On My Wishlist #11

What’s on my wishlist this week?

Okay, I’ll confess, the number one thing on my wishlist is to figure out what’s going on with the “On My Wishlist” meme.

It used to be hosted by Book Chick City and they did a fantastic job with it. At the end of March, they passed the torch to Cosy Books. And everything seemed to be going, well, quite cosily all through April.

But May 3 was the last On My Wishlist post that the new host posted. This is such a terrific meme, I hope that it continues. Or that the torch gets passed.

There are still books On My Wishlist. There are ALWAYS books on my wishlist!

I found out this week that the third book in Kendra Leigh Castle’s Dark Dynasties series, Shadow Rising, will be coming out on July 31. I loved the first two books, Dark Awakening  (review) and Midnight Reckoning (review). They’re paranormal romances, but with some interesting twists. And I always adore the interesting twists. For one thing, it’s about the resurrection of a dynasty, the Cait Sith. She had me right there, it’s the cat shifters. But the politics are convoluted and cool, too. I hope Shadow Rising pops up on NetGalley soon.

Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changeling book, Tangle of Need (UK cover at right), releases on Tuesday. I’ll probably be waiting for it at midnight-oh0one to download. Almost certainly. And yes, I know I’ve said that before. This is my wishlist. (So there!)

And did anyone else notice how huge the list of Tuesday new releases is? And how wonderfully full of paranormal romance? Take a look at the Sunday Cravings post tomorrow at Book Lovers Inc. for the very full list.

I’d love to know what’s on your wishlist this week. Maybe we can make each other’s TBR stacks get taller? What do you think?

Wrapping up NetGalley January

NetGalley January is a wrap. Well, the thing is, January is over, and since the little snowman in the picture says it was NetGalley January, there you are. That’s it for the month.

Those of us signed up for the 2012 NetGalley Reading Challenge are just going to have to soldier on, chortling with glee at all the lovely egalleys NetGalley will be sending us through the rest of the year. Every month can be NetGalley Month.

But back to the wrap. And I must use plastic wrap, since everyone needs to be able to see what I read.

Two books came out of my NetGalley TBR pile from September and October:






In addition to The Black Stiletto, which was fascinating, I also read the start of a very neat new mystery series, The Dharma Detective. I can’t wait for The Second Rule of Ten.



I also read a couple of Regency Romances from relatively new authors that were both a little different from the usual. It’s always interesting to see authors take the standard tropes and stretch the boundaries just a little bit. Or in the case of A Lady Awakened a “lotta” bit.

I read one YA/Cyberpunk that received a lot of buzz, and from the other posted wrap-ups, it looks like I’m not the only one who read Cinder. This title was highly anticipated. (I was turned down the first time I requested it, so I replied directly to the publisher outlining my specific review qualifications and was okayed on the second go-around).

Banshee Charmer is the start of a great new urban fantasy/paranormal series from a brand-new author. The author is doing a blog tour and the book is getting a lot of very nice attention.



I liked the first book in the Dark Dynasties series, Dark Awakening,  quite a bit, so when the second book, Midnight Reckoning listed on NetGalley, I grabbed it. Definitely fun for paranormal romance fans.



And, as always, I rounded out my reading month with titles from Carina Press. The icing on my reading cake: more urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and my science fiction romance fix for the month.










I posted thirteen reviews this month on NetGalley. I did finish a fourteenth book from NetGalley, The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns. But because I reviewed it for Book Lovers Inc., I can’t post the review on my site until after the review on BLI goes live, and that’s scheduled for February 9. I also finished The Night is Mine by M.L. Buchman sometime the night of January 31, but I can’t swear whether it was before or after midnight. I know that night was his, I just didn’t keep track of how much of it! So there you have it. My tally for this NetGalley Month. It’s all good for the 2012 NetGalley Reading Challenge. And it was all good reading!

Midnight Reckoning

Midnight Reckoning by Kendra Leigh Castle is something to read when you want a paranormal romance that takes all the standard elements and throws them in a blender! The mix that pours out makes for a very enjoyable read, while adding a few interesting twists to the usual recipe.

We met both the hero and heroine of Midnight Reckoning in the first book of Castle’s Dark Dynasties series, Dark Awakening (reviewed here). And when they met, they pissed each other off.

Lyra Black is a member of the Thorn, a werewolf pack. But Lyra is much more than just a member of the pack, she’s the Alpha’s daughter. And she’s an only child. Lyra wants what’s best for the Thorn, and she knows that her cousin Eric isn’t it. But the wolves have always chosen their Alphas through a physical contest, based on who is the strongest, fastest and cleverest. Females may be fast and clever, but they just aren’t as strong as the males. Traditionally, they don’t fight to become Alpha. But Lyra believes that Eric is so tradition-bound that he will lead the Thorn back to the human-enslaving dark ages, and in the 21st century, those days are long gone. Lyra has declared herself as a challenger for the right to become the Alpha’s Second, her father’s named successor. Being her father’s daughter will not help her. Her father wants her to mate with someone strong enough to fight in her place.

Wolves mate for life, and all that is required for the mating bond is sex. It doesn’t even have to be willing sex. Rape will cause the mating bond to lock into place. Lyra is being hunted.

Jaden Harrison threw Lyra Black out of a vampire sanctuary the first time he met her. Not so much because she was a werewolf, although there is that whole vamp/werewolf rivalry thing, but because he wanted her. Bad. And because there was no way he should feel that much desire for a wolf. Any wolf. He wanted her as far away from himself as possible, so he threw her out of the sanctuary. But he never forgot her.

So when he found her in his clan’s territory again, but this time threatened with rape, he helped her kill her would-be rapists. But he didn’t expect Lyra’s gratitude. He expected what he got. She took his head off. But only verbally. And only after stumbling into him and revealing, just for a second, that she wanted him as much as he wanted her. Even if it was inappropriate. And impossible.

She left behind a necklace, a talisman, under the body of one of the wolves that Jaden had killed. Since she had been protecting the talisman, Jaden chose to go into Thorn territory to return it.

Why? Because he was delaying decisions about his own future. His newly-formed vampire clan, the Lilim, wanted him to become Chief of Security. He wasn’t sure he was ready to become an officer, when he had so recently been a slave of the Ptolemy clan of highborns.

But when he returned the necklace to Lyra, he was faced with another, and much more tempting offer. Teach Lyra to fight wolves, so she could take her own place in the Alpha challenge.

Why would a werewolf ask a vampire to teach his werewolf daughter to fight other werewolves? And what temptations will Jaden and Lyra face as teacher and student? And what is really going on within the werewolf pack? So many questions, and so little time to find the answers when threats come from all sides.

Escape Rating B: The action in this was even more fast and furious than in Dark Awakening. But I think the story probably works better if you’ve read both books, although that’s far from a hardship. I liked Dark Awakening, and I would recommend for paranormal romance fans. Midnight Reckoning a fun and very fast read.

I am really starting to want some more information about the Shadows. They are clearly moving events and people behind the scenes, and their motivations are murky to say the least. I hope more of that is in the next book. Since the next book is titled Shadow Rising (July 2012) maybe I’m going to get my wish!

Dark Awakening

There’s a subgenere of urban fantasy that ought to be given a name. It goes something like this: once upon a time, meaning right now, there was a young woman. She has been alone and unloved her entire life. She was either orphaned in horrific circumstances or adopted under mysterious circumstances. Either way, she doesn’t know her real origins. She has some unknown power and no one she can ask about that power–see orphaning or adopting above. When her power is suddenly required, a hunter is sent after her, and life as she knew it goes to hell in the proverbial handcart.

The heroine’s journey is to discover her previously unknown power, and make it work for her in time to save herself from the evil that has been stalking her all her life. Sometimes all her previous lives as well. She usually discovers the secrets of her past, As an added bonus she may manage the redemption and love of her hunter.

So, if we’ve all read this story before, what makes it worth reading again?

Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle threw in some new elements to this old story. Lily Quinn, the heroine of this story, was no pushover. She never expected to be rescued. Lily was an active participant, an equal player in everything that happened once she understood what the stakes were. Speaking of stakes, both the good guys and the bad guys were vampires. A big part of the story had to do with vampire internal racism. Apparently these vampires think that vamps who can turn into animals are less vampy than those who turn into mist. Of course, to the humans, fangs are fangs. (Yes, I read this as commentary about humans. Your mileage may vary)

The vampire who comes to hunt Lily is one of those vamps on the supposedly lower end of the vamp social register. Ty is a member of the Cait Sith–he hunts as a cat. He also purrs when stroked, whether whichever form he happens to be in.

Escape Rating B: Humans love to write about vampires with convoluted political structures. In this case, the politics have become so twisted they have turned on themselves. And any vampire society where House Dracul (yes, that Dracul) turn out to be the good guys (again, for certain select definitions of good) has more than enough twists and turns to keep me looking for the next book. Expect to meet a representative of every vampire family you’ve seen from everywhere and everywhen, but used in ways you were not expecting.

Lily isn’t quite what anyone was expecting, either. And that’s a very good thing…for everyone.