Archive | April, 2012

Coming Soon: Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance

26 Apr

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing…

Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.

It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.

To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…

Fury’s Kiss will be available for  purchase in October 2012 according to B&N’s website.


Review: The Danger That Is Damion by Lisa Renee Jones

25 Apr

The Danger That Is Damion by Lisa Renee Jones
Sourcebooks (May 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9781402251627

Favorite Lines: “Wild didn’t begin to describe what kissing Lara unleashed inside Damion. He had never felt anything like he felt in this moment, never felt so out of control, so out of his own body. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, there was a warning, a voice telling him this wasn’t normal.” (p. 77, egalley)

The diabolical General Powell created Kayla Martin, a beautiful super-soldier, to help him destroy his valiant enemies. But when Kayla is pitted against the renegade Damion Browne, she discovers that not only is her life in danger, but her heart as well. Enemies soon swarm around Kayla and she must trust the dangerous Damion to embrace her as his ally. As they struggle to defeat a madman, their trust in each other becomes the only chance they have to find peace…and love.

Book three in Lisa Renee Jones’ Zodius series can be read as a stand alone, but you’ll miss out on the back story and characters introduced in the first two books: The Legend of Michael and The Storm that is Sterling. The Danger that is Damion is the only book I’ve read in the series and I never felt like I was missing information.

I read an egalley supplied by Netgalley. In it the heroine is named Lara. The blurbs I’ve found online name the heroine Kayla. I’m going to use the name used in the galley, but want you to keep in mind that the heroine in the finished book may go by Kayla or Lara.

What you need to know: Set in a futuristic world, there are humans and people who’ve had their DNA spliced with alien DNA. The alien-like people are soldiers with super powers like super strength, speed and telepathy. They heal fast and can travel on the wind. They look human and have always been male. Or so they thought. Some of the super soldiers are good guys who want to protect humanity. They are called Renegades. Other super soldiers are led by a man named Adam. They want to enslave humanity and rule the world.

Characters: Lara is a woman without a past. She remembers little of her life before joining a program that spliced her DNA with aliens. However, she does recall her family being murdered by the Renegades and is possessed by a need to seek revenge. Damion is a Renegade. He is a warrior who looks out for his men and knows upon meeting Lara that something is off. He becomes determined to prove to her that the Renegades would never kill for pleasure. He also has to battle his lust for Lara to prevent it from affecting the well-being of his fellow soldiers and their families.

Romance: It was interesting to see these two soldiers battle one another, physically and emotionally. Both want answers and mistrust their feelings for the other. While it was instant lust, the romance seemed to build at the same pace as the trust between the two. At the end of the book I felt like the couple was on its way to creating a love that would last. Don’t get me wrong. The story progresses quickly, but the “I love yous” don’t immediately force themselves out the characters’ mouths.

Overall: I enjoyed the story. It’s not an average paranormal romance. It’s a science fiction romance which incorporates science experimentation, aliens (that are never seen) and advanced technology. References to previous books are made and quick explanations are given to prevent the reader from feeling as if she missed an important detail. I won’t be running out to buy the next book in the series, but I do see myself reading it.

Review: Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall

24 Apr

Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall
Harlequin (March 27, 2012)
Trade: $14.95; ebook: $10.99
ISBN: 9780373803446

Favorite Lines: “I had no problem facing a dozen gargoyles or a dozen nasty sorcerers, but threaten to take my family away from me and I’m shaking in my boots.” (p. 152, egalley)

“Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose.”

After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet—and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin’s humanity…and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue.

Someone—or something—is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice’s dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice—one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire….

Last year Karen Duvall introduced a woman named Chalice in Knight’s Curse. We learned Chalice was a slave and watched her discover her lineage and win freedom. She had help from a man named Aydin. A man who sacrificed his humanity in order to save her. Darkest Knight picks up a month after the events which culminated in Chalice’s freedom.

I had high hopes for Darkest Knight. It started out pretty good with Chalice determined to make her love interest human again. She finds help in an unexpected place, but it goes down hill after that. All sorts of bad things begin happening.

The reader learns about the role of knights and their guardian angels and gets to see Chalice introduced to her grandparents. Obstacles are thrown in Chalice’s path as she searches for the threat to her sister knights. And Aydin’s only hope of becoming human is threatened. You’d think that would be enough to keep the reader interested and invested in the story. It wasn’t enough for me.

It was okay. I had no emotional connection to the story and the story lacked depth. I didn’t care if Aydin became human. (It was his choice. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.) I didn’t care if Chalice and Aydin advanced to the next stage in their relationship. (Hello, he’s a gargoyle.) I didn’t understand Chalice’s reactions to different situations, nor did I care. I even rolled my eyes as the character’s spoke. My reaction only got worse as the story progressed.

I will say that there was a major surprise revealed about a character. I didn’t see it coming. Unfortunately, it couldn’t make up for the cookie-cutter characters and lackluster story. I feel like 75 percent of the book was filler material. It showed the character’s relationship to one another, introduced and took away characters, but really didn’t do more than take up page space.

I know it sounds like I hated the book. I didn’t. I liked it less than an average book, but I never thought about putting it down and walking away. I’d suggest if you feel wishy-washy about Darkest Knight that you borrow it from your local library. I’d also suggest you read book one, Knight’s Curse, before starting Darkest Knight.

Review: Blood Secret by Sharon Page

16 Apr

Blood Secret by Sharon Page
Kennsington (April 1, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758250957

Favorite Lines: “You have the most lush and beautiful arse I’ve ever seen. I would love to give you an orgasm by pleasuring it.” (p. 60)

Lucy Drake is prepared to do all she must to save her family from financial ruin, even if that means giving herself as a sexual plaything to the Duke of Greystone for two weeks. Desperate to keep her ability to shape-shift into dragon form a secret, she has no idea that Greystone, too, has secrets.

A vampire highly skilled in the ways of erotic pleasure, he plans to seduce the knowledge of his missing nephew’s whereabouts from Lucy. Once he has his nephew back, he is sworn to destroy all shape-shifting dragons, including Lucy and her family. But after fourteen nights of sexual delights, will he defy his oath and give in to love with the woman of his dreams?

Warning: Expect tons of hot, kinky sex. If that’s not what you’re looking for don’t pick up the book. It’s also book five in a series. I didn’t realize that when I started reading. I think had I known it would have clarified the roles of vampires and dragon shifters much sooner than I realized. It’s a historical, paranormal romance.

Okay, I’m going to be extremely honest. If you’re looking for a book filled with sex, Blood Secret can give that to you. The first half of the book is strong erotica. The second half blends erotica with a paranormal story. That said, I think it’s clear that the strong points of this book involve sex scenes, not an actual story line. That is problematic in some ways, but if you go into this book not expecting a thorough, deep story line, you should be fine.

Within pages of beginning Blood Secret I knew I needed to think of it as “mom porn”. I knew it was part of Kennsington’s Aphrodisia line, however I thought the plot and characters would be stronger. The strength of the book is its erotica. I never connected with the characters enough to care about them on any level. There is no emotional depth or need to continue a series. There are explosive, mind-blowing erotic scenes which will keep you turning the pages.

Those erotic scenes are filled with sex talk. I’m not a huge fan of character’s talking during sex. An occasional word or two is fine, but sentence filled sex scenes make me slightly uncomfortable. I’m sure my face was blazin’ red while I read this book. Blood Secret has a historical setting, so some of the words are different from what’s normally found in everyday romance. I giggled at some of them and rolled my eyes at others.

I suspended belief that a virginal woman living in London in the year 1818 would become a nympho because she’s a dragon shifter. But it kept niggling in the back of my mind that no woman just introduced to sex would be so sexual adventurous. Sex in public. Sex with toys. Sex all the time.

The book was adventurous and a quick read, but I don’t see myself re-reading it.

Promo: Journey to the Fringe by Kelli Swofford Nielsen

15 Apr

Long ago, Stone Mages were revered in Lyria. They were men and women who could use powerful tradestones to harness their unique gifts of wind, rain, and earth to help those around them. But war with the Southern realm has threatened the mages with extinction. The truth about the tradestones has been lost, and the remaining magic is dwindling.

When Princess Ivy, the beloved daughter of the king, is abducted, it seems that all hope for Lyria is lost as well. But when an unlikely group of loyal subjects embarks on a dangerous journey to the far-distant Fringe, the hope of restoring crown and kingdom is renewed. Among the group is Simon, a fool with wisdom beyond his years; Gilda, a nonmagical witch; Burr, a young thief; and Merrick, a jaded sea captain. Their quest will test their courage, their strength, and their friendship.

But at the Fringe, they encounter a truth that will change everything they thought they knew about themselves, and this small band of heroes must embrace the power that is their birthright and stand together as Stone Mages of Lyria.–B&N

Review: Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston

10 Apr

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston
Kennsington (April 1, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758265203

Favorite Lines: “Hi.” When he stood there, not speaking, she tentatively asked, “Is there something you need?”

“A promise. Two, actually.”

“Pretend we never met?”

He smiled and she had to admit–he had a really handsome smile. “No. I just need to know that when we’re done with your crazy scheme, the world will think you broke up with me.”

“To protect my fine reputation?”

“You mean your reputation as a brawler and homicidal maniac? Yeah…not really my concern.”


“But I don’t want Nice Guy Malone thinking I broke his daughter’s heart. Can you promise me that?”

“I can definitely promise you that. And the second?”

“That if you ever see me reaching for a Jell-O shot again, you’ll take me out like you did that goalie in last month’s game against the Utah Sinners.” (p. 128, e-ARC)

He’s big, burly, and way smarter than your average shapeshifting bear. He’s also about to get trapped by own his game. . .

Lou Crushek is a reasonable, mellow, easygoing kind of guy. But once someone starts killing the scumbags he works so hard to bust, that really gets under his fur. Especially when that someone is a curvy she-tiger with a skill set that’s turning Crush’s lone-bear world upside down–and bringing his passion out of hibernation. . .

As a member of an elite feline protection unit, Marcella Malone has no problem body-dropping anyone who hunts her kind. But Crush is proving one major pain in her gorgeous tail. The only reason she’s joined forces with him is to track down the wealthy human who’s got her entire species in his ruthless sights. It sure isn’t because Crush’s stubborn and contrary attitude is rubbing Cella in all the right ways. . .

I really don’t have much to say about Bear Meets Girl other than if you like to laugh out loud at outlandish comments and actions it’s the book for you. Shelly Laurenston is a pro at twisting situations and making her readers love the psycho characters she introduces.

Marcella isn’t my favorite character, but I love how she kicks ass even if her legendary quick temper is at times silly. Her polar opposite is Lou. He is laid back and the perfect match for the crazy heroine. You have to know what you’re buying when you get a Laurenston book: paranormal, comedic romance. If you go into this thinking seriously, you’ll be disappointed because the books are meant to make the reader chuckle or outright laugh.

Bear Meets Girl is book seven in Laurenston’s Pride series. It’s not necessary to read the previous books to understand what’s going on, but many of the secondary characters were introduced in prior books, as well as some of the story lines. The only thing that bothered me about this installment is the anti-climatic ending. After everything that happened throughout the story, the bad guys are taken care of so swiftly that I was slightly irritated. That alone knocked my appreciation for the book from a 5 star book to a 4.5 star book.

(A new, human character was introduced and I can’t wait to learn more about her. She is going to be a great new addition to the series and I hope her story comes soon.)

Promo: Nameless by Kyle Chais

5 Apr

In the in between are the Nameless; names are for masters and they have none. They live in the Nameless realm; between being saved and being destroyed. They are Fallen.

One Nameless spends his time watching humans in New York City and, in his endless eternity of boredom, becomes intrigued by a drunk named Aurick Pantera. One day Aurick, a reckless gambler, is about to be killed by a gang over his debts. Nameless feels sorry for him, and possesses his body to save his life. He then decides that he rather likes being in a human body; the chance to taste, smells, and touch. He uses Aurick’s body to fulfill all of his wildest dreams – become a rock star, have a successful psychiatric practice, and pursue star journalist Helena Way.

Until, three years after possessing Aurick, the other Fallen take notice of these random achievements and begin appearing to Aurick. They are tired of waiting in Nameless and are ready to start a war—their only chance to cease this painful eternity of waiting and either be saved or be released. Aurick is stuck in the middle. Join the ranks and finally be released to Null for atrocities against mankind, or can his love for Helena, his budding friendships, and his growing concern for all humans grant him salvation?– B&N


Review: Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson

4 Apr

Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
Tor (April 10, 2012)
Trade: $14.99; ebook: $9.99
ISBN: 9780765327796

Favorite Lines: “Mortals view death in terms of black and white–you are either alive, or you are not. But between them–between live and death and eternity–there is a  small gray area, one that the humans have no knowledge of. That is where we reside, vampires and rabids and a few of the older, inexplicable creatures that still exist in this world. The humans cannot understand us, because we live by a different set of rules.” (p. 94)

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

I’ve been reading reviews of Royal Street and it seems people are bothered by the setting and time. I did not live in the area, nor was I personally impacted by the events which took place during Hurricane Katrina. Yes, I cared and I was sad and horrified by the effect the hurricane had on the area, but it did nothing to dim my appreciation for Suzanne Johnson’s latest book, Royal Street.

The story started off pretty slow. However, once the action started it just got better and better. I guess it’s similar to a hurricane. You know how first you hear news of a hurricane on the way and the wait about kills ya? But when it hits there’s debris flying everywhere. Nothing is safe until it passes and it’s time to pick up the messy pieces left by the hurricane. Johnson uses that same technique.

The story slowly picks up speed as more elements are introduced. More story lines and characters add to the fast rotation. It begins to get dirty as the truth tries to force its way out and the mystery is investigated. The story whips round and round until it stops allowing the reader to take stock of who (or what) survived.

No, I’m not going to tell you what happened. I will tell you that I enjoyed the story and hope–if you decide to read it–you will too. Why? No it’s not a deep story filled with hidden meaning. I don’t care about that stuff. I’m interested in being entertained and transported to another world. Johnson did that for me with Royal Street.

From a sexy ghost to shapeshifter determined to keep his ability secret, the paranormal aspects of Johnson’s world have been added to New Orleans like a clear overlay on a projector. It makes the city richer by creating a hidden depth. The heroine is low on the magical totem pole, but she is smarter than most people give her credit. Okay, maybe she’s a little bit lucky too. I didn’t love her, but I still l managed to get excited about the book, even though it isn’t a romance.

The romance thread is pretty iffy, but the mystery aspect of the story kept things chugging along. Expect to be introduced to the political world of magic users found in the urban fantasy world of Royal Street. Don’t look for an overtly romantic story cause you won’t find it. Sure there’s romance and sexual tension, but there is no happily ever after. On the other hand, there is a book two (River Road) which will be released in hard cover in November.

Curious bout the Stacia & Stacey Giveaway?

1 Apr

I participated in the Stacia & Stacey hop last month, but didn’t have pics of my giveaway items to post. Well I have them now so here ya go:

I gave away Jim Beam wing sauce, a pillbox and mints. You know what mints look like so I'm not posting a pic. lol

This is the pill box. Pretty cool, huh?