Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang

Just when her new life as a TouchStone — a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds — seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate's away ... let's just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed.

The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faerie is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding elven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen's magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she's making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.

Abby is coping with being full-time mum to Moira's baby while Moira is dealing with the backlash of what happened in A Brush of Darkness. She's also got a full-time bodyguard in the form of Moira's brother, Taliver. When a woman claiming to be the new protectorate tries to force Abby to be her touchstone, consequences aren't just dire - they're shite! So Abby has to travel to the Faerie via the Crossroads and convince the queen to reopen the Crossroads so all the Otherfolk don't die. But Faerie is on the brink of war - a war which isn't helped when Abby shows up. And not only is the war a major downer but she has to put up with a cock-measuring contest between Taliver and Brystion as they both compete for her and try to outdo one another.

I really, really am loving this series and as much as I enjoyed Brystion in the first book, I'm glad he wasn't as prevalent in this one. Although when Abby was seriously thinking about how much she missed him and how she wanted him, I wanted to grab her and scream at her for being an idiot! Why would you want Brystion when Taliver is there being all hot and stuff? It's obvious where my heart lies, isn't it? Yup I much prefer Taliver to Brystion, 'cos Brystion was a bit of an ass.

The actual storyline was really good and had just enough action to keep you interested but not so much to make you bored by it. Plus I have a new sidekick to keep me amused after losing Giguhl (from the Sabina Kane series), Phin reminds me in so many ways of Giguhl and makes me not miss his snarkyiness as much. I think it's the tiny cute thing that's also horny as hell.

Book Depository: A Sliver of Shadow
Amazon UK: A Sliver of Shadow

Saturday, 28 July 2012

13 by Kelley Armstrong

War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons.

Savannah Levine - fiery and unpredictable - stands at the heart of the maelstrom. There is a new, dark magic inside her, granting her the power to summon spells of terrifying strength. But whether this magic is a gift or a curse, no one knows.

On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival - Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jaime; Hope, Eve and more ... They are fighting for their lives. They are fighting for their loved ones.

They are fighting for the Otherworld.

13 takes off exactly where Spellbound ended, Waking the Witch, Spellbound and 13 are actually the only books from the Otherworld series that don't have a big time gap in between them. Savannah and Jaime get "arrested" while trying to get away from the lab explosion, they get taken to a police station but don't get booked or anything so conclude that it's a trap. After fighting off a crazed werewolf and and escaped hellhound, they manage to get away from the station with Eve. Eve and Savannah find out that there's an anti-SLM group as well. They plan to infiltrate the SLM to take it down from the inside but the plan fails when the Nast cabal get involved and take Eve and Savannah into custody. After getting away from the Nast cabal, they team up with the rest of the Otherworld crew minus Antonio & Nick (*sad face*) and through some helpful demon Lords in the shape of Eve and Adam's fathers, they manage to find out exactly what's going on and stop it - with a lot of magic and action.

So yeah that was a very small recap because so much happens in this book that I'd end up just writing the whole damn story here. Anyone who reads my reviews or knows me personally knows how much I LOVE Kelley's books - it's impossible to not love her writing. For me - and any long time Otherworld fan - this book was a bittersweet read, as much as I couldn't wait to read it I also didn't want to read it 'cos as soon as I did then the series would be over.

So some of my favourite bits or my gasp out loud moments ........ (will be hidden due to major spoilers so highlight to read) ....... Malcolm - yes, Malcolm! He's alive and he's in Nast custody. Karl gets shot - I thought he was dead, luckily he survives - I didn't like that I thought he was dead for a short period. Elena gets in a fight with Malcolm and gets the better of him, she wants to kill him before Jeremy and Clay know he's actually alive but Clay walks in on them and then he fights him, almost kills him too but the Nast cabal intervene. Jeremy reveals he's going to make Elena alpha immediately - OK not that big a shock since it's the last book but still a tingle went through me (yes, I was that happy). Savannah and Adam finally get together properly but agree not to tell Paige and Lucas. Paige and Lucas find out anyway, Paige is fine with it, she's seen it coming for ages apparently, Lucas is most definitely not, he doesn't want Savannah getting hurt.

So any of my readers know they aren't going to get an unbiased review from me about a Kelley book - there's no such thing when it comes to Kelley. I freaking loved this book - sad to see the series end but Kelley did it justice. We got to see all of our favourite characters again and she tied off some open storylines while still leaving enough open to warrant novellas at a later date - which Kelley has said will happen.

Is a very short story purely there for the Alpha hand-off storyline. While 13 was happening, the twins and the rest of the pack were in Russia with the Russian pack so when Elena, Clay, Jeremy and Jaime join them, Jeremy officially hands the pack over to Elena.

I love the way he did it. Traditionally it would be a challenge so Jeremy challenged Elena to a game of chess. Which was already set up so that Elena would win since it was only a formality, everyone but Elena knew what was happening. Then there's a cool little scene with all the pack playing touch football as Elena watches them - and Jeremy is playing - realising they are her pack. As I said, a tiny short but it was only to serve one purpose. Oh and also let us see Xavier one last time.

Book Depository: 13
Amazon UK: 13

Friday, 27 July 2012

Ocean's Surrender by Denise Townsend

When a lonely woman has lost all trust, it takes an otherworldly creature to restore her faith in mankind.

River is still recovering from the attack by an ex-boyfriend a year ago that left him dead, and her grievously injured. Damaged emotionally and physically, she is continually tormented by her attacker’s brother, who blames her for it all. Worse than his blame, though, is her own—River believes she was at fault for letting the attack happen.

Fen can sense River’s emotional pain like a beacon in the night. A selkie, he is compelled to help her on her path to healing, both emotionally and physically. Leading her on a journey to claim her own strength, he also helps her draw closer to Leo, the paramedic who saved her life that dark day…and who has never forgotten her.

River was attacked by her boyfriend a year ago and died, she was brought back to life by Leo, her attacker died and her brother got put in jail for his murder. Since then she'd felt guilty about making her brother look like a monster in front of the rest of the town. Fen is drawn to her pain and guilt to help her overcome it, and he does so in a VERY interesting way!

As much as I liked River, I sort of grew bored of her guilt. She was too "Oh what have I done?" for my liking, so I was glad when she eventually realised that what happened had fuck all to do with her. OK, so she needed a man to help her do this but it's better than nothing.

I really love her brother, Jason is just a big gentle giant that saved his sister's life. In doing so he broke her attacker's neck but I think that can be overlooked since it was a case of he would have killed his sister if he didn't. But he has to live with knowing that what he did is what's making his sister guilty and a bit of a shut in. She doesn't go out and enjoy herself, doesn't have friends and she holds the one guy she has feelings for at arms length 'cos she's afraid to trust anyone.

In short, the book was a fun, light read. Unfortunately I have no empathy for the whole "it was my fault" mentality of some women and it made me not connect to the main character. But I enjoyed the story, how Fen got her to finally tell what had happened and then FINALLY realise it wasn't her fault and getting her to trust again. So it's definitely worth a read.

Amazon UK: Ocean's Surrender

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Her Sweetest Downfall by Rebecca Hamilton

Ophelia's been successful at hiding her true identity, until the mark of the serpent appears on her neck — a death sentence, should it be seen by anyone in her town. Hiding the mark might save her from falling victim to the witch hunts of her era, but the scorching sensation it carries can't be ignored.

When the mysterious Ethan is sent to collect her for a life of something more, she learns concealing the mark is the least of her concerns. She's destined to do a new task — to join a dark, supernatural world and protect the future of people she may never meet.

What she doesn't know — what she learns too late — is that her initiation won't be complete until she kills the man who's captured her heart.

Ophelia wakes up to find an Ouroboros on her collarbone - this is bad news for her as it'll apparently get her branded as a witch. She gets sent on an errand by her boss and loses her horse then gets grabbed and stolen by a dude. Dude is Ethan who says he has been sent to help her, he has to make sure she fulfills her destiny. But of course they fall for each other - which is not a good thing since they won't see each other after her destiny is fulfilled. She changes as she should do and infiltrates a society that she is to (very slowly) take down from the inside until she's needed.

I didn't like this as much as Forever Girl but I think it's just 'cos I'm not a huge fan of books set in olden times - they tend to bore me. I didn't like Ophelia and Ethan as much as Sophia and Charles and Ophelia's accent just kept completely throwing me off course. Just as I was getting into the story, her accent would flare up and make me cringe. I still have no idea where she was meant to be from.

On the plus side, I did like the story, it was interesting but I just kept getting dragged from it. Also, as a small plus, look at that cover - it's GORGEOUS! I've really liked both the covers in this series and I can't wait to see what the third one looks like.

Amazon UK: Her Sweetest Downfall

Monday, 23 July 2012

Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert

Seducing Mr. Wrong has never felt so right...

Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she's been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he's completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother's matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan — buy some lingerie and climb into her boss's bed. The plan goes brilliantly ... until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead.

Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started. Though her holier-than-thou attitude puts a serious damper his mood, Gabe's never been one to give up on something he wants. And he wants Elle. But does a man who lives on the dark side really have a chance with a proper lady?

The book starts of with Elle climbing into her boss's bed, only to realised (after an awesome orgasm) that it's not her boss in the bed. She freaks out and runs away, automatically blaming the stranger for what happened. Said stranger is in fact her boss's brother, Gabe, who assumed he was dreaming at first then decided to just go with it - I mean who knocks back a gorgeous blonde offering sex? No one, that's who. (I know I wouldn't!) So they meet up under better circumstances and explore the attraction between them only to have Elle jump to conclusions again later on and blame him for something rather than wait for an explanation.

I'm still not entirely sure if I like Elle but I did like Gabe - but then I'm a sucker for a guy with tattoos. One little annoyance is that Gabe is a tattoo artist and the author wrongly calls his tattoo machine a tattoo gun, a small annoyance but one that I know tattoo artists don't tend to like too much.

Katee writes some nice characters in this book and ones I wouldn't mind reading about again. She also writes some excellent sex scenes - very hawt!

Amazon UK: Wrong Bed, Right Guy

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz

What if your evil ex really was evil?

TJ Gutierrez used to be a superhero. But after the birth of her twins seven years ago, she hung up the yellow spandex. Until the day her archenemy and ex-husband, Singularity, breaks out of prison. When it becomes clear he's after the kids, she's forced to call the nanny helpline — and once again become...Dynama!

Annmarie Smith doesn't have a superpower. She saves the world by keeping kids safe while their parents fight evil.

She temporarily moves in with TJ, and the way the magnetic mama puts family first captures Annmarie's respect, and maybe her heart — even though she knows better than to fall for a superhero. Still, it's hard to resist their wicked chemistry. Kapow!

But they can only hide from the world for so long. When Singularity's quest for custody puts the kids' lives in danger, can the two women conquer the evil villain and save TJ's family — all before their first date?

Release Date 20th August 2012

TJ secretly helps the Superheroes Union with some stuff - as long as her identity gets kept safe - as she holds down a full time job and is a full time mum. But when she hears that her ex has broken out of prison, she calls in the help of a nanny - a nanny that only works with superheroes kids so she knows the importance of keeping secrets. What neither of them counted on was falling for each other. TJ has to capture her ex before he discovers where she and the kids stay, luckily she has a few superhero friends who are willing to help.

When I read the blurb for this, I automatically thought of The Incredibles. It's similar in the fact that it shows superheroes in their normal lives as they try to keep their real identities secret - except TJ is actually the opposite, she keeps her superhero identity secret. I really liked the characters in this - TJ will put nothing before her kids (which is what every parent should do) whereas some superheroes will put superheroing (what?) in front of their kids. I liked that Annmarie is a superhero offspring with no super powers of her own - she helps the kids deal with stuff that no one else can explain, mainly why secrets must be kept secret.

Definitely a must read and I'll be keeping an eye out for sequels - which I'm hoping will follow a different superhero each book.

Amazon UK: The Superheroes Union: Dynama

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Even White Trash Zombies Get The Blues by Diana Rowland

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she's beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that's right - the zombie mafia.

Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel's going to need all of her brainpower - and maybe a brain smoothie as well - in order to get through it without falling apart.

Angel's enjoying her job and getting used to life as a zombie when she get robbed - for a body. Her name gets dragged through the mud as people blame her for the body going missing and she gets into trouble as she tries to clear her name. Unfortunately she's into something she couldn't even begin to imagine and needs her "zombie super powers" to help her out.

This one didn't suck me in as quick as the first book but once I was in there, I didn't want to get back out. Rowland writes a great story with great characters that, once I got into the story, done a good job of sucking me in and keeping me reading. This book, like the first, has some great humour in it - and I love a book that makes me laugh. A lot of authors go for the serious story telling or, when they try humour, it's not as funny as they maybe thought it was. But Rowland really managed to make me laugh out loud at parts.

"Zombie Super Powers, activate, you fucking bitches."

Book Depository: Even White Trash Zombies Get The Blues
Amazon UK: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Interview with David Nicol

David is the author of The Deluge of Elias and Hannibal House, you can find him at various places on the internet: His website, Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

He has this to say about himself: "Hailing from the celtic parts of Britain I have a duality between science and myths. I write stories that involve a number of different themes, some are obvious, others not so obvious. Currently I have a full time job and write on the side. I'd like to get to the point where my job is writing. If nothing else, it'd be cool for my kids to be able to say their father is an author."

I know of him through my boyfriend and have read both his offerings to date so asked him if he'd do a quick wee interview for me and, happily, he agreed - so read on!

Julie-Anne: You've now self-published two short stories through Amazon. Was this always the plan or did you try and go through a publishing house first?

David: It may seem strange but I didn't/don't have a plan at all. Going through a publisher, or even getting an agent didn't enter my head when I decided to start writing seriously. Currently, the traditional route doesn't appeal to me as I prefer to make the decisions about the content I create. Plus I'd rather put my energy in to writing rather than courting publishers/agents.

JA: For any aspiring self publishers reading this, how easy was the process?

DN: Now that's a question with two answers. Depending on your technical knowledge it's either very easy, or has a steep learning curve. A basic knowledge of HTML is necessary to produce a properly formatted ebook. Luckily there are many different tutorials on the interwebs for those who may be unsure how to do it. The most important thing is to take the time to get it right. All the proofreading and editing in the world can be undone by poor formatting.

JA: Did you design the covers yourself or did you get someone else to do it for you?

DN: The covers were designed and produced by me. I originally trained and worked as a photographer, and over the years I've done some graphic design and worked in a printers so I have a bit of a head start in the graphics department. The first cover for 'The Deluge of Elias' was a mash up of some other images that sort of represented the story, but I was never happy with it. When I redid the cover I enlisted the help of my wife who enjoyed throwing water in my face and then taking a picture. For the cover of 'Hannibal House' I used the picture I took of the house that inspired the story. I wanted the cover to be reminiscent of the old school, late 70's creepy books/films that were about. I also do all my own stunts.
(A bonus to being self published as well - JA)

JA: You've already stated that The Deluge of Elias is a sort of prequel to a series, what about Hannibal House? I think that seems like a great start to a series.

DN: I don't have any plans to write any more about Hannibal House. Supernatural tales aren't what I set out to write, but the story just formed itself.
(Man, that's too bad. I would've liked to have read more from that place. It was creepy - JA)

JA: I assume you have another job, how easy do you find it to write in between working and keeping up a regular life?

DN: The biggest problem is going to bed. I have two children and the youngest ensures that I'm awake at 0630 EVERY morning. On top of that I work long hours which means that I usually don't start writing until at least 10pm. If I get in to 'the zone' it can be almost 2am before I'm at a point where I can go to bed. Not a lot of sleep. On the upside, when the flow is flowing like a flowing thing I hit around 1000 words per hour.

JA: Did you do a lot of writing at school or is it something you got into as you got older?

DN: When I was in school, twenty years ago, 'creative writing' as it would be called now didn't really exist. Although we had to study fiction as part of our courses we weren't encouraged to write our own stories. There was one time when we were set a task to write a piece on anything we wanted to. I wrote about the aftermath of an intergalactic war. I guess my teacher was expecting a critique of 'The Rocking Horse Winner' or something.... There was a lot of red pen and question marks on that piece of work. When I was about 14 I wrote my first complete manuscript about a guy who dies before his time due to a clerical error – it's still knocking around somewhere, in a box. It's probably terrible. Over the years I have started writing other stories, but gave up part way through for various reasons, the main one being that it seemed futile if the finished work was unlikely (statistically) to be published. Self publishing changed that.

JA: What genre(s) do you read when you're not writing?

DN: The majority of my reading comprises of non-fiction and reference works. It's something that I've always done, even as a child I read many books on mythology and natural history. I will actually read pretty much anything though. The only caveat is that it needs to be readable, and by readable I mean well written. The only genre that I don't tend to read is erotica.

JA: Any recommendations for my readers (and me)?

DN: For actual titles, no. But I do recommend stepping out of your normal reading comfort zone. Most people have their favourite authors and stick to those writers and those closely related to them. So pick up a book that's not what you would normally read and get stuck in with an open mind.
(I've found Netgalley to be great for introducing me to new authors.  As well as Goodreads - JA)

JA: Do you read while you're in the process of writing? Or does that run the risk of mixing things up in your head?

DN: As I'm not a full time writer I have a job that includes quite a bit of travelling. Bouncing about in the back of a minibus doesn't allow much scope for writing, so reading is the only other viable option. I do the majority of that reading via an app on my phone. But nothing ever gets mixed up as I have a very compartmentalised mind space which keeps my thoughts and the works of others separate.

JA: What stories should we look forward to reading from you in the future?

DN: Well, there's book one in the series that leads up to 'The Deluge of Elias', and another set a couple of years after a zombie apocalypse. I also have a number of other stories and concepts noted for development, some will be short stories with others having the potential to become a series. I wish that I could be a bit more detailed, but I like to keep uncompleted works under wraps. There's one story, and the main premise or plot point is really exciting to me, but I currently can't work a complete believable story around it so it may never see the light of day.

I'd like to thank David for agreeing to do this and also any of you who may be reading this. I was planning on doing a giveaway of David's two titles but unfortunately Amazon UK haven't implemented gifting yet and I can't purchase through another country Amazon so instead I'll give you the links to go buy them yourself.

Hannibal House
The Deluge of Elias

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Something Wikkid This Way Comes by Nicole Peeler

Capitola, Moo, and Shar are the halfling ladies of Triptych: supernatural private investigators who get paid to clean up paranormal messes.

Normally Cappie doesn't take human cases, but who can resist a priest, missing Catholic school girls, and a creature that may or may not be the Prince of Darkness?

A story set in the world of Nicole Peeler's Jane True series.

Another novella from one of my favourite series that I've been waiting ages to read - it finally became available in the UK today.

Set in the Truniverse but with no Jane True, the story follows Cappie, Moo and Shar as they go undercover at a school to try and find some missing girls. Who the priest thinks has been taken by Satan since the girls were caught naked in public or in lewd acts. The trio are in for a shock when they find out what is going on.

I loved this little (too little) short, Peeler can keep your attention even in a few pages. This is just as well written and as funny as the rest of the Jane True series. If you're a Jane True fan, then you must read this. If you're not a Jane True, what is wrong with you?!? Don't worry, there's a cure - go to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Tempest Rising.

Amazon UK: Something Wikkid This Way Comes

Friday, 13 July 2012

Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

Even death can't get you out of high school ...

Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking her life is much harder than ex-teen banshee Kaylee expected. Now she's fighting to stay visible to the human world and struggling to find time alone with her new reaper boyfriend Tod.

To stay in the mortal realm, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls and, when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life ...

This series is almost finished ...... this saddens me so much! I'm loving Soul Screamers and it just gets better with each book so I can only guess at how fantastic the finale will be. I will be both sad and uber-excited to read it.

So after Kaylee died in If I Die she's getting used to her life (or after-life) as an extractor. She has trouble keeping herself grounded and corporeal except when she's with Tod so she's with Tod a lot in this book - which is great 'cos I like the cheeky wee reaper. Their relationship runs hot and heavy in this book as well as Kaylee realised death doesn't mean the end of her life. But that annoying hellion, Avari, just refuses to leave her alone and continues to go after her friends and family in this book - with some awful consequences!

As I have previously stated in a few of my many Rachel Vincent reviews - I love her writing. All her series are addictive - and they all end after a few short books! Which I both love and hate - Ms Vincent has a way of provoking both emotions in me at the same time. She has a special talent, that wicked woman.

Book Depository: Before I Wake
Amazon UK: Before I Wake

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Revenge is Sweet by Misty Evans

I'm Kali Sweet, the best damn vengeance demon on Earth. I work for the supernatural world's Justice Department and protect innocent humans from otherworldly creatures like me. While I can't take revenge for myself, I make sure justice is done for others. But when my latest run-in with Chicago's vampire king backfires, the fallout leaves me with three big problems: a powerful Undead enemy who wants my head, my boss looking over my shoulder, and three personal blood slaves jeopardising my reputation. One of those slaves happens to be sexy rock star Radison Beaumont - the half-human, half-chaos demon who left me at the altar three hundred years ago. Even if he does need my blood now to survive, Rad and I will always be enemies. Especially since he's joined an ancient society of demon killers - and I'm the number one demon on their most wanted list.

I stumbled upon Misty Evans when I found Soul Survivor, having loved that I read Soul Protector and decided I liked the cover for Revenge is Sweet so I downloaded a sample then bought the book as soon as I had finished the sample. So, in short, I really enjoy Misty Evans!

Kali is a vengeance demon and a kick-ass enforcer for the Bridge Council - they're kinda like the police of the supernatural world. She has to give a warning to the vamp king of her region but it doesn't end too well when he kidnaps her and ties her to blood slaves - which is enough to get her fired. She runs into old-flame and ex-hubby-to-be and old feeling flare to life, even when she finds out he's a Noct and she shouldn't be involved, she just can't help herself. So now she has to face her new vamp-leader life as well as keep secrets from her mind-reading boss and try and fight her lust for Rad.

I really, really liked Kali, she's completely no nonsense. Kinda like if Buffy was a demon (which I suppose she was really), an old demon with LOADS of powers - not just strength. I seem to like strong-willed female leads, particularly ones who aren't all human so Kali was an awesome read for me.

Already downloaded the next book which will be read after my next 2 books (sorry Kali, but the other 2 books were waiting first).

Book Depository: Revenge is Sweet
Amazon UK: Revenge Is Sweet

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Country vs Country - Morganvill Vampires

So another of one of my favourite YA series this time.

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine

Above are the US covers. I don't know why but I really don't like them, they seem very teen-soap-opera style.

And these are the UK covers. There are more covers because the first 4 books came out with an awesome glow-in-the-dark cover (that I loved) but then , sadly, got changed when Lord of Misrule was released. The first 4 books then got re-released with the new covers. I would have been happier if they'd kept the glow-in-the-dark ones but I do like the new covers as well, they're very shiny and pretty. And , in my opinion, seem more fitting with the series than the US ones. But then I could just be being bias since they're MY covers.

Tempest's Fury by Nicole Peeler

Jane's not happy. She's been packed off to England to fight in a war when she'd much rather be snogging Anyan. Unfortunately, Jane's enemies have been busy stirring up some major trouble ... the kind that attracts a lot of attention. In other words, they're not making it easy for Jane to get any alone time with the barghest, or to indulge in her penchant for stinky cheese.

Praying she can pull of a Joan of Arc without the whole martyrdom thing, Jane must lead Alfar and halflings alike in a desperate battle to combat an ancient evil. Catapulted into the role of Most Unlikely Hero Ever, Jane also has to fight her own insecurities as well as the doubts of those who don't think she can live up to her new role as Champion.

Along the way, Jane learns that some heroes are born. Some are made. And some are bribed with promises of food and sex.

Re-reading my reviews of this series, I realise how fickle I am in my literary crushes. Apparently I liked Ryu to begin with but I am now totally Team Anyan. Even more so since Jane and Anyan finally get it on in this book! Peeler has been a tease with the Anyan loving but she finally lets us get some this time round.

Jane and Anyan are in England ready to fight a war that Jane is to be champion of, only she has trouble believing that part. The Red and White are trying to rise, they are uber bad guys from long ago that rise every so often to cause havoc until they are knocked down and subdued - never actually dying. Jane's old enemies, Morrigan and Jarl are the ones trying to do the rising this time and Jane surprises herself by her lack of needing revenge and actually wanting and needing to help for the better good.

Peeler seems to be fast joining a group of authors that I have difficulty writing an unbiased review for. There are several of them now, that just keep on giving me great reads that I can only squee over. She has a fantastic sense of humour and really knows how to drag you into her world so you never want to leave. She's also a huge tease in the fact that most of her books end in cliff-hangers that make me wish time machines were real so I could fast forward to when the next book comes out.

A must read for any Peeler fan, and a series that I will forever be recommending to people.

Book Depository: Tempest's Fury
Amazon UK: Tempest's Fury

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Vampires in America: The Vignettes Volume 1 by D.B. Reynolds

From award-winning author D.B. Reynolds come nine stories of seduction and intrigue set in her Vampires in America universe.

For the first time in print ... The Vampire Vignettes From New Year’s Eve on the beaches of Malibu, to love in a penthouse over Manhattan, and a challenge fought on a snowy night in Montreal, Reynolds takes us behind the scenes with seven steamy Vignettes featuring her ultimate alpha Vampire Lords and their beautiful and independent mates.

And Never Before Published – Two brand new, full-length short stories. You Belong To Me follows Duncan and his mate Emma as they consolidate power in his new territory, while generating plenty of heat in private. And then it's time for The Wedding, as readers join Rajmund and Sarah for their big weekend ... and Cyn's girls-night-out bachelorette party. Unfortunately, some local kidnappers have other plans, and Cyn and Sarah will have to outwit their abductors before Raphael and Raj start hunting, and the entire wedding is ruined!

I'll start this review off by admitting to my own idiocy. I've read all the vignettes online at Reynolds' blog but I bought the collection as soon as it came out to support a (fairly) new author that I like. I did NOT realise that there were 2 new stories in this until I started to read it yesterday and read Reynolds' statement at the beginning. The only reason I hadn't read this earlier was because I thought I'd read them all ... and now I realise I have made myself miss out on the sexy Duncan and Rajmund! I've managed to sadden myself with this fact.

But, all sadness aside, the vignettes are a great little addition to the Vampires in America series. We get some more face time with the lovely Lords and Lady and their mates as well as some interesting little back stories. I think one of my favourites was The Wedding, although I would have liked to see what would have happened if the Lords got involved - it would have been epic. Reading the vignettes has strengthened my idea of re-reading the entire series.

Book Depository: Vignettes Volume 1
Amazon UK: Vignettes Volume 1

Soul Protector by Misty Evans

The secret to redemption lies in their souls...

Dr. Nathan Hunter has forty-eight hours to save his job and find the missing Salt Coast Clan, a lost civilization locals believe is a myth. When ancient human remains turn up at the site of a new state water project along the Oregon Coast, he's sure the lost tribe is real. Before he can examine the bones, however, a pretty female lawyer gets an injunction to stop him.

Nila Willopah sees ghosts. After failing to help a young boy cross over to the afterlife seven years ago, she hung up her shaman's cape, left her family, and went to college to pursue a law degree. Three days before the bar exam, she's summoned home by her grandfather to defend a sacred burial ground from a billion dollar state water project.

Although her soul is in danger from the spirits unearthed at the site, Nila is the one person who can stop the project and protect her ancestors' last resting place from Dr. Hunter. She's also the only one who can help the angry spirits cross over.

Nila suspects the sexy anthropologist is hiding a dark secret behind his clear blue eyes and skilled hands. A secret she wants nothing to do with. But when one of the ghosts latches onto his soul, Nila must set aside her fears and suspicions and once again enter the world of spirit communication to protect him.

Even if saving his soul means sacrificing her own.

I really enjoyed Soul Survivor and my unanswered question is finally answered. The answer is new characters! But Keva and Rife do actually appear in this story as well so we don't have to completely give them up. Although Nila and Nathan are just as good a couple as Keva and Rife.

Nathan has been searching for the Salt Coast Clan since he was a child - literally, his dad was searching for it and he was always in tow. As he got older, he discredited his dad's theory about the tribe and he still feels guilty about it. and now he thinks he's found it, in the grounds of a building site. Nila is brought in to act as the overseer for her tribe but is actually there to use her shaman powers to help the souls cross over. Unfortunately, neither of them realise the souls are as angry as they are or that they're exceptionally interested in not just Nila, but also Nathan.

I really enjoy Evans' writing style, it just flows so nicely and her characters are very well written. You actually get to know them and their history. I very muchly recommend this series, but start with Soul Survivor - although the stories aren't tied together as such but I just think it makes sense to start from where the author planned.

Amazon UK: Soul Protector

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bryn is young. Female. Human. But she was raised by wolves.

Now alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack, she's a lone girl in a world where animal instincts rule. Physically weaker than any werewolf, she could never survive a battle with another alpha, the strongest and fiercest of the pack.

But Bryn knows the other wolves want what she has. Her territory. Her females. Her pack.

They want her dead.

The latest book in Barnes' fantastic Raised by Wolves series. I love this series and they're such a nice, quick read.

Bryn is still trying to cope with her actions in Trial by Fire, when she had to kill an infiltrator from Shay's pack that he sent to challenge her when Shay calls a senate meeting about a rabid on the loose, turns out the rabid is a female and Bryn suspects it to be Maddy. Either she or Callum must find Maddy first or she's up for grabs to all the other alphas - a terrible fate for any female werewolf. She takes Chase and Lake, leaving Devon behind to protect the pack in her absence. They track Maddy down but it turns out to be a lot harder to handle than her being rabid.

I loved getting insight into how Bryn is coping as alpha and how her friends and packmates are there to help her. She's feeling guilt over Lucas and Maddy, and thinks it's her fault that Maddy may be rabid. There are 2 major events in this book that are going to mean a HUGE change for the next book - there is going to be a next book, right? RIGHT? There better be because I love, love, love these books.

Book Depository: Taken By Storm
Amazon UK: Taken by Storm

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Blade Song by J.C. Daniels

Kit Colbana — half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades — has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.

So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters — especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.

Or maybe it's all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it's because if she fails — she's dead.

If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she'll even live long to collect her fee ...

Release Date 1st August 2012

I loved, loved, loved this book. It's been a long time since I've read a book by a new (to me) author that had me not wanting to put it down. I was literally walking around my flat reading my kindle because I didn't want to even put it down for the short trip from one room to another - and it's very short, I live in a tiny flat.

Kit gets hired by the cat alpha to find her runaway nephew - she seems to know Kit's soft spot is kids. Unfortunately (for her, not for us) she has to take along Damon, the Alpha's enforcer. They discover other kids from other races have gone missing and Kit comes to realise they are being rounded up and hunted. So there's a fallout and a confrontation when she realises who is behind it.

The sexual tension between Damon and Kit killed me from the very beginning, I just wanted them to get to it already but the teasing and play was extremely well written and, as much as I wanted them to get down the nitty-gritty, I really enjoyed the lead up. J.C. Daniels is a pen name for Shiloh Walker who I have heard of but never read, based on this book I think I shall give her alter ego a quick peruse to see if she has the same writing style.

Highly recommend this book, really can't wait to read the next one.

Amazon UK: Blade Song