Monday, March 28, 2011

RRA: Meeting 2

We're way overdue for a meeting. Since our last virtual visit together, I have unintentionally become quite the paranormal romance reader.

I know, I never thought I'd type that sentence either, but I've already admitted I'm not a discerning reader of fiction.  Basically, if you can tell me a good story, a story that has nothing to do with my daily life (no lawyers, nothing that takes place in the last 50 years, definitely no dramatic true stories involving life and death, and no wounded animals, ever), and if you draw me 3-dimensional characters with convincing dialogue, and just generally entertain me for the few hours it will take me to read your book, I'm sold.

Thus, paranormal fiction. It all started with the Nora Roberts Magic Circle triology books that I friend lent me over a year ago, which I read twice during the few weeks I had them, then I asked to borrow them again a few months later because I was craving a re-read (I frequently crave books, do you?), and then I finally just bought them used online so I could read them anytime I wanted. Then my sister lent me all the Sookie Stackhouse True Blood books, which I flew through because they're like a literary combination of candy and crack. I've already written about Twilight here and my general disgust both for it and for myself for reading them all multiple times, but I suppose they fall in this category. Then this list of the top 100 romance books included "Lover Awakened," Book 3 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. The mini summary sounded good, so I bought the first three books with my Christmas kindle gift card. Ten days later, I'd read all 8. I got very little sleep, but they are so much fun. The street/tough guy language as written by a woman can be annoying, especially when I'm pretty sure she's using certain slang words wrong (not that I'm any tough guy expert), but as I've already stated, my standards are not that high and she drew some really great characters. The ninth book comes out tomorrow and even though the Kindle price is ridiculous, I'll probably end up buying it just because I've now read the original eight 2-3 times each and I've been looking forward to #9 for months.  It'll be a "I worked all weekend" present. My faves in the series are #1 (Dark Lover), #3 (Lover Awakened), and #8 (Lover Mine). They've made me an even bigger fan of the kindle because I can hide the covers/titles of my ridiculous books from the general public (and my non-fiction, autobiography reading husband), but this is a safe space right?

Then, because the world is conspiring to get me to read more of these books, the Pixel of Ink emails told me this book by Kathryne Kennedy was $1.  It's called "Enchanting the Lady" and I loved it.  It's takes place in Victoria England "where the magic has never stopped" and involves the nobility, who get their titles based on magical ability (Dukes can change matter, Earls have a special gift, etc.), and shape-shifting relic hunters which track down the remaining, dangerously powerful Relics of Merlin.  And while that is probably one of the silliest sentences I've ever typed, I loved the book and it's two successors: Enchanting the Beast and Double Enchantment.  Then I found the first book in a new series Kennedy has started called "The Fire Lord's Lover" and loved it too.  She writes a great stories with strong characters and I hope she continues both lines of books.

Lastly, I started the Demonica series by Larissa Ione on our plane ride to Denver on Spring Break.  Also very good, and very addictive, I finished all five within the week.  It starts with Pleasure Unbound and the first book of a spin-off series comes out tomorrow.

Some other books I've read since December (all regency romance):
  • The last two in the Julia Quinn Bridgerton series (It's In His Kiss and On the Way to the Wedding); not quite as good as the first few, I basically read them for the glimpses you get of the older siblings, but still fun.
  • The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt.  I'd enjoyed her Four Soldiers series and thought this one was pretty good.  I have to admit, after reading so many books involving magic, it was a hard comedown to the regular world with its regular human characters.
  • Lord of Scoundrels.  Number 1 on the top 100 romance books list I linked to above and a great rad.  I'm not sure about #1, but then again, I have an impossible time ranking books because I enjoy just about all of them. 
My first love will always be historical fiction, and see the last two RRA posts for some great recommendations there, but I tend to read in themes and apparently magic is the kick I'm on now.  And lucky for me, two of my new series have books coming out this week! 

So what about you, reading anything I should know about?  Has anyone else read any of the series I mentioned?  I have no one to talk to about these things!


  1. Sookie! Yes! I flew through those books, they're so damn addicting! I got so upset when I got to the most recent book, so I kept reading other books before finishing it to drag out the series. I can't wait for the next book. I also borrowed the first two seasons of True Blood from the library - the books are better, but I like the tv series.

    Do you have a specific guy that you prefer with Sookie? I was surprised that I didn't want her with anyone specific, really just whoever she's with in any given book. I do really like Eric though, I will say that.

  2. Try the Kate Daniels novels by Ilona Andrews, a husband/wife writing duo. LOVE THEM. Last summer I had to put off studying for the Texas bar to read the newest one. Next one is due in May!

  3. Did you ever read the Anita Blake vampire series? They start out very tame with the first few books and by the end of the series they are downright pornographic. However they are interesting with vampires, wereanimals, magic powers, etc. I finally quit reading them and didn't read the last 2 because she seemed to lose the characters and just be about the s*e*x but they might be worth checking out. By the way, I agree with you. Eric totally needs to end up with Sookie.

  4. A friend of mine from college WROTE a paranormal romance novel! You should read it! She's working on a sequel now.

  5. My bookstore has a paranormal romance shelf, I should look into it! I have been enjoying the Outlander series since you recommended them. I'm a lawyer on maternity leave and I swear, that series has really helped me relax and cherish this time. Have you read Jacqueline Carey, the Kushiel's Dart series? There's lots of sex that is kind of kinky, but also a very sweet underlying romance. It is set in a fantasy version of renaissance Europe, and decently written.

    Thanks again for this series of posts!

  6. Try Nina Bangs's Gods of the Night series. She has several series, I think. I have been reading one recently where there are a group of guys that remind me of the Black Dagger group, but they are / turn into dinosaurs. It is weird, but check them out. Also, I love some of the funnier paranormal books, like Kerrelyn Sparks. Vampires with a separate civilization, their own tv network, etc. Also try the Argeneau Vampire series by Lynsay Sands. They are a large vampire family, and the books are great. Also, try Katie MacAlister, she has a series about men who are also dragons, Silver Dragons series, and a pretty funny vampire series as well, The Dark Ones series. Also she has a series that ties in with the Dragons, called Aisling Grey series, probably start with You Slay Me. Also you should look into Yasmine Galenorn's Sisters of the Moon series. It is very good, and there are 9 books in that series as of now. Maybe you can find some you like from some of those. Good Luck. (I could not post under my name, so I went Anon.)

  7. Thanks for the recs Anon! But now I'm totally curious who you are! I confesssed openly, this is a safe space ;) (or email me, did you read the BDB series? I did end up downloading the new one last night and hope to not bring work home tonight so I can read it)

  8. Chris in Chicago3/29/11, 12:36 PM

    Do a search on Kindle/Amazon for "Anita Blake". There are a TON of books in the series (be sure to start at the beginning) and it gets more interesting as the books move forward. Also, naughtier. ;)

  9. I am not a romance reader but most of my close friends are and they are constantly trying to include me. While I can't say I'm a convert, the Dark Hunter series is one that was really interesting to me and I have to say that I read them all and they are like a dozen. They are def in the paranormal love story category and are about vampire like creatures and the women who fall in love with them. You should pick them up.

  10. I got so excited when I saw this post! I haven't read much paranormal romance. Just Sookie and Twilight. I might have to check out some of the recommendations. Since your last post I've read Elizabeth Hoyt's four soldier series, The Raven Prince, and Wicked Intentions. I have the Leopard Prince but haven't gotten there yet. I've also read the 1st 3 Bridgerton novels and am waiting for #4. I have really enjoyed them all. My mom has been reading all of them too! Since we started and enjoyed the Bridgertons, my mom said... you have to read about The Malory's. I don't remember if you mentioned them but Johanna Lindsey has a series about a family. The first one is Love Only Once. AND, you NEED to read Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught! YAY RRA!!!

  11. This is Anon. I am sorry, that came out a lot more mysterious than I meant it to. For some reason, the page would not let me post under my actual name, which is Kelly, btw. So I posted under Anon, and it worked fine. I don't have an URL, and maybe that is why it would not let me post. I have read the BDB series, and am waiting for the newest book, impatiently. I would just go and buy it, but my mom lives out of town, and we share a lot of books, and she wants to read it first. I will have to wait until I see her next month to get the book, unless I get lucky at the library. It has happened once or twice, I can slip in and snag a new one, if I get there as early as possible on Saturday, and am waiting when they open the doors. Unfortunately, my mom just came up this past weekend, but left before the book came out on Tuesday. We hit two large used bookstores, and one new bookstore, and probably spent around 350.00 on books, not counting the used ones we turned in for credit. As you can tell, we are big into the books. I have a 4 bedroom house, and one of the rooms is a dedicated library, one of the guest rooms has bookshelves, and the bed is covered, really covered in books, and the living room has three bookshelves as well. I am currently ignoring the piles of books that have begun to creep up in the corners. Everytime I go to thin out, I end up keeping things that I am not in the mood to read right now, but maybe, might feel like reading in the future. I have looked into a Kindle, but since my Mom is technologically challenged, and we do share so many favorite authors, I would not feel right about getting one, and she would not be able to read the stuff I download. I even offered to get her one, but she refused. So currently we just lug bags and bags of books back and forth 120 miles at a time. I hope you enjoy the newest BDB. Kelly

    P.S. I remembered someone else I was going to mention to you. Jane Ann Krentz writes a series of historical romances with a Paranormal setting. The name of the Series is the Arcane Society. I can't remember if you ever mentioned her before, but I really like these, and they seem to combine both of the genres you enjoy.