Nov 8 2011 9:30am

Series Anxiety: Chloe Neill, J.R. Ward, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter

Drink Deep by Chloe NeillFavorite series often have us counting down the days until the next release. (I’m very sad to say we have to wait until March for Lover Reborn, the new Black Dagger Brotherhood book, and Sacrifical Magic, the next book in Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts books.) We spend the months leading up snapping up every excerpt, snippet and cover sneak peek the author posts on her Facebook or tweets out. Hording the glimpses of what will surely be fan-freaking-tastic.

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Chloe Neill’s Drink Deep. I lusted after this book from the second I finished its predecessor Hard Bitten. It came in the mail and instead of devouring it, I set it atop my dresser. Every morning and every night I stared at the shiny red cover. I had to decide if I was ready for answers to the mega cliffhanger at the end of Hard Bitten. Having promised my blog readers a review on release day, I finally bit the bullet. But why was it so hard to crack the spine?

It wasn’t the first time. With increasing frequency, I pre-order the book, get home on release day to see that pretty box waiting outside the door and then bite my nails before starting it. It’s not true with every book or every series, but with pivotal novels–say the final book in a series or a long-awaited characters’ book–I get nervous to start.

My mind races. What if it doesn’t do all the glorious things the excerpts teased? What if I don’t like Character A now that he’s hooked up with Character B? What if, God forbid, the plot is crap? I’ve built the book up so much that I fear it’ll disappoint. With my most beloved series, I just really don’t want to hate the next book. I don’t want to be forced to give up on one of my auto-buys.

Lover Mine by J.R. WardJ.R. Ward’s Lover Mine was going to be a deal-breaker for me, if it didn’t deliver. I held on to the book for weeks. I’d spent novel after novel becoming attached to John Matthew, and wanted him to get some happiness with Xhex. And, damn if the ending of the previous Black Dagger Brotherhood novel didn’t make me nervous. She was missing. (She’s also a hard-ass, and not particularly interested in relationships.) I know the formula in BDB novels. It’s understood there will be some happily-for-now action by the end of the novel, but if Ward had done wrong by John Matthew, I’d have been gone. Seven books in, I didn’t want to lose my Brothers. Thankfully, Lover Mine delivered a HEA that remained true to the characters. But I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be able to dig into March’s Lover Reborn immediately.

I think we’re all nervous about Lothaire. Kresley Cole is going to give the bad guy center stage. We’ve seen him violent, but now we get to see him love. And everyone’s craving it. (I like the scary ones, remember?) But what if it doesn’t work? Cole has managed to make many readers fall for less sympathetic heroes, so if anyone can make Lothaire boyfriend material, it’s her. Still… nervous.

The Darkest Seduction by Gena ShowalterAnd then there are the novels I know I’ll just devour too quickly. In February, Paris will get to take the forefront of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series in The Darkest Seduction. I have no doubts it’ll bring every bit of sexiness we’d expect from the man possessed by the demon of promiscuity. The thrill of finally getting a full taste of Paris is enchanting, but are you ready for it to be over? $10 says I will read this in a single sitting, once I decide to liberate it from the “Are you ready to read me?” spot on the dresser.

I flutter between excitement and nerves for books by Rachel Vincent, Jeaniene Frost, Eve Silver, Larissa Ione, Meljean Brook, and Richelle Mead. Which series give you reading excitement stress?

While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. (Her husband often reminds her that she’s taken.)

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Tori Benson
SQUEEE!!! Can't wait for all those.

I recieved an arc of Kiss Of Frost and it sat waiting for 2 months. lol I was so excited and anxious to read it. Luckly-it was well worth it.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
After getting burned a few times, I am totally skittish about starting a much anticipated book in a series. For instance, after hearing some vague spoilers for Mockingjay and learning it didn't go the way I'd hoped it would, I put off reading it for months. But even without spoilers, sometimes you build something up so much in your mind that the reality can never compete, so for me it's always kind of sad to see that potential at an end.
Jay Ringelspaugh
3. jpwire
I can't read ShadowFever. That's my dirty little secret. It sits in all it's hardback and beautiful glory on the bookshelf where it's been since I got it. I am just not ready to know how it ends.
Megan Frampton
4. MFrampton
@jpwire: OMG, you are so strong! I had to start reading that the day it arrived. But I have Drink Deep and still haven't started it yet bcause I've been nervous. I've heard a lot of negative stuff, so maybe I won't be disappointed because my expectations are lower.
5. ChelseaMueller
@jpwire - That's -- wow. I couldn't resist on Shadowfever. I wanted answers badly enough that I dived into that one the moment it downloaded to my nook.

@redline_ - I think if I'd heard the spoilers before starting Mockingjay, I would have done the same thing.

@ToriFL - Completely relate. I won't lie, I have the Shadow Heir ARC propped up right now. I want to read it, but am totally scared. And still a little angry, because I'd really prefer her to have some red-headed babies, if you know what I mean.
6. Steph.W
I love that we're all looking forward to so many of the same books with a shared excitement and fear! I read the first three Downside Ghosts (Stacia Kane) books in 4 days and when I finished the third book I wanted to cry and hit myself for not making them last longer, or atleast until March : ) I also can't wait for the new Lara Adrian book in January - Darker after Midnight. I'm not the biggest fan of Chase/Sterling but the storyline has been amazing so far. I am getting my hands on Drink Deep in a few days but I am terrified to start. I know what I want to happen, I'm just not sure that it will. I don't want my heart to be broken again : ( I'm still so excited, some great books coming out over the next year.
7. DebraLC
I am terrible at waiting. So I like to pick up an entire series and read it one right after another. Anyone have any suggestions for completed series in paranormal romance? And yes I too am anticipating Lothaire. Kresly Cole is one of my favorites.
8. ChelseaMueller
@DebraLC - If you like urban fantasy merged with romance you could pick up Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, Rachel Vincent's Shifters or Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series. All three are complete with five or six books in each set.
Jay Ringelspaugh
9. jpwire
I waited on pins and needles with everyone else, but because I live in the middle of no where my book didn't arrive until a couple of days after release day. By then I had heard a couple of negative things and I can't bring myself to read it. I don't know what's worse not knowing what happens or being disappointed in the way it turned out.
10. Laura G
By far for me it is The Hollows Series by Kim Harrisaon! Will Rachel and Trent finally find romance after multiple times trying to kill each other? But so scared they won't......
11. Toni H
DebraLC- Fever Series is great. Hard core darkness. You might try Riley Jensen series by Keri Arthur. It has an end, although there is a spin off. Huge fan of Sookie Stackhouse also. It's not a finished series, but there are like 10 or so books...it's fantastic. If you like funny...and I mean raunchy, naughty funny, check out Shelly Laurenston's Magnus Pack and Pride Series. They go together with Magnus Pack first. Lynn Viehl's Darkyn Series is great too
12. CindyS
Finally, there are others! I have a book by Anne Stuart that was probably published 8 years ago that I have not read because I heard something about it that scared me. I understand the anxiety - I have only received a few ARCs in my time and each time I was terrified to read the book just in case it wasn't everything I had been hoping.

Now, for on going stories like Kresley Cole's I have a hard time remembering characters because so many play in each story. So although Lothaire is a character everyone is waiting for, I really only remember him from the last book. So my expectations are not as high as others.

The BDB series however, lost me at the only character that had me from book one - Butch. I read V's book also to see how Ward could possibly have Butch and V not end up together and I'm still not convinced. I have been away from the series long enough that I am going to read Rhev's book because I was intrigued by him. The break allows me to go into the book with fewer expectations. I have heard the books are now less romance and more urban fantasy so I won't feel so bad skipping chunks of the book to get to what I want to read.

I'm loving all the recommendations as I need new series to get addicted to.

Alana Abbott
13. alanajoli
The only time I'm nervous about reading a book is when I know the writer, either personally or professionally -- every so often I start one and am gripped by the fear that I won't like it. Then what will I say when it comes up in conversation? Luckily I haven't had any serious disappointments from writers I correspond with -- but those first two pages are sometimes really hard on the nerves!
Julie C
14. Jaya
Read it! Seriously, I only got to download my copy of Drink Deep tonight, and I've read it all in three hours. I won't lie to you, it was a more difficult read than the last four, but it's quite action packed and yeah, there is somewhat of a surprise ending, but it's good. I can't say I'm entirely happy with it, but as with all the other books, the end of this one sets up for the next book Biting Cold. Which is of course coming next year.

Also, this is a good reason NOT to read other people's comments and reviews before you've read your new book.
16. rdsangel127117
The book I'm most looking forward to is Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian. Sterling Chase! He has evolved into an irrestible hero instead of the vamp I loved to hate in the beginning when he first appeared. I want to read his story, but I don't won't too. It may sound crazy, because I've waited so long for this book. Like you Chelsea, I can see myself sitting back and just looking at that beautiful cover and coveting it. Once I start reading it, I know I won't have anything else to read about him. I'm going to be so in Chase withdrawal.

Kresley Cole's Lothaire is someone who I've never really thought about as a hero, because he's always been a villain. If anyone can show another side of him, it's Ms. Cole. I've read all of her books and haven't been disappointed yet. After reading how much of a perfectionist she is, I don't expect this book will be anything but her very best ... as always.

I'm a J.R. Ward fan, but I've been disappointed in the last two books of hers. Lover Mine and Lover Unleashed. I didn't like either of them. So much build up. Small excerpts and revelation of the book covers had me on a can't wait to read them high. Both books turned out not to be what I expected. I want Tohr to find love again and I want to see how he's come to the point where he's ready to start over, but I'm really scared to read his book. I don't want to read any excerpts from Lover Reborn. No tidbits. Nothing! After Vishous character was butchered in Lover Unleashed, I'm reluctant to have high expectations for Tohr's book. There I was all ready for at least a 700 plus page book that concentrated on the love story of Payne and Manny with some V thrown in. Instead I get a fast psychological breakdown of a complex character that didn't make sense at all. He dominated that book, which would have made me happy if it was just a book about him hashing out his problems. How could she unravel the mystery that was V in that short a time? So, I'm not at all excited about Lover Reborn. Of course, I'll buy it just to see how everything turns out. Even the revelation of the cover hasn't helped fuel my enthusiasm. I actually feel bad that I can't generate more excitement for it, because this is one of my favorite series.
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