Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Memes: Total Eclipse by Rachel Caine

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 pulled another book from deep in my TBR mountain. Total Eclipse by Rachel Caine is the 9th book in her Weather Warden series. I bought it on July 16, 2010. Here is the description from Amazon:
Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin, her husband, the djinn David, and the Earth herself have been poisoned by a substance that destroys the magic that keeps the world alive. The poison is destabilizing the entire balance of power, bestowing magic upon those who have never had it, and removing it form those who need it. It's just a matter of time before the delicate balance of nature explodes into chaos-and doom.
Beginning:
My name is Joanne Baldwin, and I used to control the weather as a Weather Warden. These days, I can also control the forces of the earth, such as volcanoes and earthquakes, and the forces of fire. Don't ask—it's a long story. Just go with it, okay?
Friday 56: 
There was still a trace of Djinn in there somewhere; I could just feel it—even if it was only a memory of power. It made him fearless, and a little bit crazy.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

ARC Review: Broken Play by Samantha Kane

Broken Play
Author: Samantha Kane
Series: Birmingham Rebels
Publication: Loveswept (September 1, 2015)

Description: Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.

Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.

Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.

My Thoughts: If you are looking for a kinky sports romance this is the book for you. Marian Treadwell is the new assistant coach for the Birmingham Rebels, the NFL's worst team. The team is made up of guys on their last chance. Some are just out of rehab and others have created scandals of other types. Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are more known for their YouTube video of them in a steamy threesome than for their football skills. Marian has seen that video hundreds of times.

Cass and Beau take one look at Marian and decide that she's the one for them. But Beau is also looking at Cass in a new way, a way he isn't sure Cass wants. And Marian is still dealing with a thing that happened when she was a junior in college. Her college boyfriend misinterpreted her sexual needs and almost got her raped. It has left her with a fear of locker rooms and a distrust of anyone who might misinterpret her again.

Cass and Beau are willing to work to overcome her fears and that leads to lots of sexy times for all of them. It might even lead to a winning season for the Rebels.

This was a little too kinky for me. I was thinking that my Kindle was going to catch fire from the all the heat in the story. If you like your romances spicy and kinky, give this one a try.

Favorite Quote:
"If you climb into the same bed naked with someone who is also naked in order to have sex, you're lovers," she told them. "I don't care what slot the tabs are going in."

This time both men laughed in genuine amusement. "Tabs B and C go in slot woman, not slots B or C," Cass told her, and it took a moment to figure out which was which. She was not on top of her game today.
I got this one for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Review: Red Line by Brian Thiem

Red Line
Author: Brian Thiem
Series: A Detective Matt Sinclair Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2015)

Description: When a teenager from a wealthy suburb outside of Oakland, CA is dumped at an inner city bus stop, homicide detective Matt Sinclair catches the case. It's his first since being bumped to desk duty for a bust that went south... fast. With few leads and plenty of attention, it's the worst kind of case to help him get back up to speed. And it only gets worse as the bodies start to pile up--first at the same bus bench, then around the city. Sinclair is unable to link the victims to each other, but the killer is just getting started and time is running out on Sinclair's career, not to mention the people closest to him.

With Red Line, Brian Thiem, a veteran of the Oakland police department and the Iraq war, has written a nuanced police procedural in the vein of Michael Connelly, filled with the kind of insight that could only be written by a detective who has walked the streets and lived the life.

My Thoughts: RED LINE was an excellent police procedural with an engaging main character. Matt Sinclair is just back on homicide after a variety of difficulties - shooting a suspect, an arrest for drunk driving, and a stint in rehab.

Matt's first case is that of a teenage boy found dead at a bus stop outside a hospital. The boy was a straight arrow from a neighboring and wealthy suburb. His father is a surgeon at the hospital. Matt also finds himself saddled with a rookie female partner. When a second body is dumped at the same bus stop, Matt and his partner spend hours trying to find anything that connects them. Both cases bring back another case of Matt's. A couple of girls were left at that same bus stop two years previously. One wandered in her dazed state into traffic and died as a result of being hit by cars. Matt was too deep into his alcoholism at the time to devote as much time to the case as he should have.

What this book shows in great detail is the day to day slog of police work - the interviews, the reports, the need to put various small bits of information together to build a case. We follow Matt as he works this case and deals with supervisors who want to force him out of homicide and a girl friend who is a television reporter whose job often puts them in conflict. We see Matt dealing with the long hours and high stress of the investigation and we see him struggling with the desire to take a drink.

Chapters from the murderers point of view add some real creepiness to the story too. This was a well-plotted mystery. I had no idea who the criminal was until Matt and the other detectives figured it out.

Fans of police procedurals will greatly enjoy this fast-paced, well-plotted story. I look forward to more from this debut author.

Favorite Quote:
Over drinks at the Warehouse that night, Phil said, "Sitting at this bar are the only two people in the world who care about finding out who killed this young man. In homicide, we speak for the dead. It's a lonely and thankless job and an awesome responsibility." But Sinclair knew it was about more than just the victim. A murderer could not be allowed to kill and walk the streets freely. When people can kill with impunity, society crumbles. He want to tell Phil how it often felt like they were the only ones standing between civilization and anarchy and how that lonely and thankless responsibility was even more awesome than merely speaking for the dead but was afraid that his partner wouldn't understand.
I got this book for review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Broken Play by Samantha Kane

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 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:
Marian jumped and spun around to face him. She hadn't been paying attention. She couldn't believe she'd let him flank her like that.

"Settle," Cass said quietly but firmly. "There's no threat here."
I got Broken Play by Samantha Kane for review from Loveswept via NetGalley. Here is the description of this September 1 release:
Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.

Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.

Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 24, 2015)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
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.

Other Than Reading...

This was my last full week of summer vacation. Next week I'll be packing up and moving back to my school year home. That means a day mostly spent driving back home, unpacking, grocery shopping, cleaning, and a dentist's appointment. I do plan to fit in reading around those other activities.

This week was a cold one here in Duluth. I was almost tempted to turn on the furnace on a couple of our chilly mornings. But it did mean good reading time. My brother and I went out to lunch for the last time this summer. We hit Shorty's in Superior, Wisconsin, because it had been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This one was a complete success. We were both happy with our sandwiches and the french fries were the best I've ever had.

Also to get ready for the busier school year, I spent Saturday setting up blog posts for November and early December. I currently have 63 scheduled posts and have set up the review posts for the next sixteen books on my stack.

Read Last Week
Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal is the second book in her Glamourist Histories. This one finds Jane and Vincent in France just as Napoleon has escaped from Elba intent on reclaiming his empire. Vincent is kidnapped by Napoleonic forces that want to use a glamour he has invented leaving a pregnant Jane to try to rescue him though she is unable to use her glamour. My review will be posted on October 10.

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton is the latest in her Anita Blake series and a typical Hamilton book: lots of talk about sex, huge cast of characters, and zombies. My review will be posted on October 15.
I finished the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series by Jenn Bennett this week.

Binding the Shadows saw Cady and Lon strengthening their relationship while dealing with problems like Lon's ex-wife showing up for Christmas, a new drug in town the supercharges demon Knacks, Cady's exponentially increasing powers, and numerous enemies who want Cady under their control or dead. My review will be posted on October 17.

I immediately started reading Banishing the Dark after finishing Binding the Shadows (Can you say cliffhanger ending?). This was an excellent conclusion to the trilogy. Cady and Lon are trying to track down the spell her mother used to create her. They need to reverse it to break Cady's mother's hold on her or Cady will lose her soul and lose all the ones she loves. My review will be posted on October 24.
Nine Lives by Wendy Corsi Staub was a review book I got from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. This was an entertaining cozy mystery that takes place in a town full of psychics and mediums. My review will be posted on October 22.

Currently
I am back to TBR mountain for my current book. Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones is the second in the Charley Davidson urban fantasy series. This one arrived on my Kindle this year when it was an Amazon Daily Deal.

Next Week
I have two review books for this week. Both are from NetGalley.

The Reluctant Duchess by Sharon Cullen is a historical romance that will be released on November 10.

Dark Turns by Cate Holahan is also a November 10 release. This one is another mystery from Crooked Lane Books.
I also hope read a couple from TBR mountain too. Both of these are Kindle books that are second books in series that I purchased this summer because I finally read the first books in those series and really enjoyed them.

When Gods Die by C. S. Harris is the second in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series.

Blood Cross by Faith Hunter is the second book in the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

I didn't purchase any new books this week. But don't worry that I will run out of reading material. Currently LibraryThing shows me that I have 1501 unread books (not counting unread YA books).

To see what Young Adult books I have been reading and plan to read, check out Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Book Review: What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris

What Angels Fear
Author: C. S. Harris
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery, Book 1
Publication: NAL (November 1, 2005)

Description: It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol found at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man-Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

My Thoughts: The first Sebastian St. Cyr mystery begins with Sebastian being accused of the brutal murder of actress Rachel York. Sebastian is the only surviving son of the Earl of Hendon and a soldier who recently sold out after working in intelligence. He has been back in London for about ten months being bored and fighting duels. He sees himself as a cynic but we see not-so-deeply buried tendencies to be a hero.

Not having any faith in the authorities to clear his name, he decides to investigate to find out who killed Rachel York and why she was killed. He goes to an old girlfriend - and the woman he still loves - actress and courtesan, Kat Boleyn, to begin his investigation. Kat has secrets of her own but also still loves Sebastian and agrees to help.

Sebastian has no shortage of suspects. Could it be the actor who was Rachel's first patron? Could Rachel have been spying for the French under the control of spymaster Leo Pierrepont? Could it be one of Rachel's well-connected government lovers? Could it be Sebastian's nephew Bayard who seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Rachel?

As Sebastian investigates, with the assistance of street boy Tom, he soon finds that there isn't a simple solution. The more he looks, the more he finds complications involving the politics of the upcoming Regency government.

This was an exciting and twisty tale and an excellent historical mystery.

Favorite Quote:
He couldn't begin to fathom why or how he had come to be named as her murderer. Yet he could place no reliance on the authorities bothering to discover the truth behind what had happened. When a city's detectives were paid a forty-pound reward for each conviction, trye justice was more often than not a victim of avarice.
I bought this one for my Kindle on July 16, 2009. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Memes: What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris

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.

I chose What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris to spotlight this week. I bought this one for my Kindle on July 16, 2009. It is the first in the 10 book Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. Here is the description from Amazon:
It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol found at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man-Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.
Beginning:
She blamed the fog. She wasn't normally this nervous. This afraid.
Friday 56:
But no one would think to set a watch upon the actress who'd been playing Rosalind to Rachel's Celia in the Covent Garden production of As You Like It. the woman who'd broken Sebastian's heart six long years ago...