Book of the Month: December

It’s not often that a book grabs me so completely. I’ve read books that were absorbing, but never any that were quite so visceral as Evenfall. I’m not going to go on too much about it because I imagine I fangirled quite enough in my review. This scene is from fairly early on in the book, and it was a moment where both Boyd and Sin’s defenses momentarily dropped.

Boyd didn’t know how long he’d been asleep before he heard it, or even whether it was a dream. He only knew that an unfamiliar sound caught his attention and that he felt mildly disoriented. 

Opening his eyes, he listened closely with his brows furrowed down slightly. When he realized what direction it was coming from, he rolled his head discreetly and peered through the darkness. It took him a few moments to discern what it was.

When he realized it came from Sin’s bed, the surprise jerked him awake.

Sin was curled in a tight ball on his bed as though he were trying to protect himself. Despite that, the muscles in his face and body were twitching oddly. A soft, incoherent exclamation fell from his lips and he unwound himself from the ball abruptly. 

He extended one of his arms away from his body and one hand dangled off the bed, the fingers twitching and tensing. He muttered in Chinese softly in his sleep, his voice low and strained.

Boyd shifted and pushed himself up on one elbow, his eyebrows drawn down as he stared. Sin so often seemed silent and still, like a statue, that it was disturbing to see him so obviously distressed.

“Sin?” he asked loudly, hoping to wake him.

The word did nothing. In fact, whatever nightmare Sin was having only seemed to progress in intensity. His head turned back and fourth, black hair splaying against the white sheets of the bed. His face turned towards Boyd and moonlight shone across it, showing a vulnerable, naked expression that bordered on fear.

Boyd sat up, looking at him with actual concern. He didn’t know what to do; it was almost alarming to see Sin in this state. The man was usually so controlled that Boyd never knew how many layers there were before his true opinion would show.

But in this case, with Sin asleep, Boyd knew everything he was seeing was the truth. The fact that Sin sounded terrified made Boyd get out of bed. Even if Sin hadn’t been making noise, Boyd wouldn’t have been able to go back to sleep in good conscience.

Boyd threw his legs over the side of the bed and padded across the room toward Sin’s bed. He’d seen the way Sin hadn’t seemed to react much to Lydia when reliving a nightmare but he’d been drugged at the time.

“Sin, wake up,” Boyd said loudly, lightly touching the hand dangling in front of him.

The reaction was immediate.

Sin’s eyes snapped open; wild and filled with madness. Seemingly without transition, Boyd was suddenly thrown across the room. He smashed into a table so hard that it flew a few inches off the floor, crashed against the wall and fell over. He crashed into the floor; his vision clouded and he couldn’t properly breathe. Everything that was on the table clattered around him in a spray that peppered his body. His bag fell down next to him, spilling its contents.

Before he could even understand what had happened, violently strong hands were on him. He was yanked back and flipped ruthlessly, slammed onto his back. His head cracked against the hardwood floor and pain shot down his neck.

Boyd’s eyes fell shut of their own accord. When they snapped open a breath later, Sin’s face was less than an inch from his own, and there was no recognition in it at all. Fear and surprise overcame Boyd. His heart stumbled. Green eyes blazed at him with the same uncontrollable fury he had seen in the surveillance videos. As the words ‘automatic kill mode’ moved through his mind, he realized that Sin’s hands were now wrapped around his neck. 

“Sin,” Boyd yelled as Sin’s fingers started to tighten. “Hsin! Stop!

The response was unexpected. The heart pounding moment, feeling like it had been on fast-forward, suddenly stilled. Tension made the shadows in the room zero in on them while Sin faltered. Long, powerful fingers loosened slightly on Boyd’s neck. That shadowed face stared down uncomprehendingly.

Boyd didn’t know if it was the use of Sin’s real name or the plea that had gotten his attention but either way he took advantage of the moment.

“Stop,” he said urgently. His body was so tense it felt locked in place. He kept himself perfectly still, as nonthreatening as if he were dealing with a wild animal. “I won’t do anything–Just stop, Hsin. Don’t hurt me.”

Pale green eyes met honey brown and Sin’s brow furrowed as he absorbed the words. His hands remained poised on Boyd, ready to snap his neck in an instant. A long, tense moment passed in which the only movement was their chests rising and falling with their breath. Then sluggish awareness began to creep back into Sin’s eyes. The manic wildness slowly drifted out of his face and was replaced by an expression of confusion.

At first it seemed that Sin wasn’t even aware of what had happened but then his eyes widened and he scrambled backwards, lowering into a crouch. Panting and tense, his body was coiled tighter than a spring about to snap. He still didn’t look entirely back to himself and his green eyes flitted around quickly. He didn’t speak but appeared to be bracing himself, waiting for something to happen.

Tense and unwilling to move, Boyd came to two conclusions in quick succession. One, he still had no idea whether or not Sin would attack him. Two, he was almost positive Sin had only stopped when he had made it known that he was not a threat. There was only one thing he had that could possibly be considered a threat, and it was what Sin seemed to be waiting for.

Moving as fast as he could so his motions were not misunderstood, Boyd pulled the small remote out of his nearby bag. Sin tensed, eyes narrowing but his face turned into a study of complete shock when Boyd threw the remote at him. Sin caught it in midair, the action almost an unconscious reflex as their eyes stayed locked.

“Take it,” Boyd panted roughly. “I don’t want it–I’m not here to hurt you.”

For a long moment the only sound in the room was of their labored breathing as they stared at each other. For the first time since they’d met, Sin’s face was completely open and his thoughts were clear.

Emotions Boyd hadn’t even been positive Sin ever felt were aimed at him. Shock, guilt and fear dominated his slightly widened green eyes and parted lips. The moment stretched at they stared at each other, the chaos of the last few minutes adding to the panting of their breath and eyes locked on each other. But it didn’t last long and everything snapped back to normal speed.

Sin abruptly ran out of the cabin. He was there and gone so fast that it seemed liked he’d disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Kindle location: 3434 of 21534

It was after this that Sin and Boyd developed this tiny smidgen of trust and formed the beginning of their friendship.

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In the Company of Shadows: Evenfall

Evenfall

Evenfall

Years after the bombs of WWIII have changed the physical and political landscape, the Agency ruthlessly works behind the scenes to take down rebel groups that threaten the current government. Their goals justify all means. Hsin Liu Vega (Sin) is their most efficient and deadly assassin ever. However, he tends to go off on unauthorized killing sprees and somehow his assigned partners all end up dead under suspicious circumstances. That is why the Agency has had him locked up in a box on the fourth floor for years. But now they think it is time to put the psychopath back in the field. With a new partner.

Boyd’s mother, a high ranking Agency official, volunteers her teenage son for the position. Boyd is not afraid of death. In fact, his life has been such an endless cycle of apathy and despair for the last few years that he’d welcome it. 

Can these two broken men form an efficient partnership? Can they learn to trust anyone, let alone each other? Sin doesn’t give a fuck about the Agency, or the androgynous boy who holds the remote to the shock collar that is supposed to control him.

On the other hand, Boyd is strangely unafraid of the man everyone calls “monster” and Sin seems reluctant to let his keeper get himself killed on any mission. Yet.

Have you ever read a book where, a couple of chapters in, you question the wisdom of having started it at all? Not because it’s bad but because it is so good. Almost too good. Like your brain has just been kicked in the metaphorical face, solar plexus and nuts all at the same time. Ever had that feeling? Because I was assaulted by that feeling every time I picked up my Kindle and started reading.

Sin and Boyd are the most interesting characters I’ve read in a long time. Individually and as a team, these two were riveting. They’re both so damaged and so sad and they just completely broke my heart. Boyd is just… completely apathetic. His traumatic past has made it so that he honestly doesn’t care if he lives or dies. When he’s given the gig at the Agency, it’s just a means of passing the time until he croaks. He has this huge wall between him and the people surrounding him; very little can inspire any sort of reaction from him. And that is what makes him perfect for the recently opened position at the Agency: the position of being Hsin Liu Vega’s new partner. Sin makes me want to cry. Like, ugly snot-en-trane cry. He has had such a horrible life, with the people who were meant to protect him doing him the most damage. Sin had been trained from an early–and I mean, ridiculously early–age to be an assassin, despite showing signs of mental instability. After his father died, Sin went to the Agency and picked up where his father left off. Instead of showing empathy, Sin’s new colleges treated him like shit and cemented Sin’s decision to never trust anyone. And now he and Boyd are thrown together and expected to work as a team. Needless to say, the beginning was rough. But then things get better. Boyd doesn’t treat Sin like a monster; he treats him like any other guy, albeit someone seriously lacking in the people skills department. Seeing Sin gradually let his guard down, in even the teeniest ways, was just so sweet and so sad. And seeing Boyd let something filter through the barriers he’d put up between himself and the rest of the world just put a lump in my throat. There were parts where I was pretty much wanted to get inside the book and be, like:

  

I’m not going to go into too much detail as to the actual story line. I could spend the whole day telling you about it and still not manage to do it justice. From here on, I’m just going to tell you how this book made me feel. I have always been one of those people who has the tendency to shout at my books. It doesn’t always happen; it’s only when I’m really into what’s happening on the pages. I spent so much time yelling at my Kindle that I honestly think that I was starting to freak my family out a little bit. Seriously, I was rowdy. Shouting in anger because someone was being hateful, or Sin and Boyd’s massive communication issues reared their ugly heads; just about sobbing when something awful happened to Sin or Boyd (which was fucking often, I’ll have you know); giggling when Sin got snarky; and heaving dreamy sighs whenever my boys had a moment where they seemed to get each other. This book was honestly an emotional roller coaster. There were times when I was miserable. Like, how could these evil authors do such horrible things to these two characters I had so quickly come to adore? But, at the same time, I have never been happier to be miserable because of a book.

I think that by now you can tell that I loved this book. A lot. That being said, I do want to warn you of a few things. Firstly, you will not like me if you decide to take my advice and give this book a go. I currently sort of, but not really, loathe the people who recommended this book to me because I had not planned on spending my December holiday as an emotional wreck. Next, you can probably tell that this book is not what you’d call “light and fluffy”. If you are looking for candy floss, you might want to keep on looking. I’m not saying that this book won’t totally grab you if you start, but it is a little on the heavy side. Thirdly, it might take you a while to finish reading. Not as long as it’s taken me (two bloody weeks!) but at 1400 pages, it’ll probably consume quite a bit of your time. So do yourself a favour and wait until you’ve finished up with any deadlines or whatever.

However, even with all these warnings in place, I can honestly not think of a better way for anyone to spend their time. Evenfall was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in characters and their development before. And I realise I’m droning on so I’m going to go now before I make you gag. 

You can download the entire series for free right here.

Sidewinder: Shock & Awe

Shock & Awe

Shock & Awe

After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet–after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part… or so he thought. But what should have been a simple moment unleashes a flood of emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address. 

Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other–friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?–before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Abigail Roux’s, so I was mega excited about Shock & Awe. Needless to say, Ms Roux did not disappoint. This novella was packed with steamy sex and some really heavy emotional scenes. This is an excellent start to the Sidewinder series.

Shock & Awe takes place just after the emotional trauma that was Touch & Geaux. Kelly is recovering from a gunshot wound that, had the bullet hit it’s target, would have killed Nick. Kelly is in fairly good spirits for a man with a bullet hole in him, but he still needs some help getting around. For a heart stopping minute, it looked like Kelly was going to have to ask his ex-wife to step in, but Nick offers to help him out instead. The guys have been through a lot together, so Nick’s offer is no big deal. While Nick and Ty were always close, Kelly and Nick are pretty tight too. They understand each other and there’s never been any weirdness between the two. Until Kelly, in a painkiller induced haze, asks Nick to kiss him. This comes as a bit of a surprise to both of them when Nick not only agrees to it, but that it turns out to be the kind of kiss that rocks their world. This opens up an avenue that neither man ever would have guessed existed. So the question is, do they go for it and possibly ruin their friendship; or do they ignore the attraction and run the risk of missing out on something amazing?

In addition to Shock & Awe, we got a teeny, tiny short story called Bait & Switch, featuring Zane. My poor baby. It just felt wrong to read anything with Zane that didn’t also directly involve Ty. It just made my heart hurt to see Zane so sad. I just wanted to get in the book and give him a hug. There was just enough angst in this short story to have me making these high pitched keening noises.

I really did enjoy this novella. Nick and Kelly were insanely hot. The chemistry between these two was absolutely explosive. I was just sitting there at one point fanning myself. I do not have enough words to adequately describe the bedroom scenes. Ms Roux has always had the ability to write some scorchers, but she pulled out all the stops for this one. And she also threw in some serious moments of heart-stopping angst. They didn’t last long, but they were enough to leave me feeling a little faint. But. But. There is one thing that niggled at me and kept me from giving Roux her usual five stars. It was Kelly. Now, this does not in any way mean that I didn’t like him, because I did. It’s just that we got to know Kelly–not very well, granted–as a straight guy. And now, suddenly, he’s decided that he likes cock. I know that this is just a novella so there wasn’t much time for soul searching and whatever, but I just think that the transition was too… easy. It just bothered me a little.

Definitely a good start to the Sidewinder series. I’m very excited to see more of the Sidewinder boys in the future. You can buy Shock & Awe over at Riptide.

Midnight Breeds: Ashes of Midnight

Ashes of Midnight

Ashes of Midnight

A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance. A place where darkness and desire meet…

As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Richen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the crossfire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury–or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.

Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren… even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger–and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins–one that blurs the line between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path…

I know that I’ve spent some time bitching about this series and how inconsistent it can be. One moment it’s really good, and then the next it’s utterly predictable. And I keep reading because I’ve already bought the bloody books. And for the first time in a while, I’m glad that I’ve kept reading because this book was a definite “up”.

I’ve spoken about Andreas Richen before. He was the sexy leader of the Hamburg DarkHaven when the unthinkable happened: his entire family was gunned down in a mindless attack that left Andreas as the sole survivor. It goes without saying that Andre was devastated by the loss, and he’s now out for revenge. Over the past few months, he’s steadily been killing off those involved in the attack against his DarkHaven. And by now everyone who’s wronged him is dead… except for one person: Wilhelm Roth. Roth is a big wig at the enforcement agency, an increasingly corrupt organisation meant to ensure the protection of the Breed, and the one who ordered the hit on Andreas’s DarkHaven. Andre is dead set on making Roth pay, but there is one little, tiny detail making the whole revenge thing a bit complicated: Roth is mated to Claire. Andre and Claire have A Past. And it isn’t one based exclusively on scratching their respective itches; they genuinely cared about each other. But then one day Andre just disappeared from Claire’s life without a word of explanation. Devastated, but convinced that Andre no longer wanted her, Claire decided to move on with her life. Unfortunately, the guy she decided to move on with was a thundering loony. Once Claire realises this, she ends up on the run along with Andre. They both eventually end up on the doorstep of the Order, taking the story from Germany to the US.

Overall, I thought this book was much better than a few of the previous ones. I’ll be honest, there was a time or two where I rolled my eyes. I mean, the idea that after all the obsessing Andreas has been doing about Roth, it never once occurred to him to consider why Roth was targeting him seemed silly. But the eye rolls were a lot less frequent in this book. I enjoyed the romance element and the over arching story line. This will probably never be one of my favourite series’ but it’s good if you’re looking for something to pass the time with.

You can buy it at Diesel’s ebook store.

Holy Wow Wednesday: Seduction of a Highland Lass

This week’s Holy Wow is dedicated to the surprisingly raunchy Alaric McCabe. I won’t lie, my tongue was just about hanging out of my mouth when I read this scene. All I could think was that Keely McDonald was one lucky girl. So, without further ado, here it is:

One hand left her and then she felt the brush of his knuckles as he positioned his cock at her opening. He pushed and his thickness filled her, stretching her around his shaft.

She moaned softly. It was a wondrous sensation as he forced himself deeper. Her body clasped tightly to him and rippled over his hardness. When he pulled back, her swollen tissues protested the movement and clamped wetly around his cock. 

“Does it pain you?” he asked.

“Nay,” she whispered.

He thrust into her, harder this time. Never had she felt so stretched, so full. And as he was assured that she could take him this way, he began to ride her more vigorously. 

He reached up and grabbed on to her bound wrists. Holding her tightly, he pulled back as he thrust forward. 

The smacking sound of his thighs pounding against her her bottom filled the air. As gentle as he’d been before, now he took her ruthlessly, setting a pace to please himself. 

Faster and harder and then he paused, buried deeply inside her. She was opened wide and defenseless against whatever he wanted to do. It only heightened her excitement. She wiggled impatiently, but he held her still as he remained lodged inside her. 

Then he withdrew and pounded forward. Much slower and methodical this time. He was in control, his thrusts measured. Hard. Deep. Over and over he retreated and plunged forward until she was begging him to give her release. She needed more. She needed him to move fast and hard, to provide sweet friction.

“Have I not said that you are to obey me this night?” he asked huskily. “‘Tis I who say the commands, Keely. You will say naught buy aye to whatever I ask.”

She squeezed her eyes shut and clenched her teeth in sweet agony as he powered forward in a particularly forceful thrust as if to reinforce his words. Aye, he was in control. She had none.

She had to bite her lip to keep from protesting when he pulled from the tight clasp of her body. He pulled her to her feet and held her until he was sure she was steady. Then he grasped her shoulders and pushed her to her knees on the floor.

His cock was hugely erect, stiff and distended just inches from her face. It gleamed with her wetness and the skin was stretched tight over the broad tip.

“Open your mouth, Keely.”

He thrust one hand into her hair and cupped her nape, at the same time he grasped the base of his cock with his other hand and guided it toward her parted lips.

Her mouth stretched around his swollen girth and he pushed deep. At first she struggled to accommodate him, but he was patient, giving her time to adjust and to breathe through her nose.

Wanting to please him, she took more, but he pulled at her hair to prevent her action. “Nay, just remain still,” he murmured.

Holding her head with both hands, he began to thrust inside her mouth. Slowly at first. He glided across her tongue and to the back of her throat. As she relaxed more, he became more demanding, pushing deeper and holding himself there before retreating so she could draw breath.

The only sounds she could hear was the wet sucking noises as he powered in and out of her mouth and his own harsh breathing.

He groaned when a tiny amount of liquid spurted onto her tongue. Salty and tangy. She prepared herself for more, but he pulled himself roughly from her mouth and then pulled forcefully at his shaft with his hand.

His semen splashed onto her chest. He held her neck and tilted her head upward as he he directed more over her breasts. His fingers tightened at her nape and he groaned as he worked the last of his release onto her skin.

And now I’m off to have a cold shower. Have a happy Wednesday, everyone!

McCabe: Seduction of a Highland Lass

Seduction of a Highland Lass

Seduction of a Highland Lass

Fiercely loyal to his older brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now, he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires, to the test.

An outcast from her own clan, Keely McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric’s keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice. Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?

I have to admit, this series has come as something of a surprise. I looked at the cover and I read the blurb–for this book and In Bed with a Highlander–and was a little hesitant. As you know, I loved In Bed with a Highlander. But it’s been a while so I once again found myself judging a book by its cover. And once again, I was completely blown away.

Alaric is the middle McCabe brother. He’s not as serious as Ewan and not as grouchy and brooding as Caelen. He’s the nice brother. This isn’t to say that he’s any kind of slouch in the sexy badass department. His loyal to his family and his clan is absolute. There is nothing he values more in his life. Which is why, when Laird McDonald put forth the idea of uniting the McCabes and McDonalds through marriage, Alaric stepped up and offered to marry Rionna McDonald. He’s not totally enamoured with Rionna, but… she’ll do. Marrying her will also give Alaric the opportunity to be laird of his own keep, something that will be impossible if he stays with his family. In all, not a bad way for his life to go. But as it turns out, things don’t go exactly to plan. In fact, they go horribly awry with Alaric and his men being attacked in the dead of night. All of his men are killed and Alaric is gravely injured. He hops on his horse in the hopes of getting to safety as soon as possible.

Enter Keely. Keely’s been living on her own for years after being kicked out of her clan. She doesn’t get many visitors aside from those who seek her out for her healing skills. So you can imagine her surprise at seeing this huge ass horse riding up to her cottage and an unconscious man dropping to her feet. Keely’s a little uncertain. Which is smart given that she has no idea who Alaric is or where the hell he came from. But she can’t in good conscience leave him there so she manages to drag him into her cottage and nurses him back to health. Everything goes along swimmingly until the McCabes come to reclaim Alaric and insist on her accompanying them back to their keep. This is where Keely and Alaric are drawn deeper into their attraction to one another. Things are especially difficult for Keely once she realises that not only is he betrothed to another, but that this woman–Rionna– was once her best friend.

I enjoyed this book so very much. Keely and Alaric were wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed Keely. That girl had steel in her spine. She managed to survive after being kicked out of her home for something she didn’t do, she manages to heal the people who come to her for help and, especially impressive, she manages to hold her own with the McCabes. Despite knowing that the guy she loved was going to marry another, Keely had so much dignity. Alaric was… surprisingly sexy. I wasn’t too sure about him from the previous book. It’s not that I didn’t like him, I just wasn’t paying him very much attention. Trust me, all that changed pretty quick; it involved some sexy time featuring some light bondage. It may or may not feature for this week’s Holy Wow Wednesday…

I definitely recommend giving this book a try. Please, I know the blurb and cover are misleading, but this series is so definitely worth your time. You can get it over at Kobo, nice and cheap 😉    

House of Comarre: Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood

Sacrifice is a choice…

With the ring of sorrows still missing, and the covenant between othernaturals and humans broken, Chrysabelle and Malkolm’s problems are just beginning. Chrysabelle still owes Malkolm for his help, but fulfilling that debt means returning to Corvinestri, the hidden vampire city neither of them is welcome in.

The discovery that Chrysabelle has a brother could mean her reneging on her promise to Malkolm, something that might make him angry enough to loose the beast living inside him. And fulfilling her vow could prove devastating for Chrysabelle-especially when you throw in power hungry witches, dead fringe vampires, and the Kubai Mata.

Painter has done something really special with this series. She’s taken the traditional vampire lore and turned it on its head. Everything is fresh and exciting and interesting and I think I adore this series. It has everything you could possibly want: action, intrigue, hot guys, a fierce heroine, and a villain you love to hate.

Our story starts a couple of weeks after the big show down with Tatiana (who I think I love). Malkolm and Chrysabelle haven’t spoken at all in that time. It seems that each is waiting for the other to make the first move and, as a result, nothing is happening. Each is hosting their own little pity party, themed “why doesn’t s/he want to talk to me?” It’s a little tedious, but it doesn’t last long and things get interesting quick. Let me run down the basics with each character. Tatiana is as batshit crazy as ever. I know I shouldn’t, but this woman tends to make me laugh. She’s completely insane, ruthless as hell and is probably one of my favourite people in this series. Mal is miserable, Chrysabelle is miserable, Doc is miserable, everyone is miserable except for Tatiana. She’s getting shit done. Tatiana is determined to get her hands on the Ring of Sorrows (no clue what it actually does yet) and as much power as she can along the way. Mal thinks that Chrysabelle has forgotten him and her promise to him. This is despite the fact that she keeps sending him blood to make sure he doesn’t starve. Chrysabelle can’t figure out why Mal hasn’t come to see her. Doesn’t he want her help anymore? Doc is having an awful time of things because Fi, the ghost he loves, if forced to relive her own death night after night and there isn’t anything he can do about it. Except go to a really super dodgy witch who has plenty of her own reasons to pull a fast one on Doc. As you can see, the saying that “misery loves company” definitely rings true here.

In the previous book, Chrysabelle made a promise to Malkom: if he agreed to help her find out who killed her patron, she would help him find a way to remove his curse. You remember, the curse where Mal’s forced to hear the voices of all the people he’s ever killed in his head for the rest of his life. Chrysabelle hasn’t forgotten her promise but she’s still working herself up to seeing Mal again. But due to some unforeseen circumstances, the two are forced together sooner than they had planned. So Chrysabelle and Malkolm are reunited under less than happy conditions. But then something completely unexpected, completely amazing happens that completely makes up for the time and distance: Malkolm gets flirty. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Seriously, I very nearly swooned. Mal is hot while he’s being all broody and whatever, but when he pulls out the charm? Look out, because that guy will cause you to spontaneously combust. Speaking of hot guys, we have a new guy on the scene and this led to the one part of this book that I didn’t enjoy: the dreaded love triangle. Well, at this point it looks more like a potential love triangle. Still, I’m not too keen on the idea. Anyhow, his name is Creek. He’s a member of this monster hunting organisation called the Kubai Mata, who are in New Florida to lend a hand when the shit inevitably hits the fan. I have to admit that while I kinda like Creek, I don’t quite trust him or the Kubai Mata. Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.

The House of Comarre series is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. It’s only the second book and I’m already hooked. I cannot wait to see what Painter has in store for us next. You can buy it at Sony’s ebook store.

Holy Wow Wednesday: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Remember how I kept telling you about how hot Bowen MacGrieve was? Like, one of the flat-out sexiest heroes I’ve read in ages? And maybe you guys didn’t believe me. So I’m going to back it up with this scene from Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night…

When Bowe yanked the triangles of her suit to the sides, she leaned up on her elbows. With heavy-lidded gray eyes, she watched as he bared her luscious breasts.

At the sight of her nipples, his cock pulsed, about to rip through his jeans. “I’m going tae suckle you so hard you’ll feel me for the rest of the day. Do you want me tae?”

He groaned when she arched her back and fisted her wee hands in his hair to pull him down to one of her breasts. Sucking the peak in bliss, he felt it stiffen and bud under his tongue. As he moved to the other, he said, “Mariketa, you’ve the finest body I’ve ever seen. And I’ve a thousand things I want to do to it, but canna decide where to begin.”

She moaned when he closed his lips on her other nipple. “Whatever you’re going to do, do it quick! I’m close.”

He leaned up, his brows drawn. She wouldn’t last through him preparing her body to receive him. He decided to bring her off before he took her.

Eager to feel her between her thighs again, he plucked free the black string at her right hip. Would she be as wet as before? When he moved to untie the bow at her left hip, she wriggled over to give him better access, as if she couldn’t wait to be rid of her clothes.

Still raised up on her elbows, she stared–rapt like him–as the V of material slinked down, revealing her auburn curls. He chocked out the words, “Part your thighs. Show me how wet you’ve grown.”

In answer, she whimpered and let her knees fall open. A groan broke from his chest when he saw her sex was glistening for him. His cock swelled to be inside it, the pressure in his heavy bollocks nearing pain. His hand shook as he lowered it to stroke her.

At his first touch, her head fell back; he sucked in a breath, thinking he might spend that instant. “So hot and slick. I canna imagine how you’re goin’ tae feel gripping my shaft.”

She lifted her head once more, her brows drawn. “Oh, gods… Bowen…”

He spread her flesh with his thumb and forefinger, about to use his other forefinger to rub her tight little clitoris. Her short, soft moans grew louder with each of her breaths. So close…

The rising seed in his shaft made it throb for relief. Yet even when he was desperate to pin her hips to the ground and plunge it inside her, he wanted to savor the sight of Mariketa on the razor’s edge.

Her reaction was the most erotic thing he’d ever seen.

Her piercing glinted in a filtered ray of sunlight as she began to shake. Her breasts were so plump, her swollen nipples jutting, as if begging to be sucked more. She looked from where he was about to stroke her, then breathlessly gazed up at him, meeting his eyes.

“Bowen, please…”

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night: pg 211-212

And things get even hotter from there. Mariketa is one lucky, lucky girl. Seriously, as well as being an incredibly well-written, the Immortals After Dark series is hot.

Psy-Changeling Series: Hostage to Pleasure

Hostage to Pleasure

Hostage to Pleasure

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy–cool, calm and emotionless… at least on the surface. Inside, she’s fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper’s embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard’s rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian’s agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules…

I had mixed feelings about this book. The world building and the overall story line was as brilliant as ever, but I just didn’t feel it in the romance department. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t a really good book, just that I felt that there was something missing.

We met Ashaya Aleine in Mine to Possess. She’s a Psy scientist who’s been assigned to the Implact Protocol by the Psy Council. The idea behind the Protocol is to sort of unify all the Psy minds under one big umbrella. Individual thought will be impossible for the vast majority of the Psy. The Council would be in the position to monitor the entire population’s thoughts at will. No individuality, no dissent. And to make sure Ashaya cooperates, they are holding her son prisoner. Even though Ashaya can’t show it, she adores her son and will do anything to save him. So she makes a deal with the DarkRiver pack. She did them a favour, and she wants them to repay her by getting her son away from the Council. This is where Dorian comes in. He’s not keen on helping a Psy, even one he’s inexplicably attracted to. But after losing his sister to a member of the Psy Council, Dorian is happy to do anything to screw the Psy over, so he agrees to Ashaya’s terms.

Once Ashaya is assured of her son’s safety, she puts her own escape plan into action. Everything goes according to plan. Except for one thing: she inadvertently lands smack bang in the middle of DarkRiver territory. No prizes for guessing who finds her. Clinging desperately to the Psy control she’s all but managed to perfect, Ashaya tries to ignore how much Dorian is affecting her. But Dorian isn’t having any of that. If he has to sit with this infuriating attraction to a Psy, a race he pretty much regards as the enemy, then she can damn well own up to what’s going on between them too. Now, for the most interesting part of this book: what the hell is going on with the Psy Council? Everything is going all topsy turvy and no one on the Council is what they appear. I love the intrigue!

Like I said, the romance didn’t especially do it for me. I think it’s probably because I couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t really like Dorian very much. He had a tendency to stretch the whole “alpha” thing into the realm of asshole. Ashaya was okay, but I probably won’t remember her in the long run. That being said, the situation with the Council is getting so good! There actually isn’t much of the Council in each book, just these little tidbits that are slowly making me die with curiosity. I want to know.

Ms Singh is killing it with this series. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next! Check it out over at Sony’s ebook store.