Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can't Wait for Prey

Prey by Rachel Vincent comes out tomorrow...I can't wait!!! I'm re-reading the series now. I've decided to give it to J to let him read it. He liked the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. He said he thought the characters were pretty realistic and he liked it much better than Twilight.

The book I've had on my side-bar as "currently reading" I haven't even cracked open yet. Bad, bad me. But I will, soon. It's just that I'm re-acquainting myself with Ms. Vincent's amazing world of were-cats. Prey is getting terrific reviews, so I KNOW it's going to be good! One more day....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Anna Strong Series by Jeanne C. Stein

As I mentioned before, I found this series because there was a shapeshifter mentioned in the Bitten By Books shapeshifter poll, Daniel Frey. He's not really a major character, but he does play a part in the 2nd through 4th books.
I enjoyed this series, but found myself easily frustrated while reading it. Anna is a new vampire, created by accident. My frustration lies in the fact that she does not accept the guidance offered to her by other vampires. The police chief is a vampire who is trying to help her and she pushes him away at every turn. For some reason, she keeps trying to find her own answers but I feel like she's looking in the wrong places (She keeps going to shapeshifters for answers. Why wouldn't she ask vampires?!) The books mix a lot of human bad guys (her boyfriend, Max, is an undercover DEA agent and she deals with all that is associated with that) with supernatural bad buys (vampires and witches and werewolves, oh my!) and Anna certainly has her hands full trying to juggle them all. The 2nd book, Blood Drive, was my favorite; Anna discoveres she has a niece, who has gotten unwillingly mixed in with a child porn ring. The 3rd book, The Watcher, involves a homicidal stalker-type and a witch. Max discoveres that she's a vampire. The 4th book, Legacy, involves a murder and werewolves. Max is not speaking to Anna, and she discoveres him with another female vampire. I'm really pulling for her relationship with Max, although it doesn't look good. Her relationship with her partner (they're bounty hunters) is also very hot/cold. Not sure where that's going either.
So, I enjoyed the series, but will not be keeping the books. I will read the next installment in the series.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge

I read a lot of reviews of this book, all but one were glowing reviews. I've got to be honest, it was okay. Not great, not bad. Just okay. I'll read the next book coming out in December and see how I feel about it then.
This book was about a detective, Pete (female), who's friend, Jack, had died in a magic accident 12 years previously. She went out on a tip about a missing child, and the informant turned out to be Jack - not dead as she thought. He's a junkie, but his information is correct and she finds the child. Two more girls go missing and she needs him to find them. She gets him clean and they delve into the ugly magic underworld of London to solve this mystery.
As I said, it was okay. I liked the interaction between the characters, so I can't really say what the problem is. It could be that I just came off a great historical book and my brain is having a problem with the change. Maybe the second book will change my mind - it's happened before!

Monday, June 22, 2009

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown

Wow. I LOVED this book! I bought it with my birthday $$ (thanks J!) and had it in my TBR pile. I just kept putting it off, picking other books to read. It just wasn't "calling" me. I mean, I wanted to read it - I bought it. But I couldn't make myself pick it up. I should know by now those are the ones that I end up loving....
WWJAD? is about a woman named Emmaline who was visiting England (was supposed to be her wedding but he broke it off and she decided to go anyway) and staying at a quaint hotel that she had stayed in two years previously. There is a Regency Fair and she is a costume designer who brought some of her dresses to show. Her reservation gets lost and she ends up in the "haunted room"...it has ghosts. She doesn't believe in ghosts and just wants a room so she can get some sleep before she has to work the fair in the morning. A pair of ghosts (sisters) wake her and tell her they need her to go back in time to the early 1800's to right a wrong and stop her brother from challenging a duel to defend their honor; apparently they were involved with a "rake". Emmaline thinks she is dreaming and agrees so they'll leave her alone and she can go back to sleep. She wakes up in the past! They think she is the cousin they were expecting from America and welcome her.
There are adventures, espionage, romance....the characters are fun and her interaction with Mr. Shermont....oh, Mr. Shermont! I loved them together! I'll definately be keeping this one to re-read in the future!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Okay, I hate the title and cover. This is one of those books I wish they made "fake covers" for. You know, so it would look like you're studying mathematical theorems or poetry or something more worldly.
That being said, I liked it. It's the story of Emma, a half vampire/half Valkyre who is in Paris on a search for information about her father, whom she never knew. Lachlain is a werewolf who's been imprisoned and tortured by vampires for the past 150 years, until he senses Emma and knows she's his mate. He escapes and finds her and attempts to bring her to his ancestral home. She, of course, is terrified of this big brute, and he is repulsed that his mate turns out to be a vampire.
The story moves along quite nicely and I enjoy the interaction between them. Her aunts are an intersting lot of ladies and the ending is good. Oh, and Emma and her aunts live in New Orleans, which I see as an added bonus (love stories set in New Orleans, as long as everyone is not continually stumbling across a parade).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein

I saw this book when a character was mentioned on the Bitten By Books shapeshifter poll. I've only read the first book in the series, so I haven't come upon a shapeshifter yet.
I enjoyed this book. The plot was good - Anna is a bounty hunter who gets attacked by a vampire while trying to catch a bail jumper. Her doctor at the hospital immediately recognizes what happened and helps her. Then her house burns down and her bounty hunter partner disappears. The plot moves along quickly during her search for her missing partner and the clues point all over the place. There's a bit of sex, but it's pretty non-descriptive -you know it happened but not the particulars.
Am I going to keep this book? I haven't decided yet, but I am going to read the next book, Blood Drive, soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Guardians of Eternity Series by Alexandra Ivy

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this series. The first book, Touched by Darkness, is the story of Dante, a vampire, and Abby, a human. The phoenix is encased in a human and supposed to keep the ultimate evil away from the earch and Dante is bound to protect the phoenix. The phoenix is killed and Abby is in the wrong place at the right time and the phoenix is transferred to her body. Of course all the demons want to kill her while she is "fresh" and Dante must protect her. I enjoyed the story of their fight against evil and their evolving relationship.

The second book, Embrace the Darkness, is the story of Viper, a vampire friend of Dante's, and Shay, a demon of some sort whose blood is intoxicating to vampires. I'm not even halfway through yet, but let me tell you why I'm enjoying this book - he's got a lair, and she's granted him a boon. Awesome!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Hathaway Series by Lisa Kleypas

I saw a post somewhere about Lisa Kleypas' Hathaway series, read an excerpt, and thought "Why not?" Why not, indeed. This is the first romance I've read that doesn't involve time travel, vampires, werewolves, or faeries (although I think Mine Till Midnight had a ghost involved at one point). Not what I expected, but they were entertaining to read. I liked Mine Till Midnight better, but Seduce Me at Sunrise was also good. They both had a bit of a mystery intertwined with the usual romantic tension and "stubborn male/female who refuses to acquiesce to his wishes" storyline.
Mine Till Midnight featured Amelia, one of four sisters, out searching for her drunk brother. While searching, she meets Cam, a handsome gypsy living in society. They meet again after Amelia moves to the country to (hopefully) cure her brother's wicked ways. A mystery ensues and reluctant romance blooms between Amelia and Cam. It is a sweet story with a good ending. I enjoyed the characters, her sisters were fun and the secondary stories woven into the novel were good.
Seduce Me At Sunrise is the story of Amelia's sister, Win. Win is sickly due to a bout of Scarlett Fever a few years before the story, and is in love with a close family friend, Kev. Kev is also a gypsy and, although he has loved Win since they were children, he doesn't think he is worthy of her love. Some of the scenes wherein he tries to discourage suitors for her are pretty funny! Win goes off to France for a cure, and comes back healthy and wanting Kev, who pushes her away. This book has a mystery involving the doctor who cured Win, and the strange tattoo that both Cam and Kev each have. The end was sweet.
I enjoyed both books, particularly the interaction between the hero and heroine in each story. The side stories were good to keep the books moving along. I think the next story will be about the brother, Leo - I'll read it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Patricia Brigg' Cry Wolf

As I mentioned previously, I've given J the first Mercy Thompson book to read. I really enjoyed this series and I think it's a good one for a guy (no sex). Once I'd given it to him, however, I wanted to read it again myself. Instead, I decided to read her Alpha & Omega book, Cry Wolf.

Let me start by saying that I love Mercy's world, and her werewolf and vampire friends. I enjoyed the glimpses of Bran (the Marrok of North America's werewolves) and his family in Mercy's story and felt like I would know what was going on in the Alpha & Omega story, which I did. Cry Wolf is the story of Bran's son, Charles, and his new mate, Anna. Apparently Anna is a relatively new wolf who was abused by her pack and rescued by Charles. Upon returning to Charles' home, trouble comes up and Bran sends Charles and Anna to handle it. There's a powerful witch involved and the future of not only the pack but all the North American werewolves is in jeopardy.
While I enjoyed the story, I prefer Mercy's story to Charles and Anna's story. The Mercy series is definately a keeper, but I probably will not keep this book. I will, of course, read the 2nd installment of the series when it comes out in August (I think it's August), but didn't feel the connection to the characters like I did with Mercy's books; which is sort of weird considering some of the characters are the same. Bran was actually my favorite character in this story, even though he's not the main character.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Library of One

I think I'm turning into a madam. It started out with a little lady who goes by the name of Bella Swan, I loaned her out to a couple of people. Then a young lady named Sookie caught my attention - let me tell you, she sure does get passed around. I've sent out some pretty bad-ass brothers, and some people have requested wolves.
Yes, I started out with Twilight - loved it and loaned it. Then I caught a whiff of True Blood and had to have the books. Currently, they are residing with the 8th person I've loaned them to - seriously, they get around! The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a fun secret between SIL(H) and myself. I lent out a few of the Dark Hunters, and am tickled to death that my hubby has asked for some book recommendations. To him I recommended the Harry Dresden books, which I still have not read, but J says were great. (I like a bit of "sexy time" in my reads and I'm worried there is none for Harry, since it's written by a man.) He even watched the show when he was finished with the books. I also gave him the WVMP books and most recently he's started the Mercy Thompson series. It's nice to have a guy's opinion about them.
I love borrowing and sharing books and talking about them afterwards, dissecting the good parts and talking about what might happen to my favorite characters in the future. And sending facebook flair...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh

I've not read anything by Nalini Singh before. I know she has a very popular psy-changeling series (I'm not even sure what that means), but this is her first book for me.

Angels' Blood is a story of angels, vampires, and a vampire hunter. In this reality, vampires are created by angels and are bound to the angels for 100 years. Sometimes they try to escape before their time is up and that's where the vampire hunters come in. Elena is a vampire hunter called by an archangel, Raphael, to capture what she thinks is a vampire but turns out to be a rogue archangel. There is quite a bit of sexual attraction between Elena and Raphael; he's an archangel used to giving orders and she's quite the rebel who refuses to take orders.

I enjoyed the book but it's not a keeper for me. It took awhile for me to get into the story; I enjoyed the middle but by the end I was ready for it to be over. I can't really pinpoint what about it I didn't care for, but it just didn't reach out and grab me. There were no Too Stupid To Live moments, but she just seemed be obstinate for no good reason. Also, there was quite a bit of "remembered painful past" that the author never got into. That was kind of frustrating.

The Georgina Kincaid Series by Richelle Mead

I have to admit I was a bit leery to start this series – a story about a succubus? I was afraid it was going to be all about sex and demons. Boy was I wrong!!! I love this series and don’t want to wait until next March for the 5th book. According to Ms. Mead’s website there are going to be 6 books in this series.

Succubus Blues is the story of a succubus, Georgina Kincaid. She has been a succubus for hundreds of years, but has a conscience and tries to “feed” off guys with questionable morals, even though she gets a better “fix” from more moral men. She has a group of immortal friends she spends time with – an imp, two vampires, her demon boss, and her boss’s friend, an angel. Georgina works in a bookstore in Seattle and has a nice group of human friends there. While working, she unknowingly meets a famous author that she’s had a huge literary crush on, and the potential for a relationship is there. She also meets another man who romantically pursues her. While all this is going on, immortals are being killed and Georgina is trying to find out who’s doing it. I really enjoyed this book; it’s a keeper.

Succubus on Top continues Georgina’s story, her relationship with Seth, the author, and mostly focuses around her human friends this time. Her friend at the bookstore has been acting weird, and Georgina investigates the source of the suspicious behavior. We also meet an old friend of Georgina’s, an incubus, who attempts to put a kink into Georgina and Seth’s relationship.

In Succubus Dreams, Georgina becomes a mentor to a new, inept succubus. We also meet the imp who originally bought Georgina’s soul and hear more of that back story. Her friend Carter, the angel, is involved in a mystery, and Georgina is drawn in to help. Georgina is having dreams that can’t possibly be true, but everyone insists the dreams Nix sends always come true. In this book, Georgina’s supernatural life and her love life both crash at the same time. I wanted to cry by the end of the book.

The latest book, Succubus Heat, continues to enthrall the reader. It begins with Georgina sleeping with her therapist and dating a shady character. Her demon boss outsources her to Canada and then disappears. While trying to solve the problem in Canada and find her missing boss, Georgina loses her succubus powers and wants Seth, but he has a girlfriend – Georgina’s friend and co-worker. This book kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see if Georgina could find her missing boss on time and worrying about her love life. And the cliffhanger ending – oh my goodness! I know how I want the series to end and don’t see how that’s gonna happen at this point!

I highly recommend this series. I cannot say enough how much I loved these books. I finished them 3 days ago and find myself still thinking about the characters and their situations. The thing I hate about books like this is that it's hard to start reading something else now because I'm sure it will never be as awesome as this was! Will definitely read it (them) again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In Which A New Adventure Unfolds

I like to read. A lot. As a child, I loved the Little House on the Prairie books, The Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew. There are books I can recall the plots but wish I could recall the title/author, because I'd love to introduce my children to those long-forgotten books. As I got older, I continued to read anything I could get my hands on - any genre, any author. It's the ultimate escape. While I do enjoy movies, I like reading better; I like imagining what the author has written as opposed to looking at someone else's interpretation.

The only times in my life I've put reading on hold were when my children were babies; then, once they hit about two years old, I would again indulge my need - my need to read... Well, baby #3 is now two and I'm off and reading again! While I do enjoy all types of books, for the last few months my preference has been paranormal, preferably paranormal romance, but I do stray occasionally into other categories.

I've been reading so much I decided the best way to remember and recommend (because after three kids my memory is shot!) is to blog about them. I would like to keep a running list of books I'm waiting for, and my bookshelf at this point is books I've read - if it's part of a series I only listed the first book; at this point it's mostly books I own, not necessarily all the books I've read. Really, I think this is for SIL, and myself to see if I can do it.

I'm not sure where to start...I've read so many books over the past few months - I'm thinking I'll start by doing a series review? Then move on to individual books as I read them maybe. Not really a review, more of a commentary, I guess?

I sort of have a mental system for how good a book is: Keep - meaning really good and I want to read it again, Good - meaning it was a good story but I'll probably donate the book to the library (the N.O. Public Library has not done a good job of restocking since Hurricane Katrina), or Bad - usually this is a book I can't seem to finish, often I'll read several other books while I'm reading it.

I like books with a bit of action, but not so much action that the heroine spends more time fighting bad guys than searching for clues or whatever it is that she does. I'm currently reading (making myself read, really) a Bad book (damnit, I'm going to finish it - I paid for it!!!) where, if the book is 350 pages, probably 315 of them are her fighting bad guys. Enough already- even though she is a vampire and heals, it does get old. Let her do something fun for a change. I finally put it off to the side, unfinished, and will try to get to it later, when I'm out of anything else to read.

And so, the adventure begins.....