Category Archives: Demons

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)


ORDER A COPY: Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2)

Publisher: Ace
Publishing Date: January 30, 2007
Paperback: 292 pages

Rating: 4 stars


Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.


Mercy should have known that nothing is simple when dealing with vampires. She owed her friend Stefan a favor for helping her find Adam’s daughter, Jesse, when she was abducted. She knows she should have said no when the favor involved changing into her coyote form and putting on a studded harness. She definitely should have said no when he explained that he needed her to witness him warning a vampire who was trespassing in his seethe’s territory in case something unusual happened, since Mercy is immune to vampire’s powers. But how can another vampire enthrall a vampire of Stefan’s age?

Except there is more to the vampire they go to see. He is definite more than just a newly made vampire. There was a smell of oily evil that surrounded him—evil and death unlike anything she has ever smelled on a vampire before. That smell was enough to make Mercy want to turn tail and run, but then he enthralled Stefan and Mercy, stuck on a leash in coyote form, was forced to watch the vampire kill in blood lust.

Someone had turned a demon-possessed human into a vampire and let this creature with the strength of a vampire and the powers of a demon loose on the Tri-Cities. The vampires and the wolves are working together to find this killer because his slaughtering brings the attention of the humans. Now that the werewolves have joined the Fae in coming out to the humans, they know that the police will be looking at the wolves for the unexplained violence and deaths which are increasing around the city.

When Stefan, Adam and Samuel all go missing and Mercy’s friend Warren is found near death, Mercy is frantic to find them but doesn’t know who else to turn to since the Fae don’t want to get involved. Mercy is more surprised when she is summoned by the Mistress of the seethe. Marsilia thinks that Mercy would be able to defeat the demon. What does the Mistress know about Mercy’s Walker abilities that Mercy doesn’t. It has to be more than not be able to be enthralled by vampires since Mercy has only a little more strength than a human, and no healing abilities like a were or a vamp.

Mercy is going to have faith that Marsilia is sending her out because she wants to find Stefan and not just as a way to get rid of Mercy.   Mercy is willing to risk her life if necessary to get Stefan, Adam and Samuel back safely and destroy the monster before he destroys more innocent lives.

THOUGHTS:
I really like Mercy Thompson and her friends. The demon-vampire is really creepy, especially when he comes visiting Mercy.   Mercy gets a little help of her Fae mentor, Zee, and her human/cop friend, Tony.

We learn a little more about the vampires and their strengths and weaknesses so we do have some slower parts to the story while Mercy tries to figure out how to kill a vampire and where the demon-vampire is hiding and trying to figure out who created it.

Added to Mercy’s headaches is the fact that Adam and Samuel both want Mercy. Two dominant males vying for the same female makes tensions a little high around the three of them. Add to that a very interesting kiss from Stefan, who obviously has some feelings for Mercy as well. It keeps things a little interesting the romance department.

I am definitely enjoying this series.


Favorite Scene:

“What did I do to deserve that look?” he asked.

“Why don’t I feel like obeying you now?” I asked.

He smiled at me and turned on the bypass highway that ran along the outskirts of Richland. It was four thirty and the road was clogged with traffic.

“Being the Alpha is different from just being dominant,” he said.

I snorted. “I know that. Remember where I grew up.”

“If I’m away from the pack, I can make the Alpha go dormant. Bran can do it whenever he feels like it, but for the rest of us, it takes real effort.”

I don’t know how he expected me to react to that, but it didn’t make me happy. “So it was deliberate, the way you made me feel?”

He shook his head and I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. I don’t like being manipulated at all, and being manipulated by paranormal means is worse.

“No. I told you it takes an effort—and the…effect you have on me makes it difficult.” He wasn’t looking at me now. He was a product of his times. He might look like he was in his late twenties, but he’d been born just after WWII, and a man raised in the 1950′s didn’t talk about his feelings. It was interesting watching him squirm. I was suddenly feeling much more cheerful.

“I can’t help how I’m wired,” he said after a moment. “I don’t even know how much is being an Alpha werewolf and how much is just me—but being around you brings out the predator in me.”

“And so you had to make me want to please you?” I made sure he heard how I felt about that.

“No!” He sucked in a big breath and then said, “Please don’t antagonize me right now. You want an explanation. You want me to stop influencing you. I’m trying to do both—but it isn’t easy. Please.”

It was the “please” that got to me. I leaned my back against the door so I was a far from him as I could get. “Tell me, then.”

“Bran can control his Alpha effect until he can fool werewolves who don’t know who and what he is. I’m not so talented, but I can stuff it down so it doesn’t interfere with my everyday life. When I negotiate contracts, I don’t like to exert undue influence on the people I’m dealing with. Even in the pack, I don’t use it much. Cooperation is always better than coercion—especially when that coercion only lasts until they’re out of my presence. I only bring out the big guns when there’s trouble in the pack that can’t be solved by talking.” He glanced at me and almost hit the car in front of him when traffic stopped unexpectedly.

If my hearing hadn’t been so good I wouldn’t have heard him when he said, “When I am with you, my control is shot. I think that’s what you’ve been feeling.”

So he could command my obedience whenever he wanted to. Only because he chose not to do so was I left with my free will.

“Before you act on that fear I can smell,” he said more confidently, “I’d like to point out that you had no trouble turning Samuel down when you were sixteen—and he’s more dominant than I am.”

“He’s not an Alpha and I didn’t turn him down to his face. I left without talking to him.”

“I’ve seen you go toe-to-toe with Bran and not back down.”

“No, you haven’t.” I wasn’t stupid. No one faced off with Bran.

He laughed. “I’ve heard you. Remember when Bran told you to be a good little girl and let the wolves deal with the scary stuff and so ensured that you would go out and find the bastard who’d taken Jesse?”

“I didn’t argue with him,” I pointed out.

“Because you didn’t care if you had his permission or not. The only reason you submit to me is because some part of you wants to:  I’m willing to admit that my being an Alpha brings that part of you to the forefront, but it is you who relaxes your guard around me.”

I didn’t talk to him all the rest of the way home. I was fair enough to admit to myself that I was angry because I was pretty sure he was right, but not fair enough to tell him so.

Being a master stategist, he let me stew. He didn’t even get out of the car open my door—which he usually did. I hopped out and stood with the door open for a minute.

“There’s supposed to be a good movie coming out,” I muttered. “Would you like to come with me Saturday afternoon?” I hadn’t intended to ask. The invitation just popped out.

He smiled, that slow smile that started in his eyes and never quite made it to his mouth. I shifted my weight uneasily becuase that smile had a unsettling effect on me.

“Which theater?”

I swallowed. This was not a good idea. Not at all. “The one behind the mall, I think. I’ll check.”

“Fine. Call me later with the time.”

“I’ll drive.”

“Okay.” His lips were curling up now.

Dumb, I thought, dumb sheep waltzing right into the slaughterhouse. I shut the door without saying anything more and went into the house.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, I thought, meeting Samuel’s gaze.

“Going to the movies?” he asked, having obviously overheard what I’d said to Adam.

“Yes.” I jerked my chin up and refused to give in the tight feeling in my stomach. Samuel wouldn’t hurt me. The problem was, I didn’t want to hurt him either.

His eyes were half-shut and he breathed in. “You smell like him again.”

“He picked me up when I was running in coyote form, so he brought me clothes.”

Samuel moved with the speed of a boa constrictor and he put his hand behind my neck. I stood very still when he put his nose under my ear. I couldn’t help but smell him also. How could his scent have as powerful an effect on me as Adam’s smile? It was wrong.

“When you go with him,” he growled, his body trembling with readiness or pain—I couldn’t tell which because I could smell both, “I want you to remember this.”

He kissed me. It as utterly serious, beautiful—and, given the rage in his eyes when he started, surprisingly gentle.

Vampire for Christmas by Felicity Heaton

Vampire for Christmas


ORDER A COPY: Vampire for Christmas

Publisher: Dark Rose Publishing
Publishing Date: November 10, 2010
ebook: 73 pages

Rating: 4 stars


It was one last mission. Shannon, a demon hunter with the agency, is looking forward to leaving behind the small town and the vampire she’s been stuck with for the past two years. Things are getting complicated fast and she wants out. A fresh start, free of her vampire partner, awaits her if she can survive their final mission and the lonely Christmas holidays.

It was one last mission. Rafe, a vampire doing time with the agency, watches it approach with dread weighing heavily in his stomach. Two years of working with Shannon has been difficult, especially since he started falling for her, but he doesn’t want their partnership to end. He has barely a few days to make her face her feelings and stop her from leaving, and he intends to do just that.

When a slimy demon threatens the season of peace and goodwill, it’s the chance Rafe has been waiting for and the moment Shannon secretly fears. Rafe’s determination to prise open her heart and her own resolve to keep it closed clash as violently as they do with the demon, and threatens to end as messily.

Can Rafe make Shannon see that his love for her is real and that she feels something for him too? Can Shannon face her fears and her past, and stop herself from running away from both? Will a wish on a star bring her what her heart truly desires—a vampire for Christmas?


THOUGHTS:

I have had Felicity Heaton on my Wanna Read list for awhile now and was happy to find this short story before the holidays.

This was a great read and a great storyline for a short since the characters have worked together for two years and know each other very well so there was no awkward “we just met yesterday, but I know you’re my soul mate” story that is always so hard to get into when its only a short story.

Since Shannon was a demon hunter and Rafe was a vampire, she works hard to resist any feelings she might have had for him, but he has acknowledged his feelings since they first met. The story begins with their last case just before they will be reassigned.  Rafe is the scholar of the two and I like that we find out that he is always learning and researching so he is prepared to protect Shannon from whatever comes at them.  You feel sad for him and his unrequited love.  He would do anything for Shannon to return his feelings for her.

I would have enjoyed a full story with these characters and the whole demon hunter/vampire team storyline but I didn’t feel shorted at all. And you can’t beat the price of Free. Grab a copy today.


Favorite Scene:

“Have it your way.” Rafe stepped away from the door. “Just tell me one thing.”

“What?”

He frowned at the door, his heart aching over the thought that she didn’t trust him and that he would never see her again. If he finished this mission, their time together was over. Maybe it was better that way. Maybe it would hurt like Hell and he would spend eternity with a hole in his chest where his heart used to be.

“Did they get the bastard that did that to you?” The venom in his tone surprised him. He had tried to keep his fury out of his voice, his lust for vengeance and desire to track down the vampire to tear him to pieces, but the force of the emotion was too strong to contain.

Silence.

“Yes.”

Rafe smiled a thin-lipped smirk of satisfaction. He only hoped they had butchered the vampire for it.

The smile fell from his face.

What right did he have to hope such a thing?

Shannon was right. He was a monster. He was no better than the vampire who had hurt her. He had attacked people and fed off their struggle and fear. He had killed them without a moment’s regret. He had no right to wish vengeance on another vampire who had done the same.

No. He had atoned for his sins against mankind. He protected them now and had saved more lives than he had ever taken. Maybe he had been a monster once, but he had changed. He was a man now, or as close to one has he could be, and he needed her to see that.

But she never would.

He turned on his heel and walked down the porch steps. When he reached the path, he swept his long black coat back and jammed his hands into his jeans pockets. He tilted his head back and looked up at the starlit expanse of winter sky.

He wished she would.

He wanted to be a man for her.

Her man.

Yellow light streamed out of her house, throwing his shadow out long until it reached the bottom of the garden path in front of him.

He halted and waited. She had only opened the door to retrieve her clothes. He told that to himself over and over, filling the expectant silence, dampening the anticipation swirling inside him.

“Rafe?” Her voice was soft, his name spoken with trepidation. He kept his back to her, giving her time to find her courage and to say whatever it was that she needed to. Her steps on the porch were loud in the silence of his mind. She wasn’t barefoot. “I…I don’t think you’re a monster.”

Rafe closed his eyes and dipped his chin, breathing slowly to stead himself. Warmth chased through him, easing away his anger and the chill that had settled in his heart.

The light disappeared, leaving him in darkness again, and he sighed at the soft click of the door. It was a start, he supposed, but not quite what he had wanted. Perhaps he could come back later, after completing the mission, and try to speak with her again. He looked over his shoulder at the house and frowned.

Shannon stood on the porch, wearing her black coat. She walked down the three steps and stopped at the bottom of them. The moon shone on her hair and Rafe fancied the golden glow was the halo she deserved for being able to look at him after what had happened to her.

“We have a demon to hunt, right?” Her voice shook but she managed to hold his gaze, and even tilted her chin up.

He loved it when she put on her best poker face. It could fool humans and some demons, but not him, and not because he was a vampire. He could see in her eyes even from where he was standing that she was nervous about coming out with him again, worried that he would try to make her talk. He wouldn’t push her. He would do what he had always done with her. He would wait for her to talk to him. When she was ready, she would tell him why she had joined the agency and what had happened to the vampire who had attacked her.

Cursed by Destiny by Cecy Robson

Cursed By Destiny (Weird Girls, #3)


Our giveaway winner was Elizabeth. Congratulations. Thank you to author Cecy Robson.


ORDER A COPY: Cursed By Destiny: A Weird Girls Novel

Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: January 7, 2013
Paperback: 368 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Celia’s a girl in trouble. Her heart is bound to Aric, but he is a pureblood were who must deny her or risk condemning his species to extinction. And that’s just her love life. She’s also been called to take down a group of demon terrorists looking to overthrow the paranormal world. (No pressure.)

In order to bring them down, Celia must ally herself to Misha, the master vampire who has made no secret of his desire for her. And if that weren’t enough misfortune for one girl, a clairvoyant’s prediction could destroy Celia and Aric’s love for good. The only way to protect the world from unbridled supernatural terrorism is for Celia to bind herself to her destined mate. And that doesn’t appear to be Aric….


Warning: Contains Spoilers if you aren’t up on the series!

Celia Wird is still nursing a broken heart after left behind by her true love. Aric is from a long line of purebloods and he has been ordered by the Elder counsel to marry another pureblood to help replenish his species. But Celia has more problems than just Aric’s upcoming wedding to Barbara the bitch.

Since she is unwelcome at the were‘s Den, Celia has been living in guesthouse on the property of Master Vampire Misha and training with his vampires. The vampires’s fighting style is different from that of the wolves and Celia’s training is giving her an edge she didn’t have before and making her quite the powerful oddball. Living with Misha isn’t without it’s drawbacks, and I don’t just mean the fact that his family dress like the catholic school girls out of Bren’s favorite porno. Misha wants Celia to forget about the whipped Alpha dog and join him in his bed.  Yet, even Misha’s constant attempts at seduction and the vamp’s pool on how long before Celia submits to the Master’s desires, isn’t Celia’s biggest problem.

Celia is not the girl with the most popular dance card at the Den’s Alliance celebration, not with the Elders wanting her out of Aric’s life, but she has caught the interest of another big cat shifter, Tye Gris de Leone, especially once the soothsayer, Destiny, declares to all at the party that it is Tye and Celia’s children who will save the world. As you can imagine, the news isn’t welcomed by the two men already fighting for Celia’s affection. But even her destined future with a poser like Tye isn’t Celia’s biggest problem.

The Tribe, which consists of evil witches and shifters who are releasing demons from Hell to impregnate unfortunate human women, has turned their full focus on Celia. Every creepy enemy whether all-powerful witch or newborn demon is whispering Celia’s name. Someone has ordered a Contract Hit straight out of Hell on Celia.

With too many men vying for her attention, except the one man she wants, and every evil demon coming for Celia personally, Celia has too much to handle and just when she had reached the end of her rope, her world is again turned upside down.

THOUGHTS: 

This story is packed with drama, heartache and non-stop supernatural action.   I don’t know whether to applaud or fear an author that has no problem throwing her characters under the bus.  In A Cursed Embrace, Cecy Robson doesn’t hesitate to have the demon lord toss Celia’s sister, Shayna, out as live dinner for demons.  But having your body chewed on while you scream is tame compared to where Cecy takes her characters in this book.

Although werelion Tye comes off as a pompous jerk, as he gets to know Celia, he drops the suave wereGod fascade and he becomes a wonderful and brave character.   We can definitely get behind this were.   The whole Aric, Misha and now Tye love quadrangle is getting a little soap opera-ish. And between the fun and flirty Tye and the sexy, hot Misha, I never understood why Celia went for the moody, and now untouchable Aric. I am still holding a grudge against Aric not only for walking away from Celia, but for his being jealous and possessive even though he is supposed to marry someone else. He walked away from Celia. He has to marry and start a family with someone else, but he looses his mind at the thought of her being with anyone else.  Really??  If you can’t be with her, let her move on with her life.

I guessed who was behind all of Celia’s problems and don’t understand why it is not as obvious to everyone in the story. I can also see where the soap opera story arch is setting us up for the next story.

I like the characters in this series and I like the mostly fun storyline and banter. There are some very dark aspects of this story and I am hoping we soon see the end of the Demon/Tribe storyline.

Received an ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

All I wanted was to go back to the guesthouse and lock myself in. Yet, when I saw Misha waiting for me in the garden, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make my escape. Misha stood along the freshly swept stone path like a man who could crush the pyramids to dust, despite holding a Cavalier King Charles spaniel in his arms. The dog was completely enamored with Misha. It must be a girl. The bitches love Misha.

“Hello, kitten. It pleases me that you made it back safely–despite your lack of escorts.” He pointedly glared at his bodyguards. Rivers of sweat ran down Hank and Tim’s faces and fear of Misha’s rage made them quiver. The Catholic schoolgirls wore smiles, obviously delighted they weren’t the ones in trouble for once.

My hands fell to my sides. I didn’t want to deal with any of this crap. “Misha, don’t be mad at Hand and Tim. I’m the one who ditched them. And what the hell’s up with the dog? I told you I don’t want to participate in your freaky science experiments.”

Misha sped to my side before I could blink. “Come now, my darling. How bad can it be?” He swatted my shoulder with the dog’s tail. I already had my guard up in an attempt to block the dog’s essence. It didn’t help. Either i was too upset or too distracted. Whatever the reason, I crashed to the ground in a violent seizure.

Hank swore. Maria said something like, “If she dies, I call dibs on de master.” A huge commotion ensured and everything became a dizzying blur of images and noise.

As my world and teeth rattled, someone lifted me from the ground. I screamed from the torturous agony the contact inflicted. In mere moments, I found myself on a very large bed. My body shrank and my ears elongated. I panted profusely, tasting merino wool as my lolling tongue scraped against the expensive fabric.

My vision cleared slowly. When I finally focused, I didn’t like what I saw. Misha and his vampires had me surrounded. Most had big grins and some were shaking, trying to hold in their laughter. Misha leaned over the end, his fists digging into the mattress, his shoulders rigid. A sinister shadow darkened his stone cold features. “Whoever laughs first shall die by my hands,” he said in a deadly whisper.

There was such an immediate silence, I feared I’d gone deaf. I tried to sit up. Big mistake. The supersized room spun in a stomach-lurching whirl. I quickly flopped back down and shook my head to clear it. My long ears slapped against my fuzzy face. The shake had helped some, but by then I was royally pissed off.

What the hell, Misha? I told you this was a bad idea. I can’t believe you freaking did this to me. Just when I thought we were friends you had to pull a prick move like this!

That’s what I was thinking. What came out was, “Woof, woof. Yip, yip, bark growl, bark!”

Liz leaned in close to my face, her ice blond hair hitting my little wet nose. “I think she’s trying tell us something. Do you need to go for a walk, Celia?”

Agnes Concepcion adjusted her glasses and peered down her nose at me. “No, she wants a biscuit. Celia’s always hungry.”

I growled at both of them.

“She does not want a damn biscuit,” Maria spat in her thick accent. “She wants ah steak.”

“Is that it, Celia?” Edith asked. “Do you want a steak?”

No, I don’t want a steak! I just want my body back! You all suck! Once again, “Yip, bark, bark, bark, woof,” was all they heard.

Someone wanted to kill me, Aric was getting married, and I was a damn dog. I wanted to pee on the fire hydrant I called life. What I didn’t know was that thing were about to get much, much worse.


AUTHOR BIO:
Cecy Robson
Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is a full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest. A member of Romance Writers of America, she attributes her passion for storytelling to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing in May 2009. Her Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series is published with Penguin Random House’s Signet Eclipse and released to stellar praise from multiple reviewers including: Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, and Romantic Times. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella, SEALED WITH A CURSE, and A CURSED EMBRACE are now available. A CURSED MOON: A Novella, releases December 3, 2013, followed by CURSED BY DESTINY, January 7, 2014.

LINKS:

Website:          www.cecyrobson.com

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/cecyrobson

Facebook:        http://www.facebook.com/Cecy.Robson.Author

Goodreads:     http://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCecyRobsonAuthor


Unclaimed by Sara Humphreys

Unclaimed (The Amoveo Legend, #5)


ORDER A COPY: Unclaimed (The Amoveo Legend)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: December 3, 2013
Paperback: 320 pages

Rating: 3 stars


Tatiana Winters loves the freedom of her life as a veterinarian in Oregon. It’s only reluctantly that she agrees to help cure a mysterious illness among the horses on a Montana ranch—the ranch of the Amoveo Prince. Tatiana is no ordinary vet—she’s a hybrid from the Timber Wolf Clan, but she wants nothing to do with the world of the Amoveo shifters.

Dominic Trejada serves as a Guardian, one of the elite protectors of the Prince’s Montana ranch. As a dedicated Amoveo warrior, he is desperate to find his mate, and time is running out. He knows Tatiana is the one—but if he can’t convince her, he may not be able to protect her from the evil that’s rapidly closing in.


Tatiana Winters and her twin brother, Raife, were raised by the same foster mother as Layla Nickelsen. All three are half-human/half-Amoveo and they promised to protect each other from the Amoveo and stay out of their world. Even though Layla has since found happiness with her Amoveo mate, William Fleury, Tatiana was doing everything to avoid the Amoveo male who is seeking her in her dreams. She refuses to let fate dictate who she can love. She just wants to stay quietly in her Oregon home, caring for sick animals. It is only her love for Layla that can get Tatiana to agree to go anywhere near the home of the Amoveo Prince to determine if someone is trying to kill the Prince’s horses.

Once Tatiana arrives on the property, she immediately realizes her error. The man she has been trying to avoid in her dreams is standing right in front of her and from the look in his eyes, he knows exactly who she is. He might be tall, dark and gorgeous and he might be making her tingle in all the right places, but she is not fool enough to think that an Amoveo male like Dominic is going to agree to some hot sex and let her walk away from him.

Dominic is finding his loyalties being torn between his duty as guardian to the Prince and protecting his mate now that he has found her. Although he may war between his own duty and his desire to claim his mate, he is not going to let an opportunity to be with Tatiana pass him by. Just when Tatiana is ready to submit to a night of passion in Dominic’s arms, they all find themselves in the midst of a war but with the enemy hiding in the shadows, it is hard to protect the ones you love when you don’t know if you are being attacked by an enemies or someone you thought as a friend?

THOUGHTS:
I have enjoyed this series. I have enjoyed the characters Sara Humphreys has created and some of the interesting twists that she has introduced. I even enjoyed the new characters introduced in her new vampire series. This book just rubbed me the wrong way.

I will start by reminding you that in the last book, Undone, the Amoveo were fighting the humans who wanted to wipe out the Amoveo “animals,” but now they had the Purists, who didn’t want the half-breeds mating with the full-bred Amoveo and polluting the bloodlines to contend with. The Purists were kidnapping selected full-blooded Amoveo women and trying to impregnate them with sperm from full-blooded males to help increase the dying Amoveo population. Mariana was rescued from this facility before she was experimented on, but upon rescuing the women (most of whom died from bearing children not from their mates) they also found Steven (from Book #1 and #2) and his mate who had been experimented on and impregnated with his sperm.

Steve and Courtney are a big part of this story. From conversations with the author, I thought I understood that Steven’s story would be the last of the series. I honestly checked Goodreads twice to see if I had missed Steven’s story. It wasn’t until the very, very end that I understood why they were introduced as a couple before their own story was released, but it bugged me the entire story that this couple was focused on without having their story. By the time I understood why, I had been annoyed by this the entire time I was reading.

I was also pretty confused by why the Prince and his family, especially during a time of civil war, only had two guards for his entire property. His prior guard, Dominic’s sister, left for the purist cause. Although all the characters from the prior books showed up to help defend against the assault, they were not as powerful as some of the Purist leaders and number-wise, a civil war shouldn’t come down to about 9 guys on each side. That’s not a war, that’s a baseball game.

We also find out that the purist are all fighting in rags and living in the woods since their research facility was destroyed. What the heck? These purists were made up of some of the more powerful families and being shifters, who live longer than humans, and has plenty of time to amass a fortune. That not-very-secret facility must have cost a pretty penny if they were all poverty stricken now that it was destroyed.

There were too few good guys defending the Prince, including the Prince doing his own fighting, and too many enemies with too many issues. On top of all the chaos, we are trying to balance the romance storyline where the Dominic and Tatiana sizzled when they came near each other, but neither one wanted to upset their lives with the commitment of mating,, even though by not mating they would both lose their Avoveo powers.

All of her stories, this one just didn’t grab me.

Received ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

Tatiana strode toward the back of the cabin and tugged open the glass sliders. She stepped out onto the small deck and leaned on the railing. Dominic’s gaze skimmed up her well-shaped legs, which were bronzed from the summer sun, then wandered along the curve of her hip and up her toned arms.

Images of her naked body curled around his flooded his mind…

“Can we swim in that pond?” She looked at him over her shoulder and smirked as she caught him checking her out.

“What?” He blinked and shook his head, but those images of her still wandered through his imagination. “I’m sorry. What?”

“Dominic?” Smiling, she looked back out to the mirrorlike body of water in the distance. “That pond? Can we swim in it?”

“It’s not a pond, actually. It’s a swimming pool.” He moved closer so he stood next to her, but not close enough to accidentally touch her. “It’s a freshwater swimming pool complete with heat in the winter and lights at night. Salinda had it designed to look like a pond so it wouldn’t ruin the natural landscape.”

Heat radiated form her body, and even amid the thick summer air, he could feel it rippling over him like a siren song. Calling him. Daring him to touch her again. Tempting him to break the stupid deal he made with her, throw her on the ground, and kiss her silly.

Why did he make that deal? That was the dumbest fucking move ever.

Dominic tightened his grip on the railing and squared his shoulders against the all-consuming urge to stroke that gorgeous skin. Instead, he focused on the setting sun and grit his teeth against the driving physical need to connect with her.

“Are you alright?” Tatiana’s voice, soft and delicate, drifted over him with the breeze.

“No,” he said, his voice tight with restraint. Dominic looked down into those huge brown eyes, and he knew he was a goner. “I’m not alright. Not at all.”

Without thinking he brushed a lock of dark hair off her forehead, and as her warm skin rushed beneath his fingertips, a wave of static electricity rippled up his arm and shot through his body. Her eyes widened, and those red lips that tasted like cherries, parted temptingly as she sucked in a slow, quivering breath.

“I’m doing my best to be a gentlemen and keep my word,” he whispered as he trailed one finger along her jawline. Her body wavered closer, her eyes searched his for answers, but none came as the ripples of nerve tingling electric slowed. “I have a feeling I’m going to welsh on our deal.”

“I think we should try to stay clear of each other,” Tatiana murmured. She nodded slowly. Her tongue darted out, moistening her plump lower lip.

“It’s really the best way to handle this situation. Neither of us wants a mate, so the smart thing to do would be to forget it. We still have free will. Don’t we?”

Tatiana inched nearer in spite of what she was saying. Her hand brushed his as it curled along the weather wood railing, and that same zapping sensation fired through his body. An odd buzzing filled Dominic’s head as their energy signatures whipped through the air like an invisible tornado, dancing around them like a whirling dervish. The buzzing reached a crescendo, and with one final pass, their energy waves merged with a jolt.

Tatiana cried out in surprise and stepped back, but Dominic linked one arm around her waist and pulled her up against him. Her hands gripped his shoulders, and although she didn’t push him away, she gaped at him like a deer in the headlights.

“Wha–what was that?” She asked breathlessly, her voice edged with fear. “I don’t think I can handle this.”

“I’m no entirely sure, but I think our energy signatures merged, and we’ve imprinted on each other. There is one thing I am sure of.” Dominic kissed the corner of her mouth and murmured against her cheek. “The only woman I’m looking to handle…is you.”

The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks

The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo (Love at Stake, #14)


ORDER A COPY: The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: August 27, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he’s ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo.

Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There’s even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal’s gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him—and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored?


Dougal Kincaid had a rather rough life. He was kidnapped as a boy and was pressed into service on a ship. When his ship was overtaken by pirates, he was sold into slavery. It was only through the love of the master’s daughter that she helped him escape his bondage, but Dougal couldn’t save her in return. Her death has haunted him for the last 300 years.

After being turned into a vampire in 1749, his life had improved. He had friends and he was always able to enjoy playing his beloved bagpipes. But his life once again took a dismal turn when he lost his right hand during a battle with the malcontents. Now all anyone wants to talk to him about is his missing hand.

Dougal had to learn to sword fight left handed and then after he received a prosthetic hand, he learned to again fight right handed. Being ambidextrous makes him value to MacKay S&I, but Dougal wants more from his life than the next bloody battle.

Dougal lost more than just his hand that day. He lost his ability to play his bagpipes. His music was part of his soul, and without it he has felt lost.

When Roman brings in geneticist, Leah Chin to help deal with Master Han’s superhuman slaves, Douglas is captivated by her from the moment she walks into Romatech. Something about her reminds him of the woman he lost 300 years ago, and he is not about to let anything happen to her again.

But Leah isn’t too sure that she can deal with a relationship with a vampire, although Dougal’s quiet manner and green eyes haunts her dreams.

More than anything Dougal wants to be able to woo Leah with his music and show her that there is more to the man than just the vampire she sees.

THOUGHTS:
i really love this series and now it is Dougal’s turn.   Dougal is a very deep and complex character. I really liked the way his story unfolded. He is quiet and awkward, even with his fellow vampires, and that has only increased since he lost his hand.

Leah is a genius and completed her doctorate at age 21. Starting college at 14 after being homeschooled, left Leah socially awkward and not used to having any friends. She is used to people showing a friendly face, only so they can use her knowledge.

They understand each other and this quickly forms a bond between the two of them.

I was a little disappointed in Howard’s story, although I can’t explain exactly what bothered me about it, maybe it was the fairytale aspect, but I enjoyed Dougal’s story. Usually I don’t like the reincarnated storyline, but in this story it was presented more that Leah reminded him of the woman he lost and what is what caught his initial attention. He declares often that Leah is quite different from Li Lei and he wants Leah.

There was also the continuing storyline where we are trying to defeat Master Han who is being helped by the demon Darafar.

Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

A wailing sound echoed in the distance, and she turned her head toward it. It sounded familiar somehow, like a distant memory. A chill skittered down her back, and she pulled on her thick cardigan sweater.

She crossed the basketball court, headed for the gazebo. The sound grew louder, more confident.  More beautiful. She halted with a gasp. It was pipe music. Just like Grandpa had played that magical summer. She’d thought the pipes were the most beautiful sound in the world.

She closed her eyes to listen, and the plaintive melody enveloped her, seeped into her skin, and settled in her heart. So much emotion. She didn’t know how the pipes could sound like they were crying, but they did.

Tears filled her eyes as flashes of memory returned from fourteen years ago. The green fields of Ireland. Her grandfather’s lilting voice and warm hug. She’d never had to earn his hugs with straight As. He had loved her for simply being herself. He would have loved this music.

Was it Dougal? It had to be him. How could she resist such a man? His handsome face touched her heart, and his music lured her soul. As she followed the sound of the pipes, her skin pebbled with goosebumps. Was she following her destiny?

Leah, I’ve waited so long for you.

His voice whispered in her mind. He was still thinking about her, still wanting her. She passed the gazebo and headed for the woods. A white shirt came into view.

It was him. She didn’t want to disturb his playing, so she remained halfway hidden behind a tree. He was seated on a bench, his head bowed and forehead furrowed as he concentrated on his hands. His left hand moved easily and gracefully, but the fingers on his prosthetic hand were jerky and slow.

Leah’s heart ached for him. How it must hurt him to struggle with his music. He ended the plaintive melody and sighed.

“Enough of sadness,” he whispered. “I need joy in my life.” I need Leah.

Her breath caught. Should she tell him she was here? Did she dare? In a split second, she knew that if she approached him now, her life would be forever changed. She would fall for a vampire, and he would never let her go.

Her feet froze, unable to move.

He launched into a happy jig, but after a few bars, his prosthetic hand couldn’t keep up. She grimaced as the music soured and declined into a jarring noise.

“Dammit!” He tossed the pipes onto the ground, and they let out a dying wail as leftover air fizzled from the bag. “Damn it to hell.” He strode toward the building, his kilt swishing about his knees.

She stood still, watching him go, then her gaze shifted back to the pipes where they rested on a bed of dead leaves. A breeze stirred up more leaves, and they settled on the bag. In another hour, they might be completely covered with dead leaves. Buried.

A surge of anger shot through her. How dare he give up! He played from his soul. Without music, how would his soul survive?

She wouldn’t let him quit. She strode toward the pipes and gathered them up in her arms. Her grip caused the remaining air in the bag to escape, and the pipes protested with a forlorn wail.

“What are ye doing?” he asked softly.

She whirled around. “I-I didn’t think these should be left outside.”

His brow furrowed with a deep scowl. “How long have ye been out here?”

“Long enough.” She lifted her chin. “You came back awfully fast.”

“I can move verra quickly.” His mouth thinned. “At least my feet can.”

“I know you were having trouble with the jig, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from playing. The slow music was absolutely—“

“Sad,” he interrupted her, his eyes flashing.

“I was going to say beautiful.”

“Nay. It was melancholy. And pathetic. Should I spend the rest of my miserably long life with only sad music to fill my soul?”

“Better to have a sad soul than an empty one.” She held the pipes out to him. “And you have to believe that it will get better. You can’t give up on yourself.”

Tall, Dark and Vampire by Sara Humphreys

Tall, Dark, and Vampire (Dead in the City, #1)


ORDER A COPY: Tall, Dark, and Vampire

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: August 6, 2013
Paperback: 320 pages

Rating: 4 Stars


We’re talking today with author Sara Humphreys about her new series, Dead in the City, her new Demon serials, and saying goodbye to the Amoveo Legend. Check it out.


The last person Olivia Hollingsworth expected to see at her Greenwich Village vampire club was her one true love, Doug Paxton—whom she believed to be dead for centuries. Olivia thought she had moved on, but when Doug reappears, her heart knows she’d rather die than lose him again.

Ever since Doug can remember, a red-haired siren has haunted his dreams. He never thought she could be real until he goes to investigate a murder at Olivia’s night club. However, as the bodies keep piling up at her feet, he must fight to prove her innocence—even if it costs him his life.


Det. Douglas Paxton knew there was something off when he arrived at the nightclub known as The Coven and saw the redheaded beauty standing outside the club. The same beauty who has been haunting his dreams for years now. There was no possible way that she was real. But Doug also knew trouble when he saw it and this place was sending his cop-senses screaming that something was just not right. He had to get his head back into the game and stop focusing on her. People we dying and the killer’s trail was leading right to her doorstep. She might look like his dreamscape beauty, but she was also a possible suspect in the brutal slayings.

Doug wasn’t the only one reeling from their first meeting. To Doug, Olivia was simply a woman he met in vivid dreams. For Olivia, Doug looks just like her great love who she lost the night she was made vampire 300 years ago. As Olivia comes to realize that Doug doesn’t just look like her true love, he is her love reincarnated. She also comes to realize that unless she is willing to turn him, she will be forced to someday watch him die once again.

Although forcing a vampire life on Doug is the last thing she wants to do, when the killer leaves Doug for dead behind her nightclub, Olivia knows she won’t lose him again. When he wakes, Olivia finds that in fact Doug might never forgive her, especially when his turning is…off. He wakes too early from his turning, he has an older vamp’s control of his bloodlust, and his new abilities fall to him naturally…too naturally. Is there such a thing as a naturally born vampire?

As Doug tries to adjust to what is happening to him, they still have a killer to find. A killer who seems to be bringing death right to Olivia’s front door.

THOUGHTS:
A great start to a great new series. There are a few campy vampire abilities, like flying; not changing to a bat, but just flying. Overall, the story was well told and kept your attention, and the characters were well written.

Doug was a stand out character here: dedicated cop unaware of the supernatural, who drawn to the heroine through dreams. He was flawlessly turned into a vampire as if he had been turned hundreds of years ago and not just this morning. That alone kept you guessing as to what was up with Doug, let alone the whole “who is the killer” mystery.

We also met many other characters who I am sure will be the focus of future novels.

A great new paranormal series.

Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you!


Favorite Scene:

“I need to know if you’re real, or if I’m making it all up, like that kiss in the alley.” His erection pressed against her lower back as his hands brushed down her bare arms. “Was that you, Olivia? Was it another dream or a hallucination from hitting my head?”

He didn’t know what was real and what was imaginary and probably felt like he was going insane. Olivia wanted to tell him, but where would she begin? How could she explain something she was still trying to understand?

Doug licked the hypersensitive skin along her neck as he murmured, “Even if it is all just dreams, I don’t care. It feels pretty fucking real.”

He gripped her shoulders and nuzzled her curly red hair off her neck. She arched back, lifted her hands through his short hair, bathing in the feel of his masculine hands as they massaged her breasts. A lusty moan escaped her lips as Doug trailed hot kisses along her neck, and he pinched her nipples as they peaked in response. She pressed herself further into his grasp, desperate to get closer, while he nibbled on the exposed skin.

“I feel like I’ve been looking for you forever–my whole life,” he murmured. “Every time you get closer, but no matter how much I get, it is’t enough. I want more. I want it all.”

His hands wandered to her waist and rested on the gentle curve of her hips. She pressed back and ground against him, which elicited a moan of pleasure as his lips pressed against the crook of her neck.

“Then what are you waiting for?” Olivia spun in his arms, grabbed his face with both hands, and whispered against his lips, “Take it.”

He captured her mouth with his greedily, and she opened for him, letting him plunder. Devouring her as though she might vanish from his embrace at any moment, he scooped her up and carried her toward the abandoned taxi parked at the curb. Olivia kicked off her stilettos, wrapped her arms around his neck, and deepened the kiss–licking and nipping at his firm, warm lips–all the while wishing it were more than a dream.

He sat her down on the hood of the cab and stood between her legs, which she promptly wrapped around his waist, tugging him harder against her. Heat pressed enticingly against heat. Doug cradled her head in his hands and suckled on her lower lip before breaking the kiss. He rested his forehead on hers and brushed his thumb along the skin of her cheek as her hands rested on his ass.

He pulled back abruptly and lifted her chin, forcing her to look him in the face, and when their eyes met, all the breath rushed from his lungs. Familiar turquoise eyes stared at her beneath a furrowed brow, and she watched as the pieces came together.

“It’s you,” he said under his breath. “I’m not crazy, am I, Olivia? The second I laid eyes on you tonight outside the club, I knew you were mine. I’ve dreamt of you since I can remember, but I never though you could be real.” He moved closer, brushing his lips along the corner of her mouth. “And then, there you were on a New York City sidewalk in living color.

Avenging Angel by Cynthia Eden

Avenging Angel (The Fallen, #4)


Our winner was Melissa L. Thank you to Kensington for the givewaway.


ORDER A COPY: Avenging Angel (The Fallen)

Publisher: Brava
Publishing Date: May 28, 2013
Paperback: 337 pages

Rating: 5 stars


With a messed up family background and a tendency to grow claws and fangs, Tanner Chance isn’t exactly the boy next door. But he’s a decent cop, and he keeps himself on the side of the good guys. Convenient, because when he rescues a survivor of a horrific shifter attack he finds himself instantly smitten—with an honest-to-goodness angel, as innocent as she is irresistible.

Marna may be angelic, but she’s not stupid or weak. She can take care of herself. Tanner is more temptation than protection anyway. Or so she thinks, until someone wearing her face starts taking out some of New Orleans’ more unsavory paranormals. With police and predators both gunning for her blood, Marna has no choice but to trust Tanner…even though what’s sparking between them is hotter than anything holy.


Marna was an Angel of Death. Being an Angel of Death wasn’t something that she loved to do. She hated seeing all the pain, suffering and fear associated with death, but it was all she knew. Except Heaven is closed to her now. An Angel without wings can’t fly back to Heaven and her wings were shredded off her body by a half-shifter/half-angel named Brandt. He’s dead, killed by another Fallen, but that doesn’t stop the pain that Marna suffers each day for her loss. The loss of everything that she has ever known. The unbearable pain of having her delicate wings ripped from her body. And suffering the overwhelming emotions which are plaguing her, a Fallen Angel, rage, pain…lust.

The worst part is being a Fallen Death Angel that no longer has the killing touch. Oh how she wanted to use it to kill those shifters to just watched and laughed as her life was torn from her. She tried to touch them and failed, and they laughed at her some more. Now everyone knows that the fragile, helpless little Angel has no power to protect herself. And every predator is looking for her wanting a taste of Angel’s blood, of the power that blood can boost their supernatural abilities. She No. 1 on every supernatural’s hit list whether they want a taste or just want the fortune to be had selling her blood to the highest bidder.

Detective (and shifter) Tanner Chance has been trying to protect Marna since his brother, Brandt, left her broken and bleeding in the swamp. Now that those shifters have turned up dead and eyewitnesses are pointing to the little blonde angel as the killer, Tanner has to work fast to keep Marna from being locked up in the human jail. He will do whatever he must to protect her, even go against his training, because every sense he has tells him to protect her…to protect what is his. Marna isn’t his yet, but she will be. Both the man and the beast know she is his.

THOUGHTS:

Cynthia Eden never disappoints. Although Azreal gets to keep the crown for most awesome Angel, this story kept me guessing the entire time, Who could we trust? Who is watching? Who is after them? After three stories featuring powerful, bad-ass Angels, I loved that Marna is portrayed as small and helpless. Unlike the other Fallen, Marna has not regained her Angel powers since loosing her wings. This makes her a prime target for all the vampires, demons and shifters prowling New Orleans who want to take or cash in on her powerful and very addictive angel’s blood.

There has been something between Tanner and Marna since he picked her up off the ground in the swamp in Angel In Chains and it was a great story to read. Watching Marna go from being afraid whenever she saw Tanner’s claws to her coming to trust him not to hurt her and finally their budding relationship was so enjoyable.

Another great story by Cynthia Eden!

Received a review copy from the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

Marna swallowed and lifted her chin higher. Of course, she lifted the covers higher, too. “I want to be alone now. I don’t want–”

You.

In two seconds, he was on that bed with her. Marna tried to scramble back. Too late. He grabbed her hand and forced it against his bare chest.

Her breath rasped out, and she tried to jerk away from him. “Stop it!”

“Make me.” A cruel taunt, but he had to see what would happen.

Marna’s blue eyes widened as she tried to yank her hand away again. He just tightened his hold. Her palm was soft against his chest. Her splayed fingers pressed right over his racing heart.

“Let me go!”

The covers had dropped. She had on a black bra–one he’d raced out and bought for her before they’d gone to Hell. He’d picked up clothes for her, fantasizing a bit about her in the silk panties, and–

Her left hand plowed into his face.

He shook his head, barely feeling the sting of that blow as realization settled heavily in his gut. “You can’t do it.”

No wonder the vampire had been so close to her.

Her breath rushed out, far too fast, and he could see the frantic race of her pulse at the base of her neck. “Don’t push me.”  Her words were loud, rushed. “I don’t want to hurt you!”

You can’t.” Certain now. “You can’t hurt me.” She was touching him. Flesh to flesh.

Her skin was so pale. Her eyes wide. And the scent of her fear was driving him freaking insane. “You can’t kill me. You can’t use the Death Touch.” Fuck. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me? That vamp could have drained you dry!”

But, even as he asked, Tanner knew why she hadn’t told him. The lady didn’t trust him, not for one single minute.

“I could have handled him,” Marna gritted out.

He still held her hand pinned against his chest. “Oh, yeah? How? The way you’re handling me right now?”

Then she moved, so fast that he didn’t even see the motion of her body. Angels could always move so quickly. Marna just hadn’t moved that way in a while, and he’d forgotten…

She shoved him back on the bed and straddled him, and Marna shoved a knife against this throat.

Now where the hell had she gotten that little trinket?

The silver began to slice into his flesh.

“I found this back at Hell,” she told him, fingers clenched tightly around the hilt of the blade. “I had it when that vamp came at me. I could’ve used it on him.”

“A little knife wouldn’t stop him.” Or me. Silver would hurt like a bitch because the old tale about shifters and silver not mixing so well was true, but she wouldn’t have time to do any permanent damage. Permanent like cutting out his heart.

“It would have slowed him down. Vampires get weaker with blood loss. I would have been sure to make him plenty weak.”

Strange to hear such bloodthirsty plans come from her lips. He had to remember, the lady was far deadlier than she appeared.

Even if she’d somehow lost the Death Touch.

“When did you know?” Her legs straddled him. Did she feel the swelling cock shoving again her? Probably. Tanner didn’t really see how she could miss that. Not like it was a small thing.

The blade dug a bit deeper into his skin. “I went after those bastard panther shifters, LaRue and Stokes,” Marna confessed. “I went after the jerks because I wanted to kill them.”

So she had been seeking some vengeance. Tanner tried to keep his body perfectly still beneath her. He had one hell of a view, and other than the stinging pain in his neck, being beneath her was pretty damn pleasurable.

Being in her, that would be even better.

A hungry growl slipped from him.

Marna frowned down at him.

Tanner cleared his throat. “What happened?”

Her tongue swiped over her lips. His cock jerked.

“I–I tracked them in the Quarter,” she said. “I followed them for days. I waited, wanting the perfect moment.”

To strike.

Definitely a bloodthirsty angel. He’d have to remember that little tidbit about her. Marna sure wasn’t all sunshine and light, no matter how she appeared.

“I was going to walk right up to them. Look them straight in the eyes, and watch as their lives drained away.”

Cold. Vicious.

He would have done the exact same thing. He liked for his kills to be personal. Those getting payback, well, they needed to see just who was delivering the justice to them.

“They always went to the same place for drinks. I waited until the bar on Bourbon Street was almost empty, and then I went inside.”

Tanner heard the echo of pain in her voice. “What did they do to you?”

“Nothing.” A laugh, heavy with bitterness, slipped from her. “I marched up to Stokes. Put my hand on his chest and waited for him to look at me with fear in his eyes.”

Beau Stokes had always been a sadistic prick. So eager to attack weaker prey. So quick to slice with his claws and laugh when his prey begged for mercy.

“But he didn’t even know who I was,” Marna whispered. did she realized she still held the knife to his throat? “He tried to kiss me. Tried to pull me closer to him, like I was another body to screw in that dark bar.”

Tanner didn’t speak.

“I wanted to kill him. I was trying to. LaRue was coming toward us, laughing, and I wanted them both to die.” Her head dipped further forward, and the curtain of her hair hid her face.

Tanner lifted his hand and pushed back her hair. He could barely feel the sting of the knife now. “But they didn’t die.”

Her lashes slowly lifted. “Angels of death–those Fallen and those who still have their wings–all of them can kill with a touch. That’s our power. Our one, unbreakable gift. Death.”

Death was a gift?

“I ran from the shifters. They were laughing at me while I ran away.” Her breath rasped out. “When Brandt took my wings from me, he took away everything that I was. I have nothing now. Nothing.”

But fury. A rage so dark it had sent her after the panthers–ready to kill and destroy.

“Angels have magic. They can do so much–conjure, stir fire.” A bitter laugh came from her. “I can’t even make smoke.” She shook her head. “So what am I supposed to do now?” Marna asked him and then she blinked, seeming to finally realize that she still had a knife at his throat. Her hand lifted as she took the knife away from his jugular. “Just wait around for a vamp to drain me? Wait for a shifter to slice me and–”

It was his turn to have her flat on her back. Tanner crushed her into the mattress. He didn’t have to worry about a Death Touch now. She wasn’t going to lose control.

Maybe it was time he did.

Twisted by Rebecca Zanetti

Twisted  (Dark Protectors, #5.5)


ORDER A COPY: Twisted (Dark Protectors)

Publisher: eKensington
Publishing Date: June 20, 2013
eBook: 103 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Maggie is a wolf shifter who was captured and experimented on by the Kurjans. Now that a cure has finally been found for shifters (although not for vampire mates or witches), she can concentrate on creating a new life for herself and finally accepting that her memories are gone forever. Most memories, that is. Sometimes in the hazy world between dreams and dawn, she hears a Scottish voice, dark and deep, that sounds suspiciously like wolf-shifter Terrent Vilks. A man she happened to anger by kidnapping a few years back. Hey, it was for a good cause.

Terrent Vilks knows more than he’s let on for the past several years. After digging for answers, he knows exactly why the demons want Maggie dead. And he remembers his past with Maggie…very well. She is finally where he wants her. Now all he has to do is discover what exactly the Kurjans did to her, beat the demons into so much submission they leave her alone, and get her to fall in love with him. Again. Good thing he’s used to wrangling monsters.


We first meet Maggie in the book #1, Fated. When Talon breaks into the Kurjan’s laboratory to save Cara, Maggie was also being held captive and experimented on by the Kurjans. Whereas Cara was a vampire mate, and their intent for her was to break her mating bond and steal her as a mate for a Kurjan; Maggie was a shifter and the Kurjans were trying to use their Virus-27 to turn shifters into mindless, slaves or werewolves. Kurjans had been using humans turned werewolves for centuries, but they only live for about a year before they go mad and need to be destroyed. An army of turned shifters would have more power and survive for decades.

With the help of the vampires, Maggie escapes their laboratory, and with the help of the mountain lion shifters, Jordan Pride and Katie Smith, they were able to help Maggie shift to her true form, that a wolf. Although she didn’t turn into a werewolf that first full moon, the fear is that Maggie could lose the fight against the virus at any time. That concern is shared not only by the vampires, but of the Bane’s council which was headed by Terrent Vilks. The job of the Bane’s council is to hunt down werewolves and destroy them. When Terrent arrives to take over the care of Maggie since she is a shifter and not a vampire, the vampires will now allow Terrent to take her.

Thanks to the hard work of Kane and Emma, a cure has been created to help the shifters, and Maggie no longer has to fear succumbing to the draw of the virus, but she has not been able to shake off Terrent Vilks. He has been determined for the past 10 years to get Maggie to the wolf shifters, and now we finally know why.

While no one knows why the virus caused Maggie to lose her memory, the oddest thing about Maggie’s memory loss is that no shifter clan has ever come forward to claim her. Shifters are large families that keep their members close, so why wouldn’t they come forward to claim a lovely, young healthy shifter female like Maggie. Terrent not only knows what happened to Maggie’s pack, but he knew Maggie before her abduction, a lot more intimately than he ever let on before. Not only were they lovers, but Maggie had agreed to become his mate before she disappeared.

Acting under the guidance of the vampire King, Dage, Maggie has agreed to go with Terrent to the Raze wolf pack to try and uncover who has been tampering with the shifter’s inoculations, while Terrent’s sole desire is to uncover Maggie and once again convince her to be his mate.

THOUGHTS:

You know I love Rebecca’s Dark Protectors and I just loved Maggie’s story. I have been waiting for this one for awhile now. Once we started getting some serious hints that Terrent wanted more than just a blood test from Maggie, and especially after Terrent started calling her “Little Wolf” with just enough sexual purr that you knew something was brewing.

Although there were still some unanswered questions at the end of the story, we finally learn more about Maggie and her missing pack as well as her previous life with Terrent. While Terrent does a very nice job of seducing Maggie back into his life.

Received an ARC through netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

“I’m so sorry,” Maggie whispered.

He lifted a shoulder. “I was only two years old and barely remember. Somebody hid me, and three days after the massacre, your grandpa found me.”

Maggie blinked. “My people raised you?”

Terrent coughed out a laugh. “No. Your people don’t mix well with other wolves because of their weird ability. Your grandpa brought me to Gerald, and I was raised with his pack until I was eight.”

“What then?” Had the poor guy found a home?

“I had skills—fighting skills that were beyond the norm. Plus, I came from an Alpha bloodline but lacked a pack. So I trained to sit on the Bane’s Council. All of the world, I trained with the best shifters, vampires, even a couple demons in order to fight.” He checked the rearview mirror. “Since the age of eight, I was trained to kill.”

The matter-of-fact tone chilled her more than the actual words. “Sounds lonely.”

“It was.” His dark eyes warmed as he glanced her way. “Then I found you, and I wasn’t lonely any longer.”

Her heart thumped. Hard. “I wish I remembered us.”

“I wish you did, too.” His hands tightened on the wheel. “You need to believe that even though we argued, and you took off for a bit, we didn’t break up. You just needed to cool off.”

Relying on somebody else to fill in her past flared her instincts into awareness. “I don’t know many wolves, but it seems we’re ruled by emotion. If we really wanted to mate, why didn’t we?”

His upper lip quirked.

Cute. Way too cute.

“You wanted to get married first,” he said, shaking his head. “Totally unorthodox, kind of silly, but you’re a true romantic.”

Well, yeah. The whole white dress, veil, walking down the aisle sounded sweet. She wanted sweet. “You agreed?”

He scratched his head. “I agreed to anything you wanted except allowing you to fight.”

She’d ignore that word for now. “You didn’t trust me.”

“It wasn’t about trust.” His brow furrowed. “You have many fine skills, but you’re, I mean, you’re—“

“Clumsy?” she muttered.

He snorted. “Horribly clumsy. I tried to train you in blade fighting once, and you almost took off your own foot.” He laughed, the sound deep and free. “God, you were a menace.”

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)


ORDER A COPY: Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (SSTB)

Publisher: Ace
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 338 pages

Rating: 1 stars


There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough.


As we say a last goodbye to Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie is still reeling from watching Sam Merlotte die–actually die in front of her. Thankfully Sookie still had the cluviel dor (a fairy magic wish) and she used it to bring Sam back to life.

You would think that saving her friend’s life would make things wonderful for Sookie. But now Eric is unhappy with her because he wanted her to use the dor for his benefit to get him out of the arranged marriage to the Queen of Oklahoma. Eric then summons Sookie to Fangtasia to divorce her and release her from their vampire binding.

And if that is not enough to leave Sookie an emotional wreck, Sam has been acting very odd toward Sookie since he returned from the dead. You’d think he’s at least say thanks.

As if her friends acting odd wouldn’t be bad enough, Sookie has accumulated quite a few enemies over the last few years. Amelia’s father, Copley Carmichael sells his soul to a devil (no, not the devil) so that he can have Sookie’s cluviel dor, only to learn that Sookie has already used the dor and now he has sold his soul for nothing, and he plans on taking out his anger on Sookie.

There are another two men who have returned from Sookie’s past who have plans to ruin Sookie’s life as well and their first move is to have Arlene Fowler released from prison. Arlene, who had previously been arrested for her part in setting up Sookie to be crucified by her racist friends. Arlene is just happy to be released, and she doesn’t know that she is being set up as a pawn in a game to frame Sookie for Arlene’s murder.

When Sookie is arrested, she finds out who her true friends are when they rally around her and help her to find the real culprits.

THOUGHTS:

In what should be an epic conclusion to a popular series which has been turned into a TV show to make it an even more popular series, you would think Charlaine Harris would go out with a bang as explosive as the 4th of July. This book fizzled more like a cheap, wet sparkler.

Although I had given up on this series and didn’t read the last two books, I had no problem keeping up with the happenings of this story. There is a guest appearance from almost every character that has ever shown up in this series, except for Bubba (f/k/a Elvis). Bubba seemed to have been written out of the series about halfway through which was sad, because I liked him. He was always there to help out Sookie or protect her if needed. Even Quinn, the pathetic weretiger, showed up to help out and support Sookie, and just as quickly disappeared again.

I started out enjoying this series, and then quickly became bored with the characters and storylines. I got disgusted with Sookie after the fairy fight where Bill said he would gladly die to protect her and when she looked at her love, Eric, he was “Mmmm, not so much.” Then in the next book, the witch Amelia indicated that Sookie might just be with Eric because of the blood bond, and maybe they could see about breaking it before Sookie changed to a vampire, and Sookie’s concern about that was “Meh.” Then I was thinking “meh” about the whole series.

I don’t know that I have read such a boring, tedious finale to a series ever. If you haven’t purchased your copy, save yourself the time and the money and don’t. If you weren’t planning on it, you are that much smarter than I. I purchased an audiobook copy and wasted almost 11 hours and several days listening to this torture.

Good-bye Sookie. I don’t think anyone is going to miss you.


Favorite Scene:

I can’t say that I had a favorite scene, but just as an example of the excitement presented in this story…Here’s Sookie inventorying her nightstand.

No one at all was at my house when I unlocked the back door. That was strange, since it had been such a beehive that morning. Moved by an impulse, I went into my bedroom and perched on the side of the bed, close to my bedside table. Thanks to my compulsory cleaning during my three days off, neatly located in the top drawer were all the things I might need at a moment’s notice during the night: a flashlight, Kleenex, ChapStick, Tylenol, three condoms Queen had left when we’d dated, a list of emergency phone numbers, a cell phone charger, and old tin box (full of pins, needles, buttons, and paper clips), some pens, a notepad…the usual mixture of handy items.

Under the Gun by Hannah Jayne

Under the Gun (Underworld Detection Agency #4)


ORDER A COPY: Under the Gun (Underworld Detection Agency)

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
Paperback: 352 pages

Rating: 4 stars


When you’re near the top of the Underworld Detection Agency, the claws really come out…

Quick thinking and loyalty have taken human Sophie Lawson a long way in the UDA—along with a healthy dose of magic immunity. But when her old boss Pete Sampson asks for help after a mysterious two-year disappearance, she’s determined to find out what high-placed demon has put two ruthless werewolf killers on his tail. Of course, sucking up to her icy vampire department head and negotiating a treacherous inter-office demon battle are the kind of workplace politics that could easily get a “breather” way worse than reprimanded. And sexy fallen angel Alex is doing whatever it takes to heat up Sophie’s professional cool and raise feelings she’s done her best to bury. Too bad their investigation is about to uncover the Agency’s darkest secrets…and powerful entities happy to sign one inquisitive human’s pink slip in blood.


Sophie Lawson is on the job again. But as the new head of the Fallen Angel Division at the Underworld Detection Agency, there really isn’t much to do. Unless you count the fact that her past has come knocking on her front door. Her former boss, werewolf and frequent star of Sophie’s sexy daydreams, Pete Sampson, has returned. Sophie’s not sure what’s more shocking, the fact that he’s not dead or the fact that he let her think that he was dead all this time. Someone has put out a contract for Sampson’s life and he has been hiding out from the fiercest werewolf killers on the west coast—even if one of them does dresses like an anime character…

When bodies start to turn up, not just dead, but mauled to death by say…a werewolf? Sophie is torn between her loyalty to her old boss and her devotion to fallen angel now Det. Alex Grace. Hey, yeah, I know where we could find a possibly killer werewolf—on my couch. Oh, that would go over well.

If she tells Alex that she’s hiding a werewolf in her apartment, he’ll have no choice but to bring Sampson in for questioning. She just can’t do it. Not only won’t a human jail be able to hold a werewolf, but then the hunters will know exactly were to find Sampson. But is her loyalty to Sampson getting people killed?

It’s just a typical Monday in the life of Sophie Lawson…

THOUGHTS:

I love Sophie and the gang! After the last book when Sophie and Will get a little bit closer and Alex finds her sneaking out of Will’s apartment, I couldn’t wait to see how Alex reacted in this book. I wasn’t disappointed especially when Will and Alex play a game of She’s My Girl. I do think Alex is still a little too noble with his “but I’m a fallen angel” bit. Stop being such a tease.

I did miss Nina a bit in this book. San Francisco is hit with a heat wave and sunny skies are keeping the vampires inside and they’re getting more than a little batty (he, he). Nina goes on a QVC spree, but her cabin fever seems to tone her down a bit in this book.

Also with Sophie’s new position as head of fallen angels (as there aren’t very many registered fallen angels with the UDA), she doesn’t have much interaction with the clients in the last two books and I miss that novelty of the mundane registration of supernatural creatures. It was a very quirky and funny part of the series. See my notes from Under Attack.

Hannah Jayne is an entertaining storywriter and I enjoy her quirky cast at the UDA.

Don’t forget to check out our past interview with the cast of the UDA.

Received ARC from the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

We pulled up to a stoplight just off Union Avenue and I listened to the car idle, to the faint sounds of someone playing a saxophone on a distant corner. And then there was something else.

A wail—or a moan.

“Did you hear that?” Alex asked, ear cocked toward the open window.

I turned the stereo off and leaned out my own window, holding my breath for a silent beat. A lazy wisp of oregano scented air wafted into the car, and on it, a chorus of low moans. They were desperate, insistent rumbles that cut through the city noise.

I furrowed my brow. “What is that?”

Now the moans and rumbles were joined by thumps, then a shallow scraping as though something—or someone—was being dragged.

Alex’s eyebrows went up. “Lawson?” I saw his hand hover around his concealed gun.

I held up a silencing hand. “Wait, Alex. I thing it might be—“

“Zombies?”

They engulfed the car before the word was out of his mouth, their fingers scraping against the paint, lifeless limbs thumping against the mangled exterior of my vampmobile. Alex’s eyes were wide, distressed, his face ashen as their fingers came through the open window, clawing at him, touching his skin, ruffling his hair. Zombie fingers brushed at my face, too; a clammy hand landed on my arm, grabbed a fistful of my shirt.

I couldn’t help myself. I started to giggle.

Alex, swatting at the grey, rotting arms that waved at him, looked at my incredulously. “You’re laughing? This is funny to you?”

One of the zombies had curled his fingers under my neck and was actively tickling me now, giggling back at me as my laughter grew, his grin wide and goofy. I clamped my knees together and tried not to wet myself. “They’re—they’re—they’re real!” I squeezed out, throwing the car into park and doubling over myself.

“Of course they’re real!” Alex said. “How the hell do we kill them?”

“Double tap!” A zombie on Alex’s side of the car yelled. “Cardio-oooo!”

“Beeeeer!,” another one groaned, a rivulet of black-red blood dribbled out the side of his mouth. “Beeer!”

Alex wrinkled his brow. “Is that zombie asking for beer? Can they do that!”

I was laughing so hard now that tears were pulsing from my eyes and I started to cough. Finally, I got hold of myself. “They’re real, Alex. They’re real people.”

Alex paused, his lip curling up into a snarl as another zombie wannabe poked her full torso through my window. “Graiiiins!” she moaned, stiff arms waiving. “Graiiins!”

“She’s a vegetarian,” I said by way of explanation.

“What the hell is going on here?” Alex wanted to know.

Veggie-zombie bared a mouth full of grayish teeth, half smeared with a thick coat of shiny black greasepaint. “Zombie pub crawl,” she informed. “We’re only on our second pub.” She craned her neck to look out the windshield. “Light’s green.” She wriggled out of the car and I inched forward. Veggie-Zombie’s undead brood wailing and flailing in the street behind us.

“There’s hundreds of them,” Alex said, staring out the back window incredulously.

“Probably.”

“You’re not the slightest bit spooked by that?” Alex said.

“Why should I be? Those zombies are in way better spirits than the ones from the Underworld. And they can be satiated with beer. The ones at the office? Ugh. They’re supposed to have eaten before they come in, but if you even look the slightest bit intelligent, they’re salivating all over your desk. I had a guy suck the hair tie right off of my ponytail once.”

Alex shook his head in disbelief. “I’m hearing the words, but they don’t make sense.” He was silent for a beat and I glanced at him from the corner of my eye, his serious expression starting my giggles all over again. He gave me a dirty look. “Look, you’ve got to cut me some slack.”

I shot him a devious smirk. “And why’s that?”

“Come on. It’s ninety degrees in San Francisco, we processed a murder scene that was right out of a Wes Craven film, you were shish-kebabed by a hoarder, and suddenly, the streets are overrun with the thirsty dead.” He brushed the zombie-fist marks out of his shirt. “It’s perfectly normal that a guy would get a little unnerved.”

“Or that a guy could scream like a little girl.”

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