dinsdag 16 september 2014

Recommendations from Peggy for September 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Peggy from Belgium.

Peggy:

I have read 9 novels in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. Stinger – Mia Sheridan

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2. In flight – R.K. Lilley

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3. Lawful escort – Tina Folsom

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(this book has a new prettier cover now but I found this one!)


The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is:

Mia Sheridan - Stinger

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Grace Hamilton was the girl with a plan. She knew exactly where her life was going and prided herself on always achieving her goals. It was who she was, and how she lived her life. She never stepped outside the lines, and never considered what she might desire and whom she was actually trying so hard to please. Until him...
Carson Stinger was a man who didn't play by any rules except his own. Working in the adult entertainment industry, he didn't care what others thought, and took each day as it came, no direction, no plan. He knew what women wanted from him and believed it was all he had to offer. Until her...
When circumstances forced them to spend several hours together, they walked away changed. But for two people who never should have meshed, overcoming the reality of their vastly different lives wasn't possible. At least not yet...
Author's Note: THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. The first two books in the series need not be read to enjoy this book. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.


After reading the review from Aurian about ‘Lawful escort’ I wanted to read this book (series), so I did and I really liked the book and the second book also. I can’t wait to read the third book of this series. While surfing the internet I discovered a new writer, R.K. Lilley and her ‘Up in the air trilogy’. If you loved the ’Fifty shades series’ and you love kinky men then this series is something for you.

Mia Sheridan is also a new writer that I discovered through the internet. ‘Archer’s voice’ is the first book that I read from her and I really liked it. So I wanted to read more books from her. The next book that I tried was ‘Stinger’, I must confess that I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the blurb but I wanted to give it a try and I’m so happy that I did.

The story is about Grace Hamilton, a girl who knows what she wants to do with her life. She has it all figured out. Even her love life is planned.
Everything is going according to plan until the moment she meets Carson Stinger. He wasn’t something that she planned.

Carson Stinger is a man who has no plan or rules. He lives his life like he wants to. The only thing he knows for sure is that women like him, they like him very much! So he gives them what they want.

Grace has come to Las Vegas to attend a conference, The International Law Students Association Conference. So when she meets Carson she first thinks that he’s also there for that same conference but then she discovered that he isn’t a student and that he’s there for the other conference, namely The Adult Entertainment Expo. An adult entertainer is not someone who she wants to know. So she quickly walks away from him. But when you both stay at the same hotel, it’s only naturally that you run into each other. And so they meet again and the third time they meet, they’re stuck together in the elevator for some time. And this is where they learn more about each other. Where they each get a glimpse to see behind the mask of the other person.
After this accident Grace decided to forget about her rules for a weekend and go with the flow. Both feel that this is a special weekend but they agree that it will only be a weekend of sex and nothing more. After that weekend they will go back to their own life. A simple plan but life is never simple. They both have a fantastic weekend and enjoy each other company. When the end of the weekend is there, it isn’t as easy as they thought it would be to say goodbye but they do it.

But that weekend has changed something in both of them and they both react to it differently.
Especially, Carson reacts heavily to this weekend and makes a big decision to his future, a decision that changes his whole life. Years pass and they both go on with their lives but that doesn’t mean that they don’t think about each other and the weekend they spent in Las Vegas. After years being apart they meet again in Las Vegas. They both live and work there. Through circumstance they meet again. The feelings are still there but there are some new obstacles in their way. Can they make it together this time?

But if you can’t stop loving someone for so many years, how can you stop now?

When I started this book I thought I already knew how the story would go but that wasn’t the case with this book! It started that way but it took a whole different turn and I loved it. I especially loved Carson. He is so sweet. I don’t want to tell much about the changes they make after their weekend because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone but it took me by surprise. And for me that was part of why I love this book. I love it when a story takes me some place where I didn’t expect it. I can’t wait to read more books of this writer.


Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Peggy! I am glad you enjoyed the Tina Folsom book. The other two authors are completely new to me, so thank you for discovering them. Not sure if I will ever read them though, as you kept sending me to the adult section of Fantasticfiction for the cover pictures.




© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 10 september 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 15th new additions post for 2014. A short list this time.

From Bookdepository:

Allison Kingsley – Trouble Vision
Allison Kingsley – Mind over murder
Allison Kingsley – A sinister sense
Allison Kingsley – Extra Sensory Deception
(I think Diana made me buy this series with her review)
Annie West – Damaso claims his heir
Jayne Castle – The Hot Zone

Books bought at the bookfair:
Barabara Taylor Bradford – Playing the Game
Lilian Jackson Braun – The Private life of the cat who..

A gift from the author:
ARC Patricia Briggs – Shifting Shadows
Annie West – Door verlangen gevangen (Imprisoned by a vow)



© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 9 september 2014

Jayne Castle – The Hot Zone

The third book in the Futuristic World of Harmony: Rainshadow series, published August 26, 2014.
Genre: sci fi romance / paranormal romance
Cover: strong, I like it

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The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island.
Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret...

Halloween - with its tricks and treats - is a dust bunny's dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow's faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it's a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.
And now, Sedona's ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow...


Sedona Snow wakes up from drug induced nightmares to find out that she is being held a prisoner in some kind of lab, and that someone calling himself a doctor is running experiments on her. She was on a Guild mission in the Catacombs when she was abducted. Her new dust bunny friend helps her to escape, and together they find their way aboveground. When Sedona finally gets home to her new husband, she finds out that he has already replaced her with her secretary, she has been gone almost a month. As he received word that she was presumed dead in the Catacombs, he just filed for divorce and moved on.
Sedona is used to being abandoned, both her parents’ families did that the day she turned 18, as she was an illegitimate child and an embarrassment to them. Now she has started a new life for herself on Rainshadow Island. It is perfect for her, it seems to attract people that don’t fit in society, and those that have strange powers like she has. Ever since her abduction, her powers seem stronger, and she has this new one controlling fire.

The Sebastian family who owns most of Rainshadow Island, has hired the Guild to map the recently discovered Catacombs, and the Guild has appointed a new Guild Boss to run things, Cyrus Jones. But Cyrus also has another mission; he needs to find Sedona Snow and asses her mental state. They now she was experimented upon, and if she is still alive after being taken of the serum that was tested on her, that is a real miracle. His own power is even more frightening, he can go cold and make other people’s powers stop working. Temporarily, or permanently. No wonder Arcane Match could not find a wife for him, everyone is afraid of that. But one look at Sedona Snow is enough for Cyrus to know that she is it. But Sedona is weary of men after what happened to her, and especially of Guild bosses. They can’t be trusted.

When Sedona is attacked in her own home that night, and barely manages to escape, her dust bunny Lyle fetches Cyrus, her new next door neighbour, for help. She doesn’t expect that he believes her story, but his own psychic senses prove her story true, and he stays to keep her safe while she crashes from the overextension of her psychic powers. The next morning, he offers her a job down in the Catacombs with his team, knowing that anyone who has ever worked down below, wants to go back. Sedona is very relieved that he believes her, and that he thinks she is not broken of fragile. Her friend Rachel has confirmed that her aura is healthy and whole, but Sedona knows not everyone will believe her story.

And then her ex-husband suddenly shows up on her doorstep, claiming he has been looking for her and he wants her back. Sedona doesn’t trust him one bit, and Cyrus thinks it a too big co├»ncidence that he shows up right after Sedona has been attacked. How did he find her? Sedona is contacted by her grandfather’s lawyer firm, and now by her mother’s sister. Why are all those people suddenly looking for her? They have ignored her her whole adult life. So she is not really inclined to answer the phone or listen to the messages they leave behind.

When some treasure hunters get into trouble in the Catacombs, Cyrus and Sedona and a team of hunters go down to rescue the man left behind. And what they find is beautiful and dangerous, and stranger than any hunter has ever seen before...

With the mad scientist and his guild hunters, her ex-husband, and her own family after her, Sedona has to trust someone. And Cyrus has proven himself to her, when he refused to leave her behind in the crystal forest. So when they all start telling Sedona that she can’t trust a Jones, and certainly not him, she doesn’t believe them. The attraction between them is so strong, she can’t deny it as being alien psy influencing them any longer.


What can I say about this series that I haven’t said in my reviews in the past years? I just love this series, the setting is amazing, the characters are instantly in your heart and the stories keep being fresh and adventurous. Sure, the relationship feels like it is always the same, but I don’t care one whit about that. A woman with strong and unique powers is in danger, and the man with even stronger and darker and more violent powers instantly falls for her, and together they save themselves and solve the mystery. Add in a cute dust bunny, and I am lost in the world of Harmony for hours.

I like the adventure, the strange new psychic powers Jayne Castle invents. There are some nice love scenes as well. I just like her writing style, in any of her pen names, and her sense of humor. It is quiet, not over the top, and just how I like it.

I totally recommend this series if you like characters with psychic powers saving themselves from danger, and finding their perfect match.

9 stars.



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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 7 september 2014

Catherine Coulter – Bomb Shell

Book 17 in the FBI Thriller series, published July 9, 2013.
Genre: romantic suspense, with a dash of psychic abilities
Cover: boring

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FBI Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith, last seen in Backfire, has been recruited by Dillon Savich to join his unit in Washington, D.C. Savich sees something special in Hammersmith, an almost preternatural instinct for tracking criminals.
While on his way to D.C., Hammersmith plans to visit his sister, Delsey, a student at Stanislaus School of Music in Maestro, Virginia. Before he arrives, he gets a phone call that Delsey was found naked, unconscious, and covered with blood after a wild party. The blood isn't hers - so who does it belong to?
Meanwhile, back in D.C., Savich and Sherlock have their hands full when the grandson of former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank is found murdered, every bone in his body broken, and frozen at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.
Was Savich right - is Griffin gifted with a unique ability to "see" how criminals think? And will he figure out who was behind the attempt on Delsey's life - before it's too late?


I am very much afraid that I have fallen out of love with this series. I get the impression that Catherine Coulter writes those stories on autopilot. Of course I like the scenes with Savich and Sherlock and their young son, and the mystery is often a good one, especially as there is a bit of paranormal involved. But for the rest, all the characters sound the same; they are not fleshed out at all anymore. Griffin meets Anna, and he immediately likes her, and in three days time he knows he loves her, but he doesn’t even know her! All he knows is that she is a brave hardworking undercover DEA-agent, not afraid of danger. For me, there is no longer any thrill or excitement in the stories, the agents themselves are all laid back and easy going, there is just not enough action anymore. They are not running, hiding, staking out, nothing much but thinking and politely asking questions. When previous characters are mentioned, I have no idea anymore what their story was about.
I will try her first book in her new series, co written with J.T. Ellison, about a Brit in the FBI, but I think it will have the same characters.

5 stars.



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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 2 september 2014

Ellery Adams – Murder at the Mystery Suite

The first book in the Book Retreat Mystery series, published August 5, 2014.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: lovely

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WHO WOULD RESORT TO MURDER?
Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.
But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There's no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…


Ellery Adams has written another winner. This book managed to break through my hay day addiction, and I finished it in one day. Ellery has such a vivid writing style, I got sucked in this story from the beginning, and I really want to go on vacation to Storyton Hall now.

Jane Steward was recently widowed and pregnant with twins, when she accepted her great-aunt and –uncle’s offer to become the new manager of Storyton Hall. Storyton Hall is an old English estate that has been moved stone to stone to Virginia, America, and rebuild there. It has several extensive libraries and lots of quiet reading spaces. Perfect for readers to relax with a good book, in a beautiful environment. There is excellent food in different locations, as well as room service. There are all kinds of activities to sign up for, and guests can use the Hall’s car service to visit the village of Storyton, with its bookstore and lots of nice shops. The bookstore is run by Jane’s best friend. They are truly pampered during their stay.

There is a lot of staff necessary to maintain the house and grounds, and care for all the guests. It is becoming difficult to pay for the necessary repair costs, so Jane has come up with the idea of a Murder and Mystery week. There will be all kinds of activities, based on the most famous detectives ever written. With a costumed ball, a scavenger hunt and pickleball contest.

But when her aunt has a heart attack, and Jane is told the heavily guarded secret of Storyton Hall, and that she will now be its Guardian, she not only has to retrieve a valuable book from her aunt’s personal collection, she has to find a killer ....
With the help of her prized staff, who have also been hiding their true jobs from her, Jane has to run the Hall and find a killer before the Hall’s secrets are brought into the open.


I loved this book, and everything about it. Jane and her family, her book club friends, the setting of this book, the small village and its shops. Nothing is cardboard; everything is well worked out and original. The secret of Storyton Hall is surprising and good, and the murder mystery is engaging and the weapon of choice pure evil.

What more can I tell you, so far I love everything that Ellery Adams has written, all her series are different, with different characters and storylines, and I do recommend them all. If you want to try a cozy mystery for the first time, pick one of hers and you won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait for the next one!

10 stars.



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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 1 september 2014

New books to look forward to for September 2014

This is the list of new releases for the month of September 2014 I am looking forward to:

Jennifer Ashley – Scandal and the Duchess – Mackenzies 6.5
J.F. Lewis – Grudgebearer – Grudgebearer Trilogy 01
Alexis Morgan – Honor’s Price – Warriors of the Mist 3
Catherine Coulter – The Final Cut – Brit in the FBI 1 PB
Catherine Coulter – The Lost Key – Brit in the FBI 2 HC
Christine Feehan – Dark Blood – Dark 26 HC
Clive Cussler – The Eye of Heaven – Fargo Adventure 6 HC
Clive Cussler – The Mayan Secrets – Fargo Adventure 5 PB
Heather Graham – The Betrayed – Krewe of Hunters
J.D. Robb – Festive in Death – In Death 39 HC
Jean Johnson – Birthright – Flame Sea 1 Kindle?
Karen Hawkins – The prince who loved me – Oxenburg Princes 1
Kim Harrison – The Witch with no name – Rachel Morgan 13
Kresley Cole – Endless Knight – Arcana Chronicles 2 PB
Patricia Briggs – Shifting Shadows – stories from Mercy Thompson HC
Robin D. Owens – Ghost Layer – Ghost Seer 2
Sherrilyn Kenyon – Son of No One – Dark Hunter 25 HC
Susan Wittig Albert – The Darling Dahlia’s and the Silver Dollar Bush – Darling Dahlia’s 5 HC
Susan Wittig Albert – The Darling Dahlia’s and the Texas Star – Darling Dahlia’s 4 PB
Suzanne Enoch – Christmas Brides anthology
Thea Harrison – Night’s Honour – Elder Races 7
Yasmine Galenorn – Priestess Dreaming – Otherworld 16
Erin McCarthy – Close Up – BD 04-06


I have read a total of 7 books this month, which is disturbingly low. I need to make a serious effort to kick the addiction to Hay Day.

Did I match my reading solutions for last month? No.
I have read 1 cozy mystery:
- Ellery Adams – Murder in the Mystery Suite

2 books longer than 1 year on my shelf:
- Anne McCaffrey - Dragonsdawn
- Nora Roberts – Song of the West

0 books I have won / been gifted / given for review:
although I am reading my ARC of Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs.

and for my Kindle freebie/Nora Roberts challenge:
- Nora Roberts – Song of the West

I promise to do better this month, and I will have to succeed. I will be on holiday for a nice long weekend soon, and perhaps the quiet will help me focus.



© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 30 augustus 2014

Anne McCaffrey - Dragonsdawn

A book in the Renegades of Pern series, published October 1, 1988 and many times after that.
Genre: fantasy
Cover: my book is in Dutch, and I do like my editions cover a lot.

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Deadly spores threaten the human colony of Pern unless the colonists, with help from geneticist Kitti Ping, can develop fire-breathing dragons to combat the menace.


Those who have followed my blog for a while, know that I am a huge Anne McCaffrey fan, and that her Dragonriders of Pern are my favourite series. I have re-read Dragonsdawn for the umpteenth time now, and was surprised that I had not yet written a review about it.

This book explains how the humans travelled to Pern, a 15 year journey, with most of them asleep. They brought everything they would need to build a low-tech society, the animals and plants thought compatible with the Pern soil and environment. And dolphins to guide their ships and help map the coastline. It was a one way journey, with no way back.

The first eight years went well, they build a society, and farms, and everyone could earn a big piece of land after working hard on the colony’s behalf. The story follows a few people, but for me the focus is on two children, Sorka and Sean, who are the first to make contact with the little firelizards and imprint them, and that will be of major importance for the continued existence of humans on Pern.

The strange hobo planet in the Rukbat system has been closing in on Pern for the past few months, but it will pass harmlessly. Or so they thought. The strange trajectory of the planet brings it through the Oort cloud, and in its tail it brings a deadly Thread to Pern. It eats everything alive. The little firelizards have been trying to warn their people, getting them and the animals inside, but the humans did not understand. Until the first threads fell, eating them and their crops and animals. The firelizards breathing fire are the only things saving them, and the stone roofs of their houses.

When the people understand what it is, and where it is coming from, and that it will fall for 40 to 50 years, they need to make plans, and fast. They need to come together, back to Landing, and fight this stuff with fire. But the airsleds were not built for such extensive use, even if they have enough HNO3 to fight with. The only possible solution, is to make the little firelizards bigger, and able to communicate with humans. In their midst is the ancient biologist Kitty Ping, who has studied with a very advanced race, and she agrees to try to alter the little firelizards to their needs. It takes a lot more time for them to succeed, and then for the dragons and their riders to grow up.

I really enjoyed seeing Sorka and Sean grow up, and learn their way around Pern. Sean is from a gypsy family and they don’t really like him socializing with Sorka, but they stay friends. Sorka teaches him the rules he did not bother to learn before he skipped school, and together they explore the beaches. I loved it when Sean earned his horse, and how the biologists and vets were able to design it exactly as Sean wanted. Both Sean and Sorka become apprentice vets, and they both imprint one of the dragons Kitty Ping has designed. Together they will lead the dragonriders of Pern in their battle against thread.

Of course not everything is going allright, there are some dissidents and other stupid people on the colony. Avril Bitra thinks she can escape Pern after mining some of the precious black diamonds and other valuables, and she doesn’t hesitate to kill to get her way. But the brave Sallah Telgar is on to her, and at the cost of her own life, stops her, while helping her planet by providing some extra helpful data.

Then there is Ted Tubberman, a very unhappy man, and after the dead of his children in the first Fall, he has gone mad with grief. Against the colony’s wishes he sends out a distress signal asking Earth for help. Of course it will take 10 years to reach Earth and there is no guarantee at all that they will come to their aid. And at what cost? But he also starts tinkering with lethal earth animals and that will leave a legacy not easily forgotten or killed.

In the end they will have to flee the Southern continent and move up north, where they will have to live in extensive caves but with all the luxury of home. There has to be room enough for the dragons as well ...


It is a very engaging read, and it makes me wish I was living in the future and able to go to a new planet to start a new community with likeminded people. It sounds like hard work but very rewarding and I would love to be the first one to see or do things. Of course I want a firelizard of my own as well.

I do recommend this series. A note of warning: lots of books are stand alone, jumping hundreds of years through time and give us new heroes and heroines and stories. Some books are connected though, following the lives of a few people. I just love them all.

From moderate technology, they will become more middle ages without much technology as the machinery they brought with them becomes irreplaceable and knowledge is lost because of plagues and accidents. But slowly they relearn things, and when they discover their ancestors Landing and the spaceships they left behind, they will finally be able to fight the planet that brings them Threat every 250 years.

Anne McCaffrey has written many engaging science fiction and fantasy series, and I love most of them. I will re-read those often. I have most of her books, and hope to find the missing ones someday.

10 stars.



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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian