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…]

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: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

Another winner in Ilona Andrews’ Inkeeper series. As with the two previous books, I chose not to read this as a serial when the authors posted it to their website. I don’t have the patience to read in little snippets over time, and in reading the finished story, I can tear through it without stopping. Not only that, I get the benefit of whatever tweaks the authors choose to do to round out the book. I was not disappointed. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

magic-bindsReviewed by Jen

The books in this series blow me away. Every. Time.  I don’t just say that because I’m a total fangirl who thinks Ilona Andrews can do no wrong. To be fair, I am a total fangirl, but there is a REASON for that.  Kate Daniels rocks my socks off. This book is the most satisfying and entertaining thing I have read all year.  Books like these are why I read. I didn’t want to stop reading to go to bed… to go to work… to feed my kids. (You get the idea.) [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2015

It’s hard to believe we’re leaving another great year of reading behind us. In 2015, I found it more difficult to find books that suit my taste. I don’t care to read about billionaire bachelors, rock stars, step-brothers, biker gangs, or BDSM. Take a minute and think about how many titles fell into those categories last year.  I did a lot of backlist reading to fill in the gaps.

There were some really good new releases that I did enjoy; they were just more scarce. Here’s a look at some of the 2015 releases that really satisfied. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews

magic starsReviewed by Jen

I know a lot of people skip novellas. That’s ok. Most of them are just fun pieces of fluff that help us curb our appetites for our favorite series. They rarely impart anything vital. But trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to skip this one. Not just because it’s Derek, though, obviously you want more Derek. But as much as I love digging around in his head, it’s Julie’s thread in this story that you don’t want to miss.

This story centers around Derek’s investigation into the murder of a human family with ties to Kate and Curran.  He takes it personally when someone murders children. Julie gets pulled into the investigation when the case she is working ends up tied to his. [Read more…]

Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

sweep in peaceReviewed by Jen

The fact that Ilona Andrews publishes this series as a free serial on her blog is such a lovely gift to her fans. It’s a gift, though, that I choose not to take advantage of, simply because I don’t have the patience for a serial. And just as with Clean Sweep, I am so very glad that I waited to read this story all at once. I loved it every bit as much as the first book, maybe even more.

It’s been five months since we last saw Dina and the Gertrude Hunt Bed and Breakfast. It’s been a bit lonely since Sean and Arland left, taking all that danger and excitement with them. But now, Dina has a new challenge. An Arbitrator has approached her to use her inn as a neutral site for a peace meeting among warring nations. It’s risky, but the money she earns and the magic her guests will generate for the inn are too tempting to turn down. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

magic shiftsReviewed by Jen

Nothing compares to the charm, wit, action, and emotion of the Kate Daniels series. Nothing. Simply put, if you aren’t reading these books, you are missing the very best that Urban Fantasy has to offer. I think I say this every time I sit down to review a new installment, but it bears repeating.

The last story was epic and left us in a very different place. Kate and Curran have left the Pack. She has claimed Atlanta and her father has gone from a distant idea of Something Scary to a flesh and blood reality intruding on Kate’s life.  The evolution into these new circumstances feels as smooth as silk.  Despite the fact that everything is different, everything I love about Kate Daniels remains the same. Her loyalty; her fire; her determination, doggedness, resourcefulness. All topped off with a wry sense of humor and deep appreciation for the family she has created over the course of the series. [Read more…]

Jen’s Most Anticipated Books of 2015

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Can you believe it’s already time to look ahead to 2015? Here are some of the books on my radar for the coming year:

burned 1Burned by Karen Marie Moning – I went back and forth with myself about whether to include this one. The date has been pushed back so many times — and I know the focus has changed drastically over revisions. But the truth is, I’ve inhaled every single book in this series so far. And whether it’s about Dani or Mac or, frankly, whoever, I know I am going to buy it the day it comes out.

Release Date: January 20, 2015 (or so they say) [Read more…]

Carrie’s Most Anticipated Books of 2015

PhotobucketI know I’m going to miss a bunch after I send this list to post, but these are just a few of the books that have me biting my nails until they release.   I ordered them by release date to let you manage your excitement.

Tell me in the comments what you can’t wait for!
[Read more…]