Click on the pink-link book titles to go to my reviews.
Click on the pink-link ratings to go to an explanation of my five-point rating system for violence, sensuality, and humor.
I still have a few 2013 books on my to-read shelf, so I may add to this list if any of them meet the standard set by these novels.
My review says…“Dryden imagines a ‘what-if’ world in which certain key inventions were never created….Even if you think you don't like steampunk, I recommend that you give this book a try. It's a fast read with compelling action, simmering sexual tension, whimsical humor, and an inventive mythology....The steampunk gadgetry enhances, but does not overwhelm, the story.
My review says…“…filled with a variety of dangerous and/or romantic events that build in suspense, so the scenes blow by at a compelling, page-turning pace. The primary characters have both strengths and flaws (always the sign of a thoughtful author), and it is usually the flaws that lead them to make terrible decisions that have widespread, often heart-breaking, consequences.”
My review says…“Ione always does a great job with character development, and she shows off those writing talents again in this book….I like the inventive vampire mythology and the fact that all of the vampires are not highly cultured, human-like beings. Ione's vamps are just nontraditional enough to make them interesting and unpredictable.”
Gena Showalter: Black and Blue
My review says…“When I read book 1 of this series [back in January 2013], I feared that the Gena Showalter who wrote the terrific LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD series was gone forever, but…no…she's back in this book with all of her familiar talents: snarky dialogue, fascinating love-hate relationships, and oh-so-passionate love scenes….The story moves along at a compelling pace, and both of the fascinating lead characters are talented, courageous warriors who are willing to take some exciting risks.
My review says…“In this final episode in Brook's terrific GUARDIAN series, she left the best for last….This is one of the rare times that the final novel in a series is perfectly devised. Brook brings back many characters from previous books, and many of them go through some major traumas. (Don't expect everyone to make it out alive.)”
My review says…“This book moves the series story arc along as changes occur among the Ptolemy and the Empusae, and the Lilim gain in strength….This is another strong addition to the series, with lots of angst-filled interior monologues and plenty of action sequences. By the end, both Tasmin and Bay have put their lives on the line for one another and (as you knew from the very beginning) go on to their HEA.”
My review says…“For me, this book is the strongest in the series so far….Harrison's character development for her lead lovers is top notch. They are both dark-natured outsiders who believe that they can never live like "normal" people and that they can never find true love….You’ll enjoy watching this love story play out—a very different romance than we’ve seen between other couples in the series.”
Shelly Laurenston: Wolf with Benefits
My review says…“The characters are entertaining, and the snarky dialogue sometimes makes you laugh out loud. Ricky's street-tough, steel-magnolia sisters are particularly fun to watch. If you like sexy, humorous, angst-free paranormal romance, this series is for you.”
Gena Showalter: The Darkest Craving
My review says…“Now that the Hunters have been destroyed, there's not a lot of conflict in the LOU world—except for the fact that they still have to find Pandora's Box.…Showalter is a great story teller, and she pulls out all the stops in making this love story extremely heart-rending.”
My review says…“The action part of the plot is suitably dark and violent….Although this book is billed as the final installment, the author definitely leaves the door open for further adventures….This trilogy has plenty to capture your interest: an inventive mythology, well-developed characters, and compelling plots.”