2013 – A bookish year

 So another year is behind us and in spite of the personal life stuff going on resulting in the dearth of reviews, reading was still going on behind the scenes.

So what books made us sit up and beg?

Grete

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett – The fantastic third book in the Demon Cycle.

Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole – Military sci-fi with superheroes.  This second book was an excellent addition to the Shadow Ops series.

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey – This series needs to be on either the big or small screen – any screen!  Until then it’s an amazing sci-fi story and this third book was a brilliant addition to the Expanse.

Parasite by Mira Grant – An amazingly creepy but riveting novel. If you liked her Newsflesh trilogy, you are going to love this!

Kevin HearneThe Iron Druid Chronicles was a series that entranced me so much, I ended up romping through and didn’t take time to review.  It’s a fantastic series and one I will be re-reading, slower this time, so I can actually do reviews!

Bound by Night by Larissa Ione – The first in a new series by Larissa and just as exciting as her Demonica/Lords of Deliverance.  Speaking of which, the next book in that series, Reaver, is on this list too as it was utterly fantastic and had my jaw dropping several times as things were revealed.

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones – This is another series I love so much that I keep racing through them and end up not reviewing.  It’s a habit I really have to stop as my memory is just not up to it these days!  Charley Davidson is one of my favourite paranormal heroines and I just can’t get enough of her!

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I loved, loved, loved this book.  I cried, I laughed, I may have shouted a few times.  A worthy companion to Acheron and a brilliant addition to the Dark-Hunter’s series.  It does take you through the wringer though!

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty – I absolutely loved this light hearted approach to the paranormal and look forward to the next one, out this year!

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan – A gritty and powerful epic fantasy debut.  I loved the magic system he devised and I hold high hopes for the second book.

Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin – First in a new series by Gail and it’s off to a promising start.  I loved her two previous series a lot so it had a lot to live up to!  Looking forward to book two!

J.D. Robb – Thanks to Tracey, I discovered the In Death series and devoured the whole lot one after the other.  It amazed me how good they are and how, even 35+ books in, they are still extremely enjoyable and great reads.

Watch Your Back by Karen Rose – So many of Karen’s books have characters that appear or are related to people in other novels and this one felt like it had been a long time coming.  It was utterly amazing and prompted me to go back and read ALL the previous books!

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – This book honestly surprised me and I’m annoyed at myself that I didn’t do a review after I read it, as it so very much deserved it.  It’s an amazingly gritty fantasy, written with a single focus and I urge anyone who loved David Gemmell’s work to pick this up.  I will be re-reading this (and reviewing this time, dammit)!

Unseen by Karin Slaughter – Every time I think Karin has outdone herself, she releases the next book and raises the bar even higher.  I can’t get enough of Will Trent and Sara Linton!

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward – The latest book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was hotly anticipated and I was not left disappointed!

Tracey

While my list has some similar ones to Grete, I also have some totally different genres to her.  Being much more of a romantic sap, it will come as no surprise that I have a number of romances on my list.

The books I share Grete’s love for are :

Styxx of course – the most anticipated book of the year for me and one that did not disappoint. Probably my book of the year!

Reaver by Larissa Ione – another eagerly awaited novel that ticked all the boxes for me.

The In Death series by J.D. Robb – I read all 35 books in 4 weeks and absolutely loved them.

For me though the year was all about romance! There were books from my favourite romance authors: Stephanie Laurens, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean and Sarah Morgan.

I really cannot express all the books that I loved this year, I read well over 100 of them! Since I tend to read books I know I will enjoy, it is so hard to only pick a few.

If I was to recommend a few books to other readers I would go with the following:

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan – I have been a fan of Ms. Morgan for many years, reading all her Mills and Boon books and it was great to have a longer book to enjoy. This is romance at its best and a great start to a new series.

Nora Roberts has featured heavily in my reading this year but a trilogy I particularly enjoyed was the Key Trilogy – Key of Light, Key of Knowledge and Key of Valour. This has a paranormal slant with Ms. Roberts’ usual excellent romance story.

Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series is recommended reading, particularity if you enjoy historical romance. I have loved all the books in this series and look forward to the next one hopefully coming in 2014!

Will definitely be doing more reviews this year, even if only a few lines, there are so many great books I want to share my love of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Week in Books – Week 16, 2013

 Tracey

I started the week off with Dark Demon by Christine Feehan. I’d read the first few books in the Carpathian series a while back but had to take a break after those. I really enjoyed Dark Demon in comparison to some of the earlier ones though – this Carpathian male was not as controlling or bullying and it was a much more enjoyable book as a result – 4 stars.

Having been reintroduced to the Carpathians I thought I would try another one that was even later in the series – Dark Predator. Oh dear, what a mistake. Zacarias was brutal, overpowering and a total twat! I felt his behaviour was actually the worst of any of the males in the previous books I had read and I actually felt quite uncomfortable at times. Having said that I did finish it but am now trying to decide whether to keep hold of the books I haven’t read and try them at a later date, or just get rid of them without reading! 1.5 stars – my lowest rating ever!

After that I fancied some good old fashioned sweet romance and picked up Mistletoe and Marriages – a Mills and Boon Regency double bill with stories from Annie Burrows (A Countess by Christmas) and Joanna Maitland (The Earl’s Mistletoe Bride). This definitely hit the spot and was just what I needed. Both books were very romantic with two brooding but very sexy heroes! – 4 stars.

In the historical mood again I picked up another Mills and Boon called “The Captain and the Wallflower” by Lyn Stone which was  another winner. The storyline running alongside the romance was very good and I did not want to put it down (in fact I read it in one sitting!) I love my romance anyway and this was no exception – 4 stars.

The final book of the week was Sacred Sins by Nora Roberts, one of her earlier ones from 1987, and I found it really hard to get past the fact that the hero smoked everywhere and they used a typewriter to type up police reports!!!! Having said that the story was engaging and interesting so 3 stars.

 Grete

I’ve continued my Darynda Jones kick this week and I had all good intentions of pausing between books and writing the reviews.  The trouble is, I loved them so much and Charley is such a fantastic character that I couldn’t stop and ended up reading all four books one after the other *blush*  The reviews are coming though!  I blame Darynda Jones for writing such an amazing series 😉

Next up will be Full Blooded and Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson – I read Full Blooded at the start of the year and didn’t write the review straight after (for which I am now kicking myself) so the first will be a refresher read (and since it was really good, that’s not a hardship!).

Happy Reading!


Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.

Second Grave on the Left

 Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and the only Grim Reaper this side of Mars.

When I started this book, it was with every intention of writing the review before moving on to the next one. The problem is (if it’s actually a problem) is that I adore these books, they are such fun, and I love every last thing about them. Which of course means I couldn’t help myself and tore straight into the next book!  But anyway, here we are now.  This is the second book in the series so if you haven’t yet read First Grave on the Right then do so quickly!

Charley herself is a wonderful character, flaws and all.  Her habit of naming things makes me laugh every damn time.  Danger and Will Robinson (Left and right breasts) are two of her major assets and quite often come up in conversation.  Her inner monologue is hilarious and while this series isn’t intended to be comedy based, Darynda Jones has a natural flair for making Charley extremely funny.  It’s not all laughs, there is a serious side to her as well.  The penchant for people trying to kill her as well as the often poignant duties of her unchosen career as the Grim Reaper.  Most people cross when they die, but those that stay because of unfinished business can see her as a bright beacon from wherever they are and sometimes that can be quite sad.

The side characters are just as good – Cookie, Garret, Uncle Bob – all have a special place in my heart and their involvement is what make the books such a complete read.  Then there is Reyes Farrow.  Hottie extraordinaire and a supernatural being like Charley.  Along with the main case there is usually a side plot running and it’s usually to do with Reyes.  He has a plan that will keep Charley safe, only it means he will die.  She is not on board with that idea at all.  Their interactions leave me breathless… half snarky conversation, half red hot passion.

I loved the plot in this one – A friend of Cookie’s has gone missing and she is frantic to find her.  As the investigation continues it unearths a secret from high school decades ago, that will affect some very powerful people.

I can’t help but make a comparison to Stephanie Plum but Charley Davidson, with her paranormal issues, wins hands down for me!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Our Week in Books – Week 15, 2013

 Tracey

Another slow week for reading this week but I still managed to fit four books in. I finished Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones – a very good start to the series and I am looking forward to the rest, full review to appear later this week – 4 stars.

I then went back to my Kindle and started Scandal of Love by Janelle Daniels, I enjoyed it but it was a bit too short for me, I am not a big fan of novellas unless they are linked to a favourite series. The story was good though, definitely more of a pure romance and not really as scandalous as the title suggests. I do enjoy a good romance though and would look to read the others in the series if I could find them very cheap or free on kindle – 3 stars.

Next I started a review copy I received from NetGalley – What a Lady needs by Kasey Michaels (Published by Harlequin), and is released 30th April.  I loved this one and a full review will follow this week – 4.5 stars

Having been nagged constantly by my husband about reducing the amount of physical books I have, I felt I should read another and picked up a romance by Kathleen Creighton – The Sheriff of Heartbreak County. While I expected an enjoyable romance I actually got a good suspense story too. A good read which kept me glued throughout and of course a wonderful romance – 4 stars

Thats all for this week folks!

 Grete

I’m still trying to get up to speed with my reading as I have so many great books begging to be read!

I finished Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan which ended up really surprising me.  Find out why in my review in the next few days 😉

Next I turned to Darynda Jones and her Charley Davidson series.  I read, loved (and reviewed) the first book at the start of the year but with my memory being what it is right now, I wanted to re-read it so the characters were fresh in my mind before I moved on to the second.  So First Grave on the Right was just as good the second time round and I finished Second Grave on the Left yesterday which was fantastic.  A review will be coming and I am going to start Third Grave Dead Ahead tonight!

That’s it from me, time to get my nose stuck in a book 😉


Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.

First Grave on the Right

 Darynda Jones is an author I kept meaning to read and I’d had this book for quite a while, waiting to be picked up.  Having just finished it I’m kicking myself now.  I loved it, loved the main character of Charlotte (Charley) Davidson and her snarky, sarcastic personality, madcap ways and unique gifts.  Her best friend and receptionist Cookie is adorable and I loved the way they bounced off each other.

I thought it a nice touch that while being the Grim Reaper is who she is, she is also a PI and often the two go hand in hand.  Of course when the client can tell you where the body/treasure/will is, it makes it a damn sight easier.  Add in the consultant work for the police and she is a definite asset to her Uncle on the local police force (and her father before that).  I thought the misery her gifts had brought her throughout her life were extremely touching and wow do I want to give her step-mother a good smack!

Jones didn’t lay everything out for us at the start, she gave us a few key facts and then we made discoveries along with Charley.  Her gifts were fascinating and it felt a little like several concepts were brought together in her but managed to avoid being cliched or full of tropes.  I think it was extremely clever writing.  The cast of characters are all lively in their own way (even the dead ones) and brought colour and excitement to the story.

The pace of the book was well judged, at times a bit chaotic, but it also meant I was gripped and didn’t want to put it down.

The parts I must touch on because they were very, very good – The mystery of Reyes, the hot dream/ghostly lover is… hot 😉  I wouldn’t mind having a few dreams like that to be honest!

The case of the three dead lawyers (not a joke!) Charley gets involved in is interesting and I loved how the ghosts themselves get involved.  It was inventive and funny and the story is quite light hearted in tone which makes the dark parts seem much darker.

While the story does contain some hot scenes, I would consider this to be more Urban Fantasy based than Paranormal Romance but fans of both genres should enjoy First Grave on the Right.

A brilliant first book in this series and I can’t wait to read Second Grave on the Left which I have right here!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)