Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sexiest Vampire Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

Sexiest Vampire Alive (Love at Stake, #11)


ORDER A COPY: Sexiest Vampire Alive (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: September 27, 2011
Paperback: 370 pages

Rating: 5 Stars


The secret is out . . . Vampires do exist!

When a video reveals to the world that vampires live among us, it’s up to “young” vamp Gregori Holstein, VP of Marketing, to persuade the U.S.government to declare the video a hoax. But first the president wants a favor, one that requires Gregori to spend forty-eight hours in very close contact with the First Daughter.

Abby Tucker would rather spend her nights in a lab than attend her father’s state dinners. She’s dedicated her life to finding a cure that will save her dying mother and needs only two more ingredients. To find them, she’ll have to venture into the most dangerous region of the world—with a vampire. Her Armani-clad escort may be Undead, but he still makes her heart race. And the greatest danger won’t be the predatory hordes lying in wait for them; it will be her undying desire for the Sexiest Vampire Alive.


A video is going viral which proves the existence of vampires among us.  Before the vampire hunts begin, the Vamps need to convince the President that not only do Vampires exist, but that it would be in the government’s best interest to protect the vampires and work with them so the Vamps can continue to protect mortals from the Malcontents.   Who better to send to “market” Vamps to the President than Gregori Holstein, the VP of Marketing at Romatech.   Playboy vampire Gregori was turned after the invention of artificial blood and had never bitten a mortal for food.  He is a true “bottle-fed” vampire. 

The President might be willing to declare the video a hoax if Gregori is willing to assist in a covert mission to get his daughter, Abby, a biochemist, into China so she may collect some plant samples for her research.  

Gregori is certain that the mission will go smoothly if only he can convince himself to keep his hands off the President’s beautiful daughter. 

I have to admit to a certain bias in my review since I am a huge fan of Kerrelyn Sparks and her Love at Stake series. Her stories are witty and romantic and I just love all her characters.  Connor and Gregori were two of my favorite characters and I have wanted to read their stories since we first met them in How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.  Although I was a little disappointed in Connor’s story which came out last March, I LOVED Gregori’s story.  It had the perfect balance of witty banter, sexy flirtations and adventure.  

I waited in eager anticipation for word to pass to Gregori’s mother, Radinka, that Gregori was showing a special interest in Abby, and I as not disappointed when Radinka showed up on their date.  

The only disappointment is that after all the years of Gregori always teasing the vamps when they fall in love and flirting with their girlfriends to annoy them, I thought there would be a little more payback from his buddies once Gregori finally fell in love.  They were too easy on him. 

You don’t need to read the whole series to enjoy this story.  But for us fans, this story was a wonderful addition to the series.  

We talked with Kerrelyn Sparks on 2/27/12 about her series.


Favorite Scene:

“Your line, Gregori,”  Maggie whispered.

Abigail’s eyes popped opened.  God Lord! She’d forgotten for a second where she was.  She placed her hands on his shoulders to push him back, but then his lips brushed across her cheek. Oh God, was he planning to kiss her mouth?

His fingers curled around the strand of rhinestones, and his knuckles nestled in the valley of her breast.

“Gregori!” Maggie hissed.

“Cut!” Gordon shouted.

With a jerk, Gregori released her necklace.  His gaze lifted to her face.

Red glowing eyes!  “Aagh!”  She pushed at his shoulders.  “You’re going to bite me!”

Gregori stepped back.  “I wasn’t—”

Bam! Josh body-slammed him onto the floor.

“Abby!” Madison ran toward her.  “Are you all right?”

She pressed a hand against her thundering heart.  “His eyes turned red!  Glowing and red!”

“Really?” Madison glanced at Gregori, still pinned underneath Josh.

“I wasn’t going to bite you.”  Gregori frowned at Abigail, his eyes returning to their usual grayish-green.

“His eyes were red?”  Simone asked.  “Impossible!”

“I saw it,” Abigail whispered.  She’d been a fool to let herself be attracted  to a vampire, to think that he might want her for anything other than a snack.

“Abby, I can explain,”  Gregori told her, then glared at Josh.  “Get off me!  I could teleport away.  Or throw you across the room.”

Josh didn’t budge.  “I can’t allow you to hurt her.”

“I’m not going to hurt her!”  Gregori shouted.

“It’s true!”  Maggie said as she stepped onto the set.  “When a vampire’s eyes turn red, it doesn’t mean hunger.  He wasn’t going to bite her.”

“That’s right.”  Phineas gave Abigail an encouraging smile.  “Chillax, dudette.  He didn’t want to bite you.”

She wondered if she overreacted.  “He didn’t?”

“Naw.”  Phineas smirked.  “He just wanted to jump your bones.”

Her mouth fell open.

“Phineas,” Gregori growled.  “Let me handle this.”

The Real Werewives of Vampire County by A Ivy, A Fox, J Haines & T Dane

The Real Werewives of Vampire County


ORDER A COPY: The Real Werewives of Vampire County

Publisher: Kensington
Publishing Date: November 1, 2011
Paperback: 304 Pages

Rating: Each story rated separately


I’m Pureblood Were, And Proud Of It. . .

“Where Darkness Lives” by Alexandra Ivy

No one’s more surprised than Sophia when she’s struck by an unfamiliar maternal urge to move near her daughters. But instead of being greeted by a welcome committee, she’s targeted by kidnappers. . .and saddled with a gorgeous bodyguard on a mission to protect—and seduce. . .

I’m A Tomboy At Heart, But I Want A Man Who Makes Me Feel Like A Real Woman. .”Murder on Mysteria Lane” by Angie Fox

When a werewolf trophy wife is found dead in Vampire County, Heather McPhee goes undercover to investigate. Heather’s never been a mascara-and-manicures sort of girl, but she’s willing to learn. Especially with sexy vampire detective Lucien Mead posing as her husband. . .

Who’s Afraid Of The Big, Bad Werewolves? Not Me, That’s For Sure. . .

“What’s Yours is Mine” by Jess Haines

Still Waters is like many other exclusive gated communities—except that it’s home to one of the largest werewolf packs in the state. But Tiffany Winters isn’t frightened of her big, bad new neighbors. In fact, she intends to take her place among the pack. . .

This Is A Town Full Of Secrets. And I Intend To Uncover All Of Them. . .

“Werewolves in Chic Clothing” by Tami Dane

Ever since Christine Price moved in with her fiancé, Jonathan, and his twelve year-old son, she’s worked hard to fit in with a cadre of local women whose lives seem picture-perfect. Except no one in Jon’s upscale neighborhood is quite who they appear to be. Least of all Jon. . .


Where Darkness Lives – Alexandra Ivy. Sophia is a revered among the werewolves. She was one of the few females in the past centuries able to bear children. She is the mother of the four purebred females, one of whom was the current Queen of the Weres. But someone is trying to kill her, and she is forced to hire a bodyguard. Enter Luc, a gorgeous, purebred alpha male who wants to do more than just guard her body. Together they try to keep Sophia alive and feed their mutual desires before time runs out.

Usually I find that short stories feel rushed or the romance feels forced. I am happy to say this story was perfectly paced, and story was quite enjoyable. This is not the first time we have met Sophia in the Guardians of Eternity series, but you do not have to be a fan of the series or know the other characters to enjoy this story. We meet Sophia for the first time in Darkness Everlasting. In that story she is cold and selfish. I am happy to say that although she is still a bit self-centered, her character seems to have grown.

Very enjoyable story.

Rating: 5 stars

Murder on Mysteria Lane – by Angie Fox. Eternal Life Estates in Vampire County (or more commonly referred to as Malibu) is where the elite of the supernatural world want to live. And there is no hotter trend for the up and coming vampire, than a werewife. But when one of these werewives turns up dead, the vampire counsel send vampire, Lucian Mead, their best detective, to investigate. But Lucian needs help from werewolf Heather McPhee, who has the power to get into your head and pull out the truth. Although blending in with the locals may be hard since Heather’s idea of high fashion is something with a lot of pockets for all her weapons. Together they go undercover as the new mixed couple on Mysteria Lane to find out what happened before the werepack declares war on Vampire County.

This was a great story and I am sorry there wasn’t more to it. I loved the characters of Lucian and Heather. I have no idea what Vinny is, but I love him. He’s awesome!

Ms. Fox – Any chance you want to continue the supernatural crime fighting adventures of Lucian and Heather? I, for one, would follow them.

I enjoyed this so much, I have already downloaded Love Bites and Gentlemen Prefer Voodoo by Angie Fox (both downloadable at B&N for $2.99, as of today that is) and will be getting to those in as soon as I can.

Rating: 5 stars

Werewolves in Chic Clothing by Tami Dane. Christine Price quit her job, sold her apartment and is moving to Maryland to start a new life with a wonderful man who she met online. Jonathan Stewart is her Prince Charming and she is looking forward to her happily ever after. Except strange things are happening in her neighborhood, her new neighbors are…odd, and what happened to Jonathan’s first wife, was it suicide or murder…is her Prince Charming really Jack the Ripper.

This was a very intriguing and well written story. Not the usual fare under paranormal romance. It had a very Twilight Zone feel to it. You knew nobody was quite what they seemed, but you really weren’t sure who to trust, or even who was what. Couldn’t put this story down, and I certainly wasn’t going to bed until I finished.

Rating: 5 stars

What’s Yours is Mine by Jess Haines. When the women of Still Waters the exclusive, gated community in NJ saw Tiffany Winters they not only wanted her to join their yacht club, they wanted her to join their pack. The Diamondfangs want to increase their numbers, but only with the most elite people, and they think Tiffany might have what it takes. The question is, is Tiffany all she appears to be.

This was a well written story and it kept me interested until the end. Since I was not familiar with Jess Haines’ series, I was not sure when I was reading it if I was supposed to be excited for the werewolves, or be afraid for Tiffany; did Tiffany want to become a werewolf, or was she a spy for an organization to take down the werewolves. I did look up Ms. Heines’ HGW Investigation Novels which are about P.I. Shiarra Waynest, although this story doesn’t include Shia or her boyfriend Chaz. I am certain I would have enjoyed it more if I was familiar with the series and whether or not the weres or vampires were the good guys or the bad guys.

Rating: 4 stars

Received copy courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you!


Alexandra Ivy will be joining us on Mon., November 28, 2011. Check it out.


Favorite Scene:

Favorite Scene is from Murder on Mysteria Lane. My copy was an advance uncorrected proof so I apologize if there is any difference in the below from the final printing.

Heather: “Oh believe me, you haven’t even seen riled.” I stood up to him. Eye to chest. “When I can approach her on my terms,” on an even playing field, “her ass is mine. I’ll learn the truth.” He’d seen me in an interrogation room. “Trust me.”

Lucian: “No.”

“I don’t see that you have a choice.”

“Touché” he said dryly.

“Stop it. I don’t speak French.”

I kicked off my shoes. This was going to be a long three days. Still I had to keep my wits about me. I didn’t want to let my pack down.

Next came the knives. I stacked them on the hall table. I didn’t choose to be different. I stripped off my panty hose and tossed them over the potted palm.

The whole situation felt so suffocatingly wrong.

I shucked off my yellow baby doll dress and hooked my thumbs under the top of my bra and girdle combination. The cool air hit my overheated skin as I peeled the garment away. I whimpered in relief as it dropped to my feet. Heaven.

I used my toe to flick it away.

In a few seconds I’d be blissfully free. I stopped when I caught sight of my partner.

“What?” I demanded. He had a funny look on his face. Like he’d swallowed a bug. “Lay it on me. What else did I do wrong?”

“Nothing,” he chocked.

So much for honesty. How long had that lasted – five minutes?

He cleared his throat, his gaze positively feral.

Holy heck. Was he going to sink his fangs into me?

My pulse quickened and I took a careful step toward the door. “There’d better be some law against biting your partner.”

“I will not bite you,” he said, his voice rough.

“Then why are you looking at me like I’m the main course?”

“A thousand pardons,” he said, breathy. He’d even taken on a slight Spanish accent. “Your decision to disrobe was most unexpected.”

What did the guy want? I’d kept my red thong. God, I couldn’t wait to get back to the pack where I could run around naked in peace.

Frozen Stiff by Annelise Ryan

Frozen Stiff (Mattie Winston #3)


ORDER A COPY: Frozen Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)

Publisher: Kensington
Publishing Date: September 1, 2011
Hardcover: 371 pages

Rating: 3.5 stars


Death is never pretty, and deputy coroner Mattie Winston’s latest case is no exception. But this victim certainly was strikingly beautiful. . .before someone stuck that knife into her chest.

Mattie knows everyone in the charmingly small town of Sorenson,Wisconsin, so the deceased is definitely a stranger from out of town. If a woman this attractive had moved into town, the news would have surely hit the gossip mill in record time. So what was the victim doing here, laid out in this desolate field?

Things only get murkier with the arrival at the scene of the usually stoic and dependable detective Steven Hurley; one look at the body and he turns as white as the newly fallen snow. . .and excuses himself from the case. It turns out the victim was a top investigative reporter from Chicago, and Hurley not only knew her. . .they dated a year and a half ago, until she broke it off. While Mattie grapples with her jealousy of a gorgeous dead woman, Hurley swears her to secrecy and tells her. . .that knife in his ex’s chest is his!

It’s a case with more twists than Maddie’s own crazy love life, and it’ll take all of her forensic skills to unravel the increasingly bizarre clues and find the killer. . .before she herself becomes just another cold case!


Mattie Winston is delightful.

The story is about Mattie Winston, who is recently separated from her surgeon husband and as well as her job as an OR nurse.   She is now working as an Assistant M.E. in the small town of Sorenson, Wisconsin.   This is the third story in the series, and although I haven’t read the first two, I had no trouble in following along with the characters and the backstory. 

In this case, Detective Steven Hurley, who Mattie is romantically interested in, is being linked to various murders in their small town.   But is he a crazed killer or being set up, and by whom?  Hurley wants Mattie’s help to clear his name, but is she letting her hormones rule, in trusting a man what might be dangerous.

If you looking for a deep, psychological thriller, look elsewhere.   This is a deliciously witty, and lighthearted book.   Mattie Winston is a delightful character, and I enjoyed her sarcastic whit.  It is a nice change of pace that the heroine is a normal, slightly imperfect woman, who’s smart but a little quirky.  Since she is recently separated from her cheating husband, and is getting mixed signals from handsome Steve Hurley, she does spend some time questioning her physical flaws, especially while looking over the beautiful (although dead) ex-girlfriend of Hurley. 

I certainly chuckled enough to make this well worth the read.  I enjoyed this story enough that I am adding the first two to my list of books to read, and I am going to keep an eye out for the next book in the series. 

Received copy courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you!


Favorite Line:

From what I can see in the beam of the flashlight, the inside of the cabin isn’t much better than the outside.  The place is primarily furnished with cobwebs and the few pieces of human furniture look like something I might see at the estate sale of someone’s great-grandmother.  The air smells musty and damp, and I hear something scurrying about off in one corner.

“I think I should have let Parking Lot Guy grab me,”  I say.  “I’m betting his accommodations would have been better.”

Tempted by Elisabeth Naughton

Tempted (Eternal Guardians, #3)


ORDER A COPY: Tempted (Eternal Guardians)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: September 1, 2011
Paperback:

Rating: 5 stars + 1 big kiss for my hero, Demetrius


Demetrius is the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. For Isadora’s own protection, he had done all he could to avoid the fragile princess—his soul mate. But Isadora has been kidnapped. And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.


Demetrius is now my #1 Favorite Hero!

This series is about the seven guardians.  They are the descendants of the original seven Argonauts who journeyed with Jason to find the golden fleece.  The Argonauts were favored by the Greek Gods and granted a home called Argolea.  They protect their kingdom and the world of the humans from daimons, who are lead by Atalanta. She was an Argonaut not favored by the Gods (because she was female) so she made a deal with Hades for immortality.

The series involves the Argonauts (the Eternal Guardians), the Argoleans, the misos (who are mix of half argolean/half human), humans and the daimons, and don’t forget those rascally Greek Gods who are always causing trouble. 

Demetrius is a Guardian with one hell of an attitude problem;  he is descended from Jason;  he protects the humans and the people of Argolea; and he knows two things for sure:  (1)  Princess Isadora of the Argoleans is his one sole mate; and (2) he is hiding a very deep, very dark secret.   Why be nice to his fellow Guardians?  If they knew his secret, they’d turn on him.  What about Isadora?  There was no way he can get close to Isadora, no matter how much he wants to.  If she knew him…knew about him…   He spends two hundred years intimidating her, being mean to her, keeping her afraid of him.  If she hates him, he can protect her, but not be tempted by her.   Then Isadora is kidnapped, and after rescuing her, Demetrius is trapped with her and danger is all around them.  He needs to keep her safe and close.  Now he needs to fight the dangers outside, and the temptation inside himself.

A few months ago I read an interview with Elisabeth Naughton where she was talking about her upcoming book Tempted and about it’s main character Demetrius.  If you read the first two books of this series, there’s no other way to say it, Demetrius is a JERK!  He’s pushy, condescending, and outright nasty to everyone.   Right then I decided I needed to read this book and this series, because I wanted to know, “How are you going to make me like this guy?”  Well, I’ll tell you, after reading this book, Demetrius is now my top favorite hero of all time!!   He does all the wrong things for all the right reasons. 

Definitely put this on your must read list!


Favorite Scene:

Her laughter stopped him cold.

She wasn’t unconscious.  She wasn’t injured.   She wasn’t anything but soaking wet and laughing hysterically in his arms.  Her fingers sank into his forearms, his biceps, and then his shoulders as she pulled herself closer and the laughter died on her smiling lips.  “That doesn’t count as a rescue.  Now I think you’re just trying to pad your numbers.”

Rescue?  What–?

Water sluiced over her face, dripped down her forehead from her short blond hair, made her rosy cheeks glisten in the afternoon sunlight.   And her eyes absolutely sparkled as she looked up and grinned as if he were the biggest idiot on the planet.

Before he could stop it, a smile wound its way across his lips as well.  “I though you said you were going to start returning the favor.  That was a crappy save.”

Marked by Elisabeth Naughton

Marked (Eternal Guardians, #1)


ORDER A COPY:Marked (Eternal Guardians (Love Spell))

Publisher: Love Spell
Publishing Date: May 27, 2010
Paperback: 322 pages

Rating: 4 Stars


THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


This series is about the seven guardians.  They are the descendants of the original seven Argonauts who journeyed with Jason to find the golden fleece.  The Argonauts were favored by the Greek Gods and granted a home called Argolea.  They protect their kingdom and the world of the humans from daimons, who are lead by Atalanta. She was an Argonaut not favored by the Gods (because she was female) so she made a deal with Hades for immortality.

The series involves the Argonauts (the Eternal Guardians), the Argoleans, the misos (who are mix of half argolean/half human), humans and the daimons, and don’t forget those rascally Greek Gods who are always causing trouble. 

Marked is the first story of the series and features, Theron, the leader of the Argonauts who is the descendant of Heracles a/k/a Hercules, and Acacia (Casey) Simopolous, a small town girl, by day, trying to keep her grandmother’s bookstore afloat, and by night,  waitressing at a local strip joint.  She comes upon Theron who is being attacked by several daimons and takes him home with her so he can heal and recover.   We learn that Argonauts have no emotions and Theron starts our story a bit of a jerk, but the time he spends with Casey helps him tap into his human side and we see his character grow. 

The Argonauts are also cursed by Hera (since most of the original heros were fathered by her husband Zeus).  She curses them and their descendants to have only one soul mate and that woman will be the one person they would never choose for themselves.  I found this aspect of the story to be a little off putting.  Casey is human and although Theron will protect them, he feels interacting with humans is unfathomable. 

I wasn’t really involved with these main characters right away, but they did grow on me a bit.  Also getting into all the what’s and why’s of this series took some time.  I found some of the subcharacters even more interesting than the main characters, like Nick, the leader of the misos, and Demetrius, one the Argonauts which a serious attitude problem.   The third story in the serves, Tempted, will focus on Demetrius, and will hopefully unravel the mystery of his PMS attitude. 

I was interested enough in the series to give the next few books a try.


Favorite Scene:

“You’re doing it again,” she said from ahead.

He lifted his head.  “Doing what?”

“That muttering thing in another language.  Didn’t anyone ever teach you that’s rude?”

He glanced at the soft sway of her hips as she moved and the way she filled out the backside of her jeans.  “Would you prefer I spoke my thoughts in English?”

The husky timbre of his voice must have registered, because she stopped abruptly and turned on him.  Her cheeks were pink from the cool morning air, but there was a heat in her that had nothing to do with the temperature.

Her eyes snapped to his just before she swiveled on her heels and resumed walking.  “I don’t like you.”

One side of his mouth curved in amusement as he followed.  She was a terrible liar, something he discovered early on.  The knowledge thrilled him.  “Yes, you do.  You like me a lot.”

“I may have.  Once.”  She lifted a branch so she could move under it, then released it with perfect timing so that it smacked him in the face.

New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

Cover Image

ORDER A COPY: New York to Dallas (In Death)

Publisher: Penquin Group
Publishing Date: September 13, 2011
Hardcover: 416 pages

Rating: 5 stars


The new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author, which takes readers deeper into the mind of Eve Dallas than ever before.

The number-one New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb presents an intense and terrifying new case for New York homicide cop Eve Dallas, one that will take her all the way to the city that gave her her name-and plunge her into the nightmares of her childhood.

When a monster named Isaac McQueen-taken down by Eve back in her uniform days-escapes from Rikers, he has two things in mind. One is to pick up where he left off, abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. The other is to get revenge on the woman who stopped him all those years ago.


In the summer of 2060, dangerous pedophile, Isaac McQueen, has escaped from jail, and the only thing more pressing to him than restarting his collection of young girls, is getting revenge on Lt. Eve Dallas who put him in jail 12 years ago.   Knowing Eve’s violent childhood, he takes hostages and forces her to confront him in Dallas, Texas.  In Dallas, she’s out of her element, off her game and steeped in the nightmare of her past.  Eve and her husband, Roarke, work with the FBI and the Dallas PSD to track this killer before he has an opportunity to destroy more young lives.

If you have never read any of the In Death stories, let me tell you that Lt. Eve Dallas is one of those amazing, unforgettable characters.   You don’t need to have read the whole series to read this story.  But I warn you, you will need to clear your calendar because you will want to start this series from the beginning, and this was book #33.

Now for those of us who have read ALL the In Death stories, we know that Eve, with the help and love of Roarke, has been recovering from her abusive and tragic childhood.  This case is going to dredge up a lot of those childhood nightmares which Eve has just begun to work past.   Because so much of the horror of Eve’s past is relived in this book through her nightmares and with reviewing the original case arrest of McQueen, it is a relatively darker and more emotionally draining story.  And yes, admittedly, stories about a murder cop don’t usually generate happy stories.  Some of the stories have been more violent than others, and some of the stories delve more into the technology of the future; and still others seem less about the murder and more about the development of the relationships between the main characters.  This one, I feel, is the darkest story of the series. 

New York to Dallas is well written, intriguing and definitely worth reading, although I missed Peabody, Feeney and McNab as much as Dallas does this time around. 

This story also caused a dilemma for me since it was the first In Death story released since I got my Nook.   So the question was to read it on my Nook or listen to the audiobook.  I really enjoy Susan Erikson’s talent, so I decided to stick with audiobooks on this series.  Plus side: I can listen and clean the house.  My house thanks you for your talent Ms. Erikson.


Favorite Scene:

“The mayor wanted more exposure for the cops that took down Renee Oberman’s ring, and for himself if you ask me.  You figure it’s going to get another big bounce in the media.  Good cops against bad cops and all that.  Anyway Peabody’s at her desk.”  He jerked a thumb over his skinny shoulder.  “With her head between her knees.  Maybe you could smooth her out so she doesn’t boot when the mayor pins the medal on her.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake.”

She strode out, long and lanky in the uniform, into the bullpen and over to Peabody’s desk.

“Pull yourself together, Detective.   You’re embarrassing yourself, and more important, you’re embarrassing me.”

“They’re going to do it outside.  In public.”

“So the fuck what?”

“Public,” Peabodysaid, head still between her knees.

“You’re being honored by this department and this city for having the integrity, the courage and the skill to take out a blight on this department and this city.  Dirty, murdering, greedy, treacherous cops are sitting in cages right now because you had that integrity, courage and skill.  I don’t care if they do this damn thing in Grand Central, you will get on your feet.  You will not puke, pass out, cry like a baby, or squeal like a girl.  That’s a goddamn order.”

“I had more of a ’Relax, Peabody, this is a proud moment’ sort of speech in mind,”  McNab murmured to Roarke.

Roarke shook his head, grinning.  “Did you now?  You’ve a bit to learn yet, haven’t you?”

Supernatural by Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy, Jacquelyn Frank & G.A. Aiken

Cover Image
 

ORDER A COPY: Supernatural

Publisher: Zebra
Publishing Date: August 30, 2011
Paperback: 471 pages

Rating: Each story is individually listed


In this tantalizing collection, four New York Times bestselling authors invite you into the alluring worlds they’ve created in the Demonica, Guardians of Eternity, Nightwalkers, and Dragon Kin series. Each mesmerizing page will leave you craving more. . .

“Vampire Fight Club ” by Larissa Ione

When a wave of violence forces shapeshifter Vladlena to go undercover, her first stop is a haven of vice—with a dangerously sexy vamp in charge. Both Vladlena and Nathan are hiding something, but they can’t conceal the lust that simmers between them . . .

“Darkness Eternal ” by Alexandra Ivy

After being held captive by one vampire for four centuries, Kata had no intention of taking another one to the underworld with her. Yet even in the pits of hell, there’s no ignoring the intoxicating desire awakened by his touch. . .

“Kane ” by Jacquelyn Frank

Kane knows Corrine was meant to be his. . . just as he knows that truly possessing the lovely human is forbidden. But on the night of the Samhain moon, the beast in every demon is stronger than reason, and Kane’s hunger is more powerful than any punishment. . .

“Dragon on Top ” by G.A. Aiken

Escorting the highborn Bram through deadly Sand Dragon territory will try Ghleanna’s patience. . . and her resolve. For Bram is determined to enhance the journey with a seduction no female could resist. . .


I picked up this anthology because I am a fan of Alexandra Ivy’s Guardians of Enternity series.  But I have seen the names Larissa Ione and Jacqueline Frank often as suggested reading when I purchase my e-books, so I was happy to see them grouped together since it would give me a great excuse to try these other authors.

Vampire Fight Club by Larissa Ione – This was a very exciting story involving a secret, supernatural fight club.  Vladlena Paskelkov was an emergency nurse at Underworld General the night her brother is brought in after suffering a beating at the local underground fight club. Lena is a shifter and goes undercover as a medic to find who is responsible for what happened to her brother.  At the nightclub, which is the front for the fight arena, she meets Nathan Sabine, a vampire who manages the nightclub.  Although she is drawn to Nate, she first has to determine if he is responsible for the fight club.

I enjoyed this story.  It was well paced and kept you interested.  I like Larissa Ione’s writing and purchased Bloodlust and Eternity Embraced, (one was a free download and the other discounted through B&N).  If I like these as well, I will start her Demonica series from the beginning. 

Rating:  4 stars

Darkness Eternal by Alexandra Ivy – The story centers around Uriel, whom we met before in Yours for Eternally and Devoured by Darkness.  He is a vampire and the right-hand man to Victor, the Clan Chief of the Great Briton.  He is sent to rescue Kata, the lovely gypsy, who has been held prisoner by her twin sister, Marika (now a vampire) and her pet wizard, Sergei.   Kata is sent into Hell (literally) and Uriel follows to help get her out.  After being held prisoner by her vampire sister for several centuries, Kata is not thrilled with the idea of putting her faith in Uriel. 

Since I am a fan of the series, I liked the story, but it was not my favorite of the series.  Like most short-stories, it felt a bit rushed.   There was not enough action to make it truly exciting, but too much so that the romance felt forced.   If you want to try the Guardians of Eternity series, read When Darkness Comes, Darkness Everlasting or Darkness Unleashed. 

Rating:  3 stars

Kane by Jacqueline Frank – This story is about Kane who finds his fated mate in Corrine, who he thinks is human and therefore forbidden.  Kane is the taken away and punished for trying to be with her.  But when Kane touched her, her dormant Druid nature starts to change her.  Without Kane’s energies to sustain her, the change almost kills her and leaves her weak and bedridden.

I was disappointed in this story.  First, for a short story, it was REALLY short, and secondly, the whole story was about the fact that she was his fated mate and due to the fact that it was the night of the Samhaim moon, he was crazed with the need to mate with her.  Since she was recovering from her Druid change, he had to be chained down so he wouldn’t attack her. 

This lack of a real story was unfortunate since I was very interested in the premise of Kane being a “young” demon (only 98 years old).   Since most stories are about how the demon/vampire/supernatural being has been around for centuries and how powerful he or she is, it would have been an interesting twist to see a hero just coming into his powers or abilities, maybe struggling overcome a more powerful and older opponent.  This story equates to a teenager trying to get lucky with his girlfriend.  Sadly a lot of potential wasted. 

Rating:  2 stars

Dragon on Top by G.A. Aiken –  The Princess wants Captain Ghleanna to protect Bram when he travels to the land of the Sand Dragons to negotiate a treaty.  Bram doesn’t want Ghleanna to protect him since he has been in love with her forever and because he is not a warrior, she doesn’t even notice him.

I was surprised to learn that G.A. Aiken is a pseudonym for Shelly Laurenston.  I have read several Shelly Laurenston short stories, which I liked, and have her Pride series in my list of books to read. 

I liked this story, but I liked it much better when I ignored the whole dragon aspect of the story.  Probably just me, but I just wasn’t excited about the dragon thing.  I kept picturing them more cartoonish, very Puff-the-Magic-Dragon like.  I was also confused from time to time during the story if they were now dragons or people since they would be speaking to each other, writing, drinking ale, etc. in dragon form, same as in human form.

Take out the dragons, and Bram and Ghleanna were delightful characters. Their dynamic is wonderful.  Bram was charming and Ghleanna and her brothers were hysterical.   If this had been a straight medieval period story, I would have enjoyed it more.  Dragons or not, I do give it 5 stars since it was so enjoyable.   

Rating:  5 stars

Received copy courtesy of Zebra. Thank you!


Alexandra Ivy will be joining us on Mon., November 28, 2011. Check it out.


Favorite Scene (from Dragon on Top):

“Me and mine…we argue.  But to back up your statement, Cadwaladrs just need to be willing to take a claw to the face.  Or a shield.”

“Aye.  I remember that.”

Ghleanna blinked, frowning.  “You were at our dinners?”

There was a pause and then Bram demanded, “Was I entirely invisible to you?”

“Well…not entirely.”

Deciding it was time to get to work, Bram began to get up.  But Ghleanna caught his arm, her laughter annoying him even more.

“I’m teasing.” she said, pulling him back. “I swear.”

“Isn’t it bad enough I assumed you’d always ignored me?  Now I find out I was just invisible to you.”

Bound in Darkness by Cynthia Eden

Cover Image

ORDER A COPY: Bound In Darkness (A Vampire/Werewolf Romance)

Publisher: self-published
Publishing Date: September 2011
ebook only

Rating: 4.5 stars


Hunter…

When it comes to killing vampires, werewolf Cade Thain is the best slayer in the Northwest. So when a witch hires him to take out a pureblood vamp, the assassin thinks it will be just business as usual. One less vicious vamp on the streets…one more undead parasite gone from the earth. Then he meets her.

Protector…

Allison Gray isn’t the prey that Cade expects. Beautiful, innocent, she stirs a dark desire within him. Allison hasn’t transformed fully into a vampire, not yet, and it’s Cade’s job to make sure that she never does. Allison thinks that he’s at her side to keep her safe, but Cade is supposed to pick the right moment—and kill her.

Lover…

Killing Allison is soon the last thing that Cade plans. As she begins the transformation that will turn her into a vampire, her bloodlust and their desire merge in an explosion of need that neither can control. But Allison’s enemies are closing in, and the coming battle will take Cade and Allison beyond life, beyond love…and into a deadly darkness that waits to claim them both.


Cade is a sexy but scarred werewolf, who was tortured by vampires.  His philosophy is “the only good vampire is a dead vampire.”  But when he meets Allison, who he has been hired to kill, the question now becomes does he kill her or keep her.

Like most Cynthia Eden stories, you are drawn in from the start, but like most short stories, it was just too short.   I was so enjoying the story when I noticed I was almost out of pages.  It is like realizing that it is Sunday night and you have work tomorrow.  Boo!!

After you read this story, go and get her other short story “Bound by Blood.”  Another awesome, but too short, short story.


Cynthia Eden blogs with us on Mon., November 21, 2011. Check it out.


Favorite Scene:

He paused and glanced down at her.  “You’re afraid of me.”  His voice was still a deep rumble.

Allison managed a nod.  Despite her efforts, she couldn’t help it.  She couldn’t—

“Good,” he told her as he pushed them into a dark alley.

Whoa, wait—good?

In the next instant, he had her shoved against the alley’s wall.  “You should be scared.”  His face came towards hers.  Dangerous and threatening in the faint moonlight.  “You should be damn well terrified.

Allison’s body shook.

“You’re being hunted,” he told her, “stalked.  There are people who want you dead.”

“I…I know.”  Some had wanted her dead for years.

He leaned in closer.  Odd.  His teeth seemed sharper than before.  “And you just blindly walk off with me?  How the hell do you know I’m not one of the assholes who wants to kill you?”

Bound by Blood by Cynthia Eden

 
Cover Image

ORDER A COPY: Bound By Blood

Publisher: Self-published
Publishing Date: May 2011
E-Book only

Rating: 4.5 stars


 

It’s an Immortal War…

Vampires and werewolves have been blood enemies for centuries, but now a new threat is rising…demons are escaping from hell and those demons are intent on wiping out both the vamps and the werewolves.

In order to stop the demons, pureblood vampire princess Morgan LaBeaux agrees to the treaty offered by werewolf alpha Jace Vaughn. She’ll mate with him, share her blood with him…and in return, the wolves will aid the vampires in this battle.

But Morgan doesn’t realize just how dangerous the wolves can truly be. Jace has been waiting years to claim her. He’s set a trap for his princess, and now that he has her, Jace doesn’t plan to let her go. He’ll send the demons back to hell, and he’ll keep his vampiress—forever.


Jace is one sexy, alpha werewolf.  (Bite ME!  Bite ME! – who said that??)    He has been watching Morgan for years and now she has come into her full vampires powers.  This new demon threat has given him the opportunity he needs to bring her to him for an alliance — by way of a vampire/werewolf mating.  Jace is sexy (did I mention that already) and Morgan can’t resist him.  They’ll need to work together to close the door to hell before the demons take over…but not everyone wants them to succeed. 

You need to pick up this story.  Definitely worth the read.  Couldn’t ask for a better bargain, great story for only $1.


Cynthia Eden blogs with us on Mon., November 21, 2011. Check it out.


Favorite Scene:

Her lips parted as she stared up at him.  He glimpsed her deceptively delicate fangs.

And he caught the scent of fear as it swept through her.

She was right to be afraid.  Now that she was there, within his grasp, and he’d never let her go.

Never.

“I’m Jace.”  He let her see his own fangs.  “And you’re mine.”  A claim made before all the wolves in the room.  From now on, any wolf who touched her would face him – and death.

She swallowed and tilted her head back to better meet his stare.   “Hello, husband.”

The wolf within growled…Mine.

The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

 This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after; a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers; Randall Flagg, the dark man.


This book should be on everyone’s must read list.  I don’t care what genre you like, everyone should take the time to read The Stand! 

The story in broken into two part.  The first part deals with the Superflu, also known by the slang “Captain Trips.”  The government creates this Superflu bug and it accidentally gets released into the population (and not to go down alone, the government spreads it around the world).  A total of 99.4 percent of the population succumbs to the Superflu.  The survivors who are immune to the virus are all drawn together through their dreams to go to Mother Abigail at her farm in Hemingford, Nebraska. 

The second half of the story reflects the basic premise of good vs. evil.  You see, not everyone was drawn to Mother Abigail.   Some dreamed of Randall Flagg.  He is not the devil, but he is a demon; evil incarnate.  This second half of the story reflects the “good guys” trying to thwart the plans of Randall Flagg to destroy their ragtag colony of survivors.

Why I say that everyone must read this book is because of the characters.   Stephen King knows how to write characters.  When the extended version of this book was published back in 1989, it included a whole chapter of mini-stories about people who survived the Superflu, but who died nonetheless (i.e., a man who has a heart attack, or the small child left all alone and fell down a well).   Even though these characters do not move the story forward, which is why this chapter was originally cut from the first release, they are so richly written, you are interested in their little stories and I can remember them as well as I remember the main characters.

All the main characters are incredible!  By the time you get to the second part of the book, you feel like you are one of the group of survivors, and their well being is important to you. 

This is the book I would take with me if stranded on that proverbial desert island. 

 Rating:  5 stars – This is a MUST READ!!!


Favorite Scene:

There are just too many great scenes in this book to pick one. 
M-O-O-N, spells too many scenes.

 (You want to know what I mean by that, READ THE BOOK!!!)

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