Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #4) by Chloe Neill

It is really, really difficult for me to write a review of Hard Bitten without spoilers but I'm going to try my best. 

Vampires and shifters have been outed to the general public.  Now its time to deal with the repercussions.  To make matters worse, a drug used by vampires is circulating the vampire houses that lowers their inhibitions making them aggressive and dangerous.  Merit needs to calm the natives, find out where the vampire drugs are coming from and decided what to do about Ethan. 

Ethan is the Master of Merit's house.  Their relationship has run hot and cold from the beginning.  As far as Merit is concerned the last time Ethan broke her heart was the last time.  But Ethan is persistent and Merit's resolve is wavering. 

Hard Bitten was excellent.  There was a twist at the end I was not expecting.  I can't wait to read Drink Deep due out November 1st to find out what happens next.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wendy Lyn Watson's A Parfait Murder

If there's one requirement I have for a cozy mystery...wait for's that it is cozy!  When I read fiction, I usually want an escape from the real world.  I like to know that the protagonist, at the end of it all, will still be that humorous, likeable character and ultimately be just fine.  That being said, I respect an author's desire to have serious moments for their characters in order to allow them more growth in the course of a series.  Wendy Lyn Watson reminded me that this can be done in the right way (even in a cozy mystery) in her 3rd Mystery A La Mode series, A Parfait Murder.  Serving up ice cream and southern charm, Tallulah "Tally" Jones becomes embroiled in another murder mystery, starring her cousin Bree as prime suspect.  Tally faces some difficult and personal revelations throughout the book, but remains a class act character throughout.  In Tally, Watson created a character filled with wit, wisdom, and compassion.  This makes her one of my favorite leading ladies and someone to root for until the end!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires #10) by Rachel Caine

ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE??? A vampire run gym opens in Morganville and Shane can't wait to join for martial arts training.   But the more time Shane spends at the gym the weirder he acts.  When Clarie decides to go check things out she discovers that humans are pitted against vampires in mixed martial arts style fighting.  You would think with vampire strength humans would be no match but something isn't right.  Shane is unusually strong and very aggressive.  Is it roid-rage or something else?

Bite Club is not my favorite in the series.  While there is a lot of action and you get a better understanding of Shane it is still missing something.  This makes me sad because I don't think there are many books left in the series. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness

I have to confess that I am not someone who jumps on the bandwagon of monster bestsellers.  I often find myself disappointed in some of those that get the most hype.  But, in some cases I am just plain wrong (don't get used to that statement).  A Discovery of Witches provided a unique and refreshing look into the world of witches and vampires.  Descended from a long line of powerful witches, Dr. Diana Bishop has rejected magic her whole life.  Instead, Dr. Bishop spent her life entrenched in academia, until one day her research uncovers a magical manuscript.  This discovery holds the potential to unlock answers that could completely disrupt the magical world.  Unfortunately for Bishop, every creature seems to realize what she has found and she finds herself unable to escape her magical identity any longer.  Luckily she seems to have a very powerful friend on her side by way of Matthew Clairmont.  The book is loaded with simple details that bring the story to life, right down to Clarimont's use of a classic Montblanc writing utensil.  Dr. Deborah Harkness did not just write another story about the supernatural; instead she created an intellectual powerhouse of a book.  A Discovery of Witches is historical, scientific, and fantastic.             

New Poll: Favorite TV Show Based on a Book Series

This weekend marks a very exciting occasion.  No, I do not think I will win the lottery or solve world peace.  My announcement is even bigger than that (insert eye roll here).  This weekend marks the start of Season Four of True Blood!  The show is based on the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris.  This had me thinking, what is your favorite TV show that began as a book series?  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and take the poll to show us what you think.  Leave us a comment if your favorite is not on the list.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Broken (Women of the Otherworld #6) by Kelley Armstrong

Elena is going stir crazy. Why?  Her pack mates won't let her leave their sight.  Elena is the only known female werewolf and she is pregnant.  That can be dangerous in the supernatural world.

However, work must go on and she is needed to retrieve a letter that is believed to be written by Jack the Ripper.  The job seems easy and would provide a much needed distraction.  Who would have thought the letter contains a portal that releases zombies, cholera, typhus and possibly Jack the Ripper himself.  Anything that can go wrong does as the pack attempts to close the portal and set the city of Toronto right.

 Broken is not the best of the Women of the Otherworld series but still worth the read.    


Goodreads is a great website to organize books, read or publish reviews, and get book recommendations.  You can also follow your favorite authors to see what they are reading.

Upcoming: Vision Impossible by Victoria Laurie

I have very few addictions in my life beyond coffee.  But, let's face it, I am addicted to all books by Victoria Laurie.  On July 8th, I will have a reason to check back into rehab, because Ms. Laurie is back with the 9th Psychic Eye Mystery, Vision Impossible!  Psychic Abby Cooper is one of the most likeable characters out there and apparently modeled after the author herself who used to be a professional psychic.  With laugh out loud humor and edge of your seat mystery, the Psychic Eye series is a classic in the making. (Readers who like a little dash of scary in their books, check out her Ghost Hunter Mysteries.  But, be forewarned, they might have you checking over your shoulder while you read and leaving a light on when you sleep!)

The Cassandra Palmer Series by Karen Chance

Mages, Vampires, Clairvoyants - Oh My!  In quick succession this year, I have knocked out the first three books in Karen Chance's fast-paced fantasy series starring clairvoyant Cassandra Palmer.  Having spent her childhood living in the world of vampires Palmer finds herself in hiding from those who once protected her.  The first three books in the series, Touch the Dark, Claimed by Shadow, and Embrace the Night, focus on events surrounding Palmer's reentry into the supernatural community.  Her growing powers make her a target to...well, pretty much everyone.  With the help of war mages, fey, vampires, and even stars of Greek mythology, Ms. Chance welcomes her readers into a world where the possibilities seem endless.  Fans of Kim Harrison, Kelly Armstrong, Jeaniene Frost, and the early years of Laurell Hamilton will really enjoy this series.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Upcoming: Coffee Lovers Unite for Murder by Mocha!

It is hard to believe that Murder by Mocha will represent the 10th book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle.  Main character Clare Cosi runs the historic New York coffee shop, Village Blend.  Suffice to say, mayhem and mystery ensues.  But, not without a great cup of coffee and a side of homemade baked goods.  As you can imagine, it is another one of my favorite series.  Check out the virtual Village Blend for free book downloads and recipes: by Mocha is set for release on August 2, 2011.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Driven to Ink: A Tattoo Shop Mystery #3 by Karen Olsen

Brett Kavanaugh is a tattooist and owner of the up-scale tattoo shop, The Painted Lady, in Las Vegas. Brett loans her Mustang Bullitt to a friend for her wedding day at a drive through chapel that specializes in Dean Martin impersonators. When the Mustang is returned Brett finds a dead Dean Martin in the trunk with a clip cord from a tattoo machine wrapped around his neck. To make matters worse, the bride and groom are no where to be found.
Driven to Ink is the third installment of the wonderfully written Tattoo Shop Mystery. Brett Kavanaugh is a strong female character who lets her curiosity get the best of her. While her sidekicks are male she can still hold her own. However, we get a peak at Brett's softer side in Driven to Ink.
I have never been to Las Vegas, but when I read a Tattoo Shop Mystery I feel like it's my hometown. Karen Olsen does a great job of describing not only the strip but the suburbs and surrounding areas. That being said, there is not so much description that you are bogged down in imagery.
Driven to Ink has lots of twists and turns that make is difficult to figure out "who dunit" and why.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Contact Us

If you would like to contact the ladies of The Reading Grove you can do so at the following email address:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Welcome to The Reading Grove

The Ladies of The Reading Grove are happy to welcome you to a new blog by avid readers who are hoping to share their best and brightest recommendations on what to enjoy this summer!