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?


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!


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 23, 2013


This week I varied my reading a bit, although it wouldn’t be right not to have any historical romance in there!

The first historical romance I read this week was Emma and the Earl by Paula Marshall, a tale of  a young penniless woman who was forced to become governess to the children of the man she nearly married when she was rich. Of course he doesn’t recognize her but she has never forgotten him! This was a very enjoyable story, a good read and a solid romance – 4 stars.

Scandals by Georgina Devon was the other regency romance I read this week, and it took me a while to warm up to the hero – for most of the book I wanted to slap him. Enjoyable, but not one of my favourites although it did get quite intense at times – 3 stars.

Feeling like a change I delved back into the world of the Dark Hunters reading Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I absolutely love this series and this book in particular. If you have never read the Dark Hunters and enjoy paranormal romance you must read this (the sex is always hot too!) Despite having read this book a couple of times before, I could easily read it again and again – 5 stars. The problem is I now want to re read all of them but I have so many books waiting to be read I am not sure I can!

I then read a couple of suspense novels, the first one I picked up was Death Notice by Todd Ritter. The plot was excellent but there was no romance! Oh my god, how disappointed I was to realise the police chief and FBI agent were not going to get it on!! So while the story was good I was left feeling  decidedly dissatisfied. Of course, if romance is not your thing you will enjoy this even more – 3.5 stars.

Love You to Death by Shannon K Butcher was next and wow that was good. A romantic suspense with a seriously creepy serial killer and super hot sex between the protagonists. The plot was very good and I liked the main characters. Towards the end there was a scene which I am sure we all wished happened more and was very satisfying! When you read it you will know what I mean – 4.5 stars.


While I wouldn’t recommend it as a means to get some time to yourself, my back throwing a massive wobbly last week and still not having recovered did mean I got some solid reading done.  Since all I could do was rest it, I was casting about for something to keep me occupied. I remembered I had Hounded by Kevin Hearne (the first book of the Iron Druid Chronicles) to read on my Kindle and a few chapters in I was hooked!  It was so amazing I finished it and immediately bought book two, then book three (you can see where this is going!), until I reached the last two books which I had kindly been sent physical copies of.

So in order, I raced through Hounded, Hexed, Hammered, Tricked, Trapped, Hunted AND the two accompanying Novellas – Two Ravens and One Crow and The Grimoire of the Lamb.  Phew!  And I still want MORE.  This is an utterly fantastic series, 5 stars all the way and one I will definitely be re-reading again.  Reviews are coming once I can sit upright for long enough 😉

Hunted actually arrived mid-week, along with another book I had been eagerly awaiting – Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey.  I dived into that yesterday and am almost finished.  Another excellent and very tense book from the Expanse series and there will be a review (also one for Caliban’s War which I re-read in anticipation and also realised I had neglected to do one the first time!).

Hoping my back will be back to what passes for normal this week, but also hoping that my thirst for reading continues unabated!

Have a good week 🙂

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

Leviathan Wakes

This book is utterly amazing,  I can’t stress that enough. It hits every single sci-fi button I have; space opera, crime, horror, and just enough of a touch of romance to give it an emotional punch.  It has zombies, heroic sacrifice, interplanetary war, and some truly great action.

On paper that might seem like a book by the numbers but it really isn’t.  The writing is clever but eminently readable and the story just blew me away.  With such a heady mix of so many elements the plot could have been really confusing, yet I had no trouble following it.

The characters are believable, realistic and they quickly get into your mind, even those that are only present for a short time.  I loved Captain Jim Holden and his somewhat naive and altruistic view of life. He’s written so well that the odd mix of both admirable and foolhardy decision making is believable. The authors have given us a hero that acts like one despite the consequences.  The rest of the survivors were also well realised and added a lot to the depth and flavour of the story.  As an aside I did laugh when Naomi figuratively had to smack Jim into sense, one of a number of comic moments that help break up the considerable tension.

Detective Miller is a bit of an enigma.  A very strong character but obviously fundamentally damaged, and the complete opposite of Jim.  He sees things from a much more realistic perspective and can look at the bigger picture.  I thought the debates with Holden about his decisions, and them both being at opposite ends of the spectrum were very well written and thought out.  Neither were right or wrong but I found my own feelings on the matter coloured how I looked at it.  Miller’s involvement was excellent yet sad and the emotional writing of this character had me in tears towards the end of the book.

I thought the future technology side was well crafted and believable, taking into account physics and the forces at play when ships are moving.  I felt it all was very smooth, understandable and very creative.

The plot and pace are very much tied together as each chapter unfolds and both increase in intensity nicely.  I’ve seen some people say the ending employs deus ex machina, however I totally disagree because the groundwork had been building right from the start.  To me it was just another example of the clever writing in Leviathan Wakes.

I didn’t find out until after I’d finished, that James S. A. Corey is actually the pen name for two people; Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.  I have to say I think they blended perfectly; sometimes you can get a feel of two voices in these situations but I was unaware and very surprised when I did realise.

An amazingly exciting space opera, and I absolutely can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: James S.A. Corey
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)