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, October 21, 2011

What We Are Reading

Welcome to the October What We Are Reading column. Today, we have Jodie Chyb, Cathleen Ross, Cassandra Shaw, Kylie Griffin and Bec McMasters.

Jodie Chyb
~Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis~
I just finished my first Jill Shalvis book and *sigh* it was oh so perfect. I feel like I want to crawl between the pages and spend a lifetime in the romantic happiness.
Some readers aren’t a fan of contemporary romance and I can understand their reasons. Sometimes they lack the drama and excitement of paranormal or romantic suspense, but I have been craving contemporary lately and I have now found another fabulous author to stock my shelves with.

Although contemporary lacks some of the drawcards of other genres Jill Shalvis rocks it with ease and kept me entertained to the very last page. She is a phenomenal writer FULL STOP. I knew within the first chapter that I would love her work – yep, I was that quickly convinced and page after page I was shocked not only at how she had me wrapped around her little finger with this freakin amazing story, but at why I haven’t picked up something written by her before.
Each chapter in Animal Magnetism is filled with the oh so sweet and sexy romance that makes your heart clench. The romantic thoughts the characters held back, the flirty eyes, whispered words, smart ass comments it all fit in to 100% perfection for me. I adored it and have already ordered the next instalment....BRING IT ON!!!

Cathleen Ross
~Inked by Karen Chance, Marjorie M. Lui, Yasmine Galenorn and Eileen Wilks~
I'm reading INKED, an anthology with Karen Chance, Marjorie M. Lui, Yasmine Galenorn and Eileen Wilks. I like it because it is introducing me to paranormal writers I haven't read before.

I've just finished the first story where "Skin Deep" is set in Las Vegas and the war mage has a new tattoo of a dragon that appears on her skin. In this world the tattoos have powers but are meant to be under the mage's control, except the dragon has a kind of its own. It's a wonderfully set world with a strong heroine who has to think on her feet to stay alive. The hero doesn't feature a lot but the world is so busy and colourful it doesn't matter.

Cassandra Shaw
~Envy (No. 3 of the Fallen Angels) by J.R. Ward~
Envy follows Jim Heron (the fallen angel) on his quest to save a soul. He’s in a competition against a Demon and whoever wins the best out of seven, stealing or saving seven souls, wins. If the demon wins, all souls already in heaven and those here on Earth go to Hell. Literally. In this book we follow Thomas “Veck” DelVecchio as he fights the evil born in him, inherited from his serial killer Dad.

Jim makes a deal with the Demon to discover which soul he must save in this new quest as he tried to save the wrong soul in the last book and lost, giving a score of one all – Demons to Fallen Angels.

Veck’s a detective, on the edge of becoming a monster like his father, a serial killer on death row. He’s constantly fighting the internal battle of the darkness that resides inside his chest. After thinking he has attacked a serial killer he calls 911. He can’t remember if he hurt the man or not but Internal AffaIrs investigator, Sophia Reilly doesn’t think so and is assigned to work on his case and as his partner for a month. Only they can’t stay just partners in the field and they start to fall for each other.
Reilly’s drawn into the battle and Veck must in the end make the decision that will either save his soul and Sophia’s life or take both. Reilly’s, a well round character that I enjoyed and the inner battle of Veck, is believable. On the whole the story’s paced fast enough and a good read. What I don’t understand is why Jim Heron was need in this story.
The Jim Heron contribution to the story line felt a little forced, must insert something here type of thing, and he didn’t play a big enough part. Ultimately the series is about him and what he has to do to save these souls, only, in this book he didn’t seem to do much. Veck saved his own soul.

Although this book is a story in its own right, I feel to get the whole gist you would need to read the first two books in this series, Covet and Crave and even the last of the Dark brotherhood series, Lover Unleashed. (although this one is not as important). I’m not sure I actually like the cross over between the two series, I think each should stand on their own.

Kylie Griffin
~Deacon's Touch by Callie Croix~
About a month ago I won a copy of DEACON'S TOUCH by Callie Croix over at the Writers' Gone Wild blog. This novella was a quick but compelling read, and HOT! I sat down and read the novella in one morning. Couldn't put it down. Loved it.

Deke's a retired pararescue jumper with medic training. Injured in the line of duty he's returned to help his brothers on the family ranch. Jessica is a stock broker and she's come to the ranch to celebrate a friend's bachelorette party.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Deke is asked to meet and pick up Jessica at the airport and their friendship starts there.
Neither are looking for a relationship, both have pasts that interfere but there's an attraction neither can deny. The developing relationship gets hot (I loved how the author has built on each sex scene, adding layers and emotional depth) and the ending (which I won't reveal) is very satisfying. In fact, I could see this as a full blown novel and would be very happy to spend a few more hours reading the longer version.
Yet despite the shorter length of the novel, I was pleasantly satisfied with the depth in the characters, Deke and Jessica, the hero and heroine. For anyone who enjoys a contemporary western, the military and a touch of BDSM/erotica, this is a novella for you.
DEACON'S TOUCH is one of four planned in this series and is available from The Wild Rose Press.

Bec McMasters
~Shadow Kin by M.J Scott~
As soon as I saw the cover for the upcoming release, I knew I was going to have to read it. The back cover copy looked just as intriguing. I love anything Steampunk and Gas-Lit Fantasy is its gothic cousin. The world building was fantastic, featuring the dark and deadly Night World, with its Beast Kind and Blood Lords, all ruled by the dangerous and enigmatic Lucius. On the other side, policing this world were the Fae, Templar Knights and mages.
The thing I liked the most was the fact that the premise was original, even down to the powers both of the leads had. Lily, aka Shadow, is a wraith, able to fade into any shadow. Shunned as a half-breed Fae, she lives under the rule of Lucius and works as his assassin. She’s sent to kill the sunmage healer Simon DuCaine, and finds a man with a bit of a saviour complex. Not only does he want to bring Lucius down but he wants to help Lily.
The conflict frustrated me a bit at times as Lily has some serious trust issues, but I could kind of understand where she’s coming from. She grew quite a bit as a character and I enjoyed that. Simon was a big softie and I loved his brother Guy, who is a Templar Knight.
Overall a very unique book and a series I will definitely be keeping my eye on.

~Blood Rights by Kristen Painter~
Another book with a fantastic cover. Painter’s world was just as unique as Scott’s, with noble vampire houses, the Comarre who serve them (think Geisha with secret ninja talents and extra-tasty blood) and curses.

When her patron is found dead, Chrysabelle is the prime suspect, but after finally finishing her contract with him, she’s fled to the human world. Hunted by a dangerous vampire noble, Tatiana, with a hunger for power, Chrysabelle seeks refuge with Malkolm, an outcast noble vampire with some major curses. If he ever drinks from a person he is cursed to drink them to death and then have their voices in his head. He was a dark, slightly insane character and I liked him.

Chrysabelle was a bit harder for me to take to. I liked the fact that she was this kick-ass woman, skilled with the blade and a smart mouth, but sometimes I felt like she mouthed off a bit too much, just for the sake of it. And I know the author was trying to make her strong, but sometimes it felt as though her super-awesome skills made Malkolm come across as weak.
I think I will stick around for the next book. The world is certainly an interesting one. I’d read it for that alone. Anyone tired of the same-old, same-old vampire stories would definitely be interested in the culture of this world and the twists Painter takes with the story.
Happy Reading



  1. Great stuff. Thanks. More to check out. I've just finished Covet by J.R. Ward and looking in the next one of the Fallen Angels series.

    Thanks everyone.

  2. Thanks Shona for compiling this. I love reading reviews and working out what I'm going to read next.