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

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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.

 

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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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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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That Killer Smile by Juliet Lyons – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

That Killer Smile by Juliet Lyons – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

 

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Description:
THERE WILL BE HEAT…

Vampire Catherine Adair gave up trying to find her perfect match ages ago. But that didn’t stop her from founding London’s super successful vampire dating site. When a smoldering vampire overlord from her past launches an interspecies speed-dating service, Catherine vows to crush the competition….

WHEN THESE TWO COMPETE
Ronin’s new venture is purely about getting Catherine’s attention. He hasn’t stopped thinking about her ever since the night she gave him the cold shoulder. Nobody gets away from Ronin McDermott that easily…

 

 

Review:

That Killer Smile by Juliette Lyons is the 3rd book in her Bite Nights series.  With each book in this series, it keeps getting better and better. and I loved the couple in this book.  Unfortunately, this is supposed to be the final book in the series.   Refresher:   Bite Nights is a paranormal story line revolving around a dating service for vampires and humans.   

Catherine (Cat) Adair, our heroine, is the owner of V-Date online dating service.  Cat is a loner, being 185 years old, she is happy to stay home and watch TV with her cat, Wentworth.  Lol I have to say, I absolutely adored Wentworth.  Cat is also independent, smart, beautiful and self sufficient. When she gets word that people are leaving her dating service to another one, Cat decides to investigate.

Ronin McDermott , our hero, is ancient vampire demon, who runs his own nightclub for humans and vampires.  He is a womanizer, very macho, and is used to having things done his way.  He has never forgotten his one night stand years ago with the beautiful Cat Adair, who hates him. Ronin decides to start his own dating service, knowing it will force Cat to come to him.   Whoa…does she ever

Cat can’t stand the egotistical Ronin, but when she is billed for a date gone wrong, which actually happened in Ronin’s club, she pushes herself into his office unannounced, and by the time she leaves, Ronin knows he wants her again.  He will go see her to plead his case and offer to pay the bill. Cat is determined to chase him, but before he goes he kisses her, and the chemistry between them was hotter than hell.  Neither of them can resist each other, and a scorching steamy romance begins, that will eventually change into something more than sizzling sex; is it possible that these two could be in love??   Wow (fans self), they were totally awesome together. 

While their romance was heating up continuously, Ronin becomes involved in investigating some vampire deaths.  When one of his own men is murdered, Ronin and another ancient vampire will join hands to find the killer.  The last ¼ was very exciting and tense, as Cat’s life was now in danger to be the next victim.  Will Ronin be able to save her?

What I also loved about Ronin and Cat, was their own vulnerability, which they eventually shared about what they suffered through their own terrible dark past.  It was emotional to see, and uplifting to watch as they help each other to move on.   I also enjoyed the secondary characters, who were fun. but Wentworth was priceless; he even had a say about her boyfriends; of course, he purred with Ronin.

I really loved That Killer Smile, as Juliet Lyons adds a lot of delightful humor throughout this fun sexy story.  I absolutely adored the ending, which had a super epilogue.  If you enjoy a fun, steamy romance, hot sexy couple, with an element of danger and humor, I suggest you read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

For a few seconds, I’m lost for words. But as I stare between the bag on the floor and Ronin’s chiseled face, it all becomes clear.
“This is about you wanting me to owe you, isn’t it?” I hiss, fixing my gaze on his left ear. It’s a trick I learned from the last time we met. If I don’t look directly into his eyes, there’s less chance of being drawn into their swirling, blue depths.
He smiles, shaking his head. “You’re unbelievable, do you know that?”
“Pfffft,” I erupt. “I’m unbelievable? I’m not the one trying to tank my business by spreading rumors and launching a dating service. I’m not the one going out of his way to ensure our paths keep crossing in the worst possible ways.”
He frowns, displaying the first sign of irritation since I crashed into the room. “I’ve already told you, mo chridhe, it wasn’t me who started those rumors. And as for the speed dating, well, it was a free country last time I checked. I’m offering you the cash because the fella was injured in my club. Which means technically he’s my responsibility. If you don’t take the money now, I’ll have someone deliver it to his lawyer’s office later. I have their address now, after all.”
He waves the letter in the air like a victory flag.
“I’ll call them up,” I blurt out, voice quavering. “I’ll tell them you’re a madman and not to accept it. I’ll say it’s not your money at all, that you conned the life savings from some poor old man with dementia.”
Ronin arches a brow, tucking the letter into an inside pocket of his jacket. “That’s some novel you’re writing there, Catherine, but I doubt they would argue if I write them a Coutts check, do you?”
I’m all out of ammunition. “I loathe you.”
For a split second, his cocksureness wavers, the steely-blue eyes darkening. But only for a moment. “The problem isn’t me, Catherine,” he says, edging closer. “The problem is you.”
I straighten up. “That’s the most irritating thing about you, Ronin—you always think you know better than everybody else. I’m not sure whether it’s because you’ve been around longer than the rest of us or because you’re just a massive asshole. Either way, you don’t know the first thing about me.”
He flashes a cocky grin, raking his gaze over me as if he has X-ray vision. “You don’t loathe me, mo chridhe. You just can’t get over the fact you’re an uptight puritan who loved the kind of sex I gave you that night we spent together.”
I let out a high-pitched laugh. “That’s right, Ronin. Let’s not forget for one second that the world revolves around you and your penis. Actually, I’m surprised you’re even bothering to get dressed these days. I would have thought you’d have developed a penchant for silky, red pajamas and slippers by now.” I motion to the cigar on the carpet. “Looks like you’ve nailed the smoking part, and God knows the Playboy bunnies must be hiding around here somewhere.”
He scoffs. “Jealous?”
“Please, you’re not that good in bed.”
Except he is—or was. Better than good. But I can’t think about that right now. Or ever again, actually.
“Paulo was right about you,” he murmurs. “You are a mad bitch.”
I close the distance between us in a single stride and smack him across the cheek. It’s like hitting stone. He doesn’t so much as flinch. For some bizarre reason, this ignites a hot stab of lust in the pit of my stomach. His scent—a masculine blend of whiskey, leather, and woodsmoke—infiltrates my senses. I’m transported back to that night some years ago when we went at it like two wildcats in his bed.
I never wanted to come up for air.
I’m standing too close to use the ear trick. His eyes drag me in, two penetrating blue flames, dark with anger. I gulp, allowing my gaze to wander over his chiseled-from-rock cheekbones, rosy Celtic skin, copper hair slicked back from a noble forehead. He may be an asshole, but there is no denying his beauty.
For what feels like an eternity, neither of us move. We remain locked onto each other, energy—good and bad—swirling between us like thick fog.
Quite without thinking, I hiss, “Fucker.” After spending my human life afraid to speak, I never managed to rewire the connection between my brain and mouth.
His blue eyes flash. At once, his lips are on mine and his arms are around my waist. Instead of struggling, I mold myself into the hard contours of his body, my tongue sliding over his, my hands pulling him closer, and I hate myself—Lord, how I despise myself—for how good it feels. It’s as though he brings a magnifying glass up to all the base urges I long to forget, including this—an utterly ridiculous sexual attraction to a demon playboy who’s murdered God knows how many during his thousands of years on earth.
I don’t pull away. I can’t. He absorbs me like a drug. Before I can help myself, my fingers are tangled in his thick, red hair and I’m allowing his hands to cup my ass, grinding against the hard rope of an erection bulging beneath his trousers. We devour each other, eyes and mouths open, until I’m no longer sure where he begins and I end.
But then he takes his mouth from mine, trailing kisses from jawline to neck. Along with the rasp of stubble, I feel a scrape of fangs, sharp as knives, glide across my skin. I shove him away, panting slightly, averting my eyes to the lacquered walnut desk in the center of the room. If I don’t stop this now, I’ll end up sprawled across that table just like all the other women he’s had in here. The worst part is, I’d enjoy it.
“Consider the debt paid,” I say.


 

 


JULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

 

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Website:  Facebook:  Twitter: Wattpad:  Goodreads:

 

 

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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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Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren – a Review

Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren – a Review

 

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Description:
WELCOME TO ALPHAVILLE, where the she-wolves and alpha-males play. . .for keeps.

Renny Landry is a wolf on the run. Pursued by a shapeshifting stalker and his slobbering pack of killer coyotes, she is forced to flee her job as a librarian to find sanctuary in the wooded hills of Alpha, Washington. A well-secluded safe space for troubled shifters, Alpha is Renny’s last hope. But the first person she meets there is a gorgeous alpha male with fiery eyes, fierce tattoos, and one ferocious appetite—for her…

Mick Fischer thought he left his past behind when he moved to Alpha. But fate has a way of biting him in the tail when a female wolf shows up on his property. Wounded, desperate—and disarmingly hot—Renny brings out the snarling, protective alpha beast in Mick like no other woman he’s known. Can these two haunted, hunted wolves manage to mate for life…even as the deadliest past demons howl at their heels?

 

Review:

Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren is the 1st book in her new Alphaville series. Having enjoyed the novella (Something to Howl About) to open this series, I looked forward to reading this one, and I am happy to say this series is already a winner.

Renny Landry is our heroine, and a wolf shifter on the run.  Renny has a stalker, who is the leader of a coyote shapeshifer  pack, and no matter where she goes, they always find her.   Her last hope is to get to Alpha, populated by various species of problem or damaged shifters.  Before Renny can get there, she is attacked by some of the members of the coyote pack, but lucky for her, someone comes to her rescue. 

Mick Fischer, our hero, moved to Alphaville years before after his mate was murdered. He still grieves for his deceased mate, and doesn’t understand why he is still alive, since mates usually follow one another. 

When Renny regains conscious, she opens her eyes to 4 people staring at her.  Mick, Molly (paramedic), Jaegar (the mayor) and Zeke (local deputy, and Molly’s brother).   She tells them who attacked her, and why she comes to Alphaville. Though they know the stalkers will follow her here, they all agree to help her and offer her protection.  She stays in Mick’s cabin just overnight to recuperate, and Molly will help her, with clothes and sharing an apartment.  But before that, Mick’s wolf keeps telling him she is his mate.  Mick brushes him off, and says he already had his mate.   When Renny begins to feel better, she senses her strong attraction to Mick, and also knows he is her mate.  But when she tries to mention that, Mick ignores her. 

When Renny moves to town, she and Molly will be attacked by the coyote pack members, with Mick, Zeke and others coming to their rescue.  Mick is determined he will bring her back to his cabin to protect her, and in a short time, though he doesn’t understand this, he starts falling hard for Renny, and accepts that his wolf is right…she is his mate.  But Renny, though she wants Mick, acts distant a bit, because of how he brushed her off earlier.  Of course, that won’t last, especially with her staying in his cabin.   The chemistry between them was sizzling hot, and they truly did make a great couple.   But first they need to find a way to stay alive and stop the coyotes.

Geoffrey is the leader of the coyote pack, and he is insanely obsessed with Renny.  She has turned him down a number of times, but he refuses to let go, and continues to attack.  Mick remembers Geoffrey, who happened to be his ex mate’s brother.  Mick knows Geoffrey is not only crazy, and but very dangerous.

What follows is an exciting, at times tense paranormal story that was fun, and very steamy.  There were so many dangerous situations that held my breath a few times, wondering if they will survive.   There was a number of intense edges of your seat moments, with lots of action.  I also like the chemistry between Renny and Mick.   In Baby, I’m Howling for You About, we meet some excellent characters that I would love for them to have their own books, such as Zeke and Molly, who were great.   There is a lot of potential in this series, as we have different types of shifters; bears, lions, cougars, just to name a few. 

Christine Warren once again gives us an exciting new series, a great couple and wonderful secondary characters.   I look forward to the next book in this series. If you like romance, paranormal, and shifters, then you should start this series.
Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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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

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

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.

______________

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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Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan-Dual Review and Giveaway

JUDGMENT ROAD (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan-Dual Review and Giveaway

Judgment Road Banner

JUDGMENT ROAD
Torpedo Ink #1
by Christine Feehan
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, paranormal, romance

Judgment Road

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 23, 2018

An outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

••••••••••

Sandy’s REVIEW

JUDGMENT ROAD is the first instalment in Christine Feehans’ contemporary, adult TORPEDO INK slightly paranormal, erotic, romance series focusing on the members of the MC Torpedo Ink. The Torpedo Ink series is a spin-off from the author’s Sisters of the Heart /  Sea Haven series but you do not have to have read the original series to understand or follow Torpedo Ink. This is Torpedo Ink enforcer and Sergeant at Arms Savva ‘Reaper’ Pajari, and bartender Anya Rafferty’s story line.

NOTE: Most of the characters including Torpedo Ink club president Victor ‘Czar’ Prakenski, and his wife Blythe Daniels were introduced in the final instalment of the author’s Sea Haven Series BOUND TOGETHER.

WARNING: JUDGMENT ROAD contains, and makes reference to graphic violence, rape, murder, torture and abuse against children and women, and therefore, may not be suitable for all readers.

SOME BACKGROUND: At the tender age of ten years old, Victor ‘Czar’ Prakenski set about to save and rescue over three hundred children from a Russian child sex-slave operation but in the end only eighteen survived. The Torpedo Ink series focuses on the survivors: their stories, their history, and their happily ever afters.

Told from several third person perspectives including Reaper and Anya JUDGMENT ROAD follows the acrimonious relationship between Torpedo Ink enforcer, assassin and Sergeant At Arms Savva ‘Reaper’ Pajari, and bartender Anya Rafferty. Anya Rafferty is a new hire at the biker bar run by the Torpedo Ink MC; a woman that quickly gets under Reaper’s skin but a woman whose past may be a threat to the security and safety of the Torpedo Ink MC. When a rival MC comes looking for help the Torpedo Ink gang set into motion a search and rescue mission that reveals a much darker and deeper threat than anyone had suspected, a threat that quite possibly leads back to Anya Rafferty. What ensues is the building and volatile relationship between Reaper and Anya; the search and take down of the threats against Torpedo Ink; and the potential fall-out when Reaper’s nightmares and heart breaking past refuse to let go.

Reaper is a stone-cold killer; a dark and tormented man whose own family-the Torpedo Ink MC- is troubled by his emotional instability and inability to let go. Trained as an assassin Reaper believes he is incapable of any relationship involving the woman with whom he will fall in love. With the arrival of Anya Rafferty, Reaper slowly begins to shed his dark and cold exterior. Anya Rafferty is on the run and finding a home with the Torpedo Ink MC places everyone in danger. Unaware of the history, and the savage beginnings of the man that she loves Anya finds herself at a crossroads, ready to run, on more than one occasion.

We are introduced to all eighteen members of Torpedo Ink- survivors of horrific abuse, torture and betrayal at the hands of the sick and depraved. A tight-knit group that calls itself family, the Torpedo Ink gang collectively share telepathic abilities, as well as a heart breaking and devastating history that only furthers their close relationship and over-protective nature as it pertains to one of their own.

The world building reveals the tragic history of abuse, torture, rape and ‘education’ of a group of children who discovered that the world and people have a sick and twisted version of right and wrong. In past reviews I have remarked on the author’s increasing violent story lines and abuse against women and children but in the case of the Torpedo Ink series, the violence is part of their history and lives-ingrained and imbedded –into their very existence. The story line heroes are not the perpetrators of the violence and abuse against the women they love but are the saviors and salvation of those who suffered years before.

JUDGMENT ROAD and the Torpedo Ink are the stories of the broken; the damaged; betrayal and revenge. The premise is dark, startling and edgy; the characters are colorful, charismatic and protective; the romance is dramatic, controversial and healing. Christine Feehan enters the world of the MC with the first fiery instalment in the Torpedo Ink series.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

 

Barb’s Review:

Judgment Road by Christine Feehan is the 1st book in her new Torpedo Ink series, which is a spin off from her Sisters of the Heart/Sea Haven series. When the last book in the Sisters of the Heart series left off, our heroes, (Viktor/Czar) and his wife, Blythe and all the members of Torpedo Ink Club were together as a team,  and will continue to be major or supporting characters in this new series.   Czar is the President of Torpedo Ink, and the man who is the glue that keeps them (his 17 members of Torpedo Ink) together as a team.  All of them suffered horrible abuse in their childhood, making them all lethal assassins; living still in the darkness of the past.  In Bound Together, Blythe was the lone light that they all grabbed hold of, and being Czar’s wife, she is always protected by them.

In Judgment Road, Reaper is our damaged hero; Torpedo Ink’s enforcer, and the man who is always first to protect Czar.  Reaper is feared by the enemy, but loved by his brothers and sisters of Torpedo Ink; but mentally he also lives in a cold and dark inner world. 

Anya, our heroine, is one of the new bartenders in the club, and she is very beautiful.  Reaper starts feeling things he has never felt, and this brings his shield up; which makes him try to fire Anya.  She cannot understand why he is mean to her, as she has done nothing wrong; she is a loner, who also does her job well.  When Czar refuses to fire her, Reaper will have to fight off his attraction to Anya.  When he follows her after work, he sees she lives in her car; and forces her to come back to the compound.  In a short time, Reaper and Anya will act on their lustful feelings for each other, though he was very macho and demanding. Reaper begins to realize that he needs Anya (his only light to his soul), but he has a long way to learn how to treat her, something she tries to work with him on.  Their chemistry was off the wall sizzling. 

When a rival gang, comes to check out Torpedo Ink, Czar and the team notice that they keep watching Anya, and soon they fear she might be a spy.  They will all take her to the back and question her, using mental force to find out the truth.  But Anya is not a spy, she is running for her life, as she accidently discovered something about the rival gang, and ran for her life, when her friend was murdered.  Now after she recovers from the damaging force, she wants to leave Reaper, since he did not trust and protect her.  She loves him, but she needs to know she has to be his first priority.  Reaper, Czar and the entire team try to apologize for their mistake. Can Reaper win Anya back, and be able to protect her first?

What follows is an exciting adventure with Czar, Reaper and the team trying to help another rival club fight off the bad guys, who were kidnapping club leaders wives.   I loved so many of the Torpedo Ink members, and loved how the two girls ( Lana and Alena) were just as lethal as the guys, especially using their looks to trick the bad guys.  They were all so good together.  You have to sympathize, and Feehan gives us flashes to the past, and shows us how much they suffered; especially Reaper.   It is these dark memories, that will hurt his relationship with Anya, who loves him; but Reaper fears he will hurt her when in the midst of his bad dreams.  Very emotional.

As usual for Feehan, the story does have a lot of sex scenes, and though they were very steamy and great together, there were times early on when Reaper was too rough and always demanding control.  I also thought the mental torture scene was something that was easily brushed off, which was surprising. 

Judgment Road is a very dark story and romance, especially when we learned the things they had to endure in Russia; abuse, rape, torture, and murder.  But they are survivors, and slowly we will get to meet the other members of the team, as they find their way out of the darkness to the light of love. Despite the dark violent story, Judgment Road was a great read, exciting, sexy, and  a fabulous group of secondary characters.  

 

 

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