Tag Archives: Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Sunday Reflections: Upcoming Books, Fun Stuff and Great Deals You Might Have Missed, Week of October 20, 2013

20 Oct

Upcoming Books and New Releases

It’s no secret that I adore Lauren Dane’s writing, so I was thrilled to see that she’s partnering with author Megan Hart to publish a duology (is that what you call an anthology with two stories?) on December 3rd entitled There All Along. The stories sound amazing, but even more intriguing that (despite the cover – not that I’m complaining) these stories are set in futuristic worlds. Considering Dane nailed science fiction romance in her jaw-droppingly awesome Federation Chronicles series, I feel like I’m in good hands. As usual.

Rock star romance seemed wicked hot right now, and the feedback for Crash Into Me by Tracy Wolff tells me this particular author is one to watch. Based around the band Shaken Dirty (mrrroooww), this series will work through the sexy romances of its members, with the first book focusing on the lead singer of the sister of another one of the band’s members. Bring on the music, people.

If you’re beginning to think about holiday romance, you might want to take a closer look at the Fiction River anthology Christmas Ghosts, featuring stories from romance authors like M. L. Buchman, Mary Jo Putney, Kristine Grayson and Kathryn Rusch. Combining holiday romance with a dash of the paranormal sounds like a great idea to me (that is what Dickens capitalized on after all), so I want this under the Christmas tree (or at least the virtual one on my Kindle).

While this could totally go in my “Great Deals” section, it is so awesome (and won’t be published until November 10th) that I wanted to feature it here. For only a week (and I think that’s ending soon!), the 10 book bundle of Dangerous Attraction, featuring award-winning authors like Kaylea Cross, Jill Sanders, and Rebecca York is only $.99 on Amazon. Pre-order it at this great price and lock in an amazing value while perhaps finding a new favorite author (Kaylea Cross won’t steer you wrong, I promise!).

Filing also under the “holy crap what a great deal!” and the recent releases category is the Dark and Dangerous: Six-in-One Hot Paranormal Romances collection – also for only $.99 right now. This would be an amazing price for just Jennifer Ashley’s Hard Mated, one of her fantastic Shifters Unbound novels but that it also has books from Bonnie Vanak and Laurie London (and other authors I’m dying to explore) pushes this into the instant “click to buy” territory.

I love Tawny Weber and her Blaze books with Harlequin are always a must-buy for me, including her upcoming holiday novel, Naughty Christmas Nights. Two competitors in the sexy lingerie business go head-to-head to win an important department store account but find themselves just as intrigued to try out the merchandise…with each other.

Contests and Giveaways

Romance readers don’t often get a lot of dystopian offerings, so interested parties might want to check out Ellen Connor’s paranormal dystopian Dark Age Dawning trilogy, particularly since the first book, Nightfall, is part of a Goodreads giveaway if you enter prior to October 21st.  When the daughter of a prophet is kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest, she does not expect that the ex-Marine who cares for her can be a believer in her father’s ravings when she is not. But as the world changes exactly as her dad anticipated, these two people must ride out the Change together, and see if they can forge a new future in a world gone wild. Interesting to note that Ellen Connor is the pen name for two wonderful, established authors, Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty, so you should definitely take a chance on this one!

Are you in the Atlanta area at the end of March? If so, you might want to enter the contest for The Novel Experience Event Giveaway where you could win a multi-day VIP pass to the author events and signings to be held at the Hyatt Regency March 28-30th. Sponsored by Romance Ink, the same literary nonprofit that brings you the popular Authors After Dark conference. With authors like Carrie Ann Ryan, Melissa Schroeder and Joey W. Hill, this conference has me wishing Georgia was a little closer!

Nora Roberts fans are busy awaiting the first book in her paranormal romance The Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy, Dark Witch, which has an appropriate debut date of October 29th, but did you know you might be able to win a copy? Enter the Goodreads giveaway before October 21st to see if you can get a free copy of this anticipated novel. With Roberts’ trademark wonderful characters, an Irish setting complete with castle, and a dark evil that wants to deny love when it takes root, this is bound to be a worthy read for the dark nights surrounding Halloween.

With only three days left, historical fiction fans will want to enter the FictionVixen rafflecopter giveaway for several upcoming releases, including Elizabeth Hoyt’s Duke of Midnight, Eileen Dreyer’s Once a Rake, Jennifer Delamere’s A Lady Most Lovely, Anne Barton’s Once She Was Tempted, and Lily Dalton’s Never Desire a Duke. Entering couldn’t be easier and the payoff is tremendous.

Fans of the TV show Once Upon a Time or readers who love reinterpreted fairy tales should take a look at Jessica Aspen’s novel The Dark Huntsman. A witch trying to save her family from a murderous queen is pursued by the queen’s enslaved huntsman, who soon decides that he can break free of the queen by using this young woman’s power. But his commitment to freedom is soon surpassed by his feelings for the brave woman attempting to do the right thing and he must decide between his life and hers. Enter before October 22nd for a chance to win.

Harlequin’s Paranormal Romance blog is having a giveaway of five of their recent books, including The Night is Forever by Heather Graham, Sleep with the Lights On by Maggie Shayne, Claimed by the Demon by Doranna Durgin, Out of the Night by Trish Milburn, Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder. Just leave a comment letting them know what magical power you’d love to have and why by October 28th at midnight and you’ll have entered!

Fun Stuff

Maybe because I have Jill Shalvis on the brain (see Great Deals) but like books, movies that feature animals in any capacity always draw me. But what happens when said animal meets an unfortunate end? (I hysterically sobbed for about an hour after I Am Legend because I did not see that coming!). Luckily for me, the website Does the Dog Die? The Most Important Movie Question exists. With icons hinting at the content (happy dog face for every animal is okay, crying face for you know what, and troubled face for the in-between), the reviews solely let you know what happens to the animal(s) in the movie. And the animal does not have to be the focus of the film. The synopsis for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) is “Ron Burgundy’s dog, Baxter, is punted off of a bridge. He eventually shows up again, having miraculously survived.” Why do you need to know more?

Great Deals

In anticipation of the upcoming new release in her Animal Magnetism series, Rumor Has It (November 5th) fans of Jill Shalvis will be pleased to note that the third book, Rescue My Heart, is on sale on Amazon for only $1.99. Since this is the book that precedes the one about to come out (and the heroine of Rumor Has It is introduced in this book), this bargain is both fabulous and practical to get you all caught up.

OMG. Cynthia Eden‘s fantastic paranormal series, Bound, has been bundled as Forever Bound so you can get the first four books for a mere $.99. What a deal!! I love all these books but Bound in Sin (#3) about the werewolf who thinks his teenage love has been killed only to see her return years later – as a vampire, his mortal enemy – is heart-wrenchingly awesome. Be sure to take advantage of this wonderful bargain. This deal is supposedly for only one week (and I’m not sure of the start date) so act quickly.

Delilah Marvelle’s Mistress of Pleasure historical romance is currently discounted to $2.42 (which seems like a weird price, but who am I to judge?). Featuring the granddaughter of a courtesan and the duke to whom she succumbs, this novel seems to have some intriguing twists and turns worth exploring, particularly at that price!

The ever-funny Molly Harper’s The Care and Feeding of Vampires is discounted right now to a mere $1.99. Considering this is the first in her Half Moon Hollow series, it might be a nice way to introduce yourself to this outstanding paranormal author known for her mix of sensuality and humor. Consider it a Halloween present to yourself.

Carla Cassidy’s Western (with a dash of suspense) Cowboy with a Cause is free for download on Amazon right now and it’s worth checking out. A former dancer with health issues and a sexy tenant is a hot combination, but the suspense element and the fact that the heroine is in a wheelchair take this story into interesting territory.

Fever by Joan Swan got rave reviews when it came out last year, but if you missed this thrill-a-minute tale of a wronged convict and the woman he kidnaps, you can grab it at Amazon for the discounted price of $1.99 right now.

That’s it for this week. Happy Reading, everyone! 🙂

Sweet Romantic Fairy Tale: Reissue of Thoroughly Kissed by Kristine Grayson

31 May

Thoroughly Kissed Book 2 in the Fates series by Kristine Grayson (June 1, 2012, Sourcebooks)

It’s an interesting phenomena in romance when publishers reissue books. As a reader, I think it generates a love/hate relationship – love, if the book was great to begin with and it’s hard to get a hold of or hate, if the author is so prolific that you end up buying a book you’ve already read because the cover looks so different and you’re desperate to read anything by that writer. With a lot of publishers purchasing author backlists, usually for ebook reissuing, this is becoming more of a landmine, but the good news for readers is that we benefit from more great books on the market.

Prior to getting a copy of this novel from NetGalley, I hadn’t read anything by Kristine Grayson, the penname for the prolific powerhouse of Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Rusch has published dozens of novels and short stories in various genres, particularly in the area of fantasy fiction, so paranormal romance definitely seems like a natural fit for her Kristine Grayson persona.

Thoroughly Kissed is the second in her Fates series, succeeding the story, Utterly Charming, but it’s totally feasible to read them independent of one another (a fact I was happy to discover a couple of chapters into this novel). Utterly Charming was the story of Prince Charming in the Sleeping Beauty tale, who is now a 1000 year old magician living in modern times as a cutting edge chef. He has guarded Sleeping Beauty’s glass coffin for all that time but when she awakes he has lots of problems, not the least of which is the fact that he is attracted to the lawyer he hired to help him with this situation. Moral of the story: really pay attention to prophesies since you’re not always interpreting them correctly.

In Thoroughly Kissed, Sleeping Beauty, who has taken the name Emma Lost, has managed to forge a life for herself in the last 10 years, including becoming a highly successful history professor whose expertise on the Middle Ages has landed her book deals and television interviews. She’s incredibly content with her life at the university in Madison, Wisconsin, with her lovely house and crazy cat and when men fall at her feet from her beauty she just ignores them – they never really see her, after all.

But in just one day, everything changes. Emma inherits her magic (which she is supposed to get in a few years, but it seems her 1,000 year sleep made it come a little faster) but she has no mage nearby to train her and things are getting a little out of control. Part of that loss of control is the arrival of her new department head, Michael Found, who thinks Emma is a shady academic who doesn’t know the first thing about the Middle Ages. She’s bowled over by his incredible good looks and simultaneously put off by his condescending attitude while he fights his attraction to her beauty and intelligence tooth and nail.

Original cover of Thoroughly Kissed (March 1, 2001, Zebra Contemporary Romance)

When her temper gets away from her and she zaps them both (temporarily) back to the Middle Ages, Michael confronts the idea that magic isn’t just a subject for intellectual speculation – it’s very real. Emma needs someone to accompany her to get to her mentor for training since tradition says she has to make the journey without magical assistance, but she’s kept everyone at a distance. After all, the last time she let someone close, she got kissed and fell into an enchanted sleep.  It’s enough to make anyone swear off relationships.

Michael realizes that his ordered existence has to be temporarily put on hold while he accompanies Emma from Wisconsin to the Pacific Northwest, with her (completely hilarious) cat. They face a series of adventures on this lengthy car trip, some magical and some not, but all revealing more about each of them as they fall for one another.

This is a sweet romance – lots of longing but no kissing until the end and a behind the bedroom door ending. In actuality, the original cover, while dated looking, is a better demonstration of the sensuality level of the novel. I love the new cover, particularly the castle in the background and the dreamy fairy tale quality, but I think bare chests indicate a much racier level of sensuality, so that’s a bit misleading. (The first book in the series also got a nice reissue and it’s much more accurate since the male figure has a shirt on.)

The best compliment I can give this romance is that I started off not really liking either character and experienced a complete turn around by the end. Michael was seriously uptight and quite frankly, really rude about not agreeing with Emma’s academic approach, and she flipped into a testy, stressed personality with the onset of her magic (this was a little more understandable). I usually don’t enjoy sweet romances that much but I felt Grayson did a great job of character development to the point that I really found myself unable to put down the book. I’m not sure I will read the other books in the series, but I will be adding these to my library as they are ideal for a young adult audience.

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