Adventuring with A. yesterday -- went to Barnes & Noble. Got Suzanne Brockmann's latest in the "Troubleshooters" series. It's another one with a serial killer. If the heroine is tortured, I'm going to be upset. *mild spoiler* The last one started with the hero being tortured. That's really not too much of a spoiler, because you learn that in the first chapter. Oddly, I don't mind paranormal romances in which the hero has been tortured in the past, especially if the protagonist is a vampire or something, because they'll heal up physically anyway. I don't want them tortured in the present, though, or flashbacks to exactly what happened to them. I don't know -- it's a thing.
I got the latest in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. This one's about one of the wolf shapechangers, and I'd really been wanting to read his story. There was a previous book connected with the series in which one of the major villains of the series was reformed, and I didn't want to read it. He was a rather ineffectual villain, but I wasn't interested in his story. I suppose I should have read it, because the next (third?) book in the Dream-Hunter series apparently refers directly back to it, about the new villains on the scene. I started the Dream-Hunter one with high hopes, as I'd quite liked the first two. *spoilers* It started with the hero being horribly tortured, and being understandably bitter about it. Then you get the completely innocent heroine being sent to get him to help his torturers. Surprise, he refuses. Next, the hero, in his bitterness turns to the evil side. The heroine gets captured, and thrown in with him so he can torture her in turn. That was when I threw that book down. I'm sure her innocent goodness will get to him, and he'll never be able to actually torture her, and she'll bring him back to the side of light and happiness. I suppose I'll force myself to read it at some point. But I'm already a good ways into the Dark-Hunter one, and I'm really liking it. So far, it's retelling events that have happened in the past, but from other character viewpoints than had been shown before.
I very frequently start reading books late in a series before I read the first ones, and so it was with Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" series and JoAnn Ross' "High Risk" series. It's amazing how new some of the books that come into the secondhand bookstore are. Like shiny new. So I started the Virgin River series with book seven, and the High Risk series at book three or four. Now I've got the other books in the Virgin River series, and book two (?) in the High Risk series. The first in the Robyn Carr series, titled Virgin River, conveniently enough, has a midwife coming to the town and finding that the house she was promised is a ruined shack. *spoilers* She finds a place to stay, finds a romantic interest, then soon enough finds an abandoned newborn baby. She becomes attached to the baby (which was a "duh, we saw that coming"), and when she thinks she'll have to give it elsewhere for fostering, she starts crying and crying. Hero comes in, and she ends up crying on his shoulder. A lot. That's when I threw that book down. "Baby, baby, baby, crying, crying, crying, baby, baby, baby" doesn't work for me in a romance. I don't read a lot of "women's fiction" or family sagas from the viewpoint of generations of women, either. But I really don't want to read about weepy women in a romance, and angst about perfectly healthy and well-taken-care-of babies does nothing for me.
There are a couple more series which are getting somewhat spoiled for me because all the characters have "baby-on-the-brain." One that's not too terribly bad that way is J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Lover Avenged had little to do with babies, thank goodness, but all the fuss all the Brothers make about Nalla is cloying. The last book in Christine Feehan's "Dark" series had "baby, baby baby, women bonding, women bonding, women bonding, baby, baby, baby." I was really glad I'd gotten it out of the library.
Will probably note later how I liked the "Troubleshooter" book and the Dark-Hunter book.
"Sweet Oblivion 4: Swarm" came out today. I could see why Jordan said it had some gross-out scenes. *spoilerish* I'm so glad I wasn't eating when I read those veterinary clinic scenes. But Wild Bill and Michael seemed to be communicating more than ever before, and I really liked that aspect of it. You can see again, like in "Channeling Morpheus: Rebirth," how much Michael was affected by being bullied in school for being gay. He has a good perspective on how he was just being himself, but that doesn't mean he suffered less from the harassment. I was glad that Wild Bill was getting back into art -- it seems like that's something that would bring him out of himself. Being able to exercise that creativity has to be good for him. And I was happy that Michael had a best girlfriend again. He really needed that.