Best paranormal, sci fi and fantasy from 2009

My name is Sarah and I have an addiction to sci fi, fantasy and paranormal ebooks. Just a small one!

Below are my favorites from 2009. Not all books were necessarily published during last year though. Click on the covers for more information.

Shorts.

TonyBuffsQuickArmBind
Ganked from I am Fivestar

I’ve been on a bit of a BDSM binge over the past few weeks and can honestly say that a good BDSM novel that doesn’t devolve into the ridiculous and have me rolling my eyes is hard to find. It is possible that I am being picky, but a lot of them lack the power, intensity and feeling of well written kink. It is not enough to just use the words of the scene and hope for the best, there needs to be a connection between the characters. There should be trust, words, tone, tension and knowing someone with incredible intimacy.

Here are a few I’ve read recently and do let me know if you’ve any suggestions, because Mr Benson is still in the damn post. Hurmph.

JustFriends anne thomasJust Friends by Anne Thomas. The pacing was very quick and I felt that the dynamic between the two men could have been a little more fleshed out. It did have some nice moments, but seemed to miss the point a bit with regards the kink. Grant is heavily into the scene, as evidenced by his harness O-o and Eli wants Grant, but is not sure about the BDSM. Fair enough! I think if it was a little longer the switch at the end might have sat better. As it was this was an ok wee read and an author I’d like to check out again, but this one just missed the mark a bit for me. ebook available here.

my-fair-captain-jl-langleyMy Fair Captain by JL Langley. I re read all the good bits. One of the only books to fog my glasses EVERY DAMN TIME! …Dear Nate, please to be saving me from bad, bad books. Kisses, Sarah… For goodness sake, if you’ve not got it, get it. NOW.

deviations submissionDeviations: Submission by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne. This was an ok read. It meandered at times and about 1/2 way through I lost interest a little. But, persevered and finished it eventually! Loads of angst and trust issues and the whole letting yourself love again made for a reasonably satisfying read. While I’ll pick up the rest of the series, as I am interested in where they go next, I am a little unsure how much more there is to tell. You can get it in paperback and ebooks here.

natural lawNatural Law by Joey Hill. Did a re read of this gem. Total five star read and I can forgive some of the silliness at the end because she totally nails it in the rest of the book. Loved it, even if it does have girl cooties! Check out a more betterer review here.

geographyofmurderpabrownGeography of Murder by PA Brown. While I really enjoyed her LA Heat book, this one felt like it lacked focus and was a difficult read at times. A little choppy and am hoping this is a bit of a blip as I did so like her previous work. Get it here.

chains of love katrina straussChains of Love by Katrina Strauss. I like Blue. A lot! So forgive my total bias when it comes to this series. Even though I at times wanted to stuff his best friend out the door and get down to it with Blue and Derek! This is such a charming, sexy and cool series that never fails to push all the right buttons. Plus, those covers. omnomnom. Check it out here.

safterbdsmBDSM: Safer kinky sex. Best read of the week and FREE! When on the internets one does find the most fascinating stuff. I read this cover to cover and at no charge I reckon that’s a wicked good deal. Quick reading and loads of interesting advice and I’ve been seeing it promoted by some rather smart cookies. Check it out here and download the pdf at the bottom of the page.

With Love by J. L. Langley.

withlove-jl-lanleyAll Devlin wants to do is find a good new home for his business and his pack. He’s not looking for any complications, but he finds something he never expected – a mate. A mate with a whole lot of energy who attracts trouble like a magnet.

Laine Campbell never means to get himself into hot water, but everything has a way of getting tangled up between his feet. He needs more than just a mate – he needs a savior.

This came out a wee while ago now, but it’s a book I’ve re read several times. The writing is fast paced, sexy and I liked the character of Laine tremendously. I was also rather partial to Devlin who was more of a buff, builder type and quite forbearing with Laine’s knack for getting into mischief.  

What I enjoyed most about the book was Laine’s fearless nature and willingness to stand by his man in spite of his lack of size or ability in a fight. He had a sweetness about him as well that I got a kick out of. Devlin is confident and comfortable being in charge, but helplessly enthralled with Laine. The two discover they’re mates pretty much from the get go, so the focus was more on their developing relationship, than the will they won’t they.

The story, while short, shows how good world building makes a story just that much better. They’re werewolves, there is a pack hierarchy and there is day to day business going on in the background, but the focus is on Devlin and Laine and their growing love. I think all of the With or Without series has this delft element of blending characters lives, the everyday and supernatural. Makes for some excellent reading and is definitely a series to consider picking up.

This sweet, short and sexy story is a delight and totally fogged my glasses.

Get it here from Samhain, All Romance eBooks and Barnes and Noble.

The Englor Affair by J. L. Langley

the-englor-affair-jl-langleyIn hiding who he was, Payton found himself…and the man he would grow to love.
After his brother is kidnapped, Prince Payton Townsend masquerades as an Admiral’s assistant in order to track the culprits through the tangled mysteries of the planet Englor. He finds way more than he bargained for in the form of Marine Colonel Simon Hollister.
Simon is no ordinary soldier. He’s heir to Englor and his life is mapped out for him: throne, bride, and eventually an heir. He never expected a dalliance with Payton to blossom into love, or that the organization that taught him to lead would threaten that love-and their lives.
Danger and intrigue abound as they learn more about their shared enemy, and about each other. What they learn could help them rise above to an enduring love-or pull them apart.
From Samhain Publishing. 

So after months of teasers about Payton and Simon the boys are finally here. If you’ve not already got this weighty tome of an ebook, best you shift your toot and get it now. It is 295 pages of delicious Sci-Regency Romance that is not to be missed. 

One element that I kept coming back to in this book is that it is a regency romance. Payton for all intents and purposes has been as cloistered as a nun. Despite the odd foray without a chaperone, also known as the household computer back on his home planet, he is quite innocent in many ways. All this comes to a bit of an end when he hies off to assist the goodness that is Nate on a dangerous mission on Englor. He is certainly more than capable with his mad tech skills. Geeky and cute!

cuddle1So, here he is far from his home on Regelence and minus duenna. What’s a poor boy to do? Fall into the den of iniquity that is the marine base gym of course! Hoo Ahh? Where he meets Simon of the auburn locks and muscular physique. The dynamic between the two men is electric and Payton is like a kid in a candy shop (50 cent song in my head as I write… grubby, bad man) with all the naked men casually undressing, working out and heavens to Betsy showering. But Payton is made of sturdy stuff and does not disappoint with a swoon. Although, he does do a bit of fleeing later in the chapter. JL Langley is just so incredibly good at building that tension and keeping you turning that page till the wee small hours. I totally have bags under my eyes after her books!

The sexual tension was different from My Fair Captain which was cool. I always worry in a series that I am going to get a carbon copy of the previous book. The voice is different from last time. It is certainly not polite regency romance sex with nighties on and the lamp low either! It was bawdy, hot and definitely fit the the story and for those more delecate flowers avert your gaze. I was most impressed that the scenes did not feel like she had a list she was ticking off with big free for all at end, it just flowed. This book seemed less about the power dynamic in the relationship and more about having one hell of a time and yet it did not overshadow the mystery and action in the plot.

blog-fan-girlsThe world building is tight and I enjoyed the almost steam punk feel I got occasionally. Englor is so very much like regency England but with spaceships. It was also so nice to have small cameos from Nate, Aidan and the rest of the family and I am already rubbing my hands together in anticipation of the next one! 

I think this has to be one of my favorite series for cover art. As far as slick marketing goes I think Samhain Publishing and the artist definitely got this right. It is gorgeous and I love the colours. Roll on the paperback version because these two books are going to look gorgeous on my shelf!
my-fair-captain-jl-langley  the-englor-affair-jl-langley

I did enjoy this book. Immensely. I think JL Langley is a talented author and she just keeps getting better. I am not sure which I like best in the series either, might have to mull that one over!

So go read it! You can go get the book here from Samhain Publishing.
JL Langley’s Website.

My Fair Captain by J. L. Langley.

Synopsis.
Talk about a compromising situation!

A storm of political intrigue, murderous mayhem and sexual hungers is brewing on planet Regelence.

Swarthy Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins ran from a past he had no intention of ever reliving. But when his Admiral asks him to use his peerage, as an earl and the heir to a dukedom, to investigate a missing weapons stash, he’s forced to do just that. As if being undercover on a Regency planet where the young men are supposed to remain pure until marriage isn’t bad enough, Nate finds himself attracted to the king’s unmarried son.

All Prince Aiden Townsend has ever wanted was to be an artist. He has no interest in a marriage of political fortune or becoming a societal paragon. Until he lands in the arms of the mysterious Earl of Deverell. One look at Nate’s handsome face has Aiden reconsidering his future. Not only does Nate make a virile subject for Aiden’s art, but the great war hero awakens feelings in Aiden he has never felt, feelings he can’t ignore.

After a momentous dance at a season ball, Aiden and Nate find themselves exchanging important information and working closely together. They have to fight their growing attraction long enough to find out who stole the weapons and keep themselves from a compromising situation and certain scandal.

After seeing a few reviews for this recently I was compelled to do a re read, cause this book is just that good. I initially picked this up after seeing it sitting pretty on The Naughty Bits, I mean who could resist that cover? Shallow, much! I think the 1st time I read it I did not stop till it was done. Then, I counted the days till payday to placate the beleaguered credit card so I could get another Langley fix!

Aiden is so engrossed in his art and has no aspirations toward marriage. He is so innocent for a man of his age but not nauseatingly so, he certainly has backbone and is utterly captivated with Nate. The society is based on that of the Regency period and works well. It reminded me of a steampunk or cyberpunk kind of novel, errr minus the steam. Young men are chasete until marriage and this was one aspect of the world building that I was not sure would work, would they be kinda girly? I wondered if it would take away from their masculinity and how real blokes are just blokes. Weird thought, I know. But this was not the case. it was handled well and the fact that they respected this custom was seemless. I found Aiden to be an utterly charming character with surprising inner strength who was a perfect foil for Nate who is kinda dark and broody and hard and oh man, he is so drooly!

Nate is a bit of a strong, silent type who has risen fast in the ranks due to hard work and is a man worthy of respect. He has not had an easy life getting to where he is and this holds him back from becoming more intimate emotionally with Aiden. He is also aware that he is a Captain and has a duty to do his job and not totally debauch the local Royalty! Excellent self control…most of the time. He has a son, who he has adopted, after finding him abandoned in some space port. Awwww, guy with kid. (kid is a total hardass and cute to boot, hoping he gets book???)  Nate is just smokin and there is just a wee bit of top peaking out through the chest hair. Merow!

 I guess the best part for me of the book was the world building and the closeness of Nate and Aiden. The scenes with them alone in the lift, and when they’re kind figuring out the bad guys, are just beautiful, intimate and loving. Aidens obsession with Nate’s beard is so endearing and the smexin is incredibly hot. I would advise a close proximity to a freezer or fan when reading.

For an excerpt of the next novel go here.

Get the goodness here.

With Caution by J.L. Langley

A brother’s vow. A lover’s promise. Both could put them all at deadly risk.

Remington Lassiter is trying his best to stay out of trouble while he learns the ropes of being a werewolf. When his little brother turns up covered in bruises, he is driven to finally bring their abusive father to justice. To do it, he must face a past he hides behind his cocky, trouble-making attitude. A past so dark it haunts him only in dreams.

Jake Romero, a crack private investigator with a bad-boy biker image, realizes he has his work cut out for him when Remi asks for his help. From the first moment he turned Remi into a werewolf in order to save his life, Jake has been fighting to keep his inner demons at bay. He’s torn between the desire to tell Remi they are destined to be mates, and the need to first let Remi get used to the werewolf life.

Jake will do anything to protect Remi and help him break the cycle of abuse he has endured all his life, but his investigation is about to uncover something far more sinister and deadly than they ever imagined.

A past that could put all their lives at risk.

I love the warning on the Samhain Site … Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, violence, hot nekkid man-love.  What more could you want in some m/m fiction?

You first meet the somewhat unenlightened Remi in Without Reservations. He is angry and angsty and not at all impressed with his best friend Chay’s choice in partner. After being turned into a werewolf in this 1st book he is working on being the best were he can be and look out for his younger brother. The relationship between Remi and his brother Sterling is central to the book and a lot of Remi’s motivations and decisions revolve around being there for the younger sibling. He is such a great character always making sure Sterling has somewhere safe to go and be away from their abusive father. Under all that front is a sweet guy. There is also a mystery that unfolds involving Remi’s past. I think if I had read Without Reservations 1st I would have perhaps not warmed up to Remi as quick as I did. He is cocky and has this veneer of bravado but he is also very sweet and loving. One of my favourite characters.

Jake is just sex on a stick as far as I am concerned. He is hot, a PI and has a serious jones for Remi who is finding being a werewolf and attracted to another man all a bit confusing. Jake is protective, loving and super Alpha. He also has a motorbike AND a leather jacket. Which I kinda liked as I spent most of my 3rd year of high school drooling over the guy in front of me with the leather jacket. Merroow. Jake is a total top and there is just a wee bit of BDSM and much smex.

I really liked this book and also the others in the series. Probably a good idea to read them in order, or if you’re a rebel like me pay no attention to order whatsoever and be totally taken in by a nice cover! Very groovy reading from one of my favorite authors. You can get them all at the Samain site.  

PS Love the chaps, they are a total hot flush scene!