The Black Lily (Tales of the Black Lily # 1) by Juliette Cross-Dual Review and Book Tour

THE BLACK LILY (Tales of the Black Lily #1) by Juliette Cross-dual review and book tour

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THE BLACK LILY
Tales of the Black Lily #1
by Juliette Cross
Genre: adult, paranormal, romance
Release Date: March 27, 2017

The Black Lily

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ABOUT THE BOOK: RELEASE DATE March 27, 2017

Cinderella like you’ve never seen before…

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…

••••••

SANDY’s REVIEW: THE BLACK LILY is the first installment in Juliette Cross’s TALES OF THE BLACK LILY adult, paranormal/fantasy series. This is one hundred year old vampire Prince Marius, and peasant girl Arabelle’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Arabelle and Marius) THE BLACK LILY follows the struggles of the human population; the underground movement setting up a coup to take down the royal vampire family-vampires who now threaten the lives of everyone they love. Enter peasant girl Arabelle, a young woman, head of a group known as The Black Lily, and a woman determined to rid the world of bloodsuckers-one vampire at a time starting with the youngest royal heir-Prince Marius. The time has come to select a new concubine for the royal Prince, and Arabelle is determined to seduce the Prince to his death. What ensues is the building romance between Arabelle and Prince Marius, and the search for the vampires responsible for taking too many lives.

THE BLACK LILY is the retelling of Cinderella only Cinderella’s happily ever after comes with a caveat-the Prince is a vampire, and a man who is desperate to make Arabelle his own. While Arabelle struggles with her attraction to a man she believes is killing her people, Marius searches for the truth and doesn’t like what he is about to find.

We are introduced to a large number of secondary and supporting characters including Marius’s best friend and vampire Nikolai; Marius’s parents the King and Queen of the vampires; Arabelle’s friends Deek and Mary, as well as our heroine’s evil ’step mother’ and two wicked ‘step sisters’. On the run Arabelle befriends a woman known as Sienna, whose connection to the wolves is magical and mysterious.

The world building looks at the prejudice between human and vampire; the potential eradication of the species; and a romance between a human and a vampire that pushes all of the boundaries for our leading couple.

THE BLACK LILY is an engaging, lively and spirited retelling of Cinderella. The premise is creative and electrifying; the characters are animated, colorful and passionate; the romance is fated and uplifting. THE BLACK LILY is a wondrous start to a new series that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

Reviewed by Sandy

____________

Barb’s Review:
The Black Lily by Juliette Cross is the first book in her new Tales of the Black Lily series.  I have been a big fan of Juliette Cross, since I started reading her Nightwing series; her stories are always captivating, exciting, adventurous, sexy and pure fun to read.  The Black Lily is no different and after I finished this book, Juliette Cross once again rises up on my list of books and authors I MUST read.  I loved loved The Black Lily; it was a fantastic ride from start to finish, with a couple that blew us away with so much chemistry.  Now for my review.  🙂

The Black Lily has a slight take on the Cinderella fairytale, but it is nothing like it.   Arabelle, our heroine, lives as a peasant, with a woman and two daughters, who treat her miserably.  But Arabelle is the leader of The Black Lily underground resistance that is trying to rebel against the vampire kingdom that rules the Glass Tower.  Humans are dying, having been found murdered and drained blood dry. Arabelle devises a plan to kill the Prince, at the upcoming ball, in order to make the King and Queen listen to their grievances. 

Prince Marius, our hero, dreads going to the ball, but he needs to pick a woman who will become his next blood concubine; especially in a matter of days he will be getting married to a princess he has never met.  At the ball, he becomes mesmerized by a beautiful young woman dressed in Gold, and after a dance, he whisks her away for a tour of the Glass Tower.  He finds her irresistible, and when he makes advances on her, which she encourages,  Marious is shocked when she plunges a knife to his chest. 

Arrabelle, thinking she killed her target, manages to escape, but leaving behind a gold pointed knife (no there is no slipper here).  Marius, after he drinks blood and is healed, goes with his best friend, Nikolai to search for the woman who has a tattoo on her shoulder. During the search, he will notice the fear in the folks in town, as well as those working at the Tower.  Marius will also discover that the missing servant in the house is the one he is looking for, but sees the condition of how she lives.  This will open his eyes as to the conditions that surround the lands his family runs, which was not as he was led to believe.  After a few times of catching up with Arrabelle, Marius knows she is a handful, but she is a handful he cannot resist.  Arrabelle, despite thinking Marius as the enemy is also unable to resist his charms.  Arrabelle will begin to trust Marius, and tell him about the murders, forcing him to investigate with Nicolai to find out what is happening behind the scenes. Marius knows he loves Arrabelle, and knows he must do everything in his power to protect her against his mother and father’s determination to have her killed. 

What follows is a fantastic exciting story that will have you either on the edge of your seat or swooning over their hot sexy romance.  Arrabelle was such a wonderful heroine, strong, beautiful, and determined to fight for her friends.  Marius was not only a great hero, but also very charming and sexy; and they were so good together.  The wildly exciting climax was so tense, suspenseful, with non-stop action, that we were left breathless.  I also want to point out that I loved two of the secondary characters; Sienna and her wolves; as well as Nicolai. The Black Lily was such an amazing book, as well as steamy, and  very well written by Cross.  Bravo to Juliette Cross for giving another sensational new series.  I cannot wait for the next book.

Reviewed by Barb

 

Copy supplied for review.

The Black Lily Teaser 2

 

Excerpt

 

Standing, he summoned her with a hand.
“Come. Get out of the pool.”
Her mouth dropped. “I’m not getting out of here with you standing there. I’m…I’m naked.”
“Of which I’m well aware.” His voice dropped low and deep. “Come out.”
“No!”
“Then I’ll come in after you.”
He took one step. She splashed backward.
“All right!” She huffed. “Turn around.”
He shook his head, unable to keep a smile from his face. “Not on your life. I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
“You expect me to—”
“Yes. I do. Now, come out.”
She snapped her mouth shut. Flustered, her pale cheeks flushed pink. Marius was thankful for his vampire eyesight to see the pretty blush crawl up her neck. What he wouldn’t do to chase that path with his mouth.
Arabelle’s expression shifted, her brow smoothing, eyes narrowing, lips parting. She slowed her breathing and uncrossed her arms, standing with poise from the water, revealing the sensual gifts nature had given her. Marius swallowed hard, but his mouth had gone dry. Thirsty. He was so thirsty.
She moved unhurriedly through the water into the shallows, emerging like a goddess who knew her power. Marius actually stepped backward as she stood on the ledge in front of him—completely bare and utterly beautiful.
“I’m here now, Your Highness. What will you do with me?”


 

About The Author

Juliette Cross Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance–brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Juliette is a multi-published author, including her Nightwing series with Kensington Publishing and The Vessel Trilogy with Samhain Publishing.

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Bound Together by Christine Feehan – Review & Giveaway

Bound Together by Christine Feehan – Review & Giveaway

 

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Bound Together
Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart series – Book #6
by Christine Feehan
Release Date: March 21, 2017

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Description:
The Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life

For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind…

Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist…becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart…

 

Review:

Bound Together by Christine Feehan is the 6th and final book in her Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart series.  Viktor Prakenskii is the final brother that is destined to meet his mate in Sea Haven.  Ilya was the one who started it all in the Drake Sisters series, and all his brothers have since followed meeting their mates in Sisters of the Heart.  Blythe Daniels is the last woman to find her happiness, but 5 years ago, she married a man who disappeared after killing her evil step father, and never heard from again.

Viktor has had the same violent and harsh upbringing his brothers had, and is the most lethal, as well as their leader.  Viktor has been working undercover for the evil and powerful Evan Gratsos (we remember him from the Drake Sisters).  Viktor has his own motorcycle gang (Torpedo Ink) , who grew up together at the school, where they were abused sexually and emotionally, then trained to be assassins.   But Viktor is a good guy, even if he is hard and dangerous; he and his team fight to save the children against the pedophiles.    They do all they can to save them and get them out of the clutches of Even and his Swords Gang.  Then Viktor finds out that Evan is planning to go to Sea Haven and kill Jackson and Elle.  Viktor, under the guise of checking out the place for Evan, then goes back to Sea Haven, where Blythe lives to help alert Jackson and his brothers of the upcoming attack.  

When Blythe sees Viktor, she is shocked, and even more so when Viktor proves to her that she is his wife. She never believed she was married; thinking since he left without a word, the marriage was a ruse.  Viktor was a loose cannon, as he was determined to win back Blythe and convince her that she belongs to him.  There was also an issue where he tells Blythe that he left her messages both to her and his brothers to watch over her.  No one ever received these messages. Viktor brought half of his team, also undercover working for Evan’s gang.  I really did like adopted family, which when all come together would be 18, which include two girls; all having survived horrific childhoods and all totally devoted and loyal to Viktor.  Blythe, who is an empath, knows in a short time, despite her anger and distrust, that she still loves Viktor.  It was an emotional and difficult meeting when Viktor comes face to face with his birth brothers whom he has not seen for many many years or have never seen. 

At the start, when Viktor was very demanding to Blythe, even though he had not talked to her in 5 years, I was kind of not liking him too much.  But that changed quickly, as their romance heated up and he was so loving to her.  Viktor always told his team that Blythe would be the one who would help them see the good of life and teach them how to enjoy and trust.  With all that pressure, by the time we get to the end, you can tell she was going to be there for them. 

This was a wonderful story throughout the book, with many different elements within; we worried, we laughed, we became emotional or tense and even sad.  We got to see Blythe and Viktor rekindle their second chance romance; we learned about the atrocious life Viktor and the young men and girls, who have become lethal, but  take care of each other, as well as those who are being mistreated; the tense suspense as they prepare for the attack; the teaming of all our favorites from both Drake Sisters and Sisters of the Heart (Sea Haven) to fight the enemy, and healing that needs to be done for some of the children they bring home to Sea Haven.  This was such an exciting, emotional and sexual read, and at the same time, some humor from Viktor’s men when they always managed to enter Blythe’s room at the inappropriate time.  I loved Bound Together and hope that Christine will continue to show us what happens to all of the men and women of Torpedo Ink.  Thank you Christine Feehan for this wonderful fantastic finale of this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Axel: Rescue One (Six Saviors 13) by Carly Fall-Review & Guest Post

AXEL: Rescue One (Six Saviors 13 ): Rescue One by Carly Fall-Review and Guest Post

Axel

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About the book: Release Date March 19, 2017

With his tattoos, dark, dead eyes and sketchy past, almost everyone in the silo keeps their distance.

However, people aren’t always what they seem.

Is there more to Axel than meets the eye?

••••••••••

REVIEW: AXEL is the thirteenth installment in Carly Fall’s contemporary, adult SIX SAVIORS paranormal/sci-fi romance series focusing on a species from the planet SR44. This is SR44ian Axel a member of the Rescue One team from planet SR44, and half human/half SR44ian Eden’s story line. Eden is the daughter of one of the original Six Saviors Hudson. AXEL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order for background and cohesion.

BACKGROUND: There were 6 original Savior warriors from planet SR44. The warriors were sent to earth over 220 years ago to stop and eradicate the 12 murderers who escaped from one of the moon colonies of planet SR44. The Colonists, as they were soon called, made their way to Earth, took the human body form, mated with the females and populated the earth with Colonist DNA. The earthly descendants will either manifest good or bad qualities; the savior warriors are part of the elite military from planet SR44, commissioned to remove the Colonists from Earth including the descendants with bad DNA. The beings on planet SR44 are incorporeal bodies of mist and smoke, each bearing a different color, but in their corporeal bodies on Earth, their eyes will glow their familiar- planet SR44 color each evening. Their mission has yet to be completed; their planet has been destroyed; and a new group of SR44 men and women have arrived in search of the original six saviors.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Axel and Eden) AXEL focuses on the forbidden relationship between Axel and Eden-a relationship forbidden by the man Eden recently learned was her father. Hudson and the rest of the SR44 males don’t trust Axel-he is dark, brooding, and silent, and not without some demons that are slowly destroying what’s left of his mind. With the recent discovery of Eden and her twin brother Benedict as direct descendants of SR44ian Hudson, the Saviors and their mates have taken extra precautions to protect our story line heroine believing she is too naïve and young to understand the world around her. What ensues are Eden’s attempts to bring Axel into her life, and the ongoing battle with a new enemy determined to destroy the SR44ians.

The relationship between Axel and Eden is one of immediate attraction although Axel has been warned not to go near or interact with Hudson’s daughter. Eden is a strong willed female determined to exert her independence and in doing so places herself in a dangerous situation. The $ex scenes are intimate and compelling without the use of over the top sexually graphic language and text.

Most of the previous story line couples play secondary and supporting characters. We are introduced to Axel’s friend and tattoo artist Foster whose story will be continued in Carly’s new spin off series-OPERATION UNDERWORLD- a series about a clandestine organization whose members have special abilities to hunt those paranormal entities determined to cause harm to humans. The first book in the series comes out in April 2017.

AXEL is a story about one man whose dark past controls his present, and one woman whose looking for love from a man who is afraid to let go. The premise is heartbreaking, encouraging and sensitive; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance is provocative and passionate. Carly Fall ‘s SIX SAVIORS series is an impassioned look at otherworldly beings trying to do the best in an impossible situation.

Previous Reviews

The Light Within Me
Finding My Faith
Reborn
Beverly’s Rebirth
Destiny’s Shift
Tangled Fates
Dreamwalker
Atonement
Justice
Titus
Roman
Six Saviors Christmas Novella
Axel

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

 

The Light Within MeNOTE: Book 1 in Carly Fall’s Six Saviors series THE LIGHT WITHIN ME (ebook format only) is currently FREE at most ebook retailers:
Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

When Abby and Noah meet, there is an explosive attraction between them that neither can deny…

As a shy, awkward, social misfit, Abby has gone her whole life feeling as though she’s different from everyone else and she simply doesn’t fit in well with society as a whole. She longs to feel a real connection with someone, and she finally does when she meets Noah.

Unbeknownst to Abby, Noah is from another world and his sole purpose is to hunt down the evil of his people that was unleashed on Earth hundreds of years ago. He’s certain he isn’t going to be able to return to his home, and anger and the need for revenge are his constant companions. His focus has been eradicating the evil and making them pay for taking his life on his world away from him.

Noah tries desperately to fight his attraction to Abby so he can keep his focus on his mission. But when Abby gets dragged into the evil and mayhem from Noah’s world, he realizes that maybe with Abby he can find a home here on Earth…if he can save her in time.

Guest Post

Imagine waking up in a hospital and noticing a red glow around some of the staff. Perhaps you would think that you’d hurt your head in the accident that put you there, but when you see these people flashing their fangs and drinking off of the patients and other members of the staff, maybe you’d think you’d completely lost your mind!
But, have you?

For Connor Dickson, the answer is a resounding no as he comes to terms with the fact he can see vampires, and they live and work among the human population.

Welcome to Operation Underworld!

Operation Underworld

When my fellow author Elise Marion approached me with the idea of us collaborating on this project, I was on board within seconds. I loved the idea of writing books about a clandestine organization that polices the paranormal entities secretly living among us!

I will be releasing the first three books in the series: A Touch of Blood, A Touch of Love, and A Touch of Death.

All three of these will be releasing in April / May so that readers don’t have to wait. Elise will be tackling demons in her first three books, releasing May / June.

Here’s the blurb to my first book, A Touch of Blood:

He cheated death once. Can he do it again?

After surviving an explosion deep in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, Marine Connor Dickson has been left with a supernatural ability—he can detect vampires living among the human population.

With this knowledge comes the realization that there are good and evil among the vampire nation. After witnessing a horrific death at the hands of a vampire, it becomes his own personal mission to police the rogue entities and stop them from harming humans.

He is recruited into Operation Underworld, an organization where their sole purpose is to hunt the criminal entities of paranormal species. His first assignment is to find out why humans are going missing from nightclubs in Los Angeles.

When he meets the beautiful Sami Karim, he discovers they are working on the same missing persons case. As his attraction to her grows, he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding many secrets, as well as lying to him.

A shocking twist of events reveals Sami’s true agenda, leaving Connor devastated, fearing for his own safety, and ultimately, forced to face his enemy on his own.

I hope you’ll join us for Operation Underworld, and if you’d like to receive notification on when the books release, you can sign up here

Click HERE to sign up for notification releases

When paranormal creatures step out of line, Operation Underworld must step in to intervene … because sometimes, regular law enforcement just won’t do.

about the author

Follow: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Carly Fall 2I am a wife, a mother and a slave to Nicky the dog.

I think chocolate and wine should be considered their own food group, and I wish Christmas happened twice a year.

I love the hot summer nights here in Arizona when my family and I play in our pool until late at night, and I hate 99.8% of politicians.

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Ice Wolf/Shadow Wolf by Jane Godman – Reviews

Ice Wolf/Shadow Wolf by Jane Godman – Reviews

 

Ice WolfAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

 

Description:
They are the Arctic Brotherhood.

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Elliott Wilder is a mild mannered Alaskan college professor. Wilder craves the things most people find boring. Seclusion. Monotony. Anonymity. But what Wilder craves most of all is the thing he can’t have… memory loss. Four hundred years ago, Wilder and the other members of the Arctic Brotherhood were captured and tortured by the leader of the Siberian werewolves. Wilder is still haunted by memories of that night, when he wasn’t able to protect his leader.

Now the Siberian wolf is on the loose and seeking revenge. Not only must Wilder lead the brotherhood, he must fight the attraction he feels toward its newest recruit, Jenny Piper. Jenny offers Wilder a glimpse of the life he can’t have. As the brotherhood races against time to save humanity from the horror their enemies unleashed on the world, Wilder must reach inside himself to find the leader the brotherhood needs and the mate Jenny craves.

 

Review:

Ice Wolf by Jane Godman is the 1st book in her Arctic Brotherhood series.  This is a shifter series, with a new ancient species of Arctic werewolves, who are part of the 7 members of the Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun. The story begins 400 hundred years earlier, when the Siberian wolves were about to destroy the Arctic wolves; but at the last minute, the newest member of the Arctic Brotherhood managed to save his leader.  Switch to the present time, and we meet Elliot Wilder, a professor who is a loner, and content to live in solitude.  He is approached by someone he has not seen in 400 years, the leader of the Arctic wolves, and is asked to help gather the brotherhood together to fight someone so very evil that will destroy the world.   But Wilder has no intention to go back to that life, until he meets our heroine, Jenny Piper.   Jenny has always been alone, and now that she recognizes Wilder as one of her kind, she is determined to become part of a family.

Jenny is a strong heroine, a female alpha, who is accepted to the Arctic Brotherhood.  Wilder immediately is attracted to Jenny, but fights off those feelings, as he hasn’t told anyone about his nightmares of the time 400 years ago.  It will be Jenny who will help Wilder though those nightmares, and convince him to help his brothers, as his assistance is necessary to defeat the enemy, as humans across the world are threatened for destruction.

Wilder steps up, as he sees his Arctic brothers, and together they travel to the Land of the Midnight, where it all began to try to kill the Siberian wolf leader who is behind the threat.  But as they meet the wolf goddess, they are met with some major twists that changes the game, and escalates the danger.   Fenrir, the most evil and powerful wolf, has escaped his captivity, and in the guise of a cult leader, he is quickly brainwashing all humans to follow him; and then destroy them all.  Can the Arctic wolves stop Fenrir in time?

What follows is an exciting adventure steeped in Norse mythology, with edge of your seat non-stop action.  Wilder will step into the role of leader, especially after Jenny’s life is in danger.  Jenny made a wonderful partner to Wilder, and tense exciting race to catch Fenrir brought the entire team together to try and save the world.  This was an excellent start to a different shifter series, which will continue in future books, with each member of the Arctic Brotherhood taking a leading role in more upcoming dangerous missions.   I loved all the characters that made this Brotherhood. I look forward to reading the next book, Shadow Wolf.

 

 

Shadow WolfAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
They are the Arctic Brotherhood.

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Samson Lee last saw Valetta Rickard five years ago when a shared a kiss almost led him to break the promise he had made to himself. Now Valetta has disappeared, and Samson has promised her father he will find her. When Samson finds Valetta leading a rogue gang of bloodthirsty Arctic werewolves, he soon discovers that all is not what it seems. As soon as they see each other again the feelings they denied all those years ago resurface.
Valetta is Shadow Born, a rare and mystical werewolf with legendary powers. If she chooses, she can destroy a whole species. A power that an evil hunter wants so that he can destroy the Arctic wolves. Samson, together with the other members of the brotherhood, must find the hunter before he can put his plans for Valetta into action. At the same time, Samson must put the past behind him and convince Valetta that she is worthy of love.

 

 

Review:

Shadow Wolf by Jane Godman is the 2nd book in her Arctic Brotherhood series. Having enjoyed the first book in this series, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Shadow Wolf was equally or a bit better then Ice Wolf. 

In Shadow Wolf, Samson Lee takes the lead, as he is summoned by his friend, a former retired member of the Arctic Brotherhood.  Seems that his daughter, is missing, and he wants Samson to find her.  Valetta Rickard, our heroine, has gone undercover, joining a group of Arctic Wolves (not the Brotherhood).  Valetta is determined to find out who is trying to kill her father, as well as discover the truths about the legend of Shadow Born.  When Samson finds her, she is considered the leader of this group of Arctic misfits, and he joins the group to help her.  Samson senses not all is right, and once he convinces Valetta that something is very wrong, they begin to work together to discover what is really happening. 

Valetta has always had a crush on Samson, but he has always treated her like his friends daughter, keeping his distance.  Samson lost his wife hundreds of years before, being murdered in an attack; he blames himself and for all those years he has not looked at another woman.  Valetta in a short time, with them being together during the adventure, slowly uses her charms and feelings to weaken Samson’s resolve.   They made such a great couple, and both were also very powerful.   The story line of the Shadow born was very interesting, which added to the element of finding the truth of her past, and who is behind the evil.

The action became especially exciting when the entire Arctic Brotherhood joins Samson and Valetta to stop the evil behind the mask.  Not only was it very exciting, but also surprising as another evil being from hundreds of years ago is the villain.  Valetta will learn the truth about who she is, and there are some very emotional moments, as well as dangerous death defying moments.  Shadow Wolf was an excellent story, which I read in one day.  I look forward to the next installment of the Arctic Brotherhood series, and to see what Jane Godman has in store for us.


Reviews by Barb

Copies provided by Publlisher

 

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How To Tame a Beast in Seven Day (The Embraced #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks-a review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced Series – #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks-a review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

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Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Review:
How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days begins at the Convent of the Two Moons, on the Isle of Moon, with five girls playing a game they had made up using “telling stones”. Luciana excelled at the game and her “sisters” loved having her tell them their futures. When Luciana picked the stones for herself: red as blood, black as death. Little did she know how profound those stones would be. As a storm nears the isle, the girls rush to secure their windows, only to be interrupted by a Sister from the convent telling Luciana that she is to come with her to meet someone who has just arrived. When Luciana presses the Sister as to whom she’s meeting, she is more than surprised to find out that it is her father. Luciana and her sisters had been raised at the convent since birth as orphans, never knowing that she or any of the others had any family left.

As Luciana enters to meet her father, she can’t help but wonder why she’d been raised as an orphan and why her family had sent her away. Torn between hurt and curiosity, she steels herself to face the man who, after nineteen years, has decided to visit. Once she realizes the truth of the danger her father is in and why she had been sent away, she makes a vow to help him in any way she can….even if it means they could both be killed. Her home is ruled by a greedy, power-hungry king, who informed her father that his daughter is to marry the king’s nephew, The Beast of Benwick. Rumors of the Beast and his power to harness lightning scare everyone, including Luciana. To save their legacy, and her father, Luciana embarks on a quest that will be life-changing for everyone. But, none more than she and the Beast.

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is the first in a new series by Kerrelyn Sparks, whom I have adored for years. She’s created a new world which includes magic, shifters and great characters. Luciana, having been raised in a convent, is naïve about a lot of things, but it is her sense of loyalty, kindness and integrity that reaches out and grabs the reader. It doesn’t take her long to see that their situation is dire and she does everything in her power to ensure the safety of everyone in their keep. Leo, the Beast, is fierce, loyal and very smart. His uncle, the king, has tried more than once to have him killed, but, as Leo says, he’s hard to kill. When Luciana and Leo, along with their close inner circle of friends, soldiers and ghosts decide to take things into their own hands, they all fight tooth and nail to not only keep themselves alive, but everyone in their duchy. The secondary characters are AWESOME. I cannot wait to read more about them to find out how they ended up in their current situations. Sparks style of writing enraptured me the very first time I read one of her books. She writes with humor, which is always a plus, but it is her way of reaching into your heart that gets you every time. Her characters are relatable, the romances sweet and her world building is awe inspiring. If you’ve never read a Kerrelyn Sparks story, this would be a great place to start. Well done, Kerrelyn Sparks! Very well done!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Souljacker (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine Galenorn-a review

Souljacker (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine Galenorn-a review

Souljacker

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About the book:Release Date March 7, 2017

Lily O’Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker–an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before–has escaped to reclaim his “artwork,” Lily knows she’s next on his list. With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn’t expect to fall for Archer-and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim…

Review:
Souljacker begins with Lily finding a client dead in her salon and seeing a vampire misting towards her, only to stop and exit her home. (For clarity, she runs her salon in part of her home.) She calls the police and once they arrive, she’s told that it’s another vamp kill and that they’ll do what they can. The cop is a friend of Lily’s and tells her that these things aren’t high on their priority list and gives her the name of a private investigator that may be able to help. It doesn’t take long for another murder to occur and they soon discover that there is a common link: the killer is taking tattoos from the bodies of those he kills. They also discover that the tattoos were done by a former friend known as the Souljacker. Unfortunately said friend was attacked and turned by a vampire and instead of being staked, he was institutionalized at the behest of his father who is a very well connected businessman in town. The father also has ties to the leader of the vampires who is a money-hungry, power seeking vampire referred to as the Deadfather.

Once they realize that the Souljacker has escaped, Lily and her friends know that they are being targeted, as they have tattoos themselves that were done by the Souljacker himself. On top of that, the client who died in Lily’s salon was a Were and to say his wife is none too happy is a huge understatement. Lily finds herself on the receiving end of retaliation from the Were community more than once. Lily is also a member of Wynter’s court and seeks an audience with the Queen to let her know what has happened. Once there, Wynter tells her that she is to close her salon and is to enter into her service. Talk about a bad and life changing couple of days….

Yasmine Galenorn is known for the worlds she builds. I think this one will actually surprise some folks. The government is corrupt and seemingly in cahoots with the vampires. The vampires are thug-like in that they are almost like a mafia type organization and kill often and seem to feed on the fear as well as blood. I liked Lily. She is not a warrior-like character like most of the main female leads that Galenorn writes, but she is smart and cares about her friends deeply. I also liked Desmond Archer, the chaos demon PI. We don’t find out a lot about him, but I think he will have a back story that will be intriguing. The secondary characters are intriguing as well. As with any first story in a series, we don’t find out a lot about these characters, but I have a feeling they’ll play a huge part in the books to come. If you’re a fan of Galenorn and the worlds that she creates, you’ll definitely want to give this one a go. It did seem to drag a bit in places, but as I said, it is the first in the series, so I have high hopes for the next one. Well done, Yasmine Galenorn!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – Review & Giveaway

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

 

Review:

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs is the 10th book in her wonderful Mercy Thompson series.  Mercy has evolved quite a lot over the last 9 books, and in Silence Fallen we get to see more of the powers she has within her.   Patricia Briggs once again gives us an exciting story with one of our favorite couples, Mercy and Adam.

When the story begins, the werewolf pack is having fun eating and playing games.  Mercy decides to make a meal for the gang, and has to run out to buy eggs. As she gets ready to head home, someone smashes her car and renders her unconscious.  When Mercy awakes, she discovers she has been kidnapped and cannot feel her bond to Adam, disabling any possibility of contact to him.  A powerful European vampire is behind the kidnapping and Mercy is on her own to find a way to escape. 

Adam enlists the aid of Stefan and Marsilia (vampires), as well as the witch, Elizaveta to help him find Mercy.  What follows is an exciting adventure that will have Mercy escaping in a set up to kill her, but she of course, manages to get away alive.  Being alone, with no one to trust, she finds herself Prague, looking for help from both dangerous wolves and vampires .  Who can Mercy trust? 

Adam and his group arrive in Italy to meet the vampire who kidnapped Mercy.  Adam was able to have a slight contact to Mercy finding out she has escaped, but it was minimal.  His goal is to find out why the vampire kidnapped Mercy and to make sure the vampires out searching for her do not kill her.  Adam must learn to control his wolf, and try to negotiate with the vampire; while his pack at home use all means to discover where Mercy is.

It was an interesting story, which was really in two different POV’s, Adam and Mercy.  The brunt of the story had them separate for most of the book.  Mercy will find herself kidnapped again by another powerful but crazy vampire, and in order to save herself from sure death, she must find a way to use her ghost magnet ability to get them to help her.    Interesting and wild stuff; especially as we near the end, when we see much more of what she can do.  It was a wild pulse pounding tense finish, and I loved every moment of it.  Most of all, I loved the ending with Adam and Mercy together.   I would like to go back and reread this again, since so much happens along the way.  This is a great series, great heroine, great couple and always wonderfully written by Briggs.  If you have not read the Mercy Thompson series, and love paranormal, shifters, wolves; it is time to start reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Patricia and her publisher have graciously offered a paper copy of SILENCE FALLEN to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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Firestorm (Dark Kings #10) by Donna Grant-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

FIRESTORM (Dark Kings #10 ) by Donna Grant-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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FIRESTORM
Dark Kings #10
by Donna Grant
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance

Firestorm

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM / indiebound / ibooks / Tantor Audio

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 7, 2017

SCORCHED BY DESIRE

Dimitri lives to protect the secret of the Dragon Kings from the human race. Bound by a bond stronger than blood to the Kings, Dimitri uses his strength and prowess to defend a thousand-year-old secret. But when an oh-so-sexy, slightly absent-minded archaeologist wanders into his midst, Dimitri will have to give up his rules, and give in to desire…

When Dr. Faith Reynolds stumbles upon an ancient skeleton that appears it comes from a dragon, she’s completely taken aback. A woman of science, there’s no way in her mind that this mythological creature can exist. But when a devilishly handsome man named Dimitri intercepts her path to uncovering the truth, Faith’s curiosity turns into all-consuming passion. She’s never felt this way about any man before. But when Dimitri reveals his biggest secret, can she learn to love the man—as well as the dragon within, in Firestorm, the next Dark Kings novel by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.

••••••••••

REVIEW: FIRESTORM is the tenth full length installment in Donna Grant’s contemporary, adult DARK KINGS paranormal romance series focusing on the Dragon Kings and the women they love. This is White Dragon King Dimitri, and archeologist Dr. Faith Reynolds’s story line. FIRESTORM 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 buildup has been ongoing 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. FIRESTORM 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.

Told from several third person perspectives FIRESTORM follows Dr. Faith Reynolds as she embarks on an excavation on Fair Isle that uncovers the skeletal remains of a once mighty dragon. Order to Fair Isle where his white dragons once called home, Dimitri the King of the White Dragons becomes protector of both Faith Reynolds and the skeleton of a dragon he once called family and friend. What ensues is a short battle with the Dark Fae, the return of the white dragon skeleton to Dreagan Mountain, and the building but forbidden relationship between a human and the King of the White Dragons.

Once again, FIRESTORM, like most of the previous story lines continues to follow the approach to war between Ulrik the Silver, the Dark Fae, and another potential enemy not yet known to the dragons. Ulrik’s battle for control comes under fire from the continuing inference of his uncle Mikkel; Rhi’s struggle with her relationship with Con is heightened by the revelation of Con’s affair the Queen of the Light Fae; and a new but potentially familiar foe has entered the fray in an attempt to destroy the Dragon Kings. The Reapers, along with the Druids and Warriors will become enmeshed in a war for power and control with the intent to take down the world’s most powerful beast.

FIRESTORM continues to build upon the previous story lines. Another Dragon King finds his mate amid the human population- something King Constantine is reluctant to accept. Con’s struggle with the dragon’s mates becomes all too readily apparent when magic takes center stage on the mountains of Dreagan. The premise is dramatic and heartbreaking; the characters are colorful and engaging; the romance is spirited and seductive.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Dark Kings Series

Previous Reviews and Reading Order

Dark Craving, Dawn’s Desire,Night’s Awakening Novellas .1-.3
Darkest Flame
Fire Rising
Burning Desire
Hot Blooded
Night’s Blaze
Soul Scorched
Dragon King 6.5 (novella)
Passion Ignites
Smoldering Hunger
Smoke and Fire
Dragon Fever 9.5 (novella)
Firestorm

Excerpt

 

Faith let her gaze slowly run up the tall man. He wore jeans that hugged his trim hips, and a thin, black, V-neck sweater that showed off every mouthwatering muscle that was honed to perfection.
His muscles weren’t so huge that they looked ugly. But they were big enough to be noticed—and appreciated.

And she couldn’t seem to stop appreciating them. Her gaze lingered on his thick chest, imagining her hands running over his pecs before sliding around his neck.

Her breath hitched as her blood heated. She unzipped her jacket to help cool herself. Then she looked up at his face. And what a face!

His wide, full lips softened the sharp lines of his jaw. Azure eyes framed with thick, black lashes watched her with a decided lack of interest. It was difficult to determine whether his hair was dark brown or black in the dim light of the cave.

But it was trimmed short with the top long enough to be parted to the side, the locks having a hint of wave to them.

She had a strange and overwhelming desire to run her hands through his hair and climb him.

Claim him.

Her knees threatened to buckle from the insane and decadent thoughts. The carnal longing swept through her shamelessly—and she embraced it.

Even as she feared it.

It took three attempts before she was able to have enough saliva to swallow.

“Who are you?” she demanded.

“The man who’s going to keep you safe,” came his harsh reply framed in a Scot’s brogue.

Her gaze shifted to Tamir. “Excuse me?”

Tamir laughed nervously. “Yeah, this is what I tried to tell you earlier. When I spoke with Ronnie, she suggested someone to help keep the crazies out. So she sent Dmitri.”

Faith looked at Muscles again and noticed his interest was squarely on the skeleton. Just as she was about to tell Tamir to send him away, she realized they could use someone to keep the loonies at bay.

Getting to her feet, she extended her hand to him. “Faith Reynolds.”

“Dmitri,” he replied and briefly shook her hand, letting go as if the contact between them irritated him.

 

 

About The author

donna_grant_newDonna 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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