Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Event - Readers' Choice Award Nominations 2014

Welcome to Our 
2014 Readers' Choice Awards!
♡♡♡
It's your turn to weigh in!
Vote for your favorite title from each category. 

(You must be signed in to your google account.)
Novels and novellas were selected
from our 4 & 5 star reviews from 2014.

Voting will close at 7:00 p.m. PST on January 13th!



Thank you for your vote!
Click here to view the winners!

Nominees Included:

Fantasy Romance

The Butterfly Crest*
by Eva Vanrell
469 Pages

Hemlock (Tales of a Traveler, #1)
by N.J. Layouni 
401 Pages

Laika in Lisan
by Maron Arrow
251 Pages

The Monster (Alex and Liz, #2)
by Mandy Baker
246 Pages

R.E.birth (Rain Experience, #1)
by Thomas W. Everson
393 Pages

Son of Dragons (Legends of Oblivion, #2)
by Andrea R. Cooper
260 Pages

Wolfsbane (Tales of a Traveler, #2)
by N.J. Layouni
395 Pages

New Adult/ Contemporary Romance

My Skylar (Gemini, #3)
by Penelope Ward
314 Pages

The Same But Different
by Serena Clarke
321 Pages

Six of Hearts 
by L.H. Cosway
358 Pages

Stepbrother Dearest
by Penelope Ward
232 Pages

When You are Mine (The Bennets, #1)*
by Kennedy Ryan
256 Pages

Novella

Behind the Glass
by Kristen Morgen
184 Pages

Caiden (A MacLaughlin Family Novella #2)
by Krystal Shannan
50 Pages

Cursed in Shadow (The Legends of Oblivion #1.5)*
by Andrea R. Cooper
63 Pages

The Devil in Midwinter
by Elise Forier Edie
156 Pages

Killer Queen (A Painted Faces Novel)
by L.H. Cosway
188 Pages

Kissed by a Demon Spy (A Solsti Prophecy Novella)
by Sharon Kay
170 Pages

Napoleon (Pierced, #5)
by J.C. Mells
113 Pages

Taking Nicole (Vegas Mates, #4)
by Krystal Shannan
180 Pages

Unwrapping Tess: Christmas Encounters 
(Vegas Mates, #5)
by Krystal Shannan
75 Pages

Wings of Hope (The Veil Series, #0.5)
by Pippa DaCosta
59 Pages

Paranormal Romance

After Life Lessons
by Laila Blake and L.C. Spoering
341 Pages

Blood Deep (Blackthorn, #4)
by Lindsay J. Pryor
415 Pages

Blood Torn (Blackthorn #3)
by Lindsay J. Pryor
468 Pages

By the Light of the Moon (Lakeside, #1)
by Laila Blake
275 Pages

My Dragon Masters*
(Sanctuary, Texas #2)
by Krystal Shannan
342 Pages

My Viking Vampire (Sanctuary, Texas #1)
by Krystal Shannan
298 Pages

Perfect (Pierced, #4) 
by J.C. Mells
492 Pages

A Taste of Winter (Lakeside, #2) 
by Laila Blake
249 Pages

Wicked Flames (The Solsti Prophecy, #3)
by Sharon Kay
352 Pages

Sci-fi/ Sci-fi Romance

Dawn of Steam: First Light 
by Jeffrey Cook
302 Pages

Shadower (Shielder, #2)*
by Catherine Spangler
362 Pages

Shielder (Shielder, #1) 
by Catherine Spangler
358 Pages

Urban Fantasy

Beyond the Veil (The Veil Series, #1)
by Pippa DaCosta
244 Pages

Darkest Before Dawn (The Veil Series, #3)*
by Pippa DaCosta
254 Pages

Devil May Care (The Veil Series, #2)
by Pippa DaCosta
293 Pages

Veiled Target (The Veilers, #1) 
by Robin Bielman
275 Pages

Wolf’s Bane (Demimonde, #3)
by Ash Krafton
370 Pages

Young Adult 

Desert Star (The Desert Series, #2)
by Lisette Brodey
315 Pages

Nightshade (The Sun Born, #2)
by Cecily Flynn
280 Pages

Status: The Game*
by Vincent Robert Annunziato
404 Pages

Vespertine (The Sun Born #1)
by Cecily Flynn
280 Pages

*Runners-up

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Book Review - Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

Six of Hearts (Hearts, #1)
by L.H. Cosway
Published 2014
358 Pages

Jay Fields is an illusionist who has worked his entire life perfecting his craft. Smoke and mirrors, a cult following, and sold out shows form his outward persona. But underneath the illusion, there is much more to Jay Fields. An enigma, with a hidden past, his ultimate performance is about to be revealed. And it won't be on stage.

Jay hasn't rushed to correct what others are saying about him, but

he does have one concern... Matilda. She has no idea how she fits into his life's work, but she is very much a part of his plan, and when she discovers the truth... well, Jay considers the very real possibility that it will send her running for the hills. And rightfully so, because this is an illusion of the grandest scale, and soon the whole world will know the truth about Jay Fields.

"I'm not even going to ask him how he did it. I'm locked in his spell, and I don't want to break it."

This story is full of sexual tension, phenomenal love scenes, and a secret that I kept trying to guess along the way, but never did quite figure out until it was revealed. So incredibly good, and with such great characters, the author has managed once again to create a story that is entirely unique, skillfully constructed, and full of intrigue. 

My heart was in my throat as Jay's plans unfolded, revealing the full scope of a plot that was as magical as Jay. There was one aspect of the story that could have been summarized a bit more -- it was crucial to the plot, but didn't require as much detail as was given. Still, I loved the story!

Available on Amazon


Reviewed by Stephanie

4.5 STARS

Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Review - Dawn of Steam: First Light by Jeffrey Cook

Dawn of Steam: First Light
by Jeffrey Cook
Published 2014
302 Pages

O
ftentimes, I find myself wondering how I could recount the events of my life. Be it episodic and sequential, or random happenings that present themselves, times that are important to me (and quite frankly, deserve to be told) should be written down. I am not an author, let’s be clear about that. Nevertheless, the manner in which events are told is critical to the flow of the story. A bad flow can easily disrupt the reader, whilst the opposite can serve to enhance characters, and may even; in some instances, cover weaker plot points. There are no weak plot points to this tale. 

The Dawn of Steam: First Light is a book reminiscent of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, not necessarily from a content perspective but rather in flow delivery. It is written simply, in the form of a diary with journalistic entries. And that’s cool. It made me happy. In fact, so happy that I ate chocolate with my wine... and trust me, I never, ever do that.

For a time, the book sets up a narrative found in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, told 65 years later, by the wife of Gregory Watts (the supporting protagonist of the story). The plot surrounds events that lead up to the launch of a steampunk-esque airship and the crew assembled, embarking on an unplanned trip to a Spanish fort, and across America. 


Since it is the first in a sequence of events, the book's title appropriately includes First Light. There are a couple of sub-plots buried within the pages; however, I think I will leave it to the reader to discover these hidden gems. But as a final point, the book feels historic. Perhaps it is the way the journalistic writings are presented, although I think it has more to do with the sense of time that is portrayed by the crew.

The recruitment of the crew is an intriguing part of the book. Whilst some may find it mundane, the interesting nature of the characters kept me engaged. For instance, one such member is Harriet, a smart looking girl who makes a conscious effort to be a proper lady, just like her cousin. Although many pages are spent on character building, I was enthralled with the details, and the wonderful nature of these characters. 


I hope the second installment will be just as entertaining as the first!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Matt
4 STARS

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cover Reveal - Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway

Coming in 2015...


Hearts of Fire
by L.H. Cosway

Add to your TBR!
About the Book

The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker.

My uncle lied. I never died.

I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know the truth, and if I have it my way, he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

*This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.*



Excerpt

     Before I knew it I was standing and a spotlight had landed on me, alongside Jack’s dark, indecipherable gaze. I stood frozen for a moment, uncertain of what to do. Then Marina was calling me to the stage and my feet were moving, one after the other, the traitorous bastards.

     Jack held his hand out to me when I reached him and I placed my palm in his. Without realising it, I’d given him my right hand, my dominant hand, and also the hand that had been burned. When he gripped it, I hissed in a tiny breath at the sting.

     “Sorry,” he murmured, but he didn’t sound sorry.

     “It’s okay,” I replied as he led me to an upright wooden panel. Taking my shoulders in his big, warm hands, he gently situated me against it, my back flush with the wood.

     “I hope you’re good at holding still,” he said and his breath hit the side of my neck.

     “Why?” I practically whispered. He was incredibly handsome, even more so now that I was seeing him up close, and I felt a little drunk on it.

     The edge of his mouth twitched, like he was holding back a smile. With one hand braced above my shoulder, he leaned in as he replied, “Because, blondie, I’m gonna be throwing knives at you, and I’d really hate to make you bleed.”

     Again, he didn’t sound like he meant what he said at all. And I didn’t think there was a single pore on my body that wasn’t tingling. I remembered items number three and four on my list: Have sex with a stranger and do something dangerous. Perhaps if I could get Jack McCabe to do me, then I could kill two birds with one stone.

     I hadn’t noticed before, because I was too busy staring at him, but there was a belt attached to the wood. I stood there as Jack took it and buckled it extra tight around my waist. He gave it a firm tug once he was done and smirked. I’m not sure why, but the action caused me to tremble. I think he noticed, too, because his eyes grew darker, if that was even possible.

     Surprising me, he placed his flattened out palm to my belly. I had to try my hardest to concentrate on his words rather than the fact that my libido (the little slut) was willing his hand to move lower.

     “This is your core. Visualise it. Focus on it. Keep your body in this exact position and everything will be fine.” There was the tiniest edge of a smile tugging at his lips and it made me wonder if he was enjoying this, if maybe he was trying to make me nervous.

     Sucking in a breath, he continued randomly, “You smell like turpentine.” Then he drew up to his full and impressive height and walked to the other side of the stage. I knew I smelled like turpentine, because I often used it to clean my paintbrushes and sometimes the smell got into my clothes. That wasn’t the part that preoccupied me, that part would be the fact that he’d taken the time to smell me, and I didn’t know if I should be weirded out or turned on.

     Okay, so I knew which option my libido was going for.

About the Author

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.


Hearts of Fire
by L.H. Cosway

Connect with the Author!
Giveaway

Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win an advanced reader copy of Hearts of Fire! Click here to enter!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review - My Dragon Masters by Krystal Shannan

My Dragon Masters 
(Sanctuary, Texas #2)
by Krystal Shannan
Published 2014
342 Pages

In a futuristic Earth, where supernatural creatures have been deemed the biggest threat to humankind, the world has become little more than a battleground. In an effort to control the supernatural populations, governments have taken over, resulting in fear and turmoil throughout the land. Walled cities, black markets, and battles on the streets have become commonplace. But the biggest threat may be lurking just beneath the surface. 


Trapped in the human realm, most of the supernatural creatures, known as 'Others', would prefer to return to their magical kingdom beyond the veil. But under a shroud of magic, one small community, hidden in plain sight, is thriving. Out of reach from the chaos and constraints that plague the outside world, Sanctuary, Texas is as close to perfect as any creature could hope for on Earth.
"All the Sisters ever say is... she is coming to you."
Miles and Eli Blackmoor are dragon shifters, and twin brothers who have vowed to protect the Sisters of the House of Lamidae. After losing their beloved wife, and being banished from their kingdom, they had lost all hope. But in Sanctuary, they found a mission and a purpose. Still, a dragon's bond lasts a lifetime, which (for a dragon) is a very long time. Having retained some semblance of their humanity, they know their true mate must still be alive. The Sisters continue to give them hope, while one question remains: Will they ever be reunited with their true love?
"Fire and ice don't go together... or do they?"
When Diana awakens in a prison of ice, she has only her haunting dreams and elusive memories from which to piece together her past. How long has she been trapped within these walls of ice, and why is she here? It has been a thousand years. But something is changing in her... something that is making her stronger, and more driven than ever before. And it may be the catalyst she needs to find a path to freedom. But will she discover her own truth along the way?

The first book was based primarily in Sanctuary, while in this second installment we get a closer look at the world beyond the veil. And I must say, both worlds are equally enchanting! Rich with detail, the story has depth and originality, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. The humor flows naturally throughout the dialogue, without feeling forced or contrived.

"'Zip it, you giant fire-breathing windbag.' I couldn't hold back the snort of laughter. She'd just called a seven-foot giant of a man, who could breathe fire, a windbag..."
The romance was truly lovely, but the scorching hot bedroom scenes were most impressive, especially when you consider that dragons often marry in groups of three. Yes, three very sexy, very hot dragons, which made for some phenomenal love scenes!

A great cast of characters, an enchanting setting, and a well paced plot combine to make this enthralling tale a must read. I can see so much potential for this series, and can't wait to get to know the other characters along the way! 


Available on Amazon

Read my review of the first book in the series:
My Viking Vampire (book #1)

Reviewed by Stephanie 

5 STARS


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Review - The Bloodline War by Tracy Tappan

The Bloodline War (The Community Series, #1)
by Tracy Tappan
Published 2013
352 Pages

Dr. Toni Parthen is a blood specialist who occasionally assists law enforcement with homicide investigations. One night, after leaving a crime scene, she is involved in a car accident that lands her in the hospital. Then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, she is drugged and abducted by a group of men during her recovery. The leader of the group, Jacken Brun, isn’t truly a man at all, but the leader of the Varcolac -- a warrior class of vampire-like beings, who are on the edge of extinction.

Jacken's job is to assist in preserving the Varcolac race by capturing and protecting women who carry a special blood chemistry. Toni discovers the truth as she awakens in a secret, underground village. She has a tough time coming to grips with her bazaar new predicament, and is further perplexed by the attraction she feels toward the enigmatic Jacken. Still, she is determined to escape. But beyond the village, new dangers are lurking.

This is a fantastic debut novel, that left me wanting more! The characters were wonderfully written, and played an intricate role in the story. The camaraderie between the warriors was wicked cool, with Toni being by far my favorite character in the novel. She was the epitome of a great heroine: intelligent, witty, strong, and with a dash of snark. She refused to allow anyone to intimidate her, which made her the perfect match for Jacken. He, on the other hand, had no clue how to handle her.

Toni's presence created all sorts of mayhem and hilarious situations. Upon learning that she was being held captive for the purpose of breeding, she responds, "You’ll excuse me if I decline your invitation... having turkey blasters filled with 'vampire' sperm stuck up inside of me isn’t particularly my idea of a good time." Ha! Nor is it mine, Toni.

Despite their tactics, I couldn't help sympathizing with the desperation and desire of the Varcolac to preserve their race. They were by no means horrible toward any of the women captured. Instead, they showed kindness. I found it fascinating that this small community of powerful and ancient beings had been relegated to the shadows, and to living as cave dwellers. Their culture, and the bits of history uncovered were intriguing and beautifully descriptive, giving the impression that things were not always this way for the Varcolac.

The Bloodline War is a fantastic novel filled with wit, action, and adventure. I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves paranormal romance.


Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Shari

4 STARS

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review - Desert Star by Lisette Brodey

Desert Star (The Desert Series, #2)
by Lisette Brodey
Published 2014
315 Pages

A lot has changed in Mystekal since book one. And for most of those living in the small, California desert community, life seems to be returning to normal. In just a few short years the high school has been rebuilt, businesses are reopening, and the town is enjoying a full restoration. 

In the first installment, we learned about the town's tragic past, and discovered that the hallways of the school -- as well as the surrounding desert -- were overrun with ghosts. Now, as old buildings are being reopened, there are still a few restless spirits who aren't quite ready to move on ... and they are about to make themselves known in a very big way.  

River Dalworth, a high school senior, is becoming a confident and capable young man. Along with his best friend, Larsen "Lars" Davis, River is in the forefront of this story. As someone with a peculiar ability to draw ghosts, he is sympathetic to the new girl in town, Avalon, who is also an artist with other unique talents. River's girlfriend, Gina, isn't too fond of Avalon, as she believes the new girl has her sights set on River. And although River has no plans to stray, Gina's jealousy and insecurities get the best of her, causing her to keep a secret from River ... and with dire consequences. 

As an openly gay teen, Lars is having a tough time at school and at home. In the hallways of Mystekal High, the school bully, Jax, has made it his mission to make Lars's life miserable. At home, Lars has to deal with a mother who drinks, brings home strange men, and is verbally abusive. River stands up for him, and the Dalworths offer support, but the reality of Lars's home life doesn't change. His mother forbids him from helping out with the grand opening of a local theater, but he finds a way. And on opening night, his mother is just one of many unexpected guests. What happens, both before and after the curtain rises, will surprise everyone. 

Such a great story! River and Lars were definitely my favorite characters, so I was happy to see them in the forefront. I wasn't crazy about Gina, and could see she was going to be trouble, but there were a lot of other twists to keep me guessing. I imagine we will see more of Avalon in future installments. The other characters -- both human, and of the ghostly variety -- added depth, as each individual story line helped to propel the plot toward the final climax. A very well written tale, with believable characters, and plenty of attention to detail. If you are interested in young adult paranormal, this is a must read!

Available on Amazon

Read my review for the first book in the series:
Mystical High (The Desert Series, #1)

Reviewed by Stephanie

5 STARS

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Release - Unwrapping Tess by Krystal Shannan

Now Available!
Unwrapping Tess: 
Christmas Encounters
(Vegas Mates, #5)
by Krystal Shannan

Available on Amazon

 About the Book:
Tess Demakis loves the city life. The noise, the lights, the people. Everything about the rush feels like home. The only thing missing is a spark with any of the pack males. After her and her twin sister's twenty-fifth birthday passes, she'd thought for sure one of the handsome men in her aunt's pack might've been meant for her. 
- No. Such. Luck. - 
Patrick O'Hearn just got back home from a long tour overseas with his SEAL unit. The big grizzly is ready to lie back and enjoy the snowy mountain inn retreat his brother renovated last year, meet his brother's wife and some of her family, enjoy good food, etc. The last thing he ever expected was to find a mate, especially not his sister-in-law. 
Now he can't think of anything but unwrapping the gorgeous sassy blonde and making her his forever.  
- Best. Christmas. Ever. -  
Excerpt:
Tess turned to see a giant of a man filling the front doorway. His piney scent filled her lungs and her magick prickled with excitement.
“Patrick!” Scott walked to the doorway and embraced the newcomer. Margaret waddled her way over as well and was instantly enveloped into the two grizzly bears’ arms.
“Another bear?” Hallie whispered into her ear.
“I bet it’s his brother,” Tess said.
“Patrick, this is my wife, Margaret. And that crowd of friends in the great room,” Scott gestured to the group, “is part of the Vegas and New York Demakis wolf packs.”
“Good to meet you, Margaret.” Patrick’s voice carried through the room. “Scott can’t ever stop talking about you when I call home.”
Patrick gave Margaret a quick kiss on the forehead and the three of them moved together toward the great room.
“Everyone, this is my brother, Patrick. I didn’t say anything before, because we weren’t sure if he’d get his discharge papers before or after Christmas.” Scott proceeded to introduce him to each person in the room.
Tess followed his every movement and drank in his tantalizing scent. When Scott introduced her, Patrick’s beautiful blue eyes settled on her and all processing capabilities fled her body. All she managed was a squeaked “hi” and a lame wave.
Moisture pooled between her legs and her mouth went dry. Visions of them naked and entwined in sheets danced through her head. OMG! What was wrong with her?
“It’s him,” her wolf whispered. 
Read our review for Unwrapping Tess by clicking here.
About the Author:
Krystal Shannan goes to sleep every night dreaming of mythical realms with werewolves, vampires, fae, and dragons. Occasional a fabulous, completely human story slips into the mix, but powers and abilities usually crop up without fail, twisting reality into whatever her mind can conceive.

As a child, her parents encouraged her interests in Ancient Greek and Roman mythology and all things historical and magickal. As an adult the interests only grew. She is a child of Neverland and refuses to ever stop believing in fairies.

She is guilty of indulging and being a Buffy the Vampire Slayer groupie as well as an Angel fan. For those of you unfamiliar with the world of Joss Whedon, you are missing out! She also makes sure to watch as many action and adventure movies as possible. The more exciting the better. Yippee-Ki-Yay..... If you don't know the end of that phrase, then you probably don't like the same movies.

She writes stories full of action, snark, magick, and heart-felt emotion. If you are looking for leisurely paced sweet romance, her books are probably not for you. But, for those looking for a magical ride, filled with adventure, passion, and just a hint of humor. Welcome home. 

Krystal Shannan
Putting Magick in Romance 
One Soul Mate at a Time 

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cover Reveal - Jake Understood by Penelope Ward

Coming March 2015...
Jake Understood
(Jake, #2)
by Penelope Ward 
Add to your TBR
About the Book
From the New York Times bestselling author of Jake Undone, comes a full-length companion novel.

A different side to the story: Jake’s side.

“We’re getting a new roommate,” they said.

I thought nothing of it…until she walked in the door. Her hand trembled in mine as she looked at me with fearful eyes. My entire world spun on its axis.

Nina…

It was a mismatch made in heaven: innocent girl from the boonies moves in with tattooed, pierced, badboy engineer.
I came up with a bet, a plan to tutor her in math and coach her through her phobias. What I wasn’t betting on was becoming addicted to her. 
But I was living a double life on weekends, and once she found out about it, she’d be gone. 
I had to protect myself and that meant one thing: I couldn’t fall in love.

**In Jake Understood, pivotal scenes from Jake Undone are retold from Jake’s point of view, combined with all-new material that will give readers a never-before-seen glimpse into Jake’s past, present, and future. It can stand alone, but if both books are read it should follow Jake Undone

About the Author
Penelope Ward is a New York Times bestselling author, and an Amazon #1 bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers, and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family friendly career. 
Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee, and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends. 
She is the proud mother of a beautiful 9-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini), and a 7-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life. 
Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.She is the author of Gemini, Jake Undone, My Skylar, Stepbrother Dearest, and Jake Understood.

Penelope Ward

Connect with the Author!

Read our reviews for other books by Penelope Ward:

Book Review - Unwrapping Tess by Krystal Shannan

Unwrapping Tess: Christmas Encounters 
(Vegas Mates, #5)
by Krystal Shannan
Published 2014
75 Pages

For a werewolf, living in New York has its limitations. So, returning to the Woodhaven Inn in Utah for the holidays is all Tess can think about. Surrounded by a lush forest, Woodhaven caters exclusively to its paranormal guests, providing the perfect setting for werewolves and other shape shifters to run freely, without fear of being discovered by humans. And although her pack's bases are in New York and Las Vegas, Tess has always preferred the forest setting of Woodhaven over the city.

Arriving at the inn, Tess is excited to join her friends and family for a Christmas celebration. Along with her sisters, Hallie, Nicole, and Sam and extended family, the celebration begins. But Tess never expected to meet Patrick O'Hearn, or to find herself drawn to a male from outside her pack... someone who is not only an outsider, but one of the most formidable shifters she's ever met. 

After the fall of the traditional royal order of the packs that Tess has grown up with, a lot has changed. This story continues on with the enchanting world of the Vegas Mates, where wolves and shifters live in secret amongst the humans, and where the traditional pack is being redefined. 

What will her pack alpha have to say about the budding romance between her and Patrick? And even with her alpha's blessings, does she really want to change her life so drastically? Tess must overcome her own beliefs about family, and what is most important in life, if she is to find the love and true joy she has always wanted. There is a lot at stake, but will love prevail? 

A really great story, with plenty of romance, this installment is a fun and festive holiday read, with all the clever quips and paranormal charm we've come to know and love from the Vegas Mates. The characters have evolved, and with new twists, I'm excited to see what direction the author will take us in the next installment! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

5 STARS

Read my reviews for other books in the series!
Chasing Sam (book #1)
Saving Margaret (book #2)
Waking Sarah (book #3)
Taking Nicole (book #4)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Review - The Purest of the Breed by Tracy Tappan

The Purest of the Breed 
(The Community Series, #2)
by Tracy Tappan
Published 2014
308 Pages

This is the second installment in a paranormal romance series that offers up a thrilling and fast paced tale of ancient vampire warriors, known as the Varcolac, who are fighting to protect humans, while preserving their own race. Sensitive readers should be aware of a rape scene in this novel.

Marissa Bonaventure’s life is about to change drastically the night she meets special operative, Dev Nichita, who rescues her from a nightmarish kidnapping attempt. Confused, and understandably terrified, Marissa tries to make sense of her mysterious rescuer, and her supposedly random attack. For her own safety, she is brought to what she believes to be a research institution in an underground community called Tarana.

As Marissa recovers, the community leaders offer her a considerable amount of money to stay and work for a year. She learns that her rare bloodline holds the key to saving the Varcolac from extinction. But nothing in the bargain could have prepared her for the deepest, most dangerous truths that are about to be uncovered.

The story started off very strong, with an opening that left me on the edge of my seat! Marissa’s violent capture definitely set the tone for the rest of the novel. The complex world of the Varcolac was interesting and vivid, but a bit hard to follow at times, due to the multiple points of view. I also found the romance to be somewhat disappointing. However, both Dev and Marissa were compelling characters, who were at their best while interacting with others. Further, the 
characters' psychological responses to certain events was refreshingly realistic.

I was impressed with the gritty and bold storyline, deeply flawed characters, and the unique spin on vampire lore. Overall, an intriguing read. I look forward to learning more about the mythology of the Varcolac in future installments. 

Available on Amazon

Read my review for the first book in the series:
The Bloodline War (book #1)

Reviewed by Shari
3.25 STARS

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cover Reveal - On Wicked Ground by Sharon Kay

Coming January 13th...

On Wicked Ground

The Solsti Prophecy, book #4
by Sharon Kay
Available for Pre-order!

About the Book
The lost memories of a thief…
The first twelve years of Alina’s life are a black void. An accomplished thief, she uses her cloaking ability to pick pockets as well as stage elaborate heists. Digging deeper into her past sets off a chain of events that puts her, and the family she has just discovered, in the sights of their worst enemy. 
…and the scarred heart of a guardian… 
In secret, Lash Watcher Caine plots vengeance for the destruction of everything he loved. Branded by loss, he longs to find his one true mate, knowing that only with her will his heart fully heal. When his brief meeting with Alina is interrupted by her elaborate evade-and-escape plan, he knows there is more to her than meets his watchful eyes. But nothing can prepare him for the lethal power of her mind. 
…collide at the fault line of destiny. 
A brilliant villain with a vicious and loyal army behind her can only be stopped by one force: the combined power of four women who command the elements. Alina, with her newly-discovered affinity to the earth, becomes the linchpin to halting the desecration of their world. Thrown into a battle plan and a new family, she finds joy in in the quiet strength of Caine’s arms. But when the secrets to her past are revealed, she learns a terrible price has been paid in advance. The very magic that allowed her to live to fulfill a prophecy will forever deny her heart’s deepest wish. 
About the Author
Sharon Kay was bitten early by the writing bug. At age twelve, she wrote a short story about a magic ring that won a statewide contest. With her nose always in a book, she read the most novels for her age group in her local library’s summer reading program.

In her teens, writing took a backseat to fashion, as she was determined to find clothes different from what everyone else bought at the mall. And what she couldn’t find, she created. She learned to sew, worked in a fabric store after school, and spent her spare time with a needle in hand. Her black and orange prom dress is still one of her favorite creations.

Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son, and didn’t expect to write again. But Wicked Wind and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper. Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons.

Sharon Kay

Connect with the Author!

Read our reviews for other books in the series:
Wicked Wind (book #1)
Wicked Waves (book #2)
Wicked Flames (book #3)
Kissed by a Demon Spy (novella)