Archive for the ‘ Paranormal ’ Category

Future Reads and a little fangirly gushing.

Just when I think Goodreads can’t get any better, I get a funky email through today which tells me all the new releases for authors on my shelves for the month of March. This is great. It means no more trawling through release pages etc. No more constant clicking to authors pages for release dates. No more missing release dates for auto-buy authors.

If I haven’t said it before, I’m saying it now, I LOVE GOODREADS.

So this week, I plan to re-read the J.L. Langley ‘With/Without’ series in preparation for the new release in this series.  It’s been such a long time since J.L. brought anything out. I can remember main details of the series but it’s such a great read, I feel the need to refresh the memory. I love re-reading books. ‘With Abandon’ is released on March 22nd and I can’t wait.

I also plan to read Julie James ‘A Lot Like Love.’ I have all of Julie’s books but I have never gotten round to starting one. (The infamous TBR pile that consumes more books than I can read…) I have see quite a few really good reviews for this book and I am looking forward to it.

I’m also planning to it up a few Harlequin Blazes. I have fallen behind on my Blaze reading so I need to catch up.

What’s everyone else planning on reading?

A Week In Reading

I used to do this on the now defunct Book Pron and I enjoyed giving my mini lightning reviews. I hosed the idea from Tracy over at Tracy’s Place. (I am unashamed in my pilfering of ideas.)

So what did I read this week?

It was a week of Kitty for me. I started on the Kitty Norville series by author Carrie Vaughn and really enjoyed it. I made it through five of six books. I haven’t purchased the seventh instalment yet, but I shall. Soon. Also managed to squeeze in Carol Lynne’s new one.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour.

I really loved the voice of Kitty in this first book and some of my favourite moments came from Kitty’s interaction with her radio audience. I also liked that Kitty wasn’t an alpha werewolf from the start. You know, get bitten and suddenly you are Amazon Alpha, the strongest, most sexually alluring  female werewolf on the planet. Kitty had issues with her pack and she was the lowest on the rung. It made a nice change.


Kitty Goes to Washington.

In this instalment Kitty is a rolling stone that gathers no moss. Going from town to town doing her show, she is finds herself in hot water when she lands in Washington. I enjoyed Vaughn’s vision of  how the world would react to supernatural elements being brought into the public domain. There was no mass hysteria but Vaughn managed to convey a sense of unease and tension through the whole book. Her description of how violated Kitty feels at the end of the book was really well done.


Kitty Goes On Holiday.

I loved this book. This was where it all changed. One minute I knew where the characters were going the next I was like ‘Whoa!’ And I loved being surprised like that. Plus, for some reason there were many places in this book where I was scared out of my wits. Some real evil mo-fo’s here.


Kitty And The Silver Bullet.

This is the one I had been waiting for. Kitty returns to Denver and faces her demons. It all felt a little anti-climatic at points but that is because it wasn’t a drama-filled angst-fest which I appreciated. Introduction of a few new characters was interesting and mention of ‘The Long Game.’


Kitty And The Dead Man’s Hand

This was where it fell apart slightly for me. The plot was a mess and unfocused and I didn’t really see the point of the book at all except as a lead in to the next book. T’was a shame but you can’t hit home runs every time.


Seb’s Surrender – Carol Lynne

My guilty pleasure is Carol Lynne. I know she writes basically the same story over and over but there is a kind of comfort in that too, you know. I know they are angst-ridden and the smexxoring is unrealistic but I kinda don’t care. Crack with a capital C. I liked this second book in her Bodyguards series much more than the first although the first was good too. Who would think you could have a security company that specializes in gay bodyguards? But it works. As always interesting set-up and characters are let down by the storytelling but I still enjoyed it. If you let go and just read she is fab.

So there you have it, not a bad haul for the week. What about everyone else? Anything particularly noteworthy, in an good or bad way.

UK vs. US

Sometimes I feel like I am in a South Park episode. The one where Butters is Professor Chaos and he’s trying to take over the world and every time he comes up with a plan his sidekick General Disarray tells him, ‘The Simpsons did it!’ It’s like that in Romancelandia a lot of the time. You come up with an idea and go looking for pictures or quotes and then find that someone had beaten you to the punch.

Example. I was going to do this post on Nathan Kamp and how he seems to be on every frickin romance novel cover and why the hell is this the case cause yeah, he’s good-looking but he’s not that good-looking. Went to get some pictures and saw that Jessica over at Racy Romance Reviews had all ready done it. And her post was so much more eloquent and rational than I would have managed I thought to myself, ‘Yep, I’m not gonna even try!’

The I was going to do this post on UK vs. US covers and saw that Meljean had done something similar over at Oddshots. But you know what. I have come to the same conclusion poor Professor Chaos did. Romancelandia has been around for aeons and will be around after I go and we always talk about the same subjects again and again and again so another repetitive blog post ain’t gonna kill us. Plus, I have pretty pictures I want to show you all…

So UK vs. US book covers.

There are different reasons for a change in cover which Meljean goes into in her blog post here. But I have to say, maybe it’s because I am from the UK, I think the UK edges out the US a lot of the time…*controversial* Let me show you.

Keri Arthur

I just prefer the UK one. It feels more evocative somehow. Although I do like the colour scheme of the US one, it feels like anyone with Photoshop could have done it (Although I know that isn’t the case..)


Nalini Singh

I prefer black over lurid pink. I’m not sure what possessed that particular choice. Admit it, you’d be much happier reading the UK cover on the train.


J.D. Robb

Again much more evocative. I find the US covers really garish and it doesn’t tell me anything about the book at all.


Sherrilyn Kenyon

Admit it, it’s just much prettier. Although admittedly, the US covers have had a make over and I do prefer the covers with just the sigils on them to the lurid men covers they used to have.


Jim Butcher

I think the US covers for his Codex Alera series are like a badly drawn school project. I really dislike them.  (Although they are probably drawn by someone really famous.) I was so happy when Orbit brought the new UK covers out. I think they convey the fantasy feel without falling into the usual pitfalls of fantasy covers.


As for his Dresden Files series. I also prefer the, admittedly, boring UK covers. Why? Because as much as I like Chris McGrath’s covers he draws Harry with a freakin’ fedora on and HARRY NEVER WEARS ONE IN THE BOOKS. EVER! It really irritates me. So I prefer the UK ones cause they leave me to imagine the characters myself without putting ideas in my head. Of erroneous hats.


Ann Aguirre

I love the new cover for Ann Aguirre’s Corine Solomon series. It’s dark and moody much like the book (although there are lighter moments). I do like the US cover as well, I just like the UK more. Sometimes that happens. Even though the US cover is probably more representative of the character.


Eloisa James

No contest as far as I am concerned. It’s a beautiful picture and I love the little chess piece in the picture. It gives you a clue to the content but looks out-of-place there so you give it a second look. It’s just such a lavish picture. Very representative of Elosia’s work I think.


Julia Quinn

Although the UK covers are a lit too chick-lit in execution, I do think that they translate the sense of fun and humour that is apparent in Julia’s work. Unlike the US covers that are so vague they almost seem surreal.


However there are exceptions with Julia Quinn. The two ‘Cavendish’ books for instance. I much preferred the US covers. Go figure.


Lisa Kleypas

It’s not always the case that I prefer the UK over US either. I prefer the US covers to Lisa Kleypas’ newest historical series. The blue dress is stunning and much more interesting to my eye than the far away figure in the UK cover.  US cover win.


Rachel Gibson

I  do like the UK covers better. Again, they seem to convey a sense of fun. Although, that said, it is obvious that the UK publisher is trying to make this cover seem anything but romance as that is a dirty word in the UK.


It’s a subject matter that has been discussed ad nauseam and it’s true that while you know what you’re getting when you have mantitty or a back/dress combo, namely a romance novel, why does it feel that romance readers get the short end of the stick when it comes to cover art? Especially in America. Why is it that YA novels get beautiful covers like this?


And romance readers barely warrant any effort at all. Srsly, I CAN do better than this on Photoshop.

Why is there more effort put into a book for teens, than into a book for adults? Because that’s what it feels like. ‘Oh, they’ll buy it regardless so let’s not bother.’ But that’s a whole other subject for a whole other day.

(I’m probably going to get panned now from rabid Chris McGrath fans..*ducks*)

Review redux: Full Moon Rising – Keri Arthur

A rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, Riley Jenson and her twin brother, Rhoan, work for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races, an organization created to police the supernatural races–and protect humans from their depredations. While Rhoan is an exalted guardian, a.k.a. assassin, Riley is merely an office worker–until her brother goes missing on one of his missions. The timing couldn’t be worse. More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming.…

Luckily Riley has two willing partners to satisfy her every need. But she will have to control her urges if she’s going to find her brother….Easier said than done as the city pulses with frenzied desire, and Riley is confronted with a very powerful–and delectably naked–vamp who raises her temperature like never before.

In matters carnal, Riley has met her match. But in matters criminal, she must follow her instincts not only to find her brother but to stop an unholy harvest. For someone is doing some shifty cloning in an attempt to produce the ultimate warrior–by tapping into the genome of nonhumans like Rhoan. Now Riley knows just how dangerous the world is for her kind–and just how much it needs her.

This book has been sitting in my TBR pile for ages. I finally picked it up and I have to say I really enjoyed it, even with the almost constant sexual overtones in the book.

Now I like my nookie in my paranormals as much as the next girl. I love Nalini Singh and Meljean Brook along with Erin McCarthy and J.R. Ward so a prude I am not. However, there is HUGE amounts of sex in this book, but it fits as it is part of the universe and the characters we are following.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Riley after the first few chapters but , sex aside, I found her to be an endearing mix of cynical and romantic. She wants the white picket fence, the kids and the one true soul mate, but she isn’t going to hide herself away while she waits. I found her to be a tad naive when it came to some of her relationships, but then this will hopefully be addressed in later books. (It is the first of a series.)

The ensemble of charcaters that surround Riley were also a lot of fun. Her much more cynical and harder gay brother, Rhoan is going through his own relationship issues. Her boss at the Directorate, who sees the potential in Riley. Potential she isn’t sure she wants to explore. Riley’s two main squeezes (I did say there was a LOT of sex, right) and how she deals with juggling them while wondering if one of them is her soul mate. And lastly, of course, Quinn. Hmm, lovely, brooding, vampire Quinn.

I also really loved the Melbourne setting. It’s refreshing to get out of the US of A in a paranormal. There were mentions of areas and suburbs I know of (Thanks Neighbours and The Secret Life Of Us)  and it all seemed a little more exotic then a normal paranormal .(Try saying that three times quickly!)

So if you like fast paced action with a healthy dose of scientific & government conspiracy and a LOT of sex then you are going to frickin love these books. If you prefer to keep it to yearning and chaste kisses these are so NOT the books you want to be reading.

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This was previously posted on goodreads.

Review Redux: Oleander House by Ally Blue

When Sam Raintree goes to work for Bay City Paranormal Investigations, he expects his quiet life to change-he doesn’t expect to put his life and sanity on the line, or to fall for a man he can never have. Book One in the Bay City Paranormal Investigation series. Sam Raintree has never been normal. All his life, he’s experienced things he can’t explain. Things that have colored his view of the world and of himself. So taking a job as a paranormal investigator seems like a perfect fit. His new co-workers, he figures, don’t have to know he’s gay. When Sam arrives at Oleander House, the site of his first assignment with Bay City Paranormal Investigations, nothing is what he expected. The repetitive yet exciting work, the unusual and violent history of the house, the intensely erotic and terrifying dreams which plague his sleep. But the most unexpected thing is Dr. Bo Broussard, the group’s leader. From the moment they meet, Sam is strongly attracted to his intelligent, alluring boss. It doesn’t take Sam long to figure out that although Bo has led a heterosexual life, he is very much in the closet, and wants Sam as badly as Sam wants him. As the investigation of Oleander House progresses and paranormal events in the house escalate, Sam and Bo circle warily around their mutual attraction, until a single night of bloodshed and revelation changes their lives forever.

It is very much a story of two guys in the closet because although Sam accepts that he is gay, he doesn’t really shout it loud and proud. Bo on the other hand is so far back in the closet, I think he might have a second job at Monsters Inc.

I really enjoyed the paranormal aspect of the storyline. It relied more on the creep factor, like old school horror than outright gore. I also liked how Ally showed the monotony and repetitiveness of the job. It’s not all running along darkened corridors with poltergeist at your heels. It’s reviewing hours and hours of video and audio punctuated by library research (Dork that I am I would love that aspect!). She portrays it like any other job. The only difference is it’s not nine to five.

Now, that sounds really boring, I hear you say and it is in real life but Ally manages to have this little thread of ‘not quite right’ running through the whole book, so you feel on edge the whole time you are reading. Plus all the boring work is interspersed with some really great characters. Getting to know the team was a delight.

I loved the main character of Sam. He was this really weird mix of confident and vulnerable. He was sure in his own sexuality, but he wasn’t comfortable with others knowing. When it came to his relationship with Bo, he was constantly saying to himself ‘No, not this time. I’m not getting involved with him,’ only to turn around and give in the minute Bo spoke to him. I do that all the time. With me it’s chocolate though, not swarthy male paranormal investigators. But he wasn’t a complete wuss. I was rooting for him when he called Bo on his behaviour and told him to stop sending mixed messages.

It took a little bit more time to get into Bo’s character. It was mostly the braid thing. Bo has a long braid of black hair. I’m not into long hair on a man and I have to say, it took me quite a while to find a happy place in my head for the braid. Bo was so mixed up. I would have liked some head time with him just to see where his thoughts were but it was not to be.

As they were just starting out in the romance department and Bo wouldn’t even admit he was gay, it wasn’t a scorcher. That wasn’t to say there wasn’t any relationship stuff, there was plenty, just not a lot of action. This doesn’t bother me, it’s nice to see characters taking it slow instead of jumping into the sack asap. The sexual tension is bubbling along nicely in this installment.

I have two gripes with this book. One was the ending. It just suddenly stopped with no real closure. I get that this is a series but it felt like someone went ‘OK, word count achieved, that’s me done.’ I was reading along merrily expecting a wrap up chapter but no. A short epilogue and that was it. It left me feeling kind of cheated but I can guess that Ally was trying to show that investigations whether paranormal or ordinary in nature, rarely get all neatly tied up with a bow in real life. Still, a little warning next time, dude.

My next and biggest gripe with this book was purely cosmetic. It was the cover. Damn but it was an ugly and cheap and home-made looking piece of shit. I can just guess Ally being really excited that she was getting published only to be handed that horrendous excuse for a cover. I would be gutted to link my work to that. It seriously sucked as you can see at the top of the post. It looked like someone just took a picture from ‘Town & Country’ and stuck some curly font on top. I could do better. See here’s one I made earlier….

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This was previously posted on the now defunct Book Pron. And over on Goodreads.

Sloth Watch: Update

Ok, so there were some kinks in my plan. Although I thought of food and loo breaks, I didn’t quite think of everything. While it’s fun to laze about reading, it’s not so much fun if you smell like day old socks.

I had to get out of bed to have a shower. I have put on clothes. Getting back into pajamas after a shower seemed a little more decedant than I am prepared to be.

BUT…I did go back to my room, lie down and finish Minx. Which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I did a bit of surfing and I am now going back to start on a little category romance. I need a break from the Dukes and Barons for a while. I really need a new paranormal to get my teeth into but there just don’t seem to be any great new ones around….

Any suggestions?

PS I am soo glad my cover of Minx looked like above and not this montrosity. Although I like that Rufus got a shout-out too! Heh!.

National Nalini Day!

So to celebrate the release of Hostage To Pleasure (Book 5 in the Psy/Changeling series) I have declared today National Nalini day on this blog.

Nalini is running a competition to win $75 of book vouchers. I’m in! Do you know how many books I can buy with that! Sweet!

So all we have to do to be in with a chance to win is to answer the following questions. Easy-peesy!

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* Which fictional hero (from books, tv, movies…) would you most like to hold hostage?

It’s got to be Dean Winchester from Supernatural. I’m a total DeanGirl. I’m so in love with him. I’d happily tie him up and keep him hostage so I could just look at him all day long. Hopefully then he would get some of that Stockholm Syndrome and we could have a mighty fine time. What can I say, I just can’t get enough of those tortured, emotionally crippled, smart-ass guys!

* Which fictional hero would you most like to be held hostage by?

It’s got to be Butch from the BDB. So he and V can put on a little show for me……heh. Cause that’s my kinda torture. Watching but not getting to touch.

* Which fictional world would you most like to be held hostage in?

Ohhhh this is a tough one but it’s probably Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ simply because I would be a total kickass Aes Sadai of the Green Ajah, or an Aiel. ( Also, I would totally mac on Lan. Cause he is hot. He’s the silent but deadly type….rwoar!))

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So there you have it. Questions answered. Now I’m off to read some more of Hostage To Pleasure. (Although I think some of my answers might be changing after I finish. Dorian is one hot dude.)

Also check out the new excerpts for Branded By Fire (Book 6 in the Psy/Changeling Series) and Angel’s Blood, Nalini’s new Urban Fantasy series. Warning! The Branded By Fire excerpt has a HAWT rating of SUPERNOVA. On the basis of that one sneek peek I can guarantee you Riley is going on my Top Ten list of Heroes for next year!

All joking aside this a fantastic series, well worth your money and time. Nalini has never failed to deliver the goods. Fantastic story, intricate but solid world-building, swoon-worthy heroes and strong heroines.