Sara’s Favorites of 2017

2017 felt like a good year to hide under the covers with a good book. Here’s what did it for me this past year.

UF/Romantic Fantasy

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
The last (contracted) book in Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series hit it out of the park. Everything from the smoldering romance between Nevada and Rogan to the revelations of series secrets were flawless.
If you like detailed worldbuilding and original plots you should totally read this series. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorites of 2017

For me, 2017 meant a lot of writing, moving (again!), and some new responsibilities at work. When you put all of that together, it equals less reading time for me than ever before. I came across a few stinkers (which I had to mark DNF despite my best efforts,) but I also added a few awesome books to my keeper-shelf.

Every year, Ilona Andrews tops my list. Part of me is embarrassed that I must be so predictable by now, but it’s not my fault. I swear if she ever writes something I don’t love, I’ll tell you the truth. In this case, it’s a two-fer in her Hidden Legacy series. White Hot and Wildfire came out really close together and that was a huge win for fans who had to wait an age after Burn For Me. These books feature such fantastic world building, awesome characters, and an exciting enemies-to-lovers romance that hit all my happy buttons. If you’re a Kate Daniels fan or heck, if you like UF/PNR at all… jump into this series with both feet. I promise you won’t regret it. [Read more…]

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Jen

This was easily the best book I have read in ages. For a series that has been running as long as the Mercy Thompson one has, it has to be hard to maintain the quality that these books have, but Patricia Briggs somehow manages to do it and do it spectacularly.

Briggs does a few things different with this book. One, is that it is told in split point of view alternating between Mercy and Adam. Not only that, but the timeline between their respective chapters was a little bit off. From another author, this could be a complete train wreck. But it totally worked here. [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: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

fire touchedReviewed by Jen

It’s a pretty rare thing for a series to really hold on to its spark after nine installments. But this one does it. Reading this book was like falling back into a familiar world I know and love. I didn’t want to put it down, not because it was an adrenaline filled ride, but because I cared what would happen next. Mercy Thompson is a fantastic heroine.  She is not the strongest or the most powerful, but she is astute and loyal, and when the chips fall, she comes through every time. [Read more…]

Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

dead heatReviewed by Jen

Patricia Briggs never disappoints me with her Alpha and Omega stories. I really enjoyed jumping back into Charles and Anna’s world as they go on a vacation that runs afoul.  The plot moves well and the story is engaging, but what sells this story for me (as with every installment in this series) are the main characters and the relationship they have with one another. [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…]

Review: Shifting Shadows – Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

shifting shadowsReviewed by Jen

This anthology contains a smattering of short stories set in the world of Mercy Thompson. They span centuries. Some have no discernible link to the characters and storylines we know. Others tie directly in with the series. I enjoyed a few of the stories more than others, but I thought all were worth reading. [Read more…]

Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

night broken_front mech.inddReviewed by Jen

This was one of the most emotionally resonant Mercy Thompson books I have read.  Patricia Briggs always does a good job of putting us inside Mercy’s head, but I think this book really hit home for me because her emotional struggles centered on something that could just as easily happen to any one of us.  The return of the ex.

That’s right, Adam’s ex-wife is the main foil of this story and I’ve got to say it felt kind of unusual for a relationship factor to take center stage in one of these books.  Of course, Christy isn’t the only issue.  [Read more…]

Review: Frost Burned

Reviewed by Jen

After the big ending of Fair Game, I really expected this book to focus on the aftermath of that one.  It doesn’t.  Of course, the decision by the Fae to pull away from human society is incorporated into the story, but it is by no means, part of the main plot.

The big driver of the book: someone has kidnapped Adam and almost all of his pack.  Only by a twist of luck were Mercy and Jesse away from home during the abduction.  She must find a way to keep Jesse safe and pool her resources to try to rescue her husband.  It’s not easy. The bad guys are after her too.  And she has to reach outside her comfort zone to trust those she needs as allies.  But in typical Mercy fashion, when the chips fall, she manages to do what needs to be done.

I enjoyed this book far more than I did the last Mercy installment. It recaptured the feel of the older books in a lot of ways.  We’re back on Mercy’s home turf.  Her allies are with her. I had missed Ben and Stefan. They are two of my favorite supporting characters in the series.  It wasn’t only them, but Zee, Tad, Gabriel, Tony, Kyle, and the pack too.  I also like that even with Mercy and Adam’s wedding, it doesn’t make all the pack members forget how they feel about her.  Those who didn’t like her before, still don’t like her now.   It’s not all sunshine and roses.

Mercy and Adam are apart for much of the book, but Patty Briggs does a great job showing how strong their relationship is.  How they draw strength from one another.  Plus, as an added treat, we get to spend some time in Adam’s head, getting some passages from his POV.  Very cool.

It’s awesome how Briggs ties in the events of the previous stories, keeping the continuity among the books. But I will admit that there were a couple of times my memories grew a bit hazy on the details, especially when we got into who all the vampires were.  Perhaps I should have done a re-read. (Specifically in retrospect, a refresher on Bone Crossed might have been helpful.) But Briggs did a good job filling in the blanks when my memory failed me.

There is a pretty notable loss for the pack, though so much is going on, I don’t really feel like we got the chance to feel the real emotional impact. My only other complaint… I felt a disconnect between the two factions involved in the kidnapping. The first tier made sense, but I didn’t get how it was connected to the “other” threat.  How they ended up working together… or at least toward the common end of the kidnapping. (Plus, the last couple of scenes in the book felt out of order, as they jumped around chronologically.)

Overall, though, I liked it. I think it will be a hit for fans of the series.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Ace

Click to purchase: Amazon 
Frost Burned
by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Ace