Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Release Day Launch: 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Twelve


   

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Twelve, brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Introducing Discovery Authors Nazarea Andrews and Megan Erickson, the Bundle contains 6 novellas, including novellas from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Alexandra Ivy, Laura Wright, Lorelei James, and Lara Adrian! Grab your copy of this incredible bundle today!

 

About 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Twelve:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Alexandra Ivy, Laura Wright, Lorelei James, Lara Adrian, and introducing Nazarea Andrews and Megan Erickson. Six Dark Tales. Six Sensual Stories. Six Page Turners.

KAYDEN: A Bayou Heat Novella by Alexandra Ivy
Kayden is obsessed with revenge after his parents disappeared when he was just a cub. Now the gorgeous Hunter has discovered the man responsible for betraying them – Joshua Ford – and it’s time for payback. Beginning with the kidnapping of Joshua’s daughter, Bianca. But last thing he expects is to be confronted with the horrifying realization that Bianca is his mate. Will he put revenge before his chance for eternal happiness?

SIMON: Bayou Heat Novella by Laura Wright
Sexy male model, Simon refuses to give up his exciting life in New York City to return to the slow heat of the Wildlands. For a decade, many pantera have tried to capture the rogue Diplomat and bring him home, but all have failed. Now it’s Tryst’s turn. The hard, brilliant, and gorgeous, Hunter is the ultimate tracker. But can the admitted beast-girl of the Wildlands capture her prey without losing her heart in the process?

STRUNG UP: A Blacktop Cowboys Novella by Lorelei James
Rancher Creston Grant retreats from the world after he loses the love of his life….Can his former flame, rodeo cowboy Breck Christianson prove he’s a changed man who can give Cres a second chance at love?

MIDNIGHT UNTAMED: A Midnight Breed Novella by Lara Adrian
For Breed warrior Ettore Selvaggio, stealth assassinations are only one of his specialties. The last thing Savage expects to find behind enemy lines is a woman he once adored. It’s been years since Savage last saw Arabella Genova. Years he’s strived to banish to his past, along with the fierce desire he once felt toward Bella and the irresistible calling of her blood that stirs in him even now, despite the fact that she belongs to another male.

DIRTY SEXY SECRET by Nazarea Andrews
Even when you know better….
There are a million reasons why Hazel Campton is off limits: she’s a journalist. I’m a cop. Oh, and she’s my foster sister.
My secret is I didn’t care. I haven’t stopped wanting her since I slept with her the night before she left.
She’s trouble. Always has been.

It’s hard to resist the thing you’ve always wanted…
Growing up with Brandon Archer means I know him. Good. Bad. Everything in between.
It’s just never mattered.
My secret? That night. The one I stole, that’s kept me from Archer and Green County, for four years.
Now I’m home, and nothing has changed. Except me. And not in the way that means a damn thing.
Because I still want him.

Everything can change with a knock at the door…
Secrets. Everyone has them. Archer. Me. This town.
Perfection only runs surface deep in Green County. When there’s a knock at me door, it’s a familiar face all covered in danger, and all those secrets we hide? They’re about to come tumbling out.

BITE THE HAND THAT BLEEDS by Megan Erickson
Roxy heads below the streets of Mission City to a vampire club, determined to give up her blood in exchange for much-needed cash. She has no idea that the handsome, brooding vampire she meets there will awaken desires she didn't know she had, and will change her life forever...


Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic.

Experience the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Twelve Here…

 

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AU

       

  About the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Twelve Authors-

Alexandra Ivy is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Alexandra: “I’m not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother’s knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library. Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.

Years later (no, I’m not admitting how many) I’m still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.

Laura Wright is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Laura: “Unlike many of my peers in the writing world, I wasn’t a writer or a reader until I left high school. During my youth I was into theater, song and dance, commercials and boys. I loved romance surely, but I had never read a romance novel until my late teens. With that said, I remember the day I did like it was a moment ago – my aunt gave me the Jude Deveraux novel, Knight in Shining Armor and I couldn’t put it down until the very last word. Then I went straight to the library and got another – then another until I’d read everything she’d ever written. After that, it was McNaught, Howard, Schone, Kleypas, and the Silhouette line, Desire. I instantly loved those emotional, sexy reads, so much so that I began to carve out ideas for my own stories, themes that were unique to me and moved me. In 1997 I enrolled in UCLA extension writing classes, met my mentor and critique partners and since have never stopped writing. I was committed then and I still am now; the need to tell my own romantic stories a full on obsession. My first manuscript was rejected, and though the second one was as well the editor who’d rejected it wanted to see something else from me. I had something (note to authors; always keep working, even after you’ve sent in a proposal) and sent it right away. The day I got the call telling me Desire wanted to buy Cinderella and the Playboy was the best day of my life. That is until I married my husband, and had my two beautiful children. But I must say, writing is much like motherhood – tough, grueling, surprising, delicious and for me, a dream come true.”


Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary erotic western romances set in the modern day Wild West and also contemporary erotic romances. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei lives in western South Dakota with her family…and a whole closet full of cow girl boots.

From Lorelei: “Why do I have a particular fondness for all things western? Well, I’m a fourth generation South Dakotan, living in the Black Hills, which is chock-full of interesting characters, including cowboys, Indians, ranchers, and bikers. The geographical diversity of the surrounding area showcases mountains, plains, and badlands. Living in and writing about rural settings gives me a unique perspective, especially since I’m not writing historical westerns. Through my fictional world, I can show the ideals and the cowboy way of life are still very much alive.”  


Lara Adrian is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series and seven award-winning, historical romances, previously released under the pen name Tina St. John.

Lara’s Midnight Breed series is available in hardcover, mass market paperback and e-book through Random House, and in limited edition through Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club, Book of The Month, and the Science Fiction Book Club. Unabridged audio editions are available through Tantor Media, Random House Audio, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Lara’s new releases regularly appear on all of the key bestseller lists including including the New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. There are more than 2 million copies of the Midnight Breed novels in print in the United States.
   

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories.

When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binge watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids.

N is a self-professed geek and enjoys spending her spare time lost in her favorite fandoms and can often be found babbling about them on social media.

She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.  



Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she's been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn't writing, she's either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or... thinking about writing.

For more, visit meganerickson.org


    
   



 

Comic Book Tuesday #29: Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Godwatch (Rebirth) by Greg Rucka

Author: Greg Rucka
Series: Wonder Woman, Volume V #4
Audience: +16
Genre: Comic Book
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 21st 2017
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
NEW YORK TIMES best-selling writer Greg Rucka continues his celebrated return to the Amazon Warrior in WONDER WOMAN VOL. 4: GODWATCH!

Since the moment Wonder Woman arrived in our world, Godwatch has been waiting. But who are they, and what do they want? Diana’s journey to the truth that she’s been seeking since WONDER WOMAN VOL. 1 continues here, with the origin of what may prove to be her greatest enemies.

Teaming with up-and-coming artist Bilquis Evely, Greg Rucka’s critically acclaimed run on one of Rebirth’s most successful titles continues here in WONDER WOMAN VOL. 4: GODWATCH! Collects WONDER WOMAN #16, #18, #20, #22 and #24.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this 4th volume of Wonder Woman. If the previous volumes that I read, 1 and 3, focused on Wonder Woman, here we get the other side of the story, Cale's story, which helped me understand her a little bit more.

I still believe it would have been better to have these volumes include the issues in order, but at the same time, having this last part told from a different POV altogether kind of made me like the story more. I got a few of the answers that I hoped I'd get, while at the same time some of the gaps I had are still there, like for instance what convinced Diana to fight the inner demons that kept her mind captive. But back to this volume.

We get to see how Cale, Doctor Cyber and Cheetah became who they were. The volume starts way back in the past, with Cale's daughter being a normal little girl, and we get to see doctor Cyber as a regular human, Cheetah as Barbara Ann. I believe this was a story that deserved a bit more page time, probably a bit more story development than it got, because there were a lot of elements that could have been explored more, but as a whole I liked the story. I would have wanted to see more of Cheetah, so I'm hoping there's a comic book out there that focuses on her a lot more than this one did.

Despite these missing details, I loved seeing the struggle of Victoria Cale and her transformation from regular woman to villain, her dehumanization in a way. At her core, Cale is just a mother trying to protect her daughter and willing to do anything in order to keep her safe. There's a wonderful scene halfway through this volume that shows just that, when she takes her now teenager daughter to see some specialists that might help figure out how to cure her. I liked that, because here you have a woman willing to do anything, from creating an inanimate AI version of her best friend to subduing the two gods who cursed her daughter, while at the same time you get the mother who is trying out everything medically possible to figure out how to cure her doctor. I loved that side of the story. Based on that alone, I kind of liked the idea of the story being split across the volumes, with this last one focused on the "villain's" side of the story.

The art was a bit confusing. While still pretty, it was strikingly different than what I was used to from the previous volumes. I felt like this was more similar to the older, 80s version of Wonder Woman. It kind of set the two versions of the story apart. This kind of made me realize that while everybody else was enamored with Wonder Woman, as shown in the previous volumes through the clean, almost poster-like art used there, here you have Cale who doesn't really care one way or the other, which for me seemed translated in the art. That's how I interpreted the choice made to have this big difference. It also made me think of how the insanity of Cale translated in the art. There's a sort of disturbing quality in the art, if it makes sense, which I loved seeing. It's not that the drawings are bad, on the contrary, but the lines, the colors used, everything about it made me think of how disturbing this version of the story was.

The volume has a few loose ends, and I hope that maybe they'll be picked up in the future and resolved, but if not, I thought this was a good way to end this run. I'll definitely read future installments if they come out, but if not, I just hope we'll get some connected stories, at least so we can see Barbara Ann get some form of happy ending. All in all, a good volume that I enjoyed a lot more than I anticipated.


Release Day Blitz: Inked Memories by Carrie Ann Ryan

 


NYT bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan's INKED MEMORIES is available TODAY. Read a sneak peek below and pick up your copy now - you don't want to miss meeting the dirtiest Montgomery yet.

 

 About INKED MEMORIES

The Montgomery Ink series by NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues when the final Denver Montgomery sibling refuses to fall for his brother’s former flame—the company’s new plumber.
Wes Montgomery watched his entire family fall in love, and now finds himself ready to settle down. Except the one person he seems to find chemistry with is not only his twin’s ex, she also works for Montgomery Inc. But when the two find themselves in one compromising situation after another, Wes realizes he’s having second thoughts about the dynamic woman who’s burst her way into his life. Sure she sets off his temper, but she also makes him hot in every other way possible.
Jillian Reid never loved her best friend like everyone thought she should, so she pushed him away so he could have his future. Now, despite fighting it, she finds herself attracted to the one man she shouldn’t. When her father’s health takes a turn for the worse, and a danger no one saw coming show its face, she’s forced to turn to Wes for help. The two of them have fought off their attraction long enough, and each cave to the desire. But this enemies-to-lovers tale might have an ending no one ever dreamed of.

Get your hands on INKED MEMORIES now!

✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2p0UqOU ✦iBooks http://apple.co/2foEDcy ✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2pVfvgV ✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2fD4AnO ✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2pqze65 ✦Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2kz640M

Get a sneak peek of INKED MEMORIES:

  Jillian tore off her shirt right beside her truck. Thankfully, she’d thought to put on her normal tank underneath like usual, even though she hadn’t planned to work that day. She needed a shower, but the fact that she’d washed her face and hands to the point of reddening her skin and was now pulling on a new shirt would at least take care of most of the damage.
Almost all of the crew was gone for the day since it had taken her much longer to do her job than probably anyone had planned. But, hell, it had been a much larger piece of crap bathroom than even Storm figured. Now, she was ready to go home, drink a beer— after her shower—and watch a Harry Potter marathon.
And didn’t that just sound like the most interesting life ever.
She sighed and honestly didn’t care all too much what others thought of that. She’d had a long day she hadn’t planned for, and she just wanted to relax her way.
After tossing her dirty shirt into the garbage bag in her truck since she knew there was no saving that particular piece of clothing, she turned and let out a silent screech. Her foot slammed into the curb, and her ankle twisted slightly. Hands out and braced for an ugly fall, everything seemed to go in slow motion as she tried not to hurt herself any worse than necessary.
Strong arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her up so her back pressed firmly into a very hard chest. Her heart raced since she still felt like she was falling even though she wasn’t, and she let out a slow breath.
“You okay?”
Of course. Of course, it was him. It couldn’t be anyone else who witnessed her clumsiness and near accident. It had to be Wes fucking Montgomery.
Where was a crevice in the earth to swallow her up and take her away from this situation when she needed one?
“Jillian?”
“I’m fine,” she grumbled. “You can take your hands off me now.”
But he didn’t.
Instead, he turned her in his hold and looked her right in the eyes. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
She swallowed hard. Why hadn’t she noticed the brightness of his eyes before? Or the way his pupils dilated when he focused on something...namely her at the moment?
“I’m fine,” she repeated. And she was. Her ankle throbbed slightly, but it wasn’t even a sprain since she’d had enough of those to tell. She’d just tweaked it a bit in her clod-hopping way of walking.
He didn’t let go.
“Seriously, Wes. You need to stop trying to baby me, or whatever the hell you think you’re doing all the time. I’m not an idiot. I can handle myself. Why do you—?”
She didn’t even know what she was going to ask at that moment because her mind went blank at the first touch of Wes’s lips to hers. Her eyes closed of their own volition, and she leaned into him. That seemed to push him harder, and he deepened the kiss, his lips soft yet firm against hers as his tongue traced the seam of her mouth. She opened for him, tangling her tongue with his as she moaned.
The sound seemed to break them both out of whatever the hell they were doing, and they pulled apart as if struck, both left panting, their chests moving quickly up and down.
“No. Not going to happen.” She held out her hands, trying to catch her breath. “Nope. No way.”
Wes looked at her as if he hadn’t seen her before, his eyes a little wide. “It was...it was an accident.”
She didn’t even flinch at that, too numb from everything else hitting her all at once. “Fine.”
She turned on her heel, grateful she hadn’t actually hurt her ankle, and jumped into her truck before turning her engine and pulling away.
“Nope,” she muttered to herself again. “Not going to happen. I’m not going to do another Montgomery and fuck myself over. And I’m sure as hell not going to do a boss Montgomery. Nope. Nope. No. No. No.”
And if she kept repeating that to herself, she just might get the damn taste of Wes Montgomery out of her mouth.
 

See the INKED MEMORIES trailer:

 

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: The Duke's Temptation by Raven McAllan




Author: Raven McAllan
Series: N/A
Audience: +18
Genre: Historical Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Release Date: October 31st 2017
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Neverland Blog Tours
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Tortured duke Gibb Alford has vowed never to love again...until a beautiful French knife thrower brings him to his knees.

When Gibb Alford, Duke of Menteith, saves a beautiful French knife thrower from the unwanted attentions of a fellow aristocrat he is ill-prepared for the immediate tug of attraction to the beautiful Evangeline. Widowed, he has sworn off love forever, so he can well do without this temptation.

Evangeline certainly doesn’t want the complication of being in the sights of one smoky-eyed Scottish duke. She’s a lady on a mission, with no time for love or dalliance.

However, fate and life have other plans and gradually Gibb and Evangeline become a couple.

As each struggle with the demons of their pasts, Evangeline finds life in the ton difficult. The spurned aristocrat Gibb saved her from is not prepared to give in and retire gracefully. And while Gibb fights the man, he also declares war on his own emotions. When Evangeline’s past is revealed to her, everything changes. She has a decision to make.

Fight for Gibb—or flee to a safe but unfulfilled future.

As for her duke… All is fair in love and war—right?

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Neverland Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review

It's been a while since I last read a historical romance that I loved as much as I did this one.

I had so much fun reading this book. Gibb is a tortured hero, who has vowed never to love again after his wife died. Fortunately for him, emotions have a funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, and he is saved from his self-imposed solitude when he meets Evangeline. I quite liked Gibb. I loved how forward he was with his thinking, even though it is amazing how few people understood his quite reasonable ideas. I liked how he respected his staff, how he pushed them towards getting an education, and I liked how he defended Evangeline when she needed to be defended. I also liked how, towards the end of the book, he started fighting with his demons and tried to come to terms with how his late wife was like and with what she did.

Evangeline is an interesting heroine. She wasn't interested in anything other than what Gibb was willing to offer, but also nothing less than what she deserved. I liked how she stood up for herself, both when she needed to defend herself from Crowe, but also when she decided she deserved more from Gibb and had that conversation with him. I loved seeing her do that. I also loved how independent she was, how she wanted to earn her living. She's also a woman on a mission, trying to find out who her father is, and I liked that aspect of the story. In some ways, she reminded me of Elizabeth Bennet, which is one of my favorite heroines ever.

While reading this book I felt like reading a classic book. I was so immersed in the storytelling, that it took me a while to remember that this is a brand new book. Which is amazing, because it takes a special kind of author (or magician, however you want to put it) to manage to make the old English sound so new and not difficult to read or understand. I was truly amazed by McAllan's ability to write a story using words I've never heard before, without taking away from the story. It actually made the story more vibrant, more real, easier to get lost in, which I adored.

It's been a while since I last read a historical romance book, but this one reminded me why I fell in love with the genre in the first place. If you love the genre as much as I do, you must read this book. McAllan's writing took me on a wonderful journey and I cannot wait to read more of her stories.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: Cupid's Match by Lauren Palphreyman

Author: Lauren Palphreyman
Series: Cupid's Match #1
Audience: +16
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date:
My Rating: 3.5 cups
Source: Wattpad
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In a world where everyone has a perfect match, what if you were matched with the dangerous, notoriously good looking, original bad boy....Cupid himself?

***
Dear Lila,
I am contacting you on behalf of The Cupids Matchmaking Service.

You will not have heard of us but we are an organisation that work behind the scenes of society, identifying each person's perfect match.

Usually we would not contact our clients. We prefer to work in secrecy - setting up the ideal environment for the two matches to have a chance encounter.

Recently, however, we ran your details through our system and...well....in your case...

We think you'd better come in.

Please respond at your earliest convenience.

Yours Urgently,

The Cupids Matchmaking Service
I think we all know by now I love books inspired by mythology. I probably said it so many times y'all are bored and annoyed already, but it's true. I love them. I read Cupid's Match on Wattpad when I hit a bit of a reading slump phase, and it was the perfect book to get me out of it.

The story focuses on the idea that each person has a destined partner, a so-called match. The Cupids Matchmaking Services organization is basically the name given to a group of cupids that have heen around since the beginning of time. As per the company rules, no cupid can find his or her match, it is forbidden. So what happens if this rule is broken and a cupid does find his match? Enter Lila, a regular teenager that finds herself matched to the Cupid, and all hell breaks loose.

I really enjoyed the idea of love being forbidden to the very creatures whose entire existence is dependent on love. It was an interesting aspect of the story, and it was a fun, new thing to do with the myth of love. I also liked how this was explained. For me it felt like a truly selfish reason from the organization's boss to have such a rule, because it meant that this person wasn't in the business of love for selfless reasons, but for the feeling of power that comes from playing with human emotions, but also from feeling loved by humans and served by cupids. The concept of love in this book is seen from many perspectives, from what some refer to as true love, to obsession, to adulation, all the way to envy and hate. So you get the positive and negative aspects of love, and I liked reading about that.

Lila was an enjoyable character to read about. At times she was a bit difficult to like though, probably because she was a bit too naive. And she was a bit undecided with what she wanted. I did like her spunk at the beginning of the story, when she refused to believe in the idea of an appointed, already decided-on match for her. While she had courage, I would have wanted to see her keep a bit more of that initial spark during the story. She kind of got it back towards the end of the story.

Cupid was depicted in an interesting way in this story. I got the idea of him more as a rebel here than a true bad boy, to be honest. He has a brother in this story, Cal, which I found insanely funny for some reason. There were moments when you could see a glimpse of Cupid's wild streak, but I didn't truly got a feeling of him as a full on bad boy.

There were a few details that I would have wanted to be more accurate in this story, at least from a mythological perspective. But all of that aside, as I said before, I really enjoyed seeing how the whole concept of love was depicted in this story. The villain in this story is pretty psychotic if you ask me. It's not that this particular villain is full on scary, just more deranged I'd say.

The plot was pretty evenly paced. One little technical thing that kept me from reading this story faster was the way it was put into pages. I don't know how this story translates to printed page or if a true ebook version of it is the same, but at least on Wattpad it felt as if the chapters were too short. I would have wanted longer, and therefore fewer chapters, just because the sudden breaks in reading with getting past the in-between posts kind of pulled me out of the story more than I liked.

All of that aside, I quite enjoyed this story. There were a few things that were left open-ended, and I hope this will be resolved in the other stories from this series. I am planning on reading the sequels, just because I am curious to see what happens to the secondary characters from this story. All in all, a pretty enjoyable read.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Mini Reviews: The DNF Edition: Things I Want My Daughters To Know, Portrait Of A Killer, Ella, Dracula, The Strange Journey Of Mr Daldry

Hey guys! I promised I was going to find my courage to write some DNF reviews HOLD ME and today is the perfect day for it. One of the bookstagram challenges I signed up for this month has a prompt for today that's about books you didn't finish, so here we are. So without further ado, here are some books I didn't finish.

A post shared by Ruby Jo (@rubys.books) on



To be honest, this book deserves more to be in the "put aside for now" pile. The story focuses four sisters trying to recover from the death of their mother in the present time, while also telling the story of the mother and her fight with cancer and, eventually, how she simply tries to come to terms with the idea that she can't win the battle, so she decides to write a journal, if I'm not mistaken, for her daughters to read after her death. The story is compelling and it certainly isn't my first foray into the world of sad, heartbreaking books where one of the MCs dies of cancer. But at the time I picked it up, without really thinking about it consciously, really, my grandma was fighting her battle with cancer. So I didn't manage to keep my distance from the story enough for it to not become a painful reading experience, so I felt the need to put it down. It doesn't mean I didn't enjoy what little I read, it just means I needed to step back a little bit from the story. I will definitely pick it up later to read.
I've always been attracted to books or documentaries that focus on unsolved crime mysteries, and there's no bigger mystery to me than Jack the Ripper. I expected greatness from this book, to be honest. The thing that kept me from fully enjoying the book was that I felt like I spent too much time in the author's head, with her focusing a bit too much on her own journey and thoughts during and about this investigation. It's not my first time reading nonfiction about serial killers and unsolved mysteries, but they all managed to somehow not include too much detail about the author. I would have wanted less of that, to be honest.
This book is about Elizabeth Bathory, one of the bloodiest serial killers ever in my opinion. Which got me excited, because as a psychologist, I love delving into the minds of the darkest human creatures that have lived on this planet. I read this book way, way before I stated book blogging, so I might not remember the finer details as much, but from what I remember the story is told from a male protagonist's perspective, who knew the countess from when he was a boy and was afraid of her, and he tries to tell this story of the bloody countess. That's really all I remember. While this would seem like such an interesting story, I couldn't get past the first 30 pages or so. First of all, I don't know if this was the way the book was written as in the original language, but the translated version was a bit too flowery for my taste. There were some metaphors there that killed me, and not in a good way. But my biggest issue was with the way the author portrayed my country's ancestors. I usually can manage to distance myself from any personal thoughts while reading, so when a book bothers me, it really bothers me. I myself was... I won't say offended, because that's a too strong word, but bothered by the way the Dacians were portrayed (if you don't know, the Dacians are the ancient people who inhabited the territory that is today known as Romania; Dacia was a bit bigger than today's Romania, but that's not the point here). Why the author felt the need to even mention Dacians in a book about a Hungarian countess is beyond me, honestly, and I'm sure they get as much page space in the overall book as a dedication page, but the little that was written bothered me. I understand challenging history, since we know history is written by winners, therefore is not always accurate, but this didn't feel like that. Maybe I exaggerated, but to me it proved to be too much and I couldn't continue reading.

ETA: I feel the need to add this one phrase again, just to make sure nobody got me wrong. I wasn't offended by what was said, but mostly by how it was said in this book. I understand how, if you've read the book, or if you want to, you might misunderstand me and accuse me of something I'm not. It's not about what was implied here, but about the how
This book is the most painful of them all. Marc Levy is one of my favorite authors, and I was excited when this book came out, because it felt different than all his previous books. The story takes place a few years after WWII and it's about Alice, who gets her fortune told. She then moves into this apartment that has, according to her neighbor, Mr Daldry, "the best lighting he needed for his paintings". He then somehow convinces her to listen to the fortune teller, and go on a journey. That's the short version of where I got into reading the book. I started reading the book all excited, and halfway through I realized I misinterpreted just about everything about this Mr. Daldry, so much so that I was convinced I was reading about an old guy. Which made sense to me, because the way he talks, the way he acts, even his way of thinking, all made me imagine an 80 year old guy. For some reason I just couldn't connect with the characters, and for me that is just as important as the plot itself.

Okay, so this might not be as painful as I originally thought. Let's discuss. What book did you recently DNF and why?

Comic Book #28: Injustice 2 Vol 1 by Tom Taylor


Author: Tom Taylor
Series: Injustice 2 #1-6
Audience: +16
Genre: Comic Books
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 31st 2017
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the makers of the critically acclaimed prequel comic to the smash hit fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us comes the highly anticipated prequel to Injustice 2!

Batman has triumphed over the tyranical Superman! But now he must piece all of the world back together, and to make matters worse, he has to do it while fighting off the former dictator's supporters working to reinstate the old regime. With all the in-fighting a dark shadow appears on the horizon.

From best-selling writer Tom Taylor, scribe of the original INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US graphic novel series, comes INJUSTICE 2! Collects issues #1-6.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I really enjoyed this comic book. I was a bit confused at times, because I haven't played the Injustice games, nor have I read the related comic books, but I was still able to follow the story pretty easily.

The story focuses on Batman's struggle to help rebuild the world after the destruction Superman caused, while also fighting off against a pretty strong opponent intent on helping Batman's enemies. This was the first time I've read anything related to the fight between Batman and Superman, and it was the source of my confusion, because there were a lot of gaps there that I don't know if they're from the previous Injustice series or in the game or if they'll be filled at least partially later on in Injustice 2. I liked the idea of Superman being a villain, to be honest. If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick Superman, because I grew up watching the movies many, many times, a lot more times than the original Batman movies, but I've always wondered if somehow Superman's desire to help the world, to save everybody couldn't turn into a dangerous and negative aspect of him. This is probably the reason why I loved seeing Superman depicted as a bad guy.

At the opposite side of the war you have Batman, who is trying to keep the world together, but just before he starts working on fixing everything, new enemies rise. I liked this new foe and I wonder where that will lead the story to. It was an interesting plot device, to be honest. Here you have Batman, trying to save the world, when all of the sudden, a Batman impersonator comes along to wreak havoc everywhere. The subtle hints towards the duality of Batman are also among my favorite parts of this story. I never believed Batman to be a full hero, because he's so dark and he's willing to do some pretty hard choices. Maybe it's also the fact that his hometown, Gotham, is such a dark place, that the darkness of it rubbed off on Batman. But the idea of a fully-dark, villainous Batman fighting with the original, hero version of Batman is kind of like seeing Bruce's inner struggle come to life, so I cannot wait to see how that will progress in future installments. There's also another side to this war, that I won't give too many details about, because of spoilers, but I'm also curious about how that will be explained and resolved.

I also loved the art. There were a lot of details in the panels, but not too many as to distract me from reading. The story itself is reflected in the art, and you can tell there's a big difference between Batman and Superman in the way color is used for these two characters' panels. As for good Batman vs bad Batman, there are subtle differences, but generally you get the same style, which again was amazing, because it made me think of the duality of this character.

I read this pretty easily and I was actually very sad to get to the end of it. I'm definitely planning on reading the rest of the story.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: Sleeper by Lexi Blake


 Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Hunter #3, Thieves #8
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment LLC
Release Date: October 17th 2017
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When Neil’s past catches up to him, Kelsey must choose between her new family and an old love…

With tensions rising between the Council and demonkind, Kelsey finds herself investigating a series of murders that threaten the fragile truce between them. If she can’t stop these killings soon, they could ignite a fire sure to burn the supernatural world down.

Unfortunately for her, Kelsey’s problems don’t stop with a pile of dead halflings. Her connection with Marcus is frayed at best, and Gray hasn’t been heard from in months. Her only semblance of peace comes from a new man in her life. When Gray storms back into the picture, her love life goes from incredibly complicated to apocalyptic.

Just as Kelsey begins to unravel the mystery, the forces of Heaven decide to take an interest in her actions. Outclassed with these powers in play, Kelsey knows that one misstep could leave the human and supernatural worlds in ashes.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

It's no secret I love Lexi Blake's books with all my heart. Usually when that happens I get insanely high expectations for other projects the author in question might have, but I shouldn't have worried. I've been immersed in the world of the Hunter for the past days and let me tell you, if the fourth installment was here already, I'd be reading it right now with the same excitement.

I love Kelsey so much, and I love to see where the story takes her. She's a badass and I love her for it. She's grown so much from when I first met her in Hunter and I feel like she still has so much to discover about herself. I like that she finds those tiny moments when she fights with her nature. I normally don't like that, but Blake does a wonderful job at writing the struggle Kelsey is going through with accepting who she really is and what she really needs and wants. I also love to see how she can be both lying to herself and honest with herself. I love her sarcasm. She's slowly becoming one of my favorite heroines in the genre, to be honest. She's brave and she's reckless, but she's also smart about it. She's selfless without being conceited about it, and while at times this pushes her to be self-destructive, I understand where she's coming from. I really do.

The story revealed certain aspects of the Hunter and Thieves world that I previously hadn't known about, mostly because I haven't read the original series before. It's not that I was lost, but I would have liked to have that extra knowledge. Then again, at the same time I'm kind of happy I'm missing some details, because this way I can have the same experiences as Kelsey when it comes to discovering the vastness of the world Blake has created. I don't think it's necessary to have read the previous series to understand what's going on in this one, but I feel like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle that I, personally, want to have. So I'll definitely be reading that one in the future.

I love the fact that my favorite werewolf a.k.a Trent finally gets more page time. There's an interesting relationship development that I've been hoping for since Addict, the previous book, but at the same time, this also means another relationship is changing. I don't know how to say this without spoiling things for people who haven't yet read the book, so I'll leave it at that.

I'll be honest. Gray isn't my favorite male in the series, but he is growing on me. Must have something to do with what happened to him previously, but he's slowly getting in my good graces, so to speak.

The thing I love about this book and this series actually, is that it's not solely about Kelsey. I feel like this series is about everyone, we just get the story through Kelsey's eyes. Everyone gets affected by what happens in this book, everyone grows as characters, everyone is important. Which just goes to show the mark of a true storyteller, and only serves to prove why Blake is one of my favorite authors. Blake manages to write a wonderful story about a lot of characters, where everyone gets to say their piece, and I felt like I could really connect with those people, way more than I expected in a 1st person POV story.

There's an interesting development in the book and I wonder how that will play out in the future, how it will affect certain characters. The plot is fast paced and I read the book really fast. Which makes me sad because I need Outcast, the next book in the series, out now. And I need to read the original series, to find out more about the world and get to have more time with my favorite characters.

BUY NOW

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“Your Highness, please back away. In fact, it would be best if you left the room altogether.” Felix put himself between me and Roberts. “Kelsey, I need you to push her down. Push her back down for a few moments. Marcus will be back soon and he’s going to take care of you. Being around those angels unsettled you. I don’t know if you noticed, but at the end of the meeting, your ward fell off. You didn’t have it on when Oliver shook your hand. He’s unbalanced and now you are, too. It’s like a contagion for someone like you. Oliver’s illness has called up your inner wolf and she’s angry.”
“Perhaps if I touch her,” Henri began. “I’m an academic. I don’t have the same connection she has with Marcus, but I might be able to help.”
“I’m not unbalanced.” It didn’t matter that my hands were shaking and they had been ever since I’d left the angels behind. “I’m going to talk to the wolf whether you like it or not. He’s been handling silver. It’s the only reason his hands wouldn’t have healed. Even then, a couple of hours would have done it. Unless the freaking silver he held came straight from Heaven. What about it, Roberts? How did you spend last night?”
The wolf was shaking his head. “I don’t know.”
That wasn’t an answer I was willing to accept. I was about to explain that to everyone when Chad stepped up and got in my face.
“I’m taking him out of here now,” Chad explained. “You’ll let me or we’re going to have trouble.”
I was ready for trouble. I was fairly sure I grinned, the idea of fighting a vamp lifting my spirits high. For the first time in what felt like hours, I went still. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Chad turned, his shoulders squaring, and I felt the world begin to bend around me. Chad belongs to one of the rarest classes of vampire—the magicians. As far as I knew, he was the only one walking the night at this time. He could form illusions so real you could taste food, feel imaginary rain on your skin, utterly believe whatever he wanted you to believe. I’d come up against him before. I might be one of the only people in the world who could see through him.
“It won’t work,” I said calmly as reality seemed to go dark and I heard the hissing of snakes all around me. “Do you not remember what happened the last time you pulled this shit on me? It took three tranqs to take me down. I don’t think you have those on you today.”
“I won’t need them.” Chad lifted his hand and the world shifted.
“Holy shit,” Casey said, climbing up on his desk. “What the fuck is happening?”
Snakes were happening. They were crawling from the woodwork, twitching and hissing my way. The fibers of the carpet beneath my feet lengthened and formed more snakes until they were a menacing mass, threatening everyone in the room.
Well, except for Chad, who had lifted his husband into his arms and prepared to take him away.
I let my wolf loose a bit. She knew this was all an illusion. That primitive part of my brain that Chad was accessing, the lizard brain that merely wanted to survive, was taken over by the wolf inside me. The alpha wolf didn’t want mere survival. She wanted to dominate, and that meant seeing past fear, trusting her instincts over what her eyes perceived.
The minute I opened the door, I felt her surge through me.
“I’m not letting you go. I can’t. I’m conducting a murder investigation, and I believe your boy here just became my prime suspect.” My hands twitched, eager for a fight, and I realized how long it had been since Marcus and I had thrown down.
Too long. Remember that whole thing about needing sex or violence to feed my inner wolf? Well, she was hungry and there was a whole lot of violence in Chad’s eyes.
I welcomed it. I could feel the need rise like a wave threatening to engulf me. This was why I had a trainer in the first place.
I gritted my teeth because Chad turned on his power. I could feel those fucking snakes climbing my legs and sinking their fangs into me. I refused to pay any attention to them despite the fact that I ached to rip the fuckers off me and toss them aside. To do that would have given the magician more power. If I bought into it, if I took my eyes off the only thing in the room that was real, I would end up like Casey, who was screaming like a girl.
“Let me pass, Hunter,” Chad said.
I stood my ground like the good Gandalf I was. Except I kind of wanted to shove my nonexistent staff right up old Chad’s ass, and then we would see if he sent snakes my way again.
The anger rose, rapid and quick, a flash fire coursing through me. I didn’t even realize when I had reached for the fireplace poker. All I knew was it was suddenly in my hands and I was going to use it. I could see myself shoving that piece of wrought iron right through his heart. It wouldn’t kill him. I would need wood for that, but then again, I didn’t want the fight over so quickly.
I raised the poker, ready to start.
“Stop it, both of you.” Donovan stepped in between us, but I didn’t care at that moment. I hadn’t felt this way in forever, not since Marcus had taken me in. I hadn’t been so out of control that I didn’t care who I hurt as long as I got to hurt someone. I would fuck up Donovan, too. All that mattered was seeing blood, feeling bones crush.
“You see, I told you she’s far gone and I can’t fix her anymore. I’ve called Gray and he has an idea of what to do,” Marcus was saying.
I wasn’t listening.
I started to bring the poker down Donovan’s way, but I was stopped in mid swing. A hand held my wrist, an arm going around my middle and hauling me back against muscled flesh.
“Stop it,” Trent growled in my ear. “You stand down right this second.”    


     NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.



FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight: Pupcakes by Annie England Noblin




ABOUT PUPCAKES
Sit! Stay! Speak! author Annie England Noblin’s novel takes one woman starting over, adds an aging pug named Teddy Roosevelt, and proves the power of a well-baked dog treat.

All she wants is a settled-down life.
What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .
There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.
And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?
Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!

Excerpt

After dinner, Nathan refilled their wineglasses and led her into the living room. Sasha and Teddy had settled there as well, and when Nathan built a fire in the fireplace, Teddy dropped right in front of it and started to snore. Sasha wasn’t far behind him.
 “The living room at Mrs. Neumann’s house has a fireplace, too,” Brydie said. “I thought about lighting it the other night, but it hasn’t been lit in ages.”
“I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate it if you burned her house down trying to light the fireplace,” Nathan replied.
“No, I can’t imagine that would make her too happy.”
“Listen,” Nathan said, scooting closer to her on the couch. “I’m sorry if I asked too many intrusive questions earlier. I’m hopeless at small talk, and when I get nervous, I tend to fall back into doctor mode. I swear I didn’t mean to interrogate you over chicken.”
“That’s okay,” Brydie replied. “It was actually kind of nice to talk about it with someone who doesn’t know anything about my life before I moved here.”
“How do you like Memphis so far?”
“It’s getting better,” Brydie said with a sly grin. Between the wine and the fire, she felt deliciously warm.
“I’m glad to hear it.”
Brydie watched him watching her. She liked the way his curly black hair fell in his eyes when he was concentrating. She liked the way his T-shirt fit, not too loose or too tight. She liked the way he asked her questions—soft, curious, but not intrusive. It made her want to tell him everything, anything, just to keep him looking at her. Paying attention to her.
But more than that, she realized, there was something familiar about him, comfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was, but despite the constant butterflies in her stomach, he made her feel calmer somehow. She could understand why people would be drawn to him as a doctor. She could even understand why a woman might visit her elderly aunt in order to be near him.
Nathan moved a hand up to Brydie’s face, tucking a wandering strand of damp hair behind her ear. It sent a bolt of electricity through her, and when he moved his hand away, Brydie felt herself grabbing a fistful of his T-shirt and pulling him closer to her until her mouth was on his, and she could taste the wine on his lips.
Brydie fell back into the couch and pulled Nathan down on top of her. She could feel his hands exploring her body underneath her T-shirt, and she burned with a need she hadn’t known existed until that very moment.
“Do you want—” Nathan began in between frenzied kisses, but before he could finish, the ringing of his phone in his pocket cut him off.
“Ignore it,” Brydie murmured.
“I can’t,” Nathan said, pulling himself away from her with a groan. “I’m on call at the nursing home tonight.”


BUY LINKS for PUPCAKES:



ABOUT ANNIE ENGLAND NOBLIN
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Review and the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.



Connect with Annie

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Comic Book #27: Batwoman Vol.1 : The Many Arms of Death (Rebirth) by Marguerite Bennett, James IV Tynion

Author: Marguerite Bennett, James IV Tynion
Series: Batwoman (2017-) #1-6
Audience: +16
Genre: Comic Book
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 31st 2017
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Batwoman returns with her own series in BATWOMAN VOL. 1, as a part of DC Rebirth!

The newest chapter of Batwoman’s life begins here! Monster Venom is the hottest new bioweapon on the market…and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman’s going to have to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours!

With writing from Marguerite Bennett (DC BOMBSHELLS) and James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS), as well as spectacular art from Steve Epting (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER) and Ben Oliver (THE MULTIVERSITY), this new series spins directly out of the smash hit DETECTIVE COMICS series!

BATWOMAN VOL. 1 collects issues #1-6 and the one-shot special BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I went into reading this knowing nothing about Batwoman. I didn't even know Batwoman existed, to be honest. So I was surprised to see this redheaded heroine and read about her adventures, and let me tell you, I liked what I read.

The story is pretty interesting. We spend the entire first issue jumping through time, seeing brief instances from Batwoman/Kate Kane's life, since childhood to present times. This had me confused for a little bit, because for a while there I thought I was reading a similar story with Greg Rucka's Wonder Woman, which is different backstories of the same character. It took me a little bit to figure out it was small flashes of the same Kate Kane. This is probably due to me not knowing anything about Kane. We then see her trying to stop an attack at a pretty important market, which eventually leads her to a secluded island, where apparently Kate left her heart on many years ago. It was a pretty interesting concept, and I liked the flashbacks on the island, and trying to figure out what exactly happened. We still don't know a lot, so I'm hoping the future issues (if there are any) will shed some light onto what happened between Kate and Safiyah, where the latter is, and how big is this organization trying to bring down Kate.

I have to say, I wish the last issue in this volume, Rebirth #1 was at the beginning. This is actually the way I've been used to in DC comics so far, so I don't really understand why they decided to include that one at the end of the 6 issues of The Many Arms Of Death. That was the only thing that I didn't quite enjoy, mostly because it pulled me quite harshly from the original story.

The art is pretty great. There were a lot of vivid, really strong colors. The panels were not too crowded, and were easy to follow. There seemed to be a bit of a shift in drawing technique towards the last issues, but that didn't bother me as much as I expected. The art complements the story a lot, and it sort of follows the story and the timeline. The art in Rebirth however was pretty different than the one in TMAoD. Not a bad thing, just something that I noticed.

The pacing was great and I read it pretty fast. All in all, I think this is by far my favorite DC comic I've read so far. It was mysterious and dark enough to keep me wishing for more issues and page time. I will definitely read volume 2 when it comes out.



Release Day Blitz: Sleeper by Lexi Blake

  

When Neil’s past catches up to him, Kelsey must choose between her new family and an old love…

With tensions rising between the Council and demonkind, Kelsey finds herself investigating a series of murders that threaten the fragile truce between them. If she can’t stop these killings soon, they could ignite a fire sure to burn the supernatural world down.

Unfortunately for her, Kelsey’s problems don’t stop with a pile of dead halflings. Her connection with Marcus is frayed at best, and Gray hasn’t been heard from in months. Her only semblance of peace comes from a new man in her life. When Gray storms back into the picture, her love life goes from incredibly complicated to apocalyptic.

Just as Kelsey begins to unravel the mystery, the forces of Heaven decide to take an interest in her actions. Outclassed with these powers in play, Kelsey knows that one misstep could leave the human and supernatural worlds in ashes.    

BUY NOW

Amazon | iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo

     

    “Your Highness, please back away. In fact, it would be best if you left the room altogether.” Felix put himself between me and Roberts. “Kelsey, I need you to push her down. Push her back down for a few moments. Marcus will be back soon and he’s going to take care of you. Being around those angels unsettled you. I don’t know if you noticed, but at the end of the meeting, your ward fell off. You didn’t have it on when Oliver shook your hand. He’s unbalanced and now you are, too. It’s like a contagion for someone like you. Oliver’s illness has called up your inner wolf and she’s angry.”
“Perhaps if I touch her,” Henri began. “I’m an academic. I don’t have the same connection she has with Marcus, but I might be able to help.”
“I’m not unbalanced.” It didn’t matter that my hands were shaking and they had been ever since I’d left the angels behind. “I’m going to talk to the wolf whether you like it or not. He’s been handling silver. It’s the only reason his hands wouldn’t have healed. Even then, a couple of hours would have done it. Unless the freaking silver he held came straight from Heaven. What about it, Roberts? How did you spend last night?”
The wolf was shaking his head. “I don’t know.”
That wasn’t an answer I was willing to accept. I was about to explain that to everyone when Chad stepped up and got in my face.
“I’m taking him out of here now,” Chad explained. “You’ll let me or we’re going to have trouble.”
I was ready for trouble. I was fairly sure I grinned, the idea of fighting a vamp lifting my spirits high. For the first time in what felt like hours, I went still. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Chad turned, his shoulders squaring, and I felt the world begin to bend around me. Chad belongs to one of the rarest classes of vampire—the magicians. As far as I knew, he was the only one walking the night at this time. He could form illusions so real you could taste food, feel imaginary rain on your skin, utterly believe whatever he wanted you to believe. I’d come up against him before. I might be one of the only people in the world who could see through him.
“It won’t work,” I said calmly as reality seemed to go dark and I heard the hissing of snakes all around me. “Do you not remember what happened the last time you pulled this shit on me? It took three tranqs to take me down. I don’t think you have those on you today.”
“I won’t need them.” Chad lifted his hand and the world shifted.
“Holy shit,” Casey said, climbing up on his desk. “What the fuck is happening?”
Snakes were happening. They were crawling from the woodwork, twitching and hissing my way. The fibers of the carpet beneath my feet lengthened and formed more snakes until they were a menacing mass, threatening everyone in the room.
Well, except for Chad, who had lifted his husband into his arms and prepared to take him away.
I let my wolf loose a bit. She knew this was all an illusion. That primitive part of my brain that Chad was accessing, the lizard brain that merely wanted to survive, was taken over by the wolf inside me. The alpha wolf didn’t want mere survival. She wanted to dominate, and that meant seeing past fear, trusting her instincts over what her eyes perceived.
The minute I opened the door, I felt her surge through me.
“I’m not letting you go. I can’t. I’m conducting a murder investigation, and I believe your boy here just became my prime suspect.” My hands twitched, eager for a fight, and I realized how long it had been since Marcus and I had thrown down.
Too long. Remember that whole thing about needing sex or violence to feed my inner wolf? Well, she was hungry and there was a whole lot of violence in Chad’s eyes.
I welcomed it. I could feel the need rise like a wave threatening to engulf me. This was why I had a trainer in the first place.
I gritted my teeth because Chad turned on his power. I could feel those fucking snakes climbing my legs and sinking their fangs into me. I refused to pay any attention to them despite the fact that I ached to rip the fuckers off me and toss them aside. To do that would have given the magician more power. If I bought into it, if I took my eyes off the only thing in the room that was real, I would end up like Casey, who was screaming like a girl.
“Let me pass, Hunter,” Chad said.
I stood my ground like the good Gandalf I was. Except I kind of wanted to shove my nonexistent staff right up old Chad’s ass, and then we would see if he sent snakes my way again.
The anger rose, rapid and quick, a flash fire coursing through me. I didn’t even realize when I had reached for the fireplace poker. All I knew was it was suddenly in my hands and I was going to use it. I could see myself shoving that piece of wrought iron right through his heart. It wouldn’t kill him. I would need wood for that, but then again, I didn’t want the fight over so quickly.
I raised the poker, ready to start.
“Stop it, both of you.” Donovan stepped in between us, but I didn’t care at that moment. I hadn’t felt this way in forever, not since Marcus had taken me in. I hadn’t been so out of control that I didn’t care who I hurt as long as I got to hurt someone. I would fuck up Donovan, too. All that mattered was seeing blood, feeling bones crush.
“You see, I told you she’s far gone and I can’t fix her anymore. I’ve called Gray and he has an idea of what to do,” Marcus was saying.
I wasn’t listening.
I started to bring the poker down Donovan’s way, but I was stopped in mid swing. A hand held my wrist, an arm going around my middle and hauling me back against muscled flesh.
“Stop it,” Trent growled in my ear. “You stand down right this second.”
         
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.



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Friday, October 13, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: Light Of The Spirit by Lisa Kessler + Giveaway

Author: Lisa Kessler
Series: Muse Chronicles #4
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 18, 2017
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The gods never sleep...

As the mortal vessel for the Muse of Comedy, Lia Youlos lights up every room with laughter and smiles. But there are darker forces at work, and they want to snuff out her light forever.

Cooper Hanover is a hardworking paramedic who healed Lia after a fire, but something happened that day, something medical science couldn't explain. And if he doesn't figure out how it works soon, the next healing could kill him.

Lia's smile and sharp wit tempt him to love again, and he's not going to let anyone, not even the gods, take her from him.

The Prophecy - "Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse."

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

You guys!!!! This series keeps getting better and better! I finished this book about two nights ago and I have so many questions and a bit of a book-hangover.

Lia is the vessel of the Muse of Comedy and she is insanely funny. She is a sunny person, one that I'd love to have in my life, because she just made me smile the entire time I read her scenes. I liked her determination and her honesty towards Cooper. She knew what she wanted from a relationship with him and she wasn't even considering accepting anything less than what she deserved and less than what she was willing to give. I loved that about her.

Cooper was an interesting fellow. Up until now the Guardians have been guys that can protect the muses and, from what Hunter and Reed, two other guardians, have discovered, men that have similar characteristics to the lovers of the original muses, and Cooper certainly fits the bill, but he also has a little something more, something that I wonder if it will come up in the future, maybe towards the final battle (that I desperately hope it will be years before it comes!). He has a pretty ugly past, and I was truly sorry to see him in so much pain.

There were a lot of interesting developments in this book. First, we get to see a muse from an older generation, which is a very, very interesting and I believe also important. Because there are questions there that need answering, about the muses in general and about the differences between generations. There's also a new enemy on the rise, and I feel like this might be a very dangerous and scary foe.

The pacing was great, I read this book in one sitting. I love where the story is going and I cannot wait to see what happens next. I have so many questions, burning questions, that I hope will get their answers in the next few books. If you haven't yet started reading this series, what are you waiting for? It is a must read.


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Excerpt

When the first song came on, he took her hand, walking her over toward the small arcade. He stopped in front of a Dark Knight pinball game.She raised a brow. “I didn’t take you for a Batman fan.”
“I’m full of surprises.”
She wet her lips. “I like surprises.”
He dropped in quarters and stepped behind her, his lips brushing her neck just below her ear as he whispered, “Lucky me.” Cooper straightened up with a spark in his blue eyes. “Let’s do this.”
Lia’s heart was pounding with a heady mixture of arousal, adrenaline, and a hunger for victory. She’d never had this much fun on a date, and they just got here.
She pulled back the plunger and launched the silver, metal ball. Her eyes tracked its course underthe glass as it bounced around, lighting up bonuses. She hit the ball with the flipper, squealing as it sailed back up into play.
The rest of the pizza parlor faded away as her focus narrowed to the game. She nailed the ball again, but out of the corner of her eye, Cooper lifted his shirt to wipe his forehead, exposing abs that would make even Batman jealous.
“What are you—” Before she could finish her sentence, the ball slipped past the flippers and intothe hole at the bottom. Her jaw dropped. “You cheated.”
He shook his head, looking far from innocent as he pulled his shirt back down. “I was just wiping the sweat off my forehead. You’re really good at pinball.”
The twinkle in his eyes gave him away. Two could play that game.
She stepped aside, giving Cooper the player-two spot. He tugged the plunger back, and let silver ball go sailing. The digital score soared higher and higher. When he was within ten thousand points, she picked up her mug and fished out an ice cube, tracing her lips with it while she watched the ball under the glass.
Suddenly it zipped right between the flippers. She lifted her gaze to find Cooper gaping. “Okay, that was playing dirty.”
She grinned, popping the cube into her mouth. “Oh please, have you not seen yourself shirtless?”
He chuckled, shaking his head and stepping aside to make room, his voice a rough growl. “I’ve never been jealous of an ice cube before.”
“All’s fair in love and pinball, right?” She yanked the plunger back and sent the ball sailing back into play. She racked up the points, making contact with the ball three times before Cooper moved behind her, his big hands sliding possessively up her back to knead her shoulders.
The damned ball vanished into the hole between the flippers, and she didn’t give a rat’s ass. Lia’seyes drifted closed, and she relaxed into him. “So unfair.”
He leaned down close to her ear. “Want me to stop?”
“Oh gods, no."
His chest vibrated as he chuckled. “My turn, right?”
“Yes.” She sighed and stepped aside.
Cooper took over, hitting the buttons on the sides of the machine. His forearms were tight, strong. She’d never been turned on by games before, but damn. She was going to have to grab the pizza to go.
When his score neared hers, she slid her hand under the back of his shirt, tracing her fingernails up his back. A muscle in his cheek clenched as he struggled to keep his eye on the ball.
She pressed against his back and whispered, “I need you.”
He turned around and wrapped her in his arms. “’Bout damned time.” He fused his lips to hers, his tongue sliding into her mouth, teasing her senses.
“Hanover!”
He broke the kiss with a breathless chuckle. “I’m getting really sick of being interrupted.”


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ABOUT LISA KESSLER



Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.



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