March 3, 2012

Series Update

It's just come to my attention (probably because I hadn't search for it) that Nancy Martin has added more titles to her Roxy Abruzzo series.

Initially it was just a stand alone story, Our Lady of Immaculate Deception, but now I have found that there is another title available.

Sticky Fingers
Roxy Abruzzo stays one step ahead of trouble----especially now that her cash flow is less than stellar, and she's "doing favors" for her slippery uncle Carmine, one of the last old-time Mob bosses in Pittsburgh. With her sidekick, Nooch, and her thieving pitbull, Rooney, Roxy hustles the mean streets collecting debts for Uncle Carmine and keeping his customers in line. With her daughter's college tuition to pay, Roxy can almost convince herself that the shady jobs are legal. But when Carmine's consigliere offers Roxy a contract to kidnap someone, that's a line she won't cross. Trouble is the kidnapping happens anyway, and when the victim turns up murdered, Roxy's number one on the police hit parade. To protect herself, she investigates and soon learns the victim had a big secret---or two. Add a rock singer with a penchant for dinosaur bones and throw in a pesky paleontologist, plus an ex-nun with a mustache problem---not to mention a sexy chef with a taste for whatever Roxy dishes up---and you've got a caper full of quirky characters and laugh-out-loud mayhem. Peppered as usual with Nancy Martin's sharp one-liners, Sticky Fingers---the second Roxy Abruzzo mystery---is even tastier than the first.
{synopsis taken from Book Depository}

Plus a Name Change...

Foxy Roxy (previously published as Our Lady of Immaculate Deception)
Big truck, big dog, big hair. Bad attitude. Roxy Abruzzo, bestseller Nancy Martin's latest creation, is the sexy, streetwise niece of a Pittsburgh crime boss, and she's trying to stay on the straight and narrow . . . most of the time. But now and then temptation is just too much for hot-blooded Roxy. As she prowls the mean streets looking for architectural treasures, she can't help swiping an ancient Greek statue that's not exactly hers. Then the statue's owner, heir to a billion-dollar steel fortune, gets himself killed, and the police investigation sweeps Roxy into a mess that requires all of her wits and wiles to escape. All this plus a dotty grand dame, a slippery lawyer, and an avaricious socialite or two makes for a lethal combination of danger and desperation--with Roxy in the middle. With her wicked sense of humor and a devilishly clever premise, author of the beloved Blackbird Sisters mysteries, Nancy Martin has started another outstanding mystery series with "Foxy Roxy."* *(Previously published in hardcover as "Our Lady of Immaculate Deception")

A little bit fey?

Well, after a long week of ups and downs, I've thrown myself back into reading.  Last night, sitting on the top shelf of my bedroom bookcase, was the complete Drake Sisters series by Christine Feehan.  Since the release of the final book in the series, I haven't really read them from start to finish.  I just pull out my favourite ones (Joley and Ilya, Jonas and Hannah, or perhaps Abby and Alexsandr) and leave the rest gathering dust so to speak.  Then I happened to see that the second Sea Haven book, Spirit Bound, was out and decided that before I order it and Water Bound, I'd re-read the Drake Sisters books through again.

I yanked them all down and have them resting on a side table, so that when I want to grab one I don't have to hunt for it.  It only took a short while to read, and before I went to bed last night I started on Book 2.  So when I woke up this morning at some ungodly hour - okay, it was only 5:30am - I switched on my lamp and finished the second book, The Twilight Before Christmas, which was originally one of my favourites.  However, in a weird coincidence kinda way, outside my windows there happened to be the remains of a fogbank which tied in eerily to the book.  Strange but true....

Anyhow, so I finished Book 2 this morning and have already started on Book 3, Oceans of Fire, which is the story of Abigail and her hunky Russian ex-cop, Alexsandr Volstov... yummy.  But that's getting ahead of myself :P  So instead, here's what I thought of Book 1...

Magic in the Wind
(Drake Sisters short story in Lover Beware)
ISBN: 0-425-20863-X
Okay, so while there is not a lot to work with it is a surprisingly good read.  It has been so long since I've picked up this little book, and it is little at only 103 pages, it only took an hour or so to get through. {side note, why didn't Ms Feehan flesh it out when it was going to be reprinted as a stand alone? Eileen Wilks did it for her short story about Rule and Lily?}  But I digress.

This book sets the series up quite nicely in my opinion.  Some of the sisters are present, their 'curse' is mentioned in full, not just hinted at like in the other titles, plus you get a feel for the dynamics of the family - well the sisters anyway.  Jonas is present, and as annoying as ever, and one would never think that he had any interest in Hannah from his actions in this story.

Sarah, as the eldest, is the first to face the matrimonial firing squad.  You get a to see her in both business and bossy older sister modes, and it does read true.  I suspect that's more to Feehan's inate ability to convey family ties and drawing on her own background as being part of a large family.  That been said, Sarah as a character, as well as Damon, isn't as well fleshed out as the other sisters in their stories but I believe that's only because there was the length restriction for MITW.  However, even with those contraints, you still feel for the characters.  Damon is the hunky egghead who has lead a staid and emotionally stilted life.  He lives in his head, but after surviving an attempted kidnapping that went wrong where his friend and assistant was killed and he suffered permanent injuries, decided on a seachange.  Damon feels guilty and alone... until he meets Sarah.  Their courtship is both quick and intense, and with the threat of further violence, they bond together very quickly.  But unlike the other men in the Drake Sisters lives, Damon doesn't have as much of a back story as such. His only real angst comes from the attack and it's aftermath so you don't get the feeling that he's had a terrible childhood, or was deprived like most of the other men. 

Personally, I'd love to have read this as a full length book, not as a skinny-mini, but it was enough to wet my appetite for more.  Unlike other series, you really don't have to have read this title in order to enjoy the following books, but it does help as it sets up the parameters for the legend/curse of the Drake Sisters and how they will meet their mates.

I'd recommend this for a anyone who enjoys a supernatural romance.  Its great for the bus or train, or even as a lunch-break read.

February 29, 2012

Celebrity in Death

Hands down, this is the longest series I've ever read, let alone collected... and there seems to be no end in sight.  Now numbering in the 30's (34 to be exact), and Lt. Eve Dallas will probably still be going at book 63! 

Celebrity in Death picks up not long after Eve's last case, and after Eve and Roarke's meltdown in the last book I was worried how Robb would try to repair their relationship.  Instead of falling back into old patterns, I was pleasantly surprised at Eve's emotional progress.  No longer was she lashing out in anger and pain, she was instead trusting those around her to help her through the toughest of times.  Amazingly there was even a slight mellowing between Eve and Somerset which I found amusing.  But I digress....

Now I eagerly awaited this book.  I reserved it from my local library (1st in queue! woohoo!) and have spent the last 5 or so hours devouring it.  This time round, Eve's latest case revolves around the movie being made about one of her earlier cases, the Icove murders (Origin in Death).  Now, the bitchy celebrities of The Icove Agenda have become the prime suspects in the murder of one of their own - and under Eve and Peabody's noses - so Dallas and Peabody have to man up once again to find the killer.

This was just a great murder mystery and after following Eve's gut wrenching past through various storylines, I'm so thankful it wasn't as emotionally charged as the last book. This was classic Eve at her best - and JD Robb too.  It's been so long since there has been a book that hasn't had the tread of Eve's past running through it as a major sidestory.  Here we are back to the classic formula where Eve has a hunch and follows it no matter what the obstacles.  I could tell you how much I enjoyed certain parts, but that might spoil it for those who haven't read it yet.

Now I think I'm a fairly clued in reader, I've usually discovered the killers identity long before the big reveal, but this time the killers identity was a surprise to me.  Perhaps I was tired, or I just missed some clues that were right under my nose? But for whatever the reason I didn't twig to the killer until Eve mentioned it...d'oh.

If you'be never picked up an In Death title before for goodness sake, don't start with this one.  You'll just become horribly confused.  Start with Naked in Death.  You won't be disappointed.

February 26, 2012

New books on order

Hi there!  With all this wet weather hanging around, I thought I just might need some new reading material.  So off I went to my trusty online bookshop and spent way too much time pondering over all the titles I'd love to get.  Finally, after much debate, I narrowed it down to six.  I would have ordered more, but there is only so much I can spend on books!  My budget just wouldn't take it if I indulged every month - heck, I'd purchase weekly if I could afford it :P

So what were my choices, you ask?  Well, thank you for your interest.  Currently winging it's way to me are some more titles from a few of the must have series I get.

Ooh, just got an email to tell me that Timeless by Gail Carriger has just been released from the publishers.  It's the first cab off the rank, so to speak, and should be hitting my local Post Office in a week or so.  This is the first steam punk series I've ever read (thanks to Aaron at Bookworld for recommending it!), and I've enjoyed the series so far.  It has all my favourite things... werewolves, vampires, paranormal romance with some murder/mystery thrown if for good measure.

The other books that I purchased consisted of

  the new Patricia Briggs book, Fair Game.  I've been eagerly awaiting this next Alpha and Omega story.
  Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter's anthology, Angel's Flight.
•  Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.
•  Canyons of Night, the latest of the Jayne Castle (AKA Jayne Ann Krentz) Ghost Hunter series, and finally
Andrea Kane's sequel to Twisted, Drawn in Blood.

 Now, having said that I couldn't resist jumping onto Book Depository and having another look for more books {if I keep going like this I'll have to open a library just for all my books :)} and found some good one.  There is a trilogy by Leslie Tentler (Chasing Evil) that has really whetted my appetite.  The 3 stories don't share the same lead characters, but boy it sounds like a great thriller/murder mystery.  It's in my wishlist, but I'm tempted to sneak it into the cart...

Following my success at finding some new authors, I soldier on.  I'd love to get my hands on Sharon Sala's Snowfall, but unfortunately there is nothing in stock... bummer.  Back to the more familiar, and I've found another Andrea Kane that's due for release soon - mine now - and passed on a few P.C. Cast titles (I think I've moved on from them, although I still adore Divine by Mistake), and am into the final stretch for the moment.  Feehan has released a new Sea Haven book... do I or don't I?... hmmmm.... wishlist.

Speaking of old favourites, I've also spotted the first book in the Annie Darling series, Death on Demand, by Carolyn Hart. Having borrowed some of the later titles from the local library over the years, I don't mind reading this series. It's a not too complicated read, and although more in the vein of a more dedicated crime book, it's not as captivating as say the In Death series. Into the wishlist for this title.

So now that I've perused my old wishlist, and added some things to it, I've been bad and ordered another couple of books. 

Coming to a mailbox (namely mine) soon are, drumroll please.....

•  No Safe Place - Jo Ann Ross
•  Courting Darkness - Yasmine Galenorn
•  Hiding in the Shadows - Kay Hooper
•  In Too Deep - Jayne Ann Krentz, and lastly
•  Midnight Caller - Leslie Tentler

Oh well.  Like I always tell people - I don't drink, or smoke.  This, books and reading, is my addiction :D