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Oct
15

Review: Fearless Desires

Review: Fearless Desires Fearless Desires Author: Stacey Espino  Release Date: June 10, 2010 Publisher: Siren Publishing Immortal Love Series Book #1 ISBN: #978-1606017371 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Format(s): paperback (266 pages), e-book I received an electronic copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Delius never asked for his fate, but in a world that placed all its faith in prophecy, he would be a fool to challenge it.  He felt like a parasite, forced to live off the fear of humans. From the first time Delius became trapped in Selina’s mind and seduced by her provocative thoughts, he was drawn to her.  She was a mystery that turned into an obsession.  Yet, for them to have a life together, Delius would have to go against his own race that demanded he fulfill his destiny.  One that did not include Selina. What I’m talking about: Delius and his five brothers are Fear Demons. But in Ms. Espino’s world, demons are not hideous creatures from hell. The Demons (Fear, Lust and Aggression) are immortal beings that look like humans (good looking ones, albeit) and feed off human energy. They (rarely) hurt humans, but they (are not supposed to) interfere with human activities.  Delius has never been happy with his lot in life – feeling like a leach and always witnessing the “evil” humanity has to offer. He is sent to investigate a human that doesn’t project fear, and as soon as he sees Selina, he is drawn to her. She is an enigma, but it’s more that the mystery that attracts him. He cannot help but feel possessive and the desire for both blooms.  Soon, Selina is pulled into the unknown world of Demons, where faith in prophecy rule above all and an impending Demon War is looming.  This book was like CRACK for me. I seriously could not put it down. I was reading while at work, in my car (not while driving), while making dinner, in line and the grocery store, etc.  It started with the unique and engrossing mythology. Then I couldn’t resist the smokin’ hot sex scenes. But Ms. Espino reeled me in with the love story. Delius and Selina are a great couple. They come from different worlds and they struggle to find their way together. They try to figure out if love can conquer all… can one choose love that is forbidden? What if it is not...
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Oct
12

Review: Presumed Dead

Review: Presumed Dead Presumed Dead Author:Shirley Wells Release Date: July 26, 2010 Publisher: Carina Press Dylan Scott Mysteries Book #1 ISBN: #978-1426890444 Genre: Mystery/Suspense Format(s): e-book I received a e-copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       Dylan Scott has problems. Dismissed in disgrace from the police force for assaulting a suspect, he has no job, his wife has thrown him out and—worse luck—his mother has moved in. So when Holly Champion begs him to investigate the disappearance of her mother thirteen years ago, he can’t say no, even though it means taking up residence in the dreary Lancashire town of Dawson’s Clough for the duration.       Although the local police still believe Anita Champion took off for a better life, Dylan’s inquiries turn up plenty of potential suspects: the drug-dealing, muscle-bound bouncer at the club where Anita was last seen; the missing woman’s four girlfriends, out for revenge; the local landowner with rumored mob connections—the list goes on. But no one is telling Dylan all they know—and he soon finds that one sleepy Northern town can keep a lot of secrets. What I’m talking about:       Heads up and note: THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE. THIS IS NOT A PARANORMAL-THEMED BOOK! *shock* I know… I can expand my horizons!       Okay, so now that I have that out of the way, I want to tell you about this great mystery I just read… First of all, we have our hero, Dylan Scott. The poor man has had a bit of a tough run and we catch him trying to pull his life back to some normalcy. After being kicked off the police force and spending time in jail, his self-esteem and pride have taken a huge hit. His wife is tired of his attitude and kicks him out. Dylan’s chance to turn himself around falls to Holly Champion.  He is contacted by Holly to find her missing mother and she persuades him by insisting he is the only one for the job. In order to repair some of the problems in his life, Dylan decides to take on the case, even though he is convinced that nothing good will come of it.       I like Dylan. He’s a good man. His investigative technics are not unusual, but he is so personable that he gets the information he needs from complete...
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Oct
8

Review: No Mercy

Review: No Mercy No Mercy Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon Release Date: September 7, 2010 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Dark Hunter Series Book #19  ISBN: #0312546564 Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Format(s): Hardcover, 343 pgs; e-book From the author’s website: Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.  Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.  The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it. What I’m talking about: I adore Ms. Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series. The mythology is extremely interesting and complex. So if you haven’t read any of the earlier books, you may find yourself a bit lost with the terms, abilities, etc.  Be warned, if you haven’t read the series, this book (and review) contains spoilers from the previous books. No Mercy picks up a few months after the end of the previous book, Bad Moon Rising.  The Peltier family (a pack of bear shifters) is trying to run their family bar, Sanctuary, after the deaths of their parents. With this story, we learn that brother, Dev, isn’t sure he wants to stay around and thinks about getting a fresh start away from his siblings.  When Dark Huntress, Sam, rides her motorcycle to Sanctuary and into Dev’s heart and mind, she doesn’t expect to enjoy the peace and comfort only he can give her.  The two quickly take advantage of their mutual attraction and engage in a hot, steamy one-night stand. Yet neither can shake their desire, and the attraction quickly grows into something more. The story line focuses primary on Sam and Dev’s relationship; however, evil Daimon lord, Stryker, wants Sam for his own nefarious plans. This gives the couple plenty of opportunities to explore and analyze their mutual attraction. Their love is forbidden, and we are...
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Oct
5

Review: The Iron Duke

Review: The Iron Duke The Iron Duke Author:Meljean Brook Release Date: October 5, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Trade The Iron Sea Series Book #1 ISBN: #978-0425236673 Genre: Steampunk Romance Format(s): paperback, e-book I received an electronic ARC of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:      After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.      Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.      But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke. What I’m talking about:      I love this book. Seriously. It’s tough to write a review about something that has stirred such powerful emotions within me. How do I put into words the impact of these characters? My notes are filled with comments like “I feel Mina’s hopelessness” or “the heartache and pain” or “this is why I love this man.” The Iron Duke is an incredible adventure, but it also reached deep into my heart and soul, and won’t let go.      Ms. Brook’s story-telling skills are phenomenal. She has created a whole new world with details so rich and intricate that I could fully imagine life for Mina and Rhys. It is set in an “alternate” universe where modern technology never developed, and in it’s place, a world full of clock-work and steam-powered devices that modern-man could only dream of possessing.  It isn’t a “backwards world” or primitive, just different. And not since I read the Harry Potter series have I longed to jump into a fictional setting and experience the...
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Sep
28

Review: "A Tangled Web" – Harvest Moon

Review: "A Tangled Web" – Harvest Moon “A Tangled Web” from the Harvest Moon anthology Author: Mercedes Lackey Release Date: September 28, 2010 Publisher: Luna (Harlequin) Five Hundred Kingdoms series ISBN: #978-0373803224 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): paperback, e-book I received an electronic galley copy of this book from the Net Galley for the purposes of an honest review. NOTE: I only read the first novella in this anthology. After reading the first (review below) and starting the second, I found the stories complex and difficult to follow. Due to time constraints, I did not finish the book. I am not classifying this book as a DNF because I did complete the first story and have a review.  If I find time to read the other stories, I will finish the review for the entire book (they do seem interesting!) From the author’s website: Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing’s ever simple and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back… What I’m talking about: This is an interesting and fun re-telling of the famous Persephone and Hades tale from Greek Mythology.  In this story, Persephone and Hades are in love and try to find a way to be together. Hades sends Thanatos, the god of Death, to “kidnap” Persephone and bring her to the underworld-reasoning that her mother, Demeter, could not take her away if “death” claimed her. Well, unfortunately, Thanatos claims the wrong goddess which causes plenty of grief for everyone. While the story was simple, cleaver and cute, it was tough to follow. I know a little Greek mythology and no Norse mythology – both of which are prominent in this story.  Names are tossed around and situations inferred as if I should have an understanding of it all.  I felt completely lost at times, especially at the beginning.   Although I never fully overcame some of the confusion, I still enjoyed the tale.  Ms. Lackey’s portrayal of the Greek gods is entertaining and refreshing… They are still self-involved, but more simple and oafish than their usual vindictive depictions. The Norse goddess Brunnhilde and her husband Prince Leopold are a welcome addition to the tale. They are logic and order to the chaos of Olympus when Persephone (and Brunnhilde) are taken to the underworld.  This is an enjoyable story. My Rating:  Liked it, there were...
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Sep
23

Review: Sins of the Flesh & GIVEAWAY

Review: Sins of the Flesh & GIVEAWAY Sins of the Flesh Author: Eve Silver Release Date: September 28, 2010 Publisher: Harlequin Otherkin Trilogy Book #3 ISBN: #978-0373774845 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): mass market paperback, e-book I received a copy of this book from the Net Galley for the purposes of an honest review. From goodreads: Torn between lust and loyalty…  The blood of the Underworld lord of evil runs through soul reaper Malthus Krayl’s veins.  Raised to fight for survival and to kill for victory, he can destroy anyone who poses a threat. As he searches for the one responsible for his brother’s murder, he refuses to succumb to any distraction…until his sworn enemy crosses his path and tempts him beyond all reason.  Calliope Kane, a Daughter of Aset, has a personal hatred for soul reapers. Their savage attack against her family still haunts her. But only Malthus can help her find the traitors of her kind, and only she can help him hunt the source of betrayal amongst the reapers. As they unite, the danger grows closer…and the passion between them ignites. What I’m talking about: The three books of the Otherkin Trilogy together tell the tale of the sons of the Egyptian underworld god, Sutekh and their quest to discover the identity of their youngest brother’s murder.  There are clues and hints that help are woven into each story (especially in the first book) that are necessary if you are like me and want to figure out “whodunit” before the author tells you.  The third book, Sins of the Flesh, picks up after the second story finishes. The focus of this book is the third son, Malthus Krayl. He watched his two older brothers fall head over heels for women (in the first two books) and he knows that will not happen to him. He picks up the quest to discover more about his brother, Lokan’s killer by following clues on the “topside” (human realm). While staking out his latest lead, he sees a mysterious woman and is drawn in – wanting to know more about her and why she is also after his lead. Calliope is a solider for the Asetian Guard, sworn enemy of Sutehk, and her hatred of Sutehk’s sons is also personal.  When she first meets Mal, she is vicious and I LOVED it. There is no “love at first sight.” An attraction, yes, but she is hard-core and will not let him stop her from following her orders. She...
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Sep
20

Review: Taken By Midnight

Review: Taken By Midnight Taken By Midnight Author: Lara Adrian Release Date: September 28, 2010 Publisher: Dell Books Midnight Breed Series Book #8 ISBN: #978-0-440-24527-8 Genre: paranormal romance Format(s): mass market paperback, e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From GoodReads:      In the frozen Alaskan wilderness, former state trooper Jenna Darrow survives an unspeakable breach of body and soul. But with her narrow escape comes an even greater challenge. For strange changes are taking place within her, as she struggles to understand–and control–a new hunger. To do so, she will seek shelter in the Boston compound of the Order, an ancient race of vampire warriors whose very existence is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the most mysterious of them all is Brock, a brooding, dark-eyed alpha male whose hands hold the power to comfort, heal . . . and arouse.       As she recovers under Brock’s care, Jenna finds herself drawn to the Order’s mission: to stop a ruthless enemy and its army of assassins from subjecting Earth to a reign of terror. Yet in spite of their resolve, a purely physical relationship without strings soon binds Brock and Jenna together with a desire fiercer than life and stronger than death itself–until a secret from Brock’s past and Jenna’s own mortality challenges their forbidden love to the ultimate trial by fire. What I’m talking about:      Taken by Midnight picks up immediately where the seventh installment, Shades of Midnight, ends. After surviving a horrific abduction by one of the evil (and thought to be extinct) alien Ancients that spawned the Breed race, Jenna is rushed to the Order’s compound in Boston for protection and observation. There she sleeps for 5 days – but while unconscious speaks an alien language.  After Jenna wakes, she feels good – too good – and wants to go back to her home in Alaska. The fact that there are “vampires” in the world (and she is being cared for by these creatures), is unsettling to Jenna and she just wants to forget it all.  Unfortunately, she learns that the Ancient implanted some sort of alien device in her and it’s changing her body in ways she cannot comprehend.      In addition, Jenna is frighted and horrified to realize that she is drawn to one of the “vampires,” Brock. She wonders if her feelings are true or a by-product of her internal metamorphosis. This...
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Sep
13

Review: Atlantis Betrayed

Review: Atlantis Betrayed Atlantis Betrayed Author: Alyssa Day  Release Date: September 7, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Warriors of Poseidon Series Book #6 ISBN: #0425238105 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback, e-book From the author’s website: Poseidon’s warriors have learned that the battle to protect humanity produces unexpected enemies–and alliances. And one of the most powerful of all Atlantean warriors will soon find both…in one daring beauty. A warrior’s mission, a woman’s desire…What could Christophe, powerful Warrior of Poseidon, have in common with Fiona Campbell, prim and proper Scottish illustrator of fairytales by day and notorious jewel thief known as the Scarlet Ninja by night? Answer:  The Siren, a legendary Crown Jewel that Fiona has targeted for her next heist. It’s said to be worth millions, but to Christophe it’s invaluable. For the Siren also happens to be one of the missing jewels from Poseidon’s trident. And the unnatural evil that could destroy them both.But breaking into the Tower of London is a two-person job, so Christophe and Fiona team up to commit the crime of the century. As newfound passions fire their motives–and cloud their judgment–they realize they aren’t the only ones after the priceless gem. A dark force is shadowing their every move, and threatening to shatter their trust with revenge, betrayal, and a haunting revelation about the past. What I’m talking about: In the sixth full-length book (and eight installment) of the Warriors of Poseidon series by Alyssa Day, we journey to London. This is the first book that is set outside of the US and away from the on-going and familiar vampire versus human rebels story arc, and it was a refreshing change of pace. This isn’t quite Ms. Day’s typical Poseidon story, but has a lot of  familiar similarities. Although it primarily centers on Fiona and Christophe’s story and leaves out most of the on-going story arc, we still see shifters, vamps and some new supernatural beings. Self-segregated warrior, Christophe, is hanging around London and is tasked to obtain one of the seven sacred jewels from Poseidon’s trident. His heart isn’t really in the game, but Christophe is looking for a change of pace from the everyday dredge of protecting humans from the power-hungry vampires.  While on a scouting mission to steal the famous gem, Christophe meets the Scarlet Ninja, and after she shoots him and leaves him for dead, he follows her home. He worms his way into her life and the two begin a tentative and passionate...
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Sep
10

Review: Burning Up

Review: Burning Up Burning Up – Anthology Authors:Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, Meljean Brook Release Date: August 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation ISBN: #978-0425235959 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback, e-book “Whisper of Sin” – Nalini Singh (Psy/Changeling Series prequel story)      From the author’s website: “Whisper of Sin” features Ria, who, as Lucas’s executive assistant, has appeared in a number of previous books in the series including Slave to Sensation and Mine to Possess. This novella is set back in time, and tells the story of how Ria met her changeling mate, Emmett, and became part of DarkRiver. It also shows us another glimpse of DarkRiver’s past.      What I’m talking about:  Ria (a human) is attacked and nearly raped before DarkRiver enforcers step in.  Changeling Emmett is immediately attracted to Ria and serves as her protector.  The story follows the couple as they learn about one another, and learn to trust each other.      This is story set in Ms. Singh’s amazing Psy/Changeling series (one of the best PNR series out there). It is set back in time, so you do not have to have knowledge of the series to enjoy this novella. Ms. Singh does a fabulous job of drawing me in by creating characters I care about. The story moves quickly, but doesn’t skimp on plot development or hot romance. My only issue was the final “hurdle” placed in front of the couple, which felt forced and unnecessary. The couple was already together and in love. I did not see the purpose in tossing them one more issue to deal with – especially one so minor and silly. But it was just that – silly – and the story is still a good one.      My Rating: 4 stars. Really enjoyed – strongly recommend. “Blood and Roses” Angela Knight      My summary: “Blood and Roses” is a vampire and wizard story with a mediaeval setting. Evil wizard Korban is a traitor to the king and plans to break the magical barrier that holds back the human-eating, lizard-skinned Varil race. He holds 3-year-old Marin captive and forces sister Amaris to do his bidding – which includes seducing the king’s investigator, vampire Raniero, and convince him to betray the king.      What I’m talking about:  Unfortunately, this story did not have adequate space to develop a solid romance between Raniero and Amaris. She seduces him, at the direction of her captor, but then feels an...
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Sep
7

Review: DUST

Review: DUST DUST Author: Joan Frances Turner  Release Date: September 7, 2010 Publisher: The Berkley Group (Penguin) ISBN: #978-0-441-01928-1 Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal/Zombies Format: Hardcover I received this book from the publisher for purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Nine years ago, Jessie had a family.Now, she has a gang.Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian.Now, she eats very fresh meat.Nine years ago,Jessie was in a car crash and died.Nine years ago, Jessie was human.Now, she’s not. After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs. But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life… What I’m talking about: I’m going to start by telling you that this is my first zombie book. I didn’t know what to expect, but my ideas of zombies were formed by horror movies. This is NOT what Jessie is about. She is a teenage girl that died and was reborn into a new life of the “undead.” The undead don’t feed on human brains (unless they want to), but rather the freshly killed flesh of any animal.  The story, told in the first person POV of Jessie, opens with a hunt for a deer and slides into Jessie’s memories of being “reborn” and meeting her gang. It took me a while to adjust to reading the gore that is zombie. It’s not that this is a gruesome tale or a horror show, it’s just that well, these characters are undead. They are missing body parts, full of bugs, black-bloated gas-bags and turning to dust.  Ms. Turner does a wonderful job provided detailed descriptions of her world and its inhabitants. Just be prepared to see maggot-infested bodies...
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