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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guest Review of Daughter of Lust by Ann Mayburn

A Guest Review by fellow blogger Picked by Poison , who was kind enough to help us out.




I received this from an overwhelmed friend, who kindly asked if I could read/review a couple books. O course I could! So without further ado, here is my review of Daughter of Lust

4 Flames

Natalia is coming of age where her demonic nature starts to come out. However, since she is unaware of the fact she is a Camion (Half-demon, Half-human) she start to think her emotions and feelings aren't normal for a woman her age. She is seeking her father, who has problems, when she nearly slits Gregor Trezent's throat. A wealthy businessman, who was ready to have her killed, but decides to let her go and then orders her under his protection. She has feelings for him, but is unclear as to what depths they are yet... As her powers start to come out she's ashamed and scared of the feelings she can sense of others and the feelings they stir within her. A chance encounter with the neighboring boy Vicktor, now a man, has her seeing things that make her panties in a bunch. She comes to find out who her real father is another chance encounter where he is in human form with his top concubine, Galina. He tells her who she is and who he is, she's a disbeliever at first until her heart can't deny it. He then binds her to him as his daughter and disappears leaving her thinking it was a bad dream. She is finally understanding her powers and how they make her feel and how best to yield them, but she must first learn to control them. She unknowingly lets her powers loose and things go from bad to Hell real quick. She comes to find out things are nothing like what she was lead to believe Hell would be like.

Enter Raum, or as Natalia knew him, Vicktor. Raum is one of Asmodeus' alibis and son of Belal and one of the Guards to Asmodeus. He was sent to the human world to watch Natalia and help her come into her powers, but when she let her powers loose, a group of demons goes on a hunt to find her and he is forced to bring her to Hell for protection. He comes to realize that she could be a potential mate for him, but first she must be recognized by the Prince's emissaries as the true daughter of Asmodeus. He is sworn to protect her, but it becomes difficult when her powers and human family are put in danger and the consequences unleashes the Angelic Horde upon earth in search of her, and they flee.

The story started slow as we see Natalia struggle to come to grips with her mew feelings and powers,but progresses nicely as her powers form and she meets Vicktor and Gregor on several occasions. And once in Hell she get to truly see how some actions have dire consequences for loved ones. I'm' not going to ruin the ending, but I will say it was not as intense as I had hoped it would be. It left me lackinghttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif and wondering what did really happen once the Angelic Horde found them? In the epilogue I am completely left wondering what happens when Angels and Demons meet and how anyone survives? Other than that, I loved Ann's take on how Hell isn't as most religions portray it. There are places in hell which resemble the human world and even have luxuries. Her take on Demons and Angels is refreshing as well, with Demons of all sorts of skin and eye color, but what was interesting was how she describes their eyes, it reminds me of crude oil, black, but when seen right there are streaks of color in it. Same type of thing goes for angels, they all aren't like humans with white wings of feathers and yes, they DO yield weapons, and I don't mean a harp.

View Poison's review on her blog: http://pickedbypoison.blogspot.com/2011/11/daughter-of-lust-ann-mayburn.html?zx=81987252748d3cb4

Monday, November 28, 2011

Feature on Mahalia Levey

I was lucky enough to go to the EAA (Erotic Author's Assoc) conference in Las Vegas and not only did I meet a great group of editors and authors, both local and from as far as New York, but that meant I got a great new group of books to read. Some of the books on my ginormous TBR list are by a new-to-me author named Mahalia Levey, who came all the way from Missouri.

Today, I wanted to introduce you guys to Mahalia Levey, and her super sexy, very spicy, extra naughty paranormals.



She writes erotic paranormal romance, and I have fallen in love with this cover:



Enforcer Makhi didn’t expect to fall for a woman. However, one look at the new female in need of defending brings out the dead emotions of his incubus. Be it the fates will to bless him as her counterpart, he plans to teach her the fine art of self-control and satisfy her on every level imaginable.

Kamaria Valentin is scared for her life. Blackouts, strange cravings for violence and blood have plagued her for the last two years. Add hot sex dreams with a nameless face and she’s one hot mess. Ready to break, the need for answers pushes her to free herself from the prison holding her a drugged captive.

Caedon Bolton searches for the lost. Deities looking for home, for sanctuary. One night a vulnerable soul screams out to him in her dreams, he must find her and save her from the brink of death. Once he has Kama in his arms, Caedon realizes only he can give her the emotional support she craves.


Isn't he HAWT?! His is set in her hell realm along with



Born of a Navajo healer and a high-level prince of Hell, The Dine Gods demanded Fatal be turned over to her mother's tribe to learn their healing arts and kept away from demon hands. But with her tutelage came cruel segregation and disrespect because of her father's heritage. Not knowing why her life has suddenly come under demon attack, Fatal sets out, armed with her knowledge and her fighting skills, to take out any evil that gets in her way.

As prince of a lower level of Hell, Orobus signed a contract in blood that he be betrothed to Fatal, the high prince of Hell’s half-breed daughter. Oracle by birth, he isn’t privy to complete visions with regard to himself. Having forgotten the fateful night he signed the agreement, he’s thrust into the fight of his life—the fight to claim his woman! Come Hell or high water, he will take care of what is rightfully his, even if it means making her face both sides of her heritage and teaching her there is no shame.


These are her demonic heroes who are set on earth:



Jaida Winters strived to be the epitome of a perfect daughter, following every rigid rule without question. Wondering what she missed out on in her strict life, she's ready for a little independence, and decides it's time to throw caution to the wind. A tattoo is the first step to a new attitude.

Incubus Torquatus Darkblood remains locked within a talisman for the crimes of seducing a witch's charge. His release lies within the ink of a tattoo drawn on
a young woman's skin. When Jaida's pain calls to him, Torq finds he doesn't just want sinful pleasure of the flesh, he wants the woman whose soul cries freedom.




Going into heat is never easy. With her pack's rigid rules, Alana Merona must find a male to sate her sexual needs on their terms. Unfortunately, the demon she has her eye on doesn't meet their hard line. But with a naughty plan in
mind, Alana is going to use The Delightful Kitty Club to her full advantage.

Owner of the Delightful Kitten, Drake Sullivan never partakes of the offered treats until a sexy were tempts him beyond reason.


Find Mahalia Levey at http://mahalialevey.com/

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Breaking Dawn beats family movies on Turkey Day.

"The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn Part I" still leads the North American box office this weekend. The vampire romance movie secures the top spot on the chart for two weeks in a row with an estimated $42 million from the last three days of ticket sales, and around $62.3 million on the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. So far, the film grosses $221.3 million domestically and $489.3 million worldwide.

  1. "The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn Part I" - $42 million ($62.3 mil over five days)
  2.  
  3. "The Muppets" - $29.5 million ($42 million)
  4. Happy Feet Two" - $13.4 million ($18.3 million)
  5. "Arthur Christmas" - $12.7 million ($17 million)
  6. "Hugo" - $11.3 million ($15.3 million)
  7. "Jack and Jill" - $10.3 million ($14.1 million)
  8. "Immortals" - $8.8 million ($12.5 million)
  9. "Puss in Boots" - $7.4 million ($10.3 million)
  10. "Tower Heist" - $7.3 million ($10.1 million)
  11. "The Descendants" - $7.2 million ($9.2 million)
Have YOU seen the movies yet? What did you think?
comment below :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Magic Woman by Christine Warren

Black Magic Woman (The Others, #11)Black Magic Woman
by Christine Warren

My rating: 2.5 of 5 flames

At the beginning of this book is an author's note and when I read it, I felt as if Ms. Warren had read my review of Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here and this note was addressed to me personally. Which made me instantly think that this book would rock my socks...and yet, I had the same exact problems with this book I had with Prince Charming.

My complaint is that the author tells us that these heroines are strong and intelligent women, but we never see it. Here, Daphanie is at her sister Danice's wedding (heroine from Prince Charming), when she sees a little red hand groping the table for a soda. Ducking under the table, she finds a little red imp (remember Quigley from Prince Charming? He left Mac and Danice in Fairie and bailed) Daphanie thinks it's a great idea to have him take her to an Other club. Her big mouth gets her into trouble and she blames everyone else. Dude, if you're in a club with Others, it's like riding the bus-eyes down, don't make eye contact. Put your bag on the seat next to you so no one will sit with you, and keep your mouth shut. Ignorance is not an excuse. That should be the motto of this and the last book-"the Carter sisters-Ignorance is not an excuse."

Asher, a Guardian (think like an angel, but without any religious affiliation) steps in to prevent the ignorant human from tangling with a witch doctor. She is at first grateful, until she sees that he's telling her to keep quiet, quit insulting the witch doctor and listen to him. Well, no one tells Daphanie what to do, even if she's in a bar full of Others. Asher has to step in and claim her as his new charge to keep the Witch Doctor from cursing her. He gets her out back, and she's all "Hey buddy don't think you can fight my battles, I'm a strong woman whose mama raised her with manners...blah blah blah..." Seriously?

Asher is stuck with her, but he's 500+ years old, and while he's falling for her, she's mortal, he's not. He can't make her immortal like a vampire, so how will this work? I'd love to tell you, but they never address it again. At one point, Daphanie is getting powers like enhanced senses of smell and hearing, but like the mortal/immortal relationship, it never comes up again.

I love a good alpha male, I truly don't mind if they are cliched, but Asher could have been AnyAlphaMale. That's my new name for him-he was very flat and 2 dimensional. He growled, he grunted, he was hot, he was protective. And that's about it. Generic alpha hero...oh, but he didn't do anything heroic. He was a Guardian. A type of Other thought to be myth by the, well, myths. And his powers were such that he made everyone shiver in fear. There were no tales at all of the Guardians ever losing a ward. Once his wings unfurled, he was such an intimidating sight, but that's all we ever saw of him-intimidation. Not once was he able to save Daphanie. At the very end, it was a group effort, which was fun to see the other characters, and although this is book 11 it's really one of the early ones that is before the Veil is lifted. so at this point in the novel, many of our previous heroes/heroines haven't met yet. And the Others are still hiding from humans. But my point is that Asher didn't do it. He's this big bad Guardian who strikes fear into the heart of Others everywhere, and I never saw any reason for that. There was no final battle where he wins, or super cool power that ended everything. He stumbled along not knowing how to help her, or even if the Witch Doctor was powerful, or a charlatan. It felt so flawed.

So we have a woman who is so idiotic and unlikeable, I wanted to stop reading at 65 pages in, and a Guardian who keeps leaving his charge, but then declares "I won't let anything happen to you" as he leaves her alone, and that's it. Our heroine and hero, ladies and gentlemen.

About halfway through the book, the voodoo plot thickens and becomes quite interesting and I thought YES! this is gonna get good! For a while it was really intense. And then it ended. No really. The ending was abrupt. The bad guy may or may not have been killed, and Daphanie may or may not be getting super powers that are never addressed, and Asher was almost the vessel for a voodoo queen to reanimate herself in, and then it ends. Oh, but there's an epilogue (it was cute, and Warren's signature humor and wit was in the epilogue, but it had nothing to do with the main plot, or what had happened, or what would happen).

I love this series, I really do-the current plot (the ones that are new, not re-writes) are going in a really cool direction-the lupine virus that some scientists have engineered to turn them insane-way cool. But we don't see any of that since this book takes place years before that happens. I'd rather just leave the Fixed series as ebook erotic shorts-they read better that way, and I'd rather have some new books.

View all my reviews

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lothaire is coming!


Lothaire book cover

CAN’T WAIT FOR LOTHAIRE! (ON SALE 1/10/12)

WATCH THE TEASER TRAILER!

LIKE  KRESLEY COLE ON FACEBOOK, CLICK ON THE MEMBERS’ONLY TAB AND  ENJOY!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Series Giveaway, Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

Killing Rites (The Black Sun's Daughter, #4)Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames


This is a darker, grittier series than I normally would go for, but I really got into it. Jayné realized that she’s been winning fights that she shouldn’t have been the victor in. Her demon hunting skills are way off the charts. This can’t be normal, right?

She is pretty certain she has a “rider” in her body (she’s possessed by a demon). But a lot of this book is internal. She isn’t able to have the rider exorcised from her body, at least not immediately, so she and Ex, who’s so obviously in love with Jayné, try different routes.

One thing though, is that Jayné begins to realize that she may not want to get rid of her rider. So a big part of her internal debate is in dealing with the nature of her demon.

For me, this book was a bit on the slow side, although that may be due in part to the amount of introspect on Jayné’s part. It was hard for me to relate to her, though, and if I don’t relate to a character when it’s told in first person (as most of this is), I have a hard time really liking the book.

One thing, though, is that if you like more of a dark and intense Urban Fantasy with a thriller vibe, you will love this series.



**Thank you to Pocket books for the review copy




View all my reviews


Pocket has this awesome idea of giving away the whole series of The Black Sun's Daughter by M.L.N. Hanover. Since today is Black Friday, The Black Sun's Daughter is up for grabs. Leave a comment with your email to win ALL 4 BOOKS IN THIS SERIES.


Unclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughter, #1)Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover
Darker Angels (The Black Sun's Daughter, #2)Darker Angels by M.L.N. Hanover
Vicious Grace (The Black Sun's Daughter, #3)Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover

Killing Rites (The Black Sun's Daughter, #4)Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare

Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


Violet Winterbottom had her heart shattered. Above and beyond broken. Like that scene from Sex and the City where Carrie was broken up with via Post It note. Yeah, that bad.



So Violet does something not too many heorines in Historicals do-She grows up. She gets over him. She moves away to Spindle Cove, and realizes that she doesn't need a man to be happy.



Then a dangerous, bloody, bedraggled stranger falls at her feet (literally) and passes out. But the one phrase he speaks is in a language no one recognizes, but Violet is exceptional at languages and is picked to stay with him as his interpreter.



He strongly resembles The Disappointment (her nickname for Christian), but Violet can't be certain. And once he admits who he is, Violet tells him to leave (go girl!). But he doesn't, and she makes him earn her trust once again, which I love that they didn't just jump into bed-she made him work for her heart.



Christian also realizes that Violet is not the same girl next door he left. She has become a woman who knows her own mind, and doesn't hesitate to aim her pistol at him. He knows he has to work hard to keep her, and a kiss and asking her to wait for him won't cut it.



The rest of the novella is filled with everything from espionage to kissing. It was definitely worth the $.99 (or the $.79 for you kindle-ites).



A fast, enjoyable read, that made the hero earn his happy ending.



View all my reviews

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest Review of Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland

Today we have a special guest reviewer named Laurielu. She runs Bona Fide Reflections and was awesome enough to help this Hussy out.

My Shelf Button






3.5 Flames

Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland is a story where Indian Jones meets Da Vinci Code with paranormal mythos peppered into the mix to create an original story that will keep you guessing. The book offers a lot of excitement, emotion and adventure.

Caroline (Caro) Clifford goes from tour mundane London tour guide to a person who is sought after by many people throughout many countries. There is a massive manhunt out there searching for her. Some of them are good guys; but, most of them are not. Fate has partnered Caro with Jude Barrett, a handsome, quirky former biochemist who studied mice in his experiments in which he was able to mimic vampirism. He is on his own quest to find out more regarding the mysteries he may have unlocked. And a long the way, he ends up with a lot more than he has bargained for.

Caro has her world turned upside down when she learns her Uncle/guardian has been brutally murdered while he was on an archeological dig in Bulgaria. His death leaves Caro’s world in a literal tailspin as she travels all over the globe to unearth hidden papers and truths many would like to leave well hidden. Along the way she finds out that the night has a lot more to offer than the normal things that go “bump” in the night.

Caro also discovers some truths about her self that will make her question the foundational certainty of who she always thought she was. As the mystery unravels and her journey gets more treacherous, she makes many discoveries that would make any normal person want to surrender, turn around, and go back home; but, Caro and Jude get to a point of no return and must see this adventure to the end.

This is a good story with many exciting twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and very entertained. There is an element to the novel that I found frustrating. In my opinion, the author was trying to juggle a lot of plots and then have them all culminate together at the end to give the reader a pulse-pounding ending; but, Ms. Maitland misses the mark a little bit by “putting too many irons in the fire.” I feel that the story was a little disjointed in spots, especially in the beginning of the book. But, given that, Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland is a good paranormal story that offers a lot of high adventure and romance. I am looking forward to more Caro and Jude adventures in the coming book which Piper is surely writing. Happy Reading!!

**thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bodyguard by Jennifer Ashley

Bodyguard (Shifters Unbound, #2.5)Bodyguard by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 flames


When Elizabeth's gift shop gets robbed late one night, the last thing she expects is a large bear to come to her rescue. Scratch that, the last thing she expects is to see a large bear shift into a naked hunk of a man. But that's what happens. In Jennifer Ashley's Shifters Unbound series, the shifters are second class citizens, so when Ronan backhands the kid holding the gun, he gets arrested for hurting a human.



Elizabeth goes with him to the police station to try to convince them that he was saving her life, and the robber had actually shot Ronan!

What Elizabeth doesn't know, is that punk kid who tried to rob her is part of a gang, and his big brother is the head honcho. Elizabeth's life is now in danger, so Ronan takes her to Shiftertown, where she and her younger sister will be safe. He accepts responsibility for her and Mabel. But Elizabeth is hiding something about her past-something that even the Morrisey brothers can't hack, and that worries the shifters. The last thing they need are the Feds breathing down their necks.



These two have more than just the shifter/human relationship to overcome, and the action is intense. There are underground shifter fight clubs, Elizabeth's past catches up with her, and to top it off, Ronan mate-claims her.



One thing I really loved is that Ronan wasn't your typical Alpha male. He was..gentle, and warm, and loving. He had such a soft heart. Ronan, who preferred solitude to crowds, was fostering young bear shifters. He was even helping a hot-head bear through his transition. Ronan was such a wonderful hero. There should be more heroes like Ronan out there.



I love this series, and lately, I've been in a reading funk. This novella was just the thing to pull me out! Hot shifters, a fight club, drug lords, and romance. This story has it all.

Bodyguard is a steal at only $.99, and it's a fantastic addition to the Shifters Unbound series.







View all my reviews

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guest Post with Piper Maitland

Our guest post today comes from Piper Maitland, author of Acquainted With the Night. We'd like to thank her for stopping by demonlover's on her blog tour, and let's all make her feel welcome here.
Swing by tomorrow for a review of Acquainted With the Night by guest reviewer Laurielu of http://www.bona-fide-reflections.com/



"When I was a tiny girl, I watched Dracula movies on the Late, Late Show, and I would get so frightened, I’d scream for my father to walk me back to my room. For years, until I discovered boys and lost my fear of the undead, I slept with a crucifix around my neck and garlic under my pillow.

I didn’t begin writing seriously until I was a junior in nursing school. I cobbled together horror stories in an airless closet under the staircase and pinned my rejection slips on the wall. We're talking floor-to-ceiling wallpaper here. Some of the slips had tiny indentions in the paper, as if the editor had stabbed them over and over with a sharp pencil, or maybe a butcher knife.

The free wallpaper continued for a decade. My family begged me to give up this crazy dream and go make cornbread. I made the cornbread, but kept writing, Lord knows why. I just like words and making up stuff. There's no telling how much weight I gained from stress eating--and corn bread was a favorite. It still is.

Despite setbacks and slammed doors, I kept writing. One Mother's Day, my eldest son wrote me a letter: To my Mom. I've never seen anybody work harder than you and get nowhere. But I love ya.

I didn't have a PhD in literature. I didn't know any writers. If I saw an infinitive, I gleefully split it. I thought a plot had something to do with gardening, as in a "plot" of land. But I kept going. I got up at dawn to write so my avocation wouldn't interfere with family life, and I stayed up late. I joined a writing group. The members were spread out all over the country, and we communicated via snail mail.

I continued to paper my walls with rejection slips. I wasn't published, but I was still a writer. It's easy to spot one. We have ink stains on our hands and clothes; and we can't go two seconds without thinking, "What if....?"

A long time ago, someone advised me to be a "bit like a weed." I embraced that advice. In 1988, I submitted a short story to a very fine literary journal. The editor in chief wrote me a two page rejection letter. It basically said, Dear Horrible Writer, You suck. Stop sending us stories or we shall cry. Etc, etc.

Somehow I persevered. My first novel was published in 1990. I was 38 years old. Like my mama says, I was the opposite of an overnight sensation. Now I'm 58. I no longer work in a closet, but I don't have an office. I roam around the house with my laptop. If the weather isn't too grim, I will sit outside with a legal pad.

After years of writing southern fried novels, I got the idea to write about vampires during the winter of 2008, while I drove to the grocery with my son. He’s a biochemist, and we began playing the “what if?” game. What if vampires weren’t allergic to garlic? What if they had a biological basis for their blood cravings?
I knew it would be a risk. But I’d started out writing horror fiction, and I was longing to write something different. So what if it wasn’t published? That’s not the point. The point is to have a rollicking good time while you’re writing. A writer writes because we love words and because we’ve a burning desire to put those words onto the page.

The character of Caroline Clifford took shape while I shopped in the Publix bakery, and by the time I’d made it to the check-out line, I was eager to get home and start writing.

I pulled from my science background to try and create an unusual strain of vampirism and to explore the physiology behind it. My fact checkers were "in house"--my husband, a physician, and my younger son, a biochemist. Jude Barrett, a main character in the novel, is a biochemist. I showed it to my agent, some writing friends, and my mother. My agent believed in the manuscript from the beginning. Friends were divided. My mother freaked. "Oh no," she cried. "Go back to writing unplotted Southern fiction."

I decided I loved tying my heroines to the train tracks. The experience of writing a paranormal novel infused a new joy in the writing process. But it wasn’t easy. I had a lot to learn about plotting and pacing. As a self-taught writer and die-hard http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifpantster, I had to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Since I am overly fond of writing about food (and I love feeding my characters), I had to learn how to trim the fat and get the action moving. I plunged into workshops and writing classes. I’m still taking classes. I just finished a year-long mentorship with author Lori Wilde, and I’ve taken a steampunk workshop with author Theresa Meyers. The learning has just begun, but I’m having a blast.

Acquainted With the Night will be published this November by Berkley. To be sure, I will be celebrating with cornbread."

You can find Piper Maitland at http://www.pipermaitland.com/ video

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Real Werewives of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy

The Real Werewives of Vampire CountyThe Real Werewives of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


What a fun anthology!

I'll break it down into the 4 novellas for you guys:



"Where Darkness Lies" by Alexandra Ivy-5 flames

My favorite in the anthology. Sophia is the biggest bitch of them all, if any of you have read Alexandra Ivy's Guardians of Darkness series. She's a fun heroine who has just opened up a strip club for the ladies ;) Hottest male weres around. But unfortunately she's being attacked. She hires a bodyguard who isn't what he seems, and might be her mate.



"Murder on Mysteria Lane" by Angie Fox- 4.5 flames

Think of this one like "Miss Congeniality" except with werewolves and vampires. I loved the voice and the feel to the writing. The mystery was great.



Werewolves in Chic Clothing" by Tami Dane- 3 flames

This was a bit confusing as the first page is all in italics, talking about Michelle's life. But Michelle is not the heroine, she's the hero's dead wife. Once I realized what was going on, it was a pretty good mystery, and I was way off on who dunnit. The only thing I didn't like was that Christine believed the worst in her fiance so easily and was so quick to judge. She befriended the neighbors and believed them over Jon, her fiance.



"What's Yours is Mine" by Jess Haines- 3.5 flames

This one doesn't have a heroine/hero as it's not a romance while all the others are. BUT it does have 5 female main characters who could give those "Real Housewives" on TV a run for their money. The more I think about this story, the more I feel Jess Haines captured those "Real Housewives" to the T. Don't expect a romance or a heroine, but think of it like a half hour reality show with bitching, shopping, conniving, and back-stabbing.





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Monday, November 14, 2011

SEAL of My Dreams Anthology by Cindy Gerard

SEAL of My DreamsSEAL of My Dreams by Robyn Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


I don’t know if you’ve heard of this anthology or not, but all proceeds from sales of SEAL of My Dreams go to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit fundraiser for veterans' medical research. How wonderful a concept? And that cover? Yep, a real Navy SEAL, you may even recognize that photo from the newspaper or internet.

Almost all of these authors were new to me, and I really had a good time reading this anthology.



I was a little reluctant to pick this book up for a few reasons. 1. I don’t actually read contemporaries that often 2. An anthology with this much hype? Wasn’t sure it would live up to said hype. 3. I don’t read about SEALs so this was very new to me.



But it was a great book. It’s rare an anthology has me riveted with each story, but this one hit the mark. I am now hooked on real-life heroes Navy SEALs and I am so excited to have picked up several of these authors’ backlist.



One thing I really enjoyed about this anthology was the variety of authors, and the length of the novellas. All were very quick and easy reads, ranging from the sweet, heart-warming type, to the action/adventure type.



I was going to break down each story but I gave almost every one in this book a 4, plus with the length of each, I’m afraid if I reviewed them, it would ruin the story for you. I teared up several times throughout this anthology, and each story is a different take on a SEAL hero. In one, our hero lost his partner-a dog. That was a tearjerker. In another, the heroine saved the SEAL, quite a twist. All were wonderful, and all worth the read.



I received this eARC through netgalley, but I have ordered the paperback so I feel like I helped, just a little. I hope you will each go buy a copy.





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Friday, November 11, 2011

Final day of the Nightwalker Event- ADAM

The Winner of our Nightwalker Event is Sheri!!!!! She has won the book Gideon from Kensington, who has generously offered to mail her the book. Sheri, I'll be emailing you today.
---Highland Hussy


Adam (Nightwalkers, #6)Adam by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


The prologue is 2008- Jacob and Bella are fighting Ruth and her lover Nicodemus, this prologue will rip apart the foundations of this series, of this world Jacquelyn Frank built. You will not believe it at first, thinking instead it’s a weird twist, or cruel trick, but it’s real. And it sucks.

Fast forward 10 years later, and we see Leah, Jacob and Bella’s daughter, as an isolated teen. While this may be Jasmine and Adam’s book, we actually get a lot of Leah for about the first 70 pages. And that’s something,in general, that I’d like to point out- Normally too many pov shifts really bothers me, but I like how we saw the viewpoints from our previous characters. It drew me right back into the world, and it reminded me of why I liked this series.

But the in the present, in Leah’s world, the Nightwalkers world is falling apart. I won’t reveal why, even though it’s not a spoiler since it happens in the prologue, but it’s a huge shock. I will say that Leah has wrestled with a certain decision for the last ten years, and something causes her to finally decide what to do.

Leah finds out that she had an uncle named Adam-Jacob’s elder brother, and a great warrior. We flash 400 years back in time to meet Adam. He’s an arrogant, cocky and gets thrown for a loop once he meets Jasmine. But since she’s a vampire, it’s not only taboo, they’re lifelong enemies. Flash forward back to that critical moment in the prologue that I won’t spoil-but add Adam into the mix.
He jumps headlong into the fight against Ruth, killing her vampire lover. Jasmine and Adam run into each other once more, only now, they are allowed to be together-if that’s what they want. The sizzle is definitely there, and the attraction as well, but neither one wants an imprinted mate. Or do they?

The only thing that I missed out on was the romance. There was a lot less romance in this book than the others, and I know it’s hard to tie up all of those loose ends, show us what’s happening, what could happen, and what has happened already (remember, Leah is a demon of Time-so the possibilities are infinite), but I still missed seeing the romance. However, that aside, the plot was fantastic, and this book is well-worth the read. This book made me like Jasmine, who I previously hated. There was a specific girl who shows up, and I have my theories on her, but I'd hoped to see more of her throughout the story. Especially since there were chances for other point of view shifts, hers would have fallen right in place.

Final verdict? Enjoyed this book, the series is such an incredible and unique take on paranormal romance, and I think that it’s absolutely worth reading.




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***thank you to Kensington for providing the ARC of Adam

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nightwalkers Event- Noah Review

****This is my original review, from last year-I left it unchanged, but would like to add that I am now reading Adam, and the heroine is Jasmine. I really really love this book so far, this is important for when you read my last line of this review. If this author could make me like Jasmine as a heroine, she's doing something right!



Noah (Nightwalkers, #5)Noah by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames




My thoughts on Noah are a little mixed, so I may be a bit scattered. I think that this whole series has been an interesting mix of an interesting plot, no a fantastic plot, but with overly dramatic and repetitive writing. My main complaint through these 5 books have been the writing. It annoys the crap out of me. BUUUUT, the characters and plot more than make up for it. I mean I did read 5 books here! I must like something!



I hated that Ruth (our villainess extraordinaire) was nowhere to be found. In fact she was mentioned only once. now this would not be a big deal, except that this book was it! Done, the series is finito! Only recently has the author Jacquelyn Frank finally bowed to the masses to write Jasmine's story. Although to be fair I thought she was an absolute bitch. I mean manipulative and rude. But everyone excuses her because "that's just how she is." lame excuse. But my point was that Ruth has had not only an active role in the past 4 books, but a very viscous one at that, with this plan that has been building and building and then we got to book 5 (remember, at the time it was the last in the series!) and then Ruth never showed, was mentioned once in passing and it fizzled.



I know, I know, I still haven't gotten to Noah and Kestra. So Kes is a druid/human hybrid who basically is human til she meets her Imprinted mate, and then boom, her druid half becomes active. She gets powers and a hot demon king..sweet! too bad she is too stubborn to realize it. Although I liked Kes for the most part. Noah I loved. Alot of the reviews bagged on him for not being his usual strong fearless self, but that's the whole point with the mate. She throws him off his game. And he does the same to her. Noah used Corrine to find his mate and he used Jacob and Bella's daughter to take him back in time to save her from an awful death...but he USES their toddler for this. he deliberately kidnaps her and uses her talent...I actually was able to forgive him that, some reviews couldn't get past that, but it didn't bother me as much as the over-thinking of everything...Can we get one conversation where the characters don't withdraw into themselves for a few pages of self-awareness? I'd like one conversation without that please.



I however, did read it cover to cover, and I liked the storyline enough to give it 3.5 stars-but no half ratings right? I think it could have been a 5 star if it weren't the last in the series, or if it had actually answered some questions there, rather than raising more. Like where is Ruth? What are we to assume, the bad guy never gets their come-uppance? What about Seth and Leah...the future of demonkind? And what about Syreena and Damien? Do they ever get pregnant? I just think that it was too open-ended. I had hoped some questions would be answered in the Shadowdwellers series, but from what I can tell, nothing is resolved. Also, JF is planning on writing Jasmine's story, but when Noah was written, this was the end of the series-it was written as the end. That is why the loose ends bothered me the most.



So, I have a love/hate relationship with this series, and book. I probably won't read the next book whenever JF gets around to writing it, since I don't care enough about Jasmine to want to read her story. Maybe after Damien I could have, but she was uber-bitch in this and I just don't care.





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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Ink Illusions by Val Kovalin

Ink Illusions by Val Kovalin

3 1/2 flames out of 5

Aaron, who is openly gay, is sharing a home with his good friend Rosemary and helping to raise her young daughter Belinda who he has grown to love like his own. Belinda doesn’t know her real dad, Travis, who has been in prison for most of her young life and Rosemary intends to keep it that way. Travis has just been released from prison and Rosemary fears he will search them out and/or kidnap Belinda. When Rosemary is invited to a Mardi Gras masked event thrown by Travis’s parents she sends Aaron with instructions to ferret out any information.

Aaron attends the event but finds himself smitten with Travis, who is also gay, or possibly bi, and a surprisingly nice guy. The two share some intense chemistry but complications, many complications, ensue that force them to take things much slower than either anticipated. This slow burn fuels their lust and allows them to get to know each as friends before hopping into bed. This part of the story worked best for me. I love me a slow burn that pays off. Aaron’s relationship with Belinda also rang true and was very sweet. The big problem character for me was Rosemary. Her refusal to visit Travis in prison and her continued insistence that Travis would kidnap Belinda just didn’t seem to be based on anything but her own fears and that bothered me and made it difficult for me to sympathize with her. I guess I needed to see more reasons for her intense fear for it to ring true besides the one comment about her mom being a good for nothing junkie who died in prison. There is also a plot twist that occurs later in the story that was extremely frustrating and disappointing to me. I enjoy complicated and slightly impulsive characters but some of the choices made here just didn’t sit right.

With that said, I enjoyed the lovely relationship between Travis and Aaron, I adored cousin Karl and hope he finds a love to frolic with in that big water bed of his. The descriptive prose, especially during the Mardi Gras party, was wonderful. I would’ve rated this one higher if it weren’t quite so over-stuffed with its many different issues or had been long enough to fully flesh everything out.

Nightwalkers Day 4, Damien

Day 4 of our Nightwalkers Event is my review of Damien, my favorite book in this series. You can still enter to win Gideon by commenting on my review here and the best part? I've hear that Jacob is still just $1.79!! Woohoo!

Damien (Nightwalkers, #4)Damien by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


This book totally redeemed the whole series as far as I'm concerned. I liked Jacob, Gideon fell short, and Elijah annoyed me. Damien was the best so far, and it was fantastic!
Ruth is one of the best female villains I've seen in a long time, in fact I wish we saw more of her. She gets some action right at the beginning, and some later on in the book. She is one insane woman who has a brilliant mind...the makings of an excellent bad guy.
Syreena was a lot like her sister Siena, but less impulsive. I loved Damien the vampire prince, and I love how he wasn't in love with her (yet) but his comment was that he wanted to see if he could be. That was a very important part of this book, since all the vampires were pretty much walking around bored of life, and only enjoying the carnal pursuits.
"If we cannot consume it, kill it, or party with it, it does not interest us."
---Damien to Noah
Syreena (as we learned in Elijah) fell ill as a child, and to cure her, the Mistral used her singing gift to heal her, but used a part of her soul as well, so Syreena, lycanthrope princess, mutated to have 2 shifter forms-dolphin, and falcon.
"Lycanthropes loved a good mutation, especially a powerful one like hers."
Well Ruth takes Syreena and tortures her to make Siena pay for the death of her daughter Mary (the end of Elijah). Damien has this drive to follow Syreena and once he realizes what's going on, he does everything in his power to save her. What's interesting is that this is before the two have had much interaction, so he doesn't know why he does this, but he doesn't question the desire to do so. After he saves her, he drinks of her blood and finds out why vampires aren't supposed to drink from other Nightwalkers...unfortunately he also finds what his kind is missing, and the end to their eternal ennui with life. She is is mate, and it turns out that the two only gain in strength from sharing blood-he can transform into a raven shortly after, and it rocks the vampire world. But right after Syreena wakes to find Damien followed her and saved her at great risk to himself, she kisses him. he asks her why,
"Because it is a fairy tale, Damien. And in fairy tales, the princess always kisses the prince who rescues her."
And once they realize they love each other, Damien thinks something so sweet. I love this one because he is such an alpha male we expect him to possess her. But he feels the opposite, and I loved it.
"If someone could truly possess another person, she was doing so to him."
Now I know my last 2 reviews have not been so flattering to the writing. This book was so much better! There was still a lot of over-thinking everything, but not to the extent that I wanted to skim or put the book down. This had so much more in it, both action and romance, that it was the best in the series, no doubt, but also it proved what I have said before- that the storyline for the whole series is amazing and that is why I kept reading. I think the world created is fantastic, and I am invested in the characters enough to keep reading even after a book I thought was -meh- So Damien being so great was a breath of fresh air, and a reminder as to why I kept reading even after Gideon.



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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nightwalkers, Day 3- Elijah

In day 3 of our Nightwalkers event, we have my review of Elijah. And if you missed out on getting Jacob for only $1.79 yesterday, don't worry-you have a chance to win by commenting on my review of Gideon here just remember to leave your email address.


Elijah (Nightwalkers, #3)Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 3 of 5 flames


This series has a really cool concept. I like the plots, the characters, even the bad guys are incredibly worthy opponents. Wow, the villain Ruth? She is one evil woman. I wish more villains were written like her.



What I don't like is that it is soo overly wordy. In the first few pages, our hero Elijah, the greatest warrior, the fiercest of the fierce, is dying a horrible awful death and he waxes philosophical. For like 9 pages. Really? It happens a lot in this series- the over-analyzing and overly philosophical crap that is soo utterly tedious to read. It's a shame since the storyline is so good.



Moving on, though to the wonderful stuff---Elijah and Siena are great together, I loved it once they actually had dialogue. It was a much better book than Gideon was. And I loved the characters. The plot of demons and shifters finding their soul mates in each other is causing a lot of dissension amongst the other Nightwalkers, and their road to love is no easy path. Bella and Jacob and Gideon and Legna are all still present, as is Noah, whose story is my most anticipated.



I also love...



SPOILER











...how Mary was killed by her own mother's greed and arrogance at the end, but of course Ruth sees it as their fault, not hers. She also teleports out so we have a villain for the next book, which is called Damien.

END SPOILER



Damien is an intriguing character, by the way, and I am so excited to read his book.



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Friday, November 4, 2011

Nightwalkers Series Day 2-Gideon

Today is the day, you know, THE DAY! The one where Jacob is only $1.79 for Nook and Kindle. It is a one-day-only sale, so grab it while it's hot!

Nook

Kindle

So in our Nightwalkers theme, today we have my review on book number 2, Gideon, and the wonderful people at Kensington have offered a giveaway of Gideon (US/Canada only). Now you can grab Jacob for $1.79 and you have a chance to win Gideon...a great way to get a jump start on the series! To enter, leave a comment with your email address. That's it!



Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2)Gideon by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames


Okay, my rating on this book is low even though I love the story. In fact I will continue on in the series specifically because I love the storyline and the world Jacqueline Frank built.

My complaint is the way she writes...it is unnecessarily and overly formal,repetitive and way too overly-analytical.



My best example was when Gideon and Legna finally got to the point of being intimate and the author spent like 8 pages on the mental foreplay. But it wasn't really foreplay, it was repetitive and annoying passages of Legna and Gideon over analyzing their thoughts and relationship.



It started out great with an interesting prologue between Damien (vampire prince) and Gideon. Both are the eldest of their respective races, and they have a mutual respect for each other. Gideon is warning Damien about the latest threat of black magic against their races. I then completely lost interest until Legna and Gideon had a scene together. It was good, and then it got better, but still with too much re-hashing of Jacob and Isabella, and the plot from "Jacob." If someone hadn't read "Jacob," they would be confused by "Gideon" even with all of the summary. It's just that type of a series- and there's nothing wrong with that. Ms. Frank could've wrapped up the summary in 2 paragraphs, not several pages.



That is what made me skim...the constant repeating of the same thing over and over. We get it. Gideon doesn't feel he's worthy of Legna and Legna doesn't understand Gideon's feelings of unworthiness. Please, move on.



If you can get past the repetition and the overly dramatic inner monologues, the story itself is fantastic. Really, it is. the concept of the Nightwalkers is great! The battle scenes were great, the rescue operation was short, sweet and to the point, I just wish more of the book had been that way. The way that Gideon and Legna imprint on each other is neat to watch unfold...they've been fighting it for 10 years and haven't even known it. I just wish that there had been way more dialogue and way less inner monologue. And the heat that simmered between them was soo steamy.



So, yes, I'll finish the series (and not just because I have all the books-I truly am vested in the characters). I just hope that Elijah has more interaction between characters, and less extrapolating.



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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nightwalkers series

Starting today, we're going to do a series review-the Nightwalkers series by Jacquelyn Frank. Each day will be a review of the books in order, ending with Ms. Frank's new release Adam. (I'm reading it right now and it ROCKS!!!)

Friday, November 4th Jacob will be only $1.79 for both Nook and Kindle. It is a ONE DAY ONLY event and we'll be giving away a copy of book 2 in the series Gideon as well, so this is a great chance to start the Nightwalkers series.

Last week, Ms. Frank was here for a guest post which you can read here


Today, we'll kick things off with my review of Jacob.

Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1)Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


This was a really interesting start to what promises to be an exciting and interesting series.



Jacob is the demon king's Enforcer. That means he enforces their laws on any of his people found consorting with humans. Their bestial natures are too much for humans-especially at the Beltane and Samhain moons-May and October. They call it the Hallowed madness.



Enter Isabella.



She falls out of her apartment window and Jacob catches her...mid-air! He is instantly connected to her, and she suddenly feels choking and burning, and smells smoke. I guess she felt empathy towards the demon Jacob had been hunting-his buddy Saul had been summoned, and once summoned, a demon becomes the slavering bloodthirsty creature we all think of when we hear the word demon. Well, Bella kills Saul, saving her and Jacob's life, but Bella's like 5 foot nothing and human, so wtf? Oh wait, it seems she may not be so human after all-part druid. And while Jacob seems to be breaking the rules he holds so sacred, really he and Bella are imprinting-their souls are recognizing each other.



They have to keep Isabella safe, figure out how to save other demons from the necromancers who keep summoning them, and how to tell demonkind that the times they are-a-changing.



I liked the idea of the world Jacquelyn Frank created, and I love the demons so far. Bella has some interesting powers, and Jacob is a fantastic hero. All of the supporting characters have me excited for their stories too.



I also didn't like how every time Jacob was with Bella the word used to describe him was repeatedly "violent." He actually wasn't violent with her, and the author kept saying how he bruised her and left long red cuts from his claws, but it was not in a just a little too rough way. It was really annoying. Jacob was gentle and protected her, so it seemed out of character.



Other than that, the descriptions and the world-building were great and I can't wait to read Gideon next.



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Spooktacular Winner!

WE HAVE ONE LUCKY WINNER
The Winner of these Spooktacular Prizes below ...

  • ChroniclesofNick.com backpack (Mmmm Dark Hunters...)
  • book one in the LARA ADRIAN Midnight Breed series: KISS OF MIDNIGHT (Vampire goodness!)
  • book one of DIANA GABALDON'S Outlander series, OUTLANDER (Men in Kilts!)
And the winner is...


GERMAINE DULAC

Congratulations!
Please email your shipping information to me at kelly@demonloversbooksandmore.com

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