Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (March 1, 2015)

Tynga of Team Tynga's Reviews has a meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. Visit her site to check out the linky and see what everyone gets. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow. 

Here is what I added:
Being a fan of Rachel Vincent's urban fantasy series, I had to buy a Kindle copy of her self-published spinoff that is more paranormal romance than urban fantasy. Lion's Share sounds good. 

I also got a copy of a novella in Lori Foster's Ultimate series. Hard Knocks should fill in some details that didn't fit into the novels I've read so far.
I also accepted a copy of Echoes by Laura K. Curtis for review this week. I liked the sound of this romantic suspense title. This book will be released on March 17.

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

The Grendel Affair
Author: Lisa Shearin
Series: SPI Files (Book 1)
Publication: Ace; Reprint edition (December 31, 2013)

Description: We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.

My Thoughts: This was an engaging and entertaining urban fantasy story. The narrator is a seer who has moved to New York City looking for a job as an investigative reporter. However, she is offered a job with SPI - Supernatural Protection & Investigations. Her job is to help keep humans safe from paranormals who might want to prey on them. Her talent is that she can see through any magical disguises that paranormals might wear.

In this case, an unknown enemy has imported grendels from Scandinavia to out all paranormals by creating a bloodbath in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Grendels are really tough. They seem impervious to most weapons that SPI has. Our narrator - Makenna Fraser - isn't trusted with a weapon yet. Her partner Ian is there to protect her and, eventually, train her to use weapons. At least, he'll train her if they ever have a time when they are not in crisis mode. However, Makenna is pretty dangerous with her paint guns.

The story is action-packed and filled with an interesting variety of paranormal creatures. I really like Makenna's attitude and the asides she throws into her narration of the events of the story. I will definitely be reading more of this series.

Favorite Quote:
"Being in a mausoleum's not bad enough," I said, "now we get to find out what's in a dark pit underneath one."

"A chamber under a mausoleum is called a crypt," Ian told me.

"Lovely."

"I'll go first."

"I'll let you."
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can get your copy here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Memes: The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin. This is an urban fantasy book from my Kindle TBR mountain. Here is the description from Amazon:
We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.
Beginning:
Most people grabbed a coffee on the way to work. I was clinking my way to the liquor store checkout with three bottles of Jack Daniel's.
Friday 56:
The camera automatically refocused. Filling the screen was an eye divided by a vertical slip pupil. The eye narrowed, and a blink of that monster eye later, the screen went blank.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

ARC Review: Vampires Never Cry Wolf by Sara Humphreys

Vampires Never Cry Wolf
Author: Sara Humphreys
Series: Dead in the City (Book 3)
Publication: Sourcebooks Casablanca (March 3, 2015)

Description: Vampires are nothing but trouble...

As far as beautiful vampire Sadie Pemberton is concerned, werewolves shouldn't be sticking their noses into New York's supernatural politics. They don't know jack about running a city-not even that hot-as-sin new vampire-werewolf liaison who's just arrived in town.

Werewolves are too sexy for their own good...

The last thing Killian Bane wanted was to end up in New York City playing nice with vampires. Unfortunately, he's on a mission, and when he encounters the sexiest, most stubborn female vamp he's ever met, he's going to have to turn on a little of that wolfish charm...and Sadie's going to learn a thing or two about what it means to have a wild side...

My Thoughts: Vampires and werewolves don't like each other. Nonetheless, when the heir to the werewolf throne comes to New York to open a club, he spends a lot of time in the vampire-run club in town to get ideas. He also becomes fascinated with the manager who is a vampire named Sadie. Sadie was around when the treaty was signed making a very uneasy peace between the two supernaturals and knows she should stay away from Killian. However, Killian has something that attracts her despite knowing it isn't smart.

But many vampires aren't fond of the idea that werewolves are coming to town and are even less fond of the idea that there could be a relationship between a vampire and a werewolf. Many werewolves, including the young female werewolf who has planned to by Killian's mate and queen, aren't fond of the idea either.

Generally, I thought the book got off to a slow start. I kept waiting for something other than dithering or second thoughts to happen. It wasn't until the last third of the book when the story picked up the pace and then there was a frantic dash to the conclusion.

Fans of paranormal romance may want to give this one a try. The characters were engaging. This is the third book in the series. I could tell that I was missing some back-stories of some of the characters but the book does stand alone.

Favorite Quote:
He wanted to fix it. That's what men do. Wolf. Human. Whatever. They fix shit. But this wasn't something he could fix, and it was making him feel totally useless.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Vampires Never Cry Wolf by Sara Humphreys

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
"I am Olivia's friend, which is exactly why I will not go speak to her about this. Aside from the fact that it would be an abuse of our relationship, I'm not going to be a mouthpiece for the restless Vampires of Manhattan."
This week my teaser comes from Vampires Never Cry Wolf by Sara Humphreys. I got this eARC from NetGalley. Here is the description of this March 3 release:
Vampires are nothing but trouble...

As far as beautiful vampire Sadie Pemberton is concerned, werewolves shouldn't be sticking their noses into New York's supernatural politics. They don't know jack about running a city-not even that hot-as-sin new vampire-werewolf liaison who's just arrived in town.

Werewolves are too sexy for their own good...

The last thing Killian Bane wanted was to end up in New York City playing nice with vampires. Unfortunately, he's on a mission, and when he encounters the sexiest, most stubborn female vamp he's ever met, he's going to have to turn on a little of that wolfish charm...and Sadie's going to learn a thing or two about what it means to have a wild side...

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Feb. 23, 2015)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I had a pretty quiet week this past week. I did have an eye doctor's appointment on Tuesday which meant no reading time Tuesday evening. I don't know what kind of drops they used but I couldn't see print all evening.

Part of Saturday was spent picking out new frames for glasses. I also got a chance to get in some walking as I circled the Mall a few times before and after visiting the store to choose my new glasses. I managed to amass over 8000 steps which was about 4 times my usual Saturday step total. (Reading and playing on the computer don't build very many steps!)

Saturday's weather was the best of the week as my part of Minnesota is deep in a cold snap. Sunday's temperature is supposed to top out at zero Fahrenheit. It looks to be a great day to curl up on the ouch and read.

This coming week marks the return of The Voice which will keep me glued to my television set. That is easily my favorite television show and about the only one I plan my schedule around.

Read Last Week
Demon Hunting in the Deep South by Lexi George was a fun paranormal with a decided "Southern" voice. I really liked it and look forward to reading the rest of this series. My review will be posted on March 21.

Liars, Inc. was an entertaining young adult contemporary story with an engaging main character. It was a mystery/psychological thriller. My review will be posted on March 21.
Holding Strong by Lori Foster was a review book. It is the second in her Ultimate series of romantic suspense novels. This one focused on the romance aspects of the the genre. My review will be posted on March 26.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman was also a YA contemporary review book. I found it hard to read because I really didn't like the main character even though she was very well-written. The story was well written and ultimately satisfying. My review will be posted on March 26.

Currently
I am reading The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer. It is the last book on my March review stack. I like the main character but haven't really read enough to form an opinion of the story.

Next Week
The next three adult books on my stack are all books I bought in January. I am really trying to keep up with reading as I buy so that I end the year with fewer books on TBR mountain. I am trying to be more selective about what I buy despite all those great Kindle Daily Deals.

Teacher Beware by Charlotte Raine is a romantic suspense title. The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin is urban fantasy. Thrown by Colette Auclair is a romance.
I was hoping to fit in a couple of YA books from my stack until I looked at my stack of review books and realized that I had 13 April releases there. I plan to read the first two on that stack this week.

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink  is an eARC from Edelweiss. and The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is a print ARC from Macmillan. Both will be released on April 7.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
What was your week like. Leave me a link and I'll be sure to visit.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (Feb. 22, 2015)

Tynga of Team Tynga's Reviews has a meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. Visit her site to check out the linky and see what everyone gets. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow. 

I only added one book to my stack this week.
Lucky Break by Chloe Neill was added to my Kindle this week. I am hoping to read it before Dark Debt arrives on March 3 but I have quite a stack of things ahead of it. 

What did you add to your stack this week?