On the Bubble

My last post, I went over some of the series that I had finally decided to purge from my collection. I don’t like clutter, and I am not a big fan of having a bunch of stuff I don’t use. In that same vein, there are a couple of more series that I could honestly see myself turfing in the not too distant future.

One is Christine Feehan‘s Dark series. Honestly, at this point, it has just dragged on way too long. I don’t remember half of the new characters (if not most of them), I don’t have any stories that I am looking forward to, and each story just seems to blur into the last. Since this is the series, along with the Ghostwalkers, that fired my love of paranormal romance, it is a hard one to let go of. Not to mention that I have collected all of them that I could in hardcover, so stopping is doubly hard. I might pick up the next one, which is due out in September, and then really decide if it is something I want to continue on with. But right now, I am feeling it will be a no.

Another one that could be on the chopping block is Gena Showalter‘s Lords of the Underworld, mostly for the same reason the Dark books are. This one has just gone on too darn long. I find myself not a big fan of “rediscovered” characters that are brought in just to extend the life of a series, and to me when that happens they become pretty expendable. The only story I am looking forward to is William’s – and his is up in 2019. At that point, I can happily let it go. I really don’t have much interest in The Darkest Warrior, but I figure it might be a set-up for William’s story, so I probably should give it a whirl. Or at least a skim-through.

There are a few others that are on the bubble, too. I was a big fan of Blood Kissed from Keri Arthur, but I found the second book a let down. Not sure I will be picking up the third one, but I guess it will depend on my mood at the time. There are a couple of other new to me authors, like Maria Vale and Rhenna Morgan, that I will be picking up their second book then deciding if I want to keep going.

I wish I could say I had something awesome to replace these series with, but I don’t. I’m not sure if it is a reading slump, or maybe I am just getting more picky with my time. Or maybe my tastes are just changing as I get older, but I find myself really going for quality over quantity. What are your on the bubble series? Anything you are having to talk yourself into reading because you feel you should, rather than because you really want to?

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Reading Wrap Up

Happy end of weekend, everyone. Time to take a little look at what we have all been reading this week.

hell's bellLast year, I read my first Keri Arthur book and quite enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to getting my hands on the next one, Hell’s Bell. It was a decent read – but maybe not quite what I hoped for. I was hoping that the romance angle only hinted at in the first book would be developed this time around, but it didn’t pan out as much as I would’ve liked. Decent storyline and world-building, but it did leave me wishing for a bit more.

9780451488510_JudgmentRoad_FCO_mech.inddAnd I just finished up the first Torpedo Ink book from Christine Feehan, Judgment Road. Sea Haven is one of my favorite fictional worlds, so I am always happy to get one of these stories. Judgment Road was a bit of a change of pace, though, since the “magical ability” angle that was so strong in the other books takes a back seat in this one, and it was a nice change. It was my first motorcycle-club based read, and while I am not a huge fan of the “property of” status and “old lady” handles, all in all I enjoyed it. It was Reaper and Anya’s book, but it was the secondary characters that made the story for me. But for the down side, while I don’t so much mind the bringing up the traumatic pasts of the Torpedo Ink gang, it is getting a bit old to have every book focus on rapists. It isn’t as bad as the Bound Together kiddie gang rape in progress scenes, but it is still a theme here, and I would like them to move on. There are other scum-bags to hunt – killers, terrorists, drug dealers – all while dealing with their own brutal pasts. So, I liked it for what it was, but I have hopes for some changes in future books.

thread of deathI picked up the Thread of Death novella in the Elemental Assassin series, too, which was a nice, quick read. It added a bit of closure to Mab and Gin saga, and while it wasn’t a necessary read, I was glad I picked it up. I am still annoyed by Jennifer Estep‘s constant references to Sophia and JoJo as the dwarves, but the eye-color thing has finally died a solid death (along with some of the other repetition that drove me nuts in the first couple of books), and that is a plus. Still chugging along on this one, and still enjoying it overall.

forbidden mateMy goal is to try at least one new-to-me author a month, and the one I picked for January was Cecilia Lane. I had been eyeing her Shifters of Bear’s Den series since it started last year, and I finally decided to take the plunge with Forbidden Mate. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me. I found it difficult to get into, and I had the urge to start skimming at about the 15% mark. That is never a good sign, and couple it with main characters that didn’t interest me and it is downhill from there. I probably would’ve kept going, but there are a couple of things that are a giant character no-no for me, and the female lead pulled one when she betrayed the trust of her HEA, then didn’t have the guts to come clean immediately, I was done. I don’t like to DNF a book, but I just wasn’t interested after that, so I might as well cut my losses and move on.

There, that wraps up my reads for this past week. What were yours? What story line situations make you give up on a book? Mine are main characters cheating on each other, a betrayal-then-cover up done by the female lead that puts everyone else in danger (it is always the females, honestly), and walking into in-progress rape scenes are getting there for me, too. They make me highly uncomfortable – as they should – and take away of my enjoyment of a story. And why else do we read if not for enjoyment? I get that it is a real-life thing, but it is becoming the recurring theme of pretty much every recent Feehan book, and I am finding it to be just too much. Sermon ends here.

Pick of the Week

I have been looking forward (with some qualifiers) to this week’s Judgment Road from Christine Feehan for a while, but I have already mentioned that one a couple of times in recent posts, and bringing it up again would be overkill. Luckily enough, though, the release date for Keri Arthur‘s second Lizzie Grace book was brought forward by a month, making Hell’s Bell my pick of the week.

hell's bellSynopsis…

When the church bell tolls thrice in the middle of the night, evil this way comes…

Lizzie Grace and Belle Kent, her witch familiar, are living and working on the Faelan Werewolf Reservation—one that has banned the use of magic within its borders. Although they have their supporters—including ranger Aiden O’Connor, who once hated all things witch—Lizzie and Belle now face possible eviction.

But the Faelan Reservation is a place filled with wild magic which—when left unprotected—quickly becomes a draw to those who walk the darker paths. As Christmas approaches, a new evil comes to town—one that eats the souls of the living and animates the flesh of the dead.

As the body count grows and the trail of clues leads them to the doorstep of the local vampire, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden must find the killer before death comes calling on them.

But the biggest threat of all may come in the form of a witch who sees through the veils of Lizzie’s carefully constructed lies and suspects the truth of who she really is…

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When I read the first Lizzie Grace book, Blood Kissed, I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best thing I had ever read or anything, but it was unique enough for me that it stood out. It was my first Keri Arthur book, my first book set in Australia (which was fun), and there was just enough of a hint of romance to make me interested in seeing how things play out in the second book. If I like this one as much as I did the first, I might even go back and check out some of her many other series. Are there any Keri Arthur fans around? Which series of hers would you recommend trying next?

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?

 

Cover Lover – 14 New Titles

I can’t believe how long it has been since I have done up a cover lover post featuring more than just one book. I have been holding onto some of these for a while, so might as well take a quick peek. Let’s start with a new one from Eve Langlais. Jilted Prince is the second book of her Hell’s Son series, and it will be released on March 29th.

jilted princeShe left him at the altar, but the Devil is making him keep his promise.

Destiny is calling Chris, yet someone forgot to give him an instruction manual on conquering the world. Being the Antichrist is all well and good, but how is he supposed to know how to bring about Armageddon? He’s still waiting for his army of minions, the glory, the riches. And where is the respect?

You’d think any woman would be ecstatic at the thought of marrying the future ruler of the world.

Not Isobel.

She keeps spouting things like “forced to get married,” “love me for myself, not because Daddy made you.”

It doesn’t help that his psychotic mother with a penchant for playing with dead things has taken an interest. However, having her henchman of the apocalypse attempt to kidnap him isn’t the way to get in his good graces.

Things are starting to get complicated on Earth. Dark forces are rising, Chris’s powers are still developing—and he’s pretty sure his dad, Lucifer, wants him dead. What’s the destroyer of the world to do?

Point him to the nearest bar. This calls for more beer.

This second one is from Ashlyn Chase. Hooked on a Phoenix is due out next March 6th.

hooked on a phoenixMisty Carlisle works as a bank teller in Boston’s financial district. She’s had more rotten luck in her life than most, except when her childhood crush shows up to cash his paycheck. Then her heart races and her mouth goes dry.

Gabe Fierro is a firefighter―and a phoenix. Like his brothers, his biggest challenge is finding a woman open-minded enough to accept a shapeshifter into her life. When his boyhood friend asks him to watch over his little sister Misty, he reluctantly agrees. But when the bank where she works gets held up, Gabe does everything he can to protect her. The two of them end up locked in the bank’s vault…where things get steamier than either of them ever imagined.

Terry Spear keeps cranking them out. Flight of the White Wolf is the 24th book of the Heart of the Wolf series, and it will be released on March 6th.

flight of the white wolfGavin Summerfield―an arctic wolf shifter with a fear of flying―has to fly into the vast lakeland wilderness of northern Minnesota to track down his suspect―where his ability to shift will come in very handy. Imagine his chagrin when his pilot turns out to be the woman who tasered him last time they saw each other. Things are off to a rocky start…again.

Arctic wolf shifter Amelia White isn’t entirely displeased to see Gavin again, but priorities shift when their plane is sabotaged and goes down in the middle of nowhere. As their attraction grows, Amelia hopes Gavin doesn’t discover the secret she’s been keeping…she knows he could never forgive her…

Storm Crossed is up next. It is the 4th book of the Grim series from Dani Harper, and it will be released on January 9th.

storm crossedHeir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world.

Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy Eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”

Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?

I have always been a big Jennifer L. Armentrout fan, but for some reason I never did get into this series. Brave is the 3rd book of A Wicked Saga, and it will be out on December 11th.

braveIvy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.

It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine… and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.

Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart. If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves–and, ultimately, to save herself.

Because behind every evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen…

Not long to wait for this next one. Fury of Denial from Coreene Callihan is the 7th book of the Dragonfury series, and it will be released on October 30th.

fury of denialHe’s an antisocial dragon shifter with a serious sweet tooth. She’s a pastry chef who won’t give him any sugar.

Blinded in an ambush, dragon warrior Wallaig has spent half a century in the dark with one thing on his mind—vengeance. When the rogue faction responsible returns to Scotland and targets a human female, he saves her life, determined to exact his revenge—even if it means using her as bait.

Smart-mouthed Amantha Leblanc is pastry chef with dreams of opening her own shop. The money is in the bank. Her mission is clear. The plan goes to hell the second Wallaig breaks into her apartment and she defends herself with a rolling pin. With a rogue pack of dragons circling, she is forced to rely on a man she doesn’t like—but isn’t able to resist.

Bec McMaster has a new one coming out on October 24th. Soulbound is the 3rd book of the Dark Arts series.

soulboundA dark force is rising in London…

Sebastian Montcalm knows freedom for the first time in his life, but it has come at the cost of his father’s soul. If he can learn to harness his uncontrollable sorcery then he might be able to save his father from a demon’s grip, but every move he makes leads to failure. The only thing that gives him hope is the innocent touch of Cleo Sinclair, the woman he was forced to marry. But will his darkness drown out her light?

He could be her destruction…

Cleo knew her father only ever loved her for the power of her visions, but when he bartered her away in marriage to a man she’d never met, she realized how little value she truly had. Her husband, Sebastian, was nothing more than a dark warmth in her bed, a stranger who refused to touch her. But together, the two tortured souls found friendship. And now, when he needs her the most, he won’t even look at her.

…Or she could be his salvation…

When Cleo receives a powerful vision of a darkness that threatens London, she knows she is the key to defeating it. Only by working together can she and Sebastian prevail. But is Sebastian the one who can end this prophetic doom, or the one bound to begin it?

The 20th Sisters of the Moon book from Yasmine Galenorn will be called Harvest Song, and it has a release date of May 8th.

harvest songWe’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is the Queen of Dusk & Twilight and married to three hunky men. Menolly is a vampire married to a gorgeous werepuma and a vampire prince. And me? I’m Delilah, a Death Maiden werecat, and I’m about to marry the love of my life. But in the midst of joy, we are facing the escalating war with Shadow Wing. About to attempt one of the most dangerous acts we’ve ever considered, can we keep the demon armies at bay while luring the demon lord into one final, coordinated attack?

My wedding day to Shade arrives, and somebody invited Murphy’s Law along to the ceremony. But the chaos only extends from there. Camille and her Keraastar Knights are finally united and ready. Menolly and Roman are aligning the vampires. And the dragons have pledged their help as the final battle with Shadow Wing draws near. But best laid plans go awry. As our plans fall apart, we must align ourselves with Trytian and the daemons. Will they be able to help us corner Shadow Wing when several of the portals fail and demons begin pouring into Seattle? Or are we too late and will Shadow Wing manage to break through, even without the help of the spirit seals?

This anthology seems like it could be interesting. Amid the Winter Snow will feature stories from Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter and Jeffe Kennedy, and it will available on December 12th.

amid the winter snow

December 5th is the release date for the 3rd Outcast book from Keri Arthur, The Black Tide.

the black tideThough Winter Halo – the pharmaceutical company behind the evil experimentation on both children and adults – has been destroyed, the danger is far from over. Not only do seven children remain unaccounted for, but some of the vampires are now able walk in light.

The key to stopping the unthinkable lies in finding Ciara Dream, the last member of the trio behind the plot to give full light immunity to both the vampires and the Others. But Ciara, like Tiger herself, is a shapeshifter, able to take on any human form she desires.

To find her, Tiger will need to use every skill in her formidable arsenal, and even that might not be enough to save the city and the people she has started to care about.

Because the vampires are coming, and this time, the lights won’t stop them.

Donna Grant has a new release coming, too. Torched is part of the Dark Kings series, and it will be out on May 29th.

torched.jpgThe King of Silvers. Cunning, perceptive, resourceful. Determined. Banished from Dreagan eons ago because of a betrayal that shattered his entire existence, his sole focus in life is to exact revenge against the Dragon Kings. A formidable fighter with centuries of rage on his side, Ulrik will stop at nothing to take down those who exiled him.

He has been alone, trusting no one for thousands of years. Until she walks into his life. He should not yearn for her, but there is no stopping the fiercely burning attraction. When he’s with her, he isn’t thinking of war or revenge. He only thinks of her, craves her. Burns for her. But soon he will be forced to choose: Will he continue on his course of destruction or will he be able to set aside his vengeance to save the woman who risked everything for him.

This next one is an anthology that will feature Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden and Kate Baxter. The Big Alpha in Town will be released on May 15th.

the big alpha in townThree hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today’s hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His Name
Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the Lion
Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur Love
Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…

Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head.

Almost done. Shadow Hunt is the 3rd book from Melissa F. Olson‘s Disrupted Magic series, and it will be out next February 13th.

shadow huntFor years now, Scarlett Bernard has counted on two things: her ability to nullify magic, and Shadow, the bargest who guards Scarlett with her life. But after a sudden revelation turns Scarlett’s world upside down, she panics and leaves town without warning, leaving Shadow with her partner, Jesse. In the chaos that follows, the bargest is stolen—and Jesse nearly dies from a brutal psychic assault.

It seems that an old enemy has returned for revenge…and the attack on Shadow was only the beginning. As Scarlett races home to find the bargest and rescue her friends, she is dragged deeper into a terrifying legend that has somehow found its way to present-day Los Angeles.

Now she will have to recruit every possible ally for a battle that will test her null ability to the limit. Scarlett has been in over her head before, but now she risks losing everything—and she’s never had more to lose.

And this final one is the one I am most looking forward to. Caught in Time is the 3rd book of the time-travel/police procedural/mystery Kendra Donovan series from Julie McElwain, and it will be out on July 3rd.

caught in timeOctober 1815: There is only one place Kendra Donovan wants to travel—back to her own time period in the twenty-first century. But since that’s not happening, she agrees instead to travel with her new guardian, the Duke of Aldridge, to one of his smaller estates in Lancashire. Their journey takes them through Yorkshire, a region whose breathtaking beauty masks a simmering violence brought on by the Industrial Revolution, which pits mill owner against worker.

When Kendra and the Duke encounter a band of Luddites on a lonely, fog-shrouded road, the Duke informs the authorities in the nearby village of East Dingleford that mischief may have been done at the local mill. However, it isn’t just mischief but murder that is discovered, when the body of the mill manager, Mr. Stone, is found brutally bludgeoned to death in his office.

The Constable is certain the radical-minded Luddites committed the murder. One look at the crime scene and Kendra knows they did not, prompting the Duke to shock the locals by volunteering their services to catch the real killer. Joined by lover Alec and Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must sort through the puzzle of Stone’s rather unsavory life, picking apart alibies and dissecting carefully created deceptions from a growing list of suspects.

As a special agent for the FBI, Kendra thought she’d encountered every kind of evil. But when another, even more vicious murder rocks East Dingleford, Kendra realizes that they’re dealing with a stone-cold killer—one who has a shocking secret that he will do anything to protect.

Ok, that was way longer than I thought it was going to be. Anything catch your eye? There are a couple I will be picking up for sure, and a couple more that I might get to one day, if I am lucky.

Reading Wrap Up

I have already bored everyone a couple of weeks back with my sudden love for e-books. I think I went bipolar or something, because something made me flip the switch from snobby contempt to raging love affair in the matter of a day. Well, the love is still going strong, and I am having a blast. I either packed up or un-hauled all of my mass market and trade paperback books, which emptied out three full six-shelf bookcases (I did keep pretty much all of my hardcovers and UK paperbacks, though). I did manage to spend a few hundred dollars over the last couple of weeks re-buying the must-haves, but it was worth it to free up the space. And as a sign of my special nerdness, I even edited some of the books when there were different versions of the covers I liked better. Yep, nerd.

And as bonus, I have exactly one physical TBR book. ONE. That has always been the goal, but it never seemed possible. Now it is a matter of “what do I feel like reading? One Click. Mine”. It is so freeing to not have Mount TBR mocking me from across the room anymore. I went all digital on music a while back, and I have been playing around with switching my blu-rays, too, but that one is hard. I still like “the collection”. At least for now.

blood kissedEh, back on topic. I did manage to get four books read recently. Well, three and a DNF, but whatever. I ended up “One Clicking” (totally a thing) Keri Arthur‘s Blood Kissed, which was the first book in her new Lizzie Grace series. I hadn’t planned on starting a new series, but my freedom as mentioned above went to my head. It was my first book by this author, and I enjoyed it. And strangely, I haven’t ever read a book set in Australia, either, which was a treat. It was a fast read, quite interesting, and I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here. There wasn’t much on the romance side of things, but the set up is done and things should get going in the next book. I might have to check out a few more series now, too.

covetI also dove into one that had long been on the former Mount TBR. I have faithfully followed J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger books for years, but I never made the jump to the Fallen Angels until now. I didn’t have much in the way of good or bad expectations for Covet, but it ended up being a decent read. I have to admit that I was looking for more Brother sightings, but a quick little run-in with an unnamed Phury was a treat. I liked the characters, it was an interesting premise, and it was nice to have a Ward book that wasn’t so over-the-top brand-name dropping and slangy, but still with some humor and snark. I wouldn’t pull an epic marathon and read them all in a row, but spaced out it could be a good thing. Oh, and Devina needs to die. Now-ish.

purity in deathAaand my J.D. Robb trek continues, this time with Purity in Death (#15). I can’t say much I haven’t said before, still loving them, still look forward to each new story, still haven’t even gotten slightly bored, either. Great characters, great premise, great promise for more to come. The supporting cast just keeps getting better, and while there are still times I would like to slap Eve around, it is part of the enjoyment. And Roarke may be one of my dream guys. It is a series I still pick up in physical copy, and the UK paperbacks look so pretty it should be a crime. Love.

talisman chroniclesHonestly, I can’t quite be sure what made me “One Click” the Young Adult (which I don’t read anymore) The Talisman Chronicles by T.M. Franklin (whom I have never heard of until now), but I did. It was a collection of six previously-released short stories about six kids who must fight the forces of darkness, but I only made it through the first story. It wasn’t bad, but it did make me remember why I had given up on YA. I could’ve kept reading, it would’ve been fine, but I didn’t care if I did or not so I figured it was time to hit the old delete button. If it doesn’t grab me, I figure why waste the time?

So, your turn. Come across anything exciting lately? How goes your TBR battles?

New Series Alerts

Happy Monday everyone. Looks like we have two new series starting up this week, starting with one from Keri Arthur. Blood Kissed is the first book of her new Lizzie Grace series.

blood kissedSynopsis…

In a world where magic and science sit side by side, and powerful witches are considered necessary aides for all governments, Lizzie Grace is something of an outlier. Though born into one the most powerful blue blood witch families, she wants nothing to do with either her past or her magic.

But when she and Belle, her human familiar and best friend, open a small cafe in the Faelan werewolf reservation, she quickly finds herself enmeshed in the hunt for a vampire intent on wreaking bloody havoc. It’s a hunt that soon becomes personal, and one that is going to take all her skills to survive–that’s if the werewolves, who hate all things witch, don’t get her first.

And the second one comes from Sherrilyn Kenyon and her ever-growing Dark-Hunter world. Deadmen Walking is the first book of the Deadman’s Cross trilogy.

deadmen-walkingSynopsis…

Hell On Earth

When the Chthonians brought the primal gods to a truce at the end of their great war, part of the pact they forged was that the worst of the evil the gods had unleashed against each other and mankind would be forever banished.

But forever is a long time. And nothing can contain those determined to find a way back.

To catch evil, it takes evil . . .

While Thorn is able to contain the demons unleashed on the ground, the ones who prey on the innocent sailors and sea faring travelers are beyond his reach.

For the sake of humanity, he makes a shaky alliance with an old foe, Marcelina. In the form of the ship they sail upon, she assembles a team under the command of Captain Devlyn Nathaniel Bane, one of the most notorious and bloodthirsty pirates to ever sail the high seas.

Damned and murdered by his own, Bane is out for revenge. With his own secret agenda, he agrees to take charge of the motley crew of pirates and brigands, and to protect the seas from the preternatural terrors that seek to devour every unwary soul they can take.

Theirs is a sacred and deadly task, as they are hunted by their prey and human authorities alike. If they fail, the world will fall to the ancient gods of chaos, and anarchy will reign. Most of all, the Southern gate, where the greatest, most powerful darkness is imprisoned, will be opened and there will be no stopping it.

It’s yo ho ho and a bottle of high seas stakes where the souls of all humanity are the ultimate prize and bargaining chip.

Which of these are you checking out? I haven’t tried any Keri Arthur before, so I am tempted to hit the order button, but then I am still on a no-new-series ban until I get caught up. Decisions, decisions.

Cover Lover – 4 New Titles

Here is a quick little cover lover post heading into the end of another week starting with one from Faith Hunter. Curse on the Land is the second book from her upcoming Soulwood series, and it has a release date of November 1st.

curse on the landBefore Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…

After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…

And this second one is from Keri Arthur. Winter Halo is the second book from the Outcast series, and it has a release date of December 6th.

winter haloThe humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way.

The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force.

Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself…

The next two are both adult, and some of the pretty makes me wish I was still in the YA state of mind. Anyways, Laini Taylor will release Strange the Dreamer, the first book of the series of the same name, on September 27th.

strange the dreamer

And this final one is from Aprilynne Pike. Glitter appears to be a stand alone release (dubbed Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette), which will be available on October 25th.

glitter

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

I am very excited for the Soulwood series from Faith Hunter, which is weird because I find myself struggling to get through the Jane Yellowrock books. Nothing wrong with them, but a lack of a defined love-interest throws me (I am a simple, one main couple kind of gal). Which of these are you looking forward to?

New Series Alerts…

It looks like it is time to get back on my usual scheduling routine, which is kind of nice. There are two new series starting up this week, and the first one comes from Keri Arthur. City of Light is the first book of the Outcast series.

city of lightSynopsis…

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay….

As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth.

Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe…

This second one is a new young adult release from Alexandra Bracken. Passenger is the first book of the series of the same name.

passengerSynopsis…

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Alexandra Bracken’s new release, but since I am finding myself not that interested in young adult stuff lately I will be putting this one off for a while. Are either of these on your radar?

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

Time for a little cover lover post, starting with one from Yasmine Galenorn‘s new Fly by Night series. Flight From Mayhem is due out on August 2nd.

flight from mayhemI’m Shimmer, a blue dragon shifter. Thanks to a mistake, I was exiled from the Dragon Reaches and sentenced to work for gorgeous, exasperating Alex Radcliffe, a vampire who owns the Fly by Night Magical Investigations Agency. Every time I turn around, somebody’s trying to kill us. But you know what they say: All’s fair in love and bounty hunting…

A serial killer is stalking the elderly Fae of Seattle, draining their bank accounts before brutally murdering them. When Chase Johnson asks for our help, Alex and I discover that the sociopath is also a doppelganger—able to change shape to match his victim’s deepest desires. Our friend and colleague Bette volunteers to act as bait, but the plan goes dangerously awry. Now, unless we find her first, she’s about to face her worst nightmare.

Next up is Flameout, a Souls of Fire novel from Keri Arthur. It is due out on July 5th.

flameout

Chaos Choreography is the fifth book in the InCryptid series from Seanan McGuire, and it has a release date of March 1st.

chaos choreographyVerity Price is back on the West Coast and getting back into the swing of the family business: cryptozoology. She’s rescuing cryptids from bad situations, protecting them from monster-hunters, and generally risking life and limb for the greater good, with her ex-Covenant partner/husband, Dominic, by her side. Her ballroom dance career is behind her—or so she thinks. When Verity gets the call from the producers of Dance or Die, the reality show she almost won several years before, she finds the lure impossible to resist, and she and Dominic are off to L.A. for one last shot at the big time.

Of course, nothing is that simple. When two contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find with the investigation, without blowing her cover….

These next two are young adult. Stars Above is the novella compilation from Marissa Meyer‘s Lunar Chronicles series, and it has a release date of February 2nd.

stars aboveThe enchantment continues….

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

And wrapping things up is And I Darken, which is the first book of the Darken series from Kiersten White. Look for it on June 28th.

and i darkenNO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.