February 21, 2023 11:39 AM Posted by juliannadouglas
Sorry it’s late this year, but I always say better late than never. It’s time once again for my annual Best of the Year giveaway. Ever since I started my review site, The Hope Chest Reviews, in 2008, I’ve been posting a Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. As always, I have an eclectic group of books on it from a wide variety of genres. Since I’m a romance writer and nearly life-long romance reader, my focus is mostly on romance, but I also have a nice selection of other books, including historical fiction, fantasy, YA, children’s, biography/memoirs, and non-fiction. I'm a pretty slow reader, so I rarely have time to read books when they're released, although sometimes I do. That being the case, I compile the list from the books I read during the previous year. This makes for a well-rounded list of brand new books, mixed with older ones, and a little bit of everything in between.
I read just over seventy books and novellas in 2021, and a little over half of them made it to my keeper shelf, meaning that they earned 4.5 to 5 stars from me. These are the books that make my “Best of …” lists in the individual genres. I've also nominated books (though never any that I rated less than four stars) in a wide variety of other categories, including best characters, best quotes, and best covers. I hope you'll check out my full list and perhaps find your next great read.
February 19, 2023 04:21 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During the month of January, I read four full-length books, and two children’s book. A couple of them didn’t pass muster, but the majority I very much enjoyed. However, there was only one romance that came out with five stars. It’s a book by a favorite author in a favorite series of mine that I’ve featured before and the author has done it again, giving me a book I loved. It pairs SnowDancer alpha Hawke with powerful X-Psy Sienna. Hawke gave refuge to Sienna and her family a few years earlier when they defected from the PsyNet, and in the time since, they’ve all become valued members of the wolf pack. There’s been an attraction between Hawke and Sienna almost from the beginning, but because of her youth, Hawke has put a strict lid on any feelings he might be having for her. He also lost his mate years ago, and doesn’t believe he has anything to offer her beyond a physical relationship. Lucky for him, Sienna is mature beyond her years and just as stubborn as he is, challenging him in ways no one else would dare stand up to the alpha of their pack, which intrigues both man and wolf. But despite her managing to get under his skin, Sienna’s time on Earth may be limited. No X-Psy has ever been known to live to full adulthood, and she’s already nineteen. Her power is building at an exponential rate, and she’s having an increasingly difficult time controlling it. If she reaches the critical point, she could set off the equivalent of a nuclear blast that would obliterate everyone and everything she loves for miles around. Hawke is determined not to let that happen, but he may not have a say if they can’t find the information they need to stop it. Elsewhere, the Pure Psy faction is prepping for all-out war and have, not only the SnowDancer den, but also DarkRiver and San Francisco in their sights, leaving the lives of all their citizens hanging in the balance.
Tags: Nalini Singh
March 20, 2022 05:04 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During February, I read five full-length books and two short stories. There were a couple of so-so reads among them, but overall, most of them were really good, making my decision as to which book would be named my Book of the Month a little harder this time. Ultimately the one that came out on top is a paranormal romance by a favorite author that’s part of a favorite series of mine. This one follows SnowDancer wolves Indigo and Drew. Indigo is a dominant female and a pack lieutenant, while Drew is the pack’s tracker. Drew has been crazy about Indigo for a while, but she’s been trying to keep their relationship friends-only. She worries that getting involved with a male who is both younger and less dominant could lead to disaster. But tired of waiting for her to come around, Drew pulls out all the stops to prove to Indigo that she’s the only wolf for him. Meanwhile, the threat from Pure Psy, the Psy faction that’s determined to maintain Silence no matter the cost, is rising, and Indigo and Drew discover evidence of a Psy incursion onto SnowDancer land. With the help of their alpha, Hawke, and the rest of the pack, they must figure out what the Psy’s new game is and stop it before serious damage is done, but a climactic battle with the Psy could put Indigo and Drew’s relationship in jeopardy before she’s even had a chance to decide whether he’s her perfect mate after all.
Tags: Nalini Singh
January 25, 2020 06:45 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
After being an avid reader all my life, in 2008, I decided to start reviewing books, as well. That’s when I joined GoodReads and founded my review website, The Hope Chest Reviews. Since becoming a published author, I haven’t stopped writing reviews of the books I read for pleasure, in part, because I’m now more aware than ever just how important reviews can be to an author in helping readers discover them.
Ever since I started my review site, I’ve had an annual tradition of posting my Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. As in past years, I have an eclectic group of books on it from a wide variety of genres. Since I’m a romance writer and long-time romance reader, my focus is mostly on romance, but I also have a nice selection of other books, including fantasy, YA, historical fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction.
August 18, 2019 04:06 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
Overall, July was a really good reading month for me. Nearly everything I read rated four stars and up, and I even had two five-star reads. Both of them were so good, they ended up in a virtual tie, making it extremely difficult to choose between them. After a great deal of nail-biting indecision, I finally decided that one edged out the other by a mere hair’s breadth. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series, one that I recently became hooked on. In it, we have a couple who were best friends in childhood, but after she witnessed him tearing her abusive foster father apart in his beast form, she basically ran, leaving him believing she was dead. Now, twenty years later, she’s returned needing his help finding a street kid she’s been working with who’s been kidnapped before he suffers the same brutal fate as several others who’ve been found murdered. Unsure if they can trust one another, they form an uneasy alliance that gradually heats up into a passionate romantic relationship. But meanwhile, she finds herself a target of the killer who wants her to stop investigating the murders.
Tags: Nalini Singh
March 16, 2019 07:22 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
February’s reading was definitely an improvement over January’s. I read several good books, some of which made it to keeper status. However, I still only had one five-star read. It was a great one, though, that has now edged into the top spot as my favorite so far in this long-running series. I also believe it’s the first time I’ve featured this author’s work as a Book of the Month. So, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
After her ordeal of being kidnapped, tortured, and brutally mind-raped by a powerful Psy serial killer, Brenna was a broken shell of her former self. It’s taken a lot of time for her to find some peace and normalcy in her life again. But just as things start settling down for her, she begins to have frightening, blood-soaked dreams and visions, leaving her believing that her captor did something to alter her mind and that she might be going crazy. These episodes usually leave her extremely agitated and the only person who can calm her is Judd. She’s deeply attracted to him on a physical level, but with the cold, emotionless Psy existence brought about by the Silence Protocol ruling his life, she’ll have her work cut out for her convincing her Psy protector that they’re meant to be together. Brenna is a very strong young woman. Although she’s still affected by the things done to her during her kidnapping ordeal, she’s determined to put it all behind her and live the fullest life she can. I liked that she’s often the pursuer in her relationship with Judd and refuses to give up on him finding a way for them be together, and she also possesses an underlying gentleness and vulnerability that made her likable and relatable.
Tags: Nalini Singh