Cover Lover – Singh, Ward and Feehan

Well, time again for another cover lover post, starting with a big one from Nalini Singh. Silver Silence is the first book of the second arc of the Psy-Changeling series, and with this new chapter comes a new cover design. It will be released on June 15th.

silver-silenceControl. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

And Christine Feehan will release Shadow Reaper, the second book of her Shadow series, on May 30th.

shadow-reaperBillionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood—but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness not only puts his life at risk, but the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own…

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her—a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She’s someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco’s embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them…

This next one might not be paranormal, but I thought I would throw it in since it does come from J.R. Ward. Devil’s Cut is the third and final book in The Bourbon Kings series, and it will be released on August 1st.

devils-cutAt first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing’s for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

I was really starting to wonder if G.A. Aiken had given up on the Dragon Kin books, so I was very happy to see the listing for the next one. No clue on who it will feature, but Bring the Heat has a release date of August 29th.

bring-the-heat

This next one is from Paige Tyler. Wolf Hunt is part of the SWAT series, and it will be out on June 6th.

wolf-huntRemy Boudreaux is back in his hometown, New Orleans. He’s there with three of his fellow Dallas SWAT officers for a week of training with the NOLA PD. On the eve of a tropical storm, Remy and his buddies prowl the French Quarter. One tantalizing scent captures Remy’s senses, forcing him to follow until he is face to face with Triana Bellamy―his beautiful high school crush.

After reconnecting, Remy and Triana are close―very. Remy struggles to keep things casual. Ever since his partner―and first love―was killed on the job, he’s kept women at a distance.

But when a mysterious wolf pendant ropes them both into danger, Remy’s protective instincts kick in. He may have to reveal his true self…and hope Triana accepts him.

Heather Graham‘s long-running Krewe of Hunters series continues with the release of Dying Breath on June 1st.

dying-breathAs a teenager, Vickie Preston survived an attack by a serial killer. That was the first time she saw a ghost. Now the city of Boston is being terrorized—someone is kidnapping women and burying them alive, but cruelly leaving a glimmer of hope for the authorities by sending a clue about their location. Vickie is pulled into the investigation when her name is mentioned in one of the notes. And as a historian, she has the knowledge to help uncover the graves the killer known as the Undertaker is choosing. But she also has another, unique lead: the spirit of one of the victims is appearing to her in dreams.

Special Agent Griffin Price is on the case for the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI’s special unit for paranormal investigators. He feels particularly protective of Vickie, since their shared past is connected to the threat that currently surrounds them. With the killer accelerating his plans, time is running out for more victims hidden around the city. Vickie is becoming closer with Griffin, but she’s getting too close to the danger, and every breath could be her last.

And wrapping things up for today is Midnight Curse from Melissa F. Olson. It is the first book of the Disrupted Magic series, and it will be released on June 1st.

midnight-curseScarlett 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.

I like the new cover direction for the Psy-Changeling Trinity books. God knows the first arc went through more than their fair share of design changes, so hopefully this one can stick for a while. Which of these are your favorites? Are there any that catch your eye?

Happy Endings and New Beginnings

I must be getting old, because I could swear I did a post like this not long ago. A search of the site showed me it was way back in July 2014. Huh.

Whenever I see that I series I love is wrapping up, it always gives me a feeling of loss. No one likes to say goodbye to favorite characters and worlds, and it seemed for a while that 2017 was shaping up to be a big year for finales. Turns out that “finale” might be too strong a word, though.

Come this January, we will be getting the final book from Karen Marie Moning‘s Fever series. Sort of. From what I have been seeing around, Feversong will be the end of Mac and Barrons arc, but there will be more stories to come. Karen has signed on for at least two more books set in this same world. She hasn’t shared much in the way of detail, or who will be getting their story told, but it does mean that this “final” story isn’t really a finale after all.

In February, Jeaniene Frost will release the final book of her Night Prince series. I enjoyed this one, but I would’ve been just as happy to see this one wrap up at a trilogy, as originally planned. The first three had great momentum, but I seem to have lost some of it for Into the Fire. But even though we are winding down Vlad and Leila’s story, it has recently been confirmed that Jeaniene is going back into the Night Huntress World once more. Next up? Ian’s story. I have hoped for this one since the beginning, so I am very happy this is another world that will continue in some way.

There are actually two series in March that will be taking a new direction. Anne Bishop‘s very popular The Others series is set to wrap up at book five, Etched in Bone. But while it may be the end of the stories focused on Meg Corbyn and the Lakeside Courtyard, it has recently been announced that a new book will be released in 2018 that will be set in Thaisia and feature a new character named Vicki DeVine. And it looks like the story after that will be about the folks in Bennett and Prairie Gold.

Also in March comes the final book from Christine Feehan‘s Sisters of the Heart series, Bound Together. But once again, it seems like this is just the end of this part of the story. Starting in 2018, the psychically gifted spy/assassins of Viktor Prakenskii’s brutal Russian school will be getting their own spin-off series, Torpedo Ink.

April will see the end of the Chicagoland Vampires series from Chloe Neill. Well, sort of. This past August, a deal was made for the first two books in a new series set in this same world. The first book follows what happens when a brutal murder threatens the peace between humans and supernatural creatures, and it will focus on an all-new heroine. I will be keeping my eyes open for more details, but I do hope that the shifters will play a decent sized role.

Those are the ones that we know will be going on in some form. These next ones? Maybe not so much. Or at least word hasn’t tricked down to us readers yet.

I didn’t know that Faith Hunter‘s recent Soulwood series is supposed to be a trilogy. Really, I thought it was a new series. If that is the case, things will be wrapping up next year with the release of Flame in the Dark. Of course, she could always move on to other characters stories, people maybe like Rick since things seem to be changing for him, but I am not sure I am ready to let go of Nell. I will be hunting for more info on this one, too.

These next three fall into the I-refuse-to-let-go category. As of right now, Ilona Andrews is rumored to have not one, but two, series calling it quits in 2017. Kate Daniels is set to wrap up with book number 10, but honestly I find that hard to grasp. I could so see this series going on for several more books without slowing down at all. How do you say goodbye to Kate and Curran? Hopefully, there will be other stories set in this world (Roman. Derek. Julie. Hugh. Barabas. Christopher…you get my point) to tide us over, but that is going to be a dark day.

And even though only the first book of their Hidden Legacy series has been released at this point, I am a huge fan.  Burn for Me from Ilona Andrews was one of my favorite reads of 2014, and to think that it is only contracted for three books is a major bummer. I am still holding out hope that this one gets picked up for more, though. Seriously, how can it not? Ilona Andrews can’t have their two big series end that close together. Right? Right?

Sadly, I do believe Cainsville might be a done deal, though. Kelley Armstrong is usually pretty firm when she announces something is done, and while she might revisit a world with a short story here and there, she seems to tell the story she wanted to tell and move on to something completely new. Part of me enjoys that, but part always hopes for more.

Can you add any to the ending-or-changing direction series for 2017? I don’t remember a year like this in…ever, actually. I have seen things end, or spin-offs start, but not in the numbers we will be looking at next year. Do you have any predictions for where things will go for these “new chapters”, or are you as in the dark as I am?

Pick of the Week

There isn’t a lot coming out this week, but there is one that I am guardedly looking forward to. Even though I often poke some fan-girl fun at Christine Feehan, I do still faithfully grab all of her books as soon as I can, and this week’s Leopard’s Fury won’t be an exception. But even though I still read all of her series, some recent changes in tone and feel have made the books hit or miss for me. I did check out the excerpt that was recently released for Leopard’s Fury, and I can confirm that, as per my Feehan Female Formula:

  • the female lead is indeed small and curvy
  • she has long, thick dark hair
  • works hard, but doesn’t have much
  • is a brilliant baker, so has the homemaker thing down

Still to be determined:

  • sweetly submits to his every command, usually involving using the word “honey”
  • wears floor-length skirts and soft, vintage blue jeans
  • is at some point bought ruffled boots by her leading man

So, my pick of the week is Leopard’s Fury. Let’s see how this one goes.

leopard's furySynopsis…

With her own bakery in San Antonio, Evangeline Tregre made a new life far from the brutal lair of shifters she was born into. Though she is all too aware of her leopard-shifter blood, she never felt the sensation of a wild animal stirring inside her. Not until Alonzo Massi walked into her bakery. The powerful shifter is as irresistible as he is terrifying, but his icy demeanor tells her to keep her distance.

Alonzo knows better than to let himself get involved with someone like Evangeline. She doesn’t deserve the type of danger that follows him, or the threat of his Amur leopard. But even with his lean muscle and iron will, Alonzo isn’t strong enough to stay away from the one woman who can make him feel at peace. And when their secret lives draw a mortal threat, Alonzo unleashes the feral passion he keeps pent up inside himself.

I liked Alonzo in the last book, so hopefully that will translate into this one. So, yes or no for you on Leopard’s Fury? Did anything else catch your fancy this week?

So, What’s Going On?

Just like the title of the post says, what’s going on? Things have been on the quiet side, there hasn’t been much to write about, so I thought I would see if you have seen anything exciting to share. For me, I found a few tidbits, but nothing earth-shaking…

  • J.D. Robb‘s 45th In Death book will be called Secrets in Death, and it will be out on August 8th of next year.
  • Christine Feehan‘s next Dark book will be called Dark Legacy, with a release date of September 5th. And the next Leopard series will be called Leopard’s Blood, with a due date of September 26th. And the second book of her new Shadows series, Shadow Reaper, is due out on May 30th.
  • Still on Christine Feehan, we all know that her Sisters of the Heart series is wrapping up next year. It looks like the spin-off series that will focus on the Russian agents that grew up with Viktor Prakenskii will be called Torpedo Ink. Uh, what? Please, please don’t tell me that it will be a literal translation and all 27 of those dudes will be tattoo artists. Biker/psychic/super-agent/assassin/tattoo artists.Please? I would seriously LOL.
  • I am not sure what is up with Rob Thurman‘s scheduled next release, Everwar. It was listed as a December 6th release, but there isn’t a cover out as yet. The American Amazon site doesn’t list it, but the UK one does. Goodreads says December 6th, but Indigo lists it as 2035. In my hunting for info on it, I stumbled across a bunch of stuff on Twitter which didn’t set quite right with me, even though it was a year old. Basically, she said that she believed she would be dropped by her publisher, which is very sad. But then she blamed her fans for her publishing and financial situation (!), which made me more than a little uncomfortable. You can see what I mean HERE, HERE, and HERE. HERE is a Facebook post where she goes into a bit more detail. Yeah. So, not sure what is going on with upcoming books, but I have to admit I probably won’t spend too much time looking, either.
  • Finally! There is an official blurb for Karen Marie Moning‘s last(ish) Fever book, Feversong…
quotation marks#1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning returns with the epic conclusion to her pulse-pounding Fever series, where a world thrown into chaos grows more treacherous at every turn. As Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada struggle to restore control, enemies become allies, right and wrong cease to exist, and the lines between life and death, lust and love, disappear completely.
Black holes loom menacingly over Dublin, threatening to destroy the Earth. Yet the greatest danger is the one MacKayla Lane has unleashed from within: the Sinsar Dubh—a sentient book of unthinkable evil—has possessed her body and will stop at nothing in its insatiable quest for power.
The fate of Man and Fae rests on destroying the book and recovering the long-lost Song of Making, the sole magic that can repair the fragile fabric of the Earth. But to achieve these aims, sidhe-seers, the Nine, Seelie, and Unseelie must form unlikely alliances and make heart-wrenching choices. For Barrons and Jada, this means finding the Seelie Queen who alone can wield the mysterious song, negotiating with a lethal Unseelie prince hell-bent on ruling the Fae courts, and figuring out how to destroy the Sinsar Dubh while keeping Mac alive.
This time, there’s no gain without sacrifice, no pursuit without risk, no victory without irrevocable loss. In the battle for Mac’s soul, every decision exacts a tremendous price.

There is a great post on Karen’s Facebook page which talks about what you can expect from Feversong…and beyond. You can find it HERE.

  • Oh, Sherrilyn Kenyon keeps on rocking the upcoming new releases, too. June 27th is the date for yet another League book, Born of Trouble.

Sigh…well, I didn’t think I had enough to make a decent-sized post, but once again my long winded rambling won out. Are any of these developments something you are looking forward to? What news have you heard? How do you feel about the Rob Thurman situation?

Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

After more than a few lackluster cover lover posts over the last little while, I find myself quite liking most of the ones I dug up this go round. I have six, starting with one from Christine Feehan. Bound Together is the last book in the Sisters of the Heart series – and probably the beginning of the next cycle of books to be set in Sea Haven. This one comes out on March 21st.

bound-togetherThe Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life in a dramatic way. Viktor Prakenskii had always intended to come for Blythe after his work undercover was at an end, but with a dangerous enemy heading towards Sea Haven, he knows he cannot wait any longer or he will jeopardize the woman he loves. His arrival sets off an explosive chain of events, and everyone in the small community of Sea Haven, including the Drake family, will never be the same.

Next up is the prequel/continuation of Kim Harrison‘s Hollows series, The Turn. This one has a release date of January 21st.

the-turnCan science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

These next two are both from Rebecca Zanetti and her Scorpius Syndrome series. Scorpius Rising is a prequel novella which is due out on November 29th.

scorpius-risingWith a deadly disease spreading like wildfire across the country, microbiologist Nora Medina needs to focus all her energy on stopping the pandemic. Playing with dynamite—in the form of her way-too-hot ex—is the last thing she should be doing. But forced to work with Deacan McDougall against unexpected enemies with the seconds ticking by, she knows the explosion is coming…

And Justice Ascending is the third full book in the series, and it will hit the shelves on January 31st.

justice-ascendingBefore surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

These last two are both young adult, starting with the third book in Caragh M. O’Brien‘s Vault of Dreamers series. The Keep of Ages has a release date of July 11th.

the-keep-of-ages

And wrapping things up for today is Seeker, the second book of the Riders duology from Veronica Rossi. It will be hitting the shelves on May 16th.

seeker

Well, the Sea Haven books from Christine Feehan are pretty much my favorites from all her series now, since they for me have been the only ones that haven’t seen a change in writing tone. Here’s hoping that doesn’t change. And is it weird that I totally thought The Turn was a young adult book by looking at the cover? I am going to have to go and take a peek at the other books in the series to see how this one stacks up.

Which of these are on your auto-buy list?

Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

Time once again to see what some of our upcoming releases will look like. Hm, let’s start with the next Christine Feehan Ghostwalker book, Power Game, which will be released in hardcover (uh, yay? Maybe?) on January 24th. At least this female lead doesn’t sound like the “yes, honey” type. I hope.

power game

And this second one is from Faith Hunter. Cold Reign is the 11th book in the Jane Yellowrock series, and it will be released on May 2nd. It is my goal to be caught up on the series by then, too.

cold reignSynopsis…

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Coming in at number three is the new one from the Belador series by Dianna Love. Dragon King of Treoir is the 8th book of the series that started as a collab with Sherrilyn Kenyon.

14138113_10154154201043801_2088278429960256410_o

I used to read Cecy Robson‘s Weird Girls books before they made the jump to self-pubbed, but for some reason I though the series had already wrapped up. This next one is called Of Flame and Light, and it will be released this October 16th.

of flame and lightSynopsis…

Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightning. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran’s insecurities have driven them apart.

Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative.

The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don’t come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered.

Yet Taran must learn and learn fast. Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive . . .

Paige Tyler continues her X-Ops series with the release of Her True Match, which is due out on March 7th.

her true matchSynopsis…

After a long game of cat-and-mouse

Feline shifter Dreya Clark picks the wrong penthouse to rob and ends up arrested by sexy detective Braden Hayes. But Braden isn’t the only one who’s been watching the cat burglar. Agents from the Department of Covert Operations swoop in to offer her a deal. If she wants to stay out of jail, she’ll have to work with them—and pair up with the hot cop. Great.

Danger throws this unlikely pair together

Braden isn’t thrilled about the DCO meddling in his investigation. He’s been chasing Dreya for years. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, fur flies and temperatures flare. But when danger closes in on them, their game of cat and mouse turns deadly-serious, and they’ll have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

This final one is from Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf is the 10th book in the Shifters Unbound series, and it will be released next May 2nd.

red wolfSynopsis…

Lupine Shifter Dimitri has always had to defend himself to other Shifters. As a red wolf, he’s not considered a “pure” wolf, and the battles have honed him into a tough fighter, a champion of the fight clubs. Jaycee Bordeaux, a leopard Shifter, is Dimitri’s staunchest defender and oldest friend. Dimitri is determined to turn that friendship into a mate bond.

Jaycee loves that idea, but she knows that a mate bond can’t be forced. And when Dimitri and Jaycee are called on to go undercover to protect collared Shifters, she knows the dangers ahead will make or break their future together.

That is it for this batch. Not sure how I am feeling about the Ghostwalker jump to hardcover, honestly. If you had asked me before the recent Feehan change in writing style (and a couple of disappointing Ghostwalker books), I would’ve been all over it like the fan-girl I have always been. Now? Not so sure it will be worth it, and that is painful to say.

Reading Wrap Up

booksIt has been a couple of weeks since my last Reading Wrap Up post, and I am interested to see what everyone has been checking out lately. I had some hits, some so-so’s, and one I can’t quite put my finger on.

Let’s start with a big winner for me, and that is Betrayals from Kelley Armstrong, the fourth book of her Cainsville series. As much as I was looking forward to this one, and it was one of my biggies for the entire year, I didn’t quite know what direction things were going to go in, especially on the Ricky/Olivia/Gabriel front. I figured there might be a bit of progression on the romance front (trying to keep things general, which I am not good at), but I was surprised by just how much there was. Especially on the Gabriel front. Gabriel has been so…oblivious? Stunted? Scared?…that I couldn’t see how Kelley could realistically start to bring him around, but she pulled it off. I like Olivia a lot, and Ricky too, but Gabriel stole the show. Seeing his POV was a real treat, but then so was finding out what was going on behind the scenes for Ricky, as well.

I have never made any secret of my general loathing of love triangles, but I can honestly say that this is one of only two series (the other being The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare) that has one that works for me. I think it comes from the fact that I like all three of the characters, and most importantly all three of the characters like and respect each other. There is only one book left to wrap everything up, and while part of me can’t wait to find out how things end, it is going to be hard to let this series go. Now just a year to wait for Rituals…let the countdown begin.

Also on the winning side of things, I flew through another Eve and Roarke book from J.D. Robb, this time Holiday in Death (book 7). Still enjoying these a lot – I am reading them quickly enough to keep details fresh, but not so quickly that I am burning myself out on them. I have had a string of other things that I had to read, and I find myself looking forward to picking up the next one – and it is great if you are still excited seven stories in.

This next one is a bit hard to put into words. I had to force myself to read the last Carpathian book from Christine Feehan, Dark Promises, for a couple of reasons. The most important one was that I cannot stand the female lead, Gabrielle. She bugged me from the start, so picking up a whole book devoted to her didn’t light my fire. I did end up making myself read (or skim) it, but it didn’t add anything to the overall series, and in fact it was bland enough for me that I have completely forgotten most of it in just a couple of weeks. The same cannot be said for the most recent release, Dark Carousel, which while not a perfect book does set up a whole new world for the Carpathians first brought to light in the Dark Crime novella. We move out of the jungles and mountains (and those damn caves) and this new branch is set in cities in the US, and it was a welcome change.

For me, though, this one was less the story of Tariq and Charlie and more a set-up for future books. There was a lot of things going on with a lot of different characters, and the two main leads got lost a bit in the shuffle, but Tariq was less ass-holey than a lot of her recent male leads, and Charlie actually managed to stand up for herself while acknowledging that this was Tariq’s world and he knew best in certain situations. She wasn’t completely stupid and borderline abused, which was a bonus. It made sense. But the bad guys were a bit over the top for me, and there is a lot of eye-rolling magic stuff that had me laughing. I mean, I started humming “Puff the Magic Dragon” when the triplets starting building the come-to-life stone dragons to fly around on. In terms of the Feehan Female Formula, though, Charlie does still speak with the same voice as most recent heroines what with her “honey” this and “honey” that. And she did get a smokin’ hot pair of ruffled boots, too, so all was well with the world. I like the new feel for the series, and I guess I can say I liked it for what it was, but hopefully now that the set up is done the stories will flow a bit better.

On the not-so-successful side of things was Kresley Cole‘s two recent Arcana Chronicles releases, Day Zero and Arcana Rising. I started out with Day Zero but quickly dropped it – it is great for adding info as a reference, but it didn’t grab my attention as a story. I did finish Arcana Rising, but not sure how I felt about it. Maybe my annoyance with the whole e-book only format changes and lack of info played a part, but this one was weird. For me, the tone was completely different than previous books, and I felt like I had missed a chunk of story that would bridge between the previous book and this one. It felt really short and rushed, and like important things had been skipped like in a badly edited movie. I guess I am trying to say that for me it felt like everything was just thrown in, so when there was a big reveal or twist, it just fell flat. There were parts I liked, but for me it didn’t really fit with the rest of the series. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t thrilled, either. Let’s just say I thought it felt self-pubbed, and not in a good way.

Ok, your turn. What have you been reading lately? Have you checked out any of the ones I did, and if you did what did you think?

From the Author Pages

Ugh, I seem to be so far behind on pretty much every aspect of my online life. I was keeping up pretty well with everything, but in the last few weeks things have really gotten away from me. Anyways, enough whining. I did manage to get a full edit on the Psy/Changeling Character Guide done, which was a big one, and I will be working on catching up on a couple of others in the next few weeks.

Now, let’s see what’s new from the author pages…

  • Alexandra Ivy has a spin-off her Bayou Heat series written with Laura Wright starting up soon. The first book of The Pantera Security League 6 will be called One Down, and it will be out on August 29th. The cover was revealed on Facebook:

one down

  • I can’t remember if I posted this before or not, so here goes. I dug around a bit and found the official blurb for the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, Blade Bound. This series wraps up next April 25th…
quotation marksSince Merit was turned into a vampire at the tender age of twenty-seven, she’s become the protector of House Cadogan and saved the city of Chicago over and over again. Through it all, she’s had her lover, and friend, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan, by her side.
But then Ethan is violently attacked, seemingly by someone in the throes of a dark magic. And as that magic spreads across the city, Merit finds herself in a fight to the death for everything she loves.
  • But before that, there will be a Chicagoland Vampires novella released on January 19th called Phantom Kiss
quotation marksVampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.
But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House-and targeting vampires- they realize they’re being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl- and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…
  • The cover is out for the re-release of Christine Feehan‘s novella, Dark Crime, which will be out on November 15th in e-format. I didn’t mind this one – it was a set up for the latest book, Dark Carousel, and it started some of the Carpathians off in a new location, which was a welcome change.

dark crime

Speaking of Christine Feehan, it looks like her next couple of releases have been made official. The next Ghostwalkers book will be called Power Game, and Amazon is listing it as a January 27th release – in hardcover. Yep. Hardcover. I thought that might be a mistake, but I checked around and it looks like the Ghostwalkers will be making the switch. The blurb is a little bland, but better than nothing…

quotation marksA mysterious woman with her own agenda rescues a captured GhostWalker soldier held by a secret enemy. Together they uncover a conspiracy that extends beyond the reaches of the US government and proves a deadly threat to national security…
  • Oh, and the final book in the Sisters of the Heart series, Bound Together, will be out on March 21st. And a bit more blurby goodness for you…
quotation marksThe Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life in a dramatic way. Viktor Prakenskii had always intended to come for Blythe after his work undercover was at an end, but with a dangerous enemy heading towards Sea Haven, he knows he cannot wait any longer or he will jeopardize the woman he loves. His arrival sets off an explosive chain of events, and everyone in the small community of Sea Haven, including the Drake family, will never be the same.

The books set in Sea Haven have become my favorite of all of Christine’s series – way more consistent writing than the other series have had lately, and way less of a power imbalance between the main couple. That might change heading into the Motorcycle club spin-off, but for now this is my most anticipated of her books.

  • Hope you are not tired of the blurbs yet, because this next one comes from Faith Hunter‘s next Jane Yellowrock book, Cold Reign. I am reading (and loving) Blood of the Earth, and it is making me want to go back and dive into Jane Yellowrock again. Hopefully I can get caught up before this next one comes out on May 2nd…
quotation marksJane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.
But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.
Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…
  • Gena Showalter and Jeaniene Frost will be pairing up for a duology featuring two of their previously released works called Forbidden Craving, which will be released on March 28th. Gena’s story is The Nymph King, and Jeaniene’s is The Beautiful Ashes, and here is a peek at the cover…

forbidden craving

  • Aaand I finally tracked down the blurb for the next Black Dagger Brotherhood book from J.R. Ward, The Chosen. The (ugly) cover reveal was earlier in the week, and I don’t think we will be forgetting that puppy anytime soon…
quotation marksThe Black Dagger Brotherhood has won a major victory over the Lessening Society, but the threat to their way of life is ever-present and life for the brotherhood is as chaotic as ever. Xcor, a tortured soul and a member of the brotherhood’s rival group, is in custody waiting to be beaten and interrogated. They believe he is a major threat, but Layla knows the truth.
Although she has just given birth to two infants, thoughts of Xcor consume her. He has fallen in love with Layla, but they both know it is impossible to be together unless the brotherhood gives Xcor a chance to prove himself. Their connection could end Xcor’s lifetime of agonizing loneliness or tear apart everything Layla holds dear.
  • Immortal Unchained is a new one coming from Lynsay Sands, and it will be released on March 28th. To mix things up, here is both the cover and blurb at the same time…

immortal unchained

quotation marksEver since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…
Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…
  • This one is called Midnight Jewel, and it is the second book in The Glittering Court series from Richelle Mead. This one has a release date of April 25th…

midnight jewel

quotation marksA refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.
By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

Welp, that was longer than planned, so I hope I didn’t bore anyone too much. Are there any of these that caught your eye? What are you most looking forward to?

Reading Wrap Up

booksIt has only been a few weeks since I did my last reading wrap up post, but it seems like so much longer. That is probably because I managed to go through a decent number of books for a change, and I also managed to tackle some of my TBR pile, too. A win/win.

First things first, and this is a big one for me…

I did it. I finally, finally tackled some of my huuuge Sherrilyn Kenyon TBR pile. Her books make up just shy of HALF of my total books to be read – yes, almost half – and the pile staring at me had gotten so out of control that I figured if I didn’t jump in now I never would. Not quite sure where to start, I tackled the first five Chronicles of Nick books, and I ended up quite liking them. I figure it will give me a bit of a backdrop for when I do get to the Dark-Hunter books, too. The Nick books I read were fun, and I flew through them really quickly. I can’t say I will be caught up with all of Kenyon’s books anytime soon, but at least I have gotten a decent start.

Hm, what else…oh, yeah. I finally got to the latest from Darynda Jones, The Curse of Tenth Grave. I didn’t dislike this one, but it was…lacking, somehow. Maybe it was because of the distance between Charley and Reyes (both physical ad emotional) for the vast majority of the book, especially since it was based on what felt like soap-opera level drama. I think for me, just Charley isn’t quite enough to carry the book – she needs the gang around, and they weren’t around much. Things did pick up in the last quarter, so all is good again. But like I said, when Reyes, Garrett, Osh and the rest aren’t around, it doesn’t quite work as well for me. Still funny and all, but not quite as engaging.

Well, I also broke down and decided to borrow a book. Weird, for me, but there you have it. For quite a while, I have debated on picking up Dark Promises from Christine Feehan. There were a couple of issues I had – the biggest being that I loathed the character of Gabrielle since she was first introduced way back when. She just rubbed me wrong even in the little bit she had been seen in previous books, but I wasn’t stoked to read a whole book about her. I probably would’ve bitten the bullet and just picked the darn thing up anyways, but then I read the first chapter excerpt on Christine’s website, and I really couldn’t stand the way Gabrielle came off. Whiny, needy, demanding, and completely oblivious to pretty much everything going on around her, that one chapter completely turned me off her. Plus, I was strangely weirded out by the thought Grandma Trixie. Not sure why, but it just sounded odd. Add to that the less than stellar reviews I had heard, and negative reactions to the “hero”. So, not excited for the book. At all. But I do still have higher hopes for the next one.

However, I was thinking that if I didn’t give this one a try, I might miss some story set up for future books. You know, the introduction of new characters, possible leads on new lifemates, that sort of thing. But nope. I could’ve completely skipped this one and not missed a thing. I thought Gabrielle was a waste of page time, and to be honest I can’t even remember the name of her lifemate. Nope, no clue what his name was. Trixie wasn’t that bad – I ended up preferring her and Fane to Gabrielle and…unknown ancient dude…but I did roll my eyes a few times at nearly virginal, still incredibly hot and awesomely built, self sacrificing great grandma Trixie, but at least it was good for a laugh. And at least she was different. Gabrielle followed my “Feehan Female Formula” down to letter…but at least it was someone else who mentioned the “awesome boots” this time. Joy.

And I finished up Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Heart just last night. It has a different tone to it than previous books, but I liked it. It wasn’t my favorite by a long shot, but it is always great to get back into a favorite world. There is a lot of Aodhan, too, and he is making great strides towards taking back his life. I am still getting a Sparkle/Bluebell vibe, but I can’t be completely sure if it is just me.

So, what have you been reading lately? Have you managed to tackle any long-standing TBR monsters, or have you been hitting all new releases?

August’s Book of the Month

I swear that it feels like it was just last week that I was doing up the July book of the Month list and whining that there wasn’t really anything that was must-have for me. Well, I can’t say the same thing about August – at all. For me, August usually shapes up to be second only to March in terms of anticipated new releases, and there are some good ones to choose from. As always, I have listed 10 upcoming titles for you to choose from, but if you have something else in mind just select “Other” and leave your pick in the comments section. A complete list of August’s new releases can be found HERE

Brace yourselves, because this is about the only time in history that Nalini Singh is releasing a book and I am not making it my pick of the month. Seriously. My runaway pick is absolutely Betrayals from Kelley Armstrong, the second from last book of the Cainsville series (Noooo, only one left after this). I have a strangely intense love for this series, and if you asked me I can’t even really tell you why. I guess sometimes a storyline just clicks for you, and this one did for me. I am excited for Wild Embrace, too, of course, and I have very high hopes for Blood of the Earth. I haven’t bonded with Jane Yellowrock that much, something about her multiple potential love interests has thrown me off a bit, but I am excited for Nell’s story. Amanda Bouchet‘s first book, A Promise of Fire, intrigued me since I first saw it listed months ago, and I find myself even looking forward to Christine Feehan‘s next Carpathian book, Dark Carousel, mostly because it is city-based rather than the usual jungle-or-mountain thing that has been going on. Yep, going to be a big, big month.