What the Heart Haunts

"You make me feel." -Khost

What the Heart Haunts
Sadie Hart
Published January 2012

Nalla is an ex-Hound of the Wild Hunt. She’s spent the last four hundred years in exile…for falling in love. On a whim one night, she agrees to a blind date, but she doesn’t expect Khost. Another Hound, he’s the closest she’s come to finding the magic she’s lost. He’s also her chance at revenge against the god who banished her. All she needs to do is seduce his Hound.

After a hundred and fifty years of running with the Wild Hunt, Khost can’t remember what it’s like to feel. Until Nalla. With one kiss, Nalla leaves him shaken and now that he’s had her, he can’t let her go. Khost knows that falling for Nalla means he’ll be giving up the Hunt, but one can’t help what the heart haunts…and people are meant for love.

This is really quick, rather nice read. Nalla and Khost don't pretend to fall in love, but since all they've got is each other, they're certainly not ignoring the chance that it's going to happen.

Nalla knows that the worst that's going to happen to Khost is that he'll be unable to return to the Hunt. And it's awful that she was right. Not much of a punishment to be had here at all. And it's not like the gods don't help each other out, even if only to keep the other indebted. Either way, both Nalla and Khost needed to have something to fear. Therein lies my one and only complaint.

4 out of 5 stars.


Grave New Day: Jess Vandermire #3

"I remember a brick wall. I remember you in leather." -John Brittain

Grave New Day
Lina Gardiner
Jess Vandermire, book three
ebook, 184 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Imajinn Books (first published June 2010)
ISBN 9781933417561

Vampire and New York City Police Black Ops Captain Jess Vandermire is faced with the hardest decision of her life-become human again and regain her soul or remain a vampire forever and fight an ancient evil that is a threat to every human on the planet.

Ensnared in a plan that might go terribly wrong, she has little choice. As a human she can't fight the ancient enemy. Then a mysterious stranger shows up and offers to help, and she's not sure if he's really on her side. She discovers her entire existence has been leading up to the challenge ahead. A challenge that has insurmountable odds, and if she doesn't win, every human on the planet loses.

Aliens. Angels. Shifters. Demons. And now, Vampires. I'm definitely making the rounds.

Grave New Day opens up not too long after the end of the last book with Jess put in the position of planning Britt's funeral arrangements. Regent, her brother and personal savior, is by her side, as always, aiding her in the coping with her grief and trying to dissuade her from retiring from the police force and taking up a vigilante role against vampires.

At the funeral, Jess is approached by a man who calls himself Zeke and claims Britt's alive and will return to her soon. Which he does--very soon.

Britt doesn't remember much. Maybe his name. And Regent's phone number. Go figure. He does not, however, remember Jess. He's awoken in what he assumes is a monastery and is quickly taken by Zeke to rescue Jess from a vampire fight. From there, don't expect some grand reunion where everything clicks into place. It doesn't. Britt has a vague inkling that these people are familiar but that's all. Meanwhile, Jess may not know who the Britt lookalike is, but she's quite insistent on who he is not.

This book is screwy. I loved having Britt with memory loss. It actually made him a much better character. Having to fall in love with Jess all over again was wonderful, and even better., he had to realize vampires existed all over again as well. Sadly, it came and went too fast. He remembers a little more every time he speaks and them bam!, at midpoint Zeke returns right on cue and everything goes... well, screwy. Not only does Britt get his memory back but Jess is the *only* one who knows what has occurred in the first twelve chapters of the book. That's right, we're practically starting completely over. And I was SO tempted to shut it down right then and there. I didn't want to start over. Plus, I was rather exhausted by the overwhelming feelings and very little fact that built the story.

The only real, constant drama revolves around James, Jess' old partner whom she turned years ago. He, like her, managed to hold onto his humanity. Married a human woman. And adopted a vampire baby. Here, due to a ridiculous scheme by Italian vamps, James is battling the completion of his transition to a vampire. He captures his wife and child, locking them away, and forcing his wife to feed their daughter with her blood to keep her alive. In doing so, the baby turns her.

I gagged and choked my way from there out. Forced myself to finish. And that's not necessarily something I'm proud of. The worst part? It's to be continued! Hell no. Not for this woman.

2 out of 5 stars.

Previously in this series:


Shield of Fire: Bringer and the Bane #1

All he wanted was for Ravyn to want him.

Shield of Fire
Boone Brux
Bringer and the Bane, book one
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
ISBN 2940013470347

In one night, Ravyn’s life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she’s known, she stumbles headlong into the clutches of Icarus, a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating.

When Rhys realizes the woman he’s rescued from the Bane Demon is no mere human, his obligation as a Bringer dictates he protect and train her in the ways of his people. But he’s unprepared for the intense desire he feels for the fiery Ravyn. To surrender to his need may mean her death.

As the Demon King's desire for ultimate power escalates, fathers are slated against sons, and foes are made allies. The Bane threat upon them, Rhys and Ravyn must quest to unite the last of the Bringers—and explore a passion too powerful to ignore.

Ravyn has lived her entire life in the abbey, her powers hidden from every person she knows. She wakes one night to find her friend has been gifted to a demon by Father Powell, and she's next. Fighting, fleeing, Ravyn parts from the hollowed ground and winds up in even greater danger.

Enter Rhys. He's been drawn to the abbey for quite some time, though he doesn't understand why. He's a Bringer, a protector. And at three hundred thirty-two years old, he is the last living full-blooded Bringer. He does what he does because it's who he is. But when he rescues Ravyn, healing her, she reminds Rhys that he's still very much a man as well as a warrior.

This story--so exceptionally well written--took me back to the days when I was immersed in fantasy romance. Pure, true love. *sigh* Oh, Rhys. One little day and the guy was falling. And our dear intended is a twenty-three year old child virgin from a convent. A couple nearly there kisses, and finally, Rhys stops fighting once they arrive in his home. In his room. Beside his bed. The one place a lonely man feels the most alone.

It's as much Rhys's story as it is Ravyn's. If not, more so. When we finally get to the smut, it's not so bad. Nothing like a pair of form hugging slacks to make a woman get up and take what she wants. And the morning after? One of the best. There's no shame to be had in this household!

Meanwhile, Luc (and you're going to love Luc) and Jade are busy going tit for tat. I'd say more but I WASN'T PRIVY TO THE CONVERSATION.

Near the end, Ravyn has had quite the transformation in the too short time she's been with Rhys. She even manages to save them all from dying at the hands of succubi. With help from Jade and her eager efforts to wield a shovel.

And surprise, Rhys has even more secrets than he let on. He's a shifter! Woot!! A dragon to be exact. And Ravyn's a princess. And a Tell. And a Redeemer. And a Shield. Many talents that one.

So... Love the world. Love the characters. Truly a riot of laughs to be had with the surrounding cast. And I'm so glad Luc and Jade get their own book.

Hmm... I'm compelled to give this a 5 star rating, but I got to ask: where the hell is the marriage proposal?!


Perfect Mate: Mate #1

“Okay, who let the civilian have the axe?” -Nic

Perfect Mate
Mina Carter
Mate, book one
ebook, 249 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781609288679

Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late night emergency is wheeled in.

Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near fatal wound in mere hours.

When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?

Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm, and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.

I was in no way prepared for Jack Harper. And maybe that was just a plain stupid error on my part. The guy was being checked into a mental hospital despite being perfectly sane, so why wouldn't he act the part? Either way, I wasn't braced for the big guy to burst into song. Talk about a wtf/facepalm moment. Crazy funny from the start.

Rolled in on a gurney, losing blood and pumped fill of silver nitrate to guarantee he stayed down, Jack still manages to recognize the scent of his mate when she rushes forward to help stem the bleeding. He catches her before she makes physical contact but her presence is enough to wake the beast inside him. A wolf that's raging inside with the need to claim its mate... and rip apart the bastard that intends to harm her.

At that instant I knew I was dealing with a possible biped werewolf that needed the moon to shift, which I ordinarily loathe, but here, I couldn't have cared less. It didn't matter, I was totally rooting for Jack!

The lust for blood and/or the woman shielded behind him wages war inside Jack and for the first time I truly understood why werewolves get shelved in the horror section despite the overwhelming romance fashioned around them. Here, I got it. Other places, not nearly as much.

Riding the shoulder of the book is Major Antonia Fielding, human turned science experiment Vamp, or, as they call them, Blood. Inheriting a prejudice against Lycans from her newly developed self, Antonia is sent to contain the outbreak. After she's forced to watch the only person that ever came close to being a friend, Garry, be turned into a zombie. Yep. All the viruses are alive and well in this series. But Resident Evil's got nothing on this!

Jack's first stop amidst the chaos is to break free his beta and right hand man, Darcy Foster. Awesome all on his own, Darce is soon revealed as Antonia's mate. Also rescued are Richards, Blake, Thom, Palmer, Joe Sanders (gay, in love with Richards), and the lone female of the squad, Nic.

She [Nic] stilled, her expression deadening. Slowly, her gaze marched down to his groin. He didn’t bother to hide the tented fabric at his crotch. His scent would give him away anyway.
She lifted her brow, lips pursed. “Impressive. Weird but impressive. Didn’t know RAs got you off this badly.”
He snorted and waved a hand dismissively. He was in too good a mood to be brought down by her sarcasm. 
“She’s here!”  He had been going to keep the amazing news to himself, but instead he found himself blurting the words out without any apparent intervention from his brain. Once they were out, there was no taking them back, so he stood in the middle of the corridor grinning like a fool. 
The two other wolves froze. There was no question what he meant. A wolf only meant one thing when he said “she” in that tone of voice. He was talking about the other half of his soul, his perfect mate. The woman made especially for him.
“One of the RAs? Man, that sucks. I’m sorry,” Sanders, a man of few words, spoke into the silence. 
“Oh. God, no. She’s not an RA. She’s one of the troops that came with them—”
Nic speared him with a look so icy he was surprised his blood didn’t freeze.
“She? With the troops? There’s only one woman with them and she…” Her lip curled in disgust. “She’s a Blood.”
Darce grinned and nodded like a fool. He knew what she was, and he didn’t care.
The female werewolf’s gaze stabbed toward his groin again. "Seriously, Darce? We’re about to be overrun by RAs and you’ve got a boner for some Blood bitch?”

The characters here are done to perfection. Even mere human Lillian. She doesn't freak out or attempt to flee. She stays glued to Jack's side through it all. And not because of some overwhelming, lame ass, cheesy mate bond but because of common freaking sense. Fills the role of alpha female quite well, too. =)

It's been a good long while since I've felt the compulsion to highlight the hell out of a book but I just could not help myself here. May the author forgive me.

“Which one do I get?”
His lips compressed. “None of them. You stay behind me and down out of sight behind the cabinet.”
She looked at him as though he’d grown another head. “Excuse me? Can you repeat that? I thought you just told me that I don’t get a gun.”
He picked up a shotgun and cocked with a swift, efficient movement.
“Yup, that’s exactly what I said.”
“Well, fuck that! I want a gun.”

When the group makes their final break for freedom, it's Darce that hangs back to take care of the rogue soldier hot on their tails. A feat he achieves beautifully. Damn it if Darce didn't have me in the palm of his hand. From his very first word to his last scripted syllable, that man had me hooked. When he and Antonia finally come together, Antonia can't figure out what she wants to shred more. His flesh, or his clothes.

And HOT damn if Jack didn't pass my bed test! *squeal*

Carter outdid herself with this book. She's no stranger to shifters but speaking on this alone... epic. She stayed true to their essence and managed to avoid sounding like the broken record so many writers of animal shifters tend to do. By the gods, this woman's amazing!

5 out of 5 stars to my first favorite of 2013. Hell, I'm about to kick this thing back to the beginning and read it all over again.

Mate Series (taken from Author's Website)

1 - Perfect Mate
2 - Blood Mate (WIP)
3 - Broken Mate (Planned)
4 - Hidden Mate (Planned)
5 - Unwanted Mate (Planned)


Angel's Desire: Fallen Warriors #2

"I'm here because... I need you." -Ethan

Angel's Desire
Rosalie Lario
The Fallen Warriors, book two
ebook, 114 pages
Published September 30th 2011

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.

Fallen angel Ethan has been outcast due to his love of humankind. In order to preserve his immortality, he must find a mate with angel blood…but the one woman he desires blames him for her father’s death. As a teenager, Tayla had a fierce crush on Ethan, her angel father’s best friend. She was humiliated when he rejected her, claiming she was too young for him. Her love turned to hate when he failed to save her father from being killed by the other angels.

Battle looms on the horizon, and Ethan can no longer afford to waste time. He must claim Tayla as his…but convincing her she’s his mate won’t be so easy.

Tayla has loved the Fallen angel, Ethan, since she was a young girl. At sixteen, she even made a play for his affection, failing miserably. Sadly, her timing couldn't have been worse. Ethan was mated at the time(much to Tayla's ignorance), and he was her father's best friend. Of course the poor girl was going to get shot down! But even then, Ethan knew, Tayla *was* his destined mate.

It's been twelve years since then. Ethan's mate abandoned him long ago and Tayla's father, a fellow Fallen, burned alive in the flames that tried to claim Ethan with him. Tayla blames him for her father's death. For convincing Caleb not to run, and subsequently failing to save him from the fire.

At first, Tayla fights the desire she still feels for Ethan and the love she doesn't trust. Eventually, she tries a different tactic and goes for the meaningless sex route. Ethan, unlike Michael, an all-or-nothing type of guy, takes what he can get in hopes that he can convince her of his love.

I enjoyed this one far more than the first. It takes losing Ethan for Tayla to come around after he's captured by the angel Darius and things wrap up there. Next up is Aaron's story, who's destined for a thief. But, honestly, I'm wondering when we get to dig deeper into Seth's story. He and his mate are estranged. That is, they live on different levels in the compound. What the hell is going on with those two?

3 out of 5 stars.

  • "You inherited an angel's love for the skies, then."
    "Yes. But not the wings, I'm afraid."
    His smile was blinding. "Never fear, love. You're always welcome to mine."

Previously in the series:


Exiled: Brides of the Kindred #7

"I'd rather have pain from you than pleasure from anyone else..." -Saber

Evangeline Anderson
Brides of the Kindred, book seven
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Evangeline Anderson Books

A timid priestess turned Mistress...

A proud warrior posing as her slave...

Lissa is madly in love with Saber and it seems he returns her feelings but she has a problem. She and the man of her dreams both come from the same clan of the Touch Kindred. By the archaic laws of their people, they are too closely related to be bonded. Which means that even though there is no blood tie between them, they are doomed to remain apart.

But their personal dilemmas will soon be the least of their worries. Sacred scrolls, vital to the defense of the Kindred people, have been stolen and sold to a collector on the barbaric slave planet, Yonnie Six. To retrieve them, Lissa and Saber must go undercover as Mistress and slave on the savage world where domination, submission, and kinky sex are the order of the day. Will the love between them survive this trial by fire? Or will Lissa lose everything and be Exiled from the one person she loves above all others?

I missed the release date of this one which is unforgivable given how much I was looking forward to getting my hands on it. Picture Perfect, as you should know, remains my favorite of Anderson's, and this, book seven, revisits the precipice of the taboo that two people, raised as siblings, can't become romantically involved, despite the lack of blood relation between them. But in the case of Lissa and Saber, it goes a step further. In their culture, not only can one not mate with one of the same family, but neither can they marry within the same village. They can't even touch! What sucks, is that Lissa wasn't always a part of Saber's clan, but after the death of her family, she was adopted by his parents. Fate is a cruel master.

Lissa is *so* the wrong girl for this mission. Modest, innocent, and downright sickeningly sweet, to obtain the stolen documents that will help them defeat the Hoard, Lissa must turn herself into a tyrannical bitch and mistress to her body-slave, Saber. First, she has to get accustomed to her new garb and all of the goods it will expose. To say the least, she's doing all kinds of freaking out.

Saber, on the other hand, is a well trained warrior with complete self control. And utterly transparent. Lock and Deep have a two minute conversation with the guy and they manage to figure out he's smitten with Lissa. Of course, he's bound and determined not to act on any of his 'forbidden' desires.

I've wanted a story for Draven since we met the bastard. And I suspect such want was in the author's design, for despite his award winning villain performance, there's a human side to him. One that's suffered greatly. And L, shadow caster/Lauren's clone/shape shifter, a villain in her own right, plays perfectly into getting into Draven's backstory and pairs him nicely. Just in time, too, because Draven is lonely! The man practically begs her to just talk with him.

Things advance quite nicely. Even without the Dream Gas, though that was an interesting, albeit brief, treat. Kudos to Saber in that event. If it wasn't real, it wasn't worth it. Gotta love a guy with standards. And finally, enough is enough, and the two confess their feelings for one another and promptly make plans to wed once the mission is complete. Nothing like a bloodbath to bring things to fruition. And there's certainly nothing like taking a rod up the ass to know you've given your all to save your people. Ah, Saber. Yonnie Six chicks are so fucked up.

Which, in turn, fucks everything else up. With a loss of pride, and a gain of an indescribable amount of humiliation to bear, Saber cuts himself off...

Just in time for me to burst with uncontrollable laughter. Draven, you twisted son of a-- You think you know all the ways a bad guy can torture someone, but I did not see that one coming. And L's redemption? Way too easy. Almost as easy as Draven's. Just aweful! They deserved their own book! Draven was far too awesome to be thrown in as a side story.

  • “Stop!” he roared aloud. Putting his hands to the sides of his head, he squeezed as though he could halt the endless flow of painful memories by physical pressure alone. “Stop, I can’t stand it anymore!”
      “Master?” An imp—a real one this time—came rushing into the room, its face gray with worry. “Is there a problem?” it asked, its voice trembling with fear.
      “It’s nothing.” Draven squeezed harder, willing the painful thoughts away. “Nothing, leave me.”
      “But I thought…is there something, anything I can do to ease you?”
      Slowly, Draven looked up, a cruel light kindled in his blank silver eyes. “As a matter of fact, there is something you can do.” Leaning forward he frowned at the imp. “Take the dagger from my dresser—that one there with the jeweled handle.”
      “This one?” The imp grasped the lovely but lethal instrument carefully. It was a trinket Draven had picked up on yet another world the Hoard had despoiled. He forgot which one now—they all ran together after a while.
      “Yes, that one.” Draven nodded. “Have you got a good grip on it?”
      “Yes, Master.” The imp’s claw tightened around the jeweled grip.
      “Good.” Draven leaned forward, his eyes narrowing. “Now kill yourself. Slowly.”
      And as the imp made the first cut, he smiled.

At least I didn't have to wait a year to read it, I suppose. Although, it appears I still have some waiting to do, as this doesn't look to be the end. Far from it actually.

5 out of 5 stars!

What a way to kick off 2013!

Author's Note
Some of you who have friended me on FaceBook know that I thought this was going to be the last book in the Kindred series. I was so sure, in fact, that I wrapped up Draven and L’s storyline along with Saber and Lissa’s. Imagine my surprise when an idea for book 8 came to me while I was writing the next to last chapter of book 7! I’m pleased to say that there will be another Kindred book and probably more than one after this. In fact, I promise to keep writing the books as long as good plots keep coming to me and I feel like I can give my readers a satisfying reading experience, which is very important to me. A few of my advance readers have asked if Draven will appear in any future books. My answer is I’m not sure but it’s certainly possible. He was a great bad guy and lots of fun to write but he and L might still have some adventures together in the Goddess’s realm. For the next book, however, I want to stick closer to home. I don’t know the name of the heroine for book 8 yet but I do know that she’s an Earth girl and Reddix, the Touch Kindred with the reversed Touch sense, will be the hero. I’ll probably start working on their story in early 2013.

Previously in the series: