Sunday, June 30, 2013

Desire by Blood by Melissa Schroeder

Enter the world of By Blood where an entire class of vampires operates within the glittering realm of the Victorian ton.

A man with a secret.

Nicodemus Blackburn has seen the best and worst of mankind. Five hundred years of dealing with them teaches the vampire to be very wary of the creatures. Unfortunately, alarming events leave him no choice but to enter the world of the ton to hunt a rogue vampire—one who is making his own army of blood thirsty vampires. Searching for the villain is not the worst of his troubles. That can be laid at the feet of bluestocking Lady Cordelia Collingsworth.

A woman on a mission.

Cordelia has always been an outcast, even in her own family. She has forged her way in the world with her ability to write, and Nico Blackburn is the focus of her next article. Before she can obtain any information about the mysterious man, she is pulled headlong into a scandal that leaves her with no choice but to marry Nico—a man with dangerous secrets.

A passion that consumes them both.

Thrust into a world she knows nothing of, Cordelia finds herself falling in love with a man who claims to be a vampire. As their passion grows, so does the danger around them and Nico will have to call on all of his powers to protect the one thing he has realized he cannot live without: his opinionated, infuriating, and thoroughly delectable wife.

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A rather compelling story that draws you in almost from the first page. The attraction between Cordelia and Nico is palpable and evident from the first moment they meet. It's little surprise that within hours they end up in a clinch that threatens to compromise her reputation if he doesn't marry her, which of course he does. From then on they have to work at getting to know one another at the same time as the desire between them refuses to be denied and keeps pulling them together again and again whatever other differences they may have.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost

Isabella Spaga is about to reluctantly walk down the aisle with Mr. Dangerously Wrong...but not if dashing vampire Chance has anything to say about it. As a favor to Bones, Chance has come to derail this wedding of beauty to the beast. Now if only he can keep his hands off the bride. From "New York Times" bestselling author Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress world, it's the wedding of the season...that everyone wants to miss. (Originally appeared in Weddings from Hell anthology)

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Note: In the event it proves relevant, at the time I write this review I have only read Halfway to the Grave and Reckoning in this series, thus I only have knowledge of characters that appear in those books.

As someone who is still fairly new to the Night Huntress universe, I thoroughly enjoyed this short story even though it seems to be only minimally connected to the main book that proceeds it. We only get a few glimpses of Bones here, and he seems somehow a bit different, though perhaps his behavior will seem less odd once I've seen more of him in later books. Cat isn't seen at all and isn't even mentioned by name though Bones does make a comment at one point that alludes to her. For the most part, I think this story could be read and understood on its own even if you haven't read the books that proceed it on the timeline.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blood Slave by Travis Luedke

Her mother named her Esperanza Salvación - Hope for Salvation. But when a girl works as an escort for Colombian cartel in the ghettos of Spanish Harlem, there wasn’t much hope, or salvation.

Hope’s telepathic ability keeps her a step ahead of ruin, but her unusual gift attracts the attention of a psychotic vampire bitch. Trapped in a Manhattan penthouse with the psycho, she thought she was dead meat.

Her survival lies in the hands of Vampire Master Enrique. He seems to respect her, perhaps even care. As a measure of protection, he makes her his personal Bloodslave. Helplessly addicted to his bite, Enrique rules her every moment. As always, Hope must adapt to survive.

Swept into the decadent nightlife of Manhattan's elite, she falls in love with Enrique and prays someday he may grow to love her, too. But is it simply a relationship of convenience? Is she nothing more than a concubine desperate to satisfy his nightly demands for blood and sex?

And forever in the background is the fear that one day the cartel boss she abandoned will hunt her down to collect on old debts.

Where to Buy

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I'd anticipated. I'd been expecting a erotic work full of dark and twisted sexual situations and practices, and while it does contain that, it is also an emotional tale of how a woman who has been a prostitute for most of her young life learns to care for the vampire who has become her master and her lover. She also finds herself along the way, learning to respect herself and to demand to be treated with respect, not just accept whatever treatment she receives from others. She also learns that when pushed to it she's capable of doing far more than she ever thought she would be.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light by Tanya Huff

A mentally disadvantaged young woman who sees what other people don't, a street musician, a social worker, and a bag-lady join forces with an "Adept of the Light" to fight the encroaching darkness that stalks the streets of modern Toronto.

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This was the third or fourth time I've read this book, and I always enjoy it. It is a fascinating tale of a battle between Light and Dark and the measures each employs. It incorporates many things from children's fairy tales and the creatures in them to various religious traditions, though pagan traditions predominate. It is interesting to watch how each of the characters evolves and responds to the challenges presented.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rhuul's Flame by Nulli Para Ora

Of all the species of the twelve realms, Rhuul is unique. The product of two races who despise each other, he is reviled by his family and unwelcome in his homeland.

Exiled, he finds himself in a new realm with beings he’s never seen before. They’re not important; only his destiny is. Driven to prove his worth, he seeks to rule a realm of his own. Nothing will stand in his way, and no one will change his focus. Or so he thinks.

When a mysterious woman calls out for help through his dreams, he searches her out. When they meet, she’s unlike anyone he’s ever encountered. Can they set aside their beliefs to work together? Can love bloom when their ideals are exact opposites?

Where to Buy

Another highly entertaining read by a great new-ish author. This one will make you want to weep and make you want to fan yourself. Two words on that last part: cave scene. Hot with a capital HAWT ;) Great characters that will have you rooting for them and wanting to smack them by turns. Fans of light PNR will enjoy this one.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Raphael by D.B. Reynolds

Malibu, California-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.

Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he'd give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it's too late.

Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who's tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn's happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.

Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.

Where to Buy

I'd been feeling in need of a good uber powerful alpha vamp story for the last while now, and this story scratched that itch pretty well. Raphael certainly is everything you could ask for with the above named qualities with a strong personality, unbelievable charisma, and more power at his beck and call than can truly be imagined. Still, something in this fell just a little bit flat for me. Perhaps it was just a side effect of having to read the better part of the book in small increments over my lunch hour at work, but I never *quite* found the level of whatever quality it is about a book or its hero/ine or other characters that make you unable to put the book down and holds you in its thrall until you've finished. Yes, there were many times I found it very difficult to stop reading when I had to, but, *shrugs* there was just a little something missing for me.