Thursday, February 28, 2013

Her Dark Knight review

I found Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen, published in 2011 by Carina Press, to be compulsively readable. I just couldn't put it down - I needed to find out what would happen to Madelaine and Christien. Would they be doomed to the same fate as their first meeting? Or would they be able to overcome their history and their enemies this round?

Madelaine moves to the city for a well paying job in order to pay her student loans and her father's nursing home bills - she can ignore that she works for the bitch from hell. Christien has spent 700 years protecting the treasure of the Knights Templar at the request - or rather order - of an archangel. When Christien sees Madelaine, he remembers their doomed love from his mortal life and desperately wants to do better this time around. But how can he not be suspicious when she works for his immortal enemy?

Christien's internal struggle between his love for Madelaine and his need to protect the treasure and the world is well written and heart rending. It's also fun to read him fight his 700 year old warrior and protector instincts in dealing with a very 21st century Madelaine. For Madelaine's part, she has a very hard time wrapping her head around the idea of reincarnation and accepting that Christien has been her soul mate for 700 years. She's fiercely independent and smart but her unwillingness to accept any help gets a little old toward the end of the book. 

The ending was a little rushed but with a great twist. I really enjoyed Her Dark Knight and would definitely recommend it.


Madelaine Alexander is on a mission. When her boss sends her to the hottest nightclub in town to meet with the owner, she won't be deterred, even if that means standing in line for fifty-eight minutes in torturous heels while she'd rather be home in her pj's with a bowl of popcorn.

A Knight of the Templar, Christien Chevalier was given immortality along with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Templars. He's been unwavering in his task for centuries until his one true love--who died seven hundred years ago--shows up in his club, demanding his attention.

Christien couldn't protect Madelaine when they first fell in love. She was married to a lord and he was simply a knight. Now, through some unknown miracle, she stands before him again and they have a second chance. But Christien fears that Madelaine is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game, a game of good versus evil that could affect all of mankind...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hotter After Midnight review

Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden is the first in her Midnight trilogy and was published in 2008 by Brava.

Hotter After Midnight is part paranormal romance and part romantic suspense - a "killer" combination that will keep you guessing until the very end! Dr. Emily Drake is a psychologist who specializes in treating Others - nonhuman species such as vampires, demons, and shifters. She is approached to help with a murder investigation and thrown together with Detective Colin Gyth, a shifter who keeps his Otherness a secret - well, from everyone except Emily who can immediately tell when someone is Other.

The attraction between Emily and Colin is red-hot and I loved both characters. Eden does a great job of depicting the tension between the two as well as the dance they must do to investigate while keeping the Others secret from the humans that surround them. The secondary characters also had a good depth that you don't always find and left me wanting to read more about them.

Very often with mystery or suspense plots, I know the whodunnit well before the end of the story but Eden kept me in the dark right up until she chose to reveal the killer's identity.

If you are looking for a good paranormal romance or romantic suspense with paranormal elements, I'd recommend Hotter After Midnight. I'll definitely be following up with the second book in the trilogy, Midnight Sins.


A Seductive Nighttime World. . . 
Dr. Emily Drake's psychotherapy patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex-demons looking for meaningful relationships. But healing these powerful beings requires an important rule: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth, whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she longs to lose control. . .

A Dark And Dangerous Hunger. . .

Colin can't believe the doctor he has to work with on the Night Butcher murder case is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart and sexy, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild desire that takes them both over the edge. . . But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits, eager to spill Emily's blood and taste her terror. And he'll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust. . .

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Trouble with Love book trailer

I'm featuring another book trailer for an upcoming release - Trouble with Love by Beth Ciotta is the second book in the Cupcake Lover's series and will be published on March 26!

Trouble with Love features Jayce and Rocky who were introduced in A Fool for Love. The Cupcake Lover's series is a contemporary romance series set in Sugar Creek, Vermont and featuring the Monroe family and their friends and neighbors, especially those in the Cupcake Lover's club!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wrong Side of Hell review

Wrong Side of Hell is a novella and is a prequel to the League of Guardians series by Juliana Stone. It was published by Avon Romance in March 2012.  

Wrong Side of Hell is a novella featuring a hellhound shapeshifter named Logan and a human named Kira who find themselves trapped and hunted in Purgatory. It is the second time Kira has found herself dead – the first as a little girl who was rescued by her very own hero only to be considered mentally ill for talking about her experiences. She has been locked up in a mental hospital for years when the events in this story take place. Kira is apparently part of a prophecy vital to the future of the universe but what the prophecy says is never revealed. Logan is the hero who saved Kira’s soul when she was a child, though she doesn’t realize he is also the hellhound she is so terrified of, and for his efforts, he was tossed into “the Pit”, a level of hell, as punishment.

I liked Kira and Logan – they were both interesting characters who I wanted to read more about and who it was easy to root for. Bill was a complete enigma, which I suppose was the point. Mergerone was completely horrible and villainous. There are mysterious references to Logan’s mother but nothing is ever explained. 

It sets up the series but leaves most of the details secret and a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the story. It definitely made me want to read the next book to get some of those answers!

Synopsis of Wrong Side of Hell

With battle lines drawn and evil forces gathering in the shadows, the league of guardians is all that stands between chaos and the human realm...

Logan Winters, an elite hellhound shifter, wants to forget his allegiance to the League and the pain he's suffered because of it. But when he's ordered to retrieve Kira Dove from purgatory and bring her back to life, he can't refuse. Not only will her death affect the balance between the realms, she's also linked to a past he can't forget.

Kira Dove, a young woman murdered before her time, wanders the gray realm, alone and vulnerable. The one bright spot in her life is the memory of a mysterious protector who saved her once before. As she makes her way through this terrifying place, she can't help but wonder...will he come for her again?

As Logan races to save her, he knows he faces a nearly impossible task: How can a hellhound survive in the one place he shouldn't ever be? The wrong side of hell...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reading Confession

I have a confession to make - I re-read books.

That's right, I said it.

Despite having hundreds of unread books in my apartment and on my Kindle and Nook, I sometimes curl up and read books that I've read already.

That's what I did this past weekend. I re-read books by Nalini Singh and Dana Marie Bell. I frequently re-read books by JD Robb/Nora Roberts, Cynthia Eden, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Thea Harrison and others. Sometimes, I re-read the last book in a series right before a new release just so I'm fresh on the details. Sometimes, I re-read entire series like I'm visiting old friends in a familiar neighborhood.

Do you re-read books? Leave a comment and tell me what authors you enjoy enough to re-visit their books a second (or third!) time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Broken Flight trailer

As I mentioned in the post on books I'm looking forward to in February, Elle J Rossi has a new book coming out at the end of the month called Broken Flight. It's the first in the Angels of Punishment series. The very talented Theresa McClinton produced a trailer for Broken Flight - and I have to say that had I not already been looking forward to this book, this trailer would have instantly made me want it!

Broken Flight will be released as an ebook on February 28th and Theresa has a YouTube channel featuring other videos she's made. I'd recommend checking out both!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Wicked Magic review

It took me forever to read This Wicked Magic because I found it very hard to get into. It's not a badly written book but I couldn't quite understand or empathize with the characters and a variety of things in the book just bothered me.

Certainly Jones, or CJ, is a witch that practices dark magic - but he's "good" which is the first thing that doesn't make sense to me. Dark magic is called dark magic because it is used for or by evil. So how can you be a good witch who practices dark magic? Viktorie St. James, or Vika, is a witch who practices light magic and has an obsessive compulsive need to clean everything - and I do mean everything. She also has what is called a "sticky soul" which means that dead souls that she comes in contact with will stick to her soul until they are removed - a trait I found a little creepy. Vika is drawn to CJ because she wants to clean his soul which is infested with demons that he carried back from a trip to Daemonia. This is the second thing that bothers me in this book - attraction can't begin with wanting to "fix" someone.

This Wicked Magic runs at a very uneven pace and some of the wording and phrasing threw me at times. The "twist" toward the end seemed overly contrived and unnecessary and the ending was rather abrupt as was the "solution" to the twist. Most of the secondary characters are only mentioned or met once and the ones who are featured more are very one-dimensional.

Overall, This Wicked Magic just didn't do it for me. I didn't love any of the characters and I had a hard time caring what happened as the book progressed.

This Wicked Magic by Michelle Hauf was published on February 5th by Harlequin Nocturne.


His destined mate...

Certainly Jones has pushed it too far this time. Gnawing and clawing at his soul are the demons he unknowingly carried back from his quest into their land. Weak and exhausted, the dark witch gazes down the dim, cobbled street at his only hope—a lone vehicle with blazing headlights. Desperate, he makes a mad dash for the light, and the striking woman illuminated in its wake.

Vika senses him before she sees him. The good witch with emerald eyes and fiery red hair has never dabbled in dark magic. But one look at CJ turns her life upside down. Soon Vika is lured into his dangerous world…and his powerful arms. A few sultry kisses are not enough to save CJ from his demons—it's going to take some seriously potent sorcery. And they're running out of time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Wolf's Surrender review

The Wolf's Surrender features Mia D'Alessandro, a not completely human woman, and Nick Jenner, a werewolf enforcer, who meet under dangerous circumstances and who both have trouble with trusting others. The perfect recipe for a romance, right? :)

Mia is attacked by the man she is dating in the woods - the man is actually a werewolf and isn't exactly sane. He wants to sacrifice her to gain power from her not entirely human blood. Luckily for her, Jeremy chose to attack her in Blackpaw pack territory and several members of the pack come to her rescue. While they save her life, Mia has been bitten and that means she's going to become a werewolf in very short time and must be initiated into the pack. This part is a little skeevy to me because the initiation requires her to have sex with a pack member to join the pack. The pack assures her it's her choice but of course it's not really - sure, she has a choice about who to have sex with the but the sex itself isn't optional and that's more than a little too far across the line for my tastes.

Anyway, Jenner is a guy's guy - he's a mechanic who would rather work on cars than socialize and rarely has anything to say. Yet he finds himself needing to care for and protect Mia and explain what will happen and why. Definitely not his strong point and he doesn't do a good job of it, frankly. He's a protector and in that role, he's excellent. He is always suspicious of women because of a bad relationship but he finds himself drawn to Mia. 

As if the drama of having a less than sane ex-boyfriend trying to find her to sacrifice her isn't enough, Mia is hiding her not entirely human blood from Jenner as she has done since she was a child. The explosive ending comes quickly, maybe a little too quickly, and seems to set up future books featuring the pack and their enemies, the Shadowkin but I've not seen anything with future books linked to The Wolf's Surrender online.

The Wolf's Surrender by Kendra Leigh Castle will be published by Harlequin Nocturne on March 5th.


At Mia's Mercy…...

As the leader of the Blackpaw werewolf pack, Nick Jenner had spent years protecting his people from dark outside forces. When the victim of a feral drifter turns up on Blackpaw territory, he thinks nothing of bringing her home while her attacker is hunted down and destroyed. But Jenner soon finds that nothing about his alluring new houseguest is what it seems.

Mia D'Alessandro, a dark beauty with abilities she would rather forget, was mortified to find herself the victim of a man she thought she could trust. As the full moon approaches, his bite will unleash an inner wolf that can destroy her unless she bonds with a pack. But the darkness now stalking her threatens to destroy far more, including her strong, silent guardian.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Keeper of the Moon review

Keeper of the Moon by Harley Jane Kozak is a very good continuation of the Keepers series and follows Keeper of the Night by Heather Graham which I reviewed earlier this year. Keeper of the Moon will be published in ebook on March 1st and in paperback on March 5th by Harlequin Nocturne.

The pairing of Declan and Sailor was fairly obviously set up in Keeper of the Night so I knew which relationship was coming with Keeper of the Moon. I enjoyed the cousins and so was excited to read more about Sailor and her adjustment to becoming a Keeper. As the only one of the trio who had grown up in Los Angeles, it would be easy to assume she had less challenges to overcome in her Keeper role than her cousins but that wasn't the case. Sailor seems to be the cousin with the worst luck in this series but it really made me want to root for her whenever life tried to slam her down.

I found that I didn't particularly care for Declan as a hero. He was arrogant without having anything to back up that arrogance - at least anything I could see. He was also incredibly judgmental when he had no reason and no right to be. He demanded honesty and trust but didn't give honesty and trust in return. Plus, his reacting as if Sailor is a drug addict because she took the equivalent of Elven cold medicine was completely over the top. Frankly, Declan needed someone to take him down a couple of pegs. Sailor didn't do that, though I wish she had, but she did "soften" him and make him begin to see things in new ways.

Sailor was a great character and I found myself really liking her more and more as she grew into her role through the book. Her willingness to push and break rules to get what she needed along with her dedication to keeping the Elven safe was endearing and showed her strength in the face of what appeared to be overwhelming odds. One thing that I did find a little annoying about Sailor was that she was much too quick to forgive and forget when Declan did something out of line. She seemed unable to stand her ground with Declan the way she was able to with everyone else in the book and that was a slightly sour note with me.

Keeper of the Moon was an enjoyable continuation of the Keepers series in LA and one I would recommend.


In their new Keeper roles, these extraordinary women must balance the fate of the world with their desires...  

Lust. Elven Keeper Sailor Gryffald's body quivers with it, but is it a symptom of the deadly Scarlet Pathogen coursing through her bloodstream or the proximity of shifter Keeper Declan Wainwright?

Sailor and Declan have had an uneasy relationship ever since they met, and now things are about to get a lot more complicated. A killer is stalking Los Angeles, intentionally infecting Elven with the deadly virus, and now Sailor and Declan must work to keep the supernatural peace while bringing the murderer to justice. But, in doing so, these powerful denizens of the Otherworld find themselves straddling a fine line between lust...and love.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Soother review

Elle was kind enough to send me an e-galley of The Soother which will be published March 11 by Crimson Romance. The Soother is the second book in the Brennan Coven series - the first one was The Luminary, reviewed here last month.

I enjoyed The Soother a great deal. Calliope was an interesting character with an interesting power and the juxtaposition of her next to her sister, Bevva, makes for a striking contrast. There is also a depth to Calli that I greatly enjoyed - she was powerful and had seen and done a great deal but a part of her remained just a girl seeking her mother's advice. Krystoff has a bad boy vibe going on even though he's really not a bad guy! He is, however, a little pushy but Calli gives as good as she gets which creates a palpable chemistry between them.

In addition to the characters, I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the realms featured in The Soother - both the witch's realm and Mistropa. The Mistropan characters were also well-written and shiver inducing, especially Riona and Eron who were both particularly cringe-worthy. There was also a good amount of action in this book which kept it moving and kept me guessing when the next attack would happen.

There were a couple of things that weren't completely explained or fully explored and I'm assuming they will be in future books, like Isabelle and Scout. Also, why did Carrine and the cavalry show up at the end - if they knew what was happening, why didn't they come to help earlier? If they didn't know, then why did they show up at all? I didn't really understand and would have liked a sentence or two explaining their appearance at the end. Another thing was the character of Ambra - I don't want to spoil it but I didn't really understand why the timing was what it was. That was sufficiently vague, right? :)

All in all, I would definitely recommend the Brennan Coven series to any paranormal romance fans. The series is fun, fast paced, and highly enjoyable.


Calliope the Soother is a witch devoting her life to easing the pain and misery of others, drawing out the darkness and replacing it with light.


A powerful wizard by birthright, Krystoff Dubhar’s tainted blood carries shadows destined to possess his mind and soul. Only with outlawed, dangerous blood magick can he hold the shadows at bay.


In the shadowed realm of Mistropa, Krystoff falls to overwhelming odds. Just as the Queen of Shadows is about to claim his power—and his life, Calliope hears the foreboding cry of the banshee, and the Soother becomes the wizard’s savior. As Calliope heals her mysterious fanged enemy, her heart is sent into overdrive. Is her accelerated pulse prompted by fear or desire? Either way, Krystoff's shadowed presence proves dangerous. His sensual words ignite a fire long held dormant. His kiss reveals a forbidden passion.


Seeking vengeance, the Queen’s dark army turns the Soother’s village into a battleground rife with death and destruction. Calliope fights to save her coven. Krystoff fights to save the Soother who has captured his heart. One bite changes everything. Can love survive the never-ending battle between light and dark?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

City of Bones review

I don't usually read YA books - I am not the target audience for those books and I usually find them irritating when I do read them. Having said that, a friend wanted me to read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and give her my take on it.

City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and features teenagers Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec along with a larger cast of characters that aren't necessarily human. I'll start by saying that the book was well written, with wonderful world building and lush detail and a lot of action.

Having said that, I didn't enjoy the main characters. I get that they're teenagers, I get that they aren't particularly aware of anything but themselves, etc but Clary was so divorced from emotional reality it was ridiculous. The "love triangle" or possibly quadrangle doesn't really work if only because Clary is completely oblivious. Jace was far too egotistical and arrogant for me to consider him a hero - though I suppose the fact that he is sixteen is the reason behind that. Alec was obnoxious and Simon was clueless and a doormat. Isabelle was the only one who I liked but she is featured less than the others.

I liked the idea behind the book, enjoyed meeting the Silent Brothers, Magnus Bane and the other Downworlders. However, without spoiling the book, there is a horrible twist at the end of the book and Clary and Jace's reaction to the twist is so unrealistic as to make them seem sociopathic.

If you enjoy YA and urban fantasy and don't mind teenage angst and idiocy, you may enjoy this book far more than I did. City of Bones is apparently being made into a movie and the second book in the series is City of Ashes.


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Touch of Fae review

A Touch of Fae by Lauren Dane is the second book in the Witches Knot series about the witches of the Charvez family. I enjoy the world that Dane has built in A Touch of Fae and the first book, Triad, very much. It features witches, wizards, vampires, fae, and demons.

In A Touch of Fae, Emily (or Em) Charvez is determined to find herself after years of living in the shadow of the other witches in her family and to protect that family and the innocents of New Orleans. A trip to Europe is just what she needs to accomplish both of those goals. It's not long before she runs into Con - literally - and realizes he is the man of her dreams - also literally :) - but she questions Con's motivations. For his part, Fae warrior Con finds himself bowled over by this human witch after protecting his heart for 10,000 years.

The chemistry between Em and Con is sizzling! While I definitely enjoyed this book, there were moments that gave me more than a little pause. Em is an easy character to relate to and is inherently good but at times she is a little too forgiving and too much of a pushover. Con, on the other hand, doesn't always take Em's feelings and wants seriously - he tends to ignore her anger and hurt and always uses sex to smooth over the problem without actually addressing the reasons why she is upset. The ending also felt a little rushed. I enjoyed seeing the meeting and growing friendship between Em and Aine as well as meeting Con's family and friends.

The rest of the Charvez family is along for the ride in this book so we get to revisit Lee, Aiden, and Alex from Triad briefly while also seeing Em's mother, father, brothers, and cousins.

A Touch of Fae was published by Ellora's Cave in 2006 and is available as an ebook and trade paperback.


Em Charvez has grown up in the shadow of the strong willed and colorful Charvez women and she feels a bit invisible. While on the hunt for a book of magic that could well destroy the Compact that gives them their power, she meets Conchobar MacNessa, a ten-thousand-year-old Faerie warrior, and suddenly she’s not quite so invisible. Things heat up between Con and Em as the battle over the book—the battle between good and evil—takes shape around them…

Note: This book contains a brief instance of explicit m/m intimacy.