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Review: Frostbound by Sharon Ashwood

Every dog might have his day, but the hellhound guards the night . . .

As a snowstorm locks down the city, more than the roads are getting iced. Someone’s beheaded the wrong girl, and vampire-on-the-lam Talia Rostova thinks it was meant to be her. Now she’s the prime suspect in her own botched murder—and the prisoner of her smoking-hot neighbor.

Lore is a hellhound, bred to serve and protect, so he’s not freeing Talia until he’s sure that she’s the prey and not the hunter. You’d think a beautiful woman in his bedroom would be a good thing, but trouble-prone Talia has run afoul of someone more sinister than your average lunatic killer. An ancient Undead is wreaking vengeance on the city—and on her—and Lore will have to go far beyond a stake to put him back in his grave . . .

 

 

Frostbound (The Dark Forgotten #4) by Sharon Ashwood

Release Date: 7 Jun 2011

Read Date: 20 Jun 2011

Rating:

I have always enjoyed Sharon Ashwood’s Dark Forgotten series. Frostbound was no exception. I think she does a great job of blending UF and PNR. Like a PNURF, paranormal urban romantic fantasy.

This book focuses on one of my favorite characters so far in the series, Lore, a hellhound who managed to escape from the the Castle. He’s acting sheriff during a time when supes are on edge. Why? Because the first supe election is only a month or so away. Supernaturals have only been out of the closet for a short time and the humans are still adjusting.

Talia, a newly turned vampire/former hunter, has been running from her abusive sire and is staying with her look-a-like cousin. When her cousin is murdered Lore investigates, Talia freaks and the who-done-it begins.

While I thought I’d be more drawn to Talia, seeing as she was turned against her will, grew up killing “monsters” and now is having to adjust to being that which she’s always hated … I was only partially interested. I was more interested in Lore, Hellhound Alpha. I did feel like they were a good fit though.

Definitely continuing on with the series.

Series Order:

Ravenous (The Dark Forgotten, #1) Scorched (The Dark Forgotten, #2) Unchained (The Dark Forgotten, #3) Frostbound (The Dark Forgotten, #4)
EXTRAS offered on the author’s website include a book video & excerpt for Frostbound, including excerpts for the previous books as well.  Frostbound was Nominated for Romance Reviews Today Best Book of the Year 2011.

Review: Shadowflame by Dianne Sylvan

Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires who feed off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman must find her place within that world, before she loses everything…

It’s been three months since musician Miranda Grey became a vampire and married David Solomon, Prime of the South. As Queen, Miranda must quickly come to terms with her new role and learn how to negotiate the treacherous waters of Signet politics, inevitably making dangerous enemies along the way.

As if complicated vampire politics and a rising music career weren’t enough, an enigmatic but powerful force from David’s past appears, leaving a wake of chaos and uncertainty for the Pair’s fledgling relationship. Miranda begins to realize how little she really knows about her husband. But when an assassin begins targeting her friends and allies, the Pair must track down the killer, even as their lives hang in the balance…

Shadowflame (Shadow World #2) by Dianne Sylvan

Release Date: 26 July 2011
Read: 16 Sept 2011
Rating:

Everyone who read Queen of Shadows knows that this series is dark. Miranda’s ability and what she experienced (in QoS) could have completely wrecked her. Instead, she overcame her fears, learned to control the powers that had her believing she was insane, and found a man who to care for her while giving her the space she needed to heal. As it happened, that man was her Signet-chosen Mate. The darkness of the Shadow World, Miranda’s new world, doesn’t end there.

”Blood, chocolate, and a hot shower.” That’s how I felt after this roller-coaster ride. Well, okay, minus the blood. 😉

Shadowflame picks up three months after Queen of Shadows. Miranda is David’s mate and the ninth Queen of the Southern United States. She’s venturing out at night to make her presence known. David tries to reassure her by saying, ”Right now you’re being tested in the eyes of our kind. They want to see how you handle yourself, how tough you are. The longer we stay in power, the fewer fools will try to take us down.” She’s also learning how to deal Signet politics and the “Magnificent Bastard Parade” of Primes as they come to Austin to offer their congratulations and pay their respects to the new couple.

Miranda … well, she wasn’t the type of woman to keep her mouth shut when angry. She spoke her mind, was smart and observant, and David knew that the very qualities he loved about her were going to get them in trouble if she didn’t learn quickly that these old, hidebound men of privilege were not all going to like the fact that David treated her as an equal. During the MB Parade, she’s able to learn from him. Watching his demeanor around the other Primes and learning how, no matter what, he sticks to his beliefs when it comes to what’s best for the vampire society as a whole.

When Prime James Hart of the Northeast visits, things get ugly. Seems this Prime likes to travel with a harem of girls. Wouldn’t be a big deal except these girls aren’t with him of their own free will. Hart is a sick bastard and Miranda has been told she cannot interfere without having it turn into a declaration of war. But, when one of Hart’s “girls” finds the strength to go to the Queen, well, that’s something else entirely.

While out one night, Miranda rushes to the rescue of a human woman. There she meets Prime Deven O’Donnell of the West and its adjacent territories.

Shortly after, the pair learn that Miranda’s body guard, Jake, is missing … well, his body is missing, but Faith and her team have found his hand. Leaving a hand behind is the trademark of the Red Shadow, a secret group of vampire assassins. The couple quickly realizes the group is targeting them. But, why?

Miranda’s singing career continues to prosper. Her best friend, Kat is her much-needed sounding board, allowing her a safe haven where she can vent about the dramas of Signet life. Kat’s life is about to take a change.

Over the last three months, it’s clear these two have truly bonded. Miranda is well and truly in love. He alone could touch her. In all of eternity, all the world, there would never be another man – she didn’t even feed on them. Her time in hell had made sure of it, and the amulet around her neck sealed it. He alone … he alone… Forever. Will this fated mated pair manage to survive the “powerful force from David’s past”? Will he “{leave} a wake of chaos and uncertainty for the Pair’s fledgling relationship”? More importantly, will they be able to survive the assassin targeting them and those they hold dear?

The storyline about the Red Shadow was very interesting. The “Wizard” (of Oz – behind the curtain) was a surprise. So was the last line of the book. Definitely piqued my interest further.

And now, onto what reviewers have termed “The Event”…

**spoilers removed**

With that, I come back to my original thought … Everyone who read Queen of Shadows knows that this series is dark. So, who knows what to expect. Either way, I am looking forward to reading it.

This is the 2nd book in the series. This series should be read in order.

Queen of Shadows (Shadow World, #1) Shadowflame (Shadow World, #2) Shadow's Fall (Shadow World, #3)

This review has quite a few spoilers. For this blog review post, I have removed those spoilers. If you wish to read my full review, please refer to my Goodreads review HERE.

Wishing Well Wednesday ~ Bounty Hunter Babe

Wishing Well Wednesday is a weekly feature showcasing the books we have on our wish lists and those we’re looking forward to being published.


Bounty Hunter Babe, Anna Strong

If you don’t recognize the character name, Anna Strong, you are missing out on a great urban fantasy series!


Crossroads (Anna Strong Chronicles #7) by Jeanne C. Stein
Release Date: 30 August 2011

As a bounty hunter, Anna Strong knew how to find trouble. But now that she’s a vampire, trouble seems to have a knack for finding her…

The death of Anna’s old vampire mentor is causing ripples in the mortal world. His forensic report has brought up some anomalies and people are asking questions-questions that no vampire wants to answer. Anna needs to lie low, but the sudden discovery of a slew of drained bodies near the Mexican border brings an old flame back into her life and with him, a new challenge. Then, some stunning news from an unexpected source sends Anna and her friend Daniel Frey on a journey that may change both their lives-forever.



Happy Reading!


Wishing Well Wednesday ~ Space … the Final Frontier

Wishing Well Wednesday is a weekly feature showcasing the books we have on our wish lists and those we’re looking forward to being published.


“Space … the Final Frontier” ~ Star Trek

This week brings us the long awaited next book in one my favorite science fiction series!


Aftermath (Sirantha Jax #5) by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: 30 Aug 2011

DEAD HEROES GET MONUMENTS. LIVE ONES GET TRIALS.

Sirantha Jax has the right genes—ones that enable her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. But it’s also in her genetic makeup to go it alone. It’s a character trait that has gotten her into—and out of—hot water time and time again, but now she’s caused one of the most horrific events in military history…

During the war against murderous, flesh-eating aliens, Sirantha went AWOL and shifted grimspace beacons to keep the enemy from invading humanity’s homeworld. The cost of her actions: the destruction of modern interstellar travel—and the lives of six hundred Conglomerate soldiers.

Accused of dereliction of duty, desertion, mass murder, and high treason, Sirantha is on trial for her life. And only time will tell if she’s one of the Conglomerate’s greatest heroes—or most infamous criminals…


Happy Reading!


Manic Monday | Drive-By Reviews ~ Meow!

MM-DBR

Manic Monday | Drive-By Reviews is a weekly feature where we’ll share some mini-reviews Alice-style.


Here Kitty, Kitty! (Magnus Pack #3) by Shelly Laurenston

What do you do when you’ve got a hillbilly tiger by the tail? Or maybe the question should be: what wouldn’t you do…

Nikolai Vorislav likes his single life just as it is. Simple, relaxing and quiet. What he doesn’t need is some foul-mouthed Texan hellcat living in his house, eating his food, flirting with his idiot brothers and shooting holes in his home with his granddaddy-s gun. But those long legs, dark eyes and lethal tongue are making Nik insane and he fears he may be caught in the sexiest animal trap ever.

Angelina Santiago doesn’t know how she got from Texas to North Carolina in a night or how she ended up in some hillbilly tiger’s house wearing only a sheet. What she does know is that she doesn’t like good ol’ boys with slow, sexy drawls who can’t seem to stop rubbing up against her. Yet in order to protect her friends, Angie has to stay with a cat who seems hellbent on finding all sorts of delicious ways to make her purr.

Warning – this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and strong violence.


“Curiouser and curiouser!” ~ Alice

Opening Line: He didn’t actually see the wall until he walked into it. {Prologue: Nikolai}
Closing Line: For life. {Nikolai}


“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at.” ~ Mad Hatter

Big cats have always been my favorite animals and Nikolai Vorislav has now proven they are among my favorite shifters as well. Nik is happy being unattached. He was perfectly fine alone until his brothers brought the long-legged beauty, Angelina Santiago, into his house. She was attacked by hyenas, rescued and kidnapped all in the same day. She demands they take her to Sara & Zach, but the pack asks her to wait a bit because they have their hands full at the moment keeping a pregnant Miki safe. True to form, she tortures Nik with her over-the-top purchases (using his money) and constantly calls him a hillbilly. Nik’s mom and dad are monogamous, but that’s not typical with big cats. His sister, Kisa and cousin, Reena tease him when he starts displaying signs of a man/shifter who has found his mate. The pairing is once again a perfect match. These two balance each other out with her spicy attitude and his sweet Southern charm. (I do love it when a southern man says, “Sugar.” Mmmm)

Rating:


“What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations” ~ Alice

Shelly Laurenston was not a New2Me author.


“That’s just it. If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.” ~ The Hare

Shelly really knows how to write spicy hot shifters. I have had so much fun reading this series!
I am looking forward to reading her Pride series next.


“Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves” ~ The Dutchess

As always, there is no shortage of LOL and/or sizzlin’ hot quotes. These are just a couple of my favorites.


“Because, Sugar… you make me purr.” {Nikolai}
“Claws! Claws! Claws in my ass!” {Angie}
“Dammit, man … You’re a cat. Act like one!” {Ban, Nik’s brother}


“We are all mad here.” ~ The Cheshire Cat

This book receives the Cheshire Cat award for making me wish I had a 700-pound Siberian tiger to snuggle.




Until Next Week ~ Happy Reading!


Review: “Magic Bites” by Ilona Andrews

I finished reading the fantastic fifth installment of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Magic Slays, on Monday, 13 June. A friend and I decided to re-read the first four books during a Goodreads’ group’s read-a-thon this week. On Tuesday, we finished our re-read of Magic Bites.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic . . .

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy . . .


Details:
Mass Market Paperback, 260 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Ace
ISBN#: 9780441014897


My rating:


Re-Read: 14 June 2011


I first read Magic Bleeds when it was released in 2007. I loved it back then and loved it this time too. There were a lot of things I’d forgotten, so after reading Magic Slays, it was fun to return to the beginning and remember how it all started.

If you haven’t read any of the books, you may want to stop reading here … I’m not using spoiler tags or blocking my entire review, but there are spoilers throughout – Consider yourself warned! 😉

The things that strike me most about Kate are her ability to power on when she’s about to die or, at least, feels like she is. She’s very modest about her pain and her abilities. She hates working with others and being responsible for their safety, yet she’s a very compassionate and protective person when she’s put in that position. She is snarky as hell and I love it. Her sense of humor keeps me laughing and keeps her enemies off balance. She doesn’t change who she is to please anyone. And she’s brutally honest, to a fault sometimes.

Refreshers I enjoyed the most: Her first meeting with Curran, her first impression of Aunt B, her first Pack meeting and subsequent bond with Derek, and her first medical treatment with Dr. Doolittle.

I cannot believe I’d forgotten she didn’t know Jim was on the Pack council. It was fun reading about their initial “partnership” as well. I loved “meeting” Ghastek and Saiman again. Saiman is a strange bird. Such an interesting character. I also love Maxine. I wish I could do that! And, Rowena – funny “meeting her again” when I know what I know now.

It was so much fun reading the banter between Kate and Curran, which starts immediately upon meeting him with her “Here, Kitty, Kitty.” The scenes between them, like her sending him a saucer of milk when he’s left the med-tank early to follow her on her date with Crest, are a hoot. Especially knowing what’s to come. So many times I was thinking, “If you only knew!”

I’m going to be re-read the rest of the series over the next two days and can’t wait! It’s a perfect fix after Magic Slays and slows the Kate & Curran withdrawal. But, once I’m done with Magic Bleeds, I’ll either have to start all over or stew as I anxiously await book #6, which is expected sometime in 2012.


Covers Around the World ~ Ilona Andrews’ ‘Kate Daniels’ Series

I have a serious case of cover love.

And, I’m anxious to start reading Ilona Andrews’ 5th Kate Daniels book, Magic Slays. I’ve got a big crush on Curran and love Kate’s fierceness. So, I decided to combine my loves and spotlight the international covers (I could find) for this fantastic series.

Book #1: “Magic Bites”


In order shown: US, UK, Germany, Spain, France, Poland & China
Magic Bites Montage


Book #2: “Magic Burns”


In order shown: US, UK, Germany, Spain, France, Poland & China
Magic Burns Montage


Book #3: “Magic Strikes”


In order shown: US, UK, Germany, Spain & France
Magic Strikes Montage


Book #4: “Magic Bleeds”


In order shown: US & Germany
Magic Bleeds Montage


Book #5: “Magic Slays”


In order shown: US & Germany
Magic Slays Montage


Have you started this series yet?
If not, WHY? Start Now! You will not be sorry you did!

To find out more about this series, check out: Ilona & Gordon’s Website | Goodreads

Pre-release Teasers: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

I, like thousands of others, am desperate to get my hands on a copy of Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) by Nalini Singh, who is evilly graciously releasing short excerpts from the book prior to its release on May 31st.

I’ve pre-ordered my copy, have you ordered yours?

If you don’t want to be tortured teased with these snippets look away now.

Part of a conversation between Ben and Hawke

“Didja really put Sinna in jail?”

Hawke bit the inside of his cheek. “Yep.”

Brown eyes the same dark shade as his mother’s, turned wolf-amber in shock. “How come?”

“She didn’t follow the rules.”

Ben thought about it for a second, lines wrinkling up that baby-smooth forehead. “Is it like time-out for grown-ups?”

“Yep.”

“Oh.” A decisive nod. “I’ll tell Marlee.”


Part of a conversation between Sienna and Hawke

[Sienna] “Do you like my top?”

“Is that what it is?”

“Latest style,” she assured him, ignoring the silky menace of his response. “Laces up the side, so it’s easier to take off.”

His hands clenched on the steering wheel as he headed up into the mountains.

“And the boots.” She lifted one leg up to the dash, stroked her hand over her thigh. “They make me—”

The car shuddered to a halt near the perimeter of den territory.


Another part of a conversation between Sienna and Hawke (and may be linked to the above)

“Not a word,” he snapped as he got into the driver’s seat. “Did you know what you were doing up on that bar?” Not giving her a chance to answer, he continued, “Most of those men were ready to grab you and strip you naked right there.”
Her simmering temper ignited. “I know how to defend myself, thanks to Indigo. And dancing wasn’t a crime last time I checked.”
“I said, not a damn word.” His hands tightened on the steering wheel as he drove them out of the popular nightlife area.
She snorted, too mad to be thinking about the sanity of challenging a predatory changeling male in the grip of pure raging fury. “How about instead of orders, Mr. Alpha Wolf, you actually stop hiding and talk to me?”
“Don’t push me, little girl.” Quiet, quiet words.


Countdown Quote #1

Indigo gave him an easy, dangerous smile. “I know all you have to do is snap your fingers and women throw themselves into your bed—” She held up a hand when he growled. “I’m not saying you use your position, but the fact that you’re alpha, the reason why you’re alpha—your strength, your speed, your sheer dominance, that’s potent stuff. Not to mention your pretty face.”


The countdown quotes are currently being released on Nalini’s blog and her Facebook page.