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!

 

Anna Edwards-Stolen Choices

Stolen Choices is the 6th book in Anna Edwards’ Glacial Blood books. While each book focuses on a different couple, these really aren’t standalones. The overall storyline builds up on itself with each book, and if you don’t read each of them, then you are going to miss stuff. Trust me, I started in the middle of the series, and I was a little bit lost until I went back and read all the earlier books. I mean, I wasn’t horribly, terribly lost, but a little lost. I missed nuances that I might have picked up. But that’s just me.

So, let’s get into the story, shall we? We have Katia, who is a member of the Glacial Blood pack, led by Kas. Then we have Jackson, who is one of Nuka’s followers. Nuka and his evil henchman, Ciaran, have evil plans when it comes to Katia. And they want to have Jackson deal with it.

You see, Katia has a horrible past. And that horrible past keeps her alone in a pack where everyone is coupling up. Her father used her to pay debts, and she ended up being trafficked. It was horribly horrible until she managed to get free, and now she wants to have nothing to do with men, sex, or anything like that. And I don’t blame her a bit. It’s hard though, and sometimes everyone coupling up and having all kinds of crazy sex in the house where the pack lives is overwhelming, so one day, she decides that she needs to take a break and go stay in one of the cabins on the pack land.

However, it’s not that easy. It’s never that easy. Ever. Nuka and Ciaran have plans for Katia. They are going to capture her and give her back to the man who owned her and mistreated her. And Jackson is going to do it. He grabs her, and Ciaran teleports them back to the place where she was taken before. Only this time it’s even worse. Ciaran has used his evil magic to make it so that she has to do whatever anyone tells her to do. No matter what. Jackson does what he’s supposed to do, but once he leaves her, he realizes that he can’t do that, so he tries to make it right.

If you looked at yesterday’s post, you’ll see that I said that this was a redemption story, and it is. The reason it is one is because Jackson has to go through his journey to figure out what was going on and become a better person. It isn’t an easy journey, and he does have to handle a lot of shit, but it’s a worthwhile one.

I like Katia. She is so incredibly strong and fierce. She’s had to be, and that strength really helps her out a lot. She needs to have it. I think that she’s also incredibly compassionate. You can see it in how she handles Jackson. She has a really good heart. A practical heart, definitely, but a very good one.

I didn’t think I could hate Nuka more than I already did, but you know what, I do. I think that he is a huge hypocrite, but aren’t a lot of bad guys? And really that’s not the worst thing he is, or the worst thing that he does, but honestly. I’m ready for Kas to wipe him off the face of the Earth.

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Argh, Ciaran and his fucking magic, taking all kinds of choices from everyone. I have to wonder who even has their own thoughts in their head when it comes to him.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it! 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!

 

Nia Ferrell & Claire Marta-Morgan

This is the first book in a new series from these ladies, and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the series. This book was really intense, both in sexy, sexy times, because those are great, as well as the interpersonal relationships between Morgan, Aiden, and Zac. But, it’s also incredibly suspenseful and the story is compelling. So, let’s talk about the first book in the Guarded Hearts series, Morgan.

Morgan is a grad student in psychology who lives with her roommate Casey, who is in the ATF. Morgan is working on her thesis about sexual surrogacy, and to that end, she is actually going to take on a client and be their sexual surrogate, and use her experiences in her thesis. And so enter Zac and Aiden.

They are members of the Order of the Phoenix, a mysterious order that fights evil. They used to be based in Notre-Dame de Paris, but, you know, fire. So now, they are in Morgan’s town, renovating an old military school/base called The Citadel. And part of their new remit is to date, mate, and procreate. The problem is that the guys make the most socially awkward person you have ever met look like Casanova. I mean, they were out at a bar and there was a woman there who they took over their knees and spanked. Whoops. Not the best thing ever, so now they have to go to therapy. They are getting sensitivity training, and they are learning how to date, which means they are going to be seeing Morgan in her professional guise. They are partners, as in a team who work together, not as in two guys who fuck each other (although I truly suspect that is coming. Or at least I hope so), and so everything they do, they do together, including sexual surrogacy therapy.

When Morgan first meets the guys, she thinks that they are a couple, which kind of makes sense, because they have been partners and friends for a long time. That kind of long term relationship can form a really tight bond that could look like a love relationship, especially if they live in the exact same apartment and share a lot of space.

This is a PNR, but it isn’t heavy on the paranormal aspect. They talk about vampires, and the guys talk a lot amongst themselves about being who they are. They call their bodies flesh robes, which is kinda awesome. We don’t really know much about the guys and what they are, really. There are hints of various things, and I made a couple of guesses before we eventually learn more, and I was kind of wrong on all counts.

I love that the fire at Notre Dame is such a huge plot point in the book, since that’s such a current event. At least, I’m assuming that’s what triggered that particular plot point. But, I thought that it was really interesting to work it into the story. I’m sure that Claire or Nia will tell me about it.

I really like Morgan, I think that she has a really good heart, even when she is fighting against herself. She truly wants to help Zac and Aiden, even before she has feelings for them. She really wants to help pretty much every person in pain that she runs into, which is why she’s going into psychology.

Zac and Aiden are good men. They have such a strong moral center, and are so earnest. There is also a real innocence about them. Maybe innocence isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s kinda close. Purity maybe. Light? A combination thereof. And even when they get all kinds of dirty and filthy and imagine what’s going on as well as having all kinds of sex, they really hold on to that particular feature, which I think would probably be really hard.

Casey is fearsome, and her book is next. I can’t wait to see how her story goes.

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Harold gave me the fucking creeps from the very first time we saw him.

I’m pretty sure that certain things aren’t quite as finished as the Order of the Phoenix thinks that they are.

I’m surprised that Casey hasn’t beaten the absolute shit out of certain people as of yet.

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

Anna Edwards-Hidden Pain

Hidden Pain is the 5th book in Anna’s Glacial Blood PNR series. These books aren’t really standalones, but they aren’t really serials either. Each book follows a new couple/thruple, but they are all in a larger story arc, and if you haven’t read the ones before, you aren’t going to really know what is going on, trust me on this.

This one has MMF going on in it, and OMFG, it’s hot. And it’s not just for the yummy sex, and I totally agree with Lily, but it’s hot for the realizations that come about for the characters because of their relationship.

So, Kingsley, a human, is in Kansas as the big wolf pack, where his sister, Isobel is marrying the love of her life, Zain, who is a bear shifter. They are going to go back to the Glacial Blood pack, but since they are gearing up for war, this time and place is the best place for the wedding, and for the families with tiny babies to stay. Hunter is the alpha of the pack, and he has invited Kingsley to stay, and he is keeping Lily, a bear, prisoner for Kas, until he decides what to do with her.

But here’s the thing, Hunter and Kingsley are drawn to each other, and they are both drawn to Lily. So, they decide that she’s going to go into the set of rooms in between Kingsley’s and Hunter’s.

All three of our main characters are dealing with some kind of trauma or stress. Lily has had horrible things happen to her at the hands of humans, and then even worse at the hands of Nuka, that motherfucker. She’s angry and hurt, and I totally think that she deserves to be. I would be too. And of course, Kingsley had to deal with his asshole father who, well, asshole is a really good description of him. But that’s OK, he croaked it. And Hunter. He’s dealing with having to be an alpha and leading his pack into the future and planning on fighting a war, and oh yeah, trying to figure out who is going to be his heir after he’s gone. He thinks that he has to shut down everything he wants so that he can do what he needs to do.

I love watching the three of them heal themselves and heal each other. We’re at a very tense part of the overall story, and I feel like that healing is a really integral part of the upcoming fight. Healing makes you stronger, and they had to make sure that their broken edges were sanded off.

I think, of the three of them, Lily had the most healing and growth, really. I’m not discounting anything that Hunter and Kingsley have dealt with or are dealing with, because they have their own journeys to handle, but really, I think Lily has the longest journey. Once we have her backstory, we can understand exactly how long that journey is and everything she had to deal with.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out. Anna keeps me all dragged into the series.

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OMG, Lily’s backstory broke my heart. That poor woman, and then Nuka the fucka?

OK, that’s all for today. Go check out the entire series. 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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Kay Elle Parker-Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows is the second part of the Shadowcrown Duet by Kay Elle Parker. See my review for King of Shadows here.

There are likely to be spoilers from the first one in this review, since it was a duet, and it was left on a cliffhanger. We all know that’s just the nature of the beast, but we also know that I will do everything possible in order to keep that from happening. But, you have been warned, and if you get spoiled, I’m sorry, but you were warned.

So, we left pregnant Allianna after she has lost both Kian and Islador. The one to a demon, the other because he was trying to save her. Now, Lucifer is doing his damnedest to turn her into his queen. He wants her and her child, plus any other children she may bear, so that he’ll have heirs. Luci may be bound and determined to have her, but Allianna is even more bound and determined to not have him, and one of the reasons is that she’s pretty sure she can’t be touched again, let alone ever have sex again. However, Luci left her a surprise.

Isla wakes up in Alli’s bathtub. While only short time has happened in the Shadows, it was an endless time in Hell, and Isla was tortured. He’s not quite the same person he was before. That’s OK, Alli isn’t exactly the same person she was before either, and now she’s even more because she’s the queen. She is doing all she can to hold her world together and to rule while she’s falling apart inside. She has Dhur there to help her and to protect and care for her, and now she has Islador who will help her. The problem is she also has Lucifer who likes to pop in now and again and pretty much be a douchelord. All this is making Alli just fall apart inside, which she tries really hard to hide, but not so well.

Meanwhile, Kian is being tortured, until Isla makes a deal with Lucifer, and he is put into a “safe” place for a few months. I don’t know what the agreement was, but it was something. But Luci has his plans for Kian too.

I kinda like and hate Lucifer at the same time. The thing is you can’t trust him further than you can throw him, because hello, Prince of Lies, original Fallen Angel. But, you can trust in the fact that you can’t trust him. It’s hard to know if he is lying or telling the truth, because again, Prince of Lies. But not every word out of his mouth is a lie. It would be easier if it were. He will always tell the truth if it will hurt more, but he may not be telling all the truth, or the absolute truth. And he does it all in such a charming way. Right until his charm fails and his monstrousness shines through.

Kian and Isla try to do their best by Allianna, but it ain’t always possible. And she is strong-willed enough that she’s going to fight hard to find out any secrets that they are keeping from her and keep them from packing her in cotton wool. In fact, I think it would be utterly impossible to pack her away and keep her safe.

The last time I wrote about these characters, I said that Allianna was high up in the tough, kickass heroine list? Well, this book did absolutely nothing to dispell that. She is definitely a kickass heroine, and she is there to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she ran out of bubble gum a looooooong time ago. I think that anyone who wants to go against her or her kingdom or her family should think about least 15 times, and then reconsider. And then they should probably run far, far, far, far, far away, so she can’t even find out that they were thinking about anything.

Isla and Kian are both good men who dearly love her. And Dhur is more than just a guard or anything else, he is family, and is utterly devoted to the royal family.

I would still kill for a book about Dhur, and I would love to see the next generation.

Tiara

OMG, OMG, OMG!!! The baby drama!

And the ultimate solution?

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