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?

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Be My Eyes And Ears?

question-markSo, I was wondering if any of you has heard anything about Lara Adrian? A month or so ago, she was scheduled to release Claimed in Shadows, but the release date for that came…and went…with no word or sign of the book. The only thing I found for it was over on Goodreads, which now just lists the release date as 2018. Lara’s official site just lists it as a summer release – last summer, that is. And I am getting the vibe the same thing is shaping up to happen with the first Hunter Legacy spin-off book, Born of Darkness. It is listed on Goodreads as being scheduled for release this December 1st, but it hasn’t shown up on any Amazon sites, and the official blurb is still missing.

I know Kresley Cole suffered a set-back when she broke her leg earlier this year, but did any of you get any dirt on why the big pushback on Shadow’s Kiss? It took a rather big jump, and now has a release date set for next December…which will mean the best part of two years between IAD releases. Ditto the fifth book of The Arcana Chronicles, The Dark Calling, which now is just showing as TBA. It makes me wonder if maybe she has something else in the works that I didn’t hear about, because it seems like a long time for no releases from a normally quite steady author.

And, have any of you heard anything about what Darynda Jones has in store? I just finished The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, and I am glad she will be wrapping things up with the next book. I would love to see an Osh-and-Beep centric series, or even an Amber-and-Quentin one – after a time jump for both, that is. I have been digging around to see what I can find out, but I haven’t had any luck yet. Have you? Any word of what’s going on?

Any gossip to share? I am not a fan of social media, so I think I might miss some info that you might have access to. Have you heard anything about what is going on with any of these authors? Or any excitement from any other authors?

October’s Book of the Month…Probably?

the-trouble-with-twelfth-graveOk, let me confess that I pretty epically bungled the book of the month poll. Seriously, I didn’t even notice that The Trouble With Twelfth Grave was coming out. I was in a hurry and just went through the release summary at the top of the month to pick the books rather than look at the full release schedule. In my case, I guess pictures=good. So I am making an executive decision and picking the new Darynda Jones book for the top spot. I am 99% sure it is what would’ve won had it been there anyways. Duh.

Sadly, even with all of that, I can’t say I am so so excited to grab this one. My interest in Charley herself has waned a bit since the whole God angle thingie has been introduced, and I don’t always find myself loving her and Reyes’s interactions anymore. What does keep me more than interested is the rest of the gang – Amber, Quentin, Cookie, Garrett, and especially Osh. I am already thinking ahead to a potential Beep/Osh series, which could be all kinds of great, yes?

In summary, I messed up. Then I took over. Then I whined a bit, then asked for more. Oh, and for the win, I am two days late posting this. That about covers it, I think. Go me.

This and That

There isn’t a ton going on, but I do have a couple of tidbits to share about some upcoming books…

  • There is only a few days left until Gena Showalter‘s latest Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Promise, is released. But if you would like a sneak peek, there is an excerpt available on Hypable (HERE). I find myself saying this more and more, but honestly I can’t remember much of the Lazarus/Cameo set up from the previous books. Like, I remember something about Cameo being sucked into the Pairing Rod, then…nada. Sigh, getting old.
  • I just saw that Darynda Jones will be wrapping up her Charley Davidson series with the release of the as-yet untitled 13th book, which is due out next January 4th. Honestly, I am…ok with it. As much as I have enjoyed the series, the recent God angle didn’t quite work for me, and I found myself skipping over those parts. I have even been much more interested in the supporting gang – Osh, Beep, Quentin and Amber, Garrett – than in Reyes and Charley. And according to the interview Darynda Jones did over on Heroes and Heartbreakers (HERE) she is interested in exploring a spin-off series focused on Beep, which could be all kinds of interesting (like Chloe Neill is doing with her new Elisa Sullivan series).
  • Welp, from what I can tell, it looks like Kresley Cole‘s Dacian books will be absorbed into the larger Immortals After Dark series (kind of like what Gena Showalter is doing with her Angels of the Dark books merging with the LotU). Or, as the official write up states, Shadow’s Kiss will “bridge the world” between the Dacians and the IAD. It is also making the jump to hardcover. It looks like the heroine will be Mina, and I had thought that maybe just because of the age similarity she might’ve been paired with Thad, but it doesn’t sound like it is shaping up that way…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this highly anticipated romantic adventure that bridges the world of the Dacians to her “fresh and enthralling” (RT Book Reviews) Immortals After Dark series.

Overprotected vampire princess Kosmina “Mina” Daciano—part merciless swordswoman/part bashful, awkward damsel—has never been allowed to venture from her antiquated and isolated home realm of Dacia. But Lothaire, the half-mad king, overrules Mina’s older brother and uncles and dispatches her out into the mortal world, reasoning that she’ll either “broaden her horizons or die. As nature intended.”

If the shy Mina can survive life outside of a sun-protected vampire kingdom, where blood is always on tap, will she be able to navigate a modern-day relationship with a ruthless warrior hero?

There you have it. Any thoughts? I am not sure how much I am into the whole trend of merging spin-offs back into the main series thing. Even though I am now a proud e-book reader, I still collect many series in hardcover and it annoys me. You have a hardcover main series, and a mass market spin off – great. But after a book or two, the paperback series goes hardcover, too, and it is a pain. You end up with a gap in your collection. Like with J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Legacy, you have one random paperback to deal with, Kresley Cole’s Dacians is one a mass market and one trade paperback novella, and Gena Showalter’s Angels of the Dark is three paperbacks. If they were re-released in hardcover, it would be fine, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Ugh.

Reading Wrap Up

I am hoping to have a Weekly Wrap Up feature every Sunday, looking back at what we all read over the past week. At least, that is the plan. Maybe we can even have it as an open discussion thread for the books that were released in the past week, that sort of thing. At least, that is the goal.

eleventh grave in moonlightIt took a while, but I finally got around to Eleventh Grave in Moonlight from Darynda Jones. I find myself torn over this one, honestly, and it probably isn’t going to be the popular opinion. The first half or so didn’t really work for me. I didn’t feel the usual connection between Reyes and Charley – they came of more as adversaries than a couple, at least to me. Once they get back on the same page, I got more into the story, but it took a while.

I have found myself struggling a little bit with the Charley Davidson series the last few books, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally clicked when I was reading this one – I am not a huge fan of the God angle. I like Charley the reaper and Reyes the son of Satan, whose daughter is destined to save the world. I don’t even mind Charley with her “extra” powers. But God Charley and God Reyes and the Gods of Uzan and the bad God Eidolon and Gods in the God Glass and Reyes’ big brother the God Jehovah doesn’t quite do it for me. I find myself skimming all of those sections just to get back to the day-to-day of Charley and Reyes and the great supporting cast. Hopefully I can get more on board with it, since it doesn’t look like that storyline is going anywhere soon.

power gameNext up was Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the thirteenth GhostWalker book (and the first to be released in hardcover. The last two books were ok, but different. Like way heavy on the Alphahole and the Doormat scale of things. They didn’t feel like they belonged to the series at all, but Power Game seems to bring things back in line again. I liked this one quite a bit, and I have to say it was a relief to back to the “old style” GhostWalker books. In fact, Wyatt and Trap don’t even make an appearance, so it was like their two stories never happened.

I wasn’t completely thrilled when I knew this book was going to be a return to the swamp, but Power Game got me interested in team four again. I still miss the first teams, and I would like to see a return to some of the original girls like Cami, but I am ok with more of team four, too. All in all, I like this one. A few missteps and changes in tone gave my love of the series a few hits over the last couple of years, but things seem to be back on the right track.

betrayal-in-deathThere really isn’t much to say about Betrayal in Death from J.D. Robb. It is the twelfth book of the In Death series and I show no signs of slowing down on the series. I am still excited when it is time to pick up a new book, and I find myself compulsively devouring them.

The supporting cast is great in this one, and I so enjoy getting glimpses of Roarke’s past life. The bad guy in this one was a particular scum-bag, and his takedown made me very happy. I don’t always like Eve, honestly, and sometimes I think that Roarke gets the short end of the stick when it comes to where he falls in her life, but she is getting better at putting him first. I save these in the UK paperback version, and they look awesome on the shelf. Onto the next one!

how to tame a beast in seven daysI wasn’t too lucky with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days, though. It was my first Kerrelyn Sparks book, and since this is a new series I thought it would be a good chance to check one of the authors on my “must try” list off. Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t a big fan of the book. I won’t go into details since it was a NetGalley copy and I will be upping my full, rambling review probably next week, but it fell pretty flat for me. It wasn’t a bad story, and I liked the potential, but there wasn’t any tension, any drama, any sense of excitement. It was almost a DNF – not because I hated it, but just because I found it too easy. It is hard for me to get involved in the story when it seems like the characters themselves aren’t. I am probably going to be in the minority for this one, but I guess it just didn’t work for me. If you are looking for a light, breezy read with a decent love story, it might work out better for you.

I picked up A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings from George R.R. Martin, and I picked up e-book copies of The Sweetest Dark and The Darkest Night from Shana Abe, to go along with The Fiercest Joy. I already have them in hardcover, but I think the third book (which is supposed to be out this week) will be e-format so now they match. And I got Blade Bound, the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, as a review copy. Looks like I won’t be bored this week, either.

How about you? What did you manage to read this week? What did you think of any of the “big” releases from the last couple of weeks?

Cover Lover – The Trouble With Twelfth Grave

I just recently got finished with the last Darynda Jones book, but it looks like the cover and blurb have just come out for the next one, The Trouble With Twelfth Grave. It has a release date of October 31st, but I will warn you now…

If you have NOT read Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, there are major spoilers ahead!

Be Warned!

the-trouble-with-twelfth-graveEver since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

Pick of the Week

January has been a pretty decent reading month so far, and this week continues the trend. There are a couple of books I have been looking forward to, but I am going to have to give the nod to an old favorite. Today is the release day for Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the 13th Ghostwalker book (and the 1st one to be released in hardcover). A couple of years ago, this series was at the very top of my favorites list, but a few changes and inconsistencies over the last couple of stories has dropped it down my list a bit, but I still have high hopes. And I am interested to see what changes (if any) happen with the format change.

power gameSynopsis…

When radical terrorists take hostages in Indonesia, Captain Ezekiel Fortunes is called to lead the rescue team. Part of a classified government experiment, Zeke is a super soldier with enhanced abilities. He can see better, run faster, disappear when necessary, and hunt the enemy along any terrain. There are those in the world willing to do anything for power like that…

A formidable spy genetically engineered to hide in plain sight, Bellisia rarely meets a man who doesn’t want to control her or kill her. But Zeke’s different. His gaze, his touch, they awaken feelings inside her she never thought possible. He’s the kind of man she could settle down with—if she can keep him alive…

It was Power Game or Eleventh Grave from Darynda Jones, but I still have hopes that the Ghostwalkers can go back to the “old” style and climb back up to be one of my favorite series. Do you think it can pull out of hole it was in for the last couple of books, what with the total change in tone and style? Are you holding out any hope for a switchback?

This and That

After a couple of months where I have been letting things slide a bit, I am working on updating and adding new releases. In the process, I have come across a few little things to share…

  • It looks like the next Charley Davidson book from Darynda Jones will be called The Trouble With Twelfth Grave, and it will be released on October 31st.
  • And speaking of twelve, the twelfth Jane Yellowrock book from Faith Hunter will be called Dark Queen. No word on release date yet. But the third Nell book, Flame in the Dark, will be out next December.
  • The cover has been released for the third and final book in Jeaniene Frost‘s Broken Destiny series, The Brightest Embers. It has a release date of July 25th.

the-brightest-embers

  • December 5th, 2017 is the release date for the as yet unnamed third book of J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Legacy series.
  • I am looking forward to getting the next G.A. Aiken Dragon Kin book, Bring the Heat, when it comes out next August 29th. Here’s the blurb for this Brannie and Aidan book…
quotation marksI, Aidan the Divine, am, well divine. My name was given to me by the Dragon Queen herself! I’m a delight! Cheerful. Charming. And a mighty warrior who is extremely handsome with a very large and well-hidden hoard of gold. I am also royal born, despite the fact that most in my family are horrendous beings that don’t deserve to live. And yet, Branwen the Awful—a low-born, no less—either tells me to shut up or, worse, ignores me completely.
I’ll admit, I ignore Aidan the Divine because it annoys him. A lot. But, we have so much to do right now, I can’t worry about why he keeps staring at me, or why he always sits so close, or why he keeps looking at me like he’s thinking about kissing me. We have our nations to save and no time for such bloody foolishness…no matter how good Aidan looks or how long his spiked tail is. Because if we’re going to win this war before it destroys everything we love, we’ll have to face our enemies together, side by side and without distractions. But if we make it out alive, who knows what the future will hold…
  • The second book from Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s new Deadman’s Cross series will be called Death Doesn’t Bargain, and it will be released next October. And the hardcover re-releases for the Dark-Hunter series continues, and it looks like the next one up is Fantasy Lover. It will be out on November 7th.
  • Kerrelyn Sparks starts her new Embraced series this March with the release of How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days. Turns out, we won’t have long to wait for the second book, either. So I Married a Sorcerer will be out next August.

So, there you have it. Have you seen anything interesting lately? I have high hopes for 2017’s reading, and my ability to actually not get behind. Hopefully.

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?

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight Cover and Blurb

Yep, you have to love it when one book comes out, and you get info about the next one a couple of weeks later. It makes the wait so much easier when you have something to look forward to. Darynda Jones is always great about keeping her readers updated, and now we have the cover and blurb release for Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, which is due out on January 24th.

eleventh grave in moonlight.jpgA typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

I will admit that I haven’t read 10th Grave yet, so I am not reading the blurb, but I am always happy to see signs of the next book. Not sure where things are going in the next few books, but it should be an interesting ride.