Friday Book Club #13

Friday, February 2, 2018

 Read & Have Opinions On:

Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled by Lauren Dane
The sharpest ache comes from wanting what you think you can’t have…

Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited and unattached since leaving home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job—and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself drumming in a punk rock band by night, she’s got it good.

But a longtime crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better.

Maybe’s blunt attitude and carnal smile hooked Alexsei from the start. Protecting people is part of his nature and Maybe is meant to be his…even if she doesn’t know it. Yet. He can’t help himself from wanting to protect and care for her.

But Maybe’s fiery independent spirit means pushing back when Alexsei goes too far. Still, he’s not afraid to do a little pushing of his own to get what he wants—her in his life, and his bed, for good. Maybe’s more intoxicating than all the liquor on his shelf…and he’s not afraid to ride the blade’s edge to bind her to him.

My Thoughts: I'm writing this post immediately after finishing Unraveled, and you know what? I think this might just be an ok Lauren Dane book in my opinion. I like both Maybe and Alexsei as characters, but together their romance just didn't feel unique to me. Instead I saw parts of a lot of her previous novels, especially Opening Up, in the conflicts and family interactions. I realize my reaction is partly projection, but I just have a very hard time believing that any person would continue to seek out and maintain relationships with family members despite the derogatory and emotionally abusive they continually rain upon them. Plus, the fact that Maybe and Alexsei get together so quickly meant that I missed a lot of the relationship buildup that I usually enjoy, and instead we focused on the family drama or petty jealousy stuff that just was not my jam. But have I already bought Jagged? Fuck yeah because even on her 'eh' days Lauren Dane writes an entertaining story, but this probably won't be one I go back to and read over again constantly.

The Myth Manifestation by Lisa Shearin
The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI) protect people from predatory supernaturals. This time, we’re the ones who need protection.

New York is one of the most popular convention destinations in the world—for humans and supernaturals. Every hundred years, rulers of the world’s supernatural races come together to negotiate and renew a peace treaty. Meeting in the same hotel are the governors of our world’s goblin and elf colonies. SPI is saddled with the security nightmare of keeping the living delegates alive and the undead delegates from becoming permanently deceased. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI. Our security nightmare becomes real when monsters from the delegates’ mythologies begin mysteriously appearing in the flesh to hunt delegates from every side of the debate. And when the hotel gets sucked into another dimension, there’s no escape.

We discover that we’re all pieces in an elaborate and deadly game. A game about to spill out into the real world. Failing to escape is game over and not an option. We have to save the world—but first, we have to save ourselves.

My Thoughts: Big shoutout to Smexy Books for doing a short review on this book, because I had no idea it was coming out. I really enjoy the SPI Files as a series, so I was surprised to read later on Shearin's website that ACE Books had passed on the rest of the series, but whatever, cause MORE AND FASTER BOOKS FOR ME. Shearin has consistently put out an entertaining and light-hearted urban fantasy series and I really need that. I enjoy the friendships and camaraderie of the various SPI teams and support staff, and love how instead of going the typical work romance or love triangle route, she's written a slow build relationship between Makenna and Rafe. I enjoyed this one just as much as the previous installments, and if you can do better than me and buy them all in ebook format now to avoid the heartbreak of series in different places, go for it!

Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines
The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

My Thoughts: I'd known of Jim C. Hines for a while (anyone else see his take on female centric book covers?) but hadn't actually read of his books until Terminal Alliance. I'm hesitant going in on purchasing hardcover books from new-to-me authors (especially when it's in the sci-fi genre which I don't read all that often anyway), but this one was a joy to read. The action is immediate and you get sucked in to the lives of each of these janitors, trying not only to save themselves and their shipmates, but perhaps the entirety of the human race. The comedy is best compared to something like Buffy, where it's situational and part of the characters and the ways in which they communicate. It makes for a fast past faced read despite all the moments where I had to pause for a minute and try to visualize what all this aliens look like. Did any of y'all see Valerian? It was in my opinion not a good or even a particularly entertaining movie, but the world in this book feels a lot like that one. I am very much looking forward to the next one, and would recommend you give it a try!

I'm Looking Forward To:

Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (March 27, 2018)
It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Lake Silence by Anne Bishop (March 6, 2018)
Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others--vampires, shape-shifters, and even deadlier paranormal beings. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget....

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns such as Vicki's don't have any distance from the Others, the dominant predators who rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what is out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe--one of the shape-shifting Others--discovers a murdered man, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, ancient forces are roused by the disturbance in their domain. They have rules that must not be broken--and all the destructive powers of nature at their command.

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