Black Moon is book three in the Alpha Pack series, and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t find the characters as loveable as those in the previous instalBlack Moon is book three in the Alpha Pack series, and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t find the characters as loveable as those in the previous instalment, Savage Awakening.
Kalen Black is a powerful sorcerer and shifter. He’s only been at the top secret Alpha Pack HQ for a short time and still doesn’t feel as though he’s part of the Alpha Pack family. Especially when Aric is all up in his face with his snarky-arse comments *personally, I love them.* But Kalen is there at the insistence of Nick, the head poncho, and so he’s trying his best to fit in. He’s also got the hots for a sexy doc but has cut all romantic ties with her after their passionate one-night stand as he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. (You can read more about their little romantic interlude in Black Magic, an Alpha Pack short story).
Dr. Mackenzie Grant is still feeling hurt that Kalen broke things off before they even really got going, but being the professional she is, she’s been keeping her feelings locked up tight. But when she notices that Kalen isn’t acting himself, she quickly realises that he’s being taken over by a sinister force. Mac and the rest of the Alpha Pack are working together to help Kalen, but he’s finding it more and more difficult to resist its seductive forces.
Kalen is an interesting character, but I didn’t fall in love with him like I did Aric from Savage Awakening. I’m not sure why as he’s described as sexy and does turn into a gorgeous black panther (an animal I love). I did find his constant declaration that he would resist the dark forces, only to be quite easily led, slightly annoying and thought it made him look weak (which isn’t a trait I like in my heroes). Mac is also a nice character, she’s caring and thinks of others, which does make her a good doctor, but she doesn’t quite have the feisty personality I like. Together they are sweet though and I did enjoy their romance.
There are lots of twists and turns to this story, and although they were kind of predictable, they were still fun to read. I did find the sections where Kalen was resisting the darkness a little too overused. It seemed to go on for quite a lot of the book, which was too long for me. The climatic action scene near the end of the novel was great, but the overly sweet ending was a little sickly and a bit too perfect. However, it was nice to see Kalen get what he deserved.
Black Moon is a good addition to the series, but not my favourite. The romance is sweet, but the plot is a little slow at times and a bit predictable. Overall though, it is a fun read, and I look forward to picking up the next book in the series, Hunter’s Heart, which is Ryon’s story. ...more
I haven't rated this book as it was a DNF. At first this book started out quite fun, but then it turned a bit strange, and seemed to go on and**DNF**
I haven't rated this book as it was a DNF. At first this book started out quite fun, but then it turned a bit strange, and seemed to go on and on without anything really happening. It's was quite repetitive especially with regards to the heroines thoughts and emotions. And there was absolutely no depth to the character of the demon, he was as flat as a pancake.
So, sadly, at 68% I called it a day and set it aside. There are just too many other books to read than to spend time slogging agonisingly through this.
Savage Awakening is the second instalment in the Alpha Pack series and Aric’s story. It opensOriginally published on www.bookchickcity.com - 3.5 Stars
Savage Awakening is the second instalment in the Alpha Pack series and Aric’s story. It opens a few weeks from where Primal Law ends and Aric Savage is being held captive by the same people who are killing shifters. He’s being tortured and abused and is very near to losing his mind because of the pain he’s had to endure.
Meanwhile, when our heroine, Rowan Chase, LAPD cop, kills a man in the line of duty, she takes some time out to clear her head as it’s the first person she’s killed while doing her job. While on leave she hears that there is a possibility her brother, Micah, who had gone missing months ago and thought dead, could be very much alive. What she doesn’t know is that Micah is an Alpha Pack operative and a shifter. When given the location of an unknown compound, she decides to check it out to see if she can find any answers, and so heads towards the top secret Alpha Pack HQ and the knowledge that supernatural beings roam among us.
I liked Savage Awakening a lot more than the first book, the writing seems so much tighter, flows better, and things are a little more believable than in Primal Law, and both the hero and heroine are more inline with what I like with regards to my hero/heroine’s personality traits.
Aric is a tortured hero who has lots of dark secrets, and guilt is eating him alive because of those secrets. He’s also brash, cocky and occasionally an all round douchebag. But gosh is he loveable, and of course bad-boy sexy.
Rowan is a very capable woman, with a career as a cop in the Los Angeles Police Department, which she loves, she has to be. She’s strong and doesn’t take crap from anybody, especially from Aric. When they meet during a recovery op, they are both instantly attracted to each other, and so their romance dance begins.
Both characters grew during the course of the book, especially Aric, and by the end although he was still his cocky, snarky self, I loved how he tried to right all his wrongs.
One of the aspects I can’t say I really enjoyed was the trope of the ‘destined couple’. It was much more noticeable with the first book, but even here the pull of destiny and how Aric and Rowan are meant to be together is what ultimately bonds them. However, I really enjoyed watching Aric and Rowan’s love for one another grow outside of the bond, I really felt by the end of the story that it wasn’t just the pull of destiny, but that real love was the reason they were together.
I really enjoyed Savage Awakening, mainly due to the hero and heroine, as they are both interesting characters. The plot is good too and there’s plenty of action to keep the story moving forward. A great addition to the series. Now onto Black Moon, and silky black panther, Kalen....more
Love with a Chance of Zombies is a fun erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. At only 74 or so pages, Dryden manages to pack a lot3.5 Stars
Love with a Chance of Zombies is a fun erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. At only 74 or so pages, Dryden manages to pack a lot in. There's hot sex, love, zombie killing and a doc who's trying to find a cure.
The story opens up with feisty heroine, Lena Stanton, out in the field shooting zombies. She's then called to stand guard over Dr. Lucas Naye, who's seen to be a hero as in the Before life he was a prodigy and genius, sadly in the Now life he's been bitten. It takes up to six weeks for the first symptoms to show and so until then he's a allowed to continue working in his lab. Lena's job is to make sure he doesn't escape or hurt anyone, and to kill on sight when he changes. What she doesn't plan on, are days full of amazing sex, and falling in love.
The interactions between Lena and Lucas are short but sweet. Mostly sex to be honest, rather than dialogue, and how they want to give him the best send off they can, both of them not realising how difficult it will be as they begin to have feelings for each other.
The romance and sex is mixed with a little bit of zombie killing action as they work tirelessly to find a cure, and I loved this untraditional combination. The ending is a HEA of sorts, but I do so wish this was a longer work as I really enjoyed being in Lena's world, and would have loved to see how things worked out with Dryden.
A fun, steamy read with the addition of zombies. A great combination in my book, a shame is was so short....more
Blacque/Bleu is a pretty good erotic m/m paranormal romance. I liked the author’s writing style although there wasn’t as much depth to the overall stoBlacque/Bleu is a pretty good erotic m/m paranormal romance. I liked the author’s writing style although there wasn’t as much depth to the overall story as I would have liked. The book definitely focuses much more on the sex than the plot, but it was a fun read. The characters are very likeable, and the sex scenes were quite well done and sexy.
Blacque is a werewolf mechanic and Bleu, who works in the shop next door, is a vampire and restorer. They have admired each other from afar but have never done anything about it, basically because it’s not the ‘done thing’ between weres and vamps. But one night, when they bump into each other in bar, things get hot and heavy between them and they go home together and have mind blowing sex.
For all Blacque’s tough, tattooed and muscular exterior, he’s pretty naive in this area, having never been with a guy, and has never admitted to himself or others that he’s gay. But a night with Bleu shows him once and for all who and what he is. It was really nice to get this point of view of such a naive werewolf. The contradiction of how he looks compared to who he actually is made the story a lot more interesting to me.
Bleu on the other hand has always been in touch with that side of his nature, and had no trouble with showing Blacque how good it could be. Although Bleu had always been attracted to Blacque, his real motive to be with him was so he could feed, if sex was part of the deal then that was just a bonus. Bleu was dying, and if he didn’t feed soon, he would die a true death. I could understand Bleu needing blood to live, but I didn’t like that this was the way their relationship started. It was an interesting way to get the boys together, as without it I don’t think they would have, especially as they hadn’t said much to each other beyond hi and goodbye.
Things changed a lot when an order comes from Blacqeu’s Alpha, and father, to find a mate and make baby weres to help the line of werewolves. Blacque’s knows his time with Bleu is limited as his pack would not tolerate a gay werewolf. So he decides to have one amazing weekend with Bleu and then they should part ways. Bleu reluctantly agrees. What they didn’t count on was falling hard and fast for each other, which of course causes all sorts of problems, but also helps Blacque become more confident and take control of his own life and destiny.
I loved watching Blacque grow. If I had to choose then he was my favourite of the two. I liked how he interacted with his sister and Pack, and when trouble came knocking in the form of Bleu’s insane ex and maker, and a certain kidnapping, he was there, without any hesitation, showing his true nature,
Blacque/Bleu is a good m/m erotic paranormal romance, with a fun story and likeable characters. There was a little too much emphasis on the sex and not enough on depth of plot, even though it was an interesting one, but it was an enjoyable read overall. I will definitely read more from this author and plan to read the second book in the Acarda series, Silver/Steel....more
I've been really enjoying Larissa Ione's Lords of Deliverance series, and I really love her writing style, so when I heard that she was relea4.5 Stars
I've been really enjoying Larissa Ione's Lords of Deliverance series, and I really love her writing style, so when I heard that she was releasing a new series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the first book, Bound by Night. But did it live up to my very high expectations? Yes it did. In fact, I think I enjoyed this more than the Lords of Deliverance.
The story begins with a prologue where we meet our heroine, Nicole Martin, when she was a child. The vampire's are rising up against their slavery and her entire family are butchered except for her half-brother Chuck and herself, although she was fed upon and left for dead. The scars on Nicole's neck remind her of that every day. She was also left with a disease that she has to take medication for otherwise she would die a painful death. The strain she has is passed through saliva, which is the weaker strain compared to that of blood.
Back in the present, Nicole is now twenty-eight and the CEO of Daedalus, the company that revolutionised vampire slavery and uses vampires a lab rats to advance human medicine. A role she doesn't want and had left to her brother while she lived and worked in Paris. Until, that is, clauses from her parent's wills kicked in and she had to return to take the role as head of the company. She may hate vampires, but she doesn't like the way her company works. She remembers her vampire nanny, Terese, who was more a mother to her than her own. She misses her deeply and remembers her kindness and love, so she knows not all vampires are the same. However, she also has memories of seeing Terese's vampire lover, Riker, kill her while Nicole had no choice but to watch as she remained hidden. The thought of Riker still frightens her today.
The Vampire world is really original. Vampires aren't the 'undead' but beings shrouded in mythology about their origins, with one that suggests they were created by demons. Vampires can also get pregnant, although it is very rare, it is possible. But the majority of vampires are slaves; defanged and abused by their owners. The ones that have escaped this life live in communities, or clans.
I loved this different take on vampires and their world. It's actually very complex, but fresh and exciting and I'm so looking forward to reading more about their history. The ending suggests there's a huge amount of historical background to be revealed.
Our hero is the vampire, Riker.... Oh what can I say about him... gorgeous, strong, sexy, hot... He's also quite different from other vampires I've read about. I think it's down to Ione's world-building that gives a different perspective on the vampires in Bound by Night.
The dynamics between Riker and Nicole is great and I loved their chemistry. They have to grow so much throughout the story as they start out by hating each other. Thinking things about each other and their worlds that is actually very distorted and in some cases untrue. The sex scenes between Riker and Nicole are seriously hot. That Riker is one hot vampire.
As with the other Ione books I've read, as well as the delicious romance there is also lots of action. Ione writes great fight scenes that are really exciting and pull you in so you are part of the action right alongside the characters.
There are many other characters that I loved too, but the main ones are Myne, Hunter and Katina. They are written with depth and detail that even though they are secondary characters you really get to know them. I'm excited to find out which of these characters will get their own book, but the way Bound by Night ended I suspect it will be Hunter next, which is fine by me as he is delish.
Bound by Night is an amazing start to a new series. The characters are wonderful and the world is an interesting and original one. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Chained by Night, I'm just sad I have to wait until 2014. If you love paranormal romance, then don't hesitate, pick up Bound by Night, you will love it....more
After reading and loving Flesh, the first book in this series, I was really looking forward to reading Skin. The reason I didn't pick it up s4.5 Stars
After reading and loving Flesh, the first book in this series, I was really looking forward to reading Skin. The reason I didn't pick it up sooner is because I was concerned about the premise. The heroine, Roslyn, is sold for food and supplies by the people she is living with. After the zombie apocalypse hit, Roslyn hid in the school where she had worked as a librarian. The guy who bought her is our hero, Nick. He wants a woman to spend his time with, and have sex with. Roslyn is not too keen on being bought and sold like a piece of meat and so takes an instance dislike, or shall I say, hatred, to Nick. After smashing Nick over the head and causing all sorts of trouble as he takes her back to his home, he decides to chain her up so she can't leave.
This was where my concern lay. How could the author take a captive situation and turn it into a romance? Fortunately, Scott manages it brilliantly and I thought this instalment was even better than the first.
Although Nick is a complete A-Hole, he's not abusive. He doesn't physically hurt her, rape her, or treat her badly in any way, other than the chain of course. We go through all of Roslyn's emotions with her: how could he do this; how dare he do this; he's a complete and utter bastard... and because I went through all of Roslyn's turmoil with her, the more realistic the romance between her and Nick became.
As with Flesh, the narration alternates between hero and heroine, so we do get to hear from both Ros and Nick. This helps a lot to understand where Nick stands in all of this, and to be honest, the author does a great job putting him in a sympathetic light. I will admit that I was wary of Nick for all of a few chapters, but by then he had won me over. I liked him, and dare I say even loved him towards the end.
Nick and Ros go through quite a lot together, and trust begins to form as their home, or prison as Ros sees it at first, burns to the ground. After nearly being eaten by zombies, and saved by Nick, this is where the trust forms for Ros. During their journey together, they bump into the nasty Pete and Justin, who we first met in Flesh, and who are disgusting, horrible men. The look they give Ros as if she's just there for their sexual gratification made me shudder. But thankfully, Nick has a plan. He wants to head back to Blackstone, a community of people in a semi-secure town, where he was cast out along with Pete and Justin, tarnished with the same brush. He thinks it's the only place Ros can be safe, whether he stays with her or not. I loved this about Nick, he always had her best interests at heart, and that endeared him to me.
The romance between Nick and Ros is so good. It's alternates between cute and hot. I was totally emotionally connected to these two characters. But what I also loved was the action scenes that complimented the romance so well. This was an irrisistable combination for me.
Compared to Flesh, the writing in Skin is tighter, the dialogue is more fluent, the sex scenes are hotter and continue to be well written. Basically, Skin is just a fantastic read. Although it's the second book in the series, it's still set in the same zombie infested world, but with a different set of characters, so in my opinion it can definitely be read as a stand alone.
This series is getting better with each book and I can't wait to read the third instalment, Bone, when it's released in 2014 (eeek! so long to wait...)
Scott is now firmly placed on my auto-buy list. Skin is a fabulous, sexy, action-packed read with great characters, an amazing hero and heroine with sizzling sexual chemistry, all set in a zombie apocalyptic world... It doesn't get much better than this....more
Ok, so this isn't a scary anthology, but it does contain lots of scary zombies, werewolves and a creepy love scene, so it still fits in with2.5 Stars
Ok, so this isn't a scary anthology, but it does contain lots of scary zombies, werewolves and a creepy love scene, so it still fits in with our All Hallows Eve month, right? ;D
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS by Megan Hart
I've heard so much about this author and have many of her novels on my kindle, but I just haven't got around to reading them yet. When I received Hot & Haunted for review, I was really excited to see that there was a short story from Megan Hart. I was interested in seeing if her writing style was my kind of thing, and I can say with certainty it most certainly was. I loved this story. For one it's about zombies, and two it contains a broken, complex heroine (my favourite kind) and two hot men.
The world-building is really fantastic, and it's really quite original in the world of zombie/post apocalyptic fiction. It's this world and the complex main character that just pulled me right in. When it finished (as it's pretty short) I was craving for more. Luckily I found an ebook serial from the author called The Resurrected that looks as though is set in the same world but with different characters with each story. Can't wait to read these.
Back to Nothing Else Matters. There are about three sex scenes in this short story, and although that may seem a lot considering it's length, they are so intricate to the story and to Liya's character that I didn't feel it was excessive. It even contained the dreaded "c" word, which I hate with a passion, but I loved this story so much that I just didn't care it was there. Whether it would have eventually irritated me if the story was actually a full length novel I'm not sure, but I'm definitely going to read her back list to find out. I just have to decide which one to read first: Another short story, of which I have four or Dirty a full length novel... (4.5/5)
PICK ME UP by Lauren Hawkeye
I enjoyed this story to a point. I can't complain about the writing as it was pretty good. The characters were also well rounded for such a short piece. 95% of the story takes place in a car with a young couple. You think you have them sussed out but as the story unfolds by flashbacks you realise that things are very different indeed.
This story had an almost a traditional feel about it. The kind of creepy stories we used to tell each other when we were kids, minus the sexual content. It's the creep factor and ending of this short that gave me that feeling and I'd be interested in hearing if others felt the same after they'd read it. All in all an ok read. (3/5)
LITTLE RED'S BIG BAD by Saranna DeWylde
Unfortunately, I couldn't finish this story. It was slow to start, and then the lust felt by the heroine for the hero happened too quickly and for no real reason other than he had a good body. I know it's a short story, but things should still be believable. Having read quite a few short stories now, I know it can be done as I've read some terrifically paced shorts. However, I think it was when the heroine was so turned on by just the thought of the hero, she had to pull off the road and masturbate using her iPhone vibrating app.
Miranda clenched her thighs more tightly together, desperate for relief. Above all, Miranda was a practical creature, so she surrendered. She pulled over onto a deserted dirt road, and after being quite liberal with the hand sanitizer, got out her iPhone. She slipped it into the neoprene sleeve and activated the iVibe app before tucking it into her panties with the edge of the phone against her...
There's so much wrong with this for me. I mean, really? She was SO turned on she couldn't wait until she got home, so she had to use hand cleanser, and an iPhone case? What was the point of hand disinfectant when she'd just tucked an iPhone case down her knickers? O_O
Little Red's Big Bad started out a bit slow, the insta-lust happened too quick and was unbelievable and the above scene just had my eyes rolling. (DNF)
Hot & Haunted was an ok read. The first story, Nothing Else Matters by Megan Hart, made this anthology for me, by far, and I would recommend it based on this short story alone (especially as it only costs £0.99). However, by not being able to finish Little Red's Big Bad the overall rating was brought down quite a bit....more
KITTEN-TIGER & THE MONK by Carolyn Crane Reviewer: Gemma
Reading shorts in an anthology can be a hit or a miss at times. YouJoint Review - 3.5 Stars
KITTEN-TIGER & THE MONK by Carolyn Crane Reviewer: Gemma
Reading shorts in an anthology can be a hit or a miss at times. You either have the short stories, which are part of a series that read like they are deleted scenes and you really need to be up-to-date with that series to have a Scooby on what is going on. Or you have the other short stories, that although they take part in the same universe, the story either concentrates on characters that you meet in the main series, but gives them a bit more screen time or it’s a stand-alone story with the main character is completely unrelated plot to the main series.
For me, on first impressions, this story falls into the character/own story short and thankfully it meant I wasn’t lost having never ready the parent series.
The author manages to give you just enough detail on the world in which this story is set. It comes across as kind of near-future/x-men type of world, where normal people develop extra-ordinary abilities. In this case, our main protagonist is Sophia. She has the ability to wipe and re-write someone’s short term memory. She is in search of a person named The Monk, who can effectively give her a clean slate after some of the more dodgy assignments she has taken. Unfortunatly for her, she has to go through an ex, named Robert, who she really wronged in the past.
Sophia is a very complex character and at first I felt some sympathy towards her as it was clear she wanted out of her current life. The novelty of using this gift to get the outcome you wanted had waned and she wanted to start over.
This changed as you began to delve deeper into her past and especially with what she did to Robert, the supposed love of her life. It was so cleverly done, and though I knew that Sophia’s family wasn’t the pillars of saint-hood, the revelation on how she was involved in their dodgy dealings was still a shock.
I’m glad to see that she was redeemed and that her actions in her past were not down to sheer greed. Also, her refusal to leave Robert to his fate with a group of sleep-walking cannibals that lived underneath a structure called The Tangle, showed that she did truly care for him.
My only real criticism of the short was the fact I couldn’t get any feeling for the character of Robert. Yes, he has a really horrible life, but there was nothing in his character that made me root for him. His sole purpose seemed to be to provide the catalyst for Sophia to change her life. Maybe if it had been a full novel, we would have learnt a bit more about him. For the purposes of this short, it wasn’t desperate, though I do hope that in the novels we will see more of the characters.
VERDICT: I really enjoyed this short and it was a great insight into the series. In a few short pages, Crane managed to cram in a hell of a lot of story and plot development. So much so, I think this series may go on to my wish-list. 3.5/5
VIXEN by Jill Myles Reviewer: Laura
I knew my slightly sheltered self was in trouble within the first few pages of picking up this story:
Miko jerked the door open, about to snarl something unpleasant through the screen. [...] Every hormone in her body went on instant alert. Both men were gorgeous…
I suddenly realised this was going to be no ordinary romance! I wouldn’t really class myself as an erotica fan. I read romance, but for me that is about the love and the happy endings, they have to have a good story and the sex scenes are a bonus of the chemistry and spark I’ve enjoyed along the way.
VIXEN was more erotica than romance. And well as you might have guessed from the quote it was about two guys (Sam and Jeremiah) and one lucky lady (Miko). The story was short and sweet (and filthy!!). There was some actual plot with were-fox Miko needing protection from fox hunters, but much of it was about them flirting and the build up to the big *ahem* climax.
The sex scene was well.. erm, phew, yes well, *fans oneself*! Rather raunchy to say the least! But Miko’s a were-fox and they need more then one man to keep them happy, so everyone was happy! It caused me amusement and blushes in equal measure.
VERDICT: This was a fun and sexy book, perhaps not a genre I would particularly read again, I think I prefer monogamous relationships. But it made for an entertaining evening read. And I might even be tempted to pick up something by this author again. 3/5
THE BLUSHING BOUNDER by Meljean Brook Reviewer: Carolyn
This is the first piece of writing I’ve read by Meljean Brook, and I liked it. It did feel as though it was part of a larger work but for the most part it was engaging, the characters had surprising depth for such a short story, and the steampunk world was intriguing.
In this world, humans are called Bounders, and Hordes are infected with tiny machines they call bugs. These bugs were used by the Horde to control everyone in England until a revolution.
Temperance is our leading lady who’s fallen in love with a gentleman she met in the park. Unfortunately Temperance is terminally ill with consumption and has decided to live out her remaining months/years in a sanatorium. On the morning of her departure her gentleman friend, Edward Newberry, grabs her and kisses her passionately in the presence of her family and passers by in the street. Of course, this may be an alternative America, but when it comes to being ‘a lady’ things haven’t changed much and kissing in public by anyone other than your husband is not the done thing! Temperance is forced to marry Edward.
Temperance and her new husband, Edward, move to London where social etiquette is more relaxed, and Edward is a police constable. After a few weeks and much thought, Temperance comes to the conclusion that her beau kissed her with the purpose of securing her inheritance, and with a broken heart resigns herself to living her last remaining years unhappily.
However, one night she witnesses a murder and things change between her and Constable Newberry, and there’s also a chance of a cure for Temperance, but it would mean being infected with the bugs…
Brook manages to pack a lot into such a short story. I will admit to being a little confused at times and having to read through certain paragraphs more than once to let this new-to-me genre sink in. Steampunk, as with most genre, has its own jargon, and I found it interesting but harder to get into than I would say a PNR or UF. This is probably why it felt it was part of a larger body of work, but the combination of romance and mystery within a steampunk world was a really great mix and one I would definitely like to investigate more.
VERDICT: Brook has a great writing style which I liked and I enjoyed meeting the characters. I would definitely read more from this author. THE BLUSHING BOUNDER is a taster to Brook’s steampunk romance series, The Iron Seas, but can be read as a stand alone novella, but only just. 3.5/5...more