Review

My Top Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was created and is  hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  
It is rather difficult to chose the top books of 2016 for me. So many good reads, although not necessarily outstanding reads. Some haven’t made the list but could easily have. I haven’t included audiobooks although some were fabulous. Thank you to all the authors who entertained me in 2016. I apologise that your book is not here, mainly because the post would just be far too long!
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This was my first book of the year and it turns out to be one of my top reads for 2016. It was fantasy and a real saga.  I was reluctant to leave these people. I held my breath, I wondered, I wept, I smiled. I’ll be reading Foxmask in 2017, the follow up of this book. First time reading author Judith Marillier – New Zealand born and educated now living in Australia.

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I was impressed by this one and it was my first book by USA author Kristina McMorris. Historical fiction. The climax was tense and I wanted to close my eyes and jump a few pages! Perhaps it ended a little too tidily some might say, however I  found it very satisfying, and loved how the story circled around itself and even with one element having a bittersweet mirror image.

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Rachael Johns – Australian author produced two books in 2016 I loved, this was one of them.  Outback Sisters –  all that I love in a good romance novel. Add to that a good dose of rural Australia. There were plenty of little twists and turns, much drama and heartache, and of course love. If that wasn’t enough, I was also reminded of good times, when Rachael Johns mentioned The Magic Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton) which took me off in a little indulgent reminiscence. And she also has two characters who love reading and love to discuss the books they read.

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Another Australian author I enjoyed. Historical fiction and debut novel. Set in the USA in the 1920’s. I loved the whole historical background and what it was like for women in those days. It was rather horrifying to read of some of the childbirth practices and attitudes prevalent in that time. A woman’s touch was certainly needed. penned an absorbing, clever book, with characters that came alive off the page. I enjoyed the drama, the humour, the sadness, the romance and the time period. Fantastic read. And totally adore the cover.

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I have come to love the romance books of UK author Sarah Morgan. Loved the #3 in the Puffin Island series. To my mind Sarah Morgan is tops at writing today’s romance stories. This one was charming and enchanting. Set in the winter wonderland of snow and Christmas – a wonderful backdrop. At first I was disappointed it wasn’t all on Puffin Island, but the English countryside was magical too. Loved the tension between the two main characters, the humour and the growing love. There was plenty of wisdom in the story and loved that too. Love her writing and the similes were often spot on. Perfection.

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Allegiance of Honour is #15 in this wonderful urban fantasy/paranormal series. I have loved every book in the series and this was another winner for me. As Nalini Singh (NZ author)  says it has an ensemble cast. Many of the characters from previous books are given updates on how life is going for them. As I love each and every one of these characters that was a delight for me. I took my time reading it. No skipping lines, I just wanted to savour it. Delicious!

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USA author J. R. Ward does it again. This soap drama series has intrigued me and the second one – this one – just left me wanting more of this dysfunctional family. I couldn’t wait to find out all the scandal that has gone on since last year’s book The Bourbon Kings. Of course I had to wait! A whole year, but it has passed and I eagerly began this book. I might even have peeked at the end – although it didn’t tell me that much. This is a book that you have to read every line because you just might miss something of one of the characters evolving story.

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I always love a new book from USA author Cathy Lamb. Toni is the narrator, one of three sisters who have a very special bond. They began their lives in Russia in the 80’s where it was dangerous for them. They were under the eye of the KGB and their large extended family were quietly escaping to the USA. While the story begins in America, every so often we go back to that time in Russia until every little horrific detail of that time is revealed. One of the mysteries that Toni holds a little part – how did their brother arrive to them one bloody night?

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Archangel’s Heartis #9 in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. In this book the focus is back on Elena and Raphael and their ever maturing relationship. This time they are off to Morocco where the Luminata have called all the Cadre (the group of archangels who rule the world), because one of the Cadre – Lijuan ruler of China is missing. Is she dead? Hiding out? Or gone into a deep Sleep that lasts for centuries?
This book made me want to reread and reacquaint myself again with the whole series. It was an absorbing and emotional read. Every detail needs to be read, you can’t afford to skip a line, everything counts. Fabulous writing, satisfying reading, the very best!

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This was my first introduction to USA author Karen Rose and her romantic suspense. Every Dark Corner introduces Kate Coppola – an agent I just loved. Despite stress and a personal history that might have levelled another, Kate dedicates herself to helping others, working to save those caught in the nets of depravity.  I highly recommend you get to know her.  She sits within a 5 star read.
I have since gone on to read the first one in the series and have the next one as well. Then I will be all caught up and waiting for the next one in the Cinncinnati series.

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Ah…USA author Mary Alice Monroe. Another in her Lowcountry series. It was everything I love in a story and it was just so good to go back in Taylor’s life to when he first was discharged from the Marines, after experiencing a terrible explosion that left him shattered and suffering from PTSD. He can’t cope with returning to his family for Christmas, finds crowds threatening, and his family are bewildered and find it difficult to understand.
This is a beautifully written story, it sucked me in right from the beginning and I loved every word and minute of it. It is a perfect Christmas story and is linked with little quotes and references to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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Archangel’s Heart. Nalini Singh

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Published: Hachette NZ
Date:1st November 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 381
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
Rating:
           Add to Goodreads

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared.  No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of the immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangel lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, Guild Hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within – truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…..

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Archangel’s Heartis #9 in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. In this book the focus is back on Elena  and Raphael and their ever maturing relationship. This time they are off to Morocco where the Luminata have called all the Cadre (the group of archangels who rule the world), because one of the Cadre – Lijuan ruler of China is missing. Is she dead? Hiding out? Or gone into a deep Sleep that lasts for centuries? They must find out, at the moment now that Caliane (Raphael’s mother) and Alexander have arisen from Sleep there could be eleven archangels. There can only be ten.
We also have some focus on Aodhan and Illium, two angels from Raphaels Guard. Mostly it is on Aodhan who accompanies Elena and Raphael to Morocco. We learn more about him, see him developing  and healing a little more from the atrocities he suffered. I really enjoyed his part in the story and know his full story must be on the horizon!
The Luminata are meant to be monk like men who are seeking enlightenment, however as soon as they land Elena and the others sense something is not right. The tension builds as they explore the place and visit a nearby town. A few of the Luminata are helpful, especially a young one called Ibrahim who helps them out where he can. But is he too young and innocent?
I enjoyed seeing the mother / son relationship between Caliane and Raphael and Tasha her second in command and that of Elena. Tasha is still doing things to try and tip off Elena into jealousy but not with any success. 
This book is political as the cadre deliberate, so much power all together. It seems to move slowly, however it depths the  characters, is tension filled and there was always something happening that engaged me. Elena’s past is rooted in Morocco and that angle of the story was totally addictive but no spoilers!
This book makes me want to reread and reacquaint myself again with the whole series. It was an absorbing and emotional read. Every detail needs to be read, you can’t afford to skip a line, everything counts. Fabulous writing, satisfying reading, the very best!
Other reviews:
Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About : Archangel’s Heart gives it an A rating.
Melinda at Bookish Devices is also very happy to have read Archangel’s Heart.
Guild Hunter Series
Angel’s Blood        #1
Archangel’s Shadow  #7
Archangel’s Enigma  #8

Nalini Singh

About the Author
Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She spent three years living and working in Japan, and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now – although she’s always plotting new trips.  She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer’s mill.
Website:   Nalini Singh

Review

Allegiance of Honour. Nalini Singh

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Published:Gollancz and Hachette NZ
Date: 16th June 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 478
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Thank you to Hachette NZ
Rating:
5 stars             Add to Goodreads

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?

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Allegiance of Honour is #15 in this wonderful urban fantasy/paranormal series. I have loved every book in the series and this was another winner for me. As Nalini Singh says it has an ensemble cast. Many of the characters from previous books are given updates on how life is going for them.  As I love each and every one of these characters that was a delight for me.  I took my time reading it. No skipping lines, I just wanted to savour it.
If you have never read this series, there are Psy, a race that has recently had big changes. They have just come out of Silence, a very rigid imposed regime that has left many damaged. Psy have many and varied amazing abilities.  As well there are the changelings, packs of wolves and leopards and sea creatures and so on. Added to these are are The Forgotten – Psy who left before the silence was imposed. Humans are around as well – but mostly they have been in the background.
Much of the book has Lucas the alpha of the leopards Dark River pack and his wife Sascha (Psy) to the fore. They now have a deliciously delightful little daughter Nayla – a combination of changeling and Psy. She is a first and because of this the evil elements still abroad in this world want to capture her. Following her and her story kept me happy, while I waited for the birth of Mercy (Dark River) and Riley (SnowDancer wolf pack) pubcubs. I was very patient but do admit to eventually sneaking ahead to take a peek! And their eventual arrival of course is going to mean new bonds between the two powerful changeling packs.
There is a sea changeling woman who has been kidnapped and this provides a little drama and some sense of the evil still present in this world. The Psynet is in difficulty and an unexpected reason is behind it.  
I also liked the letters from Xavier the priest who had worked with two of the Psy throughout many of the books, to right some serious wrongs, always working in the shadows.
Nalini Singh writes characters I just connect with. The values of family, love, care, growth, freedom, peace and so much more permeates the pages. The war against evil is ongoing, but the efforts of those who refuse to give into fear and the wicked plans of others to cause trouble is inspiring. If you ask me these books are very relevant to the world we live in. They invite us to respect  differences and value and trust friendships.
I am not sure where this series is going next, this one is a kind of tying up of all that has been going on, before there is a refocus somewhere else. No doubt we will be going out into a new territory next book! Whatever!  I know I will be expecting drama, great characters, humour and warmth.
Review

Archangel’s Enigma. Nalini Singh

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Archangel’ Enigma
Nalini Singh
Published: Gollancz
Date: 1st September 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 357
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Hachette NZ
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My thoughts banner
Archangel’s Enigma – #8 in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.  In this book we delve into the life of Naasir – a mystery, beloved by some and disliked by others (readers that is!).  He is one of the group of powerful vampires and angels that form the Seven, their loyalty pledged to their Archangel Raphael.

Naasir is part vampire, but he is more.  Part of this story asks the question – what is he? We know he has a keen sense of smell and this enables him to be a very expert tracker.  As a young one, he got into a lot of mischief, but Dmitri and Raphael guided him and he has grown into an honorable and loyal member of Raphael’s Seven.  Yet he can be brutal – as a youngster in the Refuge he killed the pet bunny rabbit!  At times he has claws that peep through.  Yes, a little like something from the Psy/Changeling series, but yet different.  Part of the enjoyment of reading Archanel’s Engima is learning from where Naasir came and what he is.  
He is sent on a mission to locate the sleeping Ancient Alexander, and awaken him before he is murdered by the evil Archangel Lijuan.  Sent with him is Andromeda, a scholar and also a warrior. Naasir who has been searching for his mate, recognises Andromeda as ‘the one’ very early on. Oh yes, one smell tells it like it is. However there is one small hitch – Andromeda has taken a vow of celibacy!  Now another point about Naasir is that he is sneaky, so watch that space!  But remember he is honorable too.
What draws me to this series?
  • the characters – complex and interesting. There are those who stand for truth and honor and those who stand for evil and power.
  • the bonds of loyalty, friendship and love that exist among Raphael’s people.
  • the action – the mission to be accomplished, the battles to be fought, the sense of ever impending threat from the changing power of the Archangels. There is a sense of impending doom and unless it can be contained who knows what may happen.
  • that leads me to the whole world building, and that each book is a piece in the puzzle of what is happening in that world.
  • the strong hero and heroine in each book, Naasir and Andromeda keep this tradition going.
  • of course the romance. And particular to this book I loved how Naasir was accepted totally for who he is by Andromeda and the other way around of course. Andromeda is everything Naasir needs.  He knows that Andromeda is holding out on him, she has a secret she isn’t revealing, but he gives her time and space. And remember, I did say he was sneaky!
What repels me?
  • the cruelty at times, yikes some of those Archangels can be totally cruel. It’s the only place I skip a few lines or paragraphs!  Fortunately it isn’t dwelt on too long.
So you think urban fantasy or paranormal isn’t your thing. Well it might not be, or…. it just could. At one point in time not so long ago, I turned up my nose at such books!

Archangel’s Enigma is definitely part of a series, you’d miss a whole lot by just diving into this one. I have to admit the Psy/Changeling series is my favourite, but when I started off Angel’s Blood I was slowly hooked into the Guild Hunters as well.

5 stars
Guild Hunters series.
Angel’s Blood        #1
Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand.  She spent three years in Japan and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now – although she’s always plotting new trips. She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer’s mill.
Website           Facebook         Twitter
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Review: Shards of Hope. Nalini Singh

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Shards of Hope
Nalini Singh
Published: Gollancz
Date: 4th June 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 483
Genre: Paranormal romance
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
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Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilisation. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough – because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken, like Zaira.

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Shards of Hope is #14 in the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh. It is my favourite paranormal series, and in fact were the first ever paranormal books that I read.  This book is the story of two Arrows, Aden their leader and Zaira. They are opposites – at one end of the alphabet from the other! Their journey together has a history and as we witness their journey towards each other in the now, we are also given much of their background – especially Zaira.
Silence has fallen and it is now that the Psy are feeling their way forward into a new way of living. Aden as their leader wants to make that a good experience for them all, he never wants to go back to the violent imposition of Silence, where no feeling was allowed and was brutally tortured out of them.  Aden cares, it is said he was never fully Silent and now he makes an excellent leader, working closely with his Arrow commanders, giving each responsibility and trust. 
When he is thrust into a changeling group he watches and learns from the alpha and changelings in the pack. Alphas are caring and loving towards all in the pack but are also ready to set boundaries. It was wonderfully moving to see Aden put all that he was learning and intuiting into practice with the young Arrow children, and with the older ones who were at times at a loss – all at sea with Silence ripped away. Aden’s parents have always seen him as weak, and still cannot understand how he can be a suitable leader for the Arrows.  Only Walker, a teacher, has seen what he might be truly capable of.  Surprises abound!
Zaira as a child has experienced deep cruelty and there is a rage within her that she believes may see her doing something that will harm others. She was made to believe she was of no value, no one cared, no one loved her.  Loneliness – deeply ingrained in her. Yet we learn that Aden was there for her when he could be. She is very fearful that with the discipline of Silence gone she will be unable to control that feeling of rage that eats at the very core of her.  This is her challenge.  I loved the surprising bonds Zaira formed with children, it was an indication of what was truly within her heart.  However Zaira is an Arrow, she is hard, honed and a force to be reckoned with.
Shards of Hope has an action filled, suspenseful and complex plot. Tense and tough.  Nail biting times. Moments of deep tenderness and emotion.  Moments of evil and chilling grooming. 
It was fantastic to meet up with characters from previous books as they all worked with each other to deal with the new threat emerging.  Someone is out to destroy trust among the various groups in the world, and is especially targeting the Arrows.
Nalini Singh’s writing is well crafted perfection. Plot, characters, settings and intricate interactions all combine to give us, the reader, a riveting read.  I especially loved  her world view and the values that shine through in Shards of Hope. 

5 stars
Review

Archangel’s Shadows Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Shadows
Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley – Jove Books
Date: 2014
Format:  Paperback
Pages: 361
Genre: Paranormal
Source: own book
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In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot — should not —be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

My thoughts banner
Archangel’s Shadows is #7 in the Guild Hunters series.  This is mainly the story of Ash and Janvier. Ash is a guild hunter and Janvier is a vampire working for the Tower.  Evidently their story began back in a novella, however I hadn’t read that but there were enough references to it to give me the drift. I might back track to it at some time.  This story is set in Manhattan as the city recovers from the huge battle that took place in the previous book.  Many are still severely wounded, yet something evil is at work in the city.
While this book involves Ash and Janvier tracking down some ghastly and sadistic criminals, it also gives us a look into Raphael and Elena and I never complain about that.  Elena is preparing to throw a block party and unexpectedly has a little encounter with Caliane – Raphael’s mother.  
There is time for some of the other hunters and vampires and angels as well.  Naasir is a vampire, who works well with Janvier and Ashwini on operations.  He is somehow different, with some aspects of him like the changelings of the other series by Nalini Singh. I think it won’t be long before we are reading his own story.
Ashwini has skill, compassion and tenacity in her work. She reminded me a little of Eve Dallas of the In Death series – determined to bring justice for those victims who no longer live because of evil. Ash has a secret that hangs over her, that could destroy her eventually.  The logical solution to her and Janvier’s romance would be for Ash to be ‘made’ into a vampire – but she is against it.  Janvier is prepared to love her in the ‘now’, but he really would love to have that stretch on. So… what possibility lies open to them?
Another amazing read in this series.
4 stars
Review

Rock Addiction. Nalini Singh

Rock Addiction   Book Cover

Rock Addiction
Nalini Singh
Publisher: TKA
Date: 9th September 2014
Format: e-ARC
Genre: Contemporary romance
ContemporarySource: TKA Distribution via NetGalley
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A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be… Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

My thoughts banner
Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh is the first in a new series  – a change of pace into the contemporary genre.  I have only read her paranormal and urban fantasy books, and am so addicted to them.  I jumped at the chance to read this book.  I have to say I am very much on the fence  or more aptly split on this one. I have just noticed that the Romantic Times labelled this one a Scorcher and I’d agree!!  Authors write obviously for an audience – I think I don’t fit there sadly.  Sadly, because I did care about the characters and do want to know about their stories.
There was much that I liked about the book.  Molly was a quiet librarian, scarred by her rise to ‘fame’ in her teens when her father got himself into a compromising situation with a young girl.  Molly now above all wants to avoid media interest.  I liked her quite a bit, at times I wanted her to show more strength but in many ways she does show she is made of strong material.  Through the story she grows as a person and is able to overcome her fears, fears that would make her totally the wrong person for Fox.  
Fox too has been scarred by his past, yet he has already risen above it, and with Molly he discovers something that has always been missing in his life.  He likes to portray a ‘hard rocker’ image, but in actual fact he is caring, loyal and wise.  David, Abe and Noah his band mates know this side of him. I also enjoyed being introduced to these last three, they all are going to take their turn in the limelight. 
This book is well written – I’d expect that from Nalini Singh, I loved the two settings – New Zealand and USA.  The exploration of the harm some people can do to make money from the publishing of inappropriate material wrongfully gained added to this book.  I also liked the counter balance of the power of the fan world for good.
However what has me decided that this series isn’t for me is the HEAT of this book, it is up there on the barometer.  If you like hot and sexy, then this book is for you.  This book had way too many sex scenes for my liking.  It felt like 50% ‘in the bedroom’ and 50% everything else.  I am sure that is an exaggeration – but just saying that’s how it felt to me.  It’s why my personal rating for this book is down.  I can understand how others who love this kind of book will rate it higher. 
3.5 stars
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.
STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Rock Addiction. Nalini Singh. Cover Reveal and Giveaway.

Presents
COVER REVEAL:  Rock Addiction
By Nalini Singh

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A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…
Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…


Meet the Author

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.
STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Review

Shield of Winter. Nalini Singh

Shield of Winter.

Shield of Winter
Nalini Singh
Published: Gollancz
Date: 5th June 2014
Format: Hardback
Pages: 416
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Own book
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Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

My thoughts
Shield of Winter is # 13 in the Psy/Changeling series.  I liked it every bit as much as the previous ones.  I continue to be amazed at the world building and writing of Nalini Singh.  
This is the story of Vasic, one of the Arrows.  We have met him in other books as he carried out his job of teleporting people very fast, whenever needed.  Like many of the Arrows he has a dark background, having trained under the ghastly Ming LeBon.  Fortunately he and Aden became fast friends from an very early age, and Aden has always kept an eye out for Vasic.  Vasic doesn’t have a very good view of himself and has volunteered for a gauntlet that has become biologically fused with him.  The only problem is the inventor has disappeared, and as it was never actually intended to be used yet, it has faults.  While Vasic does not value himself that much, Aden does and so does Ivy Jane as she becomes more and more involved with him.
Ivy Jane is one of the empaths – those that were despised and during the time of Silence, were kept hidden, or killed off.  Now as Silence has fallen, everyone is aware of a black, mad darkness that is threatening the Psy net.  All those emotions that have been denied and not allowed are destroying the health of the net.  Everywhere there are outbreaks of Psy going mad and killing themselves and others.
Vasic and Ivy Jane, along with others must work together to find a solution.  There is no easy solution, yet they will not give up. Ivy is a strong heroine, and at no point does she allow herself to be dictated to.  She is always ready to go to the extreme to work to save the Net and to show Vasic what a wonderful Psy he is.  However there is another problem at the more personal level,  Ivy Jane and Vasic may lose one another because of that pesky, problematic gauntlet.  And time is running out.
A strong romance develops between Ivy and Vasic, and this moved along at a very good pace, giving new meaning to the ‘steamy’ in romance.  I loved Vasic questioning Judd, to get pointers!  As an Arrow and TK-V passionate love making is going to have some side effects that can be just a little disconcerting for your partner.  However during the exploration Vasic comes up with a solution of his own. 
Great science fiction, paranormal and romantic elements all came together to bring me hours of pleasurable reading.  Now I am looking forward to Aden’s story.   For anyone who thinks this series might be ending, read Nalini Singh’s reassurances that she has more in store! I for one look forward to the next step in the journey.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/remote-player?id=2602270

5 stars

Published in 2014 book

Review

Archangel’s Legion. Nalini Singh

Book Cover

Archangel’s Legion
Nalini Singh
Published: Gollancz 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 374
Genre: Paranormal/Urban fantasy
Source: Local public library

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

My thoughts banner
Archangel’s Legion is #6 in the Guild Hunter series.  The main characters of this book bring us back to Elena and Raphael.  As a couple they work so well together, so it was a pleasure to link up with them again.
In this story there is a major battle between an archangel who is trying to rule the world with an evil power, and Raphael and his troops.  Of course his feisty consort is there to add her weight to the battle as she fights side by side with the troops.  
The shifting of power amongst the archangels of the world brings different strengths for each.  Raphael is developing new ability, thanks to his relationship with Elena it is a power for good.  Elena, while human and newly an angel. is vulnerable and she feels she may be a weakness that Raphael has to contend with.  However in this book, Elena proves to be  a wonderful consort, reaching out to support Raphael and all those who need it at this horrendous time.  As the book ends, we find out just how important Elena is to Raphael, as they prepare to battle to the death.  Raphael has  a surprise coming and it is just in the nick of time.
Some of the minor characters have their story progressed, there is Elena’s sister Eve, who is also a hunter born – much to their father’s distress.  In this book Elena is given the back story of what happened to her father when he was young, which goes a long way to explain his antipathy for hunters and Elena in particular.  I really look forward to this aspect having further development in books to come, and to see if the relationship of Elena and her father improve in any way.  
This was another excellent book in this series.  I am now up to date with it and will just have to wait until the next one comes out later this year.
4 stars
Guild Hunter Series.
1.  Angel’s Blood                                              
6.  Archangel’s Legion
7.  Archangel’s Shadows – November 2014
Link to Goodreads