First up in April reads, I’d like to draw your attention to a boxed set by Julie Kenner, featuring five Kate Connor, demon-hunting soccer-mom stories: The Trouble With Demons.
I devoured the five books in the set one after the other — which is a little unusual for me: usually if I’m glomming onto a series, I need to take a break from the characters and the world after book three, and I read something else and then go back to the series. Not this time. I was compelled to keep on reading because I just had to know how on earth Kate was gonna keep hiding her demon hunting exploits from her husband, kids, and BFF. Not to mention how’n the hell she was going to cope with the revelations about her first husband.
Without getting all spoilery, all I can say is YIKES! What a helluva dilemma!!! As Charlaine Harris put it, this series: “Shows you what would happen if Buffy got married and kept her past a secret.” Because, as we all know, the past always comes back to bite you. In this case, not only with demonic teeth, but stinky demonic breath, too. Not to mention a stroppy teenage daughter, clingy toddler, and sweet but demanding husband (who picked the worst time ever to run for office). *g*
I’m uber-excited to learn that the first book in the series, Carpe Demon, has been optioned for TV. Fingers crossed that if the series goes ahead, it’ll make it to New Zealand shores!
Next up is The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen.
Ms Bowen’s Ivy Years series is pretty much an auto-buy for me, and this 4th book in the series didn’t disappoint. Well, except for the cover, perhaps. Yes, the heroine of this book, Bella, is a pretty blonde girl so the cover is a pretty accurate representation of the heroine, but….
Yeah. Hard to explain why the cover doesn’t do anything for me. Perhaps it’s because the cover nails the surface “Bella” everyone thinks they know: the hot chick who sleeps around and makes no secret of the fact she loves sex, whereas Bella is so much more than her surface looks? Hmm. Still not sure why it’s bugging me.
Anyway. The inside of a book is what matters, right? And this book is a great story, with a message for anyone who’s ever been slut-shamed and had their personal power taken away from them. I may not personally agree with some of Bella’s decisions in this book (most notably her decision not to go to the authorities) but I LOVED how she took back her power, and triumphed over those who’d shamed her, and got her happy ending. And Rafe was simply a sweetly delicious hero. All in all, a definite win :)
Be warned: Trade Me is a complete departure from the compelling historical romances Ms Milan is known for:
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.
But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.
For me, Trade Me ticked all the boxes — loved it to bits.
Here’s my full reading list for April 2015:
- Footloose and Faerie Free by Rowena May O’Sullivan
- Johannes Cabal The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard
- Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
- Tempt the Devil by Anna Campbell
- Twist by Colby Hodge
- Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner*
- California Demon by Julie Kenner*
- Demons Are Forever by Julie Kenner*
- Deja Demon by Julie Kenner*
- Demon Ex Machina by Julie Kenner*
- The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen
- Trade Me by Courtney Milan
- What Goes On Tour by Claire Boston
- Getting Out of Hand by Erin Nicholas
- Saving Wishes by GJ Walker-Smith
- Flesh by Kylie Scott
- Written in Red by Anne Bishop
*The Trouble With Demons Boxed Set