Titles: A Winters Tale - Twelve Days of Christmas - A Christmas Cracker
Here is the thing about Trisha Ashley's books, they all appear to be connected though they aren't officially a series. I should have caught on sooner and started reading them in publication order or even looking up a chronological order but I didn't so I've skipped around in this part of the world. I've read many of Ashley's other books and many take place in a town called Sticklepond which is where A Winter's Tale takes place but just over the bend is Little Mumming where Twelve Days of Christmas, A Christmas Cracker and Finding Mr. Rochester all take place.
Just so you know I've read Twelve Days of Christmas every year for several years because I just enjoy it far too much (previous review). I like the Martlands and I adored Holly but I enjoyed meeting Tabby and her reluctant paramour just as much. I feel like Ashley really brings you into the small town atmosphere of remoute England. And having Eleri go out to the moors in search of history on where Jane Eyre was supposedly to take place only to find a man who could be the dashingly dark Mr. Rochester is just fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of all of these books!
Titles: Shadow Study - Night Study
Series: Study/Soulfinder Series
I'm a big fan of Maria V. Snyder. I haven't, yet, read all her books but I'm very close. Originally I got sucked into her Ixian fantasy world but Poison Study which was a brilliant idea about a woman who killed in self-defense in a world where any murder means your life is forfeit. However, Yelena (our heroine) is giving the choice to be a food taster for the Commander of their country. She can either be put to death or possibly die of poisoning. She chooses to prolong her life even if it means eating poison. Yelena's adventures continue in the sequel's called Magic & Fire Study and suddenly Yelena has two more books to go adventuring in. So I was more than willing to find out what else Yelena's life held and I wasn't disappointed. Where they as good as the original? No, but pretty close. I enjoy this fantasy world and I really love Yelena as a charcter and her compatriots.
Titles: Touch of Power - Scent of Magic
Series: Healer Series
So admittedly I thought this was going to pick up in Ixia and be similar to the Glass series (about Yelena's friend Opal) but as it turned out this appears to be a different series and world completely though I am leaning towards the same world but a different region of it. Don't know. In this world there is still magic though the world was nearly wiped out by a plague which was believed to have been started by the healers. So being a healer isn't a good thing and is a death sentence. Avry can't help it though, she has to use her ability to help those in need especially when they are a child. In healing a child on the verge of death, she gives away who she is and is betrayed by those she helps. But coming to her rescue is Kerrick who is only there to find a healer for his friend.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that this story is also about politics to some extent. This world or land hand many rulers and when the plague hit and killed a lot of people a few high born people decided to try and take over everything, imposing their own rules and standards. Kerrick wants Rhine to rule but to do that Kerrick must get Avry to heal him. So the adventure begins.
I can't say I enjoyed this series as much as the Ixian one but it was enjoyable enough. I did find the second book a bit long and repetative for my tastes. I know there is another book to come and I'm not sure if I want to read it.
Titles: Sleigh Bells in the Snow - Suddenly Last Summer - Maybe This Christmas
Series: O'Neil Brothers Series
Rating: & &
I stumbled upon this series while looking for Christmas stories to read. The first one does take place at Christmas though the rest less so. This series is about the O'Neil brothers. First is Jackson who has returned to the family home and business after his father's death only to find the family business in jeopardy. In comes Kayla to help him with her PR magic and to fall in love because the two can barely resist each other. Typically with a romance someone has some emotional baggage to get over and that happens to be Kayla mostly. She has some very bad memories of Christmas and she has shut herself off from the holiday and personal relationships. However, Jackson helps her see the light. But my favorite part of this story is that while Jackson is helping Kayla, Kayla helps Jackson repair the rift in his family. Both have things to learn and both bring insight into the others life.
Which appears to be a theme because in the second book we have Sean & Elise who had a one night thing the previous Summer (after the death of Sean's father). Sean had fight with the patriarch of the family (Walter the grandfather) after his father's death and Elise has some relationship phobias after a bad and violent relationship in her native France. The problem is neither one of them does relationships and yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Relationship phobic Sean starts finding any excuse to come home much to the surprise of his family. And again they help each other with the problems in their lives.
The third is a little less like the other two though I do think it is my favorite. Tyler is the youngest and most famous of the brothers. He's a US Gold Medalist Skiier who injured himself and can no longer compete. So he's back on the family ski resort helping out along with his life long best friend Brenna who grew up along side the brothers and is like part of the family. Except Brenna has a secret. She's loved Tyler since day one. Brenna does have some family issues and Tyler has some mild PTSD when it comes to aspects of his former life. But their biggest problem is Kayla and Elise's meddling. Because of Kayla, Brenna has no place to live while working the snow season and she's forced to move in with Tyler and his daughter. Can't we see where this is going? The thing is that despite it's cliche nature, I really enjoyed the emotional rollercoaster these two go through and Tyler's navigating being a dad to a teen.
Titles: Blood Kiss & The Beast (which I read twice)
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series (and Legacy)
There are a few authors I stop everything for: Diana Gabaldon, Karen Marie Moning, Amber Lynn Natusch, Sherrilyn Kenyon (sometimes) and J.R. Ward. She is one of my 3 favorite writers (others are underlined) and I absolutely adore her BDB series. I did fear her BDB Legacy series wouldn't be as good but the transition isn't even there. It is just like she introduced more characters because after all the Brother's need more fighters to protect the vampire race from the evil Slayers (who are the actual undead). I almost feared to read Blood Kiss but as it turned out I rather enjoyed it and it kind of was Butch and Marissa's story too. However, the really main character are Paradise and Craeg. They are both in the Brother's Training Program and Paradise is determined to show everyone that a glymera (aristocrats) female is good for more than just being arm candy. Of course, she hadn't planned on finding her soulmate in Craeg. Their journey is emotional, beautiful and dangerous which is something that is always true of Ward's books. And while this series started out as HEA it has changed dramatically to a saga where sometimes things just don't work out.
AndThe Beast. I do remember loving Rhage's book even though it was back in the HEA part of the series. But the thing is when I read his first book, I never saw it as HEA because in the end Mary and Rhage had a major obstacle thrown into the whole family thing. Mary's job and the domestic abuse home brings her into the life of a young female who has endured more than any child should have to and all Mary wants to do is make things better. Bitty, is so tiny and can pass for younger than she is and she's terrified of being sent away and not being wanted. She's had an abusive father and is wary of males but Rhage in all his massive glory is like a kid himself and Bitty quickly becomes attached to him, his car and his beast (her new pet!). I bet you know where this is going! But the best part is experiencing it while reading so definitely try this one.