Category Archives: 3✰

Review: Deadly Pursuit by Nina Croft

Breaking assassin Jonathon Decker out of a maximum security prison on Trakis One seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, pursued across space by the two most powerful factions in the universe, the crew of El Cazador are having second thoughts. They’d like to give him back. Unfortunately, that no longer seems an option.

Jon is used to working alone. Now, he’s stuck on the space cruiser El Cazador until he can work out just what he’s supposed to know that puts him on everybody’s most-wanted-dead list. He s not happy that the crew includes a runaway priestess with designs on his virtue such as it is. Jon likes women, but he gave up the role of protector a long time ago, and Alexia, High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, is an accident waiting to happen.

After twenty-four excruciatingly boring years of doing her duty, Alex is finally having some fun. She never meant to run away it was a rash impulse and she means to go back eventually. But first, she’s going to squeeze enough excitement out of the situation to last her a lifetime. And what could be more exciting than a stunningly gorgeous werewolf?

Meanwhile, the Church are chasing their missing priestess, and the Collective are pursuing their escaped assassin. Being hunted has never been more deadly…or more fun.

Deadly Pursuit (Blood Hunter #2) by Nina Croft

Release Date: 6 December 2011
Read Date: 5 December 2011
Rating:

Firefly with a paranormal twist. Better than Break Out, Deadly Pursuit continues from where BO we left off.

Al, the small teenage boy, turns out to be Alexia High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, the 24 year old woman. Suffocating from boredom and lack of control over her high profile life she escapes, disguises herself as a boy and ends up on the spaceship El Cazador.

Both the Collective (people who’ve taken the expensive immortality treatment Meridian) and now the Church (believe in immortality of the soul which goes to heaven when they physically die) are chasing the crew for the recapture of Jon the werewolf assassin and the return of the High Priestess.

Despite her deception, the crew immediately defend Alexia. She’s one of them and they’re not going to hand her over if she doesn’t want to go. Jon, on the other hand, is wanted for an unknown reason, pointing to a conspiracy so they’re not giving him up after they were hired to risk their lives breaking him out of prison until they get some answers.

Alexia is instantly attracted to Jon. Unfortunately her disguise worked only too well, looking like a scruffy child. Her innocence is compounded by the fact that she’s a virgin who’s lived a sheltered life, and Jon doesn’t do virgins. He’s a rough, tough, manly 6ft 4 werewolf to her doll-like 5ft 1. He’d break her. But she knew what she wanted and was determined to experience as much of life as could before she was forced to return to her duty so the predator became the prey. Poor man, he had no chance. At least he has a new pack now i.e. the crew and a buddy in Rico despite him being a vampire.

Similarities to Firefly (Rico is Mal with fangs and a lust for blood) and the introduction of shapeshifters, my favourite supernaturals, meant I quite liked this. However, I’m slightly uncomfortable with how Alexia, seconds after being almost raped and killed on two occasions, jumped her mate-to-be’s bones. That struck me as wrong since she was beaten and manhandled. I doubt I’d feel up to it if I was in her shoes.

Tannis is next to be matched up with her crush Callum Meridian, the man who first took the immortality treatment and has been transformed by it. They’re hired as his bodyguards in the next book.

***Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing the ARC via Netgalley for an honest review.***

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Review: Storm’s Heart by Thea Harrison

Able to wield thunder and lightning, wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the wyr’s best weapons. And he’s the one sent to protect Tricks, heir to the Dark Fae throne, when she’s almost assassinated in Chicago. Soon Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them-a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.

Storm’s Heart (Elder Races #2) by Thea Harrison

Release Date: 2 August 2011
Read Date: 9 September 2011
Rating:

After falling in love with Dragon Bound I didn’t want to read this one because nothing could live up to that first book. Nothing. And it didn’t. Not even close.

I liked Tricks before this book but here she was a bit irritating here. Irritatingly perfect at times. Everyone falls in love with her. And the one person who doesn’t is the villain. A villain I identified very early on. I was unhappy to be proved right. I was hoping for it to be someone I’d never considered.

Tricks and Tiago together didn’t quite feel right. Sure they had some funny flirtatious times but they were thrown together out of need. Tricks needed to be protected, from assassins and from herself (she doesn’t know when to stop working and look after herself), and he needed a new challenge because he’s easily bored if he’s not out fighting. They both got what they needed but did they love each other? I can’t answer in the positive because I wasn’t convinced. They never really got to know each other. Character development was poor in this book compared to Dragon Bound. We barely got to know the supporting cast, even characters that were introduced in book #1 weren’t given much page time.

I hope Serpent’s Kiss is more like Dragon Bound than Storm’s Heart.

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Review: Virals by Kathy Reichs

Tory Brennan is as fascinated by bones and dead bodies as her famous aunt, acclaimed forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan. However living on a secluded island off Charleston in South Carolina there is not much opportunity to put her knowledge to the test. Until she and her group of technophile friends stumble across a shallow grave containing the remains of a girl who has been missing for over thirty years.

With the cold-case murder suddenly hot, Tory realises that they are involved in something fatally dangerous. And when they rescue a sick dog from a laboratory on the same island, it becomes evident that somehow the two events are linked.

On the run from forces they don’t understand, they have only each other to fall back on. Until they succumb to a mysterious infection that heightens their senses and hones their instincts to impossible levels. Their illness seems to have changed their very biology – and suddenly it’s clear that the island is home to something well beyond their comprehension. It’s a secret that has driven men to kill once. And will drive them to kill again…

Virals (Virals #1) by Kathy Reichs

Release Date: 2 November 2010
Read Date: 10 October 2011
Rating:

Refreshingly nerdy.

This is The Big Bang Theory crossed with Bones (TV series based on Reich’s books). Nerdilicious.

Reich’s does not talk down to her audience. This book is all about science and technology and the era of the digital age. The author is a real-life respected scientist so happily, for once, I can say that the science is real and the leaps made into the unknown/paranormal are plausible. This is authentic science fiction. Take that, I Am Number Four!

Although slow to start, 14-year-old Tory’s alpha personality is established straight away. She’s a mature girl who knows what she wants. Reich’s writing style was punchy, concise and intriguing. Yes, the beginning was heavy with description which is par for the course when it comes to world-building but once that was out of the way it was action, action, action.

Although I predicted small parts of the story, there were still red herrings which diverted me. Often in YA the obvious is the answer and I’m pleased Reich’s didn’t go that route. Not everyone and everything is what they seem. Real mystery.

The main characters are intelligent sponges, soaking up information wherever they find it. Knowledge is valued and utilised at every opportunity, and I appreciated every bit of it. Tory, into natural and biological science; Shelton, the geeky-looking mechanic and general gadget master; Ben, the athletic strong silent type; and Hiram (or Hi), the overweight guy with a penchant for sarcasm and probably the weakest, physically and mentally – are all valued members of a tight knit team. They are real friends who do not judge each other over every little thing: they listen, contribute and help each other whenever they can. Despite being forged by necessity living on a tiny island together and forced to go to school with rich kids, they have strong and lasting bonds, not superficial alliances in the petty games of teenage wars.

I enjoyed the contrasting elements of rich vs poor, brains vs popularity, adults vs teens, and the demonstration of those who cling on to their social group at the exclusion and ridicule of others are ignorant and small-minded. And that some things are more important than money and social class, like say, morals and ethics.

Perhaps I have an exceptionally dirty mind, something I have been accused of once or twice, or maybe the author has a sense of humour but names like Cummings Point and Hyman’s Seafood had me in fits of laughter.

Also, the number of crimes committed in the book is ludicrous. These teens are criminal geniuses when it comes to B&E and theft. Luckily they’re on the side of good. If evil, they’d be unstoppable. At times, I did find their simplicity and ease with which they committed their criminal acts a little unbelievable but I shrugged and moved on.

I am curious by a few things. What’s behind the animosity between Ben and Jason? Will they become rivals for Tory’s attention/affection? Oh yes, I forgot: there is little romance here, perhaps a crush or two but nothing more. In YA these days, this is rare but very welcome when the plot isn’t contingent upon it.

There is a self-contained story, no cliffhangers, and a reminder that not all teens are vapid, immature airheads who can’t survive without conforming, not to mention needing an I-can’t-live-without-you romantic love interest hanging in the balance. Some can be witty with talent and a bright future. People I’d like to know.

This is not perfect. It was slow to start, I’m not strongly attached to the characters and the story does feel a little far-fetched at times but I was entertained and impressed by the science and the forthright nature of Tory and her merry men.

Virals engages the brain, it is nerd candy. And I need more.

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Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus.

Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Release Date: 2 March 2010
Read Date: 3 November 2011
Rating:

**Warning: This review contains SPOILERS!**

The Craft” meets Evernight. Despite the fast pace and entertaining story that Evernight comparison is worrying me. I don’t want future books to revolve around star-crossed lovers I don’t give a hoot about.

Sophie is sent to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for faeries, shapeshifters and witches, after Sophie uses her magic to perform a love spell gone awry for a friend, risking exposure which could attract various dangerous hunters of the supernatural. Raised by a human mother, her only supernatural contact is her warlock father whom she’s never met bar a few phone calls. She’s completely in the dark about who she is, her abilities, her father and his family history. Bombshells are dropped on her at the worst possible moments, leaving her vulnerable to manipulation and bullying. She copes admirably with the help of her headteacher, roommate Jenna (the only student vampire) and Archer, the resident mean girl’s boyfriend.

Said mean girl, Elodie, is the leader of her coven of three and they need a fourth, a position Sophie can’t turn down fast enough after their dark display of power and general racist, elitist and bitchy behaviour. It screams The Craft with Elodie as Nancy.

From the very beginning I knew Archer would play a big role in this book but as a love interest he wasn’t someone I saw Sophie with but I was glad her crush on him wasn’t merely based on looks and insta-love and instead deepened, as they became friends after being forced to spend a lot of time together chatting and trading snarky jibes as part of their playful flirting.

However, when Archer mentions that every witch’s parents arranges a betrothal to a good match for their child at age 12 and we meet Cal, his Freudian slip about becoming a groundskeeper at the school to protect “you” and then quickly rushes to clarify that “you” meant all students, had me assuming him as her prospective fiance. After that I was looking for Cal-time. The small amount we get wasn’t nearly enough for my liking though I did perceive him to be more mature, stable and kind of adorable. His hunky lumberjack look doesn’t hurt either. I’m hoping he gets the page time he deserves in future. Archer is good friend material whereas Cal, I see him as someone more important. I hope Sophie sees that one day soon.

We left Archer with tears in his eyes as he escaped without attacking Sophie. I’m assuming he’s being manipulated somehow. His family is either being held hostage or he’s being forced to play on the wrong side -something like that. And this is why I’m worried about the comparison to Evernight. I don’t want Sophie endeavoring, risking her life, to save him. Neither do I want her pining and waiting for them to be together again. Sophie has thus far impressed me with her intelligence and snark, she’s a practical girl trying to do the sensible thing, I don’t want her to lose that because of some rebellious boy in a tricky situation.

I enjoyed the humour and fast pace. The plot was a good one. It was an easy read. My only other concern was the rushed ending. At least, it felt rushed to me. I needed more, to see it, the aftermath of the climax and the reactions of everyone around Sophie. I didn’t like the showstopping last line either -a decision made in the heat of the moment without any detail about what that would entail. It’s a hook to get you to read the next book, one that probably would’ve worked on me if not for my Evernight worries.

Favourite Quotes

Sophie to her mother:

“Good luck explaining to God that you used to spank one of his heavenly beings.

‘It’s one thing to be different around people who you’re really, well, different from. It’s a whole other problem to be an outcast in a group of outcasts.’

Archer to Sophie:

“I’ll get Elodie and her friends to lay off you, okay? And seriously, try to give her another chance. I swear she has hidden depths.”

Without thinking, I shot back, “I said spare me the gory details.”

For a second I’m not sure I even realized what I’d just said. And then it sank in and I damned my sarcastic mouth strain to hell. Face on fire, I glanced over at Archer.

He was staring at me in shock.

And then he burst out laughing.

‘There was a sensible part of me somewhere that clutched its pearls and hissed that I better not give up my V-card in a cellar, but when Archer’s hands slid under my shirt and onto the skin of my back, I started thinking a cellar was as good a place as any.’

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Review: Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be “advanced” into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1) by Caragh M. O’Brien

Release Date: 2 May 2011
Read Date: 22 September 2011
Rating:

I clearly watch too many sci-fi TV shows. Reading Birthmarked was like watching an amalgamation of specific episodes of those shows play out on paper. In black and white, not full and vivid HD colour because very little of it felt new and fresh, shocking and memorable. One scene and one scene only when Gaia rescues and revives the unborn baby of an executed couple (for mostly unintentional incest), is a time where I could say this book made an impression on me.

Don’t get me wrong, the world described within these pages is very detailed, I liked the reproductive rights theme vs. the incest dilemma, and I know the codes would’ve required time and research to create, I appreciate that but it didn’t inspire strong and lasting emotions in me or give me something wholly captivating and original to hold up and say to others “You must read this. It’s brilliant because…”

I couldn’t connect to Gaia. She was a brave, motherly figure much like her mythological namesake but it was difficult to feel her pain when her parents were taken away because we didn’t know them or the state of their relationship. Later on, we saw them in her memories but by then it was too little, too late. The characters in general didn’t appear to have distinctive personalities, instead they were classified by two characteristics: the brave and the submissive sheep. They could be in either camp, switch between the two or somehow straddle the fence. That’s it, that’s all there is to them. One exception is Myrna -my favourite character, an imprisoned doctor, locked up for doing her job but unfortunately we don’t spend too much time with her.

Supposedly uneducated in almost every way bar midwifery, Gaia was surprisingly intelligent enough to solve a code in hours that top scholars couldn’t crack in weeks. I’m not buying that. Neither am I convinced of her developing romance with her jailer. It’s very thin and I’m surprised Leon took to her so easily, risking his life for her when they’ve only had less than a handful of conversations.

Also, all that running for their lives with a newborn baby in her arms -tricky. I kept expecting it to either cry non-stop or for Gaia to look down and find it dead from suffocation because she was clutching it too tightly in the rush.

I didn’t hate Birthmarked, the world-building is good and the lesson “the grass is not always greener on the other side” is a classic but I do question the ‘baby quota’. It’s tough for me to imagine many women, or men for that matter, would give up their children without a fight no matter what the cost. The bond is too strong. I’m also surprised so many are willing to bear children knowing the risk of losing them. There should be good trade in birth control methods.

Perhaps if the characters were more developed and the book was written in first person I would feel more involved and connected to the action. I’m curious about what life has in store for Gaia next but having read the synopsis and a couple of reviews of Prized I’m not overly enthusiastic about finding out.

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Review: Hexbound by Chloe Neill

Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia’s School for Girls, but she’s already learned that magic can be your best friend…or your worst enemy.
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

Hexbound (Dark Elite #2) by Chloe Neill

Release Date: 7 Dec 2010
Read Date: 6 May 2011
Rating:

Hexbound picks up where Firespell left off. Lily is still learning about her powers and that of the Adepts. “As Adepts, we promise to give up our magic, to give it back to the universe before it turns us into soul-suckers. Reapers don’t. And in order to keep their suddenly hungry power from devouring them from the inside out, they have to feed from the souls of Adepts or humans.” They believe that after twenty-five years, “the magic begins to degrade you, to devour your soul like some kind of rangy tentacle monster.”

Lily and her friend Scout are trying to avoid the “brat-pack drama”, but unfortunately it’s ever present. I do like Lily and Scout, but at times the story seems to be weighed down by too much angst for me. That’s the risk I take when choosing to read YA. I do enjoy the different types of powers Chloe has created in Lily’s world. Some can touch buildings to “read the history”, manipulate fire or ice and some are wicked fighters.

I’m also intrigued by Sebastian. He’s a Reaper who appears to be trying to help Lily. Lily is attracted him and visa versa, but he’s the bad guy. Or is he? We can’t really get a lock on him. I’m looking forward to learning more about him and whether or not everything he’s told her is true.

As Sebastian tells Lily, “…things are rarely as simple as they seem. Sometimes you don’t figure out how the story is supposed to end until you’ve read it.”

I’ll be continuing the series with Charmfall, which is due in Jan 2012.

Review: Kiss and Kin by Kinsey W. Holley

Brotherly love? Oh hell no…

A Sexy Shifter story.

On the surface, court reporter Lark Manning looks like the luckiest girl in the world, blessed with great friends and a wonderful family. Underneath, she harbors a hopelessly unrequited love for the sexy werewolf everyone thinks of as her cousin. Taran rarely notices her except to condescend or lecture. He’s treated her the same way since she was eight years old, and there’s no reason to think he’ll ever change.

Taran Lloyd, a detective in the Houston Police Department’s Shifters Investigations Unit (SHIU), lives for those rare moments he gets to spend around Lark, torturing himself with what he can’t have. Kin only by marriage, she thinks of him as her big brother. He couldn’t bear her pity—or her disgust—if she learned he wants her for his mate.

When weres from a rival pack attack her, Lark screams out the first name that comes to mind—Taran. Only this sexy alpha can keep her safe until they find out who wants her dead, and why. But keeping her safe means keeping her close. And the closer they get, the harder it gets for these not-really-cousins to honor their commitment to keep their paws off.

Kiss and Kin (Werewolves in Love #1) by Kinsey W. Holley

Release Date: June 2009
Read Date: 7 May 2011
Rating:

Kiss and Kin is the first book in Kinsey W. Holley’s Werewolves in Love series. It was also my first introduction to Kinsey’s books.

In Kiss and Kin, we meet Lark Manning who has been hot for cousin (by marriage, not blood) for as long as she can remember. That cousin is a hottie, were, Taran Lloyd. He’s a detective in the Houston Police Department’s Shifters Investigations Unit (SHIU).

Cue couples row down d’Nile. She believes he still sees her as the the cute little girl he’s known forever and he believes she sees him as the brotherly type. But, when she’s attacked and calls out his name, he rushes to her rescue and throughout her recovery, neither can resist the heat between them or the fact that Taran’s known she’s his mate. Oops! Did he forget to mention that?

The baddie was kinda predictable, but, hey, the sex was smokin’. >;) I will be continuing the series and look forward to reading more by Kinsey.

Series Order:

Kiss and Kin (Werewolves in Love, #1) Yours, Mine and Howls (Werewolves in Love, #2) Ready to Run  Werewolves in Love story

There is also a Yours, Mine and Howls prequel (Werewolves in Love #1.5) called The Nanny Years available at Smashwords.

Review ~ Queenie’s Brigade by Heather Massey

Queenie’s Brigade by Heather Massey

Captain Michael Drake desperately needs an army to save Earth after a crushing defeat by alien invaders. When his damaged starship docks at a remote prison colony, he discovers Earth’s last best hope—an army to replace the one he lost.

But, Queenie, the feral goddess ruling the prison, has other plans for the rugged star ship captain. After imprisoning Drake and seizing his ship, she prepares to lead her blood-thirsty band to freedom before the invaders track them down.
Despite her intentions, Queenie secretly falls for the sexy, hotshot captain. Drake makes it plain he wants to win back Earth with her by his side. But is following her heart worth betraying her people?

The author provided some great bullets to pique your interest:

*a smart, charismatic, and honorable Alpha hero with a touch of angst
*a kick-butt Latina anti-heroine in search of redemption
*a biracial romance (of the enemies-to-lovers/opposites attract variety)
*high stakes & high-octane action-adventure space opera featuring underdog heroes (Think: THE DIRTY DOZEN in space.)

Heat Level: Sexual tension; one steamy love scene
Tone: Dark and edgy; strong language; graphic violence

She offers a free-preview of the first three chapters.  Once you read them, you’ll want to finish the story!

(PDF) (ePub) (Mobi)

The eBook is available for purchase from: (Red Sage) (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble)

You can visit the author at her website or check out more from Red Sage Publishing.

Release Date: 1 October 2011

Read Date: 19 October 2011

Rating:

Queenie’s Brigade introduces us to Michael Drake and Queenie.  We meet Starship Captain Drake when he’s retreating from a losing battle against a Calithian invasion against Earth. The last thing he wants to do is flee, but he does so because they may just be Earth’s only chance.

He and his remaining crew dock the damaged ship, Relentless (love the name) at a prison colony called Hades Station.  Queenie rules colony. When Drake’s ship lands, she quickly captures him and his men, then takes control of his ship. He begins to see an opportunity to rebuild the army he lost while she wants to free her people.  Will Queenie’s people and Drake’s space soldiers be able to work together?

Queenie’s Brigade was a good mix of sci-fi action and romance.  I read the three-chapter preview and couldn’t wait to read the rest.  I immediately liked (Michael) Drake.  The flashbacks of his loss were touching and helped the reader relate to him early on.  Queenie, while not blessed with the best name, was a wickedly fierce heroine who is strong, yet vulnerable and always looking out for her people.

I would like to follow these two as they continue their battles, if the author plans on turning this into a series.

Review: Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

Fledgling guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares enter Devil’s Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood “It Boy” she’s assigned to protect. But she’s ambushed by the club’s owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure–seeking humans. He won’t release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy–sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries–old feelings. Now, their high–stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell or a deliciously hot heaven.


Where Demons Fear to Tread (The Company of Angels #1) by Stephanie Chong

Release Date: 23 Aug 2011
Edition: Kindle
Read: 25 Aug 2011

Rating:

Where Demons Fear to Tread is the first book in Stephanie Chong’s new The Company of Angels series. When I saw this book was about angels and demons I had to read it. I am loving all the angel v. demon novels coming out this year. It’s always fun to read about the ultimate good v. evil battle, especially when the lines between the two blur a bit.

In this story, we meet Serena, an selfless angel who has never been jaded by love and an arch demon, Julian, who excels at his job of gathering souls of the wicked. Serena’s charge is Nick Ramirez, a hot, new celebrity. When she follows him into Devil’s Paradise, the club owned by Julian, her job becomes a whole lot harder. Serena sees Julian and recognizes him as a demon. Even though demons and angels do NOT mix, she’s drawn to him. This scares her. When Julian spots her he MUST have her. Can true love save an arch demon?

Sadly, as honorable as Serena’s selflessness and willingness to sacrifice herself was, I just could not relate to her. I hunger for strong, kick-ass heroines who know what they want. Serena was the polar opposite. However, Stephanie did a good job presenting her in a way one may visualize a pure, naive angel. Parts veered too far into the religious zone for my liking.

However, Julian’s character was well-rounded, wicked, but hot. He is the best demon he can be and thrives on damning souls to Hell. But, the sight of Serena has him second-guessing himself. Again, a little hard to swallow, but his character is written in a way that pulled me to his side, hoping he was able to have what he wanted.

Poor Nick. He’s been assigned an angel for a reason, but he seems to get the short end of the stick here. He just wants to be loved. But, instead the demon trying hard to corrupt him and the angel assigned to save him find love. Doesn’t seem right. I’m all for an angel and a demon HEA, but at the cost of a human life?

Overall, I felt Stephanie did a wonderful job of presenting the wickedness of demons. The story was a quick read and the romance was hot. My full rating is 2.5 stars, but I rounded up to 3 because of Julian.

This was a Mira ARC provided to me by Netgalley

Review: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She’s drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she’s ever craved…


Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1) by Gena Showalter

Release Date: 23 Aug 2011
Edition: Kindle
Read: 21 July 2011

Rating:

Lord of the Vampires kicks off the quad Royal House of Shadows series by Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, Jessica Andersen and Nalini Singh. Each book will follow a royal house sibling from the kingdom of Elden who’s “queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance”.

Nicolai is one of the royal heirs scattered to the winds. He’s ends up without a memory of who he is, chained in the dungeon playroom of Odette, Princess of the witches in the kingdom of Delfina.

Jane, a scientist recovering from a car accident that killed her family, starts having “don’t ever stop” dreams about a vampire chained up. {Where can I sign up for one of those?} When a mysterious book arrives for her, she is sure it has to do with her dream lover and falls asleep reading it. When she awakes, she finds herself in another world.

This book had some serious “Oh, yeah, baby!” moments in the beginning with Memory-Loss Nicolai chained, all nekked and helpless. And, how could anyone forget the seriously hot vampire sex throughout? Impossible!

Nicolai is your quintessential alpha-caveman-male. His “Mine!” and “Want!” at times had me thinking “Yes!” and others wishing he’d form a full sentence. I also had moments with Jane of “oh, for the love of Pete, shut up already” to “take what’s yours, hun”. I was feeling quite bi-polar throughout this book actually.

The best bits for me included Nicolai regaining his memories. Honestly, I wasn’t sure exactly how to rate this book. I settled on 3.5 stars, but didn’t round up.

When I saw two of my favorite authors listed in this lineup, I had to check it out. While Nicolai’s story didn’t wow me, it was super hot and set the stage for the family’s story. I plan to check out Jill’s story, Lord of Rage, about Princess Breena.

This was a Harlequin ARC provided to me by Netgalley