New Series Alerts

Well, I have been looking forward to this one for a while now. Of all of Christine Feehan‘s series, the books set in Sea Haven have become my favorites over the years (even though they have been getting progressively more tortured hero/heroine as they have gone on). That makes Judgment Road my pick of the week.

9780451488510_JudgmentRoad_FCO_mech.inddSynopsis…

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

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I haven’t really read much in the way of motorcycle series, so this will be new for me. Now I just have to try and remember who is who in the monster cast, which could be fun.

 

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Reading Wrap Up

On a side note, I have done an update of the new release pages, and there were a couple of little changes here and there. But one of them made me happy – Keri Arthur‘s second Lizzie Grace book, Hell’s Bell, has actually been pushed UP by a month. Instead of a late February release, it will now be out on January 23rd. The first book of the series was my first Keri Arthur read, and I have been looking forward to getting my hands on the second one ever since.

spider's revengeBut as for the reading wrap up portion of things, there hasn’t been a ton to mention. I did plow through another Elemental Assassin book from Jennifer Estep, Spider’s Revenge. There was a lot going on in this one – it was a pretty pivotal book, and it was nice to see everyone get what they deserved. I figured Mab the big bad would be a series-long nemesis, so I was honestly surprised that that angle was wrapped up only 5 books in. Either the repetition has been toned way down, or I have just gotten used to it, because it hasn’t been something I have been focused on for the last couple of books (thankfully). Well, the constant referring to Sophia as “The Goth Dwarf” still grates on my nerves, but that is about the only thing now that I can point to that bugs me, so that is a bonus.

guardian's bondOh, and I also got my hands on a review copy of a book I mentioned a couple of days ago in my “Things that have caught my eye” post. I was lucky enough to get a copy of Guardian’s Bond from Rhenna Morgan, and so far I am very much enjoying it. It is the insta-mate thing which turns some readers off, but for me I thought it was well done and not as melodramatic as some I have read. There are only two little nitpicks that I had – one, I had a bit of trouble with the world-building at the start. I felt like maybe I had missed a novella or something that introduced the world, the power-structure and abilities, that sort of thing, but it doesn’t appear to be the case. I kind of like to get all of that stuff out of the way at the start so I know who’s who and what is what, but I figured it out as I went and it didn’t impact my enjoyment.

The second gripe is the one where I sound like a spoiled brat, but I can’t help it. I was very lucky to get an ARC, and I am grateful, but…but, it was the formatting. I haven’t had many ARCs, so maybe it is standard, but way the book was physically laid out aggravated me to no end. Spacing issues and formatting almost made parts of it feel run-on and unedited (even though it wasn’t), and messed with my reading flow. Not the fault of the author or story at all, but it did get distracting. Sigh, I am such a princess, but what can you do?

bound-togetherAnd finally, I am re-reading Bound Together from Christine Feehan for the Sea Haven guide update. This is another one where I sound like a weirdo, but as much as I like the book (and I do), and as much as I enjoy all of the books in all of the Sea Haven series (and I do), the story was heavier the second time around. I loved seeing the Drakes with the Sisters of the Heart and all of the Prakenskiis, and I find myself very intrigued by the Torpedo Ink gang, but what threw me off a bit was all of the rape survivors. Human trafficking is an issue that Christine Feehan has been focusing on recently, in several books and in different series, but man did you see it here. I didn’t really notice it until I was almost finished, but if you start adding up who had been a rape survivor/torture victim/human trafficking rescue, they outnumber the ones who weren’t. Elle. Jackson. Lexi. Most of the Prakenskiis. All of the Torpedo Ink club members. The four kids Airiana and Max are adopting. The young girls and teenaged boy Viktor and his team rescued. Kidnapped and raped. Raped and tortured by their “teachers”. Rape survivors. Kids being gang raped in real time. Ugh. I know it is a real-world issue, but it was getting a bit gruesome at times – and I was getting numb to the impact, which is worse. So, still a favorite series set in a favorite world, but I do hope that the whole human trafficking focus is wrapped up soon.

Ok, I rambled enough. What are you reading and enjoying this week? Are there any plotlines that you are getting worn out on? Anything you think needs to be addressed that isn’t?

 

Entertainment Winners and Losers

I have been on vacation for a couple of weeks, and to go from all work to no work is weird. Lovely, but weird. When I am working, I don’t really get to watch tv or movies, and my reading gets behind, too. Now I am in catch up mode, and having varying degrees of success.

  • I have been getting caught up on the character guides, and right now I am re-reading Bound Together from Christine Feehan‘s Sisters of the Heart series. I am strangely excited for the next spin-off, Torpedo Ink, but the introduction of the 17 (SEVENTEEN!) new characters was…interesting. I got 6 full pages of notes from the first two chapters alone. So, so many biography info dumps for so many characters at once is a bit of a challenge to keep straight, but things smooth out a bit as it goes on. But really? Seventeen?
  • It has been forever since I have been to the movies, but I did decide that on my vacation time I would watch the Star Wars movies. I have seen a few minutes of them here and there, and I have read about them over the years, but I haven’t really sat down and ever watched one. I started out with Rogue One and The Force Awakens, both of which I liked. Then I went back to Episodes I-III and…yeah. Wow. I rolled my eyes a bit through the first one, but the second one was on a whole new level of cheesy acting. Every time Anakin and Padme are onscreen, I find myself literally cringing. Is it just me being picky, or are they a painful pairing?
  • On the TV side of things, I have been enjoying The Gifted, and I finally got caught up on The 100 and Stranger Things. Next up is the Marvel stuff – Punisher, Defenders, maybe Iron Fist. But I have been secretly binging Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Yep, I admitted it. I have sneered and mocked them and their show for a while now, but it might be my guilty pleasure. I don’t always like them, but they are definitely not boring.

What do you do with your time off? Have you been watching anything interesting, or have any guilty pleasure shows?

A Few Things That Have Caught My Eye

There are a couple of new series starting up this year that I am really anticipating – well, mostly they are spin-offs of old favorites – like Chloe Neill‘s Heirs of Chicagoland, Shelly Laurenston‘s The Honey Badgers, Christine Feehan‘s Torpedo Ink. And I can’t forget Jeaniene Frost‘s The Night Rebel (Ian! Yes!). But as I was taking a browse at what is coming up, a couple of new-to-me authors showed up and caught my eye.

My first newbie comes from Maria Vale. The Last Wolf is the first book of The Legend of All Wolves series, and it has a release date of February 6th.

the last wolfSynopsis…

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild. Silver Nilsdottir is a lone runt with a crippled leg, facing a life of endless submission in the Pack.

Then Tiberius Leveraux stumbles wounded into their territory with a plea for protection. If Silver is to make a real place for herself, she must fight for Tiberius—her only chance at ever having a mate. And in the end, she is forced to shield all of them—the Pack, the land, and the man she loves—from ancient enemies.

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This next one is from Rhenna Morgan. Guardian’s Bond is the first book of the Ancient Ink series, and it will be released on March 12th.

guardian's bondSynopsis…

For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect.
To provide for and pleasure.

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

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And this last one is from Grace Draven. I have heard only good things about her, but I haven’t read anything from her myself. Phoenix Unbound is the first book of The Fallen Empire series, and it will be out on September 25th.

phoenix unboundSynopsis…

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire’s capital–her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village’s tithe has been the same woman. Gilene’s sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire’s most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion–and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire–and burn once more.

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Have you found any new (or new-to-you) series that have randomly caught your eye lately? What spin-off series are you most excited for?

 

Reading Wrap Up and…Stuff

booksHey all. Let’s start with the stuff, shall we?

Dawn and I both got slapped with the notice that the next Breeds book from Lora Leigh, Cross Breed, has been pushed back. Gasp! I know, right, the shock is real! Eh, seriously – part of me expected it since it has happened to pretty much all of the Breeds books for the last few years, but part of me had hope that this one would come in on time. Nope. So no more March 27th for Cassie’s story, it will now be out on September 25th.

On the reading wrap up side of things, I have been playing catch-up since I finished my Jane Yellowrock marathon. I picked up Deborah Blake‘s Wickedly Spirited. It is a novella set in her Baba Yaga world, and it was a quick, fun read. It also got me back into things before the release of the next Broken Riders book next month. 3 out of 5.

And I also blew through The White Lily from Juliette Cross. This was my first “e-only” series I ever picked up way back when, and I really do like the fairy-tale retelling aspect and the new take on vampires and werewolves. From what I understand, there is only one more book planned for this series, which is a shame. I do see so much potential for several possible couples. 4 out of 5.

I was also behind on a couple of Christine Feehan releases. First up, I tackled Leopard’s Blood from the Leopard people series. I did quite enjoy it, but it is weird when you get to a character’s story and you don’t really recognize his personality from previous books. This time around it was Joshua Tregre’s turn, and I didn’t see much of the kind of goofy, playful Joshua I had seen before. He wasn’t a monster or anything, but his character had a different tone to me. I guess he was just “alpha’d up”, so to speak, as pretty much always happens. And now it looks like we have even more Russian Leopard shifters running around, too. I guess it makes sense since we are running out of team-members of Drake’s to focus on. 3.5 out of 5.

Then I picked up the latest Carpathian book, Dark…Something. Dark…Legacy (had to look it up). Yeah. It was fine. But what I realized while reading it is that for the last four or five books, I remember nothing about them. NOTHING. Not the names, not the characters or storylines or set up for future books. NOTHING. It is perfectly fine while I am reading them (nothing earth-shattering, but the usual Feehan Dark story which I pretty much always enjoy), but as soon as I put those suckers down, I forget everything that happened. As I was reading Dark Legacy (had to check for the name again), I had no clue who most of the characters were except for Tariq – and I remember nothing about his book, what I remember comes from when he was first introduced. And the introduction of even more baddest-of-the-bad from the monastery didn’t help, either, since they all got lost in the blur. I do remember the early books really quite well, but the last few have just become all jumbled and leave my brain the moment I am finished reading. Aaaand since I have no clue what happened and I just finished it a couple of days ago —-> 3 out of 5.

And wrapping things up was The Trouble With Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones (character guide has been updated and is being edited, too). As much as I do really enjoy this series, the God angle in the last couple didn’t work for me. It didn’t bug me as much this time around, which was great. And I liked having the whole band back together, too. It was action packed, but pretty much everyone got their page-time. Charley was her “old self” for me, too, which I had missed the last couple of books. But there was one thing that kept niggling at the back of my mind, and that was wasn’t Charley a bit TOO “her old self” for everything that was going on with Reyes? Jokes and quips and Mocha lattes were a lot of fun, but it didn’t quite suit the potential end-of-her-world that was going on. It might be a nitpick since I did really enjoy this one, more so than the last couple, but it just felt a little off to me. Great ending, though – and quite the set up for the final book. 4 out of 5.

There you go. What have you been up to? Any great reads lately, or any letdowns? Do you have any series that you find yourself going blank on? What do you see happening for Charley 13?

Cover Lover – Shadow Keeper

Happy Ever After hosted the cover reveal for the third book from Christine Feehan‘s Shadows series, Shadow Keeper. No matter what your opinion, you just can’t deny that Christine can crank out the books. Five separate PNR series on the go at the same time, one book for each series per year (roughly). This one has a release date of May 29th.

9780451490124_ShadowKeeper_FCO_mech.indd

Synopsis…

One family brings its own brand of justice to the streets of Chicago’s shadowy underworld as #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan returns to a series hot enough to burn…

The paparazzi can’t get enough of infamous bad boy Giovanni Ferraro. But unknown to them–and the women he beds–he’s just playing a role. Keeping the spotlight on himself keeps it off the family business. And if this lethal shadow rider can’t hunt in the dark, he’ll find his pleasure elsewhere…

Sasha Provis grew up on a Wyoming ranch and thought she knew how to protect herself from predators. But in the nightclub where she works, she’s fair game–until one of the owners steps in to protect her. Giovanni is gorgeous. He’s dangerous. And his every touch takes her breath away.

The devil at her heels may have finally met its match…

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Where does this series fall on you ranking for Christine Feehan’s series? I used to be a die-hard Ghostwalkers fangirl, but lately I would say I more favor the Sea Haven set books. I guess I will see if that continues what with the new motorcycle club/superpowered Russian assassins spin-off set in Sea Haven that fires up in January.

Reading Wrap Up

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week

A couple of years ago, my pick of the week would’ve been Dark Legacy. No question. Christine Feehan‘s Carpathians books were the top of the top for me, but over time they have become more of a “habit” read. I don’t anticipate getting my hands on the latest release, I don’t count down the days – hell, I am getting to the point that I don’t even remember who the characters are anymore. But I still can’t walk away. It is an addiction, I swear.

It might be a while until I actually get to my real pick of the week, but I will get there. Someday. The book I am talking about is J.D. Robb‘s 45th In Death book, Secrets in Death. I say it every time, but it amazes me that a series can be nearly 50 books in, and still going strong. Not only still selling well, but it seems like it is more popular then ever.

secrets in deathSynopsis…

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Who all is up-to-date with the In Death series? I am on…18? Maybe 19? But I spread them out (even though I could probably pull a decent sized marathon and not get tired of them at all). They are a treat for me, honestly – it is like re-visiting old friends at this point.

Book of the Month

Some months it can be a bit of a struggle to find 10 interesting books, but September has almost too many. There are a couple of really big releases, and a bunch of “smaller” ones that look just as good. Time to vote and see what book will be chosen as the book of the month for September. If none of the titles listed below appeal, just select “Other” and leave your choice in the comments section. A complete list of September’s releases can be found HERE.

 

I have already read Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Viper, and there are quite a few more that might be finding their way onto my ipad, too. Not so sure how excited I am for Christine Feehan‘s Dark Legacy, though – I have completely lost track of the characters and storyline at this point. And I am pretty sure a re-read of the series isn’t in the cards, either.

Cover Lover – Covert Game

I have to be honest, I started this as a goodbye post. It has been a struggle for a while to carve out the time to keep the blog up-to-date, and my personality type gets bent out of shape when things are in disarray. And when things stay in disarray, it doesn’t go over well. I am behind on the re-design. Behind on the new releases. And at least one book behind on pretty much every character guide. And I am so far behind on my obligations to my other hobby that I couldn’t even list what needs to be done. I have some time off coming up, and until then I am going to try and plug away at things and see what I can do.

Enough whining – I bored myself. The cover and blurb has been released for the next Ghostwalker book from Christine Feehan, which is called Covert Game. Looks like it is another team-four book, and it will be released on March 20th.

covert gameTreason, torture and temptation haunt the GhostWalkers in their most dangerous adventure yet, as Christine Feehan’s #1 New York Times bestselling series hits an explosive new high.

Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there’s no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He’s the perfect killing machine–a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world’s leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord’s computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she’s the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her…

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it’s up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she’s led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won’t stop him…