Category Archives: Vampires
ORDER A COPY: Undone (The Amoveo Legend)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Party girl Marianna Coltari is an unmated pureblood Amoveo who wants nothing to do with the ongoing war that took her father’s life and continues to consume her brother, Dante’s. But when she is targeted by one of the clans, she has little choice but to run and hide in a cabin with Pete Castro, a retired cop from her brother’s security firm. There, Pete and Marianna explore an intensifying attraction between them until danger is at the door and there’s no escape.
Pete Castro has been assigned by his boss and his friend, Dante Coltari, to act as chauffer and more importantly as bodyguard, to his twin sister, Marianna. As an Amoveo shifter of the bear clan, Marianna should be more then able to protect herself, but many unmated females have been disappearing lately, and Dante wants to be sure that his sister doesn’t wind up among the missing women.
Pete hasn’t told Marianna that he knows what she is. As far as he is concerned, she can go on thinking him an ignorant human. With her unpredictable bear temperament, if she didn’t fear discovery by him, he is afraid she’ll do a disappearing act on him next time she is in a snit. As far as Pete is aware, Marianna doesn’t think of him at all. If only he could say the same thing. All Pete can think about are those long legs and how he wants to grab a fist full of those gorgeous brown curls and kiss her until they’re both breathless. But Marianna is looking for her mate—her Amoveo mate, not a plain old human like Pete.
Human or not, Pete will take care of that sleezyball Hayden. Hayden might be full-blooded bear clan, but there is no way that pompous ass is her mate, so why is he after Marianna so desperately? Pete isn’t planning on sitting around waiting to find out. Dante hired him to protect Marianna, and that is what he is going to do even if he has to fight her to succeed.
Now, they are hiding out together from the kidnappers. Pete couldn’t stop thinking about her…dreaming about her while he guarded her in the City. Now all alone, Pete’s desire for Marianna is only exceeded by his need for her to see him as more than just a human.
Loved it! I love when a story leaves our hero and heroine stranded together for a chance to really get to know each other, and yet there was still plenty of time for an exciting rescue, a set up for the next book in the series as well as a set up for her next series focusing on vampires.
It was a well written story with great characters which blended the love story and the excitement so we have plenty of both to enjoy.
We got to see William again who loosened up in his and Layla’s story, but he comes off cold and distant again. I loved him in his book Untamed, but he quickly returned to his unsympathetic self. I guess he will remain a character that unless you are in his head, he will always come off as unfeeling and hardhearted.
These stories have gotten better each time and I am sorry that we are nearing the end of the series.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
He tried to keep his mind on the job—and that she’s his buddy’s sister.
You don’t nail your buddy’s sister. It’s unbreakable guy code.
Her hip bumped enticingly into his as they climbed the last couple of steps at the top. Peter used every ounce of willpower to keep from looking at her legs or her spectacular cleavage. Sweat broke out on his forehead, and he tried to think of something else—anything else—except the woman on his arm.
“You know.” She sighed as she slid the key into the lock of her apartment door. “You’ve been driving me around town for the past two months, but I don’t think you’ve ever been inside my apartment.”
“Nope.” Pete stepped back, kept his hands in his pockets and both eyes on her. What was she up to? First she pretends to be wasted and bails out on that Hayden guy, and now, she’s hitting on him. What is her endgame with this?
Marianna flipped the lock and arched one eyebrow. “Care to break that streak tonight?”
He swallowed the urge to scream hell yes, and instead bit out, “I don’t think so.” Pete shook his head even though his body was screaming yes.
“Are you sure?” she asked as she grabbed his tie and twirled it playfully around one finger. Her large dark eyes clapped onto his. She tugged the annoying garment and pulled him closer.
“Yes,” he whispered. Pete willed his body not to move, to be strong and hold his ground, but it was no use.
The enticing scent of peaches wafted over Pete as she held him captive. His hands curled into fists in his pockets as he struggled to keep from touching her and resisted the urge to lace his fingers through that silky looking hair. His entire body hummed with arousal and awareness as the heat from her body radiated along his.
Her mouth hovered dangerously close, and her eyes glinted back with the unmistakable glaze of desire. It would be easy to dip lower and take just one taste. “Come inside.” She whispered.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion, and somewhere in that odd displacement of time and space, his mouth settled over hers. A rush of sweetness flooded him as her lush, gorgeous lips fused with his.
She tasted like peaches too…and champagne.
Marianna ran her tongue along his. He yanked his hands from his pockets and slipped his fingers into that long wavy hair that did indeed feel like silk. He moaned as she linked her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. Devouring her lips, Pete pinned her against the door and drank greedily from her soft, pliant mouth. Her full breast crushed against his chest, and all he could think about was getting closer.
His body, taut with desire, sensed every single spot where her heated skin touched his. However, amid the haze of lust he heard the voice of reason screaming at him to stop, listing all the reasons why he definitely shouldn’t be doing this.
She’s your friend’s sister.
She’s Amoveo and you’re human.
She’s got some predestined shapeshifter mate out there, and you’re not it.
She can’t ever be yours.
“I can’t to this,” he murmured against her lips.
ORDER A COPY: Predatory
Publisher: Zebra Books
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: See each story
Four of today’s most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire…
Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other…
Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d’Alençon can’t forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay’s design contest rival is found dead, she’s the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He’s the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him–and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?
Out of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Angela Locke is just weeks away from finishing her PhD when visiting Professor Hottie…umm, Dr. Niko Bartrev comes to the college and for the first time ever, the only biology Angela can keep her mind on is the kind involving a naked Niko. Niko isn’t really a professor at the college to monitor Angela’s class. He’s actually a Sentinel on the trail of an escaped high-blood who wants the knowledge in Angela’s brain to change her advance DNA and make her a normal human. Niko fears that when Angela learns of his deception, even if it was for her own good, he might have lost his chance with her forever.
This short story is supposed to be the introduction to the new Sentinel series. Although there is a basic explanation of the Sentinels, who are guardians, and the high-bloods, who are mutants (some dangerous/some not), this story was really too short to build to any real understanding and interest in the new series. I would definitely have to hold off judgment of the Sentinels until after Book #1.
Rating: 3 stars – Being an Alexandra Ivy fan I will check out the next Sentinel book, but this short didn’t do anything to really draw me to the series.
Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie thought she was just going to help out her friend for a few hours answering phones while Felicity had an “emergency.” The problem is Cassie is at the wrong place/wrong time and some men show up to remove her from the job permanently. When she ends up killing one of them in self-defense, she releases the vampire they had captured and now he has taken Cassie under his wing for her own protection, but how can she be safer in the arms of a hot, sexy vampire?
Nina Bangs in one of those authors on my I want to read list, where I hope that someone offers me a review copy and give me an excuse to pop her on my TBR list. This story was just ok. There are some things that I don’t understand why she wrote them in, but again, I haven’t read anything of hers yet so I don’t know what’s part of her series and why she added them.
Rating: 3 stars – This story should have intrigued me enough to grab Book #1 of the series, but the characters just didn’t interest me.
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Richart d’Alençon has been an Immortal Guardian for about 240 years now but the night he saves Jenna McBride from a group of vampires, is the night that truly changes his life. Guardians are not supposed to date humans, but he is so drawn to the lively Jenna that he can’t think about anything else but seeing her again. He wants to take the relationship further, but not until he can confess the truth to her. When Richart is wounded and drugged by an unknown enemy, he teleports directly to Jenna’s living room, carrying swords and covered in blood, just before passing out. Maybe she won’t notice anything weird about that? Uh, oh. If he survives the night, he’ll be in so much trouble.
I like the Immortal Guardians series, and we got to know Richart a little more in the last book, Phantom Shadows, where we see him sneaking phone calls to his human girlfriend. I definitely enjoyed Richart and Jenna’s story.
Rating: 5 stars – I like the Immortal Guardian series, and this had all the fun, excitement and great characters that I have come to expect from Dianne Duvall.
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When fashionista Nina LaShay goes to New York City to compete in a fashion show, she bring her best designs, her scissors, but she forgets to pack an alibi. When her fellow competitors start turning up dead, of course, who is the first one they look at…the vampire. Like she would even need to snack on those “breathers” just to win. Nina had this competition in the bag. Now she has to figure out who’s killing the rest of the competitors before she ends up in jail or in a body bag.
Nina is a great character from the Urban Fantasy series, The Underworld Detection Agency. As roommate, co-worker and BFF of the main characters, Sophie Lawson, Nina is always around to add life and some fashion sense to the story. It was nice to see Nina shine in her own story, but something was missing without Sophie. Think Ethel without Lucy.
Rating: 4 stars – It was a good story, but if I didn’t follow the UDA series, I don’t know if this would have convinced me to try the series. Nina is playful and snarky, but without Sophie, you are missing the star of the series.
From In Still Darkness By Dianne Duvall:
“I was attacked by vampires?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” How could he keep something like that from her?
“I was attacked, Richart! You should have told me!”
“How?” he asked helplessly.
“Easy. You should have said, Jenna, I know this is going to sound strange, but you were attacked by vampires and I rescued–okay, I see your point. I would have thought you were off your rocker.” She rubbed a shaking hand over her face. “I can’t believe this. Did they…? What did they do to me?”
“Other than the bite, you were unharmed. They must have just taken you when I came upon you.”
“Am I infected?” If all Richart had said was true, she would turn into a psychotic vampire if she transformed. She didn’t have the special DNA need to make her immortal. She couldn’t read minds or teleport or see the future or whatever else they could do.
“No. A single brief bite won’t turn you. You would either have to be bitten fairly often over a stretch of time or have your blood drained until you were on the brink of death, then infused wholly with infected blood.”
And the vampire had only bitten her once. Briefly.
Richart covered the hand she had braced on the mattress with on of his. “Are you all right?”
She met his concerned gaze. “I’m freaked out over being attacked and having no memory of it. That’s really scary.”
“So you—what—killed them Blade-style?”
He smiled. “All but one, who got away, yes.”
“One got away?” Panic shrieked through her. “What if he came back? What if he bit me again and I just can’t remember it?”
“How do you know?”
“Have you experienced missing time again? Have there been any blank spots you couldn’t recall?”
She thought hard, trying to think of any other instances. “I don’t think so. But how can I be sure?”
“I’ve been guarding you,” he admitted, seeming almost ashamed.
“I used speed and stealth to obtain your work schedule and have been at the store every night when you arrived and departed in case he returned and tried to harm you.”
She stared at him. “Every night?”
“Is he likely to return?”
“No. He would have done so before now.”
“Yet you continued to watch over me.”
He shrugged. “At least you said watched. Sheldon kept accusing me of stalking you.”
ORDER A COPY: Only Lycans Need Apply: A Broken Heart Novel (BROKEN HEART VAMPIRES)
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 3 stars
When I found the ancient tomb of the two most powerful vampires in history, I knew I was in for a lot of trouble….
But archaeologists like me, Moira Jameson, are ready for trouble. Okay, maybe not human-species-threatening trouble. Or the kind of trouble that arrives in the form of a sexy werewolf named Drake. Yeah. Werewolf. And I thought ancient curses and walking corpses were a joke. Um…not so much.
’Cause a walking corpse named Karn wants to reveal vampires, and all of parakind, to the humans. And everyone else thinks that’s a bad idea. Then a pyramid mysteriously appears in Broken Heart, Oklahoma, and I’m appointed to get inside, survive booby traps, and awaken two very old, very hungry vampires. Luckily, Drake has my back (and my front). Unfortunately, archaeology sometimes reveals some very nasty surprises. And I’ll have to decide between saving myself…or saving the world.
In her newest Broken Heart Vampires novel, Michele Bardsley takes us to the dessert of the Suddan. When archeologist Moira Jameson returned to the Suddan to continue her grandfather’s search for the great pyramid, she hoped but never really believed that she would actually find it. She knew she wasn’t the only Egyptologist looking for it, but she never thought she would be competing with vampires and werewolves to get to the tomb first. Especially since vampires and werewolves are mythical creatures. They don’t really exist, then again after finding the pyramid and surviving an attack by Karn, Moira won’t remember they exist since her memory will be wiped.
One of the lycan triplets, Drake, has been assigned to watch over the good doctor once she returns stateside. Moira might have found the pyramid for them, but since it won’t unlock for seven days, they want to make sure that she is safe from further attack for Karn. Drake is fascinated by the lovely Moira with her thick skin and her soft heart.
When the pyramid reappears, they need Moira “the chosen” and her blood to open the vault and find the sleeping vampires, and Drake won’t allow her to go in alone. Together they will try to release the vampires and save the supernatural world.
This was my first chance at reading the Broken Heart Vampire series. In this story, she gives us the most interesting twosome in the form of academic Moira Jameson and her protégé, Dove. The Bickersons have nothing on these two and the constant barrage of snarky one-ups are hysterical. On the other hand, Drake is our hero, yet there isn’t much that makes him stand out in this story.
This was an ARC so there are sometimes typos and errors, but I was slightly confused and I think there was a problem with the names. Drake was one of triplets and he was there with his brother Darrius and he makes reference to his married brother, Drake. Huh? And then there is scene where Darrius is hand feeding Moira and it is electric. I think our author got confused while writing her draft and it took me a minute to catch it.
Although the characters were fun, this story was just okay at best. After some not very exciting attempts by the bad guys to grab Moira, we get to the pyramid for a rather boring Indiana Jones type adventure. And should I mention the “we have to have sex to unlock this next door” scene. Really?
I would like to check out one of the other stories in the series since I can’t imagine it could be so well liked and have such fun dialog and yet such bad story plots.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
My gaze strayed (ha, strayed) to Drake. Unfortunately, he had left our tent and returned fully dressed, in jeans, T-shirt, and snakeskin boots. His long hair was tied back in a ponytail. His hair was longer than mine. I couldn’t help myself. I was drawn to him, magnetized almost. Was that a werewolf thing? Or was it because I had no dating life and it was finally catching up with me? Or had I finally flipped my lid and descended into a paranormal psychotic episode?
“Those are vampires,” said Dove, waiving her hand toward four undead ones. Then she pointed at Drake and Darrius. “And those are werewolves,” she added helpfully. My impulse to pinch her was delayed by the dazed look on her face. She was trying to process the situation, same as I was, and I wasn’t sure who was doing the better job. Neither of us, it seemed.
Dove leaned near my ear and said, “You’re not crazy. This is really happening.” She bumped my shoulder. “You might want to look less freaked out.”
“Hey, you’re just meeting us. The first time I met a vampire was after I woke up dead,” said Jessica. “Which isn’t as easy as you might think.”
“I wouldn’t think it was easy at all,” said Dove.
“Well, it’s not completely horrible,” said Jessica. “Just unnerving. Especially when the vampire’s naked and you’re face first between his thighs.” She flashed a grin at Patrick. “Well, anyway. You’re not dead. Bonus, right?”
Wait. What? Talking to a vampire was making me feel twitchy, so I assessed the people standing around the cot. Patrick and Lorcan were twins. So were Drake and Darrius. It was like having double paranormal vision. Okay. Yeah. I was crazy. Certified and everything. And even I didn’t believe this shit.
“The other intruders retreated after Drake killed the droch fola,” said Darrius.
Yeah, I remembered the part where the vampire was beheaded and then turned to ash.
What’s the difference between that asshole and you guys?” Dove asked the vampires. “Other than the part where you haven’t tried to kill us?”
Yet. They hadn’t tried to kill us yet.
“Droch fola are vampires who no longer have their humanity,” said Patrick in his Irish brogue. “Soulless, if you will.”
“Ah,” said Dove. “I don’t think that was in the book.”
Patrick lifted a black eyebrow.
“Don’t go there,” I advised him. I looked at Drake. And he was looking at me. Electric pulses zapped the pit of my stomach. I felt drawn to him, but though Darrius had the same appearance…no tummy wiggles occurred when I looked at him. They looked very much alike, too.
“What about the rest of my team?” I asked him. My voice turned hoarse halfway through the sentence, and I cleared my throat.
“We saw his penis,” said Dove. “She’s still in awe.”
Jessica burst out laughing.
Drake offered Dove a wicked grin. “And you are not?”
“Since I’ve only seen one werewolf penis, it’s difficult to say,” she said.
“Oh, my God! Can we keep her? Please?” Jessica slapped the werewolf brothers on the shoulders. “Contest!”
“Maybe later,” I said. As in, never. I didn’t think my brain could handle the image of two naked werewolves. Two naked twin werewolves. Wait. What was I thinking? “Never mind. Now’s good.”
ORDER A COPY: The Undead In My Bed
Publisher: Pocket books
Publishing Date: September 25, 2012
Paperback: Approx. 416 pages
Rating: 4 stars (only reviewed Molly Harper’s story)
In “Undead Sublet” by Molly Harper, executive chef Tess Maitland is banned from her five-star kitchen in Chicago to recover from “exhaustion”. Choosing a random rental house in Half-Moon Hollow to spend time in, she’s unaware that the house comes with a strange man.
Even though Sam Masden’s ex-wife has rented the house out from under him, the divorce settlement allows him access to it for another ninety days. With Tess unable to go anywhere else, and Sam unwilling, a war of epic proportions is declared – and romantic sparks and heavy pots fly.
Chicago’s top chef Tess Maitland is taking a vacation. At least that’s what she’s going to call it. Maybe the stress and the long hours were getting to her and maybe the vegetables really weren’t singing showtunes—okay, they probably weren’t, but that was no reason the restaurant owners should force her to take a sabbatical, which is restaurant code for “breakdown.”
She rented a house in a little town of Half Moon Hollow to be near her old mentor. The house really does need some upkeep, but it might not be so bad for the month she plans to be here. Although it does creak a lot at night when it settles—wait, that sounds like the microwave. Maybe it’s a burglar…who wants a snack? There’s only one way to find out.
Well, her landlord mentioned the dishwasher, the washer/dryer, but didn’t mention that the house came with it’s own vampire, and Sam Masden doesn’t plan to leave until the divorce is final and the house is sold at the end of the month.
So now it becomes a battle of wills, and cheap tricks, to see who can force the other out of the house before the end of the month.
I enjoyed this as much as I did any of the other Nice Girl/Half Moon Hollow stories. I loved the tricks that Sam and Tess dreamed up against each other, some of which got a bit nasty. I also like that while Tess wasn’t with Sam at the house, she was around town hanging with Jane, Andrea and Jolene.
Unfortunately, because this was a short story, there just wasn’t enough time for a really decent amount of each and although I love Jane and the girls, this took away from the fun of watch Tess and Sam play tricks on each other, and also took away from the building relationship once they stopped bickering and started working together. It was broken down to a quick “so the days went by where we got into a routine…” So the romance part went from the trick playing part, to the staring longingly into each other eyes with little in between build up. So that felt forced and a little awkward at the end. You wanted them to get there, but there wasn’t enough there that you really feel it.
It was an enjoyable story. I just don’t feel it was the best one of her stories since it tried to do too much for a short story.
This is part of an anthology, but I received just this portion as a special Valentine’s gift from audible.com. The only thing that threw me was that I recognized the narrator, Sophie Eastlake. She narrated the Thea Harrison Elder Races series on audiobook. She does a good job, but since this was the only Molly Harper audiobook not narrated by Amanda Ronconi, the voices were different for Jane and the gang, and it kept making me go “Wait. Who’s that?”
This was copied off of the audiobook so I apologize for paragraphing and formatting issues.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Do you have any decency? You wanna hide my stuff. Fine. Use sleep deprivation to drive me into a psychotic episode. Allrighty then. But when you mess around with my pans, that’s going just on step too freaking far.”
“Really? This is what pushed you over the edge?” he asked blandly as he poured his warmed blood into a mug. “I messed around with your cookware.”
“You don’t touch a chef’s pans!” I shouted as he took a long drink, wincing as the blood rolled down his throat. I smiled sweetly pulling a carefully wrapped dropper bottle from my pocket and placing it on the counter in front of me.
“What the—“ he asked, clearing his throat and pulling at the collar of his plaid workshirt. By now he was feeling that tickle of discomfort near the back of his tongue. That feeling that something was definitely not right with his evening meal.
“Ever hear of something called ‘The Ghost Chilli’?” I asked. Rolling the plastic wrapped extract bottle between my thumb and forefinger. “In the pepper family it’s basically the crazy cousin who just got out of prison. Around a million units on the scoville heat scale.”
He gave me a confused frown and if I wasn’t mistaken there was just the hint of sweat popping out on his upper lip. I didn’t know vampires could sweat.
“That’s about 400 times hotter than the average jalapeño pepper.”
“What did you do?” He demanded, rubbing at his throat. With the rush of spicy blood to his cheeks, I could see what he had looked like as a human, ruddy and viral. Like something out of a hunky farmhand of the month calendar.
I cleared my own throat forcing myself to focus. This was war damn it. Dirty. Nasty. Non-sexy war.
“Well. I called my friend, Sikar, who works in my favorite spice shop and asked him where I could find something special.” I grinned nastily. “for my roommate. He just happened to know a story about 40 miles from here that carries extract of ghost chilli.”
“You put it in my blood bag?” He grunted, coughing and spluttering as the capsaicin set flame to his tongue. He reached into the fridge, tore open another bag and dumped the still cold contents into his mouth. I snickered.
“Not just that bag.”
“Uhh!” he cried. Dropping the doctored bag and running for the faucet. He stuck the sprayer into his mouth and turned it on full blast. When that failed to quell the heat raging through his mouth, he ran for the shower.
“Did I mention that water only makes the oil spread around?” I called.
I dropped the bottle into the trash. Thinking better of it, I fished the bottle out, emptied it and buried it in the backyard so he couldn’t use it against me later.
When I came back into the house, a very wet, very red Sam was practically vibrating with rage. His fangs were down and he looked every inch the dangerous vampire. I suddenly wondered about the wisdom of this weird little war, and it occurred to me that I should have had those worries before I pranked someone with superstrength.
“So? No yelling?” I asked, faking bravery as he glowered down at me. “No calling me names or making empty threats?”
“No.” He scooped his hands under the lines of my jaw and dragged me to him. I squeaked as his mouth clashed with mine, pulling my tongue into his mouth to dance with his. I braced myself against his bare chest, fingertips digging into the cool flesh. His lips dragged across mine and his tongue rippled over every ridge and bump of my mouth. He bit harshly down on my bottom lip, drawing just the tiniest bit of blood to the surface. I could feel my nipples blossoming into little points through my shirt as he pulled the blood from the wound. It was like some warm thread was running directly from my thighs to the flow of the blood and every time he pulled on it, that thread drew across my nerves with a luxurious tension. I was panting as if I’d run a marathon by the time he pulled away.
“What the hell was that?” I demanded. He leered, halfway between self-satisfied smirk and impish grin.
“I just wanted to share.”
And that’s when the tingling started. “Oh. Mother—“ I gasped as the chilli oil that now coated my lips and tongue began to burn.
ORDER A COPY: Mating Instinct: A Moon Shifter Novel
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
Paperback: 368 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Surviving for centuries, powerful lupine shifter Jayce Kazan managed to stay away from humans until he met Kat Saburova and was consumed by the need to protect her. But while Jayce shared his passion with the human seer, he refused to make her his bondmate—a refusal that caused the end of their relationship.
A year later, an attack that left Kat near death has resulted in another lupine shifter turning her. Furious that he wasn’t the one to save her, Jayce is determined to show Kat that he is the one she should rely on. But the newly turned shifter is still traumatized and worried that she’ll hurt those she loves, unless she can learn to control her inner wolf.
And as Jayce struggles to protect Kat from her own worst instincts and convince her to rekindle their love, the extremists who almost killed her are looking to finish the job.
When Kat used to be human, all she wanted was to have a life with Jayce. She thought if he changed her, made her a shifter, they could become bondmates and have forever. She believed him when he refused to change her because he said so few survived, but then she found out he lied. Her friend December told her that bondmates always survive the transformation. That could only mean Jayce didn’t love her and didn’t want her forever. How could she continue to give herself heart and soul to a man who told her he cared, but lied to her face about that forever? She wanted nothing more to do with Jayce, at least she thought that until the Antiparanormal League’s psychotic leader ordered her to be kidnapped, tortured and beaten within a inch of her life. While they tortured her, she didn’t pray to God, she prayed for Jayce to find her and make her safe.
But Jayce wasn’t the one who found her first and with a choice of dying or the slim possibility of surviving the change, she took her chances and let Aiden try to save her.
No, Jayce wasn’t the one to find her first, a truth that will always haunt him. He would have given a limb to save Kat the pain she suffered. Aiden is a friend and he owes him for saving Kat’s life, but to know that someone else changed his Kat makes him want to tear the man apart. There was a reason he refused to change her, a reason he would rather walk away from her than bond with her. He is over 500 year old and very powerful enforcer. He is as close to immortal as a shifter could be. He knows the many enemies he acquired over those centuries have tried hard to get rid of him. But if they knew just how much Kat meant to him, she would be the easiest and quickest way to get to Jayce. A human lover didn’t raise an eyebrow, but his bondmate would have a target on her back.
Jayce is back trying to find out who is dealing vampire blood to the humans. He accepted his current assignment to be close to Kat again. Now that she is a shifter, he will teach her to fight so that she never feels vulnerable again. And while she is fighting the rage for what was done to her, he will protect her from herself. He knows she wants vengeance against the APL, but that would only lead to her death and become the catalyst for a war between the humans of the APL and the shifters.
I have found a new favorite series!! Yippee!! I really liked the characters, not just Jayce and Kat, but we spend a good deal of time with the characters from the first two books as well as the other shifters in the pack. You can see the set ups for the future books in the background interactions of the pack. This is a continuing storyline but I didn’t feel lost even though this was the third book in the series.
I liked that Jayce is not your usual characteristically drop dead gorgeous handsome shifter hero. He is huge, scarred, bald and so badass scary that you would walk on the other side of the street if you saw him coming. But to Kat, he is gentle and caring, as well as the usually bossy and domineering male.
They have a history which brings us right into the story. Although Kat is fighting her feelings for Jayce since he lied to her about the bonding when she was human, after what happened to Kat at the hands of APL, Jayce is no longer fighting his feeling. Now he is just fighting Kat to get her to acknowledge that what they have is special and that they should be together.
Nicely blended into this story of Kat and Jayce is Jayce’s investigation into the vampire blood dealers, as well as a storyline of a shifter killing humans. The humans are getting scared and the shifters know they have to catch this killer before the already strained relations with the locals starts getting innocent shifters killed. And still more to the story is the added interactions between the pack members. It all balances well in the storytelling and takes nothing away from our focus couple.
I have several Katie Reus books downloaded that I have wanted to read and I was happy to finally have this one pop to the top of my pile, but it also means I want to wiggle Books 1 and 2 onto the list. The rest of my Katie Reus books are from her Red Stone Security Series and I hope she balances the characters and storylines just as well in that.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
And he was being so fucking nice it broke her heart. He hadn’t been there for her when she needed him most. He hadn’t saved her!
Yet he was all concerned and damn near perfect now. She wanted to throttle him. Wanted to throttle anything at the moment if it would make the pain inside her disappear. The rage grew, twisting inside her like a living thing. Her heart hammered, her breathing turned shallow. Even though she knew it was irrational, she dropped the covers and launched herself at him. She pounded his chest with her fists.
He didn’t deserve this, but she couldn’t stop herself. It was as if she was possessed. “You weren’t there for me!” The words tore from her throat even as she hated herself for saying them, let alone thinking them. Jayce wasn’t omniscient. He might be a skilled warrior, but he couldn’t be everywhere, couldn’t fight every battle.
He swallowed hard, his face twisting into a pained expression that she’d never witnessed before. “I know, and I’m so fucking sorry. I’d have traded places with you in a second.” His deep ragged voice rolled over her, soothing her as it simultaneously made a burning shame surge through her. Like lava, it scorched her insides and hurt worse than any torture she’d endured. The pain in his voice was an almost tangible thing, making her ache worse with each second that passed.
His complete submission to her blows stunned and stilled her. He thought he deserved to be punished. That was why he hadn’t stopped her.
She should pull way and leave him alone, but she couldn’t let him suffer like she was suffering. He didn’t deserve it, no mater the anger-injected words she’d just flung at him like sharp daggers. She wrapped her arms around his neck in tightly and buried her face against his chest, unable to control the sobs wracking her body. She’d cried so much directly after what had happened, but she’d never allowed anyone to hold her to comfort her. Not like this. And not while she was naked and vulnerable. She’d also never told anyone what happened to her.
“He…didn’t rape me, but he tried. More than once.”
His body stiffened and his grip around her waist grew tighter. With one hand he stroked the length of her spine, letting her continue.
“He couldn’t get it up. It was the only thing that made his beatings bearable.” The more she spoke, the easier it was to get things out. Even if uncontrollable tears still tracked down her face, she almost felt a sense of freedom. “I don’t know how much Aiden or one of the others told you?” She formed it as a question, pausing to let him answer.
“Just that you were near death and covered in blood. He also mentioned that you likely had internal bleeding.” The hand on her waist flexed once before he returned to his preternaturally still state.
She knew the animal part of him was enraged right now. Though he didn’t make any overt moves, the air seemed to be pulsing with a scary sort of energy. Not directed at her, though; its object was her dead attacker whom neither of them could do anything about now. Something she hated every single day.
“He beat me with a whip and touched me anyway he wanted and I couldn’t do a damn thing.” Her voice broke on the last word and she realized she was trembling when Jayce started rubbing her back in circles and murmuring soothing sounds.
“I’m so fucking sorry, Kat.” His voice was just as broken as she felt inside.
Stretching out on the bed, she covered him with her body, not caring that she was naked and he was nearly so. The feel of his muscular body underneath her was an anchor she desperately needed. “You don’t have anything to be sorry for,” She said through her tears and sniffles. The attack wasn’t his fault. She knew it on an intellectual level, but her head and heart couldn’t seem to sync up. Why was she so angry that he hadn’t saved her? “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
If she’d been doing this to anyone else she would have been embarrassed for blubbering all over him, but this was Jayce. The man who’d seen her at her worst and never judged her. The man she loved but couldn’t tell. Couldn’t say three little words to him because she was too afraid.
As his hands gently stroked down her back and then directly back up, she realized he was pulling the bedding over them. He was covering her, taking care of her, and it made her want to kiss him and soothe the pain she could feel emanating off him in pulsing waves.
Lifting her head, she looked into gray eyes swirling with a sorrow she never wanted to see again. She’d put it there, which made it even worse. Biting back more tears, she cupped his cheek with one hand. “I…I’m sorry I blamed you. When I was abducted, I…I called out your name. I wanted for you to come for me.” When he jerked back as if she’d physically struck him, her stomach roiled.
This wasn’t coming out the way she intended. She’d never had a problem with words before, but seeing Jayce vulnerable messed with her head and she needed to make this right. “No, I’m not telling you this to hurt you. I’m telling you because you’re the one person I knew—know—I can always count on. If you could have been there, I know you would have. I know it with every fiber of my being. I’m sorry for what I just said. I was fighting remnants of a nightmare, but I don’t blame you. Maybe I did on a subconscious level, but I don’t now. Not truly. My attacker is dead and I have nowhere to place my anger. The monster who hurt me and the APL are the only ones responsible. No matter what happens between us, please know that.”
The pain she’d witnessed in his eyes partially subsided. “I would have done anything to save you. Given up a limb, my life, anything. I only wish that fucker hadn’t died. I would have made him regret his very existence.” The darkness in his words sent a shudder snaking through her.
Before she could respond, he claimed her mouth in a gentle, sensual kiss completely at odds with the tough-looking man he was.
ORDER A COPY: Vampires Gone Wild (Supernatural Underground)
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publishing Date: November 12, 2012
Paperback: 215 pages
Rating: Overall – 4 stars
V is for VampWoman by Kerrelyn Sparks
Pamela decides to shed her prim and proper ways for spandex and a mask to help fight the Malcontents. Now if only she weren’t so distracted by the sexy vampire fighting by her side . . .
A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer
Trapped in Vamp City, Lukas has been unable to return to the beauty who stole his heart. But now that she’s stumbled into his world, it will take every ounce of cunning he possesses to keep her alive.
First Dates Are Hell by Amanda Arista
Valiance’s first date in a hundred years is going great . . . until they’re attacked in the parking lot and quiet, unassuming Esme turns out to be way more than she appears.
Blood and Water by Kim Falconer
Beneath the waves of San Francisco Bay lives a vampire race that wants nothing to do with the “landers” except to feed on them. But when Stellan sets eyes on Angelina, everything changes.
V is for Vampwoman by Kerrelyn Sparks
For centuries, Lady Pamela has always chosen the safe path. After losing her vampire husband, she chose the quiet life of a vampire harem, and whenever danger came to call, Lady Pamela always knew the most comfortable place to hide out until the trouble was over. Now Pam has had enough of her cowardly lifestyle. She has decided to become “Vampwoman” and fight the malcontents along with her vampire brethren. When she shows up uninvited to help catch malcontents selling human slaves, the guys feel she will be more of a hindrance than help. Mikhail has been watching Lady Pamela for decades now and believes she is like a butterfly: absolutely beautiful but delicate and flighty. He doesn’t want anyone losing their head trying to protect the little princess from danger. Although she has no formal training, she is determined not to flee to safety this time. She’ll do anything to fight side by side with this Viking warrior.
Being a big Kerrelyn Sparks’s fan this story is what drew me to this book, and it was easy to get into and enjoy this story. We’ve seen more of Pamela then we have of Mikhail, but they are both known characters. Sadly, I would have like to have seen more of them. We were just getting into the story and it was over.
A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer
Elizabeth Bryant thought she found a love to last a lifetime until two years ago when Lukas Olsson left her one night and just never came back. She thought they were so happy together and couldn’t convince herself that it was only one sided. So sometimes she pretends to herself that Lukas is a secret agent who had to leave on a mission. Why else would he just disappear without a word? Lukas is not the only one disappearing. Almost 20 people in the last few weeks have vanished into thin air. Lizzy wants to know what happened to them. At least she did until she too walked through the thinning barrier between Washington, D.C. and Washington, V.C. Vamp City might be set up like the Washington she knows, but with the abandoned buildings, it looks more like an abandoned Old West town. Certainly this scary world is the last place she would think to find Lukas–her Lukas–running around. As the magic that created Vamp City started to falter two years ago, some vampires like Lukas have became trapped there, no longer able to cross freely between the worlds. As food (human blood) in the Vamp City has grown scarce in the last two years, Lizzy is in mortal danger. Now Lukas is trying to find a way to get Elizabeth back to her world before the darker vampires who feed on pain as well as blood find his beautiful Lizzy.
I have read other Pamela Palmer stories, but I am not familiar with this series. Regardless, I had no problem following with the story line and I enjoyed the characters. I like that we find that although Lukas has been trapped away from Lizzy, he loved her enough to have someone who could still cross the worlds looking out for her.
First Dates are From Hell by Amanda Arista
Valiance is a vampire and a bit of loner. After his Clave abandoned him, Valiance has been “adopted” by the local shifter Prima. Although Val is brave and works hard, Violet can’t seem to convince Valiance to get a life. In First Dates are from Hell, Valiance wants to take Violet’s advice and after decades alone, he decides to ask the pretty sales clerk he just met last week out for coffee. Esme is a bit of a loner too. It seems like no one ever notices her or remembers her so she is thrilled when the handsome, quiet man she helped last week comes back to the store asking for her. Everything was going so well until they were attacked in the parking lot by members of Valiance’s former Clave brothers. Val told her to run but she didn’t want to leave him. That is until they pulled out swords—SWORDS! Esme has no idea what is happening but she knows she can’t abandon this sweet, gentle man to vicious killers wielding age old weaponry. As far as first dates go, this one is topping her list as the worst, but if she doesn’t help Val they won’t get a chance at a second.
This story sucked. You know what sucked about it – that it was short story!!!! I want a whole book about Valiance!! I read a lot of books, especially now, so I am immediately drawn to stories that bring something different. Here is a vampire who isn’t cocky and confident, who doesn’t always get the girl and he’s lonely. He meets a pretty girl and with some persuasion he decides to ask her out for coffee. She is just as quiet and shy as he is. There was so much potential here and it was wasted in short story. Big boo to that! A kick-ass vampire who is quiet and shy. We have the action and the sweet romance but it was just too brief. I would have loved to have read more on Valiance and Esme.
Blood and Water by Kim Falconer
In Blood and Water, Mar are mermen underwater and vampires on land. Humans are about to build a bridge in the Golden Gate Bay. A bridge that would destroy the Mar’s underwater world in the Bay. Stellan is on a mission to find out more about this Bridge before his father lets his fears destroy the humans. Fate lends a hand when he saves the beautiful Angelina from drowning. Angelina’s father is the main architect on the bridge project. When Stellan is distracted from his mission by tours of the City with the lovely Angelina, the punishment on San Francisco might just be of epic proportions.
This story is on the only one not taking place in present day and we learn the purpose of that at the end of the story. Although the character and the story was good, this one didn’t grip me like the other stories did.
From First Date are From Hell…
As she walked him back to the register, she felt it, that pressure in the back of her head. She wondered if all girls got this when they were being followed, like she could feel him looking at her, watching her messy ponytail bob back and forth.
And he just kept looking at her, and she just kept smiling like an idiot as she rang up the bed set. “Total is seventy-three ninety six.”
“That is a good sale.” He handed her the credit card again, and again, his hand trembled. This time she paid attention to the name, Val Lance. Very knightly.
She ran the card and handed it back to him. Their fingers brushed for a second, and his fingers were cold, like touching an ice cube. She snapped her hand back.
“Sorry about that,” he apologized as he put his card back in his wallet and his wallet in his coat pocket, not in the back pocket like most boys these days. “I really should start wearing gloves.”
“We have gloves in men’s wear.” She blushed when she realized that she hadn’t talked so much in ages. She was like a babbling brook under his intense gaze.
Esme pulled her hair behind her ear and slipped his purchases into the handled paper bag.
“I came to get your number.” The statement spilled out of his mouth like a gangly kid in a foot race.
Her jaw dropped as her brain contemplated the possible answers to “Why?”
His blond brow furrowed. “To ask you out for coffee?”
Excited good bumps trickled down her arm. “Why do you need my number to do that? Just do it now.”
He laughed that one short laugh and let out a long breath. “Would you do me the honor or having coffee with me?”
She looked up at him and into those tired blue eyes. They were old. Older than her abuelita’s, but she felt seen. For the first time in a long time, she felt like she was a normal girl. That should be something, right? Even if it was just a cup of coffee before he realized how completely boring she was, and he forgot her like everyone else did. “Yeah. Yes.”
He smiled, and something glowed within him. It was a wide smile that completely changed the dynamic of his features. It lit up his eyes and chased away the storm clouds.
Author Jessie Lane (also known as the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo) are here talking about their top 10 favorite shifters. Stop by and say Hi!
ORDER A COPY: Big Bad Bite
Publishing Date: January 28, 2013
eBook: 271 pages
Rating: 3 stars
What would it be like to live in a world where you are considered abnormal to those who are above the norm?
Jenna O’ Conner has been taught her whole life to hide from everyone. Never to let anyone to close enough to know that she would prefer a shotgun for her birthday over of a bouquet of roses. She’s been smothered by her over protective family so that no one learns what she truly is. Which is not human. Nor, is she considered the norm for the supernatural Other community that is benevolent enough to share this world with the humans.
In a desperate attempt to live her own life away from the small town she was raised in, Jenna obtains her dream job as the newest member on the Wilmington Police Department’s SWAT Team. What she didn’t predict was that she would run into trouble her first day on the job, in the form of a deadly, mouthwatering man named Adam McPhee. Who is also not human, but more like a wolf walking around in human skin. He’s determined to figure out exactly what Jenna is, which unbeknownst to him, could very well put her life in danger. He’s also determined to have her all to himself.
As if that wasn’t enough for Jenna to deal with, bad news blows into town. A group of extremist Shifters who think humans are cattle and factions of Others worldwide should stay within their own species – never to intermingle. Chaos ensues. Jenna has to find a way to shut them down, but in the process of trying to do that, discovers things about herself that even she never thought was possible.
Who said the wolf was what you had to worry about?
Welcome to the real world.
Jenna O’Conner was always told by her mother and her Uncle Owen to keep out of sight, never call attention to herself and never, never let a shifter know what she was. Shifters as a general rule aren’t too happy when a shifter mates with a human and creates a half shifter/half human child. Even worse for Jenna, she’s half shifter/half…not human. Which makes her a walking target for Others.
But Jenna’s had enough of hiding, after five years of working as an officer for her small Town Sheriff’s Department for her Uncle Rick, Jenna has transferred to the Wilmington Police Department and is the newest member of the SWAT team. Everything is going well on her first day, including taking down a dangerous criminal, until she runs directly into the path of a shifter and not just any shifter, but the local Alpha. Adam knows with one sniff that something’s not right about Jenna, and he plans to find out just what she’s hiding.
When her next assignment brings even more danger in the form of terrorist shifters, Jenna can’t help being dragged into the world of the Others and after years of hiding, she just isn’t prepared. As if a new job, new town, new partner, terrorist shifters and coming out of the proverbial “Other” closet isn’t enough stress for Jenna, Adam has decided that Jenna will be his perfect mate and he isn’t going to stop until he makes her his.
THOUGHTS (W/ TINY SPOILERS):
There were many parts of this story that I enjoyed. We start out on Jenna’s first assigned with the SWAT team. She starts off with a bang, she know what she is doing, and she ends up with a new partner. There was great banter between her and the partner. There was also a great scene when they go interview someone and considering shifters don’t age, Grandma walks in, who is still all hot and sexy, and she’s looks at Jenna’s partner and she gets all flirty, and they are all like “Eww, Grandma stop.” (See favorite scene below for part of that scene.)
Unfortunately, this story tried to do too much and it started to feel like I was reading more than one book. We quickly deviate from the fact that Jenna is a member of the SWAT team and we loose that great banter with her partner.
The characters kept flip-flopping: one moment Jenna is a kick-ass, in-your-face cop/woman, but the next she’s like an insecure teenager. When she was tough, she was more interesting and the difference in character was such a swing, it was like two different characters.
As we start the story, Jenna makes some really stupid decisions with regard to Adam, that after a lifetime of “beware of shifters” she does a complete 180 listening to whatever Adam says. If we weren’t told in the description that Adam was our romantic hero, he could have easily been the slick-talking, archvillian here. He convinces Jenna to get to know him, his sister and his best friend by meeting them in a shifter bar…maybe not a safest place if you are trying to hide from shifters, and then Jenna goes off the next day to have a run with the sister (that she just met) on private shifter land. HEY, DANGER WILL ROBINSON. I could have easily seen her as a naïve girl being conned into stepping onto guarded shifter land and ending up chained in a basement at the orders of the Alpha with no one ever knowing where she disappeared to. It seemed a little off for an experienced police officer, raised to be afraid of other shifters to just go trotting off to be surrounded by them. There is a difference between wanting to give them a chance to show they are not dangerous and being an idiot.
Shifters in general are portrayed as sexy and sensual. Adam is no exception, but it’s almost like they are trying too hard and when, after about 4 days with very little conversation between them yet one hot and heavy make out session, Adam decides he has to have Jenna as his lifelong mate, the only thing keeping us from thinking Dangerous Stalker is the fact that he is our “hero” here. When her friends and family find out Adam’s desire to mate with Jenna, they are actually angry with her for not agreeing to it right away and making Adam “suffer” even though they have just met.
Adam jumps back and forth from being an understanding sweetheart to over-possessive jerk as quickly as Jenna switches gears.
Male shifters in this story are referred to by Jenna as “man whores” always looking for the next piece of ass, which at first was very funny, but then was continuously harped on and many references such as “if an Other could get an STD…” was so overused and overemphasized, it became annoying.
Having your characters do things that don’t make sense bothers me a lot in a story. If your vampire can turn into a bat, I’ll work with you. If your werewolf shifts back with all his clothes on…okay then. But in this case, things that don’t make sense includes Adam buying Jenna an outfit to go out to all Other club (remember the man whores) which is mainly just a leather bustier, a leather micro-miniskirt and F-me leather boots, then he freaks out at Jenna because some horny vampire is trying to pick her up. Well, DUH! Put your girlfriend’s goodies on display in a horndog factory and what do you expect and why is it her fault, you dressed her like that!!!
There is also a big internal shifter matter which takes Jenna away from her brand new job after only two days, and although it introduces us to many interesting characters, I don’t feel like we learned anything with all the investigating.
It started off well and had a lot of potential, but then it tried to do too much, it tried to be sexy but came off as desperate and very in your face, and it had very funny moments, but you can’t just keep repeating the same jokes. I would have liked it better if they stuck with the SWAT aspect of the story and kept Jenna’s character in her bad-ass mode. She could be snarky and I love the snarky heroines. This book sets up for the next story and leaves us hanging for answers to all our questions. With the next book focusing on new characters, I am hoping we won’t be distracted by the flip-flopping attitudes.
For the $2.99 pricetag, it wasn’t a bad story. The problem was it tried too hard to be really hot and sexy and it us took away from the better storyline and the great banter.
Received ARC from the authors. Thank you.
“Privyet Babushka. Did my little brother bring you out to have a good time?”
Gage slapped his brother on the back of the head after their grandmother was done hugging him. “Just because you’re ten minutes older than me doesn’t mean you’re a big brother.”
Gage’s brother slugged him playfully in the arm. “That’s precisely what it means little brother. Besides, that’s not the only way I’m bigger than you. For one, I’m taller than you by two inches, and for two, according to the last little morsel we played with together, I’m also bigger where it counts.” The blond fighter shot her a lascivious look. “Is this our new morsel brother?”
Gage smirked. “She doesn’t seem to play well with others, so we better leave that one alone. No, this is Kent’s lovely new partner, Jenna. They’ve come to ask a few questions we might be able to answer. Jenna, this is my brother Alec.”
Jenna held her hand out to Alec to shake. Alec took her hand in his, but ignored the concept of shaking it. He brought the back of her hand up to his lips and kissed it instead. When he let go, she brought her hand back to the top of the table in front of her before leaning across the space to get closer to the randy tiger.
“Charming. Really. But you can give up all of your attempts to get into my undies because it’s not going to happen. I see you for what you are; a card carrying member of those determined to prove that it is possible for men of the supernatural species to get STD’s. I’m just not sure who’s President of the club yet, you or Kent. Not to mention that I’ve discovered I’m basically allergic to you, and at least all other tiger shifters, if not feline shifters in general. Frankly, I don’t feel like taking an allergy pill just so I can see this big dick you claim to carry. It’s nice to meet you though. Really.”
Alec’s mouth hung open in shock while Gage shook his head and Vera laughed her ass off at her grandson getting a verbal smack down. Gage finally patted his brother on the back and murmured, “I tried to tell you that she didn’t play well with others. Besides, Kent mentioned something about that Alpha McPhee. Better luck next time through bro.”
Alec finally closed his mouth, and then shrugged his shoulders as he looked at Gage. “Oh well, can’t blame a guy for trying. She is hot.” The white tiger looked around them, “You said Kent’s here. Where is he?”
Jenna used her thumb to point over her shoulder at where Kent had one of the waitresses in the corner, and wandering hands were roaming freely on both sides. “He’s over there providing a fabulous example of why he should be President of that club I mentioned.”
ORDER A COPY: Going Under (A BOUND BY MAGICK NOVEL)
Publisher: Berkley Sensations
Publishing Date: February 5, 2012
Paperback: 298 pages
Rating: 4 stars
In the wake of the Magister’s rampage, chaos rules. Left reeling, the Others and the humans scramble to create a some sort of unity in the face of growing unrest and violence from anti-Other hate groups federation—and ruthless PR guru Molly Ryan is the witch who can do it. She grew up in the human world but there’s nothing left for her there. She’s lost her PR firm, her friends and she’s decided to put all her fight toward aiding the Others in this dark, new reality. If there’s anything left for her there, she’s going to fight for it. But Gage Garrity, one of the few Others who survived the massacre, fears that the crusade will expose Molly to greater dangers than ever before.
Now, together, with magick on their side, they’re on the road in a desperate struggle to unite a torn world. From state houses to television news to legislative conference rooms across the country, they’re fighting the good fight. And it’s bringing out a passion in both of them they never expected—one as volatile, intense, and all-consuming as their relentless battle for world unity. A battle that could be their undoing.
In the aftermath of Book 2, Chaos Burning, Lauren Dane leaves us in a world reeling. The Magister has been defeated, but the death toll to the Others has been high. While the Others should now be able to mourn their dead, their loss of family members and friends isn’t the only problem they face. Humans now know they are not alone on this planet. They are trying to grasp the fact that their mailman is a shifter, their best friend is a witch and that weird guy next door really is a vampire. For the humans, their fears are growing, and there are always those people ready to fan the flames of those fears for their own gain. Hate groups like PURITY and Humans First are growing stronger.
In this new world of television and internet, the Others need someone who can convince the humans they have nothing to fear. Molly Ryan is the head of a large Media Relations firm in Chicago—or at least she was—until she was outed by PURITY to be a witch, and now she is being forced out of a company that she started. The timing though is perfect since what the Others are in need of is PR person who can help show that even though your neighbor is a vampire, he is still the same guy who mowed his lawn once a week; yeah, okay, only night, but…that doesn’t make him a danger to anyone.
Molly has her work cut out for her. With groups like PURITY trying to have Others declared non-citizens, the Others are in serious jeopardy of losing all their rights as Americans.
Since Molly is now on the frontlines as the new face and voice of the Clan Owen and Counsel of Others, it is Gabe Garrity’s job to protect Molly from the hate groups. As the violence against Others begins to increase, Gabe will have to work very hard to keep Molly safe.
When talk begins of encampments, tracking and sterilization, the Others have had enough. Will a PR Guru be enough to hold off civil war between the humans and the Others?
What a thought provoking concept for a paranormal series. We usually have series that involve the secret society of supernatural or an all out knowledge of the supernaturals, whether or not they are living in peace is another question. This is an interesting concept to see the process of humans learning they are not alone and the aftermath of that knowledge.
The story is well written so you can feel the build up of fear. You understand the type of people and groups that would encourage the fear and violence against the Others. You can feel the frustration and fear of the Others who just want to go back to their jobs and their lives which were already in turmoil after the Magister’s arrival. They don’t want to live in fear of being harassed in their own homes, being attacked. You can feel the frustration of their suddenly being treated as non-citizens, and when the attacks on them are being ignored by police, or worse, being supported.
This was a very interesting storyline that is well thought out and brought to life by very well written characters.
This is definitely worth reading and definitely a series you want to go start with Book #1 and work your way into this aftermath.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you!
“Ms. Ryan, if you’d like to go next.”
“Thank you, Senator Albright, for having me here today. I’m thirty years old. Up until a few weeks ago I was a lifetime resident of Chicago, Illinois. Though I hope you won’t hold that against me.” She smiled. “I’ve even stopped carrying an umbrella and I can order my coffee like a real northwesterner now. I was born here, in this country. My mother and father were born here. My grandparents were born here. My boss Meriel Owen’s family has not only been here in the country for generations, but they helped build this entire region. We are not creatures. We are not monsters. We don’t call demons and we don’t worship Satan. What we are, are citizens of the United States. Just like Ms. Freed, Mr. Sawyer and Ms. Moore.”
Moore snorted. “You’re pretenders and liars.”
“I allowed Ms. Moore her time plus a minute. It’s my turn to speak and I’m sure we can all agree, no matter our perspective, that democracy means we don’t speak over each other. How can we understand each other if we don’t listen? Now, back to my points. We understand why the human community is uncomfortable and afraid. We’re happy to be as open as we can about what we do and who we are. We want nothing more than to be left alone to live our lives as we did before. Yes, before you knew about some of us.”
Senator Albright gave her a considering glance. “Just why did you keep your existence a secret? If you’re not a harm to the rest of us?”
“Senator, all you need to do is look back over recorded history for your answer. We’ve been burned at the stake. Drowned. Tortured to death. Imprisoned. Every time humans found out about us, they tried to wipe us out. So we learned from that and kept what we were private. Not to trick anyone, but to protect ourselves. And as many of us have begun to suffer from the reaction to our existence, yet again, it can’t be that hard to understand why we did it.”
She sipped her water. “We too understand your fear of the unknown. Of finding out overnight that not only were there werewolves, who you’ve known about for several years, but witches and vampires too. And yet, you can also look to see we have not harmed you. When you didn’t know about us we did not perform satanic rituals in your yards. We did not steal your children. We lived our lives just as you lived yours.”
“How do we know you didn’t? How do we know all our criminals weren’t witches or vampires or whatever else unholy things? Animals disappearing, serial killers, war, famine! How do we know you people aren’t responsible for everything bad?”
Molly looked at Alison Moore, not surprised by her ignorance, just exhausted by it. “This is small-minded and petty nonsense. We’re not trying to track humans or take away your basic humans rights. We’re simply asking the same of humans. Anything else is waste of precious time and energy. And as one of the others who has lost loved ones, along with Mr. Sawyer and pretty much every single Other I know, we understand just how precious that time is now. This is our moment, as Americans, to shine. To set an example, as we have over and over through our history. It is not time to crawl back into factions and throw rocks. We want all that we had before the Magister showed up. That is all.”
ORDER A COPY: The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: July 31, 2012
Paperback: 356 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running all their daylight errands—from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg—gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship—and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.
Cal – who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way – offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he’s imperious, unfriendly and doesn’t seem to understand the difference between “employee” and “servant,” Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him – particularly those concerning nudity.
Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue & romance—in the form of her very own stray vampire.
When her parents died leaving Iris Scanlon to take care of her younger sister, a very ambitious Iris decided to open a business as the daytime assistant to newly burgeoning vampire population. Her new company, Beeline, gave Iris a chance to show off her organization skills and the flexible hours are great so she is available to be there for her teenage sister, and she filled the growing need that Vampires had with dealing with things that can only be handled during daylight hours.
When she goes to meet her newest client, Mr. C. Calix, and drop off her service contract for his review, she immediately falls for him…I mean, literally falls over him when she finds him passed out on his floor. Someone has tried to poison Mr. Calix, the new investigator for the vampire counsel. It appears Cal’s investigation is getting to close for someone’s comfort.
Now weakened from his attempted poisoning, Cal convinces Iris to take him to her house so he has time to recover, and like it or not, Iris is drawn into Cal’s investigation since the sooner he solves the mystery of who is tampering with the vampire Faux Type O blood supply, the sooner she can send her stray vampire packing. Living with a vampire can be nerve-wrecking, especially when he looks like a Greek God—and he could even be one since he’s old enough to remember fighting in the Trojan War.
Molly Harper certainly writes some great characters. We first met Iris as the coordinator for Jane and Gabriel’s wedding in Nice Girls Don’t Bite their Neighbors. Now we get to meet Iris’s younger sister, Gigi, and the dynamic of the two sisters is wonderful.
Now throw in a several century old Greek warrior/vampire, who, of course, starts out with that “I’m a really old vampire” pompous attitude and it’s great to see the changing attitudes as he recovers and starts to blend into the household with Iris and Gigi and becomes part of their family dynamic, including warning Gigi’s date about curfews and proper use of seatbelts. There is not just the romantic interaction with Iris, but the surrogate father role he slides into with Gigi. I just love this grouping.
Iris does go over to Jane’s bookstore to find some books to help Cal’s investigation so we do get to spend time with Jane, Andrea and Jolene. Yay!
Once we got into it, I just loved the dynamic of Iris, Cal and Gigi, so much that I was sorry to finish their story.
I tilted my head to the side and studied my charge. Although his feet dangled over the end of the sofa and his head was bent at a weird angle, his face was relaxed. He looked sort of sweet and untroubled…when his mouth was closed.
The nearly drained blood packet rested precariously against his chest. At that angle, it was in danger of dripping onto my upholstery, so I reached over him to take it away. His eyes snapped open, and he hissed at me, fangs in full play, as his fingers circled my left wrist and squeezed. Even in his weakened state, the crushing force of his grip dropped me to my knees. I braced my feet against the chair legs and tugged frantically as he pulled my arm toward his mouth. I threw all my weight back, hoping to knock him off balance, but he didn’t budge. Finally, I bopped him on the end of the nose with my other hand, shouting, “No!” in my sternest voice.
His grip loosened as he stared up at me, dark eyes boring into mine as if there were secret codes scribbled on my corneas. He blinked rapidly as my face came into focus.
“Did you just slap me on my nose like a mischievous dog?” he asked incredulously as I tried to rub circulation back into my wrist.
I nodded, cringing away from him. “I think I did.”
His tone was at once menacing and amused. “And am I mistaken, or did you poke me in the eye earlier?”
“I saw it on Shark Week,” I murmured.
“What was that?” he asked, although I knew good and well that he could hear me.
“I saw it on Shark Week,” I repeated in a louder, irritated tone. “The narrator said that if you’re attacked by a shark, you should jab it in the eye, and it might distract the shark long enough to let you go. I figured as another apex predator, it might apply to you, too.”
He chuckled, a hoarse noise that rattled in his chest like a cough. “So I went from shark to dog in a matter of hours? That’s a considerable demotion. Do you always apply animal-behavior techniques to interactions with clients?”
ORDER A COPY: Blessed By a Demon’s Mark (Kat Redding)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: December 31, 2012
Paperback: 280 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Kat Redding’s life is dangerous enough when she’s hunting the rogue vampires who prey on Pureblood humans. But now that Kat is thinking of getting out of the killing business, she’s faced with a slew of new problems. Like the demon Beligral, who offers help at an escalating cost, and the werewolf cult with whom she’s entwined professionally and personally. And then there’s Countess Baset—the terrifying vampire who wants Kat to become her personal assassin.
It’s no wonder that Kat has been seeking refuge in the mysterious town known as Delai, a place where she can shed her Lady Death persona and live a life that’s as close to normal as she’s ever known. But even in this haven, something feels askew. Delai is a little too serene. And the more she discovers, the more Kat realizes that the only choice left to her is not whether to do battle, but which side she’ll risk her life to defend.
Kat Redding has been hiding out in the Town of Delia for the last few months. She is tired of her life surrounded by death and killing and just wanted to bask in the feeling of peace she feels in Delia, even if she knows deep down there is something wrong with the Town. But it is time to go back and can feel Ethan’s demon calling her back to pay the price of the promise she made. The problem is when you run away from your life with no word to anyone, the world moves on without you especially when they all think you are dead.
Which was probably for the best because more than just her friends have been waiting for Kat to return. There is a Major Vampire House looking for revenge against Lady Death and they have been rather vehement in their questioning of her friends. There are drawback to having a reputation like “Lady Death” whenever vampires and werewolves show up dead, they believe Kat is responsible. Countess Baset believes that Kat is responsible for the death of her lover and she won’t stop ‘til she finds Kat.
Whether it is Kat’s time in Delia messing with her or the pain that her friends have moved on with their lives without her, but Kat isn’t thinking straight. Not when she is decides to let everyone know she’s back, in a big way, by feeding quite publically in the area run by Count Mephisto, a major Vampire Royal, and not when she decides to take on Countess Baset by herself.
Kat needs to get her head on straight before she gets herself killed and her actions are taken out on the few people she truly cares about.
This story shows that it is not good to be a friend of Kat Redding. I thought the story was very frustrating in the beginning. I don’t know if it was Kat’s time is Delia, Levi’s blood deprivation program to cure Kat’s vampire problem, or just leftover trauma following her brother’s death messing with her had, but she does some really stupid things in this story, most of which affect her friends. She is also very angry and nasty toward the only people who truly care about her; including Jonathan, the werewolf leader of the Luna Cult, who is my personal hero. I love Jonathan. So that probably pissed me off most of all. (If she gets Jonathan killed, I am finished.)
But where Kat was a killer who used her skills and cunning to attack and destroy the smaller Vampire Houses, she acts a little unstable in this story, running hot and cold with her friends, declaring that they are trying to control her, while getting herself into some bad situations where she has to bargain her soul and her freedom.
Although she starts acting more level headed by the end of the story, the damage has been done. Kat has been backed in the corner by several major players due to her dumbass actions which are going to be significant impact on not only her future, but those of her friends.
I am also hoping that Kat Redding is not getting a case of Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome where every supernatural creature wants her. Although Jonathan has definite feelings for her and we know the other werewolf leader has also declared he wants to mate with her so together they can rule the area (*bwahahaha*) , it came off that more than just those two are making moony eyes at Kat. Please don’t go there!
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
“Don’t you start in on me, too.”
He held his hands up. He was holding something in his left hand.
I felt myself soften without meaning to. The coat looked just like the one I’d worn for years. I’d managed to lose both of my old coats while dealing with the mess my brother had caused.
Jonathan saw me looking and a small smile quirked the corners of his mouth. “I thought you might like a new one.” He glanced at the coat on the table. “It appears you have not replaced your other, so it seems the gift is warranted.” His gaze traveled back to me. “I’ve waited a long time to give this to you.”
For some reason, that made me angry. Just seeing Jonathan made memories of my brother flood into my head. I couldn’t stop blaming him for Thomas’s death. He’d been there and hadn’t been able to do anything to stop it.
“Keep it.” I said. “I don’t need it.”
Jonathan looked hurt. He lowered his hands and gave me such a pained look, I almost felt guilty for turning away his gift.
“Look.” I said, trying to keep most of the anger out of my voice. “Tell me why you’re here and then get the fuck out of my house. And take your maimed wolf with you.”
Jeremy flinched, and I could tell I’d hurt him almost as bad as I’d hurt Jonathan, maybe more. Why was I being such a bitch when all they were trying to do was help?
Jonathan’s jaw stiffened as if he was fighting off the urge to say something less than respectful. He managed to compose himself before speaking.
“I wanted to make sure you were okay,” he said. “When Jeremy called and said you were back, I didn’t know what to think. I was really starting to believe you might be dead.”
I glanced at the young wolf. He quickly looked away, face flaming. Ethan stepped protectively near him and glared at me.
What the fuck? Ethan used to be scared of the Luna Cult wolves, had even warned me against them more than once. And now he was defending one of them? Things had really changed since I’d been gone.
I hate change.
“You’ve seen I’m okay,” I said, shifting my attention back to Jonathan. “Now go.” I tried to walk past him, but he refused to move out of my way.
“No,” Jonathan said. “You’re not okay.”
“Who gave you the right to decide how I’m doing?’
“No one,” he said. “But I can see it in your eyes, hear it in your words. Something is very wrong with you and I only want to help.”
My hands balled into fists and I stepped closer to the Luna Cult Denmaster, seriously invading his space. “Nothing is wrong with me. It’s everyone around me that’s pissing me off. I’m tired of everyone telling me to hide, to run away. I never should have come back if that’s the way you’re all going to act.”
“Then why did you?”
Anger flared and I had to fight really hard to keep from lashing out. I should have listened to Ethan before when he’d warned me against the Cult. Now here I was with them in my house and they’d seemingly swayed him to their side. I was losing control of my own life.
Jonathan glanced over his shoulder, apparently unconcerned with my nearness. “I’d like to talk to her alone,” he said.
Both Jeremy and Ethan turned and headed for the stairs without hesitation. Ethan glanced back once, giving me a pleading look as if asking me to cooperate, before vanishing down the stairs.
“Shut up and listen to me for a minute,” Jonathan said turning back to face me. His eyes flared yellow and I took a step back, snapping my mouth closed. I’d never seen him this angry before without some severe provocation.
“You have no right to talk to any of us like this,” he said. “I’d almost forgotten how stubborn you could be.”
“I…” This time I trailed off on my own.
“Ethan is supposed to be your friend and you left him to fend for himself. Jeremy lost his arm in an effort to help your brother. He thinks he is useless now, thinks the world has no place for a ‘maimed wolf,’ as you so eloquently put it. I gave him a reason to live, and I will not let you throw that away because you are too stubborn to see we are all here trying to help.”
Guilt crept in past all my anger and confusion. I felt like a fool for lashing out so quickly. Just because I didn’t like what they were saying didn’t mean I should ignore them. They were only concerned for my well-being.
Then why did it feel like they were trying to control me?