Archive | December, 2013

December 2013 Reviews and Recommendations: Ilona Andrews, Kristen Ashley, Kristan Higgins, Suzanne Johnson and Anne Bishop

31 Dec

The Christmas season was crazy busy this year what with my other half being out of the country and with me being alone with my two toddlers. You would think I would be too busy to read and in a way I probably didn’t read as many books as I would have if hubby had been here as I had to do all the housework and Christmas shopping etc on my own. However, because I really felt the need to decompress at the end of the day, I found that no matter how tired I was I couldn’t NOT read. Television just didn’t cut it for me. The only thing that got my brain to slow down and take a breath was to read. Good, bad or ugly it didn’t matter, I had to get in a solid half hour of reading at night in order to fall asleep. That being said, the bad books probably were more helpful in the falling asleep part as the good ones would keep me awake all night because I just had to finish!
After a totally kick ass November in terms of new releases I found not as many books to get excited about in December. I re-read all my Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniel books and fell in love with them all over again. This is a great urban fantasy series, with great dialogue, a seriously kick ass heroine and fascinating world building. I love the romance between Kate and Curran although I find the series more of an urban fantasy with a little romance thrown in rather than the other way around.
I also read the latest Kristen Ashley Fantasyland book, Broken Dove. I love this author and am constantly entertained by her books. This wasn’t one of my favourites of hers and I have to damn it with faint praise and say it was okay. I really loved the first three books though so I would still recommend the series. In direct contrast to the Ilona Andrews books, I find this series to be more of a romance with a fantasy element.
I started Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series with the first book, Royal Street. I was attracted to this book as it wasn’t about shapeshifters or vampires although they do make appearances in the books- this series is about wizards. The first book didn’t have much romance in it although to be fair there is a little triangle shaping up quite nicely. The world building and the premise were very interesting. It was good enough to have me buying the 2nd and 3rd books in the series so I can see how things turn out.
In terms of contemporary romances I also read a lot of Kristan Higgins’s back list. Although I found her older books to be borderline chick lit I find that I really enjoy the voice of this author. Her writing is consistently good and her characters likeable, self-deprecating and funny. I would recommend her to fans of Susan Mallery and Jill Shalvis.
My favourite book of the month has to be Anne Bishop’s Written in Red. Anne Bishop is best known for her Black Jewel books which are firmly in the fantasy romance category. Written in Red is an urban fantasy romance. She writes about the Terra Indigene or Others who are children of the earth or earth natives. This term refers to a whole raft of supernaturals such as the sanguinati, the shapechangers and the elementals (these are basically your vampires, shape changers and weather controllers but slightly different as all authors like to put their own spin on things). These Others are the superior race of the world and it is only because they allow humans to co-exist with them that humans are living on their land at all. The main character of the book is Meg, who is a human who is running away from other humans and ended up with the Others. I was a little uncomfortable in the beginning with how clear it was that the Others consider humans to be MEAT. Again, other authors touch on this but Anne Bishop really made it clear that humans are food to these Others down to human meat being sold at the local butcher! This book was one I could NOT put down and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.