Friday, July 31, 2009

Moon Called
by Patricia Briggs

In this version of current day Washington state, members of the preternatural community known as the "fae" have come out of hiding and are letting the world know that they exist...or at least the weaker and gentler varieties have. The more powerful and dangerous beings such as werewolves, witches and vampires are still living in highly secret societies which are becoming more difficult to maintain due to the computer age and advances in forensic technology.

Mercy Thompson is a mechanic. She is also a coyote shapeshifter known as a "walker". Although she was brought up by werewolves and shares many of their shapeshifting and animal characteristics, she is both less powerful physically and more powerful magically than them. When a young, newly turned and terrified werewolf turns up at her garage looking for work, she is drawn into a mystery which involves both murder and kidnapping. The journey for answers brings along with it some more personal questions for Mercy - both about her past and future.

I really liked this and will be reading more in the series. I normally avoid books written in the first person, but it was very well done in this story and I did not find it distracting. The book is classified as a fantasy but I think it has great cross-over potential for paranormal romance readers. There is quite a romantic triangle between Mercy, her neighbor Adam who is the Alpha of the werewolf pack whose territory she currently lives in, and Samuel, a powerful werewolf from the pack she grew up in who she had once loved. Although there is quite a bit of sexual tension between these characters, there is no actual sex. However, I would hold off on recommending this as appropriate for the YA crowd until I see if this holds true in the next few books. Currently, there are four books in the Mercy Thompson series with another two in a spin-off series about the pack Mercy grew up in.

Submitted by Michele

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Intertwined Crosses Over

by Gena Showalter

The title of this new Young Adult book is very well chosen. This one has a ton of stuff – psychics, vampires, shapeshifters, fairies, witches, spirit possession, time travel, zombies...and somehow it all gets pulled together into an interesting first book in a series that I definitely want to read more of.

Aden is a sixteen year old with a lot to deal with – namely the four other souls, all with special powers, who share his body. He has learned to live with them and how to avoid major catastrophes for the most part, but what he really craves is solitude. Then, incredibly, he finds a girl who can do just that – silence the voices of the others in his head. Unfortunately, the spark of contact between them sets off a series of “calls” to a whole host of paranormal beings and monsters who are being drawn to Aden and to the small town where he thought he’d finally found a moment of peace.

I read this one because it was by an established paranormal romance author that I follow and because I also enjoy YA books – especially paranormals. I really liked that it wasn’t written in first person – a common occurrence in YA literature but something I’m not personally fond of.

The author was clearly trying to appeal to the teen Twilight audience with their current seemingly insatiable appetite for anything vampire/paranormal. I also think she nailed it with this new series. Although it is definitely more graphic in its horror scene descriptions than her usual adult romance readers are used to (I kept thinking “Eeew, gross! The kids will love this!”) I do think there is the potential for a crossover audience. Try it. If you can make it through the first graveyard scene without being too grossed out, I think you’ll like the twists and turns this book makes.

Submitted by Michele

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the Book Cart

There are a few nice titles on the book cart this week. The lone historical is Halfway to Heaven by Susan Wiggs, an author better known for her contemporary Lakeshore Chronicles. There are also three contemporary romances. Sunset Bay by Susan Mallery is a the story of a heroine whose life is falling apart when she meets the man who was her big crush in high school. Debbie Macomber’s Right Next Door is a two volume reissue of stories about finding love right under your nose. Lauren Lipton’s Mating Rituals of the North American WASP is a romantic comedy that results from a wild night in Vegas when two strangers get married and have to maintain the charade to receive a large inheritance. You’ll have to read the book to see if there’s an Elvis impersonator involved in the ceremony….

Friday, July 17, 2009

On the Book Cart

Lots of new arrivals this week as our Staycation Reading event continues! There are quite a few historical titles to choose from, beginning with a couple of the gorgeous Sourcebook reissues of Georgette Heyer novels. Cousin Kate is a Regency with a distinctly Gothic air, while The Convenient Marriage is more traditional. Also available are If He’s Wicked by Hannah Howell, What Happens In London by Julia London, The Disgraceful Mr. Ravenhurst by Louise Allen, Surrender to the Devil by Lorraine Heath, Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney and a five author anthology called Four Dukes and a Devil. The paranormals are all by big names in the genre and continue popular series: Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter, Hidden Currents by Christine Feehan, and Midnight’s Master by Cynthia Eden. Suspense is represented by Laura Caldwell’s Red Blooded Murder and Christy Reece’s Run to Me. There are two contemporaries as well: Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis and Dare to Love by Jaci Burton.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Old Monster, New Twist

Carved in Stone
by Vickie Taylor

Tired of vampires and witches? Here’s the first book in a great new series for those who are looking for something a little different in the paranormal romance category.


Les Gargouillen are guardians, protectors of the human race. Transformed over a thousand years ago by a rogue priest through a pagan ritual, they have the ability to change into predatory half-human beasts. While their bodies are mortal, their souls achieve a form of immortality through reincarnation of their own bloodline. They are born with the ability to perfectly recall each previous life they had lived.

Rachel Vandermere is a woman on a mission – to prove the existence of and destroy the monsters that murdered her parents when she was a child. Now an agent of Interpol, her official investigations have led her to suspect Nathan as an international assassin. Her personal suspicions are that he can lead her to the very community that she is looking for.

Nathan Cross is on his fourteenth lifetime and has decided that it will be his last. He is tortured by his responsibility for the death of one he loved in a past life. He has grown weary of the monster in him, of the loneliness of never belonging to the world he is bound to protect.

Nathan has vowed not to produce a son and therefore reincarnate, incurring the wrath of his people. Though he has been banished from their society, he is perfectly placed to deflect Rachel’s interest in his people and to protect them from her investigation. The sparks that fly between them threaten his commitment of celibacy and lead to some interesting developments in the plot.

I really liked the premise of this book. It was well written, engaging and definitely hot. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the next in the series.

Submitted by Michele

Monday, July 13, 2009

August RT Book Reviews has arrived

The August RT is here with a cover story on Karen Marie Moning. Other feature stories include a comparison of the Sony Reader and the Kindle, with the pros and cons of each; author Kathy Kulig explaining how both publishers and authors can connect with readers using Twitter; an interview with author Mary Higgins Clark; a look at the second novel by Slumdog Millionaire author Vikas Swarup; and a discussion of how the airport bookstore business model differs from that of your local bookseller. This month's clubhouse features not only authors such as Karin Slaughter, Elisabeth McNaughton, Shannon McKenna, Delilah Marvelle, and Amanda McIntyre, but also news about the debut of the Harlequin teen line, a new Nocturne miniseries, and a debut novelists. As always, you will also find the Fan Forum, Pros on Prose, and 250 book reviews.

Friday, July 10, 2009

True Love on Ice

True Love and Other Disasters
By Rachel Gibson

The Premise: Faith Duffy, former stripper and Playboy centerfold, inherits a hockey team when her very wealthy and very much older husband dies. Though Faith was never in love with Virgil Duffy, she did like and respect him and devoted five years to being the perfect wife. He rewards her with $50 million and the Seattle Chinooks, Stanley Cup contenders led by the recently acquired Ty Savage. Unfortunately, Faith knows nothing about hockey, doesn’t particularly like it, and doesn’t particularly know or like any of the players, Ty included. Nothing personal, it’s just never been her thing. Meanwhile Landon, her odious stepson (and you knew there would be one – there always is) thinks the team should have been his and badgers Faith into selling it to him. Unfortunately, he underestimates both her brains and her backbone, and when he shows up at the arena and humiliates her in front of the team’s management and captain, she tells him the deals off. Landon goes away in a snit, and Faith hires an assistant to teach her about hockey and settles in to learn to run the team. The team’s management figure’s they can learn to deal with her, and the team’s captain figures they’re all pretty much screwed. Ty just wants Faith to stay out of the way and not rock the boat when the team has a real shot at the Cup, and Faith is sick of his surly attitude, and the attitude she’s getting from a lot of people in general. The two remain barely civil to one another until the sparks really begin to fly at a photoshoot, and continue to fly until both of them are forced to acknowledge that they don’t just want each other, they actually like each other. All would be well if the evil Landon wasn’t still scheming in the background.

What I Liked: Hockey. I love hockey, and was really happy to see Gibson return to the team she invented for her earlier release See Jane Score. I also really liked Faith, and the fact that Gibson didn’t portray her as an underestimated astrophysicist trapped in the body of a Playboy bunny. Faith is no genius but no dummy, she’s hot, and she knows it. She is also genuinely nice and likeable. She chose to take her clothes off for a living as a means of survival, she’s ok with that, and as a result, so am I. (After all, not everyone can be a librarian!) The rest of the cast of characters is well fleshed out and true to life, and Gibson has her hockey facts straight. She clearly either loves the game herself or does really good research.

What I Didn’t Like: Given everything Faith has gone through, I wasn’t totally sold on her fear of Landon, and I didn’t feel he got enough of a comeuppance at the end. But then, I’m just mean like that.

Overall: Great for fans of hockey and romance; I’m looking forward to the Chinooks next outing.