Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ARC Review: The Miss Mirren Mission (Regency Reformers #1) by Jenny Holiday

Title: The Miss Mirren  Mission (Regency Reformers #1)
Author: Jenny Holiday
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance - Regency
Length: Novel
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Loving her would be his downfall…

To society, the Earl of Blackstone cuts a mysterious figure. He is eligible, withdrawn, and endlessly fascinating. Yet as an integral part of London’s underground spy ring intent on defeating Napoleon, Blackstone has no mistress but the cause.

Miss Emily Mirren is considered “unbiddable” by the ton. She wields a fierce intellect, which she channels into her own secret cause—writing an abolitionist newspaper column under a male pseudonym.

When Emily’s aims clash with Blackstone’s, they stray into a dangerous game of attraction and subterfuge, and secrets are the going currency. And in order to complete the most important mission of his career, Blackstone must thwart Emily, even if it breaks both their hearts.
This was a very fun romance.  Emily is on her way to becoming one heck of a bluestocking, and she's proud of it.  She reads about anything and everything - which I always like in a character - and it's given her a unique perspective on quite a few things.  She's also a reformist.  She wants to abolish slavery and punish those that are still illegally buying and selling them.  When her goals of finding information on a slave trader interfere with an investigation in process she finds herself caught up in quite an adventure.

Blackstone is a spy.  He's trying to find who has been trading English secrets to the French and suddenly Emily is in his way.  He finds he rather likes her there - it's making his life interesting.  But he owes a debt to her father and finds his wishes don't align with his mission for a change.  So he writes a new mission - the Miss Mirren Mission.

Watching these two dance around their growing feelings was actually very fun.  It didn't get overly tedious as they both discussed why they would never marry.  It was just a part of who they were.  As this romance involves spies - there is quite a bit of adventure and intrigue mixed in and it merges just about seamlessly with the romance until they are all tied together.

Such a fun historical with a lot of really great characters.  Hopefully, I get to see a few of them again when book two comes out.

More on Jenny Holiday

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ARC Review: House of Ravens (The Nightfall Chronicles #2) by Karpov Kinrade

Title: House of Ravens (The Nightfall Chronicles #2)
Author: Karpov Kinrade
Source: Author Request
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: Novel
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 1

I am Nightfall.

I am your worst nightmare and your best friend.

I am the keeper of secrets and the teller of lies.

I thought revenge was my only motive.

I was wrong.
House of Ravens continues Scarlett's story as she begins to really embrace her role as Nighfall.  She discovers just how difficult it is to have a secret identity - it's really hard to be a "superhero" and you don't get a lot of sleep.  No glamorization here.

She begins to make new friends in training and there's even a bit of a love interest, but Nighfall once again gets in the way.  This book had a lot of loss in it.  From the idealism that Scarlett has about the world and people in general, to friends, and discovering those hidden agendas that seem to multiply around her.

Her crusade to help Zeniths continues to meet with some very extreme resistance, and she finds that some of her enemies are soooo much closer than she first believed.  There are also some unlikely allies.  The royal family makes for some great side characters and gives the reader a chance to see the other side of life and how other parts of the world are managed.

I'm still blown away by how detailed and exciting the lore behind this series is.  Everything ties together so well and each scene, no matter how small, somehow plays a part in pushing the story forward - so pay attention to all the amazing details.  I can't wait to see what may happen in book three.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

More on Karpov Kinrade

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: The Originals: The Rise (Originals #1) by Julie Plec

Title: The Originals: The Rise (Originals #1)
Author: Julie Plec
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Historical Paranormal
Length: Novel
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 1

Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years
ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you're immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they've escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus's attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus's volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?
This paranormal story allowed me to indulge in my guilty pleasure - The Originals.  I love their story even more than I love Vampire Diaries.  It will definitely help to have watched parts of the shows to understand the basic history and lore behind the Mikaelson family, but if you haven't you can still just enjoy the story.

The Rise really highlighted each sibling's strongest personality trait - almost too much so.  Elijah was the controlling planner, Klaus was the hot-headed impulsive one, and Rebekah was just sort of lost because she cares too much about everything.  I think she was my greatest disappointment.  She has become a much stronger person since this story took place and I was sad not to see that part of her character more.

It was fun to watch their beginnings in New Orleans and see how the start of all the fueds between the various species began.  This is a must read for fans of the series.  It ties in well with what I've seen of the series and really opens up the family's past, making how they act now even more exciting.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Guest Post: Feel Good Movies by Author Wendy Byrne

Everyone loves a good feel good movie and we all have our favorites.  Today we have author Wendy Byrne visiting us and showing how her love of feel good movies relates to her love of romance books.  I just had to add a couple she mentioned to my NetFlix list.

Feel Good Movies by Wendy Byrne

I was kind of cranky one day when I started flipping through the channels and noticed the movie Bridesmaids. Wahoo! Just what I needed—a shot of happy. It made me laugh, made me cry and everything in-between. I decided it might very well be the magic elixir for whatever might ail me. Could that be? Could I have found the fountain of youth, or at least the fountain of happy?

Hmmm…so I started to analyze what makes me laugh and discovered it’s real life. The things like Annie (Kristin Wilig) fumbling her way through a bad pseudo relationship with Ted (Jon Hamm) while dismissing the wonderfully funny Officer Rhode (Chris O’Dowd). Her relentless drive to impress her best friend with embarrassing consequences. I don’t know about you, but I saw of myself in Annie. Haven’t we all fumbled our way through relationships that were so bad for us with the hope things would change. Or when we try to be somebody we’re not? When Annie finally figures it out, it felt so empowering. I felt like I was Annie, smacking myself on the side of the head and saying you got this girl.

So what other movies do I watch a million times and they still make me laugh, despite the fact that I practically know the words by heart? Christmas Vacation is one for sure—you can’t beat Cousin Eddy for a good laugh. Don’t we all have a few Cousin Eddy’s in our families? I don’t know about you, but I sure do. Of course I’m not revealing any names. J Night Shift with Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton is another oldie but goodie for me, or Midnight Run with Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro. All feel good stories.

Which is the same reason I read romance books:  I always know there’ll be a satisfying conclusion to the story—good will always triumph over evil, and everyone has their HEA. And I love books with a touch of humor in them. I always try to incorporate a bit of humor in my books—either through the main characters or peripheral characters. In The Millionaire’s Deception I used the concept of the book club ladies (all senior citizens) who were obsessed with Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s a short snippet from their first appearance in the book.

“Small towns are like that. You can’t get away with anything without everybody knowing about it. Gossiping is part of the culture.” She gave him a mischievous smile. “Like right now the book club ladies in the corner no doubt have stopped focusing on the finer points of Fifty Shades of Grey and have homed in on why I’m spending so much time talking to you. The next logical conclusion they’ll come to is that we’ll be doing it on the back of your Harley by the end of the night, with me wearing nothing but a striped necktie.”
He choked on the coffee he’d just swallowed. For the first time in nearly ten years, words failed him. No doubt because the visual she’d described was way too tempting to dismiss. He shook off the thoughts, albeit reluctantly. “So that’s what little old ladies do in their spare time—talk about sex? And here I thought it was gardening.”
“They’re all widowed and alone and like to relive the good old days. And unfortunately for me, also seem to be fixating on my love life by finding me a man.” She tsked. “Pay them no mind. They mean well.”
 “Don’t look now, but one of them is headed our way.”
She brushed an errant chunk of hair away from her eyes. “Oh crap. I knew I stayed here too long. What does she look like?”
“White-haired, blue flowery dress.”
“That’s Louisa. Don’t take the bait if she asks you if you like sex toys.” She shook her head.

What’s your favorite feel good movie or book?

About the Millionaire's Deception:
He always wins. And she never gives up...

Rafe McCall has a reputation as the Closer. He rakes in serious cash to make deals happen. Convincing small restaurant owner Frankie Ritacco to sell his business for property development should have been a piece of cake. So Rafe blows into Wilcox, Iowa on his Harley, convinced the deal is all but done. But he is so, so wrong...

For starters, “Frankie” is a woman. A stunning, stubborn woman who wants to preserve her idyllic small town. The Crossroads Café is a family legacy Frankie plans to leave to her future children, and there is no way she's selling—even to a sexy millionaire who makes her heart race. But her café is in serious trouble, and Rafe must decide if he can close the deal...or if he's found the deal breaker of a lifetime.

ARC Review: Hardcore Volume 3 by Staci Hart

Title: Harcore Volume 3
Author: Staci Hart
Source: Author Request
Genre: New Adult Romance, Serial
Length: Novella
Release Date: march 19, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 5
Sexual - 3

It’s time. Time to tell the truth. Time to face her past and step into her future.

Starting with Van.

Cory will wait to the beat of the ticking clock for him to come back. To see what she’s done and make the final judgment. As much as she holds onto the small hope that he’ll still want her, she’s ready for rejection, ready for the pain. As ready as she can be, at least.

It’s time to make things right, not only with Van, but with Jill. With Jade. With everything.

No more running.
An amazing conclusion to this serial romance.  Cory is faced with the consequences of her actions and how best to move on with her life.  We get to see a lot more of Jillian and it was great to see just why Cory wanted to protect her so much.  Van's reaction is somewhat expected, but we all know there's going to be more to it eventually.

Watching Cory finally start getting her life back on track was probably the best part of this.  Until you get to the end at least.  The ending totally rocked!  It was beyond perfect and I loved it.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ARC Review: A Touch of Passion (The Disgraced Lords #3) by Bronwen Evans

Title: A Touch of Passion (The Disgraced Lords #3)
Author: Bronwen Evans
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance - Regency
Length: Novel
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 3

Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a
risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.

After losing his mother and two siblings in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.
This was a pretty good story.  There was a lot more adventure and action than I usually see in a historical romance, which I really enjoyed.  What just didn't quite work for me was the resistance between the characters.

Portia is determined to marry for love, and to do that she must make Grayson fall in love with her.  But throughout the story, it's rather obvious that he has fallen in love, but he just is far too stubborn to even admit it to himself.  When Portia believes that he doesn't love her, then she goes off in another direction.  It was just too much pulling apart "just because" for my taste.  They both needed to just get their heads on straight and work it all out.

The mystery behind who is out to get the Libertine Scholars was the best part of the story.  I really want to know who this mysterious plotter is, because they are very good at causing all sorts of trouble.  We find out quite a bit about them in this story, and now I just want to know more.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Cookbook Review Blue Ribbon Canning by Linda J. Amendt

Title: Blue Ribbon Canning
Author: Linda J. Amendt
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Cookbook
Length: 224
Release Date: April, 28 2015
Reviewed by: Laurie
Rating - 5

Blue Ribbon Canning across America takes readers on a canning journey and celebrates Americana with 150 state fair prize-winning recipes for jam, preserves, pickles, sauces, and more, plus tips and methods for making delicious blue ribbon recipes at home.

In addition, thorough chapters on ingredients, equipment, canning techniques, and safe processing will provide a solid foundation for canners of all skill levels. Special sections on the history of canning, the history of fair competitions, and information on how to enter a fair competition to complete the package.

Over the last few years I have been able to add several fruit trees and a few fruit bushes to our backyard and this year I am getting a garden ready, so I figured I better get a head start and figure out the best preserve fresh produce before summer gets here. I went to Netgallay hoping there would be something there.  While most publishers wont allow a romance blog to review their cookbooks, I found one that did and it just so happens it was just what I needed. 

 I never knew how much went into canning. This book took me from beginning of the canning process to end, which was what I was looking for in a book. Too often times we have to buy several books to get a completed product, but Blue Ribbon Canning takes you all he way through the process and with awesome recipes, such as, Spiced Barry Jam and Mint Jelly, which I will be trying in a cake recipe as soon as I am able, I don’t see me having to buy anymore canning books for a long time.

The authors included not only jellies and jams recipes but they also, include recipes for fruits, vegetables, pickles and more. They also offer Canning techniques, step by step for pressure canning, canning equipment and much more. I could see this book working well for beginners all the way to advance canners.

Recipes are easy to read and follow. I love how they added things like, if you love Margaritas then you’ll love this jam and  Did you know facts corner with saying like, Did you know there are over 3,000 fairs healed in America each year…. Heck, no I didn’t LOL

I would have liked to see more pictures of the completed recipes and I wished they would have included the sales for devices instead of just paperback, but all in all this is an awesome book that I will be buying ASAP. 

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: The Master (The Game Maker #2) by Kresley Cole

Title: The Master (The Game Maker #2)
Author: Kresley Cole
Source: Publisher
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance, BDSM
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 5
Sexual - 4

A need colder than Siberian winter meets an attitude hotter than the Florida sun in #1
New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sultry new Game Maker novel.

Everyone fears the Master…

Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his…complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.

Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.

If pleasure is a game, play to win.

After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past—to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow.
I was a little leery of this one at first.  After hearing everyone talk about how good it was going to be, I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to expectations.  I was completely wrong.  There was very little I would even consider changing in the book.  I was drawn in from the get go and it just never let me wander too far away from it.  I just had to keep reading.

Maksimilian (Maxim), is a hard man to crack.  He has his way of doing things and well, that's all there is to it.  So when Catarina (Cat) wanders into his life, well, he's in for a surprise.  Cat is brutally honest while not ever telling him everything.  She's running for her life and sees his pocketbook as a way to get the heck out of dodge.  Being her first (and only) escort job means things don't go the way either of them planned.

There was a great mix of suspense and romance in the story.  While there isn't necessarily a lot of action, we can feel the cloud hanging over Cat the entire story.  But it isn't the center point all the time.  We get to see Maxim and Cat fall in love, learn to trust, and just have a ton of fun together.  Watching them experience joy together for the first time was the best part of the book.

Then ending was equally suspenseful and satisfying.  A lot happens in the last couple chapters but it really takes everything and pulls it together masterfully before giving you a blow out of a HEA.  I will be picking up the first book in the series as soon as my wallet gives me permission.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: At Death's Door (Freefall #1) by Astrid V. Tallaksen

Title: At Death's Door (Freefall #1)
Author: Astrid V. Tallaksen
Source: Author Request
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Novel
Release Date: August 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 1

The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem
pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital.

Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she's experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie.

Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?
At Death's Door takes a very interesting take on angels, demons, their motivations, and how they all got here.  I really enjoyed this look at the world as it took a new turn that I hadn't read before.  There is a story about the Garden of Eden that I particularly enjoyed, but can't say much more.  Let's just say that it gives the story of Adam and Eve a whole new dimension.

Sara and Daniel's story wasn't always a happy one.  Their story was the small bit of romance in the story, and it was a bit of a tragic one - but not completely.  Their history was a little confusing and there were a few things I never quite seemed to wrap my head around - but they were little things.  Their history set up a ton of great surprises to come out as the story unravels and leaves a lot of questions unanswered - perhaps more will be revealed in book two.

Both characters were quite dynamic.  While Sara had the most growth and change due to her circumstances, Daniel has his moments as well, especially towards the end of the story.  Sara's son raises a lot of questions for me.  I know he is something special, but he just didn't seem quite right to me.  I hope the author makes his personality and character more clear in the second book.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, March 23, 2015

ARC Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows (The Daughters of La Lune #1) by M.J. Rose

Title: The Witch of Painted Sorrows (The Daughters of La Lune #1)
Author: M.J. Rose
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction - Belle Epoque
Length: Novel
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 2

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates
her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Such a good book. This one seemed to have just about everything. We have a wife on the run from her horrible husband, the beautiful setting of historical Paris, dark family secrets, and a love affair. These are all woven beautifully together to create the story of La Lune and Sandrine.

I'm not even sure where to begin. You are eased into the paranormal elements as more of a family legend. But when the legend seems to be slowly coming to life, things begin to really take off. Sandrine is the focal point of this and her time in Paris was amazing. I loved watching her slowly changing to become more that what she really was. This is seen in her personality, her art, and even the way she dresses. But it happens so slowly that we don't really notice it all coming together until her grandmother throws it in your face!

The history was fantastic. M.J. Rose really draws you into 1890's Paris and the art scene as it changes and evolves under the influence of mysticism movement. People are more and more interested in the occult and it just adds a nice element in the layering of the story.

My only complaint was the ending. It came very fast and very sudden. It was a great climactic scene, but I felt like I didn't have a chance to really enjoy everything coming together and being revealed before it was just over. I'm really hoping the series continues with this storyline. I still have so much more I want to see.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Releases in Romance - Week of March 22, 2015

Well, you can tell I've been on a historical kick lately.  Any non-historical new ones out there I should know about?  Please share!


New Adult


Friday, March 20, 2015

Blog Barrage and Giveaway: Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton

Taken by a Dragon Blog Barrage - Felicity Heaton

Taken by a Dragon, the seventh book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website and sharing sneak peeks of the book.
Find out how to enter the Taken by a Dragon international giveaway (ends March 22nd) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 5 chapter sample of the novel:

Here’s more about Taken by a Dragon, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.
Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton
Possessed by a need to save a beautiful Amazon warrior from the vision he witnessed, Loke snatched her from the midst of the battle between the Third and Fifth realm of the demons, and carried her to his home deep in the black mountains of Hell to protect her. But as the fierce little female awakens, he finds she’s anything but grateful, and his dragon instincts roar to life to warn she might be more to him than an enemy—she might be his fated female.
Anais remembers meeting a handsome warrior in the heat of battle, a man who was her enemy but who looked at her with eyes that held dark heat and wicked promises. When she wakes to find that same dragon shifter has taken her captive, desire is the last thing on her mind, but escaping him to return to Archangel, the hunter organisation she works for, sounds less than appealing when he reveals the reason he took her—to stop her from dying.
Can Loke protect Anais from the dangers of his realm and how far will he go to save her from the future he keeps witnessing? Can Anais resist the fierce attraction that burns between them as hot as fire and stay true to Archangel or will her heart be taken by the dragon?
Taken by a Dragon is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


“What do they call you?” Loke said, his voice distant to his ears as he stared deep into her eyes, picking out every fleck of black that marred deepest blue.
Would the skies of her world look like that? Would they be so deep and rich, or lighter?
Was she really mortal?
Could she answer his countless questions about her world and sate his desire to know more about the land his people had left behind, never to return?
“Anais.” She offered it with a slight smile that barely curved her rosy lips but added a touch of warmth to her expression, softening the harder edges of her eyes and entrancing him.
Not a trace of fear touched her gaze or her scent now. She flitted from afraid to calm, dancing between the emotions so quickly that he couldn’t keep up. He wasn’t sure how long this calm phase would last, but he meant to do all in his power to make it remain. He wanted her to feel at ease and to begin to trust him.
“They call me Loke.” He offered it with a smile of his own, one that felt foreign to him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had smiled.
“Like the mischievous Norse god?”
His smile stretched a little wider and he shook his head. “My name ends with an E in your tongue.”
She raked her eyes up him, from his bare feet, over his legs to his torso. It slowed from there, drifting at a leisurely pace, one that stirred heat within him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had experienced that either. What was it about this female that had him quick to smile and even quicker to hunger for her touch?
Her gaze finally reached his face and narrowed. “You are definitely mischievous.”
Before he could gather his wits to respond by saying that if he was mischievous then she was mysterious because he couldn’t get a firm grasp on her when she bounced so swiftly between polar emotions, she turned away and headed towards the back of the cave, her boots loud on the black rocky ground.
“Where do you go?” He started to follow her when she made it past the fire and didn’t stop walking.
She looked back over her slender shoulder at him, a wicked twinkle in her eyes. “You only forbade me from going near the mouth of the cave. You didn’t set out any ground rules about the back of it. I’m going to see where the tunnel goes.”
“It goes to chambers. Some where I store meats and things I have gathered, others where I bathe, and some go deep into the mountain to places where dangerous things lurk.” He frowned when she pouted, as if he had spoiled her fun.
Perhaps he had.
Perhaps he had also ruined a chance for her to become more comfortable in his home, and around him.
Would she like to see the rest of the cave?
He could join her in her adventure, although he supposed that would make it more like a tour. He didn’t want her to go alone though. He hadn’t lied about the dangerous things that lurked in the tunnels. They ran deep into the mountain and sometimes fissures opened where creatures could get into them. He had disturbed a nest of Hell beasts down one of the paths before and had barely come away with his life. The tunnels were too small for him to transform in, placing him at a disadvantage against the vicious creatures in close quarters combat.
“So none lead to a big hoard of treasure then?” The wickedness was back in her blue eyes and she flicked her blonde ponytail over her other shoulder as she came to face him.
She toyed with the ends of her hair as he frowned at her, trying to unravel the riddle of her, distracting him with a sudden desire to do that. He wanted to feel the strands wrapping around his fingers before slipping from them. Would they feel silky? He bit back a groan at the jolt of pleasure that ran through him as he imagined they would and brought his focus back to her and what she had said.
She meant to mock him again.
Loke huffed and grudgingly admitted it. “I have a little gold.”
He didn’t like how she smiled, as if he was predictable and she knew him. She knew nothing about him.
“Can I see it?” she said.
He shook his head, flatly refusing her.
Her smile dropped off her face. “Why not?”
“I have decided it is off limits.” Mostly because he had weapons there too. She still eyed his knife from time to time when she thought he wasn’t paying attention to her. She wanted a weapon she could use against him. He wasn’t about to show her where he kept his, issuing an open invite to her to take one and try to stick him with it.
She crossed her arms over her breasts again. “You can’t add rules now. I make no promises that I won’t go back there while you’re sleeping.”
Loke cursed himself. She had just pointed out a major flaw in his plan to keep her safe. She was liable to move around while he was resting and might even attack him, or attempt to leave. She was a warrior. A little Amazon. One of a legendary race known for their cunning. She would take whatever chances he gave to her, whether it was kill him and escape, or just escape.
But she kept telling him that she wasn’t an Amazon, and the longer he was around her, the more he believed she was telling the truth, even when it seemed impossible. He would try to force a confession from her again. If she stayed true to her story, then he would somehow convince himself that she was mortal, even when all the evidence suggested otherwise.
“Are all Amazons as strong as you are?”
She rolled her eyes at him. “I’m not an Amazon.”
She lifted the right sleeve of her black top, revealing a thick red gash across her upper arm. The scent of her blood hit him and he took a step towards her, his eyebrows dipping low as he stared at the wound darting across her pale skin.
“You are hurt.” He realised that she had flinched when he had grabbed her because he had pressed down on the wound, not because he had used too much of his strength on her and his grip had been too tight.
How had he failed to notice her injury?
Loke was closing in on her before he was aware of what he was doing. She didn’t back away. She stood her ground and it pleased him. She was beginning to trust him.
He slowly reached for her arm, giving her time to adjust to his proximity, and she didn’t resist as he carefully curled his fingers around the underside of her upper arm. He gently raised it and frowned at the deep gash. It required attention, but he wasn’t sure how she would react.
This close to her, it would be easy for her to land another blow on his balls if she didn’t like what he was about to suggest.
“It requires healing.” He lifted his gaze to hers.
She seemed so small when he was close to her, standing almost a foot shorter than he was and her frame tiny in comparison. It ramped up his need to protect her. Such a small female shouldn’t be on a battlefield. It was suicide.
She surprised him by nodding and lowering her eyes to the wound.
He dipped his head and swiftly ran his tongue across the wound. She gasped and pulled free of his grip, her shock rippling through him and mingling with his own.
“Your blood is weak.” He stared at her as it sank in. “You are mortal.”
She threw her hands up in the air. “Hallelujah! He finally gets it. I’m mortal. Mortal! This cut might get infected. It’s ragged and I’m filthy. Heaven only knows I’m behind on my tetanus shots. If it doesn’t get proper medical attention, it could kill me.”
Loke wasn’t sure what tetanus or shots were, or what hallelujah meant, but he knew what infected and death were.
“Die?” A vision of her splattered with blood and gasping for air as she stared at him with wide fearful eyes blasted across his mind and he growled as he shoved it away and shook it off. “It is merely a scratch.”
“I’m not like you, or any of the insane things that live in this world. Where I come from, even a scratch can turn septic. A scratch can kill me.”
His lips flattened as he took that in. He had heard mortals were weak but he hadn’t known just how weak they were. She seemed so strong, but perhaps he was mistaken. Perhaps she was weak and this cut was the reason he kept seeing her death on repeat. He needed to heal it, and not only to see if it would halt the visions.
Her confession that mortals were weak enough to die from a mere scratch had cranked up his need to protect her. While she was in his care, he would ensure that she didn’t gain another scratch. Not even a prick on a sharp rock.
Loke gently took hold of her arm and marched her over to the furs. He piled them in a way that would stop any rocks from jabbing her and pressed on her left shoulder until she huffed and sat down in the centre of them. Satisfied that she couldn’t pick up another injury, he set about tending to the one she had already gained.
He kneeled before her, keeping hold of her right arm as she wriggled and tried to escape him.
“Be still. You want the injury seen to and that is what I will do.” He grabbed the hem of her black top and pulled it up.
Her fist connected hard with his right cheek, knocking his head around and making his teeth clack together.
He growled at her, flashing those teeth. “What was that for?”
“Keep your damned paws to yourself, Buddy,” she snapped and shoved at his other hand, trying to get it off her top.
He released it and sat back, waiting for her to calm down. When she switched to attacking the hand he had kept on her arm, he realised he would be waiting a long time and gave up.
“I only desire to help you. I need to heal the wound… and your garment appears to be flammable.” He pointed to it and her eyes shot wide at the same time as the scent of her fear swept over him.
“I don’t like the sound of that.” She began clawing at his hand again, attempting to prise his fingers off her. “You’re bloody well not going to breathe fire on me!”
A reasonable assumption, but wrong again. Well, he was going to attempt to not breathe fire on her anyway. There was a slim chance he might accidentally do it. It was difficult to control and there was such a fine line between heat and fire.
He wouldn’t tell her that though. “Only a little heat. No fire. I swear. It will kill any bad things that might be at the wound site.”
She stilled and stared at the cut on her arm, her expression shifting constantly. He couldn’t decipher what she was thinking, but he guessed she was considering the pros and cons of his offer.
Finally, she pulled her gaze away from the cut and looked right at him again. She didn’t speak or nod. She just grabbed the hem of her top and began pulling it up, flashing a toned flat stomach.
He released her arm so she could remove the garment, doing his best to keep his eyes off what she was revealing to him. He could understand her reluctance to strip. It placed her in what she probably imagined to be a precarious position, and that was the reason he was going to keep his eyes off her body.
And the fascinating garment she wore over her breasts.
He had never seen anything like it.
She laid her black top across the equally dark garment, covering herself, and held it there with her good arm.
“Do it.” Her voice was steel and determination, confidence that he couldn’t sense in her. He could only detect fear.
She was good at concealing her feelings in her voice and expression, but she couldn’t hide them from him when his senses were so acute and her scent gave them away.
Loke leaned in and focused on the gash on her arm, refusing to let his gaze stray to her body. He licked the cut and then drew in a deep breath. She tensed, the scent of her fear growing stronger. He murmured a quiet reassurance in his native tongue and then pursed his lips and blew on the wound, careful to hold back the fire and give only enough heat to seal the cut.
She cried out, the sharp sound echoing around the cave and stabbing through him. He whispered softly to her, driven to comfort and soothe her, and then blew another wave of heat along the length of the cut. It drew a whimper from her that hurt him worse than her cry of pain. It made him want to stop and he had to battle that urge, forcing himself to continue. It was for her own good. Just one more and he would be done.
She reached for him and made it as far as grabbing his bare shoulder to shove him back when he blew on the cut again and she clutched him instead, digging her short nails into his flesh. She grunted and tensed, every inch of her stiffening. Her top fell away from her breasts and he had to close his eyes to keep himself from looking at them.
He swiftly licked the wound to cool it and then pulled back, breaking free of her grip and settling on his heels.
She breathed hard, her chest rising and falling, tempting his gaze. He kept it pinned on her face, trying to discern whether she was angry with him, or afraid, or perhaps both. He wasn’t sure he would ever come to understand her when the rapid shifting of her emotions had him constantly on his toes, but he studied her anyway, attempting to decipher her mood. He wanted to learn about her. He wanted to understand her.
He felt sure that if he gained that understanding of her that he would finally be able to set her mind at ease and make her feel more comfortable around him.
She scowled at him and then looked down at the cut.
After a full minute’s silence, a flicker of gratitude coloured her eyes and sent an unsettling sensation through him, and she opened her mouth to speak.
He looked away from her, not wanting her to thank him, because he didn’t deserve it. She’d had no injuries he could see or smell when he had met her on the battlefield, which meant he must have caused her wound when he had grabbed her or during their flight to his home.
He had vowed he wouldn’t hurt her, but he already had, without even knowing it.
He would have to be more careful if he was going to keep his promises.
The heat of her gaze burned into the side of his face, the softness of her skin was branded on his, and the taste of her coated his tongue. He had a sinking feeling that he had to be more careful in general when around her. She was temptation incarnate, a beauty who stole his breath and had him thinking dangerous things, the sort that would only give her more reason to believe him a monster capable of hurting her.
She roused the deepest dragon instincts he held, the most primal of needs.
The need to protect her.
The need to possess her.

Taken by a Dragon is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.
Find all the links, a fantastic 6 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website:
Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:

Author Bio

Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Guest Post and Giveaway with Sara Humphreys; Vampires Never Cry Wolf

Vampire and Werewolf Politics by Sara Humphreys:
In the supernatural world of the Dead in the City series, vampires and werewolves have had a delicate treaty in place for about two hundred years. To a human, two centuries is a long time but to those in a preternatural world it’s a mere blink.

Vamps and werewolves have long memories and they know how to hold a grudge.

The treaty has been able to be maintained because everyone plays nice in the proverbial sandbox and keeps to their own territory. Werewolves own the rural areas but reside predominantly in Alaska and Canada. The vamps own the major cities but have strongholds in Manhattan, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, and Los Angeles.

If a wolf visits any vampire run city, they make their presence known with a formal introduction to the local czars of the Presidium—the vampire government.

The Werewolf Society is run by King Heinrich Bane and his only living son, Killian, is the heir apparent. Killian is supposed to assume the throne in five years but first he has to take a mate. However, not just any she-wolf will do. He’s dreamed of a woman with the mark of the moon on her shoulder and refuses to mate with anyone other than her.

That would be great if he could find her.

King Heinrich and Emperor Zhao, the leader of the Presidium, have both agreed that relations between the two communities needs, to be improved. Tolerance is great but both leaders want to see true partnership between their races. As a result, Killian is allowed to live in NYC to help bridge the gap between the two communities. He is also opening his own nightclub and plans on setting up house in Manhattan for at least the next five years.

The vamps aren’t thrilled that a pack of werewolves have moved into the city. The younger vampires don't seem to mind the newest residents of Manhattan but the older vamps like, Sadie Pemberton, The Coven’s new proprietor, remember the war. Sadie knows all too well the vicious and unpredictable nature of the wolves.

She wants nothing to do with any werewolves and she definitely doesn’t want any part of lame boring politics.

Nada. Zip. Fughettaboutit.

Until a certain hunky werewolf prince, with a cocky grin and a smart mouth, starts to visit her club night after night.

Suddenly, politics just got a whole lot sexier.

Title: Vampires Never Cry Wolf
Author: Sara Humphreys
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Vampires are nothing but trouble…
As far as beautiful vampire Sadie Pemberton is concerned, werewolves shouldn’t be sticking their noses into New York’s supernatural politics. They don’t know jack about running a city—not even that hot-as-sin new vampire-werewolf liaison who’s just arrived in town.

Werewolves are too sexy for their own good… The last thing Killian Bane wanted was to end up in New York City playing nice with vampires. Unfortunately, he’s on a mission, and when he encounters the sexiest, most stubborn female vamp he’s ever met, he’s going to have to turn on a little of that wolfish charm…and Sadie’s going to learn a thing or two about what it means to have a wild side…

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ARC Review: Destined to Die (Inherited Damnation #3) by Claire Ashgrove

Title: Destined to Die (Inherited Damnation #3)
Author: Claire Ashgrove
Source: Author Request
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: March 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Haunted by his mother’s betrayal, Belen McLaine surrendered to his demonic half
long ago. For centuries, he’s roamed, doing all he can to corrupt those he encounters. But Belen’s life changes when a little Yuletide fun goes wrong, and the one woman he can’t stay away from is suddenly in need of his protection. Unable to cast her aside, he finds himself on a deadly path to love.

Faith Winters shared one glorious date with Belen complete with fireworks, but he stayed away until the night of her brutal attack. As danger escalates, he becomes her only safety net. Shared passion gives way to something deeper, hotter, than she’s ever known before. Yet Faith has no idea her greatest threat is the very man who holds her heart.

For Belen, even if it means hurting Faith, he must not succumb to love. If he fails, his father’s curse promises he’ll take Faith’s life.
I love when a "bad guy" falls in love.  They make such a great story as they learn to be better people and come to grips with their past.  Belen is not your traditional bad boy.  He really does do some bad things, and one of those bad things sets off the chain of events that leads to his eventual redemption.

Belen was a very interesting character.  He chooses to follow his darker side.  He thinks his lighter side is tainted by his mother's abandonment and he walks away from it.  When this decisions puts Faith in danger because of his actions, he begins to second guess everything he's done.  The catch, he really doesn't want to be a better person at first.  It was great!

Seeing Belen with Faith was like watching a different person than when he was with everyone else.  She really was his angel and showed him how powerful good could really be.  He is determined to walk away from it all, but when his love puts her life in danger, he needs to make the final decision of whether or not her life is worth his immortality.

There was quite a nice little twist in this story that only made it work even better.  Again, I loved the fact that it wasn't love or lust at first sight.  The characters had a history that the story really built on and it adds a layer of reality to a paranormal that makes it work so well.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New Releases in Romance: March 15, 2015

This week I added a new category that will be popping up once in awhile.  Most of us don't read all romance all the time, so this is where I will be added a book here and there that isn't a romance, but I'm really looking forward to.


Science Fiction




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