2012 New Book Releases – My Top 20! (Part 1)

Here is part one of my top twenty new book releases of 2012! Part two will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned.

1. Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels 5.5) – Ilona Andrews

The next book in the Kate Daniels series features Kate’s best friend and shapeshifter, Andrea. The expected publication date is July 31st, 2012:

Some people have everything figured out — Andrea Nash is not one of those people. After being kicked out of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels.
When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano — the male alpha of Clan Bouda and Andrea’s former lover — die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate … and must work with Raphael. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a backseat to saving the world …

2. Angel’s Flight (Guild Hunter 0.5, 1.5, 4.5, 4.75) – Nalini Singh

This book has already been released on February 28th, 2012 and it is a compilation of short stories from the Guild Hunter series, one of which is first time in print and another never before published:

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.
In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…
In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…
In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

3. Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling #11) – Nalini Singh

The next book in this series is one I’ve been expecting for a long time, and fans of Nalini Singh will be able to follow the love story of another SnowDancer couple, namely Riaz and Adria:

Adria, wolf changeling soldier, has made a break with a past as
unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer whose lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It’s primal. And it consumes them as completely as the impending cataclysmic Psy war—a battle that may alter the very fate of the world.

4. Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound #3) – Jennifer Ashley

I’ve recently reviewed “Pride Mates” which is the first book in this series. I didn’t read the second book in the series yet, but I’m so excited for this one, because I know it will be as good as the first one. “Wild Cat” has been published on January 3rd, 2012:

When Feline Shifter Cassidy Warden saves detective Diego Escobar from plunging to his death, the naked Shifter woman takes his breath away. But she’d been breaking all kinds of human laws, and Diego, to save her from termination, has to promise his department he’ll watch over her.
Diego finds the task harder than he thinks–Cassidy is trying to find out what kind of mysterious hunter killed her mate two years ago, a hunter that could bring danger to all Shifters. Plus Cassidy has scent-marked Diego–essentially telling all other Shifter females, “Hands off.”
Diego risks his personal and professional life getting involved with Cassidy, but he realizes he’ll do anything, even confront the deadliest of assassins and his own inner demons, to keep her safe

5. Midnight Reckoning (Dark Dynasties #2) – Kendra Leigh Castle

Another sequel to a novel I’ve recently reviewed! This series is one I’m sure I’ll follow for as many books that will come out, so I was really glad when this one got published on January 1st, 2012:

Wild and passionate by nature, Lyra Black is not just any werewolf. She’s the future leader of the powerful pack of the Thorn – if she can stay alive long enough to inherit the title.
One of the Cait Sith bloodline of vampire cat-shifters, Jaden Harrison has no interest in the wars plaguing the world of night. But when he rescues Lyra from a violent attack, they’re both captured by an insatiable desire that threatens to overwhelm them and bind them together for eternity… just as ancient enemies prepare to strike. And when they do, the Thorn and the Cait Sith – and Lyra and Jaden’s love – may never recover from the deadly blow…

“Dark Awakening” by Kendra Leigh Castle (Dark Dynasties #1) – Review

Paperback: 331 pages

Publisher: Forever

Release Date: June 28, 2011

Series: Dark Dynasties

“For centuries, shapeshifting vampire Tynan McGillivray has prowled the night as an outcast, valued only for his ferocious hunting skills. When a feud among the immortals escalates into all-out war, he is ordered by his ruthless queen to locate a Seer – a human woman with a special gift – who can secure victory for their clan. Ty’s search leads him to a quiet New England town, but once he has the Seer in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he’s never known…

Lily Quinn has always been different. Since childhood, she’s had vivid nightmares and an eerie sixth sense. When a sexy, silver-eyed stranger demands her help, Lily plunges into a new world of danger and sensuality. With Ty, she discovers sizzling passions she cannot deny and powers she cannot control. Soon, it is clear that Lily is much more than a Seer – she holds the key to ancient secrets and unthinkable destruction. But will a vampire’s vow of eternal protection stop these evil forces…or unleash her dark destiny?”

My thoughts

Wow! I mean, wow! This novel had me hooked right from the start, making me want more of Tynan McGillivray. A shapeshifting vampire with a Scottish accent and silver eyes is bound to be irresistible. Well, at least for me he is.

Kendra Leigh Castle has created a world where history meets fantasy, a secret world of vampires living within the world of humans. This is an incredible debut novel. I first got to hear about this book when I requested an advanced reader’s copy for it. I didn’t manage to finish it within the time limit – I got it as an ebook for a month – but only because of personal commitments. I was so sad when I finally had time and the book wasn’t available anymore. I had only read the first chapter, but it stayed with me for so long, I just couldn’t let it go without reading the whole damn thing.

So I did what any normal person would do, and just ordered it. I’m really happy I did! Reading it was an outright pleasure and Kendra Leigh Castle doesn’t sound like a new writer at all! She’s in there with the best of them.

The story is utterly captivating, sexy, and, of course, dark since we’re in the world of vampires. What I find really cool is that there a many types of vampires in this series. They’re not only your normal kind of bloodsuckers, but each dynasty has its own special talents. There are those who can turn into bats, smoke, cats, can fly or  have lightening speed.

Reading this book felt like watching the aristocracy of the old days, and there’s history everywhere you turn. One of the vampires is also Cleopatra’s sister, imagine that! But if you don’t like history, then you don’t have to worry much. There are no long paragraphs explaining historical facts or other such things. This book is clearly an urban fantasy novel, but inspired by historical figures.

The novel also contains sex scenes, so if you’re looking to avoid such books, then this is not the book for you. But if you’re not bothered, then I really recommend you read this. I can’t wait to read the second novel in the series, “Midnight Reckoning”, which came out in January. A hint for all you werewolf lovers: there was a werewolf character in the first book which will be further explored in the second book! Just saying.

This is not another Twilight, and honestly, I’m fed up with the fact that as soon as a book has vampires and werewolves in them, it’s immediately compared to Twilight. This has absolutely nothing in common with the series and I’m glad it doesn’t. The Dark Dynasties is a series for adults, and I hope it turns into a really long series.

I wish Kendra Leigh Castle all the success in the world with her books and am very happy to consider myself among the readers of her story. Go out there and buy this book! You won’t regret it.

Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭ – 5 stars!