Regina in the Sun
by RG Alexander
Children of the Goddess, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal, Erotic Romance, Vampires
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 02-24-2009
Length: 200 Pages
When she arrives at Ye Olde Haven Pub, the sanctuary for Trueblood Vampires, Regina is wounded and desperate. Her only thought is to save the Deva Clan, her family, from the dangerous Loups De L’Ombre, the Shadow Wolves. She knows she will not exactly be welcomed with open arms. She is, after all, an Unborn, the lowest caste of Vampire.
As a natural born from the purest line, Zander Sariel knows the rules are sacrosanct—a Trueblood mates with his own kind. But one taste of the young Unborn is all Zander needs to know that rules were made to be broken.
With enemies at every turn, Zander risks everything to save Regina from the monster that hunts her, his own kind’s ignorance and—if he must—her lack of faith in her own unique abilities.
Only together do they have a chance to defeat the shadow that haunts their future, and save their entire race from extinction.
I won this in an online competition, and had a few issues with the first chapter (is Our Heroine running through a town or a village? Is she in Norfolk or near Norwich? Why is the street cobbled?) but then most of the action moved inside and I could ignore where exactly in England this pub was supposed to be. Later on there were a couple of science references that also threw me (in the 'I don't think that word means what you seem to think it means' kind of way). I'm a biologist: if I'm reading a paranormal story I either want proper science (ideally with conflicting theories being held by different characters) or I want the whole lot hand-waved as happening by/because of magic(k).
Having said all that I liked the mythology and the characters and there was some fun back-story and world-building (when they moved outside again, I sort of assumed they were leaving Norfolk/Norwich and heading south to Framlingham Castle, although that may just be a coincidence of description meeting real life) and I'd like to read the next book in the series at some point.
Lessons in Desire
by Charlie Cochrane
Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 2
Genre: GLBT, Historical
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 07-06-2010
Length: 224 Pages
St. Bride’s English don Jonty Stewart is in desperate need of a break from university life. A holiday on the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey seems ideal, especially if he can coax his lover Orlando to step outside the college’s walls to come along.
Orlando Coppersmith is scared. Within the safe confines of the school it’s easy to hide the fact that they are not just friends, but lovers. In an unknown place, in full view of everyone, how will they keep their illegal affair private—much less dare to make love, even in the security of their suite?
A brutal murder at their hotel forces their personal problems into the background—at first. The race to catch the killer gets complicated when the prime suspect finds Orlando irresistible. Suddenly keeping their affair clandestine isn’t only a matter of legality. It’s a matter of life and death…
I bought this one! My favourite historical detective couple go to a favourite holiday location from my childhood. What can possibly go wrong? Well, being a detective story, there's obviously a murder, but the story itself was perfect. The boys even swam out to an islet that I'm sure I've swum to and collected sea creatures from rock pools I'm sure I've visited too.
I'm rationing myself with this series, because otherwise I'd read the whole lot in one sitting, regardless of what else needs doing. Book three will be a new year read for me, if I don't give in and buy it in December.
by CC Bridges
Heaven Corp, Book 1
Genre: GLBT, SciFi - Futuristic, Angels & Demons
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 09-21-2010
Catching two demon burglars is routine for Gabriel 1089, who’s one cog in an army of cybernetically modified humans protecting the sky city of Heaven. Until two turns into a twenty-demon ambush. When he wakes up, he’s missing his network-enabled halo—and one of his metal wings.
The down-level junk dealer tending Gabe’s wounds has hands that spark nerve endings he never knew he possessed. But for an angel cut off from Heaven, an attic in Old Trent feels more like a trap than a sanctuary.
Demons on his doorstep are nothing new for Jeff Werth. Ever since they saved his daughter’s legs, they’ve been calling in their marker. In exchange for his services—nursing Gabe back to health so they can use him as a pawn in their war with Heaven—they’ll consider the debt paid in full. Except having a powerless angel at his mercy feeds a rising desire that has him rethinking the deal.
Then the de-haloed Gabe begins having dreams that become visions…then memories. Until he’s not sure whose side he’s on. Heaven, or the simple family man who healed his broken wings…and made his heart whole.
Another book that I won online. This was very sweet with believable characters and enough world-building that we have an idea what happened to the world as we know it for things to progress to the world of the story but still leaving room for plenty of revelations in future books. And there are definitely more on the way. I'll be snapping them up as soon as they come out.
by Josephine Myles
Genre: GLBT, SciFi - Futuristic
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: 2010
Length: Daydream (19 pages)
When Skip wakes up next to a naked man, his first impulse is to kick the stranger out as quickly as possible, especially when the stranger wants to stay and get to know him better. It turns out that the previous night was Wildman's first experience with a mood patch, and Skip treats his affectionate advances with cynicism, believing them to be nothing more than the aftereffects of the Insta-Love (TM). But attraction and mixed emotions will fool them both as they learn more about love.
I bought this one, and read it while sitting in a Brighton pub waiting for Mum and Dad to catch up with me at the end of the London to Brighton run. Another sweet story about a cynical protagonist falling into -- not love, because this story is too short for that -- but definitely into like. Fun, and I'll be rereading it sooner rather than later.
by Katherine Stockwell
Type: Audiobook read by Various
Genre: Civil rights movements -- African American women domestics -- Social conditions
Publisher: Rearsby : Clipper Audio
Publication Date: 2009
Length: 15 sound discs (18 hr., 15 min.)
Aibileen is a black maid, raising her 17th white child, but with a bitter heart after the death of her son. Minny is the sassiest woman in Mississippi. Skeeter is a white woman with a degree but no ring on her finger. Seemingly as different as can be, these women will come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk.
I listened to this twice before I could bear to let the library have it back, and the print version is going in at least one person's Christmas stocking as the whole world needs to read it. I'm not certain that anything I can say would do it justice: I thought I knew all about the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, but this book showed me how little I knew, much less understood. So very highly recommended...
by Agatha Christie
Type: Audiobook read by Robin Bailey
Publication Date: 2008
Length: 6 CDs (385 min)
Six people sit down to dinner at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary, in solemn memory of Rosemary Barton, who died at the same table, exactly one year previously.
Another one from the library. Apparently there are other Christie novels featuring the same detective (Colonel Race) and I'll be reserving them on audio at some point soon, because I like his style. The original victim and several of the suspects turned out to be not at all likable, but that just added to the fun, and I very much liked the solution to the second murder.
Books I'm currently reading: John Drake's Flint and Silver (print, will probably finish tonight), Lexxie Couper's Savage Transformation (ebook, will probably finish tonight), and Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden (print, non-fiction for novel research, only just started). I have an audiobook out of the library, but I gave up on it halfway through the first CD.