Friday Giveaway – Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall

books

Happy Friday! I just finished back to back the Larissa Ione’s MoonBound Clan Vampire series which I really enjoyed. I know where my TBR list is telling me to go next, but I’m not sure I want to read that right now.   *Grrrr*   Sometimes its so hard to decide what to read next.  Maybe I’ll treat myself to something offlist.

Have you ever had trouble moving on to the next book or choosing what to read next?

This week’s giveaway is a copy of Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall. I love her Immortal Guardians series and this book was delightful.   :)

Giveaway ends Thursday, September 11, 2014. Open to U.S. Residents, 18 years and older.


For centuries, Lisette d’Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can’t bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians’ command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for–and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.

Zach is an exile, a loner. He won’t defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he’ll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?


Bound by Night by Larissa Ione


ORDER A COPY: Bound by Night (Moonbound Clan Vampires)

Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: September 24, 2013
Paperback: 392 pages

Rating: 4 stars


A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE

A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.


Once Nicole Martin believed in a fantasy world where the family’s vampire servants enjoyed serving her family. She once believed that her family took care of these vampires who would have lived like animals without her family’s care. She also believed that these vampires would never, ever hurt them. At least she did until the day the vampire slaves at her family’s home rebelled and murdered her parents, and tried to drain her of her blood.

Twenty year later, Nicole has been told she must step into her father’s role and become the new CEO of Daedalus, the largest researcher and supplier of vampire slaves. She has spent her time learning vampire physiology and helping to create cures for human health issues based upon what she learns from her research. She doesn’t wish to become CEO, she would rather remain in her lab and leave the running of the company to her half brother, Charles, but her father’s Will decrees that his legitimate daughter step up and take the reins of the company.

After the night of her attack, Nicole holds no love for the vampires but she would never intentionally harm a living creature. When the vampires in her lab were executed, on a directive signed by Nicole, she knows that someone is setting her up to take a fall, but she doesn’t know who. Before she is able to figure out who is behind the executions, one of her worst nightmares shows up at her front door. Twenty years prior Nicole watched the vampire Riker kill his mate and their unborn child and there was nothing Nicole could do to stop him.

Now Riker has kidnapped Nicole to use as leverage to get Daedalus to return to them a female vampire taken by poachers. This female is a midwife and she belongs to the rival clan, ShadowSpawn. Vampires have a very low birth rate and high mortality rate for their women and children and the MoonBound clan borrowed Neriya’s services. A midwife of Neriya’s talent is very valuable and ShadowSpawn is blaming her loss on MoonBound. If they don’t return her by the full moon there will be a war between the clans.

While under the “care” of MoonBound, Nicole is learning first hand that everything she has ever been told about the vampires is wrong. It is hard to swallow that the vampires that humans have been enslaving all this time aren’t the beasts she was led to believe and knowing that her family and their company has done these people the most wrong is weighing heavily on her soul.   Can she now work against her family’s company to help MoonBound retrieve Neriya before ShadowSpan declares war, and if she does, will anyone trust the help coming from their former enemy?

THOUGHTS:
It took me awhile to get into this story because of the world building. I misinterpreted some of the information on the book jacket. I thought the uprising of the vampires slaves caused the vampires to now be in charge of the world. That is not correct. As a leg up, here is some information: (1) the vampire uprising was not universal. It was only at Nicole’s house and the vampires only killed her parents and their party guests. (2) We never really find out how Nicole survives the attack. (3) Vampires are still used as slaves.  (4) Wild Vampires still survive in clans are in hiding from the human hunters and poachers. (5) Daedalus sells vampire slaves but also buys wild vampires for experimenting on as well as black market purchases for unauthorized experiments.

Once my brain caught up with all of the nuances of this world building, I really got into the story and I liked all the characters introduced along with the main characters of Nicole and Riker.   I liked that Nicole accepted and acknowledged that her family has done wrong  by the vampires and she immediately steps up to do what she can to make things right.  She doesn’t try to defend their actions.  She’s all “what can I do now to make things right.”

I will say that after 20 years of each blaming the other for Riker’s mate’s death, they seem to have had a reasonable discussion about the day of her death and got over their hatred of each other kind of quickly.   This isn’t like the day my husband and I were arguing and the call dropped and we each thought the other was an ass for hanging up.   This was 20 years of “you killed her” and it ends quietly with a “sorry I misunderstood.”  Terese’s ghost does play into the story as a wedge between Nicole and Riker since Nicole’s family holding her as a slave was one of the reasons for her death and Riker feeling guilty for having feelings for Nicole after everything that happened to Terese. (BTW – That is a figurative ghost, but a literal ghost although this is a paranormal.)

You do need have suspend your disbelief a bit to enjoy the series since there are a few issues that at least didn’t make sense to me.  First of all, the vampires clans are threatening war with each other.  Since they are in hiding from humans and the poachers and hunters are always stalking them, it seems stupid to have an all out war–literally outside where all the humans will see them and hear them fighting.  If anyone is left alive after the fight, the humans will have followed all the noise and be standing by ready to grab survivors.   Secondly, each group seems to have created their own underground catacomb system.  While ShadowSpan sleeps on furs on dirty floors and somehow manages to create cells for prisoners, MoonBound has embraced a more modern lifestyle including hardwood flooring, comfy furniture, big screen TVs and laptops??  I don’t get great WiFi out on my back deck, vampires in hiding in caves have cable?   Hunter paused a news conference so unless vampires are stuck with VHS, that means they have DVRs too?  Couldn’t the human just follow the cable connection to their lair  or notice a satellite dish out in the middle of the woods?    Hey, sometimes you just have to roll with it.

I am happy that I have a copy of Chained by Night, which is Book 2, or I would hate the cliffhangerish ending especially since it appears Larissa Ione will only be writing one of these a year.  (UPDATE:  Finished Chained by Night and it’s awesome!)

I felt really bad for Riker’s friend Myne. He’s a huge, tough natural-born vampire. He had been captured and kept as a slave at some point in his life and luckily for him, he was not among the male slaves who are normally castrated, but unluckily for him he was defanged. He now had titanium fangs which is great for warfare, but not so much on the monthly feeding from the females. Understandably his dance card is not full since his bite will hurt–badly.  (I do have a problem with the male/female feeding issue, if you had a chance to read my Black Dagger Brotherhood post.) But at least in this case, the females need to feed on the new moon and the males need to feed on the full moon. Since there isn’t exactly an even ratio of males to females, no one dies if they don’t feed and get their sexual needs met, but it does make for some post-moon cranky vampires. So back to Myne, at one point he is left to look after Nicole for awhile when Riker needs to leave the compound, and poor, lonely Myne realizes how perfect Nicole would be for him as a mate because she is brave, smart, beautiful and caring of others but since its “Bros over Hoes” in vampireworld, he would never make a move on Riker’s woman. It made me sad that this big guy is so lonely and that even if Riker doesn’t claim her as a mate, Myne would never pursue her himself, no matter how much he likes her, out of respect for his friend. :(

I hope Myne gets a book next, but that will be at least a year away. :( :(

It was a slow start but overall a good story and very interesting secondary characters who are introduced and I am looking forward to starting Book 2.

This was my first Larissa Ione story.  I know — WTF? right.   I guess I will have to look into an audiobook catchup of her Demonica series.

Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

This was an interesting scene between Nicole and one of the vampire women after she is taken to the compound and allowed to help out in the lab.

“Whatcha doing’?”

Nicole jumped at the sound of the scary Katina chick’s voice right behind her. “It would be helpful if you guys would stomp your feet when you walk,” Nicole muttered.

“But then we couldn’t scare you.” Katina eased next to her. “What’s in that vial?”

Nicole followed Katina’s gaze. “The green one? That’s Kool-Aid. Lime, I think.”

“Why?”

“You’ll have to ask Dr. Frankenstein.”

Katina laughed, a deep melodic sound that was as beautiful as she herself was. “I dare you to call Grant that to his face.”

“I already did.” She sighed.

“What did he do?”

“He called me dinner a la O-Positive.”

Katina laughed again. “Pretty cool how he can determine your blood type by smell, huh? Most of us can’t do that.”

“Cool is not the word I’d use,” Nicole said as she pulled a tray of vials close, “but we’ll go with it.”

Katina flipped her thick black braid over her shoulder. The vampire had fabulous hair. “did you know each type tastes different?”

“No, I didn’t.” Nicole squeezed a dropper full of liquid from one of the vials onto a microscope slide.

“It’s true. You Os are lame. Too metallic-tasting. My favorite is B-positive. There’s a spicy aftertaste I love.” She frowned. “It’s so rare, though.”

“You need to be eating Asian people.” Nicole checked on Grant’s whereabouts—far across the room, thank God. “Asians have the highest percentage of B-positive blood.”

“Really?”

Nicole’s stomach turned when she realized she had just offered an entire ethnic group of people on a platter. She might as well draw up a menu for all the blood types and people who shared them and distribute menus to vampires who wanted to know how to find their favorite flavors.

“Um…can you pretend I didn’t say that?”

“Nope. I’m so taking a trip to Chinatown tomorrow.” Katina playfully slugged Nicole in the shoulder, and it was all Nicole could do to keep from rubbing her arm and crying like a baby. “You know, I’m glad we didn’t eat you that first day. I think I’ll ask Hunter if we can keep you.”

Keep her. Like a stray dog or a captured wild bird…or a vampire slave. With every passing hour, Nicole became more and more ashamed of her race.

“How do you know so much about blood, anyway?” Katina asked.

“My specialty is vampire physiology,” she said, happy to talk about something she actually enjoyed. “To know how vampires work, I need to know how humans work. Vampires are dependent on humans to live, which means I need to know everything I can about blood and how it affects vampires. Blood type can play a huge role in everything from the vampire origins to how vampires breed, mature, get diseases…The possibilities are endless, especially when we apply what we’ve learned about vampires to human medicine. It’s fascinating. I even discovered a way to use the vampire rac1b2 protein to cure ovarian cancer in humans.”

Silence.

Nicole took a deep breath. “Aaaand…I’ve just reminded you why I’m here and why you hate me, haven’t I?”

“Yup.”

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh


ORDER A COPY: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss Book 1)

Publisher: TKA Distribution
Publishing Date: September 9, 2014
Paperback: 356 pages

Rating: 5 stars


A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…


Zachery Fox knows he isn’t leaving the party without Molly Webster. Watching her smile at her sister with such open pleasure is stirring something in Fox. He has never met anyone as real and as beautiful as Molly and he wants her in his life. He’ll even pretend to agree to a one month affair to spend time with this very private and skittish woman, but he has no intention of walking away from her. He has a month to convince Molly that what they have together is too important to walk away from and it is certainly worth the inconvenience of living with him in the spotlight.

Fox just doesn’t know that Molly has already been forced into the spotlight and will do anything to avoid ever catching the media’s attention again. When she was 15, her politician father was caught with a 15 year old classmate of Molly’s. The media and their mudslinging wasn’t the only evil that Molly faced. She was tormented ruthlessly by her classmates and only her friend Charlotte stood by her side. Now Molly only wants to live quietly and have an ordinary life.  As the month progresses, her feelings for Fox only grow stronger and her pain increases. She doesn’t want to lose him and the idea of him with another woman is breaking her heart.   She is unaware that Fox has no intention of walking away from her.

When the times arrives for Schoolboy Choir to hit the road, will Molly have the strength needed to hold onto Fox and live in the limelight or will she allow the man who holds her heart to walk away so she can live a quiet, ordinary life?

THOUGHTS:
I really loved these characters!   Nalini Singh writes such passionate characters and now I can finally share her writing with my non-paranormal loving friends.  There is a lot of sex in this story especially since they leave a party together in Chapter 1 and are having what is supposed to be a one-night stand before the end of Chapter 2. Yet it isn’t graphical described sex. I didn’t feel it was really New Adult but I didn’t think it makes it all the way to erotic romance. There was no bondage, no spankings, etc. It was just a rock star stripping down his lover/girlfriend as often as he could.

This story focused most on the two them and their budding relationship, sharing stories of their past and hopes for the future.   Fox is a well-known star and every time they tried to go out on a date, they risked being seen by paparazzi and that was exactly what Molly wanted to avoid. You feel bad for Molly since she was so traumatized by the media, but some of her pain is that she is falling for Fox and she thinks their affair will be ending, while we know that Fox plans to keep her with him.

These characters blend well together and heal each other.  Molly was a broken child from her father’s neglect and her mother’s alcoholism, both due to her father’s obsession with young women.  Fox was a broken child because he was abandoned by his mother to the care of his grandparents after she got pregnant by a one-night stand when she was a teen.  Molly fears the media attention and as well as the constant attention Fox receives from female fans and Fox fears her abandoning him.   We see their bond strengthen over the length of the story until they become a strong couple.

The story is broken up into two parts. The first being their month long affair, and the second part where Molly agrees to give their relationship a chance to survive in the spotlight.

The only thing I don’t feel was adequately explained is why Fox was so focused on her from the start.   We know that Molly’s half-sister Thea is the promoter for the band, and we know that Fox saw a picture of Molly on Thea’s desk, but I was waiting for some statement about how Thea would tell them stories of Molly or about how sweet and loving she was, but there was no revelation. I could understand how Fox could fall for Molly while they were together for the month, but he was determined to keep her from the first night even while watching her across the room. I never felt satisfied why he was so insistent.

One big ding to the story, which I just ranted about, was the virgin on the pill story line.  I really want to take a survey of how many women are taking a daily birth control pill who are not sexually active so they can avoid a couple days of cramps.

I have been dancing with anticipation for the next stories almost from the first few chapters.    I am almost disappointed that the next story is Molly’s sister Thea and drummer, David.   David  is mooning over Molly’s sister Thea who won’t date a client.   It’s not that I don’t want to see how that goes, but I really, really, really want to know what happens with Molly’s BFF, Charlotte, and her new boss who she refers to as “T-Rex.” Charlotte also has deep dark secret which we haven’t found out about yet that effects how she interacts with men. In fact, it seems all the characters have some kind of deep dark secret which has molded their character.  I also anticipate a story between band member, Noah, and Kathleen, Fox’s actress friend.

Nalini Singh knows how to write great secondary characters in such a way to get you as excited for the next story as you are for the one you are currently reading.

According to Nalini Singh’s website, Rock Courtship (Thea and David’s story) is slated for release September 30th.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

Patience wasn’t Fox’s strong suit and he’d almost killed himself with it tonight. Then he’d just about killed David for getting close to her while he kept his distance. Now, finally, he was alone with Molly and all he wanted to do was mess up her hair, kiss her until her lips were swollen and wet.

Then he wanted to do it again. And again.

Fighting the gut-wrenching need that threatened to turn him inside out, he forced himself to lean back lazily against the elevator wall. “You’re Molly.” It came out a rough purr.

Her eyes widened, fingers curling into her palm. “Yes.”

He wanted those fingers on him—any part of him. “Would you mind giving me a ride?”

A large percentage of the women at the party would’ve taken that as the invitation it was and been all over him in one second flat. Molly, however, took a tiny step back. “Don’t you have a driver?”

Abdomen tight, he continued to keep his tone playful, easy, though he was feeling close to feral. “I gave him the night off.”

“A taxi?”

If she took another step back, Fox wasn’t sure he’d be able to restrain his need to put his hands all over her sweetly feminine flesh, taste her with his mouth. “I don’t know the address I’m going to.”

The elevator dinged at that moment, and he waited as Molly stepped out into the parking garage before following. The skin at her nape looked like cream; he wanted to lick it up, close his hands over her breasts from behind as he did so, press his rigid cock up against her. Yeah, he wasn’t in a patient mood.

“Oh?” It was a husky question. “If you don’t know the address, how do you plan on getting there?”

Unable to resist any longer, he bent to the soft, subtle, maddening scent of her and whispered, “That’s why I need a ride, Molly,” his lip ring brushing the shell of her ear. “I don’t know where you live.”

She dropped her keys.

Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton


ORDER A COPY: Screwdrivered (The Cocktail Series)

Publisher: Galley Books
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 245 pages

Rating: 4 stars


Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?

By day, Viv Franklin designs software programs. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian.

Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian


Vivian Franklin’s life has taken an adventurous turn. She was stuck at a crossroads between her software design company and her inner artist until she received a 1:30 a.m. call from a California attorney. Her aunt passed away and left her beach house in Mendocino, California to Viv. Viv is certain she is going to California to determine what to do with the house, until she arrives and sees the majestic house and the beautiful views, including that of the half-naked cowboy who takes care of the horses and chickens on the property.  Viv realizes that maybe it is time for a change of scenery.

Now Vivian seems to think that her life is turning into one of those bodice-ripping romance novels that she’s so addicted to. A destined inheritance and a trip across the country, a gorgeous, moody cowboy playing hard to get, and a villain in the shape of the local librarian and historian who is determined to keep Vivian from making all the changes that she wants to the house. Okay, maybe villain is a little harsh a description for geeky Clark Barrow. He does rock those elbow patches. But her roof is leaking and the front porch is collapsing literally under her feet and Clark wants to fight with her about materials and historical trim and the local artist who created her balustrades — which is falling apart in her hand.

Except an interesting thing happened during a telephone figh–discussion one night with Clark, it seems Nighttime Clark can be funny, sexy and slightly naughty. While Daytime Clark is a pain in the ass, Nighttime Clark makes Vivian want a take a bite out of his ass. But that leaves her with a new problem, is her romantic hero in her real-life romance supposed to be the aloof Cowboy or the geeky librarian?

THOUGHTS:
Alice Clayton gives us another hysterically sexy and delightful story. We met Vivian briefly in Rusty Nailed and she showed us that she what an outrageous and quirky character she was going to be. Clark was the perfect sexy-geek, straight-laced  and romantic.  So honestly no one from her friends to the readers can understand why she was putting any effort into hot cowboy Hank. Hank is a picture perfect hottie. The kind you would put on your computer screensaver, but as soon as words came out of his mouth, I was so over him and couldn’t understand why Vivian continued to drool over him. Okay, I could understand the drooling, but other than being pretty to look at, Hank did nothing for me but bother me that he was distracting Vivian from Clark.

I am sure you are wondering why I gave my beloved author Alice Clayton only 4 stars for Screwdrivered. It is because she introduced great characters and a hysterical concept of Viv flaking into her romance novel narratives and the creepy dolls always ‘watching,’ but then she waste precious pages (it was only a 240 page story) on Vivian chasing Hank who was such a flat bore to Vivian’s vivacious character that it just didn’t even make sense for her to continuing chasing him. Vivian was intelligent and witty and Hank, like I said, pretty to look at but once he opened his mouth, nothing.  He was a dumbass.   Obviously that is what she was going for in her writing, but I hated wasting my time with him.

Nighttime Clark was all that we have come to expect from an Alice Clayton hero, and phone calls between them might not have hit the phone sex level of Grace and Jack but they had the potential.

When you read the book information saying “cowboy or librarian” you expect two equal love-interest characters and that was simply not the case. I can’t imagine there is anyone who will read this story and be Team Hank.  The Viv/Hank time waste what could have been more interesting Viv/Clark time and it just detracted from the overall story.

In fact, they only time we see Hank acknowledge Vivian at all  is whenever she is standing close to Clark and Hank intrudes in their conversations so Clark can see that Vivian is hot for Hank. I thought we would find out that Clark and Hank had a history from high school, since they were both locals, where Hank was always taking the girl Clark was interested in.  The old brains vs muscles scenario.  But there really was no explanation as to why it was only when Clark was around that Hank made any attempt to converse with Vivian other than Yes, No and Hay. Yes, I mean “hay.”

The parts of the story revolving around Clark and Vivian were awesome. Those parts involving Vivian and Hank were just annoying and made me lose respect for Vivian.  Other than my complete dislike of Hank and time wasted on Hank, the rest of the story was delightful, flirty and funny as I have come to expect from Alice Clayton.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

Vivian gets stuck when her leg goes through the porch boards and called Clark for help.

“Pardon me, I need to get a little closer here. I just—Ah, yes, I can see it there.” Clark had leaned across me, one arm on either side of me as he peered through the broken board to the ground below. His head was almost flush with the floor. And flush with what else was on the floor. Flush with my—-Oh my. I unexpectedly felt his breath on my bare thighs. I was dressed in running shorts that left little to the imagination, and my imagination was bombarding my senses with the most inappropriate images.

All I could think about was if he just moved about three inches to the left, he could probably get me off with is jaw alone. And how in the world had I never noticed that it was so very strong, so very chiseled, so very lightly covered with Sunday-evening stubble? Stubble that could so every easily drag back and forth across the inside of my legs, up and down, and right and left, and then up, up and away to my—

“I’m going to have to do down,” he said, and it took all the strength I had not to bury my hand in that flippy soft brown hair and take him at his word.

“Sorry?” I asked, panting. I was panting,for Chris’s sake! Over a librarian?

Mmmm, over a librarian…

“I have to go down beneath the porch. Believe me, I’m not looking forward to it. Who knows what’s under there?” he said, turning toward me. All I could see was bandage, and the bruises that were fading from purple to yellow around the edges, and the spell was broken.

Still breathing a little heavy, I warned him to watch out for dolls. And watched as he hurried down the steps, around the side of the house, and began removing the lattice work cover on the side of the porch with the utmost care.

What the hell! Lusting after a librarian, when there was a cowboy on the loose? It was clear that lusting after Hank had addled my brains. I was seeing things, imagining things, getting hot over the slightest touch, even from a guy like Clark.

The wind blew more forcefully across the porch, and I shivered. What the hell was taking so long?

“Hey! You want to put a little hustle on over there?” I finally called out, when the third piece of lattice was placed carefully onto the porch.

His head popped up over the edge. “Do you have any idea how old this is?”

“Do you have any idea how much it’s going to suck if you’re caught underneath there in the rain?”

He looked at the sky, getting darker by the minute. “Point taken.” He pried off the last of the lattice, then disappeared.

I could hear scrambling coming from beneath me, and then I could feel the ground shifting a little under my stuck foot.

“Vivian? It’s just me. Don’t be alarmed.”

“No kidding, Clark. Who else would it be?”

“Well pardon me all over the place. I was just concerned that if you were surprised, your first instinct would be to kick. So let’s see what we can do about getting this free.”

Then he put his hands on my leg. Wrapped his hands around my ankle, turning it slightly. “Okay, it’s wedged into a cement block, but I think I can get it loose. Bear with me a moment, Vivian.”

“It’s Viv. And be careful, huh?” I called down.

“Impossible woman,” he muttered. His hands traveled a little farther up my leg, inside, and then around the back of my knee. And then I felt…well, it felt like…

“Clark! Did you just lick–“

“No!” he yelled, wrenching my foot free at that exact moment and pushing it up through the porch. I fell backward, my leg pulling clear of the wood and my heart pounding. I saw him crawl out from beneath the porch, dust himself off, and walk toward me.

I pointed at him. “You licked my leg.”

“I did nothing of the kind,” he said. But the tips of his ears were red.

Friday Feature and Follow w Parajunkee & Alison Can Read

We’re playing in the sandbox again with other little blogger friends today. If you haven’t signed up to follow our blog (sign up is somewhere to your right on your screen), we have also signed up on Bloglovin. So if it easier for you to get a mass blog email rather than individual posts, add us to your Bloglovin listing. :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The idea is to introduce yourself to new blogger friends and followers.

So this weeks question is:

Tell us about a book character you’d trade places with.

Dallasss

If I could trade places with one character it would be Lt. Eve Dallas! Her childhood was ugly and brutal, but there is no doubt that Lt. It’s 2060 and Eve Dallas is top cop in New York City and has earned the love of respect of the entire NYPSD as well as her partner, Det. Delia Peabody, and former partner and trainer Capt. Ryan Feeney.

And you know most of us would suffer just about anything to be married to Roarke – “created by the Gods on their best day” gorgeous, uber-rich and a big softie for our tough cop. An internet search showed that most people posting agree with me that Hugh Jackman is the man to play Roarke. Yeah baby!

Hugh as Roarke

Friday Giveaway – Wanted: Wild Thing by Jessica Sims

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Our Winner – Brenda


Is anyone else as happy as I am that school is back? I know some schools have started already, but we go back next week. I love the summer but it’s no longer as relaxing as when I was the kid who had two months’ of vacation. :( We spent the summer going from house to house, from one kid’s pool to the next and back to our own. Now, it’s expensive summer camp or begging relatives to watch your kids for the day. Back to school with you! I’m such a mean old mom.

It’s the last big weekend of the summer so I don’t make this giveaway too taxing. Just stick your hand in the air, say Hi or leave your email information, whatever you like.

I’m giving away my gently used review copy of Wanted: Wild Thing by Jessica Sims. It was a fun and interesting paranormal romance. I think the paranormal dating agency theme leads to many interesting story plots.

Giveaway ends Thursday, Sept. 4th. Open to U.S. Residents only. 18 years and older please.


Ryder is hiding a dark secret from her coworkers at Midnight Liaisons. Every time she’s sexually attracted to a man, her dragon side breaks through. Not exactly man-bait! But she needs to lose her virginity before her twenty-fifth birthday, or she’ll become a dragon forever.

Her solution? Big, hunky Hugh, the appointed guardian of her chastity. He’s clearly hot for her, but he has powerful reasons to resist Ryder. Can temptation—and love—possibly find a way?

Festive in Death by J.D. Robb


ORDER A COPY: Festive in Death

Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Hardcover: 400 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.


This year Eve and Roarke are celebrating the holidays as they do each year with a party, good friends and murder.

Trina and her friend Sima are going to play a prank on Sima’s ex. The dirty bastard used her to pay his rent and his bills for months before he tossed her out for a new bimbo. But they’re just a little too late. Someone has already given Trey Zeigler his Christmas present early, a knife to the chest and a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Trey Zeigler was an award-winning personal trainer. He was also a user, a blackmailer and a rapist. Eve would rather have put Trey in a cage, but since he’s on his way to the morgue, it is up to Eve to figure out who killed him. Unfortunately, the list of suspects includes his award competition for this year, all the woman Trey used or raped and their respective boyfriends and/or husbands.

With barely any time to holiday shop between interviews, Eve makes a deal with the devil, or some people call him Summerset. If he wraps her presents, she’ll help with the party preparation. Maybe she’ll get lucky and catch her killer and be too busy with interviews to help. It’s a long shot, but a cop can hope.

In between sifting through the life of the dirtbag known as Trey, and avoiding getting vomited on by Drunk Santa, Eve is trying to make time for just her and Roarke to enjoy the holidays and the life that they have created for each other.

THOUGHTS:
I can’t rate an In Death book at less the 5 stars. Even a bad In Death book is better than most books out there. I love the characters that she has developed and how they have grown and bonded over the years.

This story had nice balance between the investigation and the personal. As we know, after 39 books, there are some stories more focused on either the murder or Eve’s personal life. I generally enjoy the personal in these stories more than the investigation and this was no exception. We have the big holiday party which brings together people who we haven’t seen in a while like Louise and Charles. We also have a few touching moments with Peabody and even Summerset. The relationship between Eve and Roarke continues to expand and bond them closer.

The murder of Trey Zeigler wasn’t the most exciting story she has written, but with so many suspects it did keep you guessing throughout the entire story.

I am looking forward to Book #40 which comes out in February. It sounds like she is going all out for the next chapter as we step into 2061.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

“So I can open it now? I love when I can open it now. The paper’s so pretty.”

She picked at it delicately, carefully breaking seals.

“Jesus, Peabody, rip the damn thing open. I don’t have all night.”

“I can use it again. I haven’t wrapped everything yet.”

She slid the box free, carefully folded the paper, preserved the ribbon and bow. And finally opened the box.

“Oh!” She pulled out the gift, stared at it, eyes and mouth wide. “It’s a magic coat. It’s my own magic coat. It’s pink! It’s a pink magic coat. Holy shit! Holy pink magic shit, Dallas.”

“The pink was Roarke’s doing. You can’t hang that on me. I said brown.”

“I have to sit down. No, I have to try it on, then I have to sit down. Holy shit, you got me a pink magic coat.”

“Don’t blubber! Why is there so much blubbering today?”

“Thank God I used all waterproof, sweatproof, smudge-proof face enhancers, because I’m going to blubber. Dallas, wow. Just wow, it’s leather. It’s pink leather.”

“The pink’s not on me. Ever.”

“Holy, holy, holy shit. I can’t stop saying it.” She swung the coat on over the frothy dress. It looked silly with it, Eve thought, the military style of it over the party dress. But apparently Peabody didn’t think so. She twirled in it so the knee-length pink leather billowed and swirled.

“Oh my God, it’s beyond. Just beyond. It feels like leather. It is leather. It has pockets and pretty buttons. And it’s magic and it’s pink.”

“I can’t go around wearing coats with internal body armor when my partner’s not.”

Peabody stopped twirling. She didn’t blubber, but a couple tears trickled down. “It means so much to me, that you’d have it made for me. For my safety. That all by itself means everything. But the rest? It didn’t have to be leather, it didn’t have to be pink. But you did that because you knew it would make me happy.”

“You get stunned or stuck or blasted, it’s pretty damned inconvenient for me.” On Peabody’s water laugh, Eve sighed. “You’re…family. That’s it.”

Peabody grabbed her, squeezed. “Okay, okay.” Eve tapped her on the back. “Okay, okay.”

“I love you. People don’t say that to people enough, so I’m saying it. I really love you, and I’m going to let go in a second because I know it weirds you. But thanks. Thank you so much.”

“Okay.”

“I have to go thank Roarke.” Peabody pulled back. “And show McNab. Then I need to put it away safe. Is there someplace I can put it?”

“Give it to Summerset. He’ll stow it.”

“Right. Oh, wow. Just wow. I’m thanking you again right now by not hugging you again and kissing you on the lips.”

“And I’m saying you’re welcome by not putting my boot up your ass.”

Spotlight: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan


TheHookUp

Title: The Hook Up

Author: Kristen Callihan

Release Date: September 8, 2014

Genre: New Adult


Enter the publisher’s Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a Gift Card or copies of The Hook Up.


Summary

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she’s shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It’s a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on


TheHookUpTeaser
Excerpt

My mother once told me that the most important moment in my life wouldn’t be when I won the National Championship or even the Super Bowl. It would be when I fell in love.

Life, she insisted, is how you live it and who you live it with, not what you do to make a living. Given that she told me this when I was sixteen, I basically rolled my eyes and worked on practicing my pass fakes.

But my mother was insistent.

“You’ll see, Drew. One day, love will creep up and smack you upside the head. Then you’ll understand.”

My mom, it turns out, was wrong in one regard. Love, when it came for me, did not creep. No, it walked up to me, bold as you please, you know, just in case I wasn’t paying attention. It did, however, slap me upside my head.

And while I’d be happy to tell my mom that she was right about that, she’s dead. A fact that hurts even more now that I’ve been struck down. More like shot down. Cut off at the knees. Totally fucked. Whatever you want to call this disaster. Because the object of my affection hates me.

I am man enough to acknowledge that the cluster fuck that is my current love life is entirely my fault. I wasn’t prepared for Anna Jones.

I still cringe at the memory of when I first laid eyes on her at the beginning of the semester. Being late for class, I’d rushed to a seat in the back row, and was trying to remain unnoticed. I can’t go anywhere on campus without getting attention. And though it sounds like an awesome thing, it gets tiring.

When the roll call reached the back row, a soft voice, rich and thick as maple syrup, slid over me.

“Anna Jones.”

Just her name. That was all she’d said. It was like a hot finger stroking down my spine. My head snapped up. And there she was, so fucking pretty that I couldn’t think straight. I might as well have been sacked.

Breathless, my head ringing, I could only gape. I’m not going to say it was love at first sight. No, it was more like oh, hell-yes-please, I’ll have that. With a helping of right-the-fuck-now on the side.

Thinking maybe I was overtired and simply overreacting to something that wasn’t really there, I stared at Anna Jones and tried to make sense of my extreme reaction.

As if feeling my gaze, she’d turned, and fucking hell… Her eyes were wide, almost cat-like, with the corners tilting up just a bit. At first, those eyes appeared brown, but they were really bottle green. And so clear. And annoyed. She glared at me. I didn’t care. One word was playing a loop in my head: mine.

I don’t remember the rest of the class. I watched Anna Jones like a condemned man getting his last view of the setting sun. While she tried to ignore me. Admirably.

The second class ended I shot up, and so did she. We nearly collided in the middle of the aisle. And then it all fell to shit.


Pre-order Link

Amazon – http://bit.ly/HookUpGameOn


Author Biography

KristenCallihan

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. She is a three-time RITA nominee, and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.


Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.thehookup.kristencallihan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristenCallihan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kris10Callihan

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4971535.Kristen_Callihan


Wanted: Wild Thing by Jessica Sims


ORDER A COPY: Wanted: Wild Thing (Midnight Liaisons)

Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: August 26, 2014
Paperback: 354 pages

Rating: 4 stars


The final book in a romance series set in a “fun, sexy world” (USA TODAY), where paranormals seek love through a dating service called Midnight Liaisons.

Ryder is hiding a dark secret from her coworkers at Midnight Liaisons. Every time she’s sexually attracted to a man, her dragon side breaks through. Not exactly man-bait! But she needs to lose her virginity before her twenty-fifth birthday, or she’ll become a dragon forever.

Her solution? Big, hunky Hugh, the appointed guardian of her chastity. He’s clearly hot for her, but he has powerful reasons to resist Ryder. Can temptation—and love—possibly find a way?


Ryder Sinclair has a wardrobe like Baby Spice and flirts with anything in pants. She is a human working nights at Midnight Liaison, the paranormal dating service, or at least she lets everyone think she’s your average, everyday human. Ryder is actually a changeling and if a man touches her skin with sexual intent, he triggers her changeling side. She has had to pretend food poisoning and run out the back door on more dates than she can remember.

When she was a teen, a half-Fae fortune teller once told her that if she finds The One she can keep the change at bay, but she must do it before she reaches her twenty-fifth birthday. If she remains a virgin at her twenty-fifth birthday, she will change into her changeling form permanently. So Ryder has become a flirting-machine trying to find that one man who can touch her without triggering her changeling side. With only a month to her twenty-fifth birthday, she is getting pretty desperate to remain human.

Ryder doesn’t realize that life can get so much worse than growing scales and sprouting horns until the night a Fae prince shows up in her office with his brutish bodyguard and let’s her know that he is the one who brought her to the human realm to be raised in safety after replacing her for her parents’s human child. He is excited that her change is almost complete and his investment will soon come to fruition. Ryder is a very rare and valuable changeling in the Fae realm and he plans to use her for breeding litters of valuable baby changelings that he will sell to rebuild his family’s fortunes.

Becoming a full-time monster isn’t enough of a horrific future to worry about, and now a Fae prince wants to turn her into a brood mare. He has also sent a bruiser to insure that she doesn’t loose her virginity before her transformation is complete. Since she can’t get out from under the watchful eye of Hugh, she’s going to have to give him an eyeful and convince him that taking her virginity is a better prize than whatever the Fae prince has promised him.

Hugh is holding firm to his vow, but he has never come across the Queen of Flirting who is desperate to remain human. This shifter might have a will of iron, but he doesn’t know what he’s up against when Ryder turns up the charm.

THOUGHTS:
This was a fun story. This was my first Jessica Sims novel but I was gifted by Pocket Books with a few of other novels in the series, and I also picked up one novella which was free the other day on Amazon, so I would like to try the rest of the series. The Goodreads info says it is the last in the series, but the author’s website is declaring that as a rumor. She has a good cast of characters and this latest novel brings in a few more. I would think is it premature to walk away from such a promising series. I do want to read Marie’s story, who is Ryder’s BFF. She is as obnoxious and snarky as I like my heroines.

Although I haven’t read the other books in the series, Ryder does work with and talk about the other characters from the series and I got the idea that this story differs a bit from the others. The other stories involve shifters and some humans and even they think changelings are a myth. This story also involves Hugh who is brought over from the Fae Realm and he calls himself a Primordial while the Fae call him a Long-Tooth. From this and Ryder’s initial description, it is not hard to guess that Hugh is a saber-toothed tiger shifter. He and his men are kept in a primordial land where they don’t even wear clothing. So everything here is new and dangerous to Hugh.

I was a bit stressed for Ryder since the Fae Prince was planning to use her to breed and sell her offspring like she was a puppymill. He would swing by and check her progress, make her strip down and make her change for him so he could check on his investment. But to thwart his plans, she needed to lose her virginity and if she did that, Hugh would lose his prize which was women/mates for himself and the men of his tribe who have no women there. So for Ryder to win, Hugh’s men would lose out. This was a problem even Ryder struggled with.

There were some really funny part of this story where, in Ryder’s attempt to seduce Hugh, she puts on porn for him which started with a pizza delivery guy showing up and getting an extra special tip. This becomes a bit of a running gag in the story, including Hugh telling his men that there are women who will have lots of sex with you if you give them food. Ooooo!

I was a little disappointed that Ryder’s “dragon” form. As it is described it makes her more of a Sleestak with crumpled wings like a newly emerged butterfly than anything dragon-like. (If you got that reference, you are old like me.) As the last month progresses, her scales become more luminescent and her claws nicer, etc., but she is always very humanoid and she never becomes a dragon as they are usually described. Hugh might have thought she was beautiful, but me…not so much.

This was cleverly written and entertaining and a series I want to look into further.

Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

“Perhaps you should leave her alone.”

“My job is to remain at her side and protect her virginity.” Hugh snarled in Brad’s face. His big hand clamped down on my shoulder again.

Despite the fact that we were in a side room at the restaurant, several people in the next room turned to look over at us, overhearing Hugh’s words.

“Oh, my God,” I moaned. “You did not just say that out loud in a crowded restaurant.”

“And if she doesn’t want it protected?” Brad asked.

“Yeah,” I said, pushing Hugh’s hand off my shoulder again.

“Then I will protect it for her,” Hugh said. “Against her will if I must.”

“You can’t make me leave,” I hissed at him. “This is a public place.” I was safe from him here.

Hugh leaned in to me, his face close to mine. “I am sorry for what I am about to do.”

“Do? What–“

His hand moving to the back of my neck, he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to mine in a startling, fierce kiss. his lips mashed against my own, and his scent was in my nostrils, his body pressed to mine.

Then, just as quickly, he pulled away. I stared up at him, dazed.

“Now, we leave,” Hugh said.

I blinked, trying to process all of this. Kiss? Leave? What?  He grabbed my hand in his and dragged me toward the doors of the restaurant.

I immediately tried to jerk away, realizing what all this was about.

He was deliberately activating my changeling side. Hugh knew that if my curse kicked in I’d have no choice but to leave with him. Anger burned inside me, but it was quickly swallowed up by the transformation spiraling through my body. My monster coiled and reared, and I felt my skin shiver with awareness. Anger at Hugh blossomed, then quickly turned to fear when others started to look at us.

Damn him! I stopped struggling and gave everyone a cheerful wave, practically running with Hugh as he stomped toward the parking lot. I had to make things seem like they were normal, or else someone was sure to follow us out due to concern for me. And that was the last thing I wanted—if someone followed us, they’d get a glimpse of my scaly side.

It was evident to me that the change was going to come whether I wanted it or not. Even now, I could feel the throb in my shoulder blades that was the onset of my wings, and my gums ached from where my fangs were about to pop.  My grip tightened in High’s, and I knew the pressure I was exerting would soon be intense.

But if that didn’t communicate my anxiety, nothing would.

As soon as we got to the parking lot, I bolted, dashing away from Hugh. He let me, and I continued on, racing for my car. My hand fumbled to find my keys, but claws were sprouting and my muscles were clenching, and it was impossible for me to concentrate. Pain erupted, throbbing through my body.

Too late. Before I could even open the door to my vehicle, my legs gave out. I crouched, huddling around myself as my changes tore through me.

Hugh crouched low next to me. His hand smoothed down my back, ignoring the fact that it was lumpy and muscles were seething. “I am sorry Ryder.”

“You…suck…” I whispered between gasps, my hands clenched tight as my tail ripped out of my back. I gave a small cry of pain, only to have it swallowed as he pulled me to his chest, Muffling my cries as he held me close.

“It grieves me to do this to you,” he murmured and his hand stroked my hair even as he cradled me tight.

I fought him for a moment, but feebly. The transformation was happening, and I couldn’t stop it any more than I could stop him from holding me close.

And what was worse? With every stroke of his hand on my hair, I didn’t want him to stop holding me.

Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall


ORDER A COPY: Night Unbound (Immortal Guardians)

Publisher: Zebra
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 432 pages

Rating: 5 stars


For centuries, Lisette d’Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can’t bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians’ command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for–and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.

Zach is an exile, a loner. He won’t defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he’ll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?


Things are heating up in North Carolina. The Immortal Guardians thought the threat to them was once again just the vampires who they must protect the humans from. They thought the military threat was over after they killed everyone who had knowledge of the drug used, but someone has once again gained possession of the one drug that can effect a Guardian. They are also turning military trained men into vampires. For the first time in centuries, the Immortal Guardians are in real danger, and the biggest question is — who turned on them and created this new army? Seth is certain the only one with the information and enough power to do it would be Zach.

Zach has been hanging around the Immortal Guardians for more than just the lollipops being offered by Ami. Lisette d’Alençon has caught his attention and the longer he watches her, the more he desires the type of relationship he sees the other Guardians enjoying. Zach is an outcast among his own people and he knows that Seth would kill Zach if he found out how often Zach spends watching his Guardians.

Always being an outcast, Zach can’t imagine that Lisette would return his interest, but Lisette’s own fantasies about Zach have been increasing the longer she catches him watching her. Lisette is also aware of Seth’s dislike of Zach and knows that she risks alienating her boss and her fellow Immortal Guardians if she starts a relationship with Zach, but after centuries alone, she too would do anything to once again feel loved.

But secrets always have a cost and eventually someone always finds out. Can Zach and Lisette live with the consequences that a forbidden relationship will bring to their lives?

THOUGHTS:
I love the Immortal Guardians! Zach and Lisette are now my second favorite characters just after Bastian and Melanie. I re-read this story after I finished. I just didn’t want to let them go. It was just one of those stories.  Even just writing this review, I want to pick it up again to read.

Zach is another of my tortured heroes. Literally tortured by his own people and it is his desire to be with Lisette that gives him the power to escape. He always seems unwanted and the fact that Lisette is attracted to him just floors him. He is not even used to someone willingly touching him and his strong reaction to just holding Lisette is heartbreaking.

We, of course, love Lisette so it is wonderful to see her find happiness with Zach and funny to see her brothers’ reaction to the new man in her life, especially when Richart pops in at a very inopportune time. Yikes.

Now you would think that since Zach and Seth are alike, we would finally get detailed answers on what Seth is (because we know he is more than just an Immortal Guardian) and Zach has wings so it goes to follow that if Seth is like Zach, he would have wings, etc., etc., and of course, Zach would tell all to Lisette, so…ummm, nothing.  What??  Clever author that she is, Dianne has worked in the whys and wherefores that Lisette can’t be told anything since any telepath amongst them, including her brother, would be able to read the information in her head, and it is too dangerous for anyone to have that information. Dammit! It all made sense in the storyline not to tell Lisette and she agreed that it was too dangerous to give her too much information. So we get Nothing!  Well played, Ms. Duvall. Well played!

If you haven’t yet, you really need to try the Immortal Guardians. It is a great series with great characters. Even vampire Cliff who has been helping Melanie learn about the virus affect humans is being allowed to go outside and help. Unless they can find a cure/drug to suppress the madness, which would really change the series, I am going to be so upset when we lose Cliff.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

Go many great scenes. It was hard to choose.

“So what are you doing out here?”

“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Habit perhaps. I’ve watched over Ami for so long, it’s hard to stop. Or maybe…”

He arched a brow. “Maybe?”

“Maybe I was looking for you.”

Heat swept through his body. “Me?” He straightened away from the tree.

“I was worried about you.” She gave him a long, thorough once-over. “The last time I saw you, you were wounded. And, I have to tell you, you still aren’t looking so good. Are you okay?”

He lanced down and swore when he saw the slashes that marred his form. “Don’t worry about that.”

“Zach–“

“I’m all right,” he interrupted before she could protest further.

After a moment, she nodded, face pensive. How she tempted him. The sight of her in black pants that hugged full hips and long, slender legs. Full breasts stretching the cotton of her long-sleeved shirt. Moonlight flirting with her pale skin and plump, pink lips. Weapons adorning her like jewelry, an ever-present reminder that she was a warrior and could kick ass.

All beckoned him, daring him to do something reckless.

He moved a step closer.

She didn’t back away.

He took another step.

She held her ground.

Barely a breath separated them.

“I want to try something,” he proposed.

Her heartbeat increased. “Okay.”

Lowering his head, Zach pressed his lips to hers. His pulse jumped at the warm contact, racing to match hers.

Her breath caught.

Tilting his head, he increased the pressure, deepened the contact, and drew his tongue across those soft lips. She tasted incredible. Made him want to devour her. And yet…

Frowning, he broke the sweet contact. “You didn’t pull away.”

Her eyes now bore a faint amber glow. “What?”

“You didn’t pull away.”

“Why would I pull away?” she asked, voice husky.

Because I’m me, he almost said.

Disappointment seared him. The pain of his injuries increased.

Just to be sure…

“I’m going to try something else now.”

Her lips quirked up as she arched a brow. “Okay.”

Raising a hand, he cupped her breast.

The amber glow in her eyes flashed brighter.

Lisette’s heart slammed against her ribs.

Zach molded his large, warm hand to her breast as he watched her warily. His eyes shone with a faint golden light. His fingers squeezed gently before he drew his thumb across the taut peak that strained against the cotton of her shirt.

Lust whipped through her, weakening her knees and making her fingers curl with the need to touch him, to stroke him, to explore every muscled inch of him.

Swearing, he withdrew his hand and took a step back.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, embarrassed by how breathless she sounded.

“You didn’t hit me.”

She stared up at him. “I’m sorry, what?”

“You didn’t hit me,” he said, and actually sounded angry.

“I don’t…”

Turning, he paced away several steps. “I thought this was a dream. I thought I had made into another of your dreams. But I touched your breast and you didn’t hit me, so this must just be another fantasy of mine.”

Lisette bit her lip when she saw his back. He bore no wings. An oddity. She had never seen him without them.

No, tonight his back boasted only bloody stripes that had clearly been carved by a whip.

“You fantasize about me?” she murmured.

He glanced at her over his shoulder. “I’ve done little else since I met you.”

Just thinking about it turned her insides to mush and upped her desire another notch. “Zach, this isn’t a fantasy. This is a dream. It’s my dream.”

He faced her, his expression uncertain. “It is?”

“Yes.”

“Then why didn’t you…?”

“Hit you?” she asked, amused by his confusion despite her concern for him.

He nodded.

“Because I wanted you to touch me.” Emboldened by his uncertainty, she closed the distance between them. “And I fantasize about you, too.” Raising a hand, she caressed his strong jaw.

He closed his eyes. Turning into her touch, he covered her hand with one of his own and held it to his cheek.

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