Monthly Archives: December 2011
ORDER A COPY: To Walk the Night
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: January 3, 2012
Paperback: 300 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Even a vampire has to face her inner demons…
Kat Redding is the very thing she hunts: a vampire, thirsting for blood, capable of killing any creature unlucky enough to get in her path. The difference is, Kat kills her own kind in order to protect human Purebloods. She’s good at what she does. Good enough to earn the nickname Lady Death—and the enmity of every bloodthirsty being around. But now a vampire Count is intent on merging his House with a werewolf cult to create a force of terrifying power.
Kat can’t allow that to happen. Even if it means taking on a den of weres and a vampire more ruthless than any she’s encountered before. She has the weapons, the skill, and a few allies. But that may not be enough to eliminate the Count before her own dark nature rises to the surface—and costs her whatever is left of her humanity…
Kat Redding is a vampire that hunts vampires. This is the time after the Uprising, when vampires and werewolves made their presence known and declared themselves rulers of the night and the humans (Purebloods) began to hide in their homes after dark. Kat has made it her mission to destroy the Vampire Houses who prey on those foolish or desperate enough to be out after dark.
Now the Luna Cult, worshipers of werewolves, want Kat’s help to destroy the power hungry House Tremaine and free their leader being held by the vampire House. Although there is nothing Kat enjoys more than taking down the vampires, she is concerned if she can really trust a monster to guard her back.
In this new Urban Fantasy, E.S. Moore shows us a world where children aren’t the only ones who should be afraid of the dark. Unlike many of the stories where supernaturals exist quietly protecting humans from other supernatural threats, in this world Vampire Houses dominate the night, using werewolves as their guard dogs, and any Purebloods (a/k/a humans) found wandering the night are fair game, kept as slaves and used for blood and sex.
Like most first books in a series, it was a little slowing going in the beginning as we set up the background of our heroine and the city around her, but once we got into the story it really picked up.
There are more than enough dangling story lines to keep me interested in reading the next book which comes out in July 2012.
Received ARC courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you.
Jonathan stood and walked around his desk. He stopped all of five feet away from me and I still couldn’t see his face. “I should probably explain something to you first,” he said. “The more you know going in, the more likely you are to understand why I came to you. There are certain things you should know, things best shown to you rather than told.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said. Something about Jonathan’s tone had me on edge, but I managed to keep my cool. So far, aside from Pablo’s attitude and Nathan’s angry demeanor, no one had really shown me much in the way of hostility.
Jonathan glanced over to his two associates and nodded ever so slightly. Both Nathan and Gregory sat down, though Nathan did so much slower, as if he wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. The tension level in the room rose tenfold, and I desperately wanted to know what was going on before I accidently shot someone.
“Would you care to take a seat?” Jonathan asked, motioning toward one of the recliners. It was black and leather and looked really comfortable.
“No thanks,” I said. “I’m fine just where I am.”
Jonathan bowed his head in acquiescence before speaking. “I though you might say that. I take it some of the rumors about you are true. It’s probably why I haven’t seen Joshua since he was sent to deliver my message.” His tone hardened. “I assume he is dead.”
My hand slowly fell to my waist. I didn’t draw, but I wanted to be ready. I didn’t like where the conversation was heading.
Nathan started to rise, but Jonathan waved him back down. The big man hesitated, his frown deepening, before settling back down on the couch.
“He broke in to my house.”
Jonathan leaned back against his desk and sighed. “I should have expected it, really. Joshua is an impulsive man. He was to deliver the note and leave before anyone knew he was there. I should have realized he would want to see you himself.”
I glanced at Nathan before answering. The big man was glowering, but he didn’t seem like he was getting ready to fight. Yet.
“I didn’t want to do it,” I said. “But I don’t like people knowing where I live, which brings me back to my question. How did you know where to find me?”
“It wasn’t easy, honestly. Even though I knew who you were, you had moved to a new location before I could act on my knowledge. It made tracking you down that much more difficult.”
I clenched my fist. How long had this guy known about me? “How?” It was all I could think to say.
“You made a mistake,” Jonathan said. “It happened a long time ago, back before you were as well equipped as you are now Back before you had made a name for yourself.”
I stared at him, unsure what to make of the statement. What kind of mistake had I made, other than getting myself captured once? I was always careful, even back when I was young and stupid.
Jonathan stood silent for a long moment before speaking again. “I was your mistake,” he said. His hands slowly rose to the hood concealing his face and slide it slowly back from his head. There was a shimmer, as if the air around his head was disturbed by some unfelt wave of heat; then his features came into focus.
ORDER A COPY: Whispers in the Dark
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: January 3, 2012
Paperback: 333 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She’s the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he’ll never return to his family. With her help, he’s able to escape. But he isn’t truly free, because now she’s disappeared and he’s left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he’d once needed hers?
Now he rushes to save her before it’s too late.
Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who’d already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn’t have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He’ll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?
Nathan Kelly was a soldier fighting in Afghanistan. He was captured, hidden and tortured by the enemy. He no longer knows if it was day or night, or how long he had been held captive. Two of his friends have already been killed and he has lost his will to fight his captors and just wants the release of death. Then he hears the voice of an angel in his head. Has he lost his mind at last? Does it even matter? She brings him comfort, takes his pain and gives him the strength to fight back and escape.
Although once he is finally free, she is no longer in his head and it feels like he lost a piece of his soul. Did he imagine his angel or was she real?
Halfway around the world, Shea Peterson is on the run. Shea is a telepath, and she and her sister, Grace, are running from those who want to use them like lab rats. She doesn’t know why she hears the pain and torment of the soldier who has been captured, but when he finally starts to give in to despair, she cannot stop herself from connecting with him. She gives him her strength and takes away his pain, although taking his pain makes her weak and vulnerable.
When her pursuers finally catch up with Shea, she is drugged and beaten for information about her sister. She manages to escape, and Nathan is the only person she trusts enough to turn to for help.
There is no question for Nathan that he would protect the woman who saved him. When Nathan finally got to where Shea was hiding, I held my breath as nervous as he was for them to finally meet.
His heart nearly stopped as he pulled onto the shoulder. His palms went slick on the steering wheel. His pulse raced so hard he was light-headed.
Just a few feet away was Shea. The woman—the Angel—who’d invaded his mind. All his doubts surfaced, but all he had to do was open his door and get out. He would have his proof and until now he’d had no idea how badly he wanted her to be real.
He was holding her. Finally holding her.
“You’re real. You’re real.”
Now that Nathan has Shea, he will do anything and everything to protect her and shield her as she had done for him.
“It’s going to be we from now on,” he bit out. “There is no you. No me. Only us.”
Can Nathan and his family’s KGI special forces team keep Shea safe, when they don’t even know the enemy they face?
Whispers in the Dark is one of the most emotional books I have read in a long time—in such a good way. Nathan and Shea are connected on such an intimate level both by their telepathic link and their similar experiences of capture and torture. It is portrayed so strongly in this story you will feel as connected with Nathan and Shea as if you share their bond.
I can’t recommend this book to you strong enough. This will be one of those books that you tell all your friends about, but there’s no way you’re loaning them your copy.
The next KGI story will feature Shea’s sister, Grace and will be released in 2012.
Received ARC courtesy of Penguin Group. Thank you!
This time the knife slashed across his chest in a measured cut meant to inflict pain, but not mortal damage.
He ground his teeth together and focused on breathing in and out. He could endure this. He’d suffered far worse already.
Then warmth crept through his body and he felt sunshine fill his mind. Instead of welcoming it, he screamed a silent no.
Get out, Shea! Get the hell out of my head. I don’t want you here, damn it.
Do or say nothing to further anger them, she said in the voice he’d already associated with everything good in the world.
He felt her flinch, and it took him a moment to realize that he’d been cut again. He stared down in horror as blood trickled down his chest. But he felt nothing.
She wrapped herself completely around him, holding him, offering her warmth and caring and all the while he could smell her blood from the wound given to him.
Never, never had he felt more helpless as he sat there being slowly carved up by a knife that he couldn’t even feel. He couldn’t even feel her pain. She was working hard to keep it all from him.
Tears ran freely down his cheeks, not because of what was being done to him, but because she suffered in his stead. It was more than he could bear.
His fingers dug into the ropes binding him and he clawed relentlessly, trying to break free so he could kill the sons of bitches who were causing Shea so much pain. He’d die before he allowed her to continue hurting.
Just be still, Nathan, and maybe they’ll leave you alone. Don’t do anything to anger them. Please. It will all be over soon. It’s only temporary for me. You know this.
As much as he wanted to rage, he willed himself to quell the hatred and fury that burned so hotly within him. For her, he would do it because it was she who was hurting. Not him. Not him, goddamn it.
She was slick with blood and it threatened what little control he had left over his sanity.
Get the hell away from me, Shea. I don’t want you here. This isn’t yours to take for me.
It nearly broke him when she raised her hand to softly touch his cheek. A simple gesture of comfort. She was comforting him when she was taking the brunt of his torture.
Please, Shea. Don’t do this. God, don’t do this. Not for me. I can take it. They won’t break me. I’m not giving up. I swear it. Just please go. Break off.
She merely wrapped her arms around him and pressed her body close. He hugged her back as they both endured hell.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas (and a belated Happy Chanuka). I hope you all received lots of great books to get through those cold winter nights.
We will be posting some reviews for some great new books next week that you should look out for the first week of January, and we will also be posting some free e-books from our friends at Kensington Books. So check back with us after Christmas!
Happy Holidays to all!
ORDER A COPY: His Mistress by Christmas
Publishing Date: September 27, 2011
Hardcover: 312 pages
Rating: 4 stars
For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been a happy, independent widow. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him.
Sebastian will inherit his fortune in a matter of weeks—if his family deems him responsible enough. There’s no better way to prove his maturity than with a home and a wife. But though the lovely Veronica will share his bed, she refuses to marry.
An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change her mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And even in the midst of mischief-making relatives and unexpected complications, he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together—in this and every season to come…
Lady Smithson lost her beloved husband after years of blissful marriage. It has been three years now and Veronica is ready to move on. Since title and fortune are already hers, she does not wish to be saddled with a husband. Lady Smithton simply wants a lover, and she has set her sights on Sebastian.
Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater has returned home after years of travel to exotic locations. He has purchased an estate and is now ready to settle down and write his many adventures. That is until he meets Lady Smithson and his thoughts turn to having a beautiful, intelligent and vibrant wife to settle down with.
When Veronica turns down Sebastian’s offer of marriage, indicating her desire to be his mistress, he decides to take her to his new home in hopes that he will seduce her into accepting his offer to be his wife. Everything is going quite well until his family drops in for Christmas to meet his new wife Then things are just starting to get interesting.
This was a delightful story and Veronica and Sebastian are wonderful together. Veronica reminds me of an older and more mature Lizzy Bennett with her quick wit and playfulness, but unlike Lizzy’s Mr. Darcy, Sebastian is not the least stuffy and enjoys his banter with Veronica.
I can see the other characters being set up for futures stories. Although I appreciate that several of the characters are widows and the use of the mature, experienced woman will lead to more interesting stories lines than the usual innocent maidens, but with more than half of the characters introduced being widows and widowers whose spouses died very early in the marriages, it makes me feel like you only have a small chance for your main characters to have a HEA that will last until a golden anniversary.
“Did you think I wasn’t coming?” A voice sounded behind him.
He bit back a satisfied grin, stood, and turned toward her. “Not for moment.”
She raised a skeptical brow.
“Very well, then, in the interest of honesty, I confess.” He laughed. “There was a moment, possibly two, when I had my doubts.”
“I’m not sure if I’m gratified or disappointed.”
“You strike me as the kind of man who is supremely confident about everything.”
“I am.” He took her hand and raised it to his lips, his gaze never leaving hers. “Except, perhaps about you.”
“My, that is gratifying and quite delightful.” She smiled. “You do that exceptionally well, you know.”
He could feel the heat of her gloved hand in his. Her scent wafted around him. A vague mix of enticing spice and exotic flowers that suggested not so much the markets of the mysterious East that he had stepped foot in but those places he’d never been. The hidden harems of that concealed world—secret and erotic and unexplored. His stomach tightened. He cleared his throat. “Do what?”
“Kiss my hand while staring into my eyes.” Her tone was light, but her eyes simmered. “It’s quite effective, you know.”
“However”—she removed her hand from his—“it is entirely too practiced.”
“But it is effective?”
“Oh my, yes.”
He stifled a satisfied smile. “Even on you?”
“Goodness, Sebastian.” She tilted her head and studied him. “I am female and subject to the same desires as any woman. Even if I am far too intelligent to be taken in by them.”
He grinned. “Pity.”
“Indeed it is,” she said under her breath…
They finally figured it out!!!
You can now gift an e-book to someone. Yay B&N for finally figuring it out.
Who wants my wish list??? –no?
And it appears Amazon did too!!!
Our winner of the copy of Darkness Dawns is Diane. Please contact us by Wed, Dec. 28th or we will need to pick a new winner.
Thank you to Kensington Books for the giveawy.
ORDER A COPY: Night Reigns
Publisher: Zebra Paranormal Romance
Release date: December 6, 2011
Paperback: 393 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Ami isn’t much for trusting strangers. She has a hard time trusting anyone. But she’s no coward, and she’s no pushover in the protection department either. So when she comes across a mysterious warrior taking on eight deranged vampires on his own, she doesn’t hesitate to save his bacon. Of course, that was before she realized what one little rescue would get her into…
Marcus Grayden has been an Immortal protector of humanity for eight hundred years, and he’s not interested in backup. From the moment Ami arrives in his life, he can’t deny that she’s strong, smart, and extremely skilled at watching his back. But she’s also destroying his protective solitude and stirring desires he can’t bear to awaken. After all, whatever her secrets—how can she defeat death itself?
Marcus Grayden wants to be left alone to do his duty. Humans die so easily, or they simply leave you. He doesn’t need a Second and he doesn’t need want to find a new love. When Seth, the leader of the Immortal Guardians brings him a new Second, he just wants her to go away.
Ami doesn’t like to meet new people. She was trusting and naive once, and then she was held captive and experimented on. She might have been freed from her captors, but there are still others who want to get her back.
Now someone new is leading the vampires and is creating more and more new vampires. They’re creating an army to take out the Immortal Guardians. Instead of facing one or two vampires a night, they are forced to fight dozens at a time.
Marcus and Ami must learn to trust so they can work together to defeat the vampire threat.
This story rocks! I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one day. This is book 2 of the Immortal Guardians series. I haven’t read Book 1 yet, but I will very soon.
When I started this story, I thought it was very reminiscent of the Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. That is in no way a complaint. I LOVE the Dark Hunter series. This series features Immortal Guardians, with the help of their network of human Seconds, they protect the humans from the vampires. The Guardians and the vampires are both infected by the same virus, but while some who are infected start to loose their hold on their sanity and become vampires, the Immortal Guardians were gifted ones whose gifts are enhanced by the virus and they are not destroyed by it. As the vampires lose hold of their minds, they become more and more violent. The Guardians are then forced to destroy them.
Definitely give this series a try!
Marcus swallowed. “I’m sorry I’ve been such a bastard.”
Her gaze met his, bright with surprise and something else he couldn’t decipher. “You haven’t been—”
“Yes, I have,” he interrupted. “But that’s over tonight….” He shook his head. “No Second has ever fought more fiercely. No Second has ever risked so much to protect me. To aid me. It truly was an honor to have you at my back.”
Her lips tilted up. “Thank you.”
“Do you think we could start over again?” he asked. “Or has my stint as a surly old curmudgeon driven you away?
Her small smile turned into a grin. “We can start over.”
“Good.” Stepping back, he readjusted his grip on her hand and shook it formally. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Marcus Grayden, and I am in dire need of a Second.”
“Nice to meet you, Marcus. My name is Amiriski, and I believe I’m just what you’ve been looking for.”
Truer words had never been spoken.
See my interview with Alexandra Ivy to enter to win a copy of Bound by Darkness, courtesy of Kensington Books. Giveaway ends Friday, December 16th. 18 years and older please!
ORDER A COPY: Bound by Darkness
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: November 29, 2011
Paperback: 566 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
The Sylvermyst have a reputation as sinister cousins to the fey, and none are more mysterious than Ariyal and his tribe. To save his people from banishment, he sold himself to the evil Morgana. Finally free, he faces a new challenge: Jaelyn, an elite vampire warrior sent to capture him. By rights, he should kill her on sight. Yet he cannot bring himself to hurt her—or to resist her…
Jaelyn is stunningly beautiful, utterly lethal—and always alone. Until Ariyal. From their first encounter, she knows that what’s between them is more dangerous than simple lust. And as they unite to thwart a terrifying prophecy that will mean the end of his clan and of the world they know, she will risk everything to fulfill her destiny by his side…
The Sylvermyst are the dark cousin to the fey and servants of the Dark Lord. When the Dark Lord was banished from this realm, the Sylvermyst were banished with them. But some made a deal with Morgana La Fey to serve her so they would not be banished and would no longer have to serve the Dark Lord.
After centuries of abuse at the hand of Morgana, Ariyal is not about to let his people be mislead into releasing the Dark Lord back into this dimension. He will not bow to another master and he will do anything, including killing the child that the Dark Lord is trying to inhabit, to keep him banished.
Jaelyn is a Hunter and the Commission has hired her to catch the evil Sylvermyst. Although she also wants to stop the Dark Lord from returning, she will not allow Ariyal to kill an innocent child.
Can she go against the Commission and work with Ariyal to stop the Dark Lord without loosing her heart in the bargain?
This was a great addition to the Guardians of Eternity series. Ariyal is one hot, sexy fairy, and the scenes between Ariyal and Jaelyn sizzle. The sylvermyst are an interesting addition to the vampires and weres of this series.
We also spend some time with the vampire, Santiago, who is searching for the Weres Caine and Cassandra (who will be the focus of her next Guardian of Eternity novel). He is working with Nefri, who is an Immortal, to locate them.
Although several of her stories in this series can be read individually, we are now delving into a continuing storyline and I would say that anyone who hasn’t read the Guardians of Eternity series (and you should!) that if you don’t want to start at the beginning that you at least go back to the last book Devoured by Darkness so you don’t feel completely behind in this story.
If you like paranormal romance, you should have Alexandra Ivy’s Guardians of Eternity on your shelves.
“He’s getting away, you know.”
The disembodied voice sliced through the air a mere second before there was a whiff of brimstone and Yannah suddenly appeared directly in front of her.
Jaelyn yelped as the grabbed her shotgun and pointed it at the intruder. Her finger was ready to squeeze the trigger when she belatedly recognized the heart-shaped face and black eyes that shimmered like chips of ebony in the moonlight.
“Dammit.” Jaelyn shoved the gun back into its holster, glaring at the creature, who calmly stroked her hands down the white silk robe. “You scared the bejeezus out of me.”
“Did I?” Yannah blinked with exaggerated innocence. “I thought Hunters were trained to never be caught off guard?”
“I wouldn’t be caught off guard if you walked around like a normal demon,” Jaelyn protested in cold tones, hiding her embarrassment behind a layer of ice. It wasn’t her fault she’d allowed herself to be dangerously distracted, was it? If Ariyal would stop being a pain it the ass then she could concentrate on the important stuff. And he wasn’t the only one to blame. Yannah and her mother Siljar certainly had their share of guilt. “You should wear a bell or something. It’s no polite to just pop in front of people like that.”
Yannah arched her brows. “Well, aren’t you the fussy one?”
“You would be fussy if you were forced to play babysitter to that…” Jaelyn snapped her lips together, words failing her.
“To that delectable, gorgeous, completely edible…”
The words returned in a rush. “Tempermental, stubborn, egotistical Sylvermyst.”
“He’s a man.” Yannah shrugged. “They’re all a pain in the backside.”
Well, wasn’t that the freaking truth?
“Some more than others,” she muttered.
“I suppose so.” Yannah appeared to consider the various flaws of the male sex before heaving a deep sigh. “Still, it’s a pity.”
“You cost me one thousand latinum.”
Jaelyn frowned. Had the demon made an appearance just to mock her?
“Which might make sense if this was Star Trek and we were both Ferengi.”
“I made a bet with my neighbor, but Mother won’t allow me to wager with real money.” She wrinkled her tiny nose. “Besides, Jinns are touchy about their treasures.”
Jinn? Holy crap. Just what neighborhood did this female live in?
She dismissed the inane thought as she concentrated instead on the suspicion she was being led into a trap.
“What were the details of this bet?”
“I said you would have the Sylvermist leashed and properly house-trained by the end of the week. Maric said you would kill him before you ever reach the baby.” She pointed a finger at Jaelyn. “Neither of us thought a mighty Hunter would simply throw in the towel. It’s a grave disappointment, I must say.”
Jaelyn narrowed her gaze. Yep. Definitely a trap.
ORDER A COPY: Changeling Dawn
Publishing Date: December 27, 2011
Paperback: 316 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Shadow and moonlight merge beneath her bare feet,
the forest floor blurring as she flees the dogs and torches. Werewolf, monster — those are the names given her kind by the humans who hate them.
Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding what she is, and she’s not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen. But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska.
An isolated archeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a secretive research center — as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own…
Kenzie Macloud is an archeologist on a mission to prove that Changelings and humans once lived together peacefully. When she arrives at her dig site in Alaska, one of the first people she meets is the local Fish and Wildlife Officer, Josh Talarkoteen. Kenzie can’t understand why her inner wolf is so interested in Josh – he’s human. Kenzie has a hard time trusting humans. A childhood trauma left her running from deadly human hunters.
Josh has some issues of his own. A former army pilot in Afghanistan, Josh suffers from flashbacks and PTS. But he can’t get the beautiful spitfire out of his thoughts and keeps finding excuses to visit the reclusive Kenzie. Especially when Kenzie calls him to help with an abandoned wolf pup, who turns out not to be just a wolf.
Now Kenzie and Josh are trying to find out what has happened to Anya’s mother and what has traumatized the little changeling; and they need to find out before someone else comes looking for the little pup that got away.
This was a great story and I really enjoyed the dynamic of Josh and Kenzie. Added in there was poor little Anya who was so scared by the strangers grabbing her mother and trying to take her away that she stayed in wolf form for most of the story. We also got be meet Kenzie’s brothers for a bit of the story; two of whom were the heros of the first two books in the series, Changeling Moon and Changeling Dream.
Not really a spoiler, but I would only say that it was a bit silly trying to be coy in the beginning of the story about the social climbing, money grubbing ex-boyfriend of Kenzie who shows up out of the blue, so desperate to rekindle things with Kenzie. A little too desperate really, almost to the point of psychotic. It was sooooo obvious that he was going to have something to do with everything bad that was going on (classic literary and movie “bad guy” plot) Ms. Harper should have just outed him from the get go. It really wasn’t such a mystery to solve. Just my opinion.
This is the third book in the series, and I am going to add the first two books to my ever growing TBR list.
Kenzie laughed. “So, I’ve been good and finished all my shopping. Do I get to go to the museum now?”
The museum, the moon, anywhere you want to go. “I don’t know—I think I should inspect what you bought and make sure it’s suitable.”
She clutched the lingerie bag to her in mock horror. Maybe not so mock…He grinned. “Okay, we’ll head out to the museum. And afterward we’re going to dinner. I’m starving.”
“You’re in a food court—how is that possible?”
“I’m a fan of real food, remember? Beside, I made reservations for us at a great place.”
“Reservations is such a strong word. Sounds an awful lot like a date. Which you will remember, I said I’m not doing with you.”
“You did say that. But that was before we bonded over shopping.”
“This was not true shopping. You consulted while I purchased necessary supplies. I’m not dating you.”
“Is that your final answer? Because you’re forcing me to pull out the big guns.”
“What big guns?”
“I have a new phone number on speed dial that you might find interesting.” He rattled it off and her mouth dropped open.
“Where the hell did you get that?”
“It’s not hard. You said your brother’s a veterinarian just like Stanton—and there aren’t many animal doctors in your little hometown. Two, to be exact, and they both work at the same clinic. I’ll just bet Dr. Connor Macleod would love to hear how you turned down a date with a good-looking veteran who has a respectable government job and owns his own house. You know how family works—you’ll never hear the end of it from your big brother. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll tell your other three big brothers and they’ll all gang up on you. Not to mention your big sister.”
She folded her arms then and her chin came up. “I don’t care. Go ahead and call him. I’m not going out with you.”
“And then of course, there’s Mom and Dad, the sisters-in-law, great aunt, family friends…all of them wanting their little Mackenzie to be happy.”
“I am happy, dammit.” She looked like she was starting to sweat.
In slow motion, he pulled out his cell phone and poised his finger over a button…
“Okay, okay, you win. One—just one—date. But that’s all.” She didn’t look at Josh, just stalked off toward the nearest exit. “Do you get all your dates by blackmail?”
“Nope,” he said cheerily as he easily kept pace with her. “Only the ones that matter.”
ORDER A COPY: Death’s Hand, A Dark Urban Fantasy (The Descent Series)
Publisher: Red Iris Books
Publishing Date: October 21, 2011
Paperback: 336 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Policing relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth is messy and violent, but Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner excelled at it– until coming across a job so brutal that even they couldn’t stand to see one more dead body.
Now they’ve been pretending to be normal for five years, leaving their horrific history a dark secret. Elise works in an office. James owns a business. None of their friends realize they used to be one of the world’s best killing teams.
After years of hiding, something stirs. Bodies are vanishing. Demons scurry in the shadows of the night. A child has been possessed.
Some enemies aren’t willing to let the secrets of the past stay dead…
Demon fighter, Elise Kavanagh, and her mentor, James Faulkner, thought they could retire from fighting the nightmares that most people only believe exist in fiction. But those nightmares aren’t willing to stay in Hell where they belong.
A few of the demons that Elise and James have sent back to Hell are looking for a second chance to return and payback Elise and James for their interference.
When a little girl is demonically possessed, Elise is asked to do an exorcism. Elise hesitates because she knows if she is dragged back into the life of a demon hunter, she won’t be able to leave again.
I want to point out that from the description I originally thought this was a husband and wife team. We learn from the start that Elise is only 16 when she retires as a demon slayer and that James was her guardian and her “shield.”
This is an intriguing story which I raced through in one day. It appears to be the first in a descent series and there were some questions left unanswered, like exactly what happened to Elise’s parents and what’s with the gloves and exactly what happened that night in the woods.
There was a lot going on in this story including climatic battles with witches, fiends and zombies. I was impressed that Elise got up again from many of these battles and kept jumping back into the fight.
There were some parts where I was a little confused what was going on and if Death’s Hand was a male or female demon (if it even matters) or were some of references made were simply hints of a future story? Sometimes you just have to go with it.
It was well worth the read and I am intrigued enough to continue with the next book due out in the spring of 2012.
As of this posting, the digital copies of this book are listed for $.99.
Elise grabbed the doorknob to the dressing room and shook it. Locked.
Nuema screamed again, and the door rattled in its hinges as something heavy slammed against the other side.
She took a step back and unleashed a powerful kick next to the lock mechanism. The door shattered around the handle. Elise kicked again. It slammed open.
Nuema was pressed against the counter, her back smashed into the now-shattered glass of mirror. A gray creature with branded flesh crushed her, its stubby hands locked on her wrists as its slavering mouth lowered toward her chest.
“Hey!” Elise shouted.
The demon turned. Its bulging eyes were almost all black. Opens slashes across his face wept blood and pus, and saliva dripped from its mouth.
It focused on her, and its pupils dilated.
Elise drew back her fist and punched, throwing her whole body behind the blow. The demon’s head snapped to the side. It toppled with a keening scream.
The half-succubus cried out as she got off the counter. Several shards of glass stuck in her back, and blood poured down her perfect spine.
The little demon clambered to its fee. Elise pushed the bartender behind her.
“What do you want?” Elise demanded. The demon’s thin gray tongue darted out of its mouth to lick where its lips should have been.
It lunged at Elise.
She moved into its attack and it slammed into her shoulder. They hit the ground, and she rolled with their momentum. Her entire body felt the impact. It was like getting hit by a raging bull.
The fiend recovered instantly. Elise wasn’t quite so fast.
It came at her with a roar, and a flash of inspiration struck – the black lights, the vanity bulbs, the demon’s huge pupils. Elise threw herself out of the demon’s way, and it hit the wall behind her instead.
She launched across the room. Elise fumbled in the darkness behind the rack of costumes. She heard the sound of clawed feet against ground, and shut her eyes against the impact—then found the switch.
Click. The lights over the vanities blazed to life.
Her eyes watered from the sudden light, but it was nothing compared to the demon’s reaction. It screamed and clawed at its eyes, stumbling toward Elise. A stray swipe of its claws slashed her arm. Pain flared, and she jerked back with a shout.
The demon plunged into the dark hallway.