Series Books

CutandRunDo you love series books? For me series books are like a drug of choice to an addict – I’m drawn into their spell and can’t get out. Maybe series books are a ploy by authors to get me hooked on their dastardly drug; every time a new book is released I tell myself not to fall for it, this subtle manipulation that spells my downfall, 😆 because once I start reading the latest book I don’t want to leave the house or even eat. I HAVE to know how it ends as soon as possible. It’s as if I can no longer control my life that is being taken over either by aliens, hot detectives or rock stars. Has this happened to you?

I follow several series and they are all exceptionally well written.Some of my top favourites are PsyCop by Jordan Castillo Price, Cut & Run by Urban & Roux (now only Abigail Roux), The Draegan Lords by M.L. Rhodes (I wish she would release the next instalment of this series which is long overdue), 🙁  With PsyCop Property thumbnailand Without by J.L. Langley,  Sci Regency by J.L. Langley, Dangerous Ground by Josh Lanyon, I Spy by Josh Lanyon, Holmes and Moriarity by Josh Lanyon, Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion by Jordan Castillo Price, Deputy Joe by James Buchanan, The Administration by Manna Francis, Bay City Paranormal Investigations by Ally Blue, Coda by Marie Sexton, Deadly by Victor J. Banis, and Deviations by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne. A few of my series have ended: Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon, Heaven Sent by Jet Mykles, Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion by Jordan Castillo Price and Petit Morts by Jordan Castillo Price, Josh Lanyon, Sean Kennedy & Clare London. I can read them over and over again and there are no more surprises, which is a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. 🙂 At least there is no cliffhanger to piss me off because I know how the stories end.   😀

What is it about series books that have us so enamored? Is it the writing? The characters? The plots? The worlds the authors create? For me it’s all of the above and my favourite series fall into a mixed bag – from BDSM to horror to mysteries to contemporaries to science fiction and paranormals.

On the other side of the coin:

Have you ever started a series which you really liked and then discovered that later books changed the direction and the overall story arc? If this happened to you what did you do? Years ago I followed a vampire series. To my shock, when book 3 was released there was a new love interest for the MCs and a twosome became a threesome. I had thought that the MCs were happy in love and devoted to each other, and I became invested in them, but when the story arc and plot changed with the addition of a new MC I was devastated and immediately stopped reading the books.

Like many of you I wait impatiently for the next book(s) in my series, sometimes for 18 months or even longer. Occasionally, when a new book is released the story arc has changed so much I’m disappointed, in which case I usually move on and never read dangerous_ground_2011the series again because for me one of the best attributes of a series is that the original story arc is consistent despite new plots/adventures and the evolution of the series. Most important to me, the MCs must remain faithful to each other (outside of really exceptional circumstances), and in love throughout the course of the series because I don’t want to read about my heroes messing around with a new love. Can you imagine Victor and Jacob from PsyCop or Ty and Zane from Cut & Run with new love interests? 😯 😮

What are some of your favourite series and what is it about them that fascinates you?  Do you sometimes get mad if there’s a change in the story arc or a cliffhanger at the end of the latest book? Do you wish that certain authors had ended their series a few books ago because they have exhausted the plot and story arc and seem to be driven solely by making more money? Why do you love series? What would turn you off one of your favourites?

Comments?

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

26 comments

  • I love series books, always have. Like other readers I become invested in the characters and simply don’t want to say good-bye, preferring to know what’s next with those beloved characters and their friends and families. I love an action/mystery novel with a nice romance built in, and sometimes I prefer a nice, quiet novel with wonderful descriptions and a slow to get to know relationship. I’ve recently discovered Chris Quinlan’s novels and I’m loving them – quiet, lovely writing.

    I do a little dance of joy when I find out a new novel is in the wings from some of my favourite. Here are just a few of those favourites:

    – First and foremost – Josh Lanyon, in particular Holmes and Moriarity, Dangerous Ground, Adrien English and I Spy. I’d give much for a sequel to Mexican Heat.
    – Of course, Cut and Run. Love them.
    – Tere Michaels – Faith, Love and Devotion series
    – Sarah Black’s wonderful General and his Horse Lord
    – Jordan Hawk – Whyborne and Griffin
    – Harper Fox – Laurie and Sacha (and I wish there was a sequel to all her novels!)
    – Nicole Kimberling – Bellingham series and Sea of Stars series
    – Eden Winters – Diversion series (love Lucky)
    – K.J. Charles – The Magpie Lord (so happy to have discovered this new writer)
    – Lou Harper – L.A. Paranormal series (love this author’s writing style)
    – A.M. Arthur – Cost of Repairs series (just fabulous writing, wonderful characters)
    – Kaje Harper – Life Lessons (this is one of my Top 5 writers)
    – L.B. Gregg – Smithfield
    – Rhys Ford – Sinners series, Cole McGinnis series and Kai Gracen (love love love this writer, Top 5)
    – Sean Kennedy – Tigers and Devils series (I would give much for a book 3; read the novels over and over)
    – Elle Parker – love her flawed and endearing Dino Martini
    – Poppy Z. Brite’s Liquor series
    – E.M. Lynley’s Precious Gems series
    And I love Ethan Day’s writing, but in particular I’d squee with joy for a sequel to his “To Catch a Fox” series written with Geoffrey Knight.

    And I’d love to read sequels from the following writers:
    – Tamara Allen
    – Jane Seville

    So, um… yeah, I love a series:)

    Reply
    • Madonna

      You put me to shame. You follow WAY more series than I do.

      Some of the ones that you mentioned I didn’t include such as Tigers & Devils because I regarded them as sequels not series. Many of your series (Diversion, Life Lessons etc.) are on my TBR – I just haven’t had the time to read them. So few hours in the day and so many books. 😀 We have all been waiting on Jane Seville and I don’t think there will be a sequel to Zero at the Bone, which is a pity.

      Thanks for all the recs. for the series books I haven’t read. I have lots of catching up to do.

      Reply
    • So sorry for spelling the author’s name incorrectly. That should be Chris Quinton (not Quinlan). I can’t believe nobody’s recommended this author to me before. Somehow she flew below my radar but I’m delighted to have a treasure trove of her novels to dig into. 🙂

      Reply
  • Your statement, “Most important to me, the MCs must remain faithful to each other (outside of really exceptional circumstances), and in love throughout the course of the series…,” reminded me of Life Lessons series by Kaje Harper. Mac and Tony not only stay true to each other but they mature and adapt to their lives together.
    I agree with you Wave. I think I may die young waiting for the last book of in the Draegon Lords series. The release date has been pushed back again 🙁

    Reply
    • Hi Anna

      Thanks for reminding me about the Life Lessons series by Kaje Harper. Another one for the TBR. 😀

      I’ve given up on Circle of Ariend by M.L. Rhodes. I checked the date of my review for Fires of Ballian and it was January 2010, which means that in 2 months it will be 4 years since this book was released. 🙁 Circle of Ariend is no longer on the Coming Soon page at Amber Allure so I assume it won’t be released any time soon. Many fans, including me, are very disappointed.

      Reply
  • Ha! You make me laugh! I love series, but I hate most of the ones you mentioned. Ty and Zane especially should have walked under a convenient bus after book 3. Most series really lose something in later books. I don’t know if it is the lack of ‘getting together for the first time’ tension or if authors are just phoning it in because the series keep making money so why kill the goose with the golden eggs, but imho there are very few series that stay consistently good over multiple books. Of the ones you mentioned (that I’ve read) I only think Deputy Joe and Adrien English did. Of course many of the others you mention, like Psycop, Sci Regency, With or Without and Heaven Sent, I never bothered to read more than one, because I didn’t even like the first one.

    For me, the series that stand out as consistently strong all the way through are:

    The Administration by Manna Francis (Did you hear? TWO more books coming!! She’s working on book 8, but 9 is ALREADY DONE!)
    In the Company of Shadows by Santino & Ais
    Daron’s Guitar Chronicles by Cecilia Tan
    Captive Prince by S.U. Pacat (if you can call a trilogy-to-be a series)
    Gives Light by Rose Christo
    The Rifter by Ginn Hale
    Aisling and Wolf’s Own by Carole Cummings

    Reply
    • One of the reasons I love the reviewers on this site is that they all have different tastes, including me. 😀

      I like many genres and started reading some of these series several years ago and got hooked (I do realize that Heaven Sent is fluff but hell, there is room for fluff among all the serious books and I think these stories were my first GFY romances). 🙂 Of course I love The Administration series but I forgot to include it . I must add it – how could I forget? On the other hand, if I listed all the series I love what would be left for you? 😆

      Did you say that there are two more Administration books on the way? Can’t wait.

      I’ve read Gives Light and of course The Rifter (all 10 books) ; Aisling and Wolf’s Own are still on my TBR – so many books so little time.

      Thanks for your list, now I have even more books to read. 😀

      Reply
  • I love series 😀
    Cut & Run ( Just read Shock & Awe, SQUEEEEEE )
    Psycop ( still waiting for Spook Squad to pop up on ARe, I can’t shop from JCPs site and won’t shop at Amazon, charging me $4 for not living in the US, hell no)
    Dangerous Grounds
    Bay City Paranormal ( and book 2 in the spinoff is not too far away 😀 )

    Just to mention some of my favourites

    I seem to be in a really small (one person?) minority, I don’t mind cliffhangers, as long as they fit the overall story arc

    Reply
    • Hi Majken

      Isn’t Shock & Awe great?

      You’re probably right that you’re one of the few readers who doesn’t mind cliffhangers. they make most of us mad. 🙁

      You haven’t read Spook Squad? You’re missing out on an excellent book but I understand the financial issues. I didn’t realize that Amazon charged $4 to purchasers who live outside North America. Have you tried Amazon.uk? I’ll ask Jordan when it’s going to be available on ARe.

      Reply
      • I can’t s shop ebooks from the UK, they close accounts for that.
        But, not long until the ARe release, I did ask her back when she released the book 🙂
        Shock & Awe was awesome, as was Switch & Bait, now eagerly awaiting March and Balls & Chains (pre ordered almost a year before release)

        Reply
  • I love series books. I like to see the characters develop over time and when a new book comes out it’s like catching up with old friends. My biggest problem is that before a new book, I like to go back and reread the series so it’s all fresh in my mind for the new one. Some series are getting too big to do that so I at least reread the last one.

    My favorites are Cut & Run, Conventions by TC Blue and any series by Josh Lanyon. I love the Deviations series too but I found the last book disappointing. At the end of Bondage (book 4), Tobias and Noah discussed things that they would definitely not do in the future and then Safe Words (book 5) came out and they’ve done exactly that thing (I was looking forward to Tobias getting that piercing too but it never happened). It almost seemed like the authors didn’t reread book 4 before they began book 5.

    I have a soft spot for the Jarheads by Sean Michaels. It’s unfortunate that the author focused so much on the sex and not the storytelling because I really loved the characters.

    Reply
      • Hi Laura

        Like you, I no longer have the luxury of re-reading books in a series before the new ones hit. Too many series and too little time. I’ll check out the series by T.C. Blue because I love her writing. Thanks for recommending it.

        I haven’t read Safe Words but plan to do so soon as I love this series.

        I never got into the Jarheads series because the plot seemed almost non existent with the author depending almost entirely on sex.

        Thanks for commenting.

        Reply
  • Hmmm. I am with Feliz – love series but hate cliffhangers. So if author can make the books end without one – cool, if not – I will wait and read when the series are finished. As many here I loved “Magpie Lord” and of course the not leaving reader hanging at the end of first or second 😉 book is not the only thing I appreciate about these books but it is definitely one of them.

    Reply
    • Magpie Lord is a great new series and I hope that the follow up books emulate the first and second. K.J. Charles is one of the few new authors who has impressed me.

      As for cliffhangers, we all seem to hate them yet authors insist on giving them to us. Maybe we should boycott those authors who do that.

      Reply
      • Ha! UNfortunately, I’d have missed out on some great books had I consequently followed up my hate of cliffhangers–Missouri Dalton’s Hellfire Legacy, Alex Beechcroft’s fantasy-historical with pilotes( can’t remember the name now)… so…inconsistent, I know, but I’d have a hard time boycotting THAT :thinker:

        Reply
        • Sometimes we have to make exceptions but I can’t deal with totally changing the story arc of a series in order to add another MC or two.

          Dogfighters and Bomber’s Moon are the two fantasy books by Alex Beecroft about pilots, although these are more of a sequel than a series.

          Reply
  • I’ve followed several series, many of which you mentioned (though I still need to get around to read the latest PsyCop!)
    However, I hate cliffhangers. And I’ve found that those are often a deal breaker to me when it comes to series–a series book I can appreciate doesn’t need a cliffhanger, it’s written and ending in a way that makes me curious or even eager to discover more about the heroes without leaving me hanging. If that happens, I often move on and stop reading the series.

    “Most important to me, the MCs must remain faithful to each other (outside of really exceptional circumstances), and in love throughout the course of the series because I don’t want to read about my heroes messing around with a new love. Can you imagine Victor and Jacob from PsyCop or Ty and Zane from Cut & Run with new love interests?…”

    One of my current favorite series, Oceans Apart by LE Harner, does just that–and leaves the MC’s still in love with each other while both are involved with new partners. How the author made me buy that the MC’s had feelings for each other and for their new lovers was one of the things that fascinates me about this series.

    Also, I’d like to add two more great series to your list, “Hell or High Water” by SE Jakes which is tie-in/ spinoff of the same author’s “Men of Honor” series;
    and Eden Winters’s Diversion series which I can’t recommend highly enough.

    Reply
    • Hi Feliz

      I’m glad you warned me about Oceans Apart. I don’t think it’s for me although I absolutely love M/M/M romances. If I start a series with two MCs I would find it difficult to shift my loyalty to another MC or to include another partner or two into their romance. If this was a standalone book I wouldn’t have a problem (9-1-1 by Chris Owen is a great example of a book that started out with two MCs and halfway through the story another MC was introduced who I absolutely loved) but for me a series is different.

      As for cliffhangers, I don’t know why authors think this is such a good idea when they make us wait 18 months to 2 years for the follow up. Sometimes I just ditch the series because I get too frustrated.

      Reply
  • I’ve read and I’m reading several series that you’ve mentioned. Plus, I’m eagerly waiting for the fourth book in James Buchanan’s serias about Deouty Joe. As to what attracts me to the series – it’s always the characters. If the characters are comlex enough, interesting enough, I want to know EVERTHING about them and that can pretty much be achieved only in series. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey Lady M

      Like you, for me it’s all about the characters. While I love my series to have well crafted worlds, without the characters I wouldn’t be interested. For example Ty and Zane are the reason I read the Cut & Run series. There are so many excellent series around that it’s always difficult for me to choose a new one and I don’t think I have done so recently except in very exceptional circumstances.

      I, too, can’t wait for the new Deputy Joe book and I wish that James would write faster. 🙂

      Reply
  • Thanks for the kind words, Wave! I love me a good series, but I find series books daunting to start, especially if I know it’s a long series. Which doesn’t make sense, because once I get hooked on a protagonist or storyverse, I don’t want the journey to end.

    Reply
    • Hi J
      You know how much I love your books and I’m one of your biggest fans, which is why it’s so difficult for me to review your stories objectively. 😀 I can’t imagine how difficult it is for an author to develop the story arc for a series because there’s so much work that goes into it, including all the storyboards.

      I can’t wait for the next PsyCop book.

      Reply
  • I love series. I think it’s because a good writer can make me really care about the characters and even if there is a happy ending I want to read more about them. However, I think it’s important that the author has planned the series arc early on – otherwise, the later books can seem like more tales in their happy world rather than proper books.

    The classic example for me is the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon. Each books is excellent, but the whole series is wonderful. I also love his Holmes and Moriarity, Dangerous Ground and I Spy series.

    Others I like include L.B. Gregg’s series, including Men of Smithfield.

    Reply
    • Hi H.J.
      Thanks for commenting. You’re absolutely correct that an author should plan a series arc carefully. One of the reasons I have stopped reading a particular series is because each book is not part of the whole. I love standalones but I expect a book that’s part of a series to have a continuing thread.

      I love Adrien English which is as fresh today as it was when Josh first wrote these books over a decade ago. I’ve read some of the Men of Smithfield books and like them.

      Reply

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