5 star review

Review – The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone
by Jayne Castle

Hot Zone

This is book 11 in the Harmony series and  book 3 (or 4 depending on how you are counting) in the Rainshadow series. This is obviously not a stand-alone novel, at all. You could maybe get away with reading just the Rainshadow novels, but really, the whole Harmony series is a lot of fun and dust bunnies are completely awesome! What casual readers may or may not know, is that Jayne Castle is also Jayne Ann Krentz is also Amanda Quick. Jayne Castle is her futuristic (with paranormal) pen name under which she is writing the Harmony/Rainshadow series. Jayne Ann Krentz is her contemporary (some of which is also paranormal) pen name under which she has or currently is writing the following series: Eclipse Bay, Arcane, and Dark Legacy. And Amanda Quick is her historical (some of which is also paranormal) pen name under which she writes The Ladies of Lantern Street and Arcane. And there are some trilogies that fit into the larger series that span through time and are written under each pen name, like Looking Glass Trilogy and Dreamlight Trilogy.  Confused yet? Well you don’t have to be. Most of the time you don’t actually have to cross genres and pen names to enjoy the stories, there doesn’t seem to be too much the casual reader needs to enjoy most of the books. However, if you do follow or read all of them there are fun connections between events and characters that just make everything so much more fun.

So, back to The Hot Zone. Harmony is a futuristic world where 200 years in their past, a curtain opened between that world and earth. Colonists started coming over and everything was fine until the curtain suddenly closed stranding them away from earth and her technology. Conditions on Harmony were a bit different from earth, so long story short, people started developing psychic talents and the means to control them and they also started bonding with dust bunnies. They also discover that aliens previously lived on this planet, and though they are gone, they left tunnels and artifacts behind. (This may sound like Castle’s St. Helen’s Trilogy, but it isn’t. I consider those books to be kind of like proto-Harmony books, but they aren’t connected though some of the themes and world building a very similar). This particular book features Sedona Snow (which if you have read the Eclipse Bay series ought to ring all sorts of bells), her faithful dust bunny Lyle, and Cyrus Jones (yes, one of those Jones’s). Cyrus has been brought on to Rainshadow Island as the Guild Boss for the newly established Rainshadow Guild. Shenanigans are had, mysteries are solved, dust bunnies have a superb time, and two people who think they may just be all wrong for each other turn out to be exactly right.

So, yes, these books are formulaic in the extreme. But somehow, they almost always turn out to be more than the sum of their parts. The characters have different talents, different struggles and (sometimes) different personalities. Plus, there are dust bunnies and I just can’t emphasize enough how they are really just as enjoyable as the romance. I find myself picking this series up and re-reading on a somewhat regular basis. They are fun, and they are fun the second or even third time you read them. And that is without all the tiny little linkings to all those other series. Digging in to the linkings just increases the fun factor, for me, exponentially.


How to get a better price on new books?

There is something in the world of books that I only recently became aware of, pre-order price matching.

On Amazon, if you pre-order something (including ebooks), you will eventually pay the very lowest price it ever was between the time you ordered it, and the time it ships. And your creditcard is only charged on the day it was ordered. On 06/17/2014 I pre-ordered JD Robb’s Festive in Death at $5.99, it is currently at $11.99, and here is the fun part, I am actually getting it for $5.42 because sometime between when I ordered and now, the price must have dropped that low. So, from now on, if I am absolutely certain I will be purchasing a particular book, I will just pre-order it on amazon instead of comparison shopping.

And what this seems to work best on, is pre-ordering the ebook of something that is releasing in hardcover format.

Barnes & Noble doesn’t have anything even close.

“If you pre-order an item and pay with a credit card, the authorization for that purchase usually expires in seven days for Visa, or 30 days for MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB cards. For items that are due to arrive in more than 30 days, we may need to obtain another authorization from your credit card company. Your credit card is charged at the time we ship the product. The only exception to this is digital pre-orders such as NOOK Books, NOOK Magazines, NOOK Newspapers and NOOK Apps—for these items, the credit card account is charged immediately. “

So Barnes & Noble charges your book when your ebook when you order it, not when you receive it.

And I have absolutely no clue what Google’s policy is on this. Either my google-fu is weak, or their policy is just no where to be found.
3 star review

Advance Review – Her Last Whisper

Her Last Whisper

Her Last Whisper

Karen Robards

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This is book three in the series and absolutely is NOT a standalone. While I’ll grant you a story about a criminal psychiatrist who can see the ghosts of the violently departed and is involved in a love triangle with a living FBI agent and a dead serial killer sounds like an altogether insane and confusing plotline, reading this book without reading the others is only going to make things worse. Moreover, my review isn’t going to make any sense if you don’t know the characters either.
Reviews for previous books in the series:

The Last Victim

The Last Kiss Goodbye

So to start with, this is definitely not the end of a trilogy. Imagine me banging my head against the wall, repeatedly. I don’t know where I got it into my head that this would be a trilogy, but I honestly thought it was, and the ending of book 2 for some reason reinforced that impression. It’s not, so now I’ve got to be all irritated waiting around for the next book. I’m truly hoping that one has some sort of resolution, because as understanding as I was about this being a multiple book thing after the first one, because this kind of crazy sauce definitely needed a little more room to work, the bloom is definitely off the rose so far as I’m concerned, and I’m looking for some payoff.
Charlie’s back at work in the prison with a truly irritated ghost who thinks she should be on a vacation after her last case. That last case had the unfortunate side effect of opening her senses even further to ghosts, which is where her issues in this book pick up. She also has serious trouble saying no to the FBI, no matter how much she exclaims about how all she wants to do is finish her research. I’d doubt her resolve, but this particular case involves Lena’s sister, so I can understand why she feels she needs to help. Which I guesses is my next point; I’ve become much more interested in Lena and Buzz’s story than I am Charlie and Michael, despite the former pair’s relatively short page time. When you are just waiting for the resolution of the main characters and find yourself less and less interested in their story, that’s a problem. Granted, we find out a whole lot more about Michael, and the story definitely flirts with exploring the nature of guilt and innocence and what does it take to be dammed. Philosophically, it starts to explore if we are condemned not just for what we’ve done, but our own perspective of and feelings about our actions. But, it doesn’t delve long or deeply into those themes. And I want a happily ever after for Michael in the worst way. What’s happened to him and what may happen keeps me invested to a point. This is definitely the point where the next book better dammed well give me a happily ever after or I’m going to have less than pleased feelings about the series as a whole. It’s felt like we’ve been building towards something, but without any payoff, this pleasant feelings may evaporate to nothing.
In the end, this is still my kind of crazy sauce story. As I was reading it, I was kept entertained by the mystery and the characters. I honestly didn’t see the perpetrator coming, but that could be mostly because I was blinded by the crazy that is Spookville and the relationship between Charlie and Michael. But the ending just feels like being jerked around, so in retrospect, it colors my feelings tremendously. I waiver between enjoying this insanity and being absolutely irritated by the whole thing. Book 4 is either going to see me thrilled with a truly bizarre series, or pissed I’ve wasted this many hours of my life on something.

4 star review

Advance Review – Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire
Cynthia Eden

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This book is the third and final installment in Eden’s Phoenix Fire series.

Books 1 & 2 Reviews

Despite the fact that overall, I liked the second book fairly well, I didn’t realize how much it had disincentivized me towards reading the next book in the series. But, Playing with Fire just kept staring at me from my Netgalley shelf, and I was really kind of dreading actually opening it and reading. But I’m happy to say, I was perturbed for nothing. This book was a fantastic thrill ride. The dichotomy between Cassie who remember and feels everything and Dante who rarely remembers Cassie or much of anything- except for all the wrong things, was just heart wrenching for most of the book. There’s strong attraction on both sides and they are thrown into action packed scene after scene.  There is a ton going on here, and we finally get resolution on Trace and what caused the Phoenix wars, on top of the very satisfying HEA for Cassie and Dante.

4 stars for a fun and sexy read.


Sale – Jeanienne Frost’s Night Huntress series

Jeanienne’s Night Huntress series is now on sale for $1.99. This series appears to be complete. There’s 7 complete books, the last of which was published 01/28/2014. Goodreads average ratings start out in the high 3’s and gradually increased through the series.



Sale – JD Robb In Death

JD Robb’s (Nora Roberts) first 4 In Death books are currently on sale for $1.99. If you’ve not yet tried this series, they’re at an excellent price to try them out. Don’t be fooled by the $2.99 ones though, those are novellas.


All 4 have average Goodreads ratings of over 4 stars. So if you are in the market for a futuristic, tragic back story cop police procedural romance novel series, dig right in. I love these books because sometimes it’s really enjoyable to stick with the same couple throughout a series, particularly without any irritating love triangles. And personally I don’t figure that’s a spoiler considering the 39th book in the series is about to be released, and it’s always Eve and Roarke. That’s right, 39th, so if you are at all interested in these characters, feel free to wallow, I know I do.