Archives for December 2016

Joanna’s Favorites of 2016

I joined the team of Red Hot Ladies in January and challenged myself to expand my reading choices past my usual go-tos. I’ve had my eyebrows raised and I’ve found writers I will love forever, from long-established authors to newbies who’ve contacted us at the blog and offered their work.

Throughout the year I’ve been editing my own novel, which is my new favorite and never ending pastime. Seriously – help, I can’t stop. Much respect for my co-reviewers, who published, drafted and dreamed big their own books this year – you guys rule and your work is sublime. On with my other favorite reads from the past twelve months:

 

Magic Binds (Kate Daniel #9) by Ilona Andrews

I’m pretty sure this novel will be on Jen’s list too. I love this series and rate this book as one of their best. The development of the relationship between Kate and Roland, her doting/murderous father, is fascinating. Curran made me laugh out loud, as did the side characters just being their excellent selves. The story is fast paced, compelling and tense, with little let up, and the world of post-shift Atlanta is just as awesome as it ever was. [Read more…]

Review: Crimson Debt by Evangeline Anderson

Reviewed by Shelly

I’ve been on the hunt for a good vampire story and I’ve read Evangeline Anderson’s work before. Perfect scenario.

The society that included otherworld elements that Anderson started to build in this book 1 of her ‘Born to Darkness’ series was really good. The vampire hierarchy made sense and the visual markings to tell how old vampires are was neat. But what I really delighted me was that the vampires and shifters were an everyday part of society. Supposedly they were bound by the same rules… well sorta kinda because the vampires were a sect all unto themselves with their own set rules and regulations. So the question comes down to – how do you keep the humans ‘safe’ from the shenanigans that the vampires have in their everyday world? Auditors that’s how. [Read more…]

Review: Due South by Tamsen Parker

Reviewed by Shelly

This is a tricky one for me. I liked the characters. I enjoyed the storyline. I even liked the idea that India, who I can’t stand, seems to be a bit more well-mannered. But something felt off and I don’t know if it was the plethora of sexual escapades for Lucy and Evans or if it was something else. I just can’t put my finger on the culprit.

I didn’t see anything suggesting that this can be, or not, read as a standalone. As I’m very familiar with the previous 4 books, I think it would be beneficial to have read them in light of India Burke’s almost harsh personality and how that might or might not have influenced Lucy and Evan’s decisions. The thing about it is that we all have choices, and both Lucy and Evans for whatever reason enjoy the experiences they have working with India’s company and have worked for her the past six years. [Read more…]

Review: Wait For It by Mariana Zapata

Reviewed by Joanna

This is such a slow burn romance I almost threw a fit as the main characters avoided a kiss for the fiftieth time. So. Frustrating. But this is the nature of the book and thus it’s very well named. Plus it’s well written, has great characters, and I was getting all the lovely stomach flips every time our hero and heroine got close.

Diana, who is awesome, is raising her two nephews – left to her when her brother died. She moves the boys to a new town and works as a hairdresser to make ends meet. She’s slightly crazy, Mexican and fiesty, and I loved her lots.

Meet Dallas, her new neighbor. He’s older (40~ to her 29), tall, tattooed and with a shaven head, and is probably the sweetest and most steadfast man I’ve read in a long time. Seriously, this guy has it going on. Ex-military, he coaches the baseball team Diana’s eldest son enrolls with, and our H&H start seeing each other regularly in the street and at games. [Read more…]

Review: Frostbitten by Charlotte Stein

Reviewed by Shelly

Both the author and publisher are new to me. I’ve not read a vampire themed story in many a moon and the blurb sounded promising. I mean who doesn’t like a shy heroine, compelling hero and oh my goodness another hero who’s brooding? This sounds like a recipe for success.

I don’t know if this is the typical style of writing for this author but I’m not a fan of it. This is a short story (110 pages if you’ve got the Kindle copy) so I expected things to start happening pretty quickly. No biggie. The first 80% of the story, it’s all about Cora and the way she perceives the situation she’s in. The dialogue is minimal – I’m talking maybe, if I’m lucky, there’s a line of dialogue in a chapter until that last 20%. [Read more…]

Review: The Operator by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

It feels like it’s been a long wait since I finished the first book in the series. But it was worth the wait. I do think people who have not read The Drafter would I have a hard time jumping in with this second installment, though. It builds heavily on the events of book one which was very dense and full of twists and turns. [Read more…]

Review: The Luck of Love by Serena Akeroyd

Reviewed by Shelly

I’ve read this author before. Menage Material, the first book in her ‘La Belle sans la Bête’ series, is splendid. I’ve re-read it a few times it’s so good. A Menage Made on Madison, the first book in her ‘The Federation’ series was decent enough that I didn’t write off the series. I’ve had a few misses, but the hits have outnumbered them.

This is the 3rd, yes I’m keeping score, book I’ve read (not all by the same author) with the following content and no warning. If you’re going to put it in a story, I don’t care but warn me first, please. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorites of 2016

I haven’t read quite as many books this year as I did in years past. Part of the reason is the huge life changes that came with a new job and a major move for my family. The other came with my sudden burning desire to write a book of my own.

So my reading list was shorter, but I still found some great titles in 2016! [Read more…]

Review: Blood Vow by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

As much as I have loved JR Ward in the past, her recent books have been kind of hit and miss for me. While this one has gotten some mixed reviews, I actually really enjoyed it. These Black Dagger Legacy books have the feel of old school BDB, and those were the ones that I love most.

This book has two different main storylines happening at once. One follows Rhage and Mary as they settle into parenthood with Bitty, all the while knowing that she’s not quite theirs yet. The other is the romance between Axe, one of the recruits, and Peyton’s cousin Elise. [Read more…]

Review: Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks

Reviewed by Jen

I enjoyed this 13th installment of the Lupi Books. It wasn’t quite as strong as Mind Magic, but it still was a solid Lily and Rune book. The biggest problem I had was that the ending wasn’t really an ending it all. I couldn’t even honestly call it a cliffhanger. The book just stopped. And that’s not cool.

The story picks up right on the heels of the last one. Lily and Rune are finally back home, but they don’t have much of an opportunity to relax. Her old nemesis, Tom Weng, is back and he is working for the Lupi’s great enemy. She Who Shall Not Be Named has a new plan and it involves targeting the valuable children of various clans. Including Toby. [Read more…]