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Books I Want: December 2012

1 Dec

The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy (TBA December)

thecatsmeowkennedyIn Charleston, Libby is an Enchantress—a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells. When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby must take the case to discover the reasons behind the odd deaths. Much to her displeasure, the coven has also sent the sexy warlock, Kale, to assist her.

While having the muscle around proves to be useful, fighting the
attraction between them is worse than a hex, especially considering Kale is keeping secrets. Libby has good reason to believe that Kale is there to evaluate her performance as a witch, and fears her job is on the line. But soon, Libby has bigger problems than the elusive warlock and career stability. Her spells are turning up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, leading her to a threat that could shake the very foundation of her world.

Now Libby lands herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe. Not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her. Continue reading


Review: Deliver Me From Temptation by Tes Hilaire

29 Nov

2.5out of 5 scoopers

Deliver Me From Temptation by Tes Hilaire
Sourcebooks (Dec. 4, 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781402264375

Favorite Lines: “No person, no matter what sort of freaky shit he was into, would lie there and willingly let someone gnaw on his neck–and come back for more. Obviously their ME had been watching way too much True Blood recently.” (p. 131, e-galley)

Logan Calhoun is the last full-blooded Paladin, the future leader of a race of immortal warrior angels. The heavy responsibility of continuing the Paladin line falls to him, and the last thing he should do is get involved with a human. Then fate throws Jessica Waters, a homicide detective who doesn’t believe in fate or divine intervention, into his path. Her devotion lies in her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. Like Logan, she’s a warrior for her people, and she awakens within him something he’d never thought he’d feel. But she’s also as human as they come…

I got to tell you that Deliver Me From Temptation, book two in Tes Hilaire’s Paladin Warriors series, is not what I was expecting. I started it excitedly hoping for a quick fix on two secondary characters that I became obsessed with in Deliver Me From Darkness. Unfortunately hope dwindled to sadness by mid-book and I set the story aside for a while. Once I started reading it again with thoughts focused on Logan, who I really didn’t care for from the first book, and Jessica, a detective that I didn’t like, I was able to complete the story…barely.

Deliver Me From Temptation can be read as a stand alone, but different aspects of Deliver Me From Darkness (book one) are brought up to tie the two books together, along with the back story of the Paladins who have an angelic ancestry. Expect to see demons and vampires, as well as the paladins in this good vs. evil love story.

I wanted to like Deliver Me From Temptation, but I was bored. I disliked the heroine from start to finish. I didn’t really care about Logan and since Deliver Me From Temptation is a paranormal romance all about Logan and Jessica’s relationship, it doesn’t bode well for my feelings about the book. The story wasn’t bad, it just didn’t do it for me. In book one I got to see a world that straddled the paranormal romance-urban fantasy fence. That fence doesn’t exist in Deliver Me From Temptation. Every time I thought things were going to get dark it would leach into a gray that just didn’t deliver.

I was hoping to get more about Gabby who was introduced as a teen vampire prostitute in Deliver Me from Darkness, but that look was so quick that it didn’t even whet my palate. I’m pretty much to the point where I don’t see myself reading more of the Paladin Warrior series unless it’s Gabby’s story.

What others think:

Review: Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden

20 Nov

4 of 5 scoopers

Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden
Kensington (Nov. 27, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758267634

Favorite Lines: “You loved me once.”
This was it. The moment that she’d known would come. Jade stared him in the eyes, refused to let the fear take her, and said the words she knew would break him. “And now I love him.” (p. 290, ARC)

As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death.

Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions. . .

I’m not a huge fan of angel romance books, but Cynthia Eden‘s Fallen series is an exception. I started the series with book two, Angel Betrayed, and knew that I had to read Angel in Chains when it came out. Let me tell ya, I’m very glad that I did.

Az was a stickler for the rules every time he was shown in Angel Betrayed. He’s a cold and detached guy whose actions cross over into villainous. In Angel in Chains he’s a new fallen angel who has yet to come to terms with losing his wings and flat out refuses to believe he’ll never have them again. When he sees Jade, he is attracted to her, but sees her as his way back to heaven.

Jade’s been running from her ex-boyfriend for quite a while. The psycho killed her family and will kill anyone who gets close to her. He is the leader of the panther shifter clan with a whole lineup of shifters to send after Jade, but she keeps managing to slip away. When Az steps in to help her out, Jade tries to create some distance between them, but he refuses to let her handle the situation alone.

Jade is damaged and Az is damaged but together they have the power to heal. Watching Az and Jade fall in love and sacrifice what they valued most during the process made me want more. I wanted them to be happy and the fight and flight scenes kept me moving through the story. Angel in Chains was hard to put down.

If you’re looking for an action packed romance with an alpha hero who protects the woman he loves regardless of what it could cost him you’ve got to pick up Angel in Chains. It’s filled with sexy scenes, drama and great secondary characters. If there’s a book four, I’ll be reading it.

Books I Want: November 2012

26 Oct

Provoked by Rebecca Zanetti (Nov. 1, received copy from Netgalley)

A casualty of the war between the demons and the vampires, Jase Kayrs has been missing for six long years. His older brothers want answers—but they’re going to have to get them from an unlikely source. For when Kane Kayrs tracks down Amber Freebird, what he finds is a blonde, vegan pacifist who has no intention of using her skills in his war…


Amber enjoys her life of chaotic freedom and has no intention of falling in line just because a sexy-as-sin vampire insists on order. Unfortunately, he discovers she may be the only hope they have of finding his brother, and there’s no way he’s going to let her go—even if it means mating her to gain her cooperation. The two are as different as can be, yet when the dominant Kane and the untamed Amber finally unite to rescue Jase, they just may find that opposites really do attract… Continue reading

Review: Provoked by Rebecca Zanetti

25 Oct

3 of 5 scoopers

Provoked by Rebecca Zanetti
Kensington (Nov. 1, 2012)
ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781601830203

Favorite Lines: “Amber, I like you. Against all rational thought, I like the way you think, the way you move, even the way you feel everything too strongly. And I want to have one night with you–not to relieve some stress, although it would–not to cement your help, although it might–and not to further any of my rather pressing goals. I just want to get inside you  and drive you crazy until you scream my name.” (p. 114, e-galley)


A casualty of the war between the demons and the vampires, Jase Kayrs has been missing for six long years. His older brothers want answers-but they’re going to have to get them from an unlikely source. For when Kane Kayrs tracks down Amber Freebird, what he finds is a blonde, vegan pacifist who has no intention of using her skills in his war . . .


Amber enjoys her life of chaotic freedom and has no intention of falling in line just because a sexy-as-sin vampire insists on order. Unfortunately, he discovers she may be the only hope they have of finding his brother, and there’s no way he’s going to let her go-even if it means mating her to gain her cooperation. The two are as different as can be, yet when the dominant Kane and the untamed Amber finally unite to rescue Jase, they just may find that opposites really do attract . . .

Provoked is book five in Rebecca Zanetti’s Protector series. (Tempted is 2.5 in the series.) I read books two and three, but skipped four as it didn’t sound interesting to me. Unfortunately skipping the book may have hindered my understanding and appreciation for Provoked.

Provoked brings back characters introduced throughout the series. There’s a look at the now 14-year-old son of Cara and Talen, a check-in with Dage and Emma and a look at what’s been happening to the missing Kayr brother Jase for the past five years. Provoked can be sweet and has plenty of action, but my favorite moments revolve around Janie/Zane/Kalin and the Jase situation. I’m excitedly waiting for both of those books.

While I didn’t hate Provoked, I’ve gotta tell you that Amber is not my favorite heroine in the series. She kept thinking about how uneducated and poor she was compared to everyone around her. The first few times I was okay with it but when it occurred over and over I wanted to smack her.

Kane was alright. I liked reading about the level-headed Kayr brother. He was sexy, intelligent and exactly the man for the self-depreciating Amber. I will admit that Amber made huge strides in her emotional health by the end of the story I was I was no longer annoyed by her. Since I wasn’t in love with the main characters you’re probably wondering what made me stick with the book. The secondary characters. They hooked me.

I’m glad I read Provoked. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. I did get a look at two books I want to read. I hope they come out soon. *Hint Hint*

Review: Running in the Dark by Regan Summers

15 Oct

5 out of 5 scoopers

Running in the Dark by Regan Summers
Carina Press (Oct. 29, 2012)
ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9781426894541

Favorite Lines: “He’s what was waiting for me when you turned your back and let your guy throw me out of your club. I don’t know how well you’re acquainted with him, but in my experience, he isn’t very nice” (p. 142, e-galley)

Santiago, Chile

After surviving a vampire turf war in Alaska, vampire courier Sydney Kildare is back behind the wheel and working under an assumed name in Chile. She doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know the city and—worst of all—has to drive a crappy car.

What she does have is Malcolm Kelly, her sort-of boyfriend and manager of the city’s vampire population. But with Malcolm preoccupied by bloodsucker business—and a gorgeous vampiress from his past—Sydney feels more alone than ever.

But Sydney has more than her love life to worry about. She’s got vamps on her tail, mysterious deliveries that leave death in their wake, and old enemies targeting her to get to Malcolm. Turns out he’s got a history more deadly than she ever imagined, and she’ll have to use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive…

I read and enjoyed the first book in Regan Summers’ Night Runners series so much that I’ve read it a couple of times. I’m happy to say I enjoyed the second installment in the series even more.

Running in the Dark picks up a few weeks after Sydney and Malcolm move to Chile. They are hiding their relationship from others, but it hasn’t stopped someone from trying to take out Sydney. The danger is coming from many directions and it isn’t clear who Sydney can trust. I love the action, but the emotional drama got me. With sections like:

But to have someone treat me like I mattered, not my body, not my connections, but me…and then to have him take that away…It was like falling from a great height. Painful and numbing and accompanied by some bitter version of resignation. I didn’t even have the energy to curse.–p. 142

See I love books that I can connect to. Stories that I can become invested in. I’ve found that in Summers’ Night Runners series. A heroine who has bettered her life. One serious about surviving on her own terms but who found a guy to spend it with is more than interesting to me. When it is paired with nonstop Fast and Furious action…I’ll read it again and again.

The books aren’t very long, but feel just right. So far I’ve only wanted and have never felt like I haven’t been given enough. I’ve learned new information about characters that only whets my appetite for more. If you’re into vampires and urban fantasy with a strong romance thread you’ll find that in Running in the Dark.

Word Search: Paranormal Book Titles

5 Oct

Paranormal Book Titles

T W D A T V R C I T Q T S D C 
V E U R S K C B I S H C C E O 
D D R W A H T R Y E Y I Q Y Y 
A E L C R G O D R X G G Y A O 
D D N A E F O E U A I A Q R T 
T D X R L S S N M F Z M Q T E 
W Z A W U T G L B V V D V E S 
S I O Y O B A N Y O A E M B M 
D H P R T T E L I D U K E L A 
I B E K E J F C L P P N U E T 
C R P M Z Q X E N L E I D G E 
V E N S L A V E D O O E T N K 
E U F E J W R F C K G K K A Z 
G M Y S O U L T O S A V E J N 

Solution (Highlight to View)

T + D + + + + + + T + T + D C 
+ E + R + + + + I + H C C E O 
D + R + A + + R + E + I + Y Y 
+ E + C + G O + R + G G + A O 
+ + N + E F O E + A + A + R T 
+ + + R L S S N M + + M + T E 
+ + + W U T G L B + + D + E S 
+ + O + O B A N + O + E + B M 
+ H + R + T E + I + U K + L A 
+ + E + E + + C + P + N + E T 
+ R + M + + + + N + E I D G E 
+ E N S L A V E D O + E + N + 
+ U + + + + + + + + + + K A + 
G M Y S O U L T O S A V E + + 
+ + D E M I A L C E T A M + + 


Coming Soon: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

4 Oct

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.TBR March 5, 2013

Review: This Case is Gonna Kiss Me by Phillipa Bornikova

3 Oct

   4 out of 5 scoopers

This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova
TOR (Sept. 4, 2012)
Trade: $14.99; ebook: $9.99
ISBN: 9780765326829

Favorite Lines: “I hardened and pressed my hips against hm while reaching down to cup his penis. He shifted off to the side, and I couldn’t reach him. Then his fingers were probing deep inside, but it felt more like an examination, testing the level of moisture between my legs.

And then he entered me with one hard lunge. I gasped, but it wasn’t from pleasure. I opened my eyes. He hung over me, taking his weight on his forearms. His brow was furrowed with concentration, but his expression was blank. With hard thrusts of his hips, he drove deeper and deeper into me. I tried to match his rhythm, but he made no accommodation for me.

He shuddered and I felt him go limp inside of  me. There was no warm flow of ejaculation–of course there wouldn’t be with  a vampire, just a loss of  tumidity. I realized he had been concentrating to send the blood flow to his penis so he would stay hard. Once he’d banged me, he stopped trying. he pulled out, rolled off me, and swung his legs off the bed.” (p. 122)

What happens when The Firm meets Anita Blake? You get the Halls of Power—our modern world, but twisted. Law, finance, the military, and politics are under the sway of long-lived vampires, werewolves, and the elven Alfar. Humans make the best of rule by “the Spooks,” and contend among themselves to affiliate with the powers-that-be, in order to avoid becoming their prey. Very loyal humans are rewarded with power over other women and men. Very lucky humans are selected to join the vampires, werewolves, and elves—or, on occasion, to live at the Seelie Court.

Linnet Ellery is the offspring of an affluent Connecticut family dating back to Colonial times. Fresh out of law school, she’s beginning her career in a powerful New York “white fang” law firm. She has high hopes of eventually making partner.

But strange things keep happening to her. In a workplace where some humans will eventually achieve immense power and centuries of extra lifespan, office politics can be vicious beyond belief. After some initial missteps, she finds herself sidelined and assigned to unpromising cases. Then, for no reason she can see, she becomes the target of repeated, apparently random violent attacks, escaping injury each time through increasingly improbable circumstances. However, there’s apparently more to Linnet Ellery than a little old-money human privilege. More than even she knows. And as she comes to understand this, she’s going to shake up the system like you wouldn’t believe…

I’d never heard of Phillipa Bornikova when I stumbled across her recently released book This Case is Gonna Kill Me on Netgalley. After reading the blurb which stated it was The Firm meets Anita Blake I knew it wasn’t a book I wanted to more or less promise to review. It sounded interesting, but I waited for Bornikova’s book to appear at the public library and checked it out.

I can tell you right now that blurb is misleading. Yes, the heroine works as a lawyer at a firm and yes someone is trying to kill her. But it’s not the law firm. She is no Anita Blake. She doesn’t hunt paranormal creatures or have sex with every man she meets. Linnet is a healthy twenty something year old lawyer who was fostered within a vampire household. The reader meets her and her boss at the same time when Linnet begins her career as a lawyer at the vampire law firm (White Fang).

This Case is Gonna Kill Me is told in first person and set in the normal world with paranormal creatures like vampires, Alfar (fae) and werewolves. The heroine is human, but quickly realizes she is a small pawn being played with by paranormal beings. It’s not clear who her friends are, nor is it clear who her true enemies are. The only thing Linnet knows is that she needs to prove herself by closing a case which has been open for 17 years.

I had a blast with Bornikova’s book. It had a steady pace, was filled with action and made me wonder what else was going to come. There are so many directions the author can take the next book. Someone will want to get even, rescue will need to be pulled off and secrets hopefully will be brought to light. I will buy and read the next book in this series which promises me a mystery, legal thriller and hint of romance set in an urban setting with fantastical creatures.

Most of the ratings on Goodreads are positive; only two people rated the story one or two stars. What others are saying about This Case is Gonna Kill Me:

Vampire Book Club
All Things Urban Fantasy
My Bookish Ways
Seeing Nights

Review: Last Vamp Standing Kristin Miller

30 Sep

4 out of 5 scoopers

Last Vamp Standing by Kristin Miller
HarperCollins (Aug. 28, 2012)
Mass market: $6.99; ebook: $3.99
ISBN: 9780062207845

Favorite Lines: “Ariana, I’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’ve tried resisting the urges, but I’ve never made it long. In fact, resisting them seems to make things worse. I’ve blocked out and woken up in pools of blood, unsure where I am or what I’ve done.” (p. 203, e-galley)

Tortured by demonic voices, Dante’s soul is as black as they come. But when he meets Ariana—an innocent vampire fighting demons of her own—he second-guesses everything he’s ever known about sacrifice, passion, and soul-scorching love.

Before Dante wages war against Crimson Bay’s greatest threat, he must make a choice: love Ariana the way she deserves, risking her life in the process—or fight to protect her, unleashing the monster he’s determined to bury.

I’ve been enjoying Kristin Miller‘s Vampires of Crimson Bay series and couldn’t wait to read book three, Last Vamp Standing. In the previous book, Vamped Up, we got to know a little bit about Dante. Enough that I knew his story would be good.

Last Vamp Standing is the final book in Miller’s Crimson Bay trilogy. Do not read it as a stand alone. It is where all the previous stories have been leading and to a final show down with the series’ bad guy Savage. It takes place primarily in the secret land of the hidden vampire haven Black Moon. Living inside the walls of Black Moon are elders, but surrounding the haven are a mysterious people.

The heroine, Ariana, takes on a huge roll in her haven. She is revered by those around her but that leaves her alone. She doesn’t feel part of the elders living there as they all seem to defer to her. Her haven has an exclusive “elders only” rule so when  her love interest Dante tells her of the Crimson Bay area vampires’ needs she doesn’t see how she can help. Ariana also doesn’t know that she’s part of an elaborate scheme which affected her past and affects all of the vampires’ futures.

Dante is our tortured hero. Dude has some serious issues, but can’t hide his fascination of Ariana. He is a protector so expect him to fight his base urges in hopes of saving her from himself. In previous books the reader was able to see Dante in action and read of other vampires’ reactions to his unvampire-like abilities. By the end of the trilogy expect to have a clear understanding of where Dante comes from and where he belongs.

It took me a while to get into Last Vamp Standing. I think if I’d have been able to put down book two, Vamped Up, I’d have had an easier time slipping back into the world. However, once I reestablished myself in Crimson Bay I couldn’t put Last Vamp Standing down. I like knowing books having a clear ending and that is exactly what Miller gives with this installment. All my questions have been answered and I’m ready to move on to Miller’s newest work.