Category Archives: Vampires
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: December 3, 2013
Paperback: 217 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had…
Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…
Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…
Bren is a lone wolf—or werewolf that is. He has been without a pack since his parents died when he was a kid and the elder’s wouldn’t allow him to join his father’s pack. Bren is okay with that because his “pack” consists of the people who matter to him: his roommate, Dan and Celia Wird and her sisters. They are the only people he can count on, the only people he can trust, and the only people he would die to protect.
And to protect those he loves against the growing danger from the demons and the witches of The Tribe that keep calling together the evilest of supernaturals, he would even agree to join Aric’s pack, even though the pure-blooded bastard broke Celia’s heart.
That doesn’t mean he is going to play by Aric’s rules like a good little pup. Bren’s mouth has a habit of writing checks his ass can’t cash and mouthing off to an alpha-were might not always be the best way to show that you are willing to be part of the pack.
When their friend Dan is kidnapped by soul-sucking ghouls, Bren has to quickly decide if he can trust the pack or will he and Celia go it alone to find Dan before it is too late.
As the Weird Girl series is told by Celia’s point of view, this was interesting to read from Bren’s perspective. He gives us some insight into his friendships with Dan and Celia and why he they mean so much to him. We also learn why he is a lone wolf and why he likes it that way.
This story continues on from where we left off after A Cursed Embrace. There is plenty of action since the witch is now calling forth cursed souls and will try to possess bodies and they keep showing up around Bren and Celia.
It was an enjoyable addition to the series and gives Celia’s friends a little more depth to their characters. I don’t know what I enjoyed more: watching Bren torment his roommate Dan or Celia, Bren mouthing off to Aric, Bren riling up Aric’s new fiance or the always entertaining disapproving neighbor, Mrs. Mancuso.
Received an ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
I jumped out and ambled toward the blue Colonial. Mrs. Mancuso, the girls’ elderly neighbor, was sweeping her front steps by the light of her lawn jockey’s lantern, a freak-ass little statue with bright red pants and a lazy eye. Despite the late hour she brushed her little broom back and forth with quick precise motions, even though any sap could have eaten off of the wooden steps as they were. She was probably bored, and lonely. The Wird sisters seemed to be her only form of entertainment.
She buttoned the top of her coat to protect her frail body against the cold. As a were, I’d keep the majority of my strength and reflexes till my dying day. Little old humans like her didn’t have that luxury. I grinned with my new set of chompers and winked her way. “Hey, sex-uh lady.”
Mrs. Mancuso smiled and tucked her neck skin into her brown wool scarf. “Oh, Brendan, you’re such a good boy to flirt with an old lady.” She furrowed her penciled in brows and glanced over at Celia’s former home sweet home. “Too good a boy in fact to be hanging out with those Wird girls.”
I nodded in agreement. “Don’t worry, Mrs. M, I’m trying to help them see the light. I plan to spend the next few hours reading to them from the Bible. They’ll come around, just leave it to me.”
The front door of the Wird house crashed open. There stood Celia—five-foot-three inches of long lethal muscles in skinny jeans and a tight white long sleeved T-shirt. The breeze picked up, sweeping her long mane of brown curls around her face. She pushed her hair out of the way, exposing her narrowing green eyes. Her supersized hearing had obviously picked up my chat with their not-so-favorite neighbor.
I waved. “Hey, Ceel. What’s wrong? Still mad I made you cancel your porn subscription?”
It was really hard not to laugh at her reaction. Celia subscribing to porn was like me joining a Justin Bieber fan club—so not happening. Her eyes shot open only to narrow further at Mrs. Mancuso’s stiff, reprimanding middle finger.
Celia stormed to the edge of her front porch, and while a wide driveway separated both houses, I still caught her golden skin reddening beneath the whitening glare of her porch light. “Mrs. Mancuso, I do not have a porn—”
“Harlot!” Mrs. Mancuso shot back. She lifted her broom defensively, daring Celia to cross the driveway and step foot on her property. Celia pinched the bridge of her nose. In a Mancuso/Celia Wird smack-down, Mrs. M won every time. Not that Celia couldn’t crush her like a fistful of berries, but because Ceel didn’t pick on those weaker than her, no matter how much they annoyed her.
I placed my hand on Mrs M’s shoulder. “It’s okay, honey-bunches. I won’t stop until the sin is washed from her wanton soul.”
“Bren, that’s enough out of you.”
Mrs. M patted my arm, ignoring Celia. “You’re a good boy, Branden,” she said once more.
She flipped Celia off again before shuffling into her house.
A Cursed Moon includes a preview of the upcoming Weird Girls novel Cursed by Destiny!
Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is a full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest. A member of Romance Writers of America, she attributes her passion for storytelling to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing in May 2009. Her Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series is published with Penguin Random House’s Signet Eclipse and released to stellar praise from multiple reviewers including: Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, and Romantic Times. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella, SEALED WITH A CURSE, and A CURSED EMBRACE are now available. A CURSED MOON: A Novella, releases December 3, 2013, followed by CURSED BY DESTINY, January 7, 2014.
ORDER A COPY: Kindle – or – AllRomanceEBooks
Publishing Date: October 1, 2013
Paperback: 403 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her “special abilities” aren’t much, but the plan is simple–she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it’s bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He’s a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it.
Etienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years–long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can’t stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she’s exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger too. He’ll have to accept Krysta’s help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher.
Étienne d’Alençon is an Immortal Guardian who has been fighting the vampire scourge for over 200 years, but Étienne has never seen anything the likes of Krysta Linz. Krysta is a human who has been fighting vampires for almost six years. There is no way a human should have been able to survive that long fighting the stronger, faster vampires. Yet Krysta has a secret weapon of her own. Krysta sees auras and the vampire’s auras give away their movements giving Krysta the edge she needs to beat the vampires. That is as long as she is not severely outnumbered. Krysta is afraid her days of fighting are numbered. In the last few years, the vampires seem to be hunting in larger and larger groups.
She is even more surprised when she is outnumbered and she is actually rescued by another vampire. At least she thinks he’s a vampire, what else could he possibly be? Gorgeous though he is, she is not ready to trust a vampire at her back.
Krysta has to admit though that if Étienne hadn’t stumbled across her that night, she would have finally lost the battle to the vampires. There had just been too many of them. She is thankful for his help that night, but she is not so thankful that for the last few weeks, Étienne has been following her around and killing all the vampires she is working so hard to lure into her trap.
They both agree that together they make a hell of a team. Krysta works the local colleges playing drunk girl and luring the vampires away from the other co-eds, and then together they take out the vampires who are too far gone to the madness of the virus.
Étienne finally has no choice but to explain to Krysta about the Immortal Guardians and their seconds and how they go out nightly to destroy the vampires feeding on the innocents. With Krysta’s ability to see auras and her brother Sean’s ability to heal with his hands, there is no question that these siblings are both gifted ones and Étienne wants them to join the Network. Not only could the Guardian use their help and abilities, but Étienne knows that Seth won’t allow a human to directly fight against the vampires. Étienne is falling too quickly for Krysta and he wants to see her safe. Although she wants to join Étienne’s fight to rid the world of the vampires, after years of fighting on her own terms, she is not sure she is ready or willing to allow someone else to dictate whether or not she can fight.
I just love this series. Dianne writes some enjoyable characters coupled with great action sequences. I have delighted in each story she has written.
Although Étienne’s twin brother, Richart, has the cooler ability to transport over Étienne and his sister’s ability to read minds, Étienne is still a great hero.
Krysta makes a great kick-ass heroine and she was great at playing the drunk girl to luring the vampires into dark alleys and behind buildings so she could take them out.
Together they make a great team and have some pretty steamy scenes.
Krysta and her brother, Sean, will make great new additions to the current characters.
Sadly, I was getting excited about the build up towards a romance for sister, Lisette, who hopefully is the next book, only to learn the next book won’t be out until October of 2014. Too far away!
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
That’s right, dullards, Krysta thought, mentally smiling as she used Étienne’s term, come along, follow the poor, unsuspecting undergrad who doesn’t know you’re there because she’d busy drunk dialing her ex.
That one was always popular. There were times, in fact, when she could actually hear some of the vampires laugh over the crazy-ass things she said or shouted into the phone while staggering up the path. Perhaps, in another life, she could have been an actress.
There had been no vamp action around the frat houses tonight. Rather she had found them lingering in Research Park, waiting for an egghead to stumble out after working on whatever it was he or she researched until the wee hours.
Along the sidewalk, Krysta led them between two buildings, and into a darker area near the loading dock. She thought there had been lights back here the last time she had passed by. The vamps must have broken them, intending to feed on their victim where none would see.
Her heart began to pound, not with fear as she prepared to spin around and fight, but with anticipation. Étienne was nearby. She knew it. She could feel it. And she wasn’t going to let him snatch away her prize this time. She was going to confront the vamps before he had the chance.
Drawing her shoto swords, she spun around at the same moment Étienne appeared behind the vampires.
Ooh. Six vampires. Good thing he had come.
Étienne’s brows drew down in a frown as he met her gaze. “Damn it! You’re early!”
She grinned. “Nope. You’re late.”
The vampires’ faces went blank with surprise. Their gazes zigzagged between the two of them.
“Oh shit,” one said, his face filling with fear as he stared at Étienne. “An Immortal Guardian.”
Gasps from his vampire cohorts.
Another vampire looked at Krysta. “She’s human. She must be his Second.”
“Bastian has a mortal Second,” another said.
Who had a what now?
Krysta was given no time to ask.
Their faces contorted with fury. “Bastien the Deceiver!”
“Death to Bastien!”
“Kick their fucking asses!”
The vampires drew weapons and attacked.
Krysta inched backward and swung her swords as multiple orange auras shot toward her.
The vampires must think they would have an easier time killing her than they would Étienne.
Sucked for her though.
Even as she struck lethal blows with her blades, slicing the throat of the first vampire to reach her, pain streaked through her thigh as another vamp’s blade cut into her flesh.
Krysta gritted her teeth and swung at the orange aura leaping away from her.
Score! Tit for tat. She’d cut his femoral artery, the bastard!
Limping backward, she kept her swords in constant motion. Glowing orange auras swirled around her, so numerous that fear threatened to paralyze her.
She struck more blows, aiming at auras and hitting the flesh they preceded.
The vampires struck blows as well. Cuts stung her arms, back, legs. Just as she was silently celebrating a particularly good blow, one of the vamps circled around behind her and hit her in the head, landing a simple punch with his fist, backed by preternatural strength, that felt like a freaking anvil.
The world around her lit up with sparkly things that had nothing to do with auras. All strength left her limbs as agony pounded her head.
Krysta staggered. Her thoughts scattered.
Somewhere a lion roared.
The glowing orange auras surrounding her fell away as shining purple and white rolled through them like a bowling ball felling pins.
Krysta’s weapons clattered to the ground, her fingers unable to grasp anything but her aching head.
She sank to her knees.
Publishing Date: October 3, 2013
Paperback: 274 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Jase Kayrs was the fun brother. The warm, charming, easy-going brother of the vampire leaders. Until he was taken and tortured by demons with their evil mind tricks for nearly five years. Upon his return, he’s dark, violent, and not the man they all thought they knew. Not the man he once was. He’s haunted that the only reason the demons would have let him live was to use him as a weapon against his family—but he can’t figure out when or how he’ll explode. Plus, once again the demons are after Jase with a vengeance…or rather, a female demon he rejected is out to destroy him.
Then the king asks Jase for a favor…a big one. To mate with one of their allies in order to save her. She’s everything that’s good and light in the world…while he’s at home with darkness. Yet he agrees…knowing mating may be the only chance to save them both.
Jase Kayrs, the youngest of the Kayrs brothers, was always the happy, fun-loving brother. But five years ago he was captured by the demons and was tortured both physically and mentally. By the time his brothers located him, he had given up all hope and had been praying for the peace of death. Jase was so desperate for the torture to stop that he almost agreed to mate with the demon leader’s sister, Willa, but it was one of Brenna Dunne’s paintings hanging on the wall of Willa’s bedroom that centered him once again and gave him the courage to fight on.
So when the King asked Jase to mate with Moira’s sister, Brenna, to save her from the poison slowing killing her, Jase didn’t hesitate to agree. Since mates take on each other’s strengths, it is hoped that Jase’s vampire strength would boost Brenna’s system to fight off the poison’s effects, and Jase wants to gain Brenna’s abilities as well so that he can finally destroy the demons…every one of them.
While big sister, Moira, is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and a powerful witch. Brenna is the unheard of eighth daughter of a seventh daughter, and a pariah among the witches. Brenna was born at the convergence of the winter solstice and the passing Pagurus comet. As the comet will soon pass once again on the night of the solstice, fulfilling a very vague prophesy which can be interpreted as Brenna gets great power or maybe, she destroys the world. But all the factions are fighting to get to Brenna first; some want to use her and some want to destroy her before the solstice arrives.
Although Jase agreed to mate Brenna for a strategical reason, he is finding that being with her brings him the same feeling of peace that her painting brought to him during his torture. For the first time since his capture, Jase is actually feeling hope.
What happens if Brenna can survive the poisoning, the comet and the solstice? Will Brenna lose Jase anyway to the rage which is burning inside him for revenge?
I jumped this story up my TBR list. I just couldn’t wait anymore. I have been dying for this story since I did an interview with Rebecca Zanetti back in 2012 and she hinted that Jase will be captured by demons.
As the series progressed we learned the years had passed and that they still have no location on Jase, and then in Kane’s story, Provoked, we got a glimpse into how bad the torture was for Jase both physically and mentally. We also got a foreshadowing of the peace that Brenna would bring to Jase and maybe she would help him heal.
This story falls under my favorite trope of the wounded hero, and it did not disappoint. Jase is filled with rage at the demons. He is frustrated because his brothers are filled with guilt for failing to find Jase and they treat him like an invalid. Maybe he can’t control his rage during a battle and maybe he can’t go back underground without falling victim to a panic attack and maybe he can no longer control the elements like he used to, but he does not wanted be treated like he is damaged. It is only Brenna who looks past his anger and treats him like she always did.
Brenna has always had an attraction for Jase and therefore, agrees to the mating, but she fears that she will lose everything if she looses her heart to Jase since he is determined to fulfill his suicidal mission to destroy all the demons. But whenever Jase is with Brenna, he turns towards her healing kindness and she will begin to become more important to him than his vengeance.
I believe Rebecca Zanetti has at least two more short stories that will come out before she gets to Janie’s story which would be the conclusion of the series. Young Janie is now 24 and she has known since she was a child that the destiny of the war and the world would be in the hands of herself, Kalin (the leader of the evil Kurjans) and Zane (half vampire/half we’re-not-so-certain and a soldier for a warring army that might not be on the same side as our vampires). After this last story, I’m getting to the point I can’t wait. I have to see how it all turns out in the end. Please, please, please, finish the story.
Received an ARC from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
He hesitated. “Please.”
A low laugh rolled from her stomach. “That had to hurt.”
“You have no idea.” His upper lip quirked. The man was dominant and used to giving orders. No doubt asking went against his every instinct.
“I’m not less than anybody else.” For her entire life, she’d had to prove her worth and that she wasn’t some anomaly. For her one mating, she intended to be strong enough to engage completely. “No dampening pills.”
Watchful intelligence lived in his gaze. “When you bit me yesterday, my blood should’ve made you stronger for days. Yet it only lasted a couple of hours.” He reached for her arm and tugged her off the sofa.
“I’m not weak.” She landed on her knees between his legs. What was he doing? Heat uncoiled in her gut.
“I know.” Threading both hands through her hair, he tilted her head back until she looked up at his angled face. “But you’re not strong right now, either.”
Her neck elongated. Vulnerability and need washed through her. She dug her nails into his hard legs. “I will be. After we mate.”
A dark flush covered his high cheekbones. His eyes flashed into a sizzling green. Heat from his thighs pressed in on her. “Speaking of which, are you all right with the contract?”
Flattening her hands, she pushed away to stand.
But she didn’t move. The vampire easily kept her in place.
She tilted her head, intrigue and warning swishing through her. Without question, she was out of her element with the formidable Kayrs brother. “I’d prefer not to be on my knees as we discuss this.”
His eyes darkened.
Lowering his head, his lips brushed her jugular. “You’re so strong you don’t need dampening pills? Then get off your knees.” Low, rough, his voice rumbled right through her skin.
A long shiver wandered down her spine. She swallowed. Aye. Definitely out of her element. She pushed again, this time putting all her strength into it, and once again didn’t move. “Stop playing games,” she breathed.
“Who’s playing?” His fangs slid into her flesh.
Pain. Dark pleasure. Need. Hurt edged with a sharp desire spiraled through her to pound between her legs. God. She arched her back, her mouth opening. He drank deeply, taking what he needed—taking what he wanted.
A low growl rumbled from his chest.
Rough, his tongue sealed the wound. The fingers in her hair flexed, shooting erotic pain along her scalp. He lifted until his gaze met hers, his face an inch from hers. His lips within reach.
Lust and determination tightened the skin across his sharp bones.
Her chest panted out breath.
He slid to the edge of the chair and loomed over her, his thighs bracketing her. Trapping her. Then his mouth covered hers. The kiss the other day had been nothing. A mere meeting of mouths.
This one was Jase Kayrs in full force. Deep and hard, he took. Holding her when he wanted her, he did as he pleased. dark pleasure cascaded from him and heated the air around them.
She opened to him, helpless beneath his onslaught. His tongue claimed her mouth, learning every curve. Firm lips, strong hold, devastating motion. All she could do was feel. So much pain, so much pleasure, so much damn demand. He tasted of red wine and determined male. The world narrowed to him.
The kiss went on forever. He didn’t touch her anywhere else, yet her entire body burned for him. Desperate and primed. Slowly, he softened his assault and leaned back.
Clarity rushed into her brain. She’d never been able to match him. He watched her, his eyes hard, his sharp features wearing that male express that said, I warned you. Now you’re on your own.
Deep down, where reality and hope commingled, she understood without a doubt he’d break her heart. Even deeper, she knew it was too late to turn back.
ORDER A COPY: The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo (Love at Stake)
Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: August 27, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he’s ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo.
Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There’s even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal’s gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him—and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored?
Dougal Kincaid had a rather rough life. He was kidnapped as a boy and was pressed into service on a ship. When his ship was overtaken by pirates, he was sold into slavery. It was only through the love of the master’s daughter that she helped him escape his bondage, but Dougal couldn’t save her in return. Her death has haunted him for the last 300 years.
After being turned into a vampire in 1749, his life had improved. He had friends and he was always able to enjoy playing his beloved bagpipes. But his life once again took a dismal turn when he lost his right hand during a battle with the malcontents. Now all anyone wants to talk to him about is his missing hand.
Dougal had to learn to sword fight left handed and then after he received a prosthetic hand, he learned to again fight right handed. Being ambidextrous makes him value to MacKay S&I, but Dougal wants more from his life than the next bloody battle.
Dougal lost more than just his hand that day. He lost his ability to play his bagpipes. His music was part of his soul, and without it he has felt lost.
When Roman brings in geneticist, Leah Chin to help deal with Master Han’s superhuman slaves, Douglas is captivated by her from the moment she walks into Romatech. Something about her reminds him of the woman he lost 300 years ago, and he is not about to let anything happen to her again.
But Leah isn’t too sure that she can deal with a relationship with a vampire, although Dougal’s quiet manner and green eyes haunts her dreams.
More than anything Dougal wants to be able to woo Leah with his music and show her that there is more to the man than just the vampire she sees.
i really love this series and now it is Dougal’s turn. Dougal is a very deep and complex character. I really liked the way his story unfolded. He is quiet and awkward, even with his fellow vampires, and that has only increased since he lost his hand.
Leah is a genius and completed her doctorate at age 21. Starting college at 14 after being homeschooled, left Leah socially awkward and not used to having any friends. She is used to people showing a friendly face, only so they can use her knowledge.
They understand each other and this quickly forms a bond between the two of them.
I was a little disappointed in Howard’s story, although I can’t explain exactly what bothered me about it, maybe it was the fairytale aspect, but I enjoyed Dougal’s story. Usually I don’t like the reincarnated storyline, but in this story it was presented more that Leah reminded him of the woman he lost and what is what caught his initial attention. He declares often that Leah is quite different from Li Lei and he wants Leah.
There was also the continuing storyline where we are trying to defeat Master Han who is being helped by the demon Darafar.
Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A wailing sound echoed in the distance, and she turned her head toward it. It sounded familiar somehow, like a distant memory. A chill skittered down her back, and she pulled on her thick cardigan sweater.
She crossed the basketball court, headed for the gazebo. The sound grew louder, more confident. More beautiful. She halted with a gasp. It was pipe music. Just like Grandpa had played that magical summer. She’d thought the pipes were the most beautiful sound in the world.
She closed her eyes to listen, and the plaintive melody enveloped her, seeped into her skin, and settled in her heart. So much emotion. She didn’t know how the pipes could sound like they were crying, but they did.
Tears filled her eyes as flashes of memory returned from fourteen years ago. The green fields of Ireland. Her grandfather’s lilting voice and warm hug. She’d never had to earn his hugs with straight As. He had loved her for simply being herself. He would have loved this music.
Was it Dougal? It had to be him. How could she resist such a man? His handsome face touched her heart, and his music lured her soul. As she followed the sound of the pipes, her skin pebbled with goosebumps. Was she following her destiny?
Leah, I’ve waited so long for you.
His voice whispered in her mind. He was still thinking about her, still wanting her. She passed the gazebo and headed for the woods. A white shirt came into view.
It was him. She didn’t want to disturb his playing, so she remained halfway hidden behind a tree. He was seated on a bench, his head bowed and forehead furrowed as he concentrated on his hands. His left hand moved easily and gracefully, but the fingers on his prosthetic hand were jerky and slow.
Leah’s heart ached for him. How it must hurt him to struggle with his music. He ended the plaintive melody and sighed.
“Enough of sadness,” he whispered. “I need joy in my life.” I need Leah.
Her breath caught. Should she tell him she was here? Did she dare? In a split second, she knew that if she approached him now, her life would be forever changed. She would fall for a vampire, and he would never let her go.
Her feet froze, unable to move.
He launched into a happy jig, but after a few bars, his prosthetic hand couldn’t keep up. She grimaced as the music soured and declined into a jarring noise.
“Dammit!” He tossed the pipes onto the ground, and they let out a dying wail as leftover air fizzled from the bag. “Damn it to hell.” He strode toward the building, his kilt swishing about his knees.
She stood still, watching him go, then her gaze shifted back to the pipes where they rested on a bed of dead leaves. A breeze stirred up more leaves, and they settled on the bag. In another hour, they might be completely covered with dead leaves. Buried.
A surge of anger shot through her. How dare he give up! He played from his soul. Without music, how would his soul survive?
She wouldn’t let him quit. She strode toward the pipes and gathered them up in her arms. Her grip caused the remaining air in the bag to escape, and the pipes protested with a forlorn wail.
“What are ye doing?” he asked softly.
She whirled around. “I-I didn’t think these should be left outside.”
His brow furrowed with a deep scowl. “How long have ye been out here?”
“Long enough.” She lifted her chin. “You came back awfully fast.”
“I can move verra quickly.” His mouth thinned. “At least my feet can.”
“I know you were having trouble with the jig, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from playing. The slow music was absolutely—“
“Sad,” he interrupted her, his eyes flashing.
“I was going to say beautiful.”
“Nay. It was melancholy. And pathetic. Should I spend the rest of my miserably long life with only sad music to fill my soul?”
“Better to have a sad soul than an empty one.” She held the pipes out to him. “And you have to believe that it will get better. You can’t give up on yourself.”
ORDER A COPY: Under a Spell (Underworld Detection Agency)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: August 6, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Sophie Lawson was seriously hoping life at the UDA would get back to relative normal now that her boss Pete Sampson has been reinstated. Unfortunately, her new assignment is sending her undercover into a realm where even the most powerful paranormals fear to tread…her old high school. Being a human immune to magic is no defense against soulless picture-perfect mean girls—or a secret witch coven about to sacrifice a missing female student. And Sophie’s Guardian, uber-proper Englishman Will, is determined to convince Sophie he’s the kind of temptation she should indulge in permanently. Now, as the clock ticks down to apocalypse, he and Sophie will have to summon every trick in the book to battle devilish illusion, lethal sorcery—and betrayals they’ll never see coming…
Sophie Lawson has to face her biggest fear since arriving at the Underworld Detection Agency and it’s not zombies or vampires or even a fallen angel looking for the Vessel of Souls, it’s—returning to high school and once again facing the dreaded cool girls. High school was a nightmare for an awkward and shy Sophie with no sense of style and crazy, no-tame red hair. She would rather face a rabid werewolf then the homecoming queen, but her boss, Pete Sampson, isn’t giving Sophie a chance to say no.
Another girl has gone missing at Sophie’s old high school and while the police have no concrete leads, the UDA believes that a coven of witches is working out of the school and they are trying to bring something forth with human sacrifices. As the only “breather” at the UDA as well as someone who is immune to magic, it is up to Sophie to go undercover as the new substitute teacher.
As if returning to high school and facing some childhood demons isn’t enough to throw Sophie into a tailspin, Sophie’s friend and personal fantasy, fallen angel Det. Alex Grace is leading the police investigation, but he wants no help from Sophie. In fact, Alex has decided to “distance himself” from Sophie and it’s breaking her heart.
As Alex once again leaves Sophie spinning, right into the arms of the waiting Will Sherman, will he eventually regret letting her go. Sophie has to pick up her broken heart for now because she only has a week to find the missing girl. On the night of the seventh day, the moon will be perfect for a sacrifice. Sophie needs to be the hero and stop the Coven from killing the girl and opening a door, but to where?
I love the Underworld Detection Agency. Poor Sophie can never get a break, but she is always surrounded by friends who let her know just how much her life sucks.
Although it wasn’t bad, this was not my favorite story of the series. Some of the plot was a little predictable. There certainly wasn’t enough Alex in the story, who was acting bizarre since the end of the last story. In the last story, Alex and Will are just short of peeing on Sophie to mark their territory and both (especially Alex) are notably laid back in this story.
There seemed to be a hint at the very end that the next story might involve Sophie’s father. We’ll just have to wait and see.
As always, Nina has a new project and this time she wants to be the director of a promotional video for the UDA. See the link below for the video she produced.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“We need to go back in the building.”
Will looked at me, eyebrows disappearing into his sandy hair. “Back into the high school? Why? We’ve checked it over twice.”
I sucked in a slow, deep breath. “I don’t think I was ready to see anything.”
Will’s brow furrowed and he pressed his lips together.
I rushed on. “I didn’t want to see anything there except for what I knew–in my head, in my–what is it? Repressed memories.”
Will reached across the center console and took my hand tenderly in his. He cocked his head slightly and blinked the honey-amber of his eyes warm and inviting. “You’ve never repressed a thing in your life, love.”
I snatched my hand back and grabbed the door. “Are you coming or not?”
We stood in front of the glass double doors and stared, somehow both waiting for the ultimate evil to come barreling toward us or for a commercial break. The school remained silent, the double doors cloudy and revealing nothing, and there was no pause to regroup or offer some sort of cheery distraction. My heart was thundering in my ears and Will had been uncharacteristically silent the whole walk from parking lot to school entrance. A wind kicked up and a handful of skeletal leaves and garbage brushed past us.
“Ready?” I asked, my fingers closing around the administration key Principal Lowe had offered me.
Will shrugged and attempted to look nonchalant, but his eyes never left the keyhole. “I guess.”
I unlocked the door and stepped aside, waiting for Will to push it open.
“What?” he asked.
I gestured. “You always open doors for ladies.”
He cocked a brow. “I didn’t know gender roles held firm even in the face of unspeakable danger.”
I steeled my body and tried to sum up confidence I didn’t feel. “What are you so worried about? You said yourself we’ve checked the place twice already and found nothing.”
Will pushed open the door for me and I hesitated before stepping through. “Yes, but that was before your whole ‘I see dead people…if I care to look’ routine.”
I huffed, crossing my arms in front of my chest. “I don’t see dead peple. I mean, I’ve seen dead people.” I shuddered. “I’ve probably seen more dead people inthe last two years than most people will see in their whole lives.”
Will glanced at me before slapping a flashlight into my hand. “You’re not the best at putting people at their ease, you know?”
I flicked on the flashlight and shined the yellow bulb toward Will’s face. “Hey, you’re the Guardian.”
He slung an arm over my shoulder. “And if there’s a team of fallen angels lurking around this place, then you’re in luck.”
Will flashed his light down the blackened hallway. “Otherwise? You’re on your own.”
“What a relief,” I groaned.
“They don’t pay me enough.”
I rolled up on my tiptoes and glanced through the windows into darkened classrooms that looked as benign as they had during the day–desks in neat lines, unoccupied by witches, hobgoblins, or any other manner of creepy-crawly; stacked textbooks; glossy posters reminding girls to stay off drugs.
“I ask again,” Will said as we approached the last room. “What exactly are we looking for?”
“I don’t know, exactly. Just keep an eye out for anything that seems…off.”
Will swung his light toward me, and I was enveloped in a bright yellow glow. I rolled my eyes.
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publishing Date: August 8, 2013
Paperback: 280 pages
Rating: 5 stars
A supernatural love triangle + one indecent proposal Beatrice Alexander can crush a sixty-foot snake with her mind, but she can’t take any more of the drama that’s tearing apart F.R.E.A.K.S. Should she give it all up — her job as a secret agent and the possibility of a relationship with Will, the gorgeous werewolf? Bea’s hoping to get it all figured out on a trip home for Christmas. But soon her hunky ex-boyfriend wants to rekindle their romance. Then, a powerful (and super hot) vampire lord offers Bea an impossible ultimatum: leave San Diego and her family forever — or become his lover.
Beatrice Alexander thought life was hard being a schoolteacher, especially one with a deep dark secret. Beatrice is psychokinetic. At least back then she thought kids hopped up on sugar was the worse thing she had to face. That is until she was recruited by the FBI for the F.R.E.A.K.S. division (Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals). Now her days involve zombies, witches, vampires and werewolves.
As if the dangerous supernaturals they fight against aren’t enough to keep a girl busy, Beatrice also has her hands full with men in her life. Her vampire best friend, Oliver Montrose is gorgeous and flirty and has made more enemies than friends in his 500 undead years. Some of whom are working with Oliver and Bea at the FBI, including their boss, Special Agent William Price. The sexy werewolf stars in most of Beatrice’s fantasies, but her friendship with Oliver is causing Will to give Bea the cold-shoulder treatment, and she’s had enough! Enough of being surrounded by people who don’t support her ideas, of all the overprotective, alpha-male, testosterone-filled idiots who try and keep her in the background where it’s “safe”, and she has definitely had enough of being forced to choose between Oliver and Will.
Beatrice is going home to San Diego for the Christmas holiday…maybe forever. It is something she will have to think about while she is away. Running for her life on an almost daily basis has become a great exercise plan, but add to that the fact that she’s been chased by almost every deadly supernatural alive and undead to the tension around the office, most of which surrounds her, and Beatrice is starting to think about returning home to her family and to being a boring school teacher. And just when she starts thinking about boring…oh, here comes her old boyfriend, Officer Steven Weir. He is hoping Bea wants to rekindle their relationship. Oh, good God, no! Not only is he is definitely no Will, or even an Oliver, he was the epitome of boring which is the main reason she broke up with him the first place.
Although Beatrice came home to get away from the men in her life and the danger from her job, it appears men and trouble will seek her out. She’s been threatened–I mean, invited by the local Vampire Lord Connor McInnis to come to see him. He’s heard about Beatrice’s gift and her exploits with the F.R.E.A.K.S. and he will make an offer she can’t refuse–especially since he has vampire law on his side–she must leave San Diego and never see her family again or leave the F.R.E.A.K.S. become his consort for life.
Now Beatrice will have to suck it up and ask for help of the two men she left behind. Damn! Maybe there still time for her to enter the convent after all.
I adored this story and these characters. This just such a fun story. I picked it up Sunday morning and didn’t go to sleep until it was finished. Then I picked up copies of books #1 and #2 in the series. Yeah, yeah, I know, “When the hell are you going to read them. We’ve seen your TBR list.” Hey–back off. I’ll get to them…soon…eventually…just shut up.
Beatrice was delightful, Will was sexy and overprotective and Oliver was such a flirt. Even vampire Connor was sexy and funny. I hope we’ll be seeing more of him in future novels.
I will definitely find the time to read the first two books (Stop it! I will!) and I will be watching out to see where she is taking us in book #4. (Cross your fingers for some naked, sexy time with Will.)
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you!
Another book that was hard to choose a favorite scene.
“Pat her down.”
Great. Getting felt up twice in two days. A new record. Rolling my eyes and sighing, I lift up my arms and spread my legs. As Pippin pats me down, and Cockney rifles through my bag, the yummy bartender watches with a smirk and raised eyebrow. The others could care less.
“Nothing,” Pippin says.
“Not here either,” Cockney says.
“Why would I bring weapons to a friendly sit-down?” I get my purse back. “Besides, I’m on holiday. I don’t usually pack my Uzi. So if you could get your boss, please? I’m missing It’s a Wonderful Life.“
The bartender full on smiles, his blue eyes crinkling. I am a sucker for crinkly eyes. Footsteps above draw my attention away from the eye candy. A red headed man with short hair, goatee, charcoal gray slacks, white dress shirt, and gray vest steps into view.
“Matilda, can you bring me up last night’s receipts?” he asks with a clipped British accent.
That must be him. He merely glances at me as the female bartender stops chopping.
“They should be in the safe,” Yummy says with an Irish accent. I almost melt inside. Irish accents are my Kryptonite. I’ve watched all of Colin Farrell’s movies and interviews a dozen times just to hear him talk. Liam Neeson’s too. And I wore out my copy of Once. I really hope I don’t have to kill him now.
“Everything fine down here?” Connor asks the Irishman.
“Yes,” he says with that voice. I really must be hard up if my G-spot is tingling now. I’ll be rubbing up against trees in the middle of gunfights pretty soon. “We shall be up in a minute.”
Matilda the bartender locates the receipts and walks upstairs behind the departing Connor. He doesn’t look like much. The three bodyguards will be hardest, especially the vamp one.
“Care to sit?” Irish suggests, motioning to the bar. I glance around the room, but nobody seems to care about me except my escorts, so I sit. As I get closer, I notice I was wrong about his eyes. They’re violet like Liz Taylor’s. I’ve never actually met anyone with real violet eyes. He smiles again reassuringly. “May I pour you a drink?”
“No, thank you. I’m fine.”
He tsks. “You obviously have no Irish in you.”
Is he flirting with me? “Why is that?”
“We Irish will accept a drink even from our worst enemies.”
“Are you guys my worst enemies?”
He puts both hands on the bar and leans in toward me. “If we are, Special Agent Alexander, then you must not be doing your job well.” His eyes meet mine, and he smiles. Flirtatiously. And yes, a sliver of lust rushes through me.
I mask it by looking away. “Are you trying to capture my mind, Danny Boy?”
“I would never presume to do that, Special Agent. Why mar perfection?”
I swear this guy and Oliver must have studied under the same seduction teacher, Mr. Casanova de Cheesy. “Rein it in, Danny Boy,” I warn. “I’m here to meet your boss, not participate in Flirting 101.” Heck yeah! Go, tough Bea!
The vamp frowns. “I apologize if I offended. It is not every day I can enjoy a conversation with a woman of your caliber and beauty, and I mean that with sincerity. I simply could not help myself.”
Okay, maybe I could stand to hear a little more, but I don’t let him know that. “It’s okay, I’m used to it. I live with a vamp. I know if your mouth is moving, you’re flirting.”
He cocks one of those violet eyes. “You live with a vampire? Who is this fortunate man?”
“Special Agent Oliver Montrose. My partner.” Not technically true partners but close enough.
“And you live together?”
“Not like that.” I say. “We live in the same house. Separate bedrooms, though.”
“But it is true you walked unarmed into a room of twelve vampires to save him from true death?”
“I wasn’t unarmed, and it wasn’t twelve. More like eight.”
“But you were almost directly responsible for the death of the Lord of Dallas.”
“I didn’t kill him,” I say quickly.
“You may as well have wielded the sword yourself,” Irish says. “And is it true you dispatched, in a single twenty-four hour period, fifteen vampires including two of whom were over three hundred years old?”
My spidey sense is tingling. “You know, for a lowly bartender, you seem to know a lot about me.”
“It is my job to know these things, Agent Alexander.”
Ugh. I’m an idiot. I fell for a classic bad guy move that anyone who’s watched a Bond flick should have seen a mile away. Now I’m really glad I kept the drooling to a minimum. I lean back in my chair with a crooked smile. “Lord Connor I presume.” He bows his head and all the other vamps in the room chuckle at my stupidity. There goes my credibility. I am so going to die. “Nice one.”
“I am afraid you caught me on my night off,” Connor says, “Otherwise I would have greeted you in proper attire.”
“What? A tuxedo and cape?”
“I was thinking more along the lines of body armor and shotgun.”
“You’re cuter this way,” I say with a sly smile. “Shotguns don’t really do it for me.”
“And what does, pray tell?”
I lean in a little. “Irish accents and crinkly eyes.”
He grins back. “In that case, we should continue our conversation upstairs? With a bit more privacy?”
I lean in more so we’re close enough to kiss while meeting his eyes. “Thought you’d never ask, your Lordship.” And the Golden Globe for acting cool while really wanting to run screaming from the building goes to…the corpse of Bea Alexander.
ORDER A COPY: Tall, Dark, and Vampire
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: August 6, 2013
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
We’re talking today with author Sara Humphreys about her new series, Dead in the City, her new Demon serials, and saying goodbye to the Amoveo Legend. Check it out.
The last person Olivia Hollingsworth expected to see at her Greenwich Village vampire club was her one true love, Doug Paxton—whom she believed to be dead for centuries. Olivia thought she had moved on, but when Doug reappears, her heart knows she’d rather die than lose him again.
Ever since Doug can remember, a red-haired siren has haunted his dreams. He never thought she could be real until he goes to investigate a murder at Olivia’s night club. However, as the bodies keep piling up at her feet, he must fight to prove her innocence—even if it costs him his life.
Det. Douglas Paxton knew there was something off when he arrived at the nightclub known as The Coven and saw the redheaded beauty standing outside the club. The same beauty who has been haunting his dreams for years now. There was no possible way that she was real. But Doug also knew trouble when he saw it and this place was sending his cop-senses screaming that something was just not right. He had to get his head back into the game and stop focusing on her. People we dying and the killer’s trail was leading right to her doorstep. She might look like his dreamscape beauty, but she was also a possible suspect in the brutal slayings.
Doug wasn’t the only one reeling from their first meeting. To Doug, Olivia was simply a woman he met in vivid dreams. For Olivia, Doug looks just like her great love who she lost the night she was made vampire 300 years ago. As Olivia comes to realize that Doug doesn’t just look like her true love, he is her love reincarnated. She also comes to realize that unless she is willing to turn him, she will be forced to someday watch him die once again.
Although forcing a vampire life on Doug is the last thing she wants to do, when the killer leaves Doug for dead behind her nightclub, Olivia knows she won’t lose him again. When he wakes, Olivia finds that in fact Doug might never forgive her, especially when his turning is…off. He wakes too early from his turning, he has an older vamp’s control of his bloodlust, and his new abilities fall to him naturally…too naturally. Is there such a thing as a naturally born vampire?
As Doug tries to adjust to what is happening to him, they still have a killer to find. A killer who seems to be bringing death right to Olivia’s front door.
A great start to a great new series. There are a few campy vampire abilities, like flying; not changing to a bat, but just flying. Overall, the story was well told and kept your attention, and the characters were well written.
Doug was a stand out character here: dedicated cop unaware of the supernatural, who drawn to the heroine through dreams. He was flawlessly turned into a vampire as if he had been turned hundreds of years ago and not just this morning. That alone kept you guessing as to what was up with Doug, let alone the whole “who is the killer” mystery.
We also met many other characters who I am sure will be the focus of future novels.
A great new paranormal series.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you!
“I need to know if you’re real, or if I’m making it all up, like that kiss in the alley.” His erection pressed against her lower back as his hands brushed down her bare arms. “Was that you, Olivia? Was it another dream or a hallucination from hitting my head?”
He didn’t know what was real and what was imaginary and probably felt like he was going insane. Olivia wanted to tell him, but where would she begin? How could she explain something she was still trying to understand?
Doug licked the hypersensitive skin along her neck as he murmured, “Even if it is all just dreams, I don’t care. It feels pretty fucking real.”
He gripped her shoulders and nuzzled her curly red hair off her neck. She arched back, lifted her hands through his short hair, bathing in the feel of his masculine hands as they massaged her breasts. A lusty moan escaped her lips as Doug trailed hot kisses along her neck, and he pinched her nipples as they peaked in response. She pressed herself further into his grasp, desperate to get closer, while he nibbled on the exposed skin.
“I feel like I’ve been looking for you forever–my whole life,” he murmured. “Every time you get closer, but no matter how much I get, it is’t enough. I want more. I want it all.”
His hands wandered to her waist and rested on the gentle curve of her hips. She pressed back and ground against him, which elicited a moan of pleasure as his lips pressed against the crook of her neck.
“Then what are you waiting for?” Olivia spun in his arms, grabbed his face with both hands, and whispered against his lips, “Take it.”
He captured her mouth with his greedily, and she opened for him, letting him plunder. Devouring her as though she might vanish from his embrace at any moment, he scooped her up and carried her toward the abandoned taxi parked at the curb. Olivia kicked off her stilettos, wrapped her arms around his neck, and deepened the kiss–licking and nipping at his firm, warm lips–all the while wishing it were more than a dream.
He sat her down on the hood of the cab and stood between her legs, which she promptly wrapped around his waist, tugging him harder against her. Heat pressed enticingly against heat. Doug cradled her head in his hands and suckled on her lower lip before breaking the kiss. He rested his forehead on hers and brushed his thumb along the skin of her cheek as her hands rested on his ass.
He pulled back abruptly and lifted her chin, forcing her to look him in the face, and when their eyes met, all the breath rushed from his lungs. Familiar turquoise eyes stared at her beneath a furrowed brow, and she watched as the pieces came together.
“It’s you,” he said under his breath. “I’m not crazy, am I, Olivia? The second I laid eyes on you tonight outside the club, I knew you were mine. I’ve dreamt of you since I can remember, but I never though you could be real.” He moved closer, brushing his lips along the corner of her mouth. “And then, there you were on a New York City sidewalk in living color.
ORDER A COPY: The Wicked (A Novella of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
eBook: 105 pages
Rating: 5 stars
The adventure of a lifetime might just end in turmoil, but when it includes meeting your future mate, who gives a hoot?
A Novella of the Elder Races
For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia’s new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure.
Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare. He has been hit with a curse that is slowly taking away his sight, and he doesn’t know if he will survive the results.
But the powerful feelings growing between them, along with Sebastian’s inner turmoil, take a backseat when they learn there is a traitor lurking among their expedition team. With Elder Races politics and a priceless library on the line, they’ll have to rely on each other to survive the experience.
Warning: When a librarian who likes to nest meets an owl Wyr who has always lived for adventure, their romance won’t just be fly-by-night.
Olivia Sutton is a librarian as well as a witch. When Olivia’s friend, Grace Andreas, set her up to meet Carling Severan, former leader of the Nightkind, to be part of the expedition to return to the Other land to retrieve Carling’s extensive collection of magical books, Olivia thought she was setting off for the greatest adventure of her life. Going to an Other land and getting a rare view of Carling’s vast collection of mystics books, including ancient Egyptian papyruses, is a dream come true for a witch-librarian.
She couldn’t know that that adventure would include a gorgeous Wyr named Sebastian Hale would was heading up the security team, and who would turn her world upside down in the most incredible way.
Nor did she realize that she would actually be making friends with a oddball Djinn.
But she also couldn’t know that Julian Regillus, the current Nightkind King and Carling’s child, would do everything he could to stop Carling from getting those books.
This will definitely change Olivia’s life, as long as she can survive the adventure.
I really enjoy Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series and this was a great short short which I read in an afternoon. Sadly, it reminded me that I missed the series since catching up with Oracle’s Moon. This story also gives us a quick update with Grace Andreas and the Djinn Khalil from Oracle’s Moon and how their lives have changed since Oracle’s Moon.
Like all series, there are characters and stories that I liked more than some others, and even though it was a very short story, I really enjoyed the characters of Olivia and Sebastian. Olivia was smart and thoughtful, and willing to give an almost childlike, annoying and temperamental Djinn a chance, and Sebastian who quickly sees how special and unique Olivia is and will fight to keep her. The story also highlighted several times how one moment can change everything. i.e.
And the job remained just has he thought it would, mind numbingly routine.
Right up to the moment a human witch–a librarian–appeared in a whirlwind of Power and called a Djinn a dimwit.
Witnessing that little scene was like having a switch thrown in his head. Just like that, after five years of a dangerous, growing ennui, he came back online, sharper and clearer than he had ever been. Engaged again. Interested.
My only problem with this story is the same problem I had with Carling’s story, Serpent’s Kiss, and that is the magical library is underused as a plot point. She has a library filled with magical books, some with light magic and some filled with dark magic which literally call to you to tempt you to come open them and investigate the magic inside, and no one is opening these books. WHAT??? Have someone open the wrong book. Release some dark magic. Cause Chaos. Magical Mayhem. There’s a whole lot of plotline being ignored in the form this magical library.
A quick check shows that Thea Harrison has a new novel due out in November featuring Harpie, Aryal and another novella in December featuring Dragos again. Yay! I want to see the dragon baby again.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
The protective bubble that Phaedra had drawn around Sebastian’s cabin popped, and a few moments later Bailey pounded twice on the door.
“They’re finally gone,” Bailey called through the barrier. “The fucking fuckers.”
Sebastian raised his voice, the deep timbre vibrating against Olivia’s cheek. “It’s about time. Ill be right out.”
Olivia wasn’t ready to let go of him. The hard length of his body against hers, the feel of his arms around her, all answered some kind of urgent question that she hadn’t even known she was asking. Reluctantly, she lifted her head from Sebastian’s shoulder, and they looked at each other.
Then, moving with deliberation, he cupped the back of her neck, drew her forward and kissed her. When his firm, mobile lips met hers, she felt another much-needed answer. Her lips parted and he dove into her mouth deeply with his tongue, stunning her with the swiftness of his invasion.
Her world whirled in a kaleidoscopic tilt. She hadn’t expected the kiss. She was still amazed that he had confided in her, and that they had embraced.
She hadn’t expected this.
His mouth was set, hard and demanding. Still kissing her, he pushed her back and back, and she complied until she came in contact with the wall. His body covered her. He took her wrists, pinning her arms over her head and shoved one muscled, jean-clad leg between hers. His movements were so aggressive, so surprising, a shaken moan broke out of her. Dear God, he had an erection. The hard length of it pressed against her hip.
He lit her world on fire. Everything burned with incandescent light.
She wanted to touch his hair to find out if it was as soft as it looked. She wanted to touch him. Her fingers opened and closed in fists. The hard shackles of his hands prevented her from touching him the way she needed to. All she could do was squeeze his leg between hers, arch against his body and kiss him back, so she did, while her heart took off on a manic gallop, running as fast as it could straight toward him.
His breath came and went rapidly, his wide chest working like a bellows. He drew back and stared at her, his strange, golden-amber-and-black-gaze fierce. Along with the muscles of his lean body, the lines of his face has sharpened.
The realization crept in that she stared at an entirely dangerous man, and she had no idea what he would do next.
“You could always just lock the door,” she whispered. Goodness, the things that fell out of her mouth on this trip.
His face blazed. Looking utterly barbaric, he ground his hips against hers. It tore a ragged cry out of her, because she had never felt like this before, never. Not with any of her dates or former lovers. Normally she was a calm, considering person, a bit of a nerd if she were to be quite honest, but now a strange, crazed creature had taken over her body.
“Yo!” Bailey pounded on the door again. “The crew’s starting to arrive.”
He bared his teeth. He looked utterly savage. “I said I’m on my way!”
“Take your time,” said Bailey. The other woman sounded extremely cheerful. “Just letting you know.”
He hissed in the direction of the door. “Go the fuck away.”
Olivia had focused her attention on the rapid pulse beating at the base of his strong jaw. She muttered, “Would you mind if I bit you?”
Wait, who just said that?
He released one of her wrists to yank his fingers violently through is speckled hair. “God. Damn. Yes. I mean no, I don’t mind. Yes, you should bite me. As many times as you want.” He thrust a stiffened finger under her nose. “We’re going to continue this very soon. got that, Olivia?”
She nodded drunkenly, staring at the finger. He kissed her again, swiftly and hard, and then with a growl he shoved away from her and the wall and strode out of the cabin.
Our winner was Melissa L. Thank you to Kensington for the givewaway.
ORDER A COPY: Avenging Angel (The Fallen)
Publishing Date: May 28, 2013
Paperback: 337 pages
Rating: 5 stars
With a messed up family background and a tendency to grow claws and fangs, Tanner Chance isn’t exactly the boy next door. But he’s a decent cop, and he keeps himself on the side of the good guys. Convenient, because when he rescues a survivor of a horrific shifter attack he finds himself instantly smitten—with an honest-to-goodness angel, as innocent as she is irresistible.
Marna may be angelic, but she’s not stupid or weak. She can take care of herself. Tanner is more temptation than protection anyway. Or so she thinks, until someone wearing her face starts taking out some of New Orleans’ more unsavory paranormals. With police and predators both gunning for her blood, Marna has no choice but to trust Tanner…even though what’s sparking between them is hotter than anything holy.
Marna was an Angel of Death. Being an Angel of Death wasn’t something that she loved to do. She hated seeing all the pain, suffering and fear associated with death, but it was all she knew. Except Heaven is closed to her now. An Angel without wings can’t fly back to Heaven and her wings were shredded off her body by a half-shifter/half-angel named Brandt. He’s dead, killed by another Fallen, but that doesn’t stop the pain that Marna suffers each day for her loss. The loss of everything that she has ever known. The unbearable pain of having her delicate wings ripped from her body. And suffering the overwhelming emotions which are plaguing her, a Fallen Angel, rage, pain…lust.
The worst part is being a Fallen Death Angel that no longer has the killing touch. Oh how she wanted to use it to kill those shifters to just watched and laughed as her life was torn from her. She tried to touch them and failed, and they laughed at her some more. Now everyone knows that the fragile, helpless little Angel has no power to protect herself. And every predator is looking for her wanting a taste of Angel’s blood, of the power that blood can boost their supernatural abilities. She No. 1 on every supernatural’s hit list whether they want a taste or just want the fortune to be had selling her blood to the highest bidder.
Detective (and shifter) Tanner Chance has been trying to protect Marna since his brother, Brandt, left her broken and bleeding in the swamp. Now that those shifters have turned up dead and eyewitnesses are pointing to the little blonde angel as the killer, Tanner has to work fast to keep Marna from being locked up in the human jail. He will do whatever he must to protect her, even go against his training, because every sense he has tells him to protect her…to protect what is his. Marna isn’t his yet, but she will be. Both the man and the beast know she is his.
Cynthia Eden never disappoints. Although Azreal gets to keep the crown for most awesome Angel, this story kept me guessing the entire time, Who could we trust? Who is watching? Who is after them? After three stories featuring powerful, bad-ass Angels, I loved that Marna is portrayed as small and helpless. Unlike the other Fallen, Marna has not regained her Angel powers since loosing her wings. This makes her a prime target for all the vampires, demons and shifters prowling New Orleans who want to take or cash in on her powerful and very addictive angel’s blood.
There has been something between Tanner and Marna since he picked her up off the ground in the swamp in Angel In Chains and it was a great story to read. Watching Marna go from being afraid whenever she saw Tanner’s claws to her coming to trust him not to hurt her and finally their budding relationship was so enjoyable.
Another great story by Cynthia Eden!
Received a review copy from the publisher. Thank you.
Marna swallowed and lifted her chin higher. Of course, she lifted the covers higher, too. “I want to be alone now. I don’t want–”
In two seconds, he was on that bed with her. Marna tried to scramble back. Too late. He grabbed her hand and forced it against his bare chest.
Her breath rasped out, and she tried to jerk away from him. “Stop it!”
“Make me.” A cruel taunt, but he had to see what would happen.
Marna’s blue eyes widened as she tried to yank her hand away again. He just tightened his hold. Her palm was soft against his chest. Her splayed fingers pressed right over his racing heart.
“Let me go!”
The covers had dropped. She had on a black bra–one he’d raced out and bought for her before they’d gone to Hell. He’d picked up clothes for her, fantasizing a bit about her in the silk panties, and–
Her left hand plowed into his face.
He shook his head, barely feeling the sting of that blow as realization settled heavily in his gut. “You can’t do it.”
No wonder the vampire had been so close to her.
Her breath rushed out, far too fast, and he could see the frantic race of her pulse at the base of her neck. “Don’t push me.” Her words were loud, rushed. “I don’t want to hurt you!”
“You can’t.” Certain now. “You can’t hurt me.” She was touching him. Flesh to flesh.
Her skin was so pale. Her eyes wide. And the scent of her fear was driving him freaking insane. “You can’t kill me. You can’t use the Death Touch.” Fuck. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me? That vamp could have drained you dry!”
But, even as he asked, Tanner knew why she hadn’t told him. The lady didn’t trust him, not for one single minute.
“I could have handled him,” Marna gritted out.
He still held her hand pinned against his chest. “Oh, yeah? How? The way you’re handling me right now?”
Then she moved, so fast that he didn’t even see the motion of her body. Angels could always move so quickly. Marna just hadn’t moved that way in a while, and he’d forgotten…
She shoved him back on the bed and straddled him, and Marna shoved a knife against this throat.
Now where the hell had she gotten that little trinket?
The silver began to slice into his flesh.
“I found this back at Hell,” she told him, fingers clenched tightly around the hilt of the blade. “I had it when that vamp came at me. I could’ve used it on him.”
“A little knife wouldn’t stop him.” Or me. Silver would hurt like a bitch because the old tale about shifters and silver not mixing so well was true, but she wouldn’t have time to do any permanent damage. Permanent like cutting out his heart.
“It would have slowed him down. Vampires get weaker with blood loss. I would have been sure to make him plenty weak.”
Strange to hear such bloodthirsty plans come from her lips. He had to remember, the lady was far deadlier than she appeared.
Even if she’d somehow lost the Death Touch.
“When did you know?” Her legs straddled him. Did she feel the swelling cock shoving again her? Probably. Tanner didn’t really see how she could miss that. Not like it was a small thing.
The blade dug a bit deeper into his skin. “I went after those bastard panther shifters, LaRue and Stokes,” Marna confessed. “I went after the jerks because I wanted to kill them.”
So she had been seeking some vengeance. Tanner tried to keep his body perfectly still beneath her. He had one hell of a view, and other than the stinging pain in his neck, being beneath her was pretty damn pleasurable.
Being in her, that would be even better.
A hungry growl slipped from him.
Marna frowned down at him.
Tanner cleared his throat. “What happened?”
Her tongue swiped over her lips. His cock jerked.
“I–I tracked them in the Quarter,” she said. “I followed them for days. I waited, wanting the perfect moment.”
Definitely a bloodthirsty angel. He’d have to remember that little tidbit about her. Marna sure wasn’t all sunshine and light, no matter how she appeared.
“I was going to walk right up to them. Look them straight in the eyes, and watch as their lives drained away.”
He would have done the exact same thing. He liked for his kills to be personal. Those getting payback, well, they needed to see just who was delivering the justice to them.
“They always went to the same place for drinks. I waited until the bar on Bourbon Street was almost empty, and then I went inside.”
Tanner heard the echo of pain in her voice. “What did they do to you?”
“Nothing.” A laugh, heavy with bitterness, slipped from her. “I marched up to Stokes. Put my hand on his chest and waited for him to look at me with fear in his eyes.”
Beau Stokes had always been a sadistic prick. So eager to attack weaker prey. So quick to slice with his claws and laugh when his prey begged for mercy.
“But he didn’t even know who I was,” Marna whispered. did she realized she still held the knife to his throat? “He tried to kiss me. Tried to pull me closer to him, like I was another body to screw in that dark bar.”
Tanner didn’t speak.
“I wanted to kill him. I was trying to. LaRue was coming toward us, laughing, and I wanted them both to die.” Her head dipped further forward, and the curtain of her hair hid her face.
Tanner lifted his hand and pushed back her hair. He could barely feel the sting of the knife now. “But they didn’t die.”
Her lashes slowly lifted. “Angels of death–those Fallen and those who still have their wings–all of them can kill with a touch. That’s our power. Our one, unbreakable gift. Death.”
Death was a gift?
“I ran from the shifters. They were laughing at me while I ran away.” Her breath rasped out. “When Brandt took my wings from me, he took away everything that I was. I have nothing now. Nothing.”
But fury. A rage so dark it had sent her after the panthers–ready to kill and destroy.
“Angels have magic. They can do so much–conjure, stir fire.” A bitter laugh came from her. “I can’t even make smoke.” She shook her head. “So what am I supposed to do now?” Marna asked him and then she blinked, seeming to finally realize that she still had a knife at his throat. Her hand lifted as she took the knife away from his jugular. “Just wait around for a vamp to drain me? Wait for a shifter to slice me and–”
It was his turn to have her flat on her back. Tanner crushed her into the mattress. He didn’t have to worry about a Death Touch now. She wasn’t going to lose control.
Maybe it was time he did.
ORDER A COPY: A Cursed Embrace: A Weird Girls Novel
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
Paperback: 368 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird…
After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.
To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.
In her second book of the Weird Girls series, Cecy Robson takes us on an action packed adventure involving nausea-inducing demons, and a rollercoaster ride of emotions as things between Celia and Aric heat up, yet vampire master, Misha, isn’t going to wait quietly in the wings to see if love blossoms.
Celia and her sisters are humans who were cursed at birth. Celia can shift into a tiger, always ready to protect her younger sisters. Taran harnesses the power of fire. Shayna can turn any metal into a blade and any wood into a weapon. Little sister, Emme, has the ability to heal her sisters, as well as move things with her mind.
As we begin book 2, Celia’s sisters, Shayna and Emme are settling into their new romances with their werewolf boyfriends, while Taran is frustrated with Gemini’s overprotective, but standoffish demeanor. Celia would even welcome a pat on the head from werewolf Alpha Aric, at least she would have a better understanding where she stands with him. As always, Celia knows that vampire Master Misha would welcome more than just a friendly relationship with Celia.
Little did Celia know that the day she had a wereraccoon’s dead body in her living room would be the most normal day for her in long, long time. Someone has unleashed evil into Tahoe and it’s focusing all its attention on the Wird sisters.
When couples start going missing, the weres start investigating only to find the partially eaten corpses of the men. Only they got off easy. What is happening to the women is the stuff out of nightmares. Someone has unleashed a demon from hell who is trying to spawn his own demon army—using the unwilling human women as hosts. Now, spawning with human women does the job, but he has his sights on the enchanted Wird sisters. They would bring an essence of magic to his spawn.
Demons are not known for waiting patiently for what they want. While Celia and her sisters are quite a force together, they are also protected by Aric and his werewolves and Misha and his vampires. But if you wait long enough and cause enough chaos, a clever demon might just get what he’s after.
Wow!! Fighting, sex, magic, werewolves, vampires, maggot-filled demons, cranky old neighbors…this book has it all, and makes damn good use of them all.
It was a little slow in the beginning and I started out feeling a little disappointed since I was so looking forward to Book 2. It was still funny and enjoyable but not all that exciting…oh boy, was I wrong. When she started adding demon spawn, the action took off like a bat out of hell (he,he) and just didn’t stop. Now, the demon raping (not described in detail, thankfully) turns this fun Urban Fantasy series a little gruesome, but there is no doubt that it added some nail-biting excitement every time a demon managed to get too close to a Wird sister.
Add to this a rollercoaster rider of emotions as things between Aric and Celia start heating up. Although the naked monkey sex brings them in the direction that Celia wanted to go, you can tell Aric is holding back and you don’t know why, and you can only worry if he’s going to break Celia’s heart in the end. Throw in a sexy vampire that wants the same girl to stir up the pot, and you’ve got an emotional love triangle worth watching.
I absolutely loved this story and can’t imagine how she’s going to top this with her next book, but I am excited to see what happens next.
Received an ARC courtesy of the author and publisher. Thank you.
Our giveaway winner was Tracy. Congratulations!
Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author with Penguin’s SIGNET ECLIPSE. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her Urban Fantasy Romance Series, Weird Girls, in May 2009. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella and SEALED WITH A CURSE are now available. A CURSED EMBRACE, releases July 2, 2013 followed by A CURSED MOON: An eSpecial Novella December 2013, and CURSED BY DESTINY, January 2014.
So many great scenes, so hard to decide…
“Please sit, Celia, so that I may tend to your wounds.”
The redhead spread a blanket on the ground and motioned me to it. I did as Misha asked and positioned myself on the ground, holding tight to my wound. Misha moved my hand with ease and spread my knees apart. Like an idiot, I forgot vampires didn’t use first aid kits. A gush of blood spurted out and splattered against the blanket. Misha didn’t panic. He bent forward and licked the inside of my thigh very slowly. The wound sealed, but he didn’t stop. He continued to lick me in teasing strokes, sending a wave of paralyzing chills up my spine. And call me crazy, but I failed to see how his look of seduction was beneficial to my injury.
“Ah…What?…I…” Words failed me. It took another flick of his tongue to finally jar me out of my shock. I slammed my knees together and quickly scrambled to the edge of the blanket. But I was too late. From nowhere, a snarling wolf appeared at my shoulder.
Aric changed back to human. Misha rose to meet him. They stood nose-to-nose. The scent of Aric’s fury scorched the air around us. Misha remained blissfully calm. After all, he’d just eaten. Challenging growls and hissing surrounded us as Misha’s vampires and Aric’s wolves prepared to attack.
I squeezed between them in an attempt to prevent all-out war. “Aric, stop.” I tried to push him back, yet couldn’t even manage to nudge him. Aric typically out-muscled me, but at the moment he was an impenetrable wall of livid energy. I didn’t want them to fight, and I sure as hell didn’t want anyone to die. So I threw in my only weapon—the weak and helpless card.
“Aric, please, Misha just saved me from a bunch of weres.
”I was coming for you!”
“Yes, but you might have been too late. I was already badly wounded, and the weres had caught up to me. Misha was just trying to help.”
”By trying to seduce you?” Aric’s muscles tensed and shook violently beneath my hands.
My breath sputtered as I released it. “I was bleeding from a deep wound in my thigh. All he did was seal it.” I glanced back at Misha, hoping he’d back up what I was saying. He didn’t. Bastard.
Aric ground his teeth. ”What is he even doing here?”
Misha flashed him one of the wickedest smiles in his arsenal. “Celia was in danger and thought my name. Thus, I responded. And now that I have tasted her blood, our call is that much stronger.”
Great. More bars, in more places. Having a vampire’s digits just got better and better.
Aric went perfectly still. In a way, that was way scarier than the angry, growling, red-faced wolf he’d been seconds before. I swallowed hard. The weak and helpless card clearly wasn’t working, so I tried to reason with him. My hand gently touched his face. “Aric, this is not the time. Something terrible is happening. We were attacked by vampires several months back. Yesterday it was a horde of demon children, and today some strange weres. What’s going to happen tomorrow? Misha isn’t the enemy. We have to figure out who is.”
Misha whipped his head away from Aric to glare at me. “You were attacked by a horde of demon children yesterday? And you did not inform me?”
I threw my hands in the air. Great, now they’re both pissed at me.