Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Books, Part Two

Here are the rest of the new books, in no particular order.

Acacia by David Anthony Durham
The Eye of Night by Pauline J. Alama (reading for book club)
Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey
The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley
Broken Blade by Ann Marston
Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn
Touch of Darkness by Christina Dodd
Immortals: The Haunting by Robin T. Popp
The Nightwalkers: Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank
A Lady at Last by Brenda Joyce
Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day
The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling
Murder Game by Christine Feehan
Forbidden Captor by Julie Miller (I won this--cool, huh?)
Traitor's Kiss & Lover's Kiss by Mary Blayney
The Devil and Drusilla by Paula Marshall
A Bride By Christmas by Heather Graham, Jo Beverley and Candace Camp (anthology)
The Mistletoe Wager by Christine Merrill
Red Fire by Deidre Knight
Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre
Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
Dawn's Awakening by Lora Leigh
Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister
Vexing the Viscount by Emily Bryan (from publisher for review)
It Happened One Night by Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Candice Hern (anthology)
Howl at the Moon by Christine Warren

New Books

I have a big pile of new books (HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY) thanks to holiday gifts of books and gift cards. I've only screwed up and bought one book I already read (so far.) Here's a list of about half of them, mainly romance but a few SF/Fantasy in there.

Dragon Heat by Allyson James
Through the Veil by Shiloh Walker
Careful What You Wish For by Lucy Finn
Too Scandalous to Wed by Alexandra Benedict
Mistress of Scandal by Sara Bennett
What a Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty
Bad Blood by L.A. Banks
Last Wolf Standing by Rhyannon Byrd
Possession by Jennifer Armintrout
Wicked Woman by Denise Eagan
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn
A Rake's Guide to Pleasure by Victoria Dahl
Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott
Knight's Fork by Rowena Cherry
Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase
Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt
Scions: Resurrection by Patrice Michelle
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling
Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas

I've been reading a lot, even though I haven't been posting reviews. I've been reading some SF/Fantasy series and ebooks, which I don't review (maybe I should, but I'm sticking to reviewing print romance books for now.) I also have three books sitting here that I just finished and need to review.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Immortals: The Crossing by Joy Nash

Immortals: The Crossing is the sixth book in the Immortals series. This series is unusual because the books are written by three different authors. Joy Nash's previous book in the series was Immortals: The Awakening. Although I think you should read the books in order for maximum pleasure (and who doesn't want maximum pleasure?) I think it matters less for this book than others.

We first met the hero of this book, Manannan mac Lir (known as Mac), in Immortals: The Awakening but he has changed a lot since that book. I thought the author did a good job of explaining how and why he changed and she made me sympathize with him. I didn't sympathize quite as much with the heroine, Artemis Black. Maybe it's because I'm not a mother. She did some really bad things, all justified because she was trying to save her son's life. I thought Mac deserved someone better.

I did enjoy the story itself. Much of it takes place in Hell, which is certainly unusual, and it was very interesting, with elements of humor and suspense. Once they get to Hell, the pace is swift and the threads all come together at the end in a most satisfying and emotional way.

I'll rate this book 7.5 out of 10 and look forward to reading more by Joy Nash.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Grimspace is not classified as a romance, it's science fiction. But it does have a wonderful love story in it, so I'm going to include it on here. It reminds me of Linnea Sinclair's books, always a plus in my mind. In fact there is a quote from Linnea Sinclair on the cover.

This is an excellent book whether you are looking for romance, science fiction or a thriller. It is very fast moving, with a lot of action that includes twists and turns that amazed me. I've seldom read a book that had a less predictable plot. The ending was so emotional it brought me to tears.

I loved the heroine, Sirantha Jax, and the hero, March. Both of them are fascinating, flawed characters who seemed real. The secondary characters are wonderful, too, with not a stereotype in the bunch. Wait until you see what she does with the bounty hunter sent to capture Jax.

It's really hard to believe this is the author's first book, but apparently it is. I was thrilled to find out that Grimspace is the first in a series. The second, Wanderlust, has been published and there are two more to come.

I'd rate this book 8.5 out of 10.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dead After Dark (Anthology)

Dead After Dark includes paranormal stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Susan Squires and Dianna Love. They offer a good introduction to each author's style, and to different types of paranormal creatures.

My favorite story was The Story of Son by J.R. Ward. It was a very emotional book, with a strong and brave heroine and a vampire hero who has been chained up and locked away since he was a boy. He is quite a change from the usual strong heroes we see and watching him discover hope and love is deeply affecting. Although this story could fit into her Black Dagger Brotherhood world, it is without the wisecracking usual in those books and is simpler, fitting the story length. I think it showcases what Ward does best--get into the head of her characters and let us feel what they feel. I'd rate it 8.5 out of 10.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's story, Shadow of the Moon, was also very good. It is Fury's story and I was glad to see him get his happy ending after such a difficult life. It's a fast-paced story full of action and a lot of the characters we've grown to love, but I wonder if readers who were not familiar with Kenyon's series would be lost. I also did not like the heroine very much, although she did redeem herself in the end. I'd rate it 7.5 out of 10.

The Susan Squires story, Beyond the Night, is a historical paranormal so had quite a different feel to it. The author developed a nicely eerie atmosphere and the main characters were intriguing because they both had so much baggage. It was nice to see the heroine as the vampire, since it is usually the other way around, and it was gratifying to see both characters grow during the story and work out their issues. I'd rate it 7.5 out of 10.

The weakest story in the book is Midnight Kiss Goodbye by Dianna Love. It has a hero and heroine who both have supernatural powers they've been hiding from each other. Once they find out about each other's abilities, it seemed like the story petered out. I found myself more interested in a couple of the secondary characters than in the main characters. I'd rate this story 6.0 out of 10.