Sunday, August 31, 2008

Books Bought

I bought a copy of Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning at the grocery store and can't wait to start reading it. I ordered three books from Amazon--Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, The Alchemist's Apprentice by Dave Duncan and Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (none of the 3 are romances.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke

Dragons are sexy, no question about it. I love the recent dragon shape-shifter trend. Kiss of Fire is the first in the Dragonfire series by Deborah Cooke. It's also the first book by this author that I've read.

This was a very good read, with an interesting take on dragons. I liked the dragon lore and hope the author builds on that in her next book. Her next book is Kiss of Fury and features one of the secondary characters in this book, so it is probably best to read them in order.

What I liked about this book:
Pretty much everything. I think the best parts were the hero Quinn and heroine Sara. I loved them both and found it easy to root for them. They both grew during the book, which was very gratifying. I admired the way the smallest details were there for a reason and the way Cooke made the dragon society believeable.

I'd rate this book an 8 out of 10.

Demon's Kiss by Maggie Shayne

I've read a few books by Maggie Shayne and Demon's Kiss is my favorite. It is part of her Wings in the Night vampire series, but you don't have to read them in order.

There was one thing about this book that might be perceived as a flaw by some. Instead of the story being focused solely on the hero and heroine, this book focused on a group of people. There was one love story that was emphasized a bit more than other story lines that featured a newly made vampire and a fox shape-shifter (also a newly made vampire.)

What I liked about this book:
The characters were fascinating. They were all unique and interesting, even the "bad" ones. The plot was fast moving and original, and full of surprises. There were some nice touches of humor and also some parts that tugged at my emotions.

I'd rate this book 7 out of 10 and look forward to reading the next in the series, Lover's Bite.

The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

The Serpent Prince is the third book in Hoyt's The Princes trilogy. The books are very loosely connected and you don't have to read them in order.

Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite historical romance authors. She has a fresh voice, interesting characters far from the stereotypes we so often see in historicals and she writes hot and emotional sex scenes.

The Serpent Prince is my least favorite of the three books, but I think that's because I didn't have as much empathy with this hero as I did with the heroes in The Raven Prince and The Leopard Prince. It was still a very enjoyable book and I enjoyed the plot device of the fairy tale the hero told the heroine.

What I liked about this book:
The writing is a notch above the usual historicals. The characters are more complex and interesting than the usual, including the secondary characters. There's a nice sense of atmosphere without getting bogged down in too many historical details. There are some unexpected twists and the ending is both surprising and satisfying.

I'd rate The Serpent Prince 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On My Wish List

I have tons of books on my wish list but here are some of my top picks:
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (2nd in series)
Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde (I adore Fforde)
Immortals: The Redeeming by Jennifer Ashley (5th in series)
Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning (out in paperback Aug. 26)
Nicholas by Elizabeth Amber (no, not just because of the cover, though that doesn't hurt)
Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh (out on Sept. 2, I can't wait)
Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens (another one out on Sept. 2)
Kiss of Fury by Deborah Cooke (2nd in series)
Sojourn by Jana G. Oliver (time travel)

What I'm Reading

Right now I'm reading Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke, a new author to me. I'm about a third of the way through and enjoying it very much so far. It features a sexy dragon shape-shifter and an accountant who inherits a New Age bookstore. It's a fun read with likable characters.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter

I've read the first three books in Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series. In order, they are The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss and The Darkest Pleasure. It's important to read them in order.

This series has an interesting concept. It features a group of immortal warriors who were each cursed with a different demon. Some of the demons are Pain, Death, Misery, Wrath, Defeat, Doubt and Disease. A real cheery bunch. In addition to dealing with their demons, they are fighting a group of humans who want to destroy them, searching for four powerful artifacts and trying to placate the Gods.

I've read several other books by Showalter and although I enjoyed them all, this series seems to me to be a step above. The writing is better, the pacing is better, even the characters are better.

The series is reminiscent of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but different enough that it doesn't feel like an imitation. Yes, they both feature a band of supernatural warriors who struggle with their own demons (literal in Showalter's series), but otherwise are quite different. J.R. Ward's books are more full of angst, deeper and more complex.

It's tough to pick a favorite from the three books, because there were all quite good, but I really loved the heroine of the second book, The Darkest Kiss. She is Anya, goddess of Anarchy, and a lot of fun. The hero of this book is Lucien, who is host to the demon Death. The ending of their story was surprising, emotional and very satisfying.

Things I like about this series:
The concept is fascinating. It is fast moving and exciting, with lots of action and touches of humor. The characters are all well written and sympathetic, which is quite a feat in some cases. Each book is quite different than the others and there are a lot of surprises.

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, which unfortunately will not be out until May 2009. I'd rate these three books each 8 out of 10.

Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh

Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh is the second in Leigh's SEALs series. The first is Dangerous Games and I haven't read it yet. I don't feel that I missed out on much, if anything, by reading the second book first. This is steamy romantic suspense.

I've read 3 of the books in Leigh's Breeds series and enjoyed them. I prefer the Breeds books because I really love the paranormal elements. That said, Hidden Agendas is a good example of a straight romantic suspense with lots of well written sex.

Things I liked about this book:
The hero and heroine were both wonderful. I loved how brave the heroine was and the hero, with that Cajun accent, was everything you'd want in a hero, with an interesting past. There was a great deal of sexual tension and suspense. The ending was very exciting and satisfying.

I'll look for more books in this series, and in Leigh's other series. I'd rate it a 7 out of 10.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn

I just love this series by Yasmine Galenorn. Dragon Wytch is the fourth, following Witchling, Changeling and Darkling. It's important to read them in order.

These books are about three sisters, each with their own powers, and their fight against evil. The star of Dragon Wytch (and the first book, Witchling) is Camille, who is a witch (duh.) She also seems to be a man magnet and is juggling three relationships with really hot guys. One of the guys is a dragon (yum) and he is featured in this book.

What I like about this book:
The three sisters are fascinating and you feel like you know them. The world they live in, like ours but with an abundance of interesting otherworldly creatures, is very well done. The romance is hot, even if it is unconventional (which is fine with me.) There are touches of humor and a good dose of suspense to keep things moving along.

Overall, this is an excellent read that moves quickly and really takes you into the characters' lives. There are plenty of surprises and originality. I'd rate it an 8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warrior by Angela Knight

The last book I finished was Warrior by Angela Knight. This is part of her Time Hunters series. The first in the series was Jane's Warlord, but you don't have to read them in order. It's a Berkely Sensation book, classified as Paranormal, though I think it fits in the Science Fiction Romance category better.

Angela Knight is a great writer and I've read most, possibly all, of her books. She excels in creating strong alpha males and writes some of the hottest sex scenes out there.

Things I liked about this book:
It's fast moving with no slow spots. The characters are likable and easy to root for. The heroine is strong and smart. It involves time travel, one of my favorite subjects. Knight does a nice job of world building with just the right amount of detail. The plot is interesting, with some suspense.

Overall, I would rate this book a 6.5 out of 10. It is a fast, fun read but not my favorite Angela Knight. I look forward to reading the next in the series, which is Enforcer.