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Shuzluva Reading List, Week of August 13

Intervamption by Kristin Miller. This book is the first in the Vampires of Crimson Bay series and it’s a hot mess that I am going to expand upon in a longer review. Dylan runs ReVamp which is both a clinic and supply center for the Crimson Bay vampires and she’s dedicated her life to figuring out what’s screwing with the vampire blood supply. Slade is a therian (shape shifter, they’re the enemy of the vamps), sent to infiltrate Dylan’s khiss (her…er…vampire coven? nest? whatever?) to stop the supposed vampire uprising. Yeah, the whole star-crossed lover thing is happening here along with a shitload of WTF. Information comes out of left field every chapter and there’s a serious lack of organic evolution. I feel like I’m lost in a vortex of world building hell.

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An ARC of Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Surrender. This is the 10th book in the Lords of the Underworld series and I’m pleasantly surprised so far. Strider is hilarious and miserable (what a great combination for a hero) and Kaia is hilarious and miserable. Kaia wants Strider, Strider is afraid that he won’t be good enough for her…but he wants her…but she had a one nighter with his best friend. Oy. Strider’s demon, Defeat, will send Strider into a coma of pain if he isn’t as good in bed with Kaia as Paris was. For all of their winning ways and bravado, Strider and Kaia are both kinda loser-ish. I’m only 100 pages or so into it, but I’m enjoying the heck out of this installment and am anxious to see how they redeem themselves.

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Red Heat by Nina Bruhns. It’s The Hunt for Red October + utter romance ludicrousness. Captain Nikolai Romanov is slightly disgraced and is forced to captain a broken down sub that does scientific missions. He’s informed that a CIA spy will be part of the expedition team and is tasked with figuring out her mission. Julie Severin is a CIA analyst, now working as a spy and posing as a reporter. Totally ridiculous and far-fetched, but it’s a fun read and I’m frankly enjoying the absurdity.

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Wild & Steamy Anthology. Two words: Brooks and Crane. I have been so annoyed that there hasn’t been a follow up to Crane’s Disillusionist novels. Yeah, I know it’s bad form to push an author to write, but dammit, I love those crazy kids. Kitten Tiger & the Monkis a little snack to stave off my Disillusionist hunger. But when I finish this book it’s all over, and I’m really, really going to need another one. If that isn’t dropping a hint like a bomb I don’t know what to call it.

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Cowboy Up by Vicki Lewis Thompson. I’ve only read one other Sons of Chance novel, Claimed!, and enjoyed it. This is the story of Clay Whitaker, the foster son of the Chance clan, and Emily Sterling. Emily is the seemingly spoiled daughter of Emmett, the Last Chance Ranch foreman and father-figure to Clay. Thompson sets the stage for an enjoyable big reveal that Emily isn’t all the bad that Clay’s cracked her up to be. Thompson does a wonderful job of showing that as an outsider perception can be way off base from the truth in family relations. I am enjoying the familial back stories (just like I did in the other novel I read) and all of the secondary character interaction.

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Sydney (better known by her handle, Shuzluva) knew that she wanted to be Han Solo's copilot after seeing Star Wars at the tender age of 5. She fell in love with romance novels over 20 years ago when she got her hands on Sandra Brown's Texas! trilogy, and in the mid 90's was overjoyed to discover romance writers had branched out into the world of SciFi/fantasy. While she enjoys the occasional contemporary or historical novel, the world of SciFi holds an unshakable fascination for her. Some of her favorite authors include Nalini Singh, Catherine Asaro and Kresley Cole, and she's always interested in adding new authors to the list.


  1. Klio
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 11:08:02

    I’m enjoying these mini-recaps, though they do just whet my appetite for the longer reviews to come for some of these.

    It is bad form to push an author to write (Crane)? I suppose. What if I stand in front of her waving tasty treats? Ah well, it will be all the better when the third book finally appears, and if she occasionally takes side forays into short stories in the same world, I can probably hold off from going too neurotic from the suspense. Anyway, neurosis is a superpower :)

  2. Lynne Connolly
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 11:19:37

    you read all of Intervamption? I got about a third in, and there were so many familiar tropes and characters, I gave up. And the Rules!

  3. Jayne
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 16:17:12

    Your avatar looks as if she’s about to head off to a topless duel. ;)

  4. The Romantic Scientist
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 18:52:30

    Ahh, Red Heat. I had high hopes for this one, but alas, it didn’t work out. Eventually I sat back and enjoyed the whole “You’re a spy!” “No I’m not!” “Really? I’m pretty sure you are.” “You’re right. Damn, my cover is blown.” interplay between hero and heroine.

    I’m not gonna read the second book though…

  5. Shuzluva
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 18:57:47

    @Klio: If only “nudging” was a superpower!

  6. Shuzluva
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 18:59:00

    @Lynne Connolly: I read it. Tropetastic and totally painful. I felt like something new was introduced in every chapter and we were expected to either know about it or automatically understand it. A longer review is coming!

  7. Shuzluva
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 18:59:48

    @Jayne: HELLZ YEAH! I think Alberto Vargas would love that comment. My hair was that color once. ONCE.

  8. Shuzluva
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 19:01:30

    @The Romantic Scientist: I actually was intrigued by the teaser for the second book. But I knew early on that Red Heat would be borderline farcical. Whether the author intended it that way or not is beside the point since I was able to enjoy it.

  9. John
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 23:22:36

    Ah, Nina Bruhns. I just recently enjoyed her book VAMPIRE SHEIKH.

    It was like Presents went to the WTF store and came out with a vampiric Sheikh demigod that could transfigure himself into a giant lion. So ridiculous and so wrong, yet I loved reading it anyway. Even with the near-giant-lion sex.

    Thompson’s Sons of Chance books are good. I’ve only read the first from last year, but I recall enjoying it (and the sexy-times that happened pretty darn fast.) Her characters interact wonderfully. Good to see that’s still the case.

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