Bookish Bucket List

PrintIt’s funny how things change. Over the last few years, I have done pretty massive purges of my books (both read and unread), to the point that I couldn’t even begin to guess how many hundreds I have gotten rid of (probably around 1000, or pretty close to it). I was going over my bookshelves the other day, looking at what I had left, and it made me realize that I don’t really have a ton of stories left on my reading bucket list – or books that I want to read before I die.

My beloved Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong has wrapped. We finally got the Dani O’Malley/Ryodan story I had been waiting for for what felt like forever in the Fever series. I would’ve legit offed someone to get my hands on books two and three of the Hidden Legacy series a even a few days earlier. Another person (or two) would gladly have been sacrificed if it brought me closer to Heart of Obsidian. And any book that featured the Ghostwalkers was automatically on the list. I am talking about those books that I honestly was nuts about getting my hands on. But now, while I have several books I am very much looking forward to, I don’t have any that inspire that same kid-at-christmas feeling as I used to have. And I miss it.

Well, there are still a few that I would consider to be on my bucket list (and a few of them are already in the works). Jeanine Frost‘s next book will feature Ian, who has been on my wish-list since he was first introduced in the Night Huntress series. And William from the Lords of the Underworld will get his story in 2019 (and then I can pull the plug on the Lords). I have heard rumors that Ilona Andrews will be writing Roman’s book sometime after Hugh’s trilogy (another must read), but I still am whining about more Derek and Julie books, too.

At this point, the top 10 characters I would love to have stories about would look something like this (in no particular order):

1) Illium – Guild Hunter

2) Aodhan – Guild Hunter

3) Malachi – Psy/Changelings

4) Alexei – Psy/Changelings

5) Janvier – GhostWalkers

6) Dane – The Breeds

7) Ben – Mercy Thompson World

8) Roman – Kate Daniels World

9) Derek – Kate Daniels World

10) Lor – Fever Series

What does your bucket list look like? What were your original stories that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on?

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Pick of the Week

My pick of the week is a throwback. Like, way back. Lora Leigh has been re-issuing her early Breeds stories for Kindle – with all new covers, thank you to all the cover gods – and today is the day we get the new and improved The Man Within (ok, maybe this cover isn’t one for the ages either, but do you remember the horrific train-wreck that was the original?).

the man withinSynopsis…

Now, fifteen months later, the news is out. Taber, the man she loves, is one of the genetically altered Feline Breeds, who have shocked the world with their presence. He’s also her mate. The mark on her neck attests to that. The fire that rages in her heart and in her body further proves it. But he didn’t want her then; does he really want her now?

Deceit and treachery, born in the past, now haunt the present as Taber and Roni fight to make sense of their sudden bonding. The mating of heart, body, and soul as the man and the beast within him merge; both battling the forces raging against the union and dominance over the woman he claimed.

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To be honest, I don’t know if this re-release has any updates or additions to it like Elizabeth’s Wolf was supposed to have, but I did pre-order it anyways. Call me a nerd, but I like having the updated covers and everything matchy-matchy. Do you pick up re-issues when you already have the original, or do you stick with what you have?

Pick of the Week

Well, it is time for my very first pick of the week for 2018 – which seems so very weird. My inaugural pick comes from Amanda Bouchet‘s Kingmaker Chronicles series. Heart of Fire is the third (and apparently final) book in the trilogy, but I do hope that the author will branch out and explore some other characters in a spin-off or two. The world is quite interesting, and it would be a shame to see it wrap up so soon.

heart on fireSynopsis…

Who is Catalia Fisa?

With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin’s role in shaping her destiny.

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step—reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

What doesn’t kill her will only make her stronger…we hope.

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I also picked up the re-release of Lora Leigh‘s Elizabeth’s Wolf (which I swore I wasn’t going to do), and a Christine Warren novella (who I swore I was done reading a couple of years back). So far, 2018 doesn’t look like it will be the year where I showcase my awesome willpower, does it?

 

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?

Updating and New Releases

Over the next few days, I hope to get the new release pages updated with quite a lot of upcoming titles. I thought I might highlight a few here…

  • The fifth book of Julie Kagawa‘s Talan series, Inferno, will be released on April 24th.
  • The next Lords of the Underworld book from Gena Showalter will be called The Darkest Warrior, and it will be released on June 26th.
  • J.C. Daniels‘ 6th Colbana Files book will be called Haunted Blade, and it is due out on September 30th.
  • Next March 6th is the release date for Tricks For Free from Seanan McGuire. It is the seventh book of the InCryptid series.
  • March 6th is also the release date for Restore Me from Tahereh Mafi, the 4th book of her young adult Shatter Me series.
  • March will also see the release of the 4th book of Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s Titan series, The Prophecy.
  • Shelly Laurenston starts a new series next March 27th. Hot and Badgered is the first book of her Honey Badgers series, which sounds like a spin-off of The Pride.
  • March is going to be a busy month. The 27th is the release date for Twice Bitten from Lynsay Sands, the next book of her Argeneau series.
  • And the 27th is also the release date for Cross Breed from Lora Leigh, which is Cassie’s Breed story.
  • And finally, there is only a title and release date for the next Ghostwalker book from Christine Feehan. It looks like Covert Game will be out on March 20th.

There are also a lot of e-format re-releases coming our way. Thea Harrison‘s first five Elder Races novellas will be coming out again, as will Laura Anne Gilman‘s Paranormal Scene Investigations books. Which of these are on your must-read list?

 

Cover Lover – Cross Breed

As I am getting back into the swing of things, I was surprised to stumble across the cover for the next Breeds book from Lora Leigh. Cross Breed will be Cassie’s story (and I believe Rhyzan Brannigan’s, too), and apparently it will be out sometime next year.

cross breed.jpg

This one is definitely better than the last few Breed covers, but it has a bit of a home-made feel to me. Maybe a young adult vibe. Not sure, but it isn’t quite what I expected. Are you ready for Cassie’s book? Honestly, I like her character but I have never been on the I-demand-a-Cassie-book bandwagon like I see on Facebook and the like. I am more interested in getting Dane’s story, or even Dog’s.

Reading Wrap Up

Hey everyone, been a while since the last post. I figure we might as well take a look back at the last week, and see what we were all reading. I did manage to finish two books – Bound Together, which I have a mini-review on below, and Lora Leigh‘s Wake a Sleeping Tiger. Hmmm.

wake a sleeping tigerWake a Sleeping Tiger was a bit weird for me. I can’t quite decide how I felt about it, and not sure if I can explain why. Maybe because it didn’t completely feel like a Breeds book? It was a bit more tame than they usually are. On the plus side, I don’t remember finding any glaring errors like I usually do, and I don’t think I rolled my eyes even one time during this one. But it just sort of felt like not much happened. As much as I was interested in Cullen and his story heading into it, for me he came off as a bit dull for most of the book. And Chelsea often bugged me with her random demands for independence that didn’t really give me the sense of tension I think was intended. At least, though, she seemed quite able to handle herself in sticky situations and didn’t need the white knight to come save her, so that was a bonus. Usually in a Breeds book, I can feel the attraction between the main characters, but here not so much.

I was happy that there was less of the Navajo agencies and bureaus and covert ops thingies to keep track of, because they make my brain bleed. Graeme was a scene-stealer, as always, and it would’ve been great if some of his charisma had rubbed off on some of the other characters. But other than that, while not horrible, it just felt like filler to set up Cassie’s story (and quite the set up it is). I think if someone just read the last, oh, two or three chapters, they wouldn’t have missed much.

Your turn. What did you enjoy this week? Did you read Wake a Sleeping Tiger, and if you did, what did you think? I have thought Cassie would be paired up with Rhyzan since he was first introduced, and I am sticking with it. Did you see the swerve ending coming, or was it out of the blue for you, too?

Pick of the Week and Mini Review

There are a couple my guilty-pleasure books that were released today, but thanks to the delivery gods I actually got my hands on both Bound Together from Christine Feehan and Wake a Sleeping Tiger from Lora Leigh a day early. Then I had the endless debate about which one to read first, but Bound Together won out. And since I actually finished it, it is my pick of the week.

bound-togetherSynopsis…

For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind…

Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist…becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart…

So, I liked it. Quite a lot, actually. The Sea Haven books are the only Feehan series that didn’t have a style/tone change during “the questionable period”, and it has stayed a consistent favorite of mine. It managed to wrap up the Sisters of the Heart arc, link with the Drake Sisters books, all while setting up the upcoming Torpedo Ink series.

There is only two things I can say didn’t quite work for me – one is style, one is subject. On the style side, Christine once again introduces a ton of new characters in a relatively short period of time, and trying to keep a ton of Russian names – and nicknames – was tricky. Thankfully, there are only a few of the Torpedo Ink gang who play a major role in this book, so while they were all introduced in a big jumble, it was necessary to only remember a couple of the new gang.

My second quibble might sound cold, but I am hoping that Christine moves on from the whole human trafficking/child rape angle really soon. I know it is a real world issue, but it has come up in pretty much every book of each of her five series for the last couple of years, and honestly? I am getting a bit numb to the brutalized children thing – especially since it seems like it is getting more intense. In early books, there were characters who had suffered in the past (like Skyler in the Dark series), to those who had been recently abused (like Nicoletta in Shadow Riders) to walking in on the abuse as it is happening. Maybe if it was only featured in one series, but when it is a theme across the board, it gets a bit overwhelming.

Now, I’m off to dive into Wake a Sleeping Tiger. And of course, when I was flipping to the back to see if there were any excerpts for the next Breeds book, I saw a major plot point that can’t be unseen. I always do that crap. Always. Arrgh.

From the Author Pages

I don’t actually have much to post from my updating the author pages, but I did get my hands on a couple of little things…

  • The blurb is out for Kresley Cole‘s next Immortals After Dark book, Wicked Abyss, which is due out next March 28th. I swore it would’ve been about Furie (you know, caught underwater, in the abyss), but I was wrong…and can you say Beauty and the Beast?

He never wanted to be a beast…

As a boy, Abyssian ‘Sian’ Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has amplified his hell-demon blood, transforming him into an unrecognizable monster – just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian fantasizes about seducing and spurning her, but he can retain his former appearance for only one hour a day.

She never wanted to be a beauty…

When a beastly demon king abducts her, fey princess Liliana ‘Lili’ Barbot goes from one prison to another. The beast vows revenge for betrayals she can’t remember and punishes her with gruelling labour within his mystical castle. Her only solace is spending time with a fellow prisoner Bael, a devastatingly gorgeous male who is allowed to see her for only one hour a day.

Can they break the spell before it’s too late…?

In the guise of ‘Bael’, Sian toys with Lili’s heart and body. Yet as she falls deeper under his spell, Lili can’t help but respond to the beast’s vulnerability and pain, and her sympathy develops into something more. When truths from a far distant past are revealed and identities discovered, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit – and a looming supernatural war?

Oh, did anyone notice that it looks like Kresley Cole’s young adult Arcana series new release, Arcana Rising, will NOT be coming out in hardcover? How weird, and annoying, because you just know that means I will be tempted to pick up the first three in paperback to keep things matchy-matchy. Oy.

  • The next Call of Crows book from Shelly Laurenston will be called The Unyielding, and it also has a release date of March 28th…

the unyieldingStieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…

Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.

With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…

  • And the cover is out for the next Lora Leigh Breeds book, Wake a Sleeping Tiger. It will be out March 21st. Meh, kitty in the background looks weird. It doesn’t really scream hardcover release, does it?

wake a sleeping tiger

From the Author Pages

Updating time again, and there are a couple of things to mention from the author pages…

  • The fifth (and I believe final) book in Anne Bishop‘s The Others series now has a name. Etched in Bone will be released next March.
  • And next March will also see the last Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, which will be called Blade Bound.
  • Jeaniene Frost‘s third Broken Destiny book will be called The Brightest Flame, and it will be out next July.
  • There will be an Elemental Assassin novella from Jennifer Estep released this December, and it will be called Nice Guys Bite.
  • Nihcki sent over word that the second Black Dagger Legacy book from J.R. Ward, Blood Vow, will feature Axe and Elise. It has a release date of December 6th.
  • Probably coming as a shock to no one at all, Lora Leigh‘s next Breeds book has gotten a quite hefty push-back. Originally due for release on October 6th, it looks like Wake a Sleeping Tiger won’t hit the shelves until next March.
  • Ooooh, the official blurb for Nalini Singh‘s next Guild Hunters book, Archangel’s Heart, is now out. And wow…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

  • And finally, the title for the next Mercy Thompson book from Patricia Briggs has been announced, and it looks like the 10th book will be called Silence Fallen.

So, that wraps things up for today’s post. Are you looking forward to any of these (duh)? Have you got any new info to share?