My Year in Books 2014

Thanks to Goodreads for making this easy for me! Unfortunately, Netflix got in the way of me reading more. Plus (and this is a good thing), two years ago, I had surgery, which required an 8 week recovery. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time reading that summer!

I’m going to share my top reads and then I’m going to share my top Netflix shows. Let me know if anything on my list made yours as well!

My top M-M reads for 2014 (no particular order; these all received 5 star ratings from me):

  • A_Hunted_ManDaylight Again (Hell or High Water #3) by S.E. Jakes. If you haven’t read any of this series, you need to. Prophet and Tom rock! (Catch a Ghost is the first book in the series, FYI)
  • A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House #2) by Jaime Reese. Just love Cameron and Hunter.
  • Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run #6) by Abigail Roux. Actually, several books (Armed & Dangerous and Sticks & Stones, for example) in this series received high marks from me. Ty and Zane are one of my absolute favorite couples.

Continue reading “My Year in Books 2014”

The Week in Review

What’s new with me in the realm of reading, TV, and writing. Enjoy!

WordPress pulled a fast one on me last night when I tried to write a post. Things seem to be back to normal tonight so what’s a day late??

Whose ready for Christmas (of those who celebrate)? Not me! Although I am one gift closer to being ready…

Unfortunately, this has been a rough week. I’ve been under-the-weather, which has really cut into my shopping (and other everyday things that need to get done). Now I’m going to have to battle the crowds this weekend. So not looking forward to that! I’m hoping that I can get everything done at one store–please, cross your fingers for me!

So, what’s new with me this week? Here’s a quick update: Continue reading “The Week in Review”

Thoughts: Burn for Me

I finally finished Burn for Me this morning. The past couple of nights, I’ve been trying to stay awake and knock out the remainingBurn_For_Me pages, but I just couldn’t do it–not for any issues with the book, I was just physically too tired.

Thanks to Sharron for recommending it! I didn’t even realize the husband and wife writing team of Ilona Andrews had a new book out. Shame on me! LOL I am huge Kate Daniels fan so once Sharron started giving me background on this book, I knew I had to read it.

After picking up the book, I wondered if it was more PNR than Urban Fantasy. I’m not going to discuss the particulars of each genre, but I found a nice combination in the story–urban fantasy, romance (more like sexual tension), and even a bit of mystery. Oh, and just my two cents: The models on the cover aren’t how I pictured the characters. Mad Rogan is much hotter! Continue reading “Thoughts: Burn for Me”

Gunmetal Magic

I finally finished Gunmetal Magic, the first book in the Kate Daniels World series, written by Ilona Andrews. I think I’m definitely in the minority with my views and thoughts on this book.

For starters, it took me 10 days to read this (slow for me). I had no problem putting the book down (not a good sign), and there were times I went looking for something else to read (definitely not a good sign). Sadly, I think my problem with this book was that Andrea isn’t Kate, isn’t even close in fact. She is more serious, up-tight, and has way more hang-ups with her past (rightly so given her childhood). She and Raphael didn’t have the chemistry and the witty retorts that characterize Kate and Curran. Raphael’s practical jokes as part of the bouda mating ritual were downright hilarious. I feel like that humor was lost on Andrea. She is kick ass and tough, but she isn’t the well-rounded character Kate is.

Action was not the problem nor were the secondary characters. I actually really like Roman. I think he almost stole the show – who would have known – Army Ranger?!

I feel horrible, but I’m only going to award this book 3.5 stars out of 5. If you are completely enamoured with Kate and Curran, I have a feeling you be left wanting with Andrea and Raphael.

Included at the back of this book is Magic Gifts, a Kate Daniels novella (5.4 in the Kate Daniels series for those who want to be specific). To illustrate my point, this novella was only a 100 pages – darn it! – but I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting. I love Kate and Curran – the Beast Lord rocks!! The poor couple, they try to go out for a dinner date and end up with two off the hook vampires because one of the journeymen is killed while the other is left in hysterics. But, restaurant patrons and workers, have no fear – Kate and Curran can handle just about everything. And they do. They even refrain from hurting Ghastek and destroying his property later on.

Ghastek and his creepy sunscreen coated vampires (Kate likened them to skittles) played a large role in this novella. I’m not typically a fan of the People, but it totally worked, especially when Ghastek kept betting Kate and losing. Heh heh. I loved with the big, drunken Nordic/ Viking guy (don’t ask me to correctly spell his name) who challenged Curran. What a funny scene!

The ending was perfect! I won’t spoil it, but HEA. This novella flowed and was true to all that is Kate and Curran, Consort and His Furriness!

4.5 out of 5 stars

Best of 2011: Urban Fantasy

I’m so behind on posting my picks. Forgive me! So, without any further ado…

My #1 pick is Magic Slays (Kate Daniels series, book 5) by Ilona Andrews. How can anyone not love Kate, the kick-ass heroine, and Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta? I love the futuristic setting of these books, the magic, the unique role of vampires, the characters (Jim, Andrea, Derek, and others), the action, and the completely snarky and witty comments Kate makes. For instance, Kate’s description of Curran (p. 81): “He was dangerous. And difficult. And he was all mine.” She and her husband are a writing team and can be found at http://www.ilona-andrews.com/

My #2 pick is Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires series, book 4) by Chloe Neill. This book moved me in a very emotional way (see full details on my November 24th post). If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you are equipped with a full box of tissues for the ending. Ms. Neill broke my heart. And she was able to do that because she completely and totally sucked me into the story. It was masterful! Check out her website at http://www.chloeneill.com/

Honorable Mention goes to Chosen by Fate (Para-Ops series, book 2) by Virna DePaul. The author has created a new and interesting world. She had me hooked after reading her first book. This one featured Wraith and Caleb, and I’m happy to say that it included more romance. I stumbled upon her books and am glad that I did. She can be found at http://www.virnadepaul.com/index.shtml

Kellan Lutz as Curran

As many of you know, I’m addicted to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series (urban fantasy). Some of my friends and I have been tossing around ideas of actors who could play some of our favorite fictional characters. The latest debate has been about Curran. A minor consensus has been reached that Kellan Lutz (with blonde hair) would make an excellent Beast Lord. Ladies, please weigh in…

I am working on putting together some of my favorite Curran descriptions and quotes. It is quite an extensive project! I’ll give you a taste of what’s to come…

These are all from Magic Bites.

“The Beast Lord was the Pack King, the Lord of the Shapechangers, and he ruled his brethren with an iron fist.” (48)

Kate when she first met Curran: “Diplomacy was never my strong suit and my patience had run dry. I crouched and called out, ‘Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.'” (54)

There are plenty more funnies in reference to His Majesty and Furriness!

Second Post of the Month – Go Me!

Ha! I can’t believe that I am back for another post! I think it is the spring fever – the sunshine has me motivated. In fact, I enjoyed a pleasant dinner on my balcony last night. It was nice having the windows open and letting the fresh air inside.

I’m still reading. Unfortunately, I have yet to finish Unearthly. It is dragging along. I must confess, though, that I am totally addicted to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. I’m currently on book #4 – Magic Bleeds. I love the tension between Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord. After the opening pages of the book, I was very upset with Curran as he stood her up for the dinner he scheduled (after winning a bet with Kate). She, rightly so, was incensed. When she finally comes face to face with Curran at the Guild, she refuses to address him. She addresses everything to Jim and asks him to relay it to His Majesty. I LOVED IT! Apparently, given their actions, the two are mates, which I find even more hilarious. I appreciate Ms. Andrews keeping the tension there, but after the hot tub scene in book #3, these two really need to get together!

Running is coming along ever so slowly. I gave my aching knees a rest last week and walked instead. I am going to try a short run this afternoon. I am disappointed that I will not be able to run in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this year. If my knees can survive the training, I’d like to find another half marathon to do instead. I may end up waiting until fall – big yuck! That means training will be in the heat to the summer. Not fun for me. Alas, the search for a race continues…