Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Most Anticipated Books of January

Jane's Pick:

The book that caught my attention this month is The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston. It's written in the form of a journal that Bess has kept throughout her various incarnations. The idea of traveling with an immortal witch throughout the centuries really appeals to me. This book is being released on January 18th.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers and making her immortal. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he will be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. Her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl named Tegan starts hanging around. Against her instincts, Elizabeth teaches Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories—and demons—long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak of immortality to stay true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

Jen's pick:

No surprise here: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. It's the long-awaited finale to her five-book-long Fever series that has kept me and a million others holding our breath for a year and a half, waiting to see what really happened at the end of Dreamfever. I'm planning an attempt to reread the first four books before this one gets here. *gulp* Here's for a HEA for Mac, people. If you hear a crazy woman howl in the evening of January 18th, you'll know why.

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh — a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world... or destroy it.

I would also like to mention J. F. Lewis' Crossed, the third book in his Void City series. Eric the vampire is superfun and I can't wait to read/see him again. Crossed is out on January 25.


In spite of his continuing hot-blooded affair with his soon-to-be sister-in-law Rachel, Eric’s plan is simple: Give his vampire girlfriend Tabitha the fancy wedding she’s always wanted, then head off to Paris for their honeymoon in the hopes of tracking down his sire, the Empress vampire Lisette. The City of Love proves anything but romantic when the True Immortal rulers of Europe try to block Eric from entering the Continent—and subject Tabitha to a series of challenges to prove her vampire worth. Back home in Void City, Eric’s volatile daughter Greta is getting lonely and bored—and that’s not good news for anyone. And when, like a bat out of hell, Lisette descends upon Void City to wipe Eric and his brood off the face of the earth—forever—this much is clear: the honeymoon is over.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in Review: My Favorites

Here we are in the end of another December. How many of us think at the end of each year, "Boy this year went by fast! It seems like it was just January!" I know I do. So, here's a few of my favorite things that happened around me this year. Imagine what 2011 will bring.

This is Harley. In May, we foolishly went into the local Petsmart for flea stuff for our other cats and ended up in the kitten room. There, we found a little girl kitty who had her arms sticking out of her kennel, waving them around as if to say "Over here! Over here! I've been waiting for you all day!" Mind you, she was meowing as fast and as loudly as she could manage. (She still does.) So we brought her home and (eventually) named her Harley. She's a stinker (literally and figuratively) but we love her anyway.

Media gurus may be saying that 2010 is NOT the year of the ereader but I must disagree. I became the proud owner of not one but two ereaders this year and I love them both. How could I not like anything that allows me to buy books at the touch of a button and actually have them in seconds? Oh yeah.

NYCC 2010 was so fun! I got lots of free stuff, got to see lots of cool stuff, but most of all I got to meet Jen D. from Not Now...I'm Reading! We had a blast at the con for two days plus a trip to Chinatown - hmmm...dim sum :) Can't wait to hit Philly in August at Authors After Dark! is one of the coolest ideas that the book industry has come up with in YEARS. In love at once with Netgalley last summer when I saw that a fellow book blogger got an ARC of Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn, I instantly joined and as soon as I got my copy of DRtD, I rushed to my local B&N to get my very own nook. By that evening I was in love. They have an extensive catalog of authors by well-known publishers like HarperCollins, Harlequin (my fave!), and Hachette Book Group. I check a few times a week to see what's new and usually let a squeal or two if I find something good. Thank you Netgalley for making my 2010 an awesome year of reading!

I would also like to thank the PTB for letting my father catch his colon cancer before it spread. That was a hairy couple of months there and I thank God every day for his recovery. Amen!

Best Book of December 2010 (and November too!)

Hooray for YA! This has been an awesome year for me and YA books and the two books I am writing about here are no exception. Anybody who thinks YA books are too juvenile are deluding themselves and some of my favorite series ever have been YA. So, click the link to make the jump to see two YA books that impressed the heck out of me. The best part? Neither has vampires or werewolves :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Or is it Spock Lizard?

I am thisclose to completing my 2010 Finish That Series Challenge. Wednesday is the 29th, which gives me three days to complete Cold Moon Rising and Serpent Moon by C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. Due to some required emergency housecleaning and a marathon of The Big Bang Theory dvds, I didn't get any reading done today. **sheepish**

I have to say, Adams' and Clamp's series is much better with Tony Giodone as the focus. When Tony is the main character, the books are in first person but when he's isn't, they're in third. It really does make a difference and I wonder why they did it that way.

Will I commit to any reading challenges in 2011? That's a big fat negatory. I am just contrary enough that even if I agree to read a particular book I'll automatically want to read something else. Yes, I am that stubborn.

Happy New Year everyone! Have fun and be safe!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What I Got for Christmas

Seriously people, my addiction now knows no bounds. When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, he was only surprised a little bitty bit when I answered "A Kindle 3 with Wi-Fi!"

You might wonder why I, a woman who already owns a nook, would want a Kindle too. The answer is this: I got tired of being left out. B&N has a great selection of books but it seemed like more authors and publishers work with Kindle. I kept seeing books I wanted on amazon that I couldn't get on B&N and it was pissing me off. The Kindle for PC just wasn't enough.  Thus, I am now the proud owner of a Kindle 3 with Wi-Fi. Who needs 3G at home when you already have a wireless network in your house?

Now that I have both of these ereaders, I expect y'all will want to know which one I like best? I don't know. They each have their pluses and minuses and I like them differently.

My ebook shopping domination shall continue next with Google eBooks. Mwah hahaha!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

In less than twenty-four hours Meghan Chase will be seventeen. Although, technically, she won’t actually be turning seventeen. Having spent the past year in Faery gives her the benefit of not aging.

However, Meghan’s been banished from Faery for choosing her dark prince, Ash, over the will of her powerful father, Oberon, King of the Summer court. Now Meghan, her winter prince and prankster best friend Puck try settling into a normal human life, first near New Orleans and later in a magical cottage provided by Leanansidhe, Queen of exiles. But her time in this makeshift home, and more important her time with Ash, doesn’t last as the feys of Summer, Winter and Iron courts soon track them down. She thought they’d left Faery behind forever, but pressing matters cause the three exiles to be summoned to war.

A new alliance is made, along with a few contracts, of course, and Meghan, half Summer faery princess, half human, is pressed to choose Fey over her mortal beginnings. Will she abandon her human heart for an iron will that will help her survive?

For as Meghan Chase can confirm—in real life, unlike books, faery tales don’t
necessarily have happy endings. (from

As with the first two books in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, The Iron Queen doesn't disappoint. This is a compelling YA series and The Iron Queen in particular is written with a light but deft hand; the romance doesn't get too sappy and the action is exciting but not overwhelming. It is all too common these days for YA romances to become heavy-handed and Bella and Edward-ish and so for this series - which does have a love triangle - to manage to avoid all that is impressive. Also, Ash is way cooler than Edward. (Pun totally intended.)

The Iron Queen picks up shortly after the end of The Iron Daughter. Meghan and Ash have been exiled from Faery and are wondering what they're going to do with themselves when they are thrust back into the war with the Iron Fey. There is still a false king leading the opposition and he is winning. The iron glamour is spreading throughout Faery like a cancer and it is only a matter of time before Faery is completely fouled. The summer and winter courts ask Meghan to do the impossible a second time: kill the Iron King.

I can't say this enough: the concept behind this series is so unbelievably cool. Julie Kagawa is telling a story that we should all listen to: technology is taking over the planet and we're going to be sorry one day. Environmental politics aside, The Iron Queen is clever, sad, and sweet. I absolutely can't wait for The Iron Knight, book four and written from Ash's perspective. Here's hoping for next summer!

The Iron Queen will be out on January 25, 2011.

Review: Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

Marriage is not the end of desire...

Lady Justine is willing to trade her good name, her reputation and her place in London’s gossip-hungry ton to secure her father’s release from prison. But when the notorious Duke of Bradford counters her offer with a proposal of marriage, the stakes grow higher still. For while the smoldering lord is famous for his conquests, the man is oblivious to both her devotion and her charms. And Justine is soon afraid she has wagered all for naught…

Are you ready to be scandalized?

I have been looking forward to Delilah Marvelle's Prelude to a Scandal ever since I read the article on her in RT Book Reviews magazine. Finding new authors to get excited about is one of my favorite things to do EVER and so I couldn't wait to get a copy of this book.

The Duke of Bradford is a man who needs a wife that can handle him and his problems and Lady Justine is his perfect match, the liberal-minded daughter of a scandalized scientist who writes research papers discussing the sexual habits of animals and landed himself in jail. She needs money and influence and he needs a wife. It certainly doesn't hurt that Bradford has been obsessing about Justine for years and Justine is infatuated with him as well. She's the type who can keep him on the straight and narrow and I appreciated her for it. I liked Justine even more when she gave him her copy of How to Avoid a Scandal, the ladies' guide for navigating society without trouble. That took spunk.

Not surprisingly, the main topic of this book is sex. Sex addiction to be more specific. In most romances of this particular genre, sex is a focus but it's relatively normal as it's fun for the main characters; but here the main man is fighting his compulsion for his sanity. It takes a careful writer to treat this scenario without judgment and compassion and Delilah Marvelle is more than up to the task, her treatment of Bradford realistic. On the whole, Bradford is a decent man but when his compulsions take over, he's crude and thoughtless. He feels shame for his lack of control and has changed his rakehell ways to become master of his own domain.

Delilah Marvelle packs quite a bit into the first book in her Scandal series. I am looking forward to reading books two and three, Once Upon a Scandal and The Perfect Scandal, respectively.

Prelude to a Scandal is now available in stores.

Reading Meme, The Rest of the Story

Let's knock the rest of this sucker out, shall we?

Day Seventeen – Favorite trilogy or tetralogy: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Day Eighteen – Favorite book cover: Don't have one. Some are more appealing than others, of course, but I don't have just one. They're like potato chips!

Day Nineteen – Best ensemble of characters in a book: Harry Potter and his friends and enemies, definitely. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, Sirius, Malfoy, etc. The list can go on and on. Rowling rocks!

Day Twenty – Favorite kiss or love scene: The kiss between Darcy and Ethan at the end of Something Blue by Emily Giffin. It had been brewing for almost that whole book.

Day Twenty-one – Favorite fictional romantic relationship: Claire Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne from Julia Spencer-Fleming's awesome mystery series. An Episcopal minister (Claire) and a married police chief (Russ) struggle with their emotional bond and attraction to maintain propriety in their little upstate NY town while they solve murders. Talk about sexual tension!

Day Twenty-two – Favorite ending/climax: Snape’s reveal in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It made me sob like a baby and explained so much.

Day Twenty-three – Most annoying character: Susan Silverman from Robert B. Parker's Spenser series. I love his books but he wrote the most annoying women possible in fiction. Susan is Spenser's longtime girlfriend who is afraid of commitment and baby-talks to her dog. Can we just kill her already?

Day Twenty-four – Best quote: The first lines of Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn. "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor." What a hook.

Day Twenty-five – A book you plan on reading: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Because every book lover who reads romance should read it at least once. Real original, I know.

Day Twenty-six – OMG WTF? plot: I have no idea.

Day Twenty-seven – Favorite non-mainstream writer: Steve Niles. He writes horror novels and comics and is utterly hilarious. And scary.

Day Twenty-eight – First book obsession: Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, and Baby Sitters Club series. I used to collect these en masse and could read them in about five minutes but I hung on every word. I can't wait to read the new Sweet Valley series that comes out in 2011.

Day Twenty-nine – Current book obsession: Audiobooks are my newly discovered literary vehicle and I couldn't get anything done in my house without them.

Day Thirty – Saddest character death: Kisten from Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series. Kisten was Rachel's vampire boyfriend and I still have not forgiven Kim for killing him three books ago. I was so relieved that she finally wrapped up the mystery surrounding his death in Black Magic Sanction but even writing this little about him makes my eyes prickle. R.I.P. Kisten, I had to put you in here somewhere!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A New Challenge (and it wasn't my idea)

Now this is a challenge I can complete :) (I can hope, can't I?) Go HERE to check out the details but the gist is this: It's all about finishing up those series that everybody has sitting on their shelves after they've read the first book or so. Now, it's late and I'm dead-ass tired so I will be going through my collection tomorrow and picking out those leftovers to finish but I expect to list at least three. Maybe more.

UPDATE: It turns out that I'm a new term that I just made up: a serial series separator. A serial series separator is a type of reader who likes to read the first book (sometimes first two) in a series, works themselves into a frenzy of "I have got to get the rest of "enter author's name here"'s books", and then moves on to something else. Lather, rinse, repeat. So when I went to my books to pick out a few series to list, I came up with a whole sheet of names. Here's the ones I picked:

C. T. Adams & Cathy Clamp's Tales of the Sazi series
  1. Hunter's Moon
  2. Moon's Web (Update: Finished on 12/20)
  3. Captive Moon
  4. Howling Moon
  5. Moon's Fury
  6. Timeless Moon
  7. Cold Moon Rising
  8. Serpent Moon

Jennifer Rardin's Jaz Parks series - I have read the first four of six; I have five and six
  1. Once Bitten, Twice Shy
  2. Another One Bites the Dust
  3. Biting the Bullet
  4. Bitten to Death
  5. One More Bite
  6. Bite Marks

C. L. Wilson's Tairen Soul series - I just read the first in this five part series in January and have 1-4, book five will be out late this year
  1. Lord of the Fading Lands
  2. Lady of Light and Shadow
  3. King of Sword and Sky
  4. Queen of Song and Souls
  5. Crown of Crystal Flame 

That's eleven books so far. I plan to add a few more but that's enough for now :) I'll be parking the image at the top of this post on my sidebar.

UPDATE: July 20, 2010

I'm adding Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series to this challenge.
  1. Some Girls Bite
  2. Friday Night Bites
  3. Twice Bitten

I committed to this challenge in May and with the exception of Lady of Light and Shadow and part of Moon's Web, I've been a very bad girl because I've avoided these books like the plague. I really need to get cracking. And reading.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Tempest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler

After a peaceful hiatus at home in Rockabill, Jane True thinks that her worst problem is that she still throws like a girl - at least while throwing fireballs. Her peace of mind ends, however, when Anyan arrives one night with terrible news . . . news that will rock Jane's world to its very core.

After demanding to help investigate a series of gruesome attacks on females -- supernatural, halfling, and human -- Jane quickly finds herself forced to confront her darkest nightmares as well as her deepest desires.

And she's not sure which she finds more frightening. (from Hachette's website)

Tempest's Legacy is the third chapter in Nicole Peeler's wholly entertaining Jane True series. I am in love with these books. I can't get enough of them! Peeler's sense of humor, which I get a daily dose of as I'm one of her Twitter followers, makes her books a treat to read and with each new book the series gets better and better.

Reading Tracking the Tempest and Tempest's Legacy back-to-back was fun. There's lots of character development here; Jane gets stronger and more self-aware with each book. And on the man front, well, I love being right and I was when I said this in September: "I am curious to see what happens next between Jane and Ryu AND Jane and Anyan. Something tells me that the vampire won't be here to stay. Not for very long anyway." I am definitely for Anyan all the way.

I'm also liking Peeler's storyline involving "halflings," or the children of humans and purebloods. Jane, Anyan, and Ryu investigate the murders of people who worked in fertility clinics and are connected to the hideous torture and research done on purebloods. It did seem after a while that Jane's fixation on one particular individual was borderline obsession, i.e. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, and I began to wonder if she shouldn't just give it a rest. Don't worry, Jane hasn't lost her grip on sanity yet.

Obsession aside, I laughed all throughout this book. Giggles, guffaws, and chuckles were aplenty. My favorite line from page 128: "If I pee my pants I am going to be so pissed..." I can't wait to read book four, Eye of the Tempest, to see what's in store for Jane and her friends.

Tempest's Legacy will be in stores on January 1, 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen – Your guilty pleasure book

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward

This is definitely one series I love but could not discuss with my mother. Hot, studly ghetto-speaking vampire men and their mates steam things up in between the bouts of action, strong emotions and humor. The bad guys are formidable even if they do smell like baby powder (how did she come up with that?) and there's an M/M romance a-brewing. Zsadist and Rhage are my favorites of all the warriors. Ward has also written a spin-off series:

 I love paranormal romance :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen – Favorite female character

It's got to be Stephanie Plum. This jersey girl is a hoot! In every book in Janet Evanovich's By the Numbers series, Stephanie gets into enough trouble for ten convicts. She blows up cars (it would be more accurate to say that other people blow up her car, repeatedly), chases down people who skip out on their court dates, takes her grandma to the funeral home, and has two men who want her. She is commitment-phobic, keeps her gun in her cookie jar like Rockford, and lives on Tastykakes. If you like books that make you smile, I dare you to read One for the Money and not want more. Any woman who is willing to drive a POS car with the word "pussy" spray-painted on the side has got to be a good time.

I will not be watching the movie.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Called The Reading Meme, The Catch-up Post

In the interest of being lazy and all, I'll be catching up on my reading meme in one post. And I'm not going to put all that much effort into it either. I just wanted to get that out and upfront.

Where was I...oh yeah...

Day Eleven – A book that disappointed you

The first book that first comes to mind is In the Woods by Tana French. I reviewed this one a few months ago (go HERE to see). There was a lot of buzz about Tana French since her newest one, Faithful Place, had just come out, and critics and reviewers were raving about it so I figured I'd check her out from the beginning. Sigh. It is difficult to get through a book with a male protagonist who is a putz. The reader is also teased mercilessly about this unknown horror that our hero witnessed as a child but do we get any resolution? NO! I did like the female lead and she is the focus of French's second book, The Likeness, so I may pick up in the future but In the Woods was not a good way to start a relationship.

Day Twelve – A book you’ve read more than twice

There are a few books that I know I have read more than twice but I didn't want to use them here. Then, while I was at my local library and perusing the book sale shelf (shut up), I saw it: 

Now, I don't like this cover and I couldn't find the cover of the copy I had way back in the day.  Also, this day's topic could probably cover all of Judy Blume's books (except maybe for Forever even though I know I have read it) as I was a megafan. My third grade teacher read the Superfudge books to us in class but I had already read them all. Reading Deenie, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and Blubber was a highlight of my teens but Tiger Eyes was always the best. A story about a teenage girl whose father has been shot dead by robbers in his convenience store and her family's subsequent exodus to New Mexico always grabbed me and never let go. I read online somewhere recently that they're making a movie based on it and I'm not sure how that makes me feel. The cast looks pretty good (check out it's IMBD page) but I'm always leery when I hear that Hollywood is using one of my beloveds to make a movie. Judy Blume's son is the director so it might be okay after all.

Day Thirteen – Favorite childhood book

Good Lord, they're mining my childhood to death for this meme! So, the book I'm picking for this day is important. Duh. I gained the whole bookworm moniker when I was a kid. I was outside on a summer day, hanging with the neighborhood kids and friends. Being me and the sort who hates to sweat and be bothered by bugs, I announced that I was going inside. I can't remember what we were all discussing/arguing about but I must have insinuated that I would rather be reading a book than socializing. "Bookworm!" they called me, to which I replied, "Nuh-uh!" I promptly went inside, laid down on my bed and started reading a book.

I'm 90% sure the book I picked up was Matilda by Roald Dahl. (The other 10% thinks it was The Witches, also by Roald Dahl. Both are fantastic.) Who of us who read Mr. Dahl's books didn't absolutely love Matilda? A story about a little girl whose parents didn't care if she went to school so learned how to read on her own and read the whole public library? Heaven! It was certainly my favorite of his; James and the Giant Peach was made into a big deal at my school instead. Years later, while I was in college, my best friend screwed up a bit and wanted to apologize so what did she do? She gave me this:

Only, you know, not a DVD. It was the nineties after all!

Day Fourteen – Favorite male character

This one was super easy. Ready? Spenser. That's right, Spenser from Robert B. Parker's novels. A smartass detective/man-who-can-get-things-done who lives in Boston, Spenser is awesome. He's even more awesome when he works with Hawk. He is the original; Robert Crais' and Lee Child's heroes are awesome too but there will only be one Spenser. If you like books and have never read a Robert B. Parker book then shame! Shame on you for you are missing some beautiful fiction. I was so sad when Parker died last year but his death was perfect for him: he died while sitting at his desk, writing. A massive heart attack robbed the world of this man's future books and his original character, Spenser. Most people have heard of the 1980's tv show Spenser for Hire; guess what it was based on? I discovered Spenser for myself right after I got married, about six years ago, and proceeded to devour every book he wrote, of which there are many. Go HERE to see his page on Fantastic Fiction so you can see them in order. One of my most treasured books is a signed copy of Edenville Owls. My all-time favorite things about Spenser is...we never get to hear his first name. Ever.

So, that's it for today. *sigh* I hope to share more tomorrow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Ten

Day Ten – A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

This is going to be more about a genre than a particular book. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn was my first historical romance novel in 2008 and the rest, pardon the pun, is my history. In the past few years, romances have become predominant in my TBR pile, with historicals aplenty. As a dummy unaware of the fabulousness of this subgenre, I, too, stuck up my nose at them until I tripped over this gem and fell absolutely in love. It certainly didn't hurt that Julia Quinn is incomparable. Reading her led me to Lisa Kleypas, Laura Kinsale, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James, and even Georgette Heyer. Historical romances rock and I am all the better for having read them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Nine

Day Nine  Best scene ever

This one is easy. After I finished this book, I reread the last thirty pages or so with a big fat smile on my face. I am not going to quote any of it so I don't spoil it for those lucky suckers out there who have yet to discover Deanna Raybourn - and they are so in for a treat when they first read these books. The ending of Silent on the Moor, the third Lady Julia Grey novel, made me so happy that first time that I read it three times that night: twice to myself and the third out loud to my husband. (I don't think he got it.) The scene I'm picking here, however, is before the actual ending, taking place near the cottage, just after Brisbane prepares to walk away from Julia, you know, again. Obstinate men are such a pain.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Eight

Day Eight – Your favorite work in translation

Gah. I don't read many foreign books (that I'm aware of) so I'm going to have to go to with Stieg Larsson's trilogy. Translated from Swedish, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest were all absorbing reads. These were difficult books to get through as they are long, violent, and frequently ugly. That all being said, I am glad I read them. 

Reading Meme, Day Seven

Day Seven – A writer you don’t like

Nicholas Sparks. To be fair, I have read only one of his books - A Walk to Remember. I can promise you it wasn't.

But that's not the reason I don't like him. Despite the long list of romances he's written over the years, Mr. Sparks claims that he doesn't write romances. As if that is something beneath him, impossible to even consider.

That's okay though. We romance fans don't want him. As far as I and many other romance fans are concerned, he's not good enough for the romance genre. It seems to me that he's a screenwriter. He's reached a point where he's now writing his books for the express purpose of them being made directly into movies; for example, the production of The Last Song. (See this article:

Go HERE for a laugh and some instruction on how to make a Nicholas Sparks movie. *snicker* I never noticed the poster thing before. Not a romance writer, indeed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Six

Day Six – Your favorite writer

Jennifer Crusie. There is no doubt.

Bet Me was one of the frontrunners in the competition for My Favorite Book Ever post from yesterday. I love Bet Me and it's my favorite comfort read. Agnes and the Hitman, Anyone But You, ManhuntingWhat the Lady Wants, and Crazy For You are all fantastic reads too. Her books are an automatic buy for me unless I can manage to score ARCs of them.

Jenny Crusie does not write romance. She writes chick lit. Romance is an aspect to be sure but not the focus. Her women usually undergo some kind of epiphany about their lives and then manage to Forrest Gump their way to a happy ever after. They meet wonderful men who are completely mystified by them but in the end can't help but fall in love with them. There's always conflict - like the bet in Bet Me or the ghosts in Maybe This Time - but what would a good book be without conflict? There is always humor, that trademark Crusie humor that I love so much.

She's not perfect. With the exception of Agnes, I find that her collaborations tend to be her weakest efforts but are not completely without value.

I bought her last solo paperback a little while ago but *sigh* haven't read it yet.

According to and, her first book in her Liz Danger series, Lavender Blue, will hit the stores in June 1, 2011. There are four parts mentioned on Crusie's website with the second, Rest in Pink, to come out in July.

Follow THIS LINK to Angieville and read Angie's thoughts on Bet Me. I couldn't have done it better myself. Go HERE to find out more about this meme.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Five

Day Five – A book you hate

I had read a few other Anita Shreve books before I got to this one and liked them. When I finished The Last Time They Met, I was on a break at work and it was for that reason only that this book did not end up as a wallbanger. I hate books that pull the rug out from under you at the end - the Ha! Made You Look! ending  - and Anita Shreve pulls it off so perfectly that you don't see it coming. 

This is a book about lovers reuniting, renewing their relationship later in their lives after they find each other again by accident in Africa. I wasn't loving it prior to the rug pulling but the ending was the icing on the cake. Another book that pulled the same stunt: Atonement by Ian McEwan. I didn't like that one either will give it credit for one thing - it bounced pretty well.

Reading Meme, Day Four

Day Four – Your favorite book ever

This is a tough pick for me. I'm not sure I have just one particular book that I love above all others because I love so many. I really had to think about it and it helped for me to go through my catalog on LibraryThing to remember all those books that I've loved and kept over the years. This book popped in my head first off and stuck around after so it became clear to me what my answer would be.

Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer embarks on an epic quest-a walk from the seacoast of New Hampshire to the California coast-to find the talisman that will save his dying mother's life. Jack's journey takes him into the Territories, a parallel medieval universe, where most people from his own universe have analogs called "twinners." The queen of the Territories, Jack's mother's twinner, is also dying. (from
That description is rather lacking for such a phenomenal book. I've read a majority of King's books including the Dark Tower series, It, The Shining, and The Stand, but I have always preferred The Talisman over the rest. I have three copies: a hardback with the red cover shown above, an illustrated set of The Talisman and its sequel Black House signed by Peter Straub and Rick Berry, and an ebook that lives in my nook. When my cousin moved from Maryland to California several years ago, I gave her my first beat-up paperback copy (with the original cover) to read on the trip. I liked the irony.

I have always felt that The Talisman was a perfect example of a coming of age story. Jack Sawyer may only be twelve when he begins his quest but he is much, much older inside at completion. Jack must travel on foot to California lest he accidentally flip to the territories. Along the way he makes friends, steals, laughs, cries, vanquishes foes, and grows up. The Talisman is loosely connected to King's Dark Tower series; the character of Speedy Parker, who may be a former gunslinger akin to Roland, is the one who teaches Jack to flip to the territories and sends him on his way.

I have read The Talisman several times and each time I discover something new. It's an excellent collaboration; I find it near impossible to tell who wrote which parts. The sequel, Black House, revisits Jack after he's all grown up. Rumors around the web claim that King and Straub are starting a third book featuring Jack Sawyer. It's definitely overdue, in my humble opinion. Jack is one of my favorite characters ever, certainly of King's books. I would definitely like to know how his story ends.

Reading Meme, Day Three

Day Three – Your favorite recent book

Last night my whole world came tumbling down. Now I'm running scared.

New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there's no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends...when you're immortal.

Finally disgusted with her meaningless party-girl life, Nastasya heads to River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. She trades her designer clothes for jeans and flannel, and the hardest drink available is tea. There she meets "the Viking god," the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn. Nastasya desires him, of course, but there's something uncomfortably familiar about him that makes her wary, cautioning her to stay away. But she can't.

Soon Nastasya realizes that this place holds the key to her salvation - and her possible destruction. She's not the only one at River's Edge with dark secrets. And sometimes dark secrets can be fatal - even for an immortal.

Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an exhilarating story of timeless struggle and inescapable romance, in this first book of a stunning new fantasy trilogy.

I saw this one at the library the other day and was intrigued. I've never read any of Cate Tiernan's work before, though I had heard of her, so I brought this baby home and sat down with it that evening. Hours later at about 2 AM, I finished it. What a book! It's interesting that it was published as YA; all the characters might look like they're still in the latter half of their teens but they're all older than that - the youngest of them decades old. Nastasya herself is almost half a millennium young.

At first, Nastasya doesn't seem like much. As mentioned above, she's a party girl, and has been for many years. Living an empty life of bar-hopping and city-hopping with her coterie of friends seemed like a good way for her to stay shallow and unattached, or at least it was until one cold, rainy night in London, she saw her supposed best friend, Innocencio, break their cabbie's spine for kicks with his magic. Her eyes are opened at that moment and by the next morning, she's fled Europe for a little town in Massachusetts, USA. It isn't until Nastasya's been at River's Edge for a little while that we get to see that her frivolous life hasn't been easy after all; in fact, Nastasya's life has been a fairly miserable one. The only surviving member of her ubermagical family, there is a lot that she has to learn about herself and her magic.

I liked Nastasya - Nasty, as her friends call her. She's snarky as hell and I LOVED her sense of humor. Here's a taste, from pages 144-145:
...I was sweeping and humming the mice's song from [Cinderella]. And let's all ponder just how far my life had fallen, in terms of excitement and chicness, shall we? Yes. Pretty damn far.
  "I'll drive," Nell's voice said gaily from below, in the front hall. Her light brown head appeared by the stair banister, and next to her Reyn said, "I can drive." I had decided he was the Viking god Odin, god of odiousness.
  Nell gave a pretty pout, and the devil grabbed me by the tail. I called down, "By all means, let him drive, Nell. He has a weenie. It makes a huge difference."
  Her blue eyes widened and she stared up at me, first as if wondering at my audacity, then in irritation as she realized Reyn was also looking up at me.
  I was bored. Time to stir the pot a little. Sweeping busily, I said, "I mean, not with driving, it doesn't make a difference. Of course. But in other stuff. Peeing standing up and all."
  Reyn's voice was tight. "Your point?"
  "No real point. Just lobbying for your right to drive. I mean, you're old enough, right? How old are you? Like thirty?" Most of him looked barely twenty, twenty-two, except his amazing eyes. His eyes looked hundreds of years old.
  He didn't say anything, and Nell frowned. "He's two hundred and sixty-seven. I'm eighty-three. And how old are you?" Her British accent was crisp.
  "Older." I went down a step and continued sweeping. I'd gotten it down to an art: one broad stroke across, then two quick vertical strokes to get each corner. How was this saving my soul, exactly? Like, was I sweeping my way to salvation, or what?
  "Oh, good, I caught you before you left," said River, coming down the hall from the kitchen. "You two are going to town, aren't you?"
  "Yes," said Reyn.
  "And Reyn's going to drive," I said. "Because he's a booooyyyy."

She's not a people pleaser but isn't afraid to reach out if she sees someone who might need her help. She's attracted to Reyn but tells him off whenever she gets a chance. No doormat here. Nasty has a complicated past and we only get pieces of it at a time. The reveal near the end isn't earth shattering by that point, at least not to the reader. The magic element of Immortal Beloved takes a bit of a back seat for most of this book; it's essential in the immortal's lives but for Nasty, it's not as important. In fact, she's rather scared of it, or rather, what it means.

Nasty's friends, including Innocencio, are looking for her and are on their way to River's Edge. I have a feeling that they're in for a big surprise in book two of this trilogy, which is yet to be titled but looks to be released in September 2011. Nasty's coming into her own and isn't what they'll be expecting. Immortal Beloved was a pleasant surprise for me and if you want to read a YA novel that doesn't talk down to you, read it. I hope you like it too.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Two

Day Two – A book that you wish more people had read

Occult investigator Quincey Morris and his "consultant", white witch Libby Chastain, are hired to free a family from a deadly curse that appears to date back to the Salem witch trials. Fraught with danger, the trail finds them stalking the mysterious occult underworlds of Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York, searching out the root of the curse. After surviving a series of terrifying attempts on their lives, the two find themselves drawn inexorably towards Salem itself—the very heart of darkness. (from

Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis is one of the best urban fantasy novels that I read in 2008 and that is definitely saying something as that was a VERY good year for me, bookwise. In my local library system, there is only one copy of this awesome book for the whole region and every time I check its shelf at my local library, it is always there and I am sad.

There is no romance here. Not that they have time for it but Libby is a lesbian. I found that refreshing; eliminating that factor from the story left plenty of focus on the magic and a foundation of true friendship between Quincey and Libby. The plot moves along at a pace that is neither too fast nor does it allow for boredom to sneak in. It is clever and fresh with plenty of humor. I originally borrowed it from the library but got my own copy afterwards. I also bought the next book in the series, Evil Ways, and do plan to read it someday or whenever I can conquer the curse of the TBR pile.

Book three, titled Sympathy for the Devil, has been in the works for a few years now and has a release date of July 26, 2011 on Look for Those Who Fight Monsters, an anthology edited by Gustainis with an awesome lineup on March 1, 2011.

Gustainis is also working on Hard Spell, the first in a new series about a supernatural cop who lives in Scranton, PA. Maybe he can check out Dwight Schrute? There has got to be something supernatural going on with that guy.

Reading Meme, Day One

Day One – Your favorite series of books (with more than 3 in the series)

For my answer, I'm going to go with two series because there is no way I can pick just one. I am (more or less) caught up with both of these, which is a minor miracle in its own right. I get so emotionally involved with the leads in both series so it really is a blessing that new volumes come out only once a year. Each is expertly written with strong, well-defined characters.

First up: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

It all started with Storm Front, introducing Harry Dresden, Chicago wizard and smart-ass extraordinaire. Harry's adventures have been produced for television (albeit ill-produced and short-lived) and in a comic book series of original stories, Welcome to the Jungle, as well as the comic book adaptation of Storm Front. James Marsters, aka Spike from BtVS, is narrating them for audiobook and he has truly come to own Harry Dresden's soul.

These books are smart, extremely funny, and filled with action. I always know that when I sit down with one of these books I am in for a wild ride. With each book, Harry breaks my heart a little more. Changes changed everything - nothing will ever be the same for Harry and his friends. I can't wait to see what happens with book thirteen, Ghost Story, out on March 29, 2011.

And second: Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series

I love Sookie Stackhouse. Charlaine Harris writes Sookie about as real as possible and I think she's one of the coolest chicks in modern fiction today. A mind-reading waitress, Sookie is a favorite of the vampire and were populations in and around Louisiana. She interacts with and gets wrapped up in the troubles of all kinds of supernatural folks. Sookie is a forthright and down-to-earth southern girl who still lives in her grandma's house and works at a local bar. My favorite thing about Sookie is that she always tries to do the right thing, even if it hurts.

Charlaine Harris created a monster with Sookie that turned into a going on eleven volume book series and a highly successful show on HBO called True Blood.

Dead Reckoning will be out on May 3, 2011.

My First Reading Meme

As is tradition amongst us book bloggers, I am stealing borrowing a book meme from Not Now...I'm Reading! It's one question a day for thirty days and here are the questions:

Day One – Your favorite series of books (with more than 3 in the series)
Day Two – A book that you wish more people had read
Day Three – Your favorite recent book
Day Four – Your favorite book ever
Day Five – A book you hate
Day Six – Your favorite writer
Day Seven – A writer you don’t like
Day Eight – Your favorite work in translation
Day Nine – Best scene ever
Day Ten – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day Eleven – A book that disappointed you
Day Twelve – A book you’ve read more than twice
Day Thirteen – Favorite childhood book
Day Fourteen – Favorite male character
Day Fifteen – Favorite female character
Day Sixteen – Your guilty pleasure book
Day Seventeen – Favorite trilogy or tetralogy
Day Eighteen – Favorite book cover
Day Nineteen – Best ensemble of characters in a book
Day Twenty – Favorite kiss or love scene
Day Twenty-one – Favorite fictional romantic relationship
Day Twenty-two – Favorite ending/climax
Day Twenty-three – Most annoying character
Day Twenty-four – Best quote
Day Twenty-five – A book you plan on reading
Day Twenty-six – OMG WTF? plot
Day Twenty-seven – Favorite non-mainstream writer
Day Twenty-eight – First book obsession
Day Twenty-nine – Current book obsession
Day Thirty – Saddest character death

Day One is on the way...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Most Anticipated Books of December

Jane’s pick:

I am so excited about this month’s pick! Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, the 5th book in the Sevenwaters series will be released on Dec. 7th. Woot!!! Jen was the one who introduced me to this series and I was instantly hooked. Thanks again Jen! (You're welcome!) Marillier is a consummate storyteller. Her words flow like honey yet have the clarity and power to blow me away. Love, love, LOVE this series!

Sibeal of Sevenwaters, the teen fifth daughter of the Lord of Sevenwaters, has always known she wants to be a druid. In this romantic follow-up to 2008's Heir of Sevenwaters, Sibeal's uncle Ciaran, her mentor, orders her to spend a summer on the sheltered island of Inis Eala, away from her training, to determine whether the contemplative life is truly for her. At first, Sibeal thinks that Ciaran is punishing her. Then a sudden storm brings a shipwreck and several mysteries that challenge Sibeal's resolve and vocation. Why does the Norseman Knut seem to be holding something back from the islanders, and if Svala is Knut's wife, why is she so terrified of him? And who is the handsome, amnesiac man Sibeal has found washed up on shore? Readers will thrill to this strong, heartfelt tale of the Sevenwaters family and their magical exploits.

Books in the Sevenwaters series:

Daughter of the Forest
Son of the Shadows
Child of the Prophecy
Heir to Sevenwaters

Jen’s pick:

With all the excitement going on with Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series I thought I would add another well-written YA series about faeries into the mix. Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston is the third and final book in her Wondrous Strange series. This series is full of action and teen romance with a strong female voice. I picked the first two books because the story sounded decent and was swept away into Kelley’s world. Fans of Melissa Marr and Julie Kagawa will enjoy this author.

"I don't love Sonny Flannery."
That's the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick—and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous Strange and Darklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston's ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.

Tempestuous will be out just in time for Christmas on December 21.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Hallows by Kim Harrison (Or, the Series I Never Talk About)

Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series is one of my all-time favorites. No, really. If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned it (much) here's why: by the time I started this blog in 2008, I had read up to book six, The Outlaw Demon Wails, and was so distraught by the death of a character that I found I couldn't talk about it, couldn't think about it. I still get choked up over it and last night, when I finished White Witch, Black Curse, I got weepy again.

And again...but also got some closure too. Tink's tampons, finally! (You need to read these books to understand that one so, no, I haven't flipped my wig.)

In December of 2008, I listed the Rachel Morgan series as one of my top ten favorite things for '08 as it was the year I first read them. In 2009, I learned (along with anyone else who cares about her books) that Kim Harrison is just a psuedonym for Dawn Cook, a fantasy writer. I was shocked! A whole persona was created in the guise of Kim Harrison, I guess to go along with her kick-ass character Rachel Morgan, and I was sorry to hear it. On the other hand, Dawn Cook has other books in which I look forward to reading and that's a good thing.

Kim Harrison's books are on my autobuy list along with Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, and let's be honest, a few dozen others. I will never buy this series in ebook format; I want to read them while having my nose stuck in a real, hands-on, made with paper and ink  book. They are part of my permanent collection and as long as I have the means, I will always have the shelf space for them. I also love the titles and the Clint Eastwood connection.

I've been collecting Dawn Cook's Truth series ever since I inadvertently bought the second book, Hidden Truth, while at the bookstore. They don't sound anywhere near as edgy or dark as The Hallows but I'm optimistic that the high standard of writing will still be there.

Harrison also has a YA series about a dead girl named Madison Avery. I also have the first book in that series, Once Dead, Twice Shy, but surprise, surprise - I haven't read it yet.

I've finally started catching up with Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks. I hadn't realized just how much I had missed them. These characters (along with all the others) make me laugh and cry. I've requested Pale Demon from but I'm not expecting to get it. HarperCollins hasn't granted me any of my requests so far and that is disappointing and frustrating to me because I read many, many, many of their authors and buy many, many, many of their books. (End whining.) I will still be buying Pale Demon when it comes out, irregardless. I'll be starting Black Magic Sanction later today, after I do some hopefully injury-free Christmas light hanging outside.

Kim Harrison writes one of the premier UF series of today. If you like witches, vampires, weres, demons, pixies, and are afraid of tomatoes then this is the series for you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Audiobook Review: Vision in White by Nora Roberts

The first book in the Bride Quartet—following the lives and loves of four friends who run Vows, a wedding-planning company. Wedding photographer Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac’s type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends—and business partners—to see her way to her own happy ending. (from

The book:

Weddings are not my thing. I mean, they're lovely and they always make me cry but when I got married, it was in a courthouse and I was happy with that. Thrilled, in fact, because planning anything on that scale gives me hives. For that reason, I had avoided this series.

Nora Roberts has written more than one trilogy where three friends end up working together to create a multi-faceted company, for example, the Key Trilogy. For what it's worth, Vision in White is a trademark Nora Roberts book filled with female solidarity among strong women and handsome men who are their perfect matches. There is humor along with a personal crisis for Mac that allows Carter to ride in on his white horse. The thing is, there's no adversity here, at least none that isn't in the form of bridezillas. In the trilogies, there is a goal, something that bonds everyone and brings them together. Even her annual standalone novel has a goal in it. True, these four women in the Bride Quartet are life-long friends who own a company together, but it didn't feel the same.

I liked this book, liked it enough to pick up book two, Bed of Roses, but maybe not enough to want to see the whole series through to the end. (She always saves the real ballbusters for the end and Parker seems to fit that to a T.) So far, it appears that each book will be similar enough to make me feel like I'm reading the same book four times over with different wallpaper in each.

The audiobook:

Emily Durante narrated Vision in White and even though I've not had much experience with audiobooks I felt that her performance was missing something though I can't put my finger on exactly what. Her voice was pleasant enough but I laughed out loud the first time I heard her voice for Carter. All the male voices, actually. The female voices, with the exception of Mac's mother, all sounded pretty much the same. It occurred to me several times while listening that I might have enjoyed Vision in White a bit better if I had actually read a hard copy. Listening to Vision in White was a pleasant enough distraction while driving or doing things around the house but I didn't really dig it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My New Favorite Way to Read: Audiobooks!

And it's all Jane's fault.

She's been telling me for years about how she loves audiobooks. I considered the idea of listening to books - like I don't read enough of them while sitting on my couch - and thought OK, I'll give it a whirl.

So I borrowed Kat Richardson's Greywalker from my local library and listened to it with my CD player while rearranging my books one afternoon. I kept finding myself so wrapped up in the story that I would end up stopping what I was doing, holding almost still for several minutes, maybe up to ten at a time. Or, I would pay attention to what I was doing and lose track of the story. It was rather frustrating. I felt like one of those people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. So I gave up on the audiobooks.

But then, a few months ago I was at the library and when I cruised past the audiobook section I spied with my little eye Dead Beat by Jim Butcher sitting on the shelf. See, I'm a fan of Butcher's but I'm also a huge fan of James Marsters'. Who didn't love Spike on BtVS? They're like a match made in heaven, James Marsters and Harry Dresden, and I'd been curious when I'd heard that he was narrating The Dresden Files. The rest, as they say, is history because now I can now walk and chew gum at the same time. (It is certainly possible that my listening device could have been to blame - listening with my iPod works best for me.) I've joined (I wish I had waited a bit longer before I joined so that I could have taken advantage of the TWO free books you get, instead of the single puny one I got.) I bring home more audiobooks than regular books each time I go to the library. I can't get anything done around my house anymore without listening to an audiobook of some sort. I don't like to drive without my iPod, which, okay, isn't any different than usual (I live near a beach and the radio drives me crazy), but I find myself disappointed if I have to listen to music in the car.

I don't think I could listen to just anything though. I'm still horrified that Laurell K. Hamilton's books are audiobooks; having read some of her Anita Blake books and several of the Merry Gentry ones, it would feel like I watching porn. Reading love scenes is one thing but listening to them is a whole other enchilada. My face is getting red just thinking about it. Anyway, I stay away from authors who are heavy on the sex scenes and yes, I am currently listening to a Nora Roberts book but her books are tastefully written and manage to avoid the ick factor.

I've added an item on the sidebar to show off what I'm listening to in addition to the traditional type book I'm reading at the moment. I'll be posting some audiobook reviews (that means you should do them too Jane!) from time-to-time as well. If you're like me (and Jane) and have trouble separating yourself from the book you're reading to do boring stuff like housework (ugh!), give audiobooks a try.

Have recommendations? I love would to hear them!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross


Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.

With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans fall apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.

My thoughts:


Ok, maybe I should elaborate. I get pretty excited when I discover a new author that rocks. This book, the second story in this series, had it all. The setting, so realistic, takes place in the Middle East where a religious zealot by the name of Farouck Tehrazzi has sworn jihad until all infidels have been destroyed. In this story he wants both Bryn and her father, a Lebanese diplomat who felt his country needed U.S. support, dead. I didn’t need a caffeine fix to stay awake to read this book. Once again Ms. Cross had me sitting at the edge of my chair right up to the very end.

Both the lead and secondary characters were surprisingly well developed. I really liked Bryn who came across as intelligent, easy going, and feminine yet had plenty of moxie when she needed to. Dec’s character was equally engaging. I loved that he didn't have a big ego and he tried so hard to remain professional when all he wanted was Bryn. I felt that the romance was an integral part of the story making the whole story very believable.

Wow! Oh yeah, I’ve already said that (sheepish grin).

If you enjoy authors like Cindy Gerard, Marliss Melton, or Suzanne Brockmann you may want to check out this author. I’m sure glad I did!