Welcome to the Monday Reader’s Choice feature on my blog!
If you’re new around these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice Monday is. Below are the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. I tended to cut out a lot of hard sci-fi and YA and some indies whose covers kind of went down the road to bizarreville.
So, if you win a Reader’s Choice book this week and want one of these, great. BUT if you win and don’t want any of these, you can choose another book. Anything. Any format. If you do win, all I ask is that you select a book, print or digital, that costs less than US$15. Open internationally, of course, as long as you live somewhere Book Depository delivers.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing March 28-April 3.
BATTLESTORM (Midgard #3), by Susan Krinard. Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors…including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya. But the battle isn’t over, and Mist—living a mortal life in San Francisco—is at the center of a new war, with the fate of earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, all while learning to control her own growing power. It will take all of Mist’s courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself. TOR.
CINDER THE FAE (Fairelle #4), by Rebekah R. Ganiere. Orphaned shop girl Cinder, and Rome, the Prince of the Fae, have been best friends most of their lives. And she’s loved him for just as long. But with the death of her father, she’s now trapped as the sole breadwinner for her stepmother and half-sister– leaving little time for anything more than dreaming of getting away. Rome loves Cinder as well, but her free spirit and lack of noble blood have stood in the way of him doing something about it. That is until his father the King decrees a three-part contest will determine Rome’s new bride. Even though Cinder possess more magick than has been seen in a hundred years, only those with the highest magickal blood are able to enter the contest; leaving Cinder out of the running for good. That is until a Fairy Grandmother steps in with a disguise and a plan. But a hidden Evil has been scheming for centuries and is vying to be more than just Rome’s new bride. It wants all of Ville DeFee. Cinder’s magick can stop those out to ruin her kingdom. But it may mean giving up her life to do it.
CLAIMED BY THE WARRIOR (Conquered Bride #3), by Eliza Knight. He came to conquer… A widower, Laird Torsten Mackenzie, has worked long and hard to regain the respect his clan deserved after his older brother turned traitorous. Even in death, Cathal’s crimes remain a mar on Torsten’s conscience. Setting aside his grief, Torsten devotes his life to his people, and to his young, motherless daughter. When a rival clan attacks his lands unprovoked, he’s determined to put them in their place once and for all. Marching on their gates, he’s taken by surprise when Lady MacDonell steps through the opening instead of her wayward husband. Reacting impulsively, Torsten exacts his revenge by whisking her away. …But she laid claim to his heart… Headstrong and fierce, Éabha MacDonell’s true nature has been buried for six long years in a marriage that fills her with shame, and has kept her tucked in the shadows. But the death of her husband, and being forced from the only home she’s ever known, brings freedom in a way she’d never imagined. Free to rediscover parts of herself she’d thought never to behold again—her love of art, her desire for children. But most of all, the tug at her heart, the warmth of a secret glance and the heat of a passionate embrace. In the arms of her captor, Éabha’s more liberated than she’s ever been before and Torsten might just have found the one person who can make him whole again.
DRAGON SOUL (Black Dragons #3), by Katie MacAlister. NOTHING BURNS HOTTER . . .
Sophea Long knows that escorting her octogenarian client to Europe will be an adventure. Mrs. P has a habit of stealing anything shiny, and the former “hoochikoo dancer” is a lot faster than she looks. But Sophea hadn’t counted on Mrs. P leading her right into the arms of a smoldering, dark-haired stranger who kisses like a dream. If only he’d give up all this nonsense about Sophea being some kind of dragon…THAN THE FIRE INSIDE…There’s a reason Rowan Dakar is known as the Dragon Breaker. The last thing he needs is to fall for a woman who literally sets him aflame every time they kiss. After all, he has a mission-one that will finally free him of dragonkin for good. He can’t afford to be distracted by the funniest, most desirable woman he’s ever set eyes on. But no prophecy in the world can ever stop true love. Forever.
FLAWLESS, by Heather Graham. Everyone goes to Finnegan’s… It’s a pub in lower Manhattan, run by the Finnegan family for generations and now owned by Kieran and her three brothers. Kieran Finnegan, who still works there whenever she can, has become a criminal psychologist—a fitting reaction, perhaps, to her less-than-lawful past. Meanwhile, New York’s Diamond District has been hit by a rash of thefts. No one’s been killed—until now. FBI agent Craig Frasier is brought in to investigate; he and Kieran meet at a jewelry store in the middle of a heist. She’s there to “unsteal” a flawless stone taken by her light-fingered youngest brother as an act of vengeance. He’s there to stop the gang. But the police and FBI soon discover that there are two gangs of diamond thieves, the original and a copycat group of killers. And the second group seems to think their scheme is as flawless as the stones they steal. Thrown together by circumstance, drawn together by attraction, Kieran and Craig both end up working on the case. Unfortunately, there’s more and more evidence that, somehow, the pub is involved. Because everyone goes to Finnegan’s… Mira.
HIGHLAND STORM (Guardians of the Stone #3), by Tanya Anne Crosby. Each Man to His destiny. …As the last male heir of the dun Scoti clan, Keane dun Scoti’s future is known from the hour of his birth: Someday, he must take his brother’s place as Guardian of the true Stone of Destiny.
…A Kiss to Change the Fates. …To quell a looming rebellion, David mac Mail Chaluim commands the marriage of a granddaughter of MacBeth to de Moray’s new laird, a man rumored to be as dangerous and conniving as his father. But alas, the fickle Highland winds must turn. Lianae of Moray seeks protection with Keane dun Scoti, and for a moment shared, a stolen kiss and the chance to hold his own fief, the last Pecht prince will turn his back on kith and kin, fulfilling a destiny only the ancient seer has foreseen…
JAVELIN RAIN (Shadow Ops #5), by Myke Cole. Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded “Javelin Rain.” Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not. Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. Only what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation..
NEMESIS UNDERGROUND (Entwined Realms #3.5), by Danielle Monsch. When it comes to The Underground, trouble is always brewing. How could it not? Whatever the particular desire, it’s guaranteed to be available at the club which caters to every being, race, and creature which exists in the New Realms…and lets them indulge in their every fantasy. So maybe Nemesis had been looking for a little trouble. A little trouble – not the sound and fury striding in with long pale hair and attitude for days. And though Nemesis knew better, it didn’t stop her from getting involved in a situation she had no business in, not after those green eyes met hers. But there is one truth that always needs to be remembered for those indulging in what The Underground offers – Fantasy only lasts so long, and real life eventually returns. How will Nemesis deal when her world and her time at The Underground crash together in ways she never imagined?
RELEASED (The Eternal Balance #3), by Jus Accardo. Jax Flynn’s life just went from bad to worse. He was already sharing his body with a demon named Azirak, but after killing its mate… Well, shit got real. Now the demon has taken control of Jax’s body and everything he cares for is at stake, including Samantha, the girl he loves. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. It’s time Jax showed everyone what he was really made of. Entangled Embrace.
SISTERS OF SALT & IRON (Sisters of Blood & Spirit #2), by Kady Cross. As Halloween approaches, twin sisters Lark, who is alive, and Wren, a tethered spirit, find themselves drifting apart. While Lark is happy with new boyfriend Ben, Wren is still hurting over her own still-alive-and-kicking love-interest, Kevin, who may or may not have kissed another girl. Spending more time on the Other Side, and less time with her sister in the land of the living, Lark becomes close with the spirit of a young man, Noah, who was killed years ago. But Noah is not as nice as he seems, and his thirst for vengeance has a dark and sudden influence on Wren. With the veil between the worlds thinning for Halloween, the spirits are getting stronger and it will be up to Lark and her friends to stop Noah and save Wren from becoming a monster. But the only way to do that could be to kill the boy that Wren is falling in love with. Harlequin Teen.
THE MORTAL TALLY (Bring Down Heaven #2), by Sam Sykes. Cier’Djaal, once the crowning glory of the civilized world, has gone from a city to a battlefield and a battlefield to a graveyard. Foreign armies clash relentlessly on streets laden with the bodies of innocents caught in the crossfire. Cultists and thieves wage shadow wars, tribal armies foment outside the city’s walls, and haughty aristocrats watch the world burn from on high. As his companions struggle to keep the city from destroying itself, Lenk travels to the Forbidden East in search of the demon who caused it all. But even as he pursues Khoth-Kapira, dark whispers plague his thoughts. Khoth-Kapira promises him a world free of war where Lenk can put down his sword at last. And Lenk finds it hard not to listen. When gods are deaf, demons will speak. Orbit.
THE UNDOING (Call of Crows #2), by Shelly Laurenston. No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows. But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see. Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking! Kensington.
So…what do you want to read? Which of these appeals to you most? Note that if you win, you can choose a different title regardless of what you pick as this week’s favorite!