Category Archives: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: December 3, 2013
Paperback: 217 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had…
Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…
Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…
Bren is a lone wolf—or werewolf that is. He has been without a pack since his parents died when he was a kid and the elder’s wouldn’t allow him to join his father’s pack. Bren is okay with that because his “pack” consists of the people who matter to him: his roommate, Dan and Celia Wird and her sisters. They are the only people he can count on, the only people he can trust, and the only people he would die to protect.
And to protect those he loves against the growing danger from the demons and the witches of The Tribe that keep calling together the evilest of supernaturals, he would even agree to join Aric’s pack, even though the pure-blooded bastard broke Celia’s heart.
That doesn’t mean he is going to play by Aric’s rules like a good little pup. Bren’s mouth has a habit of writing checks his ass can’t cash and mouthing off to an alpha-were might not always be the best way to show that you are willing to be part of the pack.
When their friend Dan is kidnapped by soul-sucking ghouls, Bren has to quickly decide if he can trust the pack or will he and Celia go it alone to find Dan before it is too late.
As the Weird Girl series is told by Celia’s point of view, this was interesting to read from Bren’s perspective. He gives us some insight into his friendships with Dan and Celia and why he they mean so much to him. We also learn why he is a lone wolf and why he likes it that way.
This story continues on from where we left off after A Cursed Embrace. There is plenty of action since the witch is now calling forth cursed souls and will try to possess bodies and they keep showing up around Bren and Celia.
It was an enjoyable addition to the series and gives Celia’s friends a little more depth to their characters. I don’t know what I enjoyed more: watching Bren torment his roommate Dan or Celia, Bren mouthing off to Aric, Bren riling up Aric’s new fiance or the always entertaining disapproving neighbor, Mrs. Mancuso.
Received an ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
I jumped out and ambled toward the blue Colonial. Mrs. Mancuso, the girls’ elderly neighbor, was sweeping her front steps by the light of her lawn jockey’s lantern, a freak-ass little statue with bright red pants and a lazy eye. Despite the late hour she brushed her little broom back and forth with quick precise motions, even though any sap could have eaten off of the wooden steps as they were. She was probably bored, and lonely. The Wird sisters seemed to be her only form of entertainment.
She buttoned the top of her coat to protect her frail body against the cold. As a were, I’d keep the majority of my strength and reflexes till my dying day. Little old humans like her didn’t have that luxury. I grinned with my new set of chompers and winked her way. “Hey, sex-uh lady.”
Mrs. Mancuso smiled and tucked her neck skin into her brown wool scarf. “Oh, Brendan, you’re such a good boy to flirt with an old lady.” She furrowed her penciled in brows and glanced over at Celia’s former home sweet home. “Too good a boy in fact to be hanging out with those Wird girls.”
I nodded in agreement. “Don’t worry, Mrs. M, I’m trying to help them see the light. I plan to spend the next few hours reading to them from the Bible. They’ll come around, just leave it to me.”
The front door of the Wird house crashed open. There stood Celia—five-foot-three inches of long lethal muscles in skinny jeans and a tight white long sleeved T-shirt. The breeze picked up, sweeping her long mane of brown curls around her face. She pushed her hair out of the way, exposing her narrowing green eyes. Her supersized hearing had obviously picked up my chat with their not-so-favorite neighbor.
I waved. “Hey, Ceel. What’s wrong? Still mad I made you cancel your porn subscription?”
It was really hard not to laugh at her reaction. Celia subscribing to porn was like me joining a Justin Bieber fan club—so not happening. Her eyes shot open only to narrow further at Mrs. Mancuso’s stiff, reprimanding middle finger.
Celia stormed to the edge of her front porch, and while a wide driveway separated both houses, I still caught her golden skin reddening beneath the whitening glare of her porch light. “Mrs. Mancuso, I do not have a porn—”
“Harlot!” Mrs. Mancuso shot back. She lifted her broom defensively, daring Celia to cross the driveway and step foot on her property. Celia pinched the bridge of her nose. In a Mancuso/Celia Wird smack-down, Mrs. M won every time. Not that Celia couldn’t crush her like a fistful of berries, but because Ceel didn’t pick on those weaker than her, no matter how much they annoyed her.
I placed my hand on Mrs M’s shoulder. “It’s okay, honey-bunches. I won’t stop until the sin is washed from her wanton soul.”
“Bren, that’s enough out of you.”
Mrs. M patted my arm, ignoring Celia. “You’re a good boy, Branden,” she said once more.
She flipped Celia off again before shuffling into her house.
A Cursed Moon includes a preview of the upcoming Weird Girls novel Cursed by Destiny!
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.
ORDER A COPY: Entwined (Darkest London)
Publisher: Forever Romance
Publishing Date: November 5, 2013
Ebook: Says 40 pages, seemed like more.
Rating: 4 stars
Eamon Evernight has always lived in his older brother’s shadow. While his brother is fair of hair and lithe in body, Eamon sparks fear with his fiery locks and massive frame-and rumors of a mysterious power. But when his brother has the good fortune to be betrothed to a beautiful stranger, it’s Eamon’s help-and quick wit and romantic heart–that he needs. Eamon agrees to write the noble lady…a generous offer that will forever leave him a changed man.
Lady Luella Jane Moran has no interest in an arranged marriage and tries valiantly to dissuade her betrothed from afar. Though her own letters plainly state her case, the words her husband-to-be writes her leave her aching for his touch. Will Lu give in to the desire the missives have kindled within her? Or will desire turn cold when she discovers their true author?
Aidan Evernight received a letter from his intended bride, a bride arranged between the families, begging him to rebel with her against the archaic arrangement and set them both free. But Aidan wanted a bride in name only so he could have someone to keep his home and allow him to lead his own life. Aiden begged his brother Eamon to write to her and convince her that she needed to go through with the marriage when she came of age.
Except when Eamon agreed to assist his brother, his first desire was to convince the young woman to continue to fight the arrangement. He didn’t like the idea of his brother trapping the girl in a loveless marriage for his own benefit. But from their first correspondence, their wits and intelligence meshed and began a four year love affair between Eamon and Lu, and as the time came for Lu to meet her intended husband, Eamon’s mistake hit him full force. He had woo’d the woman he loves for someone else to possess, and he would have to step back and watch her be joined forever to his brother.
Eamon had lost all hope, but when fate intervenes on his behalf, will he be able to confess his fraud to Lu and claim her as his own, and if he does, will she ever forgive him?
Eamon was a quiet, gentle man but he was also very large with shocking red hair. His appearance along with his father’s ranting of him being a demon’s spawn, made the Town’s people wary of him. So it is not surprising that his romance begins with letters allowing his intelligence and his humor to shine through before Lu ever meets him and allowing both to form strong bonds of love before ever meeting face to face.
Of course, we have the whole Cyrano-type storyline where his brother doesn’t find out about the four years of letter writing until just before Lu shows up at their door. Now I adored sweet Eamon and thoroughly enjoyed the story, although I did have a few issues. Eamon’s mother died in childbirth bearing him, the younger son, and his father held him responsible for his mother’s death and treated him like the proverbial ‘redheaded stepchild.’ So why was Eamon the smarter and more educated of the two brothers? Aidan couldn’t read and write no matter how hard the tutor’s tried to teach him, which is why Eamon had to write to Lu. Maybe he was dyslexic?? Aiden also had an English accent while Eamon had a Irish lilt. They grew up together, how did that happen? And although Eamon and Lu end up getting married (It’s a romance. I’m not giving anything away.), it bothered me that on their wedding night, Eamon is hesitant since he steps in for his brother and he believe Lu loves Aidan, and he tries to get the unpleasantness over for her as quickly as possible where he barely lifts her nightgown, in/out and he leaves the room as quickly as possible. It wasn’t even just because they were both virgins that it was awkward. I felt like she agreed to marry you, she agreed to not put off the consummation of the marriage, and you couldn’t start off with a little kiss? Having sex with her is okay, but a kiss is too personal? It was awkward for them and it was awkward for me, the reader. Later in the story when we get to the kissing part, they do just fine.
Other than the awkward consummation and a few contrived plot twists, I like the way Eamon and Lu meshed. This is a novella from a regency/paranormal themed series. If you have not read the series, you can still enjoy this story. It seems Eamon is a minor character to the Darkest London series. The last few sentences point out who he is, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the exact content from the Winterblaze story and my review copy disappeared long ago so I couldn’t flip through it. Obviously, it wasn’t necessary to know that to enjoy Lu and Eamon’s story, and for only $.99 (on Amazon), it was a sweet romance with enough of a plot twist to make it interesting novella.
Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Keep going that way and you’ll find the garden wall.”
Lu came to a sudden halt at the sound of the deep voice. It wasn’t Aidan’s; his was a bit lighter in tone. No, this voice was warmer and tinged with more of an Irish lilt than her fiance’s well-bred English diction.
A note of humor colored it as the man continued, “Besides, the stables are in the other direction.”
She turned and found Eamon Evernight sitting in the shadows with his back against a large rowan tree. The younger Evernight brother hadn’t spoken a word in the house. He’d simply eased away from conversation until he’d blended into the woodwork. A fine trick for one so large as he. But Lu had been aware of him, or his stare rather. She’d felt it linger across her neck when her back was turned and heat her checks when she’d faced his way.
Oddly, he never outright stared, but tracked her from under his lashes. Which made it all the more unnerving that she’d known he’d been watching her.
He watched her now as well, his gaze steady and waiting.
“How did you know I was headed for the stables?” She’d been out of her room and headed for them as soon as the weather had cleared.
The corners of his eyes crinkled just a touch. “I recall hearing you had an affinity for horses.” His lids lowered, a slow perusal that had her skin prickling. “Seems inevitable that you’d suss them out as soon as you could.”
The way he spoke to her, as if to tease; she did not know why, but it roused her. Why hadn’t Aidan taunted her in this manner? She’d expected it of him, even hoped for such an exchange.
“Oh?” she said lightly. “And what if I was merely going for a walk?”
“Well, your muttering ‘where the bloody hell are the stables’ might have provided me with further clues.”
She laughed. “I must say, Mr. Evernight, your powers of observation are keen. Though it wasn’t very nice of you to repeat a lady’s indiscretion to her.” Good Lord, she had been swearing like a stable hand, hadn’t she? Ladies did not do such things. She’d have to repeat that fact until she remembered. Damn it.
A deep, slow chuckle drifted over to her. Strangely, she thought that Eamon Evernight did not laugh often. Which was a shame because it was a very nice sound.
“I won’t think any less of you, I promise,” he said. “Especially when I have uttered a few of those words a few times myself today.”
Shaking her head slightly, Lu stepped closer, bringing herself under the shade of the tree, and Eamon came into better focus.
My, but he was large. His shoulders were twice the width of hers. His arms beefy with muscle, now on display behind the thin, improper lawn shirt he wore. Massive, scarred, and callused hands hung limply upon his bent knees. She looked away from them and into his face.
His coloring was unfortunate. One could not shy away from it. Vibrant, angry red hair swirled into a thick wave from his crown, giving the impression of a flame. On this towering brute of a man, the color was excessive. And not at all fashionable. Indeed most people in England looked upon red hair as a defect. Ridiculous notion, but one that did not abate. Regardless, her preference was for golden hair and light blue eyes.
“I merely wanted to brush down the horses, perhaps have a chat with them,” she said to him. “I am quite accustomed to caring for them, you know.”
The corners of his mouth curled in a hint of a smile. “It’s the grooms, you see. They do not yet know you. If you wander in, they won’t know what to do with themselves.”
The quiet way in which he spoke was firm but not reproachful. Even so, her shoulders slumped. No servant wanted an unfamiliar woman drifting into their territory. Especially the stables. How long had it taken her to win over the hands at her father’s stables? “Well, I suppose I shall make do with roaming the garden.”
She must have made a face, for he smiled then, and his face was transforming to something almost boyish, with little dimples appearing on each side of his wide mouth. Strong, white teeth flashed in the shadows.
“Ah, now, don’t go fretting. You simply need an able escort. I can take you to the stables, if you’d like—” He stopped, his high cheeks coloring in that strong, ginger way that he must abhor. “That is, Aidan can escort you, of course.” His gaze settled on his hands.
Yes, Aidan could take her. Only the thought made the horrid lump within her chest grow. She did not want to face the man who called himself Aidan yet treated her as if she were a stranger.
“I’ll go fetch him, shall I?” He moved to get up, and Lu put out her hand.
“Oh, no. Don’t bother. Truly, it’s all right.”
An uncomfortable silence descended.
“May I sit with you, Mr. Evernight?” Lu did not know what had prompted her to ask. And when he looked at her with his dark brows raised in surprise, she wished she could take back the request. But only a little.
There was something oddly comforting about Eamon Evernight. She fancied that whatever she said or did, he would not sit in judgment.
“Call me Eamon,” he said, shifting over so that she could sit with her back supported by the tree. “Mr. Evernight makes me think of my father.”
Lu arranged herself, and her skirts, at the base of the tree. There was not much room, Eamon being as large as he was, and their shoulders were close enough to feel his body heat. “So then you did not get along with your father either?”
“Either?” Eamon frowned.
“I merely meant that Aidan told me he did not have a close relationship with your father, and it sounded like you did not either.”
Eamon cleared his throat. “Right, of course. Well, ours was not the best of accords.” With a distracted air, he scratched the back of his head, and the curve of his biceps bulged against the tight stretch of his sleeve.
By Saint Joan, she shouldn’t be looking at the man’s muscles, or noting the way they moved. She bit her lip in annoyance and tried to focus on his face. But that did no good. For she realized, with a bit of a start, that he was quite handsome when one looked past that flaming red hair. Classically so.
His nose was strong and straight, his jaw squared and graceful.
She was staring now. She knew it, yet Lu could not help but keep looking. To find such masculine beauty here was like discovering a secret treasure.
With such bright red hair, one would expect him to have freckles and pale eyes, but his skin was mellow ivory, and beneath sweeping brows of auburn, his eyes were deep, saturated cobalt blue, such as found in Chinese porcelain.
Looking into them, she felt a strange sort of hitch in her chest, as if someone had stolen her breath for a moment.
Perhaps she made a sound or something showed in her expression, for his brows drew together and a small half-smile pulled at his lips. “What is it?” His voice was soft and searching, as if he worried he’d offended her.
“You’re…” she trailed off in a mad blush.
“I’m what?” he prompted gentle, yet looking a bit apprehensive.
Lovely. Rare. Unexpected.
ORDER A COPY:
Publisher: Thea Harrison
Publishing Date: November 28, 2013
Ebook: ?? novella
Rating: 5 stars
The Bermuda Triangle. Pirates. The Peanut. What could possibly go wrong?
Dragos Cuelebre needs a vacation. So does Pia, his mate. When the First Family of the Wyr head to Bermuda for some much needed R&R, it’s no ordinary undertaking – and no ordinary weekend in the sun. Between hunting for ancient treasure buried beneath the waves and keeping track of their son, Liam—a.k.a. Peanut, whose Wyr abilities are manifesting far ahead of schedule—it’s a miracle that Pia and Dragos can get any time together.
They’re determined to make the most of each moment, no matter who tries to get in their way.
And did we mention pirates?
For Dragos Cuelebre, this has been one of the greatest, but craziest years in his millenia of existence. He was met and mated Pia, he lost two of his friends and sentinels to their own matings, he saved the Elven domain, he held the first Sentinel Games, and his mate gave him the greatest treasure that he has even had—his son, Liam. After a year like this, the Cuelebre family are in need of a quiet vacation.
At least that is what Pia is trying to convince Dragos to do with some subtle hints. She even gets out some books from the library on lost treasures knowing full well that an acquisitive dragon like Dragos won’t be able to resist a treasure hunting adventure and a family vacation in the Caribbean is just what Pia needs.
But you can’t expect a treasure hunt with the Lord of the Wyrs to be without complications. Especially since there are several parties already looking for the lost treasure of the Light Fae.
It doesn’t take long for a Wyr as powerful as Dragos to locate the treasure especially when it contains magical items and since the pirates can’t take the treasure from him, they take something much more valuable than gold—his newborn son.
Peanut is now my favorite character of all time! I absolutely love him! We have this story told not only from Pia and Drago’s POV, but we also have several chapters told by their son, Liam, affectionately known as Peanut. He is absolutely adorable!! He even won over the harpy, Aryal, in Kinked, he’s that cute.
I loved that Thea went back to Dragos and Pia in Lord’s Fall and we were able to once again enjoy time with them and their new son. It was an interesting and lighthearted novella. We have become complacent with Dragos. He is a devoted husband and now father. But this story shows just what happens when you cross someone as powerful and deadly as a Wyr-dragon. He isn’t Lord of the Wyr for nothing.
And did I mention how cute Peanut is??
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Mommy carried him into his room. He thought things were going quite well until she set him down on the thick, soft rug in the middle of the floor.
No, that wasn’t what he wanted. That was very much not what he wanted.
He was tired again, and his mouth hurt, and he was hungry all of the time. Hungry for what, he didn’t know. Hungry, hungry.
So he scowled and concentrated mightily on something that he wanted.
And the world shifted.
He felt better. Quite a bit better, actually. His new mouth didn’t hurt at all, but he was still very hungry.
Mommy kept talking as she moved around his room. She pulled diapers out of drawers, set them on the changing table and turned to the closet. “…I want to take you to the beach and play in the sand with you, except I don’t know that we should. Are you too young to play in sand, or to go into salt water? Peanut, you are such a statistical outlier, half the time I have no idea what we should do with you.”
She turned away from the closet, her arms full of clothes. When she looked at him, she shrieked and dropped everything.
It startled him so badly he felt a burst of anxiety. He turned around to scoot backward toward her as fast as he could, but something flopped along his back, and his arms and legs weren’t working quite the way they had been earlier. He stopped, confused, and looked down at himself.
Slender white forelegs stretched to the floor. He picked up a front paw, staring at the talons. Then he looked over his shoulder and flexed sleek, graceful wings. A tail trailed the floor behind him. He reached for it with one forepaw and picked up the end. When he tugged at it, his butt wagged. The tail was attached to him.
Mommy knelt in front of him and cupped his face. He looked up into her eyes. She was teary and yet smiling. “You are the cleverest baby ever,” she said. “You’re so beautiful, and exactly how I first dreamed of you.”
Pleasure sleeked him down, and he smiled at her.
Her eyes went very round. Then she beamed at him. “That’s quite a mouthful of toofers you’ve got there, too.”
She gathered him up in her arms. He tucked his snout into the crook of her neck, and it was so good. It was almost everything he wanted, except….
He was so hungry.
He fussed and whined, and she sat on the floor and rocked him, while she dug her cell phone out of her pocket and moved her thumb rapidly over the keypad. “Dragos, you have to come home right now.”
Daddy’s sharp voice came over the phone. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong exactly, but Liam has changed and he’s upset.”
“What do you mean, he’s changed?”
“I mean he’s changed! He’s in his dragon form, and I can’t even tell you how beautiful he is. He’s also upset for some reason. Maybe it scared him? And you’re missing all of it. You need to come see this.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Mommy set the phone aside as Liam whined and plucked at her shirt. “Are you hungry?” she asked gently. He nodded. “I can’t nurse you when you’re like this, sweetheart, not with all of those razor sharp teeth.”
That was the saddest thing he had ever heard in his whole life. He lifted his head and looked at her, grief bleeding from his eyes.
“Oh Peanut, I’m so sorry. Please don’t look at me that way.” They considered each other desperately. Mommy’s expression turned firm. He folded his wings back and clung to her, as she rolled to her feet and carried him to the kitchen.
She opened the fridge door and pulled out a pan that had the something he was craving. It smelled oh, so good. He arched toward the pan, reaching with both front paws.
“Hold on—let me get the plastic wrap off first.”
She slid to the floor as he struggled to get to the contents in the pan. She snatched off the plastic wrap, set the pan on the kitchen tile, and he fell on the leftover sirloin roast. Eyes closed, his whole body tense, he focused on gorging on the meat.
Running footsteps sounded in the background, but it was only Daddy, so he ignored it. A moment later, Daddy said in a quiet voice, “Well, damn. Look at that. Hello, little man.”
A large, gentle hand came down on Liam’s back, between his wings, and contentment filled him.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Pia said. “He acted like he was starving, and he has all those teeth. Then I remembered what you said about how he was going to need a lot of meat.”
“You did exactly what you should have,” said Daddy.
Liam finished off the roast. The hungriness had gone away, and his belly felt comfortably stretched and full. Sleepiness descended. Eyes drooping, he looked over his shoulder. Daddy and Mommy knelt on either side of him, both smiling.
He scooted backward toward Mommy. When she gathered him up, he turned to climb up her body until he lay draped along her shoulders.
“I’m telling you, this is just like my dreams,” Mommy said. She reached up to stroke his leg. He stopped listening to their conversation, tucked his snout in the neckline of her shirt and fell fast asleep.
ORDER A COPY: Kindle or AllRomanceEBooks
Publishing Date: November 5, 2013
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…
As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
Aryal is a harpy in every definition of the word. Not only in her Wyr form does she changes in the harpy of Greek Mythology with torso and head of a woman and wings and talons of a bird of prey, but her personality is that of a unpleasant shrew. And she likes it that way.
She is the only female Sentinel and in the recent Sentinel games, she once again proved her worthiness of that coveted position. But it is in the last game, that Quentin Caeravorn also earned one of the open spots which was vacated when Rune and Tiago left to be with their mates. Quentin was the former boss of Pia, Drago’s new mate. She might have to put up with Pia, but Aryal knows deep in her bones that there is something off about Quentin. She just hasn’t been able to pin anything specific on him. Two years of investigation has lead to dead ends and dried up leads, but she refuses to have someone as dirty as Quentin at her back.
When their dislike for each other puts them literally at each other’s throats, Dragos has had enough. He is sending them out of New York for the next month. They are being sent on a mission which they are required to complete together, without killing each other, and to find a way to settle their differences or else they will both be replaced.
Both would like nothing more than for an “accident” to help them out with removing their nemesis, but after hammering out their differences with fists, talons and claws, they are finally finding their way around the kinks in both of their dominant personalities.
This story had a lot a fun as well as a few touching moments. Aryal and Quentin are both dominant personalities and more ways than one. I love how they finally deal with their growing sexual tension by offering bargains and timing each other to allow each to have chance to dominate the other.
When they are forced to work together, they both decide that maybe an opportunity will arise where the other will get killed and then they can return to the sentinels without any guilt. Once with they work out their differences to at least some degree, their next thoughts include “hate sex.”
Aryal finally realized she would need to be nice to Pia so that she could get closer to Drago’s and Pia’s newborn son, Liam, who stole Arayal’s heart in just a few minutes of seeing his intelligent, cherubic face.
I really like Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series, and this was definitely a great addition to the rest of the series.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
He was going to have to pause to think about this. He didn’t want to. His hands remembered how it felt to latch around her neck, and they wanted to do it again. Flexing his long fingers, he exited the gym–
Just down the hall, the door to one of the elevators opened, and Aryal and Grym walked out.
The sight of her was the same shock to the system as it always was, a raw live jolt of electricity that juddered over his nerve endings. Fueled by a surge of adrenaline, his mind leaped to a higher, faster level. This must be what it felt like for humans to jack on amphetamines.
He lunged down the hall toward her, noting every detail about her as he gained speed. As usual, she wore fighting leathers and her thick, black shoulder-length hair was tangled. Even though he knew that meant she had recently been airborne, she looked as rumpled as if she had just gotten out of bed. Her normally pale skin was flush all over with a clear, high color.
She looked as if she was glowing from an internal flame. Even though her face was uncharacteristically drawn with tiredness, she was still more alive than anyone he had ever met, ten times more vibrant than any other woman he had ever seen.
A stiletto of bitterness lanced him. Gods, if he could ever meet a woman like that whom he didn’t loathe as completed as he loathed her, he might lose this whip of restlessness that drove him. He could live the rest of his life and do nothing, be nothing but completely content. It was hideously unfair that he would look at this harpy and realize that about himself.
She saw him coming. Even though his intent was unmistakable, her fact lit up, because she was just bent that way. As she turned toward him, she swept one of her arms backward, hard, and knocked Grym in the chest so that he staggered back into the elevator. Then she strode forward to engage.
She didn’t even pause to say anything or ask Quentin why. They both knew there were so many reasons.
He leaped at her, and she dove low so that he overshot, but he thrust out one hand and grabbed a magnificent handful of that tangled black hair and yanked her with him.
They tumbled together, growling, arms and limbs entwined. He caught her scent, and she smelled like health woman, clean cold air and arousal.
So the rumors about her and Grym must be true. He liked Grym and found the thought of their pairing so offensive that his growling deepened and grew edged.
She flipped him onto his back. Heaving hard, he flipped them over again and covered her straining body with his. As he pinned her long, taut torso, their hips came into alignment. There was rough friction at his groin, along with her wild scent.
It was so goddamn primal.
His cock stiffened again. Bloody hell.
Her eyes flashed furiously through her tangled hair. Fire bloomed down the length of his back as she raked him with her talons Quicker than thought, breathing heavily, he punched her in the face. For one split second he thought she looked surprised and thoughtful. Then she twisted underneath him to knee him in the groin. More fire bloomed in an infernal garden.
He still had one fist clenched in her hair. Snarling, he yanked her head back and struck down, intended to fasten his teeth on her bared throat.
He never connected.
One moment they were locked together in a vicious, intimate embrace. The next moment he was several yards away, sprawled in a tangle against the wall in a complete disconnect with reality. He felt as if he had been kicked by a mountain.
Which in a way, he realized, he had been. His mind caught up with what had happened. Broken ribs protesting, he struggled to roll over onto his hands and knees, and he looked back in the direction of the elevators.
Dragos stood where they had been fighting, the harpy prone at his feet. Grym stood quietly in the open doorway of the elevator that Aryal had knocked him into, hands lax, all of his attention fixed on the Lord of the Wyr.
More details sank in. Dragos was dressed in jeans and a thin silk sweater, and he had one boot planted in the middle of Aryal’s back. He looked utterly furious, his roughhewn expression set in lines of brutality.
He also held his sleeping son cradled against his shoulder. Quentin had thought that baby was small before—just six pounds when he had been born, Pia had told him. Held against the tremendous musculature of his father’s chest, he looked as tiny as a small child’s doll.
Quentin’s mind flatlined.
He had thought he didn’t hold any illusions about Dragos. He knew that the only thing that could possibly take the dragon down was a dedicated army with inspired leadership and experienced magic users. But if he had ever held a secret daydream of someone besting Dragos in his human form in single, unarmed combat, that daydream had just been shattered forever.
Not only had Dragos just taken down two of the best, nastiest Wyr fighters in the world, he had done it by moving faster than Quentin could comprehend.
And he did it all without ever jostling the baby enough to wake him.
ORDER A COPY: Dark Witch: Book One of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publishing Date: October 29, 2013
Paperback: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive.
Iona Sheehan has come to Ireland to find an acceptance and an understanding which she has never before known. As the only child of very cold parents, Iona has never known the love and closeness of family. The only time she came close is when she would spend time with her gramdmother, Nan.
It was Nan who told her the stories of her ancestor Sorcha, the Dark Witch, and how she gave her magick to her children and gave her life and her blood to destroy the sorcerer, Cabhan, who would steal her family’s magick with his dark powers. But Sorcha knew if she was not strong enough to destroy Cabhan, it would fall to her children and their descendants to combine their magick and kill Cabhan. Sorcha’s three children have animal familiars: a horse, a hawk and a dog.
When Iona arrives at the door of her cousins Branna and Connor O’Dwyer, she is surprised to find herself so welcome into their home and into their lives. They arrange for Iona to move in and find her a job at the local stable working for their good friend Boyle McGrath. Iona has always had such a way with horses that she knows what they are feeling.
But by coming to Ireland and meeting Branna and Connor, Iona has closed the circle of the three–the three descendants of Sorcha and Iona must quick learn to polish up her magick because Cabhan has been waiting for 750 years to face the three again and take their combined magick so that he may return to corporal form. The three witches, and their friends, will be facing a vicious darkness and they need to finally destroy Cabhan because their failure is just too frightening to contemplate.
As with any Nora Roberts novel, it was a easy read, the characters were likeable and it was a well written story. I think by default, a Nora Roberts novel probably gets a five star rating as compared to most authors.
My only real issue here is that the whole premise of the story is very similar to her Circle Trilogy which I had greatly enjoyed. I am also noticing a trend in her trilogies: the first book is new acquaintances, the second book is friends to lovers (always my favorite premise), and the third usually involves a couple who fight their attraction since book #1.
There is no question that Nora Roberts knows how to write a good story. Nora is to romance what Stephen King is to horror. But it is not a good thing when I am being pulled out of the story to note that “this is just like that trilogy” or “these two remind me of _______.”
If you are a fan of romance with a paranormal twist or simple a fan of Nora Roberts, you will definitely enjoy this story. There’s no question of her talent as an author. I just think Nora needs to shake up her storytelling a bit since they are starting to get a bit predictable. With a discounted price tag of about $10, a reader shouldn’t feel like they already read the story.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Then she came to the roan mare with the big, poignant eyes, the long white blaze down her nose, and knew without being told.
“You’re Darling, and that’s just what you are.”
Even before Boyle stepped up beside her, the mare turned her head, big eyes warming, body quivering. Not in fear, Iona thought, but simple delight.
She’d smelled him, sensed him, before he came into view. And it was love twined with utter devotion that had the mare stretching her neck so her head could bump his shoulder, light as a kiss.
“That’s the girl.” He all but crooned it, and Darling whickered, turned her head for his hand.
He opened the stall door, eased in. “I’ll just check the foreleg while I’m here.”
“It’s better,” Iona said. “But she remembers how much it hurt. She remembers being hungry. Being afraid. Until you.”
Saying nothing, he crouched to run his hands up the foreleg, down again as Darling nibbled playfully at his hair.
“Do you have an apple in your coat pocket? She’s pretty sure you do.”
It was…disconcerting, to have his horse’s thoughts translated to him, but he rose again, slid his hands along Darling’s flank.
Iona thought if a horse could purr, she would have.
While Aine had astonished her, so much beauty and grace, Darling tugged her heart with her simple, unabashed devotion.
They knew, she and Darling, what it was to yearn for love, or at least genuine understanding and acceptance. To wish so hard and keep for a place, for a purpose.
It seemed they’d both gotten that wish.
Then Boyle reached in his pocket for the apple, into another for his pocketknife. Iona felt Darling’s pleasure in the treat, and more, that it would be offered.
“You’re filling out well, my girl, but what’s a bit of an apple, after all?” She took it neatly, eyed the second half as she ate.
“This one’s for Winnie, if she behaves with her student.”
“You saved her.” Iona waited while he stepped out, closed the stall door. “She’ll never be anything but yours.”
Iona reached up to stroke; Darling stretched her neck again.
“She’s not skittish with you,” Boyle noted. “That’s progress. She’s still a bit nervy with strangers.”
“We understand each other.”
When Darling angled her head so her cheek pressed to Boyle’s, and when he took the half apple out of his pocket, and fed it to her, Iona knew she was done.
“I’ll get another for Winnie. You haven’t had enough of them in your life.”
“That’s done it,” Iona muttered. “I’m good at getting mad, mostly when it’s justified. At least I think so. But I suck at staying mad. I just can’t hold on to it, it’s so heavy. Then add in me standing here watching this mutual love affair, and I can’t do it. So I’m finished being mad at you, if that matters.”
ORDER A COPY: Kindle -or- AllRomanceEBooks
Publishing Date: October 29, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.
Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.
Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.
Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same.
In Nalini Singh’s world of Archangels, these Archangel’s aren’t saints. The Archangels are the most powerful beings and they rule over the earth and the angels, vampires and humans who live there. They have divided the earth into territories, but there are constant power struggles between the Archangels. Over a millennia old, Raphael is one of the youngest and most powerful Archangels who rules over the most prized territory from up high in his Tower which dominates the New York City skyline.
After Raphael’s mother, Caliane, a truly Ancient Archangel, woke from her millennia of sleep, she began a Cascade which effects the natural order of the world causing changes in weather and worse, granting new, dangerous powers to the Archangels.
A strange cloud covers New York City and angels and birds start falling from the sky. On the day forever known as the Falling, over 800 of Raphael’s defensive force lies broken on the streets.
When vampires start dying from some strange pox which is being passed through blood, and the Hudson River turns blood red, Raphael and Elena don’t know if this all part of the Cascade or if an Archangel has turned their eye towards Raphael’s prized territory.
Raphael will find out who his true allies are as he rallies his remaining forces to protect the City for a possible invasion, but if this is all part of the Cascade, there might not be an army large enough to save New York from destruction.
This is the most exciting and intrigue story in the series so far. Although most of the stories have dealt with the power struggles between Archangels, this one contained a great build up of the story with the question of whether this was an attack or the new natural order of things and if it was an attack, Raphael’s forces were severely depleted, could he truly hold off a frontal assault at this point?
In general, this is a darker series than Singh’s psy-changelings. Raphael is a very powerful Archangel and even when he first met Elena, he had lost any respect for mere humans. Their lives were too short to be of any concern to him. Although he still has a very cold side to him, his time with and love for Elena (former human and guild hunter, now angel) has given him a depth of character.
As we watch disaster after disaster attack New York and Raphael’s people, we are also trying to determine if this is a subsequence of the rising of the ancient archangel or an act of war. There are few Archangels who are old enough to remember the last Cascade and not enough records to verify if this is only the beginning of the end of the world.
With the beginning of the Cascade, all of the Archangels began receiving new powers. Raphael obtained the ability to heal others with a touch as well as create deadly wildfire. But the power struggle between Archangels makes them cautious and Raphael hasn’t been able to determine just what powers the others might have been granted and whether or not the damage befalling New York is due to the Cascade or an act of war.
It was an exhilarating, heart pounding story that doesn’t let up until the very end.
Received an ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“Anything from Aodhan?” she said, when Raphael came alongside.
“No, the city has been quiet since we–” He paused, his eyes locked on the Hudson.
“What is it?” It appeared as it always did to her, but she knew he had the piercing eyesight of a bird of prey.
The water began to crash and froth even as he spoke. Managing to hover beside Raphael as he halted at the river’s edge, Elena glanced to the right…and that was when she saw it, the wave of red. Rich and dark, it rolled down the river in an eerie tide that made the hairs rise on the back of her neck, the scent of living iron pungent in the air. “Is that blood?”
“There’s only one way to find out.” He swept down to the water, hovering lower than she could manage with her current wing strength, until his fingertips skimmed the red stain.
Bringing his fingers to his nose, he shook off the wet and rose to her side. “Blood,” he confirmed. “But it’s weakening.”
As they watched, the water turned rose red, then pink, then blush, until it was the murky brown of a churned-up Hudson again, the unmistakable scent gone as if it had never existed. That was when the snow began to fall, airy flakes that whispered over her wings and face to settle on the city, a caress of whiteness to erase the blood.
“What we just saw”–she stared at the water–”should’ve been impossible.”
“Did Jessamy not say something about blood raining from the skies during the Cascade? This would seem to fall along the same continuum.”
“And the archangels were not who they should be, and bodies rotted in the streets and blood rained from the skies as empires burned.“
“Jesus, Raphael,” Elena said, as the historian’s words rang in her mind, “this is really happening.” And it wasn’t just going to be a war. “It’s going to be an event that changes the face of our world.” Her brain could barely comprehend the scale of what was coming.
Raphael’s eyes met hers, the snow continuing to drift from a crystalline sky. “In the hours I spent with Caliane, she told me more of the last Cascade.” Shadows of terrible darkness in the intense, impossible blue of his eyes.
“I almost don’t want to know,” she whispered, all the while aware this was a truth that couldn’t be avoided.
Her archangel angled his wings toward the Tower, and she did a wider sweep to follow. “You are consort to an archangel. You no longer have a choice.”
ORDER A COPY: Kindle – or – AllRomanceEBooks
Publishing Date: October 1, 2013
Paperback: 403 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her “special abilities” aren’t much, but the plan is simple–she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it’s bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He’s a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it.
Etienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years–long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can’t stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she’s exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger too. He’ll have to accept Krysta’s help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher.
Étienne d’Alençon is an Immortal Guardian who has been fighting the vampire scourge for over 200 years, but Étienne has never seen anything the likes of Krysta Linz. Krysta is a human who has been fighting vampires for almost six years. There is no way a human should have been able to survive that long fighting the stronger, faster vampires. Yet Krysta has a secret weapon of her own. Krysta sees auras and the vampire’s auras give away their movements giving Krysta the edge she needs to beat the vampires. That is as long as she is not severely outnumbered. Krysta is afraid her days of fighting are numbered. In the last few years, the vampires seem to be hunting in larger and larger groups.
She is even more surprised when she is outnumbered and she is actually rescued by another vampire. At least she thinks he’s a vampire, what else could he possibly be? Gorgeous though he is, she is not ready to trust a vampire at her back.
Krysta has to admit though that if Étienne hadn’t stumbled across her that night, she would have finally lost the battle to the vampires. There had just been too many of them. She is thankful for his help that night, but she is not so thankful that for the last few weeks, Étienne has been following her around and killing all the vampires she is working so hard to lure into her trap.
They both agree that together they make a hell of a team. Krysta works the local colleges playing drunk girl and luring the vampires away from the other co-eds, and then together they take out the vampires who are too far gone to the madness of the virus.
Étienne finally has no choice but to explain to Krysta about the Immortal Guardians and their seconds and how they go out nightly to destroy the vampires feeding on the innocents. With Krysta’s ability to see auras and her brother Sean’s ability to heal with his hands, there is no question that these siblings are both gifted ones and Étienne wants them to join the Network. Not only could the Guardian use their help and abilities, but Étienne knows that Seth won’t allow a human to directly fight against the vampires. Étienne is falling too quickly for Krysta and he wants to see her safe. Although she wants to join Étienne’s fight to rid the world of the vampires, after years of fighting on her own terms, she is not sure she is ready or willing to allow someone else to dictate whether or not she can fight.
I just love this series. Dianne writes some enjoyable characters coupled with great action sequences. I have delighted in each story she has written.
Although Étienne’s twin brother, Richart, has the cooler ability to transport over Étienne and his sister’s ability to read minds, Étienne is still a great hero.
Krysta makes a great kick-ass heroine and she was great at playing the drunk girl to luring the vampires into dark alleys and behind buildings so she could take them out.
Together they make a great team and have some pretty steamy scenes.
Krysta and her brother, Sean, will make great new additions to the current characters.
Sadly, I was getting excited about the build up towards a romance for sister, Lisette, who hopefully is the next book, only to learn the next book won’t be out until October of 2014. Too far away!
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
That’s right, dullards, Krysta thought, mentally smiling as she used Étienne’s term, come along, follow the poor, unsuspecting undergrad who doesn’t know you’re there because she’d busy drunk dialing her ex.
That one was always popular. There were times, in fact, when she could actually hear some of the vampires laugh over the crazy-ass things she said or shouted into the phone while staggering up the path. Perhaps, in another life, she could have been an actress.
There had been no vamp action around the frat houses tonight. Rather she had found them lingering in Research Park, waiting for an egghead to stumble out after working on whatever it was he or she researched until the wee hours.
Along the sidewalk, Krysta led them between two buildings, and into a darker area near the loading dock. She thought there had been lights back here the last time she had passed by. The vamps must have broken them, intending to feed on their victim where none would see.
Her heart began to pound, not with fear as she prepared to spin around and fight, but with anticipation. Étienne was nearby. She knew it. She could feel it. And she wasn’t going to let him snatch away her prize this time. She was going to confront the vamps before he had the chance.
Drawing her shoto swords, she spun around at the same moment Étienne appeared behind the vampires.
Ooh. Six vampires. Good thing he had come.
Étienne’s brows drew down in a frown as he met her gaze. “Damn it! You’re early!”
She grinned. “Nope. You’re late.”
The vampires’ faces went blank with surprise. Their gazes zigzagged between the two of them.
“Oh shit,” one said, his face filling with fear as he stared at Étienne. “An Immortal Guardian.”
Gasps from his vampire cohorts.
Another vampire looked at Krysta. “She’s human. She must be his Second.”
“Bastian has a mortal Second,” another said.
Who had a what now?
Krysta was given no time to ask.
Their faces contorted with fury. “Bastien the Deceiver!”
“Death to Bastien!”
“Kick their fucking asses!”
The vampires drew weapons and attacked.
Krysta inched backward and swung her swords as multiple orange auras shot toward her.
The vampires must think they would have an easier time killing her than they would Étienne.
Sucked for her though.
Even as she struck lethal blows with her blades, slicing the throat of the first vampire to reach her, pain streaked through her thigh as another vamp’s blade cut into her flesh.
Krysta gritted her teeth and swung at the orange aura leaping away from her.
Score! Tit for tat. She’d cut his femoral artery, the bastard!
Limping backward, she kept her swords in constant motion. Glowing orange auras swirled around her, so numerous that fear threatened to paralyze her.
She struck more blows, aiming at auras and hitting the flesh they preceded.
The vampires struck blows as well. Cuts stung her arms, back, legs. Just as she was silently celebrating a particularly good blow, one of the vamps circled around behind her and hit her in the head, landing a simple punch with his fist, backed by preternatural strength, that felt like a freaking anvil.
The world around her lit up with sparkly things that had nothing to do with auras. All strength left her limbs as agony pounded her head.
Krysta staggered. Her thoughts scattered.
Somewhere a lion roared.
The glowing orange auras surrounding her fell away as shining purple and white rolled through them like a bowling ball felling pins.
Krysta’s weapons clattered to the ground, her fingers unable to grasp anything but her aching head.
She sank to her knees.
Publishing Date: October 3, 2013
Paperback: 274 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Jase Kayrs was the fun brother. The warm, charming, easy-going brother of the vampire leaders. Until he was taken and tortured by demons with their evil mind tricks for nearly five years. Upon his return, he’s dark, violent, and not the man they all thought they knew. Not the man he once was. He’s haunted that the only reason the demons would have let him live was to use him as a weapon against his family—but he can’t figure out when or how he’ll explode. Plus, once again the demons are after Jase with a vengeance…or rather, a female demon he rejected is out to destroy him.
Then the king asks Jase for a favor…a big one. To mate with one of their allies in order to save her. She’s everything that’s good and light in the world…while he’s at home with darkness. Yet he agrees…knowing mating may be the only chance to save them both.
Jase Kayrs, the youngest of the Kayrs brothers, was always the happy, fun-loving brother. But five years ago he was captured by the demons and was tortured both physically and mentally. By the time his brothers located him, he had given up all hope and had been praying for the peace of death. Jase was so desperate for the torture to stop that he almost agreed to mate with the demon leader’s sister, Willa, but it was one of Brenna Dunne’s paintings hanging on the wall of Willa’s bedroom that centered him once again and gave him the courage to fight on.
So when the King asked Jase to mate with Moira’s sister, Brenna, to save her from the poison slowing killing her, Jase didn’t hesitate to agree. Since mates take on each other’s strengths, it is hoped that Jase’s vampire strength would boost Brenna’s system to fight off the poison’s effects, and Jase wants to gain Brenna’s abilities as well so that he can finally destroy the demons…every one of them.
While big sister, Moira, is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and a powerful witch. Brenna is the unheard of eighth daughter of a seventh daughter, and a pariah among the witches. Brenna was born at the convergence of the winter solstice and the passing Pagurus comet. As the comet will soon pass once again on the night of the solstice, fulfilling a very vague prophesy which can be interpreted as Brenna gets great power or maybe, she destroys the world. But all the factions are fighting to get to Brenna first; some want to use her and some want to destroy her before the solstice arrives.
Although Jase agreed to mate Brenna for a strategical reason, he is finding that being with her brings him the same feeling of peace that her painting brought to him during his torture. For the first time since his capture, Jase is actually feeling hope.
What happens if Brenna can survive the poisoning, the comet and the solstice? Will Brenna lose Jase anyway to the rage which is burning inside him for revenge?
I jumped this story up my TBR list. I just couldn’t wait anymore. I have been dying for this story since I did an interview with Rebecca Zanetti back in 2012 and she hinted that Jase will be captured by demons.
As the series progressed we learned the years had passed and that they still have no location on Jase, and then in Kane’s story, Provoked, we got a glimpse into how bad the torture was for Jase both physically and mentally. We also got a foreshadowing of the peace that Brenna would bring to Jase and maybe she would help him heal.
This story falls under my favorite trope of the wounded hero, and it did not disappoint. Jase is filled with rage at the demons. He is frustrated because his brothers are filled with guilt for failing to find Jase and they treat him like an invalid. Maybe he can’t control his rage during a battle and maybe he can’t go back underground without falling victim to a panic attack and maybe he can no longer control the elements like he used to, but he does not wanted be treated like he is damaged. It is only Brenna who looks past his anger and treats him like she always did.
Brenna has always had an attraction for Jase and therefore, agrees to the mating, but she fears that she will lose everything if she looses her heart to Jase since he is determined to fulfill his suicidal mission to destroy all the demons. But whenever Jase is with Brenna, he turns towards her healing kindness and she will begin to become more important to him than his vengeance.
I believe Rebecca Zanetti has at least two more short stories that will come out before she gets to Janie’s story which would be the conclusion of the series. Young Janie is now 24 and she has known since she was a child that the destiny of the war and the world would be in the hands of herself, Kalin (the leader of the evil Kurjans) and Zane (half vampire/half we’re-not-so-certain and a soldier for a warring army that might not be on the same side as our vampires). After this last story, I’m getting to the point I can’t wait. I have to see how it all turns out in the end. Please, please, please, finish the story.
Received an ARC from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
He hesitated. “Please.”
A low laugh rolled from her stomach. “That had to hurt.”
“You have no idea.” His upper lip quirked. The man was dominant and used to giving orders. No doubt asking went against his every instinct.
“I’m not less than anybody else.” For her entire life, she’d had to prove her worth and that she wasn’t some anomaly. For her one mating, she intended to be strong enough to engage completely. “No dampening pills.”
Watchful intelligence lived in his gaze. “When you bit me yesterday, my blood should’ve made you stronger for days. Yet it only lasted a couple of hours.” He reached for her arm and tugged her off the sofa.
“I’m not weak.” She landed on her knees between his legs. What was he doing? Heat uncoiled in her gut.
“I know.” Threading both hands through her hair, he tilted her head back until she looked up at his angled face. “But you’re not strong right now, either.”
Her neck elongated. Vulnerability and need washed through her. She dug her nails into his hard legs. “I will be. After we mate.”
A dark flush covered his high cheekbones. His eyes flashed into a sizzling green. Heat from his thighs pressed in on her. “Speaking of which, are you all right with the contract?”
Flattening her hands, she pushed away to stand.
But she didn’t move. The vampire easily kept her in place.
She tilted her head, intrigue and warning swishing through her. Without question, she was out of her element with the formidable Kayrs brother. “I’d prefer not to be on my knees as we discuss this.”
His eyes darkened.
Lowering his head, his lips brushed her jugular. “You’re so strong you don’t need dampening pills? Then get off your knees.” Low, rough, his voice rumbled right through her skin.
A long shiver wandered down her spine. She swallowed. Aye. Definitely out of her element. She pushed again, this time putting all her strength into it, and once again didn’t move. “Stop playing games,” she breathed.
“Who’s playing?” His fangs slid into her flesh.
Pain. Dark pleasure. Need. Hurt edged with a sharp desire spiraled through her to pound between her legs. God. She arched her back, her mouth opening. He drank deeply, taking what he needed—taking what he wanted.
A low growl rumbled from his chest.
Rough, his tongue sealed the wound. The fingers in her hair flexed, shooting erotic pain along her scalp. He lifted until his gaze met hers, his face an inch from hers. His lips within reach.
Lust and determination tightened the skin across his sharp bones.
Her chest panted out breath.
He slid to the edge of the chair and loomed over her, his thighs bracketing her. Trapping her. Then his mouth covered hers. The kiss the other day had been nothing. A mere meeting of mouths.
This one was Jase Kayrs in full force. Deep and hard, he took. Holding her when he wanted her, he did as he pleased. dark pleasure cascaded from him and heated the air around them.
She opened to him, helpless beneath his onslaught. His tongue claimed her mouth, learning every curve. Firm lips, strong hold, devastating motion. All she could do was feel. So much pain, so much pleasure, so much damn demand. He tasted of red wine and determined male. The world narrowed to him.
The kiss went on forever. He didn’t touch her anywhere else, yet her entire body burned for him. Desperate and primed. Slowly, he softened his assault and leaned back.
Clarity rushed into her brain. She’d never been able to match him. He watched her, his eyes hard, his sharp features wearing that male express that said, I warned you. Now you’re on your own.
Deep down, where reality and hope commingled, she understood without a doubt he’d break her heart. Even deeper, she knew it was too late to turn back.
ORDER A COPY: Charmeine: Light-Bearer Series (Volume 1)
Publisher: PDMI Direct Publishing
Publishing Date: September 2, 2012
eBook: 143 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Can romance develop between a Heavenly Light-Bearer and a Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter?
Tabbruis is an extremely attractive Blood-Hunter who has reconciled himself to be alone forever. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone, aimlessly living through many historical events.
Charleen (aka Charmeine) was found in 1997 as a teenager, unable to remember where she was from or where her family was. She was sent to an orphanage where she met her best friend, Shane. With determination, she works hard and becomes a school teacher.
Tabbruis comes to her aid when she is attacked by a Blood-Hunter. Charmeine’s power as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered when she meets Tabbruis, and it grows exponentially.
When they meet, the attraction is immediate, romantic and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a dramatic way.
Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfill their destinies? Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world?
Charmeine was an Angel of Harmony in the 9th Choir of Angels, and her true love, Tabbruis, was an Angel of Self-Determination in the 4th Choir of Angels. Yet, 8,000 year ago, Tab woke up on earth with no memory of who he was or his life with Charmeine. He knew nothing until he was suddenly hit with an unquenchable thirst for blood and knew he must be a “Blood-Hunter.”
Tab eventually learned to sate his thirst with the blood of animals and he avoided humans as much as possible to keep from being consumed with the evil need to drink from people. But recently something is drawing him towards the crowded City of New York. He keeps seeing the vision of a beautiful woman and he must find her. He will go insane unless he can find out who this creature is and why she it haunting him.
When he saves a woman from being a victim of another Blood-Hunter, he is shocked to find she is the woman from his visions. More shocking than simply finding his dream woman is the fact that she is a Light-Bearer. Light-Bearers and Blood-Hunters are enemies. How can he be so attracted to someone like her and even though she feels the same attraction, can two mortal enemies make a life together.
I was warned by the author that Book #1 of the series is a set up story which will set up the basis for the entire series. We only get a brief introduction of Tabbruis and Charmeine from their heavenly life before we find Tab waking in the dessert with no memory.
There are some sections of the story which we learn many details of Blood-Hunters and Light-Bearers, and then there are other scenes that feel very rushed, especially when Tab and (now) Charleen meet for the first time and there is a lot of attraction and we quickly go through the attraction, we can’t be together, but I can’t walk away phase of the romance.
It was also a little oddly written where one paragraph was an internal debate by Tab and the next was an internal debate by Charleen. Usually scenes are more defined by who’s head we are in for that section or even that chapter. It was probably why some scenes felt awkward and rushed.
Although Charleen was a modern woman, Tab waffled back and forth from being very formal in his speaking and his attitude and using modern language. One moment he seemed very stiff and then the next he was laughing or crying.
My biggest problem with this story is that for a paranormal it was way too clean. What the…? Tab turned out to be a 8,000 year old virgin, who never had interest in women physically until he meets Charleen and the same goes with Charleen. For example when Charleen was scared and didn’t want to be alone, and although they desired each other, “He came to her, and she sighed with awkward relief to see he was wearing pajama bottoms as he walked to her.” There was also a scene where Tab was injured and Charleen fills him a bubble bath to clean him up and she had him keep his shorts on until he was in the water first and then he removed them. She then washed him up, keeping her eyes on his to afford him some privacy. Although I am not that into erotica/bondage books, I’ve read Young Adult books with sexier scenes. These were two immortal adults that acted like bashful teens.
We never learn why Tab was sent to earth and why it took 8,000 years for Charmeine (Charleen) to come to earth also without any memory. That is all part of the future stories which sound very good, but I don’t think I take all the formal, cleanliness to make it through the series. I like my paranormal with a little hot and sexy to go with the fangs and the growling.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
He felt a wetness drop on his cheek it seemed to shock him. He thought, ‘Is she crying tears for me?’ Each time a tear of hers touched him, it was like an ocean of feelings pouring on his heart. He blinked and saw the beautiful woman’s face again not believing she was real; her deep brown eyes made his heart soar.
Charleen could see the man who had helped her was breathing, but was panicked by his semi-consciousness. If that wasn’t bad enough, her head was making her see stars. She thought the two of them might end up passed out on the pavement if she didn’t push through the pain.
When she touched the man, white electricity flowed through her fingertips. She could not comprehend what was going on. She thought, ‘Was I attacked and hit by lightning too?’
This gorgeous man came to her rescue and ended up badly bruised but his body was perfect. His face was strong with a prominent jaw. straight long nose, and wavy chestnut brown hair. Even bruised, his face was a work of art.
She was worried he was not coming around. Charleen stared to cry, because she felt helpless. Her tears were falling on his face, but she could not help it. She was patting him on his cheeks trying to make him wake up. His hands had been badly bruised and cut open. She held his bloody hand up against her face and a white light ran through her hand to his.
The man started to blink, revealing unfathomable green eyes. She sighed with relief when he opened his eyes. His brow was creased with questions as he looked at her. Feeling his pulse on his wrist was strong, she smiled in relief. “Oh thank God. Are you okay? Can you hear me?”
Tabbruis thought he saw light coming from her hand into his, but the light did not hurt, it felt wonderful! As he struggled to get up off the pavement, she tried to help him.
She clumsily knocked herself over and fell beside him losing her balance.
On the pavement, they laid next to each other face to face. Tabbruis and Charleen looked at each other intently.
Weakly, almost willing the breath out of her lungs, she gasped, “I wanted to listen to Billy Joel under the stars…but I didn’t think I would be doing it lying on the parking lot.”
Tabbruis looked at her through his blurry eyes focusing on her beautiful face and half growled, “I came on a whim and did not expect to be lying in a parking lot listening to Billy Joel under the stars.”
He saw her smile and laughed rolling her eyes around in her head. He could tell she was in pain. His listened because her small laugh was like a balm on his soul. Coming to he senses, Tabbruis struggled to sit up. “As much fun as this has been Miss, we cannot lie here all night looking at the stars and listening to music.”
She noticed his European accent right away and nodded while she held her head.
After struggling to get on his knees, Tabbrius turned and looked down at the face below him as if she was still a dream. She was magnificent! She had a round face with big bright brown eyes, tanned skin, a small nose. Her long hair looked like golden honey.
Hesitantly, Tabbruis extended his left hand to her, and put his right hand behind her head. Then he gently raised her into a sitting position. He saw she was starting to get up on her own, and took his hands off of her. Mostly because the more he touched her, the more he wanted to never let her go.
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.
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.
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.”