Favorites Are Re-readable

I have a lot of favorite authors. Then there are all the authors I really like, but I can’t quite call them favorites, because to me, favorites are re-readable.

No, not just re-readable, favorites write books that I actively seek out to reread.

Amanda Quick has many books in this category for me, including Ravished, Deception, and Mistress. Just thinking about those books often tickles my desire to go find them on my shelves and read them again.

The same for David Eddings’ Belgariad series, or L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s Recluce books.

Another favorite that writes books I want to reread is Johanna Lindsey. Angel Warrior’s Woman, Gentle Rogue, and Deny Not the Heart are still books that I go back to as comfort reads to this day, years (+20! years) later. (I happen to have the paperback editions with the original Fabio covers and my children will have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands.)

But there are some authors who write great books that I really love but that I just never seem to want to reread. I don’t know what to call these authors, because they don’t fit my favorites definition, but they by all means write fantastic book.

It’s a quandary. Because for whatever reason, I have no desire to go back and read their books again.

Eloisa James, for instance, is one of these authors. I love her books, and I seek them out, but I never have that desire to reread any of them and I’m not sure why. Her books are usually excellent reads, and I like the characters (most of the time), but there’s not a single one of her books I can point to and say I want to read again.

That’s why you’ll find a limited assortment of favorites here. Because great books do not necessarily make favorite books. Favorites are those I want to reread.

Which reminds me. I’ve had a hankering for that opening in The Martian again, so I think I’ll go dig it out of my Kindle. I do have a paperback edition of The Martian that I really like (trade sized and very flexible) but it’s upstairs in the office I’m trying to convert to a library, a project that’s been in the works for about a year because I haven’t found the particular bookshelves I want and need to finish the project.

Favorites are worth buying in print—you know, in case civilization falls and I have only enough power to keep a flashlight charged for rereading the books I already love. ;)

How do you decide what makes a favorite?

Quick Review: Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl

This book was a good find for me. I happen to love shorter novels and novellas, and Fanning the Flames is a first in series novella. From what I can tell, it’s also part of a bigger series, so really it’s a prequel for a series within a series.

Not the same cover as when I read it, but still nice. ;)

Series: Girls’ Night Out book 0 (0 meaning prequel); Jackson book 4

I’d just finished reading A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl and came across this one in her book list and decided first up I was going to check out all the shorter stuff. (Her book list is not up to date unfortunately! I really wish authors would take more care to keep this stuff current.)

I liked so much about this story, but since it is short, I don’t want to say too much because it might spoil the fun. However, I can say that I really liked Lauren. I’m usually a bigger fan of the men in romance novels than the women, but for once, I really liked the main female character—and liked her more than the guy.

Not that Jake wasn’t a good hero, it’s just that I liked Lauren a lot. Honestly, I think she’s the closest mirror of myself I’ve ever read in a character. It was freakish at times. Which probably explains why I liked her so much.

All that said, this was a fun read, the sexy times were entertaining, and the ending was satisfying. Pick it up and give it a chance if you like contemporary romance stories.

Here’s the description.

Or follow these links for details and reviews at Amazon or Kobo!

Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl

Burning for you

Some men are off-limits. Close friends of your ex-husband, for instance. Or firefighters who work in the same building as you. Yet despite her best judgment, librarian Lauren Foster can’t help noticing fire captain Jake Davis whenever he jogs by…shirtless. They’ve always been friends, but all it takes is one not-so-chance meeting at a local bar and one not-quite-innocent walk home to ignite a fierce, uncontrollable desire between them.

Widower Jake Davis has tried to ignore the spark he feels whenever Lauren’s around, but once he sees her curves in a little black dress, there’s no turning back. No matter how often she says she’s all wrong for him, the sexy, outspoken divorcée is driving him wild in the best possible way. Maybe she’s just blowing off steam. Or maybe he can convince her to fan these flames into something deeper, hotter and truer than they ever expected….

If you do pick up this book, come back and tell me what you think!

The Croak Series by Gina Damico

I just finished reading The Croak Series by Gina Damico and it was a fantastic paranormal series with some romance and lots of action. It had great locations, funny dialogue, and was an all around great series!

Here are the books.

Click the images for details at Amazon.

Book #1 : Croak

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

Book #2 : Scorch

Croak used to be the only place where Lex, a teenage Grim Reaper, felt like she fit in. but after she let the murderous Zara get away–and inadvertently transferred her ability to Damn souls to her on top of that–Lex is a pariah in the little town full of Grims. Her Junior Grim friends have stood by her, but that has only made them outcasts. Meanwhile, Zara is still out there Damning innocents, and no one is safe. It’s up to Lex’s Uncle Mort, mayor of Croak, to protect the townspeople. But when tragedy strikes, the Grims rise up against him, too.

To escape their wrath, Mort takes Lex and the other Juniors on a wild road trip to DeMyse, a glitzy Grim city, where they can hide out until the chaos in Croak subsides. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, Lex wants nothing more than to return to her simple little town and the good graces of its citizens. Her best chance at that would be to stop Zara once and for all–but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree? Lex needs to track down the secret book that would make Zara even more dangerous. But she has no idea of the chilling lengths her nemesis will go to in order to find it first.

Book #3 : Rogue

Teenage Grim Reaper Lex’s power to Damn souls is getting out of control. Her boyfriend, Driggs, is dead . . . sort of. She’s a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they’re joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it.

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed…but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice.

You can get all three books at Amazon as Kindle editions or in paperback.

  1. Croak
  2. Scorch
  3. Rogue

Quick Review: The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir is one of those books that you embarrass yourself talking about with everyone you meet because it’s just so good you can’t not talk about it.

The Martian - Andy WeirThat’s what happened to me, anyway. Maybe you have more self-control. I wasn’t even finished with the book before I called my mother, who is also an avid reader, and started gushing about this one.

The thing about The Martian is that it surprises you. It’s an unassuming book, with a fun but predictable “man versus wild” / “man against nature” theme that we’ve all read plenty of times before, and yet … it’s not.

I knew within the first five pages that this was a special book for me and it turned out I was right. I devoured this book in one morning because once I started reading it, I couldn’t quit.

The Martian is a simple story. Mark Watney is an astronaut who gets trapped on Mars, left behind, left for dead, and since he isn’t the kind of man to just give up, he has to figure out how to survive, alone, until the next Mars mission brings a rescue—assuming there’s going to be a next mission.

That’s where the story opens and the book is the story of how Mark deals with his deadly and outrageous predicament. Where it goes is somewhere wonderful, making The Martian one of my favorite books of all time.

I highly recommend you get your own copy of The Martian if you haven’t read it yet.

 

TBR List: Newest Additions

I have a huge TBR list. Most of you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. My problem is that I do hope to someday get to most of the books on my list, but the fact is that I’m probably going to be lucky to crack the spines (or the virtual spines, in most cases) of one percent of all the books I already know I want to read someday.

That, however, doesn’t stop me from adding new books to the list every chance I get. ;)

Here are some of the newest additions (and some of these books are most certainly not new, but they’re new to me).

  • Proxima by Stephen Baxter
  • Joy in the Morning by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Serpent by Clive Cussler
  • Star Bridge by James Gunn
  • Falling Sky by Rajan Khanna
  • Sex and the Single Earl by Vanessa Kelly
  • The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  • Goliath by Richard Turner
  • Psion by Joan D. Vinge
  • Claimed by Evangeline Anderson
  • Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
  • The Burglar in the Closet by Lawrence Block
  • The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes
  • The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
  • The Sword of Bedwyr by R. A. Salvatore

Some of these books are quite old, but since I’ve never read them, they’re still new to me. :)

Revisiting Old Favorites: Amanda Quick’s Mischief, Affair, and Deception

I have a weakness for Amanda Quick’s historical romance novels, especially those from before her paranormal phase. Ravished, MistressMischiefDeception, Affair  these are five of my favorites and I had a chance to read MischiefAffair, and Deception for the umpteenth this past week or so and I had a great time doing it.

Mischief - Amanda Quick Affair - Amanda Quick Deception - Amanda Quick

I have a difficult time sometimes putting into words why I liked (or didn’t like) a book I’ve read, but I’ll see what I can come up with for these three books.

Mischief

Mischief is a fun book, and I liked the fake romance (that of course turns into a real romance right away). And then there’s the treasure map and the fact that it couldn’t be clearer these two belong together. I won’t spoil the fun, but it’s obvious in the first ten pages why. I don’t know what it is in particular that makes this book stand out from some of the others, but it does, and it remains one of my favorites. Get your own copy of this book.

Affair

I’ve always thought Affair had an especially strong opening. It plops me right into a compelling story that I can’t resist. Note to self: don’t read the first chapter of any of these books if I don’t have any time I can devote to reading, because if I do, I’ll end up reading the entire book. That’s what happened with my reread of Affair. I read an excerpt of chapter one at the end of Mischief and ended up having to read this entire book again. It is definitely a great book and was well worth reading just one more time. Get your own copy of this book.

Deception

Deception is my all-time favorite Amanda Quick book after Ravished. The pirate angle is charming and I adore Jared Chillhurst … and his pocket watch. In fact, this entire book works so well that I have a hard time not wishing Ms. Quick would discover some distant relative of Jared’s and write a story about him. I simply adore this book and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read it because I lost count years ago. If I had to recommend only two Amanda Quick books to someone, this one would be one of those books. Get your own copy of this book.

Quick Review: A Talent for War

A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt was an intriguing read that I enjoyed quite a bit, not so much for the science fiction, but for the mystery.

Jack McDevitt - A Talent for War

If I had to label this book, I’d call it science fiction mystery. There are plenty of intriguing sci-fi elements present in the book, but the fact is, the mystery is what propels the story onward.

A Talent for War is book 1 of the Alex Benedict series.

This was a good story, one that kept me intrigued up until the end. I’m definitely interested in reading the follow up books in the series.

From Amazon:

The acclaimed classic novel and fan favorite—the far-future story of one man’s quest to discover the truth behind a galactic war hero.

Artful by Peter David, my June choice in the Kindle First program

Artful - Peter David

I chose Artful by Peter David this month from among the choices in the Kindle First program for Amazon Prime members.

There were other books to chose from, but I enjoy fantasy, and this cover appealed to me. The description also caught my attention. :)

Oliver Twist is one of the most well-known stories ever told, about a young orphan who has to survive the mean streets of London before ultimately being rescued by a kindly benefactor.

But it is his friend, the Artful Dodger, who has the far more intriguing tale, filled with more adventure and excitement than anything boring Oliver could possibly get up to. Throw in some vampires and a plot to overthrow the British monarchy, and what you have is the thrilling account that Charles Dickens was too scared to share with the world.

From the brilliant mind of novelist and comic book veteran Peter David, Artful is the dark, funny, and action-packed story of one of the most fascinating characters in literary history.

With vampires.

How could I pass this one up?

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright

Red Riding Hood - Sarah Blakely-Cartwright - Movie Tie-In

If you love Red Riding Hood tales and stories, like me, I suggest you get your hands on Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright. It is absolutely amazing. This book is one of my favorite books of all time. It puts a spin on the classic tale. I love this book so much.

There are a lot of bad reviews on this book talking about the missing ending, but there is an ending! All you have to do is go to a website to read it. The link is in the book. The book is worth it.

The description below is from Amazon.com. Enjoy!

Valerie’s sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henri, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister’s violent death, Valerie’s world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the werewolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But no one is safe. When an expert wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them – it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the Blood Moon wanes . . . or everyone she loves will die.

Follow the link above to get this book at Amazon as a paperback, Kindle book, or an audio book.

The Odd Thomas Movie

I’ve had Odd Thomas in the sidebar for long enough that anyone who visits here should know I really like Odd Thomas. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the movie was finally available.

Odd Thomas - Movie

I watched it on Netflix, but it’s available at Amazon.com and several other places, on DVD or streaming. I thought the movie did a great job of recreating the first Odd Thomas book. Since the movie apparently never opened in theaters (or opened widely, not sure), I doubt there’ll be more of them, but this one was a great hour and a half of entertainment.

Check it out if you can.