Category Archives: Paranormal Romance
ORDER A COPY: Wanted: Wild Thing (Midnight Liaisons)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: August 26, 2014
Paperback: 354 pages
Rating: 4 stars
The final book in a romance series set in a “fun, sexy world” (USA TODAY), where paranormals seek love through a dating service called Midnight Liaisons.
Ryder is hiding a dark secret from her coworkers at Midnight Liaisons. Every time she’s sexually attracted to a man, her dragon side breaks through. Not exactly man-bait! But she needs to lose her virginity before her twenty-fifth birthday, or she’ll become a dragon forever.
Her solution? Big, hunky Hugh, the appointed guardian of her chastity. He’s clearly hot for her, but he has powerful reasons to resist Ryder. Can temptation—and love—possibly find a way?
Ryder Sinclair has a wardrobe like Baby Spice and flirts with anything in pants. She is a human working nights at Midnight Liaison, the paranormal dating service, or at least she lets everyone think she’s your average, everyday human. Ryder is actually a changeling and if a man touches her skin with sexual intent, he triggers her changeling side. She has had to pretend food poisoning and run out the back door on more dates than she can remember.
When she was a teen, a half-Fae fortune teller once told her that if she finds The One she can keep the change at bay, but she must do it before she reaches her twenty-fifth birthday. If she remains a virgin at her twenty-fifth birthday, she will change into her changeling form permanently. So Ryder has become a flirting-machine trying to find that one man who can touch her without triggering her changeling side. With only a month to her twenty-fifth birthday, she is getting pretty desperate to remain human.
Ryder doesn’t realize that life can get so much worse than growing scales and sprouting horns until the night a Fae prince shows up in her office with his brutish bodyguard and let’s her know that he is the one who brought her to the human realm to be raised in safety after replacing her for her parents’s human child. He is excited that her change is almost complete and his investment will soon come to fruition. Ryder is a very rare and valuable changeling in the Fae realm and he plans to use her for breeding litters of valuable baby changelings that he will sell to rebuild his family’s fortunes.
Becoming a full-time monster isn’t enough of a horrific future to worry about, and now a Fae prince wants to turn her into a brood mare. He has also sent a bruiser to insure that she doesn’t loose her virginity before her transformation is complete. Since she can’t get out from under the watchful eye of Hugh, she’s going to have to give him an eyeful and convince him that taking her virginity is a better prize than whatever the Fae prince has promised him.
Hugh is holding firm to his vow, but he has never come across the Queen of Flirting who is desperate to remain human. This shifter might have a will of iron, but he doesn’t know what he’s up against when Ryder turns up the charm.
This was a fun story. This was my first Jessica Sims novel but I was gifted by Pocket Books with a few of other novels in the series, and I also picked up one novella which was free the other day on Amazon, so I would like to try the rest of the series. The Goodreads info says it is the last in the series, but the author’s website is declaring that as a rumor. She has a good cast of characters and this latest novel brings in a few more. I would think is it premature to walk away from such a promising series. I do want to read Marie’s story, who is Ryder’s BFF. She is as obnoxious and snarky as I like my heroines.
Although I haven’t read the other books in the series, Ryder does work with and talk about the other characters from the series and I got the idea that this story differs a bit from the others. The other stories involve shifters and some humans and even they think changelings are a myth. This story also involves Hugh who is brought over from the Fae Realm and he calls himself a Primordial while the Fae call him a Long-Tooth. From this and Ryder’s initial description, it is not hard to guess that Hugh is a saber-toothed tiger shifter. He and his men are kept in a primordial land where they don’t even wear clothing. So everything here is new and dangerous to Hugh.
I was a bit stressed for Ryder since the Fae Prince was planning to use her to breed and sell her offspring like she was a puppymill. He would swing by and check her progress, make her strip down and make her change for him so he could check on his investment. But to thwart his plans, she needed to lose her virginity and if she did that, Hugh would lose his prize which was women/mates for himself and the men of his tribe who have no women there. So for Ryder to win, Hugh’s men would lose out. This was a problem even Ryder struggled with.
There were some really funny part of this story where, in Ryder’s attempt to seduce Hugh, she puts on porn for him which started with a pizza delivery guy showing up and getting an extra special tip. This becomes a bit of a running gag in the story, including Hugh telling his men that there are women who will have lots of sex with you if you give them food. Ooooo!
I was a little disappointed that Ryder’s “dragon” form. As it is described it makes her more of a Sleestak with crumpled wings like a newly emerged butterfly than anything dragon-like. (If you got that reference, you are old like me.) As the last month progresses, her scales become more luminescent and her claws nicer, etc., but she is always very humanoid and she never becomes a dragon as they are usually described. Hugh might have thought she was beautiful, but me…not so much.
This was cleverly written and entertaining and a series I want to look into further.
Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Perhaps you should leave her alone.”
“My job is to remain at her side and protect her virginity.” Hugh snarled in Brad’s face. His big hand clamped down on my shoulder again.
Despite the fact that we were in a side room at the restaurant, several people in the next room turned to look over at us, overhearing Hugh’s words.
“Oh, my God,” I moaned. “You did not just say that out loud in a crowded restaurant.”
“And if she doesn’t want it protected?” Brad asked.
“Yeah,” I said, pushing Hugh’s hand off my shoulder again.
“Then I will protect it for her,” Hugh said. “Against her will if I must.”
“You can’t make me leave,” I hissed at him. “This is a public place.” I was safe from him here.
Hugh leaned in to me, his face close to mine. “I am sorry for what I am about to do.”
His hand moving to the back of my neck, he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to mine in a startling, fierce kiss. his lips mashed against my own, and his scent was in my nostrils, his body pressed to mine.
Then, just as quickly, he pulled away. I stared up at him, dazed.
“Now, we leave,” Hugh said.
I blinked, trying to process all of this. Kiss? Leave? What? He grabbed my hand in his and dragged me toward the doors of the restaurant.
I immediately tried to jerk away, realizing what all this was about.
He was deliberately activating my changeling side. Hugh knew that if my curse kicked in I’d have no choice but to leave with him. Anger burned inside me, but it was quickly swallowed up by the transformation spiraling through my body. My monster coiled and reared, and I felt my skin shiver with awareness. Anger at Hugh blossomed, then quickly turned to fear when others started to look at us.
Damn him! I stopped struggling and gave everyone a cheerful wave, practically running with Hugh as he stomped toward the parking lot. I had to make things seem like they were normal, or else someone was sure to follow us out due to concern for me. And that was the last thing I wanted—if someone followed us, they’d get a glimpse of my scaly side.
It was evident to me that the change was going to come whether I wanted it or not. Even now, I could feel the throb in my shoulder blades that was the onset of my wings, and my gums ached from where my fangs were about to pop. My grip tightened in High’s, and I knew the pressure I was exerting would soon be intense.
But if that didn’t communicate my anxiety, nothing would.
As soon as we got to the parking lot, I bolted, dashing away from Hugh. He let me, and I continued on, racing for my car. My hand fumbled to find my keys, but claws were sprouting and my muscles were clenching, and it was impossible for me to concentrate. Pain erupted, throbbing through my body.
Too late. Before I could even open the door to my vehicle, my legs gave out. I crouched, huddling around myself as my changes tore through me.
Hugh crouched low next to me. His hand smoothed down my back, ignoring the fact that it was lumpy and muscles were seething. “I am sorry Ryder.”
“You…suck…” I whispered between gasps, my hands clenched tight as my tail ripped out of my back. I gave a small cry of pain, only to have it swallowed as he pulled me to his chest, Muffling my cries as he held me close.
“It grieves me to do this to you,” he murmured and his hand stroked my hair even as he cradled me tight.
I fought him for a moment, but feebly. The transformation was happening, and I couldn’t stop it any more than I could stop him from holding me close.
And what was worse? With every stroke of his hand on my hair, I didn’t want him to stop holding me.
ORDER A COPY: Night Unbound (Immortal Guardians)
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 432 pages
Rating: 5 stars
For centuries, Lisette d’Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can’t bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians’ command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for–and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.
Zach is an exile, a loner. He won’t defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he’ll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?
Things are heating up in North Carolina. The Immortal Guardians thought the threat to them was once again just the vampires who they must protect the humans from. They thought the military threat was over after they killed everyone who had knowledge of the drug used, but someone has once again gained possession of the one drug that can effect a Guardian. They are also turning military trained men into vampires. For the first time in centuries, the Immortal Guardians are in real danger, and the biggest question is — who turned on them and created this new army? Seth is certain the only one with the information and enough power to do it would be Zach.
Zach has been hanging around the Immortal Guardians for more than just the lollipops being offered by Ami. Lisette d’Alençon has caught his attention and the longer he watches her, the more he desires the type of relationship he sees the other Guardians enjoying. Zach is an outcast among his own people and he knows that Seth would kill Zach if he found out how often Zach spends watching his Guardians.
Always being an outcast, Zach can’t imagine that Lisette would return his interest, but Lisette’s own fantasies about Zach have been increasing the longer she catches him watching her. Lisette is also aware of Seth’s dislike of Zach and knows that she risks alienating her boss and her fellow Immortal Guardians if she starts a relationship with Zach, but after centuries alone, she too would do anything to once again feel loved.
But secrets always have a cost and eventually someone always finds out. Can Zach and Lisette live with the consequences that a forbidden relationship will bring to their lives?
I love the Immortal Guardians! Zach and Lisette are now my second favorite characters just after Bastian and Melanie. I re-read this story after I finished. I just didn’t want to let them go. It was just one of those stories. Even just writing this review, I want to pick it up again to read.
Zach is another of my tortured heroes. Literally tortured by his own people and it is his desire to be with Lisette that gives him the power to escape. He always seems unwanted and the fact that Lisette is attracted to him just floors him. He is not even used to someone willingly touching him and his strong reaction to just holding Lisette is heartbreaking.
We, of course, love Lisette so it is wonderful to see her find happiness with Zach and funny to see her brothers’ reaction to the new man in her life, especially when Richart pops in at a very inopportune time. Yikes.
Now you would think that since Zach and Seth are alike, we would finally get detailed answers on what Seth is (because we know he is more than just an Immortal Guardian) and Zach has wings so it goes to follow that if Seth is like Zach, he would have wings, etc., etc., and of course, Zach would tell all to Lisette, so…ummm, nothing. What?? Clever author that she is, Dianne has worked in the whys and wherefores that Lisette can’t be told anything since any telepath amongst them, including her brother, would be able to read the information in her head, and it is too dangerous for anyone to have that information. Dammit! It all made sense in the storyline not to tell Lisette and she agreed that it was too dangerous to give her too much information. So we get Nothing! Well played, Ms. Duvall. Well played!
If you haven’t yet, you really need to try the Immortal Guardians. It is a great series with great characters. Even vampire Cliff who has been helping Melanie learn about the virus affect humans is being allowed to go outside and help. Unless they can find a cure/drug to suppress the madness, which would really change the series, I am going to be so upset when we lose Cliff.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Go many great scenes. It was hard to choose.
“So what are you doing out here?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Habit perhaps. I’ve watched over Ami for so long, it’s hard to stop. Or maybe…”
He arched a brow. “Maybe?”
“Maybe I was looking for you.”
Heat swept through his body. “Me?” He straightened away from the tree.
“I was worried about you.” She gave him a long, thorough once-over. “The last time I saw you, you were wounded. And, I have to tell you, you still aren’t looking so good. Are you okay?”
He lanced down and swore when he saw the slashes that marred his form. “Don’t worry about that.”
“I’m all right,” he interrupted before she could protest further.
After a moment, she nodded, face pensive. How she tempted him. The sight of her in black pants that hugged full hips and long, slender legs. Full breasts stretching the cotton of her long-sleeved shirt. Moonlight flirting with her pale skin and plump, pink lips. Weapons adorning her like jewelry, an ever-present reminder that she was a warrior and could kick ass.
All beckoned him, daring him to do something reckless.
He moved a step closer.
She didn’t back away.
He took another step.
She held her ground.
Barely a breath separated them.
“I want to try something,” he proposed.
Her heartbeat increased. “Okay.”
Lowering his head, Zach pressed his lips to hers. His pulse jumped at the warm contact, racing to match hers.
Her breath caught.
Tilting his head, he increased the pressure, deepened the contact, and drew his tongue across those soft lips. She tasted incredible. Made him want to devour her. And yet…
Frowning, he broke the sweet contact. “You didn’t pull away.”
Her eyes now bore a faint amber glow. “What?”
“You didn’t pull away.”
“Why would I pull away?” she asked, voice husky.
Because I’m me, he almost said.
Disappointment seared him. The pain of his injuries increased.
Just to be sure…
“I’m going to try something else now.”
Her lips quirked up as she arched a brow. “Okay.”
Raising a hand, he cupped her breast.
The amber glow in her eyes flashed brighter.
Lisette’s heart slammed against her ribs.
Zach molded his large, warm hand to her breast as he watched her warily. His eyes shone with a faint golden light. His fingers squeezed gently before he drew his thumb across the taut peak that strained against the cotton of her shirt.
Lust whipped through her, weakening her knees and making her fingers curl with the need to touch him, to stroke him, to explore every muscled inch of him.
Swearing, he withdrew his hand and took a step back.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, embarrassed by how breathless she sounded.
“You didn’t hit me.”
She stared up at him. “I’m sorry, what?”
“You didn’t hit me,” he said, and actually sounded angry.
Turning, he paced away several steps. “I thought this was a dream. I thought I had made into another of your dreams. But I touched your breast and you didn’t hit me, so this must just be another fantasy of mine.”
Lisette bit her lip when she saw his back. He bore no wings. An oddity. She had never seen him without them.
No, tonight his back boasted only bloody stripes that had clearly been carved by a whip.
“You fantasize about me?” she murmured.
He glanced at her over his shoulder. “I’ve done little else since I met you.”
Just thinking about it turned her insides to mush and upped her desire another notch. “Zach, this isn’t a fantasy. This is a dream. It’s my dream.”
He faced her, his expression uncertain. “It is?”
“Then why didn’t you…?”
“Hit you?” she asked, amused by his confusion despite her concern for him.
“Because I wanted you to touch me.” Emboldened by his uncertainty, she closed the distance between them. “And I fantasize about you, too.” Raising a hand, she caressed his strong jaw.
He closed his eyes. Turning into her touch, he covered her hand with one of his own and held it to his cheek.
ORDER A COPY: A Curse Awakened: A Weird Girls Novella
Publishing Date: August 19, 2014
eBook: 94 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Discover Cecy Robson’s sensational Weird Girls series—or return to where the magic first began—with this eBook original prequel novella about four sisters coming to grips with their unique supernatural powers.
Celia Wird shouldn’t possess the ability to transform into a tigress. Her three sisters should never be able to burst into flames, heal wounds, or transform common objects into deadly weapons. And yet they do.
Before they were born, the Wird Sisters were cursed by a spell that was intended to destroy them, not endow them with extraordinary powers. The sisters’ magic is untamed and explosive at best, and time is running out for them to take command.
Vampires have targeted Celia’s sweet, tragically human ex-boyfriend Danny. The sisters rush to his aid, but in order to take down the vamps, first they must face their dark past and break a spell that’s screwing up their powers. Except this curse wasn’t meant to be broken . . . and the witch who cast it isn’t done toying with them yet.
When Celia receives a phone call from her ex-boyfriend Danny that he and his father are being attacked by vampires, Celia’s need to protect won’t let her walk away from them. But getting into a war with a crazy vampire mistress who has claimed Danny’s father as her new pet, isn’t what she needs right now on top of packing up to move to their new home.
Yet it is Danny who realizes that the sisters’ powers have been bound by a witch and if they can locate and destroy the witch’s alter, they will be able to control their gifts, rather than having them always backfire.
Knowing they need all their strengths to go up against a powerful family of vampires, their first stop is to their old neighborhood to find Tia Griselda’s alter and break the spell. If they can take on a powerful witch and survive, maybe they will have what it takes to take on a mad vampire, or maybe it would be just smarter to get out of town before they make some very powerful enemies.
I enjoyed this novella which focused more on the sisters together. Although all of the Weird Girl stories are enjoyable, they are told in the first person and in the last few stories Celia is spending more time with either Misha or Aric. While those plots bring their own enjoyment, it is fun to see the sisters working, or in this case fighting, together.
This novella also gives us a better understanding of the curse which gives the sisters their powers.
This is an enjoyable series and I am looking forward to the next installment.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(Tiny scene. It made me laugh.)
I leaped from the elevated lot and landed in a deep crouch in the sand, perfectly poised and ready to haul tail across the beach.
Until my sisters and Danny landed in a heap on top of me and I ate about half a cup of sand.
They rolled off me, moaning while I hacked out the nasty mess. I scraped the excess with my nails while drooling like a dumbass. “Oops. Sorry, Celia.” Emme mumbled.
ORDER A COPY: The Cage King: A Novella of the Entwined Realms
Publisher: Romantic Geek Publishing
Publishing Date: August 11, 2014
eBook: 135 pages
Rating: 5 stars
USA Today Bestselling author Danielle Monsch invites you back to the magic of the Entwined Realms with The Cage King. Esh is the undisputed ruler of the underground fight scene, but five years ago a decision not to fight cost him his best friend and the woman he loves. Now Nalah is back, a member of the Guild and in need of his help to get into the greatest cage match in the New Realms. Oh he’ll help, but it will be on his terms, and Nalah had better get ready because when Esh fights for something, he always wins.
Esh, Nalah and her brother Jac were three street kids who banded together and created their own family. They took care of each other and protected each other.
But Five years ago Nalah walked away from Esh. He refused to fight in her brother’s place and her brother lost his life. Esh let her down and she walked away from him and was found by The Guild. They trained her to build mental shields and helped her control her abilities.
Now The Guild needs her to find one of the artifacts stolen from their vault. And in order for her to find it, she needs the help of the one man who she never expected to see again. Nalah needs to get to the underground fights and the Guild wants her to get Esh, The Cage King, to accept his invitation to the Underground Tour and take Nalah with him.
Esh knows that Nalah will find a way to get there without him, but she walked away from him once. He’s not allowing her to walk away again. Especially not into a dangerous situation without him to protect her. He’ll help the Guild recover their missing magic treasure and the only thing he expects is return is Nalah. She was everything to him…she still is and he won’t lose her again.
I love the Entwined Realms series. The Cage King is like a magical Mission Impossible. The Guild always seems to be two steps ahead and even though it seems like things are going wrong, they end up exactly where the Guild wanted them to be.
Nalah and Esh are definitely a couple meant to be together, and although it is heartbreaking that Jac had to died, I think Nalah and Esh needed that time apart in order to grow and to appreciate each other. They wouldn’t have gotten to the place they ended if they had just continued together from kids to teens to adults.
We can understand Nalah pain and heartbreak at losing her brother and her feeling that Esh could have done something to prevent it and she feels he failed her. Then we see the same scenario with Esh’s view, trying to protect Nalah and Jac, losing Jac and Nalah disappearing and him not knowing what happened to her and it is heartbreaker to see what Esh went through. Nalah (and the readers) are given a good shake up after Esh has been portrayed as being to blame for everything.
Although this is only a novella, it is all part of the build up of the items stolen from the Guild and all the baddies who are trying to get their hands on everything.
Great series. Great characters. Can’t wait to read more.
Those gorgeous dark-brown eyes were wide with surprise as he rolled her under him. No reason why they should be. He told her this was where she was going to be for the duration of the Tour.
“Esh,” she started, and in response he pushed his hips against her pelvis, rubbing hard against her.
Her mouth parted. A long, deep breath met the movement while her eyes went half-lidded. Her hands went to his shoulders, her fingers half digging into the muscle, her arms both pulling him closer and pushing him away.
His Nalah was conflicted? Well, he was going to put an end to that real quick. By the end of the Tour she was going to be back in his bed and standing by his side, where she belonged now, and where she’d belonged these last five years before she’d run away.
To the Guild. Of all fucking people, she had gotten involved with the Guild. He growled, the need to mark her as his and not theirs growing in him, and he lowered his mouth to her throat.
She panted and moaned as his lips and teeth ravaged the sensitive skin below her ear, the sounds tightening his belly and ratcheting up his arousal. He wanted her to make those sounds all night, he wanted her hoarse tomorrow and embarrassed because everyone would give her a knowing look each time she spoke. He sucked the dark skin into his mouth, wishing the small bruise would show.
How had he lived without this these last years? She even smelled the same, summer nights on the beach. He told her that after their first kiss, and she laughed, saying they’d never been near the ocean in their lives.
Didn’t matter. That was what she reminded him of. Her scent was always a mix of citrus and salt where her eyes and skin glowed under moonlight. She was wondrous, his escape from a shitty life, and always had been. Her eyes alight with pride as he fought in the ring, making him a hero and a warrior instead of a thug. Or how she never stopped teaching him or acted like he was too stupid to be bothered with.
He nipped her, a little harder, teeth a little deeper into her velvety skin, and her answering moan had his cock beating against the zipper of his jeans, demanding to be let out.
“Esh, let go,” she whispered, those long fingers still digging into his upper arms.
She wasn’t saying anything he wanted to hear, so he concentrated on licking the tang from her skin and listening to that tiny hitch in her breathing.
“Warned you.” And before his brain processed, Nalah shifted, using her leg to dislodge him while those fingers twisted his body and had him on the floor.
She got off the bed and now stood above him, hip cocked to the side and fists on them, her eyes sparking in an all-too-familiar way, one that used to mean he was sleeping on the cough that night. “Damn, woman, who taught you that?”
“Who do you think? I might not be a warrior, but do you think I’d let myself be totally vulnerable?”
She was vulnerable. Any of Beylor’s men could have her on her back with either a sword in her belly or them crawling on top of her in five seconds flat. But right now, with her foot that close to his balls, he wasn’t going to point that out. Instead he rolled and got to his feet, watching her watch him the entire time.
There was appreciation mixed with the earlier anger, the way she followed the bunching of the muscles in his thighs and his arms. Nalah wasn’t immune to him any more than her was to her. “Why’d you stop me?”
“Again, why do you think? I’m not here to be your personal amusement. Already told you.”
He snorted. “When have you ever been that? If that’s all I considered you good for, do you think I’d be here?”
That stopped her, her mouth closing, her face scrunching up in a V of confusion. She collapsed on the nearest chair, her arm draped across the table. “You and I need a little clearing of the air. Cards on the table?”
Yeah, that didn’t promise a good time. He shrugged, going to sit across from her.
She waited until he was settled before she began. “Why did you agree to do this?”
Talk about denial. He met her gaze, held it, until she was near fidgeting but still didn’t look away. “You aren’t stupid. You know why. I’m not changed.”
At that, Nalah did look away, out a window that overlooked the nearby forest. “It’s been five year,” she said, her voice as low as he’d ever heard from her.
“So? Fuck does five years mean? You’re it for me, always have been. Knew it as soon as you looked at me with those big brown eyes and I told you so back then. Told you the same before we came here, though you wanted to pretend that wasn’t what it meant. If it won’t change in fifty years. why do you think five years is some magic number?”
She swallowed the movement doing little to hide the slight quiver of her chin. “‘Cause I haven’t been around.”
He snorted. “Yeah, like that changes shit.”
ORDER A COPY: Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publishing Date: August 5, 2014
Hardcover: 384 pages
Rating: 5 Stars (Loved it!)
As a boy, Thronos, Lord of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body – and left an even deeper impression on his soul.
Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.
With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?
Romeo and Juliet have nothing on the tale of Lanthe and Thronos. Melanthe, the Queen of Persuasion and Thronos Talos, Knight of Reckoning and Prince of the Skye, should have been mortal enemies. Vrekeners have always sought to curtail the activities of the evil Sorceri. Lanthe and Thronos met as children and enjoyed an easy friendship. Thronos recognized Lanthe as his fated female and knew that someday their friendship would grow into something much more.
Yet it only took a moment of hate and fear to destroy their future. Thronos’s father, the King, brought his knights to murder Lanthe’s parents. Although they were only children, Lanthe and her sister, Sabine, used their powers to fight back and killed the King and his men. Believing that Thronos betrayed her, Lanthe turned her power of persuasion on him, and commanded him to jump out of the high tower and not use his wings to stop his fall. As a young Vrekener, Thronos had not yet come into his immortality. It is a miracle that he survived at all. His face and body bear the scars from the glass and his deformed leg and wing are physical reminders of the betrayal of that night.
Vrekener’s never abandon their hunt and a male never lets go of his fated female. She is his only chance for children. So for 500 years Thronos has been chasing Lanthe across worlds and dimensions, but she has eluded him every time. Now they have both escaped from the Order’s prison and Lanthe is still wearing the torque which dampens her sorceri powers. She can’t create a portal to escape and she can’t persuade Thronos to leaver her alone. After 500 years of the chase, he finally has her in his arms. Now that he finally has her, he needs to decide what to do with her.
There is a part of him that wants to torture her for the wrongs she has done him. While he tried unsuccessfully to capture her, he had to watch his fated female take male after male to her bed while Lanthe tried desperately to find true love. There is also a part of him that still yearns for the friend he lost and the family they should have had together. Is there is too much pain and betrayal between them to ever get past?
As Thronos tries to get Lanthe to his home in the sky, they will need to fight as a team, instead of each other, to survive the perils surrounding them. They each feel the loss of their past connection like an ache, but is it enough to get them past 500 years of betrayal and treachery and find the friendship they left behind?
Thank you, Kresley Cole, for finally giving us the story we have all been dying to read.
I have been desperate for this story since we first met Lanthe and Thronos in Kiss of a Demon King. We were tortured further in Demon from the Dark, when we left off with Thronos capturing Lanthe. Being so desperate for this story, I was both thrilled and terrified when Kresley Cole announced that Dark Skye would be her next book. Thrilled that it was coming out and terrified that it would not be as fabulous a story as I needed it to be. I received a copy on late Friday afternoon and had it finished to Saturday afternoon and I am so happy to say that Thronos and Lanthe’s story will be on my list of top ten favorite stories ever.
My favorite part of this story was that Thronos gets pissed off every time Lanthe calls him a demon. Thronos is very black and white with his thinking and Lanthe forces him to see that life is mostly gray. He was raised to believe that Vrekeners were not demons, but Lanthe keeps pointing out everything that Thronos does that is demon-like.
“One more time, sorceress: I am not a demon! Vrekeners are descended from gods. We have purpose. His tone was harsher than he’d intended, because…because he had felt an affinity for the beast.
“I thought Vrekener horns were only for show,” Melanthe said with obvious glee. “Yours straightened when I began to undress.”
“I’m to take your word on that?” But how they’d ached!
“I’ll bet you have a demon seal. You won’t release seed until you’re inside your mate.”
“So I have a couple things in common with demons.” He ran his fingers throug his hair. “I also have fangs—does that make me a vampire? My eyes turn silver, so I must be a Valkyrie.”
Deny, deny, deny.
Much to his frustration, Lanthe is the only one who could challenge his rigid mindset and make him acknowledge the gray.
What I had disliked in the last two IAD books, Lothaire and especially, MacRieve, was that the heroes were sexually attracted to their heroines, but afterwards they acted disgusted by the fact that they gave in to those desires and touched a female like her. Before starting Dark Skye, I was afraid we would have more of the same especially since we are starting the story knowing that there is a lot of pain and anger between these two characters. The book starts off with a seething Thronos barely able to control his wrath against Lanthe. But we see as the story progresses that just having her with him is starting to calm him down. As his rage passes, we start to see that Thronos is naturally a calm and rational guy. He assesses each new danger or challenge before acting. Although we are still a long way from love, as he starts to think clearer he starts to work through his feelings of betrayal. He wants to get Lanthe home with him so that he can have a family since Lanthe is the only one who can have his children. Once he truly works through his feelings, he wants a family with her because she matters to him.
Thronos’s biggest issue is that Lanthe has been sexually active with many, many partners trying to find someone who will love her, and Thronos is a virgin. Vrekeners are very, very conservative and have a giant book of rules of what is taboo or an “offendment” to his people. Kissing Lanthe before they are married is considered an offendment so you can see why her promiscuity is a problem for him. By the time we get to anything really sexual, they are already working through their problems and Thronos is never in any way disgusted by what he wants to do with Lanthe, even when he is angry with her.
Lanthe has no problem with Thronos scars. She thinks they make him look warlord-y and sexy. But it is not until Lanthe takes a peek into Thronos’s mind and starts to see what happened between them from his point of view that she softens her heart and forgives him a little, but whenever he continues with the slut-shaming, he loses her again.
It is such a good story and there is such a gradual working through their issues which brings them a complete 180 from where we started that you almost forget how dark the story starts and how much seething hatred they had when we began.
All Immortal After Dark followers will be delighted with this next chapter in the series, and if you haven’t tried an IAD story, you are missing out on a truly fun and sexy series.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!!!
So many scenes, which one to pick…
Lanthe hadn’t caught her breath since she’d entered, her captivated gaze taking in every detail.
Happiness coursed through her veins. How had clever Thronos found this place?
Though she was in a room full of gold, her attention veered to him, crouched on that shelf. The muscles of his torso flexed with his movements. His stern, intense expression and that gargoyle-like position made him look very demonic.
She’d never bedded a demon before. Huh.
Yet as she strolled the temple, his constant scowl eased. Without that scowl, he was…gorgeous.
There was no more denying it—or her attraction to him.
Some females might consider his scars unsightly. Lanthe though they made him look tough and warlord-y. Besides, who could care about them when those silver eyes were so compelling? When his warrior’s body seemed to have been sculpted from granite?
He’d once believed that she was “everything missing” from his life. Could he still feel that way? And why was she contemplating these things—instead of how to transpo this gold to Rothkalina or calculating karats?
Why did she have the urge to peer up at him with equal captivation? She surrendered to her impulse, turning to him. He seemed surprised by her perusal but held her gaze.
They were—dare she say it?—having a moment.
“You face me when surrounded by gold? Perhaps I rate after all?” The scowl returned, as if he was hardening himself. She wanted to cry, No, no, no, just a few more minutes!
“We had a deal,” he said. “I grow impatient.”
She could imagine—he’d waited so long to see her. And now she knew he’d already been struggling with his lust and curiosity when he’d been a young man.
A deal was a deal. She would take the sight of this gold into her, a memory to last forever. Unless I can return…
“Be about it, sorceress.”
Since she’d planned on enthrall him, this would be a good start, but the way he was crouching forward, as if on the verge of pouncing, made her hesitate. “If I do this, how do I know you won’t try to touch me? You’re not supposed to, right?”
“I only intend to look,” he said, though she could sense his aggression mounting.
“Do it, then.” When she still hesitated, he said, “Don’t feign shyness—I know you’ve done this with a horde of males before me.”
And just like that, her interest was checked. Though she was neither ashamed nor proud of the number of men she’d been with, his cruel jabs wounded her.
At least now she better understood his resentment. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to put myself in a sexual situation with you.”
He growled at that. “After your purported year of celibacy, I would expect you to be climbing the walls for any male’s attentions. And if I’m not mistaken, you’re in season.”
She flushed, lips thinning.
“I’ve heard tales of females like you.” At her raised brows, he enunciated the words, “Easy quarry.”
How could a maddened Vrekener hurt her so much?
Because he once looked at you with perfect acceptance, Lanthe. And she feared she’d been searching for that look ever since she’d lost it.
In order for her to be interested in a male, he needed to make her feel special—even if she knew it was a ruse. Despite Thronos’s mind-blowing body and heartbreaking past, he stood no chance. “Even we ‘easy quarry’ girls have standards. And you, Thronos Talos, are leaving me cold.”
He scoffed. “I could seduce you with ease. You’ve welcomed scores before me with only minuscule effort on their part. but I’ve no intention of taking you, nor even of touching you. Both are offendments. I only want to see my female.”
“You think you can resist seeing your mate naked?”
“You think I can’t?” A cunning light shone in his gaze. “You Sorceri like to gamble? To make bets? Then I’ll enter into a wager with you—my first.”
Dudley Do-Right makes a bet.
“If your body tempts me to touch it, then I’ll tell you how I found this temple and opened the door.”
“And if it doesn’t tempt you?”
“The blow to your enchantress pride would be reward enough.”
That is it! Now it was imperative to wipe that smirk off his face. “I’ll take your bet.” She thought she spied a flash of surprise in his expression. “No sex, though.”
He glowered, as if she’d suggested something ludicrous. “I’ll breed no bastards! Already my offspring will be half Sorceri. Do you think I’d allow the first to be illegitimate on top of that?”
Asshole! Only Thronos could ruin this: her, in a temple full of gold with a physically attractive male. He was like the anti-Sorceri—created to repel her.
Forget enchanting him! He didn’t deserve her beguilement. “I’ll remember this.”
“That you kill joy wherever you find it.” She gave him her back as she unfastened the first of three clips on the side of her breastplate.
Had his breaths quickened?
She gazed over her shoulder, saw his claws digging into the gold shelf, his throat working. His voice dropped an octave when he commanded, “Off with it.”
She unfastened the second clip.
“That’s it,” he murmured, his words dripping with pent-up lust.
As she was undoing the last clip, she heard something from beyond the main cave, and paused. The sound came again, growing in volume—movement down the mountainside. Something big was approaching. “Thronos, what was that?”
“Heard nothing. Continue.”
“Come on, demon!” She began fastening the clips again.
“There’s nothing to fear out there!”
When the entire temple rocked, she snapped, “Oh, really?”
He made a coarse sound of frustration; then she heard the swoop of his wings. She whirled around to find him charging toward her, that determined look in his grave face.
His eyes appeared to have darkened, and she could swear his horns were straightening—just like a demon’s would when he became aroused.
In other words, Thronos doesn’t live here anymore.
Reaching for her, he bit out, “To tide me over.”
A roar sounded in the cave. Seeming to wake out of a daze, Thronos dropped his hands. And she could have sworn upstanding Dudley Do-Right grated “Fuck.“
ORDER A COPY: Under The Final Moon (Underworld Detective Agency)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: August 5, 2014
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 3 stars
It’s not the end of the world–until it is. Sophie Lawson may be a mere human with no special abilities except a strong immunity to magic. But the havoc she’s wreaked on the supernaturals who come up against the Underworld Detection Agency have earned her plenty of enemies. Still, a girl can’t freak out every time a horribly barbecued corpse is found with her business card in its hand. Or see a sudden glut of earthquakes, wildfires and three-headed dogs as just another day in California. But Alex Grace, her favorite fallen angel, is concerned–or saying he is to see more of her. Getting Sophie to see all the signs of the Apocalypse is an interesting way to heat things up. Or maybe what’s making everyone hot under the collar is the fact that all Hell is about to break loose. . .
Arsonists are lighting up San Francisco and they all have one thing in common, they all appear to be trying to bring forth Satan. When a vampire lights himself up, and just happens to be holding onto a card belonging to one, Sophie Lawson, Det. Alex Grace comes knocking to find out of Sophie knows anything about Daddy-Dearest trying to get in touch with her. Oh yeah, did we mention that Sophie’s Dad is Satan himself, and that as some celestial joke, the Vessel of Souls holding all the souls that haven’t traveled on to heaven has been hidden inside Sophie.
There is also a group known as the Grigori who are trying to kill Sophie before Satan can get the Vessel of Souls from her.
As if Firestarter vampires, three-headed dogs, Grigori and a home visit from Satan isn’t enough to keep Sophie snacking on chocolate pinwheels, she still hasn’t made any decision on her choices of men…Will or Alex?
Armageddon is coming is something you say, not something that’s actually happening on Tuesday, but as the signs start added up, it appears that Dear Old Dad might just be trying to come for a visit, but is he looking to spend time with his little girl, get Sophie to join the family business or just do a snatch and grab of the souls hidden inside her?
This was the last book of the series and I can’t tell you how absolutely disappointed I was while I was reading it.
Poor Sophie, being the only human in a bunch of paranormals, usually ends up being beaten up and crying. Sophie had so many breakdowns in this story and a lot of them a constant pity party of “Why didn’t my Dad love me and come to the Father/Daughter dance” or “to my play” or “come to my graduation” or “what does he want from me now.” Most of her crying jags were with Alex and she ended up crying in his arms. This happened so many time that if I was listening to an audiobook, I would have assumed I messed up the download and was repeating scenes.
We also kept having scenes where someone was attacking Sophie and then they disappeared, never to be heard from again, and then someone else would attack her and again, that storyline just disappeared. The story starts with fires, fires, fires everywhere…and then suddenly there are no more fires mentioned again. There were also several of the usual scenes where everyone was there to protect her, and then they all just stepped away giving the bad guy time to attack. “We’re here to protect you.” “No, I’m okay.” “Alright, see you tomorrow.” Knock, knock, Bad guy calling.
There was also many, many references to Satan being “a trickster” and I kept waiting for the big trick Sophie would do to fight him at his own game, but the ending happened so fast and ended up being pretty anticlimactic.
After listening to Sophie constantly bounce back and forth between Alex and Will for five of the six stories, in the end Sophie doesn’t pick one over the other so much as one leaves town, leaving her choosing the other by default. I think it would have been funnier after all these books of her lamenting which hottie will I choose, if they both left her at the end.
Although the humor was still there, the story itself seemed to just circled around and the plot was not very cohesive. For the last book in the series where she could have done anything that she wanted with the characters, it was totally disappointing.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I heard the murmurings and a few stepped forward to pat me on the back or touch my arm gingerly, and I was basking in the warmth of this weird, horned, extended family that cared, and gave a damn whether I lived or died.
And then, the elevator dinged.
Alex was standing there and it was like the first time I’d ever seen him: his shoulders were thrown back, chin hitched one lock of wavy hair impishly falling over his forehead. His chest looked impossibly broad, Greek-God like, and when his badge winked from his hip, I felt my mouth water.
Once again, I was: Sophie Lawson, turned on in the face of danger.
Alex’s icy eyes cut across the waiting room until he saw me. I saw him suck in a breath, and I was ready to shimmy out of my panties—all the demons cared and Alex, too—when the other elevator dinged.
We all waited, no one breathed, until the doors slid open.
Then I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
Will was in the second elevator, leaning against the back wall and looking relaxed and comfortably cool, as though he were in an Abercrombie ad just awaiting his scantily clad co-model. His hazel eyes were slightly hooded in that “hey, baby, I’m holding a kitten” kind of way that made my heart bloom and ignited something low in my belly. Between the two of them I was a pile of supercharged horny goo while the whole of the world trembled on the precipice of holy hell.
As I clamped my knees together and gritted my teeth, I was fairly certain that my inappropriate sex drive was half the reason the city was vaulting toward our brimstony demise.
Both Alex and Will stepped out at the same time, each with a set of eyes fixed on me for a brief second before they glanced at each other. Then each seemed to get an inch taller. Suddenly, chests were puffed out and, I’m not entirely sure, but I’m fairly certain that arms were flexed. I would have paused to scrutinize further, but both made a beeline for me, talking at the same time.
“Wanted to make sure—“
“—you were okay down here.”
They stopped talking at the same time, too, glared at each other, then swung to face me and my army of Underworld associates.
“We’re all okay down here,” I said, feeling suddenly overwhelmed with domestic love and nearly throwing my arms around the armless zombie and the troll who had kicked me out from under the coffee table.
ORDER A COPY: Better Homes and Hauntings
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: June 24, 2014
Paperback: 318 pages
Rating: 4 stars
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.
As a self-made billionaire, software genius and only successful Whitney in the last 100 years, Deacon Whitney wants to prove once and for all that there is no family curse against the Whitneys. What better way than to reclaim the family estate which he just inherited out on Whitney island. But anyone within 100 miles has heard the rumors that the mansion is haunted, and so in order to keep his key people working, he needs to keep them with him on the island, before the houses creaks and moans scare them from the job for good.
He has chosen his friend Jake Rumson, to be his architect, Cindy Ellis to help with the clean up and restoration, and Nina Linden to design the landscaping. Deacon hired Nina for her talent, but he will admit that there is more to his interest in the lovely gardener than just her choice of plants.
Everything is going well once everyone arrives and the work begins. Is that because the “ghosts” are quiet or because no one wants to be the first to admit that they’re the crazy one who is seeing ghosts?
The real question is whether there really is the ghost of Catherine Whitney, supposedly murdered by her jealous husband Gerald, haunting the island or are the things going bump in the night made of flesh and bone? There are several family members and overlooked competitors who have various reasons why they don’t want this job to be completed.
Whether the ghost is real or not may be the least of their problems since the attacks are getting more and more violent as the days go on. These meddling kids better hurry up and solve this mystery quickly before they become the next victims of the Whitney curse.
There are no werewolves and vampires this time, but Molly Harper has definitely written a ghost story which is a grown-ups version of a Scooby Doo mystery. Although I miss her beloved characters, her writing is still as entertaining in this stand alone novel as in her Nice Girl and Naked Werewolf series. But unusual in a Molly Harper novel is the various POVs. It jumps between Deacon, Nina, Jake, Cindy and Deacon’s cousin, Dotty. Her novels are mainly 1st person narratives with a few exceptions.
Deacon Whitney may be a billionaire software genius, but he is still deep down a geek and Geeks in Love are always adorable as he tries to awkwardly flirt with Nina and gets excited when told that Nina likes him. Nina is just as much a geek as Deacon and she gets all his SciFi and fantasy references which just makes more cartoon hearts float around Deacon’s head.
Cousin Dotty just shows up in the middle of the renovation determined to document the renovation for her book while she searches for Catherine’s missing diaries. Dotty wants to prove that Catherine’s husband, Gerald, didn’t kill her. Dotty is quirky and flaky and hasn’t finished one project yet, but you can’t help but love her.
We also have a secondary love interest story going on between Cindy and Jake which was interesting. Jake keeps trying to get close to Cindy, but all she does is growl at him. What Jake doesn’t remember is that he dated Cindy years ago, and never called her again after their second date. Now he’s looking at Cindy with interest and Cindy refuses to tell him why she’s so pissed of at him.
This is all part of the POV changes throughout the story, which includes the different romances and the various ghost sightings by the various characters.
As always Molly Harper gives us fun story with great dialog and this time with a little spooky added in.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
As the newcomer gushed over how thrilled she was to be involved and that she just couldn’t wait to get started, which was why she’d shown up weeks ahead of schedule to present Deacon with her design ideas for the interior, Cindy rolled her eyes. Typical. Now that this barracuda with the telltale red-soled shoes was in the picture, he’d dropped Cindy and moved on.
Cindy pursed her lips, steadied herself against the banister for a moment. It sucked to be right all the time.
Resolving to forget the entire “tripping” episode, Cindy made her way to the opposite site of the room, where Dotty and Nina were whispering quietly.
“The insecure preadolescent girl inside of me is curled up in the fetal position,” Nina grumbled, noting with inexplicable irritation the way the new arrival was practically standing on Deacon’s feet, murmuring to him in low, familiar tones; until the moment Jake had walked in, anyway, which was the moment she launched herself at him. Poor Anthony had been standing off to the side, intently staring at the blueprints of the house so he could look anywhere besides at his boss getting kitten-whispered. And Deacon looked…
Well, maybe Nina didn’t know Deacon well enough to gauge his facial expressions. He seemed impassive, even bored. He hadn’t exactly been leaning into the lady’s aural assault, but his face didn’t give of a Get thee away from me, you fashion-forward she-beast! vibe, either.
In Nina’s mind, Indignant Deacon spoke like a character from Game of Thrones.
“Oh, honey, she doesn’t deserve your head space.” Dotty sighed. “That’s just Regina Van Hauten. We’ve know her since, oh, two or three noses ago.” When Cindy lifted an eyebrow, Dotty clarified, “Since high school Her family is close to Deacon’s and Jake’s parents.”
“And why is she here?” Cindy asked.
Dotty’s facial expression wasn’t hard to decipher at all, with her mouth pinched into a derisive frown. “Regina’s supposedly an interior designer, but judging by the hatchet job she did on Deacon’s corporate offices, I’m betting she got her training from one of those videos you can order from an infomercial.”
“Uncomfortable seating and abstract art?” Nina guessed.
“There’s an ‘installation’ of discarded Starbucks cups in the lobby by some artist from Hoboken. It’s called ‘The Globalization of Mediocrity.’ The janitor kept trying to throw it away, so Regina’s idea was to put up a sign that says, “Please don’t recycle the art.”
Cindy bit her lip before a snicker could escape. Dotty grinned at her, even as Regina sent the pair a scathing look. Nina noted that Regina hadn’t bothered introducing herself to Nina or Cindy.
Dotty muttered, “I told Deacon not to hire her, but he said he ‘has his reasons’ for letting her ruin both is offices and his home. And when I press him, he refuses to answer, which is saying something, because I can always get Deacon to fess up. Just for your information, he is very ticklish.”
“How will that information ever be of use to me?” Nina asked.
Dotty wriggled her eyebrows. “I can think of a few ways.” Nina stared at her, adopting Deacon’s “impassive” expression. “Oh, come on, I’ve seen the two of you together. It’s like watching a nature documentary on scientists trying to get the two most socially awkward people in the world to mate.”
“Not true!” Nina whispered back. “We talk about work-related subjects, that’s all.”
Just then, Deacon looked up from Regina’s papers and gave Nina a lingering look, as if she were the only thing giving him the strength to continue his conversation with his decorator. Nina’s face flushed bright red, and Dotty fanned her cheeks with Cindy’s clipboard.
“Oh, hush the both of you,” Nina muttered.
“You made my cousin smoulder,” Dotty whispered in awe. “Until two years ago, he didn’t wear matching socks half the time. He actually pays someone to match his clothes for him. So for him to throw any sort of swagger at you, that’s sort of a miracle.”
“He probably just had something in his eye,” Nina protested softly. “Now, be quiet before someone hears you. This is a foyer, not a cone of silence.”
“You’re right, he did have something in his eye,” Cindy singsonged. “You.”
“Sweetheart, I’m going to insist that you ride that man like a pony,” Cindy added. “For the good of mankind, technological advancement, and America’s place in the world economy. Think of the gadgetry he could come up with if he had a little stress relief.”
Nina poked at Cindy’s arm. “You are all class, my friend.”
ORDER A COPY: Vampire Trouble (Dead in the City)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: July 1, 2014
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Shane Quesada, a four-century old vampire sentry, is known for cold, unemotional precision when hunting rogue vampires.
Maya Robertson is a youngling vampire who will not be controlled—and to prove it, she rejects Shane’s protection—only to find herself in over her head with an alpha werewolf.
Soon, a war between the coven and the werewolf clan ignites, and Maya and Shane flee to Louisiana, where their passion for each other grows—as does Maya’s power. When she finds herself at the center of the conflict, will she finally trust Shane with her life—and her heart?
Maya Robertson has been a vampire of only five years. She is a young vamp by immortal standards and like any other youngster, she has a problem keeping herself out of trouble. She does exactly what she is told not to do, she gets angry when she is told to behave by her maker and she likes to play with her food.
On the night of her turning, she was raped, beaten and left for dead in an alley. Since Olivia turned her, she has been plagued with nightmares of the night of her death. The constant feeling of powerlessness makes her seek out some control of her life. She often feeds from the type of men who would take advantage of a weaker female and then she toys with them. She is not happy when Olivia gives an order that they are not to hunt for awhile. Werewolves have come to town unannounced and uninvited and that can only mean trouble.
Of course, the first thing Maya wants to do is get a closer look at these werewolves. When she is almost attacked by one, it is 400-year-old Sentry, Shane Quesada, who steps in to take Maya by the hand to help the baby vampire grow up.
He knows that Maya’s best defense against the dreams is to fight off her attacker in her dreamscape, and in reality, to be able to fight off the werewolves who are now seeking her out. He takes Maya away to train her in self-defense and weapons. He know that once Maya feels confident enough that she can take care of herself, she will finally be able to move beyond the past which still haunts her.
This is an enjoyable series and a quick read for anyone who likes paranormal romance. Understandably, Maya has issues with men when the story begins. We know from the first book that Maya likes to glamour and play with the human men she feeds from. We learn in the beginning of this story exactly why she does it. Still you do want to shake Maya in the beginning because she makes emotionally motivated decisions without thought. She is told to stay away from the werewolves, so of course she takes a new job at a club where they are hanging out. She is told not to trust them and to stay away from them, so of course she agrees to go to their hotel suite alone with the pack. *shake, shake, shake*
I liked Shane a lot until he starts to have the “I’m getting too obsessed with Maya to do my job” talk with himself, just after Maya starts to trust him, and we see her start to mature. Then it is our turn to start shaking Shane for being stupid.
This is the second story of the series and brings the second pair of Bloodmates to the series. The supernatural world is already having a summit to discuss Olivia and Doug who are the first Bloodmates in forever. The supe world is concerned about the fact that they can walk in the daylight, and have also created a child. Tensions are high as they await the birth of Olivia’s child, and with the supernatural world up in arms about what their bond could mean to the future of the supernatural world, a second pair is going to ratchet that concern way up.
Overall it was an enjoyable story and a good addition to the Dead in the City series.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“I knew you like to watch.” Her voice, quiet and edged with bitterness, cut into the silence of the night. Maya spun around and stormy, dark blue eyes latched onto his. “Do you get off on that?”
“You are the one who challenged me to follow you.” Perplexed by her obvious anger at his presence, Shane knit his brows together. He inched closer, his gaze wandering over her face, memorizing every curve. “Or did you forget?”
Maya’s eyes widened with every inch of personal space that he invaded, yet she didn’t retreat. “I remember telling you and everyone else that I’m tired of having my every move monitored.” She placed her hands on her hips and met his challenging stare. “You’re a sentry and supposedly some badass warrior, but you’re spending the last hours of your night spying on me? What’s your deal? Are you trying to get brownie points with Doug and Olivia? Do you get some kind of bonus for following me around and messing with my life?
“Then what’s your damage, dude?”
“Actually”—Shane tilted his head slightly to one side and folded his arms over his chest—“that was going to be my question for you.”
“What?” Maya blinked and took a step back. “Me? What are you talking about?”
“Yes, you.” Shane leaned closer and his voice dropped low. “Why do you insist on hunting but barely feed on your prey?” Maya said nothing and took another step backward, but Shane persisted. He dropped his hands and continued moving toward her, even though she moved farther away.
“You only hunt men, and from what I’ve observed over the past few months, your taste in human men is…Well, let’s just say it’s questionable. You don’t just hunt, Maya. You court, seduce and lure them in much the way one would with a lover, and yet you clearly don’t love them. In fact, I’d say it’s quite the opposite.”
“I like the hunt.” Maya tilted her chin defiantly but gasped when she backed right into the trunk of a massive oak. “What’s wrong with that?” she whispered through trembling lips. “Besides, what would a stodgy old vampire like you know about love?”
“Nothing.” Shane place his hands against the tree on either side of Maya, caging her in. He leaned in so his face was just inches from hers. “I know little of love but I’m well schooled in hunting, whether it’s to feed or in battle. It’s not what you’re doing that intrigues me, Maya, but why you’re doing it.”
“I-I’m hunting, like any other vampire does.” Her voice lowered to a whisper, but the anger and defiance had been replaced by fear and uncertainty. “For the blood.”
“No.” Shane shook his head slowly. Brushing a lock of blond hair off her face, he ran his thumb along her jaw. Her skin was warm and smooth beneath his. Although vampires felt cool to the touch to humans, they felt warm to other vampires because their body temperatures were the same. Although Maya’s flesh seemed hotter and more enticing than any Shane had encountered.
He tiled her chin, forcing her to look him in the eye, and to his surprise, she didn’t resist. “If it were only about blood, youngling, then you would simply glamour a human, feed, and release him. No.” Shane traced the line of her full lower lip with the edge of his thumb, and sadness tugged at whatever was left of his heart. “We both know there is much more at play here than the need for blood.”
“Then spill it.” Maya’s features hardened, and her hands balled into fists at her sides. Dark blue eyes glittered up at him with fierce determination. “What is it that you think I’m after?”
Memories of Maya being dragged into the alley and the look of pure terror and helplessness in her eyes came roaring back—and in that instant he knew. He felt like a fool for not realizing it the moment he’d woken from the dreamscape. When the realization dawned, something deep inside him shattered into a million tiny pieces.
“Power,” Shane whispered. His fangs burst free, and Maya let out a gasp of pleasure. “Control.” He placed a gentle kiss at the corner of her mouth. “Domination.”
ORDER A COPY: Pia Saves the Day: A Novella of the Elder Races
Publisher: Thea Harrison
Publishing Date: June 23, 2014
ebook: 90 pages
Rating: 5 stars
In the latest story of the Elder Races, two mates face their deadliest challenge yet—each other…
Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn’t enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.
Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.
Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.
It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this.
Pia and Dragos have decided to move to Drago’s property in upstate New York on a more permanent basis. They want Liam to grow up in the fresh air and open spaces that Manhattan just can’t offer. In order to move the Wyr headquarters upstate, additions need to be made to the sprawling property. The mansion needs some updating, but more importantly, they need housing for the sentinels as well as the security and Drago’s office staff.
As part of the project, the construction crew needs to level the bedrock for the new housing building. When an explosion goes wrong, Dragos is covered in rubble and an angry and injured dragon emerges. It is obvious from his actions that there is more to Drago’s injuries than just the bleeding head wound. The wounded Dragos takes off and Pia must first protect his demesne before she can take off to find her mate.
Pia’s blood has the power to heal but she has to get the wary and cunning dragon to trust her enough to get close. She tries to get his attention with gold and jewels to tempt his acquisitive nature. Dragos doesn’t remember Pia but her scent is stirring something deep down inside him. Dragos is looking at the golden beauty before him and he sees a treasure more valuable than baubles which he wants to keep for himself.
I absolutely love that Thea Harrison has once again brought us a story of Pia and Dragos. This would be the third story that has come back to focus on these major characters of the series. Series either focus on the continuing story of a main character or characters or they focus on a group and each pair gets their day in the sun. It is rare that an author will bring the spotlight back to characters who have already had their story told, and I love that she does this. I talked with author Thea Harrison just before the Lord’s Fall was released two years ago.
In this series Pia and Dragos are the backbone of this group and obviously they still have a lot of story to be told. Dragos is the most powerful Wyr in existence, no question. See favorite scene from Kinked. In Dragon Bound, he was pushy and domineering to a degree that should have pissed me off, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the dynamics of Dragos and Pia and that has only increased as the series progressed and Pia brings out a gentleness that is surprising even to the dragon himself. They are a very dynamic power couple in the paranormal world.
If you are a fan of the series, you have probably already purchased this novella and have finished it and don’t need my review to sway you in any way. But most interesting about this novella, I believe, is that there are several things occurring here that are going to bring interesting, if not major, changes to the series and to the dynamics of the characters.
This is not something that an author of a well liked series does unless they’re desperate or creating a spin off, and especially not in the form of a novella rather than a major novel release. This is pretty brave shake up on the part of Thea Harrison. I am absolutely fascinated to see how the ripples created by this novella is going to effect the future stories.
There is one more novella featuring the Cuellebre family coming out this summer and it is Peanut Goes to School. Here is another delightful character in the series who brings a great big question mark about how he will change things. Peanut is the nickname of Pia and Dragos’s son Liam and he is the only other dragon to exist since Dragos was “born” at the creation of the world millennia ago. He is growing at a phenomenal rate, but since there are no other dragons, no one knows what is normal for him. He turns into a tiny baby dragon which is absolutely adorable! Since everything about Peanut’s dragon nature being combined with Pia’s gifts is up in the air, anything can happen. He is a great big surprise and no one knows how he will affect the future of the series.
The other characters and stories have been very entertaining, but the big stars of this series are no question Pia, Dragos and Liam.
If you like paranormal romance and haven’t tried the Elder Races series, you are definitely missing out.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Dragos bent his head and kissed her, softly because their sleeping son nestled between them. His firm, warm lips parted hers, and he dipped his tongue into her mouth in an erotic promise for later. Awash in the love that burned through her veins, she steadied herself by gripping his bicep. With obvious reluctance, he pulled away.
In the fourteen months they had been together, the desire had never changed. Elemental as necessary as breathing, it dictated the rhythm of their lives. They orbited around each other, always looking, always reaching for the other, but it never ceased to amaze her that he looked at her this way.
His brutally handsome face could be so hard, so ruthless, but his need for her always won through. She never doubted what he felt for her. She could see it in everything he did.
You want me, she breathed.
She’d meant to say it in a cocky and flirtatious way, with a wink and a saucy Marilyn Monroe wiggle of the hips. But she forgot to wink, the hip wiggle turned into a slow, needy roll against his, and the words came out breathless and awed.
He rubbed the calloused ball of his thumb across her soft, moistened lips. A dark flush stained his high cheekbones, and his gold eyes glittered. I’ll die before I stop wanting you.
Me too. She closed her eyes at his touch.
They were both immortal Wyr. Maybe, just maybe, that would be long enough to express the depth of what she felt for him.
He kissed her forehead. Here, take Liam.
She glanced down at the top of Liam’s head and said softly, “I’m going to tuck him into his crib.”
Dragos nodded, his expression softening as he looked down at Liam too. “Now that you’re back, I’ll head out to the site. I want to see how much headway they’ve made in the blasting today.”
“Okay.” She smiled at him. “See you later.”
He answered her with a slow, wicked one of his own. “But not too much later. I fancy an early bedtime tonight.”
She watched him walk away, thinking happy, comfortable thoughts. Dinner then bed, and who knew when they would finally fall asleep? They could take their time tonight. They had all the time in the world.
Less than an half an hour later, she would give anything to call him back to her again. Anything to keep him from walking away.
Oh gods, anything.
ORDER A COPY: Hunger (Vampires Realm Romance Series Book 8)
Publisher: Felicity Heaton
Publishing Date: May 10, 2014
eBook: 223 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Betrayed by one of her own and turned into a vampire, hunter Eve is consumed by her hunger for vengeance and has spent five years surviving hell, driven to take the life of the man she once loved. But just as she is about to close in on the hunter-turned-vampire, an event is set in motion that threatens to see him slip beyond her grasp forever—the leader of her bloodline has sent an escort to bring her to the family’s mansion. To a nest of the very creatures she once hunted and loathes.
A vampire assassin hardened by centuries of service, Tor is a man of discipline and loyalty, never straying from his mission or the rules set out for him, and has purged all his weaknesses, including his emotions.
But the moment he meets the broken, fiery female he is to escort to Oslo, something dangerous awakens in him, something possessive and powerful, and when he is pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who betrayed her, Tor discovers he will do anything to protect the woman slowly claiming his heart and give her the vengeance she desires—even break all the rules.
Can Eve embrace her new vampire nature in order to have her revenge and find a reason to live again in Tor? Can Tor and Eve stop the man who betrayed her and the deaths of thousands of innocents? Or will he succeed in creating a new army of hybrid vampires who will rise up against the purebloods?
Eve was a Hunter. A hunter of vampires until she was betrayed by the one man she thought she could trust. Because of him she is now everything that she hated. She refuses to drink from humans and will only drink enough animal blood to survive because she has one thing she has to do before she throws herself into the sun—kill Adam for his betrayal.
Tor is an assassin for his House and he has never failed in a mission. When his Lord Vincent sent him to retrieve his love’s sister and bring her home so she will be safe, it was a simple assignment although babysitting seemed a bit below his skill set. But Tor understands revenge and for this first time in hundreds of years, Tor will not be fulfilling his mission without first helping Eve get her revenge against Adam.
When Tor meets Eve, she is not alone, several weaklings are trying to kill her. As a pureblooded vampire, Eve should have dispatched them easily, but her refusal to drink from a human is making her weak. Tor wants to convince Eve that vampires aren’t evil and that she would live a long and happy life if she will only come to accept her new life. And for the first time in centuries, Tor wants more in his future as well.
I receive a daily newsletter from Felicity Heaton and with the exception of Manday Monday, I try not to read them. Why you ask? Because most of them contain scenes from one of her many books and when I read them, I always get caught up in what’s going on. It is my ever growing TBR list that keeps me from buying a copy and finishing the story. In fact, I have several of her free books already downloaded. I just don’t have the time to read them. But when I read the first chapter scene and book information for Hunger, I was hooked and had to have it.
As much as I like the friends to lovers stories and my damaged heroes, I also love the dark, dangerous hero with the soft-gooey inside. Tor fit this bill well. As a long-time assassin, he doesn’t speak much. He walks in, kills who he needs to and goes home. He doesn’t seem to have many friends, but he is unflinchingly loyal to those he does. He falls quickly for Eve, but as the sister of Lilith, who is Lord Vincent’s mate, Eve is marked to be the successor or Chosen Daughter. As an assassin, Tor is treated as a servant by the vampires of his House. Once they get to other vampire, he walks behind Eve and tries not to be seen alone with her. I love that Eve will have none of that, and she is adamant that Tor stands by her side and that “things will be changing around here” and that the vampires will give Tor respect he deserves for the work he does to keep them all safe.
Although it was Book #8 of the series, it worked well as a stand alone. There wasn’t a flurry of past characters stopping by beside Vincent and Lilith, and you really didn’t need to know all her world building. The only other book I have read by Felicity Heaton was Vampire for Christmas, which I had also liked very much. Her stories are interesting and they are quick reads. I wish I had more time to start her series, and she is not available in audiobook yet which is how I usually catch up.
If vamps are your thing, try one of Felicity’s books. I would definitely recommend giving Hunger a try.
And yes, I actually bought this one myself.
I’m giving you the scene that sucked me in —
A bolt of awareness shot down Eve’s spine and she stiffened. Oneiric tensed too and lifted his head. Crimson fire flickered around the edges of his dark irises.
“We have company.” The note of warning in his deep voice said it wasn’t her escort.
Eve grabbed the two large hunting knives on the round black table close to her and reached out with her senses, scouring the area around the club. People were coming. Close to a dozen of them.
The double doors of the main entrance burst open, the heavy steel panels crashing into the walls on either side, allowing a rush of cold damp air to bring tangled unfamiliar scents to her. Behind her, another bang sounded as the back door of the club shot open. Male voices poured into the darkness.
Four ahead of her and seven behind.
She took a deep breath to steady herself and flexed her fingers around the grips of the short blades to stop them from trembling. It wasn’t fear making her hands shake. It was hunger. It gnawed at her insides and clouded her mind, dampening her senses and stealing her strength. She almost started to wish she had taken the animal blood Oneiric had offered her on waking tonight, but she had been so angry about being shipped off to Oslo that she had refused.
“I will handle the back,” Oneiric said and then he was gone and she was alone in the dimly lit room, only a dozen tables and chairs between her and the four advancing men.
Eve cursed her weakness and shifted her booted feet, adopting a stance that was second nature to her, preparing for the fight ahead.
The vampires emerged from the darkness, golden eyes flickering with hunger as they landed on her and lingered.
The same breed of bastard that had killed her.
A growl curled up her throat and she launched herself forwards, leaped up onto a table and pushed off from the top. She clutched both blades and brought them down as she descended, aiming straight for the man leading the charge. He reacted in an instant, strafing to his left, avoiding her attack. Eve landed in a crouch and immediately twisted towards him, lashing out with the knife in her right hand as she hurled the one in her left at the next man. That one embedded itself deep in his shoulder before he could evade it and he hissed in agony.
She shot to her feet and slashed across the first man’s biceps, cutting deep enough to feel her blade scrape bone, and ducked as he swung at her with his claws, growling low in his throat. Eve kicked forwards, rolled and came up behind the vampire with her other blade embedded in his shoulder. He snarled as he pulled the knife free of his flesh.
She didn’t give him a chance to use her own weapon against her. She swept her hand out, catching him across his throat with her knife, and he howled in pain and dropped the weapon in favour of slapping his hand over the wound on his neck and staunching the river of blood flowing down it.
Eve exhaled hard and blocked the wild swing another of the men threw at her. The first male’s fist slammed into her back at the same time and propelled her forwards, into another of her attackers. He grabbed her by the arm she held the blade in and hurled her into the black bar. Her head connected hard with the brass rail around the edge of the curved bar and pain ricocheted through her skull.
One of the men chuckled as she tried to get her bearings and fought to stop her head from spinning. Her senses reached out to monitor the men and her head cleared. She took her time pretending to gather herself and pinpointed each of her opponents. The one she had cut across the neck was still down, muttering black things to himself, detailing all the ways she was going to pay.
Nothing he came up with was any worse than what she had already endured at the hands of vampires.
The other three men were waiting. How very chivalrous. She pushed against the bar and grimaced as her head ached, the deep throbbing pain the result of more than her collision. Her hunger was growing, roused by the heavy scent of blood in the air. It pressed her to feed, every dark instinct she possessed demanding she take blood from the men behind her.
Eve shook her head and struggled against that dark desire.
She turned to face the three men waiting for her. The dark-haired one who had made her intimately acquainted with the bar stooped and picked up her knife. She palmed the one she held and calculated her chances of survival.
Slim at best.
With her head pounding and dampening her senses, hunger riding her mercilessly and weakening her, she wasn’t up for a fight against one strong vampire, let alone three. If the fourth chose to join the fight, she was definitely dead.
Eve inched to her right, towards the open space where she had been speaking with Oneiric before the intrusion. The sounds of his fight carried through the darkness and her dull senses said that he had already dealt with three of his foes. She had yet to dispatch one.
It marked the vast difference between them. They were of the same pure bloodline and she should be strong enough to fight these weaklings, but she wasn’t. She was weaker than these men before her, and it was her own fault. She could have easily dispatched them if she had been feeding. If she had been strong.
Her stomach turned at the thought of taking human blood and she kept edging away from the men, buying herself space and time. A fourth vampire disappeared from her senses. Oneiric was down to three. If she could keep her four occupied while not giving them a chance to kill her, Oneiric could make it back to her. She hated having to rely on him to fight her battles, and knew he would use it to illustrate his point about her need to feed, but she had no choice. She couldn’t die here. She wasn’t ready to go to Hell yet.
The three vampires tracked her and the fourth stumbled to his feet. He pulled his hand away from the deep slash across his throat. It had stopped bleeding.
Eve turned with them, her back to the dance floor now.
She readied her knife and called on her senses, allowing them to stretch out and encompass the men. Silver lines shimmered over their bodies, forming ghost versions of each of them. Those ghosts moved, her senses predicting the paths they would take, giving her a shot at taking at least one of them down. Three of them had multiple paths, a blur of motion that made it dangerous to act on.
The path of the fourth, the one with the neck wound, was as clear as night and he was about to make a grave mistake.
He disappeared from behind the other three vampires, a shadow of movement through the tables. Eve waited for the critical moment and then thrust her right hand in a sharp diagonal arc at her side, burying her knife to the hilt under his chin. He gagged and cold wet gushed over her hand and trailed down her arm.
Eve pulled the blade free and swept it across his throat, throwing all of her strength into the blow. The knife cut deep, severing his spine, and he dropped hard.
The remaining three weakling vampires snarled and launched themselves as one at her. Eve did her best to block each blow they threw, her forearms taking the brunt of their wrath, and tried to get some attacks of her own in. They were relentless, driving her backwards, crowding her and making it impossible for her to escape.
She bit her tongue to silence her cries as claws cut and fists slammed, each blow weakening her a little more.
She couldn’t die yet. She needed peace. She needed to make the bastard pay.
It couldn’t end here. Now.
A cry escaped her as sharp talons sliced through her right biceps and she dropped her only weapon.
A deep male voice rolled over her like a storm, his foreign tongue dark and sinister.
The three vampires crowding her eased back and turned as one to face the newcomer. Eve withdrew, clutching her arm. Blood spilled from between her fingers and the ever-present hunger grew worse, bringing out her fangs as it demanded she taste the sweet, coppery liquid.
A fifth male melted out of the shadows at the entrance of the club, a six-foot-five wall of lethal muscle and deadly grace, his face obscured by the hood of his oversized black sweatshirt. Calm laced with malice rolled off him and she felt his gaze flicker to her.
A hot shiver went through her in response to the intense feeling, the incredible awareness that shot an arrow straight through her heart and made the rest of the room fall away in an instant, drawing every shred of her focus to him.
He calmly set his black duffle down on the bar and strode forwards with purpose, his black army boots loud on the wooden floor. She felt his eyes leave her. The room crashed back into existence and air rushed into her lungs again.
The low lights flickered over the lower half of his face, giving tantalising glimpses of firm, sensual lips and a defined jaw. The corner of those lips quirked, a split-second shift that she would have missed had she not been staring so intently at them.
Panic began as a low thrumming in her belly, a turbulent swirling that made her take another step back for each one he advanced, placing more distance between them. The malice and darkness he emanated grew stronger and her instincts warned her away, screamed that she stood no chance against this newcomer.
He was stronger than the other four combined.
Stronger than Oneiric.
Her panic exploded into outright fear as the man reached behind his back, whipped out a black pistol and fired off a round, nailing the vampire she had tagged as the leader between his eyes. His head snapped backwards, blood spraying from the gaping wound in the back of his skull, and he fell into a table, crushing it under him.
The other two rushed the man.
They didn’t stand a chance.
He took the first out with lethal efficiency, kicking him hard in the balls and then catching him with a diagonal uppercut as he doubled over, snapping his neck.
Eve stood frozen to the spot, unsure what to make of the deadly new combatant, and unsure whether he was friend or foe.
She hoped to God he wasn’t foe.
She wasn’t even sure he was a vampire. Her scrambled senses said that he was but he didn’t fight like any vampire she had ever met. None of them had used guns for a start, and none of them fought dirty as this man did.
The remaining male bravely faced off against him, brandishing both of her fallen knives.
It didn’t help him.
The huge male cupped his hands and stepped forwards, nothing more than a blur as he closed the distance between him and the remaining vampire. He slapped his hands over the vampire’s ears, the crack as they connected startling her into moving, placing even more distance between them. The vampire unleashed an agonised snarl and thrust with one of the blades. The man sidestepped, caught his arm and twisted it hard, bringing his other hand down in a devastating blow that shattered the bone.
The vampire’s agonised snarl became a scream.
The man calmly grabbed him by his throat, pressed his free hand against his face, and shoved forwards, snapping his head backwards and breaking his neck.
Eve took another step backwards, towards the door to the back rooms. Maybe she should have made a break for the exit while the man had been occupied with neatly defeating three vampires in under three minutes.
He advanced on her, the sense of malice coming from him not abating. If anything, it was getting stronger.