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Rising Assets by Rebecca Zanetti

Rising Assets (Maverick Montana, #3)


ORDER A COPY: Rising Assets (Entangled Brazen)

Publisher: Entangled/Brazen
Publishing Date: March 31, 2014
ebook: 250 pages

Rating: 4 stars


Melanie Jacoby is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.

Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger for more.

Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?


Colton Freeze has just returned to Mineral Lake after obtaining his degree. He is going to take over running the family business. When he get home, he finds that one of his best friends, Melanie Jacoby, has been working herself to death working two jobs in addition to running her ranch. Melanie has been one of his closest friends almost a part of the family, since they were kids. If she was having financial problems, she should have come to him.

Melanie isn’t looking for a hand-out from Colton or his family. What Melanie needs money for is a private matter. Melanie body is working against her and is she doesn’t hurry, she will never have a child of her own. The cost of freezing her eggs is expensive but would be worth it if she has a chance to have a baby of her own when she gets married. When that doesn’t work, Melanie goes for Option 2, a trip to the sperm bank. If she tries to conceive now, she might still be able to have her own child.

Colton is shocked to find out what is happening to Melanie and upset that she didn’t turn to him for support. Having a baby is part of Colton’s grand plan after falling in love and getting married. You know, far off in the future plans. But the idea of Melanie carrying someone stranger’s baby is enough to make Colton rethink his future to-do list.

While Colton and Melanie are unsure about the changes that their friendship face if they become lovers, it seems that the whole town has been betting for quite awhile now on how long it would take for Colton and Melanie to get together.

THOUGHTS:
This was a cute romance. Colton and Melanie were likable characters. There was a strong attachment between the two and they were the only ones concerned about how attempting to have a baby would effect their relationship. But it is Colton who is giving off the appearance of wanting to help Melanie, so you can understand Melanie’s concern that at what point, if she doesn’t get pregnant, do they walk away before she feels she traps Colton and keeps him from having a future.

The only thing that bothered me and made me want to smack Colton upside the head is when he didn’t want Melanie carrying anyone else’s baby but his, but then he couldn’t image being able to be there for them long term. He can’t imagine her having someone else’s baby, but for a smart and educated man he doesn’t take that thought further that he would be okay with another man taking over his role in Melanie’s life and raising his kid? If not being the father made him crazy, he didn’t seem the type to walk away and let someone else step in to be the husband and father. That part definitely went against his character.

The town bet added fun to the story. Little old ladies offering up inappropriate dates to push Melanie and Colton together in a timely fashion to meet their bet deadlines. And there is everyone’s refusal to admit who is the bet taker in Town.

I am a big fan of Rebecca’s Dark Protectors series and her Sin Brothers series, but this story lacks the excitement of the other two series. I haven’t had a chance to read the first two of the Maverick Montana series but this one seems more in the category of a sweet romance with a background of strong rancher family. This is a series to enjoy for the strong family bonds.

Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

“Colton.” Mrs. Hudson emerged from the coffee shop, her gray wool coat swallowing her, and a bright pink knit scarf wrapped around her neck several times. “Do you have a minute?”

He hustled toward the elderly lady. “Yes, ma’am. What can I do for you?” Last night he’d already apologized for the mix-up with Melanie.

Mrs. Hudson slipped her bony arm through his. “We can chat while you escort me toward my car.” Her worn boots matched her scarf, and he made a mental note to make sure she got some new boots before snow arrived again. From the chill in the air, it wouldn’t be long.

“I’d love to escort you.” He angled his body to protect her better from the wind. The woman lived at the end of Main Street and had driven three blocks instead of walking. Rain or snow, the woman always walked, probably so she didn’t miss anything on the way. “I noticed you drove instead of walked today. Are you feeling all right?”

“Yes, I felt like a drive today. Pus, it’s going to sleet, and I didn’t want to get caught.” She twittered and patted his arm. “You’re such a fine young man. My niece, Beatrix, is visiting at the end of the week, and I was hoping you’d take her out and show her the town.”

The woman had always been a matchmaker. He smiled. “That’s kind of you, and I appreciate your thinking of me, but I have plans.”

Mrs. Hudson slowed down. “Well, she’ll only be here two weeks, and I have to admit, she’s quite easy.”

He coughed out air and glanced down at tight, gray curls. “Excuse me?”

She looked up and squinted faded blue eyes. “Beatrix. She gets around, a lot.” Mrs. Hudson shrugged. “I thought you two might have some fun for a couple of weeks before she leaves. Just two weeks.”

Colton stopped. What in the world? Realization smacked him in the face stronger than the wild wind. “Mrs. Hudson. You wouldn’t have entered a bet regarding Melanie Jacoby and me, would you have?”

Mrs. Hudson brushed invisible lint off her coat. “Of course not.”

Colton bit back a laugh. “Tell me the truth, or I’ll go propose to Mel right now.”

Mrs. Hudson gasped, her head shooting up so she could meet his gaze. “You wouldn’t.”

“Oh, I would.”

“Fine.” Mrs. Hudson sighed. “I have St. Paddy’s day as my date, and I sure could use the money, Colton Freeze. If you’d just declare your love that day, I’d really appreciate it.”

He couldn’t believe she’d tried to bribe him with a slutty niece. Mrs. Hudson was a pimp. He laughed. “I will certainly keep your date in mind. Who’s taking he bets and keeping the money, anyway?”

“Can’t tell you,” she said sadly. “When you make the bet, you have to swear not to tell, or your forfeit your money.”

When he found out the bet taker, he was going to kick some ass.

Sweet Revenge by Rebecca Zanetti

Sweet Revenge (Sins Brothers, #2)


ORDER A COPY: Sweet Revenge

Publisher: Forever Romance
Publishing Date: December 3, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Matt Dean was born to fight…and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he’s gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho…and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She’s spent years running from her own past—the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt’s strong arms offer her protection, and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she’s ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt’s past and putting everything—and everyone—he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?


Matt Dean and his brothers, Nathan, Shane and Jory, were genetically engineered to be the ultimate soldiers. Unlike the other “brothers” in the experiment, these brothers fought for each other and to protect each other. But their time is running out. They escaped the facility five years ago and have kept themselves out of the Commander’s reach, but each brother was implanted with a chip which, if not coded every five years, will detonate and snap their spines. With only weeks left to live, the brothers are working non-stop following leads and tracking down sources trying to deactivate the chips.

Matt is now in Charmed, Idaho, looking for one of the doctors who implanted the chip. The brothers aren’t the only ones who went under after escaping the facility. Except the doctor has made a mistake and left a trail leading them to Charmed. They have narrow down the doctor to one of three women and Matt needs to figure out which one of them is also hiding from the Commander.

He arrives in Charmed wounded, and is amazed by the kindness shown by the local bar owner, Laney. When he sees a help wanted sign in her window, he knows he has found the perfect cover to stick around and uncover his missing doctor. He only has a window of two weeks to track her down and he doesn’t have time to waste, but he can’t help being drawn to Laney. She is trouble in more ways than one and when someone starts stalking her, Matt knows he can’t just walk away and leave her defenseless.

Time is running out for Matt and his brothers so now isn’t the time to fall in love but Matt just can’t resist the feisty Laney and as danger surrounds them, their time might have just have run out.

THOUGHTS:
I loved it!!  I love Rebecca Zanetti and this series is just as exciting as her Dark Protector series. Matt is the oldest of the brothers and as such, he has appointed himself as their father-figure, their protector, and their trainer. He made sure the brothers were never split up as children going up against the ruthless Commander even at the age of 12. He has spent his life trying to keep his brothers alive and anytime they are hurt, he takes it as a personal failure. Falling for Laney and trying to keep her safe is the first time in his life that someone else is as important as his brothers and it is overwhelming to realize how important she is to him.  Matt’s the kind of guy you want to be the center of his focus.

Laney has never had anyone to count on and she is torn between feeling annoyed at Matt’s rules and restrictions and being overwhelmed by the fact that someone cares enough to stand by her. Laney is hiding many secrets and for a man trained to detect lies and seduce secrets them out of a woman, Matt definitely has his work cut out for him since Laney isn’t willing to share those secrets no matter how sexy the temptation. I loved that she frustrated him by rolling her eyes at him ever time he gave her an order. Matt is used to his brothers following his orders. No one has ever sassed him before.

As always, Rebecca drops a bomb at the end of the story to make you frantic for the next installment. Added to that is the fact that their youngest brother Jory was captured and killed but that doubts have now surfaced that the video of his death was faked or he somehow survived being shot. After what happened to Jace in her Dark Protector series, I have no doubt we will find Jory alive, but probably not without some mental damage after being under the control of the Commander and his psycho doctor.

I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in Nathan’s story.

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


Favorite Scene:

Of course, the family practitioner was the one woman who wasn’t sitting around the table. He’d paid special attention to the coroner and the veterinarian’s assistant, and the vet’s assistant was currently checking him out behind the wire-rimmed glasses. Bright eyes showed intelligence and an interesting wariness. He shot her a smile.

Her cheeks pinkened, and she half turned to talk to the woman on her right.

Laney, sitting across from the vet, instantly shot a look his way, delicate eyebrows arched. He met her stare evenly, pleased when her high cheekbones filled with color. The fact that she kept his gaze with challenge in her eyes, even while blushing, pleased him even more. The polite thing to do would be to grant her a reprieve and look away.

Too bad he wasn’t a polite guy.

Laney should learn not the challenge him.

Her chair scraped back, and she muttered something to her friends and when calmly maneuvered around tables toward him, hips swaying…keeping his gaze the entire time. His shoulders went back, and his blood started to hum. Who was this woman so full of surprises?

She reached him, her eyes sparking in irritation. “Would you please stop turning the most successful businesswomen in town into simpering morons?” she whispered.

He blinked. Damn it. He focused down a foot to her irritated face. “What in the world are you talking about?”

Her body remained relaxed, but he could hear her heart thumping, and her expression was quickly transforming into anger. She kept her face angled away from the women at the table. “Stop smiling, stop flirting, and do your job.”

He lowered his face just enough to make her eyes widen. “You sound jealous.”

Ah. There was the fury. “I’m not, you jackass. Keep the charm in your pants, and stop flirting.”

Okay. He may have poured on the charm with the two women he needed to investigate, but he’d been trained in subtlety and covert action. “Why are you suddenly interested in what’s in my pants?”

Laney’s gasp heated him in all sorts of places. “If I have to tell you again to knock it off, you’re fired.”

The little spitfire had better be careful who she threatened. “So you want me unavailable to those women?”

Satisfaction filled her pretty face. “Exactly.”

“Okay.” He grasped her hip and covered her mouth with his. The kiss was hard, quick, and enough of a taste to make him crave more. He lifted away to gauge the shock on her face. “There. Now they think I’m taken.”

The air vibrated as her hand closed into a fist, and he shook his head. “You don’t want to hit me.”

“Why not?” she ground out.

For the first time, he let his mask slip so she could see the predator the government had created. “The second you make contact, I’ll have you on that bar, held tight, my cock pressed between your legs, my lips on yours until you beg for more. Even fully clothed, I may make you come—and I won’t care who’s watching.”

Her sexy mouth dropped open. Surprise and fury lit her eyes…along with desire. She tried to mask it, but he was an expert at reading people, and the woman was intrigued. “You egomaniac. I’m not remotely interested,” she whispered.

Surprising anger shot through him. “You want to threaten me? That’s fine. Challenge me? No problem.” He stepped even closer into her space. “But don’t you ever lie to me. Ever, Laney.”

She pressed her hands against her hips, confusion blanketing her features. “We just met.”

The woman was correct. He had no right to demand a damn thing from her. For all she knew, he was a bad guy. But this once and with this woman, against all rational training and thought, he truly didn’t give a shit. He didn’t understand it, sure as hell couldn’t explain it. so he went with his gut. “Yeah, we did just meet. Those are the ground rules. Period.” He lowered his chin and waited for her to challenge him, anticipation lighting his veins.

Shadowed by Rebecca Zanetti

Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6)


ORDER A COPY: Kindle – or – AllRomanceEbooks

Publisher: eKensington
Publishing Date: October 3, 2013
Paperback: 274 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Jase Kayrs was the fun brother. The warm, charming, easy-going brother of the vampire leaders. Until he was taken and tortured by demons with their evil mind tricks for nearly five years. Upon his return, he’s dark, violent, and not the man they all thought they knew. Not the man he once was. He’s haunted that the only reason the demons would have let him live was to use him as a weapon against his family—but he can’t figure out when or how he’ll explode. Plus, once again the demons are after Jase with a vengeance…or rather, a female demon he rejected is out to destroy him.

Then the king asks Jase for a favor…a big one. To mate with one of their allies in order to save her. She’s everything that’s good and light in the world…while he’s at home with darkness. Yet he agrees…knowing mating may be the only chance to save them both.


Jase Kayrs, the youngest of the Kayrs brothers, was always the happy, fun-loving brother. But five years ago he was captured by the demons and was tortured both physically and mentally. By the time his brothers located him, he had given up all hope and had been praying for the peace of death. Jase was so desperate for the torture to stop that he almost agreed to mate with the demon leader’s sister, Willa, but it was one of Brenna Dunne’s paintings hanging on the wall of Willa’s bedroom that centered him once again and gave him the courage to fight on.

So when the King asked Jase to mate with Moira’s sister, Brenna, to save her from the poison slowing killing her, Jase didn’t hesitate to agree. Since mates take on each other’s strengths, it is hoped that Jase’s vampire strength would boost Brenna’s system to fight off the poison’s effects, and Jase wants to gain Brenna’s abilities as well so that he can finally destroy the demons…every one of them.

While big sister, Moira, is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and a powerful witch. Brenna is the unheard of eighth daughter of a seventh daughter, and a pariah among the witches. Brenna was born at the convergence of the winter solstice and the passing Pagurus comet. As the comet will soon pass once again on the night of the solstice, fulfilling a very vague prophesy which can be interpreted as Brenna gets great power or maybe, she destroys the world.  But all the factions are fighting to get to Brenna first; some want to use her and some want to destroy her before the solstice arrives.

Although Jase agreed to mate Brenna for a strategical reason, he is finding that being with her brings him the same feeling of peace that her painting brought to him during his torture. For the first time since his capture, Jase is actually feeling hope.

What happens if Brenna can survive the poisoning, the comet and the solstice?  Will Brenna lose Jase anyway to the rage which is burning inside him for revenge?

THOUGHTS:

I jumped this story up my TBR list. I just couldn’t wait anymore. I have been dying for this story since I did an interview with Rebecca Zanetti back in 2012 and she hinted that Jase will be captured by demons.

As the series progressed we learned the years had passed and that they still have no location on Jase, and then in Kane’s story, Provoked, we got a glimpse into how bad the torture was for Jase both physically and mentally. We also got a foreshadowing of the peace that Brenna would bring to Jase and maybe she would help him heal.

This story falls under my favorite trope of the wounded hero, and it did not disappoint. Jase is filled with rage at the demons. He is frustrated because his brothers are filled with guilt for failing to find Jase and they treat him like an invalid. Maybe he can’t control his rage during a battle and maybe he can’t go back underground without falling victim to a panic attack and maybe he can no longer control the elements like he used to, but he does not wanted be treated like he is damaged. It is only Brenna who looks past his anger and treats him like she always did.

Brenna has always had an attraction for Jase and therefore, agrees to the mating, but she fears that she will lose everything if she looses her heart to Jase since he is determined to fulfill his suicidal mission to destroy all the demons.  But whenever Jase is with Brenna, he turns towards her healing kindness and she will begin to become more important to him than his vengeance.

I believe Rebecca Zanetti has at least two more short stories that will come out before she gets to Janie’s story which would be the conclusion of the series.  Young Janie is now 24 and she has known since she was a child that the destiny of the war and the world would be in the hands of herself, Kalin (the leader of the evil Kurjans) and Zane (half vampire/half  we’re-not-so-certain and a soldier for a warring army that might not be on the same side as our vampires).   After this last story, I’m getting to the point I can’t wait.   I have to see how it all turns out in the end. Please, please, please, finish the story.

Received an ARC from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

He hesitated. “Please.”

A low laugh rolled from her stomach. “That had to hurt.”

“You have no idea.” His upper lip quirked. The man was dominant and used to giving orders. No doubt asking went against his every instinct.

“I’m not less than anybody else.” For her entire life, she’d had to prove her worth and that she wasn’t some anomaly.  For her one mating, she intended to be strong enough to engage completely. “No dampening pills.”

Watchful intelligence lived in his gaze. “When you bit me yesterday, my blood should’ve made you stronger for days. Yet it only lasted a couple of hours.” He reached for her arm and tugged her off the sofa.

“I’m not weak.” She landed on her knees between his legs. What was he doing? Heat uncoiled in her gut.

“I know.” Threading both hands through her hair, he tilted her head back until she looked up at his angled face. “But you’re not strong right now, either.”

Her neck elongated. Vulnerability and need washed through her. She dug her nails into his hard legs. “I will be. After we mate.”

A dark flush covered his high cheekbones. His eyes flashed into a sizzling green. Heat from his thighs pressed in on her. “Speaking of which, are you all right with the contract?”

Flattening her hands, she pushed away to stand.

But she didn’t move. The vampire easily kept her in place.

She tilted her head, intrigue and warning swishing through her. Without question, she was out of her element with the formidable Kayrs brother. “I’d prefer not to be on my knees as we discuss this.”

His eyes darkened.

Her widened.

Lowering his head, his lips brushed her jugular. “You’re so strong you don’t need dampening pills? Then get off your knees.” Low, rough, his voice rumbled right through her skin.

A long shiver wandered down her spine. She swallowed. Aye. Definitely out of her element. She pushed again, this time putting all her strength into it, and once again didn’t move. “Stop playing games,” she breathed.

“Who’s playing?” His fangs slid into her flesh.

Pain. Dark pleasure. Need. Hurt edged with a sharp desire spiraled through her to pound between her legs. God. She arched her back, her mouth opening. He drank deeply, taking what he needed—taking what he wanted.

A low growl rumbled from his chest.

Rough, his tongue sealed the wound. The fingers in her hair flexed, shooting erotic pain along her scalp. He lifted until his gaze met hers, his face an inch from hers. His lips within reach.

Lust and determination tightened the skin across his sharp bones.

Her chest panted out breath.

He slid to the edge of the chair and loomed over her, his thighs bracketing her. Trapping her. Then his mouth covered hers. The kiss the other day had been nothing. A mere meeting of mouths.

This one was Jase Kayrs in full force. Deep and hard, he took. Holding her when he wanted her, he did as he pleased. dark pleasure cascaded from him and heated the air around them.

She opened to him, helpless beneath his onslaught. His tongue claimed her mouth, learning every curve. Firm lips, strong hold, devastating motion. All she could do was feel. So much pain, so much pleasure, so much damn demand. He tasted of red wine and determined male. The world narrowed to him.

The kiss went on forever. He didn’t touch her anywhere else, yet her entire body burned for him. Desperate and primed. Slowly, he softened his assault and leaned back.

Clarity rushed into her brain. She’d never been able to match him. He watched her, his eyes hard, his sharp features wearing that male express that said, I warned you. Now you’re on your own.

Deep down, where reality and hope commingled, she understood without a doubt he’d break her heart. Even deeper, she knew it was too late to turn back.

Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti

Forgotten Sins (Sins Brothers, #1)


ORDER A COPY: Forgotten Sins

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
eBook: 384 pages

Rating: 5 stars


From the moment Josie laid eyes on sexy, mysterious Shane Dean, she was in love. Their desire ignited a passionate affair, and within weeks, Shane had slipped a ring on her finger. It seemed her every fantasy was coming true . . . until her new husband disappeared without a trace. Now, two years and one broken heart later, Josie is shocked by the hospital calls: Shane has been found . . . at a crime scene with no memory of how he got there.

Shane can’t remember the blue-eyed angel at his bedside—or who he even is—but he knows something isn’t right. His hearing is razor sharp, his physical strength incredible, and the urge to protect Josie overwhelming. For powerful enemies are hunting him, and Josie is the key to discovering why. As Shane struggles to unravel his past, dangerous new truths come to light. Can he protect the only woman he’s ever loved? And can Josie trust a man she thought she knew—one who carries such a deadly secret?


Josie thought she had seen the last of Shane when he walked out of their house two years ago without another word. Their whirlwind affair and quick marriage made Josie believe that she met the man of her dreams, but she realizes now that Shane never shared anything about himself. Their passion blazed hot but intimacy—real intimacy was never there.

Now as she walks into the hospital where her husband is, she doesn’t know how to feel. The police think he might have been mugged, but that really doesn’t explain the three dead bodies near where Shane was found unconscious from being hit in the head with a metal bat. Shane can’t remember what happened or even why he is in Washington so close to where Josie now lives. What was he doing here? Had he come to sign the divorce papers? The police want her to take her husband home. She wants to help him, or more to the point, her heart aches for Shane. It has since she first laid eyes on him. And nothing ever hurt more than him walking away from her—from her dream of finally having a family and belonging to someone.

She finally agrees to take him home, but when more men attack, has she invited danger into her house? Shane can’t remember what happened, and he certainly can’t remember who is after him, but when they find bugs in Josie’s house, the question becomes who is the danger? Are they after Shane or are they really after Josie?

THOUGHTS:

Another incredible story by Rebecca Zanetti. She has a talent for drawing you into the story from the first few pages and dangling enough little fragments which will keep you reading “just one more chapter” until the wee hours of the morning.

We start off by seeing young Shane housed with other boys. Is he at camp? Are they orphans? So you know you have to solve this mystery. Where are they? Who are the other boys?

Then we move into the story of Shane’s amnesia and Josie’s heartbreak. All you can wonder is What happened to Shane? Why did he leave Josie in the first place? Who is trying to hurt them? Will she risk her heart and succumb to their intense attraction?

Questions, questions, questions. Oh, you are not sleeping tonight!

The story included several pages from book two and I made myself stop because I was already getting into the story and it will be months before it is published. Damn!

Intense, intriguing, sexy, funny, action-packed…everything I have come to expect from Rebecca Zanetti.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of Forgotten Sins, especially those who aren’t fans of paranormal and haven’t experienced her Dark Protector series. Hell, I’ve been dying for the last story of that series since the first book. HOW WILL IT END???

Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

She reached her office, hurrying inside and shutting the door to keep noise out. She didn’t have time to mess around—now she needed to go get a bunch of new clients to complete with freakin’ Daniel.

Hurrying toward her desk, she glanced at her appointment book.

“Hi, angel.” The heavy oak door swished shut behind her, the lock engaging with a click.

She froze. In slow motion, she turned around. The files trembled in her hands.

“Sit down.” Shane had been waiting against the wall. He tilted his head toward a leather guest chair. She’d chosen the light brown carefully to match the chairs her foster father Arthur had had in his office so many years ago. Classy and plush.

The phone. She could get to it, or she could scream. But if she screamed, who’d come running? Her secretary, Vicki? Vicki couldn’t handle Shane. Crap. She’d probably take on look at the soldier and rip his clothes off.

“Now.” He wore a fresh black shirt and new jeans, kick-ass boots covering his size thirteens.

“Nice boots.” Josie tossed the file on the desk and slid into a chair. She was wearing three-inch heels on her feet; they’d cause serious pain if necessary.

“Turns out I had cash hidden at the bungalow. Went shopping earlier.” He stalked forward and dropped into the matching chair, swiveling her to face him. Both legs stretched out on either side of hers, trapping her. “Miss me?”

“No.” She straightened her back with a sharp snap. So he admitted he’d stalked her from the bungalow. Was that a good sign or a bad one? Either way, her chest hurt. “How’s the head?” A new bruise covered his left temple. From her foot. Her grin even felt malicious.

“Excellent kick, angel.” He leaned forward, his hands clasping her knees above her skirt, his scent of heated cedar washing over her. “I taught you well.” He wore his soldier face today, no expression showing. But those eyes, Dark, gray, and swirling with emotion. He usually veiled better.

Her abdomen began to hum…in warning and something darker. A feminine desire for him to explain everything—for him to say it was real. But the only thing that was real was the lust they’d felt. Still felt. “Don’t make me kick you again.”

His smile slid slow and sure across his face. Dangerous. “Ah, darlin’, I’d love for you to try it again.” His hands dipped under the skirt, pushing the silk up, his palms heating her thighs. “Something occurred to me last night.”

Desire rippled through her with memories of what those hands could do. Even lying to her, he’d exploded her world. She grabbed his hands, halting their journey. So close to where her body was beginning to ache. The man knew her body and exactly how to play her. The thought brought both unease and intrigue. “What’s that?” Her voice came out hoarse.

“I’ve been too easy on you.” He flipped one hand over, easily trapping both of hers. “Treated you with kid gloves, kept you out of my life.”

She frowned, her lids dropping. “You remember.”

“No.” He sighed, his free hand curling to the side of her thigh and heading toward her hipbone. “I’ve been thinking about what you said. What you were able to do by kicking me in the face.” He traced a path over her thigh toward her core, his gaze dropping to her breast. “Let me feel you, Josie.” Three fingers pressed against the outside of her panties. “Just once. Before everything goes to shit. Open for me, baby.”

Electric shocks cascaded out from his fingers. Molten lava. Fire whipped through her until she tilted against his hand. She knew the pleasure he could bring. Even with the pain that would follow, that pleasure was seductive. To get lost like that again. Sometimes to feel the fire, you had to get burned. She swallowed. They were in her office, for goodness’ sake. The temptation made her catch her breath. So much temptation.

So wrong.

This time the fire would consume her. She just knew it. So she tugged her wrists free, scooting back and smoothing down her skirt. “Keep you hands off me.”

Shane sat back, desire flushing red across his high cheekbones. “Never.”

Twisted by Rebecca Zanetti

Twisted  (Dark Protectors, #5.5)


ORDER A COPY: Twisted (Dark Protectors)

Publisher: eKensington
Publishing Date: June 20, 2013
eBook: 103 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Maggie is a wolf shifter who was captured and experimented on by the Kurjans. Now that a cure has finally been found for shifters (although not for vampire mates or witches), she can concentrate on creating a new life for herself and finally accepting that her memories are gone forever. Most memories, that is. Sometimes in the hazy world between dreams and dawn, she hears a Scottish voice, dark and deep, that sounds suspiciously like wolf-shifter Terrent Vilks. A man she happened to anger by kidnapping a few years back. Hey, it was for a good cause.

Terrent Vilks knows more than he’s let on for the past several years. After digging for answers, he knows exactly why the demons want Maggie dead. And he remembers his past with Maggie…very well. She is finally where he wants her. Now all he has to do is discover what exactly the Kurjans did to her, beat the demons into so much submission they leave her alone, and get her to fall in love with him. Again. Good thing he’s used to wrangling monsters.


We first meet Maggie in the book #1, Fated. When Talon breaks into the Kurjan’s laboratory to save Cara, Maggie was also being held captive and experimented on by the Kurjans. Whereas Cara was a vampire mate, and their intent for her was to break her mating bond and steal her as a mate for a Kurjan; Maggie was a shifter and the Kurjans were trying to use their Virus-27 to turn shifters into mindless, slaves or werewolves. Kurjans had been using humans turned werewolves for centuries, but they only live for about a year before they go mad and need to be destroyed. An army of turned shifters would have more power and survive for decades.

With the help of the vampires, Maggie escapes their laboratory, and with the help of the mountain lion shifters, Jordan Pride and Katie Smith, they were able to help Maggie shift to her true form, that a wolf. Although she didn’t turn into a werewolf that first full moon, the fear is that Maggie could lose the fight against the virus at any time. That concern is shared not only by the vampires, but of the Bane’s council which was headed by Terrent Vilks. The job of the Bane’s council is to hunt down werewolves and destroy them. When Terrent arrives to take over the care of Maggie since she is a shifter and not a vampire, the vampires will now allow Terrent to take her.

Thanks to the hard work of Kane and Emma, a cure has been created to help the shifters, and Maggie no longer has to fear succumbing to the draw of the virus, but she has not been able to shake off Terrent Vilks. He has been determined for the past 10 years to get Maggie to the wolf shifters, and now we finally know why.

While no one knows why the virus caused Maggie to lose her memory, the oddest thing about Maggie’s memory loss is that no shifter clan has ever come forward to claim her. Shifters are large families that keep their members close, so why wouldn’t they come forward to claim a lovely, young healthy shifter female like Maggie. Terrent not only knows what happened to Maggie’s pack, but he knew Maggie before her abduction, a lot more intimately than he ever let on before. Not only were they lovers, but Maggie had agreed to become his mate before she disappeared.

Acting under the guidance of the vampire King, Dage, Maggie has agreed to go with Terrent to the Raze wolf pack to try and uncover who has been tampering with the shifter’s inoculations, while Terrent’s sole desire is to uncover Maggie and once again convince her to be his mate.

THOUGHTS:

You know I love Rebecca’s Dark Protectors and I just loved Maggie’s story. I have been waiting for this one for awhile now. Once we started getting some serious hints that Terrent wanted more than just a blood test from Maggie, and especially after Terrent started calling her “Little Wolf” with just enough sexual purr that you knew something was brewing.

Although there were still some unanswered questions at the end of the story, we finally learn more about Maggie and her missing pack as well as her previous life with Terrent. While Terrent does a very nice job of seducing Maggie back into his life.

Received an ARC through netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

“I’m so sorry,” Maggie whispered.

He lifted a shoulder. “I was only two years old and barely remember. Somebody hid me, and three days after the massacre, your grandpa found me.”

Maggie blinked. “My people raised you?”

Terrent coughed out a laugh. “No. Your people don’t mix well with other wolves because of their weird ability. Your grandpa brought me to Gerald, and I was raised with his pack until I was eight.”

“What then?” Had the poor guy found a home?

“I had skills—fighting skills that were beyond the norm. Plus, I came from an Alpha bloodline but lacked a pack. So I trained to sit on the Bane’s Council. All of the world, I trained with the best shifters, vampires, even a couple demons in order to fight.” He checked the rearview mirror. “Since the age of eight, I was trained to kill.”

The matter-of-fact tone chilled her more than the actual words. “Sounds lonely.”

“It was.” His dark eyes warmed as he glanced her way. “Then I found you, and I wasn’t lonely any longer.”

Her heart thumped. Hard. “I wish I remembered us.”

“I wish you did, too.” His hands tightened on the wheel. “You need to believe that even though we argued, and you took off for a bit, we didn’t break up. You just needed to cool off.”

Relying on somebody else to fill in her past flared her instincts into awareness. “I don’t know many wolves, but it seems we’re ruled by emotion. If we really wanted to mate, why didn’t we?”

His upper lip quirked.

Cute. Way too cute.

“You wanted to get married first,” he said, shaking his head. “Totally unorthodox, kind of silly, but you’re a true romantic.”

Well, yeah. The whole white dress, veil, walking down the aisle sounded sweet. She wanted sweet. “You agreed?”

He scratched his head. “I agreed to anything you wanted except allowing you to fight.”

She’d ignore that word for now. “You didn’t trust me.”

“It wasn’t about trust.” His brow furrowed. “You have many fine skills, but you’re, I mean, you’re—“

“Clumsy?” she muttered.

He snorted. “Horribly clumsy. I tried to train you in blade fighting once, and you almost took off your own foot.” He laughed, the sound deep and free. “God, you were a menace.”

Provoked by Rebecca Zanetti

Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5)


ORDER A COPY: Provoked (Dark Protectors)

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: November 1, 2012
Paperback:

Rating: 5 stars


A casualty of the war between the demons and the vampires, Jase Kayrs has been missing for six long years. His older brothers want answers—but they’re going to have to get them from an unlikely source. For when Kane Kayrs tracks down Amber Freebird, what he finds is a blonde, vegan pacifist who has no intention of using her skills in his war.

Amber enjoys her life of chaotic freedom and has no intention of falling in line just because a sexy-as-sin vampire insists on order. Unfortunately, he discovers she may be the only hope they have of finding his brother, and there’s no way he’s going to let her go—even if it means mating her to gain her cooperation. The two are as different as can be, yet when the dominant Kane and the untamed Amber finally unite to rescue Jase, they just may find that opposites really do attract.


Dage Kayrs is the King, Talon is the strategist, Conn is the fighter and Kane Kayrs is the smart brother. So there is no one more upset than Kane that he hasn’t been able to find a cure for the Virus-27 which is plaguing his people and his allies. And why are the inoculations for the shifters suddenly no longer effective? And why after four long years hasn’t he been able to find his brother, Jase, who was captured by the Demons?

Demons have the ability to torture and cause pain in the mind. Even if they find Jase and rescue him, after four years of physical and mental torture, will there be anything left of the fun-loving Jase that they all love? What they need is a Demon Detroyer who can counter the Demon’s powers, but no Detroyer has been found in decades. The Demons have hunted them all down.

When a Destroyer is finally located, Kane races to find her only to find out she’s a vegan, pacifist who thinks Kane is absolutely crazy with this talk of demons, vampires, shape-shifters and kurjans. Not only does she think he’s crazy, but she has no intentions in fighting anyone, ever, even if she had any idea what superpowers he is talking about.

Although Amber is probably the most exasperating woman he has ever met, Kane is convinced that the sensible thing for them to do is mate, then he would share her physic ability and be able to use it as a weapon against the demons. The fact that she can’t see the logic behind his offer is astounding. There is no time for poetry, sonnets or ridiculously love in a time of war. Kane can feel that he is running out of time and Kane needs Amber’s cooperation or her power soon if he is going to save his brother.

Kane isn’t sure what is frustrating him more, his inability to solve all the problems that his people and his allies are facing, his inability to save his brother or the tiny slip of a woman who can’t see the logic of doing things his way.

But he is right about one thing…time is running out for Jase and if they don’t hurry there may be nothing left of Jase to save…

THOUGHTS:

I think I ran out of fingernails halfway through the book and started chewing on my fingers. Oh my God, poor Jase!! I could never be an author (besides lack of talent) because I could never do that to my beloved characters. Evil author…you kill me… when is the next book? When?? I need to know what happens!! You make me contemplate a B&E. Maybe I can bribe her cat to e-mail a copy of the next draft…hmm…

I love how Amber twists up the stoic and logical Kane. To Kane the logical thing since Amber won’t fight and doesn’t know how to use her powers, would be to mate with him and he would then share her abilities. He could then go save his brother. Amber wants love, especially when you re talking mating forever…forever forever…since they are nearly immortal. Surprisingly the brilliant Kane is absolutely certain that love doesn’t exist, and he can’t seem to make the connection between the feelings he has for his family and how he begins to feel for Amber and label it love.

I will say that I was so torn up about getting to Jase, that I was distracted by the romance. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, tell her you love her and let’s go!!!!”

With everything going on with Jase, and Kane and Amber, we see little of Janie. But what we do see is that Janie is growing up and already getting very powerful with her abilities, and in the dream realm where they meet, the tensions between Janie, Zane and Kalin are heating up, and Zane saying “…get ready. I’m coming for you, Janie Belle. Soon!” left me giddy. *he,he,he*

All I can say is, I need more! Please write faster! What happens to Jase? When do we finally get to Janie, Zane and Kalin? And what about Maggie? Can Maggie get a story too? A short story maybe? :)

Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.


Favorite Scene:

He cleared his throat. “Well, I bite you—and, ah, transfer a brand from my palm to you—somewhere. You can choose the place.”

Oh, he had to be beyond delusional. “Brand? You brand me like a cow?”

“God, no. The marking is like a tattoo—and you’ll gain my abilities and immortality.”

How tempting was that? She crossed her legs, curious and oddly aroused. “And when we re finished being mates? Would I still be immortal?”

He stilled. The air seemed to follow suit. “There’s no end to a mating. You’d be mine forever.”

The matter-of-fact tone did nothing to conceal the strong note of possessiveness underlying the words. Then the vampire sat back, patiently awaiting an answer with confidence on his hard face.

Her breath sped up, and she swallowed to keep from panting. “Not in a million years.”

Both eyebrows rose. “Why in the world not? You’re aroused right now.”

She lifted her chin. “Maybe so. You’re unbelievably rude t point that fact out, by the way.”

“My apologies. But you need to think this through. Our mating solves all our problems.”

“Except romance, fun and happily-ever-after.” Three things she’d always strongly believed in. “I won’t mate for convenience.” Mother Earth. Now she was using the term mate like it belonged in everyday conversation. “Why would you?”

One shoulder lifted. His long, tapered fingers spread out over his legs, his hands broad and oddly graceful. “I’ve always figured I’d mate out of convenience for business, for strategy, or to create an alliance. This fits.”

Talk about unromantic. “A business arrangement is no reason to tie yourself to someone for eternity.”

“How about survival? Yours and everyone you care about.” The set of his jaw promised the conversation wasn’t over.

“What about love?”

He sighed. “Love is a chemical reaction induced into our brain to encourage propagating the species. The sensation is merely a scientific phenomenon, like the northern lights.”

On all that was holy. “You can’t seriously believe such nonsense.”

“Of course I do. And so would you if you stopped to think about the idea logically instead of believing in silly movies and sonnets.”

Silly movies? How was this the same guy who’d kissed her in the snow and pretty much knocked her socks off? “The answer is no.” She was just silly enough she might’ve believed some baloney story about fate and destiny. But not logic and planning—not when it came to the heart.

He shrugged. “I’m not giving up on this idea, and I can be very persuasive.”

So long as he kept his dangerous lips across the room, she was fine. “I am not going to be your mate.” Relief filled her as she said the words slowly.

“Your choice. Are you ready to train again?”

“You mean have you rip into my brain?”

He blanched. “Yes. Believe me, my attack was nothing compared to what the demons have in store for you. The sooner you learn to control your gift from a safe distance, the sooner we can go after Jase.”

They’d saved her grandmother, and she’d given her word she’d help save Jase. “Okay. Shoot.”

“Close your eyes.”

Soft, nearly seductive, his dark voice wandered down he spine as if he traced each vertebra with his lips.

Her eyes fluttered shut.

This time, the attack came in the from of a soft glide against her mind. Smooth, even slightly warm, a caress wandered form her frontal lobe to the center of her brain.

She shifted on the couch, crossing her legs. A tingling set against her rib cage and wandered south to heat her abdomen. Mentally pushing against the caress, the warmth enveloped her entire brain and provided an electric stimulation that caught the breath in her throat.

Desire ripped through her so quickly her knees trembled. Her sex started to ache. Her breasts pebbled. A slow sigh escaped her.

A whisper of sound floated toward her as he moved, and the scent of male and musk wafted her way. Languishingly opening her eyes, she stared at the vampire. On his knees, he settled between her legs. His heated hands dropped to her thighs.

She should be angry. But her gaze dropped to his lips, and she met him halfway. He swallowed her moan in a kiss that started with anything but logic. Fire engulfed her. Leaning forward, she clamped both hands in his thick hair, opening her mouth to take more of him.

Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti

Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4)


ORDER A COPY: Consumed (Dark Protectors)

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: July 5, 2012
eBook: 336 pages

Rating: 5 stars, plus 1 OMG!!


Sometimes you mate for life…Katie Smith is the best of her class, part of an elite hunting force trained to eliminate werewolves from the hills of Western Virginia. She’s good at it because she has the kind of focus and drive that won’t back down no matter how steep the odds. Call it southern sass. Whatever it is, there’s no denying her willingness to risk everything for the only man she’s ever cared about–a man on the verge of losing his very humanity. . .
Sometimes You Mate To Stay Alive…For the past ten years Jordan Pride has dedicated his life to protecting his people from a deadly shifter virus. But in a rare moment of distraction, Jordan’s guard drops just long enough for his fate to take an irreversible twist. Unless the woman he loves surrenders everything to him, again and again, under a full moon rising.


I gave you a whole week before I posted. If you are still planning on picking this book up, stop right here!!! Don’t read any further!! This book contains so much OMG moments and I don’t want you to ruin it by reading my review. Come back when you’re done – we’ll talk!! If you haven’t started this series, go get a copy of Fated and get started, we’ll wait for you… ;)

It has been 10 years since Katie was first infected with Virus-27 and she and her team are working hard in New Orleans locating infected shifters who have turned into werewolves. Although she misses Jordan Pride, she was now a shifter who couldn’t shift and her lifelong dreams of a happy ending as Jordan’s mate came crashing down that day she was infected with Kurjan’s virus. Even though she never turned into a werewolf, the pride’s Alpha can’t have an infected mate who can’t shift and who could possibly pass on the virus to their children. It was just too painful for Katie to stay with Jordan and know she could never have him and she needed to leave.

Although the Realm has managed to keep the female shifters from turning into werewolves, infected male shifters only have until the next full moon before they are lost to the virus. The Kurjans are clever and they laid a trap and they have now infected the shifter leader. Jordan only has until the full moon to set up the new leader and the bring Katie home where she will be safe in Realm headquarters.

When Jordan offered to mate Katie when she was first infected in the hope that the mating ritual might reverse the virus, Katie refused. She would not be his mate out of what she thoughts was some twisted sense of pity. Now that Jordan is infected, this is Katie’s last chance to have a night with the man who has held her heart all her life, and when they believe a mating might give Jordan a last chance to survive the change, Katie will do anything to convince Jordan to now mate with her. But Jordan isn’t the only one who wants to mate our Katie, she senses the werewolf stalking her and can feel his anger and determination to have her as his own.

I have been waiting for Jordan and Katie’s story since I read Fated last year and was soooo happy with this story! It was incredible: action-packed, exciting, intriguing, sexy, sweet… *FREAKIN’ AWESOME!*

I was a little freaked at first that we jump ahead 10 years from Hunted in a “what did I miss??” way. I wanted a quick head count and status update on all my favorite characters after 10 years of war and the virus. Kane and Grace working on this virus 24/7 for 10 years and still nothing??? REALLY!! Although I am torn between excitement and depression that a 10 year jump brings us that much closer to Janie’s story which will be EPIC (not too much pressure, right?).

Although this is Katie and Jordon’s story, we do progress a little bit on Janie’s storyline. Janie is approaching her 16th birthday and Zane has disappeared from her dreams for about five years now. :( Zane is now a soldier (but for who?) and Janie is finally able to connect with him one night when he passes out and can’t block her anymore. Kalin is now leading the Kurjan army with his army of pet werewolves.

This was an incredible story, but of course, Rebecca finds the time to torture us by dropping just enough tidbits about Kane, Jase, Janie, Zane, Kalin, etc. to leave us panting for more. WANT, WANT, WANT!!! She’s so lucky I can’t go to the RWA12 in CA or I just would just stalk her the whole weekend!!!

I can’t wait for more!!!!

Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you!!


Favorite Scene:

Her scent hit him as he snapped on the light. Dark spices and wild orchids, all woman. Smoothing his battered face into nonchalant lines, he pivoted away from the living area to the utilitarian kitchen and shut the door.

Katie sat on the oak table, swinging a leg. “I’m here to seduce you.”

Amusement and something warmer settled in his chest. For seduction she’d worn ripped jeans, battered tennis shoes, and a frayed T-shirt so old the logo had faded beyond recognition. Her multicolored blond hair was up in a ponytail. No makeup adorned her pretty face.

The truth slammed him so hard he took a step back. The woman was fucking perfect.

Saying a monumental thanks that cats were stubborn, he forced himself to chuckle. “I appreciate the warning.”

A clock next to the small fridge ticked away seconds.

Katie glanced past the living room to the open door of his bedroom. A soft blush wandered up over her sharp cheekbones. “I’m not kidding.”

“I know,” he said softly. “And I truly appreciate the adult way we’re discussing this.” When it came to mating, discussion had no place. He’d shielded her too much from the ways of their people if she didn’t know that. “I take it you heard Kane’s cure didn’t work?”

“Yes.” The blush receded, leaving Katie pale. “The only chance you have is mating a shifter, and although I’m only half that, I’m offering.”

He’d saved her as a cub, and the woman took loyalty seriously. “You don’t owe me.”

“I know.” Fire flashed in her tawny eyes. “I’m not proposing to sacrifice myself here. We’re both infected with the virus…mating might cure us both.”

“Or kill us both.” Irritation swirled down his spine at the rational talking going on. “I’m almost a werewolf—I could turn you into one as well.”

Her stubborn chin lifted. “I’m willing to take the chance.”

The irritation slid to anger. “What exactly do you think happens in a mating, Kate?”

The blush returned, red and bright. “Jesus, Jordan. I know what happens.”

“No, you don’t.” Amazement filled him at her naiveté. “I don’t just give you a good fuck and bite your neck, sweetheart.”

The blush intensified, along with her scent. Intrigue and lust deepening those amazing eyes. “You think you’re that good?”

Ah. Challenging him. Smart woman. “Yes.” He shoved the beast inside down. Way down. “I’ve seen the aftermath of a mating. The female is often lucky if she still has a shoulder.” Dark and brutal, even in human form, the males became all animal during a claiming. The woman should know that.

“I’ve seen the aftermath of a mating, too.” She shoved off the table. Toward him. “I can handle it.”

No mention of love, No mention of forever or even happiness. That more than the calm discussion shot fury through his veins. “No, you can’t. Even when you were…healthy…it was too much of a danger. If I decided to mate you, you’d no longer be Katie, the little girl I protected. My adult friend. The werewolf hunter. None of those people would you be in that moment.”

She tilted her head to the side. “What would I be?”

Low, guttural, the snarl came from down deep. “Mine.”

Tempted by Rebecca Zanetti

Tempted (Dark Protectors, #2.5)


ORDER A COPY: Tempted (Dark Protectors)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publishing Date: March 27, 2012

eBook: 88 pages

Rating: 4 stars


CONSTANT DANGER…On the run from a mental institution and her vindictive half-brother, it’s safe to say that Sarah Pringle’s happy life as a schoolteacher is on hold. Too bad that as far as self-defense goes, “run and hide” is the best she’s got. And with the monsters that started her escape hot on her heels, that’s not going to cut it for long…

INSTANT LUST…That is, unless Sarah has a bigger, badder, hotter monster on her side. Max Petrovsky is right at the top of the list of alpha male ass-kickers. And he knows exactly what Sarah’s up against. Good thing, because the minute he sees her something primal kicks in, turning everyday attraction into red-hot desire. As long as they’re cooperating, why not mix some pleasure with business? Of course, Max should probably tell Sarah he’s a vampire himself…


I love Max!! He was one of my favorite characters in this series since he first showed up in Fated (See my favorite scene) and this big, burly, dangerous vampire lets this tiny, little girl paint his fingernails for losing at Go Fish. How awesome is he!!

I only gave it four stars since the story was so short, we barely get to meet Sarah and we really only get a very brief story. It was enjoyable, but I would have liked more.

Although Rebecca does take the time to toss in another teaser (see below) about Janie’s prediction that she will be taken by the Kurjans at some point. So that gives me something to worry about.

Check out my Interview with Rebecca Zanetti and our other Dark Protector Reviews:
Interview with Rebecca Zanetti
Fated
Claimed
Hunted


Favorite Scene:

She didn’t look scared. And she smelled like baby powder. Maybe she was too young to be afraid of him. Or too innocent.

Was this what innocence looked like? He’d forgotten.

Her tiny nose crinkled and her curly brown hair bobbed. “I know that, silly. My new daddy is a vampire. You’re good.”

Good? He was a killing machine. A heart he’d forgotten about thumped. “Not really.”

“Uh huh.” She patted his knee. “I promise.” Those deep blue eyes turned serious. “The bad guys want me.”

Smart little thing—yet she had no idea how bad the bad guys really were. “You’re safe here, Janie.” He hoped that was true.

She shrugged a delicate shoulder. “Will you be my friend, Max?”

The world shifted. “Yes.” He could probably show her some self-defense moves when she grew up.

—-

“I see stuff. Stuff that’s gonna happen. The bad guys—the ones scared of the sun—they’re gonna get me.”

His spine straightened. Something foreign in him wanted to protect her, wanted to make sure nobody ever took that innocence out of her eyes. Wanted to shield her from the evil he knew so well. He met her gaze, abandoning any thoughts of heading to Russia. “They’ll have to go through me, Janie.” It was a vow, and he meant it to his soul.

Dage reappeared and asked him outside. Janie returned to playing with the stuffed animal.

Once he was in the hallway, Max studied the king. “Nicely done.”

Dage shrugged. “You’ve spent two hundred years protecting the Realm, fighting for our people, ensuring my safety.”

“So?”

Blue shot through the silver in the king’s eyes. “If you had to make a choice, if it came down to it, if it came down to the death of your king—or the death of that child—who lives?”

Most people sacrificed everything for the king and the Realm. Max had done so for two centuries. He cocked his head to the side. “She lives.”

“You’re hired.”

Hunted by Rebecca Zanetti

Hunted


ORDER A COPY: Hunted

Publisher:  Brava
Publishing Date: April 24, 2012
Paperback: 333 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Ready Or Not…Moira Dunne is a witch–the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her–and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behavior for him.

There’s Nowhere To Hide…When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only twenty! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks flying. Even if he burns up in flames.


Moira Dunne is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter which gives her the potential to be a very powerful witch. Powerful enough to eventually take a place on the witches’ Counsel of Nine. But when she is marked as a mate by vampire Connlan Kayrs after a night of passion, her family requested that she have the century needed to properly train her in the arts of magic.

Even though the Realm is already fighting the Kurjans (evil vampires) and the demons and need all the allies they can get, the century is up and Conn has come to claim his mate, even if taking her out of Ireland starts a war with the witches.

Moira is now a member of the counsel’s secret service, and she does not intend to leave Ireland right now. Someone has been kidnapping member’s of the Nine and she needs to find them. She also fears her uncontrollable attraction for Conn, since he didn’t seem to have any problem leaving her alone for a century.

Their future has an even larger problem–someone is working hard to influence the Counsel to leave the Realm and team up with the demons. If the counsel agrees to leave the Realm, Moira will be torn between duty to her people and her loyalty to Conn.

This is another exciting addition to the Dark Protectors series, and brings in the fun element of witches to our current group of supernaturals.

I love the way that Rebecca brings in the idea of science to explain magic through quantum physics, and manipulating matter on a subatomic level. Makes you think “Hmmm…ok, maybe that could work.”

She has already used science to explain the differences between human and vampires on a chromosomal level. This is major part of continuing plot line of the dangerous Virus-27 which the evil Kurjans have invented in order to destroy the chromosomes which seals the mating bond between the vampires and their “gifted” females. The virus was created so that the Kurjans can destroy the bond and take the gifted females for their own mates.

She also continues to tease us as we try to find a cure for those already infected with the virus, including shifter Katie who cannot shift since being infected, and who is becoming increasing agitated over her predicament. This is leading us up to the next book which features Katie and Jordon.

We also meet some interesting new characters, including Moira’s sister, Brenna. I am hoping we will see more of her in future books.

Anyone who hasn’t tried the Dark Protectors series, you will have time to catch up with the series before Hunted is released in April.

Make sure to check out our interview with Rebecca Zanetti for more information on this great series, as well as our reviews on the first two books: Fated and Claimed.


Favorite Scene:

He exhaled, taking a step forward into her space again. Sage and power swirled around her in the scent of male. “I’m done waiting, Moira.” One large hand smoothed through her curls, clenching to tangle at the nape of her neck and tugging back.

Her neck stretched and her hands reached out for balance, grabbing the shirt covering his broad chest. She opened her mouth to protest.

His descended.

Firm lips slid against hers. Heat seared her, shooting down from her mouth to her core. She swayed toward him, opening her mouth to allow entrance. Like the soldier he was, he dove in, all purpose, all blazing fire, his lips capturing hers as his tongue took control. The brand on her lips began to burn with desperate need.

He growled low, grasping her waist and tugging her flat against him. His mouth devoured hers, his tongue claiming every inch, the hand on her hip clenching with restrained power.

Her knees weakened. Her heart pounded desire for him lit her on fire. Need spiraled deep into her womb. She craved.

Releasing her, he lifted his head, his fingers spreading out to cup her scalp. Desire shot silver through the green of his eyes. A muscle ticked in his jaw. “Let’s go to your cottage, Moira.”

She sucked in a breath, her eyes widening on him. Was there anything more intriguing to a woman than a strong man who wanted her? Memories of what his man could do with his hands, with his mouth, flushed through her mind until her body ached. She ran her hands down his flat stomach to curl around his leather belt. They’d had one night. It wasn’t like she’d practiced sex this last century. “Not a good idea, Conn.”

“Why not?”

Because she didn’t know what to do. “I don’t want you.” She lowered her chin.

“Liar.” His eyes softened in what had better not be understanding.

Then he cut his gaze behind her, a frown settling between his masculine brows.

“What?” She released his belt, an odd tingling running over her neck. The air changed. Her skin heated. Matter shifted and energy zapped. Oxygen swirled. A passage opened. “Conn—”

Invisible claws dug into her flesh and ripped her away from him.

Claimed by Rebecca Zanetti

Claimed


ORDER A COPY: Claimed (Dark Protectors)

Publisher: Brava/Kensington Publishing
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Paperback:   341 Pages

Rating:  5 Stars


A Daring Rescue

Emma Paulsen is a geneticist driven by science. But she’s also a psychic, so when a dark, good-hearted vampire frees her from the clutches of the evil Kurjans, she realizes he must be the man who’s been haunting her dreams. But with a virus threatening vampires’ mates, Emma may discover a whole new meaning of “lovesick”. . .

A Deadly Decision

As King of the Realm, Dage Kayrs has learned to practice diplomacy. Still, it’s taken three hundred years to find his mate, so he’ll stop at nothing to protect her—even if it means turning his back on his own kind. . .


In the world of the Dark Protector series, Vampires are born, not created.  Vampire genes are strong but they only create more male vampires.  The vampires must then find their mates among “gifted” human females; empaths, psychics, etc.  When the human females are mated to their vampires, their DNA structure is changed. This changed DNA creates a “mating allergy” in any male who simply tries to kiss a mated female.  Since gifted human females are rather rare, Kurjans (another and certainly less attractive race of vampires) have created a virus which destroys the mating bond, thereby alleviating the danger of the mating allergy, and allowing the Kurjans to steal the mates of the vampires for themselves.

Emma Paulson is a brilliant geneticist with a strong psychic gift.  She was unaware that the cure for cancer she was working on was actually the Kurjan’s virus.  When Emma realizes something is not right about her research, she takes her findings and runs.  Until that moment, she was unaware of vampires, Kurjans and the world of the supernaturals.   She also learns that her sister, Cara, and her niece, Janie, were not only living with the vampires, but that her sister was now mated to a Vampire and pregnant with a vampire son. 

Dage Kayrs is the King of the Realm.  He has been for the last 325 years.  He is the most powerful vampire and he maintains peace among the supernatural allies and protects them from the Kurjan scourge.   The one thing he wants most in this world is to find her, his mate.  The woman he has been dreaming about for centuries.   When he first meets Cara, she looks so similar to the woman in his dreams.  He soon realizes that her sister, Emma, is the woman he has been searching for all these years.

Dage rescues Emma from the Kurjans who have captured her and were sending her to the leader of the Kurjans to be mated to him.  Dage brings Emma home to see to her sister.  Shortly after Emma arrives, Cara and several others are infected by the virus, right under the noses of the Vampires.  There is a traitor in their midst. 

While Emma is in a race to find a way to reverse the virus to save her sister and her unborn child, Dage is trying to reinforce his allies for the coming Kurjan war.  He allows an old friend, Caleb Donovan, and his people to return to the Realm after 150 years of banishment.  Caleb was banished to avoid a war with the Demons.  Now that Caleb has returned, the Demons don’t believe in by-gone will be by-gone and they have given Dage a week to denounce Caleb before the Demon’s declare war on the Realm.   Can Dage fight a war on two fronts, find the traitor and save the females from the virus, all while trying to win the heart of the stubborn Emma?

The science introduced in the changing DNA and the effects and development of the virus add a unique and very interesting aspect to this series which keeps it from being just another vampire story.  Add to that the impending war between the Vampires and the Kurjans.  This all makes for a very exciting series. 

Rebecca Zanetti’s writing is both brilliant and frustrating.  While her stories are gripping and intriguing, this is a continuing saga and not all questions will be answered at the end of this story.   If you are thinking about reading this series, I would recommend starting soon.  Since it is a continuing story line, the further into the series we get, the harder it will be to just pick up the latest book. 

Received copy courtesy of Kensington Books.  Thank you!


I do have one thing to say to one of the characters:  Emma – You have a conversation with the very powerful King of the Realm where you both confess you have been dreaming of each other half your lives. You’re about thirty, he’s around 350. He’s been dreaming of you for two hundred years. Not just someone special, but you specifically for two hundred years!!! Did you really think your speech of I’m not doing that mating thing. I’m here to see my sister, then I’m out. was really going to go over well? Did you think he was going to give you a hug, and a Thanks for last night. Call me next time you’re in town. REALLY?? Although the ensuing power struggle was titillating to the rest of us, you don’t have to be a brilliant geneticist with psychic abilities to know that you weren’t going to make it to the door.

Favorite Scene:

A tingling set up through her veins as if carbonation mixed with her blood. Nerves flared to life in her extremities.

No. Anger and dread pooled near her solar plexus. “Did you mark me?”

He stiffened behind her. “Of course not. I said I wouldn’t.” Thick arms tightened their hold on her waist and his breath stirred her hair. “Tonight, anyway.”

She ignored the not-so-veiled treat as well as the renewed desire beginning to hum throughout her pores. “I feel different. Powerful.” What the hell had he done to her?

He shrugged. “You’re my mate, love. Your body knows that, even if you don’t. The marking is only one part of the process.”

The mattress dipped and she found herself on her back, her gaze held captive by his. “I told you I won’t be forced into this by fate.”

He nodded and his lips whispered against her. “Yes, you did. But I’m not fate.” He nipped her lip. “I’ll give you time, Emma. But if you think I’m letting you go, you’ve misread me.”

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