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Nov
26

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James Firewalker Author: Allyson James  Release Date: November 2, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Stormwalker Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-0425237823 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book I won an ARC copy of this book from the author. From the author’s website: Mick must face the dragon council for breaking their laws, and while he doesn’t seem too worried about his upcoming trial, but Janet will do anything to keep him safe. She’ll need a little help from her friends, old and new: Nash and Coyote; Cassandra, a powerful witch turned hotel manager; Colby a sort-of-trustworthy dragon. But now a new, dark power is stirring in Magellan that Janet must face, but even more frightening, one is stirring within herself.  What I’m talking about: **This review contains minor spoilers from the first book, Stormwalker. Firewalker is the second book in Ms. James’ Stormwalker series, and it starts a short time after the end of the first book.  Janet Begay, a Native American stormwalker, with the power of Beneath magic from her goddess mother, has settled down in Megellan and opened up the hotel she was renovating throughout all of book one.  She’s hired a witch, Cassandra, to manager her place and business is good. Mick’s been missing for three weeks, and although he has been more open with Janet since she found out he is a dragon, it still isn’t completely odd for him to be gone without notice.  But when a shifter comes into the hotel demanding to speak with her, Janet realizes that Mick is in trouble. Mick is guilty of breaking Dragon law when he allowed Janet to live (backstory in Stormwalker). Dragons are honorable, and he intends to stand trial – even when the verdict is already known.  But before he can get there, a new evil finds its way into Megellan – one with a familiarity that reminds Janet of her evil mother.  Now Janet, Mick, Nash and their new friends must figure out who is responsible for the gruesome death of an unknown hiker before more innocent people are killed – and in time to save Mick from the dragons and his own honor. Once again, Ms. James weaves together an amazing Paranormal Romance/Mystery-Suspense story. At the core of her work is a complex “whodunit,” full of twists and turns, that keeps the reader engaged until the conclusion. But what makes the book truly superb is the cast of characters that inhabit this...
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Nov
23

Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James

Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James Stormwalker Author: Allyson James  Release Date: May 4, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Stormwalker Series Book #1 ISBN: #978-0425234693 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book From the author’s website: Half-Navajo Janet Begay possesses extraordinary power which is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she’s caught in the storm’s evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can’t seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet’s never sure where he goes when they’re not together. Together they investigate mysterious disappearances, which Janet fears are tied to her mother’s people, the mythical gods from below the earth. They are helped along the way by Coyote and Crow, but these shapeshifting gods have their own agendas. What I’m talking about: Janet Begay is a stormwalker: she can utilize the power of a storm, bending and controlling it to meet her desires.  But this magic comes at a price – it leaves her physically drained and sick. Only her mysterious ex-boyfriend, Mick, can absorb the excess magic and help Janet stay sane.  But Mick isn’t always around and Janet has learned to stand on her own.  So when Mick rides into town wanting to pick up where their relationship left off 5 years ago, Janet doesn’t know what to do. She misses him. She wants him. But he broke her heart. Janet is sexy and a strong heroine-just the kind I like. She’s tough – renovating a hotel in a town full of folks that don’t necessarily accept her.  Oh, and she is willing to stay in town to face off against the dark forces from Beneath, controlled by her evil goddess of a mother.  She takes hit after hit, but doesn’t give up.  Yet Janet is also vulnerable – she wants to run away with Mick, but knows she can’t. She wants to take the easy road, but won’t. It is these two sides of Janet that make her such a compelling character. She is a super hero and a normal gal all rolled into one. Janet isn’t the only great character in Stormwalker.  Mick, her on-again, off-again lover/boyfriend is an enigma. He’s sexy, and his love for Janet is sweet. Even though he is a valiant protecter and seems to know everything, there are somethings he just doesn’t understand when it comes to Janet. Or he may get it,...
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Nov
18

Review & Giveaway: Promises in the Dark

Review & Giveaway: Promises in the Dark Promises In The Dark Author:Stephanie Tyler  Release Date: November 23, 2010 Publisher: here Shadow Force Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-0440245971 Genre: Military/Suspense Romance Format(s): paperback (416 pages), e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       On the run, in each other’s arms, with one last chance to survive.       A rugged Navy SEAL, Zane Scott was part of a failed mission to rescue Dr. Olivia Strohm from abduction by the terrorist group Dead Man’s Hand (DMH)—and her anguished screams have haunted him ever since. So when he gets word that the beautiful physician has escaped from her captors in Africa, he’s got personal reasons to storm the continent and save her.       Like her would-be liberator, Olivia carries the burden of a dark secret from her past. Ruthless and relentless, the DMH has threatened to hunt her down – and to systematically hurt anyone she’s close to. The last thing she wants is to be rescued—even by someone as shockingly handsome as Zane. Yet the hot-headed special ops hero has come for her, and together she and Zane just might have a shot at not only stopping DMH’s reign of terror, but also saving what’s left of their souls. What I’m talking about:       Promises in the Dark picks up about 6 months after the end of Lie With Me, with Dr. Olivia Strohm having escaped her evil captors. She’s on the run and hiding in Africa, hoping that she’ll never be found – by anyone. Meanwhile, Zane has spent all of his free time trying to track down and rescue Olivia. He is drawn to her and cannot get her out of his mind – even though he’s never met her.  Once Zane finds Olivia, sparks fly and it’s up to Zane to convince Olivia she’s better off leaving Africa.  Together they make their way to a small missionary medical treatment clinic on their way to safety.  There they meet Doc J (it’s his place), Tristan, and Rowan.       Meanwhile, back in the states, Zane’s brother, Cael is on a mission for the Army to determine if computer genius Vivienne Clare knows that her new nuclear plant security program was stolen by the terrorist group DMH, or even worse – if she sold it to them.  But when Vivi’s life is on the...
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Nov
16

Review: Fearless Love

Review: Fearless Love Fearless Love Author: Stacey Espino Release Date: November 2, 2010 Publisher: Siren Publishing Immortal Love Series Book #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Javen Highland is the most ruthless Fear Demon and has the reputation to back it up. He keeps away from love, seeing it as a vulnerability. When a breathtakingly beautiful vampire steals his blood, she also captures his heart. Javen’s new mission is to convince the blonde beauty that her bite is erotic, not painful. If he doesn’t succeed, he could lose her forever. Emma doesn’t realize just how persuasive Javen can be. He’ll have to show her over and over exactly how good it feels to sustain her with his blood. What I’m talking about: Javen and his brothers are Fear Demons – they look human, but are immortal and feed off human fear energy. Javen is a proud member of his race and seeks to keep it pure, especially after two of his brothers mate with Lust Demons (see Fearless Desires).  He has sacrificed a lot for his race and has mixed emotions when he finds that he is attracted to Emma, an ER nurse.  She isn’t a Demon, but she isn’t human, either. Javen makes it his mission to discover exactly what Emma is and if she’s a threat to his race. Emma has lived her whole life in the dark. She and her twin brother seem to be the only of their kind – they live off human blood and cannot be in the sunlight. Emma is convinced she is a mythical vampire, but her brother disagrees and travels the world in hopes of discovering an answer (leaving Emma alone for months at a time).  Emma is a weak soul and she refuses to feed off humans — opting to steal donated blood or feed from her brother, when he’s around.  One night when Emma is close to death, she finds herself with Javen, who just happens to be in the right place at the wrong time. She takes one taste of his blood and knows she cannot go back to her solitary life.   And so the dance between Emma and Javen begins. He needs to know the truth about Emma. Emma just needs.  Their passion builds and it is hot! But Emma is a needy, weak heroine. She constantly...
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Nov
5

Review: Magic at the Gate

Review: Magic at the Gate Magic at the Gate Author:Devon Monk  Release Date: November 2, 2010 Publisher: ROC Fantasy Allie Beckstrom Series Book #5  ISBN: #978-0451463623 Genre: Urban Fantacy Format(s): paperback (368 pages), e-book I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       Allie Beckstrom’s lover, Zayvion Jones, is a Guardian of the Gate, imbued with both light and dark magic and responsible for ensuring that those energies don’t mix. But Zayvion lies in a coma, his soul trapped in death’s realm. To rescue him, Allie must follow the specter of her deceitful late sorcerer father, Daniel Beckstrom, who is more than familiar with death’s domain. And when Allie discovers that the only way to save Zayvion is to sacrifice her very own magical essence, she makes a decision that may have grave consequences for the entire world. What I’m talking about: NOTE: I have not read the first four books in this series.       At the end of the fourth Allie Beckstrom book, Magic on the Storm, the soul of Allie’s true love, Zay, is sent to Death, while is body lies in a coma.  At the start of Magic at the Gate, Allie crosses through a gate and into Death to find Zay’s soul and return it to his body. Her dead father (who also possesses her from time to time) acts as her guide and helps her locate Zay. Unfortunately, he also made a deal on behalf of Allie in order to get her and Zay out of Death. This deal involves Allie giving up the small magic with which she was born (she still has a large amount of magic that was placed in her earlier in the series).  She is also marked by death when she completes this deal.       After getting back to the land of the living and returning Zay’s soul (he remains in a coma), we find out that there has been a lot going on while she was in Death and the magical users find themselves in a war. There are unusual things going on and the Authority (good guys) are trying to keep up with it all. With Zay out of commission, it’s up to Allie and friends to find out how and why Veiled (think ghosts of former magic users) are becoming “solid and living.”       At first, not having read the...
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Nov
2

Review: Ghost Town

Review: Ghost Town Ghost Town Author:Rachel Caine  Release Date: October 26, 2010 Publisher: NAL Hardcover Morganville Vampire Series Book #9  ISBN: #978-0451231611 Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Format(s): Hardcover (352 pages), e-book, audio I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From Goodreads:       The fragile peace between humans and vampires in Morganville is in trouble, and when Claire takes drastic action, she’s put under serious pressure to re-establish the barriers that keep the town residents inside, and wipe the memories of those who leave. But working with her half-crazy vampire boss Myrnin means that things don’t always turn out as planned … and as the people of Morganville begin acting strangely, Claire and her friends must solve the mystery and try to put things right. But one by one, her allies are turning on her … even the ones she trusts most. What I’m talking about:       This is my first Morganville Vampire book. Yes, I skipped books 1 through 8 and started here with #9. This goes against all of my rules for reading, but I received the book from the publisher and was told that it would be okay to jump in.  And she was right – I was able to read and enjoy the story without knowing the entire history of Morganville. HOWEVER – it was very clear to me that I have missed out on a rich backstory and a lot of character development. I think fans of the series will get much more of an emotional impact from the book than I did.  However, the story captured my interest, and I find that now I want to read the first 8 books to fill in those holes.       Here is the brief background I inferred from reading Ghost Town – Morganville is a unique town – one where humans and vampires coexist in a tenuous relationship. Vampires founded the town (here is where one place I wish I knew more), and they make the rules. Apparently residents cannot leave unless permission is granted by the vampires. Our heroine, Claire, is a student at the local university and is a very special and bright girl. She works for/with the town’s “mad scientist” Vampire, Myrnin. Clare lives with boyfriend, Shane, and best friends, Eve and Michael (a vampire). They have some special privileges granted from the “head” vamp, Amelie – clearly something that happened in earlier books.       In Ghost...
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Oct
29

Review: Geist

Review: Geist Geist Author:Philippa Ballantine Release Date: October 26, 2010 Publisher: Ace Fantasy Book of the Order #1 ISBN: #978-0441019618 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): paperback (304 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of an honest review. From the back cover:      Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists…       Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.       But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.  Even if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in the hell is she returning to? What I’m talking about:      Welcome to Arykham, where the presence of ghosts and spirits (geists) are unfortunately commonplace. But thankfully, the geists conform to a set of known parameters, and the Order protects the citizens from ultimate danger. The setting of the book, Arykaham, is historical in nature – no electricity, and horses, ships and dirigibles are the modes of transportation, etc. The society is run by an Emperor, with the Order acting as a quasi-religious group that protects the world from the geists.      The book opens with Sorcha and her husband fighting off a powerful geist attack on a crowd.  In this initial attack, Sorcha’s husband is brutally injured by the geist – something that goes against the “known rules” for the Otherside. With her husband (and partner) disabled, Sorcha is given a new partner and sent north to help the town of Ulrich.      Enter novice Merrick Chambers. He has a history with Sorcha, although she doesn’t know it. He is untested and a bit scared. But soon the pair discovers that all of the “known rules” for the Otherside are being tossed out the window, which forces them to rely on and trust...
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Oct
26

Review: Play of Passion

Review: Play of Passion Play of Passion Author:Nalini Singh Release Date: November 2, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Psy-Changeling Series Book #9 ISBN: #978-0425237793 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (321 pages), e-book I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Passion and reason collide with explosive force in the newest installment of Nalini Singh’s “mesmerizing” Psy/Changeling series. As a conflict with Pure Psy looms on the horizon, two powerful wolves fight a far more intimate war of their own… In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf. Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will. Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home… What I’m talking about:      After two books which did not feature a Changeling in the “main couple,” Nalini Singh makes up for it in her ninth Psy-Changling story with the pairing of two Wolf Breeds: Drew and Indigo. And what a treat it is! For me, the Changelings are the heart and soul of Ms. Singh’s series, and this book highlights all the wonder that is Changeling. They are full of powerful emotions that help shape Ms. Singh’s sensual, yet action-packed world.      For those unfamiliar with this incredible series, the world is made up of 3 races: Psy: cerebral and emotionally void people that hold most political and financial offices; Changeling: shifters of many different species, in-tune with nature, emotionally fierce and loyal; and humans: the supporting race in the middle. The books focus primarily on two dominant Changeling packs: SnowDancers, which are wolves and DarkRiver, which are leopards.      Play of Passion is set in SnowDancer territory – the home of the wolf pack. We learn a great...
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Oct
22

Review: Lie With Me

Review: Lie With Me Lie With Me Author:Stephanie Tyler Release Date: October 26, 2010 Publisher: Dell Books Shadow Force Series Book #1 ISBN: #978-0440245964 Genre: Military/Suspense Romance Format(s): paperback, e-book I received an e-ARC copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       Forced together by fate, bound together by desire.       Framed for a double murder, Delta Force operative Cameron Moore is given a new lease on life by the CIA—provided he pays them back by doing their black ops dirty work. Now Cam is ready to renegotiate their deal, and he thinks he’s found the perfect bargaining chip: Skylar Slavin, bestselling author of espionage thrillers and the daughter of the CIA man who saved him from a prison sentence.       Skylar has been living in anonymity, never suspecting that someone so dangerous—and so desirable—would plunge her into a world as treacherous as one of her spy novels. But how can Cam go through with his plan to kidnap Skylar when just the sight of her sets off an explosive attraction he’s never experienced before? And when Skylar falls prey to an even more perilous threat, this special ops soldier must call upon all his combat skills to protect the one person who can help him win his freedom—and the only woman he’s ever loved. What I’m talking about:       Lie With Me is an exciting adventure that remindeds me of one of my favorite TV shows, Alias.  It is filled with several complex characters, all with unknown criss-crossing histories.  The key players include Cameron and Sky, our primary couple, Dylan – a spy and Cam’s best/only friend, Riley – a fellow “spy for hire” and romantic interest for Dylan,  and Gabriel… a CIA agent that uses Cam to run black op missions, who also happens to be Skylar’s father.       The story opens with an attempt on Cam’s life, one that comes from Gabriel’s men.  Tired of working for Gabe, Cam decides to use Skylar as leverage to break free once and all from Gabe’s long-reaching grasp. But when Cam meets up with Skylar, and finds out her life is in danger from unknown assailants, his mission quickly turns from kidnapper to protector. Cam finds an almost instant connection with Skylar and cannot stop himself from getting involved.       I was somewhat confused in the beginning of the book...
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Oct
18

Review: Styx’s Storm

Review: Styx’s Storm Styx’s Storm Author:Lora Leigh Release Date: October 5, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation A Breeds Series Book (#22 according to Goodreads) ISBN: #978-0425237397 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): mass market paperback (304 pgs), e-book From the back cover:       When Storme Montague’s father and brother are killed by the Breeds, her father’s research is also destroyed–except for a crucial date chip that both the Council and the Breeds would kill to possess. Betrayed to the Council, she is rescued by Styx, a Wolf Breed who is different from most other Breeds she has ever known. Storme has something he wants too–but it’s not a data chip.       There’s never been a woman who bad boy Styx couldn’t seduce. But can the charmer of the Wolf Breeds charm the enemy?       Or has the enemy come up with a plan of her own? A plan that could destroy the tentative balance the Breeds have created in society and among their allies–and that may ultimately destroy them both… What I’m talking about:       Lora Leigh’s Breeds Series is my guilty pleasure. I admit it. I really enjoy the books. Yes, they tend to follow the same basic storyline. Yes, the males are bit hard-headed and dominate/possessive. Yes… I love it!  And this story is no different.       Spoiler Alert (this contains information learned in previous Breed books and may be a spoiler if you haven’t read them)       Picking up about 6 weeks after the end of Lion’s Heat (my review HERE), we find out there there may be information out there to help Breed Director, Jonas Wyatt, figure out what was done to his infant daughter.  That information is hidden by Storme Montague, who’s father and brother were Council scientists that helped create the Breed race.  She was raised in a Breed laboratory setting and witnessed a rouge Breed murder her brother and father.  Storme has been on the run for ten years and doesn’t trust ANYONE.  The Breeds have followed Storme from afar, always protecting her without her knowledge, hoping she would come to them one day and share the secrets that her father and brother left with her. Unfortunately, time has run out and the Breeds send out Wolf Breed Styx to bring in Storme.       Styx is not your average Breed. He is known as quite the ladies man and for good reason. Even when...
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