2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Friday, April 15, 2011

What We Are Reading

Welcome to another What We Are Reading post. Today's DarkSiders are: Jess Anastasi (our resident reviewer *wink*), C.T. Green (with her second review), Mel Teshco, Bec Skrabl and our latest member Gemma Kettley.

Jess Anastasi

This month I finally got around to reading The Warlord's Daughter by Susan Grant, or at least starting it anyway. I'm about a third of the way through, and the two main characters haven't even caught up with each other yet. Not that I think all books should have the hero and heroine meeting in the first five pages. If there's enough to hold my interest, it shouldn't matter. However, I'm having trouble staying connected. I really want to love this book, but it feels a bit all over the place. We keep skipping to other scenes and characters all over the galaxy. I assume all these scenes are pivitol to wherever the story is heading, but at the moment it feels like there are too many outside elements intruding on the story. I hope it gets better and plan to read Sureblood after this, because that book in particular has gotten really good reviews. I hope its an improvement over The Warlord's Daughter. While it's an ok read at the moment, it's probably not one I'd pick up to re-read later on.

C.T. Green
~ Lover Unleashed ~ J.R. Ward
I mentioned in my last review that I was a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward.  So unsurprisingly this review is about her latest release, Lover Unleashed.

This is the much-anticipated follow on from Lover Mine and takes up almost where the previous book left off.  Payne had broken her back in the last book and we dive back into the Brotherhood’s world to see the race to try and restore her ability to walk.  Cue Manny Manello MD, hated by Vishous for having, ahem, inappropriate feelings for V’s love, Jane. 

Manny is brought to the Brotherhood’s mansion on a purely professional basis and with lots of limb dismemberment threats on V’s behalf.  Well, the guy did fancy V’s true love and is putting his hands all over V’s twin sister – you’ve gotta feel for the vamp!

Manny and Payne (who are instantly attracted to each other – as you do when you’ve broken your back/are introduced to the world of vampires) attempt to find the solution to Payne’s paralysis and how a human and vampire can be together.  As usual, the course of true love is a hell ride and Payne and Manny have to find a way through without Vishous fricasseeing the human or Manny having to give up his career and ability to write his own name after his memories are wiped.

Lover Unleashed also enlarges on Vishous and Jane’s relationship and takes it to both new depths and new heights, with a few unexpected but not unsurprising twists that include V’s best friend, Butch.

If that wasn’t enough, Ward also introduces new characters to the mix, Xcor and Throe and their little band of misfits, who’ve come to the New World (aka Caldwell) in search of more than one enemy and perhaps even a crown.

For those who are fans of this couple: Blaylock and Qhuinn do make appearances, which give us hints at to where things might be headed for them.  Awww.

If you love the BDB, then this is a must read and though the resolution of Manny and Payne’s story is not really a surprise (if you paid attention to the hints Ward drops) it’s still a very satisfying ending.   If you’ve never read the series – why are you sitting there reading this?  Go out and get thee to the first book! 

Mel Teshco

I won an e-copy of Maree Anderson's SCENT OF A MAN and really lost myself in her great writing and original storyline. I’ve already done a review for her book:

Joseph Godwin is an Anglian noble, born and raised into a society that oppresses its women. All well and good—until Joseph discovers the day he dreamed of losing his virginity and becoming a man—becomes his worst nightmare. Turns out he’s a Scentinal, the scourge of the earth; the spawn of the devil according to Anglian law. His very scent sees the chastest of women become depraved and shameless hussies who lust after him without restraint.His father, Lord Godwin, is a cruel and vicious oppressor who turns on his only son when he finds out Joseph’s fĂȘted coming of age reveals his true Scentinal colours. Only Liliana, a Null—a one-of-a-kind woman who renders his scent void in close proximity—is able to save him. She is a gifted warrior, but a pawn to the empress Vashti, who sends Liliana on a mission to bring back Joseph for her own nefarious schemes.Maree Anderson writes a riveting, original tale of lust and betrayal, love and redemption. SCENT OF A MAN is an erotic, fast paced story that is beautifully written, the characters all too believable.


I’ve been on the lookout for any of Madeleine Ker’s older category books after reading and loving THE WILDER SHORES OF LOVE many years ago. I found FRAZER’S LAW in my local book exchange the other day, first published as an Australian paperback in 1988 — though yes, Madeleine does have recent categories. To say the writing style has changed over the years is an understatement. Even so it’s interesting to note the flicking in and out of point of view, the omnipresent voice etc still works overall. She is an author that keeps me engrossed in her story and makes me feel for her characters.

Rio Faber is the heroine, a marine biologist studying corals and living alone in a remote cottage on Australia’s untamed Cape York Peninsula. Then Cameron Frazer, handsome as hell shark expert, arrives to check on the lone woman after she failed to make radio contact. A devastating cyclone sees them thrust together once again, battling the elements.

I’m about halfway through this book, and can’t wait to see how their relationship develops after Cameron’s offer for Rio to stay at his house in Barramundi. Rio has little choice but to accept, her cottage and much of her research has disappeared along with the winds.

Bec Skrabl

I’ve been on a bit of a steampunk glom lately, so it’s no wonder that the last two books I’ve read have had some sort of steampunk flavour.

I must admit I picked up Geist by Phillippa Ballantine, drawn solely by the beautiful cover. Featuring a world where geist’s - ghosts – can possess people, it’s up to Deacons like Sorcha Faris to banish them. With her husband and partner in a coma, she has to work with Merrick, a young Deacon to discover what is going on in an isolated town filled with strange geist activity. Someone doesn’t want them to reach their destination and along the way, they are joined by Raed, Pretender to the throne, and a man cursed with a geist living inside him. I loved the way the characters played off each other, with Merrick’s Sensitive side bringing out the emotions gruff, kick-ass Sorcha feels. The world-building was unusual, and I can’t wait to see more of Raed in book two.

The other book I recently finished was The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire by Clay and Susan Griffiths. In  1870, a plague of vampires overtook the colder parts of the world and the humans were forced to withdraw to the equatorial countries, where they formed their own empire. Princess Adele, heir to the throne, is undertaking a tour of the northern parts of the empire when she is kidnapped by the vampires and taken away to London. The Greyfriar, a mysterious, legendary figure who fights the vampires from within their territories, attempts to rescue her, and they must flee through vampire-infested territories to the relative safety of Edinburgh. The romance is quite sweet, but of course, since this is a series, there’s a big roadblock featuring the Greyfriar’s secret that I’ll be interested in seeing how it plays out. Airships + Vampires + Mysterious Hero = Rollicking good time.

Gemma Kettley

Tales of the Otherworld ~ Kelley Armstrong

I will admit that I am yet to read a Kelley Armstrong book that I didn't like and this book did not disappoint. If you are yet to try one of her book then I suggest starting with her short stories. The stories vary from Elana - the only female werewolf in the world to Paige who finds out just how fraught a White (Witch) Wedding can be or Eve - a black witch who finds out her soulmate is also her nemesis (don't you just hate that) to Aaron who was only trying to stop someone getting robed and becomes a Vampire who learns the heavy price of his existence these are just some examples of the 9 stories that are in this book. And if you find a particular character that you like they may have their own books in the Women of the Otherworld or Men of the Otherworld Series. If you are a fan of Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, Keri Arthur or Laurell K Hamilton then give this book a try.

Blood of the Demon ~ Diana Rowland

This the second book in the Kara Gillian series and I found that it was better then the first book "Mark of the Demon". Kara is a Homicide Detective who has the gift of "othersight" and also comes from a long line of Demons Summoners. Both of which she will need to use to find a murder who also rips the victims soul out. With the help of two FBI agents Ryan (who seems to have some gifts of his own) and Zack (the believer that gets "feelings") and her best friend Jill a Forensic Expert (she has and umbrella and a butterfly net and she is not afraid to use them), Kara is on a race against time to find the killer as the murders become more frequent and more gruesome. Of course you will need to read the first book due to the cliff hanger ending. If you like Jennifer Rardin give this series a try.

Kitty's House of Horrors ~ Carrie Vaughn

This is the seventh book in the Kitty Norville series and I found it to be one of the best so far. Kitty is a Radio DJ who hosts her own show "The Midnight Hour" on Friday Nights and also happens to be a Werewolf. Kitty is asked to go on a reality TV show about the Supernatural where she will be living for two weeks in a remote lodge with Vampires, Psychics, two other weres and a non-believer. The first couple of days are fine until they wake up one morning to find that the TV crew are missing then it is a fight for survival for Kitty and the other guests. This book brings back some characters from past books as well as introducing new ones that will play a part in the up coming war. In my opinion this is one of the best Werewolf series around.


Another great overview ladies - thank you and more than one book on my ever increasing To Be Read pile. Happy Reading everyone!

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