The Iron Druid Chronicles Series

Hounded by Kevin Hearne Hexed by Kevin Hearne Hammered by Kevin Hearne Tricked - Iron Druid Chronicles 4 - Kevin Hearne Trapped - Iron Druid Chronicles 5 - Kevin Hearne Hunted - Iron Druid Chronicles 6 - Kevin Hearne Shattered - Iron Druid Chronicles 7 - Kevin Hearne

UPDATED.

[Original, Nov. 2011] I recently ran across a series I hadn’t read before, The Iron Druid Chronicles fantasy series by Kevin Hearne. I downloaded the free sample available (for my nook, but there’s a free sample for the kindle too) and read it. I now know that I’m going to read this book, because the sample of chapter one that I read was excellent. The writing was crisp and the story entertaining. Atticus is a hero I want to spend some time getting to know, so the Iron Druid Chronicles has just made it onto my must-buy list.

The Iron Druid Chronicles is about a long-lived Druid who has made a home in Tempe, Arizona running an occult shop. Atticus O’Sullivan is 2,100 years old and has made a point of staying out of the way of certain other unpleasant magical beings but in Hounded, he’s just been found by Aenghus Óg, the Celtic god of love, who wants Atticus’s magical sword.

[Updated] This is an urban fantasy series that includes 7 books to date. Each book follows Atticus and a myriad of trials and troubles. The books seem to have a wide appeal and lots of readers who enjoy the humor and fun, along with the excellent writing. I loved Hounded.

The Iron Druid Chronicles Books

Click the title for the book info at Amazon, to read reviews, or to buy the books.

  1. Hounded
  2. Hexed
  3. Hammered
  4. Tricked
  5. Trapped
  6. Hunted
  7. Shattered

These books are available in multiple formats: audio book, paperback, and ebook.

There are also some short stories around and two novellas: Grimoire of the Lamb and Two Ravens and One Crow.

I recently finished reading Hounded and have moved on to Hexed because Hounded was such a fun read.

Virginia Kantra Books

Virginia Kantra writes suspense novels and paranormal romance novels.

I highly recommend the Children of the Sea books to anyone who enjoys shape-shifter romance. You can buy Virginia Kantra books by following any of the links below. If you try only one book, pick up Immortal Sea. It’s my current favorite and it’s seriously enjoyable reading.

Virginia Kantra Books & Ebooks

Novels by Virginia Kantra

Virginia Kantra Anthologies

Books containing stories or novellas written by Virginia Kantra.

Virginia Kantra Series

Virginia Kantra has contributed to the following series.

Immortal Sea is fantastic, and the latest in the series, Forgotten Sea, is also a great read. I posted my commentary on Forgotten Sea just recently.

Best places to find more Virginia Kantra books

  • Virginia Kantra books in print, ebooks and audio books at Amazon.com.
  • Virginia Kantra ebooks for download at ebooks.com.
  • Virginia Kantra books in audio download formats at Audible.com

Amanda Quick Books

Amanda Quick Books, Also Writing as Jayne Ann Krentz, Jayne Castle

Books written as: Jayne Ann Krentz | Amanda Quick | Jayne Castle | Stephanie James | Jayne Bentley | Jayne Taylor | Amanda Glass

On this page: Series and Connections | My Favorites

The River Knows
The River Knows is a recent favorite.

The good thing about historical romance (or period romance) is that it doesn’t age in the same what that novels with contemporary settings do. For that reason, Jayne Krentz’s Amanda Quick historicals have stayed current in a way that her older contemporary romantic suspense hasn’t managed. Therefore, don’t hesitate to get all the old books and read from the earliest Amanda Quick novel to the most recent. Several of her older stories are my absolute favorites.

Until recently, most Jayne Ann Krentz and her Amanda Quick novels have been stand alone, but she’s started the Arcane Society series of novels and these share much more in common. They’re still stand alone novels. I prefer JAK’s Amanda Quick novels. They’re much sexier than the contemporary stuff she writes under JAK.

Also, I have a page that details some summary information about pseudonyms for Amanda Quick.

Ravished (Amanda Quick) bookcover
Ravished (Amanda Quick) is without doubt my all time favorite historical romance novel and I’ve read it an embarrassing number of times since I bought it.

Books by series or connection and interconnected stories

My Favorites

Ravished remains my most beloved Amanda Quick novel.

The Beast of Blackthorne Hall is beyond compare, and Harriet is my favorite heroine of all the great Amanda Quick novels.

I adored the chemistry between Gideon and Harriet, but I think the thing I liked most about the book was Harriet’s unrelenting faith is Gideon’s goodness and honor.

And the opening had to contain my favorite lines of all time.

— From the opening of Ravished by Amanda Quick

It was a scene straight out of a nightmare. Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, stood on the threshold and gazed into the cheerful little anteroom of hell.

There were bones everywhere. Savagely grinning skulls, bleached ribs, and shattered femurs were scattered about like so much devil’s garbage. Chunks of stone with teeth and toes and other odd bits embedded in them were stacked on the windowsill. A pile of vertebrae littered the floor in one corner.

In the center of the unholy clutter sat a slender figure in a stained apron. A white muslin cap was perched askew atop a wild, tangled mane of chestnut-brown curls. The woman, obviously young, was seated at a heavy mahogany desk. Her slender, graceful back was turned to Gideon. She was sketching busily, her entire attention focused on what appeared to be a long bone embedded in a chunk of stone.

From where he was standing, Gideon could see that there was no wedding band on the supple fingers that held the quill. This would be one of the daughters, then, not the widow of the late Reverend Pomeroy.

Just what he needed, Gideon thought, another rector’s daughter.

Another favorite is Deception, which I recently reread. Olympia and Jared are a fun couple and I loved the pirate themes in the story. It’s also another story where there’s family involved–loving, if misguided family–and I really enjoy stories that have that added depth.

The River Knows is my most recent favorite for several reasons. The suspense was neatly done and the hero, Anthony Stalbridge, and heroine, Louisa Bryce, were interesting. I liked that the hero had a loving family–many of Quick’s heroes aren’t that lucky.

Available as ebooks:

Amanda Quick Books

Jayne Ann Krentz Books

Jayne Ann Krentz, Also Writing as Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle

On this page: Series and Connections | My Favorites

Trust Me bookcover
Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz, a truly wonderful story

I’m a huge fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and I’ve read every JAK book I’ve been able to get my hands on. I pick up her old stuff whenever I run across it at a yard sale and I’ve got a nice little collection going–although even I admit some of the old stuff is very dated. However, I began reading Harlequin Temptation when I was thirteen-ish (snuck the books away from my grandmother’s house :-) I did put them back when I was through though!), so I can handle dated. If you’re a new JAK reader, stick to the recommended stuff first.

There’s a reason Jayne Krentz is a bestselling author. I don’t think there’s any other author out there in the marketplace like her, and that makes her books special to a lot of people. I also adore her Amanda Quick novels–even more than I love the JAK books.

I’m actively trying to get the books listed in a way that shows the interconnections of the stories. Until recently, most Jayne Ann Krentz and her Amanda Quick novels have been stand alone, but she’s started the Arcane Society series of novels and these share much more in common. They’re still stand alone novels. I read Sizzle and Burn before White Lies and both of those before any of the historical books written as Amanda Quick, and I didn’t have any problems keeping things straight.

White Lies bookcover
White Lies, a recent Arcane Society novel that was very good reading

Also, I have some info about Jayne Ann Krentz’s pseudonyms on a separate page.

Absolutely, Positively bookcover
Absolutely, Positively is a fan favorite

Books by series or connection and interconnected stories

My Favorites

When I think Jayne Ann Krentz, I immediately think about melting swan ice sculptures. Trust Me is the quintessential Krentz novel, with strong, distinctive characters, romantic suspense and mystery. I think the thing I liked best about this book was the hero, Sam Stark. He chose to show his affections to the heroine Desdemona Wainwright in several unique ways and although the technology used in the story has become commonplace, it’s still a story I reread and enjoy.

White Lies is another favorite. I loved Jake and Claire, and this one had a good, strong plot to fill out the story.

Then there’s Absolutely, Positively, Light in Shadow, Lost & Found, and Falling Awake, each of which I think are wonderful reads.

Available as ebooks:

Jayne Ann Krentz Books

Arcane Society Novels from Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle

The Arcane Society Series

Contemporary Setting
Book #5Jayne Ann Krentz weaves together historical, futuristic, and contemporary stories in her tales of the Arcane Society, writing as Jayne Ann Krentz and her pseudonym Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle.

Click the image to buy or read reviews
bookcover image of The Perfect Poison bookcover image of The Third Circle bookcover image for Second Sight bookcover image for Running Hot, Jayne Krentz bookcover image of Sizzle and Burn bookcover image for White Lies

An interesting aside is that the newest Jayne Castle book, Dark Light, is set in the Harmony universe and as usual revolves around psychic ghosts and alien ruins. In it, there is a clear tie to the Arcane Society. So it’s not an Arcane Society book, but it’s definitely linked.

[Update: The link is complete. With Midnight Crystal, Jayne Castle’s books are now part of the Arcane Society novels.]

Second Sight

Historical Setting
Book #1

Like many other of Amanda Quick’s most recent historical romance novels, this particular book was heavy on the suspense plot and light on the romance. If that’s what you most like, then you’re going to be more than happy with this book. As for me, I’d rather have had the romance.

The thing I’ve always love most about Amanda Quick books is how much the hero needs the heroine, and how much the heroine needs the hero. That’s been lacking lately, but not just in Amanda Quick’s novels. Many authors have taken to writing more “mainstream” and less romanticism into their works. Lately, I’ve seen that trend in many Amanda Quick novels.

Gabriel was a great guy, but he wasn’t a particularly enthralling hero. Venetia was an interesting female, but she lacked much of the singularity that makes Quick’s heroines so appealing to me.

That’s not to say this was a bad book. It just wasn’t a great book. As the start of a series, this book was good. As a romance, it lacked the impact and emotionalism that I needed to completely enjoy the romance between Venetia and Gabriel. The book read quickly but it’s not one of the many Amanda Quick novels I’ll be rereading anytime soon.

White Lies

Contemporary Setting
Book #2

White Lies introduces the psychic detective agency J&J (Jones and Jones) and the Arcane Society into a contemporary 21st century setting. The second book in the Arcane Society series, White Lies is a fast-moving tale of romance and mystery as Claire Lancaster and Jake Salter try to discover who might be out to harm Claire and put the blame on her for murder.

Claire’s ability to tell truth from deception is all that saved her half sister from death at the hands of her husband eight months prior. Now Claire is back in Arizona at her father’s behest and she’s suddenly become the target of someone out for revenge. Jake Salter works for the psychic detective agency of J&J as a consultant using his psychic abilities to work a very important case. Claire wasn’t supposed to be a factor, but now she’s here and Jake has an immediate desire to get to know her very well indeed.

Jake is a somewhat less than politically correct hero with a take charge attitude and a talent for dealing with danger. I liked him enormously and think his attitude is mostly to blame. I prefer Amanda Quick’s historicals for this very reason usually, because I prefer the strong, take-charge heroes–at least those who have an equally strong appreciation for the heorine and her abilities.

Compared to Sizzle and Burn and Zack Jones, Jake Salter is much more my style. I’m sure this is one big reason why I prefered White Lies to the more recent addition Sizzle and Burn.

As for Claire, her take on lying is a key part of the story, and honestly, this is what made her such a great character. Krentz did a fabulous job of building Claire’s personality, not to mention the very visual descriptions. This was one heroine that stands out in my mind, and although I love Jayne Krentz’s and Amanda Quick’s heroines, even I can admit that sometimes there just isn’t that much to differentiate them. In this case, though, Claire is well-defined and memorable.

I liked White Lies, but I will warn you that this isn’t a character focused book. The focus stays firmly on the mystery and suspense plot. The romance is hot, but you won’t wonder if the characters will get together, only if they’ll survive to enjoy it.

Nevertheless, White Lies was an excellent and engaging read. Highly recommended.

Sizzle and Burn

Contemporary Setting
Book #3

Certainly not the strongest book of the series, Sizzle and Burn is nevertheless a nice read. I almost feel like I’m insulting JAK when I qualify any story she’s written as less than stellar, but the fact is, I compare everything she writes to the best of her works, and those best are spectacular indeed.

In this addition to the Arcane Society, Raine Tallentyre hears voices, but they’re all in her head. The voices of victims, murderers and the like lead her to save an intended victim of a serial killer who is locked in the basement of Raine’s desceased aunt’s home. Zack Jones is hired by the Arcane Society’s PI firm, J&J. He has visions. Together, Zack and Raine must figure out the mystery surrounding the death of Raine’s aunt. Woven throughout is the continuing arc of the founder’s formula and the dark organization that’s developed a way to produce and use the psychic energy enhancing drug.

Although the two leads in this story were intriguing, the plot was a little flat and the twists seem to come out of nowhere, with little to tie it all together. However, I can’t stand to read a series and skip a book, and the rest of the books in this series certainly make it hard to pass any new addition to the tales of the Arcane Society.

There’s some interesting byplay between Zack and Raine that gives the book a readability factor that might have been missing otherwise. A weak plot for Krentz but an entertaining read anyway.

The Third Circle

Historical Setting
Book #4

The Third Circle is my favorite historical entry in the Arcane Society books. I liked Second Sight, but I didn’t love it, not the way I usually love Amanda Quick’s novels. This book dealt much more heavily with the romance between the characters, Leona Hewitt and Thaddeus Ware.

Leona is can work psychic energy through crystal and Thaddeus is a strong mesmerist. Leona is mostly immune to his psychic powers, and that’s a great thing for Thaddeus, since his abilities have made it difficult for him to find love.

They meet when they both happen to be looking for a very special crystal and end up standing over the dead body of a woman who appears to have become the latest victim of The Midnight Monster.

This book had both a mystery and a romance that entertwined nicely. I enjoyed Leona’s spirit, and Thaddeus is an intriguing hero.

I learned more about the mysterious Mr. Pierce and Adam in this book, and although they aren’t my favorite characters (they often bring out a little too much womens’ lib preachiness in Amanda Quick’s writing), I found that in this book, they started to grow on me—somewhat.

My only complaint about this one was that I wanted a bigger ending. I won’t say too much about that to avoid spoiling the book for another reader, but I thought Leona’s powers could have been used much more effectively at the end so that I could have the big ending I wanted. Ravished and other older Amanda Quick novels have very well done high-impact endings. That’s what I would have liked to have seen here.

This is a book I could enjoy rereading.

Running Hot

Contemporary Setting
Book #5

The Perfect Poison

Historical Setting
Book #6

There’s a video book trailer for The Perfect Poison, although it’s not one of the best. I enjoyed this book a lot, and in a way it reminded me of an earlier Amanda Quick book, Wicked Widow, because in both books the heroine is believed to be involved in wicked deeds.

Fired Up

Contemporary Setting / Hawaii
Book #7
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #1

Burning Lamp

Historical Setting
Book #8
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #2

Midnight Crystal

Futuristic/Paranormal Setting
Book #9
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #3

In Too Deep

Contemporary Setting
Book #10
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #1

Quicksilver

Historical Setting
Book #11
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #2

Canyons of Night

Futuristic/Paranormal Setting
Book #12
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #3

Jayne Castle Books

Jayne Castle, Also Writing as Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz

Books written as: Jayne Ann Krentz | Amanda Quick | Jayne Castle | Stephanie James | Jayne Bentley | Jayne Taylor | Amanda Glass
On this page: Series and Connections | My Favorites

All the Jayne Castle books I’ve read have been from her more recent science fiction paranormal series that involve the Curtain. These books are all exceptional. I admit, though, that I’m very good at suspension of disbelief when it comes to matters of sketchy science fiction.

bookcover image for Dark Light Silver Master bookcover

The truth is, these books are much more paranormal than sci-fi or even futuristic, regardless of the premise of humans having traveled to other worlds and coloning alien planets. The Curtain that allowed the space travel has since closed and stranded those colonists on planets that gave rise to psychic advancements of the human species.

Ghost Hunter bookcover After Glow bookcover

These Jayne Castle books are great fun because they allow for not-so-politically-correct heroes who are larger than life. Strong, competent, dangerous men who know how to protect what’s theirs (namely, the heroine). Reading is often a fantasy fulfillment

Also, I’ve created a page outlining Jayne Castle’s (Jayne Ann Krentz’s) pseudonyms.

Harmony (After Dark and Bridal Jitters) bookcover

Books by series or connection and interconnected stories

My Favorites

I particularly love the St. Helens series, but I’ve grown very partial to the Ghost Hunter books too lately. It helps that there are new books being added to that series, whereas it look as if St. Helens has been abandoned.

Silver Master is another great book by Jayne Castle that I particularly like.

Honestly, it’s hard to pick favorites because there just aren’t enough Jayne Castle futuristics to go around.

Available as ebooks:

Jayne Castle Books

Book trailers and videos for Jayne Castle’s books

Ghost Hunter Series from Jayne Castle

More about the Ghost Hunter Books

bookcover image for Ghost Hunter bookcover image for Silver Master bookcover image for Dark Light bookcover image for Harmony (includes Bridal Jitters and After Dark) bookcover image for After Glow

Buy books in the Ghost Hunter series by clicking the book title.

Bridal Jitters (novella)

After Dark

Cadence City – Emmett London, Lydia Smith

The characters from this book have enough unresolved issues that having them show up again in the second part, After Glow, makes perfect sense.

After Glow

Cadence Guild – Emmett London, Lydia Smith

One of my favorite things about this book was getting to discover Emmett’s secrets. I truly enjoyed the longer length of this two book tale.

Lydia Smith still doesn’t know what happened to her during her “lost weekend” while she was trapped in the catacombs beneath Cadence City. Emmett London has a secret past that he’s never bothered to fill Lydia in on. When Lyndia finds an old acquaintance dead of an apparent drug overdose, her dreams of her lost weekend lead her to believe she might be onto a murder.

Ghost Hunter

Aurora City Guild, Cadence City – Cooper Boone, Elly St. Clair

I tend to like the stories where the hero and heroine already know each other at the story’s beginning, at least as written by Jayne Castle (Krentz and Quick). She has a knack for bringing together the storyline without leaving me feeling that I’m missing something important. She does that here.

Elly St. Clair and Cooper Boone are already engaged when the story opens, but that doesn’t last long, as Elly is just about to give Cooper’s ring back to him. She believes he has asked her to marry him because of her family connections. He’s recently been made head of the Aurora City Guild, and Elly is ready to take herself and her broken heart off to Cadence City. She does, but he follows and what ensues is an exciting story of alien catacombs and ghost hunter goodness.

I really enjoyed this one. Cooper is a sexy hero, and Elly is an interesting heroine, quirky as usual for Jayne Castle books, but that’s one of the reasons I love ’em. If I wanted real-to-life I would read more biographies.

Silver Master

Cadence City, Frequency City Guild – Davis Oakes, Celinda Ingram

Silver Master is an excellent addition to the series. Davis Oakes isn’t a rising Guild Boss nor an ex-Guild Boss, which is an interesting change, but he is certainly a sexy investigator. The dust bunnies play an important role in this one, and Detective Alice Martinez from After Glow puts in an appearance. After having read all the books through Dark Light, I can see an interesting pattern of connections between characters and books that has developed. That’s the reason I like series. When an author takes advantage of the possiblities a series offers, she creates a universe for her readers that draws us back again each time a new book is released.

Celinda Ingram is a matchmaker with a powerful talent for reading people’s psi waves. Her abilities allow her to match people successfully. A past scandal very nearly put an end to her career and she’s not ready to end up in the middle of another. Davis Oakes is a security specialist who’s currently working an investigation for Cadence City Guild Boss Mercer Wyatt (introduced in the After Dark and After Glow books). He’s looking for an artifact that Celinda bought and the case has turned deadly.

I really liked Celinda, and she turned out to be a surprising character. This isn’t a book you’ll want to miss in the series.

Dark Light

Crystal City Guild – John Fontana, Sierra McIntyre

The underground rain forest discovered by Elly St. Clair in Ghost Hunter makes an appearance in Dark Light, as Sierra McIntyre and John Fontana work to discover the identities of those behind a conspiracy to distribute a highly addictive drug to burned-out hunters.

This book is a great addition to the series. Although not advertised as an addition to the Arcane Society books, this one does reference the Arcane Society at one point, which I thought was neat.

I picked up Dark Light on Friday evening and read it Saturday. Although the mention of the Arcane Society was interesting, it didn’t change the flavor of the book, which was nice. I like the Arcane Society books, but there’s a definite difference between them and Jayne Castle’s Ghost Hunters books.

I’m a bigger fan of Jayne Krentz’s older Amanda Quick books because the characters of those stories share more in common with the characters of her paranormal series. Strong male leads, intriguing and fascinating female leads, lots of plot, but a definite focus on the romance developing between the characters. Some of the newer Amanda Quick and Jayne Krentz books lack the really strong male leads. The stories are still good overall, but that’s a particular bit that I’ve missed lately. The romance has been downplayed in favor of the story’s plot. To some degree, this story isn’t as romance-centered as some of the other books in the Ghost Hunters series, but it’s fun to read.

Obsidian Prey

I really liked this book but I never got around to writing a review for it.

Midnight Crystal

Part of the Dreamlight Trilogy.

I’ve written a review of Midnight Crystal.

Canyons of Night

Part of the Looking Glass Trilogy.
See a recent post for more information about Canyons of Night.

Amanda Glass Books

Amanda Glass, a Jayne Ann Krentz pseudonym

Books written as: Jayne Ann Krentz | Amanda Quick | Jayne Castle | Stephanie James | Jayne Bentley | Jayne Taylor | Amanda Glass

On this page: Series and Connections

Shield's Lady bookcover
Shield's Lady written by Amanda Glass. Click image to buy
Shield's Lady bookcover (as reissued with Jayne Ann Krentz as author)
Shield's Lady cover as reissued with Jayne Ann Krentz as author. Click image to buy

Jayne Ann Krentz only wrote one book under the name of Amanda Glass. The use of a pseudonym for one book that is similar to others written under JAK boggles the mind. I’m sure at the time there seemed to be a sound reason for the use of another name on this book–but I don’t know it.

I have a summary of Jayne Ann Krentz’s pseudonyms on a separate page.

Books by series or connection and interconnected stories

Johanna Lindsey Books

Series and Connections | My Favorites

Johanna Lindsey has been a perennial favorite author for me since the early 1990s. Many of her books are in my all-time favorite book lists and they’re up there are the very top of the list.

Gentle Rogue - the best girl-pretends-to-be-cabin-boy ever
Gentle Rogue, the best heroine-pretends-to-be-a-cabin-boy ever
Defy Not the Heart - my favorite medieval of all time
Defy Not the Heart ranks as one of my favorite medieval romance novels of all time
Warrior's Woman - a long time favorite
Warrior's Woman, a long time favorite

But there’s a definite but here. Sometimes she writes wonderful stuff. And sometimes she doesn’t. Her bad books tend to be very bad and a while back I finally gave up on the hardcover editions in favor of waiting for the paperbacks to arrive in the bookstores.

(Here’s a trick for you. If you wait until right after the last hardcover release is out in paperback for the first time and the new hardcover release is just out, you can often get the hardcover copy of the next older book at a bargain price on Amazon. I’ve gotten several hardcovers of Amanda Quick this way for less money than the newly released paperback version. See this page for a list of current hardcover bargains of some favorites.)

Books by series or connection and interconnected stories

My Favorites

Available as ebooks:

Johanna Lindsey

Stephanie James Books

Stephanie James Books, also writing as Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle

On this page: My Favorites

The Man in the Mask, a reissue of two Stephanie James novels
The Man in the Mask is a reissue of two Stephanie James novels, Night of the Magician and Fabulous Beast

I’ve read more of Stephanie James’s books than I can actually remember, and I blame that on the fact that I was heavily into Silhouette Desire romance novels back when I was a teenager. At that time in my life, I rarely paid attention to who I was reading, since all my books were by way of the local library and a few book-loving relatives. I read what I had on hand.

That said, there are several titles that stand out and that I actually remember from the list below.

Here’s a page outlining Stephanie James’ (Jayne Ann Krentz’s) pseudonyms.

My Favorites

Night Of The Magician stood out for me, possibly because it had elements of magic and paranormal that weren’t usual to the Silhouette Desire line at the time.

Available as ebooks:

Stephanie James (reissues as Jayne Ann Krentz)