Posts tagged ‘Kate Daniels series’

May 2011 Releases, part 2

I’ve fallen a little behind (what else is new?) but I’m really excited about some of the releases that came out at the end of May, and wanted to share them!

GraveminderMay 17, 2011: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

This is Melissa Marr’s first adult novel, and if it’s half as great as her faerie court series, I’ll be thrilled. The story is about Rebekkah, who returns to Claysville, her hometown, after her grandmother’s death. She comes to realize there is more to Claysville than she thought, and that her grandmother played a key role in keeping the peace between the living and the dead. And, it falls to Bek to uphold the family tradition.

I’m on the library waitlist for the audiobook, and can’t wait to listen to it!

America PacificaMay 18, 2011: America Pacifica by Anna North

I think I’m at the point with YA (which I love) that the first thing I’m looking for in a story is originality. And, when I read the description of America Pacifica, I knew I had to read it.

North America is in a second ice age, and Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica. It’s a place of haves and have-nots, and is ruled by a mysterious dictator. When Darcy’s mom disappears, she searches for her mom, and finds much more than she bargained for.

Rhapsody for Piano and GhostMay 24, 2011: Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost by ZA Maxfield

ZAM is one of my favorite m/m authors. She always writes with so much heart, creating characters I really care about.

While gifted pianist Fritz is studying at a conservatory and looking for a little peace, he finds himself surrounded by family and friends (possibly including a couple of well-meaning imaginary ones) who complicate his life.

It sounds like this story is told with ZAM’s trademark sense of humor.

Between Sinners and SaintsMay 29, 2011: Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton

I’ve recently discovered Marie Sexton’s Coda series, and LOVED every one of them. Her new release is a stand alone, and sounds like it’s as angsty and will pull at my heartstrings as her Coda books.

Bartender Levi is has left behind his Mormon roots behind and encounters Jamie, a loner who is haunted by his past. It’s an opposites attract love story (one of my favorite kinds) and of course the heroes find common ground, healing, and love.

Kiss of SnowMay 31, 2011: Kiss of Snow  (PsyChangeling series, book 10) by Nalini Singh

Hawke’s book!

Need I say more? I do? Oh, ok.

Well, I’ve already read it, and it’s as awesome as all the hype led me to believe.

Read it. You won’t be sorry.

Enough said.

Magic SlaysMay 31, 2011: Magic Slays (Kate Daniels series, book 5) by Ilona Andrews

I always say this about the Kate Daniels series, but here we are at book 5, and it’s still true: each subsequent book in this series gets better (and I really liked the first book).

I’m really interested to see where the author goes with Magic Slays, especially since we are sort of moved to the post HEA part of the story line with Kate and Curran.

I’m looking forward to see the new life that they will build, what Kate is going to do with her new business, and what will happen with the bigger story arc involving Kate’s background.

Just Like HeavenMay 31, 2011: Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith quartet, book 1) by Julia Quinn

The legendary Smythe-Smith family (and their notorious musicales) has always been the comic relief in Julia Quinns more recent books. The poor Smythe-Smith girls are now getting their own stories, and Lady Honoria is the heroine in Just Like Heaven. Another of my favorite romance tropes is the younger sibling/older sibling’s friend pairing, and Marcus (Honoria’s brother’s best friend) starts out keeping an eye on Honoria in her brother’s absence, and finds himself falling in love.

I always enjoy Julia Quinn’s historical romances. They’re light, funny, and romantic. I’m currrently listening to Just Like Heaven (narrated by Roslyn Landor) and so far it’s exactly what I expect.

My Dangerous PleasureMay 31, 2011: My Dangerous Pleasure (Witches/My series, book 4) by Carolyn Jewel

This is one of my favorite parnormal series. I love the unique world, the strong heroines, and the sexy demons.

My Dangerous Pleasure is Iskander’s story. The author has really put him thru the mill in this series, and I was excited that he finally gets a HEA. And, Paisley is a worthy heroine.

If you haven’t picked this series up yet, I highly recommend that you start with book 1, My Wicked Enemy.

My review for this book will be posted in a couple of days.

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That’s a lot of books, isn’t it? Lots of good stuff, here.  What’s recently been released that you’ve been looking forward to?

June 4, 2011 at 5:00 am 18 comments

A few excerpts for books I’m excited about . . .

Magic Strikes by Ilona AndrewsI just finished reading Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels series, book 3) by Ilona Andrews which lived up to my (very high) hopes and expectations. Each installment in the series had been better than the previous one. Kate has really gained depth through the course of the series without losing her sense of humor, elevating her “kick-ass heroine” above most of the pack of UF heroines. And Curran . . . He was awesome as ever, and his and Kate’s dialogue had me grinning maniacally, and even laughing out loud at times.

On the heels of the Magic Strikes release, Ilona Andrews has posted the opening of book 4 in the series:

Kate 4 excerpt

It kills me that we have to wait a whole year for the 4th book, but I’m really looking forward to the debut of Ilona Andrews’ new series, The Edge with book 1, On the Edge. It will be released September 29, 2009. Also, “Magic Mourns” her novella in the anthology Must Love Hellhounds will be released September 1, and on June 2, 2009, Samhain will release her short story  “Silent Blade.

Thanks to Leslie’s Psyche for the heads up on this one!

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To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth HoytAnother one I came across over the last couple of days is the newly extended excerpt for book 3 of the Legend of the Four Soldiers series, To Beguile a Beast. This story is loosely based on the “Beauty and the Beast” fairy tale.

Book 2 of the series, To Seduce a Sinner was such a beautiful story (see my post here,) and the heroine for TBaB was introduced in this one.

To Beguile a Beast is one of my most anticipated historical releases this year. It will be released April 27, 2009.

To Beguile a Beast excerpt

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Frostbitten by Kelley ArmstrongKelly Armstrong is one of the most prolific writers around. She has 3 series going right now: Darkest Powers (YA), Nadia Stafford, and Otherworld. Book 10 of the Otherworld series, Frostbitten will be released in November 2009. It will be her 4th book release this year!

Frostbitten will mark the return of Elena as narrator. (woo hoo!) I’m really looking forward to “catching up” with her character.

Frostbitten Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Kelley Armstrong has already released 2 books this year (Men of the Otherworld and Made to be Broken,) and on April 28, 2009, The Awakening (Darkest Powers trilogy, book 2-YA) will be released.

April 9, 2009 at 6:00 am 6 comments

March 2009 Book Releases

Spring is coming, and along with it, a number of books I’ve been looking forward to! Also, it seems that a number of them have simply beautiful covers!

Here they are:

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Silent on the Moor by Deanna RaybournMarch 1, 2009: Silent on the Moor  (A Lady Julia Grey Mystery, book 3) by Deanna Raybourn.

This is the third installment of the Lady Julia Grey series. These books are wonderful historical mysteries with a hint of romance. 

Here is a book description from the author’s site:       

Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family — the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes . . .

A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.

I’ve got high hopes for Lady Julia’s and Brisbane’s relationship to finally move forward. Their sexual tension has been sizzling for the last 2 books, and I can’t wait to see what happens in book 3.

Deanna Raybourn also writes a heck of a mystery, with lots of twists and turns, and I’m also looking forward to seeing Lady Julia’s character continue to grow.

  • Deanna Raybourn’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site.

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Second Skin by Caitlin KittredgeMarch 3, 2009: Second Skin (Nocturne City series, book 3) by Caitlin Kittredge

I’m behind on this series (book 2 is on my TBR shelf), but hopefully, that means I can read books 2 & 3 back to back.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:               

When werewolves from Nocturne City’s oldest packs start showing up shot through the head execution-style, police officer Luna Wilder must find out what’s killing them and why…before she becomes the next victim.

Luna traces the killings to a band of shapeshifters made of smoke and shadow who drink the blood of their victims for strength. Believed to exist only in legend, their race is all too real—and now their leader, Lucas Kennuka, is out to wrest Luna’s heart from her beloved Dmitri. To make matters worse, Dmitri is suffering from a mysterious illness brought on by a demon bite, and his condition grows more grave with each passing day. Now Luna must rely on Lucas to defeat an invisible enemy—a serial were-killer bringing death and destruction to all who stand in its path . . .

I love the shifters, and Luna is as tough as they come. Dimitri is seriously alpha-y and hot (I still remember a love scene from book 1, which I read a year ago!)

  • Caitlin Kittredge’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site.

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As Shadows Fade by Colleen GleasonMarch 3, 2009:  As Shadows Fade  (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, book 5) by Colleen Gleason

Colleen Gleason’s historical urban fantasy series is a fun, original, and sexy. Victoria has often been called a Regency-era Buffy, and in a lot of ways its true: she kicks-ass, wears great clothes, hunts vampires, and has two sexy guys vying for her affections.

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead.

While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro – the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith’s obsession with him.

But it is Lilith’s obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation — a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.

Sebastian is such a mystery and so passionate about Victoria, but I can’t help rooting for the brooding Max. I’m currently reading book 4, When Twilight Burns, and can’t wait to continue the series with book 5. ETA: I didn’t realize at the time of writing this, that As Shadows Fade is the conclusion to this series.

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Deathwish by Rob ThurmanMarch 3, 2009: Deathwish (Cal Leandros series, book 4) by Rob Thurman

Rob Thurman’s protagonist Cal and his brother Niko remind me a lot of the Winchester brothers from the TV series, Supernatural. Cal has the same snarky sense of humor as Dean, and no matter how much the brothers might give each other shit, they always have each other’s back. Cal and Niko’s deep loyalty to each other really makes this series much more than smart ass wisecracks and violence. (Though there’s a lot of both of these things.)

Here is the description from the author’s site:

In a nightmarish new york city, life is there for the taking…

Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko are hired by the vampire Seamus to find out who has been following him — until Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead). Worse still is the return of Cal’s nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, they were almost wiped out. Now, the Auphe want revenge. But first, they’ll destroy everything Cal holds dear…

I always look forward to a new Cal Leandros novel. Rob Thurman consistently delivers an absorbing urban fantasy novel with a smart sense of humor and great characters.

  • Rob Thurman’s site.

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The Shadow Queen by Anne BishopMarch 3, 2009: The Shadow Queen (A Black Jewels novel) by Anne Bishop.

I love the Black Jewels trilogy for it’s incredibly original world, and dark, sensual men.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Dena Nehele is a land decimated by its past. Once it was ruled by corrupt Queens who were wiped out when the land was cleansed of tainted Blood. Now, only one hundred Warlord Princes stand — without a leader and without hope.

Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to find the key that reveals a treasure great enough to restore Dena Nehele. But first he needs to find a Queen who remembers the Blood’s code of honor and lives by the Old Ways. The woman chosen to rule Dena Nehele, Lady Cassidy, is not beautiful and believes she is not strong. But she may be the only one able to convince bitter men to serve once again.

Honestly, the last Black Jewels novel, Tangled Webs, was a disappointment for me, but I have high hopes from the description of The Shadow Queen, that it’s a return to the things I love about Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels world.

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Angels' Blood by Nalini SinghMarch 3, 2009: Angels’ Blood (A Guild Hunter Novel, book 1) by Nalini Singh

Isn’t this book cover gorgeous? It’s one of my favorite covers of books coming out this year.

This new series is by the author of the Psy-Changeling series.

Here is the book description:

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she’s the best — but she doesn’t know if she’s good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear — failure is not an option . . . even if the task is impossible. 

Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad. 

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other . . . and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break . . .

The Guild Hunter world sounds original, and Nalini Singh sure knows how to write great characters. The author has also written a prequel novella, Angels’ Pawn, currently available in ebook format.

  • Nalini Singh’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site (scroll down.)

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Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa KleypasMarch 31, 2009: Smooth Talking Stranger  (Travis family series, book 3) by Lisa Kleypas.

Last year, my favorite contemporary romance read was Lisa Kleypas’ Sugar Daddy. In Smooth Talking Stranger, she revisits the Travis family. (Book 2, Blue-Eyed Devil was also an amazing read.)

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Ella Varner has it all — a successful career as an advice columnist, a handsome boyfriend, and a circle of friends in Austin. When anyone has a problem, Ella knows the answers.

But one night she receives a call that changes everything. And as Ella’s world is turned upside-down, she meets a man who is the opposite of everything she ever wanted . . . a man who will offer her the most irresistible challenge she has ever known . . .

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The Treasure Keeper by Shana AbeMarch 24, 2009: The Treasure Keeper (Drakkon series, book 4) by Shana Abe

This historical paranormal romance series is highly romantic and very sensual. This was the only book description I could find, and it’s super long, so I’ll let it speak for itself.

Here is the book description:

With such novels as Queen of Dragons and The Dream Thief, Shana Abé has created a unique and vividly imagined world that exists side by side with our own — a realm populated by a race of supersensual men and women whose power to change shape permits them unlimited acts of pleasure.and ever-present danger. Now the survival of the drakon rests in the hands of a young woman with untried and unexpected powers — and the powerful Alpha male she must break every drakon law to save.

The drakon are at war, surrounded by an enemy they have every reason to fear. The sanf inimicus are no ordinary human beings but the most dangerous of hunters. They’ve sworn to exterminate the shape-shifters whose presence they now can detect, and they’ve already claimed a prize prisoner: Lord Rhys Langford.

It’s a blow the drakon clans feel from Darkfrith, England, all the way to the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. But it strikes no one harder than Zoe Cyprienne Lane. A mere seamstress’s daughter, Zoe isn’t even in the same league as Rhys. In fact, as an unwed male in the Alpha line, according to drakon custom, he owns her. So nothing could be more outrageous — or personally ruinous — than the mere notion that she might set out on her own to find her childhood friend . . . and first true love.

But the unexpected is exactly what Zoe intends to do. For years she’s been hiding two extraordinary Gifts that have set her apart from other drakon females: the power to become invisible and the power to feel others’ emotions. Now, guided by a link to Rhys — his presence and touch as electric as if he were beside her in the flesh — Zoe uses both Gifts to infiltrate the sanf inimicus. And for Rhys, whose time is running out, Zoe is his last lifeline to a world — and a love — he never thought he’d regain. Only together again, hunter and huntress, can they save the drakon from the traitor in their midst who would destroy them all.

  • Shana Abé’s site.

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City of Glass by Cassandra ClareMarch 24, 2009: City of Glass (Mortal Instruments trilogy, book 3) by Cassandra Clare (YA)

While I had some frustrations with book 2, City of Ashes, it did redeem itself in the end, ans I am looking forward to the final installment of the Mortal Instruments trilogy.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments. 

I really like Clary, and have been rooting for her and Jace though the series.

  • Cassandra Clare’s site.
  • City of Glass excerpt (scroll down.)

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Magic Strikes by Ilona AndrewsMarch 31, 2009: Magic Strikes  (Kate Daniels series, book 3) by Ilona Andrews.

As much as I like Kate Daniels, and her snarky sense of humor, for me it’s mostly about Lord of the Beasts, lion-shifter Curran.

Curran is all alpha male, and is the leader of all the shifters in the Atlanta area. The chemistry Kate and Curran have together sizzles off the page, and over the course of the last 2 books, Ilona Andrews has built the sexual tension between them to a boiling point.

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games — an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament — she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community . . .

In book 2, Magic Burns, the simplest scenes between Kate and Curran became fraught with repressed meaning. My favorite scene was where he brings her a meal after she’s been injured. It was such a simple scene, yet there were so many unspoken layers to it. The series is full of great writing, like that. 

  • Ilona Andrews’ site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site (scroll down.)

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Seven for a Secret by Elizabeth BearMarch 31, 2009: Seven for a Secret (Lady Abigail Irene and Sebastien) by Elizabeth Bear

This short novel is a sequel to the steampunk/historical urban fantasy New Amsterdam.

New Amsterdam is a collection of short stories about vampire, Sebastien, and magical investigator, Lady Abigail Irene, in a steampunk world where the US never won its independence from England.

This novel continues Sebastien’s and Lady Abigail Irene’s story, many years later.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

The wampyr has walked the dark streets of the world’s great cities for a thousand years. In that time, he has worn out many names — and even more compatriots.

Now, so that one of those companions may die where she once lived, he has come again to the City of London. In 1938, where the ghosts of centuries of war haunt rain-grey streets and the Prussian Chancellor’s army of occupation rules with an iron hand.

Here he will meet his own ghosts, the remembrances of loves mortal — and immortal. And here he will face the Chancellor’s secret weapon: a human child.

Author Elizabeth Bear is co-author of my February Re-read Challenge book A Companion to Wolves. Her world building is detailed, original and fascinating, and I can’t wait to read more about her unique characters.

  • Elizabeth Bear’s site.

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Night's Rose by Annaliese EvansMarch 31, 2009: Night’s Rose (Night’s Rose trilogy, book 1) by Annaliese Evans

Another gorgeous cover!

I don’t know where I saw this book, but the cover immediately drew me, and I was hooked after reading the description and excerpt.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

For nearly one hundred years, Rosemarie Edenberg has worked tirelessly to wipe the dreaded ogre tribe from the earth. Now the tribe has gathered in London to work a spell that will destroy the scourge of their kind, the one they call the Briar Rose.

Two magnetic men will unite to aid Rose — her mysterious fey advisor, Ambrose, and the vampire Lord Shenley, an earl of scandalous reputation and even more scandalous appetites. One will save her, one will betray her, and both will challenge her to face the past that haunts her.

Once upon a time, she was ensnared in the mists of enchantment, cursed to sleep one hundred years. But this beauty wasn’t awakened with a kiss and has never known happily ever after. But with the help of her handsome allies, Rose may find it yet.

This is a new to me author, but I have high hopes for this novel, which is the first of a trilogy.  The second book, The Prince of Frogs will be out September 2009.

  • Annaliese Evan’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site.

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For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page. For information about other books that were released in January and Febuary 2009, check out my Released in 2009 page.

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

March 2, 2009 at 7:00 am 12 comments

Ilona Andrews’ Magic Strikes ARC Give-away

Magic Strikes by Ilona AndrewsOne of the books I’ve really been looking forward to being released is Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews. She is currently running a give-away for a Magic Strikes ARC to publicize the sci-fi convention, Opus Fest, where she and husband/writing partner Gordon Andrews will be guests of honor.

Here’s the info:

OpusFest is back! March 13 – 15, 2009 at Red Lion Hotel (I-70 and Quebec) Denver, CO.  Come meet Ilona and Gordon Andrews, Gil Bruvel, Stephen Segal, David Boop and many others.   Click for more information.

If you are lucky enough to be in the Denver area, this sounds like an event worth checking out!

To enter this contest, check out her post.

Magic Strikes, the third in the Kate Daniels series, will be released March 31, 2009.

January 31, 2009 at 11:30 pm 5 comments

RBA’s Best Reads of 2008: The Yearbook Edition (Part 4 of 4)

new-year-baby-clockCan you believe we are (finally!) at part 4 of my Best Reads of 2008? Here’s the relevant stuff I said in the previous posts:

  • I thought I’d have a little fun, and do this in yearbook “Superlatives” style.
  • These books weren’t necessarily published in 2008. They are books I read this year.
  • If some of my reviews sound familiar, it’s because I’ve borrowed shamelessly from my previous posts.

This week has been:

  • Part 1-Romance
  • Part 2-Speculative Fiction & M/M fiction
  • Part 3-YA & Mystery
  • Part 4-Urban Fantasy & Dark Fantasy

Today is very loosely the best Urban Fantasy and Dark Fantasy I read in 2008.
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Best Mechanic…

Mercy Thompson

vw-rabbit-rear1Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson series, book 3) by Patricia Briggs

This series is one of my favorite all-time series. I love Mercy. She is unique among UF heroines in that, while she does have supernatural abilities (she’s a coyote shapeshifter,) she’s definitely not an ass-kicking tough girl.

Mercy is very “normal,” busy with her garage (she’s a VW mechanic) and living in her mobile home with ex, Sam, and next door to alpha wolf Adam.

Book Descripton at Amazon:

When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to shapeshifting car mechanic Mercy Thompson to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not. And she’ll have to choose between the two werewolves in her life-whether she wants to or not.

Iron Kissed by Patricia BriggsThis book is the best yet, in a really great series.  Iron Kissed really shows how resilient she is, even in the face of some pretty horrific events.

And, she had great taste in werewolves. ;-)

I’m really looking forward to re-reading the entire Mercy Thompson series before book 4, Bone Crossed is released in February, so everything will be fresh in my mind.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the incredible art of Don DosSantos, cover artist for the Mercy Thompson series. I’d be willing to bet you will recognize more than a few of his book covers. He also has a wonderful detailed pdf file that takes you thru his step-by-step process for creating the Moon Called cover. I love how he depicts Mercy as a “real-shaped” woman (with curves), and not a twig.

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Prom King…

(…of the beasts): Curran

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Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

I really liked the first book in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Bites, which I read in 2007. But, I LOVED Magic Burns

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Down in Atlanta, tempers — and temperatures — are about to flare…

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsKate is tough and snarky (but not obnoxious about it.) Atlanta, in the midst of a magic flare, is a fascinating depiction of a world gone awry. And Curran is awesome: alpha (he is after all a shape-shifting lion who isalpha over all the shifters), compelling, and damn funny. The chemistry between Kate and Curran sizzles (though is still unresolved.)

My favorite scene is when Curran feeds Kate the soup, and Kate learns the significance of that simple act. So understated, but such a satisfying scene.

In Magic Burns, too, we see another side of Kate. A little more nurturing, as she cares for a girl caught up in the drama of the stolen maps.

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Biggest Drama Queen…

Dante Valentine

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The Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow

The first book in the series, Working for the Devil really knocked me out. The world that Lilith Saintcrow built was so complex and detailed. It’s a dystopian future, full of demons, vampires, and magic users.

Dante Valentine is a necromance, someone who communicates with the dead. She is deeply spiritual, ascribing to an ancient Egyptian belief system (the society is interestingly very pantheistic) and also deeply damaged. She has been abused as a child, and she was violently attacked by Vardimal Santino the demon who murdered her lover.

When the Devil sends his right hand, the demon Japhrimel to Dante’s door, her life is irrevocably changed.

Here is the book description for book 1, Working for the Devil from the author’s site:

Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot-tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody’s business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to Hell.

The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a renegade demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It’s an offer she can’t refuse.

There’s just one catch. How do you kill something that can’t die?Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow

Japhrimel is a another one of my “literary crushes.” He’s not just any demon, but Lucifer’s right-hand and enforcer. He’s the guy who all the other demons are afraid of. He is given the job of helping Dante capture Santino, and I loved reading what happens between them.

The first 2 books were amazing. But, the more I read of the 5 book series, the more frustrated I became with Dante. She is so damaged, and continues to make decisions based on her f*cked-up-ness. She doesn’t really grow over the series, and those around her are forced to accommodate her actions and behavior. She kept reminding me of that friend (everyone has one) who constantly makes messed up decisions in their life, calls and tell you about them, and then goes off to make more. You might love them, but sometimes, you just want to smack them.

However, the series is still one of my fave reads this year. I was just so fascinated by LS’s world, Dante and Japh. It read like pulp fiction (in a good way!), where you just had to keep turning pages to see what happens next.

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Most Likely To…

Cast a spell on you: the Black Jewels world

black-diamondThe Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

This trilogy was another one where the world just sucked me in. Complex, dark, and violent, I was a little overwhelmed by it when I started reading it, but it was so worth sticking with.

Description of book 1, Daughter of the Blood, from Amazon:

Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions. Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence-and corruption.

Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three men-sworn enemies-know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love-and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining…

Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne BishopCarolyn Jean’s The Thrillionth Page, Kati’s Adventures in Katidom, and Katibabs Babbling About Books and More do some great reviews. Be sure and check them out!

This was another series that I binged on. It took me a week, but I read the 3 books back to back to back. At the end, I was emotionally exhausted, but in a good way. The story is so captivating. The relations between men and women are so fascinating—when they are “healthy”. When the male relationships go wrong, they are hair-raising, so say the least.

Someone I really loved in this series is Surreal. She is the reason I originally read the trilogy. I first read about her in Powers of Detection, an anthology with a short story featuring the former prostitute/assassin.

  • Anne Bishop’s site.

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A couple of honorable mentions. A few excellent series’ had installments in 2008, but just missed my list:

Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire series, book 8 ) by Charlaine Harris

Outlaw Demon Wails (Hollows series, book 6) by Kim Harrison

Personal Demon and Living with the Dead (Otherworld series, books 8 & 9) by Kelley Armstrong

and Sunshine (a standalone which I wish was a series) by Robin McKinley.

new-year-jan-1Well, 2008 was a great book year for me. Lot’s of new authors that I’ll keep reading: Lisa Kleypas, Stephanie Laurens, Ann Aguirre, Josh Lanyon, Nalini Singh. Great new (to me) series: Bay City Parnormal Investigations, Sunday Philosophy Club, Dante Valentine, With or Without. Discovering (or re-discovering, as the case may be) new genres: romance, M/M, science fiction/romance.

Were there any new reading discoveries you made in 2008? What are you looking forward to in 2009?

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009 at 10:30 am 2 comments


Vintage pin-up girl reading
Urban Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Mystery, M/M, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, audiobooks, it just goes on and on...
A little bit more about me.

Renee's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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Pleasure and Purpose (Order of Solace, book 1) by Megan Hart

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Feed (Newsflesh trilogy, book 1) by Mira Grant Audiobook narrated by Paula Christensen and Jessie Eisenberg

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September 20, 2011:
Tempted by His Target
Tempted by His Target by Jill Sorenson

October 4, 2011:
Angels of Darkness
Angels of Darkness with stories by Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, and Sharon Shinn

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