Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What Else I Read/Listened To in September 2014


 Slimy Underbelly by Kevin J. Anderson - I have a hard time defining Slimy Underbelly.  What I can say about it is that it is great fun to read.  Much of it seems to be very tongue in cheek.  
Dan Shamble is a zombie detective who arrived back on the scene after an event that changed things on Earth.  He is joined with other paranormal characters who live in the Unnatural Quarter.  Look for fun characters, unusual events, new mysteries,and just a plain fun read.  It  amazes me how Kevin Anderson changes his writing style to match the story.  I have read several of his series and each has its own style.  The writing in Slimy Underbelly is a great fit for the characters, the plot and the series.

Beauty's Beast by Amanda Ashley - This is a reverse take on Beauty and the Beast.  Kristine is the Beauty and Erik is the Beast.  Unlike the original story where the Beast turns into a handsome prince here Erik is slowly turning into a beast.  Nothing anyone can do can stop the transformation.  Erik has been cursed and the witch who did the cursing is not about to change what is happening.  Love does not conquer all in this book.  It takes something else to get Kristine and Erik to their HEA.  This is a nice story filled with unusual characters.  If you like takes on the Beauty and Beast theme you will enjoy the story.

Free Agent, A Grimm Agency Novel by J.C. Nelson -   This is a
new take on Grimm.  Here he is a Fairy Godfather and he can grant wishes for a price.  Marissa Locks is one of his agents as a result of one of those wishes.  Her parents sold her to Grimm In return for her sisters health. There is quite a bit of world building and character development required for Free Agent.  All of that is done as a part of story line.  The plot is complicated and the results sometimes surprising.  It is a good story to set  up the series.  Many things are solved in Free Agent and with the solutions come the hooks for future stories featuring Grimm and Marissa.

Trial by Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic #2) by Charles E.
Gannon - Trial by Fire is a good follow up to the action in Fire with Fire.  This time there is war and humans are in the cross-hairs of several different species.  Military action is the backbone of Trial by Fire.  It was interesting to watch as humans fight for their lives against the invaders.  There are secrets buried within secrets and not all are on the human side.  A great follow up to the action in book one and a set up for further books in the Terran Republic series.  

The Littlest Cowboy (The Texas Brands Book One) by Maggie
Shayne - I became a Maggie Shayne fan with her de Luca and Brown books so when I saw a The Littlest Cowboy was free on Amazon I picked it up.  While this is a romance it is also a mystery.    Garrett finds a baby on his door step with a note naming him as the father.  Chelsea shows up after identifying the body of her sister who is the baby's mother.  It just get better and better as the book progresses.  Chelsea has issues with men, the baby's actual father (not Garrett) is not a good man and will do anything to get the baby.  Great plot construction, character development, and world building (in this case it is the Brand family of brothers and one sister that is the world).  I love the Brands and want to read the other books in the series. 

The Governess Club: Sara by Ellie MacDonald - Sara had that
one voice in her head for most of her life and the voice was telling her all the things she should not do.  Then she meets Nathan Grant.  Nathan has done some things in his past that make him think he is a very bad man. It takes both of them to change and finally realize they belong together.  I loved both Sara and Nathan.  Sarah quits listening to that voice and Nathan realized he is a better person than he thinks.  It was fun to watch them change, grow and come to their HEA.

The Owner Trilogy:  The Departure, Zero Point, Jupiter War by Neal Asher - This is a very large story divided into three volumes.  There is a surprise at the end.  Earth is in trouble, Alan Saul is escaping, and the adventure starts.  Be prepared for a lot of excitement, interesting characters and very ruthless action on the part of almost everyone.  This is a very dark story so if you want something light to read this is not the series to pick.

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) by Kristan Higgins – With In
Your Dreams I have read all of the Blue Heron series and enjoyed them all.  Emmaline Neal and Jack Holland are the couple in this book. Emmaline needs a date for her ex’s wedding and Jack Holland just needs to get away.  There is a cute dog, a killer cat and visits with the couples from the previous three books.  There was a lot of back-story about both Emmaline and Jack.  That was told in long scenes that slowed the book down for me.  This is the weakest of the four books but still an enjoyable read.

Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss #1.5) by Nalini Singh – I love Singh’s
two paranormal series so wanted to give her New Adult series a try.  Rock Courtship is very well written with two appealing characters.  Thea has been burned.  David has been attracted to Thea from the first moment he met her.  Rock Courtship tells how they finally become a couple.  It is a nice story but I never felt the tension when the big problem arrived.  There is a big however for me.  I just skim the sex scenes in books and Rock Courtship is filled with sex both real and imagined.  I know this is what New Adult is so I was not surprised but that did not leave much actual story.  If you like New Adult you will enjoy the story.  For me I think I will stick to Singh’s other two series.

Christmas Brides by Suzanne Enoch, Alexandra Hawkins, Elizabeth Essex, and Valerie Bowman – If you are ready to start reading fun Christmas stories Christmas Brides comes out today, September 30.  The book contains a collection of previously published Christmas e-novellas.  Enoch has a kidnapping and a rescue, Hawkins a lady whose dowry is bringing in fortune hunters and maybe a murderer, Essex story has a arraigned bride who has unexpected qualities and Bowman’s story brings two people trying to escape marriage finding that maybe with the right person marriage would be very nice.  All four are nice well-written and developed stories that you can read in very small bites.

Audio Books:

1920:  America's Great War by Robert Conroy - This is an
alternate history that has Germany winning World War I and then invading the US.  It is an interesting take on what could have happen but did not.  It was interesting to see characters who I knew were real and to see how they reacted in a different setting.

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