March went out like a lamb in this part of the country. February is going out here at Ebook Review Central. This is the four-in-one post, featuring titles from all of the Amber Quill houses, Astraea Press, Liquid Silver Books and last but definitely not least this month, Riptide Publishing for the month of February 2012.
Before we get to the featured books, let’s talk about the publishers for just a second, because we have more than one. This issue is always different, because the featured titles can move around from publisher to publisher, depending on who has the “hottest” titles in any given month.
But there are definitely some trends.
Astraea Press hired a review coordinator a few months ago. Opal Campbell is doing a bang-up job. Every Astraea Press title gets reviewed.
Amber Quill is…not doing as well. Or they are and they aren’t. Amber Quill is an umbrella name for three houses, Amber Quill for more general fiction, Amber Heat for erotic m/f fiction, and Amber Allure for m/m fiction. The titles they publish from Amber Allure always get reviewed. The Amber Quill and Amber Heat, not so much. This month, the Amber Heat titles, not at all. Whoever or however they do it on the Amber Allure side of the house, please replicate it on the Amber Heat side! It’s not good to see this many books from one publisher with no reviews.
But Riptide Publishing seems to be doing everything right. I have yet to see one of their titles not get reviewed. In at least four places and usually more! Also, from the perspective of the person researching Ebook Review Central every week, Riptide’s website is an absolute gem. Not just because they have a complete entry for every book with all the data readily available in one place, but also because they track the reviews! (I always find a few more, but it is so helpful to have a starting point.)
Riptide published three titles in February 2012. Those three titles each received at least twice as many reviews as the next nearest competitor. Not only did they get the most reviews, they were all pretty darn good ones, too.
Featured title number one for this all-Riptide issue is Dark Soul Vol. 4 by Aleksandr Voinov. This is a collection of three shorter works, Dark Rival I, Dark Rival II and Dark Temptation. These stories involve Silvio, Stefano, the Russian mafia, and whether a man involved in a crime family can afford to be himself without hurting the ones he loves the most. This series has been described as obsessive, dangerous, compelling and delicious. Repeatedly. Notice that this is volume 4 and plan your reading binge accordingly.
The second entry on the Riptide hit parade is The Heart’s Greater Silence by Anne Brooke. This is not a story with an HEA, or even a Happy for Now. Mark loves Craig, but he’s having sexual affair with Richard. Richard is a minister, and is married to his vocation, but he’s having his sexual needs attended to by Mark. When Craig is confronted by Mark’s betrayal, Mark’s world falls apart. This is a moving story about someone who throws away his chance at a happy ending.
But the third featured title in this all-Riptide ERC does end this issue on a much lighter note. Few Are Chosen by Storm Grant is an Urban Fantasy, but this story is one that every single reviewer said they laughed through. Any story about virgin teenage demon hunters who squabble over tighty-whities not being proper super-hero undies and which of them is more the “Chosen One” than the other has a leg up on funny. The reviewers say that the story pokes some gentle fun at Buffy, but with one of the boys wearing a black leather duster, it sounds like my favorite Chicago wizard, Harry Dresden, has some fun thrown his way as well. Harry’s a big wizard, he can take it. (Few Are Chosen sounds like one I’d like to read!)
I never know which titles will be featured until I finish searching for all the reviews. To have all the featured titles in this issue be from the same publisher was a surprise until the very end.