ORDER A COPY: Chase Me
Publishing Date: June 5, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Incubi, sirens, vampires, Valkyerie, faeries, and were-creatures live secretly alongside humanity in this gritty, sexy series.
In the second installment, Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and werewolf geologist Garbriel Lupinsky are assigned to work together on a dig site. Gabriel’s methodical work practices and Lorin’s inexplicable attraction to him grate on the archaeologist’s nerves. But when she unlocks a cryptic box that sends a signal to intergalactic enemies, Lorin will have to set aside her feelings and work with Gabriel…or risk losing everything.
In the World of the Underbelly Chronicles created by Tamara Hogan, she presents us with a world of supernaturals (vampires, werewolves, sirens, icubus, etc.) who are all decedents from a spaceship which crashed on our planet over a thousand years ago. They live under the radar of the human race and they are self-governed by their own governing counsel which consists of two representatives from each race.
Chase Me is book 2 of the series. While on her current dig, Valkyrie Second and anthropologist Lorin Schlessinger comes upon a strange box which might just be the key to understanding the supernaturals’ past. When things start to go array at the dig sight, Sebastiani Laboratories sends up werewolf and current head of Sebastiani Labs, Gabe Lupinsky, to supervise the dig and begin testing on the odd metal box. Tensions have always been high between Gabe and Lorin, so neither are all to excited to be stuck together at the secluded dig site. As is easy to guess in a romance novel, Gabe and Lorin’s tension are caused by their underlying attraction to each other and once they give in to that attraction, the pages certainly heat up.
Although Lorin, Gabe and Sebastiani Labs are trying to keep the discovery of this box a secret, the box starts giving off its own signal which is being tracked from space by other supernaturals, and they are quite interested in the vast natural resources to be found on our planet.
I thought the crashed spaceship aspect was a great new twist to a paranormal series and a gives a believable background to the existence of paranormals here on earth. Of course, you would also have to believe in aliens as well, but if you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be reading a paranormal romance to begin with.
What I also found very interesting in this series is that most paranormal stories start with the basic fact that all paranormals are far superior to humans with enhanced senses, speed, healing abilities, etc. This series indicates that although they mostly have greater strength and senses, they are also suffering from genetic defects. This seems to be most prevalent in the werewolf population which has been suffering the effects of inbreeding, since the Alphas insist on wolf-only matings. Many werewolves, Gabe’s family in particular, suffer from genetic weaknesses. Gabe is nearsighted and is suffering from macular degeneration to a point he does not turn into a wolf since he cannot see without his glasses. This also adds to the strain in the relationship between Gabe and Lorin since Gabe’s family is seen genetically inferior and Lorin’s position on the counsel makes her the equivalent to a Valkyrie Princess.
Whenever I try to pick up a book which isn’t book #1 of the series, I always feel a step behind everyone else. But we are given enough of a glimpse into the last storyline so that we can keep up with the many, many other characters who we are introduced to in this series, and more than enough that I feel I definitely want to go back and read book #1 since it sounds like I missed a really good story.
I won’t say this is a “stop what you are doing and pick up this book” story, but between the well written characters, very interesting back story, the genetic twist, and the several unanswered questions, I will be looking out for Book #3.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
“Yes, yes, everyone’s fine. I didn’t mean to worry you.” Lukas fell silent, worrying him even more. “Are you seeing anyone right now?”
“What?” Gabe’s eyebrows flew into his hairline. “Lorin just made the find of the millennia and you want to talk about my sex life?” Or lack thereof?
“Ah, shit,” Lukas muttered over a thunk in the background. Gabe winced as he visualized the other man’s heavy boots being propped onto something delicate—probably Elliott Sebastiani’s prized Eames table.
“I told Scarlett she should call you instead.”
Lukas signed audibly. “Did you notice how agitated Lorin was at the meeting?”
“She usually is. Agitated, I mean. By me.”
“She was agitated—and aroused—by you.”
“What?” Blood rushed to his face and parts further south. “Lukas—”
“You two were spilling so much sexual energy during the meeting that I had trouble concentrating. Lorin really needs to get laid. So, if you’re not seeing anyone…” Lukas’s voice trailed off casually.
Gabe’s eyes bulged. Was Lukas really suggesting—
“She’s a Valkyrie, remember?” Lukas interrupted. “You have to do something, Gabe, because she’s bouncing off the walls.”
Do something? Like have sex with Lorin? “Are you serious? I think you brother might have a slight problem with what you’re suggesting.”
“Nah, Lorin and Rafe aren’t sleeping together anymore,” Lukas responded. “So, she isn’t involved with anyone right now, and I now you and Kayla broke things off awhile ago. If you aren’t seeing anyone, maybe the two of you can…scratch a mutual itch.”
Lorin wasn’t sleeping with Rafe Sebastiani. The information bounced in Gabe’s brain like a pinball on a hot table.
No. Gabe yanked the mental reins. Who Lorin was or wasn’t sleeping with didn’t matter—despite the incendiary offer she’d made to him in the sauna last night.
Food, fight, fuck. How many times had he heard the Valkyrie adage? It had new significance to him now, because damn it, Lukas was right—Lorin had a problem. He mentally scrolled through the options. Lorin appeared to have the food part handled. Fight? He shook his head. Nope. He’d run with her, sure—but hit her? Fight with her? Nuh-uh, not gonna happen. But fuck? Oh yeah, he could image that. Had imagined it, over and over again, in dozens of variations.
“I know you want her, Gabe.”
It would be useless to deny such a thing to an incubus of Lukas’s skill. “Who wouldn’t?”
“So, what’s the problem?”
“Lukas, she reports to me.”
“I provide her with work direction. I sign off on her budget, her salary, her bonuses, until Alka gets back.”
“And as a member of the Council, she makes decisions impacting all of our species on a regular basis. She could have you arrested with a single phone call.” Amusement filled his voice. “Do you really think she’s worried about bonus money?”
Probably not, and their relative financial standing was just one more roadblock standing between them. “How about the fact that she find me as annoying as I find her?”
Lukas had the balls to laugh at him. “Sexual tension, man. Off-the-scale sexual tension.”
He’d have to take Lukas’s word for it. He hadn’t had sex in so long that he’d almost forgotten what sexual tension felt like. “Don’t you think Lorin can find her own partner?”
“Sure she could, but you’re both there, both healthy, unattached adults who are attracted to each other. She has to leach off some energy somehow. I’d rather she does it with you than with some random guy she picks up at Tubby’s.”
Now he knew why she’d made a pass last night. Lorin didn’t necessarily want to sleep with him; she just had to sleep with somebody. The very thought of Lorin picking up a stranger at a dive bar enraged him. “So this is…a risk management recommendation.”
“If you like.” Lukas’s voice was dry as dirt. “She wants you. You want her. She needs to leach off some energy—soon—or she’ll be worthless. Sounds like a win/win to me.”
“I’ll take your recommendation under advisement.” Now that Lukas had planted the idea of having sex with Lorin in Gabe’s head, he wouldn’t be able to think about anything else.
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?”
ORDER A COPY: The Werewolf’s Wife (Harlequin Nocturne)
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Publishing Date: March 20, 2012
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
The legacy he must obey…
The child she must save…
The man who threatens to fulfill her every fantasy…
and break her heart.
Alpha wolf Ridge Addison left his wife in Las Vegas, vowing to put their one reckless night of passion behind him and return to his clan. Thirteen years later he needs a divorce so he can become pack leader. Yet he’s never forgotten the sensuous witch whose life he saved…or the knee-buckling kisses he still craves.
After they parted, Abigail tried banishing Ridge from her memory. Now her heart belongs only to her son. But when the boy is kidnapped, she knows she alone can’t save him. Though Abigail’s body still aches for Ridge, she’s willing to give him his freedom in exchange for his help. But who will shield her heart from the only man she’s ever let claim her, body and soul?
After Ridge Addison rescues Abigail Rowen from being killed by her jilted lover, Abigail and Ridge enjoy a drunken night in Vegas resulting in a wedding by Elvis and hot sex…at least until Ridge goes “wolfie” right in the middle. Considering he never mentioned his werewolf status to Abigail, she freaks and zaps him with magic.
Now thirteen years later, Ridge is now the alpha of the northern pack and needs to set an example to his pack by having a family of his own, and to do that he needs to start by officially divorcing Abigail.
Ridge shows up just as Abigail receives a call that her son has been kidnapped and she as two days to rescue a vampire and bring him to a designated location to exchange for her son. Abigail then makes an agreement to sign the divorce papers if Ridge will help her rescue her son.
As they pursue the kidnappers, old feelings begin to stir and the question becomes will they pursue each other when all is said and done.
Although the kidnapping/rescue part of the story was interesting, I had a hard time with these characters, especially with Abigail. She is a centuries old witch who admits that she has been an obsessive person, especially with relationships over the centuries, and now strives to overcome that personality flaw. She does this so well, that she has no feelings. She flip/flops between feeling a rekindled interest in Ridge, and wanting to be in control of her own life. She has big control issues, but then folds into the strength of his arms. She flip/flops from one sentence to the next. So of course after centuries of being obsessive over losers…I mean, lovers, the one man who would be good to her and her son, she won’t make the commitment to even though she keeps talking about how good he is. I will absolve her of the status of Bitch since I thought she was hiding the son from Ridge, but since she was involved with the long-time loser up until her night with Ridge, she really did think the kid was his and not Ridge’s kid.
And while I enjoy the strong, thoughtful and considerate hero who has overcome his own bad childhood to want those things he missed out on, he was a little too…I don’t want to say wimpy, but he could have been a little more aggressive when Abigail was all flip/floppy, but obviously wanted him.
There was also many references to other characters we should have known if we have been following this series (I checked and found these books on-line), not so much that you couldn’t follow this story, but enough that I felt a little left out.
Now, I have read another Michele Hauf story, but that one involved a vampire and the one thing about this story I had a BIG issue with was the fact that when werewolves bond with their mate, they do it in werewolf form (see beginning of the story) , that toes the line a little too close to bestiality for me. I mean, I’ve had my werewolves change their mouths in order to bite and mark, but the full-on fur treatment…hmm, too much. Sorry, I’m out!
Received ARC from Netgalley.com, courtesy of Harlequin books.
“No, we don’t need to talk,” she called, opening the door a crack and gifting him with a flash of heat from inside. “It never happened. I’ve moved on. You’ve moved on. We’re all good. Life goes on. Goodbye.”
Ridge blocked the door with a fist. He pressed against the weight of the tiny witch trying her best to defeat his strength. “I happen to have a piece of paper that says it did happen.”
“Signed by Elvis, even. It’s a little wrinkled, but it’s legal. Elvis was his middle name. The guy who married us was an actual ordained minister, can you believe that?”
“Well, tear it up!”
That would be the obvious action. But Jason had checked online and their nuptials had been recorded in the Clark County Marriage Bureau of Las Vegas. The receptionist, appropriately Priscilla Lisa Marie Jones, had signed as a witness. Richard Addison’s marriage to Abigail Rowan was legal, whether or not he had the paper to prove it.
“Maybe I don’t want to tear it up,” he said, trying a new angle. It wouldn’t serve his purpose to barge in and demand. And he didn’t want to walk away with another scar. Kindness never hurt a man’s position. “I did save your life.”
“And I am very thankful for that,” she said through the slightly opened door. He couldn’t see her, but could feel her determination; she was putting all her weight against the door. Did she hate him so much she couldn’t give him a few minutes? “Really, I am thankful for the rescue. I don’t think I ever said it to you while sober.”
“I don’t need your thanks.”
“But you need to keep me as your wife? What’s that about?”
“That is not what I want from you.”
“Then tear the damn thing up and leave me alone.”
“What if I want to convince you I’m worth a shot?” He winced. It was a means to get him inside, and talk rationally with her. He wasn’t seriously considering keeping her as his wife. But he had to play the witch carefully.
And protect his balls against sudden blasts of magic.
“Please, Ridge, we don’t even know one another. You know nothing about me.”
“I know you like vodka.”
“Used to like vodka. I haven’t gone near a drop of that devil’s brew since that night.”
“That bad of a memory, eh?”
“Something like that.”
ORDER A COPY: TIES TO THE BLOOD MOON– edited version
Publisher: Self published
Publishing Date: November 1, 2011
EBook: 300 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Genevieve is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt in Alaska after the death of her mother. Soon after her arrival she learns the things she was raised to believe only existed in fairytales are in fact a big part of her history. When it gets to be too much she seeks refuge in the arms of her new boyfriend, William, only to find out he’s not who she thought he was either.
When Genevieve Labreck goes to Alaska to live with her aunt after the death of her mother, she quickly learns that Alaska is very different than California. The kids are friendly but they are definitely hiding something from her. There is something odd about her new friend Luna and her twin brothers, and even the beautiful William, who makes her pulse race whenever he smiles at her, seems to be hiding something. But by then Gen starts to notice changes about herself as well, she needs some answers.
More odd things happen the night of the bonfire when her teacher tells the tale of the return of the Adlet Werewolf Princess who will finally return peace to the Adlets, the lycan and the vampires, and it becomes clear that there is more to Genevieve’s past than her Aunt has told her. With the help of her new friends, Gen goes on a trek to retrieve the Crest which has been hidden away, so that Gen may take her place as the Princess.
It won’t be an easy adventure since Zane, the leader of the lycan, wants to rule and force the lycan, werewolves and vampires to fight in his army to dominate the humans as well. He’ll do whatever necessary to get rid of Genevieve and take her place. Worse yet, it seems he is getting information from someone in the know. Is Gen putting her faith in the wrong people, is the traitor one of her new friends, or worse, her new love, William?
This is one of those stories you need to stick with. The first overwhelming thought when you start the story will be “this is a cheap Twilight knockoff,” as I am sure any werewolf/vampire/new girl love triangle will now face from here on out. I had some issues with the characters, beside the “twilight” flashbacks, (including the picnic that William takes Gen to in the meadow full of flowers…hmmm, I’ve been here before…) The great love with William was really quick. Her friend Luna was hugging her one moment and then yelling at her or giving dirty looks the next. (I think they have pills for that.) There was also a part where they were waylaid on their adventure and were brought to a house where the gentlemen and his friends draw guns on Gen and her friends, and then seemed surprised when they turn into werewolves. There was never any real explanation of what these guys wanted if it wasn’t about distracting the werewolves from their quest. Left me more with a “WTF was that about” feeling? Especially considering the werewolves were supposed to be protecting her and she’s the only one going “something’s not right here,” and they’re going “no worries.”
So I did make a lot of noises and groaning when I started, but not enough to stop reading. As I kept reading the story did get better and as I moved past my feeling of twilight flashbacks and started to get into the story, I was truly enjoying it. Enough to be pissed off when the story ended I was left with a preview of book 2. There is no information yet as to when book 2 will be released.
I gave it four stars because after a rocky start, it did pick up and it is not a bad first novel.
Received an ARC from the author. Thank you.
His eyes narrowed slightly as he gazed at me, like he was thinking. “I want to show you something.” He held out his hand gently taking hold of mine. “Come on.” We went outside and he placed his arm on the small of my back as we started climbing on the large rocks directly above the cave. When we neared the top it leveled off somewhat into a path.
“Close your eyes.” His voice was like velvet. Without even asking why, I just did it. For whatever reason I felt a connection to him unlike anything I had ever experienced. I couldn’t explain it, I just knew in my heart he wouldn’t let anything or anyone hurt me.
He took my hand and guided me a short distance. “Okay,” he whispered softly next to my ear. “Open them.”
The view before me took my breath away. We were standing on a large flat area of rock on the top fo the back side of the cave and above us the sky was a series or blue, red and green curtains of light, dancing and waving. The colors had made the sky into moving art, like a symphony but with light instead of sound.
We sat together. I was speechless as I watched, and I could feel William watching me as I peered at the lights. After a few minutes, I started rubbing the back of my neck. It ached from constantly looking up. William removed his jacked and laid it behind us, then gently pulled me back. His touch caused my stomach to swirl with butterflies.
I lay on my back with my knees bent, watching the colors change and move. William lay on his side with his head propped on his hand, staring at me. I tried to act like I didn’t notice, but I’m sure my trembling hands and quivering lip told him otherwise…
I felt completely intimidated by him. He was perfect in every way, something I could never be. I kept giving him sidelong glances, and every time he was still eyeing me. He must have noticed because he suddenly flashed that sexy smile of his again, revealing a dimple I didn’t recall seeing before. A burning flush flew over me, I promptly lowered my eyes and smiled.
He slowly inched closer until his face was right next to mine. My heart sped up until I thought a heart attack was eminent.
He placed his hand on my chin and softly turned my face toward him. His hand was like ice at first, but quickly started to warm up until it felt burning hot. His gaze danced back and forth between my lips and my eyes, and mine did the same. I wanted him closer to me, which made my heart ache. Somehow, I knew that nothing he did would get him close enough to satisfy me, and he would always leave me wanting more. It was as if a part of me physically needed William, and I had never felt that way about anyone before.
He inched his way closer, but just before our lips met, his expression turned hard and he quickly sat up.
“What…what is it?” I quickly sat up.
He creased his brow and pursed his lips. “Shh,” he said, not unkindly, cocking his head to the side. He paused briefly. “We should go.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet. “Come on,” he said with an urgency in his voice.
ORDER A COPY: Wanted: Undead or Alive (Love at Stake)
Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: March 27, 2012
Paperback: 374 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
He’s a vampire from the big city . . .
Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He’s got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he’s got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn’t hate every vampire on earth.
She’s a werewolf princess . . .
Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she’s more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world.
Phineas McKinney has been a vampire for five years now, and his life has never been better. He was a poor kid from the Bronx and now he has a fantastic job that he loves, great friends who really care about him, and nowadays he is known throughout the vampire community for his great commercials. All the women want to meet “the Blardonnay guy.” But he’s tired of his life as “the love doctor,” women keep using him since he’s the newest novelty in the vampire community. Since he is dead during the day, what he misses most is the blue of a summer sky, the blue like her eyes. Phineas can’t stop thinking about Brynley Jones, the sexy wolf-girl and sister of his friend, werewolf Phil Jones. Too bad Brynley hates vampires because the more Phin tries not to think about her, the more he can’t stop thinking about her.
Brynley Jones came to New York to live with her brother, Phil and teach at the Dragon Nest Academy, and to escape the clutches of her overbearing Alpha werewolf father. More importantly, to escape an arranged marriage set up to increase her father’s holdings in the werewolf community. She hates being used and people who are users. Vampires are users…aren’t they? They used people for food for centuries. They should be avoided…right? If only that Phineas wasn’t so damn sexy…and sweet. It doesn’t matter. Werewolves and vampires just don’t mix. Hasn’t she told her brother that many times.
When Phineas needs to go to Wyoming to search for Corky Courrant and bring her before the council to answer for her crimes against the vampire community, he needs someone who knows the area and the only one available to Brynley. How can he concentrate on finding an enemy when he’s all alone with the one woman he truly wants but he knows he can’t have.
This was a great addition to the Love at Stake series. Phineas is a great character who was brought in the series in Book 3 and we’ve seen his character grow and mature becoming an important part of the Romatech family. He’s always been charming and funny, and it was great to see more of this character.
We first meet Brynley in Forbidden Nights with a Vampire (Phil and Vanda’s story) and she has always been a little rough around the edges and we finally get to understand why.
The ending was quite the surprise and I LOVE where Ms. Sparks went with the story. Wow – what a twist!! (*he, he, he* wouldn’t you like to know.)
One disappointment was that one character in this book was in serious need of a good beating for things that were done and didn’t get one. Not even a solid punch in the face. Really?? WTF???
Won an ARC from Kerrelyn Sparks’s editor. Whoo hoo!!
Check out our interview with Kerrelyn Sparks
“Okay, let’s go.”
She gave him a wry look. “Are you going to call the glacier? They don’t generally come equipped with a telephone.”
“Then we’ll take the car.” He smiled. “See? I knew it would come in handy.”
“It’s wilderness area. That means no motorized vehicles are allowed off the main roads.”
His smile faded. “Then how do you get around?”
“You walk.” Her mouth twitched. “Or you ride a horse.”
He stepped back. “I don’t think so.”
“Aw, come on, Phineas. It’ll be fun!”
“Those horses don’t like me.”
“They don’t know you.” She gave him a sly grin. “To know you is to like you.”
He frowned at her. Was she flirting with him? Didn’t she know that was torture? “I tried getting to know them. When you and Trudy left the barn to greet the other lady, I stayed behind for a little while. I tried mentally communicating with the horses to let them know I would never hurt them.”
“Ah, that was sweet.”
“Not too sweet. One of them tried to bite me.”
She laughed. “Which one?”
“I don’t know. They all look alike.”
“Horses look alike?” She shook her head. “You’re such a city boy.”
His brow arched. “Country girl.”
“And proud of it. I can bring down an elk in sixty seconds.”
“I didn’t think your breath was that bad.”
She huffed and punched him in the shoulder.
“Ah, foreplay.” He rubbed his shoulder. “And here I though you were going to resist me.”
She scoffed. “That’s not my idea of foreplay.”
“Then what is?”
ORDER A COPY: Torn (Reflections)
Publisher: Self published
Publishing Date: October 17, 2011
eBook: 205 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Shape shifter Alec Graves has spent nearly a decade trying to keep his family from being drawn into open warfare with a larger pack. The new girl at school shouldn’t matter, but the more he gets to know her, the more mysterious she becomes. Worse, she seems to know things she shouldn’t about his shadowy world.
Is she an unfortunate victim or bait designed to draw him into a fatal misstep? If she’s a victim, then he’s running out of time to save her. If she’s bait, then his attraction to her will pull him into a fight that’ll cost him everything.
When Alec Graves first met Adrianna, he wasn’t sure if she was sent by the governing body of shifters to watch his pack, since she gave off a glow like a shifter, but didn’t give off the usual power signature of a shifter. Was she that powerful to be able to hide her powers or could she truly be a human?
He needs to solve this mystery soon since his attraction to her keeps growing stronger, and if she is truly human, protecting her may cost him everything.
The first thing I need to advise readers is that the author’s note which is located after the story indicates that this is the “he said” portion of the complete story. There is a “she said” version which is called Broken. I indicated to Mr. Murray that it would have been better if that information was located before the story since I, for one, would have looked at this story completely differently if I was aware that this was not the complete story.
I was in fact quite dissatisfied with the very cardboard character of Adiranna. There was no indication of why she kept having these fainting spells. No indication why she was rude to Alec at the beginning of the book or why she was dating Brandon, who is the alpha of the other shifter pack who was trying to destroy Alec.
In fact, I was quite angry when I hit the words “the end” and had many, many unanswered questions. Any lover of the TV show “Lost”, knows that being left with the list full of “but WTF happened with…” makes one very unhappy.
I contacted Mr. Murray after I finished reading and he advised me that many of the questions I had would be answered by reading the companion book, Broken, and that there are a few other novels planned which will answer some of the other questions that I had.
I was not that excited with this story. There was a lot of fighting between the two shifter groups, but since they didn’t appear to be killed or too seriously injured in any of these fights, these got very repetitous and I lost interest in the rival fights. I have bumped my review up to a 3 star to be fair since I am certain that my dissatisfaction with this book would be reduced by reading Broken, but I don’t have any plans to go back at this time.
Received ARC from author.
ORDER A COPY: Darkness Bound (Chimney Rock)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publishing Date: February 28, 2012
Paperback: 249 pages
Rating: 2 stars
WHEN NIGHT FALLS…After her husband’s tragic death, Leigh Kelly arrives on Whidbey Island determined to start over. Yet the tiny town of Chimney Rock is not as peaceful as it seems. Women have been disappearing, and Leigh can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched . . . especially at night. Soon, she’s experiencing visions she can’t explain and fighting her attraction to a handsome stranger who seems to know her most intimate desires.
PASSION TRANSFORMS THEM…As the leader of the Team, a pack of werehounds forced to hide their very existence, former special ops soldier Niles Latimer is desperate to prove a man’s heart beats beneath his predator’s body. And Leigh-the mysterious beauty possessing powers she doesn’t yet understand-may be the one woman who can help him. But Niles isn’t the only one who recognizes Leigh’s true identity. Something evil is waiting in the woods-and the hunt has begun.
Leigh Kelly arrives back on Whidbey Island to start a new life after her husband’s death. He left her the cabin and the lands, and she hopes she can move past the bittersweet memories of her life with Chris and begin again.
Niles Latimer needs to find a mate. The werehounds are dying out since childbirth has killed off all of werehound females. Leigh is special and he hopes he can get her to agree to be his mate and save his dying species.
The werewolves want to control the island and saving the werehound species just isn’t something they will allow. They’ll do anything to keep Niles and Leigh apart. There are other supernatural factions who are interested in Leigh’s special abilities.
Can Niles keep Leigh safe and get her to agree to join with him as his mate while the supernaturals wage war around them.
I can’t tell you the last time a book made me so angry and confused. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was on my Nook, I would have tossed it out the window. I kept checking to make sure this was book #1 of the new Chimney Rock series. I can see the set ups for the future books, but you couldn’t pay me to read another one.
I kept wondering if I was missing pages to this story. It was so choppy. That’s why I checked to see if it was in the middle of the series. It was written like I should know each of the different supernatural factions. I swear she wrote that the werehounds were jumping through the trees and flying. Really? Flying dogs? Things keep creeping out of the dark or attacking Leigh, but never really causing any real damage.
There was just too much going on. There were werehounds, werewolves, fae, half-fae/half-humans, shapeshifters, vampires, zombies, and everyone was after Leigh for one reason or another, including her brother-in-law that wanted her to return home with him and her twin sister. Almost to the point where he was going to grab her and drag her out of the house.
Another thing that bothered me is that she arrives at the cabin and is mourning and crying over returning to this cabin that she shared with her husband, but seems work past it rather quickly, and her falling in love so quickly with Niles felt a little awkward and forced.
One more thing, Leigh and her husband came several times to this cabin and in fact, met right on the beach. But when she returns to the island after his death, she is suddenly fulfilling her fate and coming into mysterious powers. How come there was no powers peeping out when she was there with Chris, and how comes she meets Chris and not Niles, who lives NEXT DOOR, and she is his fated mate. She didn’t seem to meet any of people on this tiny island on any of her vacation stops there?? Only her boss who owns the local bar/restaurant remembers her.
Sorry I just can’t recommend this story to anyone. The characters weren’t that interesting, the story was convoluted and confusing, and it was frustrating more than enjoyable.
Received ARC from Netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
ORDER A COPY: Bound In Sin (A Vampire/Werewolf Romance)
Publisher: Self published
Publishing Date: January 2, 2012
EBook Only: 63 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars
What’s the price of sin?
Human Paige Sloan once loved werewolf Drake Wyler more than life, but then that life was taken away from her. Attacked by vampires, Paige was bitten, and, on a cold, dark night, the life she’d known ended. She was reborn as a vampire—a werewolf’s deadliest enemy.
Paige ran from the vampires who attacked her, and she ran away from her lover. She didn’t want Drake to know what she’d become, and she didn’t want to face the fury of his pack. But a girl can only run for so long until the past catches up with her.
Some sins mark your soul.
When Paige learns that Drake is being targeted for death, she knows that she can’t hide in the shadows any longer. She has to return to him, and she will do anything—anything—in order to make sure that he keeps living. The vampires might have destroyed her chance to live and love Drake, but they won’t take him. Not over her undead body. She’ll slay them all…and maybe, just maybe…she’ll even have the chance to sin—one more time–with the werewolf who’d marked her as his mate.
Some sins are worth dying for…
The above explains the basics of the story. Since it is a short story, I don’t want to add anything and give away too much of the plot.
This book ranks up there with her other self-published short stories, Bound by Blood and Bound in Darkness. It is an action packed and very sexy story. As with most of her stories, you jump right into the action from the first page, and in this story, Paige and Drake have a history so there is no waiting around for the “action” to begin.
If you are a Cynthia Eden fan like me, you will need to add this to your collection and if you have never read her books, for the bargain price of $.99 this is a fine story to start your Cynthia Eden collection. Pick this up for a quick read between books.
How can you resist that??? Hurry – get your copy today!!
“I’ve got a vampire I want you to behead.” Her breath rushed out. “A vampire named Gabe is the one who made me, he’s–”
Drake’s claws burst from his fingertips and sliced into the bedding. “He’s fucking already dead.” As far as Drake was concerned, the vamp—Gabe—had died the instant he put his fangs in Paige.
Her gaze held his, and he saw the worry there. “Gabe is a pureblood. He’s strong, he’s—”
“No match for an alpha.” Didn’t she get it? He wasn’t the boy she’d left behind. He was a warrior. A monster. A walking nightmare.
Since she’d left him, he’d seen more blood and hell than she could possibly imagine. No, he’d always known the blood and hell…Page had been the only thing that had been good in his life.
Then she’d left him, and he’d gone back to the darkness.
She won’t leave again.
He stared up at her. He could move her easily enough, but he didn’t want to do so. He wanted to keep her just where she was, only he’d like to remove a few of her clothes. Or all of them.
But business came first. “What will you do for me?” Drake demanded.
She blinked. Vampires weren’t supposed to look so innocent. “I…um…”
He smiled and knew that his own sharpened teeth would flash. “Death doesn’t come for free. In the supernatural world, there’s always a price.”
He heard the slight hitch of her breath. “And what do you want?”
ORDER A COPY: To Walk the Night
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: January 3, 2012
Paperback: 300 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Even a vampire has to face her inner demons…
Kat Redding is the very thing she hunts: a vampire, thirsting for blood, capable of killing any creature unlucky enough to get in her path. The difference is, Kat kills her own kind in order to protect human Purebloods. She’s good at what she does. Good enough to earn the nickname Lady Death—and the enmity of every bloodthirsty being around. But now a vampire Count is intent on merging his House with a werewolf cult to create a force of terrifying power.
Kat can’t allow that to happen. Even if it means taking on a den of weres and a vampire more ruthless than any she’s encountered before. She has the weapons, the skill, and a few allies. But that may not be enough to eliminate the Count before her own dark nature rises to the surface—and costs her whatever is left of her humanity…
Kat Redding is a vampire that hunts vampires. This is the time after the Uprising, when vampires and werewolves made their presence known and declared themselves rulers of the night and the humans (Purebloods) began to hide in their homes after dark. Kat has made it her mission to destroy the Vampire Houses who prey on those foolish or desperate enough to be out after dark.
Now the Luna Cult, worshipers of werewolves, want Kat’s help to destroy the power hungry House Tremaine and free their leader being held by the vampire House. Although there is nothing Kat enjoys more than taking down the vampires, she is concerned if she can really trust a monster to guard her back.
In this new Urban Fantasy, E.S. Moore shows us a world where children aren’t the only ones who should be afraid of the dark. Unlike many of the stories where supernaturals exist quietly protecting humans from other supernatural threats, in this world Vampire Houses dominate the night, using werewolves as their guard dogs, and any Purebloods (a/k/a humans) found wandering the night are fair game, kept as slaves and used for blood and sex.
Like most first books in a series, it was a little slowing going in the beginning as we set up the background of our heroine and the city around her, but once we got into the story it really picked up.
There are more than enough dangling story lines to keep me interested in reading the next book which comes out in July 2012.
Received ARC courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you.
Jonathan stood and walked around his desk. He stopped all of five feet away from me and I still couldn’t see his face. “I should probably explain something to you first,” he said. “The more you know going in, the more likely you are to understand why I came to you. There are certain things you should know, things best shown to you rather than told.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said. Something about Jonathan’s tone had me on edge, but I managed to keep my cool. So far, aside from Pablo’s attitude and Nathan’s angry demeanor, no one had really shown me much in the way of hostility.
Jonathan glanced over to his two associates and nodded ever so slightly. Both Nathan and Gregory sat down, though Nathan did so much slower, as if he wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. The tension level in the room rose tenfold, and I desperately wanted to know what was going on before I accidently shot someone.
“Would you care to take a seat?” Jonathan asked, motioning toward one of the recliners. It was black and leather and looked really comfortable.
“No thanks,” I said. “I’m fine just where I am.”
Jonathan bowed his head in acquiescence before speaking. “I though you might say that. I take it some of the rumors about you are true. It’s probably why I haven’t seen Joshua since he was sent to deliver my message.” His tone hardened. “I assume he is dead.”
My hand slowly fell to my waist. I didn’t draw, but I wanted to be ready. I didn’t like where the conversation was heading.
Nathan started to rise, but Jonathan waved him back down. The big man hesitated, his frown deepening, before settling back down on the couch.
“He broke in to my house.”
Jonathan leaned back against his desk and sighed. “I should have expected it, really. Joshua is an impulsive man. He was to deliver the note and leave before anyone knew he was there. I should have realized he would want to see you himself.”
I glanced at Nathan before answering. The big man was glowering, but he didn’t seem like he was getting ready to fight. Yet.
“I didn’t want to do it,” I said. “But I don’t like people knowing where I live, which brings me back to my question. How did you know where to find me?”
“It wasn’t easy, honestly. Even though I knew who you were, you had moved to a new location before I could act on my knowledge. It made tracking you down that much more difficult.”
I clenched my fist. How long had this guy known about me? “How?” It was all I could think to say.
“You made a mistake,” Jonathan said. “It happened a long time ago, back before you were as well equipped as you are now Back before you had made a name for yourself.”
I stared at him, unsure what to make of the statement. What kind of mistake had I made, other than getting myself captured once? I was always careful, even back when I was young and stupid.
Jonathan stood silent for a long moment before speaking again. “I was your mistake,” he said. His hands slowly rose to the hood concealing his face and slide it slowly back from his head. There was a shimmer, as if the air around his head was disturbed by some unfelt wave of heat; then his features came into focus.
See my interview with Alexandra Ivy to enter to win a copy of Bound by Darkness, courtesy of Kensington Books. Giveaway ends Friday, December 16th. 18 years and older please!
ORDER A COPY: Bound by Darkness
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: November 29, 2011
Paperback: 566 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
The Sylvermyst have a reputation as sinister cousins to the fey, and none are more mysterious than Ariyal and his tribe. To save his people from banishment, he sold himself to the evil Morgana. Finally free, he faces a new challenge: Jaelyn, an elite vampire warrior sent to capture him. By rights, he should kill her on sight. Yet he cannot bring himself to hurt her—or to resist her…
Jaelyn is stunningly beautiful, utterly lethal—and always alone. Until Ariyal. From their first encounter, she knows that what’s between them is more dangerous than simple lust. And as they unite to thwart a terrifying prophecy that will mean the end of his clan and of the world they know, she will risk everything to fulfill her destiny by his side…
The Sylvermyst are the dark cousin to the fey and servants of the Dark Lord. When the Dark Lord was banished from this realm, the Sylvermyst were banished with them. But some made a deal with Morgana La Fey to serve her so they would not be banished and would no longer have to serve the Dark Lord.
After centuries of abuse at the hand of Morgana, Ariyal is not about to let his people be mislead into releasing the Dark Lord back into this dimension. He will not bow to another master and he will do anything, including killing the child that the Dark Lord is trying to inhabit, to keep him banished.
Jaelyn is a Hunter and the Commission has hired her to catch the evil Sylvermyst. Although she also wants to stop the Dark Lord from returning, she will not allow Ariyal to kill an innocent child.
Can she go against the Commission and work with Ariyal to stop the Dark Lord without loosing her heart in the bargain?
This was a great addition to the Guardians of Eternity series. Ariyal is one hot, sexy fairy, and the scenes between Ariyal and Jaelyn sizzle. The sylvermyst are an interesting addition to the vampires and weres of this series.
We also spend some time with the vampire, Santiago, who is searching for the Weres Caine and Cassandra (who will be the focus of her next Guardian of Eternity novel). He is working with Nefri, who is an Immortal, to locate them.
Although several of her stories in this series can be read individually, we are now delving into a continuing storyline and I would say that anyone who hasn’t read the Guardians of Eternity series (and you should!) that if you don’t want to start at the beginning that you at least go back to the last book Devoured by Darkness so you don’t feel completely behind in this story.
If you like paranormal romance, you should have Alexandra Ivy’s Guardians of Eternity on your shelves.
“He’s getting away, you know.”
The disembodied voice sliced through the air a mere second before there was a whiff of brimstone and Yannah suddenly appeared directly in front of her.
Jaelyn yelped as the grabbed her shotgun and pointed it at the intruder. Her finger was ready to squeeze the trigger when she belatedly recognized the heart-shaped face and black eyes that shimmered like chips of ebony in the moonlight.
“Dammit.” Jaelyn shoved the gun back into its holster, glaring at the creature, who calmly stroked her hands down the white silk robe. “You scared the bejeezus out of me.”
“Did I?” Yannah blinked with exaggerated innocence. “I thought Hunters were trained to never be caught off guard?”
“I wouldn’t be caught off guard if you walked around like a normal demon,” Jaelyn protested in cold tones, hiding her embarrassment behind a layer of ice. It wasn’t her fault she’d allowed herself to be dangerously distracted, was it? If Ariyal would stop being a pain it the ass then she could concentrate on the important stuff. And he wasn’t the only one to blame. Yannah and her mother Siljar certainly had their share of guilt. “You should wear a bell or something. It’s no polite to just pop in front of people like that.”
Yannah arched her brows. “Well, aren’t you the fussy one?”
“You would be fussy if you were forced to play babysitter to that…” Jaelyn snapped her lips together, words failing her.
“To that delectable, gorgeous, completely edible…”
The words returned in a rush. “Tempermental, stubborn, egotistical Sylvermyst.”
“He’s a man.” Yannah shrugged. “They’re all a pain in the backside.”
Well, wasn’t that the freaking truth?
“Some more than others,” she muttered.
“I suppose so.” Yannah appeared to consider the various flaws of the male sex before heaving a deep sigh. “Still, it’s a pity.”
“You cost me one thousand latinum.”
Jaelyn frowned. Had the demon made an appearance just to mock her?
“Which might make sense if this was Star Trek and we were both Ferengi.”
“I made a bet with my neighbor, but Mother won’t allow me to wager with real money.” She wrinkled her tiny nose. “Besides, Jinns are touchy about their treasures.”
Jinn? Holy crap. Just what neighborhood did this female live in?
She dismissed the inane thought as she concentrated instead on the suspicion she was being led into a trap.
“What were the details of this bet?”
“I said you would have the Sylvermist leashed and properly house-trained by the end of the week. Maric said you would kill him before you ever reach the baby.” She pointed a finger at Jaelyn. “Neither of us thought a mighty Hunter would simply throw in the towel. It’s a grave disappointment, I must say.”
Jaelyn narrowed her gaze. Yep. Definitely a trap.