Reading Challenge 2012: FAIL

The goal for this year was a lost cause. I came to said conclusion fairly early since the first symptom of my pregnancy was the severe lack of desire to read. Blame it on an inability to focus or whatever but being the worst symptom by far-morning sickness included-I can't complain too much. So after my son was born in July and I was able to catch up on sleep two months later, I picked up my goal again in September where I began to aim for quality, not quantity. I picked up recommendations I may have previously skipped over and even dabbled in alien erotica and *attempted* urban fantasy. Is it my fault these books get labeled incorrectly?

No, I didn't go completely over the deep end. I stayed near the vicinity of my comfort zone. And despite my failure this year to complete a measly 76 reads (in honor of my sons due date and birth on July 6) I did come away with a few more favorites and new literary experiences.


For Love of an Angel: Fallen Warriors #1

For Love of an Angel

Rosalie Lario
The Fallen Warriors, book one
Published May 8th 2011 by Rosalie Lario
ISBN 2940012464378
Amazon Free Read

In a world where angels rule over humans, twelve outcasts dare to defy expectation, warring with their angel brethren to prevent the extinction of humankind.

They are The Fallen.

Michael is one of twelve angels who have been outcast due to their determination to protect humankind. In order to preserve his immortality and strength, he must find a mate with angel blood. Eva Smyth has never believed the propaganda spouted by the Consortium—the elite system of guards put into place once angels took over reign of Earth—but she never expected to learn the angels plan to eradicate all of humankind, or that she herself is part angel. Joining Michael means living a life on the run, at war against the angels and hunted by the Consortium. Eva must decide whether to risk it all…for love of an angel.

So I find myself on an angel kick as the year ends. Hungry for some demons though, so hopefully I can grab up a good demonic tale once 2013 is here.

Eva lives in a time where the veil between the worlds has fallen and angels guard over mankind in a much more hands on, in your face manner than many believe they do in the here and now. They control people's very careers through personality exams and even impose a super strict curfew. What they haven't managed to control so far is their personal relationships, leaving Eva with an egotistical ass of an ex living right across the hall.

  • "I'm here, beloved, because you called to me."

Our dear angel is not so likeable when we first meet him. Has the I-know-all attitude that bastards seem to be bred with. No respect for personal space with this one either. Michael played a better alien than angel. (And don't go getting technical with me on that!) XD

Eva doesn't freak *too* much when she finds Michael standing in her living room in the middle of the night. That is, until she sees his wings. His black wings. Turns out, he's Fallen and he's got quite story to tell about that. But don't ask him any questions. You'll only get the "you're not ready to know" answer. Infuriating jerk.

Michael never won me over. He did pretty much everything wrong. The rest of the Fallen, not that we spent a whole lot of time with them, weren't so bad. Curiosity got me with Seth and Ethan had me intrigued with the 'my mate hates me' stuff. And being that Ethan's book is next, I'm planning on giving it a looksee. AFTER my next pick of course. EA, here we come.

2 out of 5 stars.


All For You: Nephilim #1

All For You
Dana Marie Bell
The Nephilim, book one
ebook, 226 pages
Published December 24th 2012 by Carina Press
ISBN 9781426894848

He will keep her safe, no matter what it takes.

Someone—or something—is stalking Abby Marcheson. Luckily, she as her brother’s hunky friend Seth to keep her safe. Abby falls easily into her protected life, with Seth constantly by her side, and when he asks her out on a date, she’s eager to accept.

But Seth is much more than he seems. A Nephilim, a son of Angels with wings of his own, Seth is bound to spend his life hunting the Shemyaza, evil descendants of Angels. He’s kept his wings hidden from Abby in order not to frighten her, but as her stalker becomes bolder, Seth begins to suspect that a Shem has Abby in its sights…

As their flirtation escalates into full-blown passion, Seth is torn. Should he reveal his true nature to the beautiful, trusting Abby? Will she accept him, wings and all, or will Abby flee her guardian angel and fall prey to the sinister force that wishes her harm?

Warning: This book contains explicit sex and graphic language

A Nephilim with the hots for a human, and a woman completely head over heels in return. Both blind as newborn pups, broken by past loves, and too damn skittish to make a move on one another. What does it take to get them together? A menacing sister-in-law. Oh, and the threat of a demon's secret plot certainly adds to the weight of 'hurry the fuck up already'!

Neither have any clue of the other's desires and yeah, even from the outside looking in, I would have subscribed to that ignorance.

Seth's best friend is Piotr, the son of the Shemyaza's leader. Despite his love and utter trust for the guy, not all of his brothers share such a tight bond to Piotr. There's a full cast of your typical rough housing alpha males, a protective-yet understanding-older brother for Abby, and the some over the top/way too much attention to detail when it comes to food that I've come to expect from Bell.

Note: Mexican food and romance do *not* make an appetizing combo for this reader.

The mystery of Piotr is played off very well. And his assistant Andi delivered just enough info to keep me drooling for more of a taste of his story.

So "broken by past love" doesn't exactly cover it for Abby. Seth lost his first wife to cancer five years ago. About the same time that Abby was dating a true psycho named Doug. The guy murdered her younger brother, nearly succeeded doing the same to her parents, raped her sister, and attempted to burn Abby alive. Oh yeah, PSYCHO.

When trust becomes absolute, Seth reveals true identity and Abby couldn't have taken it any better. Finally, a woman with an open mind. Though, admittedly, I would have freaked at the angel part. Probably more so than learning my long time crush had wings. Go figure that one out.

After I finished this little read, I checked out some fellow reviewers' comments on Goodreads. One particular was a DNF. She gagged over it all. LoL. And yes, this book is totally everything you can expect from an angel/human love story. Big strong protector meets too stupid to live female who can't manage to follow the simplest of instruction. I myself have gagged over similar stories, but seriously, this wasn't that bad. Not at all. Cliche? Definitely. But romantics will survive.

And I will be continuing on in this series. 4 out of 5 stars.


The Dawn of Darkness (The Supernaturals #2)

Dawn of Darkness
Elle Chardou
Supernaturals, book two
Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published July 3rd 2012

The Pureblood Lycan...
Jolie Gasquet and her brother, Julien "Jules" Gasquet, share more in common than they would ever admit. A female version of her brother, she is strong, tough and determined to prove she is no man's prize to win over. Not even Desmond Augustin, her supposed mate and the Lycan she is destined to make a life with despite their lack of a bond or love.

The Sidhe Vampire...
Sasha Galloway works as an enforcer for the International Vampire Council. He also happens to be the son of a very powerful Council member, William Galloway, however his heritage is far from from unblemished due to a Sidhe mother who hides dangerous secrets that makes him the perfect tool for the Council but inadequate as he is of mixed blood.

Jolie and Sasha meet at The Vamp Blood Bar in Baton Rouge. The attraction is instant but their connection is so much more than skin deep. How can a werewolf and a vampire bond so deeply and are they to be mates for life? The power and passion of their feelings has no boundaries and soon, they find out, neither do they...not when it comes to one another.

WARNING: This is paranormal romance novella with sexy good times, smokin' hot werewolves, ultra cool vampires, blood and explicit language. Gore and closed door sex scenes? Not this time.

This world is one I'm having a bit of trouble getting a grasp on. True mates have meaning and value, unless its someone tainted or below your status then grandma has no qualms about cutting the claim right out of your flesh.

Jolie found her mate years ago, but, according to her grandmother, he's an abomination and she's never to be near him again. She was then paired to Desmond whom she feels nothing for. They're not mated, and if Jolie has her way they never will be.

This story starts off in a time before the first book as her brother Jules is with another girl and if you ask me, this should have been book one. Much better flow. And they're certainly more informative. Would have saved me a hell of a lot of confusion with the whole Lycans are not shifters debacle.

But then... Sasha gave me his own moment of "huh?" when he explained that a virgin woman once turned vampire will remain a virgin forever. And then there was the pink pre-cum. Things were spiraling quickly.

Jolie is a virgin. A dirty one anyway. And she's also bisexual, which appears all women of this series have the tendency toward exploring homosexuality. And they smoke.

Gah. By the end I really couldn't find anything worth recommending about this read.

1 out of 5 stars.

Previously in this series:


Neon Chaos: End of Days #2

Neon Chaos
Karen Erickson
End of Days, book two
Published (first published November 1st 2011)

A one-night stand turns into a partnership for survival…

Party girl Samantha Sanders is celebrating her thirtieth birthday in style—a road trip to Las Vegas for a long weekend with her girlfriends. Staying in the swankiest hotel on the strip, she’s naked and in bed with the sexiest guy she’s ever laid eyes on when the clock strikes twelve. Who knew the world would really end December 21, 2012? Those Mayans, they weren’t lyin’…

Russ Weaver is above all else a soldier. Looking for a little fun before spending Christmas with his crazy family, a weekend on leave in Vegas unexpectedly turns into his newest mission——protecting the sweet, scared woman he happens to be in bed with when the world as they know it is over.

Wandering throughout the virtually abandoned streets of Vegas, the fine city has turned into a war zone. Their only hope to get out alive is to stick together—and fight those who wish to cease their endeavors. Permanently.

Warning: It’s not all doom and gloom. A sexy man who’s a fierce protector, a sassy woman with fortitude of steel, these two stick together through it all. Watch the sparks fly—true love does endure. I promise.

Oh yeah. Insult my alcoholic beverage of choice. That'll get you laid.

Guys think it's charming to insult women's tropical drinks. And apparently, most women think it's cute. I don't. And I can't figure out why they do. Oh, sure, you're a big strong man for drinking *beer*.

Aliens aren't exactly how I expect the world to go, and if absolutely nothing happens on December 21st, I'm going to be pissed. That's how things go down here, and Samantha and Russ find themselves, inexplicably, the only people still roaming around now that most of Las Vegas is in mass destruction and strange aircrafts are stalking the skies.

This story plays shamelessly into the cliche of alien invasion and the whole plot of impregnating our females to save their dying superior race. It didn't help that Erickson's own characters had to constantly throw in how badly this sounded like an awful science fiction movie. And I do mean *constantly*.

I'm typically a fan of Erickson's and this certainly doesn't damper that, but... Damn, this was so not a great read. The teaser at the end, for Brighid's Cross (book three), however, was. Despite its poor reviews on Goodreads, I liked what I saw and plan to be reading it soon.

2 out of 5 stars.

Previously in this series:

Reaper: End of Days #1

Mina Carter
End of Days, book one
ebook, 120 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Samhain Publishing
ISBN 9781609286309

The World after the End of the World will never be the same again…

Sanctuary. Clichéd name, but the sentiment is still the same. Ten years after the end of the world, ex-soldier Mason and a small group of humans defend their fortified town against creatures of myth and legend made real. But with dwindling game to hunt and a lycan pack in the area looking for an easy meal, just surviving is getting harder every day.

Andy has a few screws loose, and she knows it. She’s been on the road since the bombs fell and changed humanity forever. Driven by inhuman instincts, she tracks the newly and soon-to-be dead and dispatches their souls to the afterlife. Sometimes they go quietly, most put up a fight. She doesn’t care either way. Her ambition in life is to find her next hit of coffee and one day, maybe, sleep in a real bed again.

Then Andy’s instincts bring her to Sanctuary and its enigmatic leader, Mason, and even the world after the end of the world will never be the same again…

Warning: Contains a snarky female Reaper with a hair-trigger temper and a caffeine addiction, a hot ex-commando with an attitude and a twisted sense of humour and a happily ever after that defies death itself.

The Walking Dead, season three, kicked off two weeks ago so I'm in a let-the-world-end kind of mood.

The bombs have dropped and the majority of the population have been changed. Werewolves, vampires, ghouls, banshees and more now walk what's left of the Earth.

Andy is a reaper of souls. After Armageddon, she found herself to be immortal... after trying to commit suicide three times and since then, ten years ago, she's been on the move and her travels have finally brought her to Sanctuary.

And she's impressed by all she finds. From the many sigils and wards set up to protect the town from Lycans, Vamps, and so on to the lead defender himself, Mason.

A former soldier (and no, not one of ours), Mason is capable of seeing a person's soul-and yet he claims to be a mere human through and through. When he first meets Andy as she makes a stop in their town, he's confounded. He doesn't know what she is. Only that her soul is black. He and the other town guards send her on her way, and long into the night he regrets it.

And he doesn't let her go just once. After the second time, truly convinced he's an idiot, he finally seeks her out. Easily rising to her dare of a kiss.

Mason is yummy. From the moment they met, Andy wanted him. In that 'what the hell has gotten into me' way and the man does not disappoint. Nor does he fail what has become a necessary test in my book. What's the first thing a guy should do once lying atop his woman?

Score one for Mase!

But then... The guy spends one damn night away from town and the morons get attacked. Their children are taken by a psychotic alpha werewolf and to get them back, he wants Mason's head on a stake. And they shoot him! With multiple shotguns!!

And get this, the dude does not die.

And he's still convinced he's human.

I still don't know what he his. Even after he comes back from the dead. Another slap on the face was the giant leap at the end. Six months! And no one burned his body? WHAT?!

I had to re-read. Had to try that again. Surely I missed something. But sadly, the words didn't change the second time I read them.Did Amazon send me a defected copy perhaps?

3 out of 5 stars.


Darkness Rising: The Supernaturals #1

Darkness Rising
Elle Chardou
Kindle Edition, 106 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Midnight Engel Press

A Pureblood...
Julien Gasquet belongs to the notorious Lycan clan, the Gasquet Pack based in New Orleans. After a vicious argument, he storms out of the compound and decides to spend the night with his sister, Jolie, in Baton Rouge.

A Half-breed...
Martina Beauchamp is considered an abomination to the Lycans as she isn't a pureblood and doesn't have a pack to call her own. She meets Julien after a horrifying incident forces her to flee her home and her car breaks down in the parking lot next to his truck.

The attraction Julien and Martina experience from the moment they meet isn't about lust or a one night stand. However, when the pack is involved in every decision a werewolf makes, is a happy ending at all possible?

WARNING: This is paranormal romance novella with sexy good times, smokin' hot werewolves, toned bodies and explicit language. Blood, gore and closed door sex scenes? Not this time.

Color me a bright neon CONFUSED. Lycans that hate shape shifters? Say what??

So yeah, I hear "shape shifters" and my mind instantly goes Wolf Shifter. As if there should be any other kind? But no, shifters here are just that. They can take any animal form.

Jules and Martina meet on a plain awful night. Jules is tired of professionally fighting for his stepfather and Martina nearly gets raped by her own stepfather. A testament to step parents this book is definitely not.

Anyway, Jules plays the hero, or as he calls it 'a proper southern gentlemen' and offers Martina a place to stay for the night at his sister's apartment which he is en route to.

Another detour- southern gentlemen are mythical creatures. Just FYI.

Things get, for lack of a better word, *whack* from there. We get a quick history lesson. Jules claims he'd rather go mateless than ever bond to a shifter or a vamp but goes completely one eighty when he proclaims he's been fighting her scent all night, she's the one, and he's claiming her right now.

Martina wasn't the only one caught off guard. Flabbergasted is more like it on my end. She's half shifter-half lycan. And as Jules' sister tells it, Jules can stop her aging (since there's Lycan blood in her) and complete her transformation. The latter of which he does immediately. Then there's a completely uncalled for argument and the two are at odds for the night. Sheesh. Drah-muh!

She runs away from him more than once and he never chases. He also tells her if she wants to go, he'd let her. Not a very possessive mate is he.

2 out of 5 stars.


Melt With You: Fated #4

Melt With You
Karen Erickson
Fated, book four
Published September 29th 2011 by Karen Erickson
ISBN 2940013350717

Dragging a man into a supply closet at work so she can maul him—that’s so not Lanie’s style. But there’s something about Wes, the sexy paramedic with the bad reputation, that she can’t resist. After a terrible breakup, a move and a job change, Lanie’s ready to indulge in some new and exciting adventures. But Wes wants more…

From the moment he meets Lanie under um, stressful circumstances, Wes is a goner. Yeah, he has a reputation around the hospital as a serial dater but lately he’s thought about settling down. And he believes the petite nurse with the curvy body might be the one. Too bad she only wants a quick affair.

Lanie can’t deny the chemistry between them is strong but will she take a chance on fate? Or will she let Wes go?

There's something about this Fated series. It's done so right. So romantic. So innocent. And now we're throwing a player into the mix and suddenly things don't seem so innocent anymore.

Err... former player. Ever since Evan fell for Morgan, Wes has followed his buddy's example and thrown himself into his work. It's been months since he's been with a woman. And yet, his reputation precedes him and it almost costs him his chance with Lanie.

Luckily for him, and despite her better judgment, Lanie doesn't fight her attraction and drags Wes off the first chance she gets.

And yea for Wes, he shoots her down. From the very beginning, Wes wants more than just a quickie and he doesn't give in for anything less. So refreshing.

Six months later, at Evan's wedding, Wes gets himself engaged. And that's just one more happy ever after.

3 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:


A Warrior's Betrayal: Brotherhood, #2

A Warrior's Betrayal
Brandi Salazar
Brotherhood, book two
Kindle Edition, First
Published October 6th 2012 by Brandi Salazar

Forbidden desires...

Being a Brother and a caretaker isn't an easy job, especially when you find yourself coveting the one person you were meant to protect but never have- your brother's woman. That is exactly where Behr finds himself- in love and out of luck. Nothing a little killing can't remedy. While looking for a little trouble to take his mind off what's brewing at home, Behr finds the perfect distraction: hunting down the mythical Rage demon prowling his city's streets.

Lost and alone...

Cheyenne doesn't know what to do with herself. Weeks have passed with no sign of Erias, and as far as she knows, he's dead. Just when she resigns herself to the difficult task of moving on with her life, he reappears, but the Erias she knew no longer exists. He's a demon, the very thing he and his brother's hunt each night. Can Erias overcome this transformation and find the strength to make it back to Cheyenne and the Brotherhood, and if he does, will they accept him? In a world plagued with uncertainty, only one thing is definite: no matter how it ends, someone's heart is bound to get ripped to shreds

I was originally rooting for Cheyenne to hook up with Behr. I shouldn't be the only one getting screwed with afterall. To hell with Erias. But that changed quickly.

Oh, don't misunderstand. I still loathe Erias. And Cheyenne. But Behr is now under my protection.

Erias stayed behind in Tarturus after the rescue mission for Cheyenne as part of his deal with the devil. I can't tell you how weird it is to hear Lucifer's name mixed in with all of these Greek gods. If he's suppose to be Hades then why not just call him Hades? I'm not going religious with this. For one, there's a whole argument out there about referring to Satan as Lucifer being a no no now that he's fallen. I don't subscribe to that and I'm not subscribing to this either. The equivalency game is just an annoying thing here, especially when you're playing accuracy with the whole Persephone tale (who used her Kore alias here). But I'll digress.

But seriously, am I *suppose* to like these people???? I hated Cheyenne in book one and my disgust only grew deeper as I read the sequel. The woman is unquestionably a user. She takes from any-and every-one what she needs without any consideration for what they may need, or grow to desire, from her. To put it plainly, I found her a spoiled, self indulgent bitch and I didn't want her anywhere near Behr.

I also wanted Behr to get what he wanted. So I was screwed on both ends.

Behr's affection for Cheyenne was pure. That guy was enamored of her. And besotted with the idea of sharing a life with someone. Just the fantasy of having her there when he returned home from demon hunting with arms wide and face smiling set his insides to warming. What was this witch doing to our men?

Erias has been reduced to living as a demon hybrid. Behr is a lovesick sap. Alastair is braiding hair for mercy's sake! They're rough housing like middle schoolers and watching daytime soaps!

She's got the nerve to respond to Behr's kisses and seek out his comfort and appeal, then run for the hills when he tries to press further. Enough with the teasing game. She did it to Kris for over a year and now Behr's serving as victim. Just kill the bitch.

Aiming for no less than brutal honesty, I will admit that there managed to be one scene I was totally engrossed by. The moment Erias voiced his suspicions that Cheyenne was the one responsible for his missing memories. From there, until and including his recollection of everything in his past, even Behr's intentions toward Cheyenne, I found true enjoyment in my reading.

Then Chy had to go screw it all up with her 'I always knew it was you' talk. Gah!

I pray Lena has it in her to straighten Behr out. The guy needs a female with fight. Chy wasn't it, no matter what their delusions told them about that schizophrenic whore.

And I honestly have no idea what to rate this. 3?

Author Site 

Previously in this series:


Darkness & Lies: A Brotherhood Novel

Darkness & Lies
A Brotherhood Novel, book one
Brandi Salazar
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Brandi Salazar (first published September 16th 2011)
Amazon Free Read

Explorer Cheyenne Oppenello lives for adventure and has made it her life’s work to seek out the world’s most notorious myths and legends, and she’s determined to make sure that nothing stands in her way. Accompanied by a colorful band of teammates and friends, their most recent hunt has brought them to Iceland where, up on a mountaintop lies a legend so great that, if true, could thrust them into the spotlight making all of their wildest dreams come true. Unfortunately they have no idea that this mission could very well be their last.

Erias is on a mission of his own. And this includes keeping Cheyenne and her teammates from sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Part of The Brotherhood, guardians to The Gate, Erias is charged with protecting the world from creatures bent on death and destruction and he will do whatever it takes to ensure they never see the light of day.

Can Cheyenne’s determination go up against a fierce man like Erias to get what she wants? Or will Erias prove to be the one adventure she wasn’t prepared for

  • No man, unless they were a fictional character dreamed up by a woman, would ever be that incredibly devoted, loving, attentive and sexy.

Why does truth have to be so sad?

When we first meet Erias, he's a devoted husband and father. Then hell rains down and he loses everything, including his mortality. Centuries upon centuries later, in present day, he's become an alcoholic ass who uses women for the moment and casts them away with a "Get the fuck away from me" send off. Oh yeah, this guy's a real prince. His dreams are filled with his loss, of his wife to whom his marriage had been arranged but nevertheless with whom he'd grown to love on their very wedding night. He feels like he's cheating on her. Doesn't stop the son of a bitch, though. Not even for a second.

So yeah, the urge to console our dear Elias battled greatly with the overpowering compulsion to stab his still beating heart into oblivion.

Behr and Alastair... less infuriating. Actually, Alastair just wanted to kill the bitch so he didn't piss me off at all. Behr's only crime against my moral code was phone sexing a married woman. Tattling on Erias and Cheyenne didn't bother me so much.

Not sure how much logic made the foundation of this tale. No sane woman, after enduring the first few days Cheyenne did in meeting Elias, would still consider him a viable love interest. He'll, I doubt even an insane woman would.

I was about halfway through with this book when I decided to go ahead an add book two to my shopping list. WHY OH WHY didn't I read the blurb for that one before I jumped into this one? Just after I ranted about renegade writers swapping love interests, too. I'm so screwed.

A Warrior's Betrayal: A Brotherhood Novel, book two

Being a Brother and a caretaker isn't an easy job, especially when you find yourself coveting the one person you were meant to protect but never have- your brother's woman. That is exactly where Behr finds himself- in love and out of luck. Nothing a little killing can't remedy. While looking for a little trouble to take his mind off what's brewing at home, Behr finds the perfect distraction: hunting down the mythical Rage demon prowling his city's streets.

Lost and alone...

Cheyenne doesn't know what to do with herself. Weeks have passed with no sign of Erias, and as far as she knows, he's dead. Just when she resigns herself to the difficult task of moving on with her life, he reappears, but the Erias she knew no longer exists. He's a demon, the very thing he and his brother's hunt each night. Can Erias overcome this transformation and find the strength to make it back to Cheyenne and the Brotherhood, and if he does, will they accept him? In a world plagued with uncertainty, only one thing is definite: no matter how it ends, someone's heart is bound to get ripped to shreds.

What is it about Cheyenne!? First, Kris falls for her (after he cheats on her). Then Sebastian. Elias falls hard within seconds. Now I have Behr's dumbass self to look forward to! Ugh. Pickin's must be slim up in this world...

And oh look, a teaser: A Warrior's Betrayal Chapter One ... Somebody shoot me.

First she thinks him a serial killer, then a rapist. He tells her he's a guardian of the gates of hell then, flip the page, and she thinks she's in love. What the capital F-Fuck is wrong with this woman???? The one and I do mean ONE good thing Erias ever did was save her from choking, and he was the one that made her choke in the first place!

But no, he's the one because for the first time the little voice that tells her to hold onto her virginity didn't say a damn thing. Incredulous doesn't begin to cover it. I wanted to gut them both and I wasn't even done yet. Salazar definitely has talent as a writer but her characters are schizophrenic.

Go ahead and mark it down. This was the book that drove me to madness, because despite my rantings I'm going now to buy book two. But let me say first that I'm giving Behr the benefit of doubt. He doesn't love her. He just wants what Erias has and the dumbass is taking it far too literally.

Don't let me down, Behr.

3 out of 5 stars.


Darkest Knight: Knight's Curse #2

Darkest Knight
Karen Duvall
Knight's Curse, book two
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Luna
ISBN 9780373803446

Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose.

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

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

I knew it. I knew he'd be trouble.

Of course, they would want Chalice with Rafe. He's a guardian angel and its their family tradition. Want to hear the crazy part? I could easily see her with Rafe. And that's not me at all. I'm very territorial once I pick my mated pairs. He's hers. She's his. And it usually works out great, if I don't manage to wander into the realm of some renegade writer who thinks its epic to change love interests from book to book.

Rafe is such a hard ass... but he's a likeable one. I love Aydin but he's got the boyish charm while Rafe is definitely all man. *sigh* Too bad, so sad. She belongs to Aydin.

They were some things you just knew while reading this story, others... I didn't know where to begin my guessing. I knew Rafe had the heart. Duh. No clue Maria had a second identity.

The biggest mindfuck to this book was the blurb. Who wrote it? Because it doesn't really match the facts. Chalice didn't watch Aydin go gargoyle. I wish she had. And he doesn't "haunt" her dreams. He just steps into them. That's not *haunting*.

There's really no choice for Chalice. She loves Aydin. Rafe isn't an option, even though it's the only way she'll have a child and the only way Rafe can become human, which he yearns to be. The fool.

4 out of 5 stars.

Previously in this series:

Knight's Curse: Knight's Curse #1

Knight's Curse
Karen Duvall
Knight's Curse, book one
ebook, 315 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Luna
ISBN 9780373803408

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it's like to live life on the edge--precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact...or she must suffer the consequences. Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin--her noble warrior-protector--that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom...and the love of her life.

Another book shelved as urban fantasy, and again I'm oblivious as to why...

I wasn't going to read this one but an advertisement for its sequel was featured at the end of Michelle Sagara's Cast in Peril, and it sounded good. So I thought what the hell... and I'm so glad I did.

Raised by monks for the first thirteen years of her life, Chalice is an exceptional female with senses so heightened, werewolves and vampires alike would be jealous. Abducted by a man who claimed to be her father, she was taken from her old world home and brought to a thriving America and trained as a thief of magical relics. Oh yes, magic runs abundant in this paranormal world.

After failing to collect the mummified hand of Saint Geraldine, Chalice is sent to the Fatherhouse with Gavin following shortly behind. It is here she meets Aydin, a nine hundred sixty-seven year old fellow thief and kindred spirit who doesn't look beyond thirty (and barely manages to act even *that*). He, too, is bonded to a living gargoyle. Ah, the gargoyle.

Both Chalice and Aydin have been been tattooed at the base of their skull with a mark that bonds them to a gargoyle. Chalice's is Shui. And he's one homicidal bastard. Every seventy-two hours, Chalice must make contact with Shui, specifically his saliva, to keep her from transforming into a gargoyle as well and losing her humanity forever. Another symptom of the bond? It feeds an attraction between she and Aydin, making for a fine dose of tension. Especially after Gavin introduces him as his spy.

While Chalice's world is filled a vicious bondmate and people just waiting for a chance to betray her, Aydin's is not. His gargoyle, Shojin, actually likes him, and the guy's got friends. Caffeine addicted ones with pets that coo like babies and shapeshift with every facial alteration. Ah, Ling-Ling.

Finally a writer that gets it. She thrusts Chalice and Aydin together and there they stay. Even move in together. From Aydin, Chalice begins to learn just how much she doesn't know. How to lie being only the beginning.

The guy is truly a force not to be trifled with and has a number of powers at his disposal, which made the complete and total neglect of the scene where he gave up his humanity to save Chalice from her curse a serious WTF moment. I wanted that scene! How does one just skip over something like that?

So Aydin was the true star of the show for me. Gavin was a reasonable villain. Quin, eh. Rafael.... I've got a feeling he's going to be trouble. Geraldine could take a flying leap and Chalice, I actually liked. She's a simple girl with ordinary wants and dreams. And that works for this reader.

4 out of 5 stars.

  • Throughout this exchange, Aydin hung out in the science-fiction and fantasy section. He wasn’t close enough to hear us talking, but I’m sure he must have caught the gist of our conversation from our facial expressions and body language. I’d giggled in all the right places, touched my hair and gazed up at Quin through my eyelashes. I slid a look in Aydin’s direction to see if he still watched, and he did. Outright. It made him look like a stalker. I scowled at him and he seemed to catch himself, returning his attention to the book in his hand.



Cari Quinn
ebook, 254 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Loose Id
ISBN 9781607379515

Having all of her is the only thing that will satisfy him.

Shawn Griffin and Rachel Cooper have been best friends practically since birth, thanks to their families' close relationship. But for the past few years, Shawn has been fantasizing about getting his best pal in his bed. When she announces she's taking a trip to reconnect with an old lover, Shawn knows the time has come to put up or shut up. If she wants to go to New York City, fine. But he's coming with her.

Rachel doesn't know what to think of Shawn's sudden interest. Determined to live life on her own terms, she refuses to fall right in line with her wealthy family's wish that they get married and have perfect little babies. She just didn't count on how determined her seemingly laid back -- and extremely sexy -- best friend would become after setting his sights on what he wants. Her, over and over again.

But when tragedy strikes, Rachel begins to wonder if she'll lose not only her lover but her best friend too.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, exhibitionism/sex in public.

  • “What are you looking for then?”
    “What I've already found.” He took a breath. Let it out again. “I love you, Rachel.” When her expression didn't change, he let out a self-deprecating laugh. “Capital L, Rach. The big kahuna. Not best-pal love, but the I-want-to-eat-tropical-fruit-drizzled-with-honey-off-your-breasts-and-make-love-to-you-all-night kind. Get my drift?”


I'll never get enough of the friends becoming lovers theme. I want them all!

And this one had surprisingly more drama than many I have encountered. Shawn and Rachel have been friends since practically forever. They've shared everything-except their bodies.

When Rachel decides to visit her ex, the one that left her for a dream career in New York and fathered her miscarried child so many years ago, Shawn can't take it anymore. She's never even imagined he could want anything but a friendship from her until he kisses her. Tongue, passion, and all.

Except, she doesn't kiss back.

And then, suddenly she's gone. Away from him and away from the west coast, on a flight for New York. What's a guy whose been madly in love with his best friend all of his adult life to do but finish what he started.

My heart went out to Shawn. After more than a decade of unrequited love, he's reduced to take her however he can get her and gives it however she'll take it. I didn't agree with it at all. But hell, I could empathize.Except for that advice he took from his father, which sadly, was his last. Does that crap actually work on women. It would never on me. I'd sooner kill the sonofabitch.

On the flipped side of the perspective, I could relate to Rachel, too. Way back when sex was something she was only curious about, she asked Shawn to be her first and was outright rejected. Since then, she's blocked every impure thought about the guy and packed him away into the best friend box which became the foundation of her life. And now, without warning, he's breaking down each and every wall that committed him to the friend zone and it's forcing her world to crumble.

She tries to come up with any kind of explanation to his sudden turnabout, but nothing fits. She continues to fight. He continues to pull.

Eventually Rachel agrees to give them a chance but it's not before she breaks him. And breaks him baaaaad! Hell, I felt an all out assault on my emotions as Rach put Shawn through the wringer. His pain. His joy. His ache. His hope. His grief...

In his desperation to win her, Shawn cuts off all communication with his family to spare their "it's meant to be" pressure on Rachel. And it costs him dearly. Oh, the trauma!

I can't in good conscience give this anything less than five stars. It's just too *real*. So many friends-to-lovers books have an air of incredulous about them, but this, this could happen. And it just wrecks me.

  • “You gave me a mind-blowing fuck in an elevator.” His laughter rumbled against her ear as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “And I gave you candles and rose petals on the bed.”

Some girls get rings with a proposal. Shawn gets birth control pills.


No Flowers Required: Love Required #2

No Flowers Required
Cari Quinn
Love Required, book two
ebook, 158 pages
Published August 23rd 2012 by Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
ISBN 9781622669677

He’ll give her everything she desires...except his identity.

Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she’s due just landed on her doorstep.
And the attraction’s definitely not one-sided.

Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa’s shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he’s not the building’s handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn’t a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother’s greed, and persuade her that he’s not the enemy...or risk losing the only woman who’s seen the real him.

Nearly two years have passed since No Dress Required. Nellie and Jake are now married with a baby girl on the way and this time around it's Alexa's turn at love.

Dillon is so on the yes, please list! Brains and brawn. Hands that can work a wrench, computer, and a woman's body with an effortless talent. Yeah, not sure where that can from... but it's all there. And no, deceiving Alexa was the *last* thing he wanted to do before getting involved with her.

But hell, when the woman throws herself at him atop her apartment building amidst his thriving eco-garden, what else could a guy do? He did try to both warn and stop her from taking things too far. More than once. Although, he's lucky snatching up that magazine didn't come back to bite him on the ass.

I do hope Dillon's brother, Cory, and Vicky have a story next. He was set up as an ass, but I still liked him. And Vicky already wants to kill him so we're off to a great start.

4 out of 5 stars.

Previously in this series:


Simple Twist of Fate: Fated #3

SimpleTwist of Fate
Karen Erickson
Fated, book three
ebook, 109 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Samhain Publishing
ISBN 9781609285142

Sometimes you run in to love. Sometimes it runs into you.

Love at first sight? It’s so not happening for Morgan. Never mind that her two best friends, who are both up to their eyeballs in happily ever after, are playing matchmaker. She wants out of her worst blind date ever—and her “out” abruptly finds her when she’s knocked out cold walking into a door.

One look into the eyes of the beautiful woman with the gash on her head, and paramedic Evan Marshall is a goner. Professional ethics say hands off the patient. Once her stitches are out, though, he can’t resist the impulse to ask her out. As their first date flares into a white-hot affair, he feels it in his bones—she’s the one.

Evan’s everything Morgan could ever want in a man, but things are happening way too fast. She made that mistake once before and, certain this relationship is careening down the same road to heartbreak, she slams on the brakes.

To her surprise, Evan lets her go. And by the time she realizes she just let her one chance at happily ever after slip away, it could be too late…

Warning: Fated love strikes again. Featuring toe-curling sex, a sweet-talking man and a woman who can’t help but give in to her secret desires. Will true love reign supreme? Most definitely.

Once more, and that makes three in a row, I'm swooning over these men of Erickson's. They're just too good! These are the romance books guys *really* don't want us women to read. How can they compete? They just can't!

Out of Brett, Jacob, and now Evan... I'm thinking Evan was the best in bed. Although I do have fond memories of Brett... But having to choose between the firefighter and the paramedic, I'm going the latter route for sure.

4 out of 5 stars.
  • He had it bad.
  • And he never had it bad.

Previously in the series:

No Dress Required: Love Required #1

No Dress Required
Cari Quinn
ebook, 61 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Entangled Publishing (Flirt)

After years of ho-hum dating, Noelle Gregory is tired of fooling around. There’s only ever been one guy for her—Jake Conroy, her best friend’s older brother. Now that Jake’s back in town, she’s headed to his sister’s New Year’s Eve party to make her move. Purse full of condoms? Check. Sparkly dress guaranteed to show Jake the sexy woman she’s become? Check.

Carjacker that makes off with both two hours before the party? Check.

When Jake finds Noelle stranded on the side of the road—looking sexier than ever in her striped socks and silly holiday shirt, damn it—he’s glad for the snowstorm that cancels his sister’s party. His and Noelle’s friendship has tormented him for years, and now, Jake wonders if he should dare to sample what he’s always wanted…and if he’ll be able to walk away when it’s over.


  • He pressed against her, his thumbs framing her face, and closed his eyes, wanting to savor these last seconds before he kissed her for real. There wouldn’t be another moment like this between them again.

Or at least a very strong like.

I was having a little trouble focusing on my current book so I grabbed up this one for a quick flavor change. Plus, it had been a while since I'd gotten my hands on a good friends-to-lovers read.

Which this certainly is.

It's playful while still holding a level of maturity. They do examine the consequences before tumbling over the line, which is always a refreshing reality check to me and holds fond memories.

4 out of 5 stars.

  • It wasn’t fair. The one woman who’d stirred his interest—and other parts of him—since Mo wasn’t a possibility. Not because she wasn’t perfect, but because she was. She’d grown up into a smart, stunning woman, exactly like he’d always known she would, and he couldn’t have her. Fuck, but what if he could? She was acting possessive. Demanding. Almost jealous.
       “Shit,” he muttered, rocking back on his heels. No way. She didn’t want him. They weren’t about that. Were they?
       She frowned. “What?”
    He was just going to say it. If she thought he was a complete loser then, well, he’d take her to her house—or to Alexa’s, since she seemed determined to go to the party—and he’d head home to soothe his wounded pride in private. But he had to know. Jake speared his fingers through his hair and clutched a handful of it against his head, searching for the right words. Surely he had some finesse somewhere.
       “You want me, don’t you, Nellie?” At her stricken gasp, he groaned inside and wished he’d bitten his tongue off instead of asking. At least, not like that. “I mean, you’re interested in me?” Interested sounded better. Less threatening. “You have to be,” he continued, a little desperately.


A Demon and His Witch: Welcome to Hell #1

A Demon and His Witch
Eve Langlais
Welcome to Hell, book one
ebook, 158 pages
Published June 10th 2012 by Eve Langlais (first published June 2nd 2012)
ISBN 9781927459034

Welcome to Hell where you’re screwed if you do and damned if don’t. And just so you know, Lucifer’s got a special spot reserved for you.

Burning alive is nothing compared to the heat of his touch.

Roasted at the stake as a witch, while her lover watches, Ysabel sells her soul to the devil in return for revenge. A fair trade until her ex-boyfriend escapes the bowels of Hell and she's forced to team up with a demon to fetch the jerk back.

Remy's seen a lot of things during his tenure in Lucifer's guard, but nothing can prepare him for the witch with the acerbic tongue--and voluptuous figure. Her mouth says 'Screw you,' but her body screams 'Take me.' What's a poor demon to do when his heart makes things even more complicated by goading him to make her his, forever? Before he can decide if his demonizing days are done, though, he needs to catch the bad guys, save the girl and then find a way to convince her to love him and not kill him.

Warning: This story contains a sexy demon with corny pickup lines and an irritable witch who works for Satan. There is coarse language, hot scenes, twisted religious ideology and a whole lot of giggles. Also, be warned that Lucifer is back trying to steal the show. If you possess an open mind, a good sense of humor and a tainted soul, then read at your own peril.

Remy is a soldier to the core. And a bastard to boot. He's also a half-demon who, up until now, prided himself on the many women he could juggle. But as of late, he feels the need for a change. And maybe settling down with one woman is just the thing.

Ysabel hasn't been with a man in over five hundred years. Not since the cheating jackass, Francisco, left her to burn at the stake for being a witch. She sold her soul for revenge, overlooking the fine print, and got herself stuck with the grand task of serving as Lucifer's personal assistant. As her contract nears its end, the five people doomed to suffer for eternity for their crimes against her escape from Hell's prison. With Remy's aid she must return them to their punishment if she ever wants peace from the curse of reliving her death.

It's a strange clause. Sure, Lucifer agrees to torture your enemies but *you* have to be the one to keep them in Hell? How lazy can a guy get?

I can't say this one was better than book two, but had I read this before A Demon & His Psycho, that opinion may have flipped. Doubt it, but agree to entertain the possibility. It's just as crass and nearly as funny. However, the psychotic killing spree from its sequel still takes the crown for me.

4 out of 5 stars.


Cast in Peril: Chronicles of Elantra #8

Cast in Peril
Michelle Sagara
Chronicles of Elantra, book eight
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Luna


It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she'd been given was ready to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters....

So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris- disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin will be traveling with.

For eight years I've been reading this series--still can't see an end in sight as Cast in Sorrow is due out in 2013--and it continues to be the one series that tortures me tirelessly.

I know, being an Urban Fantasy, it will never give me the same satisfaction that erotica provides, or even romantic fantasy does for that matter. But, damn it, people kiss in UF and I'm holding out for that kiss between Severn and Kaylin.

And so, I read.

Nightshade is an asshole. He has information, and what does he do with it? Blackmails those necessary to get Kaylin on an extended eight week leave. Teela may join her but no other Hawk may accompany them. As I said, asshole.

Luckily, Severn, our favorite former Wolf, has a past that seems to come full circle and his former lord sends him along on an unclassified mission. My guy's on the hunt!

Not even out of chapter two yet, and Kaylin's beloved apartment goes up in smithereens. And the egg has hatched, revealing a familiar inside that to all but Bellusdeo, resembles a glass dragon. One that eats one of Kaylin's marks. Whatever he is, he's got a great judge of character. Despite his miniscule size, he's got no qualms about attacking Nightshade and he's just as content lounging on Severn's shoulder as he is with Kaylin's. Yeah, the winged lizard is kind of awesome.

The journey to West March doesn't get started till about 200 pages in. Soon enough, hot damn, there's a six page scene that sets my heart to racing. Kaylin and Severn somehow get set up to share a room, and a bed. Sagara, you are such a tease!

When she rose, she sat heavily on the left side of the bed. “Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been a problem,” she told the dragon.
“It isn’t a problem now,” Severn said.
She froze and then swiveled slowly to look at him; he was wearing a bathrobe. His hair was wet in the messy, toweled-dry way, in the room’s light, his eyes looked darker.
“I am not Barren.”
She flinched.
“I’m not Nightshade,” he continued. “I’m not a bored, self-indulgent noble. And I’m not a young Hawk whose jaw you could easily break.” He walked over to the right side of the bed and sat. He looked a lot more comfortable than she felt. “Nothing will happen tonight-nothing that you don’t start.”
Pulse-raising, right? A short, minor change of topic, and then…
She fell silent for a long moment. “I’m not good at starting things.”
“I know. And I’m not good at waiting.”
“You waited for seven years.”
“Yes. I don’t really want to wait out another seven, but I can. It’s not the waiting that’s hard.”
“It’s the not doing. It’s knowing that you’re here and I can’t safely touch you if I ever want to touch you again. It’s knowing that Barren’s dead, and I can’t kill him.”
“Morse needed to kill him.”
“And you didn’t?”
She closed her eyes. “Not as badly as Morse did. I saw him die. That was almost enough.”
“But he’s there, between us.”
“Yes.” She swallowed. “It’s not just Barren.”
“No. If I can ask one thing of you tonight, please don’t mention their names.”
She nodded and then said, “Yes. I mean, you can ask, and I won’t.”
Night continued to fall in the room, the shadow’s shifting from gray to indigo. Kaylin listened to Severn’s breathing and forced hers to match his, until they sounded like one person. One person and small dragon who curled up against the top of her head. “Don’t you ever get tired of it? The waiting?”
“Not yet.”
“Will you?”
“What do you think?” He shifted position in the bed; she felt the tug of the covers as he slid beneath them. “Is that what you want?”
“Then don’t ask again. I didn’t waiver when you tried to kill me the first time, in the Hawklord’s Tower. I didn’t give up when you tried to kill me in the Foundling Hall. But enough time has passed, Kaylin.” He shifted again and whispered a different name. “Elianne.”
“You almost never call me by my name.”
“I call you by the name you chose. What you’re called doesn’t change what you mean to me. I don’t know if we’ll ever get past what I did. I want to try. If you know it’s impossible, tell me. I’ll deal with it.”
She wanted to say something, but all the words were messed-up, wrong words.
And then…
She could feel his breath in the space between them-and there was space between them. And she thought she wouldn’t mind if there was less of it, because it was dark and she couldn’t see his expression. She could hear his voice, and she thought there was nothing in his voice, ever, that could remind her of Barren and her self-loathing.
But she couldn’t quite bring herself to bridge the gap, and she knew if she didn’t, it wouldn’t be bridged. She even thought she understood why. If something happened, it had to be because she was certain; something as feeble as “not minding”-tonight-wouldn’t cut it. “I’m afraid of change,” she whispered.
He didn’t answer. He lifted a hand and then, in silence, lowered it. She thought it trembled.

One thing that’s odd to me about Sagara is that she doesn’t recap. If you don’t know this series, don’t pick up a book until you start from the beginning. To the unfamiliar reader, one that knows nothing of the murders of Steffi and Jade, it sort of sounded right there like Severn cheated on Kaylin, multiple times at that. But my guy doesn’t cheat…. He butchers.

She doesn't clear it up until much later and it's glossed over at that. It's then you know what he did, just not why he did it.

The journey to the West March is this book. Stay after stay at way-stations. They eat. They talk. The sleep. They eat again. And they move on.

Every new Hallionne they meet seems to notice the same things. Kaylin fears losing Severn-she doesn't want him hunting. And Severn isn't getting enough sleep. Kaylin's far too distracting in his bed. XD

The purpose of the journey, the revelation of a story, falls to the next book. Any wonder why after eight books, it hasn't even been a year since the beginning of it all?

3 out of 5 stars.


Wicked Werewolf Secret: Werewolf Society #2

Wicked Werewolf Secret
Lisa Renee Jones
Werewolf Society, book two
ebook, 71 pages
Published May 8th 2012

Kole Smith will soon become the leader of his pack, and not just any pack. He will lead the Royal Guard of the Werewolf Society. Before he accepts his role, he has unfinished business and her name is Sarah.

Sarah’s family ran the Casino Operation used as a front for The Werewolf Society, until the greed of the rebels trying to overthrow their government led to her family's murder. Kole saved her life, gave her the opportunity to live and to deliver the vengeance she craves against the rebels.

When they meet again, their passion will explode in a firestorm that will either heal the pain of the past or destroy them forever.

I *knew* I liked Kole. He didn't disappoint and Sarah wasn't so bad either. They were the best characters by far of this growing series and they're the only ones yet who haven't needed Ariel to save the day.

They meet in her family's casino, sharing flirtatious banter for weeks before Kole finally makes his move. But their plans are interrupted when Sarah is taken hostage along with her father, mother and sister. He saves her, but is unable to save her family.

Sarah disappears for two years, becoming a vigilante against the Rebels. Seeking justice as no other would for their deaths. Kole manages to intercept her just before she goes after Derek, the leader, and challenges her to take he himself down. Only then would he believe she was ready to go after the last, and strongest, of them.

Sarah claimed an exceptional gift-being able to replicate any form of fighting after being exposed to it only once. Never did see evidence of it though. Kole fights the urge to claim her. She isn't ready for that yet, and he still blames himself for failing her. Both Shi and Nico are forced to intervene and by the end, the King himself pays a visit. And suddenly things go all fairy tale. And they lived happily ever after. ;)

4 out of 5 stars.

  • Mine. The word echoed in his mind again, a word he’d never used with any other female, and he moved between her legs, licked her clit and suckled it. Mine. She was his mate. He’d hunted for her, grieved for her, and she’d hidden from him as she could never do once they had exchanged blood. He’d be able to track her, he’d be able to protect her. She’d be stronger, live as long as he. Kole lapped at her, licking and tasting, claiming her.

Previously in the series:

Wicked Werewolf Passion: Werewolf Society #3

Wicked Werewolf Passion
Lisa Renee Jones
Werewolf Society, book three
Published August 2012 by Lisa Renee Jones

Shi is a wolf whose been shunned by the Royal Guard he once fought for, the head of a mercenary team that does the jobs too dirty for everyone else. His newest job is to find, and kidnap, the gorgeous daughter of a high ranking member of the council, and make him confess he’s working for the enemy. Dirty work, but someone has to do it. Only this gorgeous wolf isn’t about to believe her father is on the bad side of the fence, nor does she have plans to be anyone’s captive. In fact…she might just make Shi her captive.

This story kicks off six years before book one-Wicked Werewolf Night, fast forwards eleven months, then lands on present day with a hell of a lot less confusion than WWN. That doesn't mean I didn't have at least one question. Like *why* does Alexander want Shi dead? Is it the evil magic, or the simple fact that he's trying to mate his daughter, Carmen, before she's of claiming age. After book one, I was in the mood to just have it spelled out for me.

Carmen, thankfully, had more fight in her than Aylia.
  • “Who do you belong to?” he asked, lifting his head. 

    “I told you, damn it. Fucking me isn’t going to make me yours.” She reached up and tore the tie from his hair, letting the waves of raven hair streaked with red fall wildly around his shoulders. “It just makes me wish I was.”

Next up is book two, Kole's story. I know, I know. I'm screwey. But I'm hoping I saved the best for last.

3 out of 5 stars.

On a side note... lookie what I found!

Set in an alternate universe of the Knights of White series.

The Knights of White serve ArchAngel Raphael.

The Enforcers -- known by those of the otherworld as SONS OF GABRIEL -- serve ArchAngel Gabriel.

Previously in the series:


Wicked Werewolf Night: Werewolf Society #1

Wicked Werewolf Night
Lisa Renee Jones
Werewolf Society, book one
ebook, 52 pages
Published December 13th 2011 by Indie
ISBN 9781465994868
Amazon free read

A witch after his secrets. A werewolf after her pleasure.

Nico Moore is the leader of of The Werewolf Society's elite Royal Guard. Aylia Richardson is the witch who calls to the beast in Nico, but destiny has also made her the keeper of a gift that threatens the very existence of his race. To destroy this gift will destroy this woman...the only one he has ever dared to call 'mate'.

I was on the third page of this read before I had to stop and ask myself, WTF did I miss? It felt like I was smack in the middle of book two. But no, this is definitely book one and I was nowhere near the middle. So.. don't do like I did and skip the Note To Readers. Very helpful info there.

If you've read Jones's Vampire Warden series, you'll know where you are. If you haven't-like me-prepare for the confusion.

I collected a little list of not so nice things about this story. For one, the confusion of picking up from a scene from another book and instantly having a bunch of characters thrown at you. Secondly... I've read LRJ before and loved it. This, for some odd reason, didn't feel like the same author to me. Nico, I loved. All Alpha there.

  • He shoved open the door and she was already in motion; ready to end the silence between them. Nico followed on her heels, kicking the door shut. She started to whirl around to face him, when he crowded her and pressed her back against the door.  His fists pressed against the door, framing her face. “Don’t ever challenge me in front of the pack again. Someone could have easily ended up dead tonight. You know this. You know the rules.”

    “You stole my necklace,” Aylia blasted back. “Where are your rules, Nico?”

    “That stunt you pulled wasn’t the way to get it back. You know damn well how the pack operates. You know how easily someone ends up dead.” 

    “I’m not a wolf,” she said. “I’m a witch and I act like a witch and we both know that’s a bad word in your world. I don’t belong here and neither does my necklace.”

    His fingers slid around her neck, his mouth lowering above hers. “You belong with me,” he growled, slanting his mouth over hers, in a brutally possessive, deep kiss, a branding with his tongue. Aylia tried not to respond, but his tongue stroked hers, hot and hungry.

Eh, Aylia was... not so loveable. And the problem of her curse was way to easily solved.

Kole, I liked, despite the red leather thing he's got going on. Yes, I really liked Kole.

So... I'm moving on to book three which opens up six years before this one and I actually purchased first. Slow learner here.

2 out of 5 stars.


A Demon and His Psycho: Welcome to Hell #2

A Demon and His Psycho
Eve Langlais
Welcome To Hell, book two
Published July 17th 2012 by Eve Langlais
ISBN 9781927459089

Welcome to Hell where the rules are always changing, the ash is constantly raining, and Lucifer is watching, waiting to steal your soul…

I'm not crazy. I just have anger issues.

With a giggle and an outrageous mouth – perfect for things other than talking – Katie comes flying into Xaphan’s life, upsetting centuries of self-inflicted misery. How can he stay true to the one he lost when a bubbly psycho, with mismatched eyes, keeps consuming his thoughts – and awakening his desire?

So she was a tad bit nuts, Katie’s insanity came in handy as the Devil’s favorite problem solver. But killing’s not on the menu when a dragon goes missing, and worse, Lucifer teams her up with Hell’s grumpiest demon. His rejection of her advances only makes her more determined to seduce him. And despite her violent reputation, a part of her is oddly tempted to let him live.

Warning: This story centers around a grumpy demon holding onto an ancient vow and a perky psycho (with killer tendencies) who is determined to make him snap. There's cursing, melt-your-screen hotness, messed up religious tropes and snort out loud fun. If you enjoy raunchy humor, sizzling moments and already know you’re going to Hell, then dive on in.

She's wrong. This bitch *is* crazy. And by the end, she even drives Xaphan to madness.

I had too much fun reading this one. So much that I wanted to grab a copy for Redd but apparently erotica has been making her gag lately... Too bad. Cuz this was laugh-out-loud fun.

The only bad thing about this book is the font on the cover. Everything else, pure genius! Forget Hell as you know it. In this world, God and Lucifer are brothers and Luci's in a romantic relationship with Mother Earth. When Lucifer's granddaughter's pet dragon, Fluffy, goes missing from her garden, Xaphan and Katie are teamed up to track it down.

Xaphan is a thousand times a fool. Back when he was human, and a knight with no land or riches, he fell for his lord's woman and she used his infatuation to do her bidding. He sold his soul and pledged his undying love. Now he's a demon in Hell.

Katie's had a rough life. Every man she's ever known has let her down. So she kills them all. And others. And anyone else that inspires her psychosis.

  • A smile hovering around his lips, Lucifer waved her closer. “I see you’ve met your partner.”

    Lips pulled down in a grimace, Xaphan answered. “Unfortunately. You expect me to work with her? You can’t be serious?”

    “Oh but I am,” Lucifer replied with a smile that sent the damned – the smart ones at any rate – running.

    Smart or not, Xaphan wasn’t giving in without a fight. “Like fuck. I am not working with that crazy female.”

    “Why not?” she asked with a pout, planting her hands on her hips. It was ridiculously cute, and proved his point.

    “Exactly how are you supposed to help? Look at you.”

    She peered down and rotated her hips, trying to look behind her. “What about me? Is it the shorts? Did I not trim enough off? I skipped the underwear so I wouldn’t have any lines. It’s the bra, isn’t it? I went for support so I wouldn’t jiggle when I ran, but you’re right. It’s got to go.” And it did. A shimmy, a wink and a wiggle later, a black lace confection went whipping towards his face.

    He caught it, stunned. “You’re completely and utterly psycho.”

    “Why thank you,” she said, as she held a hand to her chest and preened. “I do try my best.”

    “That she does,” Lucifer agreed. “Which is why I think she’ll be a perfect match for the task I’ve got planned.”

    “I am so winning employee of the year this time,” Katie exclaimed, punctuated with a fist pump.

It was crude and delicious and I want more! Somebody get these two a tv show!

Seriously, I am madly in love with this book. 5 out of 5 stars. And it's my first favorite of 2012. Wheee!

  • “Why did you come?”

    “Because I love you.” He slapped a hand over her mouth before she could retort. “No. You don’t get to talk yet. You have a tendency, I noticed, of flying off the handle with wrong conclusions, so this time you need to listen. I love you, Katie, killer of demons and sexy psycho.

    She shook her head behind his enforced silence.

    “Don’t try and deny it. I know what I’m feeling. And I’m telling you right now I never felt it before.” She narrowed her gaze. “Never. What I had with Roxanne was nothing like what I feel for you. Not even close. I need you.”

    No, she wouldn’t melt. She had to stay strong.

    “Stubborn, psycho. Fine, you need more proof? I went to the bars the first day after you left.”

    Aha, the cheater.

    “I let women hit on me, left, right and center.”

    Oh, she could feel a murderous rampage coming on.

    “They left me cold.”

    Killing spree averted.

    “So I went to a dating service.”

    Blood pressure rising.

    "They introduced me to beautiful women, nice women.”

    Going to explode.

    “None of them could hold a candle to you.”

    Out went her breath.

Eve Langlais is typically a MFM author. So glad she makes the occasional exception.


Pursued: Brides of the Kindred #6

Evangeline Anderson
Brides of the Kindred, book six
ebook, 453 pages
Published June 20th 2012 (first published June 1st 2012)

Elise is fractured inside, stained by a past she refuses to remember.

Merrick is scarred both inside and out, a half-breed with a brutal background, at home nowhere in the universe.

Now they are tied together by an unstable bond which could kill them both.

Their journey will take them to the lawless planet of Rageron—the wildest of all the Kindred worlds. There, in the deep blue jungles of an alien world, Elise must bare her soul and relive the horror that nearly killed her. Can she and Merrick make each other whole or will Elise run from her pain?

If she does, Merrick cannot help but chase her…Elise is being Pursued.

Merrick and Elise were getting along beautifully in Revealed, book five of this series. So much so that Merrick, a seven-foot-seven hybrid Kindred was actually starting to believe it possible that he could forge a bond with a female. A female scarred so emotionally, physically, and mentally deep that her memory is a blurry mess. Then things fall apart. For Elise has a fiance.

And Merrick is pissed.

Having around a growly half Beast/half Blood Kindred with the Beast's rage to kill and the Blood's coldness to keep that rage fueled... Not. So. Good.

Xairn had a dirty mouth, but Merrick takes the crown in the cursing arena. I'm not sure what it is, but I love that in a man.

No matter what. When the girl comes out of the stasis chamber, DO NOT touch her.

Simple enough instructions, right? Not enough so for Merrick as he jumps to do just that when Elise flatlines moments after emerging from stasis. And now, there's a terminal bond joining them. One that fuels Elise's hunger, and is killing Merrick. Despite the falseness of it, though, it's a bond Merrick is reluctant to break. For it may be the only kind he can ever have.

But if it kills him, it will kill Elise, too. So he hides behind his walls of aggression, pledges to see Elise safely to Rageron where they will collect the plant with the means to cure them, and return her to her jackass of a fiance for their wedding. A wedding that is less than a month away. And so, on with the tension.

  • “Is that fucking right?” Merrick felt rage and hurt and desire all rising inside him. Somehow he managed to choke the emotions down, at least long enough to talk. “Let me tell you something, baby,” he said, his voice going hoarse. “Last night was the best fucking sex I’ve ever had in my life and it wasn’t even really sex. You know why that was? Because it was with you.”

    Her eyes went wide and then she looked down, biting her lip. “You…you just think that because of the bond,” she whispered. “It’s a fake emotion, like everything else we feel for each other. It's not real.”

    “Isn't it?” Merrick demanded. “Because right now I feel like you reached in my chest with that soft little hand of yours and ripped out my fucking heart. How much realer can it get than that?”

One can't help but be humored by Draven. A smartass villain has a certain charm.

And Lissa, our dear exiled priestess has been reunited with Saber. Reminiscent of EA's Picture Perfect, a step-sibling love story, my draw to these characters was instant. Picture Perfect was *hot* and what I've come to consider my favorite read of Anderson's. It has to be. I've read it four times. Anyway, Lissa's parents and brother were slaughtered by pirates which left her orphaned and adopted by the Sun Clan. She was taken in by the Over Chief who had a son four years her senior. Saber, her new step-brother both protected and cared deeply for Lissa. But to their people, being step-siblings in love is not only taboo, being in love and of the *same* clan is as well. Double cursed.

Despite it, though, Saber pledged his love to her. But when his mother discovered them, even though they had never physically touched in any romantic way, she forced Lissa to renounce him. Lissa regretfully obeyed.

Meanhile... allow me to update, as it looks as if Xairn will once more be the focus of another attack upon the Kindred. He dreams of a woman able to change her appearance. A woman, Draven has bartered with. And... Sophie's finally pregnant! With boy/girl twins.

It freaking figures. I'd love to jump right into book seven, but it's not out yet. According to an Amazon post by EA herself, it's due out in Autumn-which kicks off Saturday! Gimme gimme gimme!

4 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:


Legacy of the Witch (The Portal #0.5)

Legacy of the Witch
Maggie Shayne
ebook, 53 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Harlequin
ISBN 9781426875571
Free Read from Amazon

"Once upon a time, there lived three witches…"

As a child, Amarrah loved her grandmother’s stories of three witches who were members of the king’s harem—but they were more than just stories. Amarrah knew she had been there with them…and now their legacy, along with an ancient box that once belonged to them, lies in her hands.

Charged with keeping the box safe, Amarrah is heartbroken when it is stolen from her while she moves to America. Years later, she is shocked to see it on TV and is determined to get it back. Tracking the artifact leads her to Sergeant Harrison Brockson, a handsome soldier who stirs memories of a man she knew centuries ago in ancient Babylon. Is Harrison the key to finding the box—or could he be her destiny?

Prequel novella to Maggie Shayne’s exciting trilogy, "The Portal"

I liked this. And the blurb sums it up nicely.

Now I'm not into talk of harems, but I am forever intrigued at the possibility of past lives. Amarrah was, oddly enough, always Amarrah. Harrison Brckson, present day soldier and hero, was once Harmon, son of Brock. They share a love born lifetimes ago when they were just children in long ago Babylon. When Amarrah's beloved mistresses of that time are arrested and set to be killed for their witchcraft, among other sins, it's up to both Amarrah and Harmon to ensure the sisters have hope in the future. The very, very distant future.

I know *nothing* about the upcoming Portal series and have a pretty bad track record with prequels. But this, this was a success. It gives a great back story and sets up the protagonists of each of the books beautifully. Will I read book one? Maybe.... just maybe...

3 out of 5 stars.

Mark of the Witch is due out October 1st.

She was born to save what he is sworn to destroy.

Revealed: Brides of the Kindred #5

Evangeline Anderson
Brides of the Kindred, book five
ebook, 376 pages
Published February 24th 2012 by Evangeline Anderson Books (first published January 12th 2012)
ISBN 9781452488356

Nadiah has the Sight—the ability to see into the future. But the one thing she can’t see is how she’s ever going to be free of the blood bond her parents forced her into when she was only six. Her fiancée is an evil bastard who delights in torturing her and her only way out of a loveless marriage is for a Kindred warrior to challenge the hated bond. But Nadiah has no warrior to challenge for her—she just has Rast.

Adam Rast doesn’t know why he feels so protective and possessive of Nadiah, only that he’s willing to kill or die to protect her. When the chance to set her free arises, he takes it without hesitation, even though his lack of Kindred blood could mean his defeat or even his death. But Rast has a secret, one even he doesn’t know he possesses. When he undertakes Nadiah’s quest, the truth comes out in a strange and provocative way.

Can Nadiah and Rast live through their ordeal? Will the truth about Rast set them free…or kill them?

! Spoilers !

After four books, we finally get a change of pace. A breath of fresh air. Up until now, the males have been wonderful mates, living and breathing with the sole purpose of cherishing and protecting their women. Well, now we have Detective Adam Rast. A guy who doesn't give a damn about pissing off a girl.
  • Rast gave her a long look and then shook his head. ​"You'​re fucking gorgeous, you know? It​'s too damn bad all that pretty has to come with crazy attached to it."​ (taken from Found)
And yet... it doesn't last. Suddenly Rast is one of our own when Nadiah faints beside him in the HKR building and is unable to be revived. Sylvan comes at once to collect his weakened cousin. As he attempts to take her from Rast's arms, a switch gets flipped and instantly Rast is consumed with the need to keep her to himself. No other male may touch her. No matter that Sylvan is married and kin to the woman.

Honestly, both Rast and Nadiah have changed since we first met each of them. Back in book two, Nadiah was a spirited young woman who swooned over anything romantic. But when the gift of Sight comes upon her, Nadiah matures fast from the burden, and her impending bond in an arranged marriage only exacerbates her misery.

The first chapter alone was so touching and I didn't expect chapter two at all as Rast jumps right into the challenge to break Nadiah's blood bond betrothal. Soon enough, he's telling his mom he's leaving Earth and will likely never return. Okay, son, By the way, you're adopted.

These two definitely have some fucked up parents. On a positive note, the guy's willing to sing. And vows not to change the color of Nadiah's eyes (for us non Tranq Prime people, that means he won't fuck her). The guy goes through almost the whole ordeal with the state of mind that he doesn't get to keep her in the end. But alas, he declares his love and his intention of marrying her. And only then will he take her virtue. Big mistake there.
  • “No!” It was a shout of agony from the bottom of his soul. Suddenly Rast knew what he had to do. He had to pull Nadiah to him, yes. But he also had to give her a reason to come. Had to give her the strength to break the bond with her evil fiancée and come to him forever.

    “Nadiah,” he called, yanking on the cord as hard as he could. “Nadiah, come back to me right now. Come back to me because I love you!”

    Her eyes flew wide and she turned her attention from Y’dex to him. “Rast,” she whispered uncertainly. “Do you…do you really mean that?”

    “Of course I fucking mean it!” he shouted, angry and desperate with love for her. “Now get back here so I can prove it!”

Merrick finally makes his grand entrance. He's a seven-foot-seven hybrid Kindred male with the cock of the Beast Kindred and the fangs of the Blood Kindred. His eyes are mismatched and he bears scars across his face. Formidable for sure. But Elise, the last tortured victim of the AllFather doesn't even notice when he saves her from her escape pod which has been lost, floating in space.

Updating our other favorite people... Kat is preparing to marry Lock and Deep. Lauren is pregnant. Yay Xairn!! And Sophia and Severn have yet to conceive, but apparently there's a reason. For the Goddess is waiting for the heir to take the Empty Throne. And our loveable no-mere-human is that heir.

All he has to do to claim it, is sprout wings. and remain on First World forever.

I'm not sure where all these people would be without Sylvan and Kat. Certainly not together. Those two are the answers to so many of the problems that arise. And thankfully, now Sylvan can become a daddy.

By now, we've met Lissa, whom I'm fairly certain is the heroine of book seven. She's been exiled to the First World by her mother to serve as a priestess and well, the book *is* entitled Exiled. I'm beginning to wonder if this series ever ends...?

Taking a small, day-long break before book six to explore another story. It's way overdo, and with fourteen new books this week, I've got plenty of options.

4 out of 5 stars.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

Previously in the series: