September 16th is the release of the fourth and final book in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation by Jennifer Harlow. The F.R.E.A.K.S. stands for Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This is a team with their own special gifts that the government sends out to deal with rogue vampires, zombie invasions and other monsters you thoughts were only fiction.
The star of this series is Beatrice Alexander. Beatrice is a former schoolteacher and a telekinetic. Her BFF is the charming 500 year old vampire, Oliver Montrose, and the man of her dreams is team leader, werewolf William Price. Now, normally werewolves and vampires aren’t the best of friends, but add into the mix the fact that both Oliver and Will have some pretty strong feelings for Beatrice and things can get volatile.
In High Moon, Beatrice will finally get her man, but will it be all that she dreamed it would be, or will it simply be the beginning of the end?
Beatrice Alexander is no ordinary schoolteacher–she can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing skill she hasn’t yet mastered or embraced. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This top-secret branch of the FBI combats ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters threatening humanity.
With her teammates–among them a handsome former-detective werewolf and an annoying Don Juan vampire who’s dead-set on seducing her–Beatrice investigates her first case. Disgustingly dismembered bodies have turned up, bearing bite marks of the undead. Someone–or something–is raising a horde of hideous, bloodthirsty zombies. Armed with Bette, her trusty machete, Beatrice takes on the master of the flesh-devouring corpses, who’s guarding a horrifying secret.
Featuring a team of monster hunters with unique paranormal abilities, the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series combines humor, suspense, and supernatural crime-fighting.
Beatrice Alexander, telekinetic special agent, is still adjusting to life among the F.R.E.A.K.S. while wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. When Bea learns about her “special assignment” investigating a series of human disappearances with Oliver Montrose, her gorgeous but annoying vampire co-worker, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover. Disguised as a married couple, they infiltrate the gothic vamp scene in Dallas. While sniffing out clues, Oliver’s convincing public–and not so public–displays of affection have Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets. Between contending with her fake husband’s ex-lover Marianna and feeling guilty for hiding the mission from her werewolf crush Will, Bea discovers she’s not the only F.R.E.A.K. keeping secrets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver’s old enemy, the Lord of Dallas, decides to seek his revenge. Caught in the crossfire, Bea is up to her neck in blood-sucking trouble.
A supernatural love triangle + one indecent proposal Beatrice Alexander can crush a sixty-foot snake with her mind, but she can’t take any more of the drama that’s tearing apart F.R.E.A.K.S. Should she give it all up — her job as a secret agent and the possibility of a relationship with Will, the gorgeous werewolf? Bea’s hoping to get it all figured out on a trip home for Christmas. But soon her hunky ex-boyfriend wants to rekindle their romance. Then, a powerful (and super hot) vampire lord offers Bea an impossible ultimatum: leave San Diego and her family forever — or become his lover.
Telekinetic Special Agent Beatrice Alexander has fought hordes of zombies, psychotic vampires, and even a troll. But now she faces her greatest challenge: love.
Fully recovered from her holiday from hell, Bea has returned to the F.R.E.A.K.S. with a mission, to gain the love of her werewolf teammate, Will Price. Of course nothing is ever easy when it comes to love and war. And when the killing fields of a pack of murderous werewolves is discovered in the wilds of North Carolina, the situation goes from complicated to deadly. Because though Bea always seems to get her man or beast in the end, this time she isn’t sure she will survive with her love intact. Or with her life.
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.
Our Third Anniversary Winners are:
$25.00 Gift Card: Denise Z.
Signed copy of Rebecca’s Lost Journal: April
Signed copy of Searching for Perfect: Timitra
Copies of review books will also be going out to:
Thank you again to everyone who stops by and chats books with me throughout the year.
Happy Friday! If you saw my post this morning, and you must check it out, you will know that I misjudged the book, The Hook Up, and couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story and the characters.
No matter how hard I try to not grab books just because the cover catches my eye, sometimes you just fall for it. I’m weak. In this case, the guy on the cover just looks so…smarmy. Like he’s too pleased with his own awesomeness. I just started to believe he would end up being a jackass. Opps.
So my question to you this week is - Have you ever bought a book cover ever grabbed your attention only to leave you cold or like me, delighted by your mistake?
Up for grabs this week is a copy of Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare.
Giveaway ends Thursday, September 18th. Open to U.S. Residents, 18 years and older.
Real-estate tycoon Hunter Buchanan has a dark past that’s left him scarred and living as a recluse on his family’s palatial estate. Hunter is ready to give up on love—until he spots an enigmatic red-haired beauty and comes up with an elaborate scheme to meet her.
Gretchen Petty is in need of a paycheck—and a change. So when a job opportunity in an upstate New York mansion pops up she accepts. And while she can overlook the oddities of her new job, she can’t ignore her new boss’s delectable body—or his barely leashed temper.
Hunter’s afraid his plan might be unraveling before it’s truly begun, but Gretchen is about to show him that life can be full of surprises.
ORDER A COPY: The Hook Up (Game On Book 1)
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
eBook: 335 pages
Rating: 5 Star Touchdown!
I did it. I judged a book by its cover…and its back cover. I pushed this one off because I wasn’t in the mood for a college drama where the big pompous jock just wants to get laid by the one girl who doesn’t want him. I was so wrong. God, I love when a book kicks my ass for making it wait. Drew and Anna dragged me through a roller coaster of emotions. I felt such chest pains waiting anxiously to see which one would give into their fear first and tear them apart.
The last New Adult jock “romance” I tried to read included a baseball star who was dying to fuck his friend’s girlfriend. He wanted her to find out what a cheating bastard her boyfriend was so he could tap that. His observations about her ass were so…moving. The stuff of poetry.
So bad girl that I am I prejudged this book. I enjoyed Kristen Callihan’s Dark London books so I originally took a review copy because I was interested in reading how she would approach something not paranormal. But by the time this hit the top of my TBR list and after a few paranormal books, I was meh about this college jock book. I couldn’t have made a bigger mistake and I am so glad I didn’t push this one aside entirely.
And just like the spark that hits Anna and Drew the first time they lock gazes, I was immediately drawn into their passion.
Drew Baylor is the star quarterback in his last year of college, being scouted by NFL teams. He is the shining star of the school and every eye turns to him when he walks into the room. But it is sassy, red-headed Anna Jones that catches his eye and leaves him tongue-tied.
Drew grew up with parents who were college sweethearts and their love was still strong when they were taken from him in a tragic accident. His mother always told him “You’ll see, Drew. One day, love will creep up and smack you upside the head. Then you’ll understand.” And he did. From the moment he met Anna he started losing his heart. He is completely frustrated because no matter how hard he tries, Anna treats him like a leper and it’s making him crazy.
While Drew shines in the spotlight, surrounded by lots and lots of female fans, we learn that Anna spent most of her life in the shadows. She was slightly overweight in high school, an awkward introvert that no one paid attention to or befriended. She doesn’t like the attention being drawn to her, and the catty comments being made by the co-eds who want to take her place. She also can’t let herself believe in Happily Ever After for someone like her, not with someone like Drew. Unlike Drew’s happy home life, Anna’s father abandoned them when Anna was just a child, and her mother’s endless string of loser boyfriends doesn’t encourage Anna to put faith in forever love.
When their passion for each other can’t be denied, Anna agrees to a Hook Up with Drew but won’t acknowledge the word “relationship” at all. In fact, to protect herself from heartache which she is certain will come when Drew comes to his senses and returns to his Barbie blonde cheerleader types, she refuses to allow kissing, sleeping over, and she barely allows touching after the sex is over.
Yet is it not the kissing, or lack thereof, that cements their relationship. No matter how hard Anna tries to fight it. It is the fact that Drew opens up his heart and his pain and fear to only Anna. Their heartfelt conversations where Drew shares his pain over the loss of his parents and his fears for the future and simply opens up to her encourages Anna to share some of her secrets as well. But she does not tell him her deepest fear, which is falling in love with him and having him toss her aside.
Drew realizes that Anna is always ready to flee and every time he pushes to hard at her walls, he knows he has to pull back or lose her completely. Whether it will be her fear or his frustration that will put too much pressure on the relationship, we have to wait and see. Thank God this was a romance or I don’t think I would have survived. After the “break up” (because you know it’s gonna happen) every page I turned I grew more frustrated at friends, teachers, Anna’s mother, waiting for someone to shake the sense back into them or to be the voice of reason to do something, ANYTHING, to get them back together. Idiots!
And just like in Pretty Woman you are just waiting for that first kiss with as much anticipation as Drew and it didn’t disappoint at all. *fanning hot cheeks*
I freaking love Drew and Anna and I was so drawn in by them and their passion that I was anxious and nervous for them. I went into work to my books friends and grumbled “Someone’s going to screw it up!! I know it! I can’t breathe.” Then I told them I was passing my Nook around when I was done because they all have to read it.
Must read! Must read! Must read! Did I mention that YOU MUST GO READ THIS!
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’m thinking about her voice, that syrup-thick southern drawl that makes my skin prickle. I’m in the South now. Accents like hers surround me on a daily basis. Why it is that her voice affect me more than others, I don’t know. Nor do I care. She talks and I want to listen. Endlessly.
I’ve got it bad. Bad enough to be sporting semi-wood in the middle of a crowded room. And she’s not even here.
I take a sip of water, not really listening to the chatter around me. What does she do on her nights off? Frequent clubs? Hang out at a coffee house and chastise unsuspecting men on the unfairness of the glass ceiling? That makes me smile. I love the way her pert nose scrunches up when she’s irritated and her wide green eyes narrow into slits. Like she won’t hesitate to kick someone’s ass if she thinks they deserve it. Totally hot.
The water I’m drinking is warm and tastes of plastic. I set the bottle down harder than necessary. An antsy, irritable feeling grows within me. I don’t want to be here. I’ve heard all these stories and jokes a thousand times before. And while I love my guys, I’m bored. I want to hunt down Anna Jones, rattle her cage, and see what she throws at me. But I don’t know where to start looking. And it pisses me off.
I’m about to tell Gray that I’ll see him tomorrow, maybe hit the sack in an effort to at least try to get some needed sleep, when I feel a familiar tightening in my groin and along my back.
I have no explanation for how or why it is that I know when she’s near. I just do. Like a magnet to metal, my body swivels and my head lifts. And there she is.
Everything stops. My heart in my chest. My brain function. Fuck me sideways. Just someone stick a fork in me. I’m done. She isn’t in her standard t-shirt and jeans, or one of her soft little sweaters. She’s in some strappy top that barely contains her breast, those creamy, beautiful breasts that bounce and jiggle with each step she takes. Those breasts are going to be the death of me. I’m afraid I’ve audibly groaned.
And damn if I”m not the only one who’s noticed her. Too many eyes are glued to her chest. My hands clench. I’m no different than them, maybe worse, because I’ve made a habit of staring at her. But I’m itching to smack heads, send those eyes forward and off of her. I also have the sudden urge to whip off my shirt and tuck her into it.
She makes her way farther into the room, and I see the skirt. A swishy black thing that clings and sways around her pale thighs. Strong yet soft thighs that I know would feel so good parting for me, that would wrap me up and hold me tight. Je-sus.
A frown mars her face, drawing her auburn brows close and pinching her lips. If there is anything I love more about her than her breasts, it’s her lips. Deep pink and plump, those lips entrance me. Lips I’ve wanted to kiss since I first laid eyes on them.
She isn’t happy to be here. And she scowls back at a pair of girls who look at her as if she’s an intruder. I know those girls. Sports groupies. “Cock Jugglers” are what Gray calls them. And though it’s crude, it’s fitting. They’ve serviced more than half the team. Ugly experience has taught me to keep far away from them. I don’t like the smirks they’re giving Anna. She shouldn’t be here. We shouldn’t. I want to take her out of here and just drive somewhere. Maybe to that coffee house in my imagination. I’d be happy to have her lecture me on all the ways I annoy her.
Her eyes scan the room as if seeking a way out.
Look this way, I tell her in my head. Look at me. Give me those wide, green eyes. Lock them on me with that intensity I feel down to my bones.
Look at me.
Look at me.
As if she hears me, her pale shoulders tense, and my body seizes with hot anticipation. Her long lashes sweep upward and, bam those eyes find mine. It’s like being blindsided, only heat and breathless pleasure overwhelms me instead of pain.
Her full lips part as if she’s taking a shocked breath, and I find myself doing the same. Jesus, I want her. She watches me, a mixture of anxiety and raw excitement gleaming in her eyes. I need to find a way to erase that anxiety. I need to know her better. Nothing on earth is stopping me from going to her.
Adrenaline rushes through my veins and my heart rate increases. Game on.
ORDER A COPY: Shatter (True Believers)
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 4 stars
The last book of the True Believers gives us Kylie and Jonathon, college students, who will have to deal with a very grown up problem after one night of passion. You will laugh and cry with these delightful characters as they deal with the ups and down of an unplanned pregnancy and getting to know the future parent of their child.
Kylie Warner is trying to get over the betrayal of her boyfriend Nathan, who slept with her best friend Robyn during summer break. Nathan keeps trying to reconcile with her while placing the blame on everyone but himself. Her depression and heartbreak isn’t helping her focus on her classwork and she is in serious jeopardy of failing her chemistry class.
That’s why she needs to meet with grad student Jonathon Kadisch for chemistry tutoring. Even though perky Kylie isn’t her usual perky self, the pretty blonde catches Jonathon’s eye while Kylie is enjoying his geek-chic style. This leads to a few sparks and a walk home on the dark night ends in Kylie’s apartment and a night of passion starts the these two on a path they never anticipated. I anticipated being disappointed in Kylie for her lack of responsibility when condoms are easily obtained, but there is a reason why condoms are only 85% effective and Jonathon’s sperm beat the odds.
Props to Kylie’s Mom and her family who was fully supportive of Kylie’s news, and after a period of Holy Shit! Jonathon got on board as well. I enjoyed how adult Kylie and Jonathan acted once they accepted that they were bound to become parents. I also like how Jonathan took over the role of protector of Kylie since she was having a very bad first trimester.
Although neither was certain how far the other wanted to take their new forced relationship, they had a very adult conversation that they would like to try to get to know each other to see if maybe they can have more of a relationship than just a weekend pass off to Dad.
There are many stories out there where an unplanned pregnancy is hidden or a point of contention or distrust and I appreciated Erin McCarthy’s attempt to have these college students grow up quickly and deal with their new future in a very grown up way. Jonathan decided to put off obtaining a masters in favor of getting a job to take care of his child and did it without feeling unfairly put out. Both Kylie and Jonathon became excited about their future child and their future together. Even though it was not a straight road for them, I truly enjoyed the story told and the changes to these characters as they were forced to mature very quickly.
This was a strong ending to the series and although we get a one year later epilogue, which was the wedding of Jessica and Riley, I still would have like to see to how our first couple Tyler and Rory survived the pressures of her becoming a doctor and where Tyler would be, although there was talk of Tyler going back to school.
I liked this series and enjoyed the first and last books in this series best.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
When the buzzer went off letting me know I had a visitor at the front door, I ignored it. My first thought was that it was Nathan. But then I got the text from Jonathon as the buzzer rang again.
Downstairs. Worried about you. Can I come up?
Oh, crap. Could I look any shittier? No. No, I couldn’t.
I debated telling him to go away. But he texted again.
Brought you a smoothie. And anti-nausea medication that is safe for the baby.
Okay, I could get over the fact that I looked like ass if he could make even one one-hundredth of my symptoms go away.
I struggled to a sitting position, then weaved to the DOOR button and hit it, holding it as long as I could before I felt dizzy, to make sure he was in. Then I unlocked my door and collapsed back onto my bed. This was worse than any hangover I’d ever had.
Jonathon knocked on the door a minute later and I tried to yell “come in,” but nothing but a pathetic whimper came out. He opened the door anyway and stepped inside.
“Kylie? Oh my God, are you okay?”
I tried to turn my head and I saw spots in front of eyes. Suddenly Jonathan was down on his knees next to the bed, brushing my hair back off my forehead. His face looked concerned, his touch cool and gentle. “That feels good,” I murmured.
“What’s going on here? How long have you been in bed?”
“Three days. I think.”
“Have you eaten?”
Just the word made my stomach lurch and I heaved, slapping my hand over my mouth. “No.”
“Are you drinking water or anything?”
“How little?” He picked up the water bottle off the nightstand and shook it. “How often are you filling this up?”
“I don’t think I have refilled it.”
“When was the last time you went to the bathroom?”
I frowned. That was a little personal. “I’m not sure. Not today. I don’t think. What time is it anyway?”
“Oh.” I closed my eyes again, fatigue overcoming me. It was like when I’d been given anesthesia for my wisdom teeth removal. You wanted your eyes to stay open, but they drifted closed anyway.
He shook me a little and I tried to swat at him but I had a hard time lifting my arm. It was like I was underwater.
“Take a sip.”
A straw was shoved into my mouth. I took a sip and swallowed. It felt good in my mouth. Cold and sweet. It soothed my throat going down. But then it hit my stomach and it went horribly wrong. I jerked to move the straw and threw up a dribble of pink smoothie and foul-smelling bile right down the side of my mouth and onto the mattress where it puddled under my elbow. Sexy times. That was me.
“Alright, we’re going to the ER. This is not normal.”
“I’m not normal?” I asked.
“You shouldn’t be this sick. And you’re either going to be dehydrated soon or you already are.”
I watched him go into the bathroom then he reappeared with a wet cloth and wiped my mouth and face with it. Ah, that felt good. Then he rifled through my dresser until he found a big sweatshirt. Helping me into a sitting position, he pulled off my sweaty tank top and replaced it with the sweatshirt. He put my Uggs on my feet over my socks and then he lifted me up into his arms.
“Put your hands around my neck,” he told me.
I did, learning against his chest, too exhausted to protest that he didn’t need to do this. That I didn’t need the ER. “You smell good,” I murmured, his scent the only thing that hadn’t clogged my nostrils and made me want to hurl in the last week. “Clean.”
He gave a soft laugh. “Even in the midst of morning sickness the chemistry of attraction applies. Because I was thinking that you are absolutely beautiful.”
ORDER A COPY:
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Hardcover: 432 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Absolutely disappointing. For this story Sherrilyn Kenyon chose such an obscure legend to base her story off of that I had a hard time keeping up with all the names and all the bad guys. A boatload of cameo appearances from the series wasn’t enough to make me enjoy this story.
Son of No One is the most recent release by Sherrilyn Kenyon who has given us such wonderful stories in the Dark Hunter/Were Hunter/Dream Hunter series.
We meet Josette Landry who is cousin to the Devereaux clan. She is recently divorced from her cheating husband, who although he is unemployed, managed to walk away with all their money. Her house has been foreclosed and all she has in the world is her beat up 1964 Ford Falcon. She is in New Orleans to live with her cousins until she can find a job and rebuild her life.
Jo and cousin Amanda are the only paranormal skeptics in the clan, but Karma Devereaux has offered her a job as a videographer while they investigate paranormal happenings in some of the local homes. Since they already lost several camera people, the offer is something that the cash strapped Jo can’t refuse.
While setting up in one of the local homes, Jo trips and goes crashing through the large mirror like Alice through the Looking Glass. In this new reality where everything is in black and white, Jo is saved from attack by zombie like creatures by Cadegan
Cadegan Maboddiumun (which translates to “Cadegan Son of No One”) is a demigod/demonkyn since his mother was the goddess Brigid, and his father was the demon Paimon, who is the son of the demon, Noir. (Said like we should know how bad that is.) In fact this story is chock full of listings of relations. “I’m Talon of the Morrigantes. My wife is the granddaughter of the Mórrígan and the Dagda. We’re cousins.” All I could think of was the Spaceballs speech where Dark Helmet tells Lonestar.
At his birth Cadegan is left in a local monastery to be raised in the hopes that he won’t come across evil amongst the brothers. But we know that evil lurks everywhere and even in this tiny monastery, Cadegan was accused of stealing money and was severely punished for it although he wasn’t the thief. One of the Brothers let him take the fall. Cadegan couldn’t hide in the monastery forever and when war came through their town, twelve-year-old Cadegan was conscripted by the King to join his army. Unaware of his demon side, Cadegan was surprised how well he fought even when no one bothered to train him.
At this point, Cadegan’s brother Leucious finds him and convinces him to come fight with him against the demons. Eventually even Leucious turns on him because he believed that Cade’s demonside was winning out and he condemns him to this limbo world of Terre Derrière le Voile where he is trapped in the mirror. We have been introduced to Leucious in the Hellchasers stories and we know him better as Thorn.
Now when Cade and Jo meet, we have only just started on all the crazy names that we need to know for this story. And by God, everyone has at least one accent over their name so much so that now I want to change my name to Ľűćŷ. Cade takes Jo home until daylight when it is safer to go out. In the morning, he tries to return her through the portal and it is closed. So he goes to the dark wizard Brenin Gwyn ap Nudd to make a deal for the wizard to create a dragon key to the world of men so that Jo can leave before the autumnal equinox when she will be stuck here forever. He can’t go to another of the other named wizards or demons because he trusts them even less than Gwyn even though the price he will need to pay to free Jo is pretty steep.
I thought, “Okay the story will be quest for the items”, not so much. Overnight the back stabbing has begun and the dark wizard switches Cade and Jo’s bodies, which leads to having sex in each other’s bodies so they know what it feels like for the other. Ewww. Ewww. Ewww. I was a quite uncomfortable about the whole having sex with yourself aspect and felt a little creepy about the whole thing. The point of body switching first includes Gwyn being able to capture Jo as Cadegan since they will torture her for Cadegan’s memories to get the treasure he is protecting. The second point is that Jo’s family with the help of Thorn and Asheron pull Jo from the mirror realm. Cadegan as Jo goes batshit crazy on Thorn/Leucious until a rescue party is sent back in for Jo.
The remainder of the book includes back and forth trips and rescue parties first to rescue Jo and return her body to her and then to go back to rescue Cadegan who ended up getting left behind, with many, many strange named people popping up who all want to get their hands on Cadegan either to get their hands on the treasure he protects or to turn over Cadegan for the huge bounty that his demon father has placed on his head.
It comes up in the story that Cadegan/Jo’s story mirrors the story of ancient Goddess, Britomartis, cousin of Artemis, who had a magic mirror and saw the Welsh prince and fell in love with him and traveled through the mirror where they lived happily ever after as mortals and that Cadegan and Jo are descendants of the original goddess and Welsh price and are reliving their story. She screwed up her face in distaste. “Please don’t tell me we’re related. Honey, I ain’t that Southern.”
I can tell you that after 150 pages I was ready to toss this book and move on but decided to tough it out. The dozen unpronounceable and similar names was making me crazy and the story itself wasn’t all that exciting and it included several sidetrip flashbacks to Cadegan’s youth in the middle of scenes.
I would recommend that even fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon pass this one by and save yourself several hours of disappointment.
“How big is this dragon, anyway?”
He paused to consider it. “I’ve only seen him from a distance. When he’s flying in the sky, hunting for prey. But from nip to tail, I’d say about twenty-five to thirty feet.”
“That’s a big-ass dragon. Does he breathe fire?”
“I know naught, but would assume it.”
Great. A giant, fire-breathing dragon. Just what she’d put on her Christmas list.
Suddenly, Jo realized they weren’t entirely alone in the woods. Trying not to panic or be an alarmist, she reached out quietly and put her hand on Cadegan’s arm. “What would his range be on that fire?”
“No idea, lass, why?”
She held him by her side. “Because I’m looking at him and he doesn’t appear happy that he has guests.
Cadegan froze as her words hit him. The blood drained from his face as he turned to see the dragon crouched low, watching them.
“Nice, draggy, draggy,” Josette breathed in a singsongy tone. “You don’t want to eat the nice people. Do you?” She shook her head. “No, you don’t. We’re not even snack size.”
His jaw dropped. Was she out of her gourd? “What are you doing, lass?”
“Shh,” she snapped. “I’m being a dragon whisperer.”
He was even more aghast at her words. “A what?”
“Dragon whisperer.” She slid her gaze to Cadegan. “I’m assuming that if you fight him, it’s going to be a bloody mess. Right?”
“Could result in both our guts and entrails flying?”
She patted his arm kindly. “Then let’s try my way first. Shall we?”
He snorted at her offer. “I’m not sure I like your way, Josette. It seems even more dangerous than mine.”
She winked at him. “Not sure I like my way, either. Just promise me that if he starts to eat me, you’ll flash us out of here.”
“I shall do me best.”
“Cool, now shush and let me do something galactically stupid.”
Amused and horrified, Cadegan held his breath as he watched her bravely and slowly make her way toward the dragon. He wanted to stop her, but she was right. Battle wouldn’t get them anywhere except wounded for him and probably dead for her.
Jo stopped before she reached the nose of the creature. Swallowing her fear, she knew she had to do this, even though what she really wanted to do was run screaming in the other direction.
“Hi, Mr. Dragon. How are you today? Feeling in a good mood, aren’t you? Yes. Yes, you are. You don’t want to eat people, do you? No. No, people taste icky. They’re sinew and gross. No eat people.” She shook her head to emphasize her words. “You’re gonna be a sweetie, aren’t you?” This time she nodded.
Maybe it was wishful thinking on her part, but the dragon seemed to be scowling at her as if he understood her words yet was baffled by her context. It was an expression she saw often on Cadegan’s face.
She took a step forward.
The dragon actually inched back. he made a strange, rumbling sound. Not quite a growl.
“Shh, it’s okay, Mr. Dragon. We’re not going to hurt you. No. We like dragons. I used to draw you all the time when I was a kid. I did. I had a whole collection of toy dragons. ‘Cause you’re a cutie, you are.”
It cocked its head.
Jo drew up short as she realized one of its wings was on the ground at a weird angle. “You got a boo-boo, Mr. Dragon?”
Cadegan drew closer to her. “Its wing’s broken.” He started to unsheathe his sword.
The dragon turned on him with a hiss.
“No!” she said to both of them. “Cade, keep your sword down.”
“Why? Now’s the time to strike.”
She shook her head. “I think he understands me.”
The dragon turned its head back toward her.
“You do, don’t you?”
He appeared to nod.
She inched closer and closer, until she was able to reach out and touch the gray scales around his nose. Treating him like a dog, she allowed him to smell her skin. “See, I mean you no harm, little big dragon.”
He didn’t move as he eyed her warily. As if he was as suspicious of her as she was of him.
She moved her hand slowly to pet his head, near his ear. “It’s okay.” She cradled its massive head against her chest and stroked his dry, leathery skin. Then she looked over at Cadegan. “See? He’s harmless.”
“I wouldn’t go that far. But I can understand his motivation. I’d be quiet too for a chance to rest me head on your breasts.”
The dragon growled at him.
“Now, boys,” she teased. “Play nice.”
OMG! I can’t believe it’s been three years now since I started this insanity. Thank you again for all the support this past year and for stopping by to discuss books.
I spent some time this weekend discussing blogs and web design with my niece. Since it has been three years and I don’t plan to stop blogging yet, we discussed going Pro and getting down to some series web designing. I hope that we can get something new up by the end of the year. Yes, it will take that long because my brain hurts after hours of reviewing web pages and banner pictures. If you notice changes to post formats or new extras it will be all part of my Get Serious About Blogging makeover as we start gearing posts toward a new design.
To celebrate EBookObsessed’s anniversary, this year I will be giving away one (1) Grand Prize of $25 Gift card from your choice of Barnes & Nobles or Amazon. I will also be giving away my remaining signed copies from my trip to Memphis: signed copies of Lisa Renee Jones’s Rebecca’s Lost Journal and Jennifer Proby’s Searching for Perfect.
I also have several review copies up for grabs as consolation prizes.
Giveaway ends Friday, September 12th. Open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older.
Happy Friday! I just finished back to back the Larissa Ione’s MoonBound Clan Vampire series which I really enjoyed. I know where my TBR list is telling me to go next, but I’m not sure I want to read that right now. *Grrrr* Sometimes its so hard to decide what to read next. Maybe I’ll treat myself to something offlist.
Have you ever had trouble moving on to the next book or choosing what to read next?
This week’s giveaway is a copy of Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall. I love her Immortal Guardians series and this book was delightful. :)
Giveaway ends Thursday, September 11, 2014. Open to U.S. Residents, 18 years and older.
For centuries, Lisette d’Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can’t bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians’ command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for–and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.
Zach is an exile, a loner. He won’t defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he’ll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?
ORDER A COPY: Bound by Night (Moonbound Clan Vampires)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: September 24, 2013
Paperback: 392 pages
Rating: 4 stars
A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .
A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.
Once Nicole Martin believed in a fantasy world where the family’s vampire servants enjoyed serving her family. She once believed that her family took care of these vampires who would have lived like animals without her family’s care. She also believed that these vampires would never, ever hurt them. At least she did until the day the vampire slaves at her family’s home rebelled and murdered her parents, and tried to drain her of her blood.
Twenty year later, Nicole has been told she must step into her father’s role and become the new CEO of Daedalus, the largest researcher and supplier of vampire slaves. She has spent her time learning vampire physiology and helping to create cures for human health issues based upon what she learns from her research. She doesn’t wish to become CEO, she would rather remain in her lab and leave the running of the company to her half brother, Charles, but her father’s Will decrees that his legitimate daughter step up and take the reins of the company.
After the night of her attack, Nicole holds no love for the vampires but she would never intentionally harm a living creature. When the vampires in her lab were executed, on a directive signed by Nicole, she knows that someone is setting her up to take a fall, but she doesn’t know who. Before she is able to figure out who is behind the executions, one of her worst nightmares shows up at her front door. Twenty years prior Nicole watched the vampire Riker kill his mate and their unborn child and there was nothing Nicole could do to stop him.
Now Riker has kidnapped Nicole to use as leverage to get Daedalus to return to them a female vampire taken by poachers. This female is a midwife and she belongs to the rival clan, ShadowSpawn. Vampires have a very low birth rate and high mortality rate for their women and children and the MoonBound clan borrowed Neriya’s services. A midwife of Neriya’s talent is very valuable and ShadowSpawn is blaming her loss on MoonBound. If they don’t return her by the full moon there will be a war between the clans.
While under the “care” of MoonBound, Nicole is learning first hand that everything she has ever been told about the vampires is wrong. It is hard to swallow that the vampires that humans have been enslaving all this time aren’t the beasts she was led to believe and knowing that her family and their company has done these people the most wrong is weighing heavily on her soul. Can she now work against her family’s company to help MoonBound retrieve Neriya before ShadowSpan declares war, and if she does, will anyone trust the help coming from their former enemy?
It took me awhile to get into this story because of the world building. I misinterpreted some of the information on the book jacket. I thought the uprising of the vampires slaves caused the vampires to now be in charge of the world. That is not correct. As a leg up, here is some information: (1) the vampire uprising was not universal. It was only at Nicole’s house and the vampires only killed her parents and their party guests. (2) We never really find out how Nicole survives the attack. (3) Vampires are still used as slaves. (4) Wild Vampires still survive in clans are in hiding from the human hunters and poachers. (5) Daedalus sells vampire slaves but also buys wild vampires for experimenting on as well as black market purchases for unauthorized experiments.
Once my brain caught up with all of the nuances of this world building, I really got into the story and I liked all the characters introduced along with the main characters of Nicole and Riker. I liked that Nicole accepted and acknowledged that her family has done wrong by the vampires and she immediately steps up to do what she can to make things right. She doesn’t try to defend their actions. She’s all “what can I do now to make things right.”
I will say that after 20 years of each blaming the other for Riker’s mate’s death, they seem to have had a reasonable discussion about the day of her death and got over their hatred of each other kind of quickly. This isn’t like the day my husband and I were arguing and the call dropped and we each thought the other was an ass for hanging up. This was 20 years of “you killed her” and it ends quietly with a “sorry I misunderstood.” Terese’s ghost does play into the story as a wedge between Nicole and Riker since Nicole’s family holding her as a slave was one of the reasons for her death and Riker feeling guilty for having feelings for Nicole after everything that happened to Terese. (BTW – That is a figurative ghost, but a literal ghost although this is a paranormal.)
You do need have suspend your disbelief a bit to enjoy the series since there are a few issues that at least didn’t make sense to me. First of all, the vampires clans are threatening war with each other. Since they are in hiding from humans and the poachers and hunters are always stalking them, it seems stupid to have an all out war–literally outside where all the humans will see them and hear them fighting. If anyone is left alive after the fight, the humans will have followed all the noise and be standing by ready to grab survivors. Secondly, each group seems to have created their own underground catacomb system. While ShadowSpan sleeps on furs on dirty floors and somehow manages to create cells for prisoners, MoonBound has embraced a more modern lifestyle including hardwood flooring, comfy furniture, big screen TVs and laptops?? I don’t get great WiFi out on my back deck, vampires in hiding in caves have cable? Hunter paused a news conference so unless vampires are stuck with VHS, that means they have DVRs too? Couldn’t the human just follow the cable connection to their lair or notice a satellite dish out in the middle of the woods? Hey, sometimes you just have to roll with it.
I am happy that I have a copy of Chained by Night, which is Book 2, or I would hate the cliffhangerish ending especially since it appears Larissa Ione will only be writing one of these a year. (UPDATE: Finished Chained by Night and it’s awesome!)
I felt really bad for Riker’s friend Myne. He’s a huge, tough natural-born vampire. He had been captured and kept as a slave at some point in his life and luckily for him, he was not among the male slaves who are normally castrated, but unluckily for him he was defanged. He now had titanium fangs which is great for warfare, but not so much on the monthly feeding from the females. Understandably his dance card is not full since his bite will hurt–badly. (I do have a problem with the male/female feeding issue, if you had a chance to read my Black Dagger Brotherhood post.) But at least in this case, the females need to feed on the new moon and the males need to feed on the full moon. Since there isn’t exactly an even ratio of males to females, no one dies if they don’t feed and get their sexual needs met, but it does make for some post-moon cranky vampires. So back to Myne, at one point he is left to look after Nicole for awhile when Riker needs to leave the compound, and poor, lonely Myne realizes how perfect Nicole would be for him as a mate because she is brave, smart, beautiful and caring of others but since its “Bros over Hoes” in vampireworld, he would never make a move on Riker’s woman. It made me sad that this big guy is so lonely and that even if Riker doesn’t claim her as a mate, Myne would never pursue her himself, no matter how much he likes her, out of respect for his friend. :(
I hope Myne gets a book next, but that will be at least a year away. :( :(
It was a slow start but overall a good story and very interesting secondary characters who are introduced and I am looking forward to starting Book 2.
This was my first Larissa Ione story. I know — WTF? right. I guess I will have to look into an audiobook catchup of her Demonica series.
Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This was an interesting scene between Nicole and one of the vampire women after she is taken to the compound and allowed to help out in the lab.
Nicole jumped at the sound of the scary Katina chick’s voice right behind her. “It would be helpful if you guys would stomp your feet when you walk,” Nicole muttered.
“But then we couldn’t scare you.” Katina eased next to her. “What’s in that vial?”
Nicole followed Katina’s gaze. “The green one? That’s Kool-Aid. Lime, I think.”
“You’ll have to ask Dr. Frankenstein.”
Katina laughed, a deep melodic sound that was as beautiful as she herself was. “I dare you to call Grant that to his face.”
“I already did.” She sighed.
“What did he do?”
“He called me dinner a la O-Positive.”
Katina laughed again. “Pretty cool how he can determine your blood type by smell, huh? Most of us can’t do that.”
“Cool is not the word I’d use,” Nicole said as she pulled a tray of vials close, “but we’ll go with it.”
Katina flipped her thick black braid over her shoulder. The vampire had fabulous hair. “did you know each type tastes different?”
“No, I didn’t.” Nicole squeezed a dropper full of liquid from one of the vials onto a microscope slide.
“It’s true. You Os are lame. Too metallic-tasting. My favorite is B-positive. There’s a spicy aftertaste I love.” She frowned. “It’s so rare, though.”
“You need to be eating Asian people.” Nicole checked on Grant’s whereabouts—far across the room, thank God. “Asians have the highest percentage of B-positive blood.”
Nicole’s stomach turned when she realized she had just offered an entire ethnic group of people on a platter. She might as well draw up a menu for all the blood types and people who shared them and distribute menus to vampires who wanted to know how to find their favorite flavors.
“Um…can you pretend I didn’t say that?”
“Nope. I’m so taking a trip to Chinatown tomorrow.” Katina playfully slugged Nicole in the shoulder, and it was all Nicole could do to keep from rubbing her arm and crying like a baby. “You know, I’m glad we didn’t eat you that first day. I think I’ll ask Hunter if we can keep you.”
Keep her. Like a stray dog or a captured wild bird…or a vampire slave. With every passing hour, Nicole became more and more ashamed of her race.
“How do you know so much about blood, anyway?” Katina asked.
“My specialty is vampire physiology,” she said, happy to talk about something she actually enjoyed. “To know how vampires work, I need to know how humans work. Vampires are dependent on humans to live, which means I need to know everything I can about blood and how it affects vampires. Blood type can play a huge role in everything from the vampire origins to how vampires breed, mature, get diseases…The possibilities are endless, especially when we apply what we’ve learned about vampires to human medicine. It’s fascinating. I even discovered a way to use the vampire rac1b2 protein to cure ovarian cancer in humans.”
Nicole took a deep breath. “Aaaand…I’ve just reminded you why I’m here and why you hate me, haven’t I?”
ORDER A COPY: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss Book 1)
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Publishing Date: September 9, 2014
Paperback: 356 pages
Rating: 5 stars
A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…
Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.
A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…
Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…
Zachery Fox knows he isn’t leaving the party without Molly Webster. Watching her smile at her sister with such open pleasure is stirring something in Fox. He has never met anyone as real and as beautiful as Molly and he wants her in his life. He’ll even pretend to agree to a one month affair to spend time with this very private and skittish woman, but he has no intention of walking away from her. He has a month to convince Molly that what they have together is too important to walk away from and it is certainly worth the inconvenience of living with him in the spotlight.
Fox just doesn’t know that Molly has already been forced into the spotlight and will do anything to avoid ever catching the media’s attention again. When she was 15, her politician father was caught with a 15 year old classmate of Molly’s. The media and their mudslinging wasn’t the only evil that Molly faced. She was tormented ruthlessly by her classmates and only her friend Charlotte stood by her side. Now Molly only wants to live quietly and have an ordinary life. As the month progresses, her feelings for Fox only grow stronger and her pain increases. She doesn’t want to lose him and the idea of him with another woman is breaking her heart. She is unaware that Fox has no intention of walking away from her.
When the times arrives for Schoolboy Choir to hit the road, will Molly have the strength needed to hold onto Fox and live in the limelight or will she allow the man who holds her heart to walk away so she can live a quiet, ordinary life?
I really loved these characters! Nalini Singh writes such passionate characters and now I can finally share her writing with my non-paranormal loving friends. There is a lot of sex in this story especially since they leave a party together in Chapter 1 and are having what is supposed to be a one-night stand before the end of Chapter 2. Yet it isn’t graphical described sex. I didn’t feel it was really New Adult but I didn’t think it makes it all the way to erotic romance. There was no bondage, no spankings, etc. It was just a rock star stripping down his lover/girlfriend as often as he could.
This story focused most on the two them and their budding relationship, sharing stories of their past and hopes for the future. Fox is a well-known star and every time they tried to go out on a date, they risked being seen by paparazzi and that was exactly what Molly wanted to avoid. You feel bad for Molly since she was so traumatized by the media, but some of her pain is that she is falling for Fox and she thinks their affair will be ending, while we know that Fox plans to keep her with him.
These characters blend well together and heal each other. Molly was a broken child from her father’s neglect and her mother’s alcoholism, both due to her father’s obsession with young women. Fox was a broken child because he was abandoned by his mother to the care of his grandparents after she got pregnant by a one-night stand when she was a teen. Molly fears the media attention and as well as the constant attention Fox receives from female fans and Fox fears her abandoning him. We see their bond strengthen over the length of the story until they become a strong couple.
The story is broken up into two parts. The first being their month long affair, and the second part where Molly agrees to give their relationship a chance to survive in the spotlight.
The only thing I don’t feel was adequately explained is why Fox was so focused on her from the start. We know that Molly’s half-sister Thea is the promoter for the band, and we know that Fox saw a picture of Molly on Thea’s desk, but I was waiting for some statement about how Thea would tell them stories of Molly or about how sweet and loving she was, but there was no revelation. I could understand how Fox could fall for Molly while they were together for the month, but he was determined to keep her from the first night even while watching her across the room. I never felt satisfied why he was so insistent.
One big ding to the story, which I just ranted about, was the virgin on the pill story line. I really want to take a survey of how many women are taking a daily birth control pill who are not sexually active so they can avoid a couple days of cramps.
I have been dancing with anticipation for the next stories almost from the first few chapters. I am almost disappointed that the next story is Molly’s sister Thea and drummer, David. David is mooning over Molly’s sister Thea who won’t date a client. It’s not that I don’t want to see how that goes, but I really, really, really want to know what happens with Molly’s BFF, Charlotte, and her new boss who she refers to as “T-Rex.” Charlotte also has deep dark secret which we haven’t found out about yet that effects how she interacts with men. In fact, it seems all the characters have some kind of deep dark secret which has molded their character. I also anticipate a story between band member, Noah, and Kathleen, Fox’s actress friend.
Nalini Singh knows how to write great secondary characters in such a way to get you as excited for the next story as you are for the one you are currently reading.
According to Nalini Singh’s website, Rock Courtship (Thea and David’s story) is slated for release September 30th.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Patience wasn’t Fox’s strong suit and he’d almost killed himself with it tonight. Then he’d just about killed David for getting close to her while he kept his distance. Now, finally, he was alone with Molly and all he wanted to do was mess up her hair, kiss her until her lips were swollen and wet.
Then he wanted to do it again. And again.
Fighting the gut-wrenching need that threatened to turn him inside out, he forced himself to lean back lazily against the elevator wall. “You’re Molly.” It came out a rough purr.
Her eyes widened, fingers curling into her palm. “Yes.”
He wanted those fingers on him—any part of him. “Would you mind giving me a ride?”
A large percentage of the women at the party would’ve taken that as the invitation it was and been all over him in one second flat. Molly, however, took a tiny step back. “Don’t you have a driver?”
Abdomen tight, he continued to keep his tone playful, easy, though he was feeling close to feral. “I gave him the night off.”
If she took another step back, Fox wasn’t sure he’d be able to restrain his need to put his hands all over her sweetly feminine flesh, taste her with his mouth. “I don’t know the address I’m going to.”
The elevator dinged at that moment, and he waited as Molly stepped out into the parking garage before following. The skin at her nape looked like cream; he wanted to lick it up, close his hands over her breasts from behind as he did so, press his rigid cock up against her. Yeah, he wasn’t in a patient mood.
“Oh?” It was a husky question. “If you don’t know the address, how do you plan on getting there?”
Unable to resist any longer, he bent to the soft, subtle, maddening scent of her and whispered, “That’s why I need a ride, Molly,” his lip ring brushing the shell of her ear. “I don’t know where you live.”
She dropped her keys.