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Feb
28

Quickie Review: Red’s Wolf

Quickie Review: Red’s Wolf Red’s Wolf Author: PJ Schnyder  Release Date: Aug. 28, 2010 Publisher: Decadent Publishing Terra’s Guardians #2 ISBN: #978-1936394425 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella Format(s): E-book Book Source: Purchased with our own funds About the book:      Carri has definitely caught the eye of the big bad wolf.      Visiting the Glacier Valley pack to get a little breathing room from life in the city, she uses her skills to help install a high tech airspace sensor array for her adoptive grandmother’s pack.      Jason is a lone wolf, good at doing his job and good at being alone. Sparks fly between them, igniting desire hotter than Carri’s red hood. But the Glacier Valley pack has made it clear that Carri is under their protection and off limits.      And yet, the heat between them is undeniable and when Carri makes her choice clear, Jason is ready to claim her as his. He’ll go against the pack and any rivals, even take down an alien hunter to have her and protect her. What G & U are talking about:      After reading the first book in this series, Heart’s Sentinel, we had to read Red’s Wolf.  It is a novella in the Terra’s Guardians series and it is only available via ebook.  Gikany and Una feel it is well worth buying and enjoying.      We loved Carri and Jason.  Their courting was full of smexy energies, witty banter, and steamy hotness.  One of the best parts of this story is that although Carri is physically weaker, not just as a human versus a shape-shifter, but due to a medical condition, her strength of self and of right and wrong is stunning.  Her love and loyalty are refreshingly strong and yet gentle.  Jason, for all his wonderful snarkiness, is touchingly sensitive and caring.  Seeing the two of them dance and come together was a joy and privilege.      This was a delightful story enshrouded by menace.  The ongoing mystery of the hunters seems to have reached a pinnacle in this story – but we can’t tell you what it is…that would be spoiling.  However, it makes us VERY eager to see what Ms. Schnyder has in store for us in the next book.  We hope to hear soon when it is expected to be released. Their Rating: Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)     Purchase Info: Heart’s Sentinel (Terra’s Guardians 1) Red’s Wolf (Terra’s Guardians...
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Feb
24

Review: The Darkest Seduction

Review: The Darkest Seduction The Darkest Seduction Author: Gena Showalter  Release Date: Feb. 28, 2012 Publisher: HQN Lords of the Underworld #9 ISBN: #978-0373776573 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (512 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price.  Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die.  And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he’d thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.         Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet, in Paris’s arms the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up.      Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally– or tear them apart? What I’m talking about:      My head is still spinning after reading this 500 plus page story. I, like many, have been waiting for Paris’s story for a very long time. We met his “HEA” back in the second Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Kiss. That was a long time ago and poor Paris has been to hell and back – searching for Sienna’s spirit, giving into and battling his ambrosia addition, fighting and killing anyone (especially Hunters) that got in his way. We’ve had book after book of the degradation of Paris, and now it’s finally his time.      The book picks up where The Darkest Surrender ends. Things have been building to this point, and I do not recommend newcomers to the series start here. There are a lot of plot points that come together. Paris is still hot on the trail of tracking down human spirit-turned keeper of the High Demon Lord, Wrath. She is a former Hunter and current prisoner of the Titan god king, Cronus. She is also the one woman that Paris’s demon, Promiscuity, was able to “get it up for” more than once. He is obsessed and this has lead to his near destruction.      The first half or so of this book is dedicated to detail and background – fitting the pieces in place for the rest of the tale. Paris isn’t quite the same ruined man he has been of late. He’s kicked his ambrosia addiction, and although he is still killing and...
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Feb
22

Review: Alpha Instinct

Review: Alpha Instinct Alpha Instinct Author: Katie Reus  Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012 Publisher: Signet Moon Shifter #1 ISBN: #978-0451236098 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Fear has a scent. So does desire… Ana Cordona has been a strong leader for the lupine shifters who survived after all the males and most of the females in her pack were mysteriously poisoned. As tough as she is, with no Alpha male, the pack is vulnerable to the devious shifter Taggart, who wants to claim both their ranch and Ana as his own. When Connor Armstrong comes back into her life, promising protection, it’s almost enough to make Ana forget how he walked out on her before—and reluctantly accept his offer to mate.       The minute Connor sees Ana again, it reawakens a raw hunger. He must have her for his bondmate—his wolf cries out for it. But his human side knows he must proceed with caution because of their complicated past. If he is to truly have her body and soul, he must go beyond his burning desire and win back her heart. Whatever it takes, he is determined not to leave her side again.         But Taggart and his rival pack are not their only enemies. A human element in town is targeting shifters. Their plan not only threatens Ana and Connor’s future, but the lives of the entire pack… What G & U are talking about:       Alpha Instinct is the debut novel in the Moon Shifter series.  It is an interesting blend of urban fantasy within a somewhat contemporary romance.  Although Gikany and Una enjoyed it, there are some issues we hoped are simply “debut-itis” factors.       Sometimes a novel will warm you up and slowly get you into the world and the “conflict.”  This is not one of them; we begin with Ana facing off with the rival pack adjacent to hers.  Alpha Instinct wastes no time in showing that pack politics are not all they are cracked up to be.  Gikany and Una enjoyed the weight of politics and the war of perceptions and prejudices that seem to permeate the world that Ana lives in. The idea that there is a overall council that governs the pack is very interesting as it is balanced between the notion that a pack (and most importantly its alpha) must be able...
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Feb
16

Review: Mind Games

Review: Mind Games Mind Games Author: Carolyn Crane  Release Date: Mar 23, 2010 Publisher: Bantam/Spectra The Disillusionists #1 ISBN: #978-0553592610 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      Justine Jones is a hopeless hypochondriac whose life is crippled by fear…until one day when a handsome, tortured mastermind named Packard peers into her soul and invites her to join his psychological hit squad.      Justine resists until she gets a taste of the peace Packard can promise. At first, Justine enjoys being part of the thrilling world of neurotic vigilantes who battle Midcity’s paranormal criminals. Things get complicated when she uncovers certain secrets…and falls for one of her most dangerous targets. What I’m talking about:      This book is amazing. There. Said it. If you haven’t picked up Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionists Trilogy, do yourself a favor and go get Mind Games now.  And while you are at it – just pick up the entire series (three books) because you will not be able to stop after the first book.      The story takes place in the heart of Midcity, a twisted urban metropolitan, where a secret group of individuals, the Disillusionists, are learning to debase and reset dangerous criminals. Their teacher and leader, Packard, teaches his gang how to transfer their negative (and extreme) emotional darkness into others, causing the victim to question who they are and see their crimes in a new light. Packard, however, is trapped in a restaurant by his mysterious nemesis and will do whatever it takes to get free.      In addition to the Disillusionists, there are “high caps,” high-brain capacity individuals that have X-men type powers – telekinesis, precognition, memory revision. The general population doesn’t really know if high caps exist. Packard is a high cap who can read a person’s psyche.      Packard discovers Justine – an extreme hypochondriac, whose fears are so intense, she rates as a prime candidate to become a Disillusionist.  Packard sucks Justine into his world, and she goes screaming and kicking almost the entire way.      Justine is a conflicted woman. She craves normalcy, but isn’t truly happy without challenge. Her emotions run both sides of the coin. Her beliefs follow her gut instincts, which can change depending on circumstances. I love that she is flawed and deals with her crazy life by making choices that I could see me making if I were in her shoes....
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Feb
13

Review: Deliver Me From Darkness

Review: Deliver Me From Darkness Deliver Me from Darkness Author: Tes Hilaire  Release Date: Feb. 1, 2012 Publisher: Sourcebooks The Paladin Warriors #1 ISBN: 978-1402264344 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       A STRANGER IN THE NIGHT…       He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up at his doorstep.       COMES KNOCKING ON THE DOOR       She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart. What VampBard’s talking about:       In reading Deliver Me from Darkness, I became entranced with the world Ms. Hilaire has created.  There were some familiar elements that made me feel right at home, as well as a structurally sound basis for the balance of this series.       The tenor and language of this title brought me back to my early days reading paranormal romance – specifically to J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover, and her character Wrath, as he was introduced (unwillingly) to his future shellan.       I love the world Ms. Hilaire builds for this series!  The infusion of the vampire lore as well as the world of the Paladin that Hilaire intertwined had me hooked from the beginning.  The overarching story, while expertly crafted, researched, and executed, was an extremely action-packed and involved plot.  In addition to the vampire/Paladin portions of the plot, Hilaire infused the classic demons of Hell in the form of Lucifer and his minions to the mix.  The dichotomy of good and evil definitely creates discord and conflict that even farther vests the reader in the storyline.  The juxtaposed ‘dark’ and ‘light’ symbolism coalesces into into a tidy blend of grey at the conclusion of the story.       While there were several gems of stellar writing in Deliver Me from Darkness, the following passages exemplified the sensuality and sensitivity of the characters as well as the over-all impression received from the novel.       This little gem was the most passionate description: Anger...
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Feb
2

Review: Daughter of Lust

Review: Daughter of Lust Daughter Of Lust Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: June 27, 2011 Publisher: Decadent Publishing For The Love Of Evil # 1 ISBN: #978-1613330326 Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance (M/F, M/M/F, F/F) Format(s): paperback (272 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Belal, High Prince of Hell and Keeper of the Deadly Sin Sloth, is expanding his power in the world of the 1800s by trafficking opium. He revels in the results, and as sloth begins to overtake the mortal realm, all of Hell suffers. The balance of power in Hell, as well as the fate of the Universe, will be decided by the love of a half-demon peasant girl.     Natalia Shura, the daughter of Asmodeus, High Prince of Hell and Keeper of the Deadly Sin Lust, is unaware of the nature of her birth. When her demonic side begins to awaken, her world becomes dominated by dark passions and deadly craving, and Natalia believes she is losing her mind. But Natalia’s love has been foretold as the only thing that can stop Belal and his allies, and they will do anything to prevent her ascension. Facing assassins, avenging angels, Hell’s deadly politics—and her real father—Natalia must accept the love of more than one man and embrace her demonic heritage as a Princess of Lust. If she doesn’t, all that she loves will be destroyed, and Heaven and Hell will plunge into Chaos. What B is talking about:      Mayburn proves that she is an ambitious storyteller in this novel about love and lust, which plays out in both Russia and Hell in the year 1870. Not merely an exploration of varying forms of eroticism, Daughter of Lust takes on religion in general, a broad and potentially risky topic to say the least. Beneath Natalia’s sexual awakening is the idea that there is nothing, either on earth, in Heaven, or in Hell, that is either purely good or purely evil, and that love is too powerful a concept to be limited to one particular interpretation.      Natalia’s story begins as the factions of Hell are in an uproar, Satan’s disinterest in ruling having created a power vacuum that Belal, High Prince and Keeper of Sloth, intends to fill. Asmodeus, Keeper of Lust and his allies are determined to stop him, and the half-demon daughter he’s kept secret from even his most trusted advisors may be the key to saving them all. Using the opium trade...
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Jan
30

Review: Thread of Death

Review: Thread of Death Thread of Death Author: Jennifer Estep  Release Date: Jan. 31, 2012 Publisher: Pocket Books Elemental Assassin #5.5 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider, might have finally killed her nemesis, Mab Monroe, but that doesn’t mean that it’s smooth sailing. Gin goes to Mab’s funeral to say her goodbyes and runs into some of Ashland’s most notorious underworld power players, including Jonah McAllister and Phillip Kincaid. McAllister wants her dead, and Kincaid has his own murky motives when it comes to the Spider, and Gin once again finds herself fighting for her life. Only this time, she might wind up in the cemetery right next to Mab. What I’m talking about:       I have been hearing great things about Ms. Estep’s Elemental Assassin series for a while now. I’ve wanted to read it, but by the time I got around to it, the series was already four books in, and I just didn’t have the time to commit to reading four to five books. (Lame excuse, I know!). Anyhow, I’d been chatting with the wonderful Ms. Estep and asked her when would be a good time to “jump in” to her series. She suggested this novella, and I’m so thankful she did!       For those unfamiliar with this urban fantasy series, it centers around Gin Blanco, an assassin whose parents were killed by nemesis assassin, Mab Monroe. The first five books centered on Gin (aka the Spider) trying to take out her long-time adversary, culminating with a massive elemental battle between the two in Spider’s Revenge, where Gin finally defeats Mab. (Note: I did NOT read the first five books.)       Thread of Death is a nice little story – a “day in the life” of Gin – that bridges the story arc ending in the past book with Mab’s death, and a new one starting in the upcoming By a Thread (February 28, 2012, Pocket Books). In this novella, we find Gin recovering from her battle with Fire Elemental, Mab. Gin is also an Elemental, able to manipulate Stone and Ice to her advantage (there are also Air Elementals). I’m still learning about Elementals, but I got a feel for what they can do in this story.       The story takes place over the course of one day – the day of Mab’s funeral. It...
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Jan
24

Review: Onyx Moon

Review: Onyx Moon Onyx Moon Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: Nov. 21, 2011 Publisher: Decadent Prides of the Moon #4 ISBN: #978-1613331644 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotica, Novella, GLBT Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Marcus Galin has searched the world for a very special kind of werepuma, a Beta who has also been blessed by the Goddess as a shaman. His prayers are finally answered when Madame Eve of the 1 Night Stand matchmaking service arranges for him to meet a man in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica that fits his requirements. Only problem is that Marcus is terrified of magic and doesn’t know if he can overcome his fear enough to open his heart to a stranger that his pride and his heart desperately need.      Vashan Dulphin has spent all of his life as an outcast among his people. By a twist of fate and gentics at puberty he became a werejaguar much to his family and pride’s disgust. Since then he has lived in solitude among his people, barely tolerated only because of his power as both a Beta and a shaman. Desperate for a chance to find a home where he will be loved, he calls on the aid of Madame Eve who sends him Marcus.      Together the men will have to overcome their fear and self-doubt for a one in a million chance at love. What B is talking about:      As the alpha werepuma destined to take over his pack, Onyx Moon, Marcus is already shouldering much of the responsibility he owes his people. We first met Marcus at the end of Turquoise Moon, the third story in the series, while he was under the spell of the magically-aided, but crazed, Stephen, who was pursuing Kara as she tried to bond with her true mates. Marcus’ own pack has been without a shaman for too long, and it’s his duty to find one young and strong enough to protect the pride. The new shaman must also be a beta who will bond with Marcus, so that there can be no doubt as to the spiritual guide’s motives and loyalty. That alone is no small task, but combine it with Marcus’ fear of magic, and it seems impossible.      Vashan has his share of problems, too. Being the only werejaguar in his insular pack has been a burden; one that’s nearly become too much to carry. If it...
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Jan
23

Review: Heart’s Sentinel

Review: Heart’s Sentinel Heart’s Sentinel Author: PJ Schnyder  Release Date: Jan 5, 2011 Publisher: Decadent Publishing Terra’s Guardians #1 ISBN: #978-1936394425 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (200 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Born human, Mackenzie never wanted to be a shapeshifter. After a shifter stalks and brutally Changes her, she runs to the jaguars of River Gap pride for protection from the stalker still searching for her, to come to terms with the attack and learn to control her new, powerful cougar body. Adam, a River Gap Sentinel, is assigned as her guard and mentor. Well aware of his strength and how new she is the shapeshifter world, he holds himself back from the flames of primal desire she ignites. But, to survive the stalker, they both need to first battle their pasts and learn what it truly means to be the sentinels of each other’s hearts. What G & U are talking about:      Heart’s Sentinel is the first book in the Terra’s Guardians series and was a great read.  Gikany and Una can see some similarities to a couple other series they enjoy, but there are enough differences to make this world of shifters and alien hunters intriguing and fascinating.      We felt there was a small homage to Lora Leigh’s Breeds and Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changling, but when it comes down to it; Heart’s Sentinel is its own world and incredibly tempting.  These shifters are a bit more akin to the wild nature of animals and yet they are balanced by their human half.  The dance between Adam and his mate Mac, was rich, tantalizing and when they finally came together, sizzling hot!  We enjoyed the dance that progressed between them.  The pacing and momentum were well done.      The mystery and hunting of Mac’s shapeshifter-stalker was also quite gripping.  It was incredibly difficult to put down; thankfully we had the ebook version.  Una found herself trying to catch red lights and long lines so she could keep reading.  The world-building that takes place (as usual in a first book of a series) was woven well into the storyline.  The way the pack acts and works was really heart-warming as they come together to protect a woman, changed against her will, trying to learn to live in this new, strange and difficult chapter of her life.  However, considering she gets Adam….well, there should be SOME benefit!      As we did...
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Jan
17

Review: Darker After Midnight

Review: Darker After Midnight Darker After Midnight Author: Lara Adrian  Release Date: Jan. 24, 2012 Publisher: Delacorte Press Midnight Breed #10 ISBN: #978-0345530875 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Hardcover (384 pgs), e-book, audio Book Source: Author About the book:      In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of the Breed. After existing in secret for many long centuries, maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the entire vampire nation at risk of discovery. It falls to the Order–a cadre of Breed warriors pledged to protect their own and humankind alike–to stop Dragos, the power-mad vampire at the center of the conflict, before his push for domination can explode into catastrophe.      At the center of the Order’s quest is Sterling Chase, once a morally rigid enforcer of Breed law, now a warrior fallen from grace, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. With addiction beckoning him toward eternal darkness, Chase’s path to redemption has never seemed more out of reach–until he finds himself drawn to a beautiful young woman who may be something much more than she seems . . . What I’m talking about:      Okay, so I’m just going to come out and say it: I LOVED THIS BOOK! I am in awe of the mastery Ms. Adrian has put onto the pages. If you have not read the Midnight Breeds series, go pick up book 1, Kiss of Midnight, NOW and do NOT start here if you want to enjoy the full potential of this book.      Last we saw outcast Breed warrior, Chase Sterling, he was sacrificing himself to save his former friends and comrades. Darker After Midnight picks up immediate after the conclusion of Deeper Than Midnight. Chase has been incarcerated by the human police force, the Order has gone into hiding and Dragos is taking over Boston. It’s a scary time for law-abiding Breeds. Chase is hell-bent on bring Dragos down, which includes killing off some very high-profile human Minions (mind-slaves to Dragos).      Right in the center of Chase’s path of vengeance is the exotic Tavia Fairchild, and soon they both discover she is so much more than anyone understands.  Tavia has been lied to her entire life and is inexplicable drawn to Chase. Although she fears him, she stays with Chase because he tells her the truth....
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