Saturday, 30 June 2012

Review: Bane - Trish Milburn

To protect those she loves from herself, Jax will leave them all behind. She’ll risk everything in a desperate search for answers.

Jax Pherson fled the darkest of covens and from her own father’s evil. For a brief moment, her courage was rewarded. She found everything she’d ever wanted. A normal life. An amazing boyfriend. An envy-worthy best friend.

But her past put them all in danger, forcing a confrontation with the dark covens. In a life-and-death battle to save those she loved from the covens, Jax gained staggering power. Power so intense, so dangerous, she fears the darkness that now dwells inside her like a living thing.

If she can’t control the power, she may yet become as evil as the witches she conquered.

With her cousin Egan, Jax leaves all she’s built and heads for the one place that might hold the answers she desperately needs to hold back the darkness—Salem, Massachusetts. Her research unearths a shocking discovery: the Bane, a secret group of witches dedicated to thwarting the covens.

Jax desperately needs their help in her fight against the covens, but finding the Bane is easier said than done and takes all her skills and courage. As Jax gets closer, her dark powers began rise and control her actions. If she succumbs to the darkness, Jax may have as much to fear from the Bane as the evil covens and the determined hunter on her trail.

The Coven Trilogy:
White Witch
Bane
Magick (September 2012)

Visit Trish Milburn's website for more information.

Review:
Bane is the second book in Trish Milburn's new Coven trilogy so this review will contain spoilers for the first book. I don't think you'd be able to read this story as a stand alone as you'd be missing too much background information so I wouldn't recommend reading further if you haven't read White Witch.

Jax may have managed to win the battle against her coven at the end of the last book but she knows that won't be the last they hear of them. In fact she is convinced that they will join with Egan's coven and be back for more. In search of answers about Jax's new found powers they have returned to where the covens were first created hundreds of years ago - Salem. Horrified that their friends Keller and Tori were injured because of them Jax and Egan have left them in Bakers Gap to keep them out of danger. Does Salem hold the answers that they need to beat the covens and can they find the information in time?

I enjoyed the first book in this series and was curious to see what would happen next to Jax and her friends. I had high hopes for the second book but unfortunately it felt more like a filler book than a full length story in it's own right. I didn't feel like enough happened to really move the story line forward and what was there could have been reduced in length and added to the next book (or the previous one). The first half of the book was very slow moving and I missed the banter between Jax, Egan, Keller and Tori which was one of the things I loved most in White Witch. I was pleased when Keller and Tori arrived back on the scene but it still didn't quite regain the feel of the first book. The action did pick up in the second half but I was expecting another big showdown with the covens and was disappointed that they didn't make an appearance. It also felt like the book ended in the middle of the scene - there are cliffhangers that have you desperate to read the next instalment and there are ones that leave you thinking your copy of the story has some pages missing. Unfortunately this was the latter.

We are introduced to some interesting new characters and I enjoyed finding out about the different kinds of witches. I hope we get to know them better in the next book because at the moment they don't feel very fleshed out. I didn't particularly like the addition of the obligatory love triangle though. That's a trope that I'm getting really bored with as it is so overdone in paranormal YA fiction. Occasionally the triangle is done well enough that I enjoy it but this time it felt like it was just thrown in for the sake of it. I didn't feel any connection with the new boy in Jax's life and it didn't really seem like she did either. Scenes between the two of them just made me roll my eyes.

I am still interested enough in the world building that I will probably pick up the third book when it comes out later this year though. I'm very curious about Jax's new abilities and the darkness that is inside her and will be interested to see how she deals with that. I also want to know how they are going to deal with the dark coven witches. Despite the problems I had with the story it was still a quick and easy read that kept my attention and I think it does contain information that fans of the series will need to know before they pick up the final book.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Review: White Witch - Trish Milburn

Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.
No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It.

“Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her-the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her.

The Coven Trilogy:
White Witch
Bane
Magick (September 2012)

Visit Trish Milburn's website for more information.

Review:
Jax comes from a family of powerful witches but she hates the dark magic that they use. All she wants is to make her own way in the world and have a normal life doing normal things like attending school and making friends. The coven her father is in control of is more like a criminal gang and nobody is allowed to leave and live to tell the tale. Even her mother was executed when she attempted to take her children and make a new life for them all. Jax has been planning her escape for years but she knows if she is ever caught her coven will make an example of her and she will suffer a horrible death. She has settled into her new small town in the mountains and knows she mustn't use her powers or she risks being tracked by her coven. For the first time Jax is making friends and she has even found a boy she likes. She hopes that Keller will be her first boyfriend but that was before she realised that he was a hunter - someone who has vowed to kill her kind. Can love really overcome all or will the hunter turn on her if he finds out what she is? Worse still will her coven catch up with her and what would happen if they did?

White Witch is the first instalment in a new trilogy by Trish Milburn and was an interesting start to the series. The idea of the covens practising dark magic and acting more like dangerous criminals was really interesting and I could understand why Jax was so desperate to escape and make a life of her own. Her father sounds particularly cruel - especially the way he killed her mother in front of her with the whole coven watching so I'm not surprised that she is terrified of getting caught. You have to suspend belief a bit to accept that a 16 year old girl could drive half way across the country and set up home on her own after buying her own camper van but I often find that YA stories require a bit of that so it didn't worry me too much. I think it helped that the heroine had mind control type powers so it felt like it would be possible for her to deflect unwanted adult attention.

I enjoyed watching Jax try to settle into her new life in Baker's Gap. I felt that the romance with Keller was a little too rushed in the beginning but I liked the chemistry between them and felt they were a good fit for each other so I can forgive that. I particularly liked her friendship with Tori though. Jax has never really had friends before so it was nice to see her bonding with another girl and not just spending time with her love interest. I loved Tori's Joss Whedon T-Shirts - you can never go wrong with Buffy quotes in my opinion! The arrival of Jax's witch friend Egan made things interesting but I did find a couple of things rather predictable (like Tori's reaction to his arrival).

White Witch was a quick and easy read and left me wanting to pick up the sequel Bane instantly to find out what happens next. The action scenes at the end were well written, fast paced and definitely set the scene for the second instalment. An interesting start to the series and I look forward to seeing where the author takes things next.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Friday, 29 June 2012

Review: Try Me - Diane Alberts

What happens in Vegas…can lead to romance.

It took one wild night for Sergeant Jeremy Addison to realise that Vegas? Was a bad idea.

Bloody. Bruised. Dehydrated. Abandoned in the desert, and left to stagger down the road. The only way this leave could get worse was if his saviour was his ex-best friend’s sister…and the girl he’d loved since childhood.

The last person Erica expected to find on the roadside was her high school crush. She hadn’t seen Jeremy in seven years—ever since the night he said he loved her, and she ran away. Losing him then had been a mistake, but wanting him now could be catastrophic if he discovered the secret that chased every other man from her life. But with a tall, tattooed Marine determined to prove he’s always been faithful, can Erica resist his advances…or will she surrender ground and give love a try?

Take A Chance Series:
Try Me
Love Me
Play Me
Take Me

Visit Diane Alberts' website for more information

Review:
I have definitely been on a bit of a contemporary romance kick recently and Try Me hit the spot perfectly. I have to confess I was drawn to this one for the cover (well who could resist muscles like those?) but the blurb sounded good too so I jumped at the chance of reading it. I've been burnt before by stories that don't live up to their fantastic covers but I'm very pleased to say that wasn't the case with Try Me and I'll definitely been keeping an eye out for more from Diane Alberts in the future.

Try Me is a short and sweet novella starring bad boy turned marine Jeremy who is home on leave and supposed to be having the time of his life in Vegas. After a few too many drinks Jeremy wakes up in the middle of the desert with no idea how he got there and no transport back to the town. The last person he expects to drive by and rescue him is Erica - the sister of his ex best friend and the girl he has been in love with for years. Erica rejected him once but seeing her again seems like fate and he is determined to win her heart now he has found her again.

I'm not going to say any more about the story for fear of spoilers so I'll just tell you that Jeremy is absolutely adorable. He's even hotter than the cover suggests, romantic and has a heart of gold, don't forget he is also a hero - this guy is definitely a catch. Unfortunately for us his heart is already taken but I think Erica was worthy of him so I shouldn't complain too much. There is a lot of shared history and some misunderstandings between them but they have fantastic chemistry and a bond that has been growing since they were children.

Try Me is a quick but satisfying read that left me with a smile on my face. This is perfect for when you need a dash of romance as a pick me up after a bad day but don't have the time for a full length novel. Diane Alberts has done a fantastic job of creating characters you will quickly come to care about and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this series when Love Me and Need Me are released.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Review: Redemption - Susannah Sandlin

The world’s vampire population is on the brink of starvation since the vaccine to treat a global pandemic rendered human blood deadly to them. Their only hope for survival is a handful of rural areas that the vaccine never breached.

The tiny town of Penton, Alabama, is one such enclave, where the immortal Aidan Murphy has established a community of vampires and their willingly bonded humans. Together, they live in peace—until Aidan’s estranged brother descends upon the town and begins attacking its humans. Whether the rampage is a result of his centuries-old feud with Aidan or the civil war threatening to erupt in the vampire world matters not. All that matters is the blood.

Desperate to save his adopted family, Aidan breaks one of his cardinal rules, kidnapping an unvaccinated human doctor—and unexpectedly falling in love for the first time in nearly four hundred years.

Sensual and thrilling, Redemption is the first instalment of what is sure to be a darkly addictive new series from paranormal romance novelist Susannah Sandlin.

Penton Legacy Series:
Redemption
Absolution
Omega (2013)

Visit Susannah Sandlin's website for more information

Review:
After a devastating virus reduced the world's human population and then the vaccine to treat the global pandemic left the blood of most remaining humans poisonous, many vampires now find themselves on the verge of starvation. Competition is fierce for the few humans who didn't have the vaccine and vampires are forced to fight for their food. Master vampire Aidan has created a community for vampires and unvaccinated humans to live together in harmony. The vampires protect the humans who have bonded to them and willingly offer their blood in return for their safety. Aidan and his lieutenants have worked hard to create an environment where humans and vampires alike are all treated like family and they are very careful about who they let join them. Everything they have worked so hard to build is threatened when Aidan's brother Owen arrives. Estranged from Aidan for centuries Owen is still holding a grudge and he is determined to destroy his brother and the community he has created. After the death of the town doctor, and a spate of horrific attacks on the humans under his care Aidan is forced to take drastic action to ensure they have medical care available. Kidnapping human doctor Krys goes against everything he believes in but he has no choice. What he doesn't expect is to fall for his captive but can she ever get past the fact that he kept her there by force?

Redemption was an interesting start to a new series and I'm curious to see where the author takes the story next. I really liked the idea of a world where most humans are no longer a viable source of blood for the vampires. It made a change to see vampires starving because they can't find unvaccinated humans to feed from - vampires are normally at the top of the food chain so this was an interesting twist. Especially when vampires can't feed from bonded humans unless the bond was created by them or another vampire in their scythe. This offers an extra level of protection to anyone who is living in Aidan's community.

I liked Aidan, he is genuinely a good guy (well, good vampire lol) and he cares for both the vampires and humans under his protection. He has created an ideal society that he works hard to maintain and he wants the best for everyone. I would have liked him to have been a bit more alpha than he was - at times he was a bit too down on himself, never really feeling he was worthy of love - but he was quite sweet really. I just tend to expect my vampires to be darker and more growly, bossy alpha males so it was an unusual change.

Krys was a strong woman who had a difficult past with an abusive father that she has spent years trying to put behind her. She was very adamant that she would never allow anyone to have control over her again so I found it a little hard to believe that she fell for Aidan quite so quickly - especially considering he has her locked up as a prisoner most of the time. I expected someone as outspoken as she was to put up more of a fight. When she finally did try to make an escape it was more of an afterthought and I felt she was stupid to obviously put herself in danger when she had passed up much safer opportunities to get away. Her escape attempt felt like more of a plot device to put her in harms way than a genuine attempt to flee.

I did like the chemistry between the main characters though, the sex scenes weren't quite as graphic as they often are in paranormal romance but they were still enjoyable and the couple had a genuine connection even if their relationship felt rushed. I also liked the side characters - both human and vampire - and am interested in getting to know them all better. I'm particularly hoping to find out more about Mirren who seems like the fiercest of the vampire lieutenants and also Hannah who was changed into a vampire when she was just a child and has some interesting abilities. This is a series that definitely has potential and I'll be keeping an eye out for the next instalment.

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Review: Dead Radiance - T.G. Ayer

That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe.

I finally knew what the glow meant.

I was a freak and Joshua was going to die.

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.

Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?

Valkyrie Series:
Dead Radiance
Dead Embers (August 2012)
Dead Chaos (Release date to be confirmed)

Visit T.G. Ayer's website for more information.

Review:
Ever since the death of her father Bryn has spent her life moving from one foster home to another, never staying in one place long enough to make friends and never feeling like she fits in. But her latest foster home is different, Ms Custer seems to really care about her and Bryn has grown to love her foster siblings Simon, Brody and Isabel. She's even been at the same school long enough to make friends, well one friend in particular - Joshua. All of her life Bryn has sensed a glow around certain people but she has never stayed in one place long enough to figure out what that glow means. When Joshua starts to glow it makes her uncomfortable but she doesn't immediately realise how serious the consequences are. It is only after another student with the glow dies that she puts it all together and realises that Joshua doesn't have long left. Helpless to prevent his death Bryn is devastated to lose her one and only friend and is treated like an outcast by the rest of the town for being the only survivor of the accident that kills him.

When new foster kid Aidan comes to stay Bryn finds herself drawn to him but it's obvious he is keeping secrets and she can't decide if she should trust him or not. As wary as she is of him Aidan still manages to find his way under her skin and he is the first person she ever tells about the glow she sees. When Aidan skips town not long afterwards it looks like her fears were correct and she is left feeling heartbroken and confused. But after discovering a book Aidan left behind Bryn soon uncovers a bigger secret - one that could unlock her past and explain her strange ability. Bryn quickly finds herself swept into a world of myths and legends come to life - not only are these creatures real but she is one of them!

I have to start with saying what a fantastic debut Dead Radiance is and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel Dead Embers. T.G. Ayer's has done a fantastic job of bringing Norse mythology to life and I absolutely loved finding out more about Valkyries and some of the different Norse gods and goddesses. I haven't read many books about Valkyries (especially in the YA genre) and the ones I have didn't go into anywhere near as much detail about the legends surrounding them and the abilities that they have. I didn't know a great deal about Norse mythology so that side of the story was fascinating to me and I'm looking forward to finding out more throughout the series.

Bryn is a great character and it was easy to feel for her especially in the beginning when she is such an outsider and finds it so hard to fit in. I found myself heartbroken for her and really wanting her to make friends and find some happiness. As she starts to realise what the glow means things get very difficult for her, she knows that certain people are dying but she has no way to prevent their deaths which just makes her feel more useless than ever. When she uncovers more about her background and finds herself in a whole new world she really starts to come into her own as she makes new friends (and new enemies!) and starts her training.

Aidan was a swoon worthy guy who rides into town on a motorbike wearing leather and looking hot. At first I thought he was going to be your typical bad boy (nothing wrong with that - I do like a bad boy!) but it was a nice surprise to find there was so much more to him than that. He is also very smart, a bit of a geek and he is the one person who knows more about Bryn than she knows about herself. He is keeping secrets that I'm not going to go into because I don't want to spoil things but he comes through for Bryn in the end and pays a high price for it. There is great chemistry between the two of them but I have to admit I felt their relationship developed a little too quickly - I wanted to see a bit more of them getting to know each other first.

The beginning of the story is a little slow as we get to know Bryn and find out about her history but I still found it interesting to read. Things really picked up for me when she starts to uncover who she is though and from that point on I didn't want to put the book down. I loved the whole section at Asgard and I really enjoyed the quest that she is sent on towards the end of the book. It was great to get to know some of the secondary characters and I'll be really curious to see what roles they play as the series continues. Dead Radiance is an original story and one I would highly recommend to fantasy fans or anyone interested in learning more about Norse mythology. This is a series I'm really looking forward to continuing & I'm glad I don't have too long to wait before the second book is available.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Review: Shadow's Edge - J.T. Geissinger

Deep within the primeval forests of southern England, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters lives hidden from the everyday world. Bound together by ancient bloodlines and a ruthless code of secrecy that punishes traitors with death, the Ikati send their leader Leander on a mission to capture one raised outside the tribe before she can expose their secret. When Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California, the hardened warrior is prepared for a fight—but not for the effect the sensual young beauty has on his heart.

Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind...

Night Prowler Series:
Shadow's Edge
Edge of Oblivion
Rapture's Edge
Edge of Darkness (Fall 2013)
Further titles and release dates for this series are to be confirmed

Visit J.T. Geissinger's website for more information

Review:
Jenna has spent her whole life on the run but was never really told what she was running from. Her father vanished when she was a young child and since her mother's death all she has wanted is to settle down and find somewhere to call home. When the mysterious Leander arrives on scene she knows she should be hiding from him but he promises to answer her questions about her family and the strange abilities that she has had since childhood. Can she trust this stranger or should she have listened to the warnings her parents gave her? Now she is trapped in his world and told that she must obey the rules of the Ikati but can she find a way to be free?

I read a lot of paranormal romance stories and love coming across different shape shifters so I was very keen to read J.T. Geissinger's debut novel. Although I have come across cat shifters before I was very pleased that the author has put her own spin on things and Shadow's Edge is the start of a promising new series. I really loved finding out about the history of the Ikati who have links back to ancient Egypt when cats were worshipped as gods. Also as a Brit I loved the fact that the Ikati compound is hidden away in the New Forest - I'm sure anyone who has ever been there would have no problem with the idea that a secret community is hidden deep in the forest where no one ever ventures. It's nice to read a story set in the UK that doesn't focus on London and instead takes you out into the countryside and I felt the author did a great job of describing the area for us.

I don't want to give too much away about the story so I'm not going to go into detail about the abilities that Jenna, Leander and the other Ikati have but I really enjoyed discovering them and I liked the way that everyone seems to have a unique ability alongside the common ones that most of them share. I loved the way the author describes the way they see and smell their surroundings, I don't think I've come across a novel where that much detail is included before (and I don't mean that in a negative way because it never overtook the story - just complimented it).

Jenna was a great character who had a lot of inner strength and although she was completely out of her depth in the world she was dragged into she wasn't going to sit back and accept everything she was told. I appreciated the fact that she stood up for herself, especially against all the male alphas who were trying to control her. Things do develop fairly quickly between her and Leander but because I was able to feel the connection between them I didn't have a problem with that. Leander was everything you'd expect from an alpha male - he is controlling, dominant, pushy and protective of his family and his pack. However, he also knew when to back off and give Jenna some space and towards the end of the book he showed his true worth by letting her take control of the situation.

Shadow's Edge was a great start to the series and an impressive debut from J.T. Geissinger. I'm looking forward to learning more about the Ikati and I'll be first in the queue to pick up a copy of Edge of Oblivion when it is released later this year. Recommended for paranormal romance fans who are looking for cat shifters with a difference.

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
Between Dreams and Reality
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Monday, 25 June 2012

Review: The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter

Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.

When her mother's dying wish is to return to her home town, Kate's willing to do anything to make it come true. Even if it means starting at a new school with no friends - and no hope.

Then she meets Henry. Dark, tortured and mesmerising, Henry offers Kate a reprieve. She thinks he's crazy. Yet when he brings a dead girl back to life right in front of Kate's eyes she's not so sure any more...

Claiming to be Hades, God of the Underworld, Henry's prepared to make Kate a deal.

He'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

If she succeeds, she'll become a goddess - and Henry's bride. If she fails she'll never see her mother again...

Goddess Test Series:
The Goddess Test
The Goddess Hunt (Novella)
Goddess Interrupted
The Goddess Legacy (Novella)
The Goddess Inheritance (2013)

Visit Aimee Carter's website for more information

Review:
I was really excited about reading The Goddess Test. I love Greek mythology so the idea of Kate having to pass seven tests to save her mother's life had me really intrigued. I was expecting an action packed story line with Kate venturing into the depths of hell or at least trying to find her way through a labyrinth to fight a minotaur so I found myself very disappointed by the slow pace of the story. Not to mention the fact that Kate didn't even know when she was facing her tests so they were completely off my radar!

I felt there was so much potential to the story, especially at the beginning when you are watching Kate try to cope with her mother's illness. Some of the scenes between them were quite heartbreaking and having watched a family member fight a similar battle I really felt for everything that Kate was going through. However once Kate arrived at Henry's mansion things started to go downhill for me. The relationship between Kate and Henry felt forced and completely unreal, I didn't believe that either of them had feelings for the other. Kate found him attractive sure but we didn't see them spend enough time together for them to get to know and like each other. I also always felt that Henry was still in love with his first wife Persephone so how was I supposed to believe he had feelings for Kate?

The big reveal about what Kate's tests had been just didn't make sense. I can't say too much because I don't want to give you spoilers but I didn't feel that Greek Gods and Goddesses would care about the things they supposedly tested her on - if you look at any Greek myths it is quite clear that they don't look at sins in quite the same way a Christian would. I was also annoyed when the Gods and Goddesses revealed themselves - it felt like everything Kate had been through was a lie and if I was in her place I would have been livid with the tricks they had played on her. It even took away from the seriousness of her mother's illness and I just don't think there is ever a reason to make light of cancer. Watching someone waste away from cancer is one of the worst things I have ever been through and I don't take kindly to the way things played out in this story.

Overall I'm afraid to say that The Goddess Test completely failed to live up to my expectations. I hoped for a fast paced, action packed read and unfortunately that isn't what I got. I probably will still try the second book in the series because the publisher sent me both books for review but at the moment I don't have high hopes for it. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised though.

Source: Received from Mira Ink in exchange for an honest review

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Publisher Spotlight: Piatkus - July - December 2012


I thought it would be fun to start spotlighting new releases that different publishers have coming up over the next few months for us to look forward to.  I'm constantly looking for new books to add to my wish list and thought it would be a nice way of spreading the bookish love with other bloggers.  So stepping into the spotlight today we have . . .


Last week I was very excited to get to visit the Little, Brown offices to find out about their upcoming releases under their Piatkus imprint. Piatkus publish some of my favourite books so I couldn't wait to see what they have lined up for the next few months. Let me tell you if you love romance of all kinds - paranormal romance, romantic suspense and historical romance in particular - then you'll want to keep reading this post! I'll tell you a bit more about the event at the end of this post but first I want to showcase some of the titles they mentioned! For more information check out the Little, Brown website the Piatkus website or the new Piatkus Entice website.

Paranormal Romance:


First we spoke about Laura Wright's new paranormal romance series - The Mark of the Vampire. The first three books (Eternal Hunger, Eternal Kiss & Eternal Captive) are already available and you can also buy the novella Eternal Blood as an ebook from Piatkus Entice. I've only read the first book in this series but it's one I'm looking forward to continuing! This series is one for vampire fans and reminded me a bit of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood or Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series.


I think everyone knows that Christine Feehan is one of the most popular paranormal romance authors out there. I absolutely love her GhostWalkers series so can't wait to read book 10 Samurai Game when it comes out in July. A prolific author Christine has 2 more books coming out in the second half of the year. In September fans of her Carpathian series will be excited to read the 20th book Dark Storm. This is a series that I really need to catch up with - I really enjoyed the first book but as you can see I'm about to be 19 books behind! Another book I'm really excited about is Lair of the Lion which is a gothic, historical re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I love fairytale re-tellings so this will be just my kind of book and it will be published in October.


I'm fast becoming a massive fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon and one of my goals this year is to catch up with her Dark-Hunters series. I've caught up with the YA spin off Chronicles of Nick series so now I need to get working on the adult ones. I've only read the first 2 books so far so it'll take a bit of time before I'm ready for the 22nd book Time Untime which is being published in August. Fans of the Belador series that Sherrilyn writes with Dianna Love will be pleased to know that the 3rd book The Curse is being published in September. I've not read any of this series yet but I love urban fantasy so it's definitely on my wish list! Sherrilyn is a prolific author and her other current series is a futuristic sci-fi romance series called The League. This is another series that I've been wanting to start for ages and the 5th book Born of Silence is being published in paperback in October.


Paranormal romance fans will love Thea Harrison's Elder Races series which is full of all kinds of supernatural creatures from dragons to werewolves and more. I bought the first book in America last year and really enjoyed it so I'm very excited that these books are finally being published in the UK. I adore the new UK covers too and definitely want these versions on my book shelves! The first 2 books Dragon Bound and Storm's Heart are already available and thankfully we don't have long to wait for the next 3 books. Serpent's Kiss is out in July, Oracle's Moon in August and Lord's Fall (no cover image currently available) is published in November. This is definitely a series I'd recommend and I'm looking forward to reading Storm's Heart soon.


I absolutely love Larissa Ione, she is one of my favourite authors but she is also such a lovely person and I was thrilled to get the chance to meet her at Authors After Dark last year. Her Lords of Deliverance series is a spin off from her Demonica series and they are all books I adore and highly recommend. This is another series that I adore the UK covers for - Piatkus consistently manage to create awesome covers and I think they quite often beat the US versions! The first three books in this series (Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider and Lethal Rider) are already available and I can't tell you how excited I am about Rogue Rider which is published in November. That is at the top of my wish list!


I don't think it's any secret that I'm a massive fan of Keri Arthur - she is another of my favourite authors and I own every book she has had published (I've read nearly all of them - just a couple to catch up on!). Her Dark Angel series is a spin off from the Riley Jenson books, I really loved Darkness Unbound and am planning on reading the next 2 books (Darkness Rising and Darkness Devours) soon. The 4th book Darkness Hunts is being published in November so I want to catch up in time for the next release.


I love J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, it was one of the first paranormal romance series that I discovered so will always be special because it helped get me hooked on my favourite genre. I've only read the first book in her spin off Fallen Angel series so it's another one I need to work on catching up with. The first three books Covet, Crave and Envy are already available and the fourth book Rapture will be published in September.


I have to admit that I've never read anything by Jacquelyn Frank. I've heard a lot of fantastic things about her Nightwalkers series (Jacob, Gideon, Elijah, Damien & Noah) and it's a series I really want to read but I just haven't got around to buying it yet. In October Piatkus will be publishing Forbidden which is the first book in a new spin off series called the World of the Nightwalkers. I really do have some catching up to do don't I!

Romantic Suspense:


I'm fairly new to reading romantic suspense so I've not read anything by Linda Howard yet but I definitely need to do something about that soon. Her next book Prey is published in July and is one I'm hoping to read soon and fans also have Shadow Woman to look forward to in December.


I don't think there is anyone who won't recognise the name Nora Roberts as she is such a massive author! I actually read my first Nora Roberts book earlier this year and really enjoyed it so I'm going to start working my way through her massive back list. In November Piatkus will be publising The Perfect Hope which is the final book in her Inn BoomsBoro trilogy. Early next year will see the release of her next standalone romantic suspense novel Whiskey Beach. Nora also writes the In Death futuristic romantic suspense series under the name of J.D. Robb. I've heard so many good things about the In Death books that the first book has been on my wish list for a long time now but it's a bit daunting to pick up a series that already has 34 books available! Celebrity in Death is the latest release and was published in February but the 35th book Delusion in Death will be available in September. I have no idea how Nora manages to write so quickly!

Historical Romance:


I absolutely love Eloisa James' Happily Ever After series. These books are all fairytale re-tellings set in Regency England and they are so much fun to read. As you can imagine I'm incredibly excited to get my hands on the 4th book The Ugly Duchess when it comes out in August. In case you hadn't already guessed this one is based on the tale of The Ugly Duckling! Another August release will be The Lady Most Likely which is a novel that was written by three different authors - Eloisa James, Julia Quinn and Connie Brockway. I love Eloisa and Julia's books but haven't tried anything by Connie before so it will be interesting to see how well it works having them all writing parts of the same story. I have to confess that I've not read anything by Gaelen Foley before but I absolutely love the beautiful cover for My Scandalous Viscount. I refuse to read a series out of order though and as this is book 5 in her Inferno Club series I guess I'll have to start at the beginning and pick up My Wicked Marquess!


Last year Piatkus published Charlotte Betts' debut novel The Apothecary's Daughter. This was a very popular book and I currently have it sitting on my to read pile waiting for me to get to it. I'll have to hurry up though because the sequel The Painter's Apprentice is going to be published in August. The second story is set 20 years after the first one and follows main character Susannah's daughter Beth. I have a feeling that I'm going to absolutely love these books so I'm looking forward to reading them soon.

Contemporary Romance:


If you're a contemporary romance fan then keep an eye out for Never Can Say Goodbye by Christina Jones in August. This one is supposed to appeal to fans of Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern and Nora Roberts. Lisa Kleypas fans can also look forward to the third book in her Friday Harbor series Dream Lake in September.


A title that Piatkus are really excited about is The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne. This is their biggest debut title for 2012 and one that they are hoping will become a best seller. The story is about Daniel, a solicitor defending an 11 year old boy who has been accused of the murder of another child. Told in two parts you follow the murder investigation and trial in the present and also Daniel's past as a foster child. It sounds like a fascinating read and I'm looking forward to giving it a try.


Fans of Nora Roberts should also keep an eye out for Mariah Stewart's Chesapeake Diaries series - Coming Home, Home Again, Almost Home and Hometown Girl. These stories have already been released as ebooks through the Piatkus Entice imprint but will be available as paperbacks from September with brand new covers (the covers above are the ebook versions).

So what do you think of the upcoming Piatkus titles? Which ones are you most excited about? I'm pretty sure there is going to be something there for everyone but I know I just added about a million books to my wish list lol.

We had a fantastic time at the Piatkus event and I really enjoyed finding out about their upcoming titles. It was great to catch up with the publicists who I chat to all the time via email and meet some of the editorial team too. It was also lovely to catch up with some of my blogging buddies - I can never spend too much time chatting with like minded people about the books we all love!

I very stupidly forgot to take any pictures while I was there but make sure you check out the blogs of all of the lovely ladies who were all at the event (I've included links at the bottom of this post!). I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Piatkus for organising the event and spoiling us with books and cake!

Who was there:
Donna, Carleen, Hannah, Lucy, Madeleine,  Paola and Sophie - Piatkus
Carolyn - Book Chick City
Grete & Tracey - Book Thing
There were a couple of other people there who I didn't quite catch names for so if I've missed you off the list please let me know and I'll add your link.

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