In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.
In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…
Plus FIRST TIME IN PRINT
In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…
And NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED
In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.
Has: The first story in the anthology really sets up the tone and feel – it expands the wider world of the Guild Hunter universe by focussing on the supporting and secondary characters that appeared in the series. In Angel’s Pawn, Ashwini, the guild huntress is on a mission to locate a missing vampire before an epic feud blows between opposing angel and vampire factions. She teams up reluctantly with the sexy and roguish cajun vampire Janvier who has offered to help her despite the fact she has hunted him in the past. This adds sexual frission between Ashwini and Janvier because there is a past history filled with friendly antagonism and unwelcome attraction which becomes full blown over the course of the story. I really loved how this played out, along with the twisty plot with the mystery which isn’t as clear cut as it seems. Although I wished there was more to the romance and even the story, because this felt more like a prequel short which hints of a full story in the future. But this was fun, sexy and sassy! I give it a B-
MinnChica: I have to say that this was my least favorite of the stories, and probably because with Singh, I am so used to there being more romance in the story. For me, this was more of foreplay – while it’s lots of fun to start, I like to get to the main event as well. There was a lot of cat and mouse being played between Ashwini and Janvier, and even though the sexual tension was off the charts, I wanted and expected to have a HEA, and that just wasn’t the case here. I have to say though Singh set up the series and world-building with this short novella with a bang! I give Angel’s Pawn a C
E: I really enjoyed the interaction between Ashwini and Janvier. Even though this novella focuses on the two of them it also serves to highlight just how cutthroat vampire and angelic politics are. This showed once again the differences between shorter lived humans and the extended lifetimes of the angels and the vampires they have created. Getting back to Ash and Janvier I loved how this novella continued their game of cat and mouse that we have caught glimpses of throughout the series. While this one does leave you with the idea that eventually the two of them will have a relationship it ends while they are still getting to know each other. I liked the slower pace and I can’t wait to find out what the two of them get into next. By no stretch of the imagination do I think that Janvier will stop doing things to make Ash’s life difficult but it is with the understanding that this is part of the courtship and keeping their “romance” alive. I give Angel’s Pawn a B+
Has: I think this was my second favourite story in the anthology. I loved how Sara and Deacon got together. The moment when they met, with Deacon in bad ass mode and seeing Sara on the hunt really showed different sides to their characters that I was accustomed to in the previous Guild Hunter books I read. The mystery plot-line was also tense and it left me guessing, but I think the romance albeit brief really helped to make this sparkle! I loved the ending and I hope we get more glimpses like this in the future because I do think Sara and Deacon are a great couple. I give Angel’s Judgement a B
MinnChica: This was also my second favorite story in the anthology. Ever since this was first released in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology, this has been one of my favorite stories in the entire Guild Hunters series. I absolutely LOVE and adored Sara and Deacon together. They kicked ass and took names and had super sexy times together. It was great to see Sara in a hunter role, especially since she’s normally seen as the Guild Director. I also liked seeing Deacon as the stole-cold killer he used to be. I thought their romance was absolutely incredible, and loved that he gave up something that he had been doing for years, so she could continue on the career path she wanted. The two of them melted my heart and continue to be one of my favorite couples in this world. I give Angels Judgement an A
E: Ooh Deacon and Sara….They are certainly a force to be reckoned with separately and together I felt sorry for anyone who came up against them. I loved how he was known as the person whose weapons all the Hunters wanted. Reading this I could understand why all the North American Hunters gave their loyalty to Sara. Watching her transform from one of the many hunters into the Guildmaster was very impressive. I loved how she decided to wear one of Deacon’s spinning saw-blades as her necklace pendant. Talk about sending a message. Deacon was also pretty impressive as he took care of what he needed to so that he could go to Sara knowing that he wasn’t leaving anything hanging that would make her job harder then necessary. I also loved how such a strong man willingly supported his love in her spotlight. I give Angel’s Judgement an A-
Has: In Angel’s Wolf, this was a more slower paced story with a more subtle tone, with a really sweet romance with its core. Noel is sent to the Angel’s court of New Orleans which is held by the angel Nimra. It was really refreshing to see an angel who felt more human although she was scary in her own way and Noel, who is very observant but recovering from a brutal attack that left him scarred deep down trying to find his place, connecting emotionally. The romance between them is very subtle and their attraction grows slowly but it was fitting especially on how their tragic pasts affected their characterisation. I did find the mystery plot wasn’t that tense or tense, but the real draw was the love story which was very sweet and tender. Although this wasn’t my overall favourite story in the anthology, I did enjoy the romance and the characters and wider ongoing subplots and how that tied in the series. I give Angel’s Wolf a C+
MinnChica: This was a slower paced novella and one that, like Has said, had a sweet romance to it. I loved the change of pace in this novella, how Singh was able to focus more on the romance, and the suspense portion of the plot. They were both done exceptionally well in my opinion, and I really enjoyed the interaction of these two. I liked the way that these two played off each other. Noel was able to come more to grips with his attack and torture with Nimra’s help and constant companionship. On the other hand, Nimra was able to cement her position in her court with him at her side, standing there to support her in any and every way possible. I liked having a look into other angel’s courts, and hope that we can see more of these characters in future books. I give Angel’s Wolf a B.
E: While sweeter and more innocent in some ways then Ms Singh’s other stories in this world Angel’s Wolf still packed quite a punch. I was really glad to see Noel who had been grievously tortured in Angel’s Blood regain his own. It was also refreshing to see Nimra, an angel, who held her court not through seduction, pain, fear but more through love and care yet she had the strength and will to hold and protect her court. The slow growth of trust on Noel’s part not just of Nimra but also of himself as a worthwhile man combined with Nimra’s realization that Raphael had sent her exactly who and what she needed in more ways then one was great to see. I think the ending of this novella was absolutely perfect. I give Angel’s Wolf an A.
Has: I think for me this was my favourite story in the anthology. I really loved this prequel story of Galen who is one of Raphael’s Cadre and Jessamy, the earthbound angel who is the historian and teacher of the angels. The romance between them certainly sizzled and I love how possessive and determined Galen was towards Jessamy which helped to crack the emotional walls around her. The romance was sweet, passionate and full of real depth.
MinnChica: I absolutely LOVED this story, it was by far my favorite of the anthology. The romance between Galen and Jessamy was smoking hot, full of wonderful tension and a beautiful romance to top it off. I thought Galen’s possessive ways and constant pushing at Jessamy to be better, not just accept life laying down and fighting for what she wanted was so endearing. While he came across as an alphahole to Jessamy, I thought it was all very sweet in Galen’s own way. absolutely LOVED it.
E: This was such a contrast in opposites! The much older, unable to fly, sweet, trusted, innocent Jessamy and the young, brutal, unknown, militant Galen were wonderful to watch together. Jessamy’s initial view of Galen in all his martial skill and Galen noticing her despite his focus on Dimitri was just WOW. The two of them did not have an easy meeting of the minds so to speak. Galen offended without meaning to because he never learned how to soften his words and so addressed things others left unsaid. Jessamy insulted without meaning to because she did not understand how ferociously Galen regarded his words and his actions. Galen refused to let Jessamy continue to go through life without living and Jessamy was able to give Galen all the softness he never experienced while growing up yet as a friend/lover not as a mother/teacher.
Has: I loved that aspect too! I think with angels especially, some vulnerability helps to ground them and we definitely got that with Jessamy and Galen whose strengths and weaknesses helped to balance each other out. I also loved the hints of backstory about Illium and his human lover and how he got his nickname and Raphael’s cementing his power base as an Archangel and Michaela’s rise to Archangel status. Despite this being a novella, it really felt like a full book, because so much happened but the romance was at the centre. I think my favourite is the ending when Jessamy and Galen who are separated, correspond to each other and their feelings become even stronger with the realisation that they truly want to be together. Angel’s Dance is a passionate love story filled with nuanced moments of tenderness and heart-felt emotions. How Galen outmanuvered Jessamy’s emotional resolve and how he realised he found his own place in Raphael’s new court was a true delight! I felt that I got caught up in an angel’s flight along with them! I give Angel’s Dance a B+
MinnChica: I agree that so many things happened, and it felt like a full length novel. I thought the backstory with Illium was wonderful as well, and loved getting a better glimpse into the history of Raphael’s Seven. I can’t wait until we get the stories from Illium, Jason and the others. The history from each man was wonderful to see, and I am anxiously awaiting more! I have a feeling that the story between Galen and Jessamy will be one that I will go back and read time and time again when I need a great story to act as a pick-me-up. I give Angel’s Dance an A.
E: I did love their long distance courtship and how Jessamy and Galen exchanged letters while Galen consolidated the role he would play in Raphael’s fledgeling court. I also enjoyed the glimpses of some of Raphael’s Seven and Raphael himself when they were younger and in some ways still retained some of their innocence. Even if it was only evident when they were around Jessamy and her memories of them as young children. I think Galen changed from the cold brute introduced in Angel’s Blood to yet another character I adored when not only did he take Jessamy flying but he made it possible for her to leave the Refuge for the first time ever! I continue to be in awe of Ms Singh’s knack at taking characters I initially disliked and fleshing them out into one that I can’t wait to see again. I think this novella contained everything I love about Ms Singh’s romances. I give Angel’s Dance an A
Has: If you didn’t get the chance to read the previous stories, this is a fantastic collection of stories which help to expand the focus of the Guild Hunter universe. I really enjoyed the variety of different toned romances which packed an emotional punch!
MinnChica: Even if you have read the three previous stories as separate novellas, this book is worth it for Angel’s Dance alone. I loved that the stories in this book were all so diverse, and there was a little something for everyone. Singh continues to create a dynamite world and stories within the Guild Hunter Universe.
E: There are times when I need a fix, not a long fix but a short intense fix from a particular author who has the ability to take me into such a completely different world that when I come back to mine I am back feeling refreshed. Ms Singh is one of those authors and the fact that I can not read her Guild Hunter novellas in a single collection is wonderful. I enjoyed re-reading the first three and loved the inclusion of Angel’s Dance. Like both Has and MinnChica said all four have a different tone to them so you can read them back to back and not feel like you are going back over worn territory. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
This review was originally posted at www.thebookpushers.com. Publisher: Self Publish Date: Out now How I got this book: From the author
James and Olivia FThis review was originally posted at www.thebookpushers.com. Publisher: Self Publish Date: Out now How I got this book: From the author
James and Olivia Forster have been happily married for many years. A harmless kink here or there spices up their love life, but they can’t imagine the kinks they’ll encounter while sneaking off to their beach house for a long hot weekend.
Anso Vitul has ruled the wereseals for one short month. He hardly needs his authority questioned because he’s going crazy from mating heat. Anso’s best friend and male lover Ty offers to help him find the human mate his genes are seeking. To Ty’s amazement, Anso’s quest leads him claim not one partner but a pair. Ty would object, except he too finds the Forsters hopelessly attractive. I got this blurb from the author’s website here.
Hidden Depths is the second in Ms Holly’s Hidden world following after Hidden Talents which I reviewed here. Unlike the majority of other series I read, which are set in the same world and have some reoccurring characters or events that provide continuity, this seemed much more of a standalone novel. Yes, it was set in the same world but dealt primarily with a different species and environment not to mention an entirely different theme. I will admit when I read the blurb and saw that this featured a married couple I had my doubts but I should have trusted that Ms Holly would make it work.
Ms Holly does not pull any erotic punches with the main characters coming on scene and pretty quickly enjoying an intimate moment with their respective partner. Those encounters displayed not only what types of things the characters enjoyed but also the emotional trust and caring they had within their relationships. I think their caring relationships were the key that allowed the merging of the couples to work. If any individual had been less committed to their partner’s happiness I think the outcome would have been entirely different. I liked that while Ms Holly did use the ‘fated mate’ trope she did not use that trope as the final solution but as the reason for meeting. I also liked how both James and Olivia experienced what the wereseals could give them at the same time but in separate locations. That continued to keep them on an even level with their relationship with each other.
The inclusion of several twists in this story helped elevate it above the increasingly more familiar multi-partner erotic romance. The woman scorned, while determined to get her own back, did not go down the typically well-worn path. As I mentioned earlier the idea of fated mates was not the ultimate answer. Ms Holly also did not make the focus of this as three close male friends/relatives all interested in sharing a single female but more about four people initially two separate couples building a relationship with each other. And then there was the setting…I have always be fascinated with the sea and this certainly fed my imagination. The wereseal world was full of some pretty intriguing creatures and seascapes. I wish we could have explored it and some of the wereseal culture a bit more.
My only quibble is that it seemed some things were accepted a bit too easily not just by the main characters but by the entire ensemble as a whole. Aside from the group of dissenters, which included “the woman scored”, everyone else went along with and loved what James and Olivia brought to their world.
This was actually a read of the edited and updated release that came out not that long ago. I enjoyed the extra scenes and being immersed in this worlThis was actually a read of the edited and updated release that came out not that long ago. I enjoyed the extra scenes and being immersed in this world again. I am really looking forward to the re-release of Hidden and hopefully the first release of Tatiana's books....more
This is a re-read. I really like this story and world. Originally a stand-along I was extremely excited to find out that Ms Shinn is working on the seThis is a re-read. I really like this story and world. Originally a stand-along I was extremely excited to find out that Ms Shinn is working on the sequel. The blessings, interweaving of the different elements, POLITICS, and the variety of characters all made this world extremely vivid. I can't wait to read the next one. ...more
I had forgotten I had scheduled a Retro Review for today until my calendar popped up yesterday. All my reminder said for the book title was TBD, I searched my kindle looking for TBD and then I realized that TBD (To Be Determined) meant when I scheduled the review I hadn’t decided on a book. So I started thinking and I came up with two possibilities a western or a J. D. Robb. Both I enjoy reading and re-reading so I decided that instead of flipping a coin I would ask some totally unbiased people. I raised a very scientifically worded, unambiguous question on twitter and tallied the results. I had 100% +/- 3% variance on J. D. Robb. Thank you @JoannaMikalis and @smexys_sidekick for your opinions. The western I will review another time.
Publisher: Berkley Books Publish Date: 1995 How I got this book: Purchased
Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant using her instincts to hunt for a ruthless killer. And she’s going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire—and a suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own. This blurb came from the author’s website here.
Naked In Death is book one of probably the longest running series I have read except for the Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys series. It took me a while to pick this one up in fact I think probably four or five of them had been released before I decided to give the series a try. I am so glad that I took a chance because I have had hours of laughter, tension, tears, and sexytimes as I read, re-read and listen to this series during long drives. The In Death series is set in a futuristic Earth primarily based in New York City.
Eve is such a complex character with her passion for the law, by the book behavior and insistence on standing for the dead since they cannot stand for themselves. She didn’t care what that person did in life, their stature in society, who they knew or were related to. Any speculation that she treated a murder victim differently based on their stature resulted in an immediate increase in her temper. Eve’s very stubbornness, while serving her well as she progressed through the ranks, was also her downfall when it came to taking care of herself or playing the political game. Eve lives for her job so she doesn’t have a social life or any clue how to deal with a guy who isn’t a co-worker, a witness or a suspect. This makes it even more entertaining when she encounters Roarke.
I hope you will forgive me as I pause for a moment to pay mental homage to Roarke. He happens to be my personal favorite romantic hero that I have ever read. Eve first encounters Roarke’s name in the appointment book of one of her murder victims a Sharon DeBlass whose occupation was a licensed companion (legalized prostitute, very high end) and who happened to be the granddaughter of Senator DeBlass a very influential, very conservative, and very used to throwing his political weight around man. Roarke was one of the last few meetings that the victim had written in her appointment book. That combined with the extreme lack of information available to Eve during her background search ensured he was one of Eve’s suspects.
Their first encounter at Sharon’s funeral happens to strike sparks. Roarke can’t believe that he didn’t spot Eve as a cop instead of an attractive woman and Eve can’t believe how arrogant Roarke is. Roarke does discover Eve’s weakness when he offers her real coffee on the flight back into NYC. Her reaction to the coffee leads to the very first gift he gives her. Their relationship grows as the twists and turns into what appears to be a serial murder investigation become more complex. Eve also has to deal with political pressure coming from Senator DeBlass and from the Chief of Police outside her precinct. As Eve and Roarke start to spend time together things keep happening to place Roarke at the top of the suspect list and therefore discredit her investigation based on her personal behavior.
I loved the interaction that Eve and Roarke had with each other. I was also introduced to several key reoccurring characters in this series. Those supporting characters also continue to change and grow as Eve and Roarke change and grow. They help to solidify the setting and how complex people really are. I was also not let down by the mystery of determining who the murderer was. The answer to that question was really complex but I could mentally go back and trace the threads as Eve was closing the case. I highly recommend that if you enjoy romance, mystery, strong characters, and a vivid world that you give the In Death series a try. Make sure you start with Naked In Death so you don’t miss anything. In fact I think since I have just re-read this one I need to start re-reading the series again *grin*.
Publisher: Kensington Publish Date: Out Now How we got this book: Purchased
HE HUNGERS FOR HER BODY . . . Zer is no angel—well, not anymore. He’s explored every flavor of sin imaginable, drinking in the pleasures of humanity. But now he must find the woman who carries his salvation in her very blood…a woman like Nessa St. James. AND HER SOUL Nessa has considered the bargain the Fallen offer. Anything she wants in exchange for accepting Zer’s bond? No way. Not her. Not when she finds out about the mind-blowing ritual involved, and the marks of surrender that will ink her skin. But with a serial killer to stop and centuries of experience on his side, this is one job Zer’s going to nail. This blurb came from the author’s website here.
E: After I finished reading Bond With Me book 1, a couple of years ago I eagerly went to Ms Marsh’s website hoping I could get information on an upcoming book 2. Unfortunately at the time there wasn’t much if anything out there so I kept hoping and waiting. Then one of the times I checked back Ms Marsh had provided a title and a release date. As I am sure you can imagine I was pretty excited so when Has and I started chatting about upcoming books and decided we would review His Dark Bond I couldn’t wait.
Has: I felt the same way! I really enjoyed Bond With Me which had an intense and erotic romance but in a paranormal setting which I really liked. I am not a huge fans of fallen angels and the mating trope which is beginning to feel pretty derivative, but Anne’s take on them was sublime and sexy, so I was definitely looking forward to the followup! His Dark Bond, follows Zer who is the leader of the fallen Dominion angels and now they are that aware of their only hope to regain their wings, which is to find their soul-mates have been subverted by a faction of rebel angels and rogues who have been killing their mates over the centuries. I liked the fact that we actually got the leader’s story very early in the series. Usually it is held off right towards the end or starts off a series, which empathizes that the leader type hero holds more importance than the people who follow him. I also liked that Zer was in many ways, was unsure had real doubts about the mistakes he made as being a leader and felt very responsible for the Dominion becoming fallen angels. I found that really refreshing, and it added some depth to his character. So when they come across Nessa St James, a soul-mate who is also a geneticists/researcher who has the keys to find more potential soul-mates it is imperative for the angels to protect her from their enemies.
E: Like Has I found it interesting to see the leader despite all of his good intentions get stuck with his soul-mate. In a way I think that was a really good thing because I got the impression he was on the borderline of becoming a Rogue which would have been a really BAD thing. As long as their leader was still “sane” some of the Fallen would retain hope. Plus now that a small group of them knows it is possible to regain their wings legitimately and that they have enemies in Heaven they really need their leader. It also made sense that Nessa, with the knowledge of how to find potential soul mates, would need to pair up with Zer. I also *ahem* loved how Nael one of Zer’s lieutenants andbodyguard convinced Nessa to choose Zer. I am really looking forward to his story especially since he is hinted at being umm more into smexy variations then the others…
Has: It was pretty obvious to everyone BUT Zer and Nessa they were attracted and drawn towards each other, although I did wish there was more time in developing that transition from being reluctant to admitting their love for each other. But I did like how they felt reluctant – the bonding trope can be a lazy way to excuse romantic tension, however Anne Marsh has a great way to convey this and sizzles up the heat factor by a 100 degrees with the love scenes. I really like how she incorporates emotions and sex into the world-building with the Angels who need to feed off this to fend off from being a rogue. Both Zer and Nessa share hot sexual tension, but I did wish there was more time expaning on the emotional element, because so much time was spent them fighting off their feelings and trying not to get invested. However when they do realise what they mean towards each other, it was sweet and passionate. I have to quote this passage, because it sums it up perfectly.
“I love you, too,” he said roughly. “You’re part of me, body and soul, Nessa. And I wish—” He hesitated, then kept right on going. “I wish all my brothers had found their soul mates. Because, what we have … it’s more than the wings. What we have, it’s me and you and …” His voice trailed off. “I’m no poet. You’re the heart of it all. The heart of me. And that,” he said forcefully, “is why I have my wings back and we’re even having this goddamn conversation.”
E: Great quote! I did enjoy the relationship build-up more in the first book. This one seemed almost like I hate you but I want you, then just because you DON’T want me to I will choose you, then since you are bound and determined to hold back on me I will make you open up without much if any emotional caring before hand. Yet if you looked at some of the subtleties Nessa did have trust that Zer would rescue her on more then one occasion. She also could have picked something very superficial as the bonding favor and instead she went for something deep. Then she had a very special conversation with another individual that I am hoping will pay off in later installments. I did like the glimmer of hope that remained in the Rogue preserves but I think the Fallen are going to have their hands extremely full later on. I also really like how Ms Marsh puts holes in the stereotype that all Angels are good and all Fallen are bad. This was a satisfying installment an I am looking forward to the next. I give His Dark Bond a B-.
Has: I totally agree about the subtleties between Zer and Nessa. I loved that she was a scientist and he was a figure of mythology which added another level to their dynamics. I also LOVED how science was added into the story, it was realistic and detailed and that was an interesting dichotomy with the paranormal factors. I do think that the ongoing plot-line with the angelic war and rogues is really starting to cement the series and I love the gritty nature and tone of this world. His Dark Bond, is an erotic and fast paced entry to this series and I am definitely in line for the next book! I give His Dark Bond a C+
Interested in learning more then check out Anne Marsh’s Guest Post with us and E’s review of The Fallen book 1, Bond With Me....more