Reading Wrap Up

blood tradeMy reading wrap up is pretty easy to keep track of, since I have been exclusively reading the Jane Yellowrock series from Faith Hunter. I have worked my way up to number 6, Blood Trade, including all of the sundry novellas involved. This is my second-go-round with this series – I tapped out the first time around the third book since I just couldn’t get into it. But after reading the Soulwood books I got a renewed interest in Jane and Co, and this second read has been going much, much better. Actually, I am finding them hard to put down.

The novellas do help quite a bit, too. I didn’t bother with the first four – the historical ones – but everything after those I have very much enjoyed. I was toying with the idea of skipping Easy Pickings, the crossover story with C.E. Murphy, but I was so glad I didn’t. It was fun, and there are little references in the following books that I would’ve missed. I might even try out The Walker Papers somewhere down the line, too.

I really like Jane, tough and no-nonsense but not invincible. Bruiser is developing into a really decent character, too. Eli and Alex are relative newbies, but they are already favorites. Molly and her family are great, but Evan can get run over by a bus – pronto. Judgmental tool. I do have a couple of sticking points, though. One would be Leo. I can’t quite decide how I am supposed to feel about him. Good guy? Bad guy? Just when I start to like him, he gets all skeevy and weird and throws me off. The other is Rick. I get that he has a lot of hate for his character – I haven’t gotten there myself, as yet – but I don’t get Jane’s continuing attraction to him, either. I do hope she turns the corner soon and gives him the boot out of her life for good. I think at this point, pretty much anyone else is a better choice for her. Eli. Bruiser. Hell, even Leo.

So, my second go round on Jane Yellowrock is a complete success so far. I am pulling a marathon and I have no signs of burn out as yet. My goal was to be caught up with everything by the time Flame in the Dark is released in December, and it looks like that won’t be a problem at all.

What are your favorite Jane Yellowrock characters? Where do you stand on Rick? And Leo? Where does the series stand among your favorites?

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Archangel’s Viper Review

The wait is almost over. This Tuesday is the official release date for Archangel’s Viper, the next book from Nalini Singh‘s Guild Hunter series. Doug Meeks was kind enough to send over his review, and since I was lucky enough to get an early copy myself, I can say that my thoughts are pretty much the same.

archangel's viperWhat Doug said…

The Guild Hunter series is one of my favorites of all the dozens that I read but the problem is that I want every one of them to be exceptional, amazing and near perfect 5 Star novels, sadly that is not reality.

This novel is more cerebral in nature, it is a very complex relationship that careens throughout most of the novel. The nice thing is that when you have a writer with the amount of talent that Nalini Singh has even passages that would be dull in another authors hands are still interesting and hold my attention.

The relationship between Venom and Holly is filled with snark and a bit of dislike on her part of a goodly part of the book, obviously it becomes more of a romance later in the book but it took much longer than I would have expected and was almost to the point of being irritating.

The lack of almost any action other than Holly trying not to lose herself to the thing Uram made her into, made this a bit of an oddity in this action oriented series. If you are looking for bodies piling up in battles, this book will not fulfill those desires, it is possibly the most “quiet” book in the series but still the story held my interest and was satisfying at the end.

Bottom line: While this was another great book in the series it falls slightly under the bar I use for 5 Stars in this series and I admit a slight bias against any of the books that do not have a large does of Raphael and Elena. This book is 90+% just Venom and Holly but the lack of action and the almost total absence of Raphael and Elena makes me give it a 4 Star rating this time around. Anyone who thinks this means this was not a great book needs a class on reading comprehension.

 

Reading Wrap Up

mercy bladeOk everyone, it is time once again to check in and see what everyone is reading (and hopefully enjoying) recently. I have been continuing my Jane Yellowrock adventure, and I have just finished the third book, Mercy Blade (and all of the novellas up to that point, too). I do believe this is the point where I threw in the towel last time, or rather where I just drifted away with plans to return, but this time around I am quite into things. My love of Faith Hunter‘s spin-off Soulwood series is serving me well.

For the character guide updating, I have finished a re-read of Feversong from Karen Marie Moning. I did get way more out of it the second time around, since in my haste/greed in the first reading, I ended up blasting through it and retaining little. As much as I liked these books, I am ready for the series to change direction. There is so much still left to be explored in this world, and I will be glad to see Mac and Jericho step aside for whatever is to come.

power gameOh, and I am also re-reading Christine Feehan‘s Power Game. Yeah, not minding this one, either, except for one little thing. I know everyone who reads the series seems to adore Nonny, and while I liked the little bits of her we saw at first, now she is getting on my nerves. Not really sure why – maybe it is the incessant cooking lessons everyone has to have – but I could do with less of her. And if I am being honest, I would love to go back to one of the other teams for a change. Seriously, teams 1 through 3 seem like a distant memory at this point. Hell, I would even be happy with a couple of cameo appearances. And don’t get me started on the original orphans who were with Lily…not sure where they are at all. It is hard when a series just keeps adding more and more characters because so many that interested you in the first place seem to get left behind.

On to you. Anything really good this week (or even really bad)? What have you been re-reading lately?

Reading Wrap Up

skinwalkerMy reading has been all over the place since my last wrap up post, and the vast majority of it has been a success. After I finished up J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, I decided to tackle another one of my “should read” series. Or in the case of the Jane Yellowrock books, it was a matter of giving it another try. I read a few books a couple of years back, but honestly I had a hard time getting into it. But my real enjoyment of Faith Hunter‘s spin off Soulwood books featuring Nell Ingram made me really want to give Jane another shot. And so far, so good. I have checked out a lot of the early novellas, and gone back and read the first book, Skinwalker, and for some reason it seems to be clicking for me this time around.

I also picked up the latest Dragon Kin book from G.A. Aiken, Bring the Heat. It was another solid installment of the series, and it was so good to see some long-standing issues get resolved so well. I have always enjoyed both Branwen and Aidan, but for me their romance took a backseat to everything else going on. And there was a LOT going on, that’s for sure.

feversongI did a couple of re-reads for the character guides, tackling Thea Harrison’s Spellbinder and Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, supposedly the end of the Mac and Barrons part of the Fever series. I ended up enjoying Spellbinder much more the second time around, and I have gone from being a bit “meh” on the UK Elder Races spin off to quite liking it. I would be happy to see it continue past the currently-planned trilogy. And Feversong? I read it so fast the first time around that I didn’t do it or myself any favors, and I am getting much more out of it with the re-read. As much as I do like the Fever books, though, I am so very ready to be done with Mac’s POV. She has had her time, and then some, and now it is time for the rest of the characters to get their turn. After Dani (and Ryodan), there is supposed to be a couple of books focusing on The Nine (I think), and I can’t wait.

And for something a little different, I stepped outside my comfort zone and tried a few different things. I picked up the British mystery/thriller Now You See Me from Sharon Bolton after seeing some really good reviews around, and I did quite like it. I quite liked it, more than I thought I would, but I didn’t feel the need to immediately go and pick up the rest of the books in the series. At least not yet, anyways. I also finally broke down and bought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Yeah, that didn’t work out nearly so well. I tried maybe 5 or 6 times to get into it, but it just didn’t happen. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so maybe that will spur me on, but as of right now it is a DNF after about 6 chapters. Sigh.

paper princessHave you ever decided to randomly just try a book, knowing going in that it is completely not what you usually like, and you end up loving it? That happened to me with Paper Princess by Erin Watt. I don’t do contemporary romance, and I don’t do young adult, so a contemporary young adult romance is an automatic miss, right? Nope. I Loved it. I bought it completely on a lark, and I think I even rolled my eyes when I decided to “just give the first chapter a quick look”. Well, that first chapter browse turned into me finishing the book in one sitting, immediately ordering the rest, and getting almost a third of the way through the second one before I finally made myself go to bed at 7:00 this morning. I can’t even tell you why I like it so much, I just do. What a pleasant surprise.

Over to you. Any great reads (or re-reads) lately? Any popular series you couldn’t get into, or any surprise favorites? Ever given a series a second chance and ended up liking it more the next time around?

Reading Wrap Up – Fallen Angels

immortalI have a bit of an ongoing quest to get caught up on some of the series that fall into my “should read” category. In Death by J.D. Robb is still a work in progress – but I am up to something like book 20, so go me. Another one was J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series. Although much smaller in scale at “only” 6 books, it seemed like such a huge undertaking to tackle it. But tackle it I did, and it worked out pretty ok.

Honestly, I think I picked it up only to see how it tied into the Black Dagger world, and the few cameos from some of the Brothers were a real highlight at first. But for some reason as much as I ended up enjoying the stories, I never felt a big rush to grab the next book. Sometimes I would even put off picking up the next story, and I don’t know why. But when I did, I liked what I read – ok, I wasn’t that interested in the last story line with Saintly Cait and the wonder twins, but by that point I was skimming their page time to get back to Jim and the gang anyways, so it didn’t bother me.

I know most people are really divided on Jim’s character, but I for the most part enjoyed him. Devina was a completely oblivious and a total hoot, and I loved Adrian and Eddie. Sissy was underwhelming for me, and I didn’t get Jim’s fascination with her, but it wasn’t enough to stop my enjoyment. Even most of the “souls in play” and their significant others were good. The absolute best for me was the little mentions of Lassiter – and where he falls into things. I am so ready to see Devina, Adrian and Eddie show up in the BDB world, hopefully sooner than later.

So, after my usual blah-blah, I have checked another series off of my list, and it worked out pretty well. I only have like 420 more to go, but who’s counting? What did you think of the Fallen Angels series? Any favorites couples or characters? Just what do you think will happen when Lassiter and Devina have some quality time together?

Bring the Heat Review

We don’t have long to wait for the next Dragon Kin book from G.A. Aiken, but Larissa has kindly sent over her early review of Bring the Heat. This is the story of Brannie and Aidan, and it will hit the shelves on the 29th.

bring-the-heatWhat Larissa said…

5 stars
G. A. Aiken, also known as Shelly Laurenston, is a master writing paranormal romance with exciting plots, incredible world building, hilarious moments and off-putting characters. Bring the Heat is a perfect example of that and it was a joy to read.
I confess that I have a bit of a hard time remembering all of the returning characters, but I did a quick check on the blurbs of previous novels in the series and I was all set. I love how much page time we got with all these past characters and couples, it made me so happy.
The main couple in Bring the Heat is Brannie and Aidan, they are so amazing together. However, their romance is not one of those full of obstacles, other than maybe their own resistance. Therefore, we get to spend more than half of the book with a bunch of other fantastic characters and story lines specially with the newest generation.
All in all Bring the Heat is superb and an awesome addition to the Dragon Kin series. Yes, the romance could have fit into a novella, but giving us a full-length novel was a brilliant move, specially in a novel that feels like the end of an arch for the series. That way we got some closure from other characters and it opened up new opportunities for new story lines and books.
If you enjoy Aiken and Laurenston sense of humor, writing style and books, you will absolutely love this book!
I am looking forward to this one, and it seems like we have waited forever to get Brannie’s story. Aidan has long been a favorite, too, so let the countdown begin.

Reading Wrap Up

Welp, my story hasn’t changed much since my last reading wrap up post – still short on time. But, things haven’t been going to badly besides that. I am still working my way through Divided in Death by J.D. Robb, and for the first third I found myself thinking that it was the first In Death book that didn’t quite grab me. Well, that changed. Once Roarke finds out that there were those in the know about what happened to Eve as a child, things took off big-time. I haven’t managed to finish it yet, but I am glad to say that I am finding it as good as all of the previous stories.

Oh, and I might casually add that I received an ARC of Archangel’s Viper from Nalini Singh. I am almost finished it, actually, and I am surprised by how much I liked Holly. Venom, too, but Holly was the standout for me. I still can’t quite put my finger on the whole Illium/Aodhan vibe that is going on, but it will be interesting to see where that goes in coming books.

So, that wraps things up for me, sadly. What have you been reading lately? Anything exciting (or disappointing) to share?

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.