ORDER A COPY: Sharpshooter (Shadow Agents)
Publishing Date: July 23, 2013
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Two years ago Gunner Ortez saved Sydney Sloan’s life on a mission gone wrong. And ever since then, he’s been watching her back. Now a hostage-rescue mission is about to blow the Elite Ops agents’ lives apart once again.
Working side by side back in the jungles of Peru, the heat between Sydney and Gunner is hotter than ever-and so are the threats to their lives. With the danger escalating, Sydney knows Gunner is her only hope at successfully completing their assignment. But the ex-SEAL who arouses passion she’d only dreamed about also poses the greatest risk to the secret she carries in her heart…and in her belly.
When Gunner Ortez and Sydney Sloan went into Peru, against orders, to rescue Gunner’s Brother and Sydney’s fiance, Slade Ortez, they barely made it out alive. Slade was not so lucky.
Since then Gunner has watched out for Sydney. He has always been there for her. Because he wants to protect her. Because he loves her. He has from the moment he met her, when she was engaged to his brother. But Gunner knows she could never be his, ever. She wanted Slade and now he’s gone. Yet for the last two years, Gunner and Sydney have leaned on each other, supported each other, and feelings have been changing and growing.
Gunner has always been…standoffish seems too gentle a word, but now that he and Sydney has grown so close, she knows that there is more to Gunner than the hard eyes and the cool demeanor that he shows the rest of the world. Now that she knows him, really knows him, Sydney wants Gunner even more than she ever wanted to be with Slade, and she can’t be wrong about Gunner’s feelings for her, can she?
It’s been two years since his death and as a member of the Elite Operations Division (EOD) Sydney knows how precious life can be and how quickly things can be taken away from you. She is tired of waiting for Gunner to make a move. She is planning on grasping for all the wants in life, and the first thing she wants is Gunner Ortez.
When another rescue mission to Peru turns their world upside down, Sydney will need to fight for the man she wants against the ghost of the man she lost.
Whoo hoo! This story combines my favorite tropes, the friends to lovers as well as the damaged hero. Although I can’t say that Gunner is truly damaged, he has led a very hard life as an special agent for the government. He has been captured and tortured. He has been on death’s door more than once. He is scarred and hardened, and he appreciates all that Sydney means to him, even if that means he doesn’t feel worthy of her. That qualifies him enough in my book.
Gunner has come to mean everything to Sydney, much more than Slade ever did, and Sydney wants to move their relationship from friends to so much more but Gunner keeps the ghost of his brother firmly between them. At least he does until Sydney declares that she is ready to move on with her life and she’s ready to find a new lover, and if Gunner doesn’t want the job, she’ll find someone else how does. As you can imagine, that declaration gets Gunner moving in the right direction.
Problem is that they work together in a very dangerous field. They are both part of the EOD that goes into dangerous territories and situations for hostage rescue. Their lives are both at risk and when their relationship finally becomes more, they are finding it harder to do their jobs when the life lost could be either of them.
They end up going back to Peru for a hostage rescue and come back with more than they bargained for, a prisoner who will change everything and who might just rip them apart.
This was a enjoyable story full of excitement and romance and definitely is my favorite of the series. This story will definitely bring some changes to the EOD team and the tiny foreshadow presented for the next book looks like it will shake things up further.
Great story from Cynthia Eden as always.
He worked with a group far off the grid. The Elite Ops Division wasn’t on any books anywhere in the U.S. government. They took the jobs that the rest of the world wasn’t meant to know about. In particular, his EOD team–code-named the Shadow Agents–had a reputation for deadly accuracy when it came to taking out their targets.
And this guy…that jerk with the trembling finger, he was going down. The man had kidnapped an ambassador’s daughter. Held her for ransom, and when the ransom had been paid, he’d still killed her.
He’d thought he could hide from justice.
He’d thought wrong.
Sydney’s intell had led them to Jonathan Hall. Led them to his hideout just over the border in Mexico.
Sydney had volunteered to go in, to make sure that Hall was holding no civilians.
Now she was the one being held.
“He can’t leave the scene,” Logan Quinn said, the faint drawl of the South sliding beneath the team leader’s words as they carried easily over the transmitter. “You know our orders.”
Containment or death. Yeah, Gunner knew the drill, because the ambassador’s daughter hadn’t been the first victim. Hall like to kill.
Gunner stared down at the man, at Sydney. You won’t kill her.
Sydney’s face was emotionless. Like a pale canvas, waiting for life. That wasn’t her. She was always brimming with emotion, letting it spill over onto everything and everyone.
It was only on the missions that she changed.
How many more missions would she take? She seemed to be putting herself at risk more these days. He hated that.
He shifted his position, testing the wind. Hall wouldn’t see him. he was too far away. Gunner’s specialty was attacking from a distance.
There was no target that he couldn’t reach.
He could take out that man right now. A perfect shot…if he hadn’t been worried that Hall’s finger would jerk on that trigger at impact.
“I want the gun away from her head.” Gunner snapped into his mouthpiece.
But even as he said the words, he saw Sydney’s lips moving.
Take. The. Shot.
Hall was outside the small house, his gaze frantically searching the area even as he kept Sydney killing-close. The man wasn’t stupid. He’d eluded capture for over a year because he understood how the game was played.
Hall knew Sydney hadn’t come in alone. The guy just didn’t see her backup. When he hunted like this, Gunner’s prey never saw him, not unless he wanted to be seen.
This time, he wanted to be seen because that gun was coming away from Sydney’s head.
Take. The. Shot. Her lips moved again.
He shook his head, even though he realized she’d never see the movement. Then he took two steps to the right. He knew that, in this particular position the sunlight would glint off his weapon. When he saw that flash of light, Hall would fire–
And he did. The man yanked the gun away from Sydney’s head and shot at Gunner.
Gunner had already taken his own shot.
The second the gun moved away from her temple, Sydney shoved back against Hall with her elbow, and then she’d jerked away from her captor and threw herself down.
Before she even hit the ground, Gunner’s bullet slammed into Hall. The man stumbled back and fell.
“Converge,” Logan’s hard order came in Gunner’s ear.
The other EOD team members rushed from the shadows. Not that they needed to rush. Hall wasn’t going to be a threat to anyone, not anymore.
Gunner’s breath eased out. He watched as Sydney pushed to her knees, then rose to her feet.
Cale Lane, the newest team member, crouched over Hall as Sydney looked toward Gunner’s position.
He’d put the weapon down, so he couldn’t see her face clearly, not with the distance that separated them. But he was aware that his heart beat too fast. His hands had been sweating.
A sharpshooter wasn’t supposed to get nervous, wasn’t supposed to feel on the mission.
But whenever he was close to Sydney, all he could do was feel.
Our winner was Melissa L. Thank you to Kensington for the givewaway.
ORDER A COPY: Avenging Angel (The Fallen)
Publishing Date: May 28, 2013
Paperback: 337 pages
Rating: 5 stars
With a messed up family background and a tendency to grow claws and fangs, Tanner Chance isn’t exactly the boy next door. But he’s a decent cop, and he keeps himself on the side of the good guys. Convenient, because when he rescues a survivor of a horrific shifter attack he finds himself instantly smitten—with an honest-to-goodness angel, as innocent as she is irresistible.
Marna may be angelic, but she’s not stupid or weak. She can take care of herself. Tanner is more temptation than protection anyway. Or so she thinks, until someone wearing her face starts taking out some of New Orleans’ more unsavory paranormals. With police and predators both gunning for her blood, Marna has no choice but to trust Tanner…even though what’s sparking between them is hotter than anything holy.
Marna was an Angel of Death. Being an Angel of Death wasn’t something that she loved to do. She hated seeing all the pain, suffering and fear associated with death, but it was all she knew. Except Heaven is closed to her now. An Angel without wings can’t fly back to Heaven and her wings were shredded off her body by a half-shifter/half-angel named Brandt. He’s dead, killed by another Fallen, but that doesn’t stop the pain that Marna suffers each day for her loss. The loss of everything that she has ever known. The unbearable pain of having her delicate wings ripped from her body. And suffering the overwhelming emotions which are plaguing her, a Fallen Angel, rage, pain…lust.
The worst part is being a Fallen Death Angel that no longer has the killing touch. Oh how she wanted to use it to kill those shifters to just watched and laughed as her life was torn from her. She tried to touch them and failed, and they laughed at her some more. Now everyone knows that the fragile, helpless little Angel has no power to protect herself. And every predator is looking for her wanting a taste of Angel’s blood, of the power that blood can boost their supernatural abilities. She No. 1 on every supernatural’s hit list whether they want a taste or just want the fortune to be had selling her blood to the highest bidder.
Detective (and shifter) Tanner Chance has been trying to protect Marna since his brother, Brandt, left her broken and bleeding in the swamp. Now that those shifters have turned up dead and eyewitnesses are pointing to the little blonde angel as the killer, Tanner has to work fast to keep Marna from being locked up in the human jail. He will do whatever he must to protect her, even go against his training, because every sense he has tells him to protect her…to protect what is his. Marna isn’t his yet, but she will be. Both the man and the beast know she is his.
Cynthia Eden never disappoints. Although Azreal gets to keep the crown for most awesome Angel, this story kept me guessing the entire time, Who could we trust? Who is watching? Who is after them? After three stories featuring powerful, bad-ass Angels, I loved that Marna is portrayed as small and helpless. Unlike the other Fallen, Marna has not regained her Angel powers since loosing her wings. This makes her a prime target for all the vampires, demons and shifters prowling New Orleans who want to take or cash in on her powerful and very addictive angel’s blood.
There has been something between Tanner and Marna since he picked her up off the ground in the swamp in Angel In Chains and it was a great story to read. Watching Marna go from being afraid whenever she saw Tanner’s claws to her coming to trust him not to hurt her and finally their budding relationship was so enjoyable.
Another great story by Cynthia Eden!
Received a review copy from the publisher. Thank you.
Marna swallowed and lifted her chin higher. Of course, she lifted the covers higher, too. “I want to be alone now. I don’t want–”
In two seconds, he was on that bed with her. Marna tried to scramble back. Too late. He grabbed her hand and forced it against his bare chest.
Her breath rasped out, and she tried to jerk away from him. “Stop it!”
“Make me.” A cruel taunt, but he had to see what would happen.
Marna’s blue eyes widened as she tried to yank her hand away again. He just tightened his hold. Her palm was soft against his chest. Her splayed fingers pressed right over his racing heart.
“Let me go!”
The covers had dropped. She had on a black bra–one he’d raced out and bought for her before they’d gone to Hell. He’d picked up clothes for her, fantasizing a bit about her in the silk panties, and–
Her left hand plowed into his face.
He shook his head, barely feeling the sting of that blow as realization settled heavily in his gut. “You can’t do it.”
No wonder the vampire had been so close to her.
Her breath rushed out, far too fast, and he could see the frantic race of her pulse at the base of her neck. “Don’t push me.” Her words were loud, rushed. “I don’t want to hurt you!”
“You can’t.” Certain now. “You can’t hurt me.” She was touching him. Flesh to flesh.
Her skin was so pale. Her eyes wide. And the scent of her fear was driving him freaking insane. “You can’t kill me. You can’t use the Death Touch.” Fuck. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me? That vamp could have drained you dry!”
But, even as he asked, Tanner knew why she hadn’t told him. The lady didn’t trust him, not for one single minute.
“I could have handled him,” Marna gritted out.
He still held her hand pinned against his chest. “Oh, yeah? How? The way you’re handling me right now?”
Then she moved, so fast that he didn’t even see the motion of her body. Angels could always move so quickly. Marna just hadn’t moved that way in a while, and he’d forgotten…
She shoved him back on the bed and straddled him, and Marna shoved a knife against this throat.
Now where the hell had she gotten that little trinket?
The silver began to slice into his flesh.
“I found this back at Hell,” she told him, fingers clenched tightly around the hilt of the blade. “I had it when that vamp came at me. I could’ve used it on him.”
“A little knife wouldn’t stop him.” Or me. Silver would hurt like a bitch because the old tale about shifters and silver not mixing so well was true, but she wouldn’t have time to do any permanent damage. Permanent like cutting out his heart.
“It would have slowed him down. Vampires get weaker with blood loss. I would have been sure to make him plenty weak.”
Strange to hear such bloodthirsty plans come from her lips. He had to remember, the lady was far deadlier than she appeared.
Even if she’d somehow lost the Death Touch.
“When did you know?” Her legs straddled him. Did she feel the swelling cock shoving again her? Probably. Tanner didn’t really see how she could miss that. Not like it was a small thing.
The blade dug a bit deeper into his skin. “I went after those bastard panther shifters, LaRue and Stokes,” Marna confessed. “I went after the jerks because I wanted to kill them.”
So she had been seeking some vengeance. Tanner tried to keep his body perfectly still beneath her. He had one hell of a view, and other than the stinging pain in his neck, being beneath her was pretty damn pleasurable.
Being in her, that would be even better.
A hungry growl slipped from him.
Marna frowned down at him.
Tanner cleared his throat. “What happened?”
Her tongue swiped over her lips. His cock jerked.
“I–I tracked them in the Quarter,” she said. “I followed them for days. I waited, wanting the perfect moment.”
Definitely a bloodthirsty angel. He’d have to remember that little tidbit about her. Marna sure wasn’t all sunshine and light, no matter how she appeared.
“I was going to walk right up to them. Look them straight in the eyes, and watch as their lives drained away.”
He would have done the exact same thing. He liked for his kills to be personal. Those getting payback, well, they needed to see just who was delivering the justice to them.
“They always went to the same place for drinks. I waited until the bar on Bourbon Street was almost empty, and then I went inside.”
Tanner heard the echo of pain in her voice. “What did they do to you?”
“Nothing.” A laugh, heavy with bitterness, slipped from her. “I marched up to Stokes. Put my hand on his chest and waited for him to look at me with fear in his eyes.”
Beau Stokes had always been a sadistic prick. So eager to attack weaker prey. So quick to slice with his claws and laugh when his prey begged for mercy.
“But he didn’t even know who I was,” Marna whispered. did she realized she still held the knife to his throat? “He tried to kiss me. Tried to pull me closer to him, like I was another body to screw in that dark bar.”
Tanner didn’t speak.
“I wanted to kill him. I was trying to. LaRue was coming toward us, laughing, and I wanted them both to die.” Her head dipped further forward, and the curtain of her hair hid her face.
Tanner lifted his hand and pushed back her hair. He could barely feel the sting of the knife now. “But they didn’t die.”
Her lashes slowly lifted. “Angels of death–those Fallen and those who still have their wings–all of them can kill with a touch. That’s our power. Our one, unbreakable gift. Death.”
Death was a gift?
“I ran from the shifters. They were laughing at me while I ran away.” Her breath rasped out. “When Brandt took my wings from me, he took away everything that I was. I have nothing now. Nothing.”
But fury. A rage so dark it had sent her after the panthers–ready to kill and destroy.
“Angels have magic. They can do so much–conjure, stir fire.” A bitter laugh came from her. “I can’t even make smoke.” She shook her head. “So what am I supposed to do now?” Marna asked him and then she blinked, seeming to finally realize that she still had a knife at his throat. Her hand lifted as she took the knife away from his jugular. “Just wait around for a vamp to drain me? Wait for a shifter to slice me and–”
It was his turn to have her flat on her back. Tanner crushed her into the mattress. He didn’t have to worry about a Death Touch now. She wasn’t going to lose control.
Maybe it was time he did.
ORDER A COPY: Die for Me: A Novel of the Valentine Killer
Publishing Date: February 12, 2013
Paperback: 358 pages
Rating: 5 pages
She thought her fiancé was the perfect man—until he turned out to be the perfect killer…
Katherine Cole is running for her life, desperate to escape the Valentine Killer—so-called because he stabs his victims through the heart and leaves them holding a telltale single red rose. Still he tracks her to New Orleans and begins carving a bloody path to her door. But this time, Katherine refuses to run any farther. This time, she’ll do anything to stop the madman she once loved, even trust the sexy cop promising to keep her safe…
Detective Dane Black never lets his emotions interfere with his job, even as the Valentine Killer surfaces in New Orleans to stalk his prey. But when Dane agrees to protect the killer’s ex-fiancée, Katherine Cole, he can’t ignore the passion kindling between them. After a single unforgettable night binds them body and soul, Dane knows he won’t rest until Katherine is safe in his arms—and the Valentine Killer is dead.
Katelynn thought she had the perfect life, a great job and a wonderful fiancé who loved her dearly. Then her life in Boston ended after her perfect man turned out to be a serial killer. She is still tormented by the knowledge that she never knew there was a monster that lived inside the man she loved. After walking in on the man now called The Valentine Killer, she was brought in and questioned by the Boston Police and she told them everything she knew, or thought she knew, about the man she called Michael. But they were never able to find him.
Three years later, she is living in New Orleans, with a new look and a new name. She now answers to the name of Katherine Cole. She thinks she is finally regaining control of her life when her nightmare starts again. A woman has been murdered, and she is found clutching one red rose.
Although it jeopardizes her new life, Katherine goes to the New Orleans Police Dept. to help them catch Valentine. When she approaches Det. Dane Black, he is concerned that Katherine is involved with the murders. How else could she know so much about the murder scenes? As he finds out more about Katherine and her life in Boston, he is convinced that Valentine is focusing on women who look like Katherine and this time, she might just become one of his victims if Dane isn’t quick enough.
Katherine will do whatever is necessary to help keep more women from becoming victims of this killer. While Katherine has never forgotten Valentine, Valentine has never forgotten the only woman he ever loved, and he is watching and waiting for an opportunity to be with his Kat again.
This was a nail biting thriller. It is not often that I get to read a thriller that just keeps me guessing. I think I had everyone guilty at one point or other during the story.
There was also an interesting thought throughout this story in that our killer was in love with and absolutely obsessed with our heroine, and Det. Black falls for Katherine and becomes obsessed with her. So what is the difference between the killer and the cop if they are both so obsessed with Katherine. A very interesting point.
On the romance scale, I’d only give it a 3 1/2 . I really wasn’t feeling it. Dane’s obsessive interest seemed to come too quickly and although they have sex, it is more of a quick, lust filled coming together with little foreplay. I usually enjoy the dance that Cynthia’s hero and heroine do before they come together, especially that first time, so I would say the focus on this story is more the thriller than the romance.
This story takes off from page 1 and never slows down. I would definitely recommend picking up a copy.
It wouldn’t have been fair to lead the guy on, not when she couldn’t make herself feel anything for him.
But then, she hadn’t felt very much in the past few years. Half the time, it seemed as if she were wrapped in some kind of fog, moving slowly through life.
You felt something when you were with the detective. The whisper slid through her mind. Katherine swallowed and turned toward the stairs. Right then, she didn’t want to think too much about the dark and dangerous detective. Instead, she wanted—
She came to an abrupt stop.
There were roses on the stairs.
The breath froze in Katherine’s chest.
Once upon a time, roses had been her favorite flowers. Then she’d learned just what Michael had been doing with the roses. Buying a dozen roses…then leaving one with his victim and bring the remaining eleven to her.
He brought them to me after each kill.
Her cheeks were wet now. Her hands were shaking.
And there were fucking roses on her stairs. In my house. “No,” Katherine whispered. This could not be happening.
But there was something beside the roses. A small box. It almost looked like a candy box from one of those fancy chocolate shops that she’d seen in the French Quarter a few times. Slender, long…
She was walking toward the box. She should be getting the hell out of there, but it was as if she were being pulled forward, forced toward that box.
I’ll look inside. It will just be chocolate. Trent could have left the candy and the flowers when I wasn’t looking. He dropped them off when he was here earlier and I was getting my purse.
It didn’t have to be from Valentine.
But he always sent me flowers after each death. She just hadn’t realized that fact until after it was too late. He’d sent her eleven roses, and his victim—each time his victim had the twelfth rose.
Her breath sawed out of her lungs as her gaze locked on those roses. Helplessly she began to count them.
One, two, three…
The scent of the roses was sickly sweet.
Four, five, six…
There were thorns on the roses. Thorns that would draw blood.
Seven, eight, nine…
Her heart beat so hard that it hurt her chest.
Ten. Eleven. Dear God, only eleven.
The twelfth rose was missing.
She picked up the box. Nearly dropped it because she was so scared and nervous. Then her shaking fingers lifted the lid off the box. Rose petals fell onto the steps. Then she screamed, a long, desperate sound, but one that also burned with rage because the sick bastard was back. He was playing games with her—with his victims—all over again.
There was no chocolate in the box.
She dropped it. Jumped back.
Katherine whirled and ran for the door. Get away, get away, get away.
Because the nightmare of her past had found her once more.
Don’t forget to check out our interview with Cynthia Eden
ORDER A COPY: Alpha One (Shadow Agents)
Publishing Date: January 1, 2013
Paperback: 224 pages
Rating: 4 stars
“Julie’s missing. You have to get her back.”The minute he got the message, undercover agent Logan Quinn sprang into action. Getting Juliana James out of Mexico alive was the Elite Ops covert agent’s only priority. But once the senator’s daughter was safely back in their Mississippi hometown, Logan had a new mission: to get another chance with the woman he couldn’t lose again.
Juliana had never forgotten the day, ten years ago, when Logan left her heart in pieces. Now he was back in her life, sworn to protect her from the ruthless weapons dealer who wanted her dead. As passion blindsided her—and she was once again thrust into danger—Julie realized how much she’d risk for one more day in Logan’s arms.
Shadow Agents of the EOD, Elite Operations Division, an elite team from different branches of the armed forces who don’t exist on paper, but have been brought together to do the job others can’t, including hostage recovery. The EOD have spilled blood on many missions, both their enemies and their own, but this time it’s personal.
In Alpha One, Juliana James has distanced herself from her father, Senator Aaron James, more and more over the years. Her father was once a good man, fighting for everything that was right, but since her mother’s death, his only interest has been money and power and he no longer cares who he hurts to get them. This time around, it is Juliana who is paying the price for his dirty dealings. She has been kidnapped by Diego Guerreros, better known as El Diablo, a very dangerous arms dealer who will not hesitate to cut up Juliana and send her back to her father in pieces for stealing from him.
The Senator has called in the EOD to bring his daughter safely home. He knows that Logan Quinn with do everything he can to keep his daughter safe because it was the Senator himself who separated the two lovers ten years before and he knows Logan has just as much interest in keeping Juliana safe. EOD sweeps in and Juliana is safe from Guerreros’s knife, then she finds out the team leader is Logan—her Logan and the cut to her heart is deeper then those made by her kidnappers. Juliana was only twenty when she waited at the bus stop for the man who never showed, and the pain of his betrayal far exceeds any torture Guerreros had planned.
Now she’s back in the U.S. and she’s safe from Guerreros and safe from her feelings from Logan—right? She couldn’t be more wrong. Her father told the EOD that Juliana has proof of all of his involvements with Diego Guerreros and all his clients and that she would turn all that over to the government after she was saved from her kidnappers. Unfortunately for Juliana, she doesn’t know anything about her father’s dealings. Maybe the EOD believes her, but Guerreros isn’t planning on taking any chances. Logan and his team know that Guerreros won’t stop until Juliana’s dead so they need to lead him into a trap with the only bait they have—Juliana.
Juliana isn’t complete certain that Guerreros and his men are the biggest danger to her. Sure the EOD may save her life, but will she be able to survive watching Logan walk away from her again when this is all over?
This was an action packed story. There are some great subcharacters that you will find interesting who I presume will be the feature of the next few books. Logan and Juliana were likable characters and their story was heartbreaking and sweet.
I guess my only real problem is that after just finishing her The Wolf Within, which is a paranormal unit of the FBI, I did find this story was lacking…just lacking werewolves and vampires?…maybe that was it.
If you like you action sans hairy beasts, this was definitely a quick read and enjoyable story. You just can’t miss with a Cynthia Eden book.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
“He was going to tell you. He told me to leave, or he’d—“
“And that made you just walk away? His threat?” She wasn’t buying that line. Time to try another one.
But he gave a hard shake of his head. “No, I left because he was right. You deserved more than me. My father was right too, you know…In a lot of ways, I am just like him.” He lifted his hands, stared at his fingers. “I was made to kill.”
“Maybe you were made to protect.” She was tired of this bull. “You don’t have to be like him. Be your own person! You didn’t have to leave me alone—“
“You looked at me like I was a hero. I never wanted you to look at me…the way you are right now.”
She stepped back. “You should have told me from the beginning.” Everything could have been different between them. No secrets. No lies. “You just left me!”
Juliana took another fast step away from him.
“I came back.”
Her eyes narrowed.
“Six month,” he said, jerking a rough hand through his hair. “I’d joined the navy. Tried to forget you. I couldn’t.”
“You didn’t come back for me.” The lies were too much. Why couldn’t he ever tell her the truth?
“You weren’t alone.”
“You called him Thomas. He was blond, rich, driving a Porsche and holding you too close.”
“How do you know about him?” Thomas had been her friend; then after Logan left, he’d been more. She’d just wanted to forget for a while. To feel wanted, loved by someone else.
“You were sleeping with him.”
There was anger, jealousy—rage—vibrating in his voice now. She almost wished for the emotionless mask. “I couldn’t breathe without thinking of you, but you’d moved on. Gotten someone better.”
She and Thomas had broken up after a few months. He’d been a good guy, solid, dependable, but he hadn’t been…
Check out our interview with Cynthia Eden. We’ll be talking about her many, many, many new series out now and coming in 2013.
ORDER A COPY: The Better to Bite
Publishing Date: November 4, 2012
eBook: 300 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Don’t go into the woods.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Lambert knows that the woods near her new home aren’t safe. She’s seen the wolves that stalk through that dark forest, but Anna doesn’t scare easily.
Anna is cursed–or gifted, depending on how you look at it–with the ability to find anyone or anything that is lost. So when folks start disappearing in the small town of Haven, Anna’s father, the sheriff, has to use her special skills as they begin to hunt for a killer.
But the killer isn’t exactly human. As Anna is pulled deeper into the secrets of Haven–a town that is truly cursed–she finds herself falling for two, equally mysterious boys. With the danger closing in, one of those boys may just turn out to be her savior. And the other? He could be a very big, very bad…beast.
Beware of beasts…and boys…with bite
Anna Lambert and her father have just moved from Chicago to the small town of Haven, SC. Maybe she’s just not used to small towns, but it seems that there is something odd going on in Haven. And Anna knows all about being odd, or as her father calls her…different. Anna can always find things that are lost, whether it is lost keys, a lost earring, or even lost people.
When Anna goes to visit her father, the new local sheriff, she sees all the missing person’s fliers and she immediately knows where to find the “lost” people but none of them are coming home alive. They have all been the victims of animal attacks…more particularly, a wolf. Maybe even the same wolf that chased Anna herself through the forest.
Anna’s father forbids her from getting involved in the searches, and just wants her to get settled into her new school. That sounds simple enough, but being the new girl in town isn’t always easy. Aside from a few new friends, Anna isn’t the most popular girl in class, especially after she catches the attention of not only the hot football quarterback, and gorgeous, boy-next-door, Brent Peters, but also the sexy bad-boy, Rafe Channing.
But as more people go missing, Anna’s special abilities are needed to help find them before it’s too late. When discussions start turning to witches, magic and werewolves, Anna thinks she might just be been safer on the mean streets of Chicago.
This was a spellbinding tale of a young woman, first loves and paranormal mystery. A perfect example of great storytelling.
There was no hot werewolf sex in this book, barely so much as a kiss, but I didn’t miss it at all. There was so much going on and so many questions running through my head that I never felt the loss. I also realized that there were several questions left open once we got to the end. But even before I knew it was the first in a trilogy, I didn’t feel short-changed about the unanswered questions which would usually piss me off. Really, don’t get me started on Lost!!!
You knew that there were a lot of secrets in this little town, but you were never sure who was hiding a secret and if everyone was actually in on them but Anna.
Definitely pick up a copy for your favorite teen, as well as a copy for yourself. I am looking forward to getting some more answers in the upcoming books.
A long, mournful wail jerked my attention from the Trig book on the kitchen table. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t into Trig right then. I kept peeking out of the window and hoping to see some sign of my dad.
The howl had me rising and creeping once more to the window. I pulled backthe curtain and peered outside. I didn’t see anything.
I turned away.
Seconds later, something slammed into the front door, and I gasped.
Hard, heavy. The whole house seemed to shake with the impact.
Very, very slowly, I turned back around.
Once more, I looked outside, but I couldn’t see anything. From this angle, I wouldn’t be able to see what was on the other side of that door.
I crept toward the door and risked a fast glance out of the peephole.
I could hear a faint scratching. Like nails, digging into the wood.
I jumped back, then I turned and ran as fast as I could for the closet in my dad’s room.
I knew my dad. Knew how he thought. Knew where he hid his weapons. It took me about three seconds to shove a chair into his closet and climb up on it to find the back-up gun he’d tucked onto the top shelf.
Dad had taught me to use a gun, and I really was a very good shot. I loaded the bullets, climbed down, and carefully inched back toward the living room.
I heard the scratches instantly. Scratches and a low whine.
An animal in pain. Possibly dying. But weren’t those the most dangerous types of animals?
I didn’t open the door. “Get out of here!” I yelled, hoping my voice would scare the beast away. “Just get out of here!”
I didn’t hear the sound of fleeing feet, but I did hear…”Anna.”
My name, so soft, barely slipping past the locked door.
Not an animal. Oh, crap. I kept my hold on the gun and fumbled with the lock. I jerked and twisted and the door creaked open, but not too much. Just a few inches.
The porch light fell on his dark hair.
He was lying on his stomach, with his arms outstretched toward the door. He was naked, totally naked and blood gushed from wounds on his back.
I dropped to me knees. “What happened?” But I knew what those wounds were on his back. No way could I mistake gunshot wounds, not with my dad’s job.
He grabbed for my leg, and that was when I realized something was very, very wrong with is hands. Because he didn’t just have hands. Long, thick claws—actual freaking claws—burst from his fingertips. Claws like an animal would have. Not fingernails like a human would possess.
I stopped breathing.
His head lifted, and he looked up at me. His face…it was different, too. His cheeks were sharper, his jaw longer, his whole face thinner. And his eyes weren’t blue anymore. They were bright yellow. Glowing.
The wolf’s eyes.
”Help…me.” The voice wasn’t his. That hard, desperate grating seemed more like an animal’s growl than anything else.
His claws were wrapped around my knee. His eyes burned into mine. His blood dripped onto my porch.
I lifted my gun and pointed it right between his eyes. “What are you?” But I knew–I knew.
ORDER A COPY: The Wolf Within
Publisher: Curtis Brown Digital
Publishing Date: November 15, 2012
Kindle eBook: 278 pages
Rating: 5 stars
FBI Special Agent Duncan McGuire spends his days–and his nights–tracking real-life monsters. Most humans aren’t aware of the vampires and werewolves that walk among them. They don’t realize the danger that they face, but Duncan knows about the horror that waits in the darkness. He hunts the monsters, and he protects the innocent. Duncan just never expects to become a monster. But after a brutal werewolf attack, Duncan begins to change…and soon he will be one of the very beasts that he has hunted.
Dr. Holly Young is supposed to help Duncan during his transition. It’s her job to keep him sane so that Duncan can continue working with the FBI’s Para Unit. But as Duncan’s beast grows stronger, the passion that she and Duncan have held carefully in check pushes to the surface. The desire that is raging between them could be a very dangerous thing…because Holly isn’t exactly human, not any longer.
As the monsters circle in, determined to take out all of the agents working at the Para Unit, Holly and Duncan will have to use their own supernatural strengths in order to survive. But as they give up more of their humanity and embrace the beasts within them both, they realize that the passion between them isn’t safe, it isn’t controllable, and their dark need may just be an obsession that could destroy them both.
FBI Special Agent Duncan McGuire is a member the paranormal unit of the FBI. He joined to take the killer weres and vamps off the street. Duncan’s family was killed by werewolves when he was just a child. He wants to do what he can to clean up the streets to make up for the loss of his family.
His most recent case leaves him trapped in an alley when a pack catches up to him. Unless you have the right DNA, a werewolf bite will be fatal. For a man who has hated the weres all his life, the fact that he has the right DNA might save his life, but it will turn him into one of the monsters he is trying to get off the street.
The last thing Duncan wants when he might turn into a monster is to be brought back to the FBI paranormal containment hospital to be checked out by Dr. Holly Young. Duncan has wanted the shy, reserved doctor since he first met her, and he knows that the wolf within will want her even more.
As the full moon approaches, if he can keep his sanity during the first change, he might just be able to be an asset to the Para Unit. Just in time since his superior strength and keen nose will be needed to sniff out the traitor in the FBI who is trying to undermine all the unit’s hard work to catch the more dangerous paranormals.
What an exciting story! It has the absolutely perfect blend of hot werewolf sexiness and intense FBI drama to keep your heart racing, but for very different reasons.
From the moment Duncan is brought into the Para unit, his wolf starts to emerge and when he gets close to Holly, the wolf starts taking over, and he wants one thing, Holly. So right from the start we have our sexy werewolf growling mine. *shiver*
Duncan has wanted to date Holly since he first saw her, but he was afraid he was too rough for her since she was so shy and standoffish around him. Holly has wanted Duncan too, but something happened to Holly a year ago, and now she’s not human anymore. She has been avoiding the gorgeous Duncan to avoid harming him with her new strength. So this was two people waiting for a chance to jump each other.
This is the first in the new Purgatory series, and I can see that it will be full of suspense and excitement. You knew that somebody was dirty, but it was impossible to figure out who you could trust. I spent the whole book going “I don’t trust him.—No, he’s okay.—No, no. I knew he was bad.—Alright, maybe it’s not him.—Hey, what’s that guy doing—Ugh! Who is it?” You just can’t trust anyone. They are all hiding some secret, but hiding something doesn’t make them evil.
We meet some interest subcharacters who I am sure will be the subject of other books in the series. Sadly, we will have to leave Duncan and Holly to their HEA and move on. I really liked these characters.
His hand flew to his face. His eyes were wide open, the gold even bolder in that blue gaze than it had been moments before. His lips were parted, and she could just see the edge of his lengthening canines.
Oh, hell. “Duncan?”
He jerked to a sitting position, snapping those straps that had been over his body in an instant, and he yanked her closer to him. His other hand rose and wrapped around her shoulder, effectively trapping her in place.
His brows lowered as he studied her, and his nostrils widened as if he were drinking in her scent.
“D-Duncan, you’re back at the med unit. I’m just checking you over to make sure—“
His head lowered toward her throat. Holly yelped, thinking he was going for her jugular, and she tried to push him back.
Only there was no pushing him.
Enhanced strength, definite check. It sure looked like Pate was right about the alpha coming out in Duncan.
He was right.
And I could be screwed.
Her nails sank into his shoulders. She didn’t want to hurt him. He’d been hurt enough. But…
He wasn’t biting her. Wasn’t sinking those new, wickedly sharp canines of his into her neck. He was—
Nuzzling her? What. The. Hell?
Holly was pretty sure that she’d just felt the lick of his tongue over her neck.
She shuddered against him. “Ah…Duncan…you need to let me go…I can help you…”
He was on the edge of the table now. He’d pulled her between his legs. Caged her so well. The heat from his body scorched her.
His right hand wasn’t on her shoulder any longer. It had just dropped to the curve of her ass.
“Duncan!” Her voice snapped at him.
His head lifted. Only the man she’d known wasn’t staring back at her from the gold/blue eyes. A hungry beast stared back at her. A beast who sure looked like he was ready for a bite.
Been there, done that.
That burning gaze seemed to consume her. “Want…” The word was an inhuman rasp, a beast’s growl.
“You…” Holly paused, wet her too dry lips and muttered, “need to let me go—“
Her mouth was still open when his lips crashed down on hers. Not gentle. Not even close. Desperate and rough and wild. His tongue thrust into her mouth. His hold tightened around her, and Duncan—
ORDER A COPY: Angel In Chains (The Fallen)
Publishing Date: November 27, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 5 stars
As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death.
Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions.
Azreal was an Angel—The Angel. Az was in charge of the Angels of Death. Except that was before—before he fell for trying to take a soul that was not on his List. Now Az is a fallen angel looking for a way back.
When he comes across Jade Pierce being attacked in a back alley by three shifters, he realizes that protecting her, a human, might be Az’s chance at redemption. He will use her helplessness to his advantage and earn his wings back.
Az isn’t the only one looking to use someone for his own advantage. Jade knows that Azreal is more than the average Other and he might just be what she needs to save her from her ex. Her ex-boyfriend is no ordinary stalker. He is the Alpha of a pack of panther shifters and he believes that he and Jade are destined to be together. He has killed her parents and anyone else who Jade has tried to get close to while she has been running from him and his vicious pack for the last ten years.
If she can get Az to kill Brandt, Jade can finally stop running. But there is more to Brandt than even Jade knows and it won’t be so easy to kill him. Especially when Heaven’s #2 comes staking with a List of his own, and he is as zealous as Azreal was to make sure that all souls on his List are accounted for. When Jade’s name comes up, Brandt might just be the least of her problems.
Absolutely incredible! Action packed and exciting with an ending that had me out of mind. I picked it up and didn’t put it down until I was finished. I am amazed when an author can take the antagonist from one book and make him the hero in the next, and I actually like him.
In Book #1, Angel of Darkness, Az was after Keenan and Nicole because Nicole’s name had come up on the List to die the night Keenan interfered and Nicole was turned into a vampire. Azreal was determined that Keenan kill Nicole so he could return to heaven and when Keenan refused, Az was determined to take her soul himself. Azreal fell because Nicole was no longer on the List and he was just chasing a personal vendetta against her for tempting Keenan. Now it was Az’s turn to protect Jade from the death angel who is marking her for death.
Now after Angel Betrayed, I didn’t think we could get an angel more badass then Sam. Sam and Az have been enemies of a sort since Sam fell a millennium ago. Sam has been on earth growing wealth and power. All the Others know to be afraid of Sam, but even Sam is weary of the power that Az holds in check. Sam is cool and confident as a powerful man would be, but Az is cold and uncaring as a VERY powerful man would be, one who knows there is no one more dangerous around. Except he isn’t cold to Jade. She has been the first woman to tempt him from his mission to return to heaven.
There is a set up for the next book and I am excited to see how that next story plays out.
Received an ARC courtesy of Kensington books. Thank you.
“I was…just…” The demon rose and winced. “I was merely checking her out.”
“I saw that.” A lethal edge underscored Az’s words. He spun to face the doctor, giving Jade his back, and that was when she actually paid attention enough to notice his wings.
Not real wings. More like shadows. Thick, black, they rose from his bare shoulders and extended high above him.
They were dark and so beautiful.
“She was scared,” Az snarled as he closed in on the demon. “I heard her fear.” His hands were clenched into powerful fists.
Uh, oh. Jade kept a hold on her sheet as she hopped out of bed. Her knees didn’t so much as jiggle when her feet touched down on the wooden floor. That angel blood sure packed a powerful punch.
“Because she realized—we both realized—“ Cody spoke quickly now as he pressed his back against the wall in an attempt to put more distance between him and Az. “We realized that she’s healed.”
Jade crept up behind Az. Tanner didn’t move. She reached out and her fingers skimmed over those shadowy wings. She could almost feel them against her skin. Like silk.
Az stiffened. He’d loved it when she stroked his scars before. What effect would it have on him when she touched these shadowy remnants of his wings?
“Jade…” Her name was a rasp, heavy with need, lust.
She stroked the shadows once more.
This time, he shuddered.
“She’s healed,” Cody said again. “And—“
Az turned to face her. His jaw was locked, and his eyes still burned hot enough to scorch her. And the man looked like he could eat her.
“I think it’s time for us to get out of here.” Tanner hurried over and grabbed Cody’s arm. “They need to…talk.”
“Talk? I don’t think talking is what—“
Tanner knocked his brother’s head into the wall then hustled him out of the room.
The shifter made sure to slam the door closed behind him.
Az’s wings were out of her reach now, but she wanted to touch them again. “I can see them” she whispered.
He shook his head. “Nothing’s there. The wings burned away when I fell.”
Maybe. But those shadows were still there. She stepped closer to him. Jade kept one hand on the sheet that she’d hurriedly wrapped around her body while her left hand lifted and touched those shadows. “What does it feel like when I touch them?” Jade whispered.
“They aren’t there.”
Something was. Her fingers went right through the silken remnants.
He stepped back and put enough distance between them so that she couldn’t touch his wings. When he caught her hand and held it tight. “You’re seeing what was,” he gritted. “My blood’s in you. Only those with an angel’s blood can—“
“Thank you,” her soft words cut him off.
He blinked. Shook his head.
“You saved me.” That she knew with certainty.
His fingers tightened on hers. “I was afraid I was too late.”
No. Leave it to an angel to know just how to cheat death. “Are you afraid of me?” Az asked as his eyes searched hers.
She let the sheet drop. It pooled on the floor between them. “No.”
ORDER A COPY: Howl for It
Publishing Date: August 28, 2012
Paperback: 315 pages
Rating: 5 stars
“Like A Wolf With A Bone” by Shelly Laurenston
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn’t be happier when the most-feared member of the South’s rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there’s nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts–and have her surrender however and whenever she wants. . .
“Wed Or Dead” by Cynthia Eden
Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem–Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla’s secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game.
In this wolfy anthology, we are taken for a run through the woods by our big, sexy wolf protectors.
“Like a Wolf with a Bone.” Shelly Laurenston gives us a sexy wolf protector in Egbert Ray Smith. Eggie is a marine, part of a special division. Eggie specialty is killing. While home visiting his family, his brothers’ sister-in-law Darla Mae, the youngest Lewis sister, is targeted by a group of human killers. Now Eggie is not much of a people-person, but he has taken it upon himself to protect Darla from those who are hunting her, and he’ll do whatever is necessary to keep her safe.
“Wed or Dead.” Cynthia Eden takes us to the quicky Vegas wedding of wolf shifter Alpha Gage Riley and human Kayla Kincaid. Gage knows Kayla’s little secret. He knows that she is a Hunter and that she’s been sent in to get close to him to kill him. But he has plans of his own and they include having a bite of the delicious Kayla before he springs a trap of his own. When Kayla refuses to kill Gage, he now needs to protect them both from her own people.
These were both quick reads, great stories that drew you right into the action, and very enjoyable. They featured strong, sexy heroes and no nonsense heroines who can really hold their own. I like both writers and have read several of Shelly’s stories as well as Cynthia’s. These plots were simple (“protect the girl”) but very enjoyable and they had a lot of action (and hot wolf shifters). You can read them together or just enjoy each as a quick read between other books.
My only complaint – “Eggy” really??? A hot, sexy hero named Eggy??
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
Her hand clenched around the knife’s handle. Gage was supposed to be dangerous. Lethal. The strongest paranormal badass to claim Vegas in years.
Because he was a paranormal. The supernaturals were real and breathing…and many were hiding in the shadows of Sin City.
He was the perfect target right then. Tousled hair. Sated male. Defenseless. It would be so easy. Just lift the knife. Drive the blade into his flesh.
“Oh, I think I already know all the secrets you have, sweetheart,” he murmured, his voice a low and sexy growl.
Kayla shook her head. Damn tears. “No, you don’t—“
In a flash, he rolled toward her. He leapt up and came at her with claws ripping from his fingers.
Claws…because Gage Riley wasn’t human.
His blue eyes shined at her with the light of the beast and he put those too-sharp and too-long claws of his at her throat.
The move actually seemed only fair, considering that she had her knife pressed over his heart.
“Hello, hunter,” Gage whispered.
Her own heart shoved hard against her chest. “How long…” Kayla licked her lips. Why was her mouth so dry? “How long have you known?”
He brought his head in close to hers. Inhaled her scent. Pressed a light kiss to her cheek. Did he taste the salt of her tears? “Since the first time you walked into my bar.”
What? Kayla shook her head, lost, confused. He’d known since then, and he’d still—
His claws skated lightly over her throat. He didn’t break the skin. Didn’t hurt her. But she knew one slice would cut open her jugular.
“Are you really going to kill me now?” Gage asked as he pulled back to study her with a cocked head. “On our wedding night?”
She was supposed to.
That was her job. As a hunter, she was the one sent out to keep the humans safe in this world. When a supernatural crossed the line and started killing, her team was sent in. They delivered justice. They were the heroes.
Only she didn’t feel like any kind of hero right then.
“Was screwing me part of the deal?” Gage demanded as his voice roughened.
Her eyes slit at that. Maybe it was deserved, and maybe it damn well wasn’t. Instead of stabbing him, she wanted to punch him right then.
“If so, Gage continued with a shake of his head, “that was a rather fatal mistake.”
They were at a supernatural standoff. Claws versus silver. If he’d just sheathe his claws…
“Cause now that I’ve had you…” Gage smiled at her, and revealed his growing canines. sharp “I think I want another bite.”
We will also be giving away a copy of Angel of Darkness, courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you! Just leave us a comment below. 18 years and older please. US and Canada residents only. Giveaway ends Friday, June 29th.
ORDER A COPY: Angel Betrayed (The Fallen)
Publishing Date: June 26, 2012
Paperback: 310 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Sammael – call him Sam – was an angel once. An angel of death. But the dispassionate, watch-from-above thing just wasn’t working for him when it meant watching evil torture innocent souls day in and day out. It might have cost him his wings, but these days, he gets to apply the direct method on the bad guys. Problem is, what’s making his life difficult is a bad girl…
Seline O’Shaw needs protection, and with the hounds of hell on her tail, she’s not going to quibble too hard about where she gets it. Sam’s virtue is questionable, but he’s smoking hot, massively powerful, and owes her a favor. So what if she’s getting a little case of angel lust? There are some damn deadly sins after her hide.
We met Fallen angel Sammael (Sam) during book 1 of the Fallen series, Angel of Darkness. Sam is also a Fallen Angel, a former Angel of Death. Sam falls from grace after he decides to kill those who were preying on the weak and helpless. As a Fallen, Sam has retained most of his angel powers, including his ability to kill with just a touch.
Sam has been around a long time and when sexy succubus Seline O’Shaw comes into Sam’s club, asking for his help and his protection, he doesn’t agree to help her right away. He knows when he is being set up, and he’s not entirely wrong. Seline does need help. She was sent to bring down Sam by an Angel of Justice who believes all of the Fallen must be punished. Seline wants to get away from Rogziel, and Sam is the only one she knows that would have enough power to free her from an angel’s hold.
Sam isn’t the only Fallen Angel who is being targeted for punishment and although Sam and Seline don’t completely trust each other, they try to work together to get to the other Fallen before it is too late.
Cynthia Eden is one of my favorite authors. She is a favorite because she never disappoints. I have yet to pick up one of her stories and not be grabbed up by the story from page 1. This story is no exception. And her heroes, whether they are weres, shifters, demons or Angels and all drool-worthy.
In Cynthia’s list of sexy, badass supernaturals, Sam tops the list as the sexiest, badass in Town and he knows it! Although Sam will leave you weak in the knees, I have already pledged my devotion to Det. Colin Gyth from Hotter After Midnight, so I will leave Sam to you to fight over.
If you haven’t read one of Cynthia’s books, WHY NOT!!! Grab one…any one…give it a try!!
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
Check out our review of Book 1 of the Fallen series: Angel of Darkness.
And a guest blog from Cynthia from last Fall: Cynthia Eden Guest Blog
He threw open the door to his apartment, and it took the scene before him a bit too long to register.
Seline lounged on the bed, clad in an oversize white robe while Cole bent over her.
What. The. Fuck.
She’d been attacked, weak, so she would have needed power—
I didn’t give her enough.
So she’d turned to Cole? A snarl broke from Sam’s lips.
What. The. Fuck.
Sam lunged across the room and grabbed for Cole.
Seline saw him. She jumped up and knocked the demon back before Sam could touch him.
“Dammit, Seline, you didn’t have to—“ Cole broke off when he got a look at Sam’s face. Then the demon’s eyes darted from Sam to Seline. “Guess you did.” A long sigh slipped from his lips. “I am so screwed,” he murmered.
Seline’s clothes were tossed onto the floor. “Yeah,” Sam said very definitely, “you are.”
But Seline stepped between them before Sam could make Cole wish for death. “Ease up, Sam. This isn’t what you think.”
Doubtful. “That so? I am not staring at a succubus who decided to get a little power surge…and a horny-ass demon who is about to learn a whole new meaning to the word ‘hurt’?”
“Succubus? Cole repeated, and gave a low sigh. “Yep, that would explain some things.”
ORDER A COPY: Bound By The Night (A Vampire/Werewolf Romance)
Publishing Date: April 30, 2012
eBook: 250 pages
Rating: 4 stars
For the last fifteen years, vampire queen Iona has been dead to the world. Trapped under the power of a brutal curse, she has been helpless. A prisoner, locked within her own still body. Then alpha werewolf Jamie O’Connell fights his way to her side. After defeating the guards that surround her, Jamie gives Iona his blood…and she rises.
The world has changed a great deal in the last fifteen years, and Iona has changed, too. Once known as the Blood Queen because of her dark reputation, she now finds herself longing for the blood of only one man…only he isn’t just a man. She wants the blood of her werewolf—Jamie’s blood. But Iona doesn’t realize that Jamie has been keeping secrets from her. Very dark, dangerous secrets. And Iona may have traded one curse for another.
Now that he has Iona, Jamie vows to never let her go. He needs his Blood Queen in order to defeat his enemy, he needs her to make his own beast stronger, and…he just needs her. Jamie has risked his life to claim Iona, and he won’t let anything break their bond. Not time. Not spells. Not even a wild and reckless vampire queen.
This story starts out following the sleeping beauty fairytale. The Blood Queen, a very old and powerful vampire, has been under a spell and has been put in a state of “sleep” by a power hungry witch. She is awakened by a kiss, or rather in this case, by the blood of an alpha werewolf. Jamie is attempting to control her through a blood link and use her to exact revenge against the werewolf who not only killed his family and most of his pack, but who helped the witch bind the spell to trap the Blood Queen.
I want to start by saying this was a good story and can’t find a better way to enjoy $1.00. It truly pains me to have anything but glowing reviews for my favorite authors and I don’t want to say anything negative about the story since it was enjoyable and well written, but compared to the other three self-published “Bound” stories that Cynthia Eden published, this one was just missing something. I also believe this was the longest of her Bound series, and therefore, it should have had more than a very predictable story.
Usually Cynthia’s werewolves have me sitting up and begging, but this story was just lacking something. It was good, and please don’t interpret that as bad. It just wasn’t awesome. It was a quick afternoon read, and for only $1 it was certainly a bargain.
The beast was gone. On the ground, Jamie sprawled as a man. Bullet holes were in his chest. Her eyesight was perfect in the dark, probably even better than his, and Iona saw that he appeared to be bleeding in rivulets of silver.
Liquid silver? Was that the weapon of choice against werewolves these days?
Jamie’s claws drove into his own chest, and he yanked out a handful of silver. A brutal move that had the breath freezing in her lungs. Then he did it again, to the other bullet hole.
“Can’t…get it all…” His voice was barely human. “Liquid…in my blood…”
Yes, it would be. Unlike a solid silver bullet, the liquid silver would pour through him.
She realized that his head was in her lap. Iona didn’t remember sliding her knees under him. Why had she even come to check on him? The shooter could still be out there. The shooter could come for her.
She should run. Leave. Hunt.
Not lean over him and brush the hair from his forehead, but, sure enough, she saw her own trembling fingers sliding through that thick, dark hair.
What is wrong with me?
“If I die…” It certainly looked like the wolf was close to death. Jamie growled, then managed, “So…do you…”
She gazed down at him. She knew what others said about her. She was evil. Wicked. Without a soul.
And maybe some of those stories were true. But in this one instance…
Iona brushed her lips over his. A soft kiss. Gentle. Their first kiss.
It seemed strange to have it here, with blood around them.
It seemed strange to have the kiss after she’d already taken his blood.
But maybe it was fitting.
The kiss was light, but she enjoyed the taste of his lips almost as much as she’d enjoyed his blood.
Perhaps the werewolf could prove to be addictive to her.
And, maybe, she’d show him just how addictive she could be.
Her mouth lifted from his, a few inches. “What makes you think…” Iona asked him quietly, “that I would let you die by any hand other than my own?”