Snared by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Snared by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

 

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Snared
Elemental Assassin series – Book #16
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: April 25, 2017

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Description:
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

Barb’s Review

Snared by Jennifer Estep is the 16th book in her fantastic Urban Fantasy Elemental Assassin series.  I always look forward to reading the next book in this series, as Jennifer Estep never fails to give us another fantastic exciting action packed story, which has one of the best kick-ass heroines in Gin Blanco (Spider). 

In Snared, Gin continues to research about the secret powerful group called the Circle, who was part of killing her mother years before.  When on a mission to find more information on one of the Circle leaders, she overhears something about her mother and her evil enemy Tucker, which upsets Gin, and pushes her to find out more.  But when Jade, one of Ashland’s gangland leaders, asks for help, Gin will step forward.  It seems that Jade’s younger sister is missing, and when Gin pulls her team (what an awesome group; Bria, Finn, Owen, Silvio, Sophia, Jo Jo, Xavier, etc), together they discover that a serial killer has been killing young blond haired girls. 

What follows is an exciting, mind blowing, pulse pounding mystery that will bring Gin right into the lion’s den, where clues will point to the serial killer somewhere within the circle.  As always with Gin Blanco, she is right in the middle of this wild adventure.  No one messes with Gin, and yet so many times they all try to kill her, and somehow our heroine always manages to suffer horrific injuries, and yet escape death.  Will she find Jade’s sister in time?  Will she learn the truth about her mother and her enemy, Tucker?

Reading this series, and spending time with Gin is always fun and enjoyable.  I love how tough and loyal Gin is, and no matter how much she suffers in each book, she still rises up for more.  We are always on the edge of our seats through each and every book.  Jennifer Estep is a master at creating a seamless flow into each story, and watching Gin evolve into such a great heroine.  As I noted earlier, the secondary characters that make up Gin’s team are great, and always fun to be with.  Her romance with Owen is just perfect and sweet, which always manages to release the tension in the story at the moment.

Snared was a wonderful  action filled addition to this series, which also gives us answers to some questions, as well as surprises that will have us waiting impatiently for the next book;  I cannot wait for more adventures of Gin Blanco. If you have not read the Elemental Assassin series, it is time for you to start now.

 

Sandy’s Review

SNARED is the sixteenth full-length installment in Jennifer Estep’s contemporary, adult ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN paranormal, urban fantasy series focusing on Gin Blanco aka The Spider –the reigning Queen of the paranormal Underworld of Ashland. SNARED can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for cohesion and backstory.

Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) using present day and memories (flashbacks) from the past SNARED follows Gin as she searches for the mysterious, underground group known as the Circle-a secret organization connected to the death of her parents and her beloved sister. A serial killer is on the loose in Ashland, and Gin and her family of supernatural investigators find themselves on the hunt for the person responsible leading Gin back to the Circle and their connections to the past. New details continue to emerge about Gin’s younger years, and her mother’s possible association with the Circle assassins.

Once again, there is a large ensemble cast of characters including Gin’s lover Owen, her sister Bria, and foster brother Finn, as well as Gin’s assistant /vampire Silvio Sanchez, Jo Jo and her sister Sophia, and an assortment of giants, dwarves, more elementals and vampires. Vampire Hugh Tucker returns and sets into motion a series events that are both deadly and revealing.

SNARED has moments of intrigue, mystery, action and suspense as Gin and her family of elementals search for answers from the present and the past. The action is limited; the violence not as graphic as in previous story line but that is not to say that the violence is non-existent. Gin Blanco, is after all an assassin, and as Queen of the Underworld there is always someone waiting to take down the woman in charge. The premise is engaging, revealing and spirited; the characters are colorful and energetic. Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series is a magical and impassioned look at the world of the supernatural, and all of the evil brought together in a battle for power and control.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering a paper copy of SNARED (Elemental Assassin #16) to TWO  (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

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

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

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

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

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

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from April 25 to 29, 2017

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Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake – a Review

Veiled Menace  by Deborah Blake – a Review

 

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Description:
Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

 

Review:

Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake is the second book in her Veiled Magic series. Veiled Menace picks up a few months after Veiled Magic ended.  Donata Santori , our heroine, is a witch & police officer, who has been elevated from working in the basement talking to the dead, to her own desk upstairs and helping the Captain on cases involving the paranormal. In this world, Supernaturals are known to the Humans, but they must also fight the prejudice of the Cabal against them.  

Donata has also been working with her aunt to learn and enhance her magical abilities.  During her off time, Donata has been dating Anton Eastman, as her former boyfriends from the 1st book, Peter and Magnus have not contacted her in 6 months.  Donata has been having strange dreams, which have become more sexual, and she soon discovers that Anton has been drugging her wine.

When Peter resurfaces after the death of his father, Donata will help him try to find out who killed him, as well as trying to find out clues in the painting that Peter still has, which played a major part of the previous story.  The weird weather, causing deaths; Anton’s desperate attempt to win Donata to be his wife; and the discovery of a new 6th species will force Donata to find the truth about the new species and stop them before all their lives will be in danger.

This was a nice, at times exciting story line, with a very good tough heroine. I did like Donata, and many of the other secondary characters, such as Doc, Chief, her cat and Ricky, the 3 foot kobold.  I liked Peter, but he annoyed me a bit with his quick anger.  I look forward to the next book of this series, as it has a lot of promises for Donata to become more powerful, and the return of Magnus. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charlie Davidson #11) by Darynda Jones-a review

ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT (Charley Davidson #11) by Darynda Jones-a review

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 24, 2017

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after-after all.

••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT is the eleventh installment in Darynda Jones’s contemporary, adult CHARLEY DAVIDSON urban fantasy series focusing on part time PI/ full time Grim Reaper/ omnipotent god Charley Davidson.

NOTE: If you have not read the previous installments there may be some spoilers in my review.

SOME BACKGROUND: This is the continuing story of Charley’s life as the Grim Reaper, the corporeal spirits who have yet to pass, and the man to whom she has pledged her undying love-the son of Satan-Reyes Farrow. Charley Davidson, and now their daughter, are the key to saving or destroying the world.

Told from first person point of view (Charley Davidson) ELEVENTH GRAVE continues to focus on Charley’s growing powers and abilities, ones that have remained dormant throughout most of her human life. Charley has recently discovered she and her hunky husband Reyes Farrow aka the Son of Satan, are gods-powerful, omnipotent beings whose futures, along with the two month old daughter, are destined to either destroy the world, or bring peace to the heavens and earth.

Meanwhile, our heroine is desperate to uncover the truth about the people who destroyed her husband’s human life-a life measured by a kidnapping, abuse, torture and death, but what Charley’s discovers is an evil worse than any she could have imagined. A new character is introduced-perhaps another member of Charley’s army as the gang heads towards a final showdown.

Reyes and Charley’s relationship continues to have its ups and downs, mostly because our heroine is determined to make right all of the wrongs; to end the ongoing threats against the people she loves; and to avenge her husband for the abuse he has suffered-all at the expense of her own safety and possibly her life.

Darynda Jones ongoing use of humor, wit, one-liners, t-shirt slogans, internet memes and hilarious banter draws the reader into a story and series that continues to evolve through a myriad of paths that will eventually intersect wherein we shall see the true meaning of the power of love. The premise is intriguing, intelligent and entertaining; the characters are energetic, inspiring and engaging. ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT is a fantastic addition to Darynda’s CHARLEY DAVIDSON series-a series that will seduce you into a world from which you never want to return.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Reading Order and previous reviews
First Grave on the Right
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Straight Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past The Light
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
Brighter Than the Sun (novella)
The Dirt on Ninth Grave
The Curse on Tenth Grave
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

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Dragon King Of Treoir by Dianna Love – a Review

Dragon King Of Treoir by Dianna Love – a Review

 

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Description:
The Treoir dragon holds the fate of the Beladors in one hand … and his own in the other.

The Beladors finally have a true leader in Daegan, their new dragon king, but life is far from secure now that they’ve inherited his enemies. As their Maistir, Vladimir Quinn played a risky role in freeing the dragon from the lair of their enemy, the Medb. Quinn now faces a heavy price for his part. The Medb queen is out for blood. Vigilante killings erupt among Atlanta’s secret preternatural community and all fingers point to the Beladors. The dragon king has his first real test as a ruler when he has to choose between protecting his people and entering a hostile realm full of deities capable of killing a dragon. But as a two-thousand-year-old warrior, Daegan has never shied away from any battle. Quinn, Evalle, Storm and friends race to discover who is trying to turn the entire VIPER coalition against the Beladors before war breaks out. With the clock also ticking down for Quinn, who has been ordered to hand over Kizira’s body to the Medb queen, Daegan reveals an even greater reason the Beladors have to prevent the queen from any chance to use necromancy on that body than secrets Quinn protects.

Freedom is never free. Not when the powerful gods and goddesses poised to decide Quinn’s fate see an opportunity to also destroy a threat to their existence – the last dragon shifter.

 

 

Review:

Dragon King of Treior by Dianna Love is the 8th book of her wonderful Belador series.  Once again, Dianna Love gives us another fantastic story that keeps us glued to our seat, unable to put the book down.  We knew after reading Rogue Belador that things were about to change, and in Dragon King of Treior there were so many major changes that left us wondering what Love has in store for us in the next book. 

Dragon King of Treior is another exciting, tense, action packed, fun story that gives us the chance to spend time with our favorite characters, not to mention a wonderful new character that we look forward to see more of.  Daegan, the new King of Treior, moves to the forefront as the leader of the Beladors, and he is a welcome change from the hated goddess Macha.  Tristan and Quinn play a bigger part in this story, with help from Evalle, Storm, Adrianna, Tzader, Brina and Isak.  Reese, is the new character that we meet early on, and you couldn’t help but like her from the start.  I know she will play a big part in the next book, since we can see the attraction develop between her and Quinn. 

Daegan will do whatever he needs to do to protect his people, and they will be there right beside him as he will stand up to the tribunal and the evil goddess, Maeve.  Daegan will need his powerful team, as both Maeve and Macha will not be far behind in the coming books. 

The focus of the story is Quinn’s attempt to find Kizera’s body, before the tribunal and especially Maeve find it.  Daegan and Quinn know that Maeve will take Kizera’s memories and they cannot allow her to get her hands on the body.  What follows is an exciting adventure, with the entire team working hard to stop the various demons who are also searching for the body of the MedB priestess.  We know that Quinn loved Kizera, but hopefully he is beginning to move on…..to Reese?

I also got a kick out of the short visit with Feenix……whom I adore. … please Dianna…more more Feenix.  😉    Evalle is one of my favorite kick-ass heroines, and I hope she continues to be a major part of the future stories, especially with all the changes happening. To tell too much more would be spoilers, and you need to read this series to appreciate the evolution of the Beladors, Evalle and team.

I am a huge fan of Dianna Love, as she never fails to deliver a fantastic, exciting, edge of your seat suspenseful story that flows so well from one book to the next.   All her characters are so good, each and every one of them.  I can’t say enough of how much I love Dianna Love, and if you have not read her books or this fantastic series, you are missing a gem.  You need to start the Belador series from the start. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

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Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

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NICE GUYS BITE
Elemental Assassin 15.5
by Jennifer Estep
Genre: adult, contemporary, urban fantasy
Release Date: December 15, 2016

 

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Description:
Working for Gin Blanco (aka the Spider, the assassin who runs the Ashland underworld) doesn’t leave much time for romance, especially with Gin’s holiday party planning in full swing. But when he catches the eye of a charming gentleman, Silvio finds himself going out for coffee.

All’s fair in love and war, though. Just as Silvio is starting to enjoy himself, he realizes he’s being watched. His nice guy date doesn’t sense the danger, and Silvio wants to keep it that way (and, well, keep the guy alive) so Silvio ends the date early—only to be abducted by some villainous giants.

Will Silvio survive the night and make it back to the Pork Pit in time for Gin’s holiday party?

 

 

Barb’s Review:

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep is a Christmas themed novella from her wonderful Elemental Assassin series. This was a different type of story; short, exciting, some fun, and only little bit of our heroine, Gin Blanco.  Gin is in the holiday spirit, planning for her party for friends and family.  She tries to get her assistant, Silvio to relax and take some time to have fun.  For those who are not familiar with Silvio, he is a vampire, who became her assistant after Gin became the leader of the Ashland underworld. Silvio, after being pestered by Gin, finally agrees to go out for coffee with a charming new male friend. 

While having some fun, Silvio is being charmed by his new friend, and realizes that someone is watching them.  He excuses himself to quickly leave, so that his friend wouldn’t get hurt from the expected attack.  What follows is an exciting adventure where Silvio and his friend are kidnapped, putting both of their lives in danger.  Anything more would be spoilers, but it was exciting and fun to watch Silvio use his abilities to recognize that all is not what it seems.

I am a big fan of Jennifer Estep, and this story had a lot of action, but also some humor as we see Gin planning her party.  It is the holiday season, and Estep has given us a quick fun read to hold us over for the next full Elemental Assassin book, Snared, coming in April, 2017.

 

Sandy’s Review:

NICE GUYS BITE by Jennifer Estep is the latest novella in her ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN urban fantasy series focusing on the head of Ashland’s Underworld and Elemental Assassin known as The Spider aka Gin Blanco. NICE GUYS BITE focuses on Gin’s assistant-vampire Silvio Sanchez.

Told from first person point of view (Silvio) NICE GUYS BITE follows Silvio as he embarks on a date with a local college professor Martin Mahoney- but things don’t go according to plan when the couple finds themselves victims of a kidnapping where information about The Spider is payment for release. As Gin prepares for the friends and family Christmas party, Silvio struggles to get himself free.

 

NICE GUYS BITE is a quick read; a supernatural tale of mystery and suspense that allows the reader a small glimpse into the mind of Silvio Sanchez-a vampire whose strengths have never been revealed; with a protective streak for his boss known as The Spider; and a man whose loneliness comes at a cost. There are moments of fun and humor; heartbreak and crushing realization; torment and victory. NICE GUYS BITE is an entertaining and engaging short story; another playful addition to Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series.

Copies supplied by Netgalley

giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering a paper copy of UNRAVELED (Elemental Assassin #15) to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

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

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

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

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

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

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from December 12  to 15, 2016

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Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter – Review & Giveaway

Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…
 
After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…

 

Review:

Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter is the 2nd book in her Soulwood series. When we last left off in Blood of the Earth, Nell Ingram, our heroine, had become a member of PsyLed, as she was just starting to learn how use and learn more of her unknown powers.  Nell is a more confident person, as she was able to move from under the evil that threatened her life in the first book.  Now Nell returns home to Soulwood, after training at the Spook School and plans to rest a bit before she starts her next assignment.  But not long after she arrives home, her boss, Rick LaFleur calls her to help with a new case that is tailor made for Nell’s abilities.  When she joins her team, Nell is happy, as the members have become friends of hers, and she feels comfortable & free in her new life.   But this new case will be much worse than what she has faced before.   Seems that there are dead animals, and humans being affected by some strange and deadly fungus/parasite in the land.  Nell using her powers to feel the land,  senses something or someone very powerful causing innocent people to do strange and destructive things.

No matter that Nell can read and hear the earth, the danger is at times horrific, and she has to rely on her teammates to rescue her.  The team will find their researches will go back in time to World War 2, and the current time.  It will lead Nell and the PsyLed team to chemical firms, witchcraft and an ancient entity, but it will take Nell to put her life in danger to find a way to stop this violent powerful force.

This is a difficult review to write, as anything more would be spoilers.  There are so much scientific details written by Hunter,  that at times it blows your mind; being difficult to follow, especially, if you aren’t into many of those terms.  But Faith Hunter does a masterful job in writing this suspenseful exciting story, and has created a wonderful new heroine in Nell, who continues to grow into her powers.  By the time we come to the tense ultra exciting suspenseful last 1/3 of the book, we are holding our breaths and unable to put the book down.

There were some interesting twists that will involve Rick, Paka and others, not to mention how strong Nell seems to be getting. I cannot wait to find out more about her powers. I also enjoyed seeing Nell’s growth in allowing  herself to enjoy the attention Occam seems to be giving her.  A romance between them is surely on the horizon.   I said this before, and I haven’t changed my mind, please Faith, keep Rick here and don’t bring him back to Jane.  If you like Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, a great heroine, than you need to read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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Faith’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of CURSE ON THE LAND to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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

NOTE: If you are have difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

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

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4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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7. Giveaway is open USA only

8. Giveaway runs from November 2 to November 6, 2016

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Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh – Dual Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh – Dual Review & Giveaway

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Archangel's Heart

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Description:
One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again

Barb’s Review:

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh is the 9th book in her wonderful Guild Hunter series. I loved this book, but no surprise, as Elena and Raphael were the focus of this story.  I always love anything about them, as they are a fantastic couple. 

In Archangel’s Heart, all the members of the Cadre (ruling Archangels) are summoned by the Luminata, an ancient group of angels, to a meeting they cannot refuse.  As we already know, Lijuan, one of the most powerful archangels, is either missing or dead.  The meeting in Morocco will force the Cadre to determine the fate of Lijuan and her territory.

Raphael and Elena with Aodhan for support head for Lumina.  Elena knows that the Luminata have stored records that cover just about everything from the beginning of time, and she is determined to use her free time to learn the truth about her family.   Raphael, Elena and Aodhan can tell from their arrival that things are not as they seem; something isn’t right.  What follows is an exciting story filled with details that flawlessly continue the world building that Nalini is a master at. 

It was fun to see all the Archangel’s together again in one place, as they try to decide how to handle Lijuan’s title, and determine if she is dead or alive. They know the situation could be volatile,  if they have to battle a crazed, but ultra powerful ancient archangel.  I also enjoyed seeing more of Aodhan, and watching him become more confident in bringing himself to be more visible again.  There is so much more we can learn about Aodhan, and I look forward to the time he will have his own book. 

While the Archangel’s meet, Elena and Aodhan visited the huge multilevel library of records.  Elena will begin to learn a little, until she senses that something bad is hidden deep in the dungeons of the library.  Elena is also not comfortable around the Luminata leader, who seems to be enamored by her.  As the hidden secrets of Luminata are revealed, the danger escalates, revealing terrible truths.  To tell too much more would be spoilers.  All I will say is that Nalini Singh has once again given us a wonderful addition to this fantastic series.  I could not put the book down, with the last half of the book totally mesmerizing me.  Needless to say, Nalini always continues to wow me with every book in both of her super fantastic series.  If you have not read this series or anything by Nalini Singh, you are missing one of the best authors in the literary world that never fail to give you fantastic continued world-building,  exciting, great characters &  sexy stories. 

 

Sandy’s Review:

ARCHANGEL’S HEART is the ninth full-length installment in Nalini Singh’s contemporary, adult GUILD HUNTER dystopian/UF/paranormal series focusing on Archangel’s, angels, vampires, shifters and hunters. This is Archangel Raphael, and his consort Elena’s continuing story with a little bit of Aodhan aka Sparkle thrown in for some good measure. ARCHANGEL’S HEART can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading the series in order for background and cohesion as many events in the current time line are as of a direct result of previous happenings and premises.

Told from third person perspective ARCHANGEL’S HEART follows Elena and Raphael as they journey to Morocco, Elena’s maternal grandmother’s homeland. The Luminata have called a meeting of the Cadre of Ten-the most powerful Archangels in order to make a decision about Lijuan’s lands. With the vampiric blood lust increasing, and villages destroyed by the marauding vampires, Lijuan’s lands must come under control. As the Cascade approaches (an apocalypse of sorts that will see the Archangels at war and the destruction of mankind), and Lijuan all but dead or chosen Sleep, the Luminata have demanded something be done. But not all is well in the Luminata stronghold, and something evil lurks within the walls and the hierarchy of controlling angels. Secrets, lies, betrayals and revenge haunt the halls and hidden rooms of the Luminata.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Aodhan aka Sparkle who accompanies our leading couple as Elena’s guard. Aodhan and Illium aka Bluebell have had a falling out, and their friendship struggles as Illium worries about the once-broken man. The action is limited; there are no wars or mid-air fights but we do see the tense negotiations between the Cadre of Ten, and learn a little bit about the tempestuous relationship between the Archangels in charge.

ARCHANGEL’S HEART reveals our heroine’s family history- Morocco holds the secrets to Elena’s past-a past that is haunted by hatred and betrayal. Elena and Raphael’s relationship continues to build-their love for one another an unbreakable bond. The premise is wondrous and enchanting; the characters are spirited, energetic and charismatic; the romance continues to blossom and build-Raphael and Elena’s love is passionate and intense- our heroine is strong and resilient as Raphael’s consort. Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is a wonderful and breathtaking look at the power of the Archangels and the people they rule.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Excerpt beige

 

Raphael’s response was silent, his wing brushing hers as he . . .

“Raphael!” The damn archangel had dusted her.

Glittering, sparkly stuff stuck to her, delicious beyond compare when she parted her mouth and it licked onto her tongue. Her thighs clenched. “This is not funny!” She glared at him even as arousal flooded her system, but he was laughing too hard to care.

Her heart, it just stopped.

Even now, the Archangel of New York rarely laughed and never like this. Until she could see the youth he must’ve once been, with eyes of a wild, astonishing blue that asked a woman to laugh with him. She’d never before seen him as truly young. How could she? He had so much power that it pulsed in his every touch, burned in his skin.

Hauling him close to her with her hands fisted in the cream linen of his shirt, she took a kiss, took him. He sank into her, his wings sweeping up to wrap around her until all she could sense was Raphael, all she could taste was him. And angel dust. The special blend he’d created just for her.

He pushed one hand into her hair, fisting it as he wrapped his other arm around her waist and backed her up against a wall. Something fell with a dull thud. Maybe the vivid painting of wildflowers that had just been put up, all the art having been taken down during the repainting.

Elena loved that simple piece Honor had found in a thrift shop, but right now, it could’ve been a priceless artwork by the Hummingbird and she wouldn’t have cared. She was far too happy to be pressed up against the hard warmth of her archangel tip to toe after spending the previous night on watch. No time for shenanigans with Dmitri away and Illium off-shift, Aodhan assigned to patrol the sea border, and Raphael dealing with the overall security situation.

She’d flown a proper defense grid, both to stay in practice and because none of them could afford to be blasé with the Cascade an unpredictable foe that could unleash itself at any moment, smashing the world back into chaos and, possibly, war.

Today, however, the others were on‑shift and she could kiss her lover. He burned hot, Raphael, but he was a crashing sea in her mind, a tumultuous, passionate storm that swept her up and thundered through her veins.

We can talk to Dmitri later, she sent to Raphael, sliding her hands up the ridges and valleys of his chest. Let’s go upstairs to our suite.

“A‑hem.”

She tried to ignore that pointed cough that held a biting amusement.

Raphael’s lips smiled against hers. I think my second has other ideas.


 

 

About The Author beige

Nalini SinghNalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Nalini’s publisher is offering a paper copy of ARCHANGEL’S HEART to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

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

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Follow NALINI SINGH   on Facebook.

7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from November 1 to 5, 2016

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Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – Review & Interview, & Giveaway

 

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Dangerously CharmingAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning…
 
Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…
 
For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…
 
To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts…

 

 

Review:

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake is the first book in her new Broken Riders series.  This is a spinoff from Blake’s successful Baba Yaga series.  I have not read that series, but this book read very well without having to read the previous series,  as the author gives us information along the way to make it easier.  However, with that being said; I enjoyed this book and Deborah Blake’s writing, and I will need to find time to read the Baba Yaga series (3 books and 2 novellas).

Mikhail Day, our hero, is a White Rider, who protected the Baba Yaga witches, and was immortal.  We learn at the start that Mikhail is a Broken Rider, after being tortured by a crazed witch in a previous story, losing his immortality.  When we meet Mikhail, he is still recovering but in seclusion.  On a stormy night a lost young lady knocks on his door to get into safety from the rains.  Mikhail’s life will once again change.

Jenna Quinlan is our heroine, and she is desperately trying to escape a fairy, who is determined to find Jenna.  It seems that Jenna is pregnant, and the fairy, Zilya has come to claim her first born child.  Jenna’s family has suffered this curse for generations, and Jenna is desperate to find a way out. 

Mikhail at first wants nothing to do with her.  All he wants is to be alone.  But he does take her to meet the fairy Queen, who would like to help Jenna, but this curse was created long before the rules changed.  As in the land of the Fae, the Queen gives a sly hint to Mikhail to help Jenna and warns Zilya to leave Jenna alone until after the baby is born.  This gives Jenna a chance to solve the curse riddle that will release Zilya’s claim. 

What follows is a fun and romantic story line, where Mikhail and Jenna will travel through the Otherworld to find the clues.  Barbara, one of the Baba Yaga witches, will offer some help in trying to unravel the riddle, but Mikhail and Jenna must do this on their own.  Despite his wanting to be alone, slowly Mikhail finds himself falling in love with Jenna, and she with him.  We also get to meet Mikhail’s brother, who is also a Broken Rider, and whose story will be next. 

The key to a good story is always to have characters you enjoy and care about.  Deborah Blake gives us this in Dangerously Charming.  I loved Mikhail and Jenna, as they made a great couple.  I loved the supporting characters, such as Barbara, the Baba Yaga witch; Gregori, Mikhail’s brother, Babs, the young daughter of Barbara, and even the Fairy Queen was nice.   This was an enjoyable read, exciting, action-filled, as they had to fight off those trying to stop Jenna; a sweet romance, great couple, as well as spending time in the land of the Fae.  Dangerously Charming is in fact a charming & fun story. I look forward to the next book in this series, and to find time to read Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Hi Deborah. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today.We are always looking forward to reading about the author behind the book.  

TRC: Would you please tell us something about yourself? 

Deborah Blake
Deborah:
I live in rural upstate NY in a 130 year old farmhouse with three cats, my day job is running an artists’ cooperative shop a friend and I founded 17 years ago, and I am a practicing witch. Don’t worry…I’m a good witch, not a bad witch.  

 

 

 

TRC: Have you always been interested in writing? When and how did you first start writing? 

Deborah: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. (I think I wrote my first “novel” sitting at the back of a sixth grade class.) I dabbled some when I was in my teens and early twenties, but the rejections scared me off. I didn’t get serious until I was about 45 and had my first nonfiction book published. I guess you could call me a late bloomer!

TRC: Dangerously Charming is the 1st book in your Broken Riders series. Can you please tell us about the premise of this series? How many books are you planning for this series?

Deborah: The Riders were side characters in the Baba Yaga series, companions and friends of the Baba Yagas. Something BAD happened to them in the third book (hence the “broken” in Broken Rider) and this series follows the three Riders as they try to figure out new lives…and their mysterious new abilities. The Baba Yagas do make appearance in these books, too. At the moment, the plan is for three books, one for each Rider, Day, Sun, and Knight.

Dangerously Charming
TRC:
Can you please give us a brief description of Dangerously Charming?  

Deborah: Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…
 
For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…
 
To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts… 

TRC: Broken Riders is a spin off from your Baba Yaga series.  For those who may not have read your Baba Yaga series, can you please give us a brief description of the series? 

Deborah: The Baba Yaga series is an updated version of the Russian fairy tales about a powerful witch. These days, Baba Yaga is more of a job title than an individual person, and the series features three different women—all powerful witches, but all very different—as they cope with magical challenges (and some pretty challenging non-magical men). Luckily, they have help from the Riders, and each has her own Chudo-Yudo, the Baba Yaga’s mythical dragon companion, disguised as a giant white pit bull, a huge black Newfoundland, and a massive Norwegian Forest Cat. (People would probably notice a dragon.)  

TRC: How did you come up with the idea of Baba Yaga

Deborah: My agent Elaine and I were talking one day about what I should write next. We agreed that we both liked my books that had witches as protagonists, and we both liked updated fairy tales. So I tried to figure out which fairy tales hadn’t been overused (and had witches in them that weren’t completely the bad guys) and ta da! Baba Yaga.

TRC: You write multiple genres, such as Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, etc .   Do you have a preference on writing a genre, and have you thought of writing a different genre?

Deborah: I love both Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy I’ve written for Berkley (plus the nonfiction books on witchcraft I write for Llewellyn), but right now I’m actually working on a humorous contemporary romance. I love books that make me laugh. And romance, of course.

TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2016/2017?

Right now I’m working on the romantic comedy, a book of cat magic, another Baba Yaga novella, and revisions on the second Rider novel, which will be out in November 2017. There will also be a second novel in the Veiled Magic series come spring, the novella towards fall, and I have a tarot deck coming out from Llewellyn in January 2017. 

TRC: What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Deborah: I do outline. I have since about the second book I wrote, but now that I am working with an editor, I always have to submit a synopsis for each book anyway. I actually do fairly extensive outlines, since they help when I get stuck or overwhelmed. I write sitting in a red recliner or on the couch (which also reclines) in my living room, since it seems to be the easiest on my back and arms, and it also makes it easy for the cats to supervise me. I usually work in the evenings, from about 6:30 until 10:30 (give or take), although on the weekends and days off, I sometimes also do another stint in the morning. And yes, that means I work seven days a week, most of the time. 

TRC: When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Deborah: Besides cats? (laugh) I make jewelry, have an extensive garden, and I like to cook. I also am the high priestess of a small coven, so I do some magical things with the gang on occasion.   

TRC: Would you like to add anything else? 

Deborah: I love my readers—they have been so supportive of my books and my writing. I hope people will come connect with me on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. And I hope they read and enjoy Dangerously Charming! 

To learn more about Deborah Blake, you can find her at the following links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

 

 LIGHTNING ROUND 

Favorite Food: Chocolate. No, lobster. No, chocolate. Okay, bacon.

Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu 

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride 

Favorite TV Show: Firefly (yes, I know it is off the air—I’m still bitter) 

Favorite Movie or TV Celebrity: Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) 

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark all the way 

Favorite literary character (not your own): Alanna (Tamora Pierce’s heroine) 

Dog or Cat: Cats (although I do like dogs too)   

Thank you, Deborah, for answering our questions. The Reading Café wishes you the best of luck with Dangerously Charming.

 

giveaway

Deborah’s publisher is offering a paper copy of DANGEROUSLY CHARMING to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

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

3. Please follow Deborah Blake Facebook.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from October 7-11, 2016

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