First off, warm congratulations to our friends Michael and Jackie in the arrival of their beautiful baby girl, Fiona Marguerite! Photographer hubby is now glomming over newborn photo props. I foresee adorable crocheted hats in our future. Newborn shoots would be fun. There’s no requirement for the subject to be awake…
As my brain is a bit scattered this morning, I thought I’d share some of the awesome I’ve been reading lately.
I just finished C.J. Redwine’s Defiance. From the book jacket:
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan–the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
How many ways did I love this book? The mix of modern and almost medieval was a delightful combination, as were our hero and heroine. Redwine doesn’t shy away from the difficult and has no qualms dragging the trusting reader through utter hell and making us weep (yeah, C.J., you know what scene I’m talking about). I can’t wait to see the next installment of this YA trilogy.
You can run from your past, but it will always catch up.
Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason it never seems to get any easier. She’s left behind her days of debauchery to find peace and forgiveness at River’s Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There she’s uncovered her family’s epic history, reclaimed her magickal powers, and met Reyn, whom she dubs “the Viking god. ” Just as she settles into her new life, Nastasya learns that her old friends might be in town….
Reuniting with her gorgeous and dangerous ex-best-friend, Innocencio, Nas wonders if she’ll ever be truly free of her dark legacy. Is Incy dangerous, power-hungry, and wicked? Or is he the only one who truly understands Nas’s darkness? Either way, Nas is desperate to find out who she really is-even if the answer kills her.
Nastasya is a really damaged sort of heroine. She doesn’t have her crap together and covers her emotional vulnerability with an acerbic and self-depricating wit that I found strangely appealing. And Reyn. Nuff said. I’m not sure if this is the last we’ll see of Nas or if there is a third installment lurking. I listened to both in audio and thoroughly enjoyed the narrator’s performance. I think it’s technically classed as YA, though it’s that murky kind of in between where the characters are largely immortal and are hundreds of years old.
And I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m happily immersed in Nalini Singh’s latest Guild Hunter novel, Archangel’s Storm. This one follows Raphael’s spymaster Jason, who’s been an intriguing shadow in all the prior books. He’s deliciously damaged and interesting, and I’m really excited to see where this book takes him. From the book jacket:
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.
Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price–Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.
With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.
And just last night, I started Larissa Ione’s Eternal Rider, the first of the Lords of Deliverance novels, in audio. I took a risk on this one, not because I don’t expect anything of Larissa’s to be awesome, but because the Audible sample only went through the glossary. Fail on them. Not on the narrator though. She’s quite entertaining. And of course getting to see the horses as proper characters makes me quite happy.
They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can’t-or won’t-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman’s safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara’s life.
What are you reading these days?