Jan 022012
 

So some lovely family and friends sent me Amazon gift vouchers for Christmas.  I decided to use them on some kindle books I had been wanting to read.  Combined with the 12 days of Kindle promotion, I’ve managed to get a lot more than I thought!

If anyone is interested, here is what I purchased :)

Lara Adrian

I’d read the first two books in her Midnight Breed series and had been wanting to get the rest.  The whole series was available for Kindle at £1.49 each (or less) so it was a very happy buy!

Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed #1)
Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed #2)
Midnight Awakening (Midnight Breed #3)
Midnight Rising (Midnight Breed #4)
Veil of Midnight (Midnight Breed #5)
Ashes of Midnight (Midnight Breed #6)
Shades of Midnight (Midnight Breed #7)
Taken by Midnight (Midnight Breed #8)
Deeper than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9)
A Taste of Midnight (Midnight Breed #9.5)

Karen Chance

I love the Cassie Palmer series but hadn’t bought the new one yet.  I wanted to do a re-read before I read Hunt the Moon but I’d borrowed book four from a friend so when I saw books 1-4 in a bundle for the price of 1 paperback – Yes please!  Of course I had to buy the new one too.

Cassie Palmer Series 1-4 (Touch the Dark, Claimed by Shadow, Embrace the Night & Curse the Dawn)
Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer #5)

Lauren Dane

An author I’ve not experienced yet but came highly recommended, so I decided to start with these books.

Giving Chase (The Chase Brothers #1)
Undercover (Federation Chronicles #1)

Keta Diablo

An author I find very entertaining on Twitter writing in a very adult genre.  I really wanted to give one of her books a try in 2012 and settled on this one.

Crossroads (Crossroads #1)

Larissa Ione

This author was a new discovery for me in 2011 with her brilliant Lords of Deliverance series.  I had been sent books three and four in the Demonica series and wanted to start at the beginning so these were an easy choice!

Pleasure Unbound (Demonica #1)
Desire Unchained (Demonica #2)
Eternity Embraced (Demonica #3.5)

Heather Killough-Walden

I absolutely loved Avenger’s Angel so wanted to read the prequel novella and then discovered the author had written other books.  Another bundle deal that was just too hard to resist :)

Always Angel (Lost Angels #0.5)
The Big Bad Wolf Compilation (The Heat, The Strip, The Spell, The Hunt)

Deirdre Martin

An author that has been on my wishlist for a while, I love Rachel Gibson’s Ice Hockey books and Deirdre Martin was recommended in the same vein.

Body Check (New York Blades #1)

J. A. Saare

This was an impulse buy due to Laura at Book Chick City.  Yes, I am blaming you ;)

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1)

Lilith Saintcrow

I’m still working my way through the Dante Valentine Omnibus and finding it so tense I have to take breaks between books.  It’s also very hard not to skip ahead to see if everything turns out okay.  I’d been wanting to read the Jill Kismet series too so this was a great chance to make a start on that.

Night Shift (Jill Kismet #1)

Gena Showalter

I still have most of the Lords of the Underworld series to read but loving it so far, so when this came up on Amazon’s 12 days of Kindle sale I was powerless to resist.

Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1)

Cathy Woodman

It might be a bit odd to have a chick lit book on this list considering everything else I’d bought but I’m nothing if not eclectic in my reading tastes!  I’d bought a two book paperback bundle of what I thought was books one and two in the Otter House Vets series but it turned out to be one and four!  The third book is set in the same village but not the same characters so I just bought book two and will get the third one at some point.  A very entertaining series and I am a sucker for vet books :)

Must Be Love (Otter House Vets #2)

And there we have it!  I have quite a bit of reading to do… Great start for the New Year!

On that note I shall wish everyone a very Happy New Year and hope 2012 is a great one for you all!

Jan 052011
 

There are so many books in already established series’ I am looking forwards to reading this year, not to mention new ones I have yet to discover.  Here is a selection that I really can’t wait to get my paws on :

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

January

A Hard Day’s Knight (Nightside) by Simon R. Green (Ace Books)
Kitty goes to War (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz)

March

River Marked (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Orbit)
Invincible (Chronicles of Nick 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (ATOM)
Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J. R. Ward (Piatkus Books)

April

Ghost Story (Dresden Files 13) by Jim Butcher (Orbit)
Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Orbit)
Born of Shadows (League 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Piatkus Books)

June

Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer) by Karen Chance (Signet Books)
Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy) by Mira Grant (Orbit)

July

Kitty’s Big Trouble (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz)

August

Pale Demon by (The Hollows) Kim Harrison (Harper Voyager)
Retribution (Dark-Hunter) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Piatkus Books)
Downpour (Greywalker) by Kat Richardson (Piatkus Books)

October

Envy (Fallen Angels) by J. R. Ward (Piatkus Books)

Fantasy

March

Land of Painted Caves (Earth’s Children Book 6) by Jean M. Auel (Hodder & Stoughton)
Twilight’s Dawn (Black Jewels) by Anne Bishop (Roc)

April

Shadow Chaser (Chronicles of Siala) by Alexey Pehov (Simon & Schuster)

Chick Lit

February

To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell (Headline)

March

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde (Century)
Kiss and Tell by Fiona Walker (Sphere)

May

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson (Corgi)

Crime

January

You Belong to Me by Karen Rose (Headline)

May

Virals by Kathy Reichs (Arrow (Young))

Feb 122010
 

Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the pioneers of supernatural romance.  I’ve loved her work right from the first book I read and she remains one of my absolute favourite authors.  Her characterisations and stories are amazing and I have no idea how she keeps the plotline running through 19+ books but she does and and the results are outstanding.

So what do you do when you have devoured everything she has written?  Here are some recommendations for other authors in the same genre or with a similar style who I also love, and hopefully you might too!

J. R. Ward

Another author with a long running series, who has an amazing ability to bring her characters to life and into your hearts.  Features vampires, hot men and sassy women, who could ask for more?

The following authors also write supernatural romance/urban fantasy but they are not quite as epic in scope as Sherrilyn Kenyon or J. R. Ward.

Keri Arthur

Keri Arthur’s ‘Riley Jensen’ Series are a great addition to the genre, with a gutsy, sexy heroine who is half-werewolf, half-vampire.  The ‘Nikki and Michael’ vampire series has action as well as romance and the ‘Damask Circle Trilogy’ are definitely recommended reading too.

Patricia Briggs

For some werewolf love, Patricia Briggs brings the ‘Mercy Thompson’ Series to life and  is an excellent, engaging, action packed read.  Recently she has started on the ‘Alpha and Omega’ series from the same world, with two great characters who started out in a short story and are proving just as engaging.  Lighter on the romance side than Kenyon but the story makes up for it.

Karen Chance

The ‘Cassie Palmer’ clairvoyant series has a bit of mystery going on, even with the numerous supernatural elements and makes for an exciting, sometimes heated mix. In addition to the main series, Karen Chance has recently begun a spin off series featuring the daughter of one of the main cast, which is shaping up to be a good read.

Kelley Armstrong

The ‘Otherworld’ series is going from strength to strength and Kelley Armstrong has a great way of telling stories through different character’s viewpoints.  It starts with werewolves in Bitten and goes through several great characters who are witches, demons, sorcerors and necromancers.  I love how she crosses their paths with other characters and often sets up the scene for following books as minor plots in the current one.

Rachel Caine

Two excellent series so far – ‘The Weather Wardens’ and their abilities to control the elements along with the enigmatic Djinn and her Young Adult series ‘The Morganville Vampires’.  Both are excellent reads and highly recommended.

Kim Harrison

Witches, vampires, pixies oh my!  The ‘Rachel Morgan’ series is a  good solid read, inspired titles, humerous at times yet has its extremely poignant moments.  Fast paced, full of action and definitely one to read.

Karen MacInerney

‘Tales of an Urban Werewolf’ are an easy, interesting and fun series to read.  Doesn’t take itself too seriously but packs a punch when it needs to.

Carrie Vaughn

The brilliant ‘Kitty’ series (a misnomer since it’s about werewolves) just keeps getting better and Carrie Vaughn brings kick ass Kitty to life with style and panache.


If you have any other authors or books you feel would be enjoyed by people who loved Sherrilyn Kenyon, feel free to comment on this article with your recommendations.

Oct 302009
 

About Karen Chance

Growing up in Orlando Florida, the bestselling novelist has lived in several countries before returning to Florida and settling in DeLand.  With books translated into several languages and a nomination for Readers Choice for best Urban Fantasy Novel in 2008 she is a force to be reckoned with.  A bit like her characters!

http://www.karenchance.com/

My Comments

I was introduced to these books by a friend and I’m glad I heeded her advice.  Karen Chance creates an often dizzying world of vampires, clairvoyants, mages and the ultimate headspin of time travel.  Her main character Cassandra Palmer is a gutsy heroine that got dropped in the deep end by becoming the world’s chief clairvoyant with no formal training or preparation.  The charm of the books is how she deals with it and interacts with those around her, even those who would see her dead.  My favourite secondary characters have to be Pritkin, the mad mage and Mircea, one hot vampire, both who have a vested interest in her and seeing her stay alive.  The books are well written, the stories engaging and above all, you care about what happens to the characters.  Well worth reading.

Bibliography

Cassandra Palmer

Dorina Basarab

Short stories

Sep 242009
 

For Dorina Basarab, being a dhampir is not easy.  Half-vampire, half-human and reviled by the vampiric community for being an abomination.  Unpredictable due to blackout rages and short life spans, dhampirs usually go insane but Dorina manages to hang on to her sanity by being near her null friend Claire and unleashing her fury on those she believes deserve it.  Dorina isn’t just any dhampir however, she’s also Mircea’s daughter.

I’m a big fan of Karen Chance’s main series, the Cassandra Palmer books, and I was keen to read this offshoot and I ended up quite disappointed.  I didn’t gel well with the lead character of Dorina, she irritated me and really, the only thing that made the book worth reading were the rare appearances of Mircea.  That’s not to say the book wasn’t well written or the story not interesting but it just didn’t have the charm and magic that the Cassie books do in abundance.

From an author whose work is usually outstanding, this is pretty average.  There is one interesting thing I quite liked however, there is a very subtle but brief moment where Midnight’s Daughter melds with the first Cassie book.  I won’t spoil it by saying any more than that but it is very subtle and a friend and fellow fan had to point it out to me the first time!

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Chance
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Aug 282009
 

Curse the Dawn continues Cassandra Palmer’s journey as the world’s Chief Clairvoyant, even if she hasn’t been sanctioned by the ruling magic council.  They are even out to kill her so the power will pass to an initiate that has been trained to be a Pythia they can control.  With both the Master Vampire Mircea and rogue War Mage Pritkin on her side, what can go wrong?  As the war hots up, Cassie finds herself in the middle of it all, both sides looking to use her as a pawn and she just doesn’t take too kindly to being used.

This book was a rush from start to finish and absolutely a fantastic read.  The action rarely stops and some of the situations Cassie finds herself in are hilarious as are the attempts to get out of them.  My three favourite characters are all present – Cassie herself, Mircea and Pritkin all who you learn more about.  I have to say Pritkin in this book is just brilliantly written and provides many laugh out loud moments.  That’s not to say it’s all fun and games, the somber and tragic scenes often blindside you and at times can move you to tears.

I have to add in and without using any spoilers, the statue  switcheroo was just inspired and really well executed.

I love all the books in the Cassie Palmer series but this is by far the best yet.  I really can’t wait for the next one, and think I might actually have to re-read this one again straight away, for any bits I missed!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Chance
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Aug 132008
 

Being the heir to the Pythia, the world’s chief clairvoyant, Cassandra feels she has way too much on her plate. The amount of power the position holds would make her attractive to all sorts of factions who would want to bend her to their own devices and she is sick of being used. Struggling to find someone else to be the heir while trying to unsnare herself from the master vampire who placed a geis on her, can she prevent her life from becoming one big bad day.

I was a little surprised at the direction this sequel took, but not unpleasantly. It delved more into the background of the characters, the history of the ‘world’, and also a lot more about the mysterious Pythia. It was as engaging and fast paced as the first, still a little confusing as it flipped around, but again the story didn’t suffer too much as a result. The Time travel seemed a little contrived but it did end up making a lot of sense. As in the first book, there wasn’t a lot of sex but the build up, anticipation and heat were very well done.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Chance
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Aug 132008
 

Cassandra Palmer is a talented clairvoyant who can also see and talk to ghosts. When she finds her own obituary notice on her computer screen, she realises the vampire mafia that she managed to escape a few years ago, have found her again. While her instinct is to flee, she ends up turning to unlikely sources for aid gaining interest from the dead and undead alike. Unfortunately there is no such thing as something for nothing and is her life worth the cost?

I’ve had this book around for a while and kept meaning to pick it up. I’m glad I finally did. While the background explanations got a little confusing, it didn’t detract from the fast paced action and intriguing characters. I liked the ‘not as it seems’ aspects to some of the major characters and enjoyed the story unfolding. I also expected it to be another bonkfest but was pleasantly surprised at how little there was and how well the heat, longing and anticipation were built up. Thankfully I had the second book in the series already, so was very keen to plough back into Cassandra’s world.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Chance
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)