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, August 19, 2011

What We Are Reading

Welcome to the August What We Are Reading column. Today, we have Nicole Murphy, C.T. Green, Nicky Strickland and Imogene Nix.

Nicole Murphy
~ Graveminder ~ Melissa Marr

Marr has left behind her YA sensibilities with this book, but brought along the things that make her a great author – fabulous worldbuilding, intriguing ideas and a style that’s accessible and entertaining.

Graveminder is the story of Rebekkah and Byron, who find themselves the custodians of a deal made between the forefathers of the town of Claysville and the devil. The deal seems to be breaking down and it’s up to Rebekkah and Byron to return things to the usual status quo.

Rebekkah’s attitude toward Byron and the relationship between them is at times very annoying, but the richness of the world and the tension of the storyline make up for it.

I don’t know if there’s more intended in this series, but I can see why there’s already movie talk surrounding this book.

~ Night Betrayed ~ Joss Ware

This is a post-apocalyptic, and I loved the detail and depth of Ware’s descriptions of the world that now existed. It’s also a zombie book, and the story behind the zombies and what is going on is very interesting.

But at heart, this is a romance between Theo and Selena, who are both almost super-heroes in terms of the magical powers they have.

What I LOOVED about this book is that Selena is an older woman – fifty – with a teenage son and yet she’s allowed to have some fabulously hot sex. Without giving things away, the character of Theo could have been intensely interesting but he wasn’t – he didn’t strike me as the old computer genius he was supposed to be. But he was a terrifically nice guy, and yeah I was soon cheering Selena on to take him.

It’s part of a series, but easily read as a stand-alone.

~ Hunger Untamed (Feral Warriors Book Five) ~ Pamela Palmer

I got to the end of this book and immediately thought to myself – where have the Feral Warriors been all my life?

Hunger Untamed is the story of Kougar and Ariana – husband and wife but separated for hundreds of years. Kougar thought Ariana was dead, but when he discovers that she simply abandoned him, his life becomes one of bitterness and betrayal. Except some of his Feral Warrior brothers are in danger, and Ariana is the only one who can save them.

I loved the passionate intensity between the two of them, and how their past was both a hindrance and an enticement. I didn’t buy that Ariana was a warrior queen – I never saw her in action and others fought for her. This story didn’t seem to deal too directly with what I imagine has been the ongoing storyline (this is the only book I’ve read in the series) and that made it actually reasonably easy to pick up and read, although there were times I skipped over conversations or ignored information being given to me because it didn’t make sense.

But on the strength of this book – I’ll definitely be going back to get the others.

~ Hearts Aflame ~ Johanna Lindsey

I just have to say this – Avon have recently released a lot of the Johanna Lindsey backtitles electronically (not all unfortunately – my favourite Warrior’s Woman still isn’t available).

To celebrate they’ve got a special on this book, so I got it, read it and loved it. Kirsten Haadrad is a Viking and when she sneaks aboard her brother’s boat to go travelling and hopefully find a man she can love, she thinks it’s a trading trip.

It’s not and Kirsten is captured by Royce of Wyndhurst, a friend of King Alfred. However, when it turns out that Royce is the man she’s been looking for, Kirsten decides to see if she can’t turn things around.

Ah, Johanna Lindsey – you rock.

C.T. Green
~ The Vampire Voss ~ Colleen Gleason

While scouring the aisles, okay – there’s only one, at my local Target for paranormal books not aimed at someone barely out of puberty, I pounced* on this book. Not least because the title lead me to believe it was about vampires, but also because the clothing indicated it might have a bit of a historical element.
Oddly enough, I was right.

This is the first book in a series of three (so far) about a group of vampires, the Draculia, who exist in Regency England.

We start with Viscount Dewhurst’s (Voss to his friend’s and the erstwhile heroine) story about his battle with the blood and subsequent redemption.

It’s not quite what the blurb would lead you to believe, but a good read nonetheless. The characters are interesting and Gleason does some fascinating twists on the usual vampire stuff, while sticking with tradition (you’re picking up the Dracula element I’m guessing).

Reading it is rather like slipping on a new pair of slippers – almost exactly like your old ones, just a different tartan pattern**.

I’d recommend it for those looking for an interesting if unchallenging read. JR Ward offers a quote on the front (which is partly why I bought the book), but I noted another of Gleason’s books has exactly the same quote – so don’t get too excited. Ward wasn’t far off the mark, if you can get past the obvious set ups for the following stories.

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about this book but it just missed hitting the right buttons for me. I’m hoping a re-read will help and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next two in the series.

* Not exactly, but I did snatch it up in a rather aggressive fashion.
**This is a metaphor – I have never worn tartan slippers.

Nicky Strickland
Since the last time I posted here, I’ve been reading sporadically. Below is a snapshot…

~ Kindred in Death ~ J.D. Robb
I’ve been continuing my J.D. Robb glom and am currently reading Kindred in Death. I can’t believe I’ve only about half a dozen left until I have to wait like everyone else for the next one. I’ve enjoyed the development of Eve and Roarke’s relationship as well as the development of the secondary characters (Peabody, Mavis and Morris being some of my more favourites). The deaths have been varied and I enjoy that Robb doesn’t always do the same pov – some books we get inside the killer’s head, sometimes we have no idea who the killer is.

~ Jennifer Rardin ~
As well I’ve been reading the Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin. Nearly finished this series too and it’s sad to know I won’t be seeing more of Rardin’s work. I’ve really enjoyed the scrapes Jaz has found herself in. It’s light (or should I say I find it light) vampire, covert ops fun.

~ Hit List ~ Laurell K. Hamilton

Recently finished Laurell K. Hamilton’s Hit List. It was good to see the Anita Blake series returning to its roots of catching a killer – though it felt a little like a rollercoaster – where you take a while to get up to the top and then come speeding down so fast you wonder where the ride was. I’ve persisted with this series in part to see how Hamilton can develop or use Anita given the number of books in a series that hinges on one lead character (the men all move around Anita).

Also in the Anita Blake world, I’ve read The Laughing Corpse graphic novel adaptation. I read the novel years ago and was curious to see how it transferred across. The world and the stories moved well into the different format and it was a quick, easy read (important when working on own stories).

Next on my graphic novel adaptations will be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…..

Imogene Nix

~ Blood Hunt ~ Shannon K Butcher

Book 5 in the Sentinels series, is about Hope and Logan. Logan is a Sanguinar (think vampire with a twist) who uses blood to create vaccines to heal the Sentinels. Hope is a woman with magic in her blood. Something about Hope calls to Logan in a way he cannot and will not investigate. But with a demon hunting Hope, Logan must stay to ensure she is safe, even if it means giving everything, his heart and his life to protect her. But Hope won’t be satisfied with that. She wants him too. This was a left fielder – honestly! I had read the previous Sentinels books and enjoyed them but the twist in this book came from a Sanguinar finding his HEA – up until now they have been supporting characters and treated with a fair amount of distaste, but Logan is fighter an inner battle – does he settle for his HEA or work for the betterment of race? The build-up was great and I particularly liked the sensual tension that Butcher raised between our hero and heroine....but note to future heroes...fighting makes it worse in the end (but also better!)
Happy Reading


  1. I loved LK Hamiltons early Anita Blakes, but she lost me after about book 10!

  2. Great reviews. I'm behind in the J.D. Robb and the Hamilton books, but haven't looked at the others. One day, one day. :)

  3. I'm reading Graveminder too, and its slow but the worldbuilding is unique. The thing that throws me is that my name is Rebecca and my BF is Byron too. Not a usual combo.

  4. Oh I'm so late on catching up on all the posts - I must get me some J.D Robb books!!