Category Archives: Werewolves
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: Under the Gun (Underworld Detection Agency)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
When you’re near the top of the Underworld Detection Agency, the claws really come out…
Quick thinking and loyalty have taken human Sophie Lawson a long way in the UDA—along with a healthy dose of magic immunity. But when her old boss Pete Sampson asks for help after a mysterious two-year disappearance, she’s determined to find out what high-placed demon has put two ruthless werewolf killers on his tail. Of course, sucking up to her icy vampire department head and negotiating a treacherous inter-office demon battle are the kind of workplace politics that could easily get a “breather” way worse than reprimanded. And sexy fallen angel Alex is doing whatever it takes to heat up Sophie’s professional cool and raise feelings she’s done her best to bury. Too bad their investigation is about to uncover the Agency’s darkest secrets…and powerful entities happy to sign one inquisitive human’s pink slip in blood.
Sophie Lawson is on the job again. But as the new head of the Fallen Angel Division at the Underworld Detection Agency, there really isn’t much to do. Unless you count the fact that her past has come knocking on her front door. Her former boss, werewolf and frequent star of Sophie’s sexy daydreams, Pete Sampson, has returned. Sophie’s not sure what’s more shocking, the fact that he’s not dead or the fact that he let her think that he was dead all this time. Someone has put out a contract for Sampson’s life and he has been hiding out from the fiercest werewolf killers on the west coast—even if one of them does dresses like an anime character…
When bodies start to turn up, not just dead, but mauled to death by say…a werewolf? Sophie is torn between her loyalty to her old boss and her devotion to fallen angel now Det. Alex Grace. Hey, yeah, I know where we could find a possibly killer werewolf—on my couch. Oh, that would go over well.
If she tells Alex that she’s hiding a werewolf in her apartment, he’ll have no choice but to bring Sampson in for questioning. She just can’t do it. Not only won’t a human jail be able to hold a werewolf, but then the hunters will know exactly were to find Sampson. But is her loyalty to Sampson getting people killed?
It’s just a typical Monday in the life of Sophie Lawson…
I love Sophie and the gang! After the last book when Sophie and Will get a little bit closer and Alex finds her sneaking out of Will’s apartment, I couldn’t wait to see how Alex reacted in this book. I wasn’t disappointed especially when Will and Alex play a game of She’s My Girl. I do think Alex is still a little too noble with his “but I’m a fallen angel” bit. Stop being such a tease.
I did miss Nina a bit in this book. San Francisco is hit with a heat wave and sunny skies are keeping the vampires inside and they’re getting more than a little batty (he, he). Nina goes on a QVC spree, but her cabin fever seems to tone her down a bit in this book.
Also with Sophie’s new position as head of fallen angels (as there aren’t very many registered fallen angels with the UDA), she doesn’t have much interaction with the clients in the last two books and I miss that novelty of the mundane registration of supernatural creatures. It was a very quirky and funny part of the series. See my notes from Under Attack.
Hannah Jayne is an entertaining storywriter and I enjoy her quirky cast at the UDA.
Don’t forget to check out our past interview with the cast of the UDA.
Received ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
We pulled up to a stoplight just off Union Avenue and I listened to the car idle, to the faint sounds of someone playing a saxophone on a distant corner. And then there was something else.
A wail—or a moan.
“Did you hear that?” Alex asked, ear cocked toward the open window.
I turned the stereo off and leaned out my own window, holding my breath for a silent beat. A lazy wisp of oregano scented air wafted into the car, and on it, a chorus of low moans. They were desperate, insistent rumbles that cut through the city noise.
I furrowed my brow. “What is that?”
Now the moans and rumbles were joined by thumps, then a shallow scraping as though something—or someone—was being dragged.
Alex’s eyebrows went up. “Lawson?” I saw his hand hover around his concealed gun.
I held up a silencing hand. “Wait, Alex. I thing it might be—“
They engulfed the car before the word was out of his mouth, their fingers scraping against the paint, lifeless limbs thumping against the mangled exterior of my vampmobile. Alex’s eyes were wide, distressed, his face ashen as their fingers came through the open window, clawing at him, touching his skin, ruffling his hair. Zombie fingers brushed at my face, too; a clammy hand landed on my arm, grabbed a fistful of my shirt.
I couldn’t help myself. I started to giggle.
Alex, swatting at the grey, rotting arms that waved at him, looked at my incredulously. “You’re laughing? This is funny to you?”
One of the zombies had curled his fingers under my neck and was actively tickling me now, giggling back at me as my laughter grew, his grin wide and goofy. I clamped my knees together and tried not to wet myself. “They’re—they’re—they’re real!” I squeezed out, throwing the car into park and doubling over myself.
“Of course they’re real!” Alex said. “How the hell do we kill them?”
“Double tap!” A zombie on Alex’s side of the car yelled. “Cardio-oooo!”
“Beeeeer!,” another one groaned, a rivulet of black-red blood dribbled out the side of his mouth. “Beeer!”
Alex wrinkled his brow. “Is that zombie asking for beer? Can they do that!”
I was laughing so hard now that tears were pulsing from my eyes and I started to cough. Finally, I got hold of myself. “They’re real, Alex. They’re real people.”
Alex paused, his lip curling up into a snarl as another zombie wannabe poked her full torso through my window. “Graiiiins!” she moaned, stiff arms waiving. “Graiiins!”
“She’s a vegetarian,” I said by way of explanation.
“What the hell is going on here?” Alex wanted to know.
Veggie-zombie bared a mouth full of grayish teeth, half smeared with a thick coat of shiny black greasepaint. “Zombie pub crawl,” she informed. “We’re only on our second pub.” She craned her neck to look out the windshield. “Light’s green.” She wriggled out of the car and I inched forward. Veggie-Zombie’s undead brood wailing and flailing in the street behind us.
“There’s hundreds of them,” Alex said, staring out the back window incredulously.
“You’re not the slightest bit spooked by that?” Alex said.
“Why should I be? Those zombies are in way better spirits than the ones from the Underworld. And they can be satiated with beer. The ones at the office? Ugh. They’re supposed to have eaten before they come in, but if you even look the slightest bit intelligent, they’re salivating all over your desk. I had a guy suck the hair tie right off of my ponytail once.”
Alex shook his head in disbelief. “I’m hearing the words, but they don’t make sense.” He was silent for a beat and I glanced at him from the corner of my eye, his serious expression starting my giggles all over again. He gave me a dirty look. “Look, you’ve got to cut me some slack.”
I shot him a devious smirk. “And why’s that?”
“Come on. It’s ninety degrees in San Francisco, we processed a murder scene that was right out of a Wes Craven film, you were shish-kebabed by a hoarder, and suddenly, the streets are overrun with the thirsty dead.” He brushed the zombie-fist marks out of his shirt. “It’s perfectly normal that a guy would get a little unnerved.”
“Or that a guy could scream like a little girl.”
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: 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?
ORDER A COPY: Sealed With a Curse: A Weird Girls Novel
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: December 31, 2012
Paperback: 368 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird…
The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren’t aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders: are the vampires of Tahoe cursed with a plague?
Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha’s family to keep the region safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and oh yeah, not lose her heart to the wrong guy—or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, it’s coming for her and her sisters. This Wird girl has never had it so tough.
Cecy Robson’s debute novel, Sealed with a Curse, focuses on Celia Wird and her sisters, brutally nicknamed “the weird sisters” since school. The sisters were just plain old humans who were cursed at birth. But that curse became a gift…sort of. Celia can shift into a tiger. Just don’t get her too close to any other animal spirit, or she can end up shifting against her will. No new puppies for these sisters. Taran is the supersexy/badass sister who can harnesses the power of fire. Shayna can turn any metal into a blade and any wood into a weapon. (“Luke Skywalker could suck it. He had nothing on Shayna.”) Little sister, Emme, has the ability to heal her sisters. She can also use The Force…I mean, she can move things with her mind. Together these sisters are formidable, but they have been trying all their lives to stay under the supernatural radar, not wanting their odd presence known to be the weres, vampires and witches that live nearby.
That was going well for them until Taran had a date gone bad with a vampire and it took all four sisters to bring him down. They were then “requested” to show up to Vampire Court to be held accountable for their actions. When it was determined that the vampire was acting under bloodlust, they were excused with the Court’s apologize, but now it is too late. Nowadays they have supernatural stalkers hiding in their bushes trying to get a look at the weird sisters of Tahoe.
Now the very elegant, powerful and very rich Master Vampire, Sir Misha Aleksandr is fascinated by the lovely and spirited Celia and he wants her help to find out who is attacking his family. Of course, he would also do anything to get Celia into his bed.
While helping Misha hunt down infected vampires might not be every girl’s dream date, it does bring Celia face to face with the gorgeous, sex-on-a-stick Alpha werewolf, Aric Connor. Aric and his pack of werewolves believe themselves to be guardians of the earth and it is their duty to protect the humans from the bloodlusted vampires, not Celia’s. So Aric will do anything to keep Celia safe…and out of Misha’s bed.
Although Celia attempts to get these two powerful, supernatural alpha males to work together to protect the poor, unsuspecting humans who are being treated like blood-filled tic-tacs by the infected vampires, it seems Misha and Aric are more concerned about who gets to play patty cake with Celia.
With vampires and werewolves drawing battle lines in the sand, it is up to Celia and her sisters to find out who is behind the bloodlust, keep the locals safe…and to keep that wereraccooon out of their garbage. Dude, put on some pants!
This was an incredibly entertaining story. It had a great blend of humor, action and romance. It was written in a first person perspective, told by Celia, who is funny and quirky and it is delightful to be in her head. You can see why all the delicious supernatural hotties want a bite out of the charming Celia. This 20-something is not as popular with the boys as her sisters, due to her inner-tiger scaring them away, so she is uncomfortable with all the attention she is receiving, but not to the point it is awkward. She’s more baffled.
There is a prequel that I have to pick up which I am sure focuses on all the sisters.
I don’t know yet if this is a series or a trilogy, but it seems Book #2 (which comes out July 2nd) is also told by Celia. I can’t wait to see where that goes.
Although I don’t believe this is marketed at a young adult book, I will note that there are no sex scenes and only a few subtle sexual references such as “making my girly parts tingle”. It was delightful and entertaining without the full sexual assault that some books have. Maybe you could share this with your older teens (parent’s discretion).
Definitely pick this up if you like your paranormal with a twist of fun.
Received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
This is one of those stories with a little of great little scenes all throughout the book, so trying to pick one favorite was really hard.
“Have you done this before?”
Aric nodded. “Fairly frequently. Our young wolves like to roughhouse. Learning to realign bones prevents them from mending incorrectly, since our healing ability is so fast.” He shrugged. “Otherwise we’d have to re-break their bones every time they got hurt.”
I didn’t know Aric. Not really. But for some odd reason, I trusted him. “Okay. Whenever you’re ready.”
And that’s when Aric took of his shirt.
The soft fabric skimmed over perfectly golden skin and rock-hard abdominals tight enough to launch a brick into orbit. A whisper of hair traveled the length of his belly button to where his jeans hung low on his hips.
Aric stopped removing his shirt when he pulled it just above his small, erect nipples. This wasn’t real. This was some kind of Hollywood hottie video shoot on TV and all I wanted to do was hit pause.
“What’s wrong, Celia?”
I whipped around to face Mrs. Mancuso’s house, mortified to be actually gawking and possibly drooling.
I focused hard on Mancuso’s lawn jockey. It was forty freaking degrees and the breeze from the lake had picked up. I should have been cold, but Aric and his eight-pack warmed my core just fine and dandy. “Wha—what are you doing?” I managed to stammer, whereas my tigress insisted I should shut the hell up, turn back around, and enjoy the show.
Aric edged his way around to face me, removing and twisting his shirt around his neck with each step before fully slipping it on backwards to the clean side. “I have to hold you against me in order to adjust your shoulder. There’s blood all over the front of my shirt. I didn’t want to get any on you.” He explained.
“Thanks,” I said a little too high-pitched for my normally husky voice. “I appreciate that.”
Aric quirked a brow, but when he inhaled my scent his eyes widened with surprise. He was silent for several seconds before gesturing to my arm. “Are you sure you want me to do this?”
There were many, many things I wanted Aric to do, and none of them pertained to my busted shoulder. Yowza. I needed to take a cold shower, and possibly invest in electronic devices.
Right. I focused on the pain and hoped I wouldn’t go down like a wimp. I nodded and closed my eyes. “Go ahead.”
Aric’s strong arms wrapped me in a bear hug, his contact hard and gentle all at once. For the second time that night, his body heat encased me. My face fell against his muscular chest. My God, the aromatic blend of his scent mixed with musk from battle drove my tigress insane. Don’t purr. Don’t purr. Oh, Jesus, please don’t let me purr.
Aric’s voice tightened. “Your heart’s racing…”
Check out our interview with Cynthia Eden. We’ll be talking about her many, many, many new series out now and coming in 2013.
ORDER A COPY: The Better to Bite
Publishing Date: November 4, 2012
eBook: 300 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Don’t go into the woods.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Lambert knows that the woods near her new home aren’t safe. She’s seen the wolves that stalk through that dark forest, but Anna doesn’t scare easily.
Anna is cursed–or gifted, depending on how you look at it–with the ability to find anyone or anything that is lost. So when folks start disappearing in the small town of Haven, Anna’s father, the sheriff, has to use her special skills as they begin to hunt for a killer.
But the killer isn’t exactly human. As Anna is pulled deeper into the secrets of Haven–a town that is truly cursed–she finds herself falling for two, equally mysterious boys. With the danger closing in, one of those boys may just turn out to be her savior. And the other? He could be a very big, very bad…beast.
Beware of beasts…and boys…with bite
Anna Lambert and her father have just moved from Chicago to the small town of Haven, SC. Maybe she’s just not used to small towns, but it seems that there is something odd going on in Haven. And Anna knows all about being odd, or as her father calls her…different. Anna can always find things that are lost, whether it is lost keys, a lost earring, or even lost people.
When Anna goes to visit her father, the new local sheriff, she sees all the missing person’s fliers and she immediately knows where to find the “lost” people but none of them are coming home alive. They have all been the victims of animal attacks…more particularly, a wolf. Maybe even the same wolf that chased Anna herself through the forest.
Anna’s father forbids her from getting involved in the searches, and just wants her to get settled into her new school. That sounds simple enough, but being the new girl in town isn’t always easy. Aside from a few new friends, Anna isn’t the most popular girl in class, especially after she catches the attention of not only the hot football quarterback, and gorgeous, boy-next-door, Brent Peters, but also the sexy bad-boy, Rafe Channing.
But as more people go missing, Anna’s special abilities are needed to help find them before it’s too late. When discussions start turning to witches, magic and werewolves, Anna thinks she might just be been safer on the mean streets of Chicago.
This was a spellbinding tale of a young woman, first loves and paranormal mystery. A perfect example of great storytelling.
There was no hot werewolf sex in this book, barely so much as a kiss, but I didn’t miss it at all. There was so much going on and so many questions running through my head that I never felt the loss. I also realized that there were several questions left open once we got to the end. But even before I knew it was the first in a trilogy, I didn’t feel short-changed about the unanswered questions which would usually piss me off. Really, don’t get me started on Lost!!!
You knew that there were a lot of secrets in this little town, but you were never sure who was hiding a secret and if everyone was actually in on them but Anna.
Definitely pick up a copy for your favorite teen, as well as a copy for yourself. I am looking forward to getting some more answers in the upcoming books.
A long, mournful wail jerked my attention from the Trig book on the kitchen table. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t into Trig right then. I kept peeking out of the window and hoping to see some sign of my dad.
The howl had me rising and creeping once more to the window. I pulled backthe curtain and peered outside. I didn’t see anything.
I turned away.
Seconds later, something slammed into the front door, and I gasped.
Hard, heavy. The whole house seemed to shake with the impact.
Very, very slowly, I turned back around.
Once more, I looked outside, but I couldn’t see anything. From this angle, I wouldn’t be able to see what was on the other side of that door.
I crept toward the door and risked a fast glance out of the peephole.
I could hear a faint scratching. Like nails, digging into the wood.
I jumped back, then I turned and ran as fast as I could for the closet in my dad’s room.
I knew my dad. Knew how he thought. Knew where he hid his weapons. It took me about three seconds to shove a chair into his closet and climb up on it to find the back-up gun he’d tucked onto the top shelf.
Dad had taught me to use a gun, and I really was a very good shot. I loaded the bullets, climbed down, and carefully inched back toward the living room.
I heard the scratches instantly. Scratches and a low whine.
An animal in pain. Possibly dying. But weren’t those the most dangerous types of animals?
I didn’t open the door. “Get out of here!” I yelled, hoping my voice would scare the beast away. “Just get out of here!”
I didn’t hear the sound of fleeing feet, but I did hear…”Anna.”
My name, so soft, barely slipping past the locked door.
Not an animal. Oh, crap. I kept my hold on the gun and fumbled with the lock. I jerked and twisted and the door creaked open, but not too much. Just a few inches.
The porch light fell on his dark hair.
He was lying on his stomach, with his arms outstretched toward the door. He was naked, totally naked and blood gushed from wounds on his back.
I dropped to me knees. “What happened?” But I knew what those wounds were on his back. No way could I mistake gunshot wounds, not with my dad’s job.
He grabbed for my leg, and that was when I realized something was very, very wrong with is hands. Because he didn’t just have hands. Long, thick claws—actual freaking claws—burst from his fingertips. Claws like an animal would have. Not fingernails like a human would possess.
I stopped breathing.
His head lifted, and he looked up at me. His face…it was different, too. His cheeks were sharper, his jaw longer, his whole face thinner. And his eyes weren’t blue anymore. They were bright yellow. Glowing.
The wolf’s eyes.
”Help…me.” The voice wasn’t his. That hard, desperate grating seemed more like an animal’s growl than anything else.
His claws were wrapped around my knee. His eyes burned into mine. His blood dripped onto my porch.
I lifted my gun and pointed it right between his eyes. “What are you?” But I knew–I knew.
ORDER A COPY: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: February 22, 2011
Paperback: 371 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Northern Exposure Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.
For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.
If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated.
When Mo’s fiancé breaks off their engagement without even an attempt at an excuse, she knew she needed a change. Maybe going from Leeland, Mississippi to Grundy, Alaska seems like a long way to go just to get away from prying family members, but you haven’t met Mo’s hippie parents or sat through one of their lectures on the evils of processed sugar.
Grundy is like any other small town in the lower 48, just that it’s only one street long and summer means that you can strip down to only one layer.
She doesn’t even mind the black wolf with the striking blue/green eyes that is always hanging around her property, although she has no intentions to going out and petting him anytime soon.
Mo finds a job at The Blue Glacier Saloon, part restaurant/part bar/part general store and brings new life to the boring diner menu, earning her a place in many of the hearts of the Grundy residents. Especially the single men of Grundy, including very attractive U.S. Forestry Ranger, Alan Dahling.
In fact the only man Mo wants to avoid is that surly Cooper Graham. Even though her friend Evie says his good morning grunt is more conversation than Cooper has with most people, Mo is not interest in someone who sees her as only a temporary annoyance…if only she could get her hormones to agree. Stupid hormones!
Mo starts to wonder if she is suffering from a case of cabin fever when she starts to think that it’s more than coincidental that Cooper and her black wolf have the same blue/green eyes. That is until Cooper shows up on her doorstep quite naked, except for that bear trap on his ankle.
Everything is going well for Mo and her wolf, until hikers start disappearing and locals are being attacked by a wolf and Cooper admits that he can never remember what he does in wolf form. When the locals start pulling down their hunting rifles to go kill the wolf, Mo will do anything to protect her wolf, even from himself.
Although I don’t think it tops her Jane Jameson series, it is still a great story and very funny. I do think that Cooper is so surly and such a loner that he should have been a werebear and not a werewolf.
Mo leaving Mississippi to get away from her hippie parents is hysterical and very clever when you think how true it is that all those 60′s rebellious, free-love kids are now just your wacky parents with their weird ideals.
I am listening to this on audiobook. Molly Harper has such a great writing style and I get so into the story that I hate getting out of my car.
I would still say grab her Jane Jameson/Nice Girls series first but then start the Naked Werewolves series.
“Don’t mind Lynette,” Evie said, rolling her eyes. “She convinced herself a long time ago that she is always the hottest thing in the room, and she lives to prove it. It actually makes her a pretty great waitress. She knows how to go after the tips. But having every guy in the bar talk to you just to hear your accent must be annoying the hell out of her.”
“Is that why the kept asking me to say ‘ice?’” I asked, a little irritated. I’d worked for years to downplay my accent, a mix of my mother’s faint Texas twang and my classmates’ slow Delta drawl. I thought I had it down to where I only “got Southern” when I was upset. I grumbled, “Y’all sound Canadian to me, by the way.”
“Just enjoy it. It’s a little harmless flirting. You don’t have to worry about serious intentions until they start offering you meat.”
I arched my eyebrow. “Is that some sort of gross double entendre?”
Evie’s dark eyes twinkled. “No, actual meat. It’s sort of a tradition in Grundy, a macho provider thing. They want to show you that they can feather your nest, so to speak. It’s pretty Neanderthal of them but sweet at the same time. When a Grundy man offers you a rump roast, it’s the equivalent of asking you to go steady.”
“Wow,” I said. “And on that note, please excuse me.”
I hopped off the bar stool and was heading for the bathroom when my foot caught on an uneven floorboard and sent me pitching into the wall of a man standing behind me. It felt like my whole body burst into flame. My cheek tingled where it had brushed against his chest. I could feel the heat from his steadying hands searing through the sleeves of my shirt.
I exclaimed something like “Oof!” and looked up. It was the eyes that stunned me into silence—the same electric blue-green that had stared out at me from the woods the night before. I shook off the sleep-smeared memory and tried to smile politely.
“Mo, meet Cooper Graham. Cooper, this is my new friend, Mo,” Evie said in a bemused voice.
With a gulp, I swallowed the drool puddling in my mouth. You noticed the eyes right off the bat, wide and bottomless blue over sharp cheekbones, and a slim, long nose that had obviously been broken when he was young. His hair seemed both dark brown and black, not long enough for a ponytail but too long to keep under that faded maroon baseball cap he was wearing.
Cooper was exactly the type of guy I would have sex with before the first date back home. Dark, rough, athletic. Here I was faced with my own personal sexual kryptonite, and I’d abandoned my contraception.
Cooper offered me a brief view of brilliantly white teeth as he set me on my feet. He had the biggest hands I’d ever seen. I wondered how they would feel on my skin, whether his fingertips would touch if he had both hands on my hips. Whether he was that big everywhere—
I was snapped out of my subconscious ogling when Cooper looked at Evie. “Vacation?” he asked in a husky, no-nonsense tone.
Apparently, he wasn’t bothering to address me directly.
“New blood,” Evie said wryly, shaking her head. “Mo’s renting the Meyers place. With an option to buy.”
“I’ve heard that song before,” Cooper rumbled. His smile was sharp and not terribly friendly. He pressed his lips together and exhaled. With lips quirked, he told me, “Try Evie’s apple-raisin pie. It’s a life changer.”
My eyebrows shot up as he turned and walked toward the end of the counter without another word.
“Evie’s a disaster in the kitchen,” Pete explained to me, a conspiratorial note in his voice. “She stared a fire boiling eggs once.”
“But Cooper said to try her pie,” I whispered. Evie was too distracted with Buzz to pay either of us any attention. “He said it was a life changer.”
“Well being trapped on the can for a week probably would change your life,” Pete conceded. My jaw dropped, and I glared at Cooper. Well, that cinched it. He was an asshole. I was definitely going to end up sleeping with him.
ORDER A COPY: The Wolf Within
Publisher: Curtis Brown Digital
Publishing Date: November 15, 2012
Kindle eBook: 278 pages
Rating: 5 stars
FBI Special Agent Duncan McGuire spends his days–and his nights–tracking real-life monsters. Most humans aren’t aware of the vampires and werewolves that walk among them. They don’t realize the danger that they face, but Duncan knows about the horror that waits in the darkness. He hunts the monsters, and he protects the innocent. Duncan just never expects to become a monster. But after a brutal werewolf attack, Duncan begins to change…and soon he will be one of the very beasts that he has hunted.
Dr. Holly Young is supposed to help Duncan during his transition. It’s her job to keep him sane so that Duncan can continue working with the FBI’s Para Unit. But as Duncan’s beast grows stronger, the passion that she and Duncan have held carefully in check pushes to the surface. The desire that is raging between them could be a very dangerous thing…because Holly isn’t exactly human, not any longer.
As the monsters circle in, determined to take out all of the agents working at the Para Unit, Holly and Duncan will have to use their own supernatural strengths in order to survive. But as they give up more of their humanity and embrace the beasts within them both, they realize that the passion between them isn’t safe, it isn’t controllable, and their dark need may just be an obsession that could destroy them both.
FBI Special Agent Duncan McGuire is a member the paranormal unit of the FBI. He joined to take the killer weres and vamps off the street. Duncan’s family was killed by werewolves when he was just a child. He wants to do what he can to clean up the streets to make up for the loss of his family.
His most recent case leaves him trapped in an alley when a pack catches up to him. Unless you have the right DNA, a werewolf bite will be fatal. For a man who has hated the weres all his life, the fact that he has the right DNA might save his life, but it will turn him into one of the monsters he is trying to get off the street.
The last thing Duncan wants when he might turn into a monster is to be brought back to the FBI paranormal containment hospital to be checked out by Dr. Holly Young. Duncan has wanted the shy, reserved doctor since he first met her, and he knows that the wolf within will want her even more.
As the full moon approaches, if he can keep his sanity during the first change, he might just be able to be an asset to the Para Unit. Just in time since his superior strength and keen nose will be needed to sniff out the traitor in the FBI who is trying to undermine all the unit’s hard work to catch the more dangerous paranormals.
What an exciting story! It has the absolutely perfect blend of hot werewolf sexiness and intense FBI drama to keep your heart racing, but for very different reasons.
From the moment Duncan is brought into the Para unit, his wolf starts to emerge and when he gets close to Holly, the wolf starts taking over, and he wants one thing, Holly. So right from the start we have our sexy werewolf growling mine. *shiver*
Duncan has wanted to date Holly since he first saw her, but he was afraid he was too rough for her since she was so shy and standoffish around him. Holly has wanted Duncan too, but something happened to Holly a year ago, and now she’s not human anymore. She has been avoiding the gorgeous Duncan to avoid harming him with her new strength. So this was two people waiting for a chance to jump each other.
This is the first in the new Purgatory series, and I can see that it will be full of suspense and excitement. You knew that somebody was dirty, but it was impossible to figure out who you could trust. I spent the whole book going “I don’t trust him.—No, he’s okay.—No, no. I knew he was bad.—Alright, maybe it’s not him.—Hey, what’s that guy doing—Ugh! Who is it?” You just can’t trust anyone. They are all hiding some secret, but hiding something doesn’t make them evil.
We meet some interest subcharacters who I am sure will be the subject of other books in the series. Sadly, we will have to leave Duncan and Holly to their HEA and move on. I really liked these characters.
His hand flew to his face. His eyes were wide open, the gold even bolder in that blue gaze than it had been moments before. His lips were parted, and she could just see the edge of his lengthening canines.
Oh, hell. “Duncan?”
He jerked to a sitting position, snapping those straps that had been over his body in an instant, and he yanked her closer to him. His other hand rose and wrapped around her shoulder, effectively trapping her in place.
His brows lowered as he studied her, and his nostrils widened as if he were drinking in her scent.
“D-Duncan, you’re back at the med unit. I’m just checking you over to make sure—“
His head lowered toward her throat. Holly yelped, thinking he was going for her jugular, and she tried to push him back.
Only there was no pushing him.
Enhanced strength, definite check. It sure looked like Pate was right about the alpha coming out in Duncan.
He was right.
And I could be screwed.
Her nails sank into his shoulders. She didn’t want to hurt him. He’d been hurt enough. But…
He wasn’t biting her. Wasn’t sinking those new, wickedly sharp canines of his into her neck. He was—
Nuzzling her? What. The. Hell?
Holly was pretty sure that she’d just felt the lick of his tongue over her neck.
She shuddered against him. “Ah…Duncan…you need to let me go…I can help you…”
He was on the edge of the table now. He’d pulled her between his legs. Caged her so well. The heat from his body scorched her.
His right hand wasn’t on her shoulder any longer. It had just dropped to the curve of her ass.
“Duncan!” Her voice snapped at him.
His head lifted. Only the man she’d known wasn’t staring back at her from the gold/blue eyes. A hungry beast stared back at her. A beast who sure looked like he was ready for a bite.
Been there, done that.
That burning gaze seemed to consume her. “Want…” The word was an inhuman rasp, a beast’s growl.
“You…” Holly paused, wet her too dry lips and muttered, “need to let me go—“
Her mouth was still open when his lips crashed down on hers. Not gentle. Not even close. Desperate and rough and wild. His tongue thrust into her mouth. His hold tightened around her, and Duncan—
ORDER A COPY: Shadow’s Claim (Immortals After Dark: the Dacians)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: November 27, 2012
Paperback: 496 Pages
Rating: 5 stars
Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament—to the death.
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.
Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.
Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch.
Shadow Claim is the first book in a spinoff series of the very popular Immortal After Dark series which focuses on the Dacians and the Realm of Blood and Mist. Oddly though, in this first book Kresley Cole does not take us to the Realm of Blood and Mist, she takes us the Abaddon, the land of Death Demons, the Deathly Ones.
Prince Trehan Daciano, the Prince of Shadow, has followed the demon Caspion here. By law, otherlanders who come to Dacia can never leave. Thereby otherlanders cannot ever return with an army to take over their secret mountain lands. By leaving Dacia and returning to Abaddon, Caspion has sentenced himself to death at the hands of Trehan, the sword of the kingdom and the keeper of the law.
Once Trehan arrives in Abaddon and is awaiting his chance at his target, he is inexplicably drawn to a room in the castle spire. Vampires being a curious sort, Trehan goes to investigate what is drawing him about this room. There he finds the lovely Bettina Abaddon, half demon/half sorceri, and all drunk on demon brew. As Trehan approaches Bettina his heart begins to beat for the first time in almost 900 years. Bettina is his Bride. Now we know that a vampire becomes quite obsessed with his Bride and the very drunk Bettina and Trehan have quite the sensual tryst. Things are going very well until Trehan realizes Bettina thought he was Caspion come to bed her and save her from her fate.
The hand of the virginal Princess Bettina has been offered as the grand prize in a blood fight to the death, along with the crown of Abaddon. Bettina has long been in love with the handsome and charming Cas and hopes that he will agree to divest her of her virginity, thereby saving her the humiliation of being handed over as a prize. See as romantic as this gesture may seem, it is not just an attractive selection of studly demons who have entered the contest, most are homeless outcasts who have entered to win the crown and not the elfish looking Bettina. Her choices of suitors include an alligator shifter with scaly skin, Cerunnos (a snake like humanoid), an almost rabid lykae, and even a pus demon, and those are some of her better choices. She wants more than anything to spend her life with Cas.
As you can imagine, the very obsessive vampire does not like that his Bride is in love with another man and wants to give herself to him. Trehan has to choose between entering this contest and fighting to the death for right to have his Bride or returning to his home, for once he is seen by otherlanders he too is prohibited ever from returning to his secret home realm. As a trained killer and the enforcer of Dacia’s laws, Trehan has no doubt he will emerge the victor.
Trehan has learned one thing watching his cousin Lothaire and that is how to bargain to get what you want. As the contests begin, Trehan convinces Bettina to grant him a boon for each contestant he dispatches–lady’s choice. Bettina gives in to remove some of the more loathsome suitors. Trehan uses his boons to negotiate private time with Bettina so that he can seduce her heart from Cas. He had better work quickly since Cas too has entered the contest. If Trehan can’t win her heart before he has to kill Cas to win her hand, his Bride’s love might be lost to him forever.
This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. In a story that bounces between bloody fights to the death, and sensual encounters between Trehan and Bettina as Trehan tries to seduce her heart, you will not be able to decide which parts of this story are more exciting.
Trehan is a great hero–strong, thoughtful, protective and sexy.
Bettina starts the story off nearly being beaten to death by Vrekeners (who hate the evil scorceri) and she has her powers stolen by them. So she is very fearful for an immortal. Although she is half demon, she has none of their strengths or natural defenses. Scorceri have no more strengths than a human besides their powers and their immortality. Other than their magic, their eyesight is no better, they have no real strength for fighting, no claws or sharp teeth or other natural defenses. So once Bettina loses her power, she is like a human in an immortals world and absolutely afraid that the Vrekeners will find her again and finish the job. This brings us to why Bettina would agree to be the prize in this battle to the death. Her demon godfather and her scorceri godmother have indicated that they will kill the Vrekeners and return her power once she is married to the winner of the battle. They also believe the strongest winning warrior will give Bettina a sense of security that he can protect her and thereby alleviate her fears.
If Shadow Claim is an example of how much further Kresley Cole can take her Immortal After Dark series, then I say spin away to your heart’s content. I cannot wait to see where she will take us next.
Received an ARC from the author. Thank you!
All she could think over and over: That vampire was in my bed, touching me as no other had before.
As he closed the distance, she felt increasingly weak and breathless, as if a flash-fever had taken hold.
How could merely looking at someone make her react physically? One word arose in her consciousness. Daliz. In Demonish, it meant lightning—in addition to another quaint, old-timey meaning.
“Who is that gorgeous male?” Morgana asked.
Bettina had never heard her sound so interested in a stranger.
The vampire wasn’t gorgeous to Bettina, but he was…striking.
“Oh, my gold, is he a Forbearer?” Morgana asked.
With his clear eyes, Daciano looked like one. No one would ever guess he was from the fabled Realm of Blood and Mist.
Once he neared the lower grandstand, Bettina subtly shook her head, warning him away, but he didn’t break his stride.
Earlier when Caspion had approached the sign-in table, the crowd had cheered for one of their own. As the vampire approached, everyone grew silent.
Crickets. A dog barked in the distance. A demon cub gave a cry.
“Your name?” Raum asked in puzzlement.
“I’m called the Prince of Shadow,” Daciano answered in that resonating voice.
“Where do you hail from? What is your standard?”
“I hail from nowhere you know.” The vampire retrieved a beautiful antique-looking banner of red and gray from his coat, handing it to Raum. “This is my standard. I enter for the hand of Bettina.”
He can’t lie? Then he’s not here just to kill Cas? He wants to marry me? She just stopped herself from fanning her face.
Why can’t I catch my breath?
Her godfather cast him a studying glance. Raum couldn’t bar the vampire entrance, but surely he would demand more information.
Instead Raum examined the standard, returned it, then offered Daciano the blade and quill. “Well then, Prince of Nowhere. Sign your name.”
Still holding her gaze, the vampire dragged the blade across his palm, never looking down at the contract, never taking his penetrating eyes off her.
Bettina could tell Morgana was glancing from the vampire to her and back, but didn’t acknowledge her godmother’s curiosity.
Once Daciano’s entry was complete, Raum announced, “The lists are filled! The tournament has officially begun.”
Cheering sounded from the spectators before Raum quieted them once more. “Now, on the first night of the tournament, we will have a melee, All competitors will go in unarmed, race to reach strategically placed weapons, then kill at will.”
“Oh, I’ve always enjoyed a spirited melee!” Morgana said, as if she were talking about a potato-sack race. Then she glanced past Bettina, her eyes gleaming with approval—no doubt ogling the vampire.
When Betting refused to look at him, Morgana tapped her chin with a metal claw. “You don’t appear to be an afterthought with that one, dearest freakling. You appear to be the only thought.
Bettina’s gaze darted to Daciano. His overall demeanor was bored. But she could see his cunning gaze taking in his enemies. She suspected she was about to witness the lethality she’d only sensed before.
Would he target Cas immediately?
Turning to Bettina, Morgana said, “I believe the Prince of Shadow is particularly motivated. He looks like his heart is in this. His beating heart.”