Nicolina Martin-Her Vampire Hero

Renee Rose and Lee Savino created a world with their Bad Boy Alpha books. These books are about shifters in AZ. The books start out with werewolves, but we branch out to lions, bears, and vampires. Renee and Lee opened up their world to other writers, and Nicolina was one of the authors to jump all over that. And guess what she wrote about? Well, with a title like Her Vampire Hero, you can be sure that it’s all about unicorn shifters.

Anyway, here’s our story. We have Lou, who is a vampire who has been around for a long fucking time. He doesn’t remember anything about himself before he became a vampire. All he knows is his name is Lou. He’s been run out of Baton Rouge, because the king of Baton Rouge didn’t want another old master vamp hanging around. So Lou, who has itchy feet anyway, moves on from Louisiana to Tucson. The problem is that the asshole in Baton Rouge isn’t about to forget about him. He has Lou attacked by werecoyotes, which ends up with him being taken to the hospital as a corpse. Which, well, he kinda really is, but you know what I mean.

Meanwhile, we have Kat. She’s a doc at the hospital and happens to be working the night that Lou is brought in. Even though she’s told that he’s dead, she goes to check on him anyway. And she mourns the fact that he is dead, even though she’s never met the man before. But as she’s standing there, mourning a dead man, she notices that he has signs of life. Of course, as a doctor, she’s going to do something about it, so she pumps a whole lot of blood into him, and he ends up in ICU. Luckily for him, Lou wakes up in enough time to escape before the sun comes up. Just barely in enough time, because he ends up having to sleep in the sewer. Kat sees him escape, but he can’t really make her forget him. That, of course, leads to problems, because it wouldn’t be an exciting story if there weren’t any problems.

I like Kat. She has a very caring heart. I mean, how many people would stand there and be sad over the fact that a man she’d never even seen before came into the hospital dead? It was that caring that saved Lou in the beginning, I think. I think that caring heart also woke up a part of Lou that hadn’t been awake for a long time. I mean, yeah, he talked about having other lovers, but, there’s just something different about Kat.

I went back and forth on Lou. There are times when I really like him. There are times when I really, really didn’t like him one little bit. I think that one of the parts I disliked him at I could’ve liked him more if he hadn’t made the choices that he had made. I don’t want to blame him for what happened, because everyone involved had choices, but he’s also not completely blameless in the situation.

And ok, I lied. No unicorn shifters. Sorry.

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I have to admit that there was one point where I really wanted to smack Kat around. She did something incredibly stupid, and I just was like, my dude, really? She kinda cut off her nose to spite her face.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Addison Cain-Cathedral

You all know that I am sooo down for any Addison Cain book, right? I mean, jump on it up and down with both feet kind of down for it. So, when I heard that she was coming out with Cathedral, I may have squee’d, just a little bit. In a totally dignified manner, of course. This book is the extended version of story that showed up in the anthology, Bite Me, which is now no longer available.

This is the story of Jade and Malcolm. Jade is the daughter of Darius, the ancient King of Vampires in the Americas. He’s not a nice guy. In fact, he fucks with Jade’s memory on the regular, he tortures her, he says that she needs to be seeded every day so that she can get pregnant and give him a grandchild. Jade is sure that he killed her mother. For Darius, Jade is nothing more than a tool. The only thing he wants from her is grandchildren, grandchildren who will also be daywalkers, and he will also be able to use to control things, just like he uses Jade.

Malcolm is another old vampire. How old? Well, he was a Pict. The Picts were a tribe in Scotland who scared the fuck out the invading Romans. Ever hear of Hadrian’s Wall? The one that the Romans built to keep the northern barbarians out of their conquered land and the one that the Romans said it was death to go north of? Yeah, totally because of the Picts. So, when I say that Malcolm is an old vampire warrior, believe me.

Malcolm has spent every second of every day since Jade was born watching out for her. Darius put her in Malcolm’s arms, pretty much fresh from the uterus. He was banned from courting Jade, but he’s not really let that stop him. He’s done everything he can while still flying under the radar and just brushing up against the line.

Oh my, oh my, oh my. This was a serious wow. I fell in love with Jade and Malcolm way back when we first met them and I couldn’t wait to get to know them more. And I really, really, really, want more of them. Jade is in that absolutely bugfuck crazy heroine category that I like. There’s that whole fragile, vulnerable, strong, powerful, sexy vibe that Jade has. There aren’t a lot of authors who can do that really well, but it’s something that Addison seems to specialize in. Her heroines walk that really fine line, very carefully. One inch too far one way or the other, and the heroines just don’t work, and Jade works.

I was fascinated by Malcolm. At first, I thought that he might just be a typical protective, strong, dominant kind of male character, but he really isn’t. I mean, yeah, he’s that, but there’s more to him too, I think. There’s something more to him. I feel like he has a different goal, more than just to have Jade. I mean, yeah, there is that goal too, but it’s a different way, I think. There’s just a whole different feel. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it, but I feel it.

I need so much more in this world, and I am pretty sure that I know that if we were to ask if and when there would be another one, the answer would be sooooooon. So, I will be sitting and waiting to see what happens.

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I want to know what’s up with V. And I’m assuming that the woman he was with was Pearl. I guess I’ll just have to wait, patiently, to see what happens next.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Addison took it wide, so you can find it anywhere you buy your favorite ebooks. So, go check it out. Happy reading!

 

Anthology-Bite Me

So, several of the usual suspects, plus a couple new ones, have gotten together and given us 9 lovely vampire stories. Bite Me has stories from Addison Cain, Zoe Blake, Alta Hensley, Myra Danvers, Eris Adderly, Livia Bourne, Sara Fields, Anita Gray, and Cassandra Faye. Cassandra Faye may sound like a totally new person, but that is Jennifer Bene’s new pen name for her more paranormal stuff.

As with any anthology that includes these ladies, there is dark and then there is DARK. That’s one of the nice things about anthologies, if you ask me, you are going to get a wide variety of darkness plus different takes on the subject. All the stories are about vampires, but there are 9 different ideas. The stories also vary in length. Some of them are prologues to new series, which I am dying for. So, with all that being said, let’s dive in, shall we?

Addison Cain-Cathedral

If you remember When the Darkness Wins, you might remember Pearl and Catacombs. Addison also released it as a standalone. Well, Cathedral is about Jade, Darius and Pearl’s daughter. I feel sorry for Jade. Having Darius as a father can’t have been easy at all. She’s nothing but a pawn in the hands of her father.

I was really excited to see this one come out, because I’ve been dying for more of that story and that world since I read Catacombs a million years ago. Or at least a few months back, whatever. Of course, Addison being the tease she is, there’s more to the story that we don’t know yet. But I’m sure we will, sooooooon. 

Zoe Blake-Till the End of Time

Zoe went back to the 1400s, and the most well-known vampire, Vlad Tepes, Voivode of Wallachia, Son of Dracul, aka Dracula. Only this origin story doesn’t start with the Impaler. It starts with his wife, Mirella. It also spans a lot of years.

I love how much research that Zoe had to have put into this one to get the true flavor of 1400s Romania. You get a real feel for Mirella and the whole geopolitical situation of the day. A whole lot of historical fact was wound into this story as well as the fiction, and it makes for a really rich story.

Alta Hensley-Master of Ceremonies

You know, I’ve often thought that a traveling carnival is a good place for supernaturals to hide, and apparently Alta did too. Cirque Romani’s MC, Valian, is more than meets the eye, and the Cirque’s audience is perfect to feed all his various hungers. Ada is his mortal assistant who madly loves him.

I really, really, really want more of this story. I mean, like sell my son’s soul for more of this story. I’d offer to sell mine, but that’s assuming that I still have one. There’s so much that happens here, and I want to see how all the events play out.

Myra Danvers-Enthralled

Myra, who is now one of my favorite authors, has given us a prequel to this. I can’t tell you exactly when it’s set, but I’m guessing mid-1800s. Axton is a new vampire, who follows his Dark Queen, his Night Princess, his Dam, Selma.

One of the things that I like about this is Myra’s language. She uses all kinds of euphemisms for various genitalia and sexual acts. It could sound silly in other places, but it really works well in this story. On top of that, I think that Myra also did a really good job of drawing us in and getting us involved in Axton’s feelings.

Eris Adderly-V Is For Vampire

Eris’s story is a prequel too. And being Eris, she gives us a totally different take on vampires. Her vampires in a couple of hundred years in the future. It’s also a genetic thing with them. You either carry the gene or you don’t. If you have the gene, you live in the underground as a vampire. If you don’t, you’re a normal and you live on the surface. November is 22V positive and a gate guard, keeping her people underground and normals aboveground.

I really like the whole futuristic dystopic world that Eris has created. I’m not quite sure that I could call it post-apocalyptic, but maybe post-apocalyptic adjacent? I’m really looking forward to what is going to happen with this, because it looks like there are some major, major changes coming.

Livia Bourne-Blinding Salvation

This is another prequel, and I may have to start counting down the days to this one. Hopefully, Livia hasn’t been taking too many lessons from Addison and won’t be a sadist. Lily was abducted to become food to Armand, a trapped vampire. But, you know, it’s never quite that interesting.

I really like Lily and Armand. Lily is very smart and very canny. I think that she is going to be really good for Armand. I like him too. I want to see more of how his mind works, because I think that he’s good and sneaky, and really creative when it comes to revenge.

Sara Fields-The Devil’s Game

Sara likes to play with us, I think. She gives us the story of Cain and Ruby. They are both strong, in their own ways, doing their own things, but then, they meet up, and sparks fly. They are fantastic together.

I wonder if there is going to be more of this. I hope so, I would really like there to be more. I think that Ruby and Cain play off each other really well. I like the whole premise of the story, and it plays back to some of the old vampire origin myths, which was always fun.

Anita Gray-To My End

Oh, this is definitely an Anita story. There’s probably a mindfuck in there somewhere. We have a Hunter named Sonny who is chasing down the Potentials and has to kill them. Then we have Vi, who doesn’t know exactly how special she is. But she sure knows how sexy new guy in town Sonny is.

You know, when I first read this one, I wanted so much for there to be more. I mean, I still do, don’t get me wrong, but I also think that the way that it ended is actually pretty much perfect. I think more story might ruin that perfectness. Does that mean I won’t read more if Anita gives it to us? Hell no. I will definitely read it. I’m sure that Anita can fix it.

Cassandra Faye-Sweet Ruin

Grace had a sexy, sexy dream. Probably a dream. Maybe a dream. Then she has a hallucination. A sexy, sexy hallucination named Nic who keeps showing up wherever she is. Sometimes he’s even dressed.

Sweet Ruin is probably the lightest story in the book. When you realize it’s a Jennifer Bene story, you might be surprised by that fact, but only if you haven’t read some of her PNR. It fits in pretty well with her books in that genre. It’s a totally different flavor to some of her other books. I loved Grace and Nic, and I think that they are really cute together.

OK, that’s all the stories and how I felt about them all. I’ve always loved a good vampire story and 9 of them is even better. Go check out the book and tell me what you think! Happy reading!

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Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Blood

Every. fucking. time. Every fucking time these two come out with another book in the series, I swear it’s the best one evah. Then, they write the next one. And the cycle starts all over again. I’ll bet that Alpha’s Blood is going to be hard to beat though. Now watch them make me eat my words. Because you know that they will try.

Lucius is the King of Tucson, when it comes to vampires. The centuries old vampire is the one in control of the area and he keeps all the vamps to the rules that he makes, and if they start to screw up, then he will do what needs to be done. He has something that isn’t quite an alliance with the werewolves in the area, maybe it’s more that they exist in a perpetual state of detente. Both sides recognize the authority of the other and that they both need to exist, and they will even work together toward a common goal, but in general, they really, really don’t like each other.

Lucius’ biggest curse is his sired. They all turn against them at some point. And he knows that they are up to something now. That means that he’s going to have to figure out what it is so that he can thwart it and punish the ones doing it. And for thwart, read kill. So, when he gets a sudden invite to a shifter auction, he knows that something is definitely up. Then he sees her. Selene.

Selene is the lone survivor of the massacre of her pack. She was saved from the foster system by a vampire named Xavier, who spent all her formative teen years being trained to kill Lucius, because Xavier showed her proof that he was the one who killed her pack. Now, after all the years of pain and training that she’s gone through, it’s time for the ultimate payoff. She’s standing on the stage at the shifter auction waiting to be sold, and the plan is that Lucius will buy her, because she’s perfect for him. And of course, Lucius does. Because our story would be so short otherwise.

I’ve respected Lucius every time we’ve seen him in other books. He seems like he’s as benevolent a king as he can be. I don’t think that benevolent is quite the right word, but he’s not a complete tyrant or anything. He doesn’t necessarily rule by fear, and he does give his sired and the vampiric citizens of his kingdom free will and enough rope to hang themselves by, but he also isn’t going to let them run willy-nilly over him. He’s willing to work with other supernatural types, as necessary. He’s ruthless when he needs to be, and rather pragmatic, I think. I really enjoyed getting to know more about him and about his history. Overall, it made me respect him even more, and definitely like him a whole lot.

I like Selene. I think that she’s a fantastic character. I also think that she started out the book a little emotionally stunted, but that’s pretty natural, considering what happened to her and the fact that Xavier wasn’t there to make sure that she was emotionally mature. He just wanted a fighter and he wanted a fighter who believed in what he believed in, and that’s what he got. I like the journey and the growth that we get to see in her over the book. It’s not easy for her, and I don’t think it was ever going to be easy for her, but it was a fantastic journey to read.

I can’t wait to see what Renee and Lee come up with next. I think that Lucius and Selene, and how perfect is that name for a werewolf, are going to be really hard to beat.

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The whole electrical scene? I’m pretty sure that my Kindle melted down after that one for a little while.

Also, I think that Selene and Lucius are going to be so fucking great at their roles.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check them all out! Happy reading!

 

Sara Fields-Consumed

Oh sweet baby fuck. Consumed was sooooooo good. And damn, just damn. Sara went to the dark side, way into the dark side, and invited us to come play with her, but she didn’t offer us cookies. Instead, she offered us Markos. I’m not sure if Markos is better than cookies. I guess it depends on the cookies.

Kassandra is an Interpol agent working deep cover. She’s pretending to be arm candy for a Mafia leader, and has been brought to a part in Mykonos, Greece, at Markos’ house. Markos isn’t her target, the Mafia dude she’s with is, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to take him down as well. There’s something about him that makes her curious. And we all know what curiosity did to the cat, right?

Markos’ men find Kassandra hiding in the room with all his archives. They drag her into his office and drop her in front of Markos, who then goes on to fuck Kassandra in every way possible, and maybe a few that I didn’t realize were possible yet. And that’s only after he took his belt to her ass. And that’s just the start of Markos fucking Kassandra.

Generally, when you think about Sara’s books, you don’t think about dark and twisted. Well, scratch that. Some dark and some twisted. But this is DARK and TWISTED. I was seriously so drug into the story that I could barely catch my breath sometimes, it was that engrossing. Consumed is a really good name for it, because it truly consumed me. In fact, it helped to contribute to the worst book hangover I have ever had in my life. I mean, I looked at all my books, and that’s a huuuuuuuge number of books and nothing worked right. I ended up playing a game which lets me unleash a plague on the world in order to get over it.

Markos is a devious bastard. I mean, if you look up devious in the dictionary, it has a picture of his face. And well, when you meet him, you’ll totally understand the bastard part.

Kassandra was harder for me to get a read on. I still haven’t quite decided how I feel about her. Sometimes I liked her, sometimes I felt sorry for her. Sometimes, I was outright terrified for her. I think that she was definitely in so far over her head that it wasn’t even funny.

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This was one of the most epic mindfucks I’ve ever read, from almost beginning to end, just a total mindfuck. I very honestly did not expect anything that happened, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from moment to moment.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Seriously, it’s a great read, so go check it out. Happy reading!

Macy Blake-The Chosen One

We all know that I love to read just about anything, and I take great joy in sharing the wonderful reads I find, right? Well, today I’m going to share Macy Blake and her Chosen One series. There are currently 5 books and 2 novellas, I think, I might be wrong on the novella numbers, set in the universe. There are 3 in the main series, All or Nothing, Nothing Ventured, and Next to Nothing. Then there is a prequel, Sweet Nothings. And a spinoff with the Hellhounds, Hell on Earth. The books are all MM, but not mpreg, mostly. I think that the Hellhounds books are more Omegaverse with some mpreg going on, but I’m not going to say for certain until I read it in the book. I do know for sure that there alphas and omegas, so there’s that.

Now, Macy calls this a reverse harem story, because even the first one starts out with 5 guys, and they add in more guys as each book goes on. But, I wouldn’t call it reverse harem at all. In an RH, generally it’s Person A and they have a lot of lovers who are only lovers to Person A. Other reviewers have said, and I agree, that this is an excellent example of a polyamorous relationship. That’s because all the guys have a relationship with each other and are all mates. There is the larger relationship and then each of them have their own relationships within that large group. And there are sexcapades galore. Pretty much, if you can think of any combination that 5 guys can get into, then they get into it. It’s pretty damn hot, and I don’t even have all the right pieces.

So, here are our base 5 guys. We have Sawyer, who has lived next to Draco for years, and who has crushed on him for most of that time. Then we have Henry, Eduard, and Andvari, who showed up in Sawyer and Drake’s neighborhood, in a McMansion they had built.

The way that the stories work is that long ago, an oracle foretold that there would be a chosen one who would bring back the magic, which has been going missing or being messed up for centuries now. Since that time, there have been 8 guardians called from the various clans to guard the Chosen One when they show up. No one knows anything about the Chosen One or who they are going to be. All they know is that each time a guardian dies, another is chosen.

At the beginning of the series, we have Draco, a dragon, Eduard, a gryphon, Andvari, a vampire, and Henry, a seer, who are all guardians. Then there is Sawyer. Sawyer who has loved Drake forever, but not known his secret until now. Drake has wanted Sawyer forever, but knew that he might be called away to be a guardian elsewhere, so has never given way to that desire. He knows that he wouldn’t survive being away from Sawyer that way. Sawyer, who is also a magical null, who can help Henry through the terrible pain he gets from his vision and who everyone is drawn to.

I really love this series and this world. I really like all of the characters that Macy has given us so far. I have favorites, of course, who doesn’t. Sawyer, Henry, and Meshaq are my favorites out of the entire world, so far.

The world building is great. Macy has really created a universe where things all make sense within the ‘verse, and the world is very rich and detailed. You can tell that she has put a lot of work into it. The story has a lot of love and a lot of sex, but there is also a lot of politicking, danger, conspiracy, and adventure. It’s really pretty much a perfect combination.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this series. The entire series is on KU, so it’s easy to check it out. Happy reading!

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Celia Aaron-Blood Prince

I guarantee that if Celia Aaron writes it, I will read it. Every.damn.time. I love her work so much. I’ve talked about before about how I think she’s a new chapter in Modern Southern Gothic fiction. She writes such layered stories with a lot of nuance. Her FMCs are strong characters in and of themselves, and she gives them a lot of smarts and stubbornness. Blood Prince fits in well with her style, even if it doesn’t take place in the South, unless, well, you consider the Underworld the South.

So, this is Celia’s take on the Helen of Troy story. For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Paris, the prince of Troy is asked to judge a beauty contest between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They bribe him and Aphrodite offers Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. That just happens to be Helen, Queen of Sparta, wife to Menelaus. As the story goes, either he went and kidnapped her and brought her to Troy or Aphrodite spirited her away. Either way, Helen and Paris end up together in Troy and madly in love. Menelaus, understandably, is really fucking pissed, so he and his allies lay siege to Troy. Eventually, Menelaus challenges Paris to a duel, and Paris either dies or runs away, depending on which story you read. Then, the Trojan Horse shows up.

OK, that’s the way that Homer told it. Celia’s version is slightly different. In her version, Priam, Paris’ dad, is the vampire king, and the vamps aren’t bad. Menelaus is a demon lord, and demons are bad. Menelaus bought Helen, a daughter of Zeus and full of magic, at an auction to be his wife. He did terrible, terrible things to her. We don’t know most of what he did to her at any point, other than killing her brothers and torturing her mother, we just know that it was terrible. When Paris was there and saw Helen in a rose garden, lightning struck, and they fell in love. He took her home to Troy, where they lived happily ever after, at least until Menelaus showed up and tried to get her back. Paris went to fight Menelaus and he lost. Then when Menelaus came to get Helen, she killed herself so that he couldn’t have her anymore.

Flash forward a few centuries and Elena, one of the maiden warriors of Artemis and her chief strategist, is out wandering through the streets of Paris. She runs into a huge guy who ends up taking her and shoving her in his car. Right before that happens, she sees the vampire prince Paris teleporting towards her, with a really angry look on his face. Last she knew, he was dallying with Artemis, so she can’t figure out why he’s mad at her. When she gets in the car, the man sticks some silver bracelets on her which block her magic and then tells her that, oh, BTW, he’s her husband.

Paris manages to help her escape, and tells Elena that she’s actually Helen of Troy. Artemis rescued her body after death, took her memories, and turned her into one of her warriors.

Elena/Helen is pretty damn kick ass. She’s smart, tricksy, wily, and a master tactician. She pretty much strategically outthinks everyone. Paris is more than willing to go with her plans because he knows that she’s not only the best at it but that she’s already thought through all the possible steps and problems before she finalizes anything. It’s like she already has seen every possible outcome and knows what definitely happen. It’s pretty cool. I love that Elena/Helen is so kick ass and that she is seriously fierce. She isn’t necessarily a damsel in distress. She definitely causes the distress. She’s confident and sure of herself and her power. The nice thing is that Paris isn’t threatened by that. He values her, her powers, and her abilities. He knows that if she’s by his side then he can’t fail.

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Oh, Iphi. I love her. She and Helen are a pair. I think that she’s just super fun, and not quite right, but in a good way. I would love to see a story about Iphi because I’m pretty sure that she would get into all kinds of good trouble.

Apollo is such a horndog. So funny. I wonder how many upset husbands he’s left in his wake over the centuries, because you know he has. Or maybe he just managed to charm them all, who knows. I feel like he’s one of those jackasses who is such a huge asshole but you can’t help but like him because he’s a charming fuck.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check this one out! Happy reading!