Dark Blood (Carpathians #26) by Christine Feehan- Dual review & Giveaway

DARK BLOOD (Dark Carpathian #26) by Christine Feehan-dual review & giveaway

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Dark Blood
Carpathian #26
by Christine Feehan
Genre: adult, paranormal, romance,
Release Date: September 2, 2014

 

Dark Blood

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 2, 2014

At long last you are truly back with us…

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth…

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear…

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Sandy’s Review

REVIEW: DARK BLOOD is the 26th instalment in Christine Feehan’s adult, paranormal Dark Carpathian romance series focusing on a supernatural species known as the Carpathians. This is Zev Hunter and Branislava Dragonseeker’s storyline but also a story that brings together the previous two instalment leading characters in a battle for their lives. At the end of Dark Wolf, Zev was left mortally wounded following a fatal explosion and Branislava knew that the wounded lycan was her mate.

Zev is half-lycan/half-Carpathian and has hunted the rogue lycans for most of his life. With an attack against Prince Mikhail imminent Zev, Fen and Dimitri, along with their lifemates, band together in an attempt to stop the attack before it has a chance to begin. But the coordinated attacks seem very familiar and the Carpathian’s are put on high alert when an enemy once thought to be dead, appears to be attacking from beyond the grave.

With the return to the Carpathian Mountains DARK BLOOD (and the previous two instalments) bring together many of the Dark Series characters and the premise is more of an ensemble storyline than one directed at any particular couple. The story is the culmination of three intersecting and building storylines (Dark Lycan, Dark Wolf, Dark Blood) where a new enemy has focused its’ hatred on Mikhail Dubrinsky and the Carpathian people. The storyline is slow to build with plenty of repetition, and the majority of the novel centers on the preparation for, and the battle against, a familiar and dangerous adversary. Because the trilogy focuses on the three Dragonseeker females, this particular storyline is awash in chants, verses, spells and magic to aid the Carpathians in the final confrontation.

Throughout the trilogy we were introduced to the Sange rau (vampire/lycan mix); the ‘guardian of all’ (lycan/Carpathian hybrid) as well as the mysterious lycan wolf packs that have remained hidden for thousands of years. With a familiar enemy setting its’ sights on the Carpathian people, someone or something is directing the attacks from behind the scenes. No one is safe when the attacks become personal and aimed at the Dragonseeker women.

For fans of the Carpathian series, there is a reintroduction of an old enemy-a reintroduction that some readers may not like while others will see a new direction. Christine Feehan has reverted to a familiar formula and a familiar premise (one that worked in the past)-a familiar name and face-but one that seems desperate in its attempt bring back the popularity of a series that has struggled for several instalments.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

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Barb’s Review:

Dark Blood by Christine Feehan is the 3rd and final book in this Dark trilogy that began with Dark Lycan, then Dark Wolf, leading to this one. It is in actuality the 26th book in the Dark series.

In Dark Lycan we met Fen, Dimitri’s brother, and finally got to see Tatijana, one of the Dragonseeker aunts, as she was Fen’s lifemate. In Dark Wolf, the couple we have been waiting for, Dimitri and Skyler had their story. Now in Dark Blood, it’s Bronnie’s ( the other aunt) story, and Zev is her lifemate. All the pieces of all three books come together in this exciting climax to this trilogy.

As noted in the description, Zev, who was near death at the end of Dark Wolf, was turned to Carpathian, as a mixed blood of Lycan and Carpathian. We do learn that Zev already had Carpathian blood.

What follows is an exciting story of an unknown threat against the Lycans and the Carpathians, with the vicious Sange rau on the attack. There is a dangerous enemy that is behind these attacks, as we have suspected form the beginning of this trilogy, and we do learn in this book, who that is…surprises are in store. The danger escalates where it will take everyone to work together to hope to survive.

The best part of this book, was seeing so many of our favorites, besides the three couples I mentioned above. Ivory, Razvan, Gregori, Mikhail, and especially in one scene so many more with their mates. Very nicely done.

As I have noted, this was an exciting story, and the romance between Zev and Bronnie (Branka) was very nice. I loved them together. However, and I will not give spoilers, but Christine goes back in time to give us a villain that in my opinion, though it made for an exciting storyline, I felt it cheapened one of the best endings of a previous book . I liked the story, but I did not like bringing this type of villain back.

Overall, it was exciting story, fun, with a great couple, and I loved seeing so many of our favorite Carpathians, not to mention many of the children.   We are at 26 novels and there are so many more stories to be told in this wonderful series.

 

giveaway

Christine’s publisher is offering a HARD COVER copy of DARK BLOOD to ONE(1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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6. Giveaway is open to USA only

7. Giveaway runs from September 1 to 5, 2014

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Flight From Hell (Otherworld 15.5) by Yasmine Galenorn-a review

Flight from Hell (Otherworld Series Novella #15.5) by Yasmine Galenorn-a review

Flight from Hell

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About the book: Release Date August 19, 2014

Crossover from the Otherworld Series to Fly By Night Series.

New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn returns with another thrilling foray into Otherworld—introducing a new cast of heroes alongside the D’Artigo sisters…

When the half-demon Carter approaches Menolly and her sisters desperately asking for their help, they think he’s just had a tiff with Shimmer, his blue dragon girlfriend.

But after talking to Alex Radcliffe, the owner of the Fly By Night Magical Investigations Agency where Shimmer works, they suspect that she has been kidnapped by an old enemy of Alex’s.

Now, Alex must join forces with the D’Artigo sisters in a desperate race to find Shimmer before Julian, a powerful vampire from Alex’s past with a grudge to settle, can use the dragon to wreak havoc on Seattle as revenge.

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Review: The help that Carter (who is half Titan, half demon) has given Menolly and her sisters (the D’Artigos) has helped them immensely in their battle with Shadow Wing, so when he calls needing their help, they don’t hesitate. Once he tells them why he’s so worried about Shimmer, they aren’t convinced that there is an actual problem. But, once they head to the Fly By Night Magical Investigations Agency to inquire about Shimmer, it doesn’t take them long to find out that there is indeed something wrong. It seems that Alex, Shimmer’s boss at Fly By Night, had made an enemy long ago and has made his way to Seattle. And, it appears that he will do anything to make Alex pay, including going after his employees. Namely, Shimmer.

When they finally figure out what’s going on, they all head out to try and save Shimmer. And, wouldn’t you know it, seems something is amiss in the perpetually haunted Greenbelt District, aka, Spooksville Central. They eventually find where Shimmer is being held and come up with a plan to get her out. The big problem? She’s being held by a powerful vampire who has company….. Looks like it’s gonna be a long night…..

This novella is a fast paced introduction to Galenorn’s new series and I believe it will be another hit for her. I loved meeting the new characters. Alex, the boss is a vampire. Bette, the assistant is a water spirit and Ralph is a werewolf. And, from what I’ve read, we’re in for a hell of a ride. Even though this is a short story, it was action packed and set up the new series very well. I believe the first novel will be released in July 2015 and I can’t wait! Well done Yasmine Galenorn, well done.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M.

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Crave The Night (Midnight Breeds #12) by Lara Adrian-a review

Crave the Night (Midnight Breed Series) #12 by Lara Adrian -a review

Crave the Night

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About the book: Release Date August 5, 2014

Born and raised to be an emotionless killing machine, Nathan is one of the most lethal Breed vampires in existence. A key member of the Order—an elite group of warriors charged with protecting both mortals and vampires—Nathan executes each mission with flawless precision and a total lack of mercy. Now he must pursue a powerful, hidden enemy. But Nathan’s hard discipline and training are no match for the fierce pull he feels toward a young woman he has no right to desire—a woman of wealth and high social standing who has long been promised to another Breed male, and who may also prove to be the key to rooting out Nathan’s elusive quarry.

Jordana lives a life of glittering privilege as a member of a prominent Breed family in Boston. Surrounded by fine things and fawning admirers, Jordana wants for nothing—until she crosses paths with a dark, intense warrior from the Order and finds herself swept into an impulsive, sizzling kiss that neither of them will forget. As much as she tries to deny her deep feelings for Nathan, Jordana cannot resist the craving to be near him, to break through his forbidding walls and see the man he truly is. But getting close to Nathan will thrust Jordana into a treacherous new world, forcing her to risk all she has and all she knows about herself and her past. And loving this seductive man could be the most dangerous temptation of all.

Review:

Crave the Night begins with Nathan and his team on patrol, as they do every night. Things are happening that has everyone twitchy as they are trying to find out who is behind things that are going awry in the Breed vampire world. We learned in the previous book that there is a new threat. And they are no closer to finding out who it is. All they know is that the clock is ticking. While chasing down leads, Nathan runs across the one woman who he knows he can never have, even though she is the only one he craves.

Jordana has led a privileged and sheltered life. She loves her work at the art museum, and she’s promised to a man that she feels nothing for, other than friendship. When her and Nathan’s paths cross again, she feels that familiar pull to him. She knows she should stay away from him, but she is helpless against the feelings that she has for him. After all, her father would have a fit if she were to step out of line and follow her heart rather than her planned path. But, after a chance encounter with Nathan leaves her breathless, she knows things will never be the same. Once she tells her boyfriend (and I use that term loosely) that she no longer wants to see him, her father is angry, and she doesn’t understand his anger. Then things go really bad. Jordana is kidnapped and Nathan vows to find her and claim her. Repercussions be damned. But first, he and The Order have to figure out who has her and why. That’s when the fun really starts, because no one saw this coming…………..

All I can say is WOW. I absolutely loved everything about this book. Nathan was one of Dragos’ creations, but thankfully his mother Corinne and stepdad, Hunter, rescued him when he was still young enough for them to bring him into the fold of The Order. Even though he is younger than most of The Order, he is still a Gen One and extremely powerful. And sensual. And awesome. He is one of my favorite characters in this series, and that’s saying something. I was a little worried about Jordana at first, but she ended up being a perfect match for Nathan. Her fierce loyalty and determination, and her ultimate “discovery” make her the ultimate mate for him as well. And, I gotta tell ya, I didn’t see that coming. At all. There is so much I want to say about this story, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. If you are a fan of this series, you know that the story jumped ahead twenty years in the last book, and I was afraid that the integrity of the original characters would be lost. But I was worried for absolutely no reason. Lara Adrian has handled the transition into the future brilliantly, and this book just cements the fact that my original assessment was correct. I never thought that any of these stories would top the originals in this series, but I was wrong. This is one of my top three in the series. Seriously, if you’re not reading Lara Adrian, you need to jump on the bandwagon. There’s plenty of room!! And, I can’t wait for the next installment. Very well done, Lara Adrian, very very well done!!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M.

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You’ll Think Of Me by Lucia Franco-a review

YOU’LL THINK OF ME by Lucia Franco-a review

You'll Think of Me

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About the book: Release Date August 26, 2104

Luke Jackson.

With his thick southern drawl and seductive charm, Luke is the country boy everyone adores. He has his future mapped out, but his plans with Olivia are suddenly derailed when she makes a decision that blindsides him, changing the path they both envisioned.

As Luke struggles to keep everything in check during a difficult time in his life, he must put his trust in the one person who broke it to begin with. The last time they saw each other, Olivia busted his heart wide open, turning him into the man he is today.

When Olivia returns to her roots, just like Luke said she would, he is shocked for more reasons than one. Nine years have passed since they’ve seen each other, and when their roads collide unexpectedly, Luke can only push his worry and misgivings away for so long.

Things are different now—they are strangers—and the rope that once bound Olivia’s heart to South Fork, Georgia is pulling her back in, forcing her to remember how it used to be all those years ago.

••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: YOU’LL THINK OF ME is a second chance, new adult/adult contemporary romance storyline from Lucia Franco. The focus of the storyline is high school and college sweethearts Luke Jackson and Olivia King and the break up that will see nine years pass before they see one another again.

The premise follows Luke and Olivia’s once perfect relationship that fell apart when Olivia’s future pulled her from South Forks, Georgia to one of New York’s most prestigious medical schools. Fast forward nine years-Olivia and Luke haven’t so much as set eyes or heard from one another-when Olivia returns to the area to set up her practice in medicine. When their paths cross once again, heartbreaking memories and a never forgotten love are met with hostility, anger and ice cold walls.

Olivia and Luke’s prior relationship was a storybook romances where Luke was Olivia’s savior and go to person when things at home became too much. Luke wanted to be a country musician hoping Olivia would settle for life in South Forks. But Olivia had plans of her own-she wanted to escape the small town living and needed a break from the family whose own lives were beginning to fall apart. The problem-Luke had been in denial about Olivia’s dreams –and his spiral into the dark left Olivia without her best friend, her lover and the support of the only man she would ever love.

YOU’LL THINK OF ME is a storyline that is told through back flashes, memories and present day. There is a bit of a love triangle formulating when Olivia meets Nate-a man, who too, will fall in love with Olivia King-but a man who suspects Olivia’s heart still belongs to someone else.

The secondary characters are colorful including Luke’s parents, his friends and his brother John. Nate is a man who deserves a happily ever after because having your heart ripped through your chest is not something anyone should have to experience. There are many more stories to tell and hopefully this is only the beginning of a series set in South Fork, Georgia.

Lucia Franco first foray into the world of contemporary romance is a winner. YOU’LL THINK OF ME is a storyline that was slow to build because of the flashbacks and memories, and history between two people that had to be told. It is a story of love and heartbreak; emotional pain and passionate goodbyes; second chances and starting over but in the end the heart knows what the heart wants, and Olivia and Luke want a second chance at love and life.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

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Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3) by Sawyer Bennett-Review and Blog Tour

Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3) by Sawyer Bennett-Review and Blog Tour

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Sugar on the Edge
Last Call #3
by Sawyer Bennett
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic romance
Release: July 28, 2014

Sensual couple in blue jeans

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 28, 2014

He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…

He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.
Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?

•••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: SUGAR ON THE EDGE is the third instalment in Sawyer Bennett’s adult, contemporary Last Call erotic romance series. This is best selling British author Gavin Cooke and photographer Savannah Shepherd’s storyline. We were first introduced to Savannah in book two-MAKE IT A DOUBLE (Brody and Alyssa’s story) –as a volunteer at Alyssa’s no-kill animal shelter.

Gavin has come to America to finish up his manuscript. He is a man who uses women and alcohol to forget about a tragedy that has all but destroyed his life. When Savannah enters his less than orderly world as his house cleaner, Gavin is quickly taken aback when the feisty female suddenly becomes the muse for the heroine in his latest novel. Falling in love was never on Gavin’s agenda. But a surprise twist in their relationship finds Gavin on the run-something most people would not find easy to forgive. The profound heartbreak and pain that he causes Savannah touches everyone in her life.

The relationship between Gavin and Savannah begins as employer to employee but soon turns into something more. From housekeeper to personal assistant, Savannah begins to take charge of Gavin’s world both in and out of the bedroom. Gavin isn’t looking for anything permanent or serious but soon finds himself falling in love. As the storyline builds, so too does their relationship including a sensual and erotic sexual life.

The secondary characters include Brody and Alyssa as well as Hunter and Gabby from ON THE ROCKS. The world building brings together the gang from Last Call-their family, friendships, lovers and camaraderie bring a sense of familiarity and cohesion to the series.

Sawyer Bennett’s LAST CALL series takes the reader into a provocative and imaginative world. Her characters endure heartbreak, loss, intense emotional pain and a profound love that will last a lifetime. An amazing series from a talented author.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Series Spotlight Black and White

ON THE ROCKS (The Last Call #1) by Sawyer Bennett

On the Rocks

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 17, 2014

He left to travel the world for fame and glory, but only after spurning Gabby Ward and crushing her young heart. Now Hunter Markham has come back home to the sand and salty breeze of the North Carolina Outer Banks so he can open up Last Call, a beach bar nestled among the dunes of the Atlantic.

Gabby Ward is not happy that Hunter has returned. Bitter over his rebuff years before, she’s content to stay far away from him and his dangerously charming ways.

Gabby’s well-schemed plans to ignore Hunter go up in flames when he presents an offer to her that she simply can’t refuse, throwing them together in a common quest to each reach their goals. Working together day in and day out proves to be problematic for Gabby, who soon realizes that the feelings she had for him are still very much alive. Hunter struggles to reach through to Gabby’s cold heart, all while starting a new career away from his life as a top ranked, professional surfer.

What starts out as a mutual business arrangement soon turns into a passion that neither of them can continue to deny.

Hard choices lay ahead for both of them when Hunter is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to return to the pro surfing tour.

Choices that could destroy what they have built or take them further than they ever had dared to hope.

_____________________________

Make It A Double
Last Call #2
by Sawyer Bennett
Genre: contemporary, romance,erotic, new adult
Release Date: April 21, 2014


Make It A DoubleAmazon.com
/ Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble

Brody Markham has endured a nightmare, spending the last five years in prison and losing everything that was dear to him. Now he’s back home, trying to survive in a world he doesn’t recognize anymore. While his family and friends desperately try to reach through to him, he shelters himself further and further away from their love.

Alyssa Myers has worked her entire life to distance herself from the luxurious and privileged lifestyle in which she was raised. Running her non-profit agency, The Haven, she is content to spend her days helping abused animals find sanctuary, which fulfills her in a way that money just can’t buy.

Maybe it’s that she recognizes in Brody some of the same characteristics she sees in her homeless wards, but Alyssa is powerless to stop her personal quest to make Brody whole again.

While Brody struggles to surface from the darkness, Alyssa tries to protect her heart in case he’s not willing to accept the light that she offers him.

About The Author Black and White

Sawyer BennettUSA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

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Gold-Diggers, Gamblers And Guns by Ellen Mansoor Collier – Blog Tour & Review

Gold-Diggers, Gamblers And Guns by Ellen Mansoor Collier – Blog Tour & Review

 

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Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
Jazz Aage Mysteries series – Book #3
by Ellen Mansoor Collier
Release Date: May 18, 2014

Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Gunes

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Description:
During Prohibition, Galveston Island was called the “Free State of Galveston” due to its lax laws and laissez-faire attitude toward gambling, gals and bootlegging. Young society reporter Jasmine (Jazz) Cross longs to cover hard news, but she’s stuck between two clashing cultures: the world of gossip and glamour vs. gangsters and gamblers.

After Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is released from jail, all hell breaks loose: Prohibition Agent James Burton’s life is threatened and he must go into hiding for his own safety. But when he’s framed for murder, he and Jazz work together to prove his innocence. Johnny Jack blames her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis speakeasy, for his arrest and forces him to work overtime in a variety of dangerous mob jobs as punishment.

When a bookie is murdered, Jazz looks for clues linking the two murders and delves deeper into the underworld of gambling: poker games, slot machines and horse-racing. Meanwhile, Jazz tries to keep both Burton and her brother safe, and alive, while they face off against each other, as well as a common enemy. A soft-boiled mystery inspired by actual events.

 

Review:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns is book 3 in Ellen Mansoor Collier’s A Jazz Mystery series. Jumping “blind” into the action, it wasn’t easy to navigate my way through the story arc so established from the beginning, but it had an intriguing beat and made “connecting the dots” both a challenge and a lot of fun! Sink in to learn about 1920’s Galveston, Texas during the Prohibition, uncover a murder mystery and swoon over a budding romance.

Jazz is a “lowly society reporter” (waste of an inquisitive mind) for the Gazette and is involved with, though she doesn’t know how seriously, James Burton, the “lone Galveston Prohibition agent”. Out for a night on the town at the Hollywood Dinner Club, a speakeasy and casino owned by the Maceo brothers (whose clientele is questionable at best), a club where you go to be seen (why exactly is Agent Burton making himself so visible?), someone takes a gamble and fires upon James and Jazz as they wait at the valet. Feigning that he’d been hit (and opted to lay low as a consequence), Agent Burton sets out to find out who’d want his hide (or who wouldn’t more accurately) in the middle of turf wars between the Downtown and Beach gang rivalries.

When cops and crooks shared beers at bars, you never knew who to trust or who would take advantage of privileged information.

So much for exploring all things romantic! Consider that subject on hold. How can Jazz entertain such flights of fancy when things take a turn for the worse? Jazz’s half-brother, Sammy (who plays a big role in G-D, G & G) was just “hired” as Downtown gang’s bag boy (collector of fees by fair means or foul) by notorious Johnny Jack, who’s gunning for Agent Burton in a bad way. When a local bar owner, friend to all, but behind on his debt, is murdered in his own club, the plot just thickens. When it rains it pours! Now why exactly was Agent Burton’s bullet-holed Stetson found at that crime scene?

Burton jerked up off the couch, blue eyes blazing. “I knew it! Those goddamn gangsters are trying to frame me for murder!”…

“What will you do?”

Burton shoved his hands in his pockets, pacing the parlor. “The only way I can prove my innocence is to find the real killer, or as the case may be, killers.”

The intrepid Jazz, never one to be left behind, won’t stay out of the loop if she can help it (especially if her fella and brother are at risk). So while Burton is busy exonerating himself (unearthing the goings-on between gang and police camaraderie), Jazz is simultaneously, but unobtrusively investigating crime scenes she’s been privy to, courtesy of her profession (though not sharing with her beau!) This is sticky, dangerous business for gangsters let alone interlopers. Especially those who show up unannounced at pre-arranged booze drops between crime boss, Johnny Jack, Sammy and Cuban rum-runners. The feds will be there, headed by Agent Burton. Will Jazz’s altruism be her undoing?

My heart raced as I imagined the scenario. “So I’m supposed to sit by and do nothing? Wait for Sammy or Burton-or both-to get killed?”

“What can we do, seriously? Is it better to watch them get shot in person?”

Like I said in my introduction, it’s hard to jump into the middle of a series, but the effort was worth it! While the story developed, with lots of leads to follow, I kept hoping for a more personal connection from Burton and Jazz. A review I perused raved about the increased romance in this book, but it’s simply laced; lovingly, but not woven throughout (makes me wonder how far this couple has come. Yes, I’ll read the first two now.) :D

Ms. Collier tells a great story about murder and corruption in Prohibition Galveston that spreads like the plague if not contained. The viewpoints are interesting; some are in it for revenge, greed and power while others were just trying to survive the mean streets. Ms. Collier masterfully exposes the underbelly of 1920’s Prohibition, delivers the sights, sounds and culture of the flapper era (great vocabulary and expressions!), and shows the struggle, in and out of the law, for the demands of alcohol. Reasons and resolutions revealed for a killer summer read!

Reviewed by Carmen

 

About The Author Gold and Purple
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 Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter (intern) for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine, and was active in WICI (Women in Communications), acting as president her senior year.  

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Jeaniene Frost – The Beautiful Ashes Tour – Interview, Review & Giveaway

Jeaniene Frost – The Beautiful Ashes Tour – Interview, Review & Giveaway

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The Beautiful Ashes
Broken Destiny series – Book #1
by Jeaniene Frost
Release Date: September 1, 2014

The Beautiful Ashes Aug 14Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository

Description:
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

 

Review:

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost is the 1st book in her new Broken Destiny series. I am a big fan of Jeaniene Frost and her Night Huntress/Night Huntress World/Night Prince series. The Beautiful Ashes is a different genre for Jeaniene, as it is listed as New Adult Paranormal.

We meet our heroine Ivy at the start. Ivy’s world has fallen apart, as her parents were killed, with the funeral the following day. But Ivy’s sister is missing, and that becomes her priority. Ivy has had strange visions all her life, having doctors give her medicines for what was perceived as psychotic episodes, so going to the police is not an option, as no one will believe her. As far as they are concerned, her sister went away with her boyfriend. It doesn’t take too long as Ivy discovers those visions were actually real. In search for her sister, she will embark on an adventure out of her realm, into a dark and dangerous world of evil.  

Jeaniene Frost has done an excellent job of world building, which will include demon realms, angels, hounds, creatures, gargoyles, with the a storyline based on good vs evil. A nice historical twist, with Ivy being the last descendant of David, which makes her truly good, even if she knows nothing. Adrian is our hero,  but he grew up in the demon realms, which could make him bad. This is supposed to be a forbidden romance, but all is not as it seems. Adrian hates his demon background, which he ran away from, and now he helps Zach, an Archon (angel). But destiny stands in the way for Adrian and Ivy to have a true romance. She is the one who must stop demons, as she tries to rescue her sister, and he is the one who prophecy says will betray her.

This is just the beginning, in what is a wild and at times very exciting storyline, which is spent mostly in the dangerous demon realms. Ivy and Adrian work together to find the weapon that will destroy the demons, at the same time looking for Ivy’s sister, who is held captive by demons. Adrian is hot, and at the same time secretive. Can he be trusted to help Ivy or will he end up betraying her.

I liked Ivy, and sympathized with her trying to understand what was expected of her, as she was being thrown into a world she knew nothing about. All she wanted to do was save her sister, not to be the messiah. I thought Adrian was good and protective of Ivy, but I wasn’t crazy about all the secrets he and Zach were keeping from her. Sending her into a vicious world, that was dark and dangerous, wasn’t fair to her, as she was risking her life. Both Adrian and Zach needed some ass-kicking.

I enjoyed this storyline, as it was somewhat different than other angel/demon storylines. There were some exciting scenes, and even some humorous ones, like when Zach glamoured Ivy, to hide her appearance. I liked Adrian, and he was swoonworthy; but his secrecy and moodiness drove me nuts at times. Poor Ivy. Though he was an angel, Zach, angered me even more, with with his inability to help Ivy and Adrian.

The Beautiful Ashes is a nice world building, a romance we want to see more of, and so many possibilities for the continuation of this series. I will be continuing this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Promoter

 

excerpt

Excerpt 1:

A familiar song was playing, but I couldn’t remember the name. That bugged me enough to open my eyes. A wall of black met my gaze, slick and smooth like glass. I reached up to see what it was, and that’s when I realized my hands were tied.
“Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche, my mind supplied, followed immediately by, I’m in the backseat of a car. One that was well taken care of, going by that flawless, shiny roof. With those details filled in, I also remembered what had happened right before I’d passed out. And who I was with.
“Why are my hands tied?” I said, heaving myself into an upright position.
For some reason Adrian didn’t have a rear view mirror, which was why he had to glance over his shoulder to look at me.
“Does anything make you panic?” he asked, sounding amused. “You’re tied up in the backseat of a cop-killer’s car, but I’ve seen people get more upset when Starbucks runs out of pumpkin spice flavor.”
Anyone normal would panic, not that it would do any good. Besides, I ran out of “normal” a long time ago, when I realized I saw things no one else did.
Speaking of which, why wasn’t I in pain? The lump where Mrs. Paulson had whacked me was gone, and my shirt was red from blood, but aside from a mild kink in my neck, I felt fine. When I pushed my shirt up, somehow, I wasn’t surprised to see smooth, unbroken skin on my abdomen. Well, that and a bunch of crumbs, like I’d eaten a dessert too messily.
“Why does it look like I have angel food cake on my stomach?” I wondered aloud.
Adrian snorted. “Close. It’s medicine. You were injured.”
“You can tell me how I’m not anymore,” I said, holding out my bound hands, “after you untie me.”
Another backwards glance, this one challenging.
“You may be the calmest person I’ve ever been sent to retrieve, but if I tell you now what you want to know, that will change. So pick—the truth, or being untied?”
“Truth,” I said instantly.
He let out a laugh. “Another first. You’re full of surprises.”
So was he. He’d just admitted that he regularly kidnapped people—which was how I translated “retrieve”—so I should be trying my damnedest to get free. But more than anything, I needed answers. Besides, I still wasn’t afraid of him, and somehow, that had nothing to do with him magically healing me.
“Truth, Adrian,” I repeated.
He turned once again and his gaze locked with mine, those odd blue eyes startling me with their intensity. For a moment, I could only stare, all thought frozen in my mind. I don’t know why I reached out, awkwardly touching his arm to feel the hard muscles beneath that bulky jacket. If I’d thought about it, I wouldn’t have done it. Yet I couldn’t make myself pull away.
Then I gasped when his hand covered mine. At some point, he’d taken off his gloves, and the feel of his warm, bare skin sent a shock wave through me. The touch seemed to affect Adrian, too. His lips parted and he edged over the back of the seats—
He yanked on the steering wheel, narrowly avoiding another car. A horn blared, and when the driver passed us, an extended middle finger shook angrily in our direction. I leaned back, my heart pounding from the near collision. At least, that’s what I told myself it was from.
“Dyate,” Adrian muttered.
I didn’t recognize the word, and I was at a loss to place his accent. It had a musical cadence like Italian, but beneath that was a harsher, darker edge.
“What’s that language?” I asked, trying to mask the sudden shakiness in my voice.
This time, he didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Nothing you’ve heard of.”
“I picked truth, remember?” I said, holding up my bound hands for emphasis.
That earned me a quick glance. “That is the truth, but you don’t get more until you meet Zach. Then we can skip all the ‘this isn’t possible’ arguments.”
I let out a short laugh. “After what I saw on Detective Kroger’s face, my definition of ‘impossible’ has changed.”
Adrian swerved again, but this time, no other car was near.
“What did you see?”
I tensed. How did I explain without sounding insane? No way to, so I chose to go on the attack instead.
“Why were you in my hotel room? And how did you heal me? There isn’t even a mark—”
“What did you see on his face, Ivy?”
Despite his hard tone, when my name crossed his lips, something thrummed inside me, like he’d yanked on a tie I hadn’t known was there. Feeling it was as disturbing as my inexplicable reaction to his clasping my hands.
“Shadows,” I said quickly, to distract from that. “He had snakelike shadows all over his face.”
I expected Adrian to tell me I’d imagined it, a response I was used to hearing. Instead, he pulled over, putting the car in park but keeping the engine running. Then he turned to stare at me.
“Was that the only strange thing you saw?”
I swallowed. I knew better than to talk about these things. Still, I’d demanded the truth from Adrian. It didn’t seem fair to lie in return.
“I saw two versions of the same B and B earlier. One was pretty, but the other was old and rotted, and my sister was trapped inside it.”
Adrian said nothing, though he continued to pin me with that hard stare. When he finally spoke, his question was so bizarre I thought I’d misheard him.
“What do I look like to you?”
“Huh?”
“My appearance.” He drew out the words like I was slow. “Describe me.”
All of a sudden, he wanted compliments? I might have finally met someone crazier than me.
“This is ridiculous,” I muttered, but started with the obvious. “Six-six, early twenties, built like Thor, golden brown hair with blond highlights, silvery blue eyes…you want me to go on?”
He began to laugh, a deep, rich baritone that would’ve been sensual except for how angry it made me.
“Now I know why they came after you,” he said, still chuckling. “They must’ve realized you were different, but if they’d known what you could see, you never would’ve made it out of that B and B.”
“You can stop laughing,” I said sharply. “I get that it’s crazy to see the things I do.”
Lots of kids had imaginary friends growing up. I had imaginary places, though at first, I didn’t know I was the only one who could see them. Once my parents had realized that what I kept describing went far beyond childhood fancifulness, the endless doctor visits and tests began. One by one, diseases and psychoses had been crossed off until I was diagnosed with a non-monoamine-cholinergic imbalance in my temporal cortex.
In other words, I saw shit that wasn’t there for reasons no one could figure out. The pills I took helped a little, though I lied and said they got rid of all my hallucinations. I was sick of doctors poking at me. So whenever I saw something that no one else did, I forced myself to ignore it—until Mrs. Paulson and Detective Kroger had tried to kill me, of course.
Adrian did stop laughing, and that unblinking intensity was back in his gaze.
“Well, Ivy, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not crazy. The bad news is, everything you’ve seen is real, and now, it’ll be coming for you.”

 

 



Interview-RED

Hi Jeaniene. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, and to give us an update as to what you have upcoming, as well as what to expect in 2015.

 Jeaniene: Thank you so much for having me!   

TRC: You have a new series that just debuted, Broken Destiny. This is a different genre than you have written before…..a New Adult paranormal romance series. What can you tell us about this new series, and how you came up with the idea? 

Jeaniene: As you mentioned, it’s a New Ault paranormal romance. The NA designation means that at least one protagonist is between the ages of 18 – 25, so it’s meant for an older audience than traditional YA (Young Adult), but the characters aren’t as old as what you’d usually find in an Adult novel. I came up with the idea for The Beautiful Ashes around the time that my debut novel released in 2007. Ironically, it came to me the same way that my idea for the Night Huntress series did – through a dream. In the dream, a young woman who’s had hallucinations her whole life realizes that her “visions” are real, and the one person who can help her is also destined to betray her.  

The Beautiful Ashes Aug 14TRC: Would you please give us a brief description of The Beautiful Ashes? How many books are you planning for this series? 

Jeaniene: The Broken Destiny series will be a trilogy, and my “elevator pitch” would be that it’s about Ivy and Adrian, two star-crossed lovers with opposing supernatural destinies who get caught in a war between angels and demons.  *grin* Now you see why I had such a hard time with query letters before I was published. I am awful at boiling down a story to a few, concise lines, so let me copy the back cover description below, which does a much better job:

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate. 

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. The one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side, Adrian on the other, and nothing but ashes in between…

TRC: In The Beautiful Ashes, I found it extremely interesting that you had a Biblical twist, using descendants of both King David and another significant Biblical figure. Did you have to do a lot of research on this? 

Jeaniene: Not really, lol. In all seriousness, I’ve already read the Bible cover-to-cover several times, so I’m very familiar with the more famous stories from it. Plus, David and Goliath have transcended religion to become a cultural and social anecdote. When you hear someone say they’re in a “David versus Goliath” situation, most people know that means an underdog facing almost insurmountable odds. The other Biblical figure I use has also crossed over from religious to common social consciousness. For example, if you referred to someone as a *censored for spoilers*, most people know exactly what you mean. I also used Biblical references in my Night Huntress series by deriving my vampire origin story from “the mark of Cain,” so you could say that I have a track record for mining the Bible for ideas :)

TRC: I loved Adrian and found him to be so very swoonworthy. I also loved him and Ivy together. But he drove me nuts, as did Zach, with them keeping secrets from poor Ivy. Will she learn all these secrets in the next book to help her be an even stronger heroine? 

Jeaniene: Short answer: yes :). Longer explanation: Ivy starts The Beautiful Ashes as a mostly-normal twenty-year-old, which means she’s in no way prepared to be dropped into a war between supernatural creatures that she doesn’t even believe in. She also really wasn’t ready to learn that part of her destiny is to tip the scales in that battle, so Adrian – though he made me want to smack him, too – is actually trying to protect Ivy by doling out these and other secrets instead of hitting her with everything at once. Zach’s primary occupation is a messenger, so he’d have delivered all the details without caring if Ivy could handle it or not. Adrian intervened, essentially muzzling Zach, to give Ivy a chance to adjust. Adrian meant well, but like most guys and their good intentions, there were dangerous, unintended consequences. By the end of The Beautiful Ashes, Ivy knows almost everything, and she’s grown both emotionally and in her supernatural abilities, so she’s far better equipped to handle what comes next.   

TRC: Another question regarding The Beautiful Ashes. This series is listed as New Adult Paranormal. I had a feel of Urban Fantasy. What genre best describes the series? 

Jeaniene: That answer is probably in the eye of the beholder. For years, I’ve heard my vampire novels described as urban fantasy or paranormal romance with equal conviction depending on who is speaking. From early reviews, I’ve seen The Beautiful Ashes debated between YA and NA and between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The truth is that all my books tend to straddle genre lines. I consider The Beautiful Ashes to be New Adult paranormal romance, as I consider my vampire novels to be Adult paranormal romance, but those aren’t the only themes in either series. My vampire novels have lots of urban fantasy elements and even some horror, too, which is why their genre is often debated. In comparison, The Beautiful Ashes has some YA themes, but it also has very adult situations and lots of urban fantasy elements, too. So what is it? My opinion doesn’t trump readers’ opinions, so the easiest explanation is that it’s a hybrid, with the ultimate genre depending on the viewpoint of the reader.   

Up From the Grave 2014TRC: Your final book in your wonderful Night Huntress series, Up FromThe Grave, was a fantastic finale. I have been a huge fan of this series from the start. I totally love Cat and Bones. What made you decide to end it now, and will we ever see Cat & Bones again, perhaps in novellas?  

Jeaniene: I’m so glad that you enjoyed Up From The Grave! In many ways, it was as nerve-wracking for me to finish the Night Huntress series as it was to start it, but I had come to the end of Cat and Bones’s story. At the final page of Up From The Grave, Cat and Bones were at the place in their lives that I’d always envisioned them being, so it was time for me to close the door and walk away. If I’d dragged their story past that point, it would have been an insincere effort on my part. I’ve often said that it’s out of my hands if readers enjoy a book I write, but I can promise that I won’t write a story unless I love it and believe in it.  The Night Huntress series might have come to a close, but if it’s any consolation, one day, I’d love to write a story about Katie when she’s grown so that I can showcase C&B in the side role of parents. Also, Cat and Bones make a brief cameo in Bound By Flames, so readers will get to glimpse them in their new life as I continue with Vlad and Leila’s story. Finally, if readers haven’t seen this yet, I posted a free alternate “middle” version of Destined For An Early Grave on my website, showing what would have happened if Bones had lost his memory of Cat. It will only be up for another couple weeks, so check it out if you’re interested: 

Part 1: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/07/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-1/
Part 2: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/08/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-2/
Part 3: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/08/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-3/
Part 4: http://jeanienefrost.com/2014/08/alternate-middle-version-of-destined-for-an-early-grave-part-4/

TRC: Would you like to share with us anything else that you may have upcoming in 2015? 

Jeaniene: I think I already jumped the gun on this with my last answer, heh. Bound By Flames, Night Prince book three, comes out January 27th. Then, later in 2015, book two in the Broken Destiny series will release. That’s still untitled as of now, but it will continue Ivy and Adrian’s story, picking up pretty close to where The Beautiful Ashes left off.  

TRC: Would you like to add anything else? 

Jeaniene: If you haven’t seen the book trailer for The Beautiful Ashes, here is the link to it on YouTube: http://youtu.be/PWiOBIY_4z4

And since I’m a big fan of “try before you buy,” I’ve also posted several excerpts on my website here: http://jeanienefrost.com/brokendestiny/the-beautiful-ashes/

TRC: Thank you, Jeaniene for giving us an update on what we can look forward to in 2015, and we wish you the best of luck with The Beautiful Ashes. 

Jeaniene: Thanks so much again for having me! It’s always a pleasure, and I’m delighted to talk to you and your readers about what’s out now and what’s coming next.

 

 
About The Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

For information on Jeaniene’s books, reading the first 20% of each book free, book trailers, deleted scenes, creature mythology, and more, please visit: www.jeanienefrost.com

Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Live Journal

 

giveaway

There are TWO ways to WIN

Jeaniene is graciously offering a $25 Gift Card (Amazon or Barnes & Noble) to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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5. LIKE Jeaniene Frost on FACEBOOK

6. Giveaway is open Internationally

7. Giveaway runs from August 29 to September 3, 2014

 

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Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren – a Review

Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren – a Review

 

Stone Cold LoverAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository

Description:
A prominent art restorer, Felicity is more than game to help a friend track down an obscure statue in Montreal. But when “Fil” finds it, she’s taken by surprise at how drawn she is to this statue. Attracted to it in a way a girl shouldn’t lust for a stone gargoyle, she revists it at night, longing to feel its embrace. Little does Fil know, her desire for this stone cold beast is about to heat up a notch.

Locked in stone for centuries, Spar has slept, waiting for when a human would need him. When he is awoken, Spar is taken aback to find that a human female needs his help. A very sexy woman who’s about to be the victim of a cultist attack. Saving and leaving her should be no problem. But as more questions arise, Spar knows that he cannot rest until Fil is safe in his arms.

 

 Review:

Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren is the 2nd book in her Gargoyles series. I did not read the first book in the series, and this was not a problem, as this read so well as a standalone. We get to meet the leading characters from the first book, which was cool, and also making me want to read this first book, especially after discovering how much I enjoyed Christine Warren’s writing. Stone Cold Lover is a paranormal suspense, but such a fun and humorous read, as well as very exciting, and very sexy.

Fil (Felicity) is our heroine, and she was such a fun one at that. When helping Ella (our first book heroine), Fil goes to the museum in Montreal to look for a Gargoyle statue. She sneaks in after hours, and becomes mesmerized by the statue. While she is there, someone else comes in looking for the same statue and attacks her. All of a sudden there is glow, and the huge stuatue comes to life. After a battle, the now live Guardian (Gargoyle) saves Fil.

Spar, is a Guardian, to protect humans against the seven powerful demons, who are locked away. The Guardians are asleep as the statue for hundreds of years, until their assigned Warden wakes them up, if they are needed. As a Gargoyle, he is 7 feet tall, with wings; but he transforms into his human self, and when Fil gets a look at him, she is speechless. Of course, Fil is never speechless, and shows that to Spar as he follows her home, after he rescues her. She is now his responsibility to protect, as he tries to discover why he was awakened. Fil confuses him, but makes us laugh at her constant cursing or nick names she calls him. Pretty funny.

Fil now finds herself in the world of evil, demons, magic and constant threats against her life. Spar will not leave her side, and it doesn’t take long for the lust to build between them. Besides this sexy romance between an awesome couple, and the fun snarky comments from Fil; this is an exciting storyline that was also so much fun. Wynn is a secondary character that is introduced in this book, and she is a witch, that will help them break a curse on Fil. I loved Wynn, as she too was fun. I understand that she may be the heroine in the next book. Which I will have to read.

Stone Cold Lover was a surprising read, as I had not expected to enjoy as much as I did.  It had a bit of everything; excitement, danger, suspense, great couple, great secondary characters, and an exciting ride to the finish. All this and a very sexy couple who steamed my kindle. I now have found a new author in Christine Warren to add to my list. I wholly recommend that you read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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