Book Review – A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

madness.jpgBLURB: On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.

It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

MY THOUGHTS: Nalini has been a must-buy for me for a while now, with the exception of her Archangel series. When she revealed that she was moving into a suspense genre, I was pumped to read it and pre-ordered as soon as it was available (note Nalini, I STILL hate a Tuesday release. Especially when I couldn’t take the day off. Please talk to your publishers about that one!).

Initially my thoughts were that the overall format was like a Nora Roberts suspense (thinking of 2016’s The Obsession) but there are solid reasons for picking this one up over a recent Nora. It’s well-crafted and the characters are more than one dimensional right from the start. I loved the pacing and flow, and at no point did I think this was either rushing me or wasting my time.

There’s several possibilities as to whom the killer is, and each one is very plausible. There’s other spooky stuff going on in the background – alcohol, abuse, lying – all the things you find in any community. I’ve read one review which was indignant that Singh didn’t re-phrase this book in “woke” terminology and had everyone learn from their mistakes – oh whatever. We all know someone who relies upon other’s view of themselves as gospel. We all know someone who has p*ssed their life away for whatever reason and is angry about it, but doesn’t change. We all know someone who relies on an artificial product (alcohol, drugs, shopping, gossip) to bleed away any pain they might have. We all know someone who focuses on a trait & choses partners based on that, be it physical or emotional. And that makes the characters real, IMO.

This gets a solid 4.5 stars from me & I’ll be buying copies for Christmas presents. Can’t get much better than that!

AUTHOR SITE: https://nalinisingh.blogspot.com/

COVER REVEAL: Cherish Hard By Nalini Singh

WOOT! It’s nearly here…remember how I LURVED Rock Hard? And the family dynamics? Here’s Gabe’s brother in his own book. It’s on my must-read list.

cherish-hard
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…
Meet Sailor & Isa on November 14th!
Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2yaHnQG
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2i1LhHC
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2yXwnFB
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xw0U0O
Nook: http://bit.ly/2yf01bI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2i2wvR1
☆☆☆☆☆☆
Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.
Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task?
Working closely with a certain hot gardener.
And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.
As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.
☆☆☆☆☆☆
EXCERPT
Fuming, Ísa made sure to set the alarm system and lock up. Everyone else was already well into their summer vacation—the sole reason Ísa was here was because she hadn’t been able to work on her lesson plans at home.
Her upstairs neighbor was having repairs done to her bathroom that required banging and hammering.
Not all of it involved nails and wood.
Hopefully the repairs would be finished by now. There was only so much ecstatic orgasmic screaming that a single woman in online-dating purgatory could stand without being driven to violence.
She spotted the tan-colored gardening truck the instant she came down the front steps of the school’s imposing redbrick main building and turned left to head toward her car. The hot gardener had parked it right next to her zippy blue compact. The front of the truck had four doors with tinted windows while the large bed was piled with shovels and other manly tools as well as a huge sack of clippings.
His light brown T-shirt was hanging over the top of the tailgate.
Which meant he was still walking around topless somewhere around here.
“Get in your car, Ísa,” she muttered to herself, well aware what would happen if she came face-to-face with that delicious hunk of manhood. Because while she might’ve conquered her shyness, she knew her limits.
Confronted by a bare-chested man who made her ovaries explode, she’d turn bright pink, lose her ability to form speech, and end of story. “Oh—”
She would’ve bounced off that sculpted chest if he hadn’t grabbed her by the hips.
“Hey, sorry,” he said with a startled smile that lit up the dazzling blue of his eyes. “I didn’t
see you.”
“No, um, my fault.” It looked as if he’d crouched down to check one of his tires or
something else but had risen to his feet right when she swung around to get into her car. And God, his skin was so hot and smooth and he was so tall and his shoulders were so broad and her mouth was drying up. The stuttering would begin at any moment.
The same stuttering Suzanne had mocked relentlessly when they were fourteen. Until Ísa had gone silent around everyone except the few friends she trusted. And now that horrible, ugly-hearted girl was getting married, having a baby, getting a happily-ever-after. Added to which, Ísa’s mother was jerking her on a string like she was a marionette, and her last “date” had asked her to call him Woofy and reward him with doggy biscuits.
The blue of the gardener’s eyes flickered with a hot flame.
And she thought… I know him. But before she could follow that faint thread, all the fury and hurt and frustration and sheer aggravation in Ísa ignited into an incandescent inferno.
She went mad.
Grabbing the hot gardener’s beautiful face in her hands, she said, “I want to kiss you.”
A wicked grin. “Go on ahead.”
And Ísa pressed her lips to his.
Copyright © 2017 by Nalini Singh

naliniMeet the Author
Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.
If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website . Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

Because, BEARS.

I’ll concede right now that I read a lot. And a lot of what I read isn’t worth reviewing, as I read to clear my head before sleep, or to drown out the chaos around me. This last two weeks with the cold virus has been awful and I haven’t retained a lot. Except, bears.

The latest Psy-Changeling book was released last week, and a couple of days later the e-book dropped into my Kindle. Oops. Oddly enough (given we live in a tech world and I’d also pre-ordered the audiobook for the same release date) Audible didn’t deliver that version until the evening. I will say it was harder than usual to work that day as all I wanted to do was hibernate. I should have taken a leave day and curled up – I would have had six un-interrupted hours in between the school run, so totally worth it. Next time!

BLURB: Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.
 
Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.
 
Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

I really enjoyed this book. It’s the first in the Trinity story arc and so, so different a world from the first book, Slave to Sensation (2006!) yet still the same. Seeing a glimpse of some older characters settles my need to have linking books, and I can see a few of the issues that the three cultures need to resolve showing thru to what will form at least the next few books (note Nalini, you need to give us more than just the Trinity conclusion!!) but as ever, Nalini’s characters are not entirely predictable (bears!). The only thing that I found jarring was who the culprit was, and I can’t say more than that so early on in the publication life. Perhaps after I’ve re-read (or finished listening) that will settle on me. I can inadvertently not “grab” a meaning because I am devouring the book too fast & I suspect that’s the case here.

Because I don’t seek to fund this blog & I purchased these editions, I won’t give specific links but you can read an excerpt or look for local editions on Nalini’s site : http://nalinisingh.com/books/psychangeling-trinity-series/silver-silence/ 

Lastly – I much prefer the darker UK covers. Thankfully that’s what we get down here 🙂

Book Review: Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh

  • Publisher: ARC in return for an honest review
  • Recommended by: previously read this author
  • Author blog/website: www.nalinisingh.com/
  • Moments for me: Noah reflects my view of my ex. Ugh.
  • Blurb: Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Excerpt: http://nalinisingh.com/books/rock-kiss-series/rock-redemption/

rock redemption cover

Followers will recognize the name – I reviewed another of Nalini’s contempory romances earlier in the year AND LOVED IT: https://sewscrapmuse.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/review-rock-hard-by-nalini-singh/ Unfortunately I can’t say the same for this one. I’d usually devour a Nalini then re-read straight away, but this time I struggled.

To be fair, I’m never going to love everything an author puts out. Early Stephanie Laurens? Yes Please. Later Laurens? Not even if you fed me chocolate. I guess I’m not as invested in Noah or Kit as I was in Thea/David or Charlie/T-Rex, then on the second reading I recognized some of my ex’s traits – denial of issues, avoidance of therapy/counselling, using people. Both characters are a bit tired/well-used/cliché, with the angst-ridden rock star and the ingénue trying not to ride on Mummy & Daddy’s coat-tails. I realize that the childhood trauma suffered by Noah is very, very real for too many people and we all have different ways of dealing with traumatic incidents, so please don’t take this as criticism of the way Singh has chosen to write the resolution of Noah’s issues.

There are other parts of the story I really liked, such as Thea’s explanation of fandom and the naming of “it” couples (think Brangelina). There’s the back story about how the band formed and a glimpse (more than a few) into Abe & Sarah’s story, which will wrap up the series. I’m certainly not put off the author or the series – I just probably won’t read this installment again. Two & a half stars from me.

NOW AVAILABLE

Author Information

naliniNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a beautiful, charismatic guitarist with a dark past. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

$50 AMAZON Gift Card

Share Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDk5NjRmMDM5ZDM4YTBjYWM0YzAyYzM0NGI2ODRhOjc0Ng==/?

And lastly, if you need incentives to sign up to her eNewsletter, Nalini bribes with free stories on the newsletters first: http://www.nalinisingh.com

Cover Reveal – Rock Redemption

You might remember that I LOVED book two…I have high hopes for this one!

rock redemption cover

Kit and Noah’s rock star romance is finally here in the newest addition to Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss Series!!  

PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE

Releasing: October 6th

From New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh comes the next contemporary romance in the Rock Kiss series…

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting–needing–to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Meet the Author

nalini

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a beautiful, charismatic guitarist with a dark past. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand (EDIT: in MY beautiful city!!), and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

REVIEW Slave to Sensation

If you’re a guy, tune out…now.

178476

the first edition cover

STS is the first book in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series by Nalini Singh. It was one of the first paras I read, way way way back in 2008 when I was working with the Fiction buyer at the then major book chain here in NZ, and set the standard as to what I expect –clever hot guys, clever powerful women, family ties, punctuation & depth. I’m not going to go in-depth on the book as I really think you’ll enjoy it without my spoilers!

this was the cover of my print versions - lining up the cover guys always made them look odd!

this was the cover of my print versions – lining up the cover guys always made them look odd!

If I owned a print version still, it would be on my Keeper shelf. That’s the one marked “family-do-not-touch-even-if-I’m-dead”. As it is, it lies on both my eReaders and is regularly re-read, as I like to do before each new title comes out. Nothing like a binge! I would like to note that I was very generous and gave away my print versions to someone who had lost their stash & have regretted it ever since!

new slave

the new cover

Synopsis: Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind—and none of the heart…

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

  • There’s a prize draw to celebrate the launch of the new cover, which is open until May 31st (NZ Time). You could win one of 5 Psy-Changeling Prize Packs for 5 winners, open internationally!

One Prize Pack =

– 1 Penguin tote bag

– Books 1-5 in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, including the newly repackaged Slave to Sensation!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/984c05ae22/?

Followers will recognize the name – I reviewed one of Nalini’s contempory romances recently AND LOVED IT: https://sewscrapmuse.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/review-rock-hard-by-nalini-singh/

Excerpt link

Link to free Psy-Changeling Short Stories

And lastly, if you need incentives to sign up to her eNewsletter, Nalini bribes with free stories on the newsletters first: http://www.nalinisingh.com