The general reaction in my circles to Wednesday’s Westminster attack can be summed up as follows:
- Thoughts and prayers with those killed or hurt, and their families
- Massive respect for those working in the emergency services, who ran towards the danger instead of away from it
- London is open and it’s business as usual
On to books, and rather belatedly, the new releases for March:
Manna Francis’s CORPORA DELICTI (SF): Manna Francis is published by a small press, who release the ebook months after the paperback is first published. Normally this would have me up in arms and refusing to buy the book on principle, so if I say I ordered the physical book, you get an idea of how much I love her Administration series. A lot of her fiction is available online for free, but I’ve the published versions as well. Her dystopian SF world is incredibly detailed (though probably not one for the more squeamish), and I’m ridiculously obsessed by the Toreth/Warrick dynamics. This is book nine though, so start from the first book.
On the surface, stability has returned to Europe. According to all the official metrics released to news feeds, the Administration and the corporations are stronger and more united than ever. Only in the most secret of government surveillance departments and corporate security divisions would anyone suggest otherwise.
On the surface, Senior Para-investigator Toreth’s year is ending badly. His boss hates him, his junior is looking for a way out, and his new case seems like a dud. Even the upcoming holidays bring more unwelcome news. But the new year starts him down a trail that will lead him from an unpromising beginning, via an unappetizing corpse, right into the financial heart of the Administration and the highest-stakes investigation of his career.
On the surface, corporate director Keir Warrick’s life is on the up. His virtual reality corporation SimTech has weathered the storm of the revolt, and new opportunities are appearing. Away from work, though, more clouds are gathering. What should be good family news brings concerns for the future. With so many secrets to keep, where can he turn to finally guarantee the safety of his family and corporation? And what will the consequences of his choices be for his relationship with Toreth?
This is the ninth book in the Administration series, and follows the intertwined private and professional lives of somewhat justifiably paranoid senior para-investigator Val Toreth and overly inquisitive corporate director Keir Warrick.
Patricia Briggs’s SILENCE FALLEN (UF): I’ve loved Mercy Thompson since day one, and while the series has its ups and downs, I’m always going to be reading a new Mercy.
Coyote shapeshifter Mercy Thompson is attacked and abducted in her home territory. Fighting off a crazed werewolf, she manages to escape, only to find herself alone in the heart of Europe, without money, without clothing and on the run from the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world.
Unable to contact her pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, but first she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy needs to be at her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves – and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…
Santino Hassell’s INSIGHT (paranormal romance): I stumbled upon Santino Hassell’s writing last year, and he very quickly became an autobuy author – I love how his romances are set in a New York that feels current and alive. He turns his hand to paranormal romance this time around.
Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.
Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.
Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.
Josh Lanyon’s FAIR CHANCE (romantic suspense): This one wraps up her trilogy published with Carina Press. I’ve read it already, and it’s a decent mystery, though heavier on the suspense than romance, IMO.
Elliot Mills comes face-to-face with evil in this follow-up to Fair Game and Fair Play from bestselling author Josh Lanyon
One final game of cat and mouse…
Ex–FBI agent Elliot Mills thought he was done with the most brutal case of his career. The Sculptor, the serial killer he spent years hunting, is finally in jail. But Elliot’s hope dies when he learns the murderer wasn’t acting alone. Now everyone is at risk once again—thanks to a madman determined to finish his partner’s gruesome mission.
When the lead agent on the case, Special Agent Tucker Lance, goes missing, Elliot knows it’s the killer at work. After all, abducting the love of his life is the quickest way to hurt him.
The chances of finding Tucker are all but impossible without the help of the Sculptor—but the Sculptor is in no position to talk. Critically injured in a prison fight, he lies comatose and dying while the clock ticks down. Elliot has no choice but to play this killer’s twisted game and hope he can find Tucker in time.
Sarina Bowen’s GOODBYE PARADISE (contemporary romance): Apparently Sarina Bowen first published this book (and another) under a pseudonym. I’d have completely missed them, so I’m glad she decided to release them under the Bowen name!
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.
In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.
But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.
It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.
Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.
Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?
Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.
And the maybes:
- Anne Bishop’s ETCHED IN BONE (UF): After a great start, this series has kind of fizzled out for me. I’ll still get this at some point because I want to know how she’s wrapped up the story, but I’ll probably wait for the paperback release.
- THE DJINN FALLS IN LOVE & OTHER STORIES (fantasy): This anthology edited by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin sounds great, but I’m trying to curb my habit of buying anthologies that I never finish…
- Cassandra Rose Clarke’s STAR’S END (SF): A story that sounds right up my alley; sadly, the £12 ebook price tag means that I’m waiting for a price drop (or hoping my library gets it in).
Megan Derr’s TOURNAMENT OF LOSERS: You could possibly call this M/M fantasy romance a bit of fluff. So what? Sometimes, you just want an enjoyable, feel-good story and this one is certainly that.