Recommendations and Comments About Books (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and Romance) , Book Series, Book Related Materials, and Authors. I do not rate books on the blog but do rate on Goodreads. To see my ratings click on the Goodreads button on the right.
A Regimental Murder by Ashley Gardner- This is the second in the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries and it does not disappoint. I learned more about Captain Lacey, more about some of the recurring secondary characters and there were a lot of interesting facts that could be hook for future stories. Add The Glass House and The Sudbury School Murders to the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries I read this month. I am still hooked and now I have to wait until June for the next one to be released as an ebook.
Fatal Error by J. A. Jance. This is latest book in the Allie Reynolds mysteries. The series continues to hold my attention. There is a new character that could have his own series or be a reoccurring character in this series.
Taken by the Prince by Christina Dodd – This is another in the Distinguished Academy of Governess’ series. Set back in Moricadia the revolution to put the true King is in full swing.
The Complete Bolo by Keith Laumer – This was the Science Fiction Book Club selection for May. A series of short stories and novella’s the book was written in the 1960’s. It was Classic Science Fiction.
Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross – I received Girl in the Steel Corset from Harlequin free as an ARC. It is a young adult book and is not a good fit for my blog so I will not be writing a post. It is however a good book so I wanted to at least mention it.
Science Fiction Romance:
Enemy Games by Marcella Burnard - I loved Enemy Within but I was disappointed by Enemy Games. I kept reading but the story never hooked me. That just happens sometimes.
Just Like Heaven is an ARC that I received free from Amazon Vine. I loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and when I saw that the Bridgeton’s know the Smythe-Smiths I picked Just Like Heaven as one of my two free books. I was not disappointed with my choice.
In Just Like Heaven Julia Quinn has created a hero and heroin that are both very likeable people. The start of the series revolves around that Smythe-Smith Musical that we heard about first in the Bridgerton series. Marcus Holroyd has known Honoria Smythe-Smith since she was 6 and he was twelve. Honoria was a six-year-old pest who wanted to go everywhere with her brother Daniel and his friend Marcus. Now that Honoria is twenty-one and Marcus is twenty-seven things are different. It is such fun to watch these two realize that they are not only friends but are also falling in love.
Just Like Heaven is also full of humor. I challenge anyone to read the scene where someone’s mother is pecked to death by pigeons and not laugh so hard they hurt. Just Like Heaven is a great start to a new series. I like to guess who will be featured next. I wonder if it will be the governess that Marcus thinks he has seen before?
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale is another book I received free from Carina Press and it is another winner. Christine Bell has crafted an entertaining story full of surprises. The characters are likable and the actions fit the plot. The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale is a novella length ebook that tells a complete story with a satisfying ending.
Dorothy (Stormy) Gale is a time traveler. Professor Gilbert Green took Stormy and her brother Bacon from London in the 1800’s to America in the 21st Century. Because you have to be very careful not to make too many changes when you travel in time Professor Green made Stormy and Bacon promise to always keep how they traveled in time a secret. Now Bacon has lost his Time Travel Mechanism or TTM in a card game to the Loony Duke of Leister in 1836 and the secret of time travel is in danger of being revealed. She and Bacon have to travel back in time get the TTM. As you might expect, things do not go smoothly. Stormy did not expect the Loony Duke to both handsome and sexy. The Loony Duke has a few surprises of his own for Stormy.
When I received my last Romantic Times magazine I is saw that Semper Fi Magick had received 4 ½ stars. I requested and got a copy of the ebook from Wild Rose Press. This is one time when I did not do the background checking I should have. Semper Fi Magick is the second book in a series. Each story stands alone but the characters from the first story play a big part in the new story. Even though Faith Smith included some back-story I would have gotten into this book faster if I had read the first story. That being said Semper Fi Magick had a good story that also forms the basis for the next book in the series.
Princess Catriona (Cat) is the daughter of the King of the Faeries. She has been restricted to her own realm after her interference in the mortal world. She is spoiled and she is bored so she decides to ignore her Father’s restriction and visit Wulfgar and Raven’s home in the mortal world. There is another guest there when she arrives. Derek is a special Ops Marine and he has come to his cousin Rav’s home for some quite time to recover from a mission that went bad. There are immediate sparks of the wrong kind between Derek and Cat. Derek needs peace and quite. Cat wants to be treated like a Princess and Derek just does not buy it. Cat has to do a lot of changing and Derek has to take some thing on faith for things to work out between the two.
I recommend you read Viking, Go Home, the first story before starting Semper Fi Magick. Look for the lead into the next story at the end of Semper Fi. I am looking forward to that story.
If you like Science Fiction Romance this is a must buy. In Blue Galaxy Diane Dooley has written an action packed story that flows smoothly from start to finish. The world building compares favorably with some of the best full-length novels. Every action fits within the context of the story and the action drives the story while it reveals the personalities and secrets of the two main characters, Javan and Sola. Diane does not waste a single one of the 22,000 words that keep this story moving and on track. After finishing Blue Galaxy I felt that it could have been expanded into a full-length novel. While the main story is complete there are many side questions left unanswered. Hopefully, Diane Dooley is working on more stories set in the Blue Galaxy universe.
In Blue Galaxy Javan Rhodes is a starship captain who has taken an illegal but very lucrative mission. He is to ask no questions while transporting someone to the outer colonies. His passenger turns out to be a beautiful young woman who is going to an arranged marriage. Nothing is as it seems and both Javan and Sola receives more than one surprise.
Betrayer is the twelfth novel in the Foreigner series. For fans of the series this is a must read. Bren Cameron is again in the heart of the trouble. He is in Machigi’s home trying to prevent a new uprising. As always there is a lot going on and Bren must work hard to stay alive.
I am not going to say much about Betrayer. If you are a fan of the series you will want to get Betrayer. If you are not yet a fan this is a series you want to start at the beginning.
If you are looking for good Science Fiction you can start reading knowing that you have twelve books already written and you will not have a long wait between books like those of us who started reading when the first book came out.
Spirit Dances is a free book I received from Amazon Vine. It is the sixth book in the series and I was afraid I might be totally lost. I have to give C.E. Murphy credit; she knows how to treat and catch new readers. All the back-story I needed was inserted in small snippets in the first few pages. I had no trouble jumping right into the story.
Joanne Walker is a Seattle detective who also has shamanic abilities. She has survived her first challenges and is beginning to feel comfortable with her abilities. All of that changes when she is given free tickets to see a dance performance. The troupe uses dance to trap into magic, magic that someone steals killing one of the lead performers. Things just get stranger and stranger as Joanne faces another new and big challenge.
Spirit Dances hooked me to the series. C. E. Murphy has created a wonderful world full of strange new things. The characters are fun and inventive, and the plot is well constructed. There is mystery, danger and romance all tangled in with the magic. Now I am waiting for the next book.
Susan Grant’s last few books have been a mix of hit and miss for me. It was almost like she was trying write like someone else. The Last Warrior is Susan back on track and writing with her own voice.
The Last Warrior is set in an entirely new world. Humans and the Gorr arrived to colonize the same planet. The Gorr tried to exterminate the humans and all contract with Earth (Uhrth in The Last Warrior) was cut off. Humans divided into three groups who do not get along but with the Gorr a common enemy. General Tao has just come home after a great victory against the Gorr. He does not find the welcome he expects. He is forced to find refuge from his own people and is thrown together with Elsabeth whose loyalty is with another human group. Together they must work to heal the wounds among the humans or see all humans on the planet wiped out by the Gorr.
The Last Warrior is a fast paced, action filled adventure where the romance does not overpower but is part of the story. The characters are well drawn and several of the secondary characters could be the main characters in future books. Susan has crafted a world filled with possibilities and I look forward to see future books in this setting.
An ARC is an uncorrected advanced reader copy sent out to people who will recommend the book. An ARC from Baen is a little different. When Baen has a book everyone is waiting for they will offer the ARC as an ebook priced at $15.00. It is a good deal for the author and the publisher, and fills a need for those of us who can’t for the final copy of the book to be released. To make it an even better deal for the author and publisher most of us buy a paper copy of the book when it is finally released. In my case I have a signed copy of Ghost Ship on order from Uncle Hugo’s book story.
Ghost Ship (Liaden Universe) is the latest book set in the Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. While it is the third book featuring Theo Waitley in the time line it is the book that follows I Dare. Ghost Ship answers some questions, poses some new ones, and lets all of us visit with many of the characters from the previous books. Like all Lee and Miller Liaden books the pacing is great, the character well drawn, the plot full of unexpected turns and it ends with a new questions that needs to be answered. Ghost Ship is a great addition to the series.
If you can’t wait to read the book you can purchase the ARC of Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller from Baen. If you can wait the paper copy will be out in August. For all of the die-hard fans there is another book in the works and it is scheduled to be out in 2012. I hope there will be an ARC released for that one so I will not have as long as wait.
I have discovered a great new to me Regency mystery series. The Hanover Square Affair is the first book in the series and is a .99 feature available for the Barnes and Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle. This is a limited time offer so if you like mysteries buy it now.
Captain Lacey is a long time Army cavalry officer who is back in London on half-pay. He has lost his purpose in life, has little money, a bad leg, and suffers from a deep melancholy. He walks that boundary between the upper and lower classes in England. He is a gentleman who has no money but does have acquaintances (he says he has no friends) in both classes. When he intervenes in an altercation between a cavalry unit and a man who says that his daughter was kidnapped and taken to the home of a prominent man his life takes a turn in a new and dangerous direction.
The plot inThe Hanover Square Affairis good; the pacing is great, the characters are interesting and the background is fascinating. In addition to a good mystery The Hanover Square Affair introduces a large number of secondary characters. While they are secondary in The Hanover Square Affair they look like they could be important in future books. All in all this is a great start to a mystery series.
Ashley Gardner is an established and accomplished author who knows how to tell just enough to keep you reading while still leaving you wanting to find out more. According to her web site each month another of the Captain Lacey books will be released as an ebook. All of the other books that have been released as ebooks are priced at 1.99. I have already purchased the second book, A Regimental Murder. It is a big plus that I do not have to wait for the next book.
Ashley Gardner is a pen name for Jennifer Ashley. I found two copyright dates for The Hanover Square Affair, one for 2003 and the second for 2011. There is no publisher listed for the ebook edition of The Hanover Square Affair.
Shady Lady is the third book in the Corine Solomon series. Blue Diablo and Hell Fire are the first two. In my post on Blue Diablo I mention that while there were romance elements in the book there was no HEA. Ann sent me a comment saying that there would be one but not yet. There is no HEA in Shady Lady either. In fact it seems there is an additional candidate for Corine’s affections.
This time an old enemy is after Corine. Anytime Corine Solomon touches an object she can read its history. When a wonderful salt and pepper set arrive at her shop she is wants to know their history. Little does she know that one half of that set is a trap that will kill her when she touches it. Just as she starts to pick up the piece Kel Ferguson walks in and warns her that the set is a trap sent by the Montoya cartel. From that point on it is non-stop action and adventure. Corine gains and loses is Shady Lady. She starts to use some of the powers her Mother passed on but finds that sometimes she is stronger than she knows. As a result she get results that are more than she wants.
This series just gets better. The story line moves at a fast pace, the characters get more complex and the action is unexpected and exciting. The romance keeps taking unexpected turns leaving a question of who will be the one for Corine.
Archangel’s Consort is the third book in the Guild Hunter series and I think this is the best one so far. Elena Deveraux is a Vampire hunter, a newly made angel and the lover/consort of the lethal Archangel of New York, Raphael. They are just returned from one dangerous mission to find that there is a new evil in New York. Vampires are descending into bloodlust, Raphael is suddenly subject to unexpected rages and storms are shaking the earth. The rising of an ancient archangel is the cause and not just any ancient archangel but Caliane, Raphael’s mother. Elena is in danger from the events and she and Raphael must work together to understand what is happening and prevent more harm.
Archangel’s Consort is a great story that kept me reading. Nalini Singh has added more depth and complexity to the world she created making it even more realistic and riveting. The story is fast paced, filled with action, tension, romance and a full cast of well-drawn characters. The next book in the series, Archangel's Blade, will be out in September of 2011. I look forward to seeing more of Elena and Raphael and a world ruled by angels.
In the Lost Fleet series Jack Campbell has Captain John “Black Jack” Geary awake from cryogenic sleep to take command and despite overwhelming odds bring the Alliance fleet home. In this new series, Beyond the Frontier, Geary returns with new challenges. I wondered if Campbell could maintain the tension in this new series that was the hallmark of The Lost Fleet books. I started reading Dreadnaught and had trouble putting it down. A whole new set of problems kept me reading and the tension that was a hallmark of the first series was there. Dreadnaught starts a month after the last book in the Lost Fleet series. Geary and Tanya managed get away and marry but immediately were called back to duty. Geary has a new assignment. He is to command the First Fleet and his duty is to investigate the aliens and check out the Syndicate Worlds. There are layers to the assignment. The politicians and the military high command do not trust Geary while the people adore him. It seems that a living hero can be very inconvenient to those in power. Geary cannot help but wonder if he is being sent on a suicide mission. Of course Dreadnaught ends with a cliff hanger.
Jack Campbell (John Hemry) writes great military science fiction and terrible romance. The interaction between Geary and Tanya in the romance area is thin at best but great in the military story. The entire cast of characters is back; even ones that I expected to stay home are back on the ships. The pace is great, the story good, and the action thrilling and sometimes unexpected. Something new to look for are all the saying that include “Black Jack” in them. While Geary does not enjoy hearing them they are amusing.
Edie Sha’nim and Finn from Song of Scarabaeus are back. Children of Scarabaeus picks up where Song of Scarabaeus left off. Edie and Finn are trying to get to the Fringe Worlds with information that will free them from the dependency on the Crib Empire but Edie is too valuable as a cypherteck for the Crib to allow her to escape. She and Finn are captured and Edie is forced back to work in order to keep Finn alive. To her horror she finds that the newest group of cyphertecks are children. She wants to escape but instead ends up back to Scarabaeus, the world she tried to save. Her actions will determine the future of Scarabaeus and other planets.
When Song of Scarabaeus was first released it was billed as a Science Fiction Romance. The story had traces of SFR but did not really fit the label. With Children of Scarabaeus the story arc fulfills the SFR label. While both books can stand alone the two together make a satisfying whole.
Sara Creasy has crafted two books with an unusual and exciting story line. The characters are well drawn, the action fits the story and everything fits in the universe that Sara has created. Children of Scarabaeus is full of action, adventure, new ideas, and of course romance. There is something in Children of Scarabaeus for both Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romance fans.
A Marriage of Inconvenience by Susanna Fraser is a recent ebook release by Carina Press. It is also a good example of why my TBR pile grows instead of shrinks. I read and loved The Sergeant’s Lady by Susanna Fraser and when I saw A Marriage of Inconvenience I immediately purchased and started to read. I knew from a comment Susanna made on my post for The Sergeant’s Lady that this book would be a prequel that told the story of Lucy and James, two secondary characters from the previous book.
Lucy Jones is a poor relative living with the Arringtons. She has recently become secretly engaged to her cousin Sebastian. When the Arringtons travel for Portia Arrington wedding Lucy meets James Wright-Gordon. James’s sister Anna meets and is attracted to Sebastian. When the Arringtons’ fortune takes a turn for the worst the lives of all four are changed.
Susanna Fraser writes a well-plotted character driven story. Lucy and James are both likable people who try to do what is right even when it turns out wrong. It was interesting to see how Anna from The Sergeant's Lady ended up married to Sebastian. A added bonus was hearing how everyone was doing several years later in the Epilogue.
In The Buntline Special Mike Resnick gives a new twist to the Gunfight at the OK Corral. The Indians and their magic have stopped the growth of the US at the Mississippi River. The US has sent Thomas Edison to Tombstone hoping he can find a way to nullify the Indian magic and allow the US to expand to the Pacific Ocean. Edison works on more than nullifying Indian magic. He cannot stop coming up with new ideas and his friend Ned Buntline takes those ideas and turns them into inventions. Stir in Doc Holliday, the Earp’s and all the other character from history and you have an entertaining story. This is the Wild West with a steampunk twist.
I wasn’t sure I would like The Buntline Special but once I started reading I really enjoyed the story. Pick it up and I bet you will like it too.