Rurik by Lauren Smith – a Review

Rurik by Lauren Smith – a Review

 

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DESCRIPTION

A dragon’s prisoner… or his deepest desire? 

The fiercest of a royal line of Russian dragon shifters, Rurik Barinov spends most days defending his family’s homeland from rival clans. By night, sins of the flesh — drinking, dancing, and sex — keep his volatile warrior dragon in check. Barely. 

With his choice of mortal women to bed, he has no interest in changing his bad-boy ways — until a creature of molten sex poured into a tiny red satin dress steps into his nightclub. A jagged edge of raw desire nicks the impenetrable armor around his heart. 

Charlotte MacQueen has been told since childhood to stay in school, live a normal life. Leave the family business — hunting down dragons — to her brothers. But tonight, she’s shed her chemist’s lab coat and infiltrated enemy lines to bag a dragon of her own. 

She never expected sexy, all-too-wicked Rurik Barinov to capture her, body and soul — the perfect weapon to use against her brothers. Or that she’d fall for the brave, battle-scarred dragon shifter who covets her heart like the most precious of jewels. 

 

REVIEW

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Well hot dayum .. seriously .. HOT DAYUM!  I am quite certain if I was reading a paperback copy and not an e copy, the pages would of lit up.  This book was simply that hot and awesome!

Rurik by Lauren Smith (seriously Lauren, you are one of the quickest turnover authors out there .. we never have to wait long ..lol), is the third book of her “Brothers of Ash and Fire” and it is the best one yet!  A paranormal romance, this novel concentrates on the third brother of a dragon shifter family and the journey to finding his mate without losing what he so preciously guards .. his family and their secrets.

Rurik Barinov is a dragon shifter who is absolutely fierce, dominant, hot and the best kind of bad boy a reader can find in a book boyfriend.  He has no time for love, only for living wild, battle, and protecting his family at all costs.  Love??  Pfftt, no way!  No time for that useless emotion as having a mate will make him weak, and Rurik refuses to be weak.  That is until a sweet little mortal walks into his club, and makes him understand what this kind of weakness is really about.

Charlotte MacQueen is tired of her brothers constantly over protecting her and keeping her in the dark on so many issues that concern their family and that of the dragon shifters.  She is a biochemist by trade (and boy, she is a smart one at that) and has come to the club to find the one dragon that no one can seem to get a grip on .. Rurik.  She wasn’t expecting the instant bond, the instant pull, the instant “I am ready to break all the rules for you and I have no clue why!”  She is determined and perhaps a little naive in her approach, but soon enough, there is nothing or no one that can protect her from the grasp Rurik soon has her in.  The thing is, she isn’t really sure she wants him to let go either.

SO BOOM!  Right from the beginning you are thrown right into the story.  No major build up, but Rurik and Charlotte didn’t need one.  That is how perfectly matched these two are.  Rurik captivated me in the previous two books, so I admit I was very much looking forward to his story, and Lauren absolutely delivered.  I strongly recommend you read the first two books as it is a ongoing story with focus on different leads.  You will see the growth in the dragon brothers, and you will also see a strong healing begin from past sins.

I think Lauren Smith has single handedly turned me into a serious dragon shifter lover.  The world she creates and the story weaved among the lore, is refreshing and pretty believable.  I have decided she is not allowed to ever complete this series, and she is not allowed to give up writing paranormal!  MORE PLEASE! 🙂

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied for Review

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Constantine: A History Part 2 (Dark Kings) by Donna Grant-Review and Excerpt Tour

Constantine: A History Part 2 (Dark Kings) by Donna Grant -Review and Excerpt Tour

CONSTANTINE: A History Part 2
Dark Kings Series
by Donna Grant
Genre: adult, paranormal, fantasy, dragon, romance
Release Date : February 19,2018

ebook only 99¢ Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / iBooks /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 19,2018

Constantine, King of Dragon Kings is an enigma. Extremely private, he keeps the details of his past secret. Now is your chance to get another glimpse into a certain time of his life – and the people he encounters that change him.

This is a short story involving Constantine from the New York Times bestselling Dark Kings series from Donna Grant

••••••••••

REVIEW: CONSTANTINE: A History Part 2 is the second short story focusing on the King of the Dragon Kings Constantine, in the Donna Grant’s Dark Kings series.

CONSTANTINE: A History Part 2 reveals how the Dragon Kings began their whiskey distillery in Scotland, and Con’s continuing relationship with a woman that is familiar but not, a woman who speaks philosophically and in circles as she warns Constantine of things to come.

Like Part 1, Part 2 stops at 77%, and the remaining 23% offers up an excerpt from Dark Alpha’s Claim-the author’s series focusing on the Reapers, and the woman known as Death. Once again, the premise is entertaining and engaging but mostly a tease. Constantine: A History Parts 1 and 2 reads like a serialized story line that teases the reader into wanting something more but revealing very little at a time.

Read Sandy’s review of CONSTANTINE: A History Part 1 below.

 

 Own a copy

Reviewed by Sandy

_____________

CONSTANTINE: A History Part 1
Dark Kings
by Donna Grant
Genre: adult, fantasy, paranormal
Release Date: September 12, 2017

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Who is Constantine, King of Dragon Kings? It’s a question asked by many. Here is your chance to learn some of this enigmatic leader’s history – and get a unique look inside the Dragon Kings

 

••••••••••••••

REVIEW:  CONSTANTINE: A History Part 1 by Donna Grant is a short story that focuses on some of the history of Constantine, King of the Dragons, and how he met the woman we have come to know as Death. Although limited in any real background information the author may be leading the reader to believe that Con may have met his future in the guise of a wanderer who may not have been completely human.

The story line stops at 75% , and the remaining 25 % cover the first chapter of Dark Alpha’s Claim (Reaper Book 1) and some promotional information about the author’s series. The premise is interesting but leaves too many questions unanswered. CONSTANTINE is a tease; a quick look back at the King of Kings who struggles in a world that, is once again, threatening the dragons’ existence.

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The 20th of April, human year 1746
DreaganI have tried. I truly have. Some might look back and say that I didn’t give it enough, but I will know the truth.
The simple fact is, the mortals have lost their bloody minds.
I knew it was a good idea to have a spy in the English parliament long before Culloden, and Keltan has done a fine job relaying information while keeping his true identity a secret. But learning that the English plan to pass The Dress Act in the next few months that would make wearing a tartan or kilt illegal leaves me flummoxed. And fuming.
Some of the Kings wish to use our magic to stop such idiocy, but we won’t. Just as we didn’t intervene or participate in Culloden or the many other battles before that—or the ones yet to come. We have chosen to live among—but apart from—the humans.
And for very good reason.
It is impossible to look at the mortals without disdain for their stupidity or respect for their accomplishments. Thankfully, the spell I cast prevents such deep emotions within the Kings in regards to the humans. Otherwise, I’m not sure even I could keep from eradicating them.
The years are a blur. They pass as quickly as sand through my fingers.
Worse yet, is that my brethren are terribly, enormously lonely. It’s an ache experienced by all. Each attempts to hide it, but it’s there in their gaze, in their words, and in the very things they do not say.
And, if I’m being honest, I’m lonely, too.
I will never admit it to anyone. It’s difficult enough to divulge it in this journal. It’s a secret I keep concealed, because if I let it show, if I concede that I feel such emotions, then it’s a weakness that can—and will—be used against me by our enemies.
The Fae Wars might be over, and we may be on friendly terms with the Light, but I know the Dark Fae will never give up in their quest to take over this realm. It’s a prime hunting ground for them. They will always be adversaries. And they’re patient enough to wait to strike at the best moment.
Then there’s Ulrik.
He wants to challenge me. Perhaps, he’ll win. Perhaps he won’t.
I try to prepare for all these things. I know they’re coming. It’s a feeling deep within me, like a warning bell. Just as I know that our power, our magic, will draw other enemies to us. Will we be ready?
We have to be. We’ve lost too much already. I will not allow anyone to take what we’ve fought so hard to maintain after everything we’ve given up.
I owe it to the other Kings to ensure that. And I will. Even if it means I forfeit my life. Because, in the end, I am merely one dragon. Any of the other Kings could take my place—even Ulrik. But they are the ones who are important. The dragons are gone from this realm, but the Dragon Kings must remain at all costs.Constantine, King of Golds
King of Dragon Kings


 

Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

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The Goddess by M.A. Abraham – Review & Anniversary Giveaway

The Goddess by M.A. Abraham – Review & Anniversary Giveaway

 

NOTE: All giveaways require a comment to qualify

M.A. Abraham is graciously offering a Kindle to one commenter, and an e-copy of The Goddess to two (2) lucky commenters

There will be THREE (3) winners: a Kindle e-reader to one commenter, and an e-copy of The Goddess to two (2) lucky commenters

Kindle Giveaway open to USA only.

E-copy of The Goddess is open internationally

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Description:
Chania has lived most of her life in seclusion. She was placed amongst the humans that had once come to the aid of her ancestors, many millenniums before. She kept secreted by the head priestess, and revered as a Goddess by the people. She knows she is not what they think she is. She is an Elven Princess in hiding, and content to stay that way.

Daeron is an Elven/Dragon shapeshifter, who has served as second in command of the Guardians of the Elven Empire for a long time. He comes from a long line of Kings, and has proven himself worthy of his position of life. He is a proud, noble, Golden Dragon, when he is not an Elf. He is not so pleased with the sudden match making ambitions of his leader though, especially when he has been singled out to be mated with one of the leader’s daughters. He is not about to give in without a fight. He will not be used in this manner, not by anyone.

Captured by her father’s guardians and forced to his side, Chania, learns her fate. She is no happier about their upcoming nuptials than Daeron. They recognize the Life Bond they share, but under the circumstances, refuse to allow it to dictate their future. Can they fight an attraction that no Elf has ever been able to deny?

 

Review:

The Goddess by M.A. Abraham is the 1st book in her new Guardians of the Empire.  I have read every book by M.A. Abraham, and I continued to be amazed how her stories continue to get better and better, not to mention her wonderful imagination.  I am happy to say that The Goddess is the start of another great series that takes place in the same world, but of course a different time and characters .

The Goddess is set thousands years past the finale of the Elven Chronicles.  When that series ended, all surviving humans were granted a land called The Valley, where they were able to live prosperous and in peace.   Over the years, these humans did not remember the Elves, who were hidden and unseen in their portal.  

Chania, our heroine, is the goddess, but she is also an oracle and a white dragon.  Chania is still young, and learning; but she does have visions and sees a war on the horizon.  Chania lives in the Valley (human territory) that is led by Britallia (High Priestess), who also has visions.  She protects Chania, who loves to shift to her white dragon.  One day she goes too far, and is caught by Gold Dragons, who will bring her home to the land of her father, where she will see her mother and sister, Serena again.  Seems her mother took the girls years before, because her lifemate, King Gerolth was acting like a dictator.  Now all three have returned, and the King is happy to have them back.  But the Gold Dragons are determined to keep an eye on the wild escapades of the girls.

Chania knows that with the war coming soon, she needs to return to the human world to help them fight off the enemy.  She makes plans with Serena to be prepared to escape within the next month or so.  But Daeron,a leader of the Gold Dragons, and who is a loner and arrogant, knows she is his lifemate and is determined to take her at any cost.  Chania feels the attraction and bond to Daeron, but he has  been possessive and domineering,  not like a  lifemate should be treated as an equal.  Her father, and his brother try to reason with Daeron and his dragon, but he only gets angry at them all, until Chania and Serena finally escape, with Serena going to the Elves for help.

We meet the new General of the Elven Army, Gabriella, who is an Eagle Claw and a descendant of Gabriel. She is a powerful and fierce warrior, who will take charge of the mission to help the humans, working closely with Britallia, and her warrior brothers, as well as Chania.

What follows is an exciting and wonderful adventure, where we will follow three of the most powerful women, and their great warriors/dragons to fight an enemy that has thousands of warriors more than they do.  But it was wonderful to see all the weapons the Elves will bring in: dragons, birds, sword wielding warriors,  thatchers; all the things we remember so well from the Elven Chronicles.  

I do not want to say too much more, as you need to read this book, and meet all the fascinating characters Abraham has created for us to savior.  I loved Gabriella, Britallia and Chania.  For a bit, I was not a fan of Daeron, but closer to the end, changed for the better.  The Goddess was an entertaining, fun, exciting, suspenseful, lifemate romance, and a wonderfuj cast of characters.  I for one I cannot wait to see what comes next.  The Goddess by M.A. Abraham was a super start to this new series, which you should read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for Review

 

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Heat (Dark Kings #12) by Donna Grant-a review

HEAT (Dark Kings #12) by Donna Grant-a review

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 30, 2018

Nikolai is a dragon shapeshifter who knows well the meaning of loss. Orphaned and raised to be a Dragon King, he never accepts defeat. Now, Nikolai prefers his solitude . . .until a beautiful, irresistible woman calls upon him for help—and Nikola’s whole word goes up in flames.

Ever since MI5 agent Esther woke to discover her mind taken over with magic, she feels like stranger to herself. She looks to a notorious dragon, one who has the power to help her find her memory. But as she and Nikolai come closer to discovering what really happened to her, a dangerous passion ignites between them. Can this lone Dragon King help the woman he’s grown to love to uncover the truth about her past—or will a deep and fiery danger tear them both apart?

•••••••••

REVIEW:  HEAT is the twelfth full-length instalment in Donna Grant’s adult, DARK KINGS paranormal / fantasy romance series focusing on the Dragon Kings and the women they love. This is dragon Nikolai the ivory, and MI5 agent Esther North’s story line. HEAT can be read as a stand-alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order. There is a war approaching between the dragons, the fae and humankind, and the build-up has been on-going for several installments.

SOME BACKGROUND: The DARK KINGS is a spinoff from Donna Grant’s DARK WARRIOR series which in turn is a spin off from Donna’s DARK SWORD series- all set in the Highlands of Scotland. The Dark Fae and their King Taraeth, along with the Ulrik the Silver Dragon King and his uncle Mikkel have declared war on the Dragon Kings by exposing the dragon’s existence to humankind. The last wars between man and the world of the paranormal saw a great loss of life on all sides-but Ulrik wants revenge against King Constantine of the Dragon Kings; Mikkel wants to become King of the Silvers, and the Dark Fae want the Dragon’s hidden weapon and to rule Scotland and the rest of the world. HEAT overlaps with Donna’s new spin off series THE REAPERS who may be a potential ally with the Dragons Kings in their war with the Dark Fae and Mikkel, the silver.

Told from several third person perspectives including Nikolai and Esther HEAT continues the build-up towards war as Esther goes in search of her memories, stolen by a Druid working for the other side. Esther’s memories buried deep within her mind are her only connection to the who and what of her recent excursion where she posed a danger to the Dragon Kings and the women they love. For weeks, Esther has suffered with unimaginable nightmares that threaten to destroy the person she once was but nightmares that warn of what was and things to come. Partnered with Nikolai, the Ivory King, he and Esther go on a European tour searching for the truth only to discover that the truth has been buried for far too long. What ensues is the building relationship between Nikolai and Esther; Nikolai’s reconnection with the Dragon who raised him as his own; and the discovery that Esther, and her brother Henry are not whom they believe themselves to be.

Like all of the previous story lines HEAT continues to build towards war-a war the Dragon Kings are desperately trying to avoid. The Light Fae Rhi discovers that helping a friend inevitably helps the other side- a lesson learned too late for the fate of humankind. Mikkel continues to plot the demise of Ulrik and the other dragons, while Ulrik’s motives are no longer clear, or whose side he is on.

Once again there is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including many of the Dragon Kings, druids and witches, dark and light Fae, as well the return of the Reapers.

HEAT advances the series but a few weeks in time but reveals the potential for new alliances, and the fall out between Rhi and the fae. We have yet to discover the identity of Rhi’s Dragon King-the man who broke the Light Fae’s heart-I am hoping the identity is soon revealed. The premise is intriguing and revealing; the romance is fated and passionate; the characters are numerous, eclectic and colorful. HEAT is an informative, revealing and welcome addition to the Dark Kings.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Enchanter Redeemed by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

Enchanter Redeemed by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

 

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Description:
Ancient magic and new passion…

In the last battle for Camelot, Merlin had to make a terrible choice. Now he must pay the price. When a demon from his past reappears, she wants nothing more than to destroy the wizard. Now to reap her vengeance as a lover scorned, the demon occupies the body of Clary—the apprentice who is capturing his heart—and has the innocent behaving in uncharacteristic ways. Ways that push the forbidden desire Clary and Merlin share into heated play…

 

Review:

Author Sharon Ashwood informs her audience about the character, Merlin, you’re about to meet (swoon for, it’s inevitable) before the prologue. This introduction gives you a brief history and depiction of the character you’re about to lose sleep over. It’s precious insight, but in no way does it prepare you for the action and emotion in this story — it will bowl you over. Bravo to Ms. Ashwood for Enchanter Redeemed, a stunning conclusion to a fabulous series!

Merlin’s ultimate success in the battle for Camelot was short-lived because while it ensured King Arthur’s crown, it also stripped away emotion from the fae, their trusted allies. Recruited to defeat the demons plaguing Camelot, Arthur regrettably compromised their spirited nature. That issue, its resolution to restore feelings, troubles Merlin to no end.

As troubling as that is, Merlin’s priority is to stay on top of any vulnerabilities since the Queen of Fae’s incarceration by the Lady of the Lake; any suspicious activity that threatens King Arthur’s reconstructed Camelot. When Merlin’s stealthy surveillance of demons begins to yield promising information, Clary, his unsuspecting student, and wildest, albeit secret, fantasy, trespasses into his domain not only revealing Merlin’s presence, but she’s accosted by a spiteful, powerful demoness named Vivian.

  “Ever since first meeting the knights of Camelot, Clary had wanted to help in their battle against Morgan LaFaye. Now she was infected by the enemy, a liability instead of an ally.”

Vivian, you’ll learn, is a woman instrumental in…all things Merlin. A woman scorned and all that jazz prompts Vivian to hijack Clary, body and soul. Torment aside, what nefarious deeds can Clary/Vivian commit to undermine Camelot under the scrutinizing eye of Merlin?

 “He released her, but didn’t back away…Her skin glowed the same delicate cream, her mouth still invited him-and yet something was different. It prickled against a sense that had no name.”

Imbued with fantastic humor, when you’re hosting a demon hell-bent on revenge, you pray for compatibility. Listening to the inner dialogue between Clary and Vivian was equal parts enlightening as well as chilling. Their banter is both light and combative as they tangle amidst dueling purposes. On top of their communal attributes comes the knowledge (and jealousy) of the relationship once enjoyed by Merlin and Vivian. Talk about conflict of interest! Clary is beginning to understand Vivian’s history, and goals (that resolutely includes the demise of her mentor and lover, Merlin), but this invasion is also affording Clary new perspective: it’s impossible not to wonder (Clary flat out asks) if it wasn’t all bad between this once formidable pairing. There’s only so much confidence one has, am I right?

Will Merlin become The Enchanter Redeemed? Does Clary rid herself of the unwanted neighbor? Does Vivian earn any redemption? Will Camelot prevail in the end? All the answers will satisfy and delight. Don’t miss out on this epic finale. This is an engaging series that maintains energy with every character’s book. Your faithful fan awaits your return, Ms. Ashwood!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

 

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Mating A Grizzly by Dianna Love – a Review

Mating A Grizzly by Dianna Love – a Review

 

Mating a Grizzly
League of Gallize Shifters series – Book #2
by Dianna Love
Release Date: January 30, 2018

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Description:
MATING A GRIZZLY is book two in the unusual League Of Gallize Shifters series (all stand alone paranormal romances).

Justin is an elite black ops warrior on a unique shifter team. He’s as deadly as they come and determined to succeed on every mission. He turns into a monster grizzly and rushes into danger without hesitation to do his duty … but he’s having second thoughts on his current assignment. If there’s one thing he can’t tolerate it is arrogant people like the jerks he grew up around who acted superior to him. Justin can’t believe he’s stuck playing bodyguard for a Russian shifter princess. He’d rather face down a pack of armed terrorists alone than spend time with a cold-hearted prima donna. Except, Elianna turns out to be unlike anything he expected. She’s hot, but he’d like to see her smile. He’s on a mission to get that smile—and more. First he has to stop the assassin trying to kill him and kidnap her.

Having lived her life as an outcast among her own kind, Elianna hates being called princess. She’s the ugly mistake of a Russian grizzly shifter who got her polar bear mother pregnant while on a sabbatical from his mate. With the exception of the little boy she saved after his clan abandoned him, men are the bane of Elianna’s life. When she makes a miscalculation under duress, her biological father coerces Elianna into accepting a deal with high stakes if she fails.

Justin is unlike any other man, human or shifter, she’s ever been around. He makes her want things she can’t have—like mating—because the deal she struck prevents a relationship with him or she’ll never see the little boy again who is everything to her. Her plan was simple and doable, but meeting Justin complicated everything.

 

 

Review:

Mating a Grizzly by Dianna Love is the 2nd book in her League of Gallize Shifters series. The Gallize shifters, are run by an ancient and powerful shifter (Guardian), who secretly protect humans from bad shifter groups.  In Mating a Grizzly, we meet Elianna, our heroine, right from the start, as she is running away from a group of wolf shifters. When she gets caught, she fears for the life of her younger brother, Nico, but just in time, she is rescued by her father’s bear pack.  Elianna’s father is a powerful grizzly, who is married with other children, and looks upon her as his first child, by a woman he left long ago.  Elianna is the outcast princess.  To save Nico, she makes a deal with her father to go to the United States and mate with a member of Clan Boudreaux; once she does that they will send Nico to live with her.

Justin, our hero, is one of the Gallize shifters, and the Guardian forces him to take on an assignment to protect and bring a princess to her new Clan.  Justin, is a grizzly shifter, and is unhappy about this assignment to be a bodyguard for some princess.  He prefers to stay back and help his friend and partner recover from a previous attack (part of earlier novella).  When Justin meets Eli, she is not what he expected; as she is strong, determined and smart, though she does have a language barrier being Russian. Eli wants a 5 day break before she is taken to Clan Boundreaux, which she also secretly plans on finding a way to escape and get Nico back. 

Eli has trouble shifting, since she has no real control over her bear, not to mention suffering embarrassment from people who do not like her bear.  When she is injured, Justin will force her to shift, and he tells her she is a Ursine hybrid, but that that her bear is special and  unique.   Everything will begin to change, as Justin’s grizzly (named Herc) will recognize Eli’s bear as his mate.   This is an exciting and dangerous adventure that will put their lives in danger often.   Eli will fight off her growing attraction to Justin, as she knows she must mate someone from her new pack in order to save young Nico. Their slow built romance begins to sizzle, with both knowing their love is real, but can there be any future?

What they do not know is that someone is determined to stop Eli from arriving at Clan Boudreaux.  Who is trying to kill Eli?  

What follows is an exciting action packed story, but I do not want to ruin it for you by giving any spoilers. The last half of the book was great, especially as we raced to the wild climatic ending, It was an edge of your seat suspense that had us holding our breaths to find out if they would survive.  I loved Justin and Eli together, but even close to the end, I was not sure if they could find a way to become mates.  Dianna Love once again gives us another wonderful story, and a series that continues to wow us and look forward to more of the same.  Mating a Grizzly was a fun, exciting, action packed adventure; with a great sexy couple, which you should be reading. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

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The Emerald Lily (Vampire Blood #4) by Juliette Cross-Dual Review and Excerpt

The Emerald Lily (Vampire Blood #4) by Juliette Cross-Dual Review and Excerpt

THE EMERALD LILY
Vampire Blood #4
by Juliette Cross
Genre: adult, paranormal, fantasy,
Release Date: January 29,2018

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 29, 2018

When Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir is awakened from her hellish sleep with a blood kiss from a handsome stranger, she learns that much has changed while she’s been away. The armies of the Black Lily and the vampire Crown have amassed and are on the brink of war.

No romantic entanglements, no family. Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the Bloodguard, took a vow when he joined the Bloodguard. But he never planned for the gut-punching attraction he would feel for the untouchable princess. He must keep his focus, though. In order to avenge his family, it’s essential he help Mina claim her crown and keep his damn hands off of her.

But Mina sets her heart on the elusive captain, and keeping his focus on the great battle ahead becomes harder and harder. While they’re making plans, the evil King Dominik has been making some of his own. This time, he will show no mercy to the Princess…

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Black Lily
The Red Lily
The White Lily
The Emerald Lily

••••••••••••

Sandy’s REVIEW:

THE EMERALD LILY is the fourth and final instalment in Juliette Cross’s adult VAMPIRE BLOOD paranormal /fantasy, romance series. This is Princess Vilhelmina ‘Mina’ Dragomir, and Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the BloodGuard’s story line. THE EMERALD LILY can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion.

SOME BACKGROUND: The Black Lily is an underground movement that is attempting to take down the royal vampire family, and their army of Legionnaires who are obliterating village after village in a frenzied blood madness known as the sanguine furorem. As Prince Dominick and his mother, Queen Morgrid of Izeling continue their evil reign, The Black Lily begin to amass an army as they venture towards war and a final showdown against the current ruling vampire family-a family of murderous, power hungry vampires who are determined to destroy and control all of the humans.

WARNING: THE EMERALD LILY contains scenes of graphic violence and sexual situations that may be triggers for some more sensitive readers.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Mina and Mikhail) THE EMERALD LILY is the culmination of four story lines and a plan set into motion to take back the throne, and bestow it to the rightful heir. With Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir forced into the bloodless sleep of a starving vampire, the Bloodguard mount a rescue of the rightful heir to the Arkadian Kingdom, of Briar Rose. Enter Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the Bloodguard-an army of vampire warriors who have sworn fealty to the rightful heir- and the man with whom Mina will fall in love. What ensues is the back and forth, yin and yang of unrequited attraction, and the fall out when Mina is recaptured by the Prince, facing a future without the man that she loves.

Mikhail has sworn an oath as Captain of the Bloodguard, and in doing so forsakes all manner of family and a happily ever after but rescuing Mina Dragomir stirs something deep within our story line hero, something that calls to his hardened heart. Mikhail has a secret, that once revealed, may change the course of history including the rightful ascension to the vampire throne.

The relationship between Mina and Mikhail is one of immediate attraction; a visceral reaction that Mina wants to explore but Mikhail refuses to acknowledge or accept. His duty is to the Bloodguard, and all that it means, and with the approaching war, falling in love is a weakness our hero never would have imagined. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

Like all of the previous story lines in the Vampire Blood series, THE EMERALD LILY touches on and is loosely based upon a fairy tale, and in the case of The Emerald Lily the retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, the evil queen, a kiss to awaken, and the fiery conclusion befitting a powerful reclamation of power and the throne.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including all of the previous story line couples; Brennalyn’s seven orphaned children; and an assortment of Bloodguard warriors who have vowed to protect Mina with their lives. The requisite evil has many faces including Prince Dominck, and his mother, the self-proclaimed Queen Morgrid.

THE EMERALD LILY is a story of betrayal and revenge; of family and blood; of passion and promise. The premise is action packed, complex and imaginative; the characters are dynamic, colorful, and charismatic; the romance is consuming, inspiring and dramatic. THE EMERALD LILY is a stunning conclusion to an incredible series that adds a twist or two to our favourite fairy tales.

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Barb’s Review

The Emerald Lily by Juliette Cross is the 4th book in her wonderful Vampire Blood series. I am a big fan of Juliette Cross, and having loved the first three books in this series, I could not wait to read The Emerald Lily. As I have come to expect with Cross, this book turned out to be equally fantastic.  What an awesome author, who if you are not reading, you should be.  Now to my review.

In each book of this series, the lead female character is based loosely on a fairy tale theme.  The previous books were Cinderella,  Red Riding Hood, Snow White and now Sleeping Beauty.   We met Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir (Mina), our heroine in the first book, but now she is in her homeland, forced (by the villains in this series, King Dominik and Queen Morgrid) into a bloodless sleep.  Mikhail, our hero, who is the Captain of the Bloodguard, comes to rescue Mina, and awakens her from her deep sleep.  He immediately feels the strong attraction, and forces himself to not act on his feelings.  When Mina awakens, Mikhail and his Bloodguard swear allegiance to Mina, who is the rightful Queen of Arkadia. 

Mina is a strong heroine, who is determined to become Queen, and then offer her army to help The Black Lily defeat the evil Queen and King.  Mina has also felt the strong attraction Mikhail, and though he tries to stop them going too far, their chemistry burns through the pages.  There are some secrets and twists that answer our questions later on.  One thing we learned early on is that when Mina was born, a good witch bestowed her with something that would stop the evil Queen Morgrid, who had cursed her at birth.  Will Mina learn what and how to use this legend?

Just when we think all is well, a surprise attack will destroy some of those supporting the revolution, including the kidnapping of a young girl.  Mina will fall into a trap that will put her in terrible danger, and force the teams (The Black Lily, Arkadia & Bloodguard armies), to move fast to rescue Mina and the child and find a way to save the world as they know it.  To say too much more would be spoilers, and you really need to read this book.

What follows is a very exciting intense adventure that will have Mina, Mikhail, his men, the previous books heroes, attempt a rescue that will put their lives in danger. As we raced to the pulse pounding climax, I loved seeing all those we met in the first three books to join the battle.  I loved Mikhail and Mina, as they were an awesome couple.     

The Emerald Lily was a heart stopping, pulse pounding slam bang of a last half of the book, that kept you glued to your seat.  Every book in the Vampire Blood series  was emotional, heart wrenching, intense, exciting, suspenseful,  action-packed  thriller; with a sexy & amazing couple.   I must say I absolutely loved the epilogue, especially since this book ends the series.  🙁

As I have said before, if you have not read Juliette Cross, you are seriously missing a fantastic author, who never fails to wow us each and every time.  I do not know what Juliette has upcoming, but I will be there, as I will never miss any of her books.

Copy supplied for review

Mikhail had heard direct tales from survivors of the bloodless sleep. The dark agony of sensing everything going on around oneself but never able to speak or open one’s eyes or make any move at all. And all the while, an aching pain stabbed the sleeper’s gut, ricocheted out and rattled bones.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he lifted a lock of her silken hair, sliding his fingers till it fell away. The sensual caress striking a vulnerable cord in his chest. He clutched his fist together. Her beauty made him breathless. The fact that she lay imprisoned in her own body cut through the tough veneer of the captain to the man beneath. No way in hell would he leave her in such a state of agony a second longer.
Awakening a victim from a bloodless sleep was a precarious job. He must be gentle, careful not to overpower her system and jolt her body to full wakefulness. She could likely go into shock. Friedrich had suggested the best known method—the blood kiss.
Leaning close to her ear, he whispered, “Princess. If you can hear me, listen well. I must awaken you from this deep slumber. Pardon the intimacy and have no fear. I mean you no harm.”
His canines fully extended, he bit into the fleshy part of his palm and smeared his lips with his own blood. Wrapping his other hand behind her slender nape, he leaned close, inhaling the fragrant scent of white jasmine and sunshine. He paused, faltering at the sweetness of her, an unexpected punch to his senses.
With tight control, he swept his lips over hers, wetting them with his blood and coaxing them apart. The slightest relaxing of her mouth gave him entry. Raising his palm, he licked a swathe of his own blood across his tongue then angled his mouth over hers with firm possession, delving in to awaken her starving body. Sliding his tongue over and against hers, he slicked her thoroughly.
His pulse pounded an erratic beat. He heard hers quicken in timing with his own. Her senses stirred.
Unexpected arousal crashed through him, hardening every inch of his body. His fangs extended to their most painful length, demanding succor.
Bloody hell!
He’d come to offer his own lifeblood, not take what little she had. And yet his body trembled with bone-shaking hunger.
Stifling his rebellious body’s needs, he sucked a few drops of blood from his palm-wound and pressed his mouth to hers once more, letting the blood seep inside and down her throat. He couldn’t help delving back in, licking the delicious taste of her onto his tongue.
A low moan emanated from her throat. He jerked away, remembering himself. By God, his thoughts spiraled down a dark, wayward path when his mouth was on hers. Panting, he leaned farther away, giving himself some distance.
She lifted a slender hand, her brow furrowing as she moaned a second time, rousing from her deep, paralyzing sleep. Her eyes shot open and she sucked in a deep lungful of air. Her wide-eyed gaze landed directly on his. Mikhail was sure he’d slipped and fallen off a cliff, flailing helplessly.
Fathomless pools of blue, burning brightly. His father used to take him to the ocean shore during the summers as a boy. They’d walk along the sandy beach collecting shells. Once, he’d found the most beautiful clear gem washed upon the sand. Sea glass, his father had told him. A broken piece of bottle or jar that the ocean had tumbled and smoothed into the clearest, purest blue he had ever seen. That was what he thought of when he looked into the eyes of this princess who smelled like sunshine and tasted like heaven.
“Welcome back, Princess Vilhelmina.” Steel clashed against steel on the battlement above. Footsteps pounded on the staircase leading to the tower. “Time to go.”


 

Excerpt supplied by the publisher

Juliette CrossJuliette is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance and lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona. She loves reading and writing brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes.

From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

 

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Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters – a Review

Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters – a Review

 

Drakon's PastAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters. Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.

 

Review:

Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters is the 4th book in her Blood of the Drakon series.

Constance has a special gift for finding unique treasures and antiques, this helps her 

and her sister Abigail run an internet business selling items that they have brought. 

And when four statues in the shape of dragons come into their hands …. they get more than they bargained for ….. 

Nic is a Drakon (A Dragon shapeshifter) who is thousands of years old. (We’ve met him in previous books).  Nic is a big antique collector and searches for stolen or “lost” Drakon artifacts he’s also a recluse, he is close to the “big sleep” (that’s when a Drakon loses interest in the world and slows his body and goes “to sleep”).  When he meets Constance, he realises that’s she’s his “fated one” ; he has to face the world and help her, but can he trust her ? 

Constance feels there is something strange about the dragon statues and she calls an old friend to find her a buyer for the statues as quickly as possible.  But when her friend gets greedy and tries to sell to two buyers !!!! It all gets out of hand, and her sister pays the price !!!! 

When Abigail gets abducted by one of the buyers (Dent),  Constance has no choice but to trust Nic to help her retrieve her sister. And Nic has to trust that Constance will not turn the statues over to Dent, (the bad guy through the stories) because that would cause a big catastrophe for all Drakon’s in the world. Will both be able to overcome their distrust of one another? 

Just who can Constance trust? Who are the bad guys and who are the good? And then there is a big secret to uncover …..
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It’s part of a series, but I feel you don’t need to read them in order. Plenty of action and a continual story (from previous books) and a well written story. Can’t wait to read more.

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher

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