For the re-read challenge for July I decided with the release of Nalini Singh's newest Psy-Changeling book, Branded by Fire, I needed to re-read the rest of the series. I noticed when I read the last book and was reading different people's reviews, I was getting the people's names mixed up. So I picked these for this month. Great books to re-read the stories and characters are wonderful. These are best read in order because they build on one another and the characters pop up in each book. Here is the order and my brief opinion about each.
If you want to see what everyone else read this month here they are.
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation"- the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was....
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion-and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities-or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...Awesome start to the series. Enough background knowledge so you are not lost, but not so that it dragged. Very well told story.
Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.
Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...
I liked this one alot, it gave a different Psy perspective and Vaughn is just sexy. Well of course all of them are, but Vaughn just fun to watch.
Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…
I was glad to see Brenna find happiness and love after her ordeal, she deserved it. I was glad that she was not miraculously better, I hate when stories do that. She had a lot she needed to deal with and I was glad watch Judd help her.
Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead. Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows... Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
I remember really liking this one the first time around, but the second time not nearly as much, Tally got on my nerves. It still must be read for the series sake, but did not enjoy it as much.
Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, emotionless...at least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.
DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...
Forgot to add this to my June list. But how do you count this? it is a collection of 6 novellas I guess it would just count as one really long book. I posted about this book a while ago for Ms Dafoe and wonderfully enough I ended up winning a copy, yay!
The novellas in this collection are:
The Dragon's Daughter
The Dragon Prince
Djarera. The dragon planet. A world of passion and politics where the Southerlins, hereditary rulers of the dragon kingdom, struggle to maintain peace among the hot-blooded clans…
For decades, the two most powerful dragon clans have been at each other’s throats over one very important question: who will get to marry the Dragon Queen’s daughter? Determined to end their feuding, Melgara sends the two young princes to Earth where her daughter has grown up in hiding, ignorant of who she is.
But when two sexy, shapeshifting dragons start vying for her affections, Lara Southerlin finds herself in a wholly unexpected predicament. On the one hand there’s Darrek Hausther, dangerous and dominant and darkly handsome. On the other, there’s the red-headed Rand Aurorea, strong and sweet-tempered and willing to defend her to the death. The one who wins Lara’s heart will be heir to the throne -- while the other will be banished forever.
Or will he? With the appearance of the charismatic rebel Zendar, life becomes even more complicated. And when Melgara herself goes unexpectedly into khef, the dragon mating frenzy, a new contender for the throne arises, threatening the survival of all four clans.
This first four novellas are about Lara, the Queen's Daughter and the last two are about Lara's brother. I will say that if you do not like mm scenes then do not get this book, the family seems to have a knack of getting men to sleep with men.
I have a hard time saying anything else about the storyline because if I talk about anything other than the first story, it givesaway what happens in the first story. The book starts out with two dragon shifter men from rival Djarera families, Derrek and Hausther, going to Earth to try to claim Lara. Whoever wins her will be the Consort to the next ruler of their people.
The last two stories are about Lara's brother, Kevan. Since these are kind of separate and happen like 18 years after the first four, I can tell you how these start. Kevan knows that he is different than his mother expects. Now that he is of age, he is expected to pick a wife and have an heir. But he has a problem, he does not like girls, he wants a man of his own. So to get away from the pressure he goes to Earth and ends up meeting Cal at a club who he is instantly attracted to (who also looks just like him, is this a case of narcisism?). But now what is he going to do, he is still expected to produce an heir. Are you seeing where this is going with the identical not-twin thing?
My biggest issue with this book was how easily the Earthlings (? for lack of a better word) accepted the shifters. They shifted to dragons in front of her and she accepted that way too easily. I thought it was ironic how it ended with that group. Then later with Lara's brother when he shifted in front of his Earthling, it was accepted awfully quickly.
My only other issue was the love at first sight thing. Which with them all being short stories originally separate, I know that it moves the story along quicker to the love scenes and the rest of the story if they fall in love on sight, but that has never been a favorite theme of mine because I like watching the relationship develop to love. Lust at first sight I can understand, but love at first sight, I do not.
I enjoyed the stories, even with my issues and the love scenes were very, very hot. This was a good collection. Six stories about 400 pages for a good price. Here is the Changeling Press site for it if you are interested.
The winner of the Catawba giveaway is
From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven sisters. After a long time away she’s finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle, someone who doesn’t want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her. Now it’s left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle’s vanishing, and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it’ll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm.
Wow, this was a bang ending to the series. My only regret is that we did not see more of Elle before her captivity, but maybe that is not a bad thing because we see the new her and do not dwell on the way she used to be.
Elle is captured by a very self centered psychic who has decided that Elle is his mate and will be his. Elle is abused during that time that he has her and that section is semi graphic so many have criticized the book because of it but I do not think it was too much or detracted from the book. I guess I just don't have as delicate sensibilities as some.
The book is about her coping with what has happened to her and her connection with Jackson. I am glad that she is still trying to deal even at the end of the book, because that is not something that is going to be "all better" in a couple of weeks. It will be something that she and Jackson will deal with for the rest of their lives, it will get easier but there will still be issues.
All of the major ends have been tied up and I thought this was a great ending to the series. I have heard that she will be doing Ilya's family next but I will wait and see how those are. I am glad that i collected these book.
I would definitely recommend this series.
My little baby turned one today. I promised I would post pictures so here they are
Reminder: Book giveaway here
Here is Hubby with the birthday girl.
Isn't she cute!!!!!
Me and my little baby girl.
They grow up way too quickly.
I also have been meaning to post these pics as well. About a month ago my family went to the Magic Kingdom for the day (except the baby she stayed with my parents) and we had a blast. With the exception of the the Stitch ride, NOT kid friendly ride. Anyway here are some pics we took. When we got pictures with the princesses, the girls especially Medium charmed the photographers into inviting us to stay for a shoot with all three princesses together. Normally it is one princess at a time, but she turned on the charm and had them wrapped around her finger.
A friend from church gave me these to read and pass on. The sequel was written by the first author's daughter after her death. These are inspirational romance so language is PG in nature but there are still some mature subjects addressed so Iwould not let anyone under mid-teen read them. I enjoyed them. I was told to pass these along after I was done so I will pick a commenter from this post Monday night (July 13th) and announce on Tuesday. If you know someone who might like these books please send them over. My first giveaway, I need to do more of these...
PS. My baby turns 1 this Friday!!!!! I will make sure I post pics of her.
PPS. I have a guest review of Animal Attraction by Charlene Teglia up over at Book Binge
The Women of Catawba by Hilda Stahl
From the author of the White Pines Chronicles comes an exciting tale of five courageous women and their fight to build a plantation home in the raw wilderness of South Carolina. Set in post-Revolutionary War days, Women of Catawba is an inspiring story of men and women whose faith, strength, and capacity to love are tested to the limit.
The story starts Taylor and her baby daughter getting ready to sail to America. But she is being coerced into going. She is a new widow and is in debt to her husband's cousin who has told her that she is going with him or to debtor's prison. before they set sail she uncovers a plot of his and sneaks aboard another ship with her slave, Cammie. So now she is on another ship bound for America with a runaway slave. On the ship she meets Maida who is traveling as a companion to her aunt and uncle. And she meets widower Yates Marston and his children, Laurel, Kendra and Reid who are moving to America and meeting up with Yates's brother, Ward. They are the main characters for the series. Things happen that force them together and they all end up at the Catawba Plantation. When they get there it is not exactly what Yates and his family were expecting. Especially Laurel who at 17 and very snobby, was expecting a large plantation home and is faced with a small log cabins and a lack of servants. Some things and people happen to test their relationships and faith. Don't want to say anymore and give away everything.
Good story. It was a nice change of pace from my usual books. Taylor and Maida were the main characters in this part of the series. They become friends but have different outlooks on life. Taylor has known love but Maida thinks it is a fairy tale, she wants it but is to scared to hope for it. I enjoyed reading about them and their trials that they went through, it was a very well told story.
The Winds of Catawba (Sequel to The Women of Catawba) by Laurie Stahl
Kendra longs to tell the world of her love for Court, but he has sworn her to secrecy till he is a free man. Can she keep her true feelings hidden--or will impatience destroy her chance of happiness? Set in post-Revolutionary war days, this sequel to the Women of Catawba continues the saga of the men and women whose faith and strength tamed the American Wilderness.
This installment concentrates mostly on the kids, Laurel and Kendra. It has been 2 years since the first book and the plantation house is built and they are all prospering. Now Laurel is ready to settle down but has always wanted to marry a "proper Englishman" and is ecstatic to find that Joshua Douglas, is coming to visit from England with his sister. But there is a new man in the area that sets her heart pounding and he is definitely not a refined Englishman. Meanwhile Kendra is still waiting for Court to finish his indenture but when he tells her not to wait what will she do? The characters from the previous book are also all involved and are working on saving abused slaves and continue to grow in their faith. Cammie also is looking for a husband, but has her eyes set on a very stubborn and hurting man.
Good ending to the two book series. I wish she would have done a little more with Cammie in this book, we did not see her all that often. But I liked the rest of the story lines. She wrapped up all the loose ends well from the other book.
Normally I would like to write more about each book but I have run out of time for June reads and am on to July reads but wanted to post what I read. I pretty much liked them all. My favorite of the month was either Blue Diablo or 21st Century Courtesan. My least favorite was probably Demon Mistress. Lots of series this month.
Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon Book 1) by Ann Aguirre
Skin Trade (Anita Blake Book 17) by LKH
Lover Avenged (Brotherhood book 7) by JR Ward
Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse book 9) by Charlaine Harris
Sexy Beast IV anthology
If You Deceive (MacCarrick trilogy Book 3) by Kresley Cole
Bound by Honor by Colette Gale
Murder Game (GhostWalker Book 7) by Christine Feehan
21st century Courtesan by Eden Bradley
Demon Mistress (Sisters of the Moon book 6) by yasmin galenorn
Celta Heart Mate series by Robin D. Owens 7 books posted here
Total 17 books
Well, I had a long post about a bunch of books that I read and wrote a review before I left for camp and it got lost some where on the internet. Then I went to camp for a week and had very spotty internet so did not do any posts, but I got a lot of reading done. I got into a major romantic fantasy mode and wanted to re-read Robin D. Owens' Celta series. So I started with Heart Mate and am just finished up the latest book, Heart Fate. The next book Heart Change comes out in November.
The characters are memorable, and the world building is great. The storylines are not cookie cutter at all so each one is very interesting to read. My favorite of the series is probably Heart Fate because the characters had both been through so much and were so damaged that it was nice to see them heal and bond. I would definitely suggest reading them in order or you miss some of the storylines. But they can be read alone if that is what you have.
Great series, I love them and they will definitely remain on my keeper shelves. If you have not read these and enjoy fantasy romance you have to try these out.
Heart Mate (Celta Heart Mates Book 1) by Robin D. Owens
T'Ash survived the slums then avenged his family's death. He knows Danith is the future of his clan. Danith knows T'Ash is noble, powerful and dangerous. Not for her. The prophecy: A woman surrounded by peril...
Heart Thief (Celta Heart Mates Book 2) by Robin D. Owens
The story of a man without psi powers on a world where they're prized. An outcast, Ruis Elder must overcome all society to survive, pursue his passion for restoring ancient Earth technology, and win his love -- Judge Ailim D'SilverFir
Heart Duel (Celta Heart Mates Book 3) by Robin D. Owens
Holm Holly’s a fighter; Lark Hawthorn a Healer, their Families are at war. Holm knows one thing bone deep. Nothing will prevent him from claiming Lark. Not the feud. Not his Family’s condemnation. Not his own flaws. And not Lark herself.
Heart Choice (Celta Heart Mates Book 4) by Robin D. Owens
Straif Blackthorn is back. To claim his title, restore his home, love his woman (Mitchella Clover). And to fight the enemy who wants all three.
Heart Quest (Celta Heart Mates Book 5) by Robin D. Owens
Trif Clover is searching for her HeartMate. But Guardsman Ilex Winterberry has already found her. He has reasons of his own -- and for her own good -- to keep to the shadows of her life. But there's a killer on the loose, stalking those with unstable psi power like Trif's. Facing his most difficult task yet, Ilex must reveal the truth of their destiny or leave Trif vulnerable to a vicious murderer.
Heart Dance (Celta Heart Mates Book 6) by Robin D. Owens
Dufleur Thyme is a scholar determined to master time itself – and clear her father's name as a mad scientist. Neglected-boy turned nobleman Saille Willow has other ideas. He wants to claim Dufleur as his own, but he has tougher family problems than he thinks. Both must reveal their secrets.
Heart Fate (Celta Heart Mates Book 7) by Robin D. Owens
With Lahsin D'Yew's husband giving chase after she runs from an abusive marriage, she finds sanctuary in a secret garden, where she meets Tinne Holly. Though he is her HeartMate, he cannot tell her, and her troubled past prevents her from trusting any man. Pretending to find her by chance, Tinne helps her through her Second Passage. But when the truth is revealed, can she forgive his deception, and learn to trust in her destiny?