Feversong – What Did You Think?

feversongIt has been a couple of weeks now since Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, the ninth book of the Fever series, was released. It was set to be the final book of the main series focused on MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons, but it left several loose ends that will hopefully be addressed in subsequent stories.

For me, I was so anticipating this one that I couldn’t wait to dive in. I pulled an all-nighter reading it, and by the end I was so tired I found myself skimming a lot just to get to Jada, Ryodan, Christian and Dancer sections. I honestly can’t even tell you how things wrapped up for Mac and Barrons or the King and Queen. Nada.I definitely didn’t do the book or myself any favors by trying to rush through such a complex finale in one long sitting. I did very much enjoy what I did absorb, I just didn’t take in enough. I will soon be doing a slower, much more thorough re-read, and I am looking forward to it.

I did just see that the next book set in the fever world will be called High Voltage, and it will be a Dani/Jada centric story (but it does not pick up where Feversong ended). I wasn’t thrilled when the series changed direction mid-stream and veered away from the proposed Dani trilogy, since I liked Dani much more than Mac. And for me, Mac’s story was wrapped up in the first five books. But maybe things worked out for the best, because now we can get a full Dani/Jada story with her as an adult – and hopefully a resolution to her and Ryodan’s story. After that, I can totally see a Christian book, which would also resolve the whole Dageus situation, as well. I hope.

Ok, what did you think of Feversong? Was it a fitting “end”, or did it leave you wanting more? Were you like me and found Mac’s POV getting old, or did you like the second arc of her story? What did you like best (and least) about this Fever finale?

Pick of the Week

There aren’t a lot of series that you can point to that have 40+ highly successful books. There are even fewer yet that still feel fresh and exciting that far in. Hell, to be honest, a lot of series half that length are starting to show their age and make me think that they are overstaying their welcome. But J.D. Robb‘s In Death books are still going strong, and show no sign of slowing down. My pick of the week is #44, Echoes in Death.

echoes in deathSynopsis…

After a party in New York, Lieutenant Eve Dallas rides home with her billionaire husband, Roarke, happy to be done with cocktails and small talk.

After another party, not far away, a woman retires to her bedroom with her husband—and walks into a brutal nightmare.

Their paths are about to collide…

When the young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—wanders in front of their car, Roarke slams on the brakes just in time, and Eve, still in glittering gown and heels, springs into action. It’s been a long night for the tired homicide cop, and it’s far from over.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil” . . .

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked—and that he treated Daphne like a trophy wife—this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse as the first suspect. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

I am only on In Death #12, I admit, but I am still loving them and I can’t see that changing. I do spread them out a bit, but I could honestly see myself happily marathoning a bunch of them and not getting bored at all. I look forward to each new story, and every book is a treat. How far are you into the In Death series? Has your interest waned at all, or are you still a fan?

Into the Fire Giveaway Winner

winnerLooks like it is time to pick the winner of Into the Fire, the fourth and final Night Prince book from Jeaniene Frost. There were 23 entrants, and the randomly chosen winner (through Random.org) was number 17…

into-the-fire-giveaway-winner

Dee

Congratulations, Dee. I will contact you shortly for your shipping details.

New Series Alerts

It looks like there are just a couple of new series to look at this week, starting with one from Wen Spencer. Black Wolves of Boston is the first book of the Black Wolves series.

black-wolves-of-bostonSynopsis…

REBUILD A LIFE, SAVE A CITY

Silas Decker had his world destroyed when he was attacked by vampires outside of New Amsterdam. He rebuilt his life a dozen times in the last three hundred years—each time less and less successfully. Now he lives alone, buried under a hoarding habit, struggling to find some reason to wake up with the setting of the sun.

Eloise is a Virtue, pledged to hunting evil.  What she doesn’t know is how to live alone in a city full of strangers who know nothing about monsters.

Seth is the sixteen-year old Prince of Boston, ward of the Wolf King.  Now he is left in a city that desperately needs his protection with enemies gathering all around.

Joshua believes he is a normal, college-bound high school senior.  His life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered with blood, and the prom committee scattered in pieces about him like broken dolls.

These four must now come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who lost everything struggle to save Boston by saving each other.

And the second new series comes from Melissa F. Olson. Midnight Curse is the first book of the Disrupted Magic series, but it comes in as number ten in the whole Scarlet Bernard/Boundary Magic World.

midnight-curseSynopsis…

Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Melissa F. Olson is new to me, but I did read some of Wen Spencer’s Elfhome series after a recommendation from Nalini Singh (like you can go wrong with that rec). Have you tried any of these authors before? What did you think?

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

It has been less than a week since my last cover lover post, but I am going to go for it anyways. Plus, there is a big one (for me), so that makes me even happier. Let’s start with the fifth and final (crap) Cainsville book from Kelley Armstrong, Rituals. I am not looking forward to seeing this series wrap up, I have to say. But then it is one among many this year, so I better get used to it. Anyways, Rituals will be released on August 15th.

ritualsWhen Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn’t resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents’ crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.

In the series’ fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel’s drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.

These next two are a bit different. They are the covers for the first and second book in Juliet Lyons‘ new V-Date.com series. Book one is called Dating the Undead, and it will be released on May 2nd.

dating the undead.jpgIt’s Bridget Jones with vampires in this fresh and funny paranormal romance from debut author Juliet Lyons.

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year’s Eve, she knows other humans just won’t suffice. Convinced she’ll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, V-Date.com.

What Silver doesn’t know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she’s in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they’ll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.

And it will be followed by Romancing the Undead on October 3rd.

romancing-the-undeadMila Hart’s first experience with the vampire dating site V-Date.com is a complete disaster–her date is wanted for murder! But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer. Dangerous and devastatingly attractive, he’s just the undead hottie Mila was hoping for.

Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again–even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met. But when the killer from Mila’s date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her. Protecting his heart is a different story…

Terry Spear‘s 22nd Heart of the Wolf book will be called SEAL Wolf Undercover, and it will be released on August 1st.

seal-wolf-undercoverNavy SEAL wolf turned PI Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted shifter murders put him in the path of an alluring–and potentially dangerous–she-wolf, having a partner doesn’t sound so bad…

This cover looks so familiar to me, but it could just be a matter of reusing the image, I guess. Either way, Never Dare a Dragon from Ashlyn Chase, the third book in her Boston Dragons series, will be released on August 1st.

never-dare-a-dragonJayce Fierro is part of a legendary Boston firefighting family of phoenix shifters. Hiding his true form makes being in a relationship rather difficult. Meeting the beautiful Lieutenant Kristine Scott of the New York City Fire Department and knowing he can’t have her only makes things worse.

Dragon shifter Kristine can’t stop thinking about fun, flirty Jayce and his teasing smile. A relationship could never work-not with the distance between them, and definitely not with her shifter secret. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble and secrets are revealed, Jayce will do whatever it takes to help-whether or not the feisty, stubborn New Yorker wants him to.

And Paige Tyler has a new one coming out, as well. Her Dark Half is part of her X-Ops series, and it will be out on September 5th.

her dark half.jpgCoyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they’re going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side…

The final one for today comes from Gini Koch. Alien Education is the 15th book of her Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, and it will be published on May 2nd.

alien-educationDue to Earth and its solar system becoming a favorite location for disaffected aliens of all kinds, problems with integration of all Earth-bound alien children into schools becomes a major issue that ends up becoming First Lady Kitty Katt-Martini’s new official cause—and one that’s taking up more of her time than is good for anyone. At the same time, moving the school-aged children out of the American Centaurion Embassy Daycare and into regular schools highlights some students and parents who seem suspect to Occasional Room Mom Kitty and Career Day Jeff. As things become the 1960s all over again, all over Earth, the discovery of a plot to mind control the next generation surfaces, and a race against time for the hearts and especially the minds of all Earth’s children begins…including the mind of Jamie Martini.

Ok everyone, which is your good, your bad, and your just plain ugly? Does the different look of the Juliet Lyons covers grab your attention in a good way or a bad? Can you believe Terry Spear is over 20 books in on just one of her series, because I seriously had no clue.

February’s Book of the Month and Giveaway

I don’t think it is much of a surprise that Jeaniene Frost‘s Into the Fire was chosen as February’s book of the month, and it will be nice to get back into the Night Huntress World (and get the set up for Ian’s book). It feels like it has been so long since I have read any Jeaniene Frost (I didn’t get into her New Adult Broken Destiny series), and it will be nice to see Vlad finally get his happily ever after. I am a bit fuzzy on the details of the last book, so I just might have to work a quick re-read into my plans, too.

into the fireSynopsis…

In the wrong hands, love can be a deadly weapon.

For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.

A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them…and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.

And on to the giveaway…

If you would like to win a paperback copy of the final Vlad and Leila book, Into the Fire, just drop a line in the comments section. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through Random.org. Giveaway ends Sunday night at midnight, Atlantic time.

Just a quick update on my idea to giveaway e-format books. I looked into it a bit, and I think that it is just too grey an area. I guess I will just have to wait until Amazon.ca comes up with the same options our American counterparts have.

Wait, So This is a Real Thing?!?

heartA while back, Ilona Andrews joked about a Hugh book. And it was just that – a joke. But the response was so overwhelmingly excited that they started to toy with the idea. And over the course of the following months, I have heard whispers about it. But I came home from work tonight to discover that the first chapter has been upped over on their blog. I have read a small snippet or two over the last few months, but the whole first chapter is something else! I have no clue if this one is going to be traditionally published like the rest of the Kate Daniels world books, or digitally self-pubbed like the Grey Wolf books about Derek, or even if they will be serialized like the Innkeeper Chronicles. And honestly, I don’t care. A real, live Hugh book is in the works – and that makes me happy.

You can check out the first chapter Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE.

February Book of the Month

Somehow, someway, it is the end of January. It went so fast I didn’t even think to put up the book of the month poll until now. Well, at least the voting time will be short. February is not traditionally a huge month for me, and I usually only have one or two books that I am excited for. That is a good thing, because it give me time to prepare for March which is one must-read after another. Usually on the same day. Ugh. Anyways, as always, I have put together a list of 10 of the books coming out next month for you to chose from. If you have another title you are most looking forward to, just select “Other” and leave your choice in the comments section. A complete list of February’s releases can be found HERE.

I am going for Into the Fire. If I wasn’t 3.27 million books behind in the In Death series, it would’ve been a hard choice, but I figure I won’t be up to Echoes in Death until sometime next year.  As much as I like both Vlad and Leila, I am most excited to get the set up to Ian’s story arc, which is up next.

 

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

Ah, first day back at work after my month-long vacation. Yay? Let’s not tax my poor traumatized brain with words and do a cover lover post instead, starting with the next one from Thea Harrison. Spellbinder is the second book in the Elder Races spin-off series, Moonshadow. It is scheduled for release this August.

spellbinderKidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is betrayal…

This second one is from Alexandra Ivy. Charred by Darkness is the third book in her Dragons of Eternity series, but there isn’t any release date listed as yet.

charred-by-darkness

And Kate Baxter continues her Last True Vampire series with the release of The Lost Vampire on August 1st.

the-lost-vampireOnce one of the oldest dhampirs in existence, Saeed now faces a treacherously uncertain future as a vampire. He believes that the only thing that can restore his position within his coven and tether his lost soul is the flame-haired fae who is destined to be his mate.

Cerys Bain is a soul thief. She is feared by those who dwell in the supernatural realm and hopelessly bound to the ruthless mage Rinieri de Rege. The raw, sensual vampire who enters her world is both a threat and an intoxicating temptation: No one has ever made Cerys feel the way Saeed does. But to claim their fate as soulmates, Saeed must first find a way to free Cerys from Rin. Is their desire worth the risk of certain destruction and eternal doom?

For reasons I can’t explain, I thought this next one from Lilith Saintcrow was a historical paranormal romance. So totally not. Cormorant Run will be released on June 13th.

cormorant-runAliens meets Under the Dome in this new post-apocalyptic novel from New York Times bestseller Lilith Saintcrow.

It could have been aliens, it could have been a trans-dimensional rift, nobody knows for sure. What’s known is that there was an Event, the Rifts opened up, and everyone caught inside died.

Since the Event certain people have gone into the drift… and come back, bearing priceless technology that’s almost magical in its advancement. When Ashe — the best Rifter of her generation — dies, the authorities offer her student, Svinga, a choice: go in and bring out the thing that killed her, or rot in jail.

But Svin, of course, has other plans…

How far would you go and what would you risk to win the ultimate prize?

These next three are all young adult (or New Adult), starting with A Court of Wings and Ruin from Sarah J. Maas, which will be released on May 2nd.

a court of wings and ruin.jpgFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

The second book from the Nemesis series by Anna Banks will be called Ally, and it has a release date of October 3rd.

allyPrincess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria have formed an uneasy truce between their kingdoms since the deadly plague began to rip through Theoria. Since their feelings for each other are entangled in politics and power, they must use their own trusted resources to find common ground.

But when traitors with powerful allies arise from unexpected places, Tarik and Sepora face challenges that will change both of their kingdoms forever. Will they learn whom to trust—including each other—in time to save their kingdoms, their relationship and even their lives?

And wrapping up this batch is Fireblood from Elly Blake. It is the second book of her Frostblood saga, and it will be out on September 12th.

firebloodAgainst all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past….

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax–which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.

Which of these covers is your favorite, and does it match the book you are most looking forward to reading? I do have to say I can be a bit bitchy about covers when an author goes self-pubbed, but I quite like Thea Harrison’s recent ones. Might even be an upgrade on her traditionally published books.

Review – A Darkness Absolute

review iconReviewing isn’t my thing, since I tend to ramble and either give way too much info or not enough. But since I have gotten a few ARC’s I guess it is going to be something I have to work on. In this case, I was lucky enough to get a copy of the second Rockton novel from Kelley Armstrong, A Darkness Absolute. I am a big Armstrong fan, and I find myself following her across genres. In the case of the Rockton books, the stories are mystery/thrillers, which is a nice change of pace.

The idea of Rockton intrigued me from the start. A tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Yukon, that takes in those that need to disappear – both the innocent, and the guilty. Every person there is on the run from their past, from what they’ve done and what was done to them. Into the middle of this lands homicide detective Casey Duncan, now known as Casey Butler, whose particular skill-set is put to use hunting a killer who just might be one of their own.

As of A Darkness Absolute, Casey has been in Rockton for four months, and she already has one major case under her belt. She is settling surprisingly well into her new life, her new relationship with Sheriff Eric Dalton, and her new freedom from her past. I enjoy Casey, she is no-nonsense and tough without being over the top. I always enjoy Kelley Armstrong’s leading men since they are not your traditional “heroes”, and Eric is no exception. He is rough around the edges, foul-mouthed and quick tempered, but he also has an honesty and earnestness about him that balances it out. He doesn’t play games, doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what he is, and he does the best he can to not only keep order in the off-the-grid town, but to keep everyone safe from the dangers surrounding it. And there are many. Casey and Eric must balance their professional and personal lives while investigating some of their own, tracking a killer, and dealing with the mysterious council who controls Rockton – and who has an agenda of their own.

I enjoyed finding out more about the “outside world”, as well. What exists outside the borders of Rockton isn’t always pretty, but it is interesting. We delve a bit more into Eric’s backstory, his family and his feelings about where he came from, and I hope we learn even more in the books to come. The only thing that threw me a bit in A Darkness Absolute was how many times Casey wandered into mortal danger. That happens, and it is what drives the story forward, but it just kept happening. She would be told “don’t do that, because…”, and she would do it anyways. It wasn’t like she fell into the too-stupid-to-live category, and she did usually manage to go a long way towards extracting herself from whatever the situation was, but I did find myself saying “Again?” a couple of times.

So, all in all, I enjoyed A Darkness Absolute a lot. I like the whole idea of Rockton, I like the idea that nobody there is what they seem, and where the story can go from there. I very much like Eric and his relationship with Casey, and I hope to find out more about his past. The action starts at the first page and never stops, and there are a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I do wish that Casey might’ve been in peril a couple less times, but it was a small thing that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. Definitely worth a read if you are looking for a solid mystery/thriller. You can pick this one up on February 7th.