide that lists out all of the different Houses and types of magic since there is so much to keep track of, but it is fun to do.

So that wraps this week up for me…what did you read this week? Are you finding anything new and exciting, or going back to old favorites?

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!