Reading Wrap Up…

booksWow, I am almost current on fir this post. Miracle. Anyways, It is time to check in and see what everyone has been reading this week. Personally, I was relatively happy with how things went.

Ok, let me start this off with my pick of the week, Christine Feehan‘s Wild Cat. Um, yeah. Well. Wow. Bad? Not…really. It is what the last few books in the Leopard and Ghostwalker series have been lately. I am now christening these books “Uber Alpha and the Doormat”. The hero is dominant to the point of being a control freak, and the heroine just…goes along with it. She tries to placate and cajole her way out of “trouble”, usually meaning she tried to have a thought for herself, or god forbid said no to something. I like an alpha, but there gets to a point where it is just over the top. Actually, what really hammered this home is that right after I finished Wild Cat, I picked up Viper Game for a re-read for the character guide, and it was pretty much the same story. Or maybe it would be better to say same tone. Completely the same. Just switch leopard shifter for cat-enhanced super-soldier, and you are set. But of course, I still keep reading.

I also wrapped up another series, Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. Winter had a lot of ground to cover, what with not only telling Winter’s story, but finishing off Cinder, Scarlet and Cress’s arcs, as well as resolving the whole Levena situation. There were times I did find that it was almost too much going on, and things did get a bit bogged down at times. I would even go so far as to say that the big resolution was a bit of a let down, to be honest. Levena was so built up that it seemed like taking her down was almost anti-climactic. But even so, it was fun to get back into the Lunar world, and see everyone get their happily ever afters. Or happily ever after one days, as the case may be.

And my final book was another re-read. I picked up the last Fever book by Karen Marie Moning, Burned. Burned was tricky, in the scheme of things. Originally supposed to be the second book from Dani O’Malley’s point of view, it was instead primarily from Mac’s. On one hand, I was hoping for another Dani-centric book (just one in the middle of the series is a bit jarring), but on the other hand, I really liked this story. I liked Mac as an almost passive observer, and I liked the insights into the Nine that we might not have gotten if it had been focused on Dani. I planned on the re-read taking the best part of a week, but I got so involved I did it in two nights after work. But man, I really want the next one now.

So, what did you read this week? Anybody else try Feehan’s Wild Cat? Are you finding the alpha a bit over the top?

Pick of the Week…

There are a couple of really anticipated releases this week. G.A. Aiken‘s Feel the Burn, which is the book of the month, is a biggie, but I have to go with my guilty pleasure author. Christine Feehan‘s 7th Leopard book, Wild Cat, is my pick of the week. It has literally been years I have been waiting for Elijah’s story, right since the beginning of the series. Every series has that one character whose story you want above all the rest, and Elijah is mine.

wild catSynopsis…

A simple request for Siena Arnotto: deliver a gift to her grandfather’s friend. One look at Elijah Lospostos, hard-bodied and stripped to the waist, and Siena succumbs to a feline stirring she never felt before, and to Elijah’s reckless and pleasurable demands. But when that pulse-throbbing moment ends in the murder of an unexpected intruder, Elijah accuses the shaken and confused Siena of setting him up.

Then Siena discovers the truth of her Leopard heritage, of the secrets in her grandfather’s inner circle, and the sinister plot of revenge that has put her in jeopardy. When Siena’s grandfather is assassinated, she realizes the only man she can trust is Elijah. Now as her Leopard rises from within, Siena and Elijah share not only an animal instinct for survival—but a desire so raw and wild it may be the only thing that can save them.

Feehan is my guilty pleasure, no matter how many times I snicker and mock. I just hope that it is back to her “original” voice, not whatever a few of the last few books have been. I got my copy today, and I did do a sneak peek at the excerpt at the back for the next release, Spider Game. My Ghostwalker love has long been whined about, and my hopes for that one are sky high. Who else is looking forward to this one?

Cover Lover – Shadow Rider

It was quite a surprise when Christine Feehan announced earlier this year that she was starting up a new series called Shadows. This will be alongside her Carpathians, Leopards, Ghostwalkers and Sea Haven books, so she will be even more busy than usual. The first book will be called Shadow Rider, and it has a release date of June 28th.

shadow riderWhether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…

Who is excited to see a new Feehan world? While I like something new, I have to admit I would at this point maybe like to see some progress on the Ghostwalker front instead, since there are still literally dozens of stories left to tell. And I mean the original Ghostwalker stories, not whatever mis-step Viper Game was. Since that didn’t feel like a Ghostwalker book to me, I don’t count it.

Reading Wrap Up…

booksIt has been a while since I have done one of these posts, mostly because I found I didn’t have much to say. A good portion of my reading was re-reading books to get caught up on the character guides, like finishing off the Drake Sisters series, for example. I have to say, I really enjoyed diving back into that world, and I was surprised by how many links to the more recent Sisters of the Heart series I had forgotten. I have a theory that somehow Jackson Deveau’s biker gang past will somehow tie into the whole Evan Shackler-Gratsos scumbag situation, for example. It will be interesting to see how Christine Feehan will expand the world past the current series, since the current one will be wrapping up in the next couple of books.

I am also still trying to work my way through the Jane Yellowrock series from Faith Hunter. It is still giving me a bit of grief, and I still can’t tell you why. The only thing I can think of is that there is no strictly defined love interest (as of Raven Cursed, that is), and it is throwing me off. It has everything else I like in a series, but I have to force myself to pick up the books and I struggle to keep interested for the first 2/3’s, but I usually breeze through the action-packed endings. Even so, I am determined to keep at it.

Brighter Than the Sun was a surprise. I liked it, but I was for some reason surprised by just how dark it was. Any Charley Davidson fans of course know that Reyes had a brutal childhood, but to see it played out was hard and caught me a bit off guard. I guess that I am so used to Darynda Jones writing Charley with snark and humor that I assumed Reyes would be written the same way. He wasn’t, and he shouldn’t have been, because that just isn’t him. You don’t need to read this novella to keep up with the series, but it was a great way to see what makes Reyes tick.

Finally, I pulled a Rick Riordan mini-marathon and read his Kane Chronicles trilogy. It was…ok. It didn’t engage me like either the Percy Jackson books or the Heroes of Olympus series, but it was still a decent read. As of right now, I am almost half way through the new Magnus Chase series, too. I did decide to maybe drop the kiddie books, though. Young adult is one thing, but I think that the middle grade stuff is pushing it.

What did you read and love recently? Any standouts, either good or bad?

This and That…

This is a bit of a combination of a from the author pages post and a new release updates post. Huh, lazy or what?

  • Christine Feehan announced a while back that she was starting a new series, and the preorder links have finally gone up. The Shadow Riders is the first book of The Shadows series, and it has a release date of June 28th. The official blurb is out, too…

Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferarro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…

  • I mentioned a couple of posts back that it was looking like Gena Showalter‘s next Lords of the Underworld, The Darkest Torment, was going to be a hardcover release. That actually turned out to be true. But what I found even a bit more odd is that Jeanine Frost‘s next Night Prince book, Into the Fire, is ALSO listed as a hardcover release according to both the Canadian and UK Amazon sites. Uh, what? The fourth book in a four book series goes hardcover, while the first three were paperback? Does that seem strange to anyone else? Either way, Into the Fire will be out next October 26th.
  • And it looks like Alyssa Day might be getting back into the swing of things. She is starting a new spin-off series of her Warriors of Poseidon series that will feature Tiger shifter Jack. This one will be a paranormal mystery series called Tiger Eye Mysteries, with the first book, Dead Eye, being released this December 29th.

Site Updates…

question-markIt has been a while since I have done any housekeeping around here (er, around my house, either, but that is another story). I did manage to get one target reached recently, though. Originally I had done a guide for the Sisters of the Heart series, but since it felt like that was half the story I went back and added all of the info for the Drake Sisters books as well. Since Christine Feehan plans to continue to write books set in Sea Haven, I figured it would make sense. So, the Sisters of the Heart guide will now be changed to the Sea Haven guide, and cover all series set there. One goal down.

I have gotten a few emails recently from people asking when I will get a guide updated, and pretty much everyone got the same answer – soonish. I am going to be working on them for the next few weeks, in no particular order, and I hope to get in the range of caught up by the end of October.

Oh, and I am changing around a few of the author pages. There are some authors that I don’t follow anymore, so I might be dropping a few of them from the featured authors sections. I am pretty sure I will be dropping Lara Adrian, since I stopped reading her a while back, but I am not sure who else.

So, this is your chance. Anything around here you can think of that needs to be changed, updated, or dropped? What sections do you use, what don’t you need, or what would you find helpful?

Weekly Wrap Up

booksAfter a completely crap-tastic reading week last week, where I managed to read precisely zero books, anything is progress. I didn’t do as well as planned, but still I got a few under my belt.

I started out with something a little different. Everything, Everything is a contemporary young adult book from Nicola Yoon. Hype on this one has been pretty heavy on YouTube and such, and I thought it would be nice to read something outside of my usual PNR/UF box. It was a quick, fun little read that I finished in maybe 2 hours, and it was a nice change of pace. I did figure out the twist within the first few pages, but I still thought it was ok.

This next one is a book I have been putting off for quite a while. Kresley Cole‘s third Arcana Chronicles book, Dead of Winter, has a dreaded love triangle and that made me run far, far away. After snarling at it for months, I figured I might as well bite the bullet and get caught up. Minus the triangle, I liked this one. The story is progressing well, we are learning more about the whole backstory and other Arcana, and everyone seems to be coming into their powers. But the triangle. Ugh. Hate them so, so much. I am way too old for that angsty crap. When you like both of the potential love options, it makes it worse. I liked both Jack and Aric, and I think they both should dump Evie and take off together. Problem solved.

And I am working on the latest Carpathian novel from Christine Feehan, Dark Ghost. It isn’t bad, isn’t great, and actually a bit on the dull side so far (maybe a third of the way in). Lots and lots of cave. Andre has done the whole claim-her-now-and-explain-later thing, which never works out as planned. Teagan is handling things pretty well up to this point, so that is a bonus. If anyone has any question about Christine having a ghostwriter (no pun intended) for some of her more recent books, this one seems like Christine all the way (short, choppy sentences and lots of random info-dumping). Oh, and may I present to you my laugh of the week, maybe the month, and my new favorite expression…

Velvet helmet

Yep. Velvet helmet. And if you have ever even glanced at a Feehan book, you know exactly what she is referring to. Hard to believe two little words can completely take you out of a scene, but there you have it. I read it, blinked a few times, then laugh for a good 5 minutes right in the middle of a love scene, and I still snicker like a teenage boy whenever I think of them. Probably not the effect anyone was going for, but there you go.

What did you read this week? I figure most of you probably dove into Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Enigma by now, so what did you think? Did you love Naasir and Andromeda’s story, and where do you see things going from here? I am hoping for Aodhan’s story next, I think, but I would be happy with any of them.

Pick of the Week…

This is one of those interesting weeks, where my pick of the week is not actually the book I am most excited for. Strange, I know, but it works like this. Nalini Singh‘s next Guild Hunter book, Archangel’s Enigma, comes out today, and that is a total win. But, it is already going to be the book of the month for September, and I have already read it (thanks to a most gracious ARC copy). I then thought about Kim Harrison‘s The Drafter, but since I am on the fence about that one, it was out of the running. That left perennial stand-by Christine Feehan and her latest Carpathian book, Dark Ghost, as my pick of the week. I know that doesn’t sound like the most glowing recommendation, but her books have a special place in my reading heart. I roll my eyes, snicker way more than I should, pick apart every plot hole and error, and devour them anyways. It is a sickness, I think.

feehan dark ghostSynopsis…

He wasn’t civilized or tame. He had his own code and he lived by it.

Monk. Bounty hunter. Vampire slayer. Andre Boroi has spent centuries battling the undead, holding out against the dark with honor. But now, gravely wounded by master vampire Costin Popescu, Andre will be easy to track—his spilled blood marking the killing trail for Popescu and his hungry band of underlings. Andre’s only chance is to disappear into the gray mist of the Carpathians. To wait. To hope.

She had a healing touch and a scent that was his lifeblood.

In the mountains in search of a precious crystal, geologist Teagan Joanes suddenly finds herself hunted by those she once trusted. Then she comes across the warrior—wounded, wanting and irresistible. Andre has been craving her for an eternity: his lifemate. Her warmth envelops him. Her scent pulsates. And with every beat of her heart, Teagan surrenders to a passion she can’t possibly comprehend.

Now they are bound by destiny, but is it enough to keep them safe from a stalking, relentless darkness that threatens to swallow them alive?

I know a lot of people have drifted away from the Carpathian books in the last few years, but for those who still chug along, how excited are you for Andre’s story? He has never been a standout character for me, or maybe all of the ancients are starting to blur together for me at this point. I mean, really. How many “the most dangerous of them all” can there really be? Are you looking forward to checking back into series, or are you giving this one a pass?

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksAnother week has flown by, which means it is time to see what we all read this week. I kept to my goal of trying to finally be a big girl and finish off some of the series I have only had one book left on, but of course because I put things off so long I had to do a re-read of the first books, first. I started off with Sarah Rees Brennan‘s The Lynburn Legacy series, which was a surprise young adult favorite of mine. I will be finishing off the third and final book tonight, and I have to admit I will be sad to see this one wrap up. Between the very original premise, the non-standard characters, and the humor, it was definitely no hardship for the re-reads. Much enjoyment was had.

Those three books pretty much took up my week, but I did manage to grab the new Carpathian novella from Christine Feehan that just came out in Edge of Darkness (of course, I didn’t read the other two stories. Um, yet? Maybe? Probably not). This one was actually quite a surprise for a couple of reasons. First off, there was a total change of setting. Instead of the Carpathian mountains (not bad) or the jungle (ugh), this one was very much city based, and a really nice change of pace. It was a short story, yes, but I can say that it manages to open up a whole new direction for the Dark books, and that I liked where it was going.

As a bonus, the focus was turned towards some Carpathians we haven’t seen much from. The triplets play a decent supporting role, and Tariq Asenguard is pretty much front and center. I am not sure if Christine is sticking to the Lost Dark Book storyline for Tariq, but Dark Crime makes me sort of hope that there is a new direction planned for him. And as a total bonus? A side storyline that seemed to be completely dropped way-back-when actually becomes relevant here. I don’t want to say what because of potential spoilers, but it always bugged me that it was hinted at and never followed up on. Oh, there is also another “legendary ancient hunter” introduced by the name of Val Zhestokly. This is totally a Dancing With the Stars name, and every time I read it I snickered like a kid. So sad.

The only downside I can see is the timing for this one. If Tariq or one of the triplets’ stories was up next, it would be great. Instead, we have not one but two books before we get back to this new offshoot of the Dark World. Tariq’s story will be called Dark Carousel, but we will probably have to wait until late 2016/ early 2017 to get it. To me, it would’ve made more sense to hold off a bit before coming out with this one.

Ok, that was my week. How did yours shape up? I assume most of you probably dove into Magic Shifts, but I have to wait until this Tuesday for my turn. You can be sure next week will be an equally long-winded rave about it, though.

From the Author Pages

It was time to get to updating a bit, so I started with the featured author pages. As usual, a little bit of info came out of my stalking, so I thought I would share…

  • The cover and blurb are out now for the next Sisters of the Heart book from Christine Feehan, Fire Bound. The preorder links just went up on Amazon in the last couple of days, so I was surprised to see so much info so quickly. This one has a release date of April 26th.

fire boundThe #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sea Haven novels returns to the circle of the six sisters of the heart, bound by the elements—and to one who possesses the power to inflame the most dangerous passions of all.
Flame-haired Lissa Piner is a skilled glass blower whose delicate gift conceals a burning inner strength that can destroy as exquisitely as it can create. Commissioned to design chandeliers for a string of luxury hotels, her remarkable skills have taken her to Italy. But Lissa’s real mission there is a secret. For her entire life has been a lie, leading to a chance to avenge a terrible wrong.

Enlisted as her bodyguard is Casmir Prakenskii, a trained assassin living off the grid. In Lissa, he sees a kindred spirit—something unexpected and wicked, mysterious and sensual. But more than desire is about to bring them together: because both of their pasts cry out for revenge. And for two people with this many secrets, this much passion, and this many enemies, someone is bound to get burned.

Wow. That one is way under-whelming. It feels like a departure from the rest of the covers in the series, and is just sort of…bland. It definitely doesn’t scream paranormal romance, or fire for that matter. I get more of a Little Women vibe, myself.

  • There is some news on the Darynda Jones front, as well. It looks Charley 10 will be released next June 28th, and it will be called The Curse of Tenth Grave. Number 11 doesn’t have a title as yet, but it will be out January 2017.
  • J.R. Ward recently released the first book of The Bourbon Kings, and it looks like the second book will be called The Angel’s Share. There is no release date, as yet.
  • Oh, and I had been wondering why there hasn’t been much news on the Larissa Ione front lately, but my last check actually unearthed something. She will be writing a male/male e-novella addition to the Demonica series called Base Instincts, which will be released on September 14th…

base instinctsAs a Seminus demon, Raze’s life literally depends on having sex with females. The problem is that he doesn’t desire females, and it’s physically impossible for him to be with males. Thankfully, he and his best friend, Fayle, have an arrangement that keeps him alive . . . if lonely. He finds some solace in his work as a medic at Thirst, a vampire club known for its rough clientele. But his carefully structured world turns upside down when he meets a mysterious male who makes him want what he can never have.

Slake is an assassin used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Raze. But he also wants to earn back the soul he sold when he was a much different demon. All he has to do is capture a runaway succubus named Fayle and hand her over to her family. What he doesn’t count on is being caught himself by a web of lies—and his attraction to Raze.

Raze and Slake must navigate a dangerous world to be together. But as Fayle’s jealousy of their relationship turns deadly, they find themselves embroiled in a battle not only for their love, but their lives and souls.

I’m not big on the male/male, or e-books, so I will probably be giving this one a pass, but I am glad to see something in the works from Larissa.

So, that wraps this little newsletter up for today. What have you heard from your favorite authors? Anything exciting in the works?