What’s On Your Wishlist?

question-markAt the start of the year, I did a post about your most anticipated reads for 2015. I thought that well over half of the year has flown by, it was time to do another check in and see what you are looking forward to in these last months of 2015.

For me, there is surprisingly few. Since I already got an ARC of Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Enigma, I am down to just a couple of books that I would say fall into the “can’t wait for” category. First up is Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong, and luckily it is due out next week so the wait is almost over. The second one is Winter from Marissa Meyer, which it the final book in the young adult Lunar Chronicles series. If there was one series that I would love to see a few more books from, this would be at the top of the list.

There are a couple that should be on the list but didn’t quite make it. J.R. Ward‘s Blood Kiss, for example, should have me excited. But for some reason I am more in a “whatever” mood about it. Ditto Kresley Cole‘s Sweet Ruin. Actually, I am past “whatever” and onto “meh” for Sweet Ruin, which is sad. Also, I have been waiting for Thea Harrison to write Graydon’s story for her Elder Races series for what seems like forever, but I can’t work any excitement up for his leading lady, so that took care of Shadow’s End.

So, what books are you still looking forward to for the rest of the year? Do you have any, like me, that you should be excited about but just aren’t for some strange reason?

Updating And All That Stuff…

I had big plans for this day off. Things that needed to be done, even if they aren’t fun. Cleaning stuff, laundry, bill paying, that sort of thing. But did it get done? Nope. Nothing did. And who do I blame? Why, I blame Nalini Singh

photoAnd yes, I did read it, in all its Naasir glory. What can I tell you? Naasir is just as unique and fun as I expected, and Andromeda was a great match for him. It took me a bit to wrap my brain around how he came to be, but then I had cooked up some truly bizarre theories on my own. The mission they are on is a biggie, and there were a few developments on that front I didn’t see coming, either. Let’s just say that things should be getting very interesting for the Cadre in the near future. Oh, and Illium, too. I was really happy to see some development for his situation, too. But I sort of went to a…trying to remain spoiler free, but those who have read it will know what I mean…interesting place with Bluebell. And Aodhan. Might be. Might not. But I got a vibe.

I did get a bit done last night, before my precious arrived. The author pages have been updated, and I added a few books to the new release pages…

  • Jennifer Estep – Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14) – February 23rd, 2016
  • Christine Feehan – Dark Promises (Dark Series #28) – March 15th, 2016
  • Shelly Laurenston – The Undoing (Call of Crows #2) – March 29th, 2016
  • Katie MacAlister – Dragon Soul (Black Dragons #3) – March 29th, 2016
  • Jennifer Ashley – White Tiger (Shifters Unbound #8) – April 5th, 2016
  • Terri Brisbin – Blazing Earth (Stone Circles #3) – April 5th, 2016
  • Ashlyn Chase – I Dream of Dragons (Boston Dragons #1) – April 5th, 2016
  • Faith Hunter – Shadow Rites (Jane Yellowrock #10) – April 5th, 2016
  • Diana Rowland – Legacy of the Demon (Kara Gillian #8) – April 5th, 2016
  • Christine Feehan – Fire Bound (Sisters of the Heart #5) – April 26th, 2016
  • Kerstin Gier – Dream On (Silver #2) – May 3rd, 2016
  • Gini Koch – Camp Alien (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #13) – May 5th, 2016

So that about wraps up what I got accomplished. I don’t even mind, since Archangel’s Enigma was the unexpected highlight of my week. Maybe my month. Oh, and Nalini also announced that the third Rock Kiss book will be called Rock Redemption, and it will be released this October 6th. And here is the blurby bonus…

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

To be honest, I am not driven to pick this one up. I will, of course, but for me Gabriel and Charlie was the pinnacle, the must-have story, and I could easily wrap up the series right there. Of course I won’t, but it will be hard to top T-Rex for me.

Site Updates…

Just a quick note to let you know that the new release dates have once again been updated. There actually weren’t that many that shifted around, surprisingly (and for a nice change). The only one that really stands out is Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter, which is the first book of her Jane Yellowrock spin-off series, Soulwood. It moved from I believe October of this year to August of 2016. Bummer. I was looking forward to that one for a while now, but on the plus side it gives me more time to get caught up on Jane’s series.

Oh, and the Sisters of the heart guide has been updated in time for the next book, Earth Bound, which comes out on July 7th. Christine Feehan is sliding closer to Lora Leigh every day, since I caught a few things in my Air Bound re-read that seemed to totally change from the previous backstory of the main character, Airiana. First off, she was Rydell in the first couple of books, but in her own book she became Ridell. And I believe that in the backstory she was a dog trainer, but in her own book there isn’t a dog mentioned (or in sight). Strange. Anyways, still looking forward to the next one.

In the next couple of days, I hope to get the guides updated for both Lora Leigh‘s Bengal’s Quest (oi, is that one tricky to organize), and Nalini Singh‘s Shards of Hope. I have all of my notes for both of them, I just have to add the 20+ pages of info for both (and hope they make sense).

Alpha Showdown Voting

voteNever heard of this one before, but lamila just sent word that there is an Alpha Showdown over on the vampirebookclub site. It looks like things are already down to the final round, and it is a very close battle between Wrath from J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Kaleb Krychek from Nalini Singh‘s Psy/Changeling series. Very tough choice, but anything Nalini gets my vote every time. If you feel like showing your support, you can vote HERE.

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksAnother week has gone by, and I didn’t manage to keep up my previous reading pace (which is a bit of a bummer). I wrapped up Alexandra Ivy‘s When Darkness Ends, and I thought that the series ended on a high note. It had an interesting story (and secondary couple, too), lots of action, and a great lead couple. Going to miss this one, but I hope we will get some cameo appearances in the upcoming Dragons of Eternity series.

I also got caught up on the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong by finishing up the anthology collection Otherworld Nights. I did struggle a bit through this one, not because it wasn’t good, but because I think the finishing line was in sight and I wanted to move on to a different series. I am ready and waiting for my season 2 of Bitten, though.

And finally, I started a re-read of Nalini Singh‘s Shards of Hope for the character guide. I loved it the first time around, and that hasn’t changed with the re-read. Great new characters, new packs, and a strong romance made me a happy reader. Now we just have to wait how long for the next one? I am going to go out on a limb and say maybe Remy’s story is next?

So, how was your reading week? Do you come across any unexpected treasures, or re-read any great books?

June BotM and Giveaway…That Was Close

giveaway bannerSo, yeah. I figured Nalini Singh‘s Shards of Hope would take the book of the month for June. In fact, I would’ve been shocked if it hadn’t. I do have to admit, though, that I wasn’t expecting quite the blowout that it was. Shards of Hope – 153 votes. Runner up – 11. My other biggie for this month, Lora Leigh‘s Bengal’s Quest came in 5th, with 7 votes. Like someone mentioned before, pretty much the only thing that could have bitten into Nalini’s lead was an Ilona Andrews release. They pretty much already have August wrapped up with Magic Shifts, but that is another story.

On to the giveaway part. If you would like to win a hardcover copy of Shards of Hope, just leave a comment in the comments section. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random (through Random.org). Since the release date is tomorrow, let’s make this one quick and have it wrap up Tuesday at Midnight (Atlantic Time). Good luck!

shards of hopeSynopsis…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

Shards of Hope. It is Mine.

shards of hope arcYes, this comes off as bragging, and probably seems sad to those who get ARC’s all the time, but I still get so excited to find one of these puppies in my mailbox. Nalini Singh has been kind enough to send over a copy of her last three books, with Shards of Hope being the latest. I am just over 200 pages in, and it is really, really good. I like the big, bold stories (Kaleb and Sahara), but I also like the quieter, more personal ones (Ivy and Vasic), and this one seems to fall in the middle.

What can I tell you without spoilers? Hmmm. It is longer than Shield of Winter, with the ARC clocking in at nearly 500 pages. It starts off with a bang, and Aden and Zaira are in trouble from the start. We have to play catch up along with them to figure out what is going on, and who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. Aden is the heart of the Arrows, and his story so far focuses more on the squad than Vasic’s did. Where Aden is calm, focused on the good of his people, and determined to see the Arrows find their way in a world where Silence has fallen, Zaira is a bit of a wild card. And I am not sure I would like to meet her in a dark alley.

On the Changeling side of things, there is a bit of DarkRiver, a bit of SnowDancer, and even a glimpse behind the scenes of the Russian wolf pack. But the star so far has been the RainFire pack, headed by Alpha Remi. I was a bit meh on a new pack being introduced until the remaining SnowDancer changelings had their stories told, but RainFire was a great addition. Now I can’t wait to get more into them. And there is a pack-member of RainFire we have briefly met before in another story, and I can’t tell you why but I was so excited to see them again it made me like RainFire even more.

So, that is how I am spending my evening, with Aden and his Arrows, and one very scary leading lady. How about you?

Cover Lover – Archangel’s Enigma

Nalini Singh just literally 2 minutes ago posted the cover for her next Guild Hunter book, Archangel’s Enigma. Yes, that means I have slightly stalkerish tendencies, but sometimes it pays off…

archangel's enigmaNaasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required—those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets, is fascinated by his nature—at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it’s too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows…and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare…

Me like. Pretty, eye catching, and leaves some mystery. Naasir will be more than a handful, you can bet. Look for Archangel’s Enigma on September 1st.

Release Day Review – Rock Hard

Thanks once again to Monika, who sent over her review for Nalini Singh‘s latest Rock Kiss book, Rock Hard. Personally, it was one of my most anticipated reads after first meeting Charlie and T-Rex in the first book. And, like Monika, I wasn’t disappointed…

rock hardWhat Monika said…

Ever since they appeared as secondary characters in Rock Addiction I wanted to read Charlie and T-Rex’ story and their dance turned out to be a very entertaining and funny read that I devoured in less than a day.

The company Charlotte works for is in trouble as a result of mismanagement. For this reason the owners hire Gabriel Bishop, former rugby player turned manager as a troubleshooter, since he specializes in turning around floundering businesses. He cuts a swath through the firm, weeding out incompetent staff. Since under the previous management her skills have been greatly undervalued, Charlotte is convinced she is going to be next. But when her new boss calls her to his office, it is not to fire her but to offer her a new job as his personal assistant. Though Charlotte is timid at first, she is also intelligent and possesses a quick wit, and as she is growing more confident the two of them begin to lock horns, in the office and outside of it.
From her conversations with Molly in Rock Addiction we know that Charlie secretly lusts after her new boss and his hot body (there just it something about tattoos). And although Charlie doesn’t  match his usual quarry, the T-Rex is quite taken with her and starts to gently pursue her. But before their blossoming romance can progress, they both have to overcome the shadows from their past, in Charlie’s case those are intimacy issues she has since a relationship turned horribly wrong and for Gabriel it’s the fear of being poor and coming to terms with his father…

As all of Nalini Singh’s books this one is well written and well-paced, with witty dialogue, interesting and likable main protagonists and fleshed-out secondary characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. Also, Singh manages to add just the right amount of local color to make you want to visit New Zealand. I am not a big fan of rugby, in fact know nothing about the game, but her descriptions make me want to learn more about it.
Molly’s and Fox’ story started with a big bang, and though Charlie’s and the T-Rex’s first encounter is also memorable, their relationship develops at a much slower pace. It takes quite a bit of time until they have their first date and even longer before they end up in bed together. Some readers complained that there was too much sex in Rock Addiction: they will not have much to complain on that score in Rock Hard. Not that that is necessarily is a bad thing, especially since it makes sense within the logic of the story.

For me Rock Hard is a bit too light and lacks the emotional intensity that is characteristic for Singh’s Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter stories. It’s a sweet office romance but one that follows rather conventional lines.
Overall I would give this book 4.5 stars for an entertaining and carefree read that will leave you with an upbeat feeling.

What was your take on Rock Hard? Did it live up to expectations for you, too?