Tuesday, August 21, 2012

RRA Meeting 4

I need to do these more often- I started this partial list of books I've read since the last post, but that was nearly a year ago and the list is waaaay too long. So here's the highlights of books I loved, liked, or at least don't regret the time and sleepless night I probably gave them.

Last week's blogging silence was brought to you by my latest discovery, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Its 600 pages dominated two very late nights in bed, squinting at the words on my kindle so JP wouldn't wake up and realize I was still reading (not that he can ground me like my parents used to do when I was little and reading past my bedtime, but he can tell me to zip it when I whine about how tired I am the next morning), and it ends in an cliff-hanger that forces you to download the second book, Shadow of Night, and start reading immediately. The books don't care that it's 1 am. Download and read! I'll admit the books desperately needed a harsher editor, but the story is fun and I can't wait for book 3 (always the sign of a series worth reading).

Other books I've enjoyed recently (some with links (none of them sponsored) until I got tired of looking them up):

The Scottish Prisoner, Diana Gabaldon's latest contribution to her Outlander world. This one actually belongs to the Lord John series, but Jamie plays a large role (non-spoiler alert- he's the Scottish Prisoner) and it fills in many of his missing years between Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. The next Outlander book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, promises to be out sometime in 2013, so this helped tide me over. (Bonus tip, if you "like" Diana on Facebook you get excerpts from the next book every few days, and The Scottish Prisoner includes the first few chapters of the next book at the end).

One of my other favorite series, Lords of Deliverance by Larissa Ione, had two new volumes- #2, Immortal Rider, and #3, Lethal Rider. I love Larissa Ione's world and think her Demonica series is one of the best, but I think I like this spin-off series even more than the original. The fourth and final book comes out in November and the date is marked on all of my calendars.

My other, OTHER favorite series- Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole- also had some new releases: Warlord Wants Forever (prequel; original book 1 that used to be sold in a compilation with other authors) and Lothaire (new book 9? 10? I forget). Lothaire was great- this is such a fun series, I re-read the others all the time.

I found the Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars series on a list of Top 100 Romance Novels (the first book was somewhere in the top 20) and found it to be lots of fun, even if it did involve football and some plot line repetition: It Had To Be You, Heaven, Texas, Nobody's Baby But Mine, Dream a Little Dream, This Heart of Mine, Natural Born Charmer. It's hard to say which were my favorites- probably Heart of Mine and Natural Born Charmer but they were all worth the time spent reading on the couch on the weekends during the kids naptime when I was supposed to be doing other, more-productive things.

Also on that Top 100 list was Naked in Death by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts. I liked it way more than I expected given that it's a crime/mystery novel and takes place in the future. I read the next two, Glory in Death and Immortal in Death and really enjoyed them, and then found out the series is 30 books long and vowed not to buy any more until I find a library.

Others, in no particular order:

  • Lover Reborn (JR Ward)- the latest in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  I still love the series, even if the tough guy vocab occasionally makes me roll my eyes, and I thought this book was way better than the last one (Lover Unleashed).  Now I wait with baited breath for the next one which promises to be Blay and Qhuinn's book.  
  • The Witness (Nora Roberts).  I downloaded this 10 seconds before my plane back from DC took off a few months ago and was surprised how much I liked it.  I recommended it to my mom and she loved it too.  A different, modern, thriller-light type book for me.
  • The Salt Bride (Lucinda Brant)- a Georgian historical romance and an  an unusually good free download on your kindle.
  • Lord of Illusion (Kathryne Kennedy)- the latest and last book in the Elven Lords series, which might be in my top 10 (def. top 15) favorite series ever.  The books are pretty cheap downloads and I love the different take on the regency romance genre.
  • Dreaming of You, Then Came You (Lisa Kleypas)- excellent regency romances.  Less romance, more plot, great characters.
  • Jinxed, Charmed, Seduced (Beth Ciotta) - three books (not yet sure if it's a trilogy or if she's writing more with the same characters) that were lots of fun.  Modern, sexy, better dialogue than most- I've re-read these several times, though the heroine in #2 annoys me.
  • Vision in White, Bed of Roses, Savor the Moment (Nora Roberts) - one of her most recent series, I thought it was pretty flat.  I still read them all and will probably download the 4th when it drops in price, but these pale (pale) in comparison to her Sisters of the Heart or Circle trilogies.

I also re-read the Hunger Games last weekend and found they were even better, particularly the first one. I didn't properly appreciate it the first time. A friend just recommended that I read Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Pandemonium, and another friend recommended the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Any other fun, suspend-reality type books (preferably series) you've discovered lately?


  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn -- it starts out as a mystery, but quickly turns into a psychological thriller. Be warned, once you hit about halfway through, you will not be able to put it down. At one point, I was walking around the house while reading and at another point, I had to have a serious convo with my kids about mysteries and why mama couldn't put her book down right then and why they would need to forage for some yogurt on their own for just a few minutes. SO GOOD.

  2. Oh, my goodness! I can't wait to start sharing some of my authors with you when their books start coming out! I think you'll really love some of them!

    (Whoa! That's a lot of exclamation points for me. Time to tone down the caffeine.) ;)

  3. Just discovered Ilona Andrews (husband wife writing team) urban fantasy/mystery (apparently eventually romance) novels http://www.ilona-andrews.com/books Specifically the Kate Daniels series starting with Magic Bites, but there's already a spin off series too.

  4. I need to officially join the RRA. Not gonna lie, I started with the horrible 50 Shades trilogy and then moved on from there. I need to go back and re-read your other RRA posts so I don't add something you've already heard about, but I just finished Crow's Row. It was a bit rough to start, but I was totally hooked in by the end and immediately went searching for a sequel (which is still in the works)!

  5. Divergent and Delirium are good……try Unwind

  6. Yay! Another RRA post. I'm going to check out the Eleven Lords series. Thanks for that tip! The In Death series can become tedious at around book 20, the same-ole formula gets annoying. But, those books are certainly fun. And Roarke? **swoon**
    Okay, since you are liking the supernatural books of late - you MUST MUST MUST read Karen Marie Moning's Fever books. Dark Fever, Bloodfever, Fae Fever, Dreamfever, Shadowfever. It's basically one long story broken into 5 books, 5 very addictive, very frustrating, very sexy, very good books!
    Karen Marie Moning has a Highlander series you might enjoy as well.
    Happy Reading! Keep the RRA posts coming, please!

  7. I gave into fifty shades... And was pleasantly surprised.

  8. I'm currently reading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, about Scottish detective Jackson Brodie. BBC made it into a TV show, which was good, but the books are better. I think there's 4 books total, not sure.

    Fifty Shades is definitely worth the read, just so you can join in bitching about how terrible the writing is. It's quite possibly the worst book ever written, and makes Twilight seem Pulitzer-worthy. I'm so glad I read it.

    I actually want to read the Percy Jackson books, I just saw the movie and it was super cute. Is it normal I want to read books marketed to middle schoolers? Sigh.

    1. I have not yet indulged in 50 Shades. I read an excerpt of the first two chapters and was intrigued, and then I read a later excerpt and discovered the "inner goddess" and threw up a little in my mouth. If I can get the bad taste out, I'll give in. (Or if someone will loan it to me...). Until then, I'm going to check out your Case Histories and some of the other books people have suggested.

      Did I never blog about Percy Jackson? I loved them!! I loved mythology in school and the books are 100x better than the movie (though the movie was cute). It's a fabulous YA series and I think any adult would enjoy it too.

  9. If you can get past the bad writing of 50 Shades it is a fun, quick read. But, have low expectations. The author apparently learned the words salacious and sardonic just before beginning the novel... they are used constantly. But the character development is kind of interesting.

  10. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE JD Robb!!! The In Death series is amazing!