Soulless by Gail Carriger
This is my first foray into light steampunk, in this case an alternate Victorian England overlayed with advanced mechanicals and technology. Werewolves and vampires are an accepted part of society, at least in Britain, and the science and technological advances are thanks in part to the vampires, who are interested in the sciences for reasons of their own. Actually, for me it read more like a paranormal romance with some steampunk elements.
I would also consider the book a comedy of manners, reminiscent of Austen's stories, with vampires and others included in high society. Alexia Tarabotti is a soulless spinster who would rather sit in the library having tea than attend the fancy ball. Unfortunately, in the first scene of the book, that's where she is rudely attacked by a vampire, and she of course has no choice but to kill him. Luckily her soullessness gives her the ability to negate the magic in others - vampires lose...
"The First Time We Met" by Maria Deira
Elena has a gift: her saliva can heal cuts and scrapes. When she and Hector, the story's narrator, first meet, she licks a deep cut on his forearm, leaving only a faint trace of the gash. Needless to say, Hector was surprised, confused and attracted to her.
The story switches from the present, 15 years after that first meeting, and incidents in their life together. I'm always amazed how much we can learn about the characters in a short story. Here we learn about their history, but also about how even though their comfortable now with each other, some of the passion has left. Also, Elena is losing her gift and doesn't know who she is without it.
In some ways, Hector wants to leave her, but in some ways he can't.
I don't know what to say. She's both right and wrong. I'm right and wrong. At this moment, I can't go anywhere. I'm...
Jordan by Susan Kearney
I am definitely a fan of this series, a unique futuristic romance series where humanity and their allies are fighting against the Tribes who conquer or destroy planets across the galaxy. I've read all three in order, but I think you could probably jump in at this one and enjoy it.
This third installment focuses on Jordan, who has been present in the first two, but not in his very sexy human form. Jordan has lived 1600 years, helped King Arthur, understands the war that humanity is fighting with the Tribes and realizes he is the only hope for defeating the Tribes once and for all. He will do whatever he has to to accomplish his mission.
Once again, Kearney falls back on kidnapping, unfortunately. Jordan basically kidnaps Vivianne and a whole crew of people, forcing them to head out into space aboard a ship he helped design and build, the Draco. I don't like the kidnapping scenario, but...
You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
All Aisling Grey had to do was deliver a centuries old, gold dragon statue to her uncle's client in Paris, but instead she finds the woman murdered and a strange, sexy man lingering nearby. Drake Vireo claims to be with Interpol, but before Aisling can verify this, he, along with the statue, disappears. Now the French police's prime suspect in the case, Aisling must figure out who really killed the woman and exactly where Drake disappeared to with her artifact. Aisling's efforts to clear her name become even more complicated once she learns she is a Guardian (as in guarding the portals to hell), and dishy Drake is a real-life dragon (otherwise known as wyvern). Scouring Paris' occult community for clues, Aisling, armed with a crabby demon in the shape of a Newfoundland dog, finds herself not only mixed up in murder and magic but also tangling and tangoing with a sexy dragon. Graced with...
Rion by Susan Kearney
Back in September, I read Lucan, the first in the Pendragon Legacy series, and loved it, so when I got a chance to read Rion, I couldn't pass it up.
Marisa is Lucan's sister and Rion is his best friend, but I don't think you need to have read the first to enjoy this one.
In this future world, one-tenth of Earth's population are dragonshapers and Marisa is a telepath who is helping them learn to control themselves as dragons. Rion is from the planet Honor, where his people, all dragonshapers, have become enslaved to an evil alien Tribe, the Unari. Only with Marisa's help can Rion organize a revolt and save his people.
It took me a little while to warm up to the book. First off, even though I knew they were both dragonshapers and Marisa always has scales on some parts of her body, during the first sex scene, when "her scales rumbled in wave after wave...
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz
I'm a fan of the Arcane Society series. This is the 7th and I've read each of them. I know what to expect from the series, and enjoy them. If you haven't read the series, I would probably start with one of the earlier ones. This one does not give you much of the back story; it expects you to already know a lot about the society members.
Take two people with special talents, add a touch of danger, physical attraction, respect and love, and you've got the formula. This one takes place in modern times. Chloe Harper is a private investigator who can read dreamlight and access dream psi. Jack Winters is the man who needs her help. He is convinced he is falling prey to the family curse and his only hope is to find the Burning Lamp and a woman who can work it before he becomes a monster. The two are immediately...