Posts filed under ‘Romantic Suspense M/M’

Wheee!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and things look like they won’t slow down until the kid is back in school.

Things are in a state of flux, here at the homestead, but in a good way. After 4 months of phone calls, cleaning marathons, prospective renter walk thrus, and close calls, we’ve finally rented our house. Now for the hard part. :-P

We’re taking over my guy’s childhood home, 10 minutes from where we currently live. It’s larger, has a pool, and is in our son’s school district. Packing has already begun, and this week we did a walk thru of our in-laws place, deciding which pieces of furniture we’ll keep. (They’ve already moved to a smaller home in their “active seniors” community, and have left behind some of their furniture.)

Of course, at the same time we’re moving, we need to get our townhouse ready for the renters to move in to. All those little repairs that were easy to ignore, now must be fixed, carpets need to be shampooed, and walls need to be painted. Yee hah!

Even though I get exhausted just thinking about all of this, I’m also pretty excited. I’ve been drawing out possible floor plans for the new place, trying to think of creative ways to merge our furniture with some of my in-laws more, ahem, dated pieces. I’m planning a reading nook, with a love seat and ottoman in our much roomier office. And, I’m trying to make peace with the fact that we probably won’t have time before moving in to get rid of the silver foil wall paper in the living room. Next year. Really.

Crabby Kid
The kid, doing his best imitation of a crab.

In the mean time, summer’s been rolling along. A couple of weeks ago we went to Redondo Beach pier and bought live crabs, that the market then steamed for us. We ate them on newspaper covered tables while strolling mariachis played for tips.

One of the totally cool things about Redondo is the arcade, where I played much skee ball and Sea Wolf as a kid. I didn’t see Sea Wolf this time, but we did play skee ball and air hockey. And, we also saw these “antiques”.

Classic games at Redondo
If you played any of these when they were new,
then you are probably as old as I am. *g*

This weekend, more beach time. My guy is helping throw a beach party for one of the student programs at his university. We are in charge of the fire ring. That’s sort of a bad news/good news thing for me. Bad news: heading out there early to baby sit —I mean reserve the damned fire ring. Good news: SMORES! We shall see if smore consumption is adequate consolation.

I will be taking Blaze of Memory with me. Some PsyChangeling action seems like perfect beach reading. I’m tempted to take Long Hard Ride, since that also seems like a great beach read, but I don’t think I can sit next to my guy’s co-workers and students while reading a cowboy ménage. (Where is Miss Doreen when you need her?)

Breaking the RulesLast week, I was so excited to see Lori’s post with the cover to Suzanne Brockmann’s next Troubleshooters book, Breaking the Rules. This is Izzy’s book, and I am SO looking forward to it. I might be in the minority, but I like Eden. OK, well, I guess I wouldn’t go so far as to say like. How about, I see so much great potential for her growth as a character. One of my favorite things about this series is how SB gives her characters time over many books to fuck up, grow, change, and become heroes/heroines. Robin, Sam, Ken, and, of course, Izzy are all great examples of the Suze Brockmann school for heroes. I’m really looking forward to seeing what will happen with Izzy. And Eden. Or, maybe not Eden?

I’m also currently reading Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley. I’ve been seeing this book around for a while, and finally got to it! So far, it’s really good. M/M romantic suspense. FBI agent is protecting a drug runner who is going to give evidence against his drug lord boss. Great tension and chemistry between the heroes, so far.

RevelationLast week, I went on a mini Lauren Dane binge. It all started with Revelation, book 2 in the de La Vega Cats series. I enjoyed it so much that I decided I needed to finish the Cascadia Wolves series. I blew thru TriMates and Wolf Unbound. I really like the shifter world in this series. The men are very alpha (of course), but the women too, be they witch, shifter, or human, are also very strong. And, their alpha men respect them and love them, not despite their strength, but because of it. Good stuff! I’m hoping I’ll get to the last 2 in the series in the next week or so. I’m really looking forward to Cade’s story! Then, on to the Chase Brothers.

Phew! So that’s what’s been going on with me. How about you? Read any good books lately?

July 24, 2010 at 5:00 am 14 comments

A Cover, a Video, some Excerpts, and an Update

Here are a few things I’ve come across recently:

Gail Carriger unveiled the cover for Blameless, the 3rd book in her Alexia Tarabotti series.
Blameless

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There’s also an awesome YouTube video of the cover’s creation. Being the complete non-artistic  person that I am, I love seeing creative processes like this one!

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Changes by Jim Butcher

Last week saw the release of the first of a four excerpts for Jim Butcher’s Changes (Dresden Files, book 12) to be released April 6, 2010. I’m really excited about this book, especially given the surprising developments in this one!

It feels like this will be quite a pivotal book for Harry, given the title and subject matter.

Silver BorneI somehow missed this awesome excerpt for Patricia Briggs’ Silver Borne, until I saw it posted somewhere (I forgot where) last week. It’s a really good excerpt, and I can’t wait for the book, which will be released March 30, 2010. I was hoping to see Patricia Briggs again on her book tour, but unfortunately she’s going to be in my area on April 6 at the  Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach. It’s on a Tuesday night, which just won’t work for me. Last year, I was able to talk my guy into making a day trip and we drove down to San Diego for her book signing at Mysterious Galaxy (an awesome SFF/Mystery bookstore). But, since this tour’s San Diego appearance is also mid-week, it won’t work either. Maybe next year!

There’s no cover yet, but Josh Lanyon has also released an excerpt for his spec fic novella, The Darkling Thrush to be released by LooseId next month (April 2010). Also, did you know that Josh Lanyon has an upcoming stand alone with Carina Press (Harlequin’s yet to be debuted ebook division)? Fair Game looks to be an m/m romantic suspense, and he’s already got an excerpt posted on his site. Carina Press is due to begin releasing books June 2010, so hopefully Fair Game will be released about that time.

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Catch Me if You CanLast weekend, I read the really fun and sexy Catch Me If You Can by LB Gregg. I won’t say too much here about it, since I’m planning a review of it for later this week. Caesar was charming and feisty (Dan’s word for him, which was so apt). It cracked me up how mad Dan made Ce when he’d say that! Caesar’s chemistry with Dan was wonderful, and I just loved how Dan revealed so much of himself emotionally during their love scenes.

Currently, I’m really enjoying the audiobook of Carrie Jones’ YA novel, Need. I’m loving Zara’s voice, which drew me into the book right from the beginning. Need by Carrie JonesHer way of using different types of phobias to mediate her world (and feel like she has some control over it, to my mind) is brilliant, and gives some great insight into her character. I won’t mind the Tues drive across town when I take the kid and his friend to and from choir practice during rush hour, half so much as usual this week!

Polar opposite to Need is Manna Francis’ Mind Fuck, an m/m  futuristic dystopian novel. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, after reading Lesley’s post about it. (She didn’t steer me wrong about Jane Seville’s Zero at the Bone, so I listen closely to Lesley’s recommendations!)Mind Fuck

Mind Fuck‘s protagonist Val, is a fascinating character. He works for the Orwellian-type government in the Investigation & Interrogation division. He is a professional torturer, and he loves his job. Yet, not in a serial killer ott way.  He’s just a man who has lots of pride in being good at his profession. The moral implications abound. This is not a typical m/m or futuristic story. It’s not a romance, though it is about a relationship between Val and Warrick, a coolly composed corporate executive. The novel is dark and complex. It’s the type of book that needs a chunk of time to really delve in to, which I haven’t been able to do over the last few days, but I’m planning on rectifying that shortly, since I’m getting back to it as soon as I finish writing this post!

So, how is your week going so far? What are you reading or hoping to read that you want to share?

March 9, 2010 at 4:00 am 17 comments

February 2010 Read Books

It felt like I read much slower in February, but I was surprised when I counted and saw that I’d read 19 books. I think the unexpected number is due to the fact that a number of them were ebooks, a lot of which are shorter.

While writing this post, I realized I only read 2 actual print books this month. Crazy! I read 10 ebooks and listened to 7 audiobooks. I think I’m seeing that my new ereader is slightly changing the books I pick to read. Where before it felt like a bit of extra effort to read the ebooks (mostly due to technical mac/ebookwise issues), it’s now much easier with the nook. Therefore, I’m catching up on a big backlog of ebooks I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Of course, this means I’ve also been neglecting my print tbr shelves, so I can’t win, can I? *g*

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Kitty Raises HellKitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville series, book 6) by Carrie Vaughn 2/28/10

Between Kitty Norville books, I always forget how utterly enjoyable this series is. I think its strength is Kitty herself. I love how she has grown (and continues to grow) from a werewolf, uncertain of her place in the world, to a more confident alpha.

I still wish there was more of Cormac. My heart aches for him (and Kitty) when she and Ben visit him. KRH features much more of Rick who is becoming one of my favorite vamps around. There are so many layers to that guy!

The cult of  Tiamat plot and the appearance of Roman was enjoyably twisty. I can’t wait for the next book, Kitty Goes to War, due out in June 2010.

  • Carrie Vaughn’s site.

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AquamarineAquamarine by Sara Bell 2/26/10 Ebook

A cute, sweet m/m sports romance. Friends to lovers, with family as a really nice supporting cast. Ford was wonderful as the “straight” friend who falls for out teammate/roommate Derek. My only complaint was that the sports end didn’t feel very realistic, wrt career paths for players and coaches given the copious amounts of  time I spend listening to my guy talking about the college and pro football industry.

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Shadows ReturnShadows Return (Nightrunners series, book 4) by Lynn Flewelling 2/25/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Adam Danoff. (It was a bit of adjustment getting used to a new narrator after the 1st 3 books read by someone else.

I’m so sad that I’ve now caught up with this series! I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as the other ones given that according to the description Alec and Seregil spend much of the story apart. However, I was really caught up in the action, and their reunion was great.

I loved getting to see Plenemar society, and got a better understanding of the conflict between it and Skala.

Here’s my Nightrunners series post.

Can’t wait for The White Road‘s May 25, 2010 release.

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Hue, Tine and ShadeHue, Tint and Shade (Petit Morts, novelette 1 of 5) by Jordan Castillo Price 2/24/10 Ebook

I just love how JCP is able to create these empathetic, socially awkward characters that I can’t help but root for. Tommy is painfully shy, but wants to break out of his shell. Through the mysterious chocolatier, he meets Nathan, who brings color, excitement, and romance to his life.

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.
  • Excerpt for Hue, Tint and Shade. (Scroll down linked page.)

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The Iron KingThe Iron King (The Iron Fey series, book 1) by Julie Kagawa 2/23/10 Ebook

Original YA with a wonderful take on the Fey. It was a great combination of familiar fae characters (Queens Titania and Mab, Puck, the Erl King) and new ones. I loved the story behind the origin of the Iron Fay, and Meghan was a wonderful heroine. Robbie was sweet, and the Winter Prince very broody and intense. I can’t wait to read more when book 2 comes out in August 2010.

  • Julie Kagawa’s site. (Music begins automatically on linked page.)
  • Excerpt for The Iron King.

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Night PleasuresNight Pleasures (Dark Hunter series, book 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon 2/23/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Carrington MacDuffie.

It’s taken me a while to get back to this series, and I don’t know if I would have if it it hadn’t been in audiobook format. While I enjoyed this story for the most part I don’t think I’ll be working my way through the entire series. Kyrian was uber alpha and tough. Amanda was down to earth and reminded me of an old school heroine, ultra feminine and slightly clingy. I think there’s too much cheese factor for me to commit to the rest of the series. No matter the danger, they are always hyper aware of each other, wanting to jump each other’s bones no matter if the demon guy is about to get them. Just not for me. However, I think I’ll give this series 1 last try in the form of Night Play, which, when I reviewed Fantasy Lover last year, I remember some said was the best book in the series.

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Archangel's Kiss Archangel’s Kiss (Guild Hunter series, book 2) by Nalini Singh 2/19/10

Nalini Singh does it again with Archangel’s Kiss. I love getting to see the angel city. The originality of the series and the visual pictures her words make are just wonderful. I’m really enjoying where she is taking Elena in this series and how her relationship with Raphael is progressing.

Now, if only we can get Illium’s story soon!

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She's Got it BadShe’s Got it Bad by Sarah Mayberry 2/19/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Zoe Hunter. Read the full review for this book here.

Sarah Mayberry is my favorite category author, and She’s Got it Bad is now my favorite Mayberry! She packs a lot into the relatively short format of a Blaze catergory. Yet, the development of Zoe’s and Liam’s relationship never feels rushed or contrived.

I really liked Zoe, who was a very unique romance heroine. Liam, like Zoe, has some issues and considerable history with Zoe. He rushes in playing the Alpha trying to “fix” her. I love that she fights him when he oversteps, but doesn’t turn down genuine help (like a job) that she really needs, when he makes a reasonable offer.

My only complaint is that while the audiobook narrator did an OK job, I wish the book had been read with an Australian accent given how firmly Sarah Mayberry’s books are set in that country. However, even this minor distraction did not take away from my overall enjoyment of this book.

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Traitor's MoonTraitor’s Moon (Nightrunner series, book 3) by Lynn Flewelling 2/17/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

Seregil and Alec accompany Princess Klia (sp?) to Aurënen on a diplomatic mission. I loved seeing them as Talímenios (a committed same-sex couple) now, and how they are still getting used to their public “couplehood”.  Both of them are adjusting. I also really like getting to see more of the Aurënfaie and learning more about Seregil’s past and the story behind his exile.

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Love Under SiegeLove Under Siege (Brothers in Arms series, book 2) by Samantha Kane 2/14/10 Ebook

I love that Samantha Kane is really able to sell the love, romance, and emotion in her m/m/f books. Often in this genre there is an emotional imbalance between the characters, or 2 are the “main” relationship which doesn’t usually work for me as well. However, with the BiA series, there is a wonderful balance the the triads.
Of course, there requires a suspension of belief around some of the greater menage issues, but on the whole it is handled well, and I love the community of men and women being built into this series.

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Stalking DarknessStalking Darkness (Nightrunner series, book 2) by Lynn Flewelling 2/11/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

A couple of days after finishing Luck in the Shadows (book 1 in the Nightrunners series) I found that I couldn’t get Alec and Seregil out of my mind. I gave in and got Stalking Darkness eventhough my Audible points wouldn’t come in for another week. I was really glad I did.

Stalking Darkness WAS truly a dark tale. So much happens, I’m almost at a loss to sum it up in a brief mini-review. More is learned about the magic that resides both with the magicians of Skala (and Nysander in particular) and the necromancers of Plenimar. Alec and Seregil lead their double lives as Nightrunners and as bored society gadflies. Beka (Micum’s daughter) is now part of the Queen’s Horse Guard and fighting the war with Plenimar. All these disparate characters and elements come together in a compelling and tragic climax. Great stuff!

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Don't Look BackDon’t Look Back by Josh Lanyon 2/9/10 Ebook

Good romantic suspense about Peter, a museum director who has been falsely accused of embezzlement/theft from his work. I loved how (due to his amnesia) he is discovering what has happened to him as the reader does. Mike Griffin, the investigating officer is pissed off and out to nail Peter (ahem) for the crime. Isn’t he?

I love Mike’s alpha-ness. It’s clear that there’s more to his attitude than meets the eye, and it’s fun following Peter as he finds out what is really going on.

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I Spy Something BloodyI Spy Something Bloody by Josh Lanyon 2/8/10 Ebook

February DIK Challenge book. Read full reivew here.

For me, what makes this story is the protagonist, Mark. A spy with what sounds like MI-6, he’s hoping for a second chance at love with Stephen, and the suspense from this situation is just as strong as it is from the espionage story line.

For all of Mark’s macho job and “danger-man” persona, he is so vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. His love for Stephen is out there for all to see (especially Stephen and his jealous new boyfriend, Bryce). Stephen had such gentleness and sensitivity yet still had a core of steel, determined not to be hurt once again by Mark. Seeing him slowly lower his defenses against Mark was great reading.

I already have the sequel  I Spy Something Wicked loaded on my ereader and will be getting to it soon!

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Hard to HoldHard to Hold (Hard to Hold trilogy, book 1) by Stephanie Tyler 2/8/10 Ebook

I felt a real void after finishing Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, and set out to find more SEALs series. This one sure fit the bill! While I didn’t love it as much as I do the Brockmann, I did enjoy it quite a bit.

I really liked Isabelle, who was so strong and such a survivor after her abduction while doing humanitarian work in Africa. Jake was a great military alpha male whom I loved seeing connect with Isabelle. He was so aware of her and what she needed given what she was working through.

I’m looking forward to reading the other two in the trilogy, which tell Jake’s brothers’ stories.

  • Stephanie Tyler’s site.
  • Excerpt at author’s site.

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The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium trilogy, book 1) by Stieg Larsson 2/7/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Martin Wenner.

A bit of a slow start, but once it built up some momentum was really a great story. Mostly this was due to the literary phenomenon that is Lisbeth Salander. She and Mikael Blomqvist investigate the 30 year old disappearance of a 16 year old girl, discovering that her fate may be intertwined with a number of mysterious deaths that have been going on for decades.

The investigation and Mikael’s story were interesting, but Lisbeth was the true draw here for me. She’s a young woman (early 20’s) who is under the guardianship of a victimizing opportunist, due to her early history of emotional instability. What happens with her is horrifying, and how she takes control of her life is utterly shocking and compelling.

I’m on the waiting list for the audiobook of book 2, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and I can’t wait for the release of TGwtDT movie, later this year.

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SympathySympathy by Jordan Castillo Price 2/6/10 Ebook/Short Story

I really liked this  sweet and touching story about Tony, a landscaper who is still dealing with the aftermath of an accident that took his father’s life and much of Tony’s health. He meets artist David, who is now living in the town’s “haunted house on a hill” and immediately they connect. There’s a lot going on emotionally for such a short (48 pgs) story. Very enjoyable.

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.

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Striking Sparks (A PsyCop novelette) by Jordan Castillo Price 2/4/10 Ebook

This “novelette” can be read after Criss Cross (PsyCop #2)

Two words. More. Crash.

Want more? OK. Vic and Jacob don’t make an appearance here, but as much as I love those guys, I didn’t miss them, since we get a closer look at Jacob’s ex (and the thorn in Vic’s side). We get a little more depth and insight into Crash, but here he serves as a foil to the closeted, engaged to be married Andrew, who shows up at the Tarot Card reader’s, downstairs from Sticks and Stones (Crash’s shop) looking for—something. He’s not sure what. What he finds is Crash.

This isn’t a romance with an hea. More of a sexy encounter. Fun reading!

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.
  • PsyCop site.

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Luck in the ShadowsLuck in the Shadows (Nightrunner series, book 1) by Lynn Flewelling 2/2/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

This book was slow to start, but once the characters were developed a little and the action gained momentum, it was a rollicking good listen. Since I’ve covered some of this book/series in my Nightrunners series post, I’m borrowing shamelessly from it.

Seregil, a young Aurënfaie (think elvish), is a wonderful character: witty and sharp, skilled in the ways of court and thievery, he surprises himself and those around him by taking Alec under his wing.

Alec is a 16 year old orphan who, until he is thrown in the prison cell where he meets Seregil, is all alone in the world and has been taking care of himself with his hunting skills and down to earth attitude.

Over the course of the first book, they come to rely on each other, often saving the other’s life. When Seregil is stricken by a mysterious magical illness, Alec proves that he is just as capable of taking care of him, and their dire situation.

This book is a great beginning to a wonderful fantasy series.

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The Art of DyingThe Art of Dying (Partners in Crime #4) by Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price 2/1/10 Ebook

The two novellas, “Lovers and Other Strangers” by Josh Lanyon and “Body Art” by Jordan Castillo Price are both good, but Josh Lanyon’s “LaOS” just stole my heart. Finn, recovering from a near fatal car accident has returned to his remote New England home for the first time since he’d discovered his lover, Con cheating on him with his twin brother, Fitch.

I loved how Finn saw and interpreted the world around him through color (like the colors of paints). (My mother loved to oil paint, and I spent much time as a kid in art stores looking at the tubes with their wonderful, evocative names.) I wasn’t sure I’d warm up to Con, especially given his infidelity, but I did and then some.

JL packs a lot into this 129 pg novella and it is now one of my favorite stories by him.

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This month really seemed to belong to the Nightrunner series for me. The series crept up on me slowly, and it wasn’t till a couple of days after I finished the first book, Luck in the Shadows, that I realized I had to get the next book. Immediately. After that, the glom was on.

My other top reads of the month were Josh Lanyon’s story “Lovers and Other Strangers” from The Art of Dying and I Spy Something Bloody. Also, Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss and Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King. So, YA, pnr/uf, m/m, romantic suspense. About par for the course! :-)

So, what were your favorite reads in February?

Check out my other 2010 reads here.

March 6, 2010 at 4:00 am 13 comments

March 2010 Book Releases

Wow! There are so many great releases this month. I’ve been thinking and plotting and planning how I can get my hands on all these great books without going broke!

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March 1, 2010: Shift (The Shifters series, book 4) by Rachel Vincent

Here is a book description:

ShiftTROUBLE IS IN THE AIR…
Being the first female werecat enforcer isn’t easy. Scars accumulate, but I’m stronger in so many ways.
As for my personal life? It’s complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother’s death and my father’s impeachment, it’s all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.
With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option.…

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March 1, 2010: The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

Here is a book description:

The Dead Travel FastA husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all.
With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh—and a disappointed suitor—far behind. She is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.
She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathians, replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle’s master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.
Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora’s imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute—Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway.
Before her sojourn is ended—or her novel completed—Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal…and she is in danger of falling prey to more than desire.
  • Deanna Raybourn’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site.

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March 2, 2010: Catch Me if You Can (Romano and Albright series, book 1) by LB Gregg

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Catch Me if You CanLowly art gallery assistant Caesar Romano is freely out of the closet. Now he’d just like to get out of his Nana’s guest room. Everything — his reputation and his financial freedom — is riding on the success of tonight’s gallery opening. If only he could shake free of the past so easily.
A mysterious gatecrasher, Dan Green, looks like a promising addition to his pending new life — until Caesar’s ex shows up and suddenly the opening disintegrates into a half-naked dance melee. When the glitter settles, a missing sculpture of Justin Timberlake has Caesar up to his eyebrows in extortion, intrigue and a wild sexual adventure underneath, inside, and on top of a variety of furnishings.
As the cast of suspects piles up, so do the questions. Like who’s really blackmailing whom? And what does a stolen paint-by-numbers clown matter when Dan is so outrageously capable of blowing Caesar’s resistance to smithereens?
The fear of getting caught is half the fun.

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March 2, 2010: Something About You by Julie James. Excerpt on author’s site.

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

Something About YouFATE HAS THROWN TWO SWORN ENEMIES. . .
Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…
. . .INTO EACH OTHER’S ARMS
Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…

March 2, 2010: Roadkill (Cal Leandros series, book 5) by Rob Thurman

Here is a book description:

RoadkillNiko could have died because of her. I don’t forget things like that…not ever. I wanted a little payback for those she’d cheated in the past. For those she’d cheat in the future.
For what she’d allowed to happen to my brother.
For good old fashion revenge.
Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. They barely made it out alive. Now, as their P.I. business teeters on insolvency, guess who shows up with a job?
The gypsy crone wants them to find a stolen coffin. Cal would rather help her into one, but this coffin contains an evil known as the Plague of the World–and it makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory.
But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road. And if they’re very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip…

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March 2, 2010: A Local Habitation (An October Daye Novel, book 2) by Seanan McGuire

Here is a book description:

A Local HabitationOctober “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood.
Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, most changelings are second-class children of Faerie spending their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of Shadowed Hills.
Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, California—to make sure that all is well with his niece, January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. January runs a company that produces computer fantasy games, and her domain is a buffer between Sylvester’s lands and a rival duchy whose ruler is looking for an opportunity to seize control. And that’s the least of January’s problems. For Tamed Lightning has somehow been cut off from the other fiefdoms, and now someone has begun to murder January’s key people. If Toby can’t find and stop the killer soon, she may well become the next victim…

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March 2, 2010: Shalador’s Lady (Shadow Queen trilogy, book 2)

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Shalador's LadyFor years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. And even though the refugees found sanctuary in Dena Nehele, they have never been able to call it home.
Now that Dena Nehele has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore the land and prove her ability to rule. She knows that undertaking this task will require all her heart and courage as she summons the untested power within her, a power capable of consuming her if she cannot control it.
And even if Lady Cassidy survives her trial by fire, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land—and Lady Cassidy—forever…

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March 2, 2010: and Falling, Fly by Skyler White

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

and Falling, FlyOlivia is a vampire bored with modernity. Tattooist, boyfriend, black-metal singer: everyone you don’t love tastes the same. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O’Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions.
When his research and her despair collide in Ireland’s L’Otel Mathillide – a subterranean hell of beauty, demons and dreams – rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.

March 5, 2010: The Dark Farewell by Josh Lanyon

Here is a book description:

The Dark FarewellDon’t talk to strangers, young man—especially the dead ones.
It’s the Roaring Twenties. Skirts are short, crime is rampant and booze is in short supply. Prohibition has hit Little Egypt, where newspaperman David Flynn has come to do a follow-up story on the Herren Massacre. The massacre isn’t the only news in town though. Spiritualist medium Julian Devereux claims to speak to the dead—and he charges a pretty penny for it.
Flynn knows a phoney when he sees one, and he’s convinced Devereux is as fake as a cigar store Indian. But the reluctant attraction he feels for the deceptively soft, not-his-type Julian is as real as it gets.
Suddenly Julian begins to have authentic, bloodstained visions of a serial killer, and the cynical Mr. Flynn finds himself willing to defend Julian with not only his life, but his body.
  • Josh Lanyon’s site.
  • Excerpt on publisher’s site. (Samhain)

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March 9, 2010: The Dead Tossed Waves (companion to The Forrest of Hands and Teeth) by Carrie Ryan

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Here is a book description:

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie RyanGabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse.
But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.
Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

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March 16, 2010: Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn (YA)

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Voices of DragonsOn one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity’s deepest fears: dragons.
Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she’s breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she’d rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them.
But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon interactions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war?

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March 23, 2010: Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

Mind GamesJUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.
Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

March 30, 2010: A Touch of Scandal (Calton series, book 2) by Jennifer Haymore

Here is a book description:

Touch of ScandalThe last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-soldier had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he’s convinced he’s been betrayed.
Kate knows her duty to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett’s powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen-and sizzling-kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way-the one that can separate Garrett and Kate forever.
  • Jennifer Haymore’s site.

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March 30, 2010: Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate, book 2) by Gail Carriger.

This blurb is full of spoilers for book 1, Soulless. Highlight text if you want to read it!

Here is a book description:

Changeless
Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears – leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.
But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.
She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.
  • Gail Carriger’s site.

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March 30, 2010: Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson series, book 5) by Patricia Briggs

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe, and now the leader of the werewolf pack – who’s maybe-more-than-just-a-friend – has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they’re all about to find out how implacable – and dangerous – the fae can be. OK, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday …

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March 30, 2010: Instant Temptation (Wilder Adventures series, book 3) by Jill Shalvis.

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

Instant Temptation
To Harley, the landscape around Wishful, California, is exhilarating, untamed, and more than a little dangerous. The same could be said for T.J. Wilder, who’s invited himself along on her trek to study a rare coyote. Harley’s career is riding on this trip, and she doesn’t need a stubborn, incredibly sexy distraction. But T.J. is a professional guide who knows when to stay back and when to provide invaluable expertise–just like he’s done since they were in high school. And Harley, as usual, is torn between throttling him and giving in to the raw attraction that’s been smoldering all these years.
T.J. knows how proud and capable Harley is, but he’s damned sure not letting her put herself at risk when there are illegal hunters in the area. She needs him, with the same soul-stirring urgency that he’s always craved her. And here, in this beautiful place days from civilization, he’ll finally have a chance to prove it–over and over again. . .

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It seems like blurbs were longer this month, doesn’t it?

I think this is the longest upcoming releases post I’ve ever done. However, I didn’t want to leave any of these releases out. There seems to be a good variety of genres here. Hopefully, there’s something here for everyone.

Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?

For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page. For information about other previously released books, check out my Released in 2010 page.

March 2, 2010 at 4:00 am 19 comments

2010 DIK Challenge (February): I Spy Something Bloody

I Spy Something Bloody (I Spy series, book 1) by Josh Lanyon

When I first decided to join the DIK Challenge, I made a list of all the possible books that were already on my TBR shelf. There were a whopping 14 books on that list. So it’s been easy just to read as I will from my TBR and without even trying, I read 2 books from that list in February. I decided to review I Spy Something Bloody, since it’s the more recent read. (The other book, Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler was read at the beginning of February. Things fade fast in my memory, so I gotta do everything I can to help it along!) This month I didn’t realize until I started writing this review that for the 2nd month in a row, I’m reviewing one of Jenre’s picks.

Here’s the description:

Espionage was always a game, but now British spy Mark Hardwicke wants to retire and settle down with ex-lover Dr. Stephen Thorpe — if Stephen will have him. Unfortunately, Stephen has other plans — and so do the terrorists who want Mark dead.

I Spy Something Bloody
I’ll just put it out there that I really enjoy Josh Lanyon’s writing style, and his blend of suspense, romance, and dry humor is my cup of tea.

For me, what makes this story is the protagonist, Mark. He’s a guy who is at a second crossroads in his life. He found his HEA, in the person of Stephen and peace in their domestic life together. And, then walked away from it. Now, circumstances have brought him to Stephen’s door again, and he’s looking for safe haven from both terrorists and his employer (think, MI-6). He’s also hoping for a second chance at love with Stephen, and the suspense from this situation is just as strong as it is from the espionage story line.

For all of Mark’s macho job and “danger-man” persona, he is so vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. His love for Stephen is out there for all to see (especially Stephen and his jealous new boyfriend, Bryce). Mark’s past relationship with Stephen is told in flashbacks, and they are infused with poignancy, given the present state of their relationship. So, Mark is an underdog on all levels, and one can only root for him.

I really loved Stephen, too, who had such gentleness and sensitivity yet still had a core of steel, determined not to be hurt once again by Mark. Seeing him slowly lower his defenses against Mark was great reading.

The terrorist storyline is important, but not the central focus of the book. The relationship between Mark and Stephen is. Yet, there is enough to the espionage plotline to make it exciting, and move the story along.

When I finished the book, it was with the knowledge that I could run out and get the sequel, I Spy Something Wicked. Which I did. Hopefully, I’ll get to read it this week!

  • Josh Lanyon’s site.
  • Scroll down linked page for I Spy Something Bloody excerpt.

February 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm 15 comments


Vintage pin-up girl reading
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September 20, 2011:
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Angels of Darkness with stories by Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, and Sharon Shinn

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