All this in one day?

Enemy Lover
by Karin Harlow

* Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
* Publisher: Pocket Star (May 25, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1439109826
* ISBN-13: 978-1439109823

Book Description

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . .

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

Masked by Moonlight
by Nancy Gideon

* Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
* Publisher: Pocket (May 25, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1439149631
* ISBN-13: 978-1439149638

Book Description



New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father’s murder. Using Jimmy Legere’s mysterious and irresistible right-hand man is a dangerous gamble, and not only due to his reputation as more monster than man. Because her feelings for Max Savoie are . . . complicated.


Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max exists silently in Legere’s shadow, heeding only his voice—until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties. Stepping outside his cautious rules threatens more than just his heart. He could expose his darkest secret.


Testing boundaries they weren’t meant to cross means facing the truth about who and what they are—and what they need from each other. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Charlotte could be his next victim. She can’t afford to trust any man. Good thing Max isn’t one.

Web of Lies
(Elemental Assassin, book 2)
by Jennifer Estep

* Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
* Publisher: Pocket (May 25, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 143914799X
* ISBN-13: 978-1439147993

Book Description

Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I'm Gin Blanco.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.


Setting the bar for urban fantasy

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

“My name is Gin, and I kill people.”

Normally, my confession would have elicited gasps of surprise. Pale faces. Nervous sweat. Stifled screams. An overturned chair or two as people scrambled to get away before I buried a knife in their heart—or back. A sucking wound was a sucking wound. I wasn’t picky about where I caused it.

“Hi, Gin,” four people chorused back to me in perfect, dull, monotone unison.

But not in this place. Within the walled confines of Ashland Asylum, my confession, true though it might be, didn’t even merit a raised eyebrow, much less shock and frightened awe. I was relatively normal compared to the freaks of nature and magic who populated the grounds. Like Jackson, the seven-foot-tall albino giant seated to my left who drooled worse than a mastiff and gurgled like a three-month-old child.

A long string of clear, glistening spittle dripped out of his oversize lips, but Jackson was too busy cooing nonsense to the crude daisy tattooed on the back of his hand to pay attention. Or do something sane and hygienic, like wipe his mouth. I shifted away from him so I wouldn’t come in contact with the oozing mucus.

Disgusting. But Jackson was typical of the sorts of folks in the asylum.Asylum . The word always made me smile. Such a pretty name for a hellhole.

It was bad enough I’d been stuck here for almost a week. But what really set me on edge was the noise—and having to listen to the building around me. The screams of the damned and deranged had long ago sunk into the granite walls and floors of the asylum, the way all emotions and actions do over time. Being a Stone elemental, I could feel the vibrations in the rock and hear the constant, insane chatter even through the industrial carpet and my white, cotton socks.

When I’d first gotten here, I’d tried to reach out to the stone, to use my own magic to bring it a bit of comfort. Or at least quiet the screams so I could get some sleep at night. But it had been no use. The stones were too far gone to listen or respond to my magic. Just like the poor souls who shuffled along on top of them.

Now, I just blocked out the damn noise—the way I did so many other things.

A woman at the head of the circle of plastic chairs leaned forward. She was directly across from me, so it was easy for her light eyes to find mine. “Now, Gin, you’ve made this claim before. We’ve discussed this. You onlythink you’re an assassin. You are most certainly not one.”

Evelyn Edwards. The shrink who was supposed to cure all the crazies in this magical nuthouse. She radiated professional cool and confidence in her tight black pantsuit, ivory blouse, and kitten heels. Square black glasses hung on the end of her pointed nose, highlighting her greenish eyes, and her sandy hair was cropped into a short, tousled bob. Evelyn was pretty enough, but a hungry look pinched her pasty face—a look I recognized. The hard gaze of a sly predator.

The reason I was here today.

“I most certainly am not a mere assassin,” I countered. “I’m the Spider. Surely, you’ve heard of me.”

Evelyn rolled her eyes and looked at the tall orderly standing just beyond the ring of chairs. He snickered, then raised his finger to his temple and made a circle.

“Of course I’ve heard of the Spider,” Evelyn said, attempting to be patient. “Everybody’s heard of the Spider. But you are certainly not him.”

“Her,” I corrected.

The orderly snickered again. I raised an eyebrow in displeasure. The joke was on him because that laugh had just cost him his life. I didn’t care to be mocked, even if I’d spent the last few days masquerading as a loon.

In order to kill people, you have to get close to them. Put yourself in their world. Make their likes your likes. Their habits your habits. Their thoughts your thoughts.

For this job, putting myself in Evelyn Edwards’s world had meant getting tossed into Ashland Asylum. To Evelyn and her orderly underlings, I was just another schizo dragged off the streets, driven crazy by elemental magic, drugs, or a combination of the two. Another poor, lost ward of the state who wasn’t worth their time, attention, consideration, or sympathy.

I’d spent the last few days locked up in the asylum convincing Evelyn and the others I was just as June-bug crazy as the rest of the babbling psychos. Spouting nonsense about being an assassin. Drooling. Finger-painting with the moldy peas they served for lunch. I’d even hacked off gobs of my long, bleached blond hair during craft time to keep up the pretense. The orderlies on call had taken the scissors away from me, but not before I’d used them to pry a screw loose from the rec room table.

The same screw I’d sharpened to a two-inch-long, dartlike point. The same screw I had palmed in my hand. The same screw I was going to shove into Evelyn’s throat. The weapon rested on my palm, and the steel felt rough against my scarred skin. Hard. Substantial. Cold. Comforting.


OMG YES! I ran across the sequel to this and decided to check out book one which I bought. The excerpt above knocked me on my ass. Definitely feel the claws that ripped into my skin. Don't get attached. Don't get attached. Don't get attached.

Urban fantasy always ends up hurting me in the end...


Trey: Red, Hot & Blue

They can’t deny the heat—it’s the only thing keeping them alive.

A distracted soldier is a dead solder. That’s special operative Trey Williams’ motto. The last thing he needs in his life is a girlfriend. Problem is, the woman who’s been recruited to pose as his wife on a special assignment is proving to be exactly the kind of distraction he can’t afford.

Years ago, Carly McAfee turned her back not only on her military career, but the men who come with it. So why did she say yes to a mission that puts her in intimate contact with Trey, under 24/7 surveillance by both bad guys and good? One slip, and they’re both dead. It’s not long, though, before her body betrays her, followed closely by her heart.

With a terrorist arms deal going down and missing teammate’s life on the line, Carly and Trey must throw caution to the wind in the scorching-hot performance of their lives—and try not to lose their hearts and minds in the process.

Warning: Contains bad men with big guns and video cameras, and an unmarried couple who need to get naked and get busy acting very married to save both their country and their lives.

Jack is a southern boy with all the charm that famously goes with it. For a while now, he's had the hots for the bartender that works at the closest bar to the base. Despite his constant pleas for a date, though, she's always put him off. And it makes sense, he doesn't know her name or even her eye color.

Two things of which Trey, Jack's best friend, makes it his business to know. But Trey isn't looking for a girlfriend, especially the one his best bud has his eyes on. But when Jack's brother's life ends up in jeopardy, Home Security puts Trey to a task that could bring the soldier home safe. But he has to take the barmaid to wife to do it.

It's called TREY, but for the first few chapters I found myself rooting for Jack. Despite his evil southern-boy powers.

Getting over that, much to my own relief, I was all over Trey. The sex was good but the lead up was just plain erotic. Brought to mind that infamous scene from True Lies though Jamie Lee Curtis nor Arnold Schwarzenegger were nowhere near my mental imagery. THANK GOD.

Looking overly confident, Jack leaned back on the barstool and waited for the question. He must have gleaned quite a bit of information from his discussion with the waitress.

Carly covered her eyes with one hand. “What color are my eyes?”

Jack, who never used bad language in mixed company, silently mouthed a vile curse before venturing an obviously blind guess. “Uh, brown?”

“Wrong.” She turned, opened the beer cooler and began checking her stock of cold bottles.

Scowling, Jack cursed again quietly. “Watch my beer, will ya’? I’ve gotta go take a leak.”

Trey nodded and Jack disappeared into the bathroom.

Eyes still on Carly’s back, he whispered, “They’re green.”

She spun, those beautiful jade-colored eyes open wide and staring straight at him.

Damn, she had good ears. He’d have to remember that in the future.

Their gazes collided and his heart clenched. He reminded himself it was Jack who had a crush on this girl, not him. All of his friend’s going on and on about her must have rubbed off. What he felt wasn’t real. It couldn’t be, because Trey had no room in his life for a girlfriend right now. A distracted soldier was a dead soldier. He didn’t want a girlfriend, nor did he need one. Not now and definitely not Carly, the one girl Jack was obsessed with.

So why did he suddenly feel like if he didn’t get far away from her soon, he’d forget his own rule and want a girlfriend? Want her.

“Jack says you’re in love with me. Is it true?”


Midnight Cravings

When the craving takes hold, the only thing to do is ride it out…

Patrolling Houston’s gritty supernatural underbelly has its perks. For Isla Alvarez, it’s working alongside nephilim SWAT Officer Jace Lane. Ruggedly handsome and possessed of mad skills, Jace embodies everything she’s ever wanted.

Unfortunately, the demonic blood pumping through her veins keeps them separated, since relationships between human descendants of archangels and demons aren’t actively encouraged. Staying away from him, though, is impossible after she winds up on the receiving end of a nasty sexual-compulsion curse, courtesy of a sadistic vampiress. Suddenly Isla is overwhelmed with a life-threatening lust only Jace can sate.

Jace’s principles were once strong enough to resist his longing for the alluring Isla, but in the face of her desperate craving, his desire breaks free—leaving him wondering if she’s not the only one affected by the spell. He’d be more than happy to satisfy Isla’s increasing need for sexual release, if they weren’t in a race against time to reverse the curse before it turns deadly.

For Isla, it’s not just her life she’s worried about losing. It’s her heart.

Oh so good! Action right out of the gate with fiery sex around the corner.

When the SWAT team gears up to take down a vampire prostitution ring, Isla ends up getting hit with a compulsion curse on steroids thanks to Renata, the vamp leader that slaughtered Isla's family and very nearly killed Isla herself.

Now, Isla and Jace have twenty-two hours, until midnight, to break the curse by killing Renata or Isla goes up in flames. Jace is a sweetheart that definitely shows his angelic side. Being part demon, Isla has some rather handy powers. The characters alone are worth a long series. With their semi-constant banter and kick-ass attitudes, I wouldn't mind if it took a couple books for them to actually get together. The torment would be worth it.

Jace gestured to the fidgeting couch-load of vampires. “And them?”
“Sister Marcie’s sending some of her people over right now. They’ll be fine so long as they follow her—”
An explosion interrupted Isla, throwing her across the room and into Jace. His arms instinctively curled around her body as he twisted to accept the full brunt of their fall. They bounced on the dingy carpet. After the initial chaos, Isla and Jace clambered to their feet. She shoved the baby vamps out of the way and rushed after Jace. “Stay here!”
“They blew up my fucking Tahoe!” Anger roiled beneath Jace’s features. He pulsed with angelic energy, the waves of fury burning her skin. “Demonic bastards!”

Going The Distance

The ultimate battle is waged with one's heart.

Paranormal Deathmatch, Book 1

Extreme fighting champion Quinn Padgett once had it all. Fame, fortune, freedom. One fateful night it was all stripped away, and for two years the alpha male has endured a torturous life, doing the bidding of a madman in a different kind of ring. The Deathmatch, where the only rule is kill or be killed.

It's as primal as it gets, and Quinn must draw on all his werewolf instincts to survive. Especially with Carri. Her very presence brings him to his knees, demanding he do all to protect her.

Carri had no idea how close danger lurked until she witnessed her boyfriend's sick idea of -entertainment-. Now all she wants is to get away from the bastards who are hell-bent on ridding the world of that which they do not understand. But her boyfriend's reach is long-and brutal. Quinn is her only hope. And the only man who awakens a fire within her, body and soul.

As Quinn and Carri go on the run in a fight for their lives, they find themselves engaged in an even deeper and more dangerous battle-a battle of the heart.

Warning: This book contains a kick-ass alpha male, a crazed madman, towel-dropping sexual tension, smokin-hot sex, a woman who is more than capable of taming the beast, and the normal -Mandy- death, destruction and mayhem.

So... MMA meets werewolves.. then it becomes Fight Club.

Quinn is happy being a champion and spending his days and nights training. The last thing he wants in life is a wife with kids. Then, one night while exerting himself with his regular workout he hears something feint in the distance. He tells himself to ignore it. It's a woman screaming. No big deal. There's a theater house near by and it wouldn't be the first time he'd heard strange scenes being acted out.

The wolf part of Quinn, though, is in full alert. The woman is his mate.

This was a very good story. A man finds the last thing he thought he'd ever want only to have it ripped away. He spends the next two years as a slave in an underground world where he's pitted against other shape-shifters in underground matches to the death.

The ending is a bit abrupt and while I reason out Quinn's quick change of mind and wants, I would have thought Carri would be a bit more hesitant in falling for a guy after being with another for three years. She moved on quick.

“What does claiming me mean?”
He sighed. “That according to the law of my people,” he stalled a moment, “you’re my wife.”
Her silence worried him. He’d overheard the remarks Mickens had made, hating how right the man had been. It wasn’t as though Quinn really knew Carri, and he had brought her to a dump. She was accustomed to better and deserved more. “If you want, I can take you to my place. Crosby said they kept it the way it was because they couldn’t agree on getting rid of it. He tells me that my finances are all still in order. I can give you the life you want, Carri.”
She ran her fingers over the back of his neck and into his hair. “Look at me.”
“I can’t.”
“Why?” she asked.
Because when it comes to you, I’m a coward.
He didn’t respond.
“Quinn,” she said softly. “I don’t care about your money. I care about you. There wasn’t a night that went by since I met you in the alley that I haven’t thought of you. You’re more than I imagined or ever hoped for.”
He closed his eyes and nodded, emotions lodged in his throat. “Yeah, umm, back at you.”
She moved around and stood before him, her palms on his chest. “Back at you?”
Blinking, he licked his lips, staring down at the beauty who was his wife. “I’m not sure what to say here.”
“How about I think I can learn to like you?” she prompted, the gleam in her eyes impish. “Or, I can possibly see myself spending more than a night with you?”
She was baiting him hook, line and sinker and dammit if he didn’t enjoy every second of it.

Her Commander: Orion #2

As commander of the Orion, self-control is Captain Steve Craig’s mantra. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep his ship safe from predators, including keeping his romantic liaisons off ship. The women of his crew are strictly off limits—especially those among the lithe, lethal Serpentian Guard.

Tessa Alligon is trained to kill with her bare hands, but nothing could prepare her innocent heart for the likes of the iron-willed captain. When she unexpectedly catches him with his barriers down, they share a night that melts the deep-space cold.

Craig tells her it was a mistake—their passion must be controlled. But once unleashed, Tessa’s sensual nature is not easily cooled. Neither is her thirst for revenge when he insists they have no future together.

A future for any of them becomes iffy when they discover there’s a saboteur on board. One that could be lurking within the ranks of the Serpentian Guard itself…

One that Steve knows may even be Tessa.

Orion #2 was a lot better than #1 for me. The dominance factor was at a minimum though present, but it was more of a story of Tessa's innocence while Captain Craig came across as guy that's been around the block. He knows his place and his responsibility. He has held himself to a rule never to fraternize sexually with those on his crew.

But that rule is left broken and bloodies when he meets the new cadet, Tessa. Half human, Tessa lacks the sexually prowess of her Serpentian and is quite shy and naive due to her human father's upbringing.

One night spent with the captain and Tessa's young heart is caught up in a world of romance and fantasy. When Craig proceeds to thank her for her participation and announces that it would never happen again, the ass kicking part of Tessa erupts full throttle.

And sparring with a scorned lover is never a good idea.

Captain Craig was great. Definitely fantasy material... up until the end. He just had to be one of *those*.


Tyger, Tyger: Orion #1

Half-man, half-beast, untameable…except by the one woman born for him.

As a novice interpreter aboard the space ship Orion, Calla Fellura is in uncharted territory. Especially when it comes to figuring out how to approach the ship’s sexy navigator, who seems to have no shortage of willing women vying for his attention.

Tryon Jag is an alpha male tyger, one of the few who possess the instincts to guide a ship safely through the deadly Cattarus system. Handsome, wealthy, and of royal blood, Jag controls his universe—and most of the females in it—as easily as he navigates the Orion.

But when Jag unexpectedly undergoes his mating shift on board ship instead of safely on his home planet, he must have a woman or go mad with rage and lust. With an eco-saboteur somewhere aboard, there couldn’t be a worse time for him to lose his mind.

I do have to offer kudos to Cathryn Cade for kicking off a story in a way I have never seen done before.

It goes like this...

The captain of this particular shape ship has called together the head of his crew to enlighten them on a specific situation. They have flown into the orbit of their navigator Tryon's home planet in a time when the pull of their moon is exceptionally strong, and has resulted in the Tyger's mating shift.

They can't drug him. They can't manipulate his mind. What's left? It has fallen to a female to offer herself to act as his mate. The Tygers are very picky. They won't accept anyone with a history of multiple partners so the prostitutes aboard the ship aren't an option.

Cally, the ship's interpreter, was smitten with the navigator the moment her eyes clapped on his aboard deck. To her, this is her chance. A chance to serve her ship, her crew mates, and to know the male that wouldn't otherwise look at her twice. Even though she is a Tyger as well, she's of a lower class, and his interest in her up to now has been rather obsolete.

Now, the crew is wary about the situation. A male Tyger in his mating pull can be aggressive. So? The computers are set to monitor the situation as the camera's record the two Tygers that have been locked away in an environment supplies especially for them. Little does the caption or any other know that the ship's surveillance has been tapped into and their enemy is filtering the feed to their own screens where two Earth men find themselves now also monitoring the situation.

Tryon is all animal. All master. He spares no time in dominating his new mate and Calla's instincts are just as quick to submit. Despite being called his 'tyger-pussy' even though she tirelessly instructs him to address her by name, Calla finds herself totally complicit in her role as his submissive.

Until they dock and the fool offers her a place as his mistress instead of his wife. Then Calla's walls are up and she walks away and stays away.

“So. Something is wrong, Try. What is it? A female, perhaps?’
Tryon grunted an assent, scowling into his snifter of golden jaguari-honey brandy.
His father nodded. “A prospective bride, or the other sort of woman?”
“The…other sort.” Tryon shifted his big shoulders uneasily. “But she won’t have me.”
“Ah…would this be the young female with whom you mated on shipboard?”
“Yes. And after all that, she refuses to be my mistress!”
His father tsked in sympathy.
“A regular slut, then. Wants to continue to have her pick of Tygers in shift.”
“No!” Tryon growled, scowling at his father. “I was her first shift mate. She’s had only one other male and he was just a boy.”
“Well, then…no spirit, I suppose. Can’t face the lusty side of her nature.”
“Ah…wrong again,” Tryon said huskily. “That’s not an issue.”
He felt the heat rise in his cheeks, remembering the very lusty side of Calla’s nature.
“Well, it’s too bad you are ashamed to bring her into society with you,” his father sighed. “These low-born women can be somewhat crude.”
“Calla is a lady,” Tryon snapped. “She may not be well-born, but she is as far from crude as Mother is. She is…” He shook his head, realizing the impossibility of describing his tyger-lily to someone in words.
After a time, he realized that his father was silent, and he looked up to find the older man regarding him with something like pity.
Jostyn Jag sighed.
“Tryon. You are not describing a mistress. You are describing a wife.”


Beautiful Malice

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.

"An international sensation that the Wall Street Journal called a 'publishing phenomenon,' this complex, poignant, and chilling novel of psychological suspense will hold readers enthralled from its wrenching opening to its stunning climax."

That was what was printed about Beautiful Malice. Somewhere, somebody screwed up. Not this book. Complex? No. For the entire first half of this book, I felt dragged through a world of text book, one dimensional characters. With the second half offering slight surprises here and there, I was only mildly interested enough to keep reading. Climax? That word doesn't belong anywhere near this piece of... work. The deaths were dull and unimaginative. The constant time jumping, likely written to arouse suspense and curiosity, left me in a state of annoyance and frustration as it completely disrupted the flow of what apparently was meant to be a thriller. Quite honestly, the only thrill I got was in the end as Katherine got her chance at what I stretch to call a happily ever after.

The only character who held an inkling of appeal to me was Robbie, a young man who has lost his mother and who finds no support or comfort from his emotionally wrecked father. One who is willing to succumb to the poison that is Alice so as to feel even an iota of happiness that she able to give him despite the destruction she brings to his heart and mind.

I've never felt such a compulsive drive to be harsh with my 'reviews.' I couldn't help it in this case. I really couldn't. And despite it, I'm thankful for the chance to read it. But I'm left to ask, is my opinion too much for Goodreads?


Soul Stealer

Sara Lane expects to die young, but when the time comes, she’s not ready. She needs two more weeks to finish a homeless shelter before winter sets in and people die on the streets. Who does a girl have to sleep with to live a few extra days?

How about the sexiest, most dangerous of all bad boys—Death himself?

Cain’s job as a designated death dealer is clear. Kill and move on. Don’t get attached. Don’t feel. But when Sara pleads to cut a deal for more time, Cain is tempted by an unexpected craving for this beautiful, courageous woman. As their lips meet, her life force shakes him to his bones, seals the bargain—and breaks all the rules.

Keeping Sara alive is a dangerous proposition. The Powers That Be are furious and unleash bloodthirsty demons to steal Sara’s soul from Death—the one man who’s hell-bent on saving her life.

I think something is broken. This can't be right.

Because the past hand full of books I've read have left me begging for more. The Lyra series.. then Waitin On A Hero.. now Soul Stealer.

DID NOT realize going in that this was a story about Cain. Cain! Abel's Cain! Cain, from the Bible, Cain!

No one can ever say the name Abel without saying Cain first. -Abel

When a heart defect brings Sara next in line for the Pearly Gates, the task falls to Cain to collect her soul. But when Sara begs for more time, just enough to open the homeless shelter she's dedicated her life to, Cain finds himself faced with a bargain he can't refuse.

"You listen. I'm going to die. I know that. Shoot, I've lived longer than anyone else in my family. When you're the last one..." She took a deep breath. "I came to terms with dying long ago, after my two brothers and mother passed. And when Dad died of a broken heart--" Her eyes filled.

He shifted his feet. He understood only too well what it meant to be the last of his kind. "Count yourself fortunate," he said gruffly. "Shortly you'll be with your loved ones." He raised his hand, fingers splayed before her face.

Her heart squeezed.

"No! Stop doing that." She slapped his hand down. "I told you. I can't go yet. I refuse."

He glared at her. "That decision is not yours to make."

"I'm not talking about forever. Jeez, who does a girl have to sleep with to get an additional two weeks around here?" she huffed.

His heart stopped. It had been at least a millennium since he cared for a woman, centuries since he had slept with one.

A smile played on her lips, one eyebrow lifted. "I thought I was joking, but from the look on your face..." She ran her hands down her body. "Do I have something here? Can I barter for two weeks?"

Kimberley Troutte creates a beautiful manipulation of the tale of Cain as she plays into the old saying 'A man is more than the worst thing he has ever done'. Taking the 'cold-blooded murderer' and shining a new light on a guilt-ridden soul, Soul Stealer stirs the body's response with erotic love making, touches the heart with it's ever changing ride of emotions, and moves the soul with it's take on religious characters and afterlife issues.

So begins a story of two people falling in love while multiple other Biblical characters make surprise visits. Demons lurking outside an abandoned JCPenney-turned-Homeless shelter. Hounds of Hell about to be set loose any minute. And, oh yeah, someone starts chucking amphibians.

"This is me." Sara pointed to the two-story, brick-faced building.

"Your house?" he said sharply.

Unlocking the door, she continued, "I've got the top floor. Mr. Onashi is on the bottom. He plays funky Japanese music, but he's nice. What? Why are you glaring at me?"

He glanced over his shoulder with wary eyes. "Didn't you hear me? You are running for your life, Sara. Not stopping for tea."

Where's the hardcopy cuz this one deserves a place on the shelves!

This was it! Her life was over. The thought made her unbearably sad. She didn't want to die--the shelter wasn't finished and she hadn't saved any lives yet. Heaven would be an awesome place, but she wasn't ready to go. She only hoped that Cain could save her from the evil bursting through the door.

Let it be done quickly, she prayed, not wanting anything to chew on her nerves and all those other horrible things Cain had predicted. And Cain, she added to her prayers.Keep him safe from harm.

Then the sweetest voice said, "There you are. I've been searching everywhere."

"Holy... Mother," Cain said.

Sara's eyes flew open and she peeked around his shoulder. Before them stood an attractive woman aged between forty and fifty, it was hard to tell. She wore a long flowing dress the color of amber. She was beautiful and regal. Her black hair waved to the middle of her back and framed a smiling face. She held her hand up and waved at Sara.

Sara's mouth fell open. Was she really staring at...? Oh. My. Gosh!

"Hello, dear, I'm--" the woman began.

"Oh my, oh my, oh my." Awestruck, Sara dropped to her knees in front of the woman. With her forehead pressed to the floor she mumbled, "I know who you are! I love your Son!"

"You do?" Cain asked.

"Really?" The woman's voice was laced with shock.

Sara looked up in time to see Cain glaring at the woman.

"Sorry, Cain," the woman said with a shrug. "I've just never heard anyone say that before. Have you?"

Sara sat up, blinking in bewilderment. "You're not Mary?"

The woman's hand flew to her mouth. "No, dear. I am not the Mother of God."

Cain's face was red all the way to his ears. "Her son is a lot less important. Please, Sara, get up." He hoisted her to her feet. "This is my mother. Eve."

- Soul Stealer (Prologue)

December 23, 2009

He tries to blend in, just another man caught up in the Christmas rush surging down Main Street . Pulling up the collar of his worn bomber jacket, he keeps his chin tucked down. It won't help matters to be recognized.

He glances through the window of an overstocked toy store. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" blasts from inside. Searching, searching, his eyes rake over the shoppers clamoring for last-minute gifts. Nothing.

The night air sears his lungs, but the icy grip squeezing his heart is not from the cold. He swipes at his watering eyes. He needs to focus, stay alert.

Forcing his legs into a normal gait, neither too fast, nor too slow, he keeps walking. He is almost to the corner with the two-story brick apartment building, the one he walks past every night. The old lady who lives there now refuses to help him. The people down at the shelter are no good to him either. They all say they don't know where she is.

They lie.

Since his release three weeks ago, he has walked Main Street morning, noon and night, hoping to get lucky. Tonight he wonders if he ever will. The old anger creeps into his chest.

He stops, throws his head back and silently demands of the heavens,How long will I be punished?

There is no answer.

People bump into him as they hurry by, cursing as they go. "Silent Night" blares from the store behind him. Exhaling deeply, he blows white vapor toward the stars.No. He won't stop searching for her. Not until the day he dies.

And then, for the first time in his long-lived existence, his prayers are answered.

He has the sensation of being shot out of a cannon. His blood explodes through his veins and pounds in his ears. Dizzy, he can't tell if his feet are still on the ground. The street noises become background static. Colors fuzz.

He sees only her.

Walking at a fast clip on the other side of the street is the flesh-and-body version of the woman in his dreams. Nightmares.

She stops to talk to an old man who lives on the streets. Putting a hand on the man's shoulder, she points off in the distance toward the homeless shelter. When he balks, she vehemently shakes her head. It's a cold night and she doesn't want anyone out in it. Smiling, she watches the old man shuffle off in the direction of the shelter.

He is shocked to see the years on her, especially the curves where she once was athletic-slim. Her long ponytail has been reduced to a short bob cupping her chin. He wonders how different this woman is today, but when she tosses the hair out of her eyes, he sees the confidence of old, and he smiles. She hasn't changed, at least not in the ways that matter.

Somehow, she senses him. Does she feel the heat from his stare? Slowly, she turns.Across the busy street, her eyes lock onto his. With the golden glow of the lamplight catching like flames in the strands of her blond hair, she is more angelic than he remembered. And when she smiles?

Lord help him, when she smiles, she is even more beautiful than she'd been the night he killed her.


Waitin On A Hero

Getting the girl might not be as hard as keeping her alive.

Finley Gallagher is hot and tired. Tired of the endless heat wave. Tired of pretending she isn't interested in her sexy next-door neighbor. And really tired of everyone's endless talk about the city's mysterious vigilante who puts criminals in their place.

But when Finley is attacked and her apartment vandalized, she's forced to rely on the two men she'd rather not have anything to do with. One hides who he is, unleashing her deepest fantasies from the shadows; the other proves how wrong she was about him with one devastating smile after another.

Plagued by visions that let him glimpse the future, Trace Fairbanks is determined to do whatever it takes to keep the streets safe, even if it means leading a double life. He's also determined to prove to Finley that he's not the playboy she thinks he is.

Too bad Finley is completely turned off by his alter ego- or is she?

Warning: No masked hero will save you from this book's adult language and graphic crime-fighting violence. Be prepared for sweltering summer nights, fantasizing about two men, dangerously sexy encounters in dark stairwells and bite-your-pillow sex scenes.

Oh my damn! Sydney Somers has finally floored me!

There's a vigilante running loose in the city where Finley lives. But being the cynic realist that she is, Finley is just waiting for the guy to get hurt. While all her friends are busy fantasizing about the mysterious hero, Finley's dreams revolve around her next door neighbor.

Trace isn't as 'rationally challenged' as he thinks he is, but ever since his near death experience when his car went into a river, he's been having visions. And he's the type of guy that's going to help someone if he can. When his best friend Gary talks him into assuming an alter-ego for his heroism, all seems well and good. Until the media deemed 'Night Watcher' ends up saving the one woman he's fallen for and ends up in her fantasies.

“You’re not crazy,” Gary pointed out. “I think they call it ‘rationally challenged’.”
Trace snorted.
“And if your mother wasn’t the sweetest woman on earth, I’d say to hell with the disguise crap. Sooner or later people would have to realize you know what you’re talking about.”
“Before or after someone reserved me a padded room?”
Gary shrugged.
They’d had this conversation a hundred times since the accident. There hadn’t been any light at the end of the tunnel for Trace when he nearly drowned after his car plunged into the river. And when they had resuscitated him, he’d come back with something a little extra.
“Maybe tonight was a sign that you’re supposed to hook up with Finley.”
Trace scoffed.
“Where are your balls, dude? You have no problem playing hero with only your nifty tranq darts to save your ass from getting kicked, and you can’t even step up to the plate for the girl you have the hots for? Some Night Watcher you are.”
“I do have black belts in Karate and Judo. I just like the gun.”
“Don’t change the subject.”
He reached for the beer he’d abandoned. “For one thing, her friend is a journalist. And two—she doesn’t like me.”
“You wouldn’t be dating her friend, and maybe you just have to give Finley a reason to like you.”
Trace thought he had, and more than once. “Are you listening to anything I’m saying?”
“Fine.” Gary stuck his nose in the air. “Forget I said anything.”

Finley has her own perceptions of Trace, what with the constant flow of gorgeous women coming and leaving from his apartment and doesn't want to fall for a player. She doesn't want to fall for the mystery man behind the sunglasses and trench coat either. Doesn't stop her though.

I loved it! Oh my damn, I loved it. It's hot. It's real (which, woah, I was shocked to find that) and, and, and, and - the one thing I hate about these girl-falls-for-same-guy-via-alias stories *didn't happen*!

When she realized her feelings for Trace were becoming something real, she stopped anything from happening with the Night Watcher. She even felt guilty when a fantasy played out in her head where both men starred together.

But also what got me... the girl's got spirit. She knows how to put a man in the dog house. Of course, Trace, damned good character that he was, was way too good at getting out again.

And who'd have thought being trapped in a burning building would bring out Finley's comical side?

The suspense, the humor, the sex... so hawt I want to read it again!

“That night on the roof… You overheard Avery and I that afternoon, didn’t you, heard me mention the Night Watcher?”
There wasn’t any point in denying that whatsoever. He nodded, but quickly added, “I hadn’t planned on what happened.” Hadn’t planned on his feelings for her growing so quickly. Hadn’t planned on being so damn scared to tell her about the visions. He’d been half shot when he’d worked up the nerve to tell Gary. This time the stakes were much higher, and he’d be a fool to let himself think otherwise.
“So you only decided at the last minute to take advantage of something said in private?” Hurt and anger glittered in her eyes. “It wasn’t about having a good time, a perfect opportunity to test the water to see how far I’d go? How wild I’d get? Was taking my picture like that too? Just for fun?”
“What happened between us was not like that.”
“No? I was one step away from having sex with a stranger—a half-crazy stranger—in a dark stairwell. Tell me you didn’t wonder what else I might be willing to do after that?”
“I can’t.”
She averted her gaze, but the glimpse of painful resignation in her eyes made his gut clench.
“I can’t help but wonder because I love that about you,” he said softly. “I love that you don’t hold back with me, that you aren’t afraid to live out a fantasy. But,” he added, waiting until she looked at him to continue, “that’s just one of the things I love about you, and if you were never that inhibited again, I’d still want to be with you. But if you’re asking me to regret any of it, I can’t.” Not when those nights would be forever imprinted on his memory.

Last thing... someone tell me what the heck is on the cover of this book. Bottom right. It looks like a gorilla to me.


Talking With The Dead

Surrounded by death, a man with a terrible gift reaches for life.

A horrific tragedy blasted open a door in young Michael O'Rourke's mind-cursing him with the ability to talk with the Dead. Nearly two decades later, Michael has moved from victim to survivor, using his abilities to seek out those who would go unjudged.

With his gift, he talks to those who've died violently and seeks out their killers. Only once he's found the murderer, can the victims be at rest. After his last case, the only thing he wants is peace and he hopes to find it in the small town of Mitchell, Indiana.
But something is horribly wrong-the dead are waiting for him there, as well.

Michael has had a rather shitty childhood. His mother is a drug-addicted, scam artist and a bad one at that. His only solace comes from his big brother, Lucas, whom his mother adores. Of course, that doesn't stop her from trying to prostitute Lucas every chance she gets.

Despite the constant horrors brought on by their mother's twisted ways, Lucas and Michawl survive as only they can, plotting that one day they would get away from her. But the day comes when their mother's debts are high enough that her drug dealer is looking for greater payment than cash and takes Lucas away.

Michaels flees. Safe, away from his mother, he calls upon a special bond he and his older brother share. A kind of telepathy. Instantly, Michaels feels the pain his brother has been inflicted, tastes the blood, and then sees the gun. Lucas howls for him to run just before the shot's fire and everything goes black.

My eyes were wet before I left the prologue. I love the darkness of Walker's writing. That pitch black history where each of her characters have spawned from. Yes. The devastation.

Years have passed. Michael finds himself in a small town in Indiana trying to escape the death that follows him. Since that night, sharing in the connection as his brother breathed his last, Mike and death have formed their own bond. He sees dead people. He talks with them.

One bright light amidst it all though- his brother is right there with him.

Throughout the story we follow Michael's POV as well as Daisy's, the killer's, and even a prior victim's. When the victim starts haunting the killer things really get wild. And I didn't expect the quick peek through the dog's eyes. Weird.

The best quote is simple, but deep, and was said by Lucas near the end:

Give up your ghosts, Michael.

Kiss and Tell

Willow is having a bad day. To get her sister to stop harassing her, she agrees to play a silly game-but only once. When a muscular hunk walks past her, Willow's mouth waters and she knows she's found the perfect man to ask her embarrassing question.

Seth is shocked when a beautiful woman sits on his lap. He's amused when she begins asking him questions. But he's aroused when she kisses him. Taking her back to his home, he sinks his teeth into her-and is addicted. Imagine his surprise when he finds out she holds his life in the palm of her hands.

What's a vampire to do when the woman he needs for his survival runs screaming from him?
I was about sixty percent done with this book when I took a mental step back and tried to think of a word that would sum it all up. Sum up the game of Boxers or Briefs. Sum up a girl going home with a guy and not thinking twice when wakes up two days later. And sum up a story where a girl will go out to a movie theater wearing only a bra and a man's t-shirt.

And all I got was, STUPID.

Unbelievable in the worse sense of the word. Even when we're in their minds, reading their thoughts, urgh! No one thinks like that! Who says someone's actual name when they're thinking about the person sitting right in front of them. Not me. Not I. It's all pronouns, baby. He, she, it, they, we... get it?

The most, hell the *only* believable character is Jason, Seth's thirty year old human best friend. The guy wanted to talk business, drink, and then watch his tv.

Willow reached over and snatched the remote from Jason’s hand and turned the television off.
“I was watching that,” he whined. When her expression didn’t change, he sighed. “Well, he needs to want to bite you…” Jason hedged.
“Okay… Can you be a little more specific?”
“What I mean is he needs—he needs to…”
“Are you always this articulate?” Her sarcasm grew with her annoyance. This man had walked in while she was naked but for a sheet and laying in Seth’s bed—knew that she’d just performed some erotic deed with him—and still he acted modest around her.
“Are you always this much of a bitch?” he shot back.

Yes, yes she is.

Quietly, he took the chocolate and movies into the kitchen.
“Oh great, you remembered to pick up some chocolate. Do you think you bought enough?” Jason teased. “Wow, you got the good stuff.” Jason reached for a dark chocolate and raspberry candy bar. He shot Seth a dirty look when his hand was smacked away.
“You don’t get any.”
“Wow, you have it bad. Now, do you want to tell me what’s going on? Why were you…whatever you were, earlier? And why did you just leave as though someone were trying to kill you?”
“It’s a long story.” Seth sighed.
“You’re in luck, I have all night.” Jason leaned on the counter and eyed the heap of chocolate, but didn’t reach for any.
“Well I don’t. I need you to take Willow back home.”
“Just do it, Jason,” he said irritably.
“Nope, not until you tell me why. She deserves to know too. She took a big chance with you. She risked her life for you. She was really worried, Seth, and you just left without saying a word.”
“She shouldn’t worry about me. And you shouldn’t come by for a while. It’s going to be rough around here.”
“Well aren’t you Mr. Cryptic,” Jason huffed.
“You have been hanging around Willow entirely too much.” Seth had to fight the surge of jealousy he felt at the thought of his Willow being with some other man.
“Wow, you rented movies, too. What did you get?” Before Seth could stop him, Jason grabbed the DVDs and frowned. “You got Nightmare on Elm Street? Only you could go into a video store and get a movie that has been around forever. Why didn’t you get something newer?”
“I want to see this one,” Seth told him simply, taking the movie from his hand.
“And just what made you have this sudden burning desire to watch this movie? You always refused to let me watch it when it was on cable. You said something about television and movies being nothing but a waste of time and told me to go read a book.” Jason sulked. “Do you know how many times I’ve had to listen to you talk about the days when there was no television? How people were excited if they learned how to read, or could find a book—any book—to read? More times than any man should have to, I’ll tell you that. Damn. Did my history teachers love it when I had to spend time with you.”
“That was different. You were a child and your parents trusted me to keep you safe. And I wish to watch it now.”
“Why?” Jason wouldn’t seem to let the subject drop, he seemed determined to get an answer.
“I want to hear a rhyme. Does it matter?”
“Wow, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You’d think after waking up with a beautiful woman naked and lying across you, your temper would improve,” Jason grumbled. “But no, you have to go and act worse than you did when she avoided you.”
“That was different.” Just how many times would he be allowed to get away with using that phrase in this conversation? “And how did you know she was lying across me?”
“I looked in on you two—just to make sure you were both in one piece. How is it different now?” Jason returned to the previous subject.
“It just is. Look, just take her home. I’ll call you when it’s safe to come around me again.” His heart broke as he lied to his friend, knowing it was perhaps the last time he would ever see him.
“Fine. I’ll go. But there are two things I won’t be doing.” He grabbed the jacket he’d kept in Seth’s closet for emergencies and began to put it on. “First, I won’t be waiting by the phone for your call.” Jason walked over to the elevator. “And second, I won’t be taking her anywhere. You want her gone, you tell her. She damn well deserves to hear this from you after what happened last night. To quote what you always tell me, ‘It’s your mess. You clean it up’.”

Night's Promise better not be this bad. NP was actually the only one I wanted. But I saw this by the same author, and thought 'why not'. I'm never going to find a good vampire if I don't look for it.

Guess what? It's not here.

But I'm willing to lay credit where it's due. These, I liked.

“I didn’t say that. Sex does make the blood sweeter. Compare it to a milkshake. The excess adrenaline is the ice cream—sweet and creamy. The orgasm acts like the whipped cream and together they slide down your throat, refreshing you, making you glad you indulged. The more powerful the orgasm, the more intoxicating the blood is.”
“I really did not feel the need—or the desire—to know that. But thanks for sharing,” she spit out sarcastically. “I’m gonna be really mad if I can’t enjoy one of my favorite drinks anymore now that you’ve compared it to blood.”

“Wait a second, back up there, Fangy, did you just ask me to marry you?”
“I was wondering if you caught that.” He smiled.
“Hey, it took a few minutes to process it. I was more than a little distracted you know,” she threw back. Her voice became more gentle. “Did you mean it?”
“With all my heart.” He stared into her eyes.
“See, now look what you did. Now I’m gonna cry…” Tears of happiness welled up in her eyes.
“I’m sorry, we don’t have to get married if you don’t want to.” She knew he was trying his best to comfort her.
“Listen here tall, dark and toothy, if you take that proposal back I’m going to break every window in this apartment, rip down all the curtains and bake your ass in the sunlight.”
Seth chuckled. “Then I guess that means you want to marry me?”
“Yes I do, vamp-boy.” She snuggled into his chest.
“Vamp-boy, fangy, fang-boy, tall, dark and toothy, what’s next? Bloodsucker?” She knew from his tone that he was teasing her.
“I’m just trying to find a nickname I like…”


Heart of an Assassin: Daughters of Lyra 5

Princess Natalia, one of the beautiful and strong daughters of Lyra, has spent her whole life on Lyra Five behaving just as a princess should, except for one thing. After her daily duties she sneaks out at night to sing in the bars of Lyra Five, pretending to be someone else. Natalia loves to sing, more than anything else in the galaxy, until the night that Ixion, the handsome commander of the royal assassins, comes to the bar to bring her home.

Ixion is the only man Natalia has dreamed of since she first saw him seven years ago, but she’s sure he doesn’t notice her and she’s determined to change that. But Natalia couldn’t be more wrong.

Tk'llsoi nkayk utteaiosolance

I think this one was the first of the Lyra series that I stumbled upon. It's a bit off the beaten path as the others. Natalia is another daughter of Balt and Kayla. Yes, there was more. Other then the twins Renie and Rezic, there's the boys Aiden and Ciel, and then Natalia. And she sings.

She's also fallen for the royal assassin. Ixion. Bred to kill. My kind of man.

It's rather obvious, if you didn't pick it up in the Heart of a Prince, that Balt's kids do whatever the hell they want. Renie and Rezic fly all over space. Aiden and Ciel are goof offs. And Natalia sneaks out the house to sing in the slums. Great job there, Balto!

Once again, it's a question of worthiness.

He looked away, berating himself for taking such liberties. Natalia was a princess. It was wrong of him, a lowly assassin, to look at her like that.
A dull ache settled in his chest.
It was wrong of him to love her.
It was torture.

But the girl can fight.

The look of sheer determination on Natalia's face only made her more beautiful. Her emerald green eyes sparkled with satisfaction when she landed a blow and a smile curved her delicate rose lips. Ixion pressed a hand to his chest, willing his heart to be still when it raced at the glorious sight of her. She fought with grace and speed, and with immeasurable elegance fit for a princess. She was stunning. If she hadn't captured his heart before that moment, she would have claimed it then.

Balt's turn to announce suitors...
"Natalia.” Her father's tone was cautious. “Is there someone already?"
Ixion's eyes widened. He watched Natalia closely. Her blush gave her away.
"Tell me, Natalia."
She shook her head and lowered it. Her fist came up and pressed against her lips. Ixion silently begged her to say the name of the male in her heart. He wanted to know who he had to kill. If it was anyone other than him, foolish dream as that was, he would see to it they disappeared.

And what an ending! Ixiom yelled at Rezic and Balt. You go boy! Show them the fearlessness of the assassin. Woot!

Then crazy Renie starts drawing laser pistols. C'mon! As if Balt is going to make any one of his children marry someone they don't love. He's the one that started all this!!

Needless to note, I still want Balt. Then Kosen. Then Ixion (oh wait! Lord Ixion, Knight of Lyra Five. Man got a title!) Then Tres. I'll leave the rest for everyone else. I'm considerate like that.

He was everything that she wanted.
Her Lover.
Her Lord.
Her Knight.
But above all else...
Her Assassin.

Heart of a Commander: Daughters of Lyra 4

Lieutenant Amerii, one of the beautiful and strong daughters of Lyra, wants nothing more than to prove herself to her captain and the army without her father, Captain Lyra III’s, help… except maybe one thing. Van, Count of Aeris and attendant to Emperor Varka has been on her mind since she met him at her cousin Sophia’s wedding, and she wants to see him again.

Charged with the duty of meeting the Varkan first fleet at Varka Two, Amerii is pleasantly surprised when the commander turns out to be Van, and he wants her to be the one to join him on his vessel to sign the contract between Varka and Lyra. When she meets him again, he’s more handsome than she remembered, and she resolves to risk the violence of his bloodlust to make him hers.

Yes! The Varkans are back!

Amerii is daughter of Acer (remember Mr Vicious?) and Stella. Do you also remember Regis pretended to be the Varkan emperor's first assistant? Yes? Good. No? Why aren't you paying attention!!

Well, there was a second assistant named Van, Count of Aeris, in that story. And he's back in this one as the love interest of Amerii, who is Sophia's cousin and best friend.

Amerii isn't getting the respect she deserves from her captain and fellow crew members, but when her ship is given the responsibility of formalizing the pact made in Heart of an Emperor, Amerii is given the responsibility of signing the papers.

Once aboard the Varkan ship, Van isn't letting her go. Especially with Wraiths lurking around.

Having spent the last year haunted by erotic dreams of her Varkan stud, Amerii isn't letting go either.
"Where,” he muttered, his voice trembling. He kissed up to her jaw and she tilted her head to one side. “Tell me where I bite you."

She had never had to say things like this before. It was embarrassing and only made worse by the fact that she was talking about her fantasies with the object of them.

She cleared her throat and stroked his chest, slowly moving towards the buttons of his jacket. She needed to feel him skin on skin with her. She wanted to see the svelte body that she knew his uniform concealed.

He kissed her shoulder.

"Here?” he whispered and she nodded. He took hold of her wrist, stopping her attempts to get him naked, and kissed the inside of it. “Here?"

She nodded again.

His hands grazed her stomach. “Here?"

She bit her lip and nodded.

He stepped up to her and pressed a solitary kiss to her throat. “Here?"

She moaned her reply.

"More than once?"

"Almost every time,” she whispered and trembled when he closed his lips around her throat and sucked. She ached for him to bite her, her body tightening and yearning for his touch.

"Do you know what a bite here means?” His voice was a sultry whisper in her ear, sending warm shivers dancing down her spine. "If I bite you here.” He spoke the words between kisses against her throat. Each kiss made her temperature rise a little more until she was burning with need. “It means that you are mine."

Yeah, I like verbal play.

There was a little bit of Regis in Van because, duh, same race. Same culture. Same upbringing. Van also mimicked Kosen's self worth issues. But while Kosen's sense of unworthiness came from the choices he had made in life, Van's were spawned from rank and birth.

Something as beautiful as her could never want a monster like him. He wasn't Regis. He couldn't love and he didn't have a kingdom to offer to a beautiful maiden. He had nothing.

The ending was far more violent than the ones before. Poor Van. Poor bloody and beaten Van.

Heart of a Prince: Daughters of Lyra 3

Princess Renie, one of the beautiful and strong daughters of Lyra, loves nothing more than exploring space with her twin brother, Rezic, but when they venture too close to the Black Zone, the barrier between Vegan space and the rest of the galaxy, things turn from exploration to a fight for their lives. With Rezic injured in a meteorite shower, Renie has no choice but to accept help from a vessel within the Black Zone, even when it turns out to be Vegan! Separated from her brother and taken hostage, to be held for ransom, Renie isn’t sure what she’s going to do…

Renie and Rezic are the twin children of Balt, the second son of Lyra. Since Sebastien has no sons, Rezic is the first in line of his generation for the throne, but he's just as content traveling around space with his sister Renie as archeologists.

When their adventures take them deep into space near the Vegan boundaries, their ship is hit by fragments of a planet being destroyed. Rezic is hurt and near death, leaving Renie to make an emergency call to anyone within distance.

Her call is answered by a ship on the other side of the Black Zone, and she is taken captive and thrown into a cell until she and her brother are ultimately ransomed.

There, she meets Tres, a prisoner in the cell beside hers. If there is any character I'm curious about in these stories it's Tres. He's altogether a new race. His complexion is a pale white with tips of blue on his nails, ears, and head. He's coldblooded. Has wings. And he possesses ocular implants.

Renie, on the other hand, had my fists clenching. The same question over and over. Over and over again.

Her. Males.

Tres frowned at the door to the cellblock and clenched his fists. The thought that she might already belong to another male infuriated him and his heart beat again, quickly followed by another. Two in as many minutes. If a male had her, owned her, then he would fight that male for her.

His eyes grew wide when he realised what he was thinking and he looked down at her. She knelt by the bars, her hands in her lap, her eyes round and dark as she looked up at him. He would fight for her. On this side of the barrier, such a fight would be to the death. If her male was large, Tres could lose, but he would fight regardless. She had him fascinated, a slave to her, enthralled by her beauty and her frailty. He wanted to wrap her in his arms and protect her from the darkness of the universe. He would protect her from anything.


"What do your kin call you?” he said and a flicker of shock crossed her face followed by a crimson blush that stained her cheeks. Beautiful. He had never seen a female react to him the way she did. He had never seen a female react like her to anyone. Were all females like this on the other side of the barrier? What was she like compared to them—strong, weak, loving, tender, cruel? He wanted to know. He was so tired of being trapped on this side of the barrier, surrounded by darkness and loneliness.

"Renie,” she whispered, as though ashamed to tell him.

Perhaps not ashamed. She cast her eyes downwards into her lap and twisted her fingers around themselves. Embarrassed? Awkward? All new emotions to him. There was none like her on this side of the barrier. Meeting her and experiencing this wondrous array of feeling had only strengthened his resolve to leave the Black Zone.

He moved to the bars and knelt in front of her.

"Tres,” he said and slid his hand between the bars, holding it out in what he hoped was a Lyran gesture of greeting. His knowledge of different species’ formalities had all collided in his mind and become tangled over the years.

She stared at his hand as though it was going to attack her.

Perhaps he had been wrong.

Her hand slid into his.

Tres's entire body jolted and tensed, a sweep of tingles racing through him, fanning out from the point where her skin touched his. She closed her fingers around his hand, her soft skin brushing his, creating smaller waves of pleasure with each tiny caress. His heart beat hard in his chest, pounding in his ears as he stared into her eyes, absorbing the divine feeling of her body against his. For a moment, he forgot himself, lost in the feel of her hand in his, her gentle touch. He had never been touched before, not skin on skin. It was forbidden for anyone to touch him. As a child, those who'd had to touch him had worn gloves, and since then he had always been wearing his thermal suit when he had been touched.

Not that he had ever been touched as intimately as this. Anything more intimate than touching his arm or shoulder was forbidden also.

It had a nice ending. There were a lot of things I loved about Tres. His hunger was deep and vivid. I still prefer Kosen though.

"Deep space has turned my children insane,” Balt muttered.

Heart of a Mercenary: Daughters of Lyra 2

Princess Miali, one of the beautiful and strong daughters of Lyra, is an ambassador for Lyra. Her true identity is kept secret to protect her but it’s her beauty that puts her in danger when slavers attack her ship while she’s in cryo-sleep. When she wakes, she finds herself heading for the markets, her only company the ship’s handsome young Minervan doctor. Kosen makes Miali’s body react like no man before him, sending her hair floating with her positive emotions and making her wonder if she might just be falling for her captor.

Miali is the daughter of Captain Remi, the fourth born Lyra son, and his wife, the nurse, Emmanuelle. With the help of her father and uncle, she has been given the role of Ambassador and her royal heritage has been concealed.

When her ship is taken over by slave traders she finds that the one man she has friended has betrayed her. Her only hope of freedom lies with the youngest of her captors.

Kosen entered the trade of selling slaves in an effort to find and free his sisters when they were sold into slavery by their father. Now with blood on his hands, he's finally coming to terms with the wrongness of his choices. He longs to make it right while he's both drawn to set Miali free and to keep her for himself.

"No ... Erm, father?"

Kosen prayed that she wasn't about to point the man in his direction. If only he could fade into the darkness and disappear. He had never had to face something as terrible as this. The moment this man realised who he was and what he had done to his daughter, he was going to crush him like a bug.

"Miali has a lover.” Aksel grinned.

The heat drained from Kosen in a flash, leaving him cold and numb.

"What?” he said at exactly the same time as Miali, Taelis and her father.

Aksel's face blanched too as all eyes came to rest on him and his father stormed towards him.

"A lover?” her father said, face dark.

"Wait wait wait,” Miali chanted, her cheeks bright red.

Kosen held his hands up when her father diverted his course away from Aksel and straight towards him. Miali ran in front of him, trying to block his way.

"Wait, father, it's not like that.” Miali pushed against his chest and then looked over her shoulder at himself.

Kosen waved his hands in an attempt to tell her not to speak. If her father asked her anything that would make her think about the things that had happened between her and himself, then no matter what answer she gave him, her body would tell the truth.

"He's not your lover?” her father stopped and scrutinised him.

Kosen frowned at him and had a change of heart as he wondered why it would be such a bad thing if he were Miali's lover. He was a good man who could easily make something of himself. He had been honest with Miali throughout their time together and she liked him. So there was that little fact that he had played a part in her kidnapping, but he had surely cancelled that out by helping her?

He was about to ask whether her father objected on the grounds that he was Minervan when the man stepped up to him, sandwiching Miali between them. When she backed into him, Kosen placed his hands on her upper arms, holding her.

She was shaking.

"Father, I can explain. Kosen helped me escape those men. He was the doctor on their ship.” She held her hand up when her father's look turned deadly and he opened his mouth to speak. “Was, father. Was. He helped me escape. Now I want to help him. I need money."

"Money? Lovers? What in Iskara's name is going on?"

Kosen had the distinct impression that this wasn't going well, especially when her two brothers came up behind their father, flanking him and drawing their weapons.

"He kidnapped you. He's one of them. Step aside, Miali,” Taelis said, taking aim with his laser gun.

Kosen swallowed hard and stared down the barrel of it.

Miali stretched her arms out across him and shook her head.

"No,” she said, her voice shaking as much as he could feel her body was. “Kosen saved me. I promised that I'd help his sisters. He needs money to buy them back from their master. Please, father?"

"Answer something for me, Miali.” Her father's look softened and a tiny flicker of hope ignited in Kosen's heart. Perhaps he wasn't going to die today after all.


"Is he your lover?"

Kosen couldn't help looking at her as she struggled for an answer. Her silver hair shifted and she frantically pushed it back down. It seemed to be the only answer that her family needed.

"A Minervan?” Taelis grumbled and shook his head.

Miali whined and then said, “What does it matter if I've fallen for a Minervan? Aunt Terea is Minervan and she's the queen of Lyra!"

All three men pulled faces that clearly expressed that they couldn't deny that. Kosen joined them. It was true. Her family had no right to complain about her choosing a Minervan when they were under the rule of a Minervan female.

His eyebrows rose.


Choosing a Minervan?

He stared at Miali but her hair obscured her face. He turned her to face him when frustration got the better of him. He had to see her when he asked this.

She dropped her head forwards, looking at her feet. He cupped her cheek and raised her head up until her eyes met his.

"Fallen for a Minervan?"

I certainly did. Hell, was there ever a chance I, being me, wasn't going to fall for the mercenary?

She stared at his teeth. They hadn't cut her but they were as sharp as they looked.

"I just don't understand why you do it,” she said, frowning at his sharpened teeth.

Kosen frowned too and ran his tongue along them. The sight of it caressing his teeth made her tremble and ache inside.

"All Minervan males do it."

"I know,” she whispered and reached her free hand up, touching his teeth with her fingertips. “Why?"

He playfully snapped at her fingers and she jerked her hand back.

"It makes us ... sexy.” He grinned.

She laughed and his face fell. When she realised that he was being serious, she cleared her throat. Perhaps it did make them more attractive to Minervan females but it didn't do anything for her.

"Sexy how?"

His frown wasn't shifting. He sat up and she pined for the feel of his body against hers. She hadn't meant to spoil the moment with her stupid questions. She sat up and moved closer to him where he was sitting at the edge of the bed.

He looked thoughtful. His black eyes slid to meet hers.

One eyebrow rose.

His eyes narrowed on her, holding such heat that her body flushed and her hair threatened to rise again. She twirled it and tied it in knot to stop it.

He leaned towards her and she was captivated as his lips parted, entranced by their beautiful shape and the sight of his sharp teeth. Thoughts of what he could do to her with that mouth made her heart flutter and her blood boil with desire.

She licked her lips.

He edged closer, his movements achingly slow. She looked down at his hands, yearning to feel them on her, and then back into his eyes.

He whispered one word that made any shred of reserve she had disappear.


Her lips parted and her breath left her in a sigh. He kept moving towards her and she leaned back to counter his move.


Her back hit the bed and she stared up at him as he moved between her legs.


Her heart beat hard against her chest.

Her breathing quickened.

Perhaps he was right, when he put it like that.

Heart of an Emperor: Dauhgters of Lyra 1

Princess Sophia, one of the beautiful and strong daughters of Lyra, has had it with the never-ending row of suitors that her father, King Sebastian Lyra I, has lined up for her. When the latest suitor turns out to be the emperor of Varka, a species known for their lack of emotions, nocturnal lifestyle and bloodlust, Sophia wants little to do with him.

Sebastien is now king of Lyra and has decided to assault his daughter with suitors from all over the galaxy. And a Varkan is next. But when Sophia is introduced to the Varken emperor it is his first assistant that instantly catches her eye and interest.

Regis, like his brethren, has never known love and believes it impossible for his race ever to know the emotion. He has, however, studied the idea of it. Corny the thought, though amazingly well written, there comes a scene in the story, when his willing of Sophia to come to her balcony isn't working, so Regis thinks upon a classic love story, and then begins to sing.

Laugh. Chuckle. Snort. At first I was about to do all these things. But it wasn't actually as cheesy as you might expect. Especially when Sophia cuts her tongue on his teeth and the bloodlust kicks in. That boy can ravage.

The expectant ending comes with a little more to top it all off. Definitely a fan of the Varkens.


Stranded: Sons of Lyra #4

Captain Lyra III is known for his vicious attitude and brilliance in battle. Second youngest of the infamously passionate and handsome sons of Lyra, he’s a born leader and doesn’t take no for an answer. Except this time. Acer is facing a future that seems like a nightmare, a future that has shaken him and made him realize that the one thing he truly wanted in life may have just slipped through his grasp—his engineer, Stella.

Acer has the worst reputation of all the Lyra brothers. He's handsome. Noble. A skilled captain, and a vicious bastard. We were able to first meet the thirdborn son in the last book and had a glimpse at his love interest, Stella.

Stella started out aboard Balt's ship but he had her transferred to Acer's. Remi gave his elder brother props for his plotting. It's obvious to them both how perfect Stella is for Acer.

Stella's also a screw up. Acer yells at her a lot! And now, they're trapped alone in deep space and it's too late for Acer to do anything about his untold feelings. He's needed back on Lyra Prime.

A man well known for his vicious attitude and confidence had been too frightened of rejection to ask the most beautiful woman in the universe to be his.

"What would you say to a man... about to be married? What would you say to a man about to be married... who didn't want to be... who wanted someone else, someone of his own choosing?"

I gotta say, her answers were pretty good.

Only Sebastian got a virgin. Acer got a whore. What I call a whore. But she was a good whore. Sex in zero gravity. Who can complain?

FYI... I love the Lyran language. It's written so beautiful. It isn't always translated right away, but reading it, in the moment, you just can't help but know that they're saying something good.
"Stella... Iskara no tatui sem do skiattai aishin."

This was the only of the four brothers' stories where I had no idea how it was going to end. Sebastian's was my favorite. Balt and Acer tied for second. Remi got last. Remi needed more oopmh.


I'm always comforted when an author has a constant gesture used throughout their books. For Shiloh Walker, it's the stroke of the bottom lip. For Felicity Heaton, it's the caress of a cheek. Heaton is seriously becoming one of my best loved authors.
Felicity Heaton is a great believer in love at first sight and the romantic ideal. Having grown up reading extensively, she developed a deep love of classical literature, ranking Jane Eyre, North & South, and Persuasion amongst her all time favourite reads. The most romantic moment of her life was when her husband got down on bended knee on the steps of Sacré Coeur, Paris, at night in front of several hundred spectators and proposed. She was too drunk on love, and subsequently champagne, to care about the audience. All she could see was the man that she loved. A writer of emotion and life, she always strives to touch a chord of familiarity in her readers and give them characters they can love and a read to remember.

Iskara no tatui sem do skiattai aishin: I wish to be always yours and that you'd let me love you.

Fight for Love: Sons of Lyra #3

Lieutenant Lyra IV is as sinfully handsome and irresistible as his elder brothers, but the one woman he wants seems to be immune to his charm. Every man in his squadron is falling over themselves to win her. Literally. When the reward is getting to see her, not even he can stop himself from getting hurt in training every day. Losing feels like winning when he ends up on her inspection table, and the pain means nothing when she touches him.

Nurse Emmanuelle knows exactly what the devilishly tempting and handsome Lieutenant Lyra IV is doing and she’s not going to fall for it or his attempts to make her call him by his first name, Remi. It’s her duty to keep her distance and maintain a professional relationship with him, even if her heart and body is crying out for more.

The youngest of the sons of Lyra, Remi is still making his way in the military world. Some years ago, during a battle on Varkan Two, he lost his left arm and had it replaced with a form of prosthetic. Since then, he's never felt completely whole.

But that doesn't stop him from finally laying claim to the one woman he wants for himself when time presses him to act. He's been recalled to Varkan Two, and this time he swears he's coming back no less than when he goes in.

Runaway Hearts: Sons of Lyra #2

Heir Prince Lyra I hates his life, and it’s only getting worse. Not only does Sebastian’s parents force him to remain on Lyra Prime with them and control his life, now they’ve gone and arranged his marriage. Unable to stand the thought of getting married before he’s seen the stars as his three younger brothers do and tasted adventure, he decides to run away. Only that’s not as easy as it sounds when you’re one of the infamously handsome sons of Lyra.

It's not every day that a thirty-four year old man runs away from home. But when he's the heir to one of the most esteemed planets in the universe, ordered to commit to an arranged marriage in a week, and has never once been aboard a ship as it sailed through the stars, well, then you can understand the motivations a bit better.

Sebastian flees his home, dressed as down as he can, and heads toward the port, eager to get anywhere in the galaxy. As he moves through the market, he is bumped into by a young woman that proceeds to steal what money he has on him. Giving chase, he soon tackles the thief, Terea, and learns she is just as desperate to get off this planet as he is.

Somewhere in there is a resemblance to Aladdin though it's ending was closer to Sleeping Beauty's. *sigh* I love me some Sleeping Beauty.


Slave Princess: Sons of Lyra #1

Captain Lyra II, known as Balt to his family, is one of the famed sons of Lyra, the handsome princes with passionate hearts that every girl in the galaxy wants to catch. The second eldest son, he’s content with the freedom and adventure that life in deep space and the Lyran Imperial Army offers him. What he isn’t content with is the current situation he’s found himself in. Not only has he been forced to stop at a backwater port for supplies, but he’s leaving with more than he expected!

One minute Balt is purchasing some supplies for his ship, the next he's stopping a man from brutally beating a slave for dropping something. When his translator malfunctions not two seconds later, he soon finds himself as owner to said slave.

And no, he's not happy about the filthy, partially dressed woman now forced into his keeping. The entire crew meanwhile is laughing their asses off.

I never expect to be pulled in by such short works but this is one of those exceptions. It was... hmm... 'sensual' comes to mind. I liked Balt. His reaction to Kayla's circumstances. The way they made love. All goodies. Yep. I really like Balt.

And, of course, his name kept bringing Balto to mind.

Come To Me

Of all the P.I. offices in all the world…

Why did Lizzie Porter have to waltz into his? Wary loner Sam Travers always had a soft spot for Lizzie—and now she's grown up, with the curves to prove it. But to move on his old partner's daughter would be oh-so-wrong….

Except that Lizzie won't take no for an answer. She's discovered that she might have a half sister. And she's not going to let anyone stop her on her search—even Sam!

The plot thickens when someone takes a shot at Lizzie, and Sam volunteers to move in with her—just to protect her, of course. And as they puzzle out the truth, he wonders just when he'll dare move out…

Lizzie has had a crush on Sam since she was fourteen. He was married and her father's cop partner at the time. Now twenty-four, Lizzie has discovered with her father's death that there's a long lost twelve year old sister of hers she didn't know she had.

It's been years since Sam has seen Lizzie. Now, thirty-two years old, Sam's been divorced for six years and owns his own PI service. He's beyond shocked to have Lizzie appear at his office looking to hire him.

He finds she hasn't changed. Still talks a mile a minute and says whatever is on her mind. Even if it isn't all that pertinent to the conversation. Although now, she's taken to carrying a purple Taser. Yeah, don't mess with a interior painter with a purple Taser.

Another one finishes with a ring on her finger. *happy sigh*

Roan's Fall

As a hair stylist, Ansley has seen and cut a lot of people's hair, but when Roxie shows up for her appointment with a very large, gorgeous man, Anlsey can't take her eyes off him. Nor can she stop her body's reaction to Roan when Roxie asks her to cut his hair as well. But things seem to go steadily downhill when Ansley's curse, her ability to say the first thing that comes to mind when around a man she is attracted to, rears its ugly head. When Roan growls at her to hurry up, Ansley knows her mouth has done it to her again.

Even through the harsh chemical smells in the hair salon, Ansley's scent is like a punch in the gut to Roan. Knowing she is his mate, and a mortal, it has him fighting the urge to claim her as his own. Hoping to ease into telling her he is a werewolf, Roan prays he has the control to take things slow. But when it comes to Ansley, he must fight the wolf inside him or risk scaring away the one woman that was meant for him.

These books by Marisa Chenery are quick and to the point. Roan's intentions were an epic fail. Once again, a were claims his mate without telling her what he is. In this world though, it's even worse. Mated pairs can't bear to be away from one another. Not even for a mere hour.

It's actually my perfect world. I'm a clinger so it would work all right with me.


Dare To Believe

Leo Dunne has been searching his entire life for the one person born just for him. He finds her working in his own company, but the shy little Ruby Halloway constantly hides from him. He hatches a devilish plot with her best friend to bring her out of her shell, and the result proves her desire is more than a match for his own.

Ruby has had the hots for her boss for some time now, but she knows business and pleasure shouldn't mix. While that can't stop a girl from dreaming, she sticks by her guns and does her best never to be alone with the handsome CEO. Until the company masquerade party, where she discovers a passion with him that leaves a mark on her soul.

A family emergency calls Leo away, and rather than spend one night out of Ruby's arms, he convinces her to go with him. With his brother's life on the line, it's vital she learn how to deal with who, and what, her new lover really is--before it's too late.

Apparently, Dana Marie Bell suffers from MPD because the person that wrote the Halle Pumas cannot be the same individual that did Shadow of the Wolf and this, Dare To Believe.

A serious rival to being my favorite Dana Bell book. Jaden was incredible. Yes, the story is Leo and Ruby's but I was all about Jaden. And Robin. Robin Longfellow, the Hob, was great too.

Jaden, vampire, is bondbrother to Duncan, not vampire, whose bloodsister is Kaitlynn who is in 'love' with Leo. Since Duncan is nowhere to be found, Kaitlynn forces Jaden to do her bidding and abduct Ruby so she can get Leo to talk to her, and ultimately agree to tribond with her. But Jaden hates Kaitlynn, so even though he does it, he always has ways to undo things. I pictured a little too well the scene where he's internally laughing his ass off while watching the monitors as Shane escaped the mansion. While in the heart of the act of taking Ruby, Jaden falls for Moira, Leo's sister.

Yet, in the end, Duncan is revealed to actually be Moira's mate. Which of course, makes you think one of them is not her mate, and possibly only feeding off the bond the two (three?) share.

Too bad I won't be able to take on Jaden and Moira's story. Why DMB feels the need to write threesomes I will never comprehend. I can't stomach the things. Actually, I'm quite pissed at the situation. I want Jaden with Moira. I like Duncan but he can find his own. No shares. No take-backs. No refunds.

Oh, and best quotes of the book.. though there were many--

RUBY - "Oh! Galadriel! Can you do the glowy pond thing, too?"
LEO - "No, Frodo, I can't."
JADEN to CULLEN - "What kind of spy movies have you been watching?"


Slow Hands

This is Maddy Turner's lucky day. The civilized society girl just bid on sexy rogue Jake Wallace at a charity bachelor auction—and won! But Maddy knows Jake's dirty little secret. And it should keep her from trying out her new boy toy. Too bad she can't stop herself from indulging in raw, quite uncivilized sex all the same….

Jake Wallace is utterly bewitched by Maddy— and utterly bewildered. How can this tantalizing woman melt so rapturously under his ministrations one moment, then turn into a haughty queen the next? He's determined to get to the bottom of Maddy's agenda. One slow, delicious inch at a time…

Madeline and Tabitha are the daughters of very wealthy, Jason Turner, who, being a romantic to his own detriment, is about to go through his fifth divorce. When Tabitha receives word that their current step-mother plans to cheat on their father with a guy she'll be buying from the next charity event- a bachelor auction- Tabitha convinces Madeline to buy up the guy herself.

Twenty-five thousand dollars gets Miss Maddy Turner a date with Number Nineteen, Jake Wallace, a man whom she believes to be a gigolo. Somewhere in there there was a mix-up.

Jake is about as perfect as a man can get in these books. From the very moment he spots Maddy from behind the auction's curtain, he's smitten. So much so that he calls upon his little sister's latest jabbering beliefs that if you want something bad enough, picture it hard enough, fate will let it happen.

I loved his response to Madeline. From first sight he was a man on a mission. He wanted Madeline. In a bad way. A very good, bad way. But being a good old, American home raised gentleman, it took a bit to get him to the point of, well this:

While reading this book, I couldn't see myself ever giving it more than 3 stars. It was good. The foreplay was very, very good. But my emotions weren't all that in gear with it. Until midway. Yeah. Midway, everything got emotional. Just when our Mr Perfect had the chance to fix everything, he doesn't. And okay, sure, it made sense that he wouldn't. Maddy didn't want a relationship. Didn't believe in love. Didn't need a boyfriend. But c'mon! The American gentleman turns to deceit.. No. No. No.

And yet he did make a miraculous recovery with me when he only made it thirteen days, (not the intended thirty) before he came clean. And there was no corner. No 'busted'. He just came clean because it was the right thing to do. Kudos in the end.