Books for October

We’re into the final quarter of 2012, but there are still so many 2012 releases on my must-get list.  And a lot of them are coming out in October.

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Andrea K Höst‘s AND ALL THE STARS (YA SF): She’s an autobuy author for me, so yeah.  And Estara’s read it already and is busy convincing everyone else that they should read it.  Not that I needed any convincing.

Come for the apocalypse.

Stay for cupcakes.

Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.

Out Oct 1 (excerpt)

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Karen Chance‘s FURY’S KISS (urban fantasy): Yet another author I love.  It’s been a while since there’s been a new Karen Chance, and I’ve pre-ordered FURY’S KISS, so you can tell how much I’m looking forward to this.  It’s the third book in her Dorina Basarab series, which is a spin-off from the main Cassie Palmer books, but really shouldn’t be read as a standalone series (have I confused you yet?).  Dory’s a lot more kick-ass than Cassie (and I mean that literally), plus there’s no love triangle in these books IIRC, so yes, should be a fun read.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing… 

Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.

It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.

To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…

Out Oct 2 (excerpt)

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Jacqueline Carey‘s DARK CURRENTS (urban fantasy): So… the last time one of my favourite fantasy authors wrote a UF, it didn’t work out too well.  And Jacqueline Carey’s more recent works haven’t wowed me.  However, that’s not going to stop me from checking out this book.

Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn… 

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

Out Oct 2 (excerpt)

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Eileen WilksMORTAL TIES (urban fantasy): There are so many things I like about Eileen Wilks’ UF series – how her Lupi world is distinctly different to the other werewolf books out there, that she has a main character who is Chinese-American (and both Lily Yu and her partner Rule rock) and best of all, there’s this overarching series plotline that is building up to a very promising climax.

“Eileen Wilks is a truly gifted writer,” (Romance Junkies) and her Novels of the Lupi have drawn readers into a seductive world of action, suspense, and passion. Now, FBI agent Lily Yu tracks a traitor into the darkest shadows yet…

FBI agent Lily Yu is living at Nokolai Clanhome with her fiancé, lupi Rule Turner, when an intruder penetrates their territory, stealing the prototpye of a magical device the clan hopes will be worth a fortune–if a few bugs can be worked out . . .

But the protoytpe can be dangerously erratic, discharging a bizarre form of mind magic—and it looks like the thief wants it for that very side effect. Worse, whoever stole the device didn’t learn about it by accident. There’s a Nokolai traitor in their midst. Lily and Rule have to find the traitor, the thief, and the prototype. One job proves easy when the thief calls them–and his identity rocks Rule’s world.

As they race to recover their missing property, they find Robert Friar’s sticky footprints all over the place. Robert Friar–killer, madman, and acolyte of the Old One the lupi are at war with–an Old One whose power is almost as vast as her ambition to rock the entire world…

Out Oct 2 (excerpt)

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Sean Kennedy‘s TIGERLAND (m/m romance): I loved Sean Kennedy’s first novel TIGERS AND DEVILS when I first read it a couple of years back.  Despite knowing next to nothing about Australian Rules football, I was completely caught up in the romance and fascinated by the very Australian setting.  So having an unexpected sequel feels like a bonus.

After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station.

Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention.

Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.

Out October 15 (publisher book page)

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Kaje Harper‘s HOME WORK (m/m romance): I haven’t really connected with Kaje Harper’s more recent releases, but I’ve enjoyed the previous two books in her Life Lessons series – this promises to be a good continuation of Mac and Tony’s story.

Mac and Tony thought the hard part was over. They’re together openly as a couple, sharing a home and building a life with their two children. It’s what they dreamed of. But daughter Anna struggles with the changes, Ben is haunted by old secrets, Mac’s job in Homicide still demands too much of his time, and Tony is caught in the middle. It’s going to take everything these men can give to create a viable balance between home and work. Especially when the outside world seems determined to throw obstacles in their way.

Out October 5 (author book page)

A Short Reading Month

Picking up where we left off, here are books I read in August last year.   And I only read four during the ENTIRE month.  Huh.  It also looks to have been a bit of a romance month.

As always, reviews were posted on Goodreads originally, but with additional comments in italics this time around.

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Regency StingRegency Sting by Elizabeth Mansfield (regency romance)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really like Elizabeth Mansfield’s historicals – she gives good romance within the length constraints dictated by categories. This was a traditional regency with an American heir being the main plot point. It was a decent read – I liked the relationship between the h/h and how the story eventually played out. Yes, it was a bit predictable and the secondary romance didn’t do anything for me, but overall, I enjoyed this.

And the rating of three stars probably holds true, i.e. I liked.  Or in other words, I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but only have a vague memory of the plot and characters eight months later.

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Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1)Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn (historical romance)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, it’s a Julia Quinn so it has to be a fun read – it delivered on that front, her trademark Quinn humour made me smile. I liked revisiting the Bridgertons (it’s been too long!) and loved seeing the Smythe-Smiths from another angle. However, I struggled somewhat trying to remember the h/h a couple of weeks later. Fun and frothy, but not necessarily memorable.

Julia Quinn is still an auto-buy author for me, but I don’t rush out to buy her books on the first day of release any more.  Her Bridgerton books are still my favourites. 

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Life Lessons (Life Lessons, #1)Life Lessons by Kaje Harper (m/m romance)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A slightly convoluted murder mystery with a rather unbelievable villain. However, while the story started slowly, it built up to an ending that had me buying the next book, Breaking Cover, to find out what happens next.

This was my first Kaje Harper, and I suspect I picked this up based on a rec on a review site somewhere.  I liked it, but it was the second book (below) that sealed the deal.

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Breaking Cover (Life Lessons, #2)Breaking Cover by Kaje Harper (m/m romance)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The setup reminded me slightly of Josh Lanyon‘s Adrien English series – and comparisons against the AE series always leave the other books looking slightly lacking. Having said that, I thought the suspense was balanced well against the romance elements in this book. Generally, the relationship was more angst-y than the prequel Life Lessons, which is always a plus for me!

I did like this book, and have added Kaje Harper to my list of authors to read.

I think there’ll be another book in this series coming out soon – I hope so, as this is shaping up to be a good romantic suspense type of series.  Then again, my weak spot is relationships that develop over the course of several books, as opposed to insta-love + HEA in one book.