Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, Book 1) by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, Book 1)
  • Title: First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, Book 1) 
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Mystery/Paranormal Romance
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (July 5, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0312577427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312577421
  • Notes: Hardcover version was released February 1, 2011
Charley Davidson is not your typical private investigator. She's not your average person. In fact, there isn't much that is normal about Charley Davidson because she's not just human she's also the Grim Reaper incarnate. What you've heard about the Grim Reaper is totally wrong. She does NOT carry a big sickle and wear a dark cloak. She looks like everyone else except to those who've passed on from this life. To them she appears to have bright light coming from her. She is the portal to heaven, and she sees dead people. 

Not everyone is willing to take the trip to the "other" side and so they linger in this world. At times it works out rather nicely, she and the recently or not so recently, as the case may be, deceased can benefit from a collaboration. They help her solve the unsolvable cases, and she helps them resolve something that was left undone. You see Charlie has been helping to solve murders since she was 5. She comes from a family of cops. Convincing people of her abilities can at times be frustrating, but there's no denying her perfect track record.

In this book three lawyers from one law firm have been murdered and one of them has come to her for help.  She'll attempt to find their killer. She'll also attempt to figure out who the entity is who's been invading her dreams for the past month. Not that she's complaining. A dream lover, after all, is something every gal should have. *Smirk*

I truly enjoyed this book. It was witty and fun with a little bit of snarky attitude mixed in. I found myself grinning a lot and enjoying the ride that Ms. Jones so kindly provided for her readers. Hey, don't just take my word for it JR Ward called this one a "must read!" and Kresley Cole said she's "eagerly awaiting the next Charley Davidson tale". Ms. Cole is not the only one. I gave this one a 5 out of 5 roses. Oh, I forgot to mention the chemistry between Charlie and her dream lover was hot. Where do I get one? lol

One last thing, the book derives it's name from this part of the book:
"So, what now?" Barber asked.
I looked at him almost sadly. "Now you cross."
Elizabeth turned, stepped toward him. "Well if you ever get by that way, I'm in the first grave on the right of that new addition."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One (Random House Movie Tie-In Books)
  • Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback, 720 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (March 22, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0553386794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553386790
  • Notes: This book contains rape and violence to men, women, children, and animals alike. This is not a book for the faint of heart. There are some gory scenes. There are also incidents of incest. Additionally, there is language used which some may take offense of, but, in my humble opinion, is totally fitting with the book.  

"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

Oh, how profound and wise those words are. The iron throne has been ruled the past 14 or so years by King Robert Baratheon. The throne became his when he and his men defeated and killed King Targaryen and his royal line, thereby gaining the crown. Only the two youngest Targaryens escaped. While summer has been long, lasting years, winter is coming. But the winter in this land brings not only cold, but something more sinister. No one is safe. Tragedy can strike anyone, and there is no where to hide. Yes, the phrase 'Winter is coming' means more than just a warning of inclement weather. It is a warning to be prepared and alert, for dark forces are at work and the games are just about to begin.

Oh. My. Gah! This is an awesome book. I, for one, could not help becoming attached to the characters. My favorites are Daenerys, Jon Snow, and Tyrion (aka the Imp). Hmmm... Does this mean I have apathy for the underdogs? Maybe. In a story likened to a game of chess, strategy is everything. Make the wrong move or alliances and it could get you killed. With more players than just two perhaps it would be better to say it's a combination of Chess, Chinese Checkers, and Craps. At times Mr. Martin talked of a character rolling the dice and taking a chance. As none of us ever truly knows the outcome of things, life is a game of chance. Plenty of twists, turns, and questions to be encountered in this book. I would say this is like King Arthur's court meets Dynasty (the 80's evening soap opera) and Night of the Living Dead. Oh yeah, zombie like beings are in this one. Plus, more fantastical creatures are yet to come. This is Fantasy at it's finest. I'd end this review by saying winter is coming, but I fear winter has already arrived by the end of the book. I gave it 5 out of 5 roses. Oh, and if you see some crazy woman going around saying, 'Winter is coming' in the middle of the summer heat, it's probably me or one of my Goodreads friends. ;)

Looking for someone to read the series with? Check out my Goodreads group, of which I'm one of the moderators. We voted A Song of Ice and Fire as our current group series read. We just finished the first book, A Game of Thrones, but it was read in a way that anyone can join in and not encounter any spoilers if you don't want to. We read 4 chapters a day and revealed both our thoughts and our suspicions. The first three posts of the topic contain each day's questions, a break down of the chapters (they weren't numbered), and who was assigned to which questions. Plus, if you've been watching the HBO series of the same name, I've been told the first book and TV version seem to be in agreement for the most part. So feel free to join in with us starting with the second book, which we will probably be starting July 5th. The more the merrier is what I always say. Hope you'll join us. Here is a link to the discussion in my group, Nothing but Reading Challenges:

Order of series:

1. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
2. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)
3. A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)
4. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire,  #4)
5. A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) coming July 12, 2011


Get the boxed set of the first four books of the series to save a few bucks or preorder Season One of the HBO series on DVD or Blu-ray. If you click on the DVD or Blu-ray link below you'll be transferred to Amazon:

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Invincible (The Chronicles of Nick #2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Invincible: The Chronicles of Nick
  • Title: Invincible: The Chronicles of Nick
  • Classification: Young Adult
  • Genre: Paranormal
  • Format:  Hardcover, 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (March 22, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 9780312599065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312599065
  • ASIN: 0312599064 

"Your destiny is shaped by choice, never by chance. Beware the decisions you make, no matter how small, for they will be your salvation.... Or your death."

What would you do to have that one thing you've always dreamed of happen? What price would you be willing to pay? How far would you be willing to go? What would you give to be Invincible? 

This book starts up where Infinity stopped. With Nick realizing Kyrian is a vampire. Well, technically a Dark-Hunter. In Kyrians words, Dark-Hunters are "Immortal warriors who sold our souls to  the goddess Artemis. For her, we fight and protect humanity from whatever stalks the night, trying to prey on them. For the most part, that means we track  and slay Daimons."  Daimons, according to Kyrian, are "vampires who live on human souls. Instead of blood, they take your soul into their body, and once it's there, it starts to wither and die. We have to kill the Daimon before the soul is completely used up."
Someone or something is killing fourteen year old boys. Nick finds himself being blackmailed into stealing things for the new football coach. The two things look like they may be related. Nick will need to do some fancy foot work to keep himself alive and put an end to the violence. He will also learn more of his destiny and we, as readers, will learn that the events that take place in this series might effect the outcome of Nick's future.

The initial book of the series, Infinity, states that the series is the way Nick's life should have been. I originally found myself wondering if that meant the events unfolding in this series are a new altered version of Nick's life or just the way he wished it would have been? Now I'm leaning towards him actually having his future altered.  It will be interesting to see if Kenyon will have her two series come together in a future book. It'd be fun to see what, if any, lives or events would be altered by this. Let me just state now that if Kenyon makes this a dream sequence I'll be very disappointed. For those of you who love the Dark-Hunters, it should be noted that while this series takes place within the world of the Dark-Hunters, neither of the first two books really dwells on the Dark-Hunters themselves. They make Cameos, but they appear to be secondary characters and the creatures that Nick has dealt with thus far are new.  

If you're a Dark-Hunter fan, the following statement made by Nick will hold some significance for you. Why do I doubt Nick will listen to his own advice?

"So you're saying that if you were Ahab, You'd let it go and move on with your life? Even if it was the person you loved most on this earth who was killed and you were left with a lingering deformity from it?"
 "Absolutely. Crap happens to everyone. Put on your big-boy pants and deal. You got to let it go and move on."
    I for one would love to see this series alter the events of the future. Kenyon may be crazy or devious. She's probably a little of both - crazy like a cunning fox and dastardly devious in a way only a masterful story teller can be. I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Early Review of The Taming of the Rake (Blackthorn Brothers, #1) by Kasey Michaels

      The Taming of the Rake (Hqn)
    • Title: The Taming of the Rake 
    • Classification: Adult Fiction
    • Genre: Historical Romance
    • Format: Paperback, 384 pages
    • Publisher: HQN Books; Original edition (July 26, 2011)
    • ISBN-10: 0373775911
    • ISBN-13: 978-0373775910

    Oliver Le Beau Blackthorne fell in love seven years ago. The object of his affection was Lady Madelyn Mills-Beckman. After working up the nerve to inquire if she'd be open to his asking her father for her hand, she struck him down rather crushingly.

    "You're a joke, Beau Blackthorn, a laughingstock to everyone in Mayfair, and you're the only one who doesn't know it. As if I or any female of decency in the ton would deign to align herself with a-a bastard like you."

     Additionally, her brother saw his inquiry as a slight to the family and beat him with a horsewhip. From that day on he vowed to never make a fool of himself again by falling in love. He also vowed to one day have his revenge. He never dreamed, however, that the perfect revenge would come in quite so lovely a package, or that it'd fall right into his lap.

    Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman had had enough of her numskull brother. His plan to marry her off to Reverend Francis Flotley was the last straw. Reverend Flotley thought "a woman's role is to obey, and her greatest gift her compliance with the superior wisdom of men. Let her gently be led in her inferior intellect, like the sheep in the field..."

    Chelsea was no fool and she definitely was not fooled by the likes of the Reverend Francis Flotley. If he truly was a Reverend, which she highly doubted. With limited options, she decided the situation called for drastic measures, and she knew just the method to use....

    I truly loved watching the relationship between Chelsea and Oliver grow from a mutual attraction into something beautiful. The main characters were lovable, and we got introduced to all three of the Blackthorn brothers. I enjoyed the fact the brothers were named by their mother after characters in Shakespearean plays. Oliver Le Beau was named for a character from 'As You Like It', Don John (aka Jack) was named after a character in 'Much ado About Nothing', and, Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck) is named for a character from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Our meeting of Jack, the middle brother, was rather brief and seemed like it was just thrown in to introduce him, but as this is part of a trilogy, I suspect we will later learn more of what was truly going on. I gave this book a rating of 4 out of 5 roses. I look forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy. 

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Early Review of By His Majesty's Grace (The Three Graces, #1) by Jennifer Blake

    By His Majesty's Grace (The Three Graces)
    • Title: By His Majesty's Grace (The Three Graces, #1 ) by Jennifer Blake
    • Classification: Adult Fiction
    • Genre: Historical Romance
    • Format: Paperback, 384 pages
    • Publisher: Mira (July 26, 2011)
    • ISBN-10: 0778312437
    • ISBN-13: 978-0778312437

    Lady Isabella Milton is one of The Three Graces. Any man who seeks to marry her or one of her two sisters risks his life if he doesn't first love the one he weds, or so the rumor goes. Isabella has just been betrothed to Randall Braesford. She's not happy, for she knows not who the man is and has been trying to avoid a match for years. After several of her former fiances died before she could wed them, she successfully spread the rumor that she and her sisters were cursed. The King, however, has decreed she will marry Randall Braesford (Rand) and her luck may have just run out. Rand is a healthy knight who has proven himself in battle. Something as silly as a curse isn't going to scare him away, but will he live to see yet another day? Something or someone seems to be trying to make sure that he doesn't.

    Jennifer spins a fine tale set in the late 1400's. The plot is fun. The characters are likeable. The love scenes are steamy and hot. Her main character Rand? Well, he's delightfully delicious. He set my heart a flutter. There is jealousy, deceit, a plot to dethrone a King, murder, and of course the curse all set in the trappings of a medieval time period. If you're looking for a romance with a little meat to the story, you may just want to pick up this one.

    I love that at the end of the book Jennifer lets the reader know what parts of the story are based on fact and what parts she embellished. If I can read a romance and learn a little something about history, I feel I got a little extra something out of it. I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I will definitely read the next two books in the series.

    Here is the book trailer for The Three Graces series by Jennifer Blake:

    Upcoming releases from the series:

    1) By Grace Possessed (The Three Graces, #2)  Coming August 30, 2011
    2) Seduced by Grace (The Three Graces, #3)  Coming September 27, 2011

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Most Anticipated New Releases of July

    In case you've been wondering how I come up with my most anticipated list of books each month, I create them based on a combination of things. First, I try to find authors that I know are popular and attempt to add in those I've heard are good by word of mouth. If I have read books by an author and liked them a lot I tend to include them in the mix as well. Sometimes I have a feeling a book will be popular and I'll throw it on to the list as well. If you find any of the books listed below of interest, click on the title. It contains a link to its description on Amazon. Oh, and occasionally I'll miss a book or two and add them to the list later. My motto is never enough books and never enough time to read them. :)  Happy reading!

    July 5 - Betrayal of Trust (J. P. Beaumont Series, #20) by J. A. Jance
    July 5 - Give Me a Texas Outlaw by
    Grave Dance (Alex Craft, #2) by Kalayna Price
    July 5 - Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy by (Anthology with stories by Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Melissa Marr, Holly Black and more)
    July 5 - No Rest for the Dead by
    July 5 - Overbite by
    Conspiracies (Shadow Grail #2) by
    The Silent Girl (Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles, #9) by  
    July 5 - Twisted (Pretty Little Liars, #9)  by
    July 5 - Undead and Undermined (Undead #10) by

    A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) by
    July 12 - Dragon's Oath by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
    July 12 - Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) by by
    July 12 - Quinn by
    July 12 - The Secret Mistress by
    July 12 - Then Came You by 

    July 19 - Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons
    July 19 - Happy Birthday: A Novel by
    Justice by Karen Robards
    July 19 - Portrait Of A Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11) by
    July 19 - Notorious (Scandalous Women of the Ton, #4) by 
    July 19 - Rebirth (Aftertime, #2) by
    July 19 - Seduced by Her Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan, #2) by
    July 19 - Spider Bones (Temperance Brennan, #13) by
    July 19 - Split Second by

    By His Majesty's Grace by
    Confessions of an Improper Bride by
    July 26 - Full Black by
    July 26 - Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13) by
    July 26 -   by
    July 26 - Merciless by
    Only Mine (Fool's Gold Series #4) by
    July 26 - Spell Bound (Women of the Otherworld, #12) by Kelley Armstrong
    July 26 - Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2) by
    July 26 - The Taming of the Rake by
    Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1) by
    Where Demons Fear to Tread by 
    July 26 - Wolfsbane (Nightshade, #2) by Andrea Cremer
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