TGIF! I am celebrating today because I just downloaded an advance copy of Marked by Rebecca Zanetti. This is final book in the Dark Protectors series which stars Janie. Janie was only 4 when the series began and even then she foresaw that it was her destiny to end the war. I have been waiting for this book for three years. It releases in December but I will be spending the weekend with Janie and Zane, and then a box of tissues since this is the final book. *sniffle*
Since my weekend will be all about action and romance, I think it is fitting for this week’s giveaway to be next book in Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instincts series. I have been looking forward to this one as well. Jim and Noelle lead different black ops organizations and the two have a very explosion history. This will be my next review book and I can’t wait to get all the details on those two.
So tell me – What’s your favorite action packed book or movie?
Giveaway ends Thursday, October 16th. Open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older please.
Ex–army ranger Jim Morgan leads a team of elite mercenaries, but eighteen years ago in Paris, he was part of a black ops unit whose mission was to hunt down a rogue operative. In order to trap the criminal, Jim seduced Noelle, the man’s daughter—a ruthless act that cost him the love of his life and turned her into a mortal enemy. Now he can’t trust her, but he still desires her. He also needs her help….
Older, wiser, and unwilling to play the fool again, Noelle runs a group of highly skilled assassins. And she’s just been offered the hit of the century: Eliminate Jim Morgan. History gives them no reason to trust each other, but with their lives in jeopardy at the hands of a common enemy, the lines between love and hate are soon blurred. Now Noelle and Jim must face the past if they want to have a future—let alone a future together.
A new love will test the boundaries of passion between a privileged boy next door and the tattooed, blue-haired girl who helps him embrace his wild side…
Nate has developed quite a playboy reputation around campus. It’s not that he doesn’t respect or trust women; he doesn’t trust himself. The men in Nate’s family are prone to abusive behavior—a dirty secret that Nate’s been running from his entire life—so Nate doesn’t do relationships. But he can’t help himself around one girl…
Jessie is strong, independent, and works at a tattoo parlor. Nate can’t resist getting close to her, even if it’s strictly a friendship. But it doesn’t take long for Nate to admit that what he wants with Jessie is more than just friendly.
With Jessie, he can be himself and explore what he’s always felt was a terrifying darkness inside him. Even when Nate begins to crave her in a way that both shocks and horrifies him, Jessie still wants to know every part of him. Testing their boundaries together will take a trust that could render them inseparable… or tear them apart.
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Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip gloss, salted caramel everything, and believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
Fall in Love Again, and Again, and Again with Harlequin + Scribd
Harlequin Partners with Scribd to Offer +15,000 Titles Exclusively in their Ebook Subscription Service.
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**Only open to residents of the U.S. & Canada.
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 450 pages
Narrators: Lorelei King and Alexander Cendese
Rating: 5 stars
Shifting Shadows is a collection of short stories from the World of Mercy Thompson. Some feature Mercy and her friends and some do not. Patricia Briggs has a wonderful storyteller and she has created an interesting world of Urban Fantasy. These stories give you a taste of her Mercy Thompson series, as well as several stories that don’t feature characters from her Mercy Thompson series so you can simply enjoy the stories and see if Patricia Briggs is for you.
The Mercy Thompson series are told in the first person by Mercy. A few of these stories are fill in scenes from her books that didn’t fit since there were told by Mercy. So it gives you extras views but it will give spoilers if you haven’t reached those stories yet.
We also get to spend time with Warren and Kyle as well as Ben. It is nice to get a little deeper into these characters. Ben is challenged to not swear for a month and it is quite entertaining to see him almost struggle to speak without his expletives. There is a back story on Samuel and Ariana.
As you can probably guess, Alpha and Omega is the novella which began the Alpha and Omega spinoff series. We never spent much time with Charles in any of Mercy’s book but we kind of knew him as Bran’s scary powerful and unsocial son. I hadn’t jumped on his spin off but now I have picked up the first three audiobooks in this series and am looking forward to those.
The remaining stories involve vampires, ghosts, witches and fae which will all follow the world building rules which is presented in the Mercy Thompson series. These were all very entertaining stories. It reminded me of Stephen King novels when he would give you a full back story on a character who was just crossing the street (and about to be killed), but by the time King killed off the guy, you were so intrigued and invested in this guy you were sad he died. I enjoyed these little peeks in the windows of others who live in Mercy’s world.
I found it interesting that Patricia Briggs gives a brief description of what prompted the story or what guidelines she was presented in the previously published stories. For example, for the story Gray , she needed to write a story featuring a color and a holiday. It is interesting the stories that are created for the different anthologies that these stories were originally part of.
I am a big fan of Patricia Briggs’ writing and Mercy Thompson and friends. So I enjoyed all the stories presented in this collection. If you are looking for a new paranormal/urban fantasy author, this would be a great way to check out Patricia’s work without making the full commitment to an entire series.
I have listened to this entire series by audiobook. Lorelei King brings Mercy and the gang to life for me. She has a very natural narration style and gives voice to a cast of characters. This was my first time listening to Alexander Cendese, but I thought he did a wonderful job narrating for Samuel and for David.
Received a review audiobook from Brilliance audio in exchange for an honest review.
Previously Published Stories
- Alpha and Omega The first novella about Anna and Charles, which led to a whole spin-off series.
- Gray An vampire buys the home where she lived with her husband, which has fallen into disrespair. She begins remodeling the place, only to find that old and beloved ghosts still linger.
- Fairy Gifts Mining towns are rough and human life is cheap. In the turn-of-the-century Butte Montana, a young man, turned to a vampire, struggles with his nature and eventually finds a measure of redemption in an unlikely place.
- Seeing Eye White witches are rare, and seldom as powerful as their morally-compromised counterparts. In this story, a blind witch teams up with a werewolf on a mission.
- The Star of David Being a werewolf can wreck havoc on family relations. This is a story of how murder and deception can bring a family together . . .
- In Red, with Pearls Warren is a werewolf, and a private detective. This is a noir-flavored story about some truly terrible neighbors and why you should always treat a werewolf nicely.
- Silver This is probably the only depressing story I’ve ever written, and it was a hard story to write. This covers how Bran and Samuel were first made into werewolves, and how Samuel first fell in love with the Ariana. Of course, as we learned in Silver Borne, things have to take a tragic turn.
- Outtake One After the tragedy of Silver, I had to remind myself that with long life comes the opportunity to overcome the past, and forge a better future. Samuel and Ariana have another chance at love, and they’re determined to make it work. This is an outtake from Silver Borne
- Roses in Winter A young girl survives a werewolf attack, and is transformed into a werewolf. When she wasn’t able to control the wolf, she was moved to Bran’s pack. The law is absolute: if a werewolf cannot learn to control the wolf, they must be destroyed for the safety of all. With hope fading, Asil intervenes.
- Redemption Ben’s got a quick temper, and a quicker tongue. He’s also made a bet that he can stop swearing for a week, and it just might change his life.
- Hollow A wealthy recluse is haunted by a terrible ghost, and asks Mercy for help. What could possibly go wrong?
- Outtake Two A bit that I wrote in Adam’s viewpoint for Night Broken.
This is from Alpha and Omega:
“I think maybe you are the key to Leo’s mystery.”
She couldn’t help a snort of derision. “Me? Leo needed a new doormat?”
He leaned suddenly forward, knocking his chair over as he swept her off of her own and stood her on her feet. She’d thought she was used to the speed and strength of the wolves, but he stole her breath.
As she stood still and shocked, he prowled around her until he came back around the front and kissed her, a long, dark, deep kiss that left her breathless for another reason entirely.
“Leo found you and decided that he needed you,” he told her. “He sent Justin after you, because any of his other wolves would know what you were. Even before your Change, they’d have known. So he sent a half-crazy wolf because any other would have been unable to attack you.”
Hurt, she flinched away from him. He made her sound special, but she knew he was lying. He sounded like he was telling the truth, but she was no prize. She was nothing. For three years she had been nothing. He made her feel special today, but she knew better.
His hands, when they came down on her shoulders, were hard and impossible to resist. “Let me tell you something about Omega wolves, Anna. Look at me.”
She blinked back tears, and, unable to resist his command, raised her eyes to glare at him.
“Almost unique,” he said and gave her a little shake. “I work with numbers and percentages all the time, Anna. I might not be able to figure the odds exactly, but I’ll tell you that the chances that Justin picked you out to Change by sheer chance are almost infinitesimal. No werewolf, acting on instincts alone, would attack an Omega. And Justin strikes me as a wolf who acts on very little else.”
“Why no? Why wouldn’t he have attacked me? And what is an Omega?”
It was evidently the right question because Charles stilled, his former agitation gone. “You are an Omega, Anna. I bet that when you walk into a room, people come to you. I bet complete strangers tell you things they wouldn’t tell their own mothers.”
Incredulous, she stared at him. “You saw Justin this morning. Did he look calm to you?”
“I saw Justin,” he agreed slowly. “And I think that in any other pack he would have been killed shortly after he was made because his control is not good enough. I don’t know why he was not. But I think you allow him to control his wolf—and he hates you for it. You should not be ranked last in your pack.” His hands slid down her shoulders until he held her hands. Oddly that felt more intimate than his kiss had. “An Omega wolf is like the Indian medicine men, outside of the normal pack rankings. They had to teach you to lower your eyes, didn’t they? To submissive wolves, such things are instinctive. You, they had to beat down. You bring peace to all those around you, Anna,” he said intently, his eyes on her. “A werewolf, especially a dominant wolf, is always on the edge of violence. After being shut in an aircraft with too many people for hours, I came into the airport craving bloodshed like a junkie craves his next fix. But when you came up to me, the anger, the hunger left.”
He squeezed her hands. “You are a gift, Anna. An Omega wolf in the pack means that more wolves survive the Change from human to wolf because they can find control easier with you there. It means that we lose fewer males to stupid dominance fights because an Omega brings a calmness to all those around him. Or her.”
There was a hole in his argument. “But what about earlier, when you almost changed because you were so angry.”
Something happened to his face, an emotion she didn’t know him well enough to read, except to know that it was strong.
When he spoke it was with the visible effort, as if his throat had tightened. “Most werewolves find someone they love, get married, and spend a long time with their spouse before the wolf accepts her as his mate.” He dropped her gaze and turned away, walking across the room and giving her his back.
Without the warmth of his body, she felt cold and alone. Scared.
“Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way,” he told the wall. “Let it rest there for now, Anna. You have been through enough without this.”
“I am so tired of being ignorant,” she spat, suddenly hugely angry. “You’ve changed all the rules on me—so you can damned well tell me what the new rules are.” As abruptly as the anger had come, it was gone, leaving her shaky and on the verge of tears.
He turned and his eyes had gone gold, reflecting the dim light of the room until they glowed. “Fine. You should have let it be, but you want truth.” His voice rumbled like thunder, though it wasn’t very loud. “My Brother Wolf has taken you for his mate. Even if you were nothing to me, I would have never allowed such abuse as you have suffered since your Change. But you are mine, and the though of you hurt, of being able to do nothing about it, is an anger that even an Omega wolf cannot easily soothe.”
Our Winner is…Stephanie.
God Bless Friday! I am so happy to see you again.
There has been a lot of controversy this week over the publisher Ellora’s Cave suing the book review blog ‘Dear Author’ for posting an article inferring that some of their authors weren’t receiving prompt payment. I have read dozens of articles about this, including several regarding authors who are cheering the lawsuit since Dear Author is as vocal on books they don’t like as well as books that they do. It seems rather petty to me. No one wants to hear their hard work trashed, but any artist has to know that not everyone is going to like what they do. If you don’t understand that, then trying to sell your books is going to be painful.
So much of the conversation about this lawsuit has turned into conversations about leaving a bad reviews. Do you or don’t you?
My feeling is that the whole point of starting a book review blog is to share my opinion on books that I’ve read. I have read almost 100 books this year, and most of them have been provided to me by publishers. So I can take a risk on an unknown author to see if I like their storytelling and it doesn’t cost me.
My hope is that before you spend your hard earned book allowance on your next book, maybe I can provide you a little insight on whether a story is worth reading. That means not only raving about wonderful new books or authors that I have found, but also warning you about books that are flawed and aren’t worth the time or money to read. Who wants to waste time on a bad book?
I want to help authors get noticed. Especially ones who have written a story that I really enjoyed. But ultimately the purpose of a book blog is to help match the readers with their next favorite book. I have no desire to trash an author or their hard work, but if I didn’t get enjoyment out of the story, then it hasn’t done its job and I need to share that with you before you decide whether to spend your money on it.
Nothing is better than going to the bookstore and picking up a new book. Its the adult toystore. Heck, my kids love it when I take them to the book store. The only problem is that unless you are going to pick up the next book from your favorite author, you are simply surrounded by shelves and shelves of books and you can’t tell by looking at it or reading the back cover if this story is going to be something you are going to enjoy.
My hope is that next time you make a trip to your favorite bookstore that I have given some information, good or bad, to help make your next book selection.
On that note, this week’s giveaway is a new paranormal series that I talked about on Monday from Larissa Ione. It is Book 2 in the series. You could read this without reading Book 1, but you will be a half-step behind. I really enjoyed this story and the majority of the bloggers that I read have agreed with me.
So my question to you this week is – Do you ever leave a bad review if you don’t like a book (or any product that you have purchased) or do you only share the positive?
Giveaway ends October 9th. Open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older.
THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction – or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.
THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?
ORDER A COPY: Once Perfect (Shattered Past)
Publishing Date: October 7, 2014
eBook: 272 pages
Rating: 4 stars
A week after I finished this story, I am still not sure how I feel about it. I was definitely intrigued by the characters and the story line, but I haven’t made up my mind yet how much I liked the characters and what my interest would be to read any other books in the series. Cecy Robson tells a slightly dark tale where neither wealth, poverty nor social standing determine the person you are.
Orphaned and abandoned after her father commits suicide over an embezzlement scandal, former rich girl Evelyn Preston now has to struggle to make ends meet while waitressing at a local college bar and studying to get a degree in nursing.
Evelyn seems to be very introverted and sheltered for a girl who grew up mega rich. She has a hard time making friends because she spent most of her youth with the type of friends who want to be with you because of who you are, not because they like you. She also had a boyfriend pre-selected by her father and his parents as a good social match. Donovan and his family also abandoned Evelyn after the scandal. We get all this in dribs and drabs until a big reveal of all the secrets that Evelyn is hiding at the end of the story.
To begin the story, Evelyn doesn’t really socialize with her co-workers and she keeps herself apart from them. She is intrigued yet afraid of the attractive and built Mateo who is the head bouncer at the club. She knows that Mateo was in prison for a time for beating a man. So although she is intrigued, she avoids contact, even eye contact, with Mateo even though he is kind to Evelyn and the other people in the bar. It isn’t until his friend explains that Mateo went to prison for beating the man who raped his baby sister does Evelyn look past his conviction to see the man behind tattoos, and give herself an opportunity to get to know him. Even though Mateo and Evelyn begin to date, I kept feeling like she was holding herself back from the relationship. A feeling that even Mateo felt since he kept wondering if she wanted to walk away.
Mateo and Evie definitely came from different economic worlds. Mateo withdraws a bit from Evie when he sees the mansion that she grow up in. He sees the wealth she once knew but forgets the simple fact that Evelyn is remaking herself and forging her own way and she seems to be okay with that. Not only is there a financial difference in their lives but they also had different cultural upbringings. Because of this, Evie (and myself) didn’t understand why Mateo allowed his father to beat on his sisters and himself. Mateo is a trained MMA fighter. He could have fought back and the father would have thought twice before getting violent. The explanation in the story is that Cubans never hit their elders. Apparently, it was accepted that their father who all but abandoned them could get drunk or stoned and beat them bloody, but not to protect yourself from this abuse. No fighting back. No Order of Protection. No calling the police. This leads to both Mateo and his sister pushing away their significant others so they didn’t need to be subjected to their family violence.
Mateo was very much the gentle giant, when he is not fighting in the ring. He was very attracted to Evelyn but he understood that she had some issues and acted very gentlemanly with her and didn’t push the relationship with her and was always willing to pull back if he overwhelmed her. He was thoughtful and protective of his sister and Evie which just leads to more confusion as to why he was so accepting of his father’s violence.
I enjoyed the story, but I feel that Cecy Robson skimmed over a lot of questions and didn’t let us get to know all about these characters. I don’t know whether there are answers we will get in future stories.
When Evelyn finally gives us all the details of her past, it creates a gap between her and Mateo and I never felt 100 percent right about them after that. We never get the whole story behind his sister’s rape or anything about Mateo being in prison. There was a lot of “I don’t want to talk about it” moments. I felt like they all held some part of themselves back.
There was something about this story that kept me from connecting with these characters and I am all about the characters in a story.
Overall, it was an absorbing story and I liked it but I just didn’t love it.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Evelyn isn’t much of a cook but she attempted to make Mateo a thank you batch of cookies for his help.
Mateo stopped smiling when he saw me approach, barely managing a nod. “Evie.”
He wasn’t happy to see me. Awesome. Everything in me screamed to run and hide. But it was too late now.
Ant smirked. “Hey, sweet thing. What’re you up to?”
“Nothing” appeared to be the operative word. They stood there, waiting for more. I struggled with what to say until my gaze fell on Mateo’s Wrath tattoo. I motioned to his forearm with my plate. “D-did you get that when you were…you know, in the big house?”
Their stunned pause gave my face time to warm, but that was nothing compared to the scorching blush Ant’s sudden cackle caused. “The big house?” He laughed again, this time doubling over and slapping his leg. “Evelyn, you are the whitest person on the planet. You have no business saying “big house.”
Mateo’s chest and shoulders shook and he struggled to keep his lips pressed tight. He didn’t laugh out loud exactly, but when he gave me his back I figured it was a very bad sign. He placed his hands on his hips and lowered his head, taking a few breaths while I waited like a moron with the friggin’ cookies in my hands. When he turned, I was shocked to see all traces of humor had dissolved from his face. Meanwhile Ant continued to laugh his ass off. Mateo cleared his throat. “Ant, go ask Sam if the new T-shirts are in.”
And wiped his tear-streaked eyes. “Are you sure you want me to leave you alone with this badass broad?”
Mateo’s head jerked toward the wall. He swiped his mouth with his hand and took another deep sigh, regaining his composure. “Just ask him.”
He gave him a shove when Ant opened his mouth to say something more. What the eff? I just wanted to die. Mateo tilted his chin toward the cookies. “You like baking?”
“No. Yes. No.” Gawd. I held out the plate. “I made them for you. You helped me last week and i never had the chance to do, well, say…” I released a breath when he just stared. “Thank you. I’m just trying to thank you.”
The next few seconds were the longest of my life, and it took everything I had not to bolt. I was glad I stayed. The edges of Mateo’s full lips curved into a smile. He locked eyes with me, and I forgot everything: Ant’s laugh, my humiliation, my regret. I knew I was in trouble when I realized I never wanted to look away.
“You’re welcome, Evie.” he murmured, his voice deeper. He reached for the plate, breaking our connection as he placed it on the bar. He removed the flimsy plastic wrap. With a wink and a grin, he reached for a cookie.
It was all so magical.
Until he took a bite.
The moment his teeth clenched down, something changed his expression. Was it shock freezing the strong angles of his face? Pain? No…
He continued to munch with embarrassingly great difficulty just as Ant returned. “Sam says the shirts should be in by Monday. Oh, cookies.”
Mateo reached out a hand, trying to stop Ant from swiping one, but he was too busy choking on my mutant creation to be of any use. Ant took a bite and immediately spit it out. “What the—?” He pointed accusingly at the cookie. “Did you make this shit?”
I answered the only way I knew how. “Ah, no?”
Mateo wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, chunks of crumbs and chocolate smearing his mouth and jaw. This time he couldn’t kill his laughter. His body splayed across the bar as he forced down the last of my ‘thank-you.’
There were moments in my life I could have clung to forever. This was not one of them. I was mortified.
It couldn’t get any worse—or so I thought—until a few of the bouncers strolled in and found their fearless leader slumped across the bar in hysterics. I inched away, ready to race away, screaming. Ant, of course, just couldn’t let it die.
“Listen up, peeps. If anyone, and I mean anyone, pulls the dealing shit tonight. I want you to bash their skulls in with one of these.” He lifted one of my cookies over his head. “These bitches will knock a motherfucker out.”
ORDER A COPY: Echoes of Scotland Street: An On Dublin Street Novel
Publishing Date: October 7, 2014
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
You couldn’t help but fall in love with young Cole in Down London Road. Now Cole Walker is all grown up and it’s time for him to find true love. In an interesting twist, the story is told by Shannon as she overcomes past traumas and re-learns how to trust the man in her life.
At first, I thought that this book should have been told by Cole, but telling this story from the point of view of Shannon was an interesting choice since we were already familiar with Cole and this gave us an insight in the mind of Cole’s love interest. Yet, I did find myself constantly thinking, “But it’s Cole. Cole is amazing. Don’t be stupid.”
Shannon MacLeod knew that the turning point in her life occurred when she was only 15 and she took the wrong turn. Instead of staying to talk to the boy who lived next door to her grandmother’s house, she got in the car with her then boyfriend which lead her on a journey of losers and abusers. His name even sounded like the name of a hero, Cole Walker.
We flash forward nine years and Shannon has to get away from her family in Glascow and she decides to return to Edinburgh where she had spent time with her Grandparents long ago. She walked into INKarnate to apply for the receptionist position and never expected to once again be face to face with Cole Walker, or that he would have grown up to be so incredibly hot. But the one thing that Shannon is determined to do right this time is to avoid tattooed bad boys at all costs. The last one she dated was the worst of all. He abused her physically and mentally.
Cole comes off as cocky and aggressively flirtatious to the wounded Shannon, but from prior books we know that Cole’s role models are all confident men who were outrageously flirtatious with their women. He will of course learn to be overly demonstrative to a woman he is interested in. But not knowing Cole the way we do, Shannon is turned off by his focused attention.
After several hours of heightened sexual tension, Shannon fears that she new found willpower will breakdown and she goes on the attack letting Cole know that she isn’t interested in being with a player like him. Her verbal attack brings back memories for Cole echoing the years of verbal abuse he was subjected to by his own mother.
Intervention on Cole’s behalf by Hannah, Shannon’s coworker/roommate Rae, and just about every other character we’ve met so far convinces Shannon just how wrong she is about Cole.
Except by the time Shannon realizes that she has misjudged Cole, he has decided that no matter how attracted he is to Shannon, Cole refuses to ever be subjected to verbal abuse again and he won’t entertain a relationship with a woman who would be just like his mother. In this story, it is Shannon who is going to have to work hard to reclaim Cole’s affection. If Shannon wants any chance at a relationship with Cole, she is going to have to spill all the secrets she has carefully hidden away.
I really enjoy this series, and you can’t help but love Cole.
In Fall from India Place, I had a little issue seeing young Hannah all grown up and having sex and being a bit of a bitch. It might also be that Hannah’s story jumped back and forth from child Hannah to adult Hannah. Maybe it was because we were used to grown up Cole from Fall from India Place who is now BFF with Hannah so we were eased into grown up Cole being all sexy and sweet. All I know is that I was all in on Cole having his HEA.
We like Shannon because she’s a nice person who has been hurt many times. We hate Shannon because after a string of losers, of course she decides when she meets Cole that she’s going to use her brain instead her heart. But she in fact hides behind her fear and treats our Cole badly.
I highly recommend the whole On Dublin Street series. Some of the stories are better than others, but Cole’s story is one of the top of the list.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’d only been standing at the bar a few seconds when a bartender freed up and took my drinks order. I was in the middle of trying to think of ways to resist the attraction to Cole when I felt eyes on me. I turned my head to the right and found two guys around my age, maybe a little older, smiling at me. Although I glanced away quickly, my noticing them seemed to invite their attention.
They slide their drinks down the bar and came to a stop at my side. I very deliberately ignored them. It didn’t deter them.
“Having a nice night?” the one closest to me said.
“I’m Gordon. This is my mate Barry. What’s your name?”
I didn’t answer because I didn’t want to encourage them. As it was I could feel their eyes crawling all over me. I was wearing jeans and my olive green cami and matching cardy. My makeup was subtle, and I was wearing flat-heeled boots. There was nothing about my appearance that screamed I was out on the town. I had no idea why I’d attracted their attention, and frankly I didn’t care. There was nothing that turned me off more than guys who sat at bars and constantly hit on anything that moved. There was a desperation about it, a soullessness, that the romantic in me revolted against.
“Oh, come one, we’re harmless, sweetheart,” the other one said.
I frowned. “I’m not interested.”
The one farther away shrugged and began to retreat, but his friend actually moved close to me. “Sounds like you’re having a bad day. I’m a really good listener.”
I snorted. “All evidence to the contrary.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means I’m not interested.”
He laughed, like I’d said something funny. My eyebrows drew together in confusion.
“You look like that actress,” he said, shifting even closer. “That Australian actress. You look like her when she was younger. I had the biggest hard-on for her.”
Before I could follow up my look of disgust with a verbal “get lost,” a sudden heat engulfed me and a shadow fell over me. Two strong, tattooed arms caged me in as they came to rest on the bar at either side of mine, and a hard chest pressed against my back.
I relaxed immediately and glanced up over my shoulder at Cole’s handsome face. Currently it was turned away from me as he glowered at the persistent barfly.
Although the friend instantly backed up even farther than he already had done, the “good listener” just stared dumbly at Cole.
Cole raised an eyebrow at him. “What part of this doesn’t say ‘fuck off’ to you?”
The idiot studied Cole for a moment as if he was considering ignoring him, and then his brain finally seemed to compute what his eyes were telling him. Cole was bigger and much, much scarier than he was. He lowered his gaze. “Sorry, mate. Didn’t know she was taken.”
He shuffled off down the bar, already searching the pub for a new target.
Cole bent his head, his lips brushing my ear. “You okay?”
Unable to form a coherent sentence with him pressed up against me, I nodded.
Seeming to sense that, Cole hesitated a second. “Am I making you uncomfortable?”
My pulse raced with that feeling of anticipation I’d had earlier. “Yes. But not like you think.”
I heard his sharp intake of breath and braced myself.
His lips were at my ear again. “Do you want me, Shannon?”
My legs began to tremble. “Yes.”
Cole exhaled, as though he was relieved, and to my surprise he buried his nose in the crook of my neck, relaxing into me. The scratch of the bristle on his cheeks against my skin caused tingling in all my feminine places. He breathed me in and lifted his head just as the bartender served up the drinks.
It broke the moment between us.
Cole stepped away from me and I shivered at the loss of his heat.
ORDER A COPY: Chained by Night (Moonbound Clan Vampires)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publishing Date: September 30, 2014
Paperback: 400 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Wow. Wow. Wow. Larissa Ione kicks up the excitement in Book 2. Hunter has to make a choice – marry one twin and bring peace with ShadowSpawn or marry the twin he wants and kick off an all out war with a larger and more brutal Clan. But first he has to break an ancient agreement with a demon. He has to pick one twin to take with him on a trial through Hell or give up his first born child. Chose the wrong twin and he’ll never make it out alive.
At the end of Bound by Night, Hunter makes a deal with the barbaric leader of ShadowSpawn in order to save Riker’s mate, Nicole. He agreed to mate with Kars’s oldest daughter, Rasha. Rasha is a warrior in her own right. Growing up in ShadowSpawn’s more vicious camp where disagreements were settled by bloody battles where the victor is in the right, she has always had to prove her value to the Clan. Rasha doesn’t approve of Hunter’s more lax leadership which allows learning, playing, and for injured Clan members to sit and eat amongst the strong warriors, even though one of those injured is her own sister who was born with a deformed leg. Rasha plans to make changes once she becomes Hunter’s mate and one of those changes might just be a change of leadership.
Hunter’s head is spinning with all the problems laid at his feet right now. For the good of the Clan he will mate with Rasha, even if he can’t stand the sight of her. Well, actually it’s not really the sight of her that is the problem, is it? Hunter can’t stop lusting over her identical twin sister, Aylin. For a brief moment, Hunter believes that his future might not be so bleak when he mistakes Aylin for Rasha and a kiss turns toward passion. At least until they both realize the error. Now they know what they want and what they can’t have. Aylin is everything her sister is not: sweet, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, but with a bad leg she is considered worthless in her father’s camp of warriors.
Before any mating can happen, Hunter and Rasha have a task they must perform. Vampires did not come to be as legend has always told. The story of the raven and the crow mixing their blood with the blood of two fallen Chiefs is a myth and the modern day rumor about a virus creating vampires is also wrong. The original vampires made a deal with the demon Samnult for strength to fight their enemies and they promised their first born child as well as the first born of the first generation of vampires as payment. As a first generation, Hunter will be expected to give up his first born to Sumnult and Hunter will do whatever is required to break that contract. Samnult has agreed if Hunter brings his intended to complete a series of tasks, and if they both survive, they can keep their first child. Hunter’s best scene was at the end of Book 1 when he contacts Samnult and tells him that Hunter will do whatever is necessary to break the contract. Samnult says What if I tell you to blow me? and Hunter drops to his knees and says I’m gonna get very drunk when it’s over, but I said I would do whatever it took. The demon was actually frazzled by Hunter’s willingness to do whatever was necessary to keep his child, something no other vampire was willing to do. Samnult obviously did not accept the blow job in favor of the more exciting trial storyline.
Rasha refuses to risk her own life and is willing to let the demon have her first born. Both Hunter and Aylin are disgusted with her behavior and because Aylin is an identical twin, Samnult allows her to go in her sister’s place. And we’re barely a third into the book. Obviously they survive the quest, or do they? Samnult offers Aylin a deal asking her to make an ultimate sacrifice for Hunter and her sister so they win the quest, and of course she agrees.
They might have won the trials, but it has also strengthened the bond between Hunter and Aylin. Not only does Hunter not get to mate Aylin, but after his mating ceremony to Rasha, Aylin will be sent to mate a vampire more vicious than her father who has a harem of wives. Hunter is in a frenzy and the only way to save Aylin would be for her to lose her virginity…and Hunter will need to chose one of his own men to do it.
Except it might not be so easy after all. Samnult has gifted Aylin with something very special for her sacrifice and now both her father and her intended are knocking on the door to take Aylin away. So the questions we need answered are: How can Hunter mate Aylin instead of Rasha without causing a war that MoonBound Clan will doubtless lose? Who is giving information to ShadowSpawn about MoonBound business? And what the heck is Samnult doing with all those first borns?
This book was really exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was the age old romance storyline between sacrifice and want. Hunter wants Aylin but he needs to sacrifice for his Clan and mate Rasha.
First of all, I couldn’t tell what we were supposed to be feeling about Rasha. Oh, we hated Rasha and we don’t trust her, but every once in a while she would be so nice to Aylin and you would start to think, maybe she’s not all bad. Then she would do something else awful and it was no question, she’s a bitch! But I just couldn’t figure out how Hunter was going to possibly get out of mating Rasha so he could mate Aylin instead, because obviously we all wanted Aylin.
The first half of the book was the quest and leading up to the quest which was all very tension filled, and after that was introducing BitchyPoo and Aylin to the MoonBound Clan and everyone’s reactions. The buzz between Hunter and Aylin kept intensifying and he kept wanting to pull away for the good of the Clan and the quest gave Aylin a boost of confidence that she has never had before to stand up to Hunter’s torment of I want you but I can’t have you which made him even crazier about her than before. Aylin was an incredible heroine at the start of the book and the fact that she was so selfless as to sacrifice her own dreams for Hunter (and her bitch sister) just makes her stand out as extraordinary.
This story was sensational. I couldn’t put it down and the fact that I couldn’t figure a way for them to be together was making me crazy.
I highly recommend grabbing a copy of this and Bound by Night. I had a Twitter conversation with Larissa Ione over the star of the next book who will be…wait for it…<strong>Myne</strong> (Yay!) and you’ll never guess who his lady love will be. (Not Rasha thank God!) I will be looking forward to Myne’s story next year.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The scene I wanted to share gave away too much information, so you get the next best. :)
“Do you know what kind of alliances your father has made with other clans recently?”
“I think he’s up to something. He might be trying to unite the clans.”
“Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Samnult said war with the humans was coming.”
“Uniting the clans is vital if we want to save ourselves from extinction. But your father wants more than allied clans. He wants the allied clans under his control.”
“Like a king? That’s crazy.” But was it really? Kars had always been power-hungry, and she’d often wondered why he spent so much time digging into the affairs of rival clans. “You know, now that I think about it…remember I told you about the competitions ShadowSpawn has been holding? We’ve had more than usual, and clans have been coming from farther away than ever before. JaggedSky from Montana and BoneSworn from New Mexico. They’d never been to one of my father’s competitions before, but they’ve both been twice in the last three years. He’s even arrange for truces with sworn enemies. Like you.”
“Damn,” Hunter breathed.
For some reason, she pictured him saying the same thing, just as softly, against the skin of her throat. Her breasts. Her inner thighs.
As if he knew, his dark gaze sparked. He swore again and inhaled raggedly. “You okay? How have you been?”
“Do you really want to chitchat?”
A low, pumping growl vibrated the air and rumbled through her in an erotic wave. “What I want to do is strip you, throw you onto the counter, spread you thighs, and lick you until you scream. That’s what I want to do. I want to be the male who takes you for the first time. And every time after that. The thought of you being with someone else tonight is killing me, to the point where I’m tempted to have Riker lock me up so I don’t do something stupid. I don’t understand it, and frankly, it’s pissing me off. But there it is.”
His stark, raw honesty stole her breath. She wanted all of that too, could relate to everything he’d said. Here he was in front of her, and she couldn’t have him. And in this moment, she was ashamed to admit that if he offered her even the smallest scrap of his attention, she’d take it. Without thinking, she reached for him, but he stepped back with a hiss, his massive fangs bared.
“If you touch me, I’m lost.” His big body trembled as he continued backing up. He took panting breaths and his eyes were as wild as a cornered cougar’s. “I…have to go.”
“Hunter, wait.” She moved toward him. He stopped, and she had a feeling he was fighting a battle with himself deep inside. Good. Now he knew how she felt every time she saw him. “Don’t have sex with her. Not tonight.”
He barked out a laugh. “Really? Just yesterday you told me to get it over with. Now you get jealous?”
“This isn’t about jealousy,” she said. Okay, it was, but there was also the fact that Rasha mentioned getting pregnant. “You can’t…” You can’t trust Rasha. Aylin didn’t say it. She couldn’t. As true as it was, she would sell out her sister like that.
Aylin closed her lids. “Nothing. Just trust your instincts.”
“I got news for you,” he said roughly. “I can’t trust myself right now.”
He took off in a rush, and something told her he was heading straight for Rasha.
Hunter had always been one to play with fire, had never minded the burns. But Aylin burned hotter than any flame, and if he hadn’t left when he did, he’d have turned to ash.
Holy Spirit, she tested his self-control. Samnult’s trials were a piece of cake compared with the challenge of keeping his hands off Aylin.
He’s a gambling man…
One brunette bombshell with a devious mind and a potty mouth has thrust Kent smack dab in the middle of where he never wanted to be—his family. He’s spent most of his life avoiding his familial responsibilities, especially the one that required him to join the Ninth Circle Council—the demon society’s equivalent of judge, jury and executioner. Then one lost bet with the little Amazon flipped his entire life upside down. With worries about retaliation from the remnants of a rogue pack of wolves in Germany, he doesn’t have time to deal with his family, or his obsession with Chloe Demos.
And she’s the biggest risk he’ll ever take…
After her mother’s death, Chloe’s world crashes down around her. A secret Amazonian heritage. Aunts and a long lost brother she never knew about. Supernatural beings. With all of the sudden changes, she’s decided it’s time to step out from behind her façade of an air-headed, materialistic bimbo and show her sisters she truly does love them—she only hates their wardrobes. What better way to show she cares about her family than to help prove someone close to one of them is innocent of the bogus murder charges from some ridiculous council? Chloe has no scruples about calling in the marker the demon Kent owes her in order to do just that. It’s only too bad she’s underestimated Kent’s intelligence, and his playboy charm.
Contains mature themes.
Find out more about the BIG BAD BITE Series!
The series has had a complete makeover with brand new, smokin’ hot covers and a can’t-miss sale!
Book #1 – Jenna & Adam’s Story
Published January 28, 2013
What would it be like to live in a world where you were considered abnormal even to those who were above the norm?
Jenna O’Conner 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. On her first day as the newewst member of the Wilmington Police Department’s SWAT Team, Jenna runs into trouble in the form of a deadly, mouthwatering man named Adam McPhee, who is also not human. He is determined to figure out exactly what Jenna is, which could very well put her life in danger. Furthermore, he is determined to have her all to himself.
As if that weren’t enough for Jenna to deal with, a group of extremist Shifters who consider humans to be cattle and who think that factions of Others should stay within their own species—never to intermingle—come to town. Jenna has to find a way to shut them down, but in the process of trying to do that, she discovers things about herself that even she had never thought were possible.
Who said the wolf was what you had to worry about?
Welcome to the real world.
Contains mature themes.
Walk On The Striped Side
Book #2 – Gage & Elena’s Story
Published February 24, 2014
Does he have his claws in her for good? Or is she just yanking his tail?
Elena Demos’s life has been turned upside down. Her mother has passed away, leaving Elena and her two half-sisters to deal with their mother’s will and the crazy stipulations it contains. For the three sisters to inherit the substantial amount of money left behind, they have to go to work with two aunts they’ve never met in a family business—Amazons Inc.—they know nothing about. If that isn’t bad enough, Elena runs into the man who once broke her heart, and it’s only their first day on the job.
Gage Ivanov is a stupid beast. He let the woman who should be his mate go because she couldn’t be told of his Other identity. Now Elena’s back, but she refuses to give in to his demands for her to be his mate. The timing for all of this couldn’t be worse, either, because Gage and his circle of friends are trying to subdue a rogue pack of wolf shifters in Germany who threaten to out the Others to the world of humans. Will he be able to juggle the oncoming conflict and win back his mate?
Claws, love bites and handcuffs – OH MY!
Contains mature themes.
Jessie Lane is the best-selling author of The Star Series, Big Bad Bite Series and the Ex Ops Series. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, as well as Upper YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy.
She lives in Kentucky with her two little Rock Chicks in the making and her over protective alpha husband. She has a passionate love for reading and writing naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them.
Our Winner is…Denise.
Happy Friday! Hey, didn’t September just start? I just finished Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs which is a mix of short stories from the world of Mercy Thompson. I really like the narrator Lorelei King. She does a wonderful job narrating and giving voices to the characters. This is the first time I heard Alexander Cendese, who narrated a few of the short stories, including the stories told by Samuel but he did a great job as well.
If you have read the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series, no question you have to read (or listen) to these stories. I listened to this entire series and I enjoyed the flavor that Lorelei King’s narration brought to the stories.
I will be back next week with a full review of this collection of short stories, but there are enough non-Mercy stories so you can get a taste of Patricia Brigg’s writing if you haven’t tried Mercy’s stories yet. There are some stories featuring Mercy or her friends which will give away some spoilers so you might want to skip those if you want to jump into Mercy’s world after you have had taste. I liked that Patricia Briggs also had an introduction to each story explaining why she wrote them or why they were left out of stories and a warning if they had spoilers for the series.
In this collection is the prequel story of Charles and Anna who star in Alpha & Omega which is a spinoff series, and I knew I wanted to add those to my list. After listening, I already downloaded the three stories in the series.
Since Fall has officially arrived, this week’s question for you is – What is you favorite part of Fall? Apple picking? Halloween? Watching the leaves change? Getting together with the family at Thanksgiving? Please share and if you are making apple pies, please share those too. :)
Giveaway ends Thursday, October 2nd. Open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older please.