Books for January

I’m a bit late putting this post up, but there aren’t that many January new releases I’m excited about (for a change!).  The two that I’m getting are continuations of existing series:

Eileen Wilks“Blood Challenge” (urban fantasy): Eileen Wilks’ Lupi series appears to fly somewhat under the radar (or maybe I’m just hanging out in the wrong places?), as I don’t see them appearing on many review sites.  On the other hand, this is the seventh in the series, so it must have an audience.  It’s an autobuy for me – I love the Lily/Rule relationship and the Lupi world created by Ms Wilks.

Back cover blurb:

Lily Yu and Rule Turner’s engagement announcement is stirring up ugly passions in the Humans First camp. There’s hate mail. Death threats. Lily’s car is vandalized. But professionally, things are going smoothly . . . until a lupus in Tennessee goes on a killing spree.

Then Rule’s brother, Benedict, catches a lovely intruder–twice. The first time she’s sneaking around the home of the leader of Humans First. The second time, she sneaks into Nokolai Clanhome with a mysterious potion.

It may not be possible to deal with the rapidly escalating situation the way Lily always has: through the law. Especially when she’s pulled off the case due to an alleged conflict of interest. Lily’s loyalties will be stretched to the breaking point when she discovers that the deaths in Tennessee were only the opening skirmish in an all-out war.

Out now (excerpt)

Julie Hyzy‘s “Buffalo West Wing” (cosy mystery): I was more on the fence about this one, because while I loved the first of these White House Chef mysteries, the previous release, “Eggsecutive Orders”, didn’t quite work for me – I thought the story itself felt disjointed and Ollie, the main character, frustrated me with her unwillingness to trust other characters without any real reasons.  However, I recently read and enjoyed one of Julie Hyzy’s backlist books on the Kindle, which reminded me that I do like her writing.  And I really like how these mystery books gives us a peek behind the scenes at the White House.

Back cover blurb:

With a new First Family, White House executive chef Olivia Paras can’t afford to make any mistakes. But when a box of take-out chicken mysteriously shows up for the First Kids, she soon finds herself in a “no-wing” situation. After Olivia refuses to serve the chicken, the First Lady gives her the cold shoulder. But when it turns out to be poisoned poultry, Olivia realizes the kids are true targets.

Out now


20 thoughts on “Books for January

  1. I’m almost done with “Buffalo West Wing” and I think you’ll like this one. Ollie isn’t as “pushy” as she was in the previous books — for once, she listens to the Secret Service and keeps out of the way (but still gets caught up in the mystery against her will).

    I think this will be my favorite one so far. And I love the cover. 🙂

    • I love the cover too! I bought the ebook version, which doesn’t have it, so boo to that.

      And I’m glad to hear you’re liking it – fingers crossed it works for me too.

  2. Li,
    Did you figure out how to get Good Reads to push to your blog? I have Google’s blog application instead of wordpress. Not working for me so far. I did figure out how to upload most of the books I’ve read in the past 10 years into Goodread. 🙂

    • No, I haven’t tried that one out yet – I did find the right help page and will have to give it a go at some point! I’ve seen some people (Renee, I think?) do it on WordPress so hoping it is straightforward. Ummm… if I actually start writing reviews on GoodReads, of course.

      Is there an easy way to upload books? I found their bulk upload functionality but I think it needed the ISBN, so I quickly passed on that one…

  3. Only 2, Li? 🙂

    To answer your questions about the Lupi books being under the radar… I kind of wonder if it’s because they’re shelved wrong. I know that when I picked up the first 3 or 4 books, they were shelved in romance, but truly, they are urban fantasy. So romance readers are a bit put off and urban fantasy readers just don’t see it.

    I think I read the first 2 or 3 books? I think it was missing a little something. I feel that stories where the humans are aware of the paranormal are always more difficult to write in term of world building… and that’s the weakness for me in this series.

    I have the first Hyzy and I don’t know. Is there a romantic element in this series? 😛

    • All books I read have romantic elements 😉 Nah, seriously, yes, there is a romance interest, but it’s very much a side thread. And without giving too much away, has been changing somewhat over the series.

      On the Eileen Wilks, I would definitely classify them as urban fantasy, but with really strong romantic elements, especially the later ones, IMO. I thought this new book was one of the better ones, really enjoyed it!

  4. That’s good to know about both books, Li.

    When you say that the romance interest is changing somewhat over the series, do you mean the focus? of the guy? LOL.

    • Okay, I’ll stop trying to be all vague and spoiler-free 🙂

      Olly is going out with one of the Secret Service agents in Book 1, and I did like their relationship then. They then hit some rocky spots in Book 2, and in this book, they’re pretty much over, and there’s another love interest on the horizon. Which is an interesting choice for a cosy mystery series, I think, as the guy introduced in book 1 tends to be THE ONE. On the other hand, I don’t read massive numbers of cosy mysteries, so what do I know…

      • I don’t read a whole lot of cozies myself, so I can’t say either.

        And since you’re spoiling anyway….Though, I would say you really aren’t, since you’re not giving away the mystery. 😉

        I re-bought book 2 because I kept saying, “Who’s Gav?”. I never thought that Ollie would break up with Tom, so why pay any attention to the other Secret Service agents. 😉 Tom was such a nice guy, too. On the other hand, it was an office romance, so to speak, and the stuff in book 3 really illustrated how those types of romances can spell disaster. Poor guy.

      • LOL – okay, let’s spoil away!

        I really liked Tom in Book 1, and was hoping they would manage to sort out their relationship – obviously was not meant to be.

        I’m not keen on how black-and-white Tom and Gav are being painted now, i.e. Tom is doing everything wrong, and Gav is sort of Mr Perfect at the moment. Then again, maybe a hangover of how much I liked Tom from the first book!

  5. I liked Tom, too, so yeah, I was hoping things would work also. I feel that Tom still in love with her (based on his behavior in his office particularly). Gav’s comments to Ollie that Tom was worried about her makes me wonder if he (Gav) realizes that.

    And I agree with you about how Ollie’s take on him is more negative than I think was warranted. The whole thing about how he was always on the clock, etc — and yet, when Gav says the same thing — she doesn’t even bat an eyelash.

    Anyone picking up this book first would assume Tom was a huge jerk. In fact, I commented on a review from someone who’s first experience with the series is this book and wondered about their relationship.

    Despite all this, Buffalo West Wing is my favorite book in the series, so far. The whole plot and the secondary story lines with the other diva chefs worked for me.

    • Oh, interesting – you think there’s a possibility that they’re heading for a love triangle situation? I’d like that – not so much the triangle plot, but more that it’ll lend some shading/more depth to the various characters.

      I liked the whole Presidency transition thing in this book – shook up Olly’s world a little. It reminded me a bit of Ellen Emerson White’s President’s Daughter books, but from a different angle, which was fascinating. And I thought the book built up to a very strong ending.

      • Triangle? Hmmm. I don’t know. Doesn’t that normally imply she can’t decide between the two? From the way the book ends, I’d say she’s making a choice: she ignored Gav’s comment about Tom being worried.

        Adding more depth to the characters? Yes, definitely. If nothing else, it shows that Gav is more observant than Ollie when it comes to Tom’s real feelings for her. And Gav’s own past adds another interesting layer to the situation.

        I’ve heard of White’s series. I really need to put it on my wishlist.

      • I am glad I have not been the only one musing on the whole Olly/Tom/Gav thing! I’m looking forward to seeing she develops this aspect in the next book.

        And EEW’s White House books are very good and filled with fascinating detail as well.

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