Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James is written in James’s typical engaging style but her protagonists are utterly maddening to the point where this book almost became a wallbanger. I wanted to shake Charlotte vigorously and kick Alex in his private parts. Why in the world would James have these characters make such hideous choices? Worse than any plot of Three’s Company, the misunderstandings and assumptions made – mostly on Alex’s part – caused a disgusting amount of unnecessary heartache for everyone involved. By the end, I wanted to spit. The worst part? I want to read book two in this trilogy, Midnight Pleasures. Starring Charlotte’s good friend Sophie and Alex’s twin brother Patrick, I am confident that these two might not be so awful.
Nicole Peeler’s Tempest Rising, the first in her first series about a girl named Jane True, is a refreshing urban fantasy novel with lots of romance and has a likable heroine who is vulnerable yet resilient. Jane is introduced to the world of supernatural creatures, many of them right in her backyard. The town outcast with a painful past, Jane lives a quiet life of caring for her father and working in the town bookstore. A murder throws Jane straight into the investigation and a relationship with a vampire named Ryu. I liked Tempest Rising enough that I went out and bought book two, Tracking the Tempest, before I was halfway finished. 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.
Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley was an ebook I got through my nook when I saw B&N had cut the price to $2.62 (it has since gone up to 5.59). I have only read one book by Ashley - a historical romance - and I wanted to see how she handled the pararom genre. No surprise here; she handled it just fine. This was a good paranormal romance about werewolves and how they're integrated into human society with some social commentary on the side. Set in a version of our world where werewolves are "out" but not really "in," Pride Mates is about a defense lawyer who is given a murder case involving a shifter and how she gets dumped into the middle of shifter politics. She also ends up mated to one. I am mightily looking forward to the next chapter in this series, Primal Bonds, that focuses on Liam's brother Sean. He carries a big sword and knows how to use it.
In the Woods by Tana French is an unusual pick for me. A murder mystery written by an Irish woman is something that generally makes my eyes cross. That's my issue not theirs; fiction like that is too dense for me and makes me give up way too easily. In the Woods sounded promising with a cold case of the unsolved disappearance by two children from a group of three where the third was found in a wood, catatonic with no memory of what happened and blood soaked into his sneakers. This third grows up and becomes an incognito detective who catches the new murder case of a teenage girl who is found pretty much where he was twenty years prior. I loved French's style but with a frustrating ending and somewhat obvious mystery, In the Woods disappoints.