Midnight Breeds: Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight

In a frozen wilderness steeped in darkness, the lines between good and evil, lover and enemy, are never black or white but drawn in Shades of Midnight…

Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt but never fully understood… until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces–a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear…

I had a bit of a bumpy start with this series, but I’m really glad I pushed on with this it. Things are really picking up now, and I’m finding myself increasingly intrigued with the way in which the overall story is developing.

Our hero is Kade. We’ve seen him here and there in the past books, but he hasn’t really played a very big role. But then he gets his chance to shine when he’s asked to travel to Alaska to investigate a spate of vicious murders that reek of the handiwork of Breed males suffering from Bloodlust. Kade’s happy to step up, even though he’s reluctant to return home. He left Alaska under less than ideal circumstances, and he’s pretty sure that the welcome he’s set to receive is going to make the chilly Alaskan weather look downright balmy. But Kade sucks it up and, upon meeting Alexandra Maguire, he soon finds that he’s really glad he did. Alexandra has had a difficult life. Witnessing the brutal deaths of her mother and younger brother, Alex has gone out of her way to bury those memories along with anything about herself that might label her as “strange”. But things start to fall apart when, on a routine delivery to the more remote regions of her tiny town, she discovers the broken bodies of about a dozen people. Everyone is set on blaming the horrific find on a pack of rogue wolves, but Alex is sure that it’s something far more sinister. Only, no one will believe her–no one except the mysterious stranger, Kade.

I really enjoyed this book. Kade and Alex were cute together, but they weren’t my favourite element of this book. As is becoming my habit, I found myself more interested in the overall development of the world that Adrian’s created. The two things that I found myself most drawn in by were the situation with the Ancient, and what Jenna’s deal was. Those two are both characters I felt some sympathy for. The Ancient is vicious, no doubt about it. But he’s also been stuck on this alien planet, in completely unfamiliar surroundings, being abused by the evil Dragos. And Jenna lost her entire family in one fell swoop. She’s basically got nothing left. And I really want her to have some kind of happily-ever-after. Which, luckily enough, is what I think is going to happen in the next book.

This series is really starting to grow on me, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen next. Bring on the next installment of the Midnight Breeds!    

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Psy-Changeling: Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons;  the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together–before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it will leave them both branded by fire…

 I have fallen in love with this series. I’d really, really, really enjoyed it before, but this book totally clinched it for me: Nalini Singh is a paranormal romance writing goddess. I adored everything about this book. Singh manages to write these hot romances while keeping up with her absolutely riveting world building. Honestly, I’m fangirling right now.

Branded by Fire is Mercy and Riley’s story. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these two since they’ve both been peripheral characters in the past books. But Singh did not disappoint. Branded by Fire is another one of those “opposites attract” scenarios. We start off with Riley and Mercy not particularly liking each other very much. They respect each other on a professional level, each acknowledging that the other is a badass, but not having much time for one another beyond that. Until one day… bang! Pun intended. In a moment of sexually frustrated weakness, Mercy takes Riley on after he propositions her. And, man, talk about fireworks. Riley, of course, is happy to go there again, but Mercy is horrified that she went there with a wolf with no discernible personality. Mercy is of the opinion that Riley makes the chilly Psy seem bubbly, and Riley sort of sees Mercy as a bit of a lose cannon. Mercy thinks that Riley thinks too much, while Riley thinks that Mercy doesn’t think enough. Mercy is a free spirit, and Riley is always in control. Clearly, they’re as different as two people can be in terms of temperament, never mind the fact that one’s a leopard and the other is a wolf.

I enjoyed the romance and how they gradually softened towards one another. Riley hasn’t been the same since Brenna (our heroine from Caressed by Ice) was kidnapped and tortured by a deranged Psy. He’s hardened himself, and everyone in his pack has noticed. But when he starts spending time with Mercy, he lightens up a little. Mercy’s been having some problems that her pack’s picked up on too. As a dominant female, she’s been worried about her prospects of finding a male who can handle her. Thing is, she needs someone even more dominant than her in order for her leopard to accept him. Thankfully, Riley seems to fit the bill.

I’m not going to go into too much detail with the romance because, although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my favourite part of the book. No, my favourite bits were the more peripheral stuff. I was far more focused on  issues like, what’s happening with the Psy Council? And who exactly is the Ghost? And what is Kaleb Krychek’s story? And why are there so many books on my to-be-read pile between me and Sienna and Hawke’s book?!?! Just to go off on a quick tangent here, but I cannot–CANNOT— wait to read that book! It’s going to be EPIC!!! Ahem… anyhow. I actually find that Singh’s attention to detail is my favourite part of her books. I mean, most romance novels follow the same general patterns and she’s no exception to that. But what she does do, better than almost any author I can think of, is focus on the little things. Her world building is just phenomenal. With each installment of this series, things just get more and more intricate.

In short, I can’t get enough of this series. The attention to detail in the world building is breathtaking, the romances are hot and sweet, and everything is just so well-written that I think this series is going to go down as one of my favourites. Nalini Singh can honestly do no wrong in my eyes, and I am dying to see what’s going to happen next.

 

Immortals After Dark: Dark Desires After Dusk

Dark Desires After Dusk

Dark Desires After Dusk

 

A Ruthless Demon Mercenary.
A Lovely Young Halfling.
In the Dark, There is No Escaping Desire.

A seductive beauty he can never have, yet can’t resist…

Cade of the rage demons will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.

A tormented warrior she should fear, but can’t deny…

Raised as a human, Holly Ashwin never knew some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon’s wicked touch. 

Surrender to dark desires…

Yet just when he earns Holly’s trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs–and claim his heart?

It’s official: Kresley Cole is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my absolute favourite authors. In fact, I think she’s in the top five. Every time I start another of her books, I think to myself that it can’t possibly be any better than the last. And then… I’m proven wrong. Each and every single time.

Dark Desires After Dusk is Cadeon Woede’s story. Cade is a rage demon. And not just any rage demon; he is actually the brother of the king of the rage demons… and also the reason why his brother, Rydstrom, lost said kingdom to an evil sorcerer. It happened centuries ago, but no one’s been willing to let him live it down. Now, at long last, Cade has the opportunity to make things right. All he needs to do is deliver the Vessel, a Lore female destined to give birth to either a force of ultimate evil or ultimate good, to a slightly deranged sorcerer, and he’ll be well on his way to mending fences between him and his brother. Cade should be chuffed as hell to finally accomplish what he’d started to believe was impossible. Except the Vessel is none other than Holly, a woman he believed to be forbidden to him due to the fact that she was human. Now it turns out that Holly is not, in fact, human but Cade can’t have her anyway because he’s promised his brother to put the needs of their kingdom above his own. Poor demon…

Holly Ashwin was raised as a human. A woman with an unquestionably brilliant mind, Holly suffers from some… social anxieties. Sporting a bad case of OCD and a reluctance to get intimate with her supportive boyfriend, Holly lives a very ordered life. At least, until she finds out that not only is she part Valkyrie, but she’s also the Vessel. Gone is her predictable and structured life; she’s now got almost every faction of the Lore coming after her and finds herself having no choice but to trust a foul-mouthed, rough-and-tumble demon. A demon who, as time passes, she finds herself increasingly attracted to.

God, I loved this book. Every single little thing. The characters, the plot, the dialogue–everything– was just epic. Cade was just this lovable, brash moron who I just wanted to hug… and do other things to. He’s had a thing for Holly for months but, believing her to be human, has resigned himself to the fact that he can never have her. And then things just get worse for him when he realises that her being human would be the least of his problems. He tries so hard to sort of work his way onto her good side, but half the time that just backfires on him. He was this mixture of cocky and uncertain with Holly, and it just made him so sexy. And Holly was an utter badass, too. I think she may be my favourite leading lady in this series so far, and that’s saying something. Cole’s heroines never wait around for their men to come save them. He’s not there when the shit hits the fan? She takes care of it herself, because she’s got shit to do. Holly adapted really well to her change in circumstances, and didn’t let Cade just talk his way into her bed. She told him when she thought he was being full of crap (which was fairly often) and held her ground when confronted with the freakiness of the Lore. The only thing I wish is that we’d seen more of Rydstrom. I think it would have been interesting to see more of him and Cade interacting. But since he was kidnapped by an evil sorceress for reasons unknown, we’ll just have to wait for his book to see a resolution to his and Cade’s issues.

In all, this book was everything you could possibly want from a paranormal romance: Take-no-prisoners heroines get paired up with sexy bad boy heroes to take on some nasty thing bent on destruction. And nobody does it like Kresley Cole.

You can buy Dark Desires After Dusk at Sony‘s ebook store.

The Fallen Angels: Possession

Possession

Possession

When Cait Douglass resolves to get over her broken heart, throw off her inhibitions, and really start living, she’s unprepared for the two sensual men who cross her path. Torn between them, she doesn’t know which to choose–or what kind of dire consequences could follow.

Jim Heron, fallen angel and reluctant savior, is ahead in the war, but he puts everything at risk when he seeks to make a deal with the devil–literally. As yet another soul is unwittingly caught in the battle between him and the demon Devina, his fixation on an innocent trapped in Hell threatens to sidetrack him from his sacred duty…

Can good still prevail if true love makes a savior weak? And will a woman’s future be the key, or the curse, for all humanity? Only time, and hearts, will tell.

I have loved J.R Ward for a long time. I remember reading Dark Lover and being like, this woman a goddess and I worship her. And for the most part, this has remained the case. But while this book was pretty good, I was still expecting more. I may well be alone in feeling this way, but I thought it was a situation where the story line was filled with both absolutely nothing and a whole lot. Stuff happened but it didn’t feel like it moved the story forward in any real way.

Our romance centres around three people. The first is Cait Douglass. She went through a major heartbreak a few years ago and, as a result, hasn’t really been living. But after a major shock in the form of an unexpected death, Cait has decided that life is too short to be sitting around on her ass, and she’s made a major effort to throw herself back out there. Then we have G.B, whose last name I can’t for the life of me remember and can’t find in the damn book. He’s sexy, sensitive, charming, and crazy talented. He’s everything you’d want in a guy, what with his ridiculous good looks and willingness to talk about his feelings. Duke Philips is the exact opposite of G.B. He’s a rough and tough bouncer, a man of few words. In fact, the only things G.B. and Duke have in common is that they are both fine as hell and they both have their respective eyes on Cait.

In addition to the  love triangle, we have my favourite angels and crazy bitch demon. I know I’ve said it before but I love Devina. She’s a complete psycho, but she’s funny. Ward has taken a character who should be completely repugnant and made her… almost relatable. She’s pining after a guy who has zero interest in her (but she’s managed to convince herself that they’re in love), she sees a psychiatrist, she has difficulties letting go, and she hates her yoga instructor. Our angels have been cut down to two, with only Adrian and Jim left to save the world now that Eddie’s gone. Well, more like one and a half. Those of you who’ve been following this series will know that Jim’s focus on this war has been split pretty much from the beginning due to the horrific murder of Sissy Barten. Jim has been so fixated on the death of this young woman, and on her torture down in hell, that he’s done something that has put the outcome of the entire war in jeopardy: He’s willing to trade one of his wins in the war for Sissy’s release from hell. To say that “the shit hits the fan” would be a huge understatement.

This was probably my least favourite installment in the Fallen Angels series. I can’t tell you why, but I just felt that there was something missing. There just wasn’t the same level of excitement and suspense that there usually is. That being said, I still enjoyed this book. Ward just has this ability to make me cackle with her writing style and she gave us some pretty steamy sex scenes. Plus, the end of Possession will have us waiting with baited breath to see what’s going to happen next.

Immortals After Dark: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge

Dark Needs at Night's Edge

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge

The Beauty Wants Him Gone-
The Warrior Can’t Leave

Let the games begin…

Neomi Laress, a famous ballerina in the 1900s, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with powers, but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away any trespassers–until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Neomi herself.

To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Roth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. There only Conrad can see the dancer with wild raven hair–who seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature inflames him with desire, leaving his body wracked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own. 

Yet even if Conrad can win Neomi and claim her completely, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?

Kresley Cole really is something else. Every time I read something of hers, I’m just left in utter awe. How she manages to create these awesome characters, while writing intensely hot romances, while also producing this incredibly complex and intriguing world is beyond me. Each book in this series just gets better and better than the last. 

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge is book four in the Immortals After Dark series and, as usual, Cole did not disappoint. Conrad Roth is… well, the kindest thing to call him would be troubled. He was once a vampire hunter, sworn to destroy any and all of the monstrous creatures he could find. Aside from Conrad’s duty to his vampire slaying buddies, he also had a duty to his family. Living in Estonia back in the day was not easy, especially considering that the country had beef with Russia at the time. The whole war thing, coupled with the fact that his little sisters were killed by Russian looters, and the fact that he was turned into a vampire by his brothers in spite of the fact that he was trained to loathe the creatures, has left Conrad a little bit crazy. He’s now one of the most feared assassins in the Lore and he’s also seeking revenge against his brothers. So, to say our hero has issues would be an understatement. That’s why he needs a heroine who’s capable of seeing the lighter side of life, someone who–despite being through a lot–is still capable of laughing and smiling and being happy.

Enter Neomi. Neomi is a phantom. She had fairly humble beginnings, going from being a burlesque dancer to a highly acclaimed ballerina in just a few short years. However, she was killed by a jilted lover the night she was to make the announcement that she’d bought her dream house, and all by herself too. So, since that fateful night, Neomi has been stuck in that house and has been forced to live her death once a month. Not the most ideal conditions to live under, but Neomi gets by okay, scaring away those she deems unworthy of living in her home/prison and observing those that she finds acceptable. It’s been a while since Neomi last had house guests and she kind of misses the company, but she’s not entirely sure how she feels about having a ranting, raving madman in her house. Even stranger than his behaviour is the fact that he can see her.

I loved this book so much. Neomi and Conrad were beautiful together. The fact that Conrad was able to see Neomi but not actually touch her took the sexual tension to a whole new level. It also gave them the chance to get know each other before the hopped into bed together. But beyond the romance between Neomi and Conrad was the fact that we got to see a whole bunch of my other favourite characters. We got see see Mariketa and Bowen, and a couple of the Valkyrie and even the demon brothers, Cade and Rydstrom. Shiver me timbers, those guys are smoking!

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge has been my favourite book in this series by far and I am so looking forward to Dark Desires After Dusk. It’s Cade’s book, and I’m dying to see more of the sexy demon brothers. You can buy this book over at Amazon. It’s the teeniest bit cheaper there.

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.

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.

Immortals After Dark: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

A Brutal Highland Werewolf.
An Exquisite Young Witch.
Immortal Enemies… Forbidden Temptations.

Her breathless kiss taunts him.

Bowen MacGrieve of the Lykae was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior became even colder, never taking another to his bed-until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible.

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go. 

No deed is too wicked for her seduction.

If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul-or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

I loved this book. So much. No question about it, Kresley Cole is right up there on my list of favourite authors. This book was so much fun. We have a gruff, sexy alpha male, smoking hot sex, a sassy heroine, smoking hot sex, a bunch of awesome secondary characters, smoking hot sex, an action packed story line, and did I mention the smoking hot sex?? Sorry, I know I sound like a bit of a perv, but the smoking hot sex thing bears repeating. Bowen MacGrieve was a freaking beast.

But before we get to all that hot stuff, we have to start at the beginning, which starts off in No Rest for the Wicked during the Talisman’s Hie. Like most of Ms Cole’s pairings, Mari and Bowen get off to an extremely rocky start. They’re both competitors in the Hie. It has been foretold that Mariketa the Awaited will be the most powerful witch ever born. Except she doesn’t have much control over her powers, so her spells tend to go a little haywire. She’s entered the Hie in an attempt to prove herself to her coven and the rest of the Lore. Bowen has entered the competition in the hopes of securing the end prize, which will allow him to go back in time to save his mate. In his determination, he’s been mowing down his competitors and, unfortunately, it’s not long before Mari gets caught in the cross hairs. Bowen also has a slight issue with Mari that doesn’t stem from the fact that she’s after the same thing Bowen is; Bowen finds himself wildly attracted to her. Feeling disloyal to his long, lost mate, Bowen lashes out at Mari. Luckily, though, Mari is no pushover and she gives as good as she gets. She manages to hit Bowen with a debilitating spell just before he traps her in a cave with a couple of other competitors and a bunch of creepy incubi.

Mari and Bowen’s story really starts after the Hie. Needless to say, Bowen didn’t win and he’s devastated. It’s like he’s lost his mate all over again. And he’s still suffering from the effects of Mari’s spell. After finding out that Mari’s still trapped in the cave, weeks after the Hie ended, Bowen goes off to save her and get her to remove the spell. But it’s a little late. Mari is righteously pissed and Bowen’s lord-of-the-manner attitude isn’t helping matters, either. The rest of the story follows Bowen’s attempts to win Mari over (not an easy thing) and come to terms with the idea that he may have been given another mate or, and this doesn’t sit well with his, the woman he lost all those years ago wasn’t his real mate.

I loved Bowen MacGrieve. I know I’m going on about him, but this guy was insanely hot. Sex on a stick covered in oh-my-dear-sweet-lord sauce. Despite the fact that he could act like a major jackass when he had a minute, he meant well. For the most part. Luckily, though, he wasn’t dealing with the average girl. He was dealing with Mariketa the Awaited, and she was a badass. I loved this chick. She had ooomph. She called him out on his bullshit, and she wasn’t willing to sit around, waiting to be saved. Honestly, if I had to describe Mari in two words, they’d be: Fucking and Awesome.

I’m going to share some of my favourite bits with you. They mostly showcase Mari’s sassiness and Bowen’s overall hotness.

He stood motionless, clearly not about to be directed. “Only humans call me Mr MacGrieve.”
She shrugged. “I’m not a human.” Her mother was a fey druidess and her late father had been a warlock of questionable repute… “So would you like me to call you Bowen, or Bowe for short?”
“Bowe is what my friends call me, so you doona.”
What an ass… “No problem. I have a slew of other more fitting names for you. Most of them end in
 er.”

And later…

After a few moments he said, “Doona fret, witch. You’re no’ so unbecoming from my angle. Bit scrawny where it counts, but no’ too bad.”
Yep, ogling. Many adjectives could be used to describe her ass but scrawny was not among them. He’s just making these comments and brushing up against you to unnerve you. Knowing that didn’t make his efforts any less effective! “Scrawny where it counts, MacGrieve? Funny, I’d heard the same about you.”

Right towards the end, Mari’s BFF hears Bowen’s voice over the phone. Her response is this: 

“Oh, great Hekate, is that his voice?” Carrow cried. “I just had an orgasm! Fudge your name tag if you have to, but you get some of that some-some.”

In short, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night was another excellent installment in what already appears to me to be an amazing series. You can buy it from Sony’s ebook store.

Immortals After Dark: No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked

A vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire-a nightmare in his mind-against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her to sorrow-accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings-particularly lust-emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Become competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity-as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world-to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Only a couple of books into this series and I’m already coming to love it. No Rest for the Wicked is book two (or three?) in the Immortals After Dark series, and it did not disappoint. This series is fast becoming one of my favourites.

No Rest for the Wicked is the story of Kaderin the Cold Hearted, a Valkyrie, and Sebastian Wroth, a vampire. Kaderin is exactly what her name suggests, which is helpful since she’s an assassin whose made it her life’s mission to kill as many vampires as she can get her hands on. After losing her sisters to the bloodsuckers, Kaderin experienced soul-destroying guilt and grief. She was an utter mess when some well-meaning person decided to make Kaderin immune to grief. Small problem, though: in doing that this mysterious person stripped Kaderin of all her emotions. This has been the case for the past thousand years and hasn’t really been a problem for her. Until she meets Sebastian and the emotions all come flooding back. Sebastian was a general in the Estonian army. He was quite the bad ass. But then things went pear-shaped. While he and his brother, Conrad, were taking care of their little sisters, their castle was attacked by Russian soldiers. The little girls were killed and Conrad and Sebastian were dying. Their older, recently turned, brothers rocked up and then took it upon themselves to turn them into vampires. Three hundred years on, Sebastian still hasn’t recovered from the betrayal. He’s become a hermit, never leaving his home and rarely interacting with people. So you can imagine his surprise when he’s confronted with this gorgeous woman who makes his heart beat again and wants to cut off his head. Sebastian realises that Kaderin is his Bride, the vampire equivalent of a mate, and he is overjoyed. Finally, something-someone-to live for! While Sebastian is celebrating and kissing her senseless, Kaderin is freaking the hell out. She’s kissing a vampire. She was kissing vampire. 

The Valkyrie covens were at war with vampires even now, and the Lore was hurtling towards an Accession-a war that occurred every five hundred years. During times like this, Kaderin was expected to be ridding vampires from the earth, not riding them.

Completely out of her depth and wondering what the hell is going on with her, Kaderin bails and leaves Sebastian with a bad case of the blue balls. But he takes it in stride. Sebastian now knows that he has a Bride, someone to make eternity bearable. All he needs to do is find her and convince her to give them a shot. Easier said than done, especially when Sebastian finds out that Kaderin is competing in the Talisman’s Hie, a deadly competition between Lore creatures.

The chemistry between Kaderin and Sebastian was sizzling from the get go. But the actual emotional connection took a lot longer and that was mainly because Kaderin was a bit of a bitch. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like Kaderin; I just didn’t appreciate how she treated Sebastian. Here was this sweet, attentive guy who was willing to enter a harrowing competition just to win her affections, and she just kept blowing him off! She got better but I’m still not quite willing to forgive her for being such a shrew. Sebastian, on the other hand, could not have been more sweet. I’m usually a sucker for a bad boy, but there is just something so endearing about a big, tough guy who’s unsure of himself. I just wanted to give him a hug. And then jump his bones.

Kresley Cole has created an amazing, complex world with this series. The romance is sweet, the sex is hot, and the characters are chock full of awesome. Definitely a must-read for paranormal romance fans. You can get it for next to nothing at ebooks.com.   

Immortals After Dark: A Hunger Like No Other

A Hunger Like No Other

A Hunger Like No Other

A mythic warrior who will stop at nothing to possess her…

After enduring years of torture from the vampire Horde, Lacklain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he’s been waiting millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy…

Sheltered Emmaline Troy sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents-until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae-and their notorious dark desire-ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire…

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

I had heard some really good things about Kresley Cole, so I was pretty sure this book would be good. I was wrong… the word “good” doesn’t even come close to describing this book. It was amazing. Everything was just right there. The universe, the story line, the romance and chemistry between the lead characters. And my review would not be complete if I didn’t mention the sex scenes. They were insanely hot. Like, really. Wow.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started with this book. The blurb mentions “Valkyrie” and “Lykae” and I had no idea what the hell either of those things were. Turns out the Lykae are a little like werewolves and the Valkyrie are these warrior women who reminded me of the Amazons. They all belong to the Lore, which is basically the supernatural world. Here’s the thing, though: these two species do not like each other. Which leaves our two leads in a bit of a pickle. Lachlain MacGrieve is an all-round badass and the leader of the Lykae. He’s been tortured by the evil vampiric Horde for the last one hundred and fifty years. He’s really messed up, both physically and mentally, and he loathes vampires. In his opinion, the only good leach is a dead one. And when he meets his mate, the sweet little half vampire/half Valkyrie Emmaline Troy, he is beyond pissed off. Emma is the very definition of meek and mild. She does not want to rock the boat; all she wants is to learn more about her birth parents. But Emma’s demure demeanor is put to the test when she meets a pushy, arrogant and domineering Lykae with a super bad attitude. Emma and Lachlain’s relationship is not an easy one in the beginning. Lachlain was rude, and bossy, and just plain mean. And then something amazing happened: he started being nice. And then he started being really sweet. And then I totally wanted to jump him. Emma underwent a major transition, too. She went from being timid and shy to being fierce and strong. It got to the point where she was actually willing to call Lachlain, a man she was once terrified of, on his shit and give him the what-for. Emma managed to prove not only to her scary-ass Valkyrie aunts that she’s tough, she managed to prove to herself that she was a strong woman. And I loved that.

It took a little while for me to warm up to Lachlain. In fact, I could have strangled him for a couple of the things he said and did to Emma. But when he decided that he loved Emma, he just became this marshmallow. Except when he was in the bedroom. There he became a beast. It didn’t excuse him from his past behaviour, but he certainly made up for it. I won’t say much more about Emma; suffice to say, I loved her. I also adored her equally parts scary and crazy aunts, especially Nix and Regin. I can’t wait to learn more about the Valkyrie. They sound like a lot of fun. Hell, I can’t wait to get further into this series!

I highly recommend that you head on over to Sony’s ebook store and get started on this series. I promise, it will be money well spent.

 

Midnight Breeds: Veil of Midnight

Veil of Midnight

Veil of Midnight

Bound by blood, addicted to danger, they’ll enter the darkest-and most erotic-place of all…

A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man-vampire or mortal. But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability-a gift both rare and deadly. Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence, a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness… and pleasure beyond imagining.

A combat loving adrenaline-junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed-and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin. One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata. But Renata’s powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she’s forced to turn to Niko for help. As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata’s life is under siege by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond-and a passion that could save or doom them both forever…  

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. For the most part, it was a little predictable. I’ll admit, I was getting frustrated with this series and Ms Adrian. It was like, “Can we please have a little more ooomph here, please?” And then something happened towards the end that woke me up and got me a little more interested for the next book.

But before I get to the next book in this series, let me tell you about Veil of Midnight. Our leading lady, Renata, is quite a badass. She has the ability to make vampires heads hurt… bad. I imagine it to be sort of like a seizure. And, as a result of this neat little trick, she has earned the not-so-coveted position of body guard to Sergei Yakut, a Gen One vampire with a sadistic steak as wide as my butt. She’s also assigned herself the role as protector for Mira, a little girl with an amazing psychic ability. Sergei is of great interest to our hero, Nikolai. The Order has received word that someone is out killing all the remaining Gen One vampires. Nikolai has been sent to look for Sergei in Toronto to warn him of the impending danger and to protect him. That’s when he first catches a glimpse of the lovely Renata. Unfortunately, their first meeting does not go well and Renata puts him flat on his back, and not in the fun way. Nikolai’s face and ego are a little bruised, but he’s fascinated by the tough-as-nails Renata. There’s just one problem: Sergei Yakut. Nikolai sees how he treats the his staff and family, but as much as he’d like to kill the bastard, he can’t; it’s his responsibility to ensure Sergei keeps breathing.

The romance between Nikolai and Renata progresses pretty much as you’d expect with declarations of love and minor misunderstandings that are quickly cleared up with more “I love yous”. While that was fairly yawn-inducing, the interesting part came with Andreas Richen, the leader of the Berlin (as least, I think it’s Berlin) Darkhaven. This guy loses his shit in a big way and I’m interested in seeing what’s going to happen with him.

If you feel like giving this book a go, you can get it at Diesel’s ebook store.

Midnight Breeds: Midnight Rising

Midnight Rising

Midnight Rising

In a world of shadows and dark, consuming hungers, desire is the deadliest weapon…

Fueled by pain and anger over a shattering betrayal, the warrior Rio has pledged his life to the war against the Rogues. He will let nothing stand in his way-least of all a mortal woman with the power to expose the entire vampire race. But now an ancient evil has been awakened, and a stunning darkness is on the rise.

For journalist Dylan Alexander, it began with the discovery of a hidden tomb. Suddenly she is at the center of a gathering storm of violence and secrets. But nothing is as dangerous as the scarred, lethally seductive man who rises from the shadows to plunge her into his world of dark desire and endless night. Here she is powerless to resist Rio’s touch, even as she uncovers a shocking link to her own past. Now Dylan must choose: Leave Rio’s midnight dream, or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion and the infinite pleasures of the heart.

Midnight Rising is book four in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian. I was quite keen on reading this book. Poor Rio had had a really rough time of it for the past few months-what with his mate proving to be a treacherous bitch-so if anyone deserved a happily ever after, it was him. But I just didn’t feel it. Maybe it was too soon for him to be moving on? I can’t put my finger on what it is, but this book just didn’t do it for me.

Midnight Awakening takes place five months after Midnight Rising and starts us off in the Czech Republic. Our leading lady, Dylan, is on holiday there when she is approached by a ghost. This is no big deal for Dylan; she’s been seeing ghosts for most of her life. It’s creepy but not something that really phases her. Anyway, this ghost is pretty insistent that Dylan go up the mountain, off the trail, because there is someone up there in dire need of saving. Dylan, being the nice girl that she is, can’t in good conscience wonder off and just let whatever is about to happen happen. So she follows the ghost’s instructions and there she comes across a completely Loony Tunes Rio. Our favourite Spaniard is in a really sorry state. He’s been living in that dark, dirty cave for five months. He hasn’t been outside, he hasn’t eaten and he hasn’t had any blood. When he decided to stay in the Czech Republic, it was with the idea of ending his misery. But for some reason he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. And, as is typical, just when Rio has decided that today is the day, Dylan shows up and takes some compromising pictures of the cave. These pictures have the potential to blow the entire vampire race’s cover. It’s thus Rio’s responsibility to chase after Dylan and destroy the photos.

I seem to have an odd relationship with Ms Adrian’s books: when I have low expectations, the book completely blows my mind; when I’m dying of excitement, the book lets me down. So, from now on, no more expectations. I just found this whole book so… boring. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the main characters at all, and Rio was actually beginning to irritate me. I’m going to sound completely insensitive saying this, but he came across as a bit whiny. Dylan as a heroine wasn’t too awful, but I just didn’t connect with her.

I found this book a little bit on the “meh” side, but if you feel like giving it a try, you can get it at Diesel’s ebook store.

The Psy-Changeling Series: Mine to Possess

Mine to Possess

Mine to Possess

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed… and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McCade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life-the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the deepest secret in her heart, and steels herself to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her is a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past, or risk losing everything that ever mattered.

I am quite a big fan of Ms Singh’s so I couldn’t wait to start in on Mine to Possess. It’s been sitting on my to-be-read pile for what feels like forever, but it was well worth the wait. The world Singh has created is absolutely fascinating. It just gets more and more detailed and complex as the series progresses.

Clay is a high-ranking member of DarkRiver, a sentinel charged with protecting his pack. However, despite his position, Clay is a bit of a loner. He’s got this anger building inside him and he’s on the verge of just giving up on his humanity and going leopard full time. He wasn’t always like this, though. While he’s always had this darkness inside him, there was a time where he was a little more lighthearted. Talin, his childhood best friend, accepted him without question. They were once inseparable. Until the day Clay became aware of the abuse Talin was suffering at the hands of her foster father. In a fury, he killed the bastard right in front of Talin and Clay was later taken to a juvenile detention centre. Clay accepted it, believing that once he’d served his time he would be able to see Talin again. He was devastated upon hearing that Talin was dead, and for a long time he seemed to be lost in that darkness inside himself. So you can understand his shock when Talin suddenly shows up in his life, alive and well. Talin is damaged. The things her foster father did to her, coupled with losing Clay left her in a bad place. When she finally felt like she was moving forward, she found out that Clay was being released from his prison. She knew Clay would come for her, so she made the decision to have the authorities tell him that she had died. But now she needs Clay’s help. The street children she’s responsible are being killed and the enforcement agency is making no effort to catch the killer.

My love for this series is actually stemming more from the universe that Singh has created than from a real passion for the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are awesome. We got to see Talin transform from a scared little girl into a strong woman; we got to see a softer side to Clay that you would never have suspected was there. All of that was great. But those snippets into the inner workings of the Psy Council and how the whole system is being shaken up is… riveting. Singh manages to make important changes to the universe her series is set in with every book and I am so excited to see what’s going to happen next!

If you’re keen on reading Mine to Possess-and you really should be-you can head on over to Foyles.

Midnight Breeds: Midnight Awakening

Midnight Awakening

Midnight Awakening

He has resisted temptation for centuries, a stone-cold warrior whose frozen heart refuses to thaw-until her…

With a dagger in her hand and vengence on her mind, Darkhaven beauty Elise Chase prowls Boston’s streets in search of retribution against the Rogue vampires who took from her everything she cherished. Using an extraordinary psychic gift, she tracks her prey, well aware that the power she possesses is destroying her. She must learn to harness this gift, and for that she can turn to only one man-the deadliest of the Breed warriors, Tegan.

No stranger to loss, Tegan knows Elise’s pain. He knows fury, but when he slays his enemies it is with ice in his veins. He is perfect in his self-control, until Elise seeks his aid in her personal war. An unholy alliance is forged-a bond that will link them by blood and vow-and plunge them into a tempest of danger, desire, and the darkest passions of the heart…

Midnight Awakening is book three in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian. I’ll admit, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this book. Tegan, our hero, is a Gen One vampire who seemed to me to be in dire need of an attitude adjustment, and Elise, our heroine, is a widowed Breedmate who struck me as a bit of a wuss. So I started this book with some pretty low expectations. But since I flat out refuse to skip books in a series, I sucked it up and started reading. Imagine my surprise when I found this to be the best book of the series.

We met Elise in Kiss of Crimson, which took place four months before Midnight Awakening. She had just lost her son and she was determined to get revenge. So she left her Darkhaven (the community where most vampire live) and made her way in the human world. She taught herself how to fight, and how to kill, the Rogues who were responsible for murdering her son. She does pretty well for awhile-until she bites off more than she can chew. She ends up taking on more Rogues than she can handle, and things start looking pretty grim… until Tegan swoops in to save the day. Once Tegan realises who he’s saved, you could have knocked him over with a feather. “Gobsmacked” doesn’t even begin to cover it. But Tegan’s got his own crap to deal with and if this chick is on a suicide mission, that’s none of his business. He walks away, not expecting to see Elise again. However, circumstances take a turn for the worse-or the better-and Elise and Tegan find themselves stuck together in extremely close quarters. Closer than either are comfortable with.

While the Order’s headquarters are in Boston, most of the story took place in Berlin. It was here that we saw some of the familiar faces and met some new ones. Among the old favourites is Rio, the sexy Spaniard whose mate turned out to be a crazy bitch. His mental state has not improved since we last saw him. Sterling Chase has joined the Order and has gone from straight-laced and buttoned-up to being brooding bad boy. The new faces include two more new recruits, Kade and Brock. We haven’t learned much about them beyond the fact that they’re friends with Nikolai (swoon) and they love a good fight. I’ve saved the most sexiest newbie for last: Andreas Reichen. Oh, my yum. This guy is fine. He’s the leader of the Belin Darkhaven and I cannot wait to see more of this guy.

Never have I been so happy to be wrong. I prematurely judged our leads and if it weren’t for my slight case of OCD, I would have missed what I honestly feel is the best book in the series so far. That’ll learn me not to be judge-y.

If you’re looking to read Midnight Awakening-and I really think you should-you can buy it either at Diesel’s ebook store or over at Sony’s.

Lords of Deliverance: Rogue Rider

Rogue Rider

Rogue Rider

Jillian Cardiff came to this remote mountain town to forget the demon attack that almost killed her. Instead, she rescues-and falls for-a gorgeous stranger with no memory of anything other than his name. Handsome, charming, and protective, Reseph seems like the kind of man Jillian can trust. But with hints of a troubling history of his own, he’s also the kind of man who can be very dangerous…

Reseph may not know why he mysteriously appeared in Jillian’s life, but he knows he wants to stay. Yet when Jillian’s neighbors are killed, and demon hunters arrive on the scene, Reseph fears he’s putting Jillian in danger. And once it’s revealed that Reseph is also Pestilence, the Horseman responsible for ravaging the world, he and Jillian must face the greatest challenge of all: Can they forget the horrors of a chilling past to save the future they both desire? 

I had mixed emotions about this book. On the one hand, it’s by Larissa Ione and you guys know I love her stuff. But, on the other hand, this book felt a little bit… off. In fact, the first half of this book bored me to tears. It was a bit on the cliche side, and I found it a little too easy to guess what was going to happen next.

But enough whinging. Rogue Rider is the last book in the Lords of Deliverance portion of the Demonica series and deals with the final, formerly evil, Horseman of the Apocalypse. The last we saw Reseph, he’d shed his evil alter-ego and was being tortured down in hell. Then Reaver came along and freed Reseph from hell and gave him a temporary bout of amnesia. This is where our story starts. Jillian, our leading lady, finds Reseph in the snow. Starkers. Seriously, some people have all the luck. Anyhow, being the good Samaritan that she is, Jillian dredges him up and takes him home so he can stop with his snowman imitation. When Reseph wakes up, he’s a bit disorientated but otherwise doing pretty well for a guy lying around naked in below freezing tempretures. Jillian finds this a little… strange but she lets it go. She’s just relieved he’s not dead. Boy, is he not dead. Pretty much as soon as he’s awake, and not being confused as hell about how he came to be there, he’s making eyes at Jillian. The story moves on in a pretty predictable (and boring, much as I hate to say it) way, with the two slowly falling in love and Reseph eventually deciding that his past doesn’t matter. So, naturally, this is when said past decides to bite him in his shapely ass.

I was so majorly disappointed in this book. I loved Reseph and was really hoping for a grand tale of redemption and romance. The romance element was there, but it felt almost sickly sweet. There was a scene where Reseph got on stage to sing to Jillian. I know this was meant as a romantic gesture but it made me cringe a little. I’m really hoping that the next book in the series, Reaver, makes up for this one.

If you’re so inclined, you can get it at Sony.