Blind Buys, Second Thoughts, and a DNF

booksRather than a reading wrap up, this post is more like a buying wrap up. Weird, but I am going with it. I have become a bit OCD in my book buying, or maybe I should say that it is getting worse, but I am determined to not build up the monster TBR pile again. The downside of that is that I struggle over every new series purchase like I am trying to decide whether or not to donate a kidney. The struggle is real.

I did realize that I had never read Ilona Andrews‘ Kinsmen books, but since the first story is impossible to find I ended up jumping ahead and buying the second one, Silver Shark. I have heard a lot of good things about it, and I ended up really enjoying it (which is not a surprise – I have never not liked an Ilona Andrews book. Ever). I can see where it might’ve contributed to the idea of the Hidden Legacy series, which is always a good thing. Hopefully Silver Blade will become available again soonish to finish this off.

And I broke down and picked up The Master from Kresley Cole. Not my usual thing, but all in all I quite liked it. Not sure I will be grabbing the other two books in the series right away, but maybe somewhere down the line if I feel like another change of pace. I liked it more than I thought I would, so I guess that counts as a win?

I did read Shadow Keeper from Christine Feehan, too, which all in all I liked. I did enjoy that the heroine was not a complete “oooh, honey, let me cook for you in my ruffled boots” doormat, which was a nice change of pace. She had some backbone, and some pride, which can be somewhat lacking in female leads. But this book did give me some second thoughts on what is still to come for the series. At first, Vittorio was the least interesting of all of the family, but I found he was my favorite part of Shadow Keeper. His story is up next in Shadow Warrior, and I am very excited for it. But as for Emme and Taviano’s stories? Not so interested now. I am over the abused young girl and her dominant but trying not to be older mate thing. And as much as I like Emme and Val, I lost interest in their story, too. I will probably be picking them up, who am I kidding, but my interest in both books has cooled.

There were a few really random blind buys, too, that just sort of saw and grabbed for no particular reason. I picked up Fire Born by Rayanne Haines after I added the info for the second book, Magic Born, to this month’s new releases. The reviews were good (and the cover was pretty), so I thought I would give it a whirl. I am about 15% in, and so far so good. It is pretty standard for me, but I am liking it.

And for something different, I saw an article where Stephenie Meyer had exited the television adaptation of The Rook by Daniel O’Malley that is being made for Starz. Paranormal spy thriller? Sounds interesting, so I picked it up as an impulse buy. Not my usual read, but it did grab my attention. Hopefully I will be getting to that one soon.

My last blind buy didn’t work out as I had planned. On the Alpha Showdown (which is going on now at the Vampire Book Club), I saw one of the contestants was a character named Secret McQueen, who was the main character of Sierra Dean‘s series of the same name. Sounds good, so I picked up the first story right away. Eh, didn’t work out as planned, since further research showed that there is a LOVE TRIANGLE. Nope. No way. Not happening. I deleted that sucker so fast I don’t even remember the name of it. I absolutely cannot handle a love triangle at all anymore, unless I am already involved in a series and one crops up, but I avoid those suckers like the plague if I can. That was a close call.

That about sums things up. New stuff from old favorites, blind buys, and a completely not-fair DNF. Have you tried the Secret McQueen series? Was I wrong to tank it before I ever cracked a page? What did you think of The Rook?

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Weird Kindle Question

Like the title says, this is a weird question. I think. Anyways, I got my pre-ordered copy of Shadow Keeper this week, and it was delivered automatically to both my Kindle and my Kindle for ipad. The weird part is that everything is fine on the regular Kindle end, but the book showed up with the old place-holder cover on the ipad. When you open the book and look up the cover, the official cover art is there, but the image that shows up on the home page is a plain gray rectangle with Christine Feehan’s name and the book title, like this…

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That is weird, right? I have removed it from the app and redownloaded and all that crap, but the image above stays. Any ideas?

Bookish Bucket List

PrintIt’s funny how things change. Over the last few years, I have done pretty massive purges of my books (both read and unread), to the point that I couldn’t even begin to guess how many hundreds I have gotten rid of (probably around 1000, or pretty close to it). I was going over my bookshelves the other day, looking at what I had left, and it made me realize that I don’t really have a ton of stories left on my reading bucket list – or books that I want to read before I die.

My beloved Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong has wrapped. We finally got the Dani O’Malley/Ryodan story I had been waiting for for what felt like forever in the Fever series. I would’ve legit offed someone to get my hands on books two and three of the Hidden Legacy series a even a few days earlier. Another person (or two) would gladly have been sacrificed if it brought me closer to Heart of Obsidian. And any book that featured the Ghostwalkers was automatically on the list. I am talking about those books that I honestly was nuts about getting my hands on. But now, while I have several books I am very much looking forward to, I don’t have any that inspire that same kid-at-christmas feeling as I used to have. And I miss it.

Well, there are still a few that I would consider to be on my bucket list (and a few of them are already in the works). Jeanine Frost‘s next book will feature Ian, who has been on my wish-list since he was first introduced in the Night Huntress series. And William from the Lords of the Underworld will get his story in 2019 (and then I can pull the plug on the Lords). I have heard rumors that Ilona Andrews will be writing Roman’s book sometime after Hugh’s trilogy (another must read), but I still am whining about more Derek and Julie books, too.

At this point, the top 10 characters I would love to have stories about would look something like this (in no particular order):

1) Illium – Guild Hunter

2) Aodhan – Guild Hunter

3) Malachi – Psy/Changelings

4) Alexei – Psy/Changelings

5) Janvier – GhostWalkers

6) Dane – The Breeds

7) Ben – Mercy Thompson World

8) Roman – Kate Daniels World

9) Derek – Kate Daniels World

10) Lor – Fever Series

What does your bucket list look like? What were your original stories that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on?

On the Bubble

My last post, I went over some of the series that I had finally decided to purge from my collection. I don’t like clutter, and I am not a big fan of having a bunch of stuff I don’t use. In that same vein, there are a couple of more series that I could honestly see myself turfing in the not too distant future.

One is Christine Feehan‘s Dark series. Honestly, at this point, it has just dragged on way too long. I don’t remember half of the new characters (if not most of them), I don’t have any stories that I am looking forward to, and each story just seems to blur into the last. Since this is the series, along with the Ghostwalkers, that fired my love of paranormal romance, it is a hard one to let go of. Not to mention that I have collected all of them that I could in hardcover, so stopping is doubly hard. I might pick up the next one, which is due out in September, and then really decide if it is something I want to continue on with. But right now, I am feeling it will be a no.

Another one that could be on the chopping block is Gena Showalter‘s Lords of the Underworld, mostly for the same reason the Dark books are. This one has just gone on too darn long. I find myself not a big fan of “rediscovered” characters that are brought in just to extend the life of a series, and to me when that happens they become pretty expendable. The only story I am looking forward to is William’s – and his is up in 2019. At that point, I can happily let it go. I really don’t have much interest in The Darkest Warrior, but I figure it might be a set-up for William’s story, so I probably should give it a whirl. Or at least a skim-through.

There are a few others that are on the bubble, too. I was a big fan of Blood Kissed from Keri Arthur, but I found the second book a let down. Not sure I will be picking up the third one, but I guess it will depend on my mood at the time. There are a couple of other new to me authors, like Maria Vale and Rhenna Morgan, that I will be picking up their second book then deciding if I want to keep going.

I wish I could say I had something awesome to replace these series with, but I don’t. I’m not sure if it is a reading slump, or maybe I am just getting more picky with my time. Or maybe my tastes are just changing as I get older, but I find myself really going for quality over quantity. What are your on the bubble series? Anything you are having to talk yourself into reading because you feel you should, rather than because you really want to?

Love Me, Love Me Not

xA while back, there was a bit of drama here on my little blog. There was an author (who shall remain nameless so their fans don’t show up with the pitch-forks again) that I skipped over on a book of the month poll. I only put 10 books on each poll, and this particular author was one I had never read before and I really didn’t think much about not listing her new release. Well, there was an influx of rabid fans and questions about my competence, both of which are fine, but it did make me push that particular author up my TBR list. I figured with that many die-hard fans, I must really be missing out.

Nope. I picked up the first book of her first series, and had to DNF it. I did make myself get to the 50% mark before I quit, but it was tough going. And I spent most of that 50% wanting to slap the female lead. Repeatedly. The dude didn’t do it for me, either, and I wasn’t even interested enough to see how things wrapped up. So, I figured that it must be just me, and I picked up the next book. And it was more of the same. I am not saying that they are bad books, but for whatever reason they just don’t work for me. And believe me, I am in the vast minority on that one, since this particular author is very, very well liked.

Just when I caught myself getting ready to buy the third book, figuring that this would be the one, I put the brakes on. I was feeling guilty for not enjoying the works of said author, which was silly. To each their own, and this one just isn’t for me. Have you ever been in the same boat, trying to make yourself like something that just doesn’t work for you because you feel you should? How many tries to you give it before you cry surrender and move on? What popular series just don’t work for you?

Discussion Forums?

Hey everyone, just a quick post to see if you can help a gal out. Kim is looking for places like the old Amazon book discussion forums that focused on genres like new adult, suspense, contemporary romance, that sort of thing. A place for discussion and to get some book recommendations. Do you have any suggestions? Redbutterfly suggested the Romance Book Lovers forum, but do you have any other ideas?

Site Updates

I am just dropping a quick post to say that I am in the process of updating and editing a few of the character guides, especially the Sea Haven one, so things are what you might call disorganized. And wordy. Editing is my friend. Sorry for any inconvenience.

New Series Alert

There is only one new series starting up this week, and it comes to us from Christine Warren. Well, there was a prequel novella available earlier this month, but Baby I’m Howling For You is the first full book of the Alphaville series.

baby i'm howling for youSynopsis…

Renny Landry is a wolf on the run. Pursued by a shapeshifting stalker and his slobbering pack of killer coyotes, she is forced to flee her job as a librarian to find sanctuary in the wooded hills of Alpha, Washington. A well-secluded safe space for troubled shifters, Alpha is Renny’s last hope. But the first person she meets there is a gorgeous alpha male with fiery eyes, fierce tattoos, and one ferocious appetite—for her…

Mick Fischer thought he left his past behind when he moved to Alpha. But fate has a way of biting him in the tail when a female wolf shows up on his property. Wounded, desperate—and disarmingly hot—Renny brings out the snarling, protective alpha beast in Mick like no other woman he’s known. Can these two haunted, hunted wolves manage to mate for life…even as the deadliest past demons howl at their heels?

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Christine Warren was an original favorite of mine, but over the years I parted ways with her after a spell of books that just didn’t match up to the early stories that I loved. That said, I did enjoy the Alphaville novella from earlier this month, so I have hopes I can get back into Christine’s books.

Sponsored Content?

Amazon-Logo-frownAm I the only one that gotten kinda annoyed by Amazon slipping in a bunch of “sponsored content” books into every search? I use Amazon a lot to keep track of new release dates, and having as many as four random titles show up in each list is bugging me. And from the little I have seen, all of the books are Amazon-published titles. I understand the importance of publicity for there own in-house pubbed works, but this is a bit much. If you click on an individual title, you still get a whole side-scrolling list of “sponsored products related to this title” (a full 250 of them, no less), but it is at least out of the way. This added onto a search thing just gets in the way. Or is it just me?