Summer is finally here and that means long, lazy days curled up in your favorite shady spot with glass of something cold to drink and something good to read. Well, hopefully that’s what it means for you. But even if your summer days are more of the busy kind, I know my fellow booklovers will still be on the lookout for something good to read. There’s a lot of excellent reading temptations coming out this week. Does anything grab your eye?
A Barricade in Hell by Jamie Lee MoyerDelia Martin, #2
Delia Martin has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a twisted serial killer terrorizing her beloved San Francisco. Now it's 1917—the threshold of a modern age—and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan.
That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. But as young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side.
As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice—take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?
A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. HamiltonMerry Gentry, #9
I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn't be the only one for much longer...
Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.
Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.
To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage.
Blood Red by Mercedes LackeyElemental Masters, #10
Rosamund is an Earth Master in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany. Since the age of ten, she has lived with her teacher, the Hunt Master and Earth Magician of the Schwarzwald Foresters, a man she calls “Papa.” Her adoptive Papa rescued her after her original Earth Master teacher, an old woman who lived alone in a small cottage in the forest, was brutally murdered by werewolves. Rosa herself barely escaped, and this terrifying incident molded the course of her future.
For like her fellow Earth Masters of the Schwarzwald Lodge, Rosa is not a healer. Instead, her talents lead her on the more violent path of protection and defense— “cleansing” the Earth and protecting its gentle fae creatures from those evil beings who seek to do them harm.
And so Rosa becomes the first woman Hunt Master and the scourge of evil creatures, with a deadly specialty in werewolves and all shapeshifters.
While visiting with a Fire Master—a friend of her mentor from the Schwarzwald Lodge— Rosa meets a pair of Elemental Magicians from Hungary who have come looking for help. They suspect that there is a dark power responsible for a string of murders happening in the remote countryside of Transylvania, but they have no proof. Rosa agrees to help them, but there is a catch: one of the two men asking for aid is a hereditary werewolf.
Rosa has been taught that there are three kinds of werewolves. There are those, like the one that had murdered her teacher, who transform themselves by use of dark magic, and also those who have been infected by the bite of these magical werewolves—these poor victims have no control over their transformative powers. Yet, there is a third kind: those who have been born with the ability to transform at will. Some insist that certain of these hereditary werewolves are benign. But Rosa has never encountered a benign werewolf!
Can she trust this Hungarian werewolf? Or is the Hunter destined to become the Hunted?
Death's Redemption by Marie HallEternal Lovers, #2
Mila is a human with a secret: she can see the future. Working alongside an elite San Francisco task force her identity was supposed to remain a secret and in return she'd use her powers to bring about justice on the supernatural baddies gone rogue. Problem is, someone's found her out and leaked the information to a sect of vampires that want her for more than just her blood.
Frenzy, is a grim reaper of legend and part of The Morrigan's personal retinue. He wasn't supposed to be working the streets of San Francisco but thanks to a sudden shortage of reapers to do the job, he finds himself staring into the eyes of a woman who reminds him fiercely of a lover he'd once known in the seventeenth century. He'll do anything to make her his, even if that means becoming the monster the world had once feared.
Fire Rising by Donna GrantDark Kings, #2
Tristan, the newest Dragon King, is having a tough time fitting in. Despite his ability to transform into a proud, strong dragon at will, no one knows where he came from or how he became a Dragon King, including himself. When trouble arises in the form of the mob, Tristan is going to have to put aside his questions and band with the other Dragon Kings to protect Dreagan. As if things weren’t complicated enough, he is about to find something worth fighting for more important than the Dragon Kings…
Sammie Miller, pub owner in Oban, has been scorned by her business partner—and former lover. Used as a front for money laundering with the mob, Sammie is in great danger once she realizes what has happened. Barely escaping, she plans to rest at Dreagan for only a day before going back on the run. When Tristan swears to protect her, Sammie thinks his efforts will be in vain—the mob is too powerful, and it will take more than the average man’s devotion to keep her safe. But the closer she gets to Tristan, and the more he learns his secrets, Sammie can’t deny that having a Dragon King who worships you, body and soul, isn’t such a bad thing…
Grim Shadows by Jenn BennettRoaring Twenties, #2
It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…
Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…
Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.
Hunter by Night by Elisabeth StaabChronicles of Yavn, #3
Party girl Alexia Blackburn is only hanging around the vampire compound until her best friend—the queen—has her baby. After that, nothing is going to stop Alexia from getting back to daylight, safety, and feeling like a normal human being. But leaving the vampire world has one big catch.
He needs her to stay
Head of vampire security Lee Goram has hated and distrusted humans for centuries. Feeding on vampire blood has kept him strong...but now it's killing him—and he's horrified to discover that Alexia may hold the key to his cure. He'd rather die defending his king than admit his weakness, but time is running out for the great vampire warrior.
Jaguar Hunt by Terry SpearHeart of the Jaguar, #3
Agent Tammy Anderson has a reputation: she prefers to work alone. So when she’s paired up on a mission with jaguar-shifter David Patterson—who’s only recently been released from jail—to say she’s less than thrilled is an understatement. Until she realizes that this sexy agent has what it takes…
Soon, what started as an “easy” mission to locate a missing jaguar takes the pair to Belize, where they’re chasing down two renegade teen shifters who know more than they’re telling. As the action heats up, can they keep their minds on the job and off of each other?
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
Possessed by an Immortal by Sharon AshwoodFour Horsemen, #2 (Releases June 1, 2014)
After witnessing a murder, Bree Meadows is on the run with her young son. But the bad guys are in hot pursuit. Dropped in the middle of nowhere amid a torrential thunderstorm, things look pretty grim. To make matters worse, her son is in desperate need of medical attention.
Mark Winspear has been alone for too long. When the vampire senses a gorgeous female nearby, he discovers that her swift, selfless courage pulls at his instincts.The doctor has history with the same men who are after Bree--and he's ready for revenge. Working together now, they discover an attraction that might save them both--if they're lucky.
Shield of Winter by Nalini SinghPsy-Changeling, #13
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.
Sky Pirates by Liesel SchwarzThe Chronicles of Light and Shadow, #3
Following A Conspiracy of Alchemists and A Clockwork Heart, Sky Pirates is the third book of the Chronicles of Light and Shadow series, starring the spunky dirigible pilot Elle Chance and the handsome warlock Marsh. For urban fantasy fans and readers of Gail Carriger's Changeless and Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, a fun, fast-paced, action-packed new historical fantasy adventure series starring vampires, fairies, and the unforgettable heroine, Elle Chance.
Set during the Belle Epoque, Sky Pirates is a thrilling and inventive historical fantasy novel, where the myths and legends of Old Europe live side by side with the wondrous creations of modern scientists and aviators. It's also set in a world haunted by vampires, fairies, and other supernatural creatures. And it mixes a thrill-a-minute page-turning plot with a genuinely moving love story. In Sky Pirates, Elle and Marsh escape to the jungles of Cambodia in search of a sacred temple that holds the key to erasing the barrier between Shadow and Light.
The Kraken King Part VIII by Meljean BrookThe Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure Iron Seas, #4.8
Arriving in Krakentown with their enemies in hot pursuit, Zenobia doesn’t know how they can even hope to win. Being terrified brings forth an undeniable truth: she loves Ariq and will do whatever it takes to stand by him.
But as their adversaries appear on the horizon, they realize that not all is lost. Drawing on the power of the terrible war machine, Ariq, Zenobia, and the entire town must put their lives on the line to protect what they love.
The Source by J.D. HornWitching Savannah, #2
Graceful trees and historic buildings fill Savannah, Georgia, but beneath the city's Southern splendor, its supernatural roots run deep. The members of local witch families grace the society pages...when they're not secretly protecting their magical work from dark forces.
Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South's most powerful family of witches, but she's struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.
But when Mercy's long-presumed-dead mother suddenly returns, begging Mercy to keep her presence under wraps, the witch wonders how many secrets her family is hiding...and who she can really trust. And when the danger around her intensifies to deadly levels, Mercy knows she must discover the truth behind her family's magic—before it destroys her.
The second book in J.D. Horn's Witching Savannah series, The Source casts a thrilling spell.
Witch Hunt by Ruth WarburtonWitch Funder, #2 (Releases June 5, 2014)
London, 1880. Eighteen-year-old Witch Hunter Luke Lexton has failed his initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum - the secretive brotherhood devoted to hunting witches. Instead of killing the witch he picked from the Book of Witches, he has committed the worst possible crime: he has fallen for her. Sixteen-year-old witch girl Rosa Greenwood has failed to secure her struggling family's future by marrying the handsome, cruel, rich and powerful Sebastian Knyvet. Instead she has set fire to his factory and has brought disgrace on her family. Now together they are on the run - from Rosa's ex-fianc? and from Luke's former brothers in the Malleus. As they flee across England, and with the danger of their past catching up to them ...can they overcome their differences? Can a witch hunter ever find love with a witch girl?