Reading Wrap Up

skinwalkerMy reading has been all over the place since my last wrap up post, and the vast majority of it has been a success. After I finished up J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, I decided to tackle another one of my “should read” series. Or in the case of the Jane Yellowrock books, it was a matter of giving it another try. I read a few books a couple of years back, but honestly I had a hard time getting into it. But my real enjoyment of Faith Hunter‘s spin off Soulwood books featuring Nell Ingram made me really want to give Jane another shot. And so far, so good. I have checked out a lot of the early novellas, and gone back and read the first book, Skinwalker, and for some reason it seems to be clicking for me this time around.

I also picked up the latest Dragon Kin book from G.A. Aiken, Bring the Heat. It was another solid installment of the series, and it was so good to see some long-standing issues get resolved so well. I have always enjoyed both Branwen and Aidan, but for me their romance took a backseat to everything else going on. And there was a LOT going on, that’s for sure.

feversongI did a couple of re-reads for the character guides, tackling Thea Harrison’s Spellbinder and Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, supposedly the end of the Mac and Barrons part of the Fever series. I ended up enjoying Spellbinder much more the second time around, and I have gone from being a bit “meh” on the UK Elder Races spin off to quite liking it. I would be happy to see it continue past the currently-planned trilogy. And Feversong? I read it so fast the first time around that I didn’t do it or myself any favors, and I am getting much more out of it with the re-read. As much as I do like the Fever books, though, I am so very ready to be done with Mac’s POV. She has had her time, and then some, and now it is time for the rest of the characters to get their turn. After Dani (and Ryodan), there is supposed to be a couple of books focusing on The Nine (I think), and I can’t wait.

And for something a little different, I stepped outside my comfort zone and tried a few different things. I picked up the British mystery/thriller Now You See Me from Sharon Bolton after seeing some really good reviews around, and I did quite like it. I quite liked it, more than I thought I would, but I didn’t feel the need to immediately go and pick up the rest of the books in the series. At least not yet, anyways. I also finally broke down and bought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Yeah, that didn’t work out nearly so well. I tried maybe 5 or 6 times to get into it, but it just didn’t happen. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so maybe that will spur me on, but as of right now it is a DNF after about 6 chapters. Sigh.

paper princessHave you ever decided to randomly just try a book, knowing going in that it is completely not what you usually like, and you end up loving it? That happened to me with Paper Princess by Erin Watt. I don’t do contemporary romance, and I don’t do young adult, so a contemporary young adult romance is an automatic miss, right? Nope. I Loved it. I bought it completely on a lark, and I think I even rolled my eyes when I decided to “just give the first chapter a quick look”. Well, that first chapter browse turned into me finishing the book in one sitting, immediately ordering the rest, and getting almost a third of the way through the second one before I finally made myself go to bed at 7:00 this morning. I can’t even tell you why I like it so much, I just do. What a pleasant surprise.

Over to you. Any great reads (or re-reads) lately? Any popular series you couldn’t get into, or any surprise favorites? Ever given a series a second chance and ended up liking it more the next time around?

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Bring the Heat Review

We don’t have long to wait for the next Dragon Kin book from G.A. Aiken, but Larissa has kindly sent over her early review of Bring the Heat. This is the story of Brannie and Aidan, and it will hit the shelves on the 29th.

bring-the-heatWhat Larissa said…

5 stars
G. A. Aiken, also known as Shelly Laurenston, is a master writing paranormal romance with exciting plots, incredible world building, hilarious moments and off-putting characters. Bring the Heat is a perfect example of that and it was a joy to read.
I confess that I have a bit of a hard time remembering all of the returning characters, but I did a quick check on the blurbs of previous novels in the series and I was all set. I love how much page time we got with all these past characters and couples, it made me so happy.
The main couple in Bring the Heat is Brannie and Aidan, they are so amazing together. However, their romance is not one of those full of obstacles, other than maybe their own resistance. Therefore, we get to spend more than half of the book with a bunch of other fantastic characters and story lines specially with the newest generation.
All in all Bring the Heat is superb and an awesome addition to the Dragon Kin series. Yes, the romance could have fit into a novella, but giving us a full-length novel was a brilliant move, specially in a novel that feels like the end of an arch for the series. That way we got some closure from other characters and it opened up new opportunities for new story lines and books.
If you enjoy Aiken and Laurenston sense of humor, writing style and books, you will absolutely love this book!
I am looking forward to this one, and it seems like we have waited forever to get Brannie’s story. Aidan has long been a favorite, too, so let the countdown begin.

Well, One Down

checkI had a lot of things I wanted to get done on my recent time off. I did get the site redesigned, which was a big one. And I planned on getting all of the character guides updated…that didn’t happen at all. But I did manage to get a new guide done, and at least that is something. So, I now have a full character guide done up for G.A. Aiken‘s Dragon Kin series, which can be found HERE.

There were other guides that have been requested, but honestly I thought that this series was one of the most confusing and involved. What with several generations and clans and names I just couldn’t keep track of, I thought it would maybe come in handy. And doing a re-read of the series showed me just how much I had forgotten.

Next up will be a whole round of updating, and then after that I am open to suggestions. Maybe Lords of the Underworld. Mercy Thompson would be handy, too. Night Huntress World? What do you think?

Weekly Wrap Up

booksHey everyone, how is the new year shaping up for you so far? Have you been sticking to your resolutions, or do you even bother making them? I am proud to say that I have finally – finally – started to watch Game of Thrones. So far I am very much enjoying it, but the trying to figure out who is who in the secondary characters has prompted me to order the first couple of books, too. I haven’t really read too much straight fantasy before, so that will be a good place to try something a little different.

I have to say, this was a pretty great week for reading, too. Things got to a great start with Feversong, the final book of the main Fever series from Karen Marie Moning. As I said before, though, I pulled an all-nighter (literally all night – I think I finished around 8 in the morning), and my enjoyment of it suffered a bit because at that point I just wanted to find out how it ended. I found myself skimming all of the Mac sections just to get to Christian, Dani, Ryodan, Lor and Dancer, and I was completely disinterested in the Queen and King. So while I didn’t take in the whole book, I did get completely wrapped up in the rest.

While Mac and Barrons’ story is now wrapped up, it didn’t really feel like an “end”. There are still two more books to be set in this world – Dani and Ryodan could (and must) get their own book, and ditto for Christian. We still need to know what happened to Dageus (which could be handled in a Christian book), and more about the Nine (which would work in a Ryodan-centric story). Mac has been, for me, the weakest part of the last few books, so I am very excited to see where things go from here.

I also picked up Phantom Kiss. It is the next-to-last story in Chloe Neill‘s Chicagoland Vampires series, and it was a quick little ghost-story with some lead-up to the Merit and Ethan wedding. It wasn’t bad at all, but if you skip it you aren’t missing anything pertinent, either. I do like this series, but it never did become one of my “must reads”. I am interested in seeing where the spin-off goes, though.

And I am just finishing up a re-read of the whole Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken. This has been fun, and as a bonus I can actually keep most of the characters straight now. I had completely forgotten so many of the early stories and characters it was like discovering a whole new series. This one is always good for a laugh, and makes a nice change of pace.

But the absolute highlight of my week, month, and most anticipated of the year was White Hot from Ilona Andrews. I whined, begged, and spammed until I got a review copy, and it was everything I hoped and a whole lot more. Burn For Me is one of my favorite books, and I loved this one even more. It has all of the great characters and storylines of the first book, but we dive even further into the magical side of things, the house structure – and the abilities of Nevada’s family. I can’t quite explain to you how badly I wanted to get my hands on this one – and I worried that maybe I had set my expectations too high. I am so glad to say that I hadn’t set them high enough, because this was one hell of a follow up book. There are currently only three books contracted, but I could honestly see the Hidden Legacy series going on indefinitely. I hope.

So, that long-winded post wraps up my week. How was yours? Did you have any great reads this week? What did you think of the final Fever book – and did you find yourself over Mac’s POV like I did? Where do you see it going from here?

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.

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?

Site Updates

I have finished adding the info for Magic Binds for the Kate Daniels Character Guide. That is the good part. The bad part is that it is a total disaster, so I will be editing for the next couple of days. That one is turning into a monster, and with so much happening in the last few books a lot of details have changed. I am still plugging along on the In Death guide, and setting one up for the Dragon Kin books. Aaand I need to get the Archangel’s Heart re-read done, which is no hardship at all.

Hopefully in the next week or so, I will get an update of the new release dates done, as well. I haven’t seen a lot of release date changes, but there are always a few to mess things up.

And that’s about it. As always, forgive the mess as I play around behind the scenes.

Reading Wrap Up

booksI am going to try and make this post a little less rambly than usual, so let’s see how that goes. Since October has streaked by, I thought it would be a good time to do another Reading Wrap Up post to see what everyone has been up to.

My battle with Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunters continues, with mixed success. I seem to be in the like one then not so much stage of things, with the last one being a solid meh. My problem with Dark Side of the Moon can be placed squarely on female lead Susan, and pretty much only her. I don’t like female reporter characters, which is weird, but that isn’t what bugged me about her. I didn’t like her over the top snark and sarcasm. I like both snark and sarcasm, but hers came off as inappropriate and mostly just rude. She did get a bit better as the story went on, but not enough to make me like her.

My other big stumbling block when I read is the pregnant-by-another-dude female, which I thought would mean I wouldn’t like Deborah Blake‘s Dangerously Charming. Turns out that in this case it didn’t bother me at all. I quite enjoyed this one, and look forward to Dangerously Divine….whose cover I found just this minute. Behold.

dangerously-divine

Aaaand, my enjoyment of J.D. Robb‘s In Death series is also still going strong. Loyalty in Death saw some great and long awaited developments for certain side characters, and paired with a good, solid story and lots of Roarke, I was a happy girl. I had weirdness with my last book order, which means I have to wait a bit for my next fix to be delivered. On to #10…and only like 35 more to go. Yeah.

Oh, and I broke down and finally tried A Promise of Fire from Amanda Bouchet. I was still on my no-new-series ban, but I caved and ordered this one for my ipad, and I was glad I did. It was a very nice break from my usual, and it has been a long while since I picked up one that had a historical feel. I will be definitely keeping up with this series, and I do so hope for stories for Carver, Flynn and Kato after the original trilogy wraps up.

Finally, there were a few re-reads, too. I tore through Ilona Andrews‘ latest Kate Daniels, Magic Binds, when it was first released, and I was shocked by how little I retained. Seriously, I might’ve remembered maybe 10% of the storyline, so the re-read felt almost like a first time, and it was great. The only downside is that you can feel the build-up to the end, which is not something I want to contemplate. Ever. And I also re-read What a Dragon Should Know from G.A. Aiken, and it was a blast. You can’t miss with one of these books if you are looking for crazy antics and humor, and going back to it was a treat. Now if I could just find out when the next new book is coming out, I would be happy.

So, I aimed for less long-winded, and missed by a mile. But what have you been reading lately? Have you kept up on the very recently finished serialized One Fell Sweep? Were you happy how it wrapped up? Do you also pick up the print or e-format versions when they are released, or do you stick to reading them on the Ilona Andrews’ Blog?

Pick of the Week

I must be in the winter blah’s because even my pick of the week can’t get me excited for some reason. Shelly Laurenston/G.A. Aiken writes great books that are always good for a laugh, but for some reason I am having to talk myself into buying The Undoing, which is the second book in the Call of Crows series. Maybe I am finally breaking free of getting books because I “should”, and moving on to books I really want to read at that moment? That would be nice. Either way, The Undoing is my pick of the week.

the undoingSynopsis…

A risk worth taking…

No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.

But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.

Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!

I did like Call of Crows, but it didn’t grab me like either the Dragon Kin or the Pride series did. Have you tried this one yet? What did you think about the new series?

Reading Wrap Up

booksThings have been pretty quiet around here for the last few days, mostly because there just wasn’t a lot to mention. I figure this is as good a time as any to share what we all have been reading, since it has been almost a month since my last wrap up post.

To be honest, I haven’t seemed to be able to get much done these last couple of weeks. I did manage to read Midnight Marked from Chloe Neill, which is the second-to-last full book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. It took me longer to finish than I thought it would, though. I do enjoy the books, but they don’t quite grab me like I wish they would. I have no problem putting them down and leaving them for a couple of days, which I did quite a few times on this one. I guess what I am trying to spit out is that like the rest of the books in the series, it was a good read, but it didn’t wow me, either.

I have two new releases on the go as I type, and those are Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs, and Lady Midnight from Cassandra Clare. For some reason, I am not totally feeling Lady Midnight, though. Maybe it is because I am reading it for the character guide, so it is more a fact-finding mission than a leisurely read, but I am not involved with parts of it. It isn’t bad, at all, but I am not really connecting with Emma or her story, which sucks since she is the main character. But surprisingly, Julian is a stand-out, which I didn’t expect. I figured he would be second fiddle to Emma, but that isn’t the case at all. And his story-arc is quite compelling. I am still slogging along on this one, but it is slow going.

Fire Touched is another story. I am at the half-way point, and it is flying by. These stories are once a year treats, so I do try and savor them, but it is hard to not just devour them in one sitting. I find myself forgetting a few of the background characters, though, which is a little annoying. Definitely time for a re-read of the series.

And on the subjects of re-reads, I got a few more novellas done for the Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken, along with another crack at the second In Death book from J.D. Robb, all of which I liked just as much the second time around. To my eternal shame, I still haven’t read Marked in Flesh – I know, I know. Like I said, ashamed. But it will be up after I finish Fire Touched. Too many books, too little time.

What have you been reading? What was your take on some of the big releases of March?