Month: January 2016

Lover Unbound, by J.R. Ward


Another smoking hot PNR from Ward, this time with a little B&D thrown in for spice. Our hero is tall, dark and tormented, and our heroine is smart and savvy. It’s a strong relationship, even though the road to romance is rocky and paved with potholes. As ever in this series, the story is far from a typical romance, but involves deep thoughtful characterizations of the folks surrounding our couple, as well as many sideline plots that may or may not be resolved in future novels. A great, and compulsive read.


Dead to the World, by Charlaine Harris


I read the first half-dozen of this series several years ago, and remembered liking this one best, but it didn’t hold up in rereading. I remember really loving Eric and Sookie’s relationship, but after reading the new paranormal series, like Immortals After Dark and Black Dagger Brotherhood, Harris’ writing doesn’t seem as sexy or as compelling. Overall, a lot like eating cotton candy. Empty calories.

Lover Revealed, by J.R. Ward


Another terrific read that pulls you into this compulsively readable series. Ex-cop Butch O’Neal has fallen hard for a vampire female, but their worlds are too far apart for that to ever make sense in his mind. And in the mean time, the vampire warriors’ mortal enemies, the Lessers, are still recruiting and causing trouble, and young John is still mourning the loss of his surrogate father. A real genre-bender that encompasses paranormal romance, action/adventure, and substantial, thoughtful character growth. Great writing.

Lover Awakened, by J.R. Ward


This is a genuinely remarkable story, particularly for a paranormal romance. Characters include a hero who is not broken but ruined by decades of slavery and sexual abuse and the woman who loves him anyway, the human who finds friendship with the toughest vampires ever, the mute young man who finds a family for the first time, the sworn enemy of vampires who falls in love with one, and the twin with survivor’s guilt, desperate to help a brother who is beyond help. Adult-only sex and violence, but a really great read.

Lover Eternal, by J.R. Ward


The second in Ward’s series about a vampire brotherhood, this novel explores the mutual attraction between one of the brotherhood and (gasp!) a human. But this vampire has baggage of his own – he turns into a raging beast under pressure. And to Ward’s great credit, his human love is not a hot young thing, but an average-looking 30something, worried about a return bout with cancer. Freed from a need for exposition, Ward’s writing can now encompass multiple subplots, some of which have their own romantic trials, and some of which feature the Brotherhood’s mortal enemies, the Lesser. A page-turner.

General Winston’s Daughter, by Sharon Shinn


Another excellent book from Sharon Shinn. Our heroine, Averie, has come to a foreign land to be with her fiance and her father, who are both soldiers in an occupying force. In her naivete, Averie has never given a thought to what it might mean to the people of the country to be colonized by an occupying force, and as her mind is awakened, she can’t go back to her self-satisfied ways. An exceptional story that goes unexpected places. Wonderful. For 16 and up.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass, by Jim Butcher


What a joy to finish all 600-plus pages of Jim Butcher’s fantastic new book. It is non-stop steampunk action, from dogfights in the sky to fighting monsters miles above the ground to super-scary villains that are feared by their foes and allies alike. It has heroes and heroines to root for, including a brilliant yet disgraced airship captain, an imperious young woman, a highborn young man desperate to hide the beast inside him, a farm girl, and a self-satisfied cat. I hope Butcher will follow with a sequel – I can’t wait to read it. Highly recommended. And unlike Butcher’s Dresden novels, which are for adults, I’d recommend this for 16 and up.

The Drafter, by Kim Harrison


Harrison’s leap from urban fantasy into sci-fi is just terrific. It is 2030 and our heroine, Peri Reed, works for a secret government agency as a drafter, someone who can turn time back and redo the preceding seconds but at the cost of forgetting time, either minutes or weeks. Since the tale’s POV is Peri’s this leads to a twisting tale in which Peri learns critical information but she may or may not remember it moments later. It’s a great read, one that will keep you up late turning pages as fast as you can. For 18 and up.