Review: Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

otherwise engaged by amanda quickFormat read: hardcover borrowed from the Library
Formats available: ebook, hardcover, paperback, audiobook
Genre: Historical romance
Length: 345 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Date Released: April 22, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands.

But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home …

One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her … for now.

But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be.

For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from…

My Review:

I was vaguely disappointed that Otherwise Engaged is not part of The Ladies of Lantern Street series. I kept expecting the Arcane Society to make an appearance, but alas, it was not to be.

The lack of a supernatural element does not mean that Otherwise Engaged is lacking in suspense! We have a serial killer, an extensive cover up, madness the like of Sweeney Todd or Jack the Ripper, and a fake engagement between an intrepid globetrotter and a rookie spy.

What more could a reader ask for?

Amity Doncaster is the woman I think we’d all like to have been in the late 1800s. She is an absolutely fearless world traveler, visiting exotic places all over the globe as a completely independent woman. She supports herself by writing travel articles for the London newspapers, and the public breathlessly awaits her next adventure.

Then she meets Benedict Stanbridge in the Caribbean. She’s taking in the sights of a small island town during a cruise, and he’s bleeding to death in an alley. Not the most salubrious meeting in romantic history.

She rescues him. Not just by helping him get on board ship, but by doctoring his wounds and nursing him back to health. She saves his life. In return, there’s one kiss and his immediate transit to California as soon as they dock in New York.

She never expects to see him again, although she has hopes. Neither of which stand her in good stead when she returns to London and rumors start circulating that all the time she spent in his cabin was more intimate and less innocent than it truly was.

Those rumors make her the quarry of a serial killer who targets women in society circles who have supposedly given up their virtue. He may be mad as a hatter, but it is unfortunately an organized madness. The Bridegroom killer nearly makes Amity his next victim, but she outsmarts him with a concealed blade.

And into the midst of the ensuing drama and scandal, Benedict Stanbridge rushes back into Amity’s life. While his initial desire is to begin where they left off in New York, he believes that he needs to rescue her from the possibility of another attack. She won’t sit idly by while he does all the work; but she will let him assist in her investigation.

To divert the scandal, they agree to a fake engagement, but one that they both secretly hope will become real. It takes Benedict quite a lot of convincing, and several near-death experiences, to convince Amity that it is her that he really wants, for love and not just to protect her.

Escape Rating B+: The fake engagement trope, when it works, is one of my favorites. Two people who are supposed to be in love discover that they actually are. As a concept, the fake engagement works better in historicals than contemporaries, because it feels like there are more logical reasons to fake an engagement. The threat of scandal just isn’t what it used to be.

Amity and Benedict are terrific as the couple who can’t believe that anyone would love them. Amity is practical, sensible and off-the shelf. She’s also been the victim of a scandal, having once had a fiancee who was only interested in using her, then left her at the altar, starting her on her globetrotting adventures. She ran away from the scandal by seeing the world. She also believes herself to be terribly plain, and Benedict much too handsome for her own good.

Benedict is an engineer. He’s sure he’s much too boring for an adventurous woman like Amity. He also suffered from a broken engagement, with a woman who was only interested in him for his money and family connections, but found the man himself terribly boring. (She was a very stupid woman).

Forcing them together for the sake of investigating the Bridegroom Killer makes them get past the superficialities, and also binds them together through the shared experience of danger. Amity finds Benedict anything but boring–he’s a brilliant engineer and an amateur spy!

They need each other for balance, and they fall in love with the real person they are able to trust to guard their back, because they spend their fake engagement under threat from all sides. Falling in love is inevitable, but they are each the last person to see it.

The combination of the hunt for the serial killer with the search for the foreign agent involved in industrial espionage kept the suspense and danger ratcheted up for the entire story. Otherwise Engaged is breathtakingly fun!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Review: River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz

river road by Jayne ann krentzFormat read: print ARC provided by the publisher
Formats available: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Romantic suspense
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Putnam
Date Released: January 7, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.

Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.

A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .

My Review:

I enjoyed reading River Road so much that it was surprisingly difficult to crystallize my thoughts into a review!

One utterly marvelous thing is that this is a stand-alone story, and sometimes those feel rare. As well as this one weaves past and present, it is complete within the very tight confines of itself; we have the beginning, middle and end wrapped up. No cliffhanger, no next book, no loose ends.

And this was definitely one of those “I couldn’t put it down” sort of suspense stories. Every element in both the past and the present mattered, and both the revelations about the past and the attacks in the present kept on coming. The suspense drove the story to the point where I couldn’t turn pages fast enough.

But there’s still a love story that takes its time to develop in the present. One of the things that makes that love story “sing” is that it is also a second chance at love story. In the case of the past influencing the present, in the “way back”, he was her first crush, but as adults, that three-year age gap is immaterial.

There are two stories in River Road. One is about the past haunting the present. Thirteen years ago Lucy Sheridan’s Aunt Sara murdered Tristan Brinker and bricked his body up inside her fireplace. After Sara’s death, Lucy and Mason Fletcher re-open Sara’s terrible “do-it-yourself” job on that fireplace and discover Tristan’s body; along with evidence indicating that the young man was the “Scorecard Rapist” who police had been unable to capture thirteen years ago.

On the long ago night that opens the story, when Mason Fletcher rescues Lucy from one of Tristan’s famous beach parties at Summer River, Lucy had been Tristan’s next intended victim. Instead, Mason gets Lucy out of the party, Sara gets Lucy out of town, and Sara puts Tristan out of everyone’s misery.

Thirteen years later, Sara and her domestic partner Mary are killed in a car accident on a lonely road, and after the body is discovered in the fireplace, Lucy suddenly isn’t so certain that the “accident” was accidental; especially after an arsonist dies while setting her aunt’s house ablaze and she discovers that she has inherited either money or trouble as the result of not Sara’s, but Mary’s shares in a local investment firm.

And it all relates to the people who were the other victims of Tristan Brinker and that long-ago summer.

Escape Rating A+: I could not put this down, to the point that I was carrying the book around with me so I could get in a few more pages…just a few more paragraphs…

River Road is an absolutely terrific romantic suspense story, with a definite emphasis on the suspense. Krentz did a marvelous job of continually interweaving the past with the present, all the while making the old case both relevant to the present investigation but not taking the reader’s focus on the present-day skullduggery. Of which there was plenty.

The suspense plot was edge-of-the seat tense in this story. Every puzzle piece fit neatly into the ones we had already seen, and yet, I still didn’t know whodunnit until the very end. I had some ideas that some people didn’t exactly have clean hands, but not who the real evildoers were.

And there is one stand up and cheer moment as the story concludes, you’ll be surprised about that, too.

But there’s also a slowly developing love story between Lucy and Mason, and it’s just right. In the prologue, he’s an adult, just barely, and she isn’t quite yet. He’s protective and too much for her, and she knows it. As adults, they are equal. He’s still overprotective, but she doesn’t let him be. They need something from each other. And they need to solve the mystery, because they were both part of what happened in the past, and they are both targets in the present. But their caution makes the romance burn slow and hot.

Excellently well done all the way around. If you enjoy romantic suspense, you’ll love River Road.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Review: The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick

The Mystery Woman by Amanda QuickFormat read: hardcover borrowed from the Library
Formats available: ebook, hardcover, audiobook
Genre: paranormal romance, historical romance
Series: Ladies of Lantern Street, #2
Length: 385 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Date Released: April 23, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Under the plain gray skirts of Miss Beatrice Lockwood’s gown, a pistol waits at the ready. For Beatrice is a paid companion on a secret mission—and with a secret past—and she must be prepared to fight for her life at any moment.

Yet she is thrown oddly off guard by the fierce-looking man who joins her in foiling a crime outside a fancy ball—and then disappears into the shadows, leaving only his card. His name is Joshua Gage, and he claims to know Beatrice’s employers. Beyond that, he is an enigma with a hypnotically calm voice and an ebony-and-steel cane…

Joshua, who carries out clandestine investigations for the Crown, is equally intrigued. He has a personal interest in Miss Lockwood, a suspected thief and murderer, not to mention a fraudster who claims to have psychical powers. The quest to discover her whereabouts has pulled him away from his mournful impulses to hurl himself into the sea—and engaged his curiosity about the real Beatrice Lockwood, whose spirit, he suspects, is not as delicate as her face and figure.

He does know one thing, though: This flame-haired beauty was present the night Roland Fleming died at the Academy of the Occult. Guilty or not, she is his guide to a trail of blood and blackmail, mesmerism and madness—a path that will lead both of them into the clutches of a killer who calls himself the Bone Man…

My Review:

There was both a mystery woman and a mystery man in this second installment of Amanda Quick’s Ladies of Lantern Street trilogy. I wouldn’t mind a bit if the owners of the Flint & Marsh Agency on Lantern Street found a few more operatives and kept this series going!

Beatrice Lockwood is very much the mystery woman. She starts out as Miranda the Clairvoyant of Dr. Fleming’s Academy of the Occult and ends by attempting to raise the dead. Needless to say, there is a LOT of story in the middle!

And even though Beatrice believes in the paranormal, and definitely has talent, she knows perfectly well that raising the dead is beyond anyone’s ability. But the madman pursuing her is convinced otherwise, and doesn’t care how many other corpses he has to make in order to reach her.

Yes, he’s a bit illogical about it. After all, he’s insane.

Meanwhile, Beatrice is in a bind. The madman is after her for her power. Joshua Gage is after her for much more mundane reasons. He starts out convinced that she’s blackmailing his sister over secrets she learned while posing as Miranda the Clairvoyant.

First, Bea is no blackmailer. Second, she learned no secrets. Third, Joshua has been misled into this case for all the wrong reasons. But someone made a mistake. Because Joshua realizes that while Bea may not be the blackmailer, she is the center of the case, and that they are stronger if they join forces.

Even though Joshua emphatically does not believe in the paranormal, their forces are very considerable. Especially once they realize that the most important thing they have discovered in this case is their need for each other.

But can they discover who is behind the madness before it is too late?

Crystal Garden by Amanda QuickEscape Rating B+: The Mystery Woman was even better than Crystal Gardens (reviewed here). It didn’t have the weight of needing to explain the set up of the story, and the plot was stronger. There were more twists and turns to the mystery. It was much eerier and more diabolical.

Joshua’s story had a lot of depth. He underwent much more of a transformation. He starts the story having been in kind of retreat after a case went badly. This turns out to be the real heart of the story in The Mystery Woman. Joshua was an espionage agent for the government, and his mentor’s daughter as well as a fellow agent died on his last case. Joshua blames himself. He also injured his leg and uses a cane as a result.

Of course, it’s not that simple. The complications are what we learn in the story.
The Egyptology trappings are fascinating. There really was an Egyptology craze in England in the 19th century, so this part really works well!

That Bea not only has a paranormal talent but believes in the paranormal, where Josh has a talent but refuses to believe in anything remotely psychic provides for endless but entertaining banter. He represents the skeptic’s point of view marvelously.

But they not only fall in love, they accept each other. Which helps Josh to accept himself as he is now; injuries, scars and all. They each let go of their past identities so they can build a future together.

Bea does not raise the dead. But she and Josh do rise from the ashes of the past.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Review: Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick

Crystal Garden by Amanda QuickFormat read: hardcover borrowed from the Library
Formats available: ebook, hardcover, large print paperback, mass market paperback, audiobook
Genre: Paranormal romance, Historical romance
Series: Ladies of Lantern Street, #1
Length: 347 pages
Publisher: Jove Books
Date Released: April 24, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Evangeline Ames has rented a country cottage far from the London streets where she was recently attacked. Fascinated by the paranormal energy of nearby Crystal Gardens, she finds pleasure in sneaking past the wall to explore the grounds. And when her life is threatened again, she instinctively goes to the gardens for safety.

Lucas Sebastian has never been one to ignore a lady in danger, even if she is trespassing on his property. Quickly disposing of her would-be assassin, he insists they keep the matter private. There are rumors enough already, about treasure buried under his garden and occult botanical experiments performed by his uncle—who died of mysterious causes. With Evangeline’s skill for detection, and Lucas’s sense of the criminal mind, they soon discover that they have a common enemy. And as the energy emanating from Crystal Gardens intensifies, they realize that to survive they must unearth what has been buried for too long.

As I read Crystal Gardens, I kept thinking that there would be a point where this Ladies of Lantern Street series would somehow connect with Quick’s (also known as Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle) Arcane Society/Harmony series.

All the elements are definitely present for this book to flow directly into the Arcane Society. And that’s not a bad thing!

Evangeline Ames is an independent woman in the Victorian Era, a time when women had very few options open to them if they wished to remain independent. Evie appears to be a ladies’ companion, someone who lives with unmarried rich females and serves as a chaperone. However, it’s all a disguise. Her true position is as an inquiry agent for the female-owned firm of Flint & Marsh, and her last investigation ended badly. She discovered that the gentleman pursuing Lady Rutherford’s granddaughter was the fortune hunter that her grandmother suspected, but that revelation came at a price.

Said fortune hunter died in mysterious circumstances. And someone from the London criminal underworld has pursued Evie to the countryside with the intent of murdering her.

Instead, Evie uses her paranormal abilities to save herself and thwart her would-be murderer, with the assistance of her country neighbor. And that’s where the fun begins.

The ladies of Lantern Street are both Mrs. Flint and Mrs. Marsh, as well as the the women they employ as inquiry agents. One of the requirements for positions with the firm is paranormal talent. Evie has the ability to raise or suppress someone else’s paranormal and physical energy currents. She can soothe a fever, she can keep a heart beating, or she can push someone into unconsciousness. She can go too far.

The other ladies, whom we meet in the later books, have other talents.

Evie was drawn to the town of Little Digby because it has a garden famous for its paranormal energies. The owner of the garden, and the estate it belongs to, is Lucas Sebastian. Sebastian is a hunter talent. He’s come to back to Little Digby to discover why his uncle’s experimental garden has, in effect, gone rogue.

What he discovers is Evie Ames trespassing in his garden in order to escape her would-be killer. Sebastian is more than willing to let the garden have the assassin. For dinner. But now that his hunter talent is focused on protecting Evie, he’ll do anything to keep her safe. But he can’t let her go.

Escape Rating B+: Crystal Gardens reminded me just how much fun Amanda Quick’s historical paranormal romances can be. This was absolutely a pleasure to read.
The story does set up the Ladies of Lantern Street trilogy. We meet all three of the “Ladies” as well as get the background on Flint & Marsh. I’ve read that this connects with the Arcane Society, but not officially. It does seem like the same world.

I enjoyed the give and take between Evie and Lucas in this story. One of the things that makes Quick’s Arcane historicals work for me is that she gives a reasonable explanation for why her female characters are so anachronistically independent. Evie always stands up to Lucas, to the point of eventually managing his relationship with his stepmother and half-siblings, but her independence makes sense in light of her background.

Lucas reveals himself over the course of the story. It’s not so much a redemption arc as a peeling back layers of secrets, but it allows him to show that he has changed and is capable of more.

The paranormal elements add sparkle, even if there are sometimes literal thorns!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

On My Wishlist-Waiting on Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On the Weekend (5)

I want my very own dust bunny.

Admittedly, my housekeeping skills are such that there are probably LOTS of them under the bed…but I don’t mean that kind of dust bunny.

I’m referring to the psychic kind. The occasionally predatory kind.

And if you’re a fan of Jayne Castle’s science fiction romance series, set on the planet Harmony, you know exactly what type of dust bunny I’m referring to.

The next (the ninth!) book in Castle’s Harmony series is coming out in September. If you’re as eager to read The Lost Night as I am, here’s the description from Goodreads to whet your appetite.

With the ability to detect the auras of dangerous psychic criminals, Rachel Bonner has found peace and quiet on Rainshadow Island with her dust bunny companion. Then Harry Sebastian, the descendant of a notorious pirate, arrives to investigate strange developments in the privately owned woods known as the Preserve. Rachel can sense the heart of darkness within him— and the stirrings of desire within her own soul…

September 4. After the Labor Day weekend for those of us in the States. Why are the good books coming out after the long weekend is over? Where’s the justice in that?

12 for 2012: My most anticipated books in 2012

It’s very difficult to figure out what books I’m looking forward to most in 2012. I mean when I started to look at lists, I realized that most of what I was anticipating were the next books in series, or new books from authors I already knew. But when I looked at the list of my best reads from this past year, most of them turned out to be authors who were new to me. It’s a puzzle, isn’t it?

This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the series books that I read. I certainly did. But it’s the discoveries that turned out to be the most memorable. Maybe that’s because they were such surprises.

Just the same, these are the books I am planning to stalk NetGalley for review copies. And if I can’t get a review copy? Well, then I’ll just have to buy a copy and review it anyway. There’s even a reading challenge about reading one book a month just for fun!

But the books I’m looking for in 2012 are…drumroll, please!

When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris will be the next book in her Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. What Angels Fear is the first book, and St. Cyr is a detective of the amateur and aristocratic variety. He should be the hero of a Regency romance, and in other circumstances, he might have been. But his service in Wellington’s army has left him much too tormented for that. His personal life makes him a tragic hero; the demons that drive him make him an ideal detective, if only to keep him from becoming a criminal. March can’t come soon enough on this.

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb. This is Eve Dallas’ 34th outing. I’ve read all of them. Usually in one sitting. I still can’t figure out how she does it, but Robb/Roberts does it really, really well. This book means there will be one warm night in February.

Restless in the Grave by Dana Stabenow. I think I will always have a fondness for Alaska stories. Heck, I still tell Alaska stories, and it’s been 6 years now since I left Anchorage. But living in Alaska is something that changed my perspective, probably forever. The situations Dana writes about in her novels are always a tiny bit familiar, even the ones set in the Bush. Because Alaska is possibly the world’s biggest small town, and there weren’t six degrees of separation, there were three at most. Even for cheechakos like us. Dana writes damn good mysteries, but I always read them for a taste of the place we almost called home.

Master and God by Lindsey Davis. I love Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco series. The whole idea of a hard-boiled detective operating in Imperial Rome has always been utterly delicious. And Falco’s wife Helena Justina is made of awesome. Master and God is not a Falco book. It’s historical fiction set in the same time period. Davis wrote one other work of historical fiction set during the Falco period, The Course of Honor. I read it years ago and it was fantastic. If Master and God is half as good, it will be well worth reading. Come to think of it, I hope people re-discover The Course of Honor. It was incredibly good and I don’t think it got half the attention it deserved.

The Bride Wore Black Leather by Simon R. Green. This one has been teasing me every time I look at Amazon. The recommender can figure out I want to read this, so it sorta/kinda looks like it’s available, but it’s not. January 3, 2012. Come on already. For those fans of the Nightside, John Taylor is finally going to marry his long-suffering (in more ways than one) girlfriend, Suzie Shooter. He just has one last job to finish up before he meets her at the altar. But no job in the Nightside is ever easy, especially not for John Taylor.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. This sounds like it’s going to be really cool. And really, really funny. And yes, the redshirts in the title are those redshirts. Like in Star Trek. The ones that always get killed at the beginning of the mission. What happens if a bunch of them figure it out? And decide that they are not going to let it happen to them? This sounds like something only Scalzi could possibly do justice to. In June, we’ll all find out.

An Officer’s Duty by Jean Johnson is the next installment in her series, Theirs Not to Reason Why. I loved the first book, A Soldier’s Duty (reviewed here), and I can’t wait to see where Johnson next leads her time-travelling heroine, Io, in her quest to save the human race from utter extinction. July 31 is way too far away for this one.

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz. I knew that someday the Krentz was going to link the Victorian era Arcane Society of her Amanda Quick novels to her contemporary Jones & Jones psychic investigations to her futuristic romances under her Jayne Castle pseudonym. I read them all, but the links make for an added twist that I love. In January Copper Beach starts a new subseries, Dark Legacy.

Crystal Gardens is the start of a second subseries, Ladies of Lantern Street, that Krentz is starting in April under her Amanda Quick name. That means it’s a Victorian era story, at least for the first book. All of the Arcane Society books, both contemporary and Victorian, have been excellent romantic suspense.

Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh is the 11th book in her Psy-Changelings series, and the first to be published in hardcover. Although her Archangel series hasn’t wowed me, the psy-changeling books have never failed to please. I only wish that the release date was earlier than May. And I wish the US version had a better cover. The UK cover is awesome. (UK on left, US on right.)

Dragon Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I want to go back to Liaden. I want to catch up on the books in between (there are several) that I haven’t read, and I want to finally find out how things are going. Liaden is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, space opera science fiction romance universes of all time. Dragon Ship is due Labor Day. I think I have enough time to get caught up. It will be so worth it.

This last book is an absolute flyer. It sounds really cool, but who knows.

The Yard by Alex Grecian. What if, after Scotland Yard failed to capture Jack the Ripper, they started a Murder Squad? 12 detectives specifically charged with investigating the thousands of murders in foggy, grimy, crime-filled London. How much luck would they have? When one of their own is murdered, the Yard’s first forensic pathologist is put on the track of the killer. I love historic mysteries, and this sounds very, very cool. In May, I’ll find out.


These are the books I’m looking forward to this year. I wonder how many will end up on my “best books of 2012” list.

What are your most anticipated books for 2012?