I know I've been absent a lot... but I think life is calming down, finally. And NO, that is NOT a challenge for the universe! I'm quite in awe of your life-attack skills, thanks, and do not need another lesson at the moment. Kthnxbai!
Anyhow, while I'm getting a series of book reviews together, I will tell you that I got a LOT of reading done this summer, with my back and my arm in mostly un-usable condition. So today I present to you the authors and series that I think you should check out, if you haven't already.
(I have not been asked nor paid to endorse any of these authors. These are my honest opinions and suggestions.)
In no particular order:
1) Anything by JR Ward.
*The Black Dagger Brotherhood was all it was reported to be, and then some.
-Vampire/paranormal, sexual content-HOT, HOT, HOT!!!
I love her writing style. It's raw, edgy, and because the back-stories interlink, you keep seeing glimpses from past characters in each new book. I will mention that you want to start at the beginning, though. This is NOT, IMHO a stand-alone series. You will want to know a lot of things about each character in subsequent books, so just do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. Also, "Lover at Last" is a very touching, wonderful love story, but it does contain gay sex, so if you're not into that, either skip the sexy bits or risk missing bits of the saga.
*I'm currently on book three of the Fallen Angels series, and it's really good!
- Angels and Demons
I love the concept of what's going on, the fight for souls that could go either way, and the raw fight between good and evil, sometimes within one person. I'm in love with Jim!
2) Victoria Danann
*''The Order of the Black Swan' series.
-Vampire hunters/paranormal/demons, sexual content- spicy!
Fun, feisty, fast reads, all of them. Again, the stories of each character intertwine, so you'll want to start at the beginning and read through. This a different series concept, in my experience, in that the main character is introduced in the first book and seems to be much of the focus of subsequent books, with each 'couple' in the following books being sort of a side story to the main story. Not always, but for the most part. Hard to explain, but the fun part is that the characters you get to know and love in the first book are seen again and again, which is what I love about sagas. I HATE falling in love with book folks and then never seeing them again in a series.
The caveat to this one is that with the last book, I felt just a bit disappointed. The story was good, but the only sexy bits were mistaken identity, and that kinda turned me off just a bit. But the rest of the story was good enough to keep going, and in the end, I was very glad I did.
3) Rebecca Ethington
*The Imdalind Series
I started reading this before I realized it was YA. Since I tend to like my books spicy, I steer away from YA and NA most of the time. But sometimes, fate intervenes. I started this one and was hooked from the very beginning. I HAD to know what was going on. Before I knew it, I was downloading book two, and I just bought book three. I haven't read it yet, but I'm confident it will be as enthralling as the first two books. Highly recommend it!
4) Penelope King
* Demonblood and Spellbound series
-demons, witches, paranormal. Sexual content: not much at all in the Spellbound series, but there is some in the Demonblood series... not too hot, but definitely there.
This was something completely different from what I've read before, which is why I kept with it when, again, it was a NA novel, instead of my usual. :) Two aspects of the same person, living in one body, with completely different personalities and lifestyles. One exists by day, one by night, and though they know about each other, they are unaware of what the other aspect does during their 'body time'. It's a very intriguing series, and I can't wait for the third book!
A sweet YA series, dealing with coming-of-age witches. Predictable, but in that good way, when you know what's coming, but you love the characters enough to want to know how they get there. There's a reason the 'formulaic' stories work... if the characters and plot twists work together, it's a hit. I thought these books were definitely well-done and enjoyed them thoroughly. :)
5) Keary Taylor
* Branded: Fall of Angels
paranormal/angels, first book: no sexual content, though there is some sweet attraction and kissing. :)
Another one that I started reading without realizing it was YA. But WOW. What a story! I was blown away! I can't wait to get the rest of the series (so many books, too little income!!!!) but the first book is AMAZING. Very well-written, emotionally engaging and with such an intriguing plot that I could not put it down. I'll report on the others in the series as I'm able. :)
So there ya go. 5 authors that, if you haven't already experienced them, you should. I have very eclectic reading preferences, so while things like the Spellbound series are sweet and clean, the Black Dagger Brotherhood is definitely not either of those.. it's raw sex and violence, but in a way that makes you want to wade into the fray and start busting heads. Demonblood straddles the two categories, with parts of it being innocent and timid, and the other parts being bold, courageous, and sexual. Black Swan is just outright fun, with some gory parts (I mean, they're vampire hunters. There will be blood) and interesting cross-overs, literally, since you're dealing with different dimensions. And the Imdalind series is a class unto itself, IMHO, as is Branded.
Have fun, and feel free to let me know what you think of these authors, if you decide to read their stuff. :)
Now that I've done an update... time to get back to Ishira! :D